My first product review!

So I’ve been shopping for some new bedding. The current duvet cover came with the husband, so I’ve been looking for a new one that I like. Frankly, I like the current duvet cover, but I wouldn’t mind having seasonal options, or options, period.

Here’s my first product review: West Elm’s Organic Cotton Pintuck Duvet Cover.
In the catalog and on the website, this piece is a gorgeous, bright blue–it’s called steel blue, and that’s the color I ordered. I love jewel tones, and the ocean-y blue appealed to me.

Unfortunately, that isn’t what showed up in the mail. Instead of a lush, ocean-y blue, it was more of a flat cornflower blue. Which isn’t bad, but it also isn’t what I ordered. Honestly, I have no idea how they managed to light the photo shoot get the color they did, because it has nothing in common with the duvet cover I actually received. I suppose if I left the room half-dark and only allowed in natural light, I could kind of approximate the photo shoot. See for yourself…

Catalog shot:

Styled bedding, to the max

So this is what I thought I was in for...

And when I opened up the package:

Soooo, not quite what I had in mind.

...and this is what actually showed up.

Here it is on the current duvet cover:

And here we are with the bedding I thought would coordinate:
Not so coordinating, more matchy-matchy

I’m more than a little disappointed with West Elm at this point. And don’t get me started on the sheet set I bought that’s missing a pillow case. That’s another story entirely.

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Filed under Blah blah blah, Little help?, Product/Service Review

My jewelry project!

My sister made herself an earring frame based on an idea she got from me, when I was living in an old apartment. So I’m stealing an idea from myself, via her.

Anyway, she has this frame in her room, with wire mesh in place of a picture, to hang her earrings up. It looks awesome, and she always knows where that one pair of earrings is. So I decided I wanted to make my own.

First step: find a suitable frame. I decided that I wanted a vintage wood frame, preferably painted and looking cool. So I did some poking around antique stores in town, had no luck, and turned to Etsy.

I found this:

It looked a little different online. OK, it looked a lot different online. In fact, I was more than a little bit alarmed at the color that showed up in the mail.

Step two: Figure out what to do about a color I didn’t like. Enter Art Media, and a can of matte spray paint in the color “pine.”

Step three: Spray paint something for the first time in my entire life. And discover that I would be the most hopeless, hapless tagger ever. I couldn’t even figure out that the spray can was being prevented from spraying by a little, plastic washer. Clearly, I am the brains of the operation.

Step four: Spray the bejeesus out of the frame.

Step five: Source wire screen mesh, from Home Depot, thanks to our BFF Sylvia in the door/window department. Sylvia is actually a family friend, who has now sold me and my husband five windows and the front door. She’ll probably sell us a few more things before we’re done. And she helped me score some screen mesh that was perfect on one end and squished on the other, and marked it half off. Seriously–ask if your local hardware store keeps the damaged screen mesh for crafts–you just might score.

Step six: Find out that the staples in your staple gun are longer than the frame is thick. Fortunately, do not find that out by stapling through the frame. Go buy smaller staples.

Step seven: Figure out how to use the staple gun properly, and finally get the mesh stapled into the back of the frame. Realize that your dining room table wasn’t the best place to do this, as some of the paint is now transferred onto the table, and will require elbow grease and a scrubber to remove. Oops.

So here’s what the frame finally ended up looking like:

and here’s what it looks like with my earring collection:

Moral of the story? I need more earrings. Time to go shopping!

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Filed under Blah blah blah, Excitement, Little help?, Looky looky, This could get ugly

The end of the saga

I think that we’ve finally gotten to the end of the door saga. We bought more new door hardware yesterday, this one is a very nice Baldwin. Scott installed it last night, in under an hour. It doesn’t look much different from the other hardware, but so far, things are going much, much better.

Namely, the door reliably opens, we haven’t gotten a key stuck, and we can open the door from the inside. So I’m chalking this up as a win.

Here’s the new hardware:

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More door adventures…

So the door got an additional facelift, thanks to my fabulous husband. He picked out the stain and the trim color all by himself, and it looks amazing, in my opinion. It was a pretty funny process–we had to spend the entire day hanging around the house with no door, since the door was sitting in the carport curing. Awesome.

During the staining process:

More staining:

The doorless house:

And the final product:

So, all’s well that ends well.

Unfortunately, the reinstallation of the door hardware somehow irreparably damaged it, and we can no longer reliably open the door. The key gets caught, the handles don’t always work, and we’ve had to let ourselves into the back door several times. So now we have that problem to solve. Argh. Any suggestions?

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Filed under Construction, Excitement, Little help?, This could get ugly

“It is a dangerous business going out your front door.”

Well, Tolkien had a lot more going on in his fictional neighborhood than I ever do, but we still badly needed a new front door.

Some of these DIY adventures are going to be out of order, but I’ll try to put them into context. After the Great Window Debacle of 2010, my dear husband and I decided that when we finally got around to replacing the front door of our house, we would not attempt to install the thing ourselves. Instead, we would throw money at it.

I should offer up a caveat–the door looks fine. Good, even. What you can’t see from the pictures are three things: lead paint, footlong scratches on both sides of the door, and daylight between the door and jamb. We tried weatherstripping it three separate times, and I could practically pictures $20s slipped through the cracks in the wintertime.

So, a new door it was. Here are the before pictures:

The inside of the door. After I cleaned it up.


Needless to say, it's a little worse for the wear.


Note the lovely toothpaste color of the door.


The last shot as I left for work on New Front Door Day (aka, Tuesday)

And here’s what I came home from work to see:

So, so much better, right?


Look at that pretty new hardware!


Such an improvement!

Obviously, that’s not the end of it. More pictures to come!

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Filed under Construction, Excitement, Looky looky

Back from the Dead

I’m somewhat notorious for abandoning my blog experiments. That said, I will completely admit that summers in Oregon are a terrible time for blogging. I have a fairly high-pressure job that took up a ton of time this summer, as well as filling up every weekend with everything but blogging.

Now that the weather’s starting to turn, wedding season’s almost over, and the inside of my house is looking better than the inside of a tent, I’m going to attempt to spend a little more time on the blogosphere.

I’ve got a bunch of projects in the works, as well as on the books, so hopefully this poor, little, abandoned blog can come back to life.

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Filed under Blah blah blah, I resolve to..., Navel gazing

Laziness sucks!

So what do you do when you’re too lazy to cook? My husband and I had an interesting conversation the other day about divvying up the cooking “chore” and came up with some good solutions, and a real appreciation for the fact that we are occasionally totally OK with mac & cheese out of a box.

I know, I should be embarrassed about that fact, but I’m really not.

That said, I will eat caprese anything, in just about any format, so my go-to meal looks a little like this:


I mean, as far as cheese sandwiches go, I could do worse, right?

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