The slothlike work on the porch continues. This weekend I got the carpet out. We intended to do it last weekend, but decided to have an impromptu bonfire with a few friends instead. Carpet could wait for another weekend—like this one.
Unfortunately when they laid the nasty gold shag however many decades ago, they nailed down the carpet and pad with a lot of nails (I wish they had used staples). I spent a long time pounding nails in, pulling some out, and getting out the little carpet bits stuck around each nail.
The task wasn’t as gross as I imagined it would be, not at all. The floor underneath is in fair enough shape. There are some loose and rotting floorboards but we’re just gonna ignore those. After all, the porch has larger structural issues. Remember how it’s falling off of the house?
In retrospect I should have pulled up the carpet first thing because it got a lot of dust all over my fresh paint job. I guess it’ll wash off. I was able to paint the bottom edge today now that the carpet is gone.
All we have to do is finish painting the trim (Sam’s made a bit of progress on that but our Halloween decorations were blocking the windows until today), lay down the new carpet, wash those windows, and put in the furniture!
I didn’t have much time to work on a Halloween costume. With less than 20 hours before I had to be at a party, I managed to squeeze in a quick thrift-store trip. I walked in with a few loose ideas and walked out as a women’s suffragette. The vintage suit, ruffled blouse, and awesome hat were easy to find. But I still needed a “votes for women” sash and didn’t have time to go to a craft store. So I made do with a 99-cent pillowcase I grabbed at the thrift store.
I tore the sides open to make a long strip of fabric, pinned it into a sashlike shape…
Ironed in some no-sew hem tape…
And finished it off with a few minutes of Sharpie work.
Perhaps not perfect, but definitely passable. I was surprised that people could actually figure out what I was!
This summer I began volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, which means that I get to hang out with an awesome 13-year old. We have a great time together and I’d recommend it to anyone. Last night we carved our pumpkins.
Mine is on the right and M’s is on the left. As we were scooping out our pumpkins she muttered under her breath, “This looks like snot.” And thus her pumpkin inspiration was born. In person it was truly gross. M was also the creative genius behind my pumpkin design.
We also roasted the seeds. We made two flavors: one sweet (cinnamon and sugar) and one spicy (kosher salt, garlic, Worcestershire, and cayenne pepper). I think we both preferred the spicy one, but both variations were pretty yummy.
Sam and I also got the porch all decorated for Halloween this week. Unfortunately before I could take a photo (trying to get one at dusk some day) a critter chewed through the cord for our outdoor lights. Fortunately this is one of the million things Sam knows how to fix, so once we get everything lit up again I’ll share a picture.
We’ve been too busy to get around to much over here, but I did at least make my first centerpiece last night. It leaves something to be desired (especially in the proportions), but it took five minutes and stuff I already had.
In that first photo you can see a glimpse of the liquor cabinet we did indeed score. I’ll show it off more when we have figured out how to accessorize it.
In a month or so I will definitely tackle a much more ambitious centerpiece, but at least this is a start.
Inspired by two timely posts on my favorite home blogs, Offbeat Home and Young House Love, I’ve set a new little goal for myself. I like decorating for the seasons but I don’t have much and don’t really want to acquire more clutter. We do decorate for Halloween (Sam’s favorite decorating holiday—we’ve got to get around to it soon) and Christmas/Hanukkah, but that is only a small part of the year.
So my new goal is to bring just a touch of the seasons into our home by making seasonal table centerpieces. Because our dining table is so central to our life and so prominent in the house, it is the perfect canvas. And just one centerpiece is easy enough to handle. No clutter, little expense, and not too much time.
Per Offbeat Home, I think I want my first one to involve some pretty Indian corn. And come December I know just what I want to attempt:
The porch is finally painted! It took me quite a while to do the ceilings and walls—a couple of weeks, mostly on Sundays (I didn’t get much done during the week because I rarely got home with enough daylight left). I had it allllmost done when we went out of town for a week, but I had to save the last of it until we got home on Sunday evening. But now it’s complete and it looks great.
The color is a pale blue, which wouldn’t have been my first choice but looks pretty sharp. Sam bought the paint off of the mistint “oops” shelf at Home Depot, meaning that selection was limited but cheap. We paid $5 for a $30 can of high-quality paint and primer in one.
I’m really pleased with the coverage. I did two coats, but even one would have sufficed.
Most of the porch work has been mine alone—Sam hasn’t been that interested and is always working on other projects when I’m out on the porch. But now that I’ve painted the walls and ceiling, he will do the trim because he’s one hundred times better and faster at it. Then we’ll tear out the carpet, paint the bottom edge along the floor, and lay the new carpet (bought on sale from the remnant area, of course). We’re both so happy with the transformation so far.
This is so awesome! If we had $20-30,000 just sitting around, the Sealander would be perfect for us. Sam isn’t a big fan of tent camping, but I love to get outdoors. He dreams of owning a simple camper and a houseboat (yes, both). This combines both in a cozy, lightweight pod that even has a retractable roof to really make you feel back to nature. Amazing!