Monthly Archives: March 2010

Painting the Front Door

Our front door was in pretty ugly shape.  It was dingy white and looked like it had seen better days.  We had thought about replacing it, but decided that it was too expensive and would be too much work to get it hung correctly.  Here’s a picture of the front door:

The front door yesterday morning

Pretty ugly and boring, right?  So, to spruce it up we decided to paint the door.  And not just to repaint it white, but to change it to red.  A nice red front door seems so inviting, doesn’t it?  Our shutters are red too, and I decided that the red from the door needed to match the red on the shutters perfectly.  I thought it would look odd if they weren’t the same shade of red.

I went to Lowe’s and picked up a bunch of paint chips and walked back to the shutter section to match it up with the shutters that we had bought from Lowe’s several years ago.  The color that matched was Valspar’s Lyndehurst Rich Brown – which is a brownish red, and not really too brown at all.  I also picked up a peep hole, a new door knocker, and a kickplate, all in brushed nickel to match the door hardware that was already in place.  It took 5 coats of paint, but here’s the newly painted front door:

The newly painted front door

I still need to touch up around the locks and windows and to install the kickplate.  I couldn’t put the kickplate in yesterday because the door was still tacky to the touch.  Yes, it’s not an excitingly bright red, but it still looks great, and it matches the shutters, which is awesome.  Here’s a picture of the two together (please ignore the brick molding, as it needs to be replaced once the weather gets a little warmer):

The Front of our House

I love it!  You’d never know it was the same old door.  It’s also really cool to finally be able to see who is at our front door before we answer it.  I always thought it was hard to put in a peep hole, but it was super easy.  One hole drilled with a 5/8″ inch bit then screw the pieces back together.  Literally, a 2 minute install and totally worth the 5 dollars for the peep hole and 3 dollars for the new drill bit.

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Timber!

We had to have a tree come down in our yard.  Our only pine tree (and only source of shade in our back yard) took some major damage during the last snow storm.  Because of this, we had to have it entirely removed before it damaged our neighbor’s property.  Here are pictures of the tree coming down.  Goodbye, Tree!

The tree. Notice that the top is leaning backward and to the left. It used to stand up straight.

Getting rid of most of the limbs

More limbs are gone

And finally, the main trunk comes down

Once the trunk was down, they ground out the stump, so we have a nice piece of flat land back in the corner of our yard.  The tree people did a great job.  Very quick and very, very good at cleaning up after themselves.  Now, we need to put a privacy fence in.  This is just way too open to our neighbors.  I think it was interesting how blue the day started out and then the storm moved in.  You can see it in the pictures.  This was last Thursday, right before it began to rain straight through until Monday evening.

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The Flower Show

I had the opportunity to go to the Flower Show with my MIL, Toni, two Fridays ago.  We’ve been to the Show several times together, although we didn’t go last year (I couldn’t get any time off since I was saving days for the wedding and HM).  For those of you that don’t know, the Flower Show here in Philly is the largest indoor flower show in the world.  It’s amazing what you get to see.  Here’s the link to the website for the show: The Flower Show.  They are already getting ready for Flower Show 2011 (Springtime in Paris, how exciting!)

This year’s theme was “Passport to the World.”  The different exhibitors did themes from various countries, including Thailand, India, South Africa, Australia, Urban (because that’s a country now apparently), Ireland, and of course the USA.   There were some gorgeous displays.  Here’s some pictures:

This hot air balloon was displayed when you entered the show. It was made entirely of different colored roses.

The Urban Garden. This was done in a converted box car.

In honor of America

This "South African" Giraffe was made entirely from flowers (lots of orchids) as was the bird on his back

As expected from "Holland", lots of Tulips!

Peacocks and Elephants in India

Along with the thematic displays at the flower show, there are also the competitions.  I love seeing the competitive flowers because you always see some interesting varieties that you’ve never seen before.

Some interesting crocuses

Some beautiful tulipsThis year at the flower show I ended up buying a new peony, three dahlias, and two new African Violets.  I think I behaved myself very well.  Also this year at the show, the PA Wine and Spirits were having a Wine and Spirits tasting.  I got a little buzzed trying several different wines and spirits (although I have to admit that the Pomegranate Van Gogh Vodka was absolutely one of the most hideous things I have ever tasted in my life!).  They also had a special guest doing a book signing (because she has a new book and new wines).  So, Toni and I waited in line to meet Lidia Bastianich!  I had to get a book signed for John because he loves Lidia and watches her on TV all of the time.  (Please excuse how red I am – did I mention that I had had a bit too much to drink?)

