Friday, December 19, 2008

Hair raising experience

Christina and I attended the Bakken Holiday Evening Out recently. The Bakken, also known as The Bakken: A Library and Museum of Electricity in Life is on the west end of Lake Calhoun. We played some jedi mind control games AKA Mindball, watched a Frankenstein animatronic show, drank some wine, ate some food, and had our photo taken while Christina held on to the static creating ball.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thrift store mania continues... I found this little gem (before below) last week and saw it's potential. I covered the original (faded) bird image with a piece of scrap cloth I had laying around and spray painted the frame. Done. Unfortunately both steve and I have fallen ill with the stomach flu this week, thus a couple of the other projects have yet to be finished. Perhaps I can muster up the energy to finish one of them tonight and post tomorrow. No promises though.

Steve jokes that he likes the before better. do you?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Trash to Treasure part 2This dresser is Steve's from childhood. It was in desperate need of some updating and since it is in the guest room i just gave it a coat of the same paint from the headboard. Then shellacked it and put on some updated hardware. Not too tough.

The before. Not so cute.

My new hobnail milk lamp collection is now up to 3. I found two more for $2 each last week and this is one of them. Someone else had the same idea of painting the wood on this one, but it looked beat up and the color wasn't going to work.

After a matcher to our other bedside lamp.

A few more items to come including pistol artwork (i know, intriguing right?) from our friend's grandma's house and also a free desk from craigslist we have rehabbed.
Two moreReally keeping you on your toes here. Only two more pictures of the house this week. At this rate it will be months before all rooms are posted. The kitchen will inevitably look this way for the entire time we live here, so 40 years, but will eventually paint the walls.

Here is my studio/craft room on the 3rd floor. It needs a bit more work unpacking/organizing, but for right now it is serving me well. It really isn't a very practical space for much else because of the low ceilings in parts. although my 12 year old cousin said he would like to live up there. (note the 3rd milk glass lamp on the desk, a real find, but i think that's enough for a while).

A little ledge on the way up to the craft room to put my kitschware.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Cold weather commute

Since we moved I've made it a goal to avoid driving to work. The bike ride is a tad over one mile. Above is a photo of the Greenway before I get on at the community garden plot a few blocks north of our house. It was around 15 degrees today and there was snow/ice on the ground for the first time. Warmth wasn't an issue. Traction was. Biking in November required a few accessories.

All weather pants.
My pannier bag.
My Trek.
Front & back fenders.
Front & back lights.
Leg strap.
My beard.

Wish me luck.

Update: truth be told I stopped biking about two weeks later. The five minute drive via Jeep won out against the snow, ice, and dark paths. As soon as it is still light out until 5:30 or so I'll be back on the bike.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Have you been holding your breath?

The big reveal of the coffee table. And yes, that's a little owl. I mean, why not?

There is a lot going on these days. A lot. The world clock is keeping track here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Trash into treasure

Everyone loves a before and after so here you go. Our new house has a lot more space than our old one so we have been finding creative ways to furnish it without spending very much money. It doesn't require a ton of work, but the pieces can go from super ugly to modern quite quickly. Total cost of all these items = $42 (three of them were free). Here are a few of my projects from the last few weeks.

before headboard fit for a sea captain. This was my dad's from a set that he bought about 30 yrs ago and please note that he is still using the dressers.

after I removed the spindles, painted it (with leftover paint from our old mudroom) and made the cloth things out of the leftovers from some curtains i hemmed that we had at our old house. The panels are interchangeable depending on what you want them to match. just a little velcro switch out. Pretty sure my dad will barely recognize in our guest bedroom.

before got this at the Salvation Army by my work. It was in ok shape, but needed a lot of sanding, repainting and some new knobs. I liked the shape of it; very 40s. I am on the lookout for a matcher, so keep your eyes open everyone.

Now the side table in our bedroom (it's a light purple although you can't maybe tell). Got that little lamp at savers for $7, painted the ugly wood middle blue and gave it a new lampshade. i like the vintage hobnail milk glass.

before yeah this had seen better days. it is our friends becky and raymond's old dining room chandelier. they have been saving it for me for about 2 years and i knew i could put it to good use someday...

Although missing a few crystals (which we can easily replace) it looks like a new chandelier. We have it on the landing going upstairs and it sparkles with the light coming through the big bay window next to it. It looks brilliant!

Pretty sure this dates back to the 60s. Perhaps your grandparents have one in their basement? i really liked the shape of it (seems to be a theme here) and it's retro-ness. The color though, and brass base ... not so thrilled. also, I gave savers back the lampshade it came with to sell again. I should have taken a before pic at the store. It was giant, beaten up, dark green and heinous.

Also it should be noted that I got the shade at the Salvation Army today for $2 and it was new.

