Monday, January 28, 2013

Stocking The Pantry

As I whined about mentioned over the last couple of weeks I've been battling the flu. It became a struggle just get to cover the essentials, so non-essential things fell to the wayside. I've spent the last couple of days trying to get everything back on track in the house- laundry, cleaning, groceries, projects.

When I checked the kitchen this morning we were basically down to a couple of apples, half a gallon of milk, some hummus, half a jar of salsa, and a box of pasta.


I started to think about pantry essentials. What do I need to feel "stocked" and avoid takeout runs. I asked some friends. Cheese and frozen pizza topped the list.

Personally? I need cheese, eggs, potatoes, onions, garlic, pasta, lentils, beans, and canned tomatoes. With these things on hand I can make anything ranging from an omelet to chili, and could conceivably make something to eat in about ten minutes (add in tortillas to this list and I'd really be in business). Oh, and milk. (Because of J's medical issues, milk is his primary food. Most days he drinks milk and I cook for myself.)

What about you guys? What pantry staples are must haves in your house so you can produce dinner?

Actually Completing A Pinterest Project!: An Easy, DIY Sweater Wrapped Picture Frame

Back in December Home Made Modern posted Smallgood Hearth's DIY sweater wrapped picture frame. Y'all know how I feel about upcycling old sweaters. I immediately pinned it, planning to do it ASAP.

Photo From Smallgood Hearth

Yeah, almost two months later still counts as ASAP, right?

I've had this frame forever (part of my staggeringly large collection of odd frames), but it isn't really my style. Meaning it was perfect for this project!

The original project called for a staple gun, but I decided to use my trusty glue gun instead.

I cut a square slightly larger than the frame from the front of the donor sweater (I've already used the sleeves to make sweaters for our dog, Emily, and I have plans for the back).

A line of hot glue goes across the top of the frame, and then I fold the sweater over it.

I did the same on the bottom. For the sides I folded the corners like you would when wrapping a present.

Then, because this frame is constructed strangle, I flipped open the part where the picture actually goes and cut a small square. Then I pulled this back and glued into place.

Ta-da! One easy, diy sweater wrapped frame! This project took me maybe ten minutes, and now I'm quite fond of this strange little square picture frame!

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

I Get My Kick On Route 66

So a few years back I spoke at a conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico (the conference was about the Atomic bomb and popular culture; yes, this is the sort of thing I used to do. Yes, I really miss it. #GradSchoolIsInTheCards). It was the first "real" academic conference I spoke at, and I was super excited about the opportunity.

I was also super excited because of a simple geographical fact. Albuquerque is on the historic Route 66. Y'all know I planned this trip so I had time to explore. I didn't get to drive as much of Route 66 as I wanted, but I still had a fantastic time. So. Much. To. See.

See, a lot of googie and atomic mid-century architecture still exists on Route 66. It was a wonderland for a popular architecture dork like me.

So today I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures from the trip. I'm not stamping them with my watermark. They are open for non-commerical use, should anyone feel so inclined.

Abandoned motel, west of Albuquerque, Route 66.

Close up on abandoned motel. Modern Cabins! There were actually cows wondering in the rooms when I pulled to the side of the road, but I scared them off.

Desert Sands Motel, Route 66 Albuquerque, New Mexico. The USA show In Plain Sight often used it as a shooting location! I think it is still open.

Nob Hill Motel, Albuquerque Route 66. Absolutely fantastic vintage motel sign.

Hiway House Motel, Route 66, Albuquerque. Love the Color TV pylon sign on the left.

Abandoned Whiting Brothers gas station/motel/grocery store sign. Whiting Brothers was a western chain that provided everything the traveling motorist could need. This station is between Albuquerque and Grants, New Mexico.

Abandoned Whiting Brothers Gas Station. Ruins. Route 66.

Automobile junk yard on Route 66, just outside of Grants, New Mexico.

Just know in the future there'll be lots of tl:dr blogging about Route 66 and mid-century leisure architecture in general, because that's the kind of thing that makes me happy.

People who know me in real life are already dreading the twenty-part series on Howard Johnsons that we all know is in the cards.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

If I Lived There, I Would Buy This

During a facebook chat with some bloggy friends we started sharing choice Craigslist finds from our respective cities we thought were fantastic/someone in the chat would enjoy. I've decided to branch out from that a bit and dig up what I would buy if I lived in the cities these fabulous bloggers call home.

What is it about Richmond that it is home to so many fabulous bloggers? I think either Sherry or Ashley could make room for THIS amazing find.

