Archive for July, 2009


I’m sympathetic, Ellen Ruppel Shell, I really am.  C’mon, El – you know very well how I feel about shoddy craftsmanship!  But you can make the case more effectively than this.  At the very, very least, can you cite some sources?  3rd-largest user of wood by *what* measures?  Far from city centers, yes, but that’s generally in the suburbs, no?  And let’s be honest – who gets any furniture repaired nowadays?*

But put down your 59-cent Färgrik coffee mug and ask yourself: Can we afford to keep shopping at places where an item’s price reflects only a fraction of its societal costs?

*This is one of my least-favorite words.  When one of my students uses it (invariably in some grand opening pronouncement about the state of the world nowadays), I cross it out and scrawl “GGRRRAAAAWWWWWW!!!!” across the page.  I think they get the picture.


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Did I mention that the chalkboard we got at the estate sale was free?  Someone with a nametag saw us trying to lug it around the house, so he offered to take it outside behind the cashier’s tent until we were done looking around.  In our rush to leave before we got mugged for our Fiestaware, we forgot to ask for the chalkboard!  Unmitigated disaster, right?  No!  Not right at all!  When we remembered and went back to ask about it, the same guy who took it downstairs told us just to take it.  In return, he said, we should just come to their next estate sale.  Sold.

I sanded and re-stained the frame, re-painted the board with black chalkboard paint, added a chalk tray (made of trim salvaged from the built-in linen closet, and mounted it directly to the kitchen wall with four brass screws.

Estate sale stuff 001

Estate sale stuff 002

Chalkboard 002

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The back of the bookshelf from the estate sale is dry, so we let it come inside.

Josie 11708

Josie 11716

Toy shelf 004-1

Josie 11746

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Pictures like this make me feel so…content.  Yes?

(from Country Living)

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What the whWe

Really, house? Really? I put this off for a year – no, over a year! – and it took less time than Josie’s nap?

Before (from our first walkthrough, but minus the painting and curtain, it still looked like this at lunchtime yesterday):

April 16 189

April 16 229

And after (45 minutes of pulling down huuuge sheets of paper, then easily scraping off the backing paper):

Downstairs bathroom 001

Downstairs bathroom 002

Now what?

Here’s the deal – in the next couple years, we want to gut and redo this entire bathroom: pull down the dropped ceiling, close off the door to the kitchen, hex tiles on the floor, subway tiles on the walls, pedestal sink, clawfoot tub, etc, etc.

But in the meantime, Missy would like an apple-ey green paint with white trim. I’m also thinking about pulling up the vinyl flooring and painting the boards glossy white. She doesn’t know I’m thinking about that yet, though. I’ll breach the subject at breakfast.

Update: We’ve reached consensus on glossy white floors.

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Farmhouse Tour


I don’t go through the Apartment Therapy house tours very often, because – let’s be honest – I wouldn’t get anything else done.   I’m glad I didn’t miss Pete & Sandy’s minimalist New Hampshire farmhouse, though (slideshow here).   Pete & Sandy didn’t get there overnight, though (the post says they’ve lived in the house for 36 years, and only started renovating in 2006), and we won’t either.  Still, something on the low side of three and a half decades would be ideal.



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RIP stupid bookshelf

You know the bookshelf at the top of our stairs?  C’mon, yes you do – it’s the one that’s only 5″ deep, too shallow even for paperpacks, and made with leftover trim pieces?  It looked like this right after we moved in –

Online tour 014

It’s outta here.

Landing 004

Landing 008

Don’t get me wrong – a built-in bookshelf on the landing is a fantastic idea.  But not the one we had.  Which is why I’m replacing it with some deeper floating shelves just as soon as I can get them cut.   There’ll be five of them, 10″ deep, painted white, and trimmed out to look thicker.   I can’t wait.

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