Archive for January, 2012
First off, in kitchen progress news, all of the chaotic electrical work has been completed! In just five hours actually. Woot.
So we’re cleaning things up, taking pics, doing some pendant hunting, and writing a big ol’ post about it for you guys on Monday. But apparently when Sherry shared “The Real $herdog” on Tuesday there were a bunch of requests for a John version. Color me surprised (I honestly thought Burger and Clara would get mentioned before I would). And since I don’t really have a cool street name like Sherry, she has suggested that I use “J-Boom” for the time being. It’s a little too close for comfort to a certain busty Jersey Shore cast member for me, but since I figure there’s little risk of confusing the two of us – I’ll use it for now. It certainly has more flare to it than my childhood nicknames of “JP” and “Petersik.” Anyway, since Sherry stole some shared facts for herself (about our marriage and our daughter) – my list might be a bit more random than hers. Here goes nothing.
#1 – I don’t always enjoy shopping and decorating. If reading our blog has given you the impression that I’m always the dutiful husband who skips merrily alongside Sherry on shopping trips for our latest decorating project, well – that’s not 100% accurate. I may participate in (and often enjoy) running house errands more than the average husband, but I also do my fair share of groaning when I’m told we “need to go out for pillows.” Same goes for tasks around the house. Let’s just say I don’t bound joyfully from the couch every time I learn we’re hanging curtains or need to go up in the attic to carry something that “takes two people, one being the strong and helpful husband.” But when worst comes to worst, I just try to find the humor in being the tagalong husband:
#2 – I’m the king of typos. Case in point, my fingers originally made that “I’m the kind of typos.” I’ve accepted this about myself: my brain and fingers don’t always work in unison and my eyes don’t do me any favors by catching them. Sherry has little tolerance for it (especially since I will even drop an entire word or three here and there). Yes, sentences like “then I spread the grout with a trowel” might get typed out as “then I with a trowel” and Sherry is left scratching her head. It’s one of the reasons Sherry proofreads every post before it goes up and also why I’m not as active in the comments (along with the fact that I have no idea where each of our ten million pillows hails from). I confessed my typo problem in a local interview two years ago where Sherry and I had to submit secret responses about each other separately. I said I loved Sherry because “she fixes my tyops.” Sherry told me it was a sweet and clever answer… until I further confessed that I hadn’t done it intentionally. It was just the most well-timed typo of my life.
#3 – I’m sometimes insecure about being a stay-at-home dad. Those who caught my BabyCenter post a few months ago already know most of this. And though I think I technically qualify more as a “work-at-home” dad, I still often feel funny about not getting up, putting on work clothes, and trotting off to the office like other “normal” dads. Even though I can rationalize that being home with Clara is actually a very good thing, it still just feels off to me sometimes. Especially when Clara and I are checking out at the grocery store in the middle of the day and I get that “oh, he must be unemployed” look from the cashier. But I’m doing my best to just embrace it and be as good at it as I can.
#4 – I’m a shameless consumer of “new” things. Maybe it’s the former advertising exec in me (or the reason I got into advertising in the first place) but I’m a total sucker for new products. They don’t even have to be totally new – maybe Hershey Kisses’ just released their seasonal flavors, for example. I. Must. Try. Them. All. Heck, I even bought a box of Life cereal the other day just because the packaging had been redesigned. Sherry knows whenever I go food shopping alone that she should brace herself for the weird new flavor or product I’ll come home with (Dulce De Leche Cheerios? Check).
#5 – I sing. A lot. And not that well. Sherry and I are both guilty of bursting into song pretty often, whether it’s singing along to the radio or crooning an original tune that narrates what we’re doing (“a grouting we will go, a grouting we will go, high ho the tile-e-oh, a grouting we will go”). So maybe this goes along with Sherry’s admission that she’s painfully cheerful? It’s like a slightly off-key and slightly-sarcastic Disney movie up in here sometimes. And it’s probably why Clara isn’t shy about belting a little medley out too. We aren’t “real” singers or anything, but we can both (key word: sort of) carry a tune. And sometimes harmonize. Sometimes even on purpose. If we were to try out for American Idol we’d be in that in-between group that’s neither good nor bad enough to see the judges. You can catch a snippet of me singing in this mockumentary my college improv group made about a squash tournament (that obviously needed to close with a
big mediocre musical number). Fast forward to about 12:10 for my extremely brief verse. Or if you care to watch the whole thing, start here with part one (warning: I can’t guarantee it’s entertaining for anyone beyond those of us who are in it).