Photo From Craigslist

If I'm not mistaken, and I don't believe I am, that's a Heywood-Wakefield credenza/server. The asking price? $85. The seller obviously doesn't know what this piece is worth.

I hope whoever buys it doesn't decide it needs shabbying, painting, or any other abomination performed on it. It needs the bottom drawer handle replaced and perhaps refinishing, but that's it.

Here's the same style credenza positively identified as Hey-Wake.

Photo From Metro Retro Furniture

2. Team Skelley, Alabama

My old friend Katie runs a brilliant blog and lives in the land of rocketships in Alabama. If I was visiting her today, I'd definitely pick up these.

Photo from Craigslist
It's a complete set of Mid-Century Modern style twin beds. Rails and all! They would be great in a guest room, but you could also bond the headboards together (and same with the footboards), add king size rails and you would have a vintage MCM king sized bed...something rarer than a hen's teeth.

3. Broke Ass Home, Lansing, Michigan

Emma's written about her love of owls, so I think this would look perfect in her abode!

Photo From Craigslist
The lister describes it as a Curtis Jere style wall sculpture. I think I love it!

Kenzie said Craigslist was a bit sparse in her area. She's, um, right. HOWEVER, I did find these.

Photo From Craigslist
Kenzie, along with being a fantastic, up for an award DIY blogger is also a registered pilot. So these vintage flight bags from defunct airlines would be perfect for her!

5. Sandpaper and Glue, Central Massachusetts 

Photo From Craigslist
So Central Massachusetts Craigslist is a bit sparse in quality goods. If I was visiting Stephanie, I'd be all over this Sherle Big Eyed painting of a little girl. I'm a little obsessed with big eyed paintings.

This is definitely more my style than Stephanie's!

And, finally...

6. Me, Atlanta, GA

I'm digging this.

Photo From Craigslist
I love this vintage, fall painting. It's the same size as my Harland Young Horse in the Waves painting. $35 is more than I like to spend for vintage art. Maybe it'll come down in price!

Has anyone found anything amazing on Craigslist lately?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hanging A Gallery Wall: Part One

Yep, I'm back with a gallery wall update.

Here's our nice, long wall in the living room.

Blankety blank blank blank. Also, I notice I never replaced the outlet cover after I painted.

In May. Of 2012. My bad. I'll get on that.

My paint job, by the way, is not the streaky mess it appears in this picture. We get weird natural light in this room because the living room window is under a deep porch roof. I need to take a picture in the morning, because the light is beautiful then. And all my lamplight is over on that side of the room, adding to the weird shadow-palooza.


This is how far I got.

The lake country lithograph isn't working for me there. Good to know. Painting the frame blue was a huge mistake since the picture is already so intensely blue. I see a date with spraypaint in the frame's future.

So my "process" was I found the exact middle of the wall and hung slightly above that point. The mirror is also functional, so having it around face level is nice.

The bottom edge of Van Gogh Sailing Boats Les Saintes Maries painting hits at the halfway point of the mirror. The top edge of my embroidered quote in the vintage frame hits in the middle at the other side. Then I started filling in.

So I was busy hanging a vintage tray under the "Home Is Wherever We Are Together" piece when...I thoroughly, thoroughly messed up.

See...I'm still not over this stupid flu/whatever, and so I was hurrying through this so I could collapse on the sofa. Instead of taking down all the pictures when I put the hanger up for the next one I just left them in place.

This was fine, except there's a stud running down the lake district/quote/tray vertical line. So it requires some forceful hammering, which I'm providing when the quote falls on my hand and the lake district falls on my head.

As it turns out, head wounds DO bleed profusely! Yep, a bloody head and a busted knuckle.

J patched me up and sent me to bed, ordering me to "leave the d*mn wall alone until you feel better."


ANYWAY. I made a gif! Watch the salon wall, at roughly it's halfway point, come together!

(It's kind of hypnotic!)

Monday, January 21, 2013

DIYAS 15 Minute Project: Yarn+Bottles=Awesome

It's that time! That's right, it's time for the Do It Yourself Action Squad Link Party!

Interiors By Kenz, Broke Ass Home, Sandpaper and Glue, and I agreed to complete projects that cost under fifteen dollars and took less than fifteen minutes.

I had several ideas for projects, but over on Twitter someone posted pictures of a Target shopping expedition that included this guy.
Photo From Target
Yep, it's a yarn wrapped rhinoceros. They also have a hippo and gazelle. I love the subtle texture, and I'm looking for ways to bring texture to my dining table.

