Category Archives: wallpaper

Oy vey mural

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First and foremost today, I’d like to come clean about something I referenced a couple months ago.  I mentioned back in November that a Major Life Change was coming to our family that I could not yet discuss.  Now that it has come to pass it’s no longer a secret!  The man fondly known as Daddy in this family has been hankering after more independence in his work life for quite some time.  This fall he and a friend concocted a plan to team up and start their own law firm.  We’ve been excitedly plotting and planning this professional move, but we knew that our mortgage company wouldn’t exactly be excited to hand over money to borrowers who just embarked on an adventure of self-employment, so we thought we might have to put our personal moving plans on hold if we didn’t sell by mid-November.  Just about the time we thought we really were going to have to rearrange our old house a bit and commit to a couple more years of extreme coziness, we sold!  You all know that part of the story.  On the professional side, Rob gave notice at work the week after we closed on the house and is now happily hitting the pavement, building his business.  We expect a rough period while he gets started, but it seems like a small price to pay for all the adult members of our family to be in vocational situations that make them feel happy and fulfilled.

On the home front, I’d been really determined to only peel wallpaper in one room at a time.  I figured it was better to have intact wallpaper in most rooms than rooms of half-peeled wallpaper.  Rob still couldn’t resist, picking here and there at loose edges.  Then last night I finally gave in and declared open season on wallpaper.  Now we’re peeling and picking all over the place and I have no idea when all this will end.  I got all the wallpaper down in one bathroom last night, though, so at least I know where to go once I decide to declare open season on sanding and paint preparation.  For kicks, here is the mural in the kitchen. I think I’ve referred to it several times during this move extravaganza.  Unfortunately it seems stuck on pretty tightly, but it’s comin’ down.  Most of the wallpaper in the house is dated but pretty in its own way.  This is really the only one that makes me wonder what on earth they were thinking.  The longer I look at it, the more I just don’t understand.  🙂

Our craft studio and play space in the new basement is far from being set up, but it too is finally starting to take some sort of shape.  We have a comfy futon down there by the fireplace, the toys are out of boxes, the craft table is set up, though not much more.  Dorothy was eager to try it out, so today I set her up with some paint and a (previously blue) shelf we’d found at the thrift store.  We’re going to hang the shelf in her room to hold her little knick knacks.

I also started unpacking fabric to put on my new shelves.  I’m not sure what these recessed places in my studio wall did before (maybe hold unattached shelves?), but my brother came over and put nice sturdy shelves in them so I will have dedicated space to store my fabric out where I can see it and access it.  I feel  spoiled!  I was so eager to put the fabric out I almost didn’t paint the shelves first, but I know it would be a lot harder to go back and do it later, so I went ahead and painted before I began unloading my treasures onto the clean, painted shelves.

Lite my fire

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Happy New Year!  I’ve been doing really un-bloggable things lately like unpack boxes, but things at the new house are progressing.  For one thing we got new appliances.  Now I’m a girl who likes old things–vintage, used, recycled, repurposed…I’m usually all over that.  But the appliances in this house just crossed some sort of line for me.  They weren’t like old/vintage, they were just like old/nasty.  The stove in particular bothered me.  It’s not all the old-style knobs and dials, which are rather fetching, nor the retro “futuristic” font.  It’s the fact that in the late 1970s, the previous owner of this house installed a cutting-edge stove that included an early microwave oven right there in the oven cavity, and that I was concerned about accidentally radiating my family each time I turned it on.  Tucked in the folder of paperwork that came from this house was even a letter, dated 1980, from the range manufacturer informing the previous homeowners that their microwave oven was no longer up to code.  Apparently it lacked appropriate locking mechanisms.  Yikes.  So this old stove just had to go, although I did feel like it should have gone to some appliance museum instead of the inglorious end it met by being hauled away by the new appliance delivery guy

I was super-excited about the new stove, which I thought I chose with care. We had the plumber run a gas line to the kitchen so I could get a gas range, which is something I really missed in our last house.  My appliance dreams included a long, middle gas burner with a built-in griddle pan, which this new stove has.  As I got to know my new stove better, however, I realized it wasn’t going to make all my kitchen dreams come true.  I do love the griddle, and the whoosh of flame that looks like “real” cooking in ways an electric burner never will.  But the stove is also some odd appliance equivalent of look-alike new construction housing developments (aka, not my cup of tea).  It says “lite” instead of “light,” or “on” or “ignite,” which seems needlessly stupid–couldn’t they have made the font smaller or something?

But I was willing to forgive “lite” until I saw this.  My new range has a “chicken nuggets” feature.  WTF, you might ask?  I turned to my trusty appliance manual.  This feature apparently brings the oven to the correct temperature to heat “convenience-style” chicken nuggets, then keeps them warm for up to three hours.  I’m not sure at this point which is worse–an early microwave oven that may leach radiation, or a stove that has a special feature to “cook” frozen, breaded chicken bits without human interference.  Having never purchased “convenience-style” chicken nuggets myself, I’m starting to suspect this stove was not meant for me.  I’m going to suspend judgment, though.  There is still the griddle, and “lite” seems to ignite a healthy flame that I can use to cook my own less-convenient family favorites.

Finally, wallpaper demolition started today!  The main living rooms are feeling unpacked and comfortable enough now that I felt like we could take the move-in to a new level.  My own dear Mum started peeling paper in the living room, and I’m afraid it’s going to be quite a task.  This is her wrestling with the liner.  Underneath all that liner, however, is a lovely plaster wall that should like quite nice once it is painted sage green.  At some point!