Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our New Little Girl

Welcome, welcome sweet little Sadie.

Abner's sweet little sister is as different in personality as she is in color.  Our vet, by-the-way, tells us she is not a calico, rather a tortoise shell. The difference is she has no white fur to speak of.  One way or another, she is simply adorable.

She is much more cautious and alert than Abner (who is all ready adding to the stereotype that orange tabbies are insane!)

Sadie is very vocal and doesn't like to be left alone.  She loves to be cuddled and will occasionally reward us with a very soft purr.

As she gets more comfortable here I can't wait to see how her all ready sweet personality emerges.

She was greeted by Abner, within seconds of her arrival, with a pounce and a thorough mauling.  She might be cautious but she is not timid.  Despite being only half Abner's size she is quick with her claws and liberal with her hisses and spats.  She doesn't avoid his attacks or even run away - in fact, like any naughty little sister, we have seen her instigate an attack or two.

And Abner, like all good big brothers, gives her a good thumping and then curls up with her for a nice nap.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Acknowledging the Lighting Problem

I know, it's true, I have too many lamps.  Currently there are six in my living room, let's not talk about how many I have in storage.  I keep buying more in the hopes that somehow someday I will figure out how to light my living room w/out overhead lighting.  I know overhead lighting is often considered a design no-no, but seriously, who wants to 'live' in a dark cave?  I like being able to see my family - they're cute!  Yes, I do love my lamps (well most of them - there are a few that need a little lovin') but sometimes they can feel like too much of a good thing, particularly at night when I have to walk around and turn them all off!

Seriously, in my next house I'm going to pass up any house that doesn't at least have recessed lighting in the ceiling of the living room.  Until then, I will continue to collect astounding numbers of lamps and struggle with a my own personal 'enough light vs. cluttered room' battle.  Right now the lamps are winning.

This is my new pretty.  I bought the base for $1.00 at a yard sale.  The shade, which is in perfect condition, was a little more pricy at $5.00 at a local thrift store.

I painted the base, which was the ubiquitous medium oak, a pretty gray.  I mixed the gray myself so I can't tell you what color it is.  I then roughed it up a bit and dry brushed over it with a teal glaze.

I wasn't sure this shade would work with the chunky base, but I really love how the feminine lines of the shade compliment and soften the substantial base.  Plus, heaven knows this house needs all the help it can get in the 'soft and feminine' department.

Here is a close up of the base.  It's easy to let the lamps have a few wins when some of them are this lovely!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Just One Corner

Sometime is the midst of chaos, you just have to have one spot, one little corner that looks happy and peaceful to keep you from going crazy.

Right now, the Apple House is in a total state of chaos.  There is furniture in all sorts of places it shouldn't be.  My front porch has furniture on it that won't fit in the house, the play room is partially filled with boxes and furniture.  I think a small storage unit may be in my future, or possibly enclosing our lower back patio.  Anyway, while I'm happy to have a plethora of 'junk' that needs a little AHR style love, I also get a little twitchy when all of my surroundings are crazy like this.

So a few days ago, this happened.

It's just a small space in this overwhelming world of projects that need to be done, but it is a small space that makes me happy.

This angle isn't as good, but the lighting is better and you can see one of my five hanging baskets (another post about them is coming soon.)

I hung my 'Welcome' sign above the door.  I love the contrast of the green against the brown logs and the red door.

I also created one of my multi-colored sign backgrounds for the "W", but it isn't a sign.  I have no idea what that thing actually is.  My friend, Sarah, found it in one of the junk stores we visit.  I asked her "what is it?"  She said "It's a W."  OOOOOOH!  Of course it is!  Who cares what it ACTUALLY is, for us it's a cool monogram for our front porch.

And I picked up this old rusted tool box (also full of cool rusted stuff) from a local garage sale for $2.00.  I cleaned it off and sprayed it with a clear coat to preserve the rust and also prevent it from rusting further.  Some potting soil and a few pretty flowers later and I am giddy!

And so you'll know why, here is the rest of my porch.  Actually it looks worst than this now.  I added an old table that needs to be reassembled and revived to the mess.  Yep, that is what people see when the pull up to my house.  Sad, huh.  I'm working on it, but in the mean time, I just needed one little corner of pretty.


I'm sharing at
Funky Junk's Saturday Night Special

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hello, Kitty

It makes me much happier than I thought it would to introduce you to the newest member of our family.

This is John Henry's new furry best friend, Abner.

John Henry earned the privilege of  getting a kitty when he was 100% potty trained.  We waited for several months to find the perfect kitty for him. 

You see, John Henry didn't want just ANY kitty.  He wanted one that matched his much loved, "Kitty."  Kitty (or sometimes Baby Kitty) has been his favorite snuggle buddy and bed fellow since John Henry was just a year old.  He pulled him from a bin at IKEA, of all places, clung onto him, and never let go.  (There are actually four Kitties, as we once lost the original and it was a nightmare for all involved - I didn't let that happen again!)

As you can see, Abner and Kitty are pretty close to two of a kind.

This little guy has all ready snuggled and swatted his way into our hearts.

He loves to cuddle, sleeps in John Henry's bed with him, and purrs very loudly despite only being a few months old.  It doesn't hurt that he came to our house litter box trained, either!

He is very patient with the boys, letting John Henry carry him around, and pouncing around Leo as Leo crawls after him in great delight.

John Henry is in kitty heaven and loves Abner with his signature intensity.  As I type this he is reading Abner a story.

Abner seems equally as happy and content in his welcoming new home.  Welcome to the Apple House, little kitty. 