However, there's a sad lack of animals in my closet. Something I have in abundance? Glass bottles. 

I found a glass Coke bottles and a glass hard cider bottle hanging out in our cabinets. Over in my craft drawer I found a lovely soft blueish-green yarn and some white yarn.

With my hot glue gun I placed a bead of glue around the bottom of the cider bottle and started wrapping the yarn. I decided to leave the label in place, mostly out of laziness.

Place another bead of glue around the mouth of the jar and tuck the end of the yarn back under another piece.

Awhile ago I wrapped another Coke bottle in some jute rope. It was another easy, quick project. I just thought I'd throw it in here. I wrapped this Coke bottle with the white yarn, with the same glue, wrap, glue routine I used on the cider bottle.

I could have done a neater job wrapping the neck of the bottle.

Each bottle took about five minutes. I used stuff I had around the house (glass bottles, yarn) so the total cost was $0. Not bad.

Now, what you've all been waiting for...the link party! Share any quick and easy project. If you link up on one of our sites, it links up on ALL the sites. All we ask is you put a link to Interiors By Kenz, Broke Ass Home, Sandpaper and Glue, and Middle Class Modern somewhere on your blog. A DIYAS shoutout would be nice, too!

Next week I plan on featuring my favorite entries in the link party!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Five

So as I'm wasting away, Camille-style, I thought I'd share five web finds that amused me this week. Some are home related. Some are not.

5. My Girl Thursday

Photo From My Girl Thursday

I saw this pic over on Pinterest, and I'm obviously very into art walls at the moment. This gallery wall contains a familiar element. See it? The boy holding the musical instrument on the right? Yep, the same one I own.

Now that I know they are part of the set (Girl Thursday has a different girl) I want them ALL. Muuhahaha.

3. One Life To Live/All My Children Coming Back?

Photo From Deadline

I think I've mentioned before I'm something of a soap-fan. I might watch General Hospital on my laptop every night. Maybe. (I'm still giggling over Faison's Duke mask melting off his face when Robert threw the fondue on him. Yes, this happened).

Anyway, One Life To Live and All My Children are apparently being resurrected online by Prospect Park. Pretty exciting. Of course, three OLTL characters are now on GH, so that might cause a few problems...(BTW, loving the vampire storyline on GH!).

2. Notre Dame's Manti Te'o Tragic Dead Girlfriend...Not So Dead, Not So Real?

Photo From Sports Illustrated

If you follow me on Twitter you know I got a leetle interested in the Manti T'eo saga. This is mainly because J forces me to watch watches college football so I was subjected to T'eo's tragic story.

The breakdown, if you don't know it, is something like this. Girlfriend in car accident in the spring, girlfriend diagnosed with leukemia, grandmother dies, girlfriend dies but tells T'eo to keep playing football, T'eo sends white roses to her funeral.

The only things that actually happened in, you know, real life? His grandmother died and he plays football for Notre Dame. The rest of it...not so much. T'eo is claiming he was duped. Hmm. I mean he never skyped, facetimed, or google chatted with his girlfriend? I'm not really buying it.'s a mess. ESPN and Sports Illustrated apparently both thought the story raised red flags but kept quiet because...they like access to Notre Dame's football programs? That's my theory. Anyway, Deadspin actually broke the story, causing me great glee when they were namechecked by NPR this morning. Also, it led me to realize that...

1. Perry Mason Is A Lying Liar Who Lies?

Photo From Radio Of YesterYear

So back in the day Raymond Burr told the story about Annette Sutherland, the beautiful Scottish aspiring actress with whom he fell in love, married, and had a child. Sutherland died tragically in the same plane crash that killed Leslie Howard (best known as Ashley Wilkes in Gone With The Wind). Later their young son died of leukemia (that same disease that took out Manti's fake girlfriend). 

Yeah...Annette Sutherland, apparently, never existed. Neither did the young son. There's no paper trail for them here or in Scotland/the United Kingdom. She wasn't on the list of passengers for BOAC flight 777, where Leslie Howard perished. 

Burr apparently did this again with third wife Laura Morgan in the 1950s. He married her, she died tragically of cancer...and yet no one ever met her and there's no record of their marriage or her birth/death. Whoops.

So why did Burr invent then kill off two wives? Apparently to cover up his sexual orientation. Very sad.

Also, I had no idea there were so many fake dead women in the world.

Don't forget to come back Monday and link up your quick crafy/DIY/organization/whatever project in the DIY Action Squad link party! And on Tuesday I'll post the finished gallery wall.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Makin Like Goldilocks.

