Thursday, October 30, 2014

Style Cure #5 - Floor Plans

Yesterday's floor plan assignment was quasi-easy. The easy part is this room is L'ish shaped and the large part of the L is comprised of built-in furniture, closets, windows and doors so there are exactly two layout options. The hard part was finding a program to show the layout in!

The bottom of the AT post suggests apps, sites and ideas on how to do this on paper but I went for first. Bonus - it let me sign up using my google log-in instead of the ubiquitous facebook.

Look at the caliber of default furniture! I don't want an Eames or Barcelona but clearly the universe wants me to get some anyway. Your subtlety has won me over Internet, please send money for these fine goods through a reputable source of non-nigerian origin. Thank you.

Unfortunately their room designer tool is unintuitive. Keep in mind I have worked as a graphic designer and am accustomed to extremely careful movements. I could not make a 12'x15' box. You'd think after the room was drawn users could click to resize with the keyboard but nope - the only thing I could adjust was how tall the walls are. Cute but what I really need is a rectangle and I am not going to delve through forum posts in order to figure out how to make one. I deleted the account, marked their welcome message as spam and moved on.

Autodesk required a download and I skipped "Smart Draw" because things which tout themselves as smart are seldom intuitive. seemed the winner by default. I didn't even have to log in - just started dragging and dropping! Best of all they had a bunch of pre-set rooms you could drop and resize with a click:

Everything was going smoothly until I realized I couldn't add built-ins. I've mentioned our home is a cape but the designers did an amazing job of hiding the trademark angles with cute little "cubby closets." From the inside you would swear it was a colonial.

Kudos for having a shoerack option but negative kudos for closet selection.

Time for my trusted Publisher!

This no-frills diagram took about ten minutes and is the best you are going to get Internet, so deal with it! Also - the only things I measured were the walls/closet sizes so doors/windows/tv stand/bookcase? All guessing. Enjoy!

The room is fairly large (12" x 15") but the right side is eaten up by swinging doors and built in dresser. The only feasible spot for a bed is in the nook on the left. This is perfect because this room is never used by guests (first guest is coming 15 months after the house was purchased!) so I can ignore the bedroomy-ness when I dart in for sheets, towels or holiday decor.

The current layout is above.

This was the original layout and I liked how open the bed was to the room. However when I purchased the tv stand it became awkward as it blocks access to one side of the bed and also has a flat screen tv with its back to a closet full of plastic totes I lug out each holiday.

Studying this layout has made me realize something!

I need to swap the junk closet and the holiday closet! The junk closet has sliding doors and is about four square feet tall before tapering off (see it here). The holiday closet is slightly deeper but only has one door so every time I need to access something everything has to be removed and then replaced. Have you lifted holiday decor boxes? Plastic and glitter are deceptively heavy!

I can't believe I never thought of this - I read so much on re-imagining and making life convenient but I've been living with this lugging situation for over a year because that's where we stuffed ... stuff when we moved in!

I'm going to go upstairs right now and see what I can do!

Earrificus Update

The ENT doctor went over yesterday's hearing test. My right ear is in lovely shape but my left ear? Depending on pitch I won't hear it unless its at jackhammer or GWB bridge decibel. The eustachian tube has been ruled out and the inner ear is now the culprit. I didn't have oddly specific allergies or an ear infection after all *sigh*

The most common causes for sudden deafness are apparently auto-immune diseases or a tumor so I'm scheduled for an impressive battery of bloodwork and an MRI/MRA tomorrow.

The doctor gave me handouts on sudden hearing loss and I have key words from the audiologist yesterday but I'm not googling any of it. Until conclusive results are available I am not subjecting myself to Google's "Its probably cancer" approach to medicine!

I am also to avoid any loud noises because we don't know what triggered the original deafness and therefor what could possibly damage the other ear. This is especially scary because I've mowed twice and participated in two Halloween parades (one with a marching band!) since losing hearing.

The bright side is this doctor's office is so on top of everything that my appointments have been scheduled immediately. They got my MRI/MRA pre-authorisation within four hours!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

the second half of the Thrift

I had my hearing test at the local hospital and results were not good. I have "sudden sensori-neural hearing loss" which means I randomly lost all hearing in my left ear weeks ago. The audiologist said its in my inner ear and trying to pop it won't help.

