Friday, December 31, 2010

Bring in the New

Here are the reupholstered cane chairs that we bought from the Dallas Flea last spring. We got some charcoal linen (and washed it twice per Emily Henderson). Gave it to someone who knew what they were doing and ta-dah beautiful.

I bought the pillows from Target because I thought they were cool. Plus I didn't have time to make any pillows and I don't think I'm good enough to pull off ruffle pillows.

2010 was filled with lots of changes for the family and la casa. I hope everyone has a happy new year. Here's to more projects at the Wills Casa and goals achieved in 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

1 More Thing

I forgot to mention the landscaping clean up we did before R's birthday too. We took out all the overgrown mess that was crowding our beds. We haven't tackled the re-landscaping action yet, but we are enjoying how much brighter the dining and living rooms are.

I was using an electric chainsaw and definitely chainsawed the cord.
Landscaping = not my thing

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Layout Set in My Corner

I think I have the bones in place for the sew corner. The decor and details aren't there yet, but here's what we are working with people. I moved the table against the other wall. My heart still pounds a little fast when I think about it, but I'll just have to lock the door when I'm sewing so no one can sneak up on me. I stole Ramona's 4x4 Expedit shelf. Sorry baby girl. Actually, I think she will like it better because when we get a 2x4 Expedit for her room I think there will be enough space left for a slide of some sort which is her hearts desire.

My punch list for this room includes but is not limited too...
  • obviously a task chair (I like the Jules from Ikea, but I don't really care for the color choices.)
  • a better solution for the thread
  • more fabric because well I have 2 empty slots and that's just not ok
  • mount a shelf above the table
  • add decor like maybe a letter A and possibly a drawing from Nick
I think this is definitely a starting point. I feel like I can cross craft room off my to do list and just work on the punch list as I find things that fit my needs.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Craft well corner

I really wanted to have my craft room set up while I am on Christmas break. The problem is this is sort of my area, so that means I'm the one who has to do all the setting up and decision making. I'm not so good at all that. Mainly because I'm lazy, but regardless I have no choice here.

I bought the rug on overstock. I got one of the last 3 they had left because it was featured on a blog I follow. Of course you'll notice from that blog post that it's a Jonathan Adler copy which of course is a win-win in the Wills house.

I know this pictures looks a little weird because the rug should run the other way with the table length but it's too long for the space that way. I would just turn the table against the other wall, but that means my back will be to the door while I craft which gives me anxiety just thinking about it.

I was going to move Ramona's 4x4 EXPEDIT shelf into the room and get her a 2x4. However I think I might leave the big one in her room and get myself the smaller one or just buy a bigger one for me. I am not sure yet. (Again the whole research thing.) The real struggle is I want it done right. The thing with a craft room is I don't think it's something that will ever be "finished." I mean I need to just get a general idea of what I want, set it up that way, then use it, and make changes along the way.

I am doing my research though, so here are a few craft room that I lust after.

This is what I was originally thinking...

Monday, December 27, 2010

So we aren't the best bloggers

We made a mad dash of last minute projects and a serious (slightly unrealistic) to do list for Ramona's birthday in October. We were so overloaded with the amount of home improvements and the tight time line. We scrapped the whole blogging thing and figured we would catch you up later. (And by you I mean the 2 other people who even read this blog other than us.)

So here's the run down...(and sorry for the black dot in the corner of all the pictures not sure what's up with the camera)

We repainted the entry, hallway, and formal living. Technically, this was not a must since we painted when we moved in. However, Nick could not stand the sheen. Thus, we repainted. Oh yeah since we repainted those areas we had to repaint the ceilings in those areas too. (Worst. Thing. Ever.) We decided to paint the ceilings white so we wouldn't have to ever do it again if we changed our mind on the color.

That was a good call in theory, but it took us more coats with the ceiling paint than with the awesome wall color we used. We will never paint with anything other than Behr Premium Plus. It has amazing coverage. We only had to do 1 coat and some touch ups.

We were back and forth on the color at first. Nothing looked quite right, so Nick changed out the can light bulbs in the formal from the energy efficient ones to the normal indoor flood lights. That did it we found our color, Sculptor Clay and painted our heart out.

We started to change our dining room light. Then scraped that idea and just cleaned and kept it. It's very Anthropologie-esque.

