The Master Bathroom

Last Sunday we finished the master bathroom. It was a hard weekend getting it done. It felt like the universe was against us getting this room done, but we finished and we love it. Here’s the before photo for a reminder of the hunting lodge:

And now for the after photos:

Got to have a monogrammed towel:

Our little gallery wall:

There are a couple of items in the gallery wall that I want to call attention to. The first is on the top right. It is one of my great grandmother’s (on my mother’s side) handkerchief’s. Her name was Bernice Cone Brooks. I think the “B” is appropriate, yes? It’s very special to me. I carried it at my grandmother’s funeral in November but was too frightened to use it for fear of getting makeup all over it. Then in December I carried it at my sister’s wedding in my bouquet. Now it has a special place in my bathroom.

The plate in the middle on the first row doesn’t really have a special significance, it is just my favorite plate. It’s from Anthropologie and about this time last year Matthew and I were working out in the living room of our old house and it fell off of the piano where we had it and shattered into four pieces. Luckily I was able to glue it back together.

This is actually from a card I received from a friend, but it was created by a very talented lady I know. I would love to have a huge piece of art from her in my house one day. Click here to purchase some of her smaller works from Etsy.

The last piece of art in our bathroom was a Christmas present from my sister. It was created by the talented Inslee. I just love her work and this is one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I tend to rock a pony quite often!

So there you have it: our newly painted, much brighter and fresher bathroom.

I Won’t Give Up

I’ve had a little voice crush on Jason Mraz for a while. He’s not someone I listen to all the time, but when I do hear him on Pandora or iTunes, I am reminded why I like him so much. Man…his voice just gets me. I heard this song the other day while painting our bathroom and have been listening to it non stop. Have a listen. I know all the girls out there will connect with it. Tell me it doesn’t speak to you at some point in your life. And then tell me that this is exactly what you’d want to hear. I know it’s what I would want to hear after a fight or some soul searching and growing.

Everybody’s Working for the Weekend

I consider myself a dreamer…not just a dreamer, a big dreamer. But sometimes dreaming big comes with a pretty big dose of reality. Take this weekend for example. I had huge plans to get both our bedroom and bathroom painted. In my head, it would be no big deal. Until I actually thought about what needed to be done just to get the rooms painted. Before we could paint, the cracks in the walls needed to be patched. The cracks weren’t terrible and since I had done this once already in the office, i knew what I was doing. I did not, however, anticipate not having enough spackling when I began the project or the two trips to Home Depot it would take to get the right stuff. So on Saturday afternoon I finally started fixing the cracks in the walls.

What I love about the spackling I used it that it goes on pink and turns white when it is ready to be sanded and applied again or painted. No wondering whether or not it is ready.

You’ll probably notice there was already paint on the wall at this point. On Friday night when I realized I didn’t have enough spackle, I started painting the other walls. Ignore that for now.

When trying to decided what color to paint the walls , I put up some samples on the wall. When I say “some” I actually mean seven. I put seven different colors on the wall…in November. Two whole months ago. We have been living with this for two months.

If you look at this and say, wow…they look almost all the same except for that huge one on the right, you are correct. They do look almost all the same. Almost. There was, however, a definitive winner in this bunch and it is the top left. Does that look white to you? It is close, but has a slight hint of green, which is really hard to see in that photo and not much easier to see in person. But once you get it all over the wall, you can definitely see some green. Ahh, I am feeling calmer already.

So the actual name of the color that we went with is Stony Path by Valspar. By the way, If you are one of the people that gave us Lowe’s cards for Christmas, this and our bedroom paint is what it went towards. Thanks!

And just so we are all all the same page, here is a very, very messy before photo. We don’t normally live like this, I promise. By the time I realized I should take a before photo, I had already started pulling things from the walls and shelves.

Now, I am sure some of you are thinking, oh, that color on the wall is lovely though…it is. If you need a dark shade of brown, it really is a lovely color and I’d be more than happy to dig up the paint swatch that the previous homeowners so kindly left for us if you ask for it. However, with the slate in there and the wood vanities, this bathroom felt dark and like a hunter’s lodge, which is not the vibe we are going for…currently.

