Decorating Inspiration of the day

While cruising my Twitter homepage, I saw a post from @simplifiedbee about decorating using maps (see the post here, it’s great!).

I have that space between the office and the living room that is a bare, gray wall just waiting for a great project.

Blank Canvas!

I keep promising Chris some sort of New York themed decor somewhere in the house, but I wasn’t having any really inspired ideas until the map post. Now I’m starting to think that maybe something fun like a large map of the subway system in New York would look great there.

If you’ve ever seen me in NYC you would understand how in awe I am of the amount of choices you have to get anywhere via the subway system. Want to get to Brooklyn? 4,3,5,6,R,Q,S,T,J,or M trains. Take your pick!

Then again, maybe this map idea would be a better theme for that bedroom of ours that could use some serious sprucing up.. any thoughts?

Beer Cap Table

For a long time now Chris has been talking about wanting to make a beer cap table top. This consists of him getting as many different beer caps as possible, making a table, and then adhering the caps to the table. The idea is really cool when finished, and even when it’s in the process of being built!

Every time we head to the liquor store Chris tries to find a new kind of beer that he hasn’t tried before. We of course have all of the essentials in the collection, Magic Hat, Sam Adams, Corona, Bud, you name it. Then we have the weird ones. Ones that you will only find 6 of on the table because they tasted a little…. rough?

Beth helped out a ton too by sending us California beer caps. We have a bi-coastal table!

Anyway, this project has been in the works for as long as Chris has been legal to go buy his own beer (read: 3 years). No one should get the idea that all we do in our house is drink beer. I promise, we don’t 🙂

Chris finally decided that he had enough caps to start the table:

Here are a few

And a few more!

He drew the outline of the table on a piece of cardboard so that we could make sure we liked the layout before we were stuck with anything permanent.

Cardboard Cutout

It took a few false starts and a debate about pattern vs random, but we finally picked a method we liked and got to work. Chris wanted the outside edge to be each different beer cap with no repeats:

Outline

More Outline

Then we created 4 sections which were outlined with Magic Hat bottle caps and started randomizing the caps within each section.

Sections

A little more filled in

One Section done!

2 sections done!

Done-zo!

Once Chris has some spare time he is going to cut the actual table out of this:

Real Table

And then he’s going to grid it off. Our biggest problem was the caps moving once we had out them in place. We kept finding small spaces where none of the caps would fit since they were not lined up properly. Hopefully the grinding will help us keep things in line!

Once it’s done the table is going to go on the blank wall where the China cabinet was:

Designated location

And on that note, I’m falling asleep at the computer. Chris and I hit the gym this morning, followed by a quick run for me, and then off to the Marathon! I had a total blast cheering on the runners, but now I’m as tired as I was the year I ran it myself!

I hope you all enjoyed your Marathon Monday!

Breaking Out My Running Shoes

The weather is so nice today! Chris and I are out in the backyard right now working. Chris is digging in his dirt pile, and I’m blogging at the table. Typical 🙂 He has so much more patience with this project than I do. Right now he’s spending more time digging bricks out of the dirt than digging dirt out of the dirt! I would have given up a LONG time ago, kind of like I did with the Ivy.

Anyway, moving on. So I decided to break out my running shoes today.

For those of you who know me, for a long time I lived and breathed running. Was I great at it? No way, but I loved it. I loved it right up until the moment I ran the BAA Half Marathon in 2009 and wrecked my knee. It had taken me so long to get to the point where I could run those distances (and longer, helloo Boston Marathon 2009!) comfortably that I was devastated when I tried to start running again only to find that a mile made me want to keel over and die. For almost 18 months now I have been sans running, and my life has been a little sadder.

Cue my sister, who has always been the one to get me started on my newest obsessions (lulu, yoga, and twitter, just to name a few!). She’s been a running machine lately, and it totally made me miss it. Add to that the new blogs I’ve been finding (like Meganerdruns) and it was all I could do to keep myself on the couch for 5 more minutes. All of them expressed the same sentiments that I did. That first mile is the hardest. What separates the couch potatoes from the runners is simply getting up and going out the door again the next morning, and the one after that, and the one after that.

So on that note, weather permitting, I will be back on the road again tomorrow in my Lulu running crops and my Addidas running sneaks. I’m setting my sights back on my favorite race: The Marathon. I’m thinking possibly Boston 2012 if I can get my charity number back, and the Chicago Marathon 2012 in October (you know you want to run it with me Beth!!). In the meantime, anyone with any great 5k,10k, and half races in mind, send me a message!

Rainy Day = Project Day

I wanted to thank everyone who decided to help me out with my mystery project. Thanks to Grandma, Chris, Coach, and a few others, my collection of toilet paper and paper towel rolls is growing!

Thanks everyone!

I’m pretty sure my family has given up hope that I will ever be completely normal, and the people at Coach have just gotten used to my antics (Ask them someday about the “White Girl Seizure”..) so when I started asking for empty toilet paper rolls, no one even blinked an eye!

The weather is comepletely miserable out and since I finished reading the trio of Hunger Games books (amazing, really. You should read them! I managed to put away all three books in just over 4 days.) I have to find something else to do until someone recommends a new book (hint hint hint), and my nook re-charges.

So on that note, I am off to watch more paint dry!

Revisiting the Jungle.

It was so nice out this weekend that Chris and I did some work in the backyard. Last time we were out there it looked like this:

When we left off...

