Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Merry

I hope you had a Merry Christmas!  
We did.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why the blues?

I was chatting with an architect friend of mine and shared with him our discovery of turquoise blue underneath layers of paint on our front porch ceiling.  Turns out our porch is not so unique.   

He told me an old theory about why porch ceilings are painted blue.  He said that in Louisiana, people used to paint their ceilings blue to repel mosquitos.  Mosquitos hate the bright sun, and so the idea is that they hide from blue skies and will potentially hide from "blue sky look-alikes".  This trend travelled north into other areas of the South.   

This led me to research and I found a few more possible reasons for this southern trend...

1.  Blue is a calming color. 

2.  Blue wards off evil spirits, and because "haint" is another word for evil spirit, it is often referred to as "Haint Blue".  This tradition began with the Gullah people, who were descendants of slaves who worked on plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. They passed on their heritage through the stories and the beliefs of their ancestors, such as the belief that the color blue warded off  haunts or haints.

3.  And again, Blue paint repells insects, insects confuse it for the sky and don't nest on blue paint.  They also hide from the bright sun associated with blue skies. 

4.  Blue ceilings make the day feel longer.

5.  Blue ceilings date back to the mid-1770s when Prussian blue pigment became popular.  Prior to this time, blue pigment was expensive and didn't last. 
Here are some of the links I consulted:
The Whys Behind the Blue Porch Ceiling
Haint Blue Porch Ceiling Tradition
Color Diary:  Blue Porch Ceilings

Well, I loved our turquoise ceilings before, and now I love them even more knowing their some Southern history associated with it!  That was just the motivation I needed to finish scraping them so we can enjoy them!

I matched the color from our ceiling and incorporated it into our porch swing and front door...

(this night-time shot actually shows our door the best...)

P.S.  We're still trying to get our house painted!  It's been too cold to paint or caulk!  (You can't paint if the temperature is under 50).  Luckily, it's warmed up a little bit around here this week, so we're hoping to see some progress soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Junk in the Trunk?

I love old trunks!
Should I make this our coffee table???
(thrift store)

I haven't bought it yet, so I'm trying to decide!
Will it look like a black hole on top of our dark cow hide???

sittin', waitin', wishin'...

Sorry, for the delayed post, but the weekend before last, Chris sacrificed a weekend in the woods, to put up our railings.  I am very grateful!

He worked long and hard.  Our friend, Lindsey also came over and helped Chris get up the railing post...which was the hardest part of the job.   I was the assistant throughout the day, and I even cut some of the wood myself with a big scary miter saw.

The railings were a lot easier to put up than the new columns, even though they were time consuming.

I got the porch swing painted, rigged and hung...

And even got a little festive with some Christmas lights...

But STILL NO PAINT JOB!  Arghhh!  
You can't paint your house when it's under 50 degrees outside, and we have had a COLD December!  There's still some caulking left to do, priming on the brick, and then paint all over!  
I'm praying for just a few warmer days so Charles the Painter can knock it out!  

For now, I'd still rather look at this...

...than this...

...I'll just keep dreaming of this...
...til it's done!  
(I'm just hoping that day comes before March!!!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Work Has Begun...

The work has begun to make this...

Look *something* like this... (which I rendered in photoshop)
We found someone to help us do the work for a very good price so things are moving much quicker than if we were doing a straight DIY.

First, the scraping & sanding...(which took about a week)
Looking rough, huh?

Then, Chris and Charles the Painter spent a Saturday putting up some additional trim work...
(don't worry, we'll add that last little piece up top after we fix the gable)

...While Bei and I worked on the shutters...

Then, Charles the Painter pressure washed the house...
and accidentally discovered that we have really pretty flagstone walkways and patio in the back (under a bunch of dirt)!  Who knew!?

Anyway, back to the house...
Next, Charles the Painter primed (most of) the house...

And then...

drumroll, please...

Charles the Painter went on vacation.  

But never fear, the improvements continued...

Over the Thanksgiving long weekend...Chris and his dad (and I) were hard at work.  

They removed the wraught iron...

(can I get an amen!?!)

...replaced rotten wood, and started building new columns, which meant that our house was temporarily suspended by 2x4s...scary.  

Huge improvement, right?

But the gable needed replacing...

I kept myself busy by adding more color to our front door, painting & rigging our porch swing, staining & building our shutters, and priming wood boards.  

At the end of the weekend, I think we accomplished a lot!  

This week, we'll work on getting up the new wood railings, and then awaiting Charles the Painter's return for our spiffy new paint job!


So remember, we started out with this...

Spruced it up to this...

But it currently looks like this...

And now, we're going for something like this...

Check back in for more updates!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kitchy Curtains

Rule # 1...When making curtains, resist the temptation to hang your unfinished curtains just to "see how they look".  If you give in to this temptation they WILL hang unfinished for weeks, months maybe.

I made this mistake with these curtains, but finally got up the motivation to finish sewing them! they're up!  Yay!

Before curtains...

 After curtains...

Better, right?

(I'm going to order this little plaid rug in a bigger version, to cover up our awful linoleum floor!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The secret study...

I've never really blogged about our study, because it's such a hodge-podge.
Lately, I've put a little more effort into it and it's shaping up a little bit, but definitely not my favorite room.
I guess it's time I take this room out of hiding and show it on the blog...
I'd like a smaller desk with drawers (without the tower) that could later move into the guest room as a bedside table/desk combo.
This desk creates a real storage problem!  And, it's so traditional, for my taste...although I did pick it out once upon a time.  

I painted the legs on the desk chair, just to spice it up a little.

I had fun painting this elephant lamp this peachy-pink color.  It used to be black.  I think it has a lot more personality now! 
I need a different color shade for it, but I haven't found the right one yet.

I'm glad to get this hand-me-down kilim rug from my mom- by way of my sister, Emily, who no longer had a spot for it.  

Even though, per this post, I know some of you voted for my to put my cowhide in this room.  Which, I agree, looked great.  But this is my leftover room...the other rooms in my house get priority for all things fabulous.  So the cow ended up in the living room.  

I recommend color coordinating your made a big difference in this bookshelf.

This is my favorite vignette in the room!
I bought the shelves unfinished and stained them myself.  
My sister found the two little egg shaped lamps at a garage sale.  I need different shades for these as well.    (You can't tell from the pic, but the bases are cream and the shades are stark white)
I coiled some rope up in this wooden charger for a little interest.  

The chest was a hand-me-down from my Mom's friend.  I love it!  The drawers need some work though!

I'm embarassed to show, this "vignette" looked like this for months...
It's aweful, I know.  I couldn't look when I walked by.  I was waiting around for new lamps, and thinking I would either bribe my sister to paint me something big or try to do it myself.  
I was glad when I thought to put shelves here, because it saved money on artwork, and I didn't have to buy two big lamps.  

Now, erase that from your memory and go back to this...
Ahhh, much better right?

Thanks for checkin' in.


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