We painted the remainder of the kitchen. (We had already bought the paint for it from Sherwin Williams, so we didn't get to use Behr.) We attempted to take the fur downs out when we realized there was a pipe for the AC unit hiding up there. We decided not to tackle that now since we were under a budget and time crunch.

We painted one wall in the kitchen chalkboard. While I was painting it, I thought this is either going to be epic or a total fail. Luckily, we love it. It has been so much fun. We have used it for her birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a few to do lists! It's a statement and a lot of fun!

I painted the bath and 1/2 bath. I do not love the color, but I just kept going because we didn't have the time. It's a Martha Stewart paint from Home Depot. Again we did this before we discovered the awesome-ness of Behr. The coverage of the paint is horrible. I will repaint later.

We replaced the toilets in the bath and 1/2 bath. Along with a new pedestal in the 1/2 bath.

I made 9 (yes seriously 9) panels of drapes. The formal living room got 4... and the kitchen got 5. They are a bit messy so don't examine them too closely!

and the kitchen got 5. They are a bit messy so don't examine them too closely!

I am getting tired just blogging about this. It was so exhausting for us. We got to work as soon as Ramona went to bed and did not stop until midnight every night for weeks on end. My mom took Ramona one night so we could paint the living, hall, and entry. We didn't want her around the fumes. Plus she would get into everything!

Thus, the exhaustion is to blame for the abandoned blog and stopped home improvement afterwards because we were burnt out on house everything.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Seriously Dad?

Tonight Ramona let me know that I might have been going to Home Depot a little too often lately...Maybe she's right.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eat on this, Not on that...

So last week, I took a day off of work because we thought our dogs had mange and we needed to take them to the vet (they don't, just dry skin). So in order to celebrate the good news, we decided to do what we always do: hit up shops and look for crap for the house.

First we went to the fabric outlets off of Harry Hines in Dallas. These places are like the mecca of cheap fabrics in the DFW area, as long as you can handle the no A/C situation that they have working (I sweated my balls off). We snagged some drapery lining for for about $2/yd (Amber told me that was a good price, but she's probably lying). She's got about 324.3 sets of drapes to sew right now. GET TO SEWING AMBER!

Then we went to ikea and bought a frame and a bath mat. I know what you're thinking at this point, and yes, we are super rich.

Then, and here's the big one, we stopped into the Wills family not so super secret source for furniture, WEIRS in Southlake. While we were there, we saw this table and could not believe the price. It was a special manufacturer closeout and only 399 buckaroos. That's right a 112 inch, solid wood dining table (that is quite beautiful if I do say so myself) for less than $400.

We couldn't believe it. We weren't intending on buying a dining table that night, but we couldn't pass this sucker up. After having a hernia a piece, Mark (the father-in-law) and I got it in the door. It weighs 3000 pounds, I swear. The next night, we cleaned out the formal dining area and voila, we have a new table. The herringbone detail on the top is sexier than Rita from Dexter.

We still have a lot to do on the formal: Slipcover the chairs and re-stain the legs, get a rug, get a buffet (maybe), make drapes, new light fixture....

But it feels good to have gotten the major piece at such a discount. The style is a bit traditional, but I think we can make it look great.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Super Blog Mega Update, Great Job!

[Picture of the Ramo-hawk has no relevance, I just think it's funny]

Hey dude, can I ask you a question? So uh.... what happened to July? Did I Rip Van Winkle that biatch or what? I mean, it was just June last week and now it's August. What the F dude, what... the.... F?

So what's been happening man? What have you been doing on your blog hiatus?

Well Let's see what has happened since I was last flabbergasted by the inordinant amount occasional seating:

  • Landscaping: still sucks
  • Pool: Looks better
  • Bought a sofa
  • Bought a big ass dining table
  • Started painting the kitchen, putting the knobs on the cabinets
  • Finished Ramona's side table
  • Restored the finish on the cane chairs (using the Restor-A-Finish stuff from your gramma's garage)
  • Took seats off of cane chair, currently trying to find the perfect charcoal-y linen-y textural fabric to reupholster them with (any suggestions people?)
  • Been to about a million antique/thrift stores looking for goodies...
Blogging has been my red headed step child lately. Our nights generally go like this:

6:00 I get home from work. We cook dinner, clean up (maybe), and try to spend a little time together as a family.
7:30 Ramona goes to bed. Amber and I look passionately into each other's eyes. Steamy love making ensues (not really).
7:45 We begin doing things around the house: staining, painting, sanding, priming, caulking (spelled correctly, I assure you) and all kinds of other home improvement goodness
9:30-10:30 We finish whatever we were working on that night, sit down, turn on the TiVo and start catching up on other people's blogs.

