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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in House Inspiration (3)

Monday
Apr152013

The Little Nooks

I’ve been focusing on a lot of negative energy lately. There’s been too much bad juju floating around me and I am sick of it.

This weekend, I FINALLY had a free moment, several of them, in fact. And they ALL STRUNG TOGETHER! Kick-ass, right? So after I had a girl-friend lunch with two glasses of wine, shoe shopping, a massage AND a facial, I walked around the house and took pictures of the little parts of the house that I love and that are coming together quite nicely, thank you very much. Lookie!

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I love the hallway. It’s 30’ long and I actually found a runner for it. Love the hallway. And we have art picked out for the side walls. We can’t wait to get the pieces, but we have to save the pennies first.

I also love my TJ Maxx special – the orange lamp. I just picked up the cute little succulent plant and it makes me love the lamp even more. And succulents are just SO COOOOOL, right?

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I like where this is going. This is the guest bedroom. The Candyman wants to make it ‘The Nashville Room.” You’ll see why in a second. But I like this little part of the room. The quilt used to be on our bed, but we’ve moved it here because it looks better. The beside table is a family antique.

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The bedframe that I spray painted matte black looks fine, but I think I want a fabric headboard now. So far, I’m OK with this.

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It’s the guitar wall, hence ‘The Nashville Room.”  The Candyman thinks the other bedside table should be a vintage guitar amp. The idea is growing on me. And yes, The Candyman LOVES Johnny Cash.

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We bought a cowhide rug! I just realized that might be inappropriate for my vegan friends. Sorry guys, cuz I love it! It’s a gorgeous brindle color and looks somewhat awkward with our goose-neck couch. Once we get that sucker recovered though, it’s going to look BAD ASS!

We also got three vintage Danish post-modern tables. They are amazeballs. We got them refinished for a song and they look so good with the hardwoods and the rug.

 

The other side of the room has a big ass plant. We love our big ass plant. It brings a really mod feeling into our mid-century house. Love. Love. LOVE!

My last favorite little area is my bathroom. I finally got it all pulled together. I didn’t know what to do with the old ceramic soap and toothbrush holders (there are FOUR), so I bought these little votive holders and planted little kalanchoe plants in them. The just finished flowering and I don’t know if the containers are too small the allow them to flower again, but I still like how they look. The pink flowers? I pulled them off a tree in our backyard. Booya. I stuck them in an old spice jar and voila.

So there are my little nooks of happiness. Where are you finding yours?

Sunday
Jan272013

Chinese Doctors, Tub Drains and Yard Treasures

So it’s a Friday afternoon here in gloomy North Carolina. My VP came around and sent us all home at 3:15 pm because it’s icy and rainy here and the world shuts down in The South when the weather turns even the slightest bit nasty. Awesome. I was planning on leaving early anyway, now I had an official dismissal.

I had plans to actually exercise, but with the roads filled with batshit crazy Southerners who have zero ability to drive in inclement weather, The Candyman demanded I come home. So now,I sit at home with wine in hand, writing a blog post because I actually have time.

Go figure.

Let’s catch up, OK? It’s been a while.

So I was sick over our entire Christmas vacation. Awesome.

I left for China on January 4th feeling slightly better having taken a Z-pack and sucked down  tons of codeine-laced cough syrup. I felt OK for about 2 days after I arrived, but had a serious relapse. In China.

Again, awesome.

After I ran out of cough syrup and nearly coughed a chunk of my lung onto a table in the middle of a meeting, I bit the bullet and did the unthinkable.

I went to a Chinese doctor.

*EEEEK!!!*

I’ll admit now, my fear was unfounded. The doctor was more thorough than I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. The appointment, a ‘nasal cleanse’ (don’t ask), direction on what to eat/drink for the next few days AND a slew of drugs? All that cost less than US $100.

Our health care system is fucked.

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I still Pin stuff that is wedding related. I still like looking at the pretty. I just don’t want to write about it anymore. Is that really bad? Probably so, considering this is still supposed to be a ‘wedding blog.’ I consider moving it over to something else, but I still get a shit-ton of hits every day because people reference old crap on this blog all the damn time. People love these posts:

This one. Every time they rerun Say Yes to the Dress people flock here. I still get misty just thinking about Erin.

DIY Sweater Love

If you want some help with Shepherd’s Hooks.

DIY Cake in a Jar Favors – always popular.

And thanks to Austin Wedding Blog, I get all kinds of Paper Feather Tutorial love.

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And then there’s the house. Holy crapballs, the house. The projects are ENDLESS. Something we’ve learned? We have to be VERRRRRRRRRRRRRRY careful about the projects we start. What you THINK will be a piece of cake? Oh no, my friends. Not with an almost-50 year old house. You uncover one thing, you find 100 things UNDER that one thing.

For instance, I wanted a new tub drain. My tub had the old kind of drain that looked like this:

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The drain just had a cover because the part that actually plugs the drain is inside the pipe, kind of where that spring thingy is in the pictures above.  When I would take  a bath (which is totally my thing), the water in the horizontal pipe would actually float back up into the tub. Who wants pipe backwash in their tub?

Dude, not me. I mean, look at how disgusting this was once we took the drain cover and overflow plate off. 

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Now, it didn’t look THAT bad with the covers on and such, but still. Gross me out, to the max.

So I set out to remove and install a new one. I read many an on-line tutorial. I called My Dad, the handyman supreme. I consulted. I made numerous drain-planning trips to Lowe’s. I had this one in the bag.