Myself, Lidia, and Toni

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Working Around the House

This past week has been fun.  I went to John’s cousin Christina’s to visit with her and her new baby girl, Gia.  Gia is super sweet.  I held her for probably close to two hours and she barely fussed at all.  It was great for getting my “baby” fix on for right now.  She was great and I can’t wait to see her again at her Baptism.  Chris and I had a great time catching up too (We don’t get to see each other too often, but I do really enjoy spending time with her).  I also went to the Flower Show with my MIL, Toni, but that will get its own post soon, instead of being cramped into this one.

Tons of new photos up on our sharesite (PHOTOS)

I have managed to finish cleaning up the office.  It went from a space that looked like this,

The messy old office

to a space that looks like this:

A nice neat office

And another view, showing a nice neat bookcase and a useable elliptical trainer (well, useable for something other than just being an extra clothes closet).

The rest of the room.

I’m still not happy with the carpet and we would like to replace it with a nice berber carpet.  I’ve looked around and I’m not happy with the prices I’ve been seeing.  There’s two carpet companies I plan on trying this week.  Basically, I need to find a remnant of the right size.  It’s not a huge room (12×13) and I don’t think it should cost close to $500 just to carpet the room.  When we redid the carpet in our bedroom when we moved in, we only paid a little over $200, and it’s a bigger room.  I’m pretty sure I can get this room done for under $250, I just need to hunt around.

What else have I done this week, well, the fabric on the bottom of the ottoman was completely destroyed.  This is the fabric that protects the inside of the ottoman (the works) from being exposed.  Our little black cat, Sophie, thought that this was the perfect cat scratcher, so she’d been getting rid of the fabric for a while.  It’s been over two years that we have had absolutely no fabric on the bottom of the ottoman.  Two years ago I picked up tapestry fabric at Joann’s on the cheap.  We’re talking about 50 cents a yard.  Why was it cheap?  Because it had Santa with Teddy Bears on it.  I didn’t care as this was going on the bottom of the ottoman and would never be seen.  Why did I want tapestry fabric?  It’s really nice and thick.  It’s a very strong fabric and could probably withstand Hurricane Sophie.  Although I bought the fabric two years ago, I hadn’t done anything with it, until this week.

I finally redid the bottom of the ottoman.  Here it is before the new fabric was placed on it.  Notice that you can see straight through to the inside of the ottoman.

And, here is the ottoman with a nice new bottom fabric added.  Perfect.  Sophie can’t scratch the underside of the ottoman top fabric anymore.

All fixed!

Today, while watching some movies rented from the Redbox (Public Enemies (yuck, two thumbs down) and Zombieland (funny so far, but we’re not done yet), I decided to recover the dining room chairs.  This was yet another project that I had bought fabric for several years ago.  Our dining room set is Queen Anne’s style and really not our taste (we are much more Craftsman and Shaker).  But, when I bought it years ago for my first apartment it was extraordinarily cheap.  Especially for a table that had two leaves!  I had picked it up at the Raymour and Flannigan Clearance Center for a steal.  I thought I could easily change out the plain white chair cushions for something that popped.  Here are our chairs with the original seats.

Original white chair cushions

And here are our chairs with the new fun fabric with which I replaced the original chair cushion fabric.  I love them.  They are so much more fun and not at all what you would expect to see when looking at a Cherry Queen Anne’s Dining Set.

What’s on tap for this week?  Well, I plan on working on our guest room (It hasn’t been touched since the wedding and I’m pretty afraid to even step foot in there.  It is so freaking messy.  Hopefully I can sort through a bunch of the stuff in there pretty quickly.  I’m heading up to Valorie’s to visit with her and her daughter.  Haven’t seen her since before Christmas so this should be a lot of fun.  That’s about it.  Other than that, just continuing to look for a new job.  I’ve been applying for just about everything I can find.  Hopefully one of the companies will bite soon.

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