So, once you figure in all the time we spend doing it, we've had little time left for the blog, but we're working on it, I promise.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

8. You heard me, 8.

That's the number of chairs we have sitting in the formal living that are needing to be reupholstered or restained or repaired or have a slip cover made for or some combination of all of them.


You probably saw this coming if you read my post about me attending the dallas flea. The cane back chairs beckoned us.

Amber has been lusting after cane back chairs for a while and we've discussed 2 or 3 different finds thoroughly. For one reason or another, we didn't pull the trigger on any of them. Since these were a great deal (only $95 for the pair), we decided to go ahead and add them to our collection of projects.

Here they are with their siblings. Waiting patiently to be redone. I think the cushion will need new foam, but I love the detailing of the legs and the little wheels on the front legs add a lot of interest.

Now, we need to decide what to do with them. Maybe we will paint them white and reupholster them in a bright, punchy fabric

or maybe we will ebonize them and reupholster in a neutral, calming fabric

So many decisions to make...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sew More

Here's a look at 2 dresses I sewed for Ramona. One is reversible. You can read all about it on the family blog.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Picture This

A little under a month ago, we had a garage sale at ole' wills casa dos. Both of our mothers brought us items to sell. One item that did not sell was a little picture frame from my mom. It was a rusty green color and not really our style, but I thought with a little spray paint we could make it into something cool. So we kept it and I decided to buy some spray paint one day while I was at Home Depot.

First thing I had to do was prime it. (I didn't take a before pic because I stink at blogging).

Then I applied a few coats of yellow spray paint and let it dry for 24 hours.

The final product, turned out like this:

I think it turned out pretty well, now we just need to find a picture to put into it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Amber's getting sew good...

Amber made this dress for Ramona last week. Check it out on our family blog.

Her sewing skills are coming along nicely. Now it's time to start working on some items for the House! (I'm thinking pillows, curtains, slip covers, this list is endless....)

We Meet Again Mr. Adler

Nick, Ramona, and I were killing time in Barnes & Noble off University today. We ran across a line of stationary and things from none other than Jonathan Adler. There were some cool notebooks and notepads, but the coolest thing was the dachshund bookends. Check out B&N for Jonathan Adler stuff on the cheap (for the 2nd straight weekend)!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dallas Flea

Today Amber needed to work on her paper. So Ramona and I headed over to the Dallas Flea so that she could keep focused. We'd never been before, but it had a lot of etsy artists that we're familiar with, so we had a good feel for what it'd be like.

**Sorry about the crappy iphone pics**

When we walked in there was a vendor who was selling all sorts of lamps. The prices were $60-$100 for table lamps and $180 for floor lamps. Not too expensive, but not too cheap either. Not sure of this vendors name.

By far, my favorite booth of the day was little bean shop. I got to talk to one of the owners (the husband) for a sec and he seemed like a really nice guy.

They had all kinds of cool baby clothes made by the owner

and they also had a really cool selection of other handmade items

Their shop is in Dallas and we will definitely be checking it out when we are in the area.

My other favorite shop was bows and arrows. They were at the etsy dallas spring bash this year and I talked to the owner for a sec. He was very cordial as well.

They carried a few areaware items (the piggy bank and rollerskate) which I am a big fan of (Amber not so much). I also really liked their quirky pillow selection too, especially the two seen below.

The also had a cool selection of purses, dolls, artwork, etc. All of it was really cool.

But the real winner to me was this

A pair of cane back club chairs. $95 for the pair. We've been looking around for these and are going to try and get them this week.

Overall, it was worth the trip out there even though we did not purchase anything. We learned a lot and may even purchase those chairs this week (if still available).

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jonathan Adler Score

This past weekend Amber went shopping with her sister and Mother at Grapevine Mills Mall. She called me (a bit hysterical) saying that they had some Jonathan Adler merchandise at (of all places) Burlington Coat Factory.

