Gutter go boom.

Two days before I headed back home to DC for the holidays, I wake up to see that one of my gutters fell off the house.

Yep. Completely off the house. In the back, sitting not-so-pretty on my deck.
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Granted, in my favor, it was not a roofline gutter, but a downspout one that hugged the house’s walls. Still, this happened in the middle of a wet winter. On that particular day, it was raining with forecasts of more rain, which meant any real fixes (as in = using sealant) was out of the question. And of course, add in the fact that I was going to be out of town – I didn’t want to just let water run onto my deck – possibly damaging the deck, and then there’s that whole water near the foundation issue. Water + foundation = not good.
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I did suspect something was wrong with that particular gutter, because before that point in time – there was a HUGE ice dam building up off of it. It was pretty to see, but man, dangerously lethal if one were to try to walk under it and it fell. Thankfully it was not in a location where a person would normally walk under it. I knew I would need to be replacing all the gutters in the spring (which was something I already had in mind after replacing the one gutter in the fall). I just didn’t think this would happen!
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Joys of home ownership, I know, I know. Yay.

So with 8 hours of daylight left, I called on a friend who has handyman skills and he came over to help me pick up my poor gutter carcass and put in a temporary fix. Something that was going to allow the water run out and AWAY from the house. Instead of having it drain the water back into the other downspout gutter, which was where it was connected to before (we couldn’t put it back because you need to seal the connecting gutters together, which the wet weather prevented us from doing), he flipped it around and set it up so that it would drain out towards my backyard. Thanks Pat!
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Since this still let water run all over my deck, I needed to go out and get some more gutters in order to direct the water to the yard, so off I went to Home Depot. I decided to get some flexible gutters, since I was planning on getting some in the spring for the front of my house. Because I’ll end up permanently using these flexi-spouts in two different areas out in the front, I grabbed one in brown (where it’ll end up in a mulch area) and one in green (going in a grassy area). Came back home, connected those to the metal gutter. It wouldn’t hold by itself, so I scrounged up some screws and drilled them into the connecting part so that it would hold. This required 4 hands – two to hold it in place, and two to do the drilling/screwing, so I asked my next-door neighbor to come over to help me out. So standing out in the rain, she held the flexi-spouts in place for me while I attached them all together with the screws.
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There! Temporary fix done, I hope it holds out till Spring! So far so good….

It’s sooooo classy looking (sarcastic). Half painted gutter, brown spout, green spout, in the middle of my deck, where I can see it everyday from my kitchen.
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Many Updates…

Yikes, it’s been since October since I’ve last posted. There’s been plenty of things that’s happened since my last post!

A weekend trip to Raleigh to see a girlfriend. I kept remarking on how I felt the whole area reminded me SO MUCH of Fairfax, VA! I spied a new store that I thought was really neat to check out, Moon and Lola. They’re an accessories (mostly jewelry) store apparently really well known for their monogram necklaces. I loved loved loved the store’s decorations! Their marquee letters, bright pink seating, white rhino, vintage lighting, exposed brick wall and white shelving. There was nothing I didn’t like in there! On that trip, I ate my first beignet at a place called Sugarland. And there’s Kitty Coco, her kitty! I am a complete pushover for all calico kitties. This one had me wrapped around her little paw.
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Happy Halloween! Where I spent the holiday with the nephew trick or treating. He dressed up as a Cool Cruel Ghoul this year. The black candelabra in the picture below was a mini-DIY project. It was originally a brass one that I bought from a thrift store and hit it up with black spray paint. Once dried, I put in color drip taper candles (where the melted drips are of a different color). That was a HUGE hit with the kids! “Look! It’s bleeding!”
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Happy Thanksgiving! I celebrated the actual turkey day with a friend’s family, and then celebrated it again with friends. My two plates below! *burps*
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Photo Mar 26, 12 48 04 PM

Merry Christmas! (and Happy Hanukkah!) Check out Fuzzy’s (my nephew’s kitty) swanky suit.. hahaha! He was pretty cool with it as long as we didn’t try to give him his reindeer antlers to wear. Although I noticed he was *much* more playful once he wriggled out of the suit an hour later. I decorated my new place with some candles in the window, two wreaths, and my tree (yes, people, it’s a FAKE tree – go ahead, go on, and shout out your horrors and shake your heads, get all that out of your system. I still love my tree!) I didn’t go all out with my decorations this year, though I did buy one new decoration item – an LED lit hanging basket. It was originally filled with cranberries and pinecones, which I felt was a tad too traditional for my current tastes, so I yanked them all out and replaced them with my candy-colored ornament garland and extra ornaments in the basket.
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During the whole [super fast] Christmas holi-daze, I went to a couple of holiday parties (I didn’t get pictures of those), spent an afternoon volunteering at the FoodLink operations place helping them build “BackPacks” (bags of food) for 1,600 kids throughout the region, and had my annual trip back home to DC.  In DC, I went through a SuperBowl-esque marathon of choosing paint colors for my parent’s house (they’re going through major house renovations), seeing my family friends, my family and my friends all in the DC area.

