Monday, August 29, 2016

week in review

I seem to be in a miniaml blogging mode this month, but, to be honest, August is my least favorite month of the year. Sometimes you just gotta get through it. 

So the fact that our 25th anniversary was Wed. and the only photos I managed to take were of the amazing macarons? Mea culpa.

But the macarons were amazing. This little shop started up in the spring right here in our neighborhood and I kept hearing and reading these rave reviews, many from people who were French or had lived in France for a good period of time, saying it was incredible that someone had managed a true French macaron in high altitude. These little French pasties are incredibly delicate, almost a perfect meringue texture to the very light cookie, with sweet filling inside.

The little shop is called Honey B's Macarons, and the owner/baker's husband is a beekeeper in Castle Pines (one neighborhood over) that supplies the honey used in their signature Honey Macaron. But they make 12 flavors daily year-round and swap out another 8 daily-made flavors each week. Every one is made without any artificial flavors, fillers, or sweeteners and it is soooo hard to narrow down your choices when buying! In addition to the standard 12, Wednesday they also had apple pie, chai, chochuète (it's a chocolate and peanut butter blend), s'more, strawberry jam, raspberry and cream, and fig and goat cheese.

You can buy them individually, or in a honey comb sleeve of 6 or 12. We each picked 3 for our anniversary treat. Bob's from left are honey, apple pie, and blueberry. Mine are salted caramel, lemon, and coconut.  This is the kind of sweet that makes your eyes roll back in your head. Mmmm. Good thing they're expensive enough to keep it in the "special" event category. 

So between a meal out and macarons in, the only other big anniversary-day event was getting the holes in the kitchen ceiling covered up. I ordered some tin-tile (faux) that's a copper-patina sunflower pattern and I love the way it turned out!

Thursday I visited Mom and Dad in Colorado Springs for lunch and the long awaited Farmer's Market tomatoes, but, alas, again, no photos. 

Um . . . yeah, I did manage to take a photo of my egg carton though! It is a very pretty carton.

Yesterday afternoon Amber and I decided to drive over and check out the pop-up shop for ModCloth, an online site we both shop from and love. They are doing an "IRL" thing this year where they open a shop for about a month in cities for people to come in a try on and check them out. I suggested, since it was down in the Cherry Creek district, we grab lunch at the Cherry Cricket and then locate the shop. 

Turns out the above sign was in sight of the below sign! Only had to park once and we scored a free spot behind the Cricket!

In another week, all this will be gone -- from the sign on down -- and moved to the next city!

Taco Clutch or Keyboard Clutch?

Kitten flats or Panda flats?

bluetooth wireless retro keyboard: $400. I think I'll stick with the photo.
yes, we each have a small bag and nothing more! Good on us.  
my little purchase, a retro Pan Am DEN logo!

This morning's purple:

The start of the week brings me to finally tackling my refinishing project I've been wanting to do for a long time: Mammammy's dresser.

This beat up thing was in her bedroom for all of my life, and I'm guessing all of her married life as well. It's depression era, by its veneer, old casters, art deco touches, as well as the presence of jewelry and glove drawers. 

It's been moved and stored and used, most recently in Sam's room, and generally just banged around and chipped and faded. When we moved everything out for the flooring, it got stuck in the garage.

But it's been sitting in my front room for a week as I got up the nerve to actually paint it. 

From a distance, it doesn't look as rough.

But look closer

I really like the distressed turquoise look, so I ordered some chalk paint and decided Mamammy would approve, even if it didn't turn out perfectly.  

As I was removing the hardware, I kept looking for some hint that would help me pin down the age of the piece. There was a 2249 handwritten in pencil along a drawer, but based on all the other features, that was too late to be a date of manufacture.

the hardware is original

the undersides show some earlier types of additions to the machine work

and inside one drawer is this paper sticker, which matches the same logo of the United Furniture Company out of Lexington, North Carolina. 
But that's all I've got. Nothing online seems to match this piece.  

hardware removed

love the setting sun touch on the top

and the black inlays

So, here's what I'm attempting: 
This piece is finished, which means multiple coats and a shiny sealant and all its hardware in place. I'm not there yet.

Here's where I'm at after one round this morning. Still trying to decide how much I want to keep it distressed and how much I want to smooth out. I'm also considering painting in the setting sun in an orange before I seal it.

 and, of course, the obligatory cat photos of how much they care about my projects:

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Then and Now Home Report: Carpet, Light, Deck, and Holes in the Ceiling

Tired of house stuff yet? I'm getting there. But another big week.