After a return trip the next day to make some exchanges, we ended up with the following:

  • 4 pillows (2 shown, 2 of a different style not shown) - $9.99 each
  • 2 full size sets of green chevron sheets (bottom right) - $9.99 each
  • 1 Queen Size set of brown sheets (bottom middle) - $29.99
  • 1 Full/Queen Orange Duvet (bottom left) - $19.99
That's a total of $110 for all of that. Pretty Insane!

The plan is to use the sheets as fabric for an assortment of projects. Pillows, drapes, roman shades etc. We'll probably keep the queen sheets and duvet to use on our bed as backups though.

A quick glance through the blogosphere yielded a few people that had the same luck as us.

If you haven't gone there in a while, BCF might be worth a trip.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Door Knob Dilema

One crazy day at Home Depot, Nick and I decided to purchase hardware for the kitchen cabinets. We bought some we liked for all the cabinets and even threw in pulls for the drawers. Well that may or may not have been before Ramona was born. I can't keep track of the spontaneous home improvement purchases we make. Anyway Nick put 4 knobs on and wasn't really impressed, so that was the end of that project...except that we have all these knobs and bare cabinets.

This memorial day I decided to purchase another knob during one of our visits to HD. I just bought 1 to try out. (I know, we are getting smarter already!) Here they are:

Which one do you like? Or you might not like either whatever just let us know what you are thinking. The one on the left is round (I know it doesn't really look like it, but it is.), and the one on the right is oval.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fabric, Fabric and more Fabr...

Yesterday we went fabric shopping at the outlets off of Harry Hines in Dallas. The places were a big warehouses piled with all kinds of fabric that you had to dig through to find what you want.

Here was the take from the day:

Here we are trying out some of the fabrics as drapes in the office. I think we've found a winner!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chill Out...

This spring as it started to heat up the east side of our house was heating up as well. The A/C was blowing, but it wasn't cooling off. The inside unit was kicking on, but the outside unit was not.

Saturday morning I went to work on it. Initially, I replaced the capacitor to the fan motor. It was bad, out of spec, and had to be replaced anyways. Unfortunately, it did not solve the issue. Next, I replaced the capacitor to the compressor. Once I sent power back to the unit, the compressor powered on. One problem down, but unfortunately the fan didn't turn on still.

The last option was to replace the fan motor on the unit. I took it apart at about 8:00pm and took it up to Metroplex Electric Motor Service that night. We took it apart, and it was all burnt up.

At about 11:30pm he had a new motor ready. The next morning I woke up early to replace the motor, and once I got it in there.....VOILA! We had cool air on the east side of the house again.

Dave at metroplex electric was so impressed with my handyman skills that he told me that I might look into a career in A/C repair (I probably won't).

Fixing it was a great feeling, especially since I saved us about $1000 in parts and labor. First I stood under the vent in the kitchen enjoying the cold air (it was only 68 degrees outside but I didn't care). Then I did a celebratory running man (with a couple gratuitous pelvic thrusts).Then I called my dad to ask him how it felt to be the father of the smartest man alive right, he said he wouldn't know.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Knowledge is Power

Some things I'm learning as we trudge through this remodel/furnishing process are as follows in no particular order:

1) It's way more expensive to remodel when you're house is huge.

2) It's way more expensive to furnish large rooms.

3) Sometimes you find good deals on Craig's List.

4) Sometimes you get a good laugh on Craig's List.

5) Sometimes (unfortunately most of the time) people think they should recoup at least 75% of the purchase price on their furniture after 5+ years of use.

6) I'm not crafty and can't see the final product in anything. (I actually already knew that, but this process just keeps reminding me.)

7) Everyone has an opinion about everything even if their style is completely different from yours they want to convince you that in fact it is you has no style.

8) It hurts my feelings when Nick shoots down my Craig's List finds.

9) It hurts my feelings when my bank account shoots down my Craig's List finds.

10) This process will never be complete at this point just getting functional is the goal.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nursery Curtains

This weekend we stopped by Calico Corner in Southlake to look at fabric for curtains in the nursery. Amber is taking sewing classes at Make in Dallas on May 15th (an anniversary gift from me) and the curtains are going to be her first sewing project.

We brought home 3 swatches.

Key West

Stockholm Sungold


Thanks for modeling Amber! I don't think she is sold on any of them, but I really like the key west fabric. It matches well with her bed set, the others are a bit too gold.