So, I bet you want to see the after photo now, huh? Well, you are going to have to wait a while longer. There are so many nooks and crannies in the bathrooms that it is taking FOREVER to paint. I am not even finished with the first coat. I finished up the first can of paint with just a tiny bit of trim left and wasn’t ready to open the other can of paint. I’m getting to it. Luckily I am picking up friends from the airport at 10:30 this evening so I’ve got lots of time to keep working! But I can show you this photo – I snapped it earlier today. It’s the first coat of paint near our shower. I love how the color plays with the slate that we have ALL OVER our bathroom.

Before I get back to work, I do want to share one other project I finished up this weekend. Remember that fabric I showed you in the last post? Well, I made my pillows and they now have a new home on our couch. The green and white fabric is actually a shower curtain that I picked up for a photo session two years ago and I hung onto to but never used it again except for a brief time as an actual shower curtain in our old house. I had my grandmother whip those pillowcases out over the Christmas holidays as I was still experimenting with my sewing machine.

And one final photo of Geoffrey, listening to the train go by. He’s so cute!

Making old new [a lovely chair]

About three years ago I snatched a chair off of the side of the road. Yep. I did that. Every so often we have bulk trash pick up by the city where we can throw just about anything our little hearts desire out onto the side of the road for the city to pick up (and for all the world to see). I am very particular about when this trash goes out on the curb. We get the notice that we can start depositing trash about a week before it is scheduled to pick up. A week!!! That means there is a free for all with everyone’s junk for that week. Because I don’t feel real comfortable with people going through my stuff, I usually wait until the night before to put it out. However, I am happy that other people don’t wait because I snagged up this beauty from my neighbor three years ago. (And by I, I mean Matthew, because there was no way I was pulling this piece of junk across the street to have people judge me.)

Now I know what you are thinking…Haley, that’s not that bad. Well…that’s actually a progress photo. I seem to have deleted the photo of the chair in its original condition. But trust me, it was a sight. The cushion that was on it and been shredded to pieces. Apparently the dog thought it was the dirt and was trying to dig a hole in it. And the webbing (I don’t actually know what it is called) that supported the back had a huge hole in it. It looked like the dog tried to jump through it at one point. So trust me – this chair was much worse! The above photos were taken after I had removed the cushion and cut most of the webbing away.

I had big, big intentions of making this chair beautiful, I just had to find the time and the inspiration. I held onto it for three years. I even convinced Matthew to move it to our new house in May. [Love you!] And then found this while perusing the world wide web. Take a look at that old chair and see what they did with it! Just the inspiration I needed to get started on my own project.

So I ordered the fabric and cotton webbing from, bought my Valspar paint and nailhead trim from Lowes and got to work. I had blisters from removing all of the wedding around the chair. I don’t know it there is a trick or not to getting it off. I just used some good old fashion muscle and perseverance. I then sanded, primed, sanded, painted, sanded, painted, sanded, painted, painted, and polyurethaned until I was satisfied. The below picture is one of the stages of painting, before the polyurethaning.

After letting the char dry for 24 hours, I got to work on the cotton webbing and nailhead trim. I decided to do all of the verticals before the curve first. I let them hang down, knowing i was going to pull them tight and staple at the end of the project. As I got to the curves on the chair I used a continuous piece for the verticals and horizontals. I then finished off with a few more verticals and got to work on the horizontals. Now originally I had planned to space the weave out a bit more, but when I started actually putting the webbing on the chair, I decided to go with a tighter weave and I ran out of cotton webbing. I had to order more which put a delay in my project, but after the holidays, it was probably alright to rest a little while I waited for the rest to come in.

Well I am glad to say that today is finally the day. I FINALLY finished my chair. It’s been a project three years in the making and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Is it perfect? Nope. But it is mine and I did it…and that…I am proud of. I love this chair.

And a little context in the room:

Our couch is a red color that closely matches the red color in this fabric. So when I originally ordered it, I ordered enough to make some throw pillows for the couch. I also pulled out a little chevron fabric that I had and will be making some smaller throw pillow out of it. But that’s a project for another time!

