Thursday, September 18, 2014

How to Style a Front Porch - Makeover!

Before summer officially escapes us, let me show you how the porch turned out all painted and styled. But first, let's take a moment to remember...

We picked up the chairs at a garage sale for $3 a piece. No, they are not my "dream" porch furniture but for such a bargain I could rework my Perfect Porch Vision a bit. The two tables were given to us. Three cheers for freebies! As you can see, we modded the one a bit so that it could double duty as a bench or an end table. There were several times during the summer when I was really glad to have that extra bit of seating.

Styling the porch was pretty straight forward: paint, pillows, and plants.
In my opinion, other than painting the tables so they matched and adding pops of color, the rug made the biggest difference in defining the space. The DIY cushions were the biggest infusion of my personality and definitely helped tie everything together and make it look more cozy even though there was quite a bit of pattern mixing going on. Also, the flower boxes we made really changed the space. My original intent with those was to add some color and curb appeal but the pink geraniums really made the space more cozy.

I'm so proud of this plant. Look at how far it's come!

All the accessories came from "shopping" my house. The sisal rug, which Keith hates tolerates, is from the dining room. I will agree with him that it makes a better outdoor rug. The pillows were what we used in our apartment living room (no, they are not outdoor pillows. oops). The yellow enamel pitcher is a vintage score from the pyrex/catherineholm hoard in the kitchen.

All said, the chairs and a gallon of exterior paint were the only purchases I made for the space. Truth be told, I would have loved to plunk a couple hundred buckaroos on new, cushy-cozy, modern porch fixin's but that just wasn't going to happen. Now I can say that I'm glad it didn't. There is something so satisfying about looking around at what you have and making it work. Sometimes the best solutions are the most surprising, yeah?

Monday, September 8, 2014

2 sisters, 1 art journal | Faces and free lettering

If you remember from the art journal intro, the fourth rule for the journal was that each page should be a progression or a continuation of the previous pages idea or theme.
The continuation from the previous page I did to this one is pretty obvious - the face.

design by humans facey-face
What I love that Kali did on this spread is focus is on the hand-written text, not all the added bits and bobs. I definitely get glue happy and want to stick e'erythang on a page.
I do love mod podge :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Installing the wood burning stove

The other day - Monday, to be exact - not long after we created the Fall To-Do list we conquered one of the items on the list. And by "we" I, of course, mean Keith and my dad-in-law.
The sweet, adorable, windowed wood stove that we brought home last November is now hooked up and functioning!!!! Eep!!!

When we called the chimney inspector, Keith and I were more than a little nervous about the report we would get back. We had prepared our hearts for a super expensive, time-intensive repair list, especially since we already knew the top, exterior part of the chimney needed work. What we got back was a report worthy of a gold star sticker. Seriously. The inspector said it was super clean and that the tile was in fantastic shape. Basically, that report meant that we were in the clear to hook up our precious wood burning stove and doing so would be cheaper than anticipated. I'll let you imagine the happy dance I did.

This is looking up the flue. I am literally laying with my head in the fireplace while Keith holds a flash light so I can take a sorta lit, sorta focused picture. If you look carefully you can see the damper chain running all 40 ft up. Apparently it is semi-unusual for dampers to be at the top. Who knew?
I know you're wondering how we hooked it up so here is the summary:

First, Keith and John had to figure out the angle of elbow joints that would need to be attached to the flue collar to route the flue to the right. Figure it out in the great expanse of the room and then set it aside so that you aren't cursing yourself later.

Second, they stuck steel pipe up the chimney a section at a time, screwing it together as they went. Because I'm a terrible person I can't tell you the exactly what length of pipe went up. I was just there to take pictures.

Third, wrap unfaced (paperless) insulation around the pipe liner. This prevents draft and helps with condensation. You can see the insulation down in the corner 2 pictures up.

Fourth, stick the earlier assembled elbow on the end of the liner and push the stove back in place and figure out how to connect every thing.

Fifth, line the stove with bricks.
So that's how we did it. Since it's still crazy hot (hurry up, fall!) we got just enough of a fire going to make sure all was venting like it should.
If you are thinking about trying this yourself, call a chimney inspector and get their thoughts. We grilled our chimney inspector with questions to get his opinion and insights. Since the chimney was in such good shape and didn't need any repairs or crazy pipe-snaking he just told us how he would do it. Off the record, of course. Also, my dad-in-law has had many years experience using wood to heat a house so we trust his expertise in this (and every other) house related project quite a bit.

PS - I am now taking December appointments for hot cocoa by the fire. Shall I put you down?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fall To-Dos

If you want to get technical, fall doesn't officially start until the 22nd. In my book though, Labor Day ushers out summer. Let the fall festivities begin! I am seriously excited about decorating the mantle and having pumpkins on the porch.
Keith and I had a little breakfast date yesterday and made a quick to-do list of house projects we would love to squeeze in before it gets cold.

It's a pretty good mix of projects. Repainting the door and trim on the garage shouldn't be too challenging. I've been spraying weed killer on the insane plant growth behind the garage all summer but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will still be an ordeal to get that space cleaned up. Hooking up the wood burning stove, tuck-pointing the foundation, and getting some lighting in the basement could go either way. hopefully, easier than anticipated. Now that I think about it, there are also a few lights in the garage that need to be hooked up. Three cheers for electricity! 
Truthfully, the list is probably a bit ambitious since most of our foreseeable weekends already have plans and we don't see each other much during the week. Of course, it would be such a shame if we had a spare moment and were bored so this list is ready and waiting ;)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hand Lettering | September Desktop Calendar

A hand-lettered calendar, delivered straight from my Dropbox to your desktop.