Hang Them All!

You are not completely moved in until you hang that last picture on the wall. Well, I'm much closer to this moment now. I remember it took us several year to fill the walls of our previous house with art. We had a lot of walls and not that much art to fill it up with. In this apartment it is a different story. We accumulated a little bit of art over the years. Plus this one time I raided "Yee Haw" on their last day of operation and ended up with a handful of posters. Problem is we don't have that much wall space to hang it all! At least not enough vertical wall. Welcome to the joys of attic apartment. There is however one wall that was begging for a big statement art piece.

After assessing the inventory and finding that we don't actually have anything big enough to fill the spot decision was made to make a gallery wall. 
First I did a "dry run" on the floor.

Being all architect-y I measured the frames and drew them in a CAD program. Then I measured the distance of the hook loop in each of the frames and marked it on the drawing. Then I dimensioned the locations of the hook loops/where the screw is supposed to go. So instead of transferring the measurements of the frames I transferred the measurements of where the screws are going.

You like my laser level to the wall contraption? Me too. Comes handy when there's only one pair of hands to level AND mark the spots. Where was my helpful husband you would ask? Exactly! Too many new friends. Too many cool bars too close to home.

Don't be alarmed. He was back shortly after armed with drill and bunch of screws. The result is as follows:

Oh yeah, one more ghetto use of masking tape - holding the glass in frame together. It made it all the way thru the Atlantic in a container on a ship and survived shoving it around from one room to the other while they were being painted just to get stepped on when I finally decided to put it on the wall. Just my luck. Don't worry - I'm getting a replacement.


Is It February Already?

It's been a while. I'm little rusty so I'm going to start with some easy breezy Instagrams. It just so happened that I was locked inside for four days with a sick boy. I snapped those in between car races and fort building. As you can see there is some progress in getting the place more ours, despite the lack of information on the blog. I must confess that winter whipped all the diy energy out of me. Which is unfortunate because the place still needs a lot of TLC. What I find good about taking a break is that we can sit back and test what works for us and what not. I do miss having a perfect place for everything because I'm OCD like that and chaos makes me cranky. For now however I'm trying to wait off the winter and meantime I'm making a massive To Do List.

Sick Day Fun:

Some of the chaos is being contained in our new built in closets:

Finally put some pictures on the dining room wall.

New clock - a present from my parents.

Rosemary survived. Basil didn't make it.

After buying an IKEA Lack shelf and letting it sit for three months my power drill-screw-husband combo finally installed it. The boy helped.


Christmas Spirit

I've been having a difficult times getting into the Christmas spirit this year. It is hard to decorate for the season when you still have this:

And this:

As for the lights we are planning to use same ones as in "the corridor". It only took me 5 months to finally order them. My procrastination techniques are stunning even to me. Now that the lights are in, my wonderful husband can install them. Covering the exposed duct work is another story. At some point husband said that he likes this "industrial" look. I think he meant "leave me alone woman, I ain't doing that". I might need to give him some time to recover from the summer full of construction. Looks like spring to me.
Anyhow, Christmas spirit. To get motivated and soak in the atmosphere of coming festivities I went to see the Christmas market on the main square. It did help a little.

I went back home pretty determined to have a Christmas tree this year. Can you not? One might ask. I must admit we used to not bother. Back in pre-kiddo times when we knew we'll be spending most of the season time in our parents house. We did however had a banana christmas tree one year. It was our potted banana tree with christmas lights on. I can just feel the disapproval of avid season decorators filling up the room right now. Don't worry guys, I am on your side now and just purchased the biggest Christmas tree that can fit through our door along with bunch of other decorations because this is all we brought back from US:

Little sad but when I think that each of this ornaments has a history and meaning then maybe it's not that sad after all. Emotional quality over color coordinated quantity. That's what we are going for this year with our Christmas tree style. Funny how things change in this department. Back in college when I just started to have strong opinions about colors, shapes and general design I would torture my parents with color coordinated Christmas tree decor. Then, after graduating and moving in with that guy I eventually married I couldn't care less. Christmas decking was for boring people with kids, jobs and retirement plans. Plus as I mentioned we never really spent Christmas at our place anyways. Now with the boy it's a completely different game. I want him to have some decent childhood memories of Christmas. So there we are. Decorating, reading Christmas stories, having hot chocolate and all that warm and fuzzy stuff. We even went to the little Christmas ornament stands that popped out across the street to let the boy choose some new ones. They are quite adorbs. I know it's a silly word but look at them! Aren't they adorbs?

I lied a little. We didn't get the biggest tree possible. It's a decent 1.5 meter. Just enough to let the boy put the star on top of it with small assistance of a step stool. As you can tell it's nothing overly curated but I love it! Each ornament means something and brings memories even though they look like random collection.
This here we have daddy's favorite:

Here is mommy's Friends of The Smokies souvenir:

And all new crocheted angels one for each member of our little family.

Who's the Diva in our family? We still have different opinions about that.

How is your Christmas preparations coming along? I wonder if anybody does any fun Christmas tree alternatives?


Mango Cream And The Bedroom Shameful Dilemma

Back in September I had a date with certain paint remover and a dresser. Stripping paint was fun and as a result I was left with this beauty base zero wood piece of furniture. Its sort of like starting to date a guy - you get all sorts of hopes of what an awesome guy he might be, or what awesome guy you can turn him  into. I had hopes for this dresser. Big and bold ones. Some juicy color I thought would be a good addition to otherwise earthy and neutral apartment colors. As I mentioned before, a sort of a deep dirty yellow would be stellar. 
Before painting I had to take care of some problem areas - scratches, dents and general oldness. If wood putty is to dents, what botox is to wrinkles than this girl got more of that stuff than the whole Kardashian family all together.

I wanted to get all professional on this dresser. Prime it first, sand it smooth, apply paint, dry, polyurethane it for a durable final finish. Well, turned out it's either impossible to get a primer for wood or I just cannot find it. If it's the latter and you know a secret store with primers, please let me know. I went with my Husband saying: "any paint is a primer" and used the first coat as a primer.
When it comes to finding perfect color one day I was walking thru the paint department and I saw Yellow Curry by Beckers. Jackpot! Remember my idea of mango-curry-yellow? This one seemed perfect so I gave it a shot.

Except it turned out to be more of a mango smoothie than a curry. Disappointed. 

Picture above shows the difference between the promise and the reality. In day light the color is even more pastel/easter egg. 

I decided to leave it like that and give it a chance. Mostly because I don't feel like painting for at least the next six months and because it is impossible to get paint samples like civilized people in this country. I don't want to go thru another repaint just to discover that the color doesn't work. So here we are, easter egg dresser and her furry friend.

That brings me to another fiasco of mine - the bedroom. I can't seem to get motivated to finish it up. It's just sort of blah.

I'm a big fan of white but I'm afraid it doesn't really work for this room. It is relatively small room and you know the rule: light colors make it seem bigger and dark colors make it seem smaller. I am about to revolt. Honestly, will the bucket of even the whitest paint magically add few square meters? I doubt. I think I might as well embrace the cozy smallness. Besides I always liked dark colored bedrooms - our US bedroom to be the first example - and I think I'm going to continue with that trend. Here are the plans to spice up the nest (courtesy of Photoshop):

Navy blue! That of course is if I don't change my mind. I'm still on the fence with it. 
The beam, the angles all of it make it difficult to find a stopping point for the color. I could go with it all over the ceiling but that might be little bit too much for me. So thats where the idea of half painted wall comes from. And of course from beautiful inspirations on the inter web:

Skona Hem