Future studio...

We spent a few hours clearing out our future studio today (before photos here). It's pretty cold out and PRH was really annoyed with me for sort of planning his day. As you've probably guessed, I'm not much of a relaxer; I have this (irritating) habit of finding projects around the house that just need to be done right this very minute. Like, right now! Particularly now that I have a regular job, it's rare that I have two days off in a row and it makes me feel frustrated not to accomplish the things I used to have more time for. I digress.

PRH may have grumbled a little, but once we got to work, we both felt excited to get the space cleared. It still looks pretty rough, but our goal is to pull everything out, disconnect the electric, power wash the lime off the walls, and then either replace or repair the ceiling, walls, floors,  electric, foundation and windows. You have to start somewhere, right? 

This photo, from the same angle, shows what the space looked like when we first bought it. Gross! I think it'll make a big difference when we take down those metal cow stanchions.

Here's  a shot from a similar angle when we started this morning. Kicky and EZ E were not impressed.

Here's one last shot taken from the barn door before we got started this  morning. We moved everything to the other side of the barn temporarily.

Gah! So much to do. Here are some images of other barn projects.

OK, one last look at the mostly cleared out space from the same angle. Next on the list is renting yet another dumpster and clearing out all of the garbage that you can't really see on the left side of this photo.

I'm so excited to have a functioning studio space! Pinterest has helped me stay motivated and inspired. Here are some studio images that I've been pinning. Can't wait.


Last days of summer...

Let's think about August again, shall we? This year's Last Days of Summer party was spent laughing with friends, consuming an unnatural amount of red wine, and having tons of fun. The 2012 party felt very much like a wedding; almost all of our closest friends and family members arrived from all over the place and we had a great time. The 2013 party was a mix of old friends and new and was also really fun. Here are a few photos from the night. 

Thanks to our friend Laura, we had an abundance of beautiful beeswax candles made by a local artist (Nancy Eckstrom, if you're in Owego). They smelled so good! We found about a bajillion mason jars in the barn, but Laura brought some, too. You hardly notice the beer bottles scattered on the table, right?

The outdoor movie this year was The Muppet Movie. Our friend Dan brought a projector, which was awesome. The screen is an old pull-down screen from a thrift store that we tied to the clothesline. I like this photo of the screen with the candles. Don't walk!

Surprisingly, I took very few photos, but I did manage to capture the aftermath of the gas-powered blender that our friends brought. This photo looks like a crime scene. The amount of vodka in those smoothies was probably a crime. Yikes. 

I'm already working on plans for Last Days of Summer 2014. It's quickly become my favorite weekend of the year.



PRH should know that it's not a great idea to leave my dad and I alone at the farmhouse with power tools. He came home from work one day and part of the awful plastic porch railing had just disappeared. That railing may photograph OK, but in person it's really ugly, acts as a haven for wasps, and lines up weird under the windows. I've since removed the stair posts (in front of the door) and am planning to take out the remainder of the railing as soon as the weather warms up. I didn't do a great job painting, so I need to take care of that again, too. Here's what the farmhouse looked like in 1974. No railings! 



I'm still easing into this 'back' thing, but I thought I'd catch you up on life over the past year that I haven't shared here. First, some collaborative drawings that EZ E and I made. We were inspired by this project and decided to spend a morning drawing together. Morning morphed into the afternoon, which then morphed into evening. We had so much fun! Here are a few of the more finished drawings that we made. Scooby Doo was a major player. See Daphne below?

And let's not forget Velma!


Messy or not...

Once upon a time, Kicky's bedroom looked like this...spotless and adorable. And then all plastic hell broke loose and this is what that adorable room looked like last weekend. I'm genuinely embarrassed by the shear quantity of stuff she has and by the fact that we let her space get so filthy.

So why am I sharing this photo? I'm sharing it because life is messy and layered and that's OK. I'm still having a difficult time articulating the reason, beyond a new job and young children, that I took a blogging hiatus, but I think these photos have something to do with it. Honesty is important and I needed some time to really reflect on that. A break from blogging reminded me how much I value the small moments in life and how meaningful it is to me, messy or not, to capture those moments.


Valentine's Day...

My family and closest friends know that I'm never shy about professing my love for them. Perhaps that's why Valentine's Day- a holiday dedicated to telling people you love them- is one of my favorite days of the year. 

Kicky and EZ E are equally charmed by the holiday o' love and we've spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks making cards and gifts for our loves. For EZ E's and Kicky's classmates, we went a little crazy with rubber band bracelets and made one for each classmate. This is EZ E's list and pile of bracelets...

We picked up glassine bags from Michaels and the kids used markers to decorate them. Kicky very carefully personalized each bag. Super cute!

We tossed a little finger puppet in the bag along with the bracelet and sealed the back of each bag with red masking tape that we scored at the dollar store.

