Archive for April 2010

still here

with all of the traveling and visits over the weekends, i haven't had many home projects to write about lately. but we're still here! i felt like i should give an update... so even though this will be random, here's what's new:

-i had a great time in cleveland visiting friends. lots of good food, we went to the theater, and went on a long walk around their neighborhood. my friends live close to the lake and it made me want to live by the water.
-work is still... busy. it's good to be busy, but sometimes i wish i could go back to my 40 hour weeks for a little while.

-i'm still studying away for my second architectural registration exam. i haven't set a date for it yet, but hopefully in the next few weeks. i'm going to see how the weekend goes and how much studying i get done. i'm taking construction documents and services next, there seems to be a lot of information.

-we still need to finish up our shelf project. hope to do that this weekend.

-i decided to try to grow flowers from seeds again this year. i attempted it last year (started them inside) and it was a giant failure. this year i'm trying to start them outside. wish me luck!

-we've been loving the weather this spring. we've gone for lots of walks, have enjoyed running outside with the dogs, and been able to grill out a few times. hopefully this weather stays around for a little while, summers in stl are not so great.

-i've been frantically working to finish up another blanket for a good friend who is having a baby and is due any day now. hopefully she doesn't read the blog :-) i was hoping to get her the blanket about a month ago but i haven't had much time to work on it lately. i'm using the same pattern that i used for the last blanket, only with different colors.

i think that's it... maybe i'll be motivated to finish up some of these projects so i have something more exciting to post about next week. have a great weekend everyone!

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shelf: the details

when i saw this post on the brick house last summer, i thought that the ace hotel shelving unit was the coolest thing ever. then she went and figured out how to make one of her own. and i wanted to be her new best friend. morgan also has great instructions on how to refinish eames shell chairs, which i plan on following when we finally get our new bases. if you don't read her blog currently, you should probably go check it out.

once i decided that i needed (yes, needed) to make a similar shelving unit of my own, i thought that the den would be a good place to build one. with the brick wall the room already had an industrial thing going on and i thought that this shelving unit would work really well in there. plus we needed storage/display space. i have lots of stuff.

i began by reading morgan's post about 100xs until i had figured on what pieces she used and what went where. then i started sketching my own design on my chalkboard wall. i could even sketch it life size to know how much space i wanted between shelves. i came up with something similar to this:
shelf design
i made an excel spread sheet of parts (yes, i'm an architecture dork) and started to buy a few at a time during our random lowes trips. when my parents came, they were kind enough to help us with the rest of our supply list. i'm glad we decided to work on this project when they were here, it was much easier to assemble with 4 people.

the first thing we did was fit everything together to make sure we had the layout we wanted. at this point we made a few modifications and exchanged a few pieces. we thought the original design was just a little too tall.
reese thought he was helping. cooper is afraid of construction so he was hiding.
next we took all of the pipes and fittings outside, cleaned them, and spray painted them black. honestly, removing all of the stickers and cleaning them was the hardest part. we also drilled the holes in the boards and put one coat of stain on the shelves. then we started to assemble.
i don't know what dad is doing, i guess showing off his shelf building skills?
we tried to keep things straight and level and tighten the joints as we went. it went together pretty quickly.
the last thing we did was attach it to the wall at the top with the flanges.
it is only secured to the wall at the top, the bottom flanges are just resting on the floor (with a black foam pad thing between the flange and the floor to help protect the floor from scratches). it is already stable, and i think it will just become more sturdy as we put weight on it. last weekend we finished up the final coat of stain and poly, we still need to touch up the black paint in a few places and the wall in a few places.

i will be flying to cleveland this weekend to visit a friend, but hopefully mike will be motivated to finish up the shelf project for me so we can start to put the room back together. then i can take some true after photos!

have a great weekend everyone!



we're not completely finished yet, but i couldn't wait any longer. when my parents visited the other weekend, we were planning on making a sun shade sail. after much debate, re-design, and several trips to lowes, we decided that it probably wasn't worth it to make the sun shade. i wasn't 100% sure that it was going to work and i didn't really want to damage the deck in the process. we came up with a different solution though, no worries.

i think my parents were disappointed about the lack of construction project once we decided not to do the shade, and next thing i know, we're cutting, staining, painting, and assembling this:


i'll post more information and better pictures once we finish touching up the paint and i clean the room. i love how this turned out!! thanks mom and dad for all of your help! and thanks to the brick house for the idea.



i ran the entire thing! the run was in forest park (beautiful!) and the weather was perfect. it took me 40.5 mins but i actually did better than i thought i would. when training, my pace was more around the 14 min mile range (i told you all i run slow!), so i was surprised to see the time when i crossed the finish line. and i wasn't the last person to finish. you all were right, it was much different to run with a group of people, and have people cheering you on along the way. thank you all for the words of encouragement!