Y'all, I wanted to post my brand new shiny gallery wall but I've come down with something I hope is just a cold, and not the flu that's taken out half the country. Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with gallery wall goings on.

We have a deep, dark secret.

Our bed is broken. I wish there was an awesome story involving how we broke the bed that involved nurses uniforms and handcuffs, but sadly not. Actually Emily was the only one on the bed when it broke.

I don't what we did that caused one leg to snap off. But it's been resting on bricks ever since. This is not a stable arrangement.

It's helped me realize that our bedroom is a sad, sad place. The only decoration is the little gallery wall of Lila pictures. So I'm devoting February (appropriate, yes?) to a bedroom redo. I'm planning on refurbishing the awesome mid-century side tables we trash-picked over the holidays, making some curtains, upgrading our bedding, rehabbing some amazing 1950s lamps I scored at the thrift store, maybe painting the walls, definitely painting the seventies chest of drawers we trash-picked from different neighbors over the summer, venturing into the world of engineer prints...but most importantly we have to do something about the bed situation.

I've decided I'm going to DIY a bed. Yep. Just because the last time I built something I was in high school and it was a set piece for a community theater musical doesn't mean I can't knock out an amazing bed, right? Of course right!

Over on Facebook I talked about building a platform bed from scratch, but I don't think I have the tools (or courage). So I've narrowed on beds I think will be easy to DIY.

1. Pipe Bedframe

Photo From Simplified Building
I'm a little in love with this. Y'all know how I feel about making things from pipe. Maybe not the most comfortable option, though. But it doesn't require crazy tools. A nice, easy build your own bed idea.

2. Upholstered Box Springs With Furniture Legs

Picture From Momma Rake
I LOVE THIS. Your tools? A staple gun, some fabric, furniture legs, and a drill. Yes'm, I have all of these things. Naturally I'd pick legs more closely aligned to my design ideals...

Photo From Lowe's
Like these awesome tapered legs from Lowe's. I checked them out in person, and they are real wood. So I could stain them to match the walnut legs of our mid-century bankers table (it holds our television), and they are the same shape as said bankers table and our new nightstands. Lots of tapered leg action.

3. Ana White Platform Bed

Photo From Ana White
Here's a platform bed from Ana White. The hardest to construct from my three options...but it looks really nice and I'd really like a platform bed.

So, has anyone built a bed? Any tips? Ideas? Thoughts on why I'm crazy?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Making A Gallery Wall: Planning

I'm officially obsessed with salon walls. Way back on this art tour post I mentioned wanting to create a fantastic mix-matched gallery wall in our living room.

Here are some examples I think are particularly drool worthy.

Picture From Pinterest, Someone Please Tell Me Where It's Really From
 Love...everything, really. I think this pic was originally from Domino, maybe?

Picture From The Thompson Family
 Love the mix of vintage art and crewel work.

Photo From Design Sponge

My first step was gathering together all the "art" I wanted to use on the wall. Here were the winners.

These bits and pieces are just hung up on the nails from my original, very sad attempt at making a collage wall. These pieces include some lithographs on the English Lake district, the anchor I made for J, the Paul Deltlefsen prints I bought at two different thrift stores on the same day, and the amazing Vincent Van Gogh I shared on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. It still has the original, 1950s era Macy's price tag. $13.50. Yep. Love the frame.

More pieces destined for our salon wall. The embroidered quote I made way back in the day, a vintage souvenir Pike's Peak tray (somewhere J and I both visited and loved before we ever met each other), a super vintage sailboat tray, a needlework cover of the Saturday Evening Post, a Richard Nixon album, and some other artworks.

I don't think I've ever showed these two on the blog before. We actually bought these on our honeymoon. Love. Them. They have Kresge stamped on the back of them, meaning they are probably from the now defunct dime store. That makes them even more awesome.

Now, the problem with my lovingly thrift scored frames and art work is they often need a little work. None of the pieces here had workable framing hardware.

For example, this vintage piece apparently produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There was a weird twine thing going on, but no real way to hang it.

So I fixed it. A hot glue gun, and some framing hooks. Glue the hook onto the back of any piece of art (this also works great on trays or other less traditional pieces you'd like to hang). Let it dry. And...that's it.

On other pieces, like the framed quote, the original wire used to hang it had stretched and framed with time. The easiest fix is to snip out the original wire and replace it. All hardware stores carry frame wire. Super easy.

So tomorrow I'll be back (maybe with a video!) about laying out and hanging my salon wall. Super exciting! I've only wanted to do this FOREVER.


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