Oh, so wrong. And damn The Candyman for being right. He knew it wouldn’t be as easy as I thought. He knew he’d be the one to fix what I jacked up. Fucking hate when he’s THAT RIGHT.

But really, it’s not my fault. There is NO WAY I could have known the the standard size of pipe drains in the 1960’s was 1/4” SHORTER than the standard size now. In fact, they are now 1/4” bigger around now too. That was my first problem. When I solved that one (again, after multiple trips to Lowe’s, a privately owned specialty hardware store AND a direct-to-plumbers only supply store) I had to solve the length problem. Whilst trying to solve the drain size issues, we encountered another. The overflow plate. I went to take it off and couldn’t. Why? Because the goddamn screws were actually rusted into the frame of the tub (see above). It’s actually an iron tub from days of yore.

Apparently, there’s a thing called a screw extraction kit. And now we own one. Yeah. So, that took a while to figure out with several trips to Lowe’s. And we still hadn’t figured out the drain thing.

A co-worker who used to work at Lowe’s in the hardware area told me of a specialty vintage plumbing supply shop. So we went. It took us forever to find the place. And it was scary.  There was a sign on the door that said, “BRING THE PART, NOT A PICTURE. NO EXCEPTIONS.” Good thing we had our part. There was a sign inside the store/killing room that said, '”IF YOU DON’T THINK I’M RIGHT, WHY DID YOU ASK?” The lady who worked there was surly and a little filthy. She had the kind of dirty hands/fingernails that you know are just NEVER clean. There are few people who frighten me – she did.

BUT, she was nice and she was smart and she found us our part. We had to special order the damn thing. So my little project that should have taken about 2 hours and $20? Yeah, like 5 weeks and $80. But now I don’t have nasty pipe-water bath backwash and that is nice. I also own a screw extraction kit. 

So take that project and multiply it by 800 billion and that’s how we live right now. I spend most on-line time looking at mirrors (can’t seem to find the right one for the Master Bath). I still can’t find the right size bathroom rug. We need a new washer and dryer. And vacuum. And I want to replace the windows.

It never ends.

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And I have found the weirdest things in our yard. Now that it’s winter and the backyard jungle is less Amazonian, I’ve been able to get in to clear out debris, limb up bushes and try to make things a little more landscaped. I found a hanging lantern in a tree. I found an iron tricycle pot holder in some bushes. I found a lovely glass mosaic candle holder buried under pine straw. I found a wire hanging plant holder in another tree. I’ve found 4 paver stones under more pine straw. Just the other day, when I retrieved the hanging plant holder, I walked back into an area I’d never even walked into before. I turned around and noticed something odd. The giant wild jasmine bush that I thought was a bush that I have probably walked past hundreds of times now? It’s not. It’s actually a wrought iron chair that is COVERED by this wild jasmine. A FUCKING CHAIR.

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A quick bathroom update. It’s coming along, but still not done. Check out the present day before and after. Still need something for the floor and the window. Trying to figure out what to do with the old, built-in ceramic toothbrush and soap holders. Need new towels. But it’s SO much better than what it was. Check it:

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Before

bathroom

Not quite an After…

I’ve got some little mercury glass candleholders for the toothbrush/soap holder thingies that I might make crazy with some moss. Or air plants. Baby steps.

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So there you go. Pile on top of all this house crap my TruLu Couture and work and damn, there’s no time to do anything else. Like blog.

Know that  I miss my blog peeps something awful.

Tuesday
Jul242012

It’s Not Buyers Remorse

It’s not.

But I feel like we are so far in over our heads.

The electrical is done. The finished that today. I can talk about it now. The electrical? The house was up to code,  circa 1964 when the house was built. Now? Not so much up to code. So we negotiated a tough deal and now we don’t have to worry about our house burning down in an eye-flash.

The painter is coming on Thursday, as is the granite guy. And I have a dentist appointment. The floor guy is coming on August 1st and the laundry room/half bath smells like piss.

Piss.

I nearly killed myself with Killz, a super-toxic kind of paint that kills smells.  You’re supposed to use those ventilation masks things, that I totally did not use. And thanks be to The Candyman, I didn’t kill myself trying to determine WHERE EXACTLY THE SMELL OF PISS IS COMING FROM AND WHY DID I TOTALLY NOT SMELL IT BEFORE????

I actually think it’s an ammonia spill on old wood that is the piss-like smell.

So can I say that this is NO Young House Love. We have NO IDEA what we’re doing.

I mean, it took THREE TRIPS TO LOWES to get our paint decisions right.

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That’s SIX different color paints there. Seven if you count the trim color. The lightest one closest to the light switch is the color choice for most of the house. The dining room and living room will be a light grey.

This week we’ve pulled all the registers and switch plates off the walls. Interesting, to say the least. Some of the intake registers clearly show their age – 48 years of dust came out along with the painted-on vents.

We’ve pulled out a shit-ton of spider flowers from all around the house. They are beautiful. Look it:

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However, these little beauties smell like skunk. No kidding. And they are prolific in their seeding.

I’m so worried about it all. The list is endless and the funds most certainly are not. My mom gave me some good advise today – to make lists of everything we want to do and prioritize and to keep the list a running one – that priorities change and morph. Right now, the details are killing me. The registers and light plates and bathroom mirrors and light fixtures and ceiling fans and how do I keep grout clean?

Lions and tigers and bears.

Oh my.