At the end of the summer we added a table and chairs so that we could eat out there. I think we were only able to eat dinner in the backyard once before the 75 feet of snow descended upon us and we couldn’t find the fence buried under the snow, much less the table!

When we opened the door we were greeted with this:

Here we go again

Well not exactly this, but I didn’t have my camera at the time so this is as close as I can get it.

Chris decided that the edging for the garden was uneven. Clearly this wasn’t good enough for him, so he dug it all out, leveled it off and put it back.

Edging

Level Edging

Replaced Edging

While Chris was working on the edging I began the Battle Of the Ivy. There’s all of this crazy ivy that is grown up the back wall in the yard. I wanted it gone. It just doesn’t look good and has managed to take over half the yard.

Its on the back fence

After a while of pulling at the ivy I managed to find the back wall! It was quite exciting:

Im not sure what year this was last seen in...

I also learned how Ivy works. It has crazy little leg things that stick to the wall like glue (scientific, I know.)

Ivy Legs!

How crazy is that??

After a little while I got bored, so I took some pictures of the ivy:

Ivy Art!

Next Chris got to work pulling up the bricks and then we worked on putting them back (see a theme here? Kinda reminds me of “I lift thing up and put them down” – great commercial. Anyway…)

We made 2 piles of bricks. 1 pile was full bricks, the other, parts of bricks.

Full Bricks

Part Bricks

Please note that the full bricks pile is much smaller than the part bricks pile. Sllliiiiiiiiiigggghhhtttt problem. Chris suggested that we look in the dirt, seeing as how it magically grew a garden hose this winter:

Garden Hose plant

We located a few more bricks and managed to get the yard re-bricked to the far side of the back door. At that point it was starting to get dark and since it was Saturday we had to go to Ironsides for our weekly dinner.

I’m done blogging for the moment, I’m going to work on the wall art project a little more. Any suggestions for killing the ivy would be more than appreciated!

Plants!

Chris and I woke up this morning to 60 degree weather and sunshine. We decided it would be the perfect day to go get some plants for the house and maybe do a little work on the backyard/jungle. We got in the car, rolled down the windows and headed of to the Home Depot.

When we got there we found a bunch of plants that I liked right away. Within minutes the cart was full and Chris and I had 5 plants, 3 planters and some dirt.

Full Cart!

We loaded everything into the car and headed home.

When we got back to the house we decided that (knowing me) our best bet would be to bring everything into the backyard for me to re-pot the plants.

Everything I need

We ended up picking up 2 larger plants for the livingroom:

Big plant #1

Big Plant #2

I also picked 3 smaller plants for the kitchen. I went with another small aloe plant, and two other little ones that I don’t know the names of, but look really cute.

Little Plants!

Then I got artsy (per usual) with the camera:

Art

Have I mentioned I love my camera??

Anyway, back to the planting. In typical Kate-Style, I managed to get more of the dirt on me than in the planters. Eventually there was enough dirt and the plants were planted.

Planted Plants

Chris and I brought them inside and put them in the kitchen and livingroom.

Apparently the plants got kind of heavy when Chris was carrying the big planters up the stairs. As I was coming up the stairs I ran into this:

That's not right...

Whatever works, right? 🙂 Which reminds me, we do need something to decorate that spot with…..

The little plants went in the kitchen on the counter.

Plants

Love!

The big plants went in the livingroom on the tables.

By the Window

By the door

So there you have it. I FINALLY have the plants that I’ve been wanting for a while. They look great, I love them, and I can’t wait to add more!

Next up, fixing the backyard…..

What to do with toilet paper rolls, paint, and a rainy day.

So I was stuck at home on Tuesday with no car, no great new project to start, and a lot of rain. It was looking like the start of one of the most boring days ever. I hopped on Google and started hunting for fun craft ideas with things I already had in the house.

I stumbled across this post from a girl who had taken toilet paper rolls, painted them and then cut them into small sections to create some pretty cool wall art. I decided it would be the perfect project for the boring spot above the “fireplace” in the livingroom:

Lonely wall

I started hunting for toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and anything else I could find. I headed down to Grandma’s kitchen and found the end of a wrapping paper roll – score!

I also found some black paint and broke out my hot glue gun and “portable craft table”.

Mobile craft office!

Then I got to work measuring 1/2 inch sections of the rolls.

1/2 inch sections!

Then I painted them black, and cut them into slices. It took me forever, and I literally spent half the day watching paint dry! Once all of the sections were dry, I started piecing them together like a puzzle and hot gluing them in place. I managed to only get burnt once, which I thought was a huge victory.

Between 2 toilet paper rolls and the one wrapping paper roll I misguidedly thought that there was going to be plenty of slices to take up a huge part of the wall, boy was I wrong! I barely was able to cover a 1/4 of the wall!

This is where the story gets interesting. I put out a plea to Grandma to save all the empty rolls that she could. Then I went to work and stated swiping the empty rolls from there. One of the mangers caught me with an empty toilet paper roll in my bag, and gave me the look that said “Do I even want to ask about this?!”.

Somehow I managed to explain and only turn a light shade of red.

I’m going to hold off on showing you what it looks like so far since it’s not even remotely done. What I will do though is put out a plea to all of you that I see on a pretty frequent basis to save your empty toilet paper/paper towel/wrapping paper rolls for me! The more I have the better this masterpiece will be, and the sooner you’ll get to see it!