FoodLink BackPack Volunteer afternoon
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But that’s not all folks! I got some DIY time in too 🙂 Those were all Christmas related.

Ornaments: I bought round wooden discs from JoAnn Fabrics in the hopes of making some cute ornaments for friends. I made one successful ornament for a friend with their child’s silhouette, but the 4 other ornaments were total DIY fails. I had attempted to print out family photos and transfer them to the wood, but in the transfer process, the images were all too destroyed to be successful. Oh well, chalk it up to lesson learned – print on better paper and use better quality wood.
Photo Dec 14, 3 52 57 PM  Photo Dec 20, 10 06 21 PM  Photo Dec 18, 10 41 05 PM

My Christmas hanging basket with the ornaments hack.
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I pulled out some old wine glasses and drew a bunch of stippled dots on them using a gold Sharpie marker. That was about a night’s worth of dotting. It looked great! But in less than 24 hours, during an unfortunate moment of me trying to figure out how to work them into a little holiday vignette, one of the glasses hit the deck. And shattered. *sighs* But I still have the one left!
Photo Dec 14, 9 27 49 PM  Photo Dec 15, 3 10 46 PM  Photo Dec 15, 5 07 53 PM

Photo Feb 05, 3 01 01 PM

I went with a theme for my gift wrapping this year: brown kraft paper with white paint pen. Every single present I wrapped was in brown paper. Most of them I painted on the decorations using white paint pen (I actually had a lot of trouble trying to find which paint pen worked best on the brown paper, which sucked the paint up, thus making the white color look translucent. I bought and tried 4 before deciding on which ones to use. The most opaque white came from Pen-Touch Permanent Paint Marker, with the 1.0mm Fine Point tip. My second favorite was the Sharpie Oil-Based White Paint Pen because it had a fatter tip, Medium Point.) I had a lot of fun doing this, even if it took up a lot of my time. I thought the end result was really cute!
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 Oh and sprinkle in four voice-killing colds that’s been dogging me non-stop since early November. Crazy whirlwind end-of-year times!
Photo Dec 30, 10 28 37 AM

And let me be pre-emptive here, Happy New Year!

Color themes, by room.

I’ve been thinking on colors for my place, this is [hopefully] gonna help me try to figure out what I want in the long run. I know I love the bright colors.

Living Room: Orange for sure (hello new rug!), Purple, and White. (but a fave blanket I use all the time is pink…. hmm)
Picture of Inspiration: Urban Barn store from Toronto
urbanBarn

Kitchen: I have lots of reds in my own utensils/appliances. Current curtains in there (from previous owners) has reds and oranges, and the walls are a warm yellowish orange. I have my FLOR carpet in there, which is made up of oranges, purple-fuschias, and reds.
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Dining Room: …. No idea. I need a new dining table and chairs.

Master Bathroom: Gray and white. I’ve painted it gray and added a white clock.
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Master Bedroom: …. ummm, I have a dark gray bedspread. No idea.

Powder Room: Thinking about blue/teal to work with front door/foyer teals. If that fourth paint job doesn’t work out, then I’ll go with some tone-on-tone neutrals.

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2nd Bathroom: I haven’t really thought too much about this yet. The walls are still the original yellow color. I’m thinking of maybe going with an industrial-steampunk style with this room. But that’s just the current thought of the moment.

Deck: I’m thinking warm colors – like oranges/reds/yellows. Maybe aqua-turquoise blue accents. Definitely a modern theme, with some bohemian/Moroccan pops.

The Pee and Poo Powder Room

Downstairs Powder Room: Long story short = I’ve given it THREE paint jobs so far, and I still hate it. Fourth one is going to be a charm. It better be.

NOTE: I don’t really have any great before pictures, as this was taken back when I first moved in! What can I say? I was in a rush! I wanted those dingy yellow walls gone as fast as I could! Sorry for lousy pics, but you get the idea, the room looked blah.

BEFORE:

PR_before

DURING:

I sanded the walls down. Taped all the edges off. Then for the color – I wanted to pick a color that was a COLOR, but still agreed harmoniously with the bright teal front door (since the powder room was right off from the door). So I thought: Why not stay within that teal color family then, just go lighter! So I mixed my own color by using the sample jars of teal blue paints I had from the front door with a leftover half-gallon of white paint that the previous homeowners left behind. First I experimented with the paint right on the wall to determine what shade I liked the best. I liked the medium teal, where it didn’t look too white, but not too matchy-matchy with the front door. So off I went to mix it all up.

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With the room all prepped, I went to town! But then I noticed as the paint dried, that I forgot something pretty essential – PAINT DRIES DARKER! Which meant that when I went to mix up my paint to match the swatch I liked on the wall, I didn’t compensate for the drying factor. Ugh. Now I have almost matchy-matchy colors.