Steve found this the other day in the trash in our alley. The style isn't quite streamlined enough for our taste, but it will do for now. i am in the process of painting it so no after yet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Work in progress

Here are a couple pictures of the house by popular demand (ok maybe only two of you asked). We got a new couch from craigslist that is in almost perfect condition, less than a year old. I know what you're thinking though. Used couches = grossness. It's fine though, really.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Coping mechanisms

I don't know about you, but, as an avid listener to MPR (not to mention NPR's #1 fan), the talk of the Franken/Coleman recount is growing unbelievably tiresome. I'm not sure if I can take another month of lengthy indepth coverage. That said, these quizzes about challenged ballots were kind of fun and interesting (or maybe just for news nerds, like myself).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cupcake creatures

My friend Brigid just got a new dachshund puppy. so i attempted to make a cupcake in the wee pup's honor. It perhaps involves a bit of a stretch of the imagination, but you kind of get the idea.

This photo is out of focus, but you get the gist of it. we had a neighborhood progressive dinner this past weekend and we brought one of the desserts. many little owls. They were quite time consuming, but a hit!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Step ball change

We've been quite busy since moving into the new house. Sorry still no pics yet, after the weekend I think it will be ready for it's reveal. I finally feel like it is almost in order. We could not be happier in it and love the neighborhood. Still no living room furniture though... which provides more room for tap dancing, which is a nice segway into the picture above. Erin, ginny, kristen and I have been taking tap class through Community Ed. for the past 5 weeks. We love it! Last night we had a recital of sorts. We only know one dance though. Please note in the picture that everyone in the picture is doing one thing and I am doing another. also note: Be Thankfull [sic]. Our enthusiastic teacher is Joan, she took up tap a few years ago and now teaches it at a few places as a volunteer.

Dancing the hora at my friends Brian and Marie's wedding. Brian is a friend from grade school. A fun night was had by all.

The finished stained glass for Dean and Stacey's wedding present (2 years later). Here it is before. I really wanted to keep it when I was done.. but I am already thinking of windows to make for our house. The perfect winter project due to it's labor/time intensive nature.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween - informercials theme

there is always a sacrifice in a group picture. and that person is me here. from left, michael phelps (with the rosetta stone), tony little (the gazelle), stock broker (not an infomercial), Billy Mays (with oxiclean), Chia pet and suzanne sommers (thighmaster)

another michael phelps helping me use the thighmaster. it can work more than your thighs you know. arms too. (see am i selling it to you right now??)

Tony little demonstrated the motion that the Gazelle makes.

5 sarah palins and a bristol.

3 michael phelps

so many uses for the thighmaster.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Two 24' truckloads later

The closing yesterday afternoon went well. We moved some kitchen items over last night and had the cable set up, but today we basically moved all day from 8AM until now. We rented a 24' truck and filled it twice. Christina and her dad did all the driving. After all this I've realized a few things:

We could possibly put radiant heat under most of the kitchen floor. We love our neighbors (one said the neighborhood is "magical"). Our new neighbors are throwing us a party tomorrow. Although we want to build a green roof (there is a bunch of landscaping and painting to do first). I think I'll be involved in the purchase/installation of lots of window treatments and storage systems. Moving on a Packer bye week is wonderful.

Once we get some more put away I'll post the photos of the progress on our new house.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pumpkin carving meets election '08

Obama is mine, McCain is Steve's. We might carve devil horns on McCain though. We don't want our new – wildly liberal – neighbors in the lyndale neighborhood to shun us from the start. We want to get off on the right foot with them (or would that be left foot? sorry i couldn't help myself). i will carve a michelle obama also... it might be cute to carve the whole obama family while i'm at it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Are you sitting down? Probably. After much searching... we have a new house at 32nd and Harriet and close 2 weeks. we are thrilled with it! Steve will have a 4 min drive to work or a 10 min. bike ride on the greenway, I can catch an express bus on lyndale or bike easily to work. The neighborhood has a strong sense of community and is very tight knit — exactly what we were looking for. This house has virtually everything that we wanted in a house (and more) and we are just taking the neighbors' word for it that mentally ill people don't live next door.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I'm not sure if this post actually deserves this many photos; I went a little nuts with them. Last weekend we went camping up on Madeline island at Big Bay State Park with our friends eric and susan and a bunch of their friends. Applefest was going on in Bayfield all weekend and we spent saturday there eating as many apple things as we could.

Worst wines i have ever tasted, but Steve, Ben, Eric & Susan look to be enjoying them.

This was pretty funny. They had an hour to make the longest peel. Lots of different techniques.

Doesn't that seem kind of expensive?

Noted without comment.

Fall colors on a hike around the island on Sunday.

I mean, how could we resist?

My first attempt at applesauce making (jury's still out on the results) and a favorite stand-by apple pie. (hey that rhymes!)