#6 – I don’t really read Young House Love. Since Sherry proofreads every post (see #2 if you’ve forgotten why) and responds to most comments (questions like “where did you get that mirror?” are like asking me what color earrings Sherry wore three days ago), she reads just about every single word that ever gets posted on this site. So with all that we juggle each day, it’s not really the best use of our time for me to read everything too. I barely find time to read other blogs, let alone the one where I already know how things end. So if we ever talk in person and you reference something funny that Sherry wrote, please forgive me if I just smile and nod. Does it make me feel like a bad person? Sometimes. But c’mon, you know brevity is hardly a virtue of ours…
#7. I can get pissed like the best of them. This might come as a surprise but I can get pretty darn peeved in the middle of a project that’s going anything but well. I have even been known to throw a screwdriver (maybe “lob it at the ground” is a better description) while grappling to fix an incredibly frustrating mailbox issue. I’m working on it, but just know that I’m not Mr. It’s All Going To Be Hunky Dory during every project. Sometimes I’m just gritting my teeth and muttering under my breath. But when it’s all said and done and we’ve lived to tell the tale, it’s 100% worth it. Which probably explains why I keep jumping back into the ol’ DIY arena. I’m like Russel Crowe in Gladiator – except significantly less ripped.
So maybe my list was less “surprise, I’m not perfect” than Sherry’s since I figure you guys already knew I was no Matt Damon / Edward Cullen / Justin Bieber or whoever else is the epitome of male perfection these days. Just don’t tell Clara that. I think she’s pretty convinced I’m all that and a box of raisins. And I’d like to keep it that way.
Pssst: We are not famous. But somehow we’ve been invited to be part of the Richmond Comedy Coalition’s series called “Richmond Famous” that’s happening next Friday night (Jan 27). We’re not totally sure what we’re in for, but supposedly we’ll tell some true stories from our lives and they’ll improvise scenes based on them. And yes, Sherry is beyond nervous that we actually “have to talk” so we’d love to see you guys there. At least I would. Sherry might rather hide in the car. Get more info here.
Psssst again: We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.
Even though we’ve been embracing a clean-lined and colorful aesthetic lately, we can definitely appreciate all sorts of styles. And we’ve still got a soft spot for the warm, layered neutrals that we filled our first house with. So when Rhoda sent over this redo of her sister Renee’s room, it was like a shot of wow to a part of our design brain that we hadn’t exercised in a while. And we kinda want to curl up in what looks like a SUPER comfortable bed. Here’s Rhoda’s letter:
Hi, Sherry & John! Just wanted to share my latest project: a redo of my sister’s master bedroom suite. It’s a big space that had not been touched since 1999, so it was in dire need of an update.
Here’s the new view walking into the room now. That stenciled wall just makes it, I think! My sister and I worked on it together.
She has great taste and had already decided on the colors she wanted for the room, as well as the start to the fabrics. She just asked me for some help picking out the rest of the fabrics, rugs, artwork, accessories, lamps, and drapes. It was really fun to put our heads together.
She already had these nice wingback chairs, so instead of buying new, we opted to have them recovered by a local upholsterer and he did a great job.
We had so much fun putting this room together and I hope you love it as much as we do. My sister feels like she’s in a brand new place now. Thanks for the look! – xoxo, Rhoda
Isn’t it crazy to scroll up to that first shot and see how much it has changed? Rhoda’s got a ton of extra photos and info about the makeover on her blog, so head on over if you want to soak up some more. She even has a peek into the equally swanked up bathroom and sitting room over there. But while you’re here, let’s play the what’s-your-favorite-part game. I’m really digging the recovered chairs and Sherry’s all sorts of in love with that plush striped rug.
We have a new friend hanging out in our kitchen. I found this guy at Hobby Lobby during one of their all-the-time 50% off sales for $12. You know me and faux animals. Faux sho they’re mine.