And in a few weeks he will be joined by his feline sister, who is not yet old enough to leave her mama.  Link and I are believers that animals are happier when they have a companion of the same species.  Two dogs, two boys, three fish, fourteen chickens. . . OK, so things got a little out of control with the chickens, so we are back to just two of each.  Noah knew what he was doing!

If you haven't 'liked' us on facebook yet, come over and and see our page.  I post 'in process' photos of some of our projects there and you will also find a video of the boys loving on Abner.  (Is there anything cuter than a baby kissing a kitten?)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sleek and Shabby

This is the only piece of furniture that I refinished for the Vintage Faire that didn't sell. I think it was because we were displaying so many beautiful things on it that people didn't notice it.

She is a mid-century girl with those fun vintage (Jetson-esque) legs.  I sanded the topped, stained it in "ebony" a deep rich brown, and then rubbed it out to give it an uneven finish that shows off the wood grain more than a solid stain in such a dark color would.  I then finished it off with high gloss polyurethane for a bit of sophistication.

Her legs are painted a heirloom white, distressed, and then the same stain as I used on top was rubbed all over the legs to give her some age, interest and distinction.

A beautiful marriage of modern and rustic.  She is still for sale for $100.00.  I can deliver her to Seattle this weekend if someone needs me too.

Furniture Feature Fridays

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spring at Last

 Even though I took down my winter mantel MONTHS ago and started to fiddle with a sprint set up, nothing was working together and I let it sit being lame for several months.  Then a few weeks ago, when I'm sure I should have been doing something else, I saw it as the perfect procrastination technique and began again.

On the left.  Love my little white bird and the painted picture frames.

The right side was really giving me fits.  I found these sweet paper mache' bunnies at a yard sale, dry brushed a few light colors on them, and TA.DA.!  I love them stacked on some old books wrapped in twine.

And here's the whole, difficult to photograph, lots of orange from the wood photograph.  It looks so nice a springy!  So glad spring is really and truly here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ten years, one decade, 1/10th of a century

Link and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary this month (late, actually, we were married in April, but schedules happen.)

A friend who was married just a few days after us posted something like this. . . here is my version.

10 years, 9 beach trips, 8 years in school, 7 years in Seattle, 6 years in our first house, 5 moves, 4 college degrees, 3 vehicles, 2 adorable babies, 1 happy couple.

We moved oceans and mountains to get away for a short weekend sans kids. (Including staying up until 2 am the day before we left to finish the chicken coop because we couldn't leave chickens in our house while we were gone!)  We are super grateful to our friends, the Laws, for being willing to add our two mini monsters to their all ready full house.  John Henry keeps asking when he can go back, he had a ball, and I imagine Leo did too judging by how unexcited he was to see us!

The view from our balcony.

We drove an hour to Lake Chelan and stayed at the charming Campbell's Resort.  This isn't our usual style, a resort, we are lovers of the intimate bed and breakfast setting, but we had enough points earned through Hotels.com for a good portion of our stay to be covered, so in the interest of saving money, we went for it.  We were pleasantly surprised and would love to take the kids back there.  There was a kitchenette in the room and a grocery store across the street, so we were able to eat in for a few of our meals.  The amenities are also very family focused, and the beaches look like they would be a ball with kids.

And the other direction.

The room was very nice.  This is the only picture I took of it because we slept in/lounged about so long that room service skipped us for the day and I didn't feel like making the bed.  SO THERE!!!!  :)  You can do stuff like that when you are on vacation w/out kids!  I really liked the curtains and the lamp, and you can't really tell from this photo, but I like the mix of modern and rustic elements.  My only complaint was that there wasn't a big bathtub, and even the little bathtub didn't hold water very well.  I REALLY wanted a nice, hot, UNINTERRUPTED bath.  Well, at least it was uninterrupted, which is better than I would get at home.

And of course, where ever I go I seek out two kinds of places.  1. Yarn stores (there isn't one, but there is a great fabric store -LOVE)  2. Thrift and or Antique stores.  The antique store was closed, but the Habitat for Humanity Thrift store was open.  They had some nice things, but we were limited by the $12 in cash Link had in his wallet.  This treasure is what we walked away with.  Isn't it amazing?  It even has the original tools to put a door knob and dead bolt into a door still in it.

The best part about the trip?  Link and I discovered that when we aren't exhausted, over worked, stressed out, etc.  We still really like each other and can even have intelligent adult conversations still.  Amazing!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Vintage Faire

Last week was crazy busy!  My parents came to visit and I was in the final countdown to my first vintage/handmade event as a vendor.  The Vintage Faire was a great first show!  A friend and I combined our spaces and it was a lot of fun/work/success!

Here are some pics of some of my pieces from our space.

 These chairs sold right away (they were a pair.)  There were several women who picked up the & sign, carried it around, and then decided against it.  I'm not sure why, but I'm thinking maybe because it didn't have any way to hang it.  I'll be adding a wire to it soon.

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE this mirror.  It didn't sell either (I took these pictures in the afternoon after a VERY busy three hours, so a lot of our stuff was all ready gone.  I just don't think this mirror found the right person, and it could be that I am the right person!  I'm not sure this one will make it to another show.  I had a hard time taking it in the first place.

We had a pretty good collection of vintage kitchen items.  Now we have a much smaller collection!!!

I painted several of these trays.  I really love them.  It was fun to do something different on each one.

And a garden display.  Thanks to my mom for the wheat grass to add a pop of color and life!  Did you know that you can grow wheat grass from wheat seed (or wheatberries - they are the same thing) and grow wheat grass in just a week?  Isn't that awesome!  We've been adding it to our morning smoothies to add a little extra health boost!  It grows like crazy!


If you want to see pictures of projects in process, including our crazy chicken coop, check out our facebook page!
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