Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Seeing Red

After a brief (ok, 3 month) DIY hiatus, we're seeing red. And I do mean that in the best way possible since it means we've finally started making progress on our office. We got the first coat on last weekend, finally got around to the second one this past weekend, and put on a third last night (yes, folks, that there is three, count 'em, three coats of red paint). The good news is, hey, we've got three coats on. The bad news is we're out of paint and there are several spots that really need four coats. So, now we've got some choices to make. We used Benjamin Moore Aura paint for the first three coats, and while it's awesome paint it costs $60 a gallon and doesn't come in anything smaller...What to do? What to do?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Personal Demons

You may have noticed that I haven't posted too much lately. That's because I've been too busy battling personal demons to get much done on the house, but I'll be back soon. I promise.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tommy Toes

Nearly every year I try to grow cherry tomatoes. And nearly every year they succumb to fungus, become infested, or otherwise fail before producing any tomatoes. Until this year, that is. Check it out! There are at least 50 on my one little plant.

Stone Soup

BD dubbed my latest stone soup because I started to look up recipes and then realized I was just going to put everything I had in it anyway, so why bother trying to find a recipe. Of course, before he remembered stone soup, he referred to it as rock stew, but we'll keep that our little secret. Between the stone soup and the pesto pasta, the only thing I have left from last week's farm share is one cucumber.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Sensing Yet Another Soup....

Yesterday's farm share left us one head of broccoli, two uncured onions, some carrots, some green beans, a cucumber, and some greens richer. I'm picturing combining my pasta e fagioli recipe with some kind of vegetable soup thing: carrot, onion, greens, green beans, white or red beans, and pasta--maybe blended a bit for thickness.As for the broccoli, I'm planning on using it in pasta with pesto made from my bazillion basil plants.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Last week I finally scored some chard in my farm share. All the other times that they've had it, it's either already gone by the time we get there or it's only a choice for the family share. This time, I finally got a bunch, though, and was able to make one of my favorite soups, pasta e fagiole (pasta and bean)! I threw in some leftover celery from my carrot top soup and put in slightly more pasta, slightly less bean than I usually do, but it was still really good. Even in ninety degree weather.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pizza by Bill

Every couple of weeks BD and I make pizza for dinner. When he was in high school, BD worked at Papa Gino's and he still hasn't lost his pizza dough skills, so our pizzas are pretty amazing (in my opinion, anyway). Lately I've been loving mini mozzarella balls, caramelized onions, and basil from our "garden." This week, I decided to substitute arugula from our farm share for the basil. The flavor was kind of "eh," but it looked really nice.

Next Up

Despite the fact that none of our done projects are actually complete--every single one is missing trim, windows, finished doors, and not a single radiator has managed to find its way back to where it came from--I've decided to move on and tackle the next project on the list--the room we were sleeping in which will become the office/guest room. This one should be relatively easy since we're not taking any walls down, refinishing the moldings, or messing with any electrical. The moldings and windows are all currently painted,so I'm planning on just painting over them in some kind of white. As for the walls, I want to paint three of them some kind of red and then wallpaper the fourth in black and white floral. There's also an awesome closet in this room which we're going to continue to use since our new bedroom doesn't have one. I want to wallpaper the closet as well and definitely get rid of the current doors. I'm thinking I may replace them with a curtain since that seems to be one of my current obsessions. In addition to the painting, we're going to refinish the floors (BD's been threatening me that he's renting a sander this time instead of doing it by hand, and getting rid of the replacement moldings. This house suffers from the curse of the replacement moldings where at some point for some reason the original molding were replaced with others that don't even come close to matching. As we finish each room, we're removing these replacements, but it will be years until we have the big bucks to have replacements for the replacements custom made, so in the meantime, we just suffer through the gaps.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vintage Photos

Someday, when we magically come into the big bucks, we're going to do over our kitchen in a retro 50s theme featuring red, white, black, and chrome. I'm picturing retro sign photographs for the walls and have found some great Etsy sellers:

