Saturday, August 6

My Cup Runneth Over With Abundance and Bounty

One thing that D. and I love is acoustic, folk-rock, singer-songwriter music, and we are happy that Our Town has a few venues. Last night, we checked out a pretty entertaining girl duo at the local faculty hangout. This joint plays a lot of roles in the community - a white-tablecloth fresh/local/organic restaurant, a smokey bar with a pool table, an art gallery, and a music venue. The owners also run a nice gourmet food store that will be my source for the basics in artisanal cheese. Though I can always order online from Murrays or Artisanal for the real goodies. It seemed an auspicious start for our folk experiences in Our Town.

This morning, the Farmer's Market was hopping, and I brought home even more than usual:


The blackberries were actually even more overflowing, but unfortunately they got a bit smushed so I *had* to eat a handful. A real shame, I tell you, since blackberries are my favorite favorite berry. I grew up in California, where blackberries grow wild along roadside and in parks. I remember picking bowls and bowls full plus as many as I could eat. Yuh-um!

Then we walked the few blocks over to the last day of the book fair. The deal was one brown paper grocery bag full of books for $5, and buy three bags, get the fourth one free. People were wheeling out dollies loaded high with bags. On the one hand, I was so excited that my books were still there. On the other, we walked there! While it was only a short walk, we were definitely feeling the abundance in our hands and shoulders on the way back.

I am now the proud owner of 15 volumes of The Practical Encyclopedia of Interior Decorating and Home Improvement, as well as a few other gems:


From the back cover, "The complete A-to-Z encylcopedia answers every decorating question - solves every decorating and home inprovement problem!" Unfortunately, volumes 1 (A to Ame) to 15 (Pre to Shu), means that I won't be able to find out about Tables ("classic, contemporary, country, specialized, and tables you can build"), Upholstering, Veneers, Walls and Wall Covering, and the all-important Window Treatments. Since I'm sure all of you are as breathless as I am about this treasure chest of knowledge, I'll post some images of the height of 1970 home decor.

I was also fortunate to find these six volumes of The Family Creative Workshop.


Again, not a full set, but enough to inspire me. This 1975 set combines two of my favorite genres: books on how-to DIY and books that showcase wacky 70s craftspeople. This set features artisans who specialized in batik, healthy baby food, bookbinding, mapmaking, geneology. Oh the fun I will have!

As D. prepped the living room for its new incarnation in Grape Leaves, I cleaned up in the dining room. A little Murphy's Oil Soap improved the floors a lot, and I got so inspired by the gorgeousity of the new room that I even opened a box, dug out and hung curtains:




It's amazing how one room can change the experience of the whole house. I love the foyer color, but it's more subdued and we don't use the room as much as the dining room (since we're only going upstairs to ogle the refinishing work). All of the rooms on the first floor are connected through the dining room (I know, I know. It would help if I had already uploaded the Floor Plans and House Tour. I'm working on it.), so the transformation of this room has had a big impact. I feel renewed, refreshed, revivalized in my interest and confidence in this whole home renovation thing. That's the kind of bounty I was really looking for all along.

1 Comments:

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Maria said...

Hi K. Thanks for leaving the great comment!

The process of ceramic tiling isn't difficult, simply time consuming. First of all, the room is 15'x15'...a pretty large chunk of space. Second, the underlayment itself took up to two days. By the time you spread out your mortar, lay your piece in place, cut any corners, hammer 60 roofing nails in each 3x4 sheet, then go back and tape the joints with mortar and let it dry...well, it was like installing the same floor twice! Three, when it came time to tile, a lot of time was spent laying out the pattern just right (the more complicated the pattern, the more time you want to spend in making sure it's correct), lining up the tiles just right, and cleaning the edges of extra mortar. All of those factors (and the fact it was our first time) added up to a six-day job. Oh, and we have three kids, too!! We probably could have carved a day or two off if they weren't around the entire time! :)

I say "go for it"!! It is so striking to walk into our kitchen now! Worth every drop of sweat! :)

Oh, and as far as the walls go, I think I posted about that before. We simply textures the walls with joint compound (my husband, the artist), pressed leaves into it, too. Painted it the base color, then dry-brushed it with an accent color to give it an aged look. Came out great! Pictures don't do justice!

Thanks again for stopping by!
Maria

 

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