2012 Goals

I never make my goals before the new year. I don’t even think about them until the holidays are over. My goals this year have a lot to do with our house and look more like a to do list, but these are my goals in no particular order.

2012 Goals:

1. Document life more. Take more photos of the things Matthew and I do and of our time with family. I’ve been so overwhelmed with getting weddings and portrait sessions out that when I think about picking up a camera to document life, it has just seemed overwhelming. But I am pulling back in the photography arena this year and hoping to guard my time a little better. Hopefully this will inspire me to capture my own life this year, instead of just everyone else’s.

2. Complete travel books for Italy (traveled over 5 years ago), Lake Tahoe (2.5 years ago) and London (2 years ago). I should also consider getting some prints made and put up in the house. This one below is of Prior Park from our day trip to Bath and also one of my favorites.

3. Build shelves in guest bathroom. Our linen closet is small, and for some reason, has no shelves in it so it is not functioning as a linen closet right now.

4. Finish desk drawers. I’ve had my desk built since September, I just can’t bring myself to build those pesky little drawers. Does it function as a desk right now? Absolutely. Would it function better with drawers? Most definitely. This item is a must this year!

5. Build,  or enlist someone to build, our bed, pending the purchase of a new mattress. We bought one instead.

6. Paint bedroom, bathroom and closet. I’ve got the colors picked out…now I just need to do it.

7. Paint guest bedroom. I have an idea of a color in mind, but haven’t put any swatches on the walls yet.

8. Visit Sara and Robert in New York Little Rock. They are moving!

9. Plant shrubs in our flower beds in the front yard. (And pull out all of the weeds.)

10. Finish Mike’s chair – this seems like a “give me” item because I am ALMOST finished, but I’ve had it for three years and checking this one off my list will make not only myself but Matthew happy as well. Below is a little preview of the chair. I ran out of cotton webbing, but I should have more Wednesday, so expect this one to be crossed off of the list next week!

11. Continue reading for pleasure. I purchased a Nook last year and have been cruising through books. You forget how much you enjoy reading until you start again, haha. This is just something I want to keep up in the new year, because it makes me happy.

So there you have it. My goals for this year. Check back throughout the year to see how I am doing! What are some of your goals this year?

Bad dreams and looking towards the year ahead

I had a bad dream last night. When I wake from them, I always feel an overwhelming amount of anxiety. This morning I gasping for air and crying while trying to stir myself awake. And when I did wake, I decided not to go back to sleep. So this morning, I am starting off with a morning working at Starbucks. I still haven’t really caught my breath, but things are looking up.

The thing with my bad dreams – someone I love always dies. I don’t have these dreams very often but when I do, I always think about them throughout the day. Yesterday marked the first anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Maybe that’s why I had a bad dream? 2011 was a terrible year in the death category for my family. I think about 2011 and I think, “That was a terrible year.” I know, it just passed, but man….that was a terrible year. My grandfather got sick on Christmas and died the first week in January. My grandmother, out of nowhere, died on Thanksgiving. I’ve seen my fair share of deaths in the past year and I’m still not over it. When my grandmother died, I told my mom I hadn’t finished mourning my grandfather. I guess it’s another year of mourning for me but hopefully this year it won’t get interrupted by another death. You hear that people I love?? No more dying!

An amidst all the death and sadness, there were some good things that happened last year. Sara and Robert got married, Matthew and I bought our first house together and began making it our own, Matthew started seminary and I had a very busy photography schedule. So…cheers to a happy, healthy and deathless 2012! And people I love…stop sneaking into my dreams at night!

New year, new blog

Happy 2012! I am still in the process of making a list of goals (that’s right, I don’t call them resolutions), but one of my goals this year is to document my life in San Antonio with Matthew and our two dogs a little more. I haven’t really documented it at all in the past so this first post is starting me off on the right track!

On this blog I, and maybe occasionally Matthew, will be sharing tidbits from our life – stories, house projects, photos of our cute pups! And just like the title says, it probably won’t be daily. I can’t commit to that!