EZ E's bags were also very carefully personalized. He drew what is best described as a scene from Breaking Bad on one. Others, like this one, are decidedly cheerier and make no reference to chemistry equipment. 

Sharks? Yes to sharks. All.the.time.

I know that Valentine's Day isn't for everyone, but I've always felt like the best way to tackle what could be a rather depressing holiday was to focus less on romantic love and more on spreading kindness and making the day a little bit brighter for the people you adore. I'm certain that EZ E and Kicky accomplished that.  

Need a few DIY Valentine ideas? Here you go!  



Who's on instagram? This girl!


In the corner...

This corner in our dining room has changed frequently over the past two years, but I think we've finally hit on the right fit with this antique table. Show Dog appears to like it, eh? I still need to find a top for it, but for now it's piled with things that we use often: Scrabble, books and sewing pins.

We found it when we were cleaning out the loft in our barn. I finally hauled it out a few months ago and cleaned it off. A little spray paint and wooohoooo! A new-to-us table!

Here are a few other things that have lived in this corner. EZ E's office that he got for his birthday...

A giant cardboard house...

another chair that lives in this room now...

and a couple of plants that I tried to keep alive...

You may have noticed that my pressed penny collection is finally a full circle, too. Quite literally cha-cha-change (sorry, I couldn't help myself). 



I mentioned yesterday that we have a new four-legged addition to our little family. Several months ago I had left work late and was walking to my car with a friend when we spotted a group from our local Master Gardener program sort of huddled around something in the courthouse square, one of the many sites in Owego that the Master Gardeners maintain. Another friend is part of that program and, while working in the flower beds, she had come across a tiny, frightened stray. As soon as my friend said "stray kitten", I said "no way." The kitten's face and paws were covered in pollen and she was absolutely filthy. All it took was one look at this flea-covered little thing...

and I packed her up and brought her home. Kicky named her Olive. As you can see, she's perfectly content sleeping her days away on our window seat. Who knew I'd be someone who brought home stray kittens?!


Farmhouse kitchen...

Before photos of our kitchen always make me feel a little queasy. Before we bought this place, I remember staying up late at night wondering how in the world we were going to make the house habitable. Some of you may remember that our appraisal required us to complete a ton of work before we even owned the house, which, in hindsight, was a huge gamble. The biggest project was putting a new roof on the house, but we also had to put down flooring in the kitchen, bleach the hell out of the cabinets, pay for a structural engineer do an inspection and pay for a pest inspection. It was a frustrating process, but by the time we owned the house, we knew exactly what needed to be done and started immediately. The photo below is from the day we closed (look how tiny the kiddos are!).   

This photo is the next day. That horrible faux-stone paneling had to go first thing. Yikes.

And this is 3 days later. We went through and sprayed every surface white.

This was taken just a couple weeks later, after the floors were refinished and after we had moved in. 

Painting the lower cabinets made a huge difference. Swapping out the drawer pulls for Martha Stewart brass pulls from Home Depot was another easy, inexpensive change. We had planned to take out the green countertops, but I've come to really like the color and the quirkiness. The counters add a certain charm to the kitchen. I'm convinced that if we had nice, brand new countertops, they'd make the rest of the room look like complete crap. I have to tell myself things like that in order to keep myself from constantly feeling envious of all of the gorgeous kitchens out there (thanks, Pinterest).  

What we will eventually replace is this wonky work surface that we found in the barn. The height is great (it was previously used as a work bench) and it's perfectly functional, but I'm not a huge fan of how it looks. Some days I feel like we have enough old stuff in our house, if that makes any sense. I'm not sure what I'm looking for...something with a flat work surface and nicer legs, I think.

Notice the spot above the stove in this photo. That strip of yellow is linoleum that had literally been thumb tacked to the studs in the wall (more about that in this post).

We popped up a couple sheets of bead board and here we are.  Please excuse the quality of these photos- two little people left their greasy little fingerprints all over the lens. You get the idea, though. At some point the old electric stove caught on fire and sent me into hysterics. Thankfully, my parents had just installed a beautiful commercial-grade stove (dream!) in their kitchen, so they gave us their gas stove.   

 And here's a random shot that includes the newest  member of our family, a rescued kitten named Olive. More about her later.

The Mrs. Smith's pie tin artfully disguises a little dent in the wall. I have no shame.

It makes PRH crazy, but my dusty plants (the only I've managed to keep alive) love this spot on the counter. Those feathers on the window sill are actually carved wood feathers that I found at a friend's antique store. Score!

We replaced the faux-stone wall with sheet rock that still needs to be trimmed in spots. We put up these display wires to hold all of the drawings that come home from school. As you can see, it gets a bit cluttered, so we purge it about twice a month. That old fridge needs to be purged soon, too.

Here are the before and after photos side by side. Vaseline-lens aside, I think it's a vast improvement...and I don't feel queasy anymore.  

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