2007 before, 2016 after . . . with a wide angle lens. 
You weren't missing anything on the light fixture in 2007. Just a little dome.

Next step: stain the oak bathroom cabinet visible to the same gray on the banister.

I've sat at the top here, admiring my new flooring and fantastic light and stared at the giant white space floating there, waiting. But how do you hang something there?

I'm not terribly confident changing one of these light bulbs is going to be a piece of cake without calling Eric back. 

Eric the Electrician swung by yesterday morning to put together my atomic chandelier and hang it with his handy dandy super safe ladder and headlamp.

And suddenly, there was light.

Faith basks in the warmth of our little sun. 

This thing is BRIGHT, which, really, what was I expecting when it has 12 bulbs? I may go on the hunt for some lower # LEDs and save these 40W equivalents for around the house in single lamps. Still, it amazes me that they have this warm light and don't heat up the place. If I had 12 40W incandescents we'd be roasting marshmallows with 1020 BTU produced an hour, versus a grand total of 40 BTU with LED. Even better, their lifespan means I shouldn't need to risk my neck to change them out. 

So a few more loft area appreciation photos with the real camera that I had been waiting to take until the chandelier was in place. 

this is my view sitting in my usual spot 

from the very corner, with Bru just out of shot

prior to the chandelier, on Monday, with the new carpet comparison

and with the new light.

You will also see, top left, that there are currently holes in my kitchen ceiling now that Eric got rid of the dastardly fluorescents in the kitchen. 

Best photo of the box I have is back from buying the house:

The "box" soffit that held them had to be removed and he put matching "can" LED lights flush into the ceiling throughout.

so, enter my staring again. Yeah, sure I could call the drywall guy and just make it a plain old white ceiling. But I have a crazy idea that is really cost efficient (under $50!) and right up my alley in terms of design interest on order. Stay tuned. 

Yes, I know my Disney fridge magnets are out of control. Get over it. Wait'll you see the Disney Room/Office. 

The lighting is so warm and cozy now, even though my shot didn't capture it too well. Will have to try again at night minus sunlight interference.

meanwhile . . . outside my lovely new back doors . . .

I started getting going on the deck restain.

Here it was, post stuff removal, pre-wash, slightly warped photo with the panorama:

the space where the grille has been protecting a portion is the only place where it's even slightly the original stain.

Last weekend was the power washer rental, which to my delight, only took two hours and the Home Depot guy refunded half our money when we returned it despite the only options being a 4 hour rental or a 24 hour.

I forgot to get a shot of the deck completely washed but here it is mostly, except for the first portion of the restain ongoing.

So I finish rolling the floor and let it dry only to discover a few spots where the stain wasn't a saturated, so on second pass, I redid those and worked on the outside with the roller to finish out the first gallon of stain. And, now the lighter spots are significantly DARKER. Sigh.

I will have to wait through our good chances of rain through the weekend to open the second gallon and see if I can't get it equaled out. It came pouring last night and this morning the weatherproofing is showing off all the beaded up water it's not letting get through to the wood.

For fun, I went back to the original state of the house when we first bought it almost a decade ago, after I took these this week.  A Then and Now set:

Backyard, March 2007:

August 2016:
poor yard. Between the deck interfering with the sprinkler system and some fungus killing off much of the lawn and our little spruce tree, as well as the fierce sun weathering the crap out of the fence, there's still plenty of work to be done.

Front, March 2007

August 2016. The tree! And the Juniper! At least the yard isn't as terrible up front.

By the way, the Juniper in the 2007 photo includes the neighbor's bush that was removed a year or so ago. That giant thing that's overtaking the front porch and spreading down to the drainage split between the houses is just our one hardy little guy above.

Better shot of how little he was: 

March  2007

today, awaiting the beautiful blue door that's on order. It takes about a month to come in, plus scheduling for install, so looks like the start of October for that piece of the home makeover.

I already found a rug that I refuse to start getting crudded up until the new door arrives. And the glass should really open up the dark little entrance corner.

Looking from the door inside comparison:

March 2007 at the showing and contract day

April 2007 at closing, when our deal to buy the all downstairs furnishings turned into missing all the lamps, a coffee table, a kitchen hutch, and the big mirror over the dining table that the previous owner took with her despite the contract.


Loft at showing:




What was first Sam's room, then Bob's, then Nick's, now mine, at showing: 
no overhead light or fan, lime green walls