One of the tests involved huge headphones. Sound waves bounced off the eardrum and the frequency recorded. Seeing a flat line on the left side and not hearing a single sound really got to me. The audiologist was very kind and reassured me hearing in my right ear is perfect, which is great. I have an appointment with the ENT tomorrow and based on our meeting...yesterday the next step should be an MRI. Then we talk surgery *shudder*

In brighter news I went to volunteer right after the test, which was a welcome distraction:

$4.50 for the batch

I got more books! The Raggedy Ann for my niece because even though I have about twenty-thirty kid's books for her upstairs she is always unimpressed by how ungirly they are when its time to pick a bedtime story. I read Obama's book when he was first elected and liked it. I'd like to read it again.

Doesn't this bowl look like the Waltherglas I thrifted just last week? I am positive this is the uncolored match.

Also - remember that Little People farm I got my niece last week? The first grader loves animals so much she decided it was best to keep it at her house. I figured this was a good substitute set to keep here.

I am linked to Vintage Bliss Tuesdays:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What it sold for: Scary Edition

I saw another ENT for a second opinion on this lingering ear ache/deafness. He said scary words like "surgery" and "spontaneous deafness" and has me scheduled for a hearing test at a local hospital tomorrow.

Slow eBay week but my mind is pre-occupied and I barely listed or thrifted:

Paid .29(?) and sold the pair for $4
Shot glasses are slow, poor sellers. Unless I find a NIB set of 20 I am out of the shot glass game.

Paid .29 and .79, sold the pair for $10

Paid .50(?), sold for $7.80

Paid .10 or .25, sold for $7.80 a town over. The mailbox I shipped it from was further from his house than my house!

I planted these Lowes bulbs around the lawn the other week but something has been digging them up and eating them. None of my neighbors had tulips this spring so I should have known better!

So I just pulled out the large clay planters and planted some bulbs in those. I have to figure out where to put them or how to cover them so varmints won't eat these too. Future Anny is counting on these to cheer up the snowy days of spring!

These are the bulbs which went in the planters. They're not "guaranteed to grow" but they're much prettier. I bought them at Home Depot. In my area Home Depot has more exotic variations but Lowes has better prices overall.

I paid $10 for 40 generic looking bulbs at Lowes while the comparable bag costs $15 at Depot. That's some expensive critter food!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Style Cure: the Abbreviated version

Are you following along with Apartment Therapy's latest Style Cure: ? You can navigate it through the website or sign up to receive updates as new posts are up. I visit AT daily but signed up because their volume is staggering and I'd miss stuff.

The first assignment was to take a "style interview." I blog/think so much about design this was easy.

The AT goal is to get a room ready for the holidays but my truncated goal is ... shorter - as in this Sunday shorter. Mom will be staying in our guest room for two weeks and the room? They say pictures are worth a thousand words so here we go:

The spare bedroom is on the second floor and is pretty large. You've seen this angle before.

This is the "other half" *shudder*

Believe it or not most of this clutter are picture frames. When we moved in last year we started stacking them here in order to keep them safe and out of the way. Then we barely hung anything and they've been shuffled around as we need to reach a closet.

That closet behind the bed houses our holiday decor. It has a small shelf above it for candles and their accouterments. This is on the second floor of a cape and whoever designed it did a fabulous job of squaring off rooms by creating awkward closets perfect for storage!

This is behind the door. I think that vintage looking NJ shore picture would look great hanging here - as evidenced by my leaning it there months ago. The dead twigs are from my husband's old apt and fill in the space.

I love the built-in dresser! We currently have it filled with towels, sheets, bathing suits/winter stuff but I will clear a drawer or two for mom. The open door on the left is our bulky linen closet.

On the right is our Christmas tree, books, wrapping, Christmas presents (I shop early) and pretty much everything else we could shove in there.

There are elements to the room which I consider "done." I styled the dresser this summer and am fine with it. We had a candy buffet at our wedding and that apothecary jar was the only one I kept. Our sewing accouterments are inside.

Our ridiculously retro entertainment center makes me happy.

I like this shelf but will unclutter it a bit for Mom. She likes to spread out and right now its full of my awesomeness!

I've put in a lot of hours trying to organize this room but kept shoving whatever I couldn't find a place for on the floor. Its time to donate! See those two white poles leaning on the wall? Ikea last week because I couldn't remember if we had extra curtain poles somewhere.

The third assignment called for a 10 minute mindful makeover.

1. Obviously - declutter the floor. A lot of those frames are a lovely silver and we have talked about a gallery wall in the basement next to the dining table.

