What an awesome vacation, and I barely did any relaxing. But it was truly productive. I sewed curtains for nearly every window (and pajamas for me). I made repairs. I put up hardware. I… waited at home while rugs arrived. I switched ISPs and re-networked the house. I added a webcam so I can view the front of the house while I’m away (ostensibly to see if there’s enough snow to be shoveled, but there are other uses, too). I got the car maintained. I found several new shops that are awesome. And I shoveled lots of snow.
Many of these things you will not need pictures of. For instance, you can probably picture an Apple Airport Express and a happy gal being able to finally access the Internet without interruption. And me remembering shoveling snow as a child and my mother making hot chocolate afterwards. I made it myself this time, but not before the woman next door called out to her daughters as they shoveled that she had made them hot chocolate. That was super warming, even if she didn’t offer me any.
But here are some other pictures! (click to enlarge)
First off, here’s the dining room with its new rug. And you can see the color I fell in love with, Quiet Moments from Benjamin Moore. The rug is from West Elm and was on a huge sale. It’s good I liked it because I ordered it knowing it couldn’t be returned. Obviously, the room needs some decor, but you get the gist.
Here’s how it looks through the living room (that’s Titanium from Benjamin Moore for those Googling in the future).
And here’s the new curtain, which I hemmed with my new sewing machine. I used this curtain on the four main windows on the first level. I left the two windows in the kitchen bare because I want blinds there, since cooking smells. And I haven’t yet decided what I want for the French doors.
I love these because they are sheer enough to let tons of light through but give you great privacy. That was my worry, that I couldn’t have both things and I bought this house almost entirely because of the light. I did not want to lose that, but I also didn’t want everyone on the street to be part of my life. I’m on a corner and enroute to a park. There can be a lot of traffic for a low-key neighborhood.
It’s called Hillmari and it’s cheap, cheap, cheap from Ikea. It has this cute, fun but subtle white-on-white swirly stripe.
As you can see, I am not a fan of the “drapes to the floor” look. I like my windows and I want to see them.
I staged some beautiful photos of the living room today but it was a super gray day and they came out very off-color. Instead, here’s one from earlier that I was sending someone which has a bunch of junk on the coffee table. That’s more how I live, anyway.
It’s so you can see the new rug. Originally, I had bought it for the dining room, but I liked it better in the living room. It was also on a final sale from West Elm.
Please note once again that there is another chair coming and this is a cheap Ikea coffee table (really, literally $20) that is standing in for a beautiful, nut-brown mid-century modern one that I’m waiting on. Same Hillmari curtains.
The curtains for the second bedroom are just basic white, quite sheer, but I plan to have them open this way most of the time, anyway. I just used plain purple ribbon for the ties. They’re so sheer they’re hard to see, but the alternative is dark with flash, so here’s the best I could get.
So the last bedroom, well, I’m never sure about this room. Actually, the paint is growing on me a bit or maybe it’s just curing into something tolerable. The curtains are made of sheets I just adore for this room, but they don’t make them anymore (I got them at Ikea last summer) and there was only enough material for one panel for each window. Now, that’s not entirely true, I could have cut up the bottom sheet and made additional trim to add on to another sheet but when you have been sewing for days, you kind of just want to be done. But you know? I kind of like the cleanness of the one panel. It almost looks like a blind.
(Sorry again, it was still a dark day).
In case you can’t see up close, it’s got swirlies in the exact three shades of the room: red, black, and grey. I find it adorable. And if I ever have the energy, I can always make more panels. But I probably won’t.
And that’s that! I could, of course, include a photo of the view from my front window as it’s being streamed right now, but it’s kind of dull. And yet, I love watching it. I could see the people knocking on my door to offer to shovel snow for a little cash, without even going downstairs. I only wish I had a way to hire them when I wasn’t there! The last one who came knocked after I had already shoveled. I found that kind of insulting. What, you think I didn’t do a good job? I grew up in a snowier climate than Baltimore, buster! But really, it’s hypnotic to watch whether I’m home or not. It emails me, mostly with false positives, when motion is detected. Sometimes, it’s someone driving by or occasionally, me getting the mail. That’s always a fun email. But mostly, it’s nothing.
And there is another rug coming, for my bedroom. That leaves just one rug left to get, and of course, decor. The walls are really bare, especially. But then, basically, I am done. In fact, when I started my budget spreadsheet for 2014, I left off the itemization for things for the house. Because I think the big-ticket, one-time purchases are done. The rest will just be “regular stuff.”
Here’s the moment of joy, though. The night of the snow, I kept both of my curtains open (I finally sewed my bedroom curtains, too… still no pictures) as I went to sleep because, well, I never see snow falling out of a window. All my apartment windows face a narrow alley which isn’t really lit. So you can’t see anything at night unless you make a concerted effort, like standing right next to it. It was such a pleasure to have the snow falling visibly… I could barely sleep, I was so happy.