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It was late. I was frustrated. I called it a night.

I gave myself about a week to see if I would be fine with the color, or to come up with a different idea – such as going out to buy white paint to add back into my too dark batch of paint. During this time, I also toyed with the idea of stenciling something onto the walls in a lighter color. I nixed the idea because I felt like it would be too kid-room-sy. I love stencils – but I think they work best with neutral colors, not bright colors. Anyway – I stumbled across the idea of ombre’d walls and thought that would be fantastic to give it a shot!

So coat #2 went up.

But I could not, for the life of me, get the blending to look right. I spent about two hours trying to blend and blend and blend and blend and blend…. ugh. It now looked like a beach room. Done by a second grader. It was bad. I disapprove. Reject. Go away. *shutting eyes*

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A week later, I was back in that tiny room (4.5 x 3.75′) putting up coat numero tres. I grabbed a quart of white paint and dumped it unceremoniously into the homemade mixed teal paint.

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Since all of that tape had been up there since the first coat, I used a Xacto-like knife to slice away the dried paint before ripping it off.

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AFTER:

ta-dah. I still hate it. It’s now a baby boy’s blue.

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Whatever. It’s fine for now. (I did all of these coats back in early September, and the room still has that wet paint smell!) Meanwhile, I’m back at the drawing board. I think this time, instead of going lighter on the teal paint spectrum, I’m going to go darker. I saw this picture with paint swatches at Lowes, and the coloring of the furniture is quite similar to the bathroom’s vanity and the ORB’d hardware in there. Meet Valspar’s Jackson Glen. The next contender.

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Bahamian Blue

Bahamian Blue: that’s the name of my new front door color!

But let’s back up a little bit. Seeing that it’s been quite a while since I’ve last posted an update.

I felt that my entryway was much too plain and boring. Beige, beige, beige. And a little of faded sage green in there.
before

BLAH.

So I decided that I wanted to start updating it a little to more of my taste – which is where I LOVE color! After playing around in Photoshop to see what color goes best in this little area, I decided a teal-ish blue works best. I played with red, yellow, green, pink, white, black, brown and blue. Blue seemed to fit the best.

Next step: PAINT CHIPS. I gathered up all the ones that appealed to me and slapped them on the door. I left them there for about 3-4 days, looking at them in all kinds of lighting and distances. Morning, afternoon, night. Inside and outside. 1 foot away. 20 feet away.
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chipsinside chipsfarnarroweddown

Narrowed those chips down to two: Mermaid Treasure and Bahamian Blue. (I’m sure you know where I’m gonna be going with by now… if you’ve been reading!) I bought them in samples from Home Depot and painted bigger swatches on my door.
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Those paint swatches, I left up for about a week while I looked at them at all times of the day and distances. I ultimately decided on the swatch on the left: Bahamian Blue. It was just a bit bluer then the greener Mermaid Treasure. It showed through the storm door’s screen a bit brighter than the Mermaid Treasure color.

Time to get painting! I took off the doorknobs, taped the edges and framing up and got down to biz-nass.
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As I took all the painters tape off, I came to see just how crappy of a paint job the previous guys did. They didn’t prep the door right. Because my DELICATE painters tape managed to rip the old white paint right off. And on top of that, it did a pretty crappy job preventing the bleed through on the edges.
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So now, I needed to decide if I was going to paint the back of the front door white to fix the blue edges and the ripped paint spots, or paint the whole thing blue to match the front side of the door.

Again, another couple of days while I hemmed and hawed over this decision. I decided….

PAINT IT!
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Meanwhile… I spied a larger rug at Target that fit the space better.
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I rather like it.

I now want some sort of oil-rubbed bronzed door knocker and matching doorknobs to complete the door. But more on that later…

Mailbox cover: Kara-fied!

If you recall, there was a mailbox decoration that wasn’t exactly up my alley.

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Well, thankfully – it was just a large magnet! I peeled that baby right off, gave it a good wipe down and broke out my spray paints. I decided to do some tone-on-tone chevron stripes, to give it a more modern look, using purple.

First, I gave it a few light misty coats of light purple.

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Then, after I gave it a week to let the paint completely adhere to the vinyl material, I used delicate painter’s tape to mask out the stripes. I started by making a large X through the middle, then I made the triangle lines on all 4 edges. Once I did that, I gave it a couple of light misty coats of a darker purple (sorry, I forgot to to take pictures of this step!). Once I finished the third coat, I peeled the tape off right away and let it dry.

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I had a very brief moment of a panic attack when some friends asked me if I wasn’t concerned about it looking a lot like the old Confederate flag. What?! Wait, no. It’s gonna be draped over a mailbox, it won’t look like it once that happens. Right? Yeah. I’m sure it’s totally going to be fine.

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Yeah, it’s fine!

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AHHH. Much better.