Unfortunately we had a sewer pipe disaster down there last week and it hasn't been sanitized yet. I purchased a groupon for a cleaning service which hasn't returned my call but I may have to BRAVE THE BASEMENT and at least put them on the table. In case you haven't noticed I have major perfectionist tendencies and don't like to start a project until all the ducks are accounted for but time is of the essence here! If we don't like the gallery wall there is always spackle and paint.

2. I'd like to put my old bench under the window for sitting or organizing. My husband's fantasy football trophies would look cute flanking it. Oh and that thrifted luggage rack! This would be the perfect time to use it!

3. The bed needs pillows. I had two up here but they were used by construction workers and I did not want them back. Pillows will be nice for guests and also make the bed pretty.

4. Declutter the nightstand shelf

5. Make room in the drawers

6. Hang curtains - this one is stretching it. Sure its simpler than everything else on the list but curtains would create even more visual clutter. I will be hanging sheer whites from my old place so they will be decorative rather than functional anyway.

Keep in mind - this is all stuff I want to get done by Sunday. I will be revamping the room (is any room ever fully vamped?) along with the style cure but this is stuff I need to do to keep second floor visitors out of casts from tripping and landing on metal frames.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

That's quite a light fixture

First up - Congrats to Kim from for winning the copy of Tim Gunn's book. Huzzah for her!

Second up - I got around to washing and hanging the mcm candle holder. It was $2.99 at the Salvation Army and my husband was surprised at how shiny it was after washing it with dish soap.

This is the "old" view going up the stairs. Ignore the tripod and unassembled shelf - I need a jst day to get stuff put away. I hung the saled bouey on a hook the previous owners left in the ceiling. They liked plants and this room gets a lot of light but I don't fancy caring for another plant.

This candle holder (sells for about $20 on eBay) looks so much better! It picks up the brassy birds in the hallway (you're going to have to trust me on this one because its night and lighting is iffy up here.

Isn't that gorgeous? I want to buy two candles for it but that's in the "when I find it" category.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Another eclectic thrifting adventure - sans the adventure

From the Salvation Army:

Candle holder - 2.99
Knives - 1.99
Glass pitcher - 1.99
Corningware platter - .49
Caithness vase - .49
Muhle game - .49
You gotta be kidding game - .49
Miniature frame - .29
Wine bottle holder - .29

I've never heard of it either but it was cheap, new and sealed. Winning trifecta!

We don't do wine but the decorations were too cute!

My first grade niece loves this game. It asks things like "would you rather be 7 feet tall with 2 foot long legs or 5 feet tall with arms which reach the ground?" Its a good reading exercise for her to boot.

You can't tell from this picture but the glass is curved. How cute!

They had a ton of these knives in different colors bundled together. I picked the bundle with the largest number of items because it seemed like the smart thing to do. The vase is stickered Caithness but unfortunately isn't a big seller.

I love this candle holder so much I am considering hanging it from that hook in the upstairs bathroom instead of the bouey!

I thought this pitcher was a twin to one we use all the time but unfortunately lost the ice insert for.

See the one we use all the time? It has limade.

I am linked to Sir Thrift:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Magazine Round-up

I've been spending an embarrassing amount of time at doctor's offices recently. Here are some cute things I wanted to share from their varied selection of magazines:

I really like these bookends and although the internet always insists succulents are impossible to kill? I still kill them. I'd throw some anti-skid pads under these vases just in case. The only thing worse than toppled books are books toppled on wet broken glass and judgemental plants.

The closest H&M was replaced by a thriving Marshalls about two years ago but this is still good to know.

Discover magazine informs me birds sing to each other as an alert/warning system. If they somehow block the sounds the birds won't be able to brag of good eats and your crops will be safe.

Overkill for the home gardenner but still cool.

Are we over chalkboard paint on thrifted frames? Honestly I was never into them.

Dixon and Ziemer sound expensive. Make your own by framing glass from an old window or for a lighter option plastic from a cheap poster frame. I go to a weekly discussion meeting and we have one of those cheap $1 plastic stand up frames and a dry erase marker. We put a white piece of paper in the frame and every week write in the topic. Its worked fine for months.

You guys know how much I love solar lights. This LED solar light from Frostfire looks pretty darn cool!

Oh its been freezing and raining for days, remind me to bring in the solar lights. My brother has left his out for years and they still work but I'm not risking our solar chandy! It can hang in the basement for a few months.

Literally. *cracks up*