Then he sat in our playroom for a while (a while = 6+ months) and I recently walked in there and had this moment where I said to myself “Self: you have got to stop hoarding things in this room. Use them or lose them.” Which led to an initiative I like to call “Dude, Get On That Already.” The dude being me. Naturally. So I’ll probably revisit this initiative over the next few weeks and months (at least I hope I will) as I systematically pare down the hoarded playroom clutter and decide whether I’m going to keep things and actually use/hang/enjoy them or craigslist/donate/yard sale ‘em. A lot of things end up in there for one of two reasons:
- I’m not quite sure where to hang them (so I stick them there and say “I’ll get to it later” and later turns into never)
- I plan to somehow alter things by painting or staining them (so I stick them there and say “I’ll get to it later” and later turns into never)
Well not anymore, folks. I dug in and grabbed my horny little friend and marched his antlers all around the house, trying to find a spot to hang him up and actually enjoy him instead of hiding him away in The Room Of Chaos (yes, that’s its formal name these days, so it gets capital letters and everything). Anyway, after walking around for a while I decided it’d be fun in the kitchen next to the fridge, but the original black color (although very cool in its own right) wasn’t working there. So I dragged my buns outside with a piece of cardboard and some leftover white primer + spray paint.
You know my “thin thin thin and even coats” catchphrase when it comes to spray paint, so I snapped these three in-progress spraying shots to show you how each coat is a nice thin mist. You definitely don’t get full coverage with one thin coat of spray paint – which is a good thing. You’re doing it right if it takes about three of them to slowly accumulate. And always keep your hand moving and hold it 8-10″ away. No thank you drippies. Not on my watch.
Speaking of spray painting tips, this guy’s antlers were still looking dark on the underside, which I knew would be seen when we hung him up, so I waited a full day for his front to cure and then flipped him over to give him a nice deep tissue massage with spray paint on the back.
John and I actually considered a few crazier colors (plum, navy, yellow) but thought that the white would look nice on our grellow walls- especially with the gold mirror in the laundry room so close by (it’s on the other side of the doorway, so we didn’t want it to have to fight for attention). But I have big plans for some of the other things lurking in the playroom. Oh yes, plum, navy, and beyond…
Don’t mind the paint touch ups we have been meaning to do for over a month. I’ll get to it sometime. Unless I’m too busy spray painting various faux animals.
Work it, antlers. Work it.
As for how I hung it on our paneled walls, anchors are a gal’s best friend.
Here’s the box we’ve had… oh… maybe a year?
They seem to last, which is nice because it’s so annoying to run to the store for little hanging stuff. Boo to that. Anyway, for those who might not know how they work, this might sound like “health class” in 5th grade, but the anchor is the white thing and the screw is
the silver thing you know what a screw looks like. So you drill a tiny pilot hole into the wall, hammer (or push) the anchor into the hole, and then screw the screw into the anchor.
A into B, baby. Oh but just leave a little bit of the screw sticking out for hanging whatever it is you’re hanging on it (the anchor should be flush with the wall, but the screw might stick out half an inch). Das it.
I gotta tell ya, it took less than an hour of actual time (drying time doesn’t count because you don’t have to stand there and watch it). And that not only includes my little spraying trips in and out for those thin coats but also the whole hanging shebang after he was fully dry. So I have high hopes for my little “Dude, Get On That Already” project. I might just keep this up! And if I ever want to pop it off the wall for a fabulous royal wedding, it makes for a great fascinator.
So are you guys with me on this weird little self-imposed challenge? Any items (or an entire room full of stuff) that you’ve been putting off? Wanna tackle it with me as I go? I’d love to get to at least one thing a week but with kitchen/kid/book stuff I’m not sure if I can stick to that, but it’s definitely the goal! Oh and what should I name this guy? Or is naming white faux animals weird when they don’t have faces? Malcolm? I keep getting Malcolm.
And speaking of projects… surprise!
My apologies for the crazy lighting (oh yeah and the ladders and the dropcloths) but we’re in the midst of getting new lighting! Hah. So there’s just one floor lamp illuminating the back corner of our windowless interior room. Which explains why it looks like a glowing Katy Perry alien is hiding back there or something. But as crazy as it looks… wahoo, it’s progress! More details about the whole process as soon as it’s a wrap (and it’s all cleaned up, photographed, and written out) on Monday!