now that i know i can run a 5k, maybe i can focus on running my next one at a slightly more respectable pace ;-)

oh, and in case you were wondering, mike ran it in just under 27 mins. i was impressed! i have a long ways to go if i want to be able to run with him.



i decided that our entry needed a little more something. something other than all the dark woodwork. the entry didn't seem very welcoming. knowing that my mom was coming out for a visit, and that she is way better at sewing than i am, i asked her if she wanted a small project.


i had ordered a sample of this fabric from tonic living when i was looking for fabrics for the curtains in the den. i loved the fabric but wasn't sure where i could use it. a cushion for the entry bench was the perfect solution.


the pillows are from the living room. my mom made 2 extra pillows with the diamond fabric that i will use in the living room instead. i think that the colors and pattern work really well with everything else we already had in the entry. i know that the dark woodwork might not be for everyone, but for now, it is just in too good of shape to paint.


we still need to fix the stairs, install the new/old door, and replace the floor, but considering it used to look like this:

we've come a long way.


any runners out there?

i think i've mentioned this before, last fall i started the "couch to 5k" program and have been running on and off since then. i ran in high school (played lacrosse) and some in college, but not much since. when i started the program i was super out of shape and could barely run down the block. i stuck with it and have been able to work up to running a couple of miles. lately i've been trying to run for 20-30 mins a few times a week. i'd like to do more, but with the way work has been going, i'm lucky to be able to fit that in.

here's the thing - i run really really slow. like super slow. maybe i should call what i do "jogging" instead of "running". i'm pretty sure that people walk faster than i run. i have been fine with this and haven't really worried about it, until now.

i'm running my first 5k on saturday. i'm really nervous, i'm afraid that i will be the last one to finish. i don't want to be last. i don't think there is much i can do about it though. my pace is what it is, and that is not going to change overnight.

so any of you runners out there, any words of advice? has anyone else run a 5k? anything i should know? anything i should or should not do this week? i was planning on going for a longer run today (for me that is 3.5 miles) and then just do maybe 2 miles tomorrow and thursday, and then take friday off. the 5k is saturday morning. honestly, i will be happy if i am able to run the entire 5k, regardless of my time. i was looking at the route online this morning and has a lot more elevation changes than i thought.

mike is also doing the 5k but he's much faster than me so we can't really run together. i blame our height difference :-P



our house has a big deck, which is nice, but kind of strange in the city. sometimes i wish we had a patio instead, or at least a privacy fence. when we're out on the deck i feel very much on display for the neighbors - like everyone is watching me grill hamburgers or something. so issue #1 is that i'd like to do something that that helps make the deck a little more private. even if it doesn't physically make it more private, it would be nice if it at least felt more comfortable. part of this could be the lack of furniture, but we won't get into that yet.

issue #2 - we live in st. louis. and it gets hot. like really hot. our backyard has a giant tree... that has been cut back so much it barely provides any shade. so we could use some shade on the deck. the idea of putting a patio umbrella up on the deck just seems strange to me.

my solution? a sun shade sail thing:

only i'd (of course) want to make this ourselves. i would only cover half of the deck, and use our balcony as a connection point for one side.

what do you think? do-able? worth it? has any one out there done something similar? here's a quick photoshop image...

mom and dad, guess what we might work on when you come to visit this weekend!


organized mess

i hope you all had a great easter weekend, i know i did! the weather was beautiful and we took advantage of it by working outside most of the day on saturday. we found a new favorite local garden center, planted some flowers in the pots that are on the front porch, and worked on the yard. there is still a lot to do outside, but i feel like we got a good start.

we also continued to work on clearing out some of the boxes in the den/guest bedroom. we took everything out of the closet in the den and put together some wire shelves that we had in our last apartment. the shelves fit perfectly in the back of the closet and we were able to assemble them in a way that still left some room for hanging storage. sadly i wasn't able to throw away much stuff, most of the boxes are books or studio supplies, the two things that i am bad at collecting. at least now it is an organized mess. and we can shut the closet door and have it all contained.

sorry for the boring pictures of my closet, house work has been slow lately :-) we have a few projects planned when my parents come for a visit this weekend, hopefully i'll have something fun to post soon!

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our secret

i've shown you pictures of the guest room. and i've shown you pictures of the den. you may have noticed that i haven't shown you pictures of both the guest room and the den at the same time. there is a reason for that.
boxes. and bags. and more boxes. hi, my name is katie and i've lived in my house for over 1.5 years and i still have not unpacked. we've just moved everything back and forth as we've worked on these 2 rooms.

we tried to hide most of it in the closet in the den. but now the closet looks like this and the door won't stay shut.
a few weekends ago we took everything out of the closet and started to organize. and then we went to chicago. and to arkansas. the guest bedroom and the den are a mess... and my parents are coming to visit next weekend.

so this weekend we will be organizing, cleaning, and hopefully doing some unpacking. we might even try to do some work outside since it is finally spring!



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