Laughing Dog Photo

Friendly Made

Roadside Photographs

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Carrot Cake

No. You don't get pictures (at least not of the finished product). Yes. It tasted fine. If there's one thing that I don't do, ever, it's bake, but with all the bunches of carrots we've been getting from the farm share, it seems as though a carrot cake might be in order. I tried to get the Boos Man to give me the recipe he and his wife use, but after a couple of failed attempts, I just looked up a pretty simple one on the internet. I mixed up the ingredients (with some help from BD who's the resident grater) and set it to bake for 40 minutes. Except when I took it out, it was still pretty jiggly as if under the thin cake veneer on top, it was completely still batter inside. A quick jab with my fork confirmed this to be case, so I let it bake for another 10 minutes. And another 10. And another 10. You get the picture. By the time this thing was solid enough to eat, I was convinced there was something utterly work with it and wouldn't touch it. After BD scarfed down 3 pieces, though, I ventured a taste. And I did not die instantly. It was a tad on the too sweet side (I think from the frosting) and would have been better with nuts (BD's allergic), but all in all, not too failed an attempt.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Um...Yeah...About That

So today was supposed to be the big day that we finally moved into the master bedroom. And we did. Kind of. There are still pieces of trim missing. And a doorknob. And some window pieces. And the radiator. And the curtains because when we went to buy them last night, the store had the curtains, but not the rods. But these things are all okay because the really bad part is that our room is tiny. Minuscule I tell you. Somehow because we'd never seen it with anything in it before, we assumed it was spacious and amazing. As soon as we started to put the bed frame together, I knew we were screwed, because really that was the only thing the room had space for. I kept sitting there, thinking that I could have sworn we measured this all out, but in reality I think we just measured the width of the bed against the width of the windows, not the length of the bed, or any of the other pieces of furniture. Because furniture we have. While this room was made for a bed and maybe one bureau if you're lucky, we have a bed, not one, but two bureaus (one of which is about six feet long, and two nightstands. Oh yeah, and that radiator still needs to go back in....

Woodland Nursery

So, if I have a girl baby (no, no, I'm still not even pregnant, but a girl can dream, right?), I really want to do a kind of nature, woodland theme. Originally I thought I would plan a gender neutral nursery and then I'd be set either way and my kid would have no societal gender influences, but I've kind of changed my mind and landed on the nature idea for a girl and a retro, classic look for a boy (think robots, rockets, and a radio flyer wagon...). Anywhoo, I've found some things that I think would be so cute in a girl nursery.

This blanket from LuLusWoobies.

Mahar's Drygoods also sells a similar one.

I love this mobile. I found the directions for it at Spool Sewing. I think I'd probably combine it with this bird mobile project from The Red Thread and have some birds on branches, some in rings, and some decorative balls here and there.

And what about these pillows from The Little Stitch?? Wouldn't they be super cute in a woodland nursery?

I'm also really digging this clock from DecoyLab.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Carrot Top Soup

Our farm share group sends out an e-mail newsletter each week along with a reminder to pick up your food, dammit! In this week's newsletter there was a recipe for carrot top soup. Since I had been saddened by lack of ability to do anything with the glorious greens from last week's carrots except donate them to the cause of the Boss Man's rabbit, this recipe thrilled me to no end. Since I'm practically a soup addict, there was double cause for excitement. Truth be told, I didn't even wait for my carrots from this week's share, but used some I still had left over from last week. The recipe is really simple: carrots, carrot greens, celery, onion, rice, and vegetable stock. I also added in some basil and some dill since we're currently incapable of cooking something here at 29 Timson without one or both of those. My first spoonful of the soup was unlike anything I've ever had before, but it really grew on me and was quite delicious. In fact, I think I may even make it for Thanksgiving. If our dining room is anywhere close to ready this fall, I really want to host my first Thanksgiving at 29 Timson, so I'm constantly planning out my fantasy menu, and this soup is on it!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Look, Ma, Windows!

As you can see from the current photos of our soon-to-be master bedroom, some big changes have taken place, ie we actually have windows instead of just gaping hole in the walls. Considering that we reglazed and repainted the windows at least six months ago, I thought putting them back in would be a snap. Little did I know. Back when we were taking out all the moldings a year or more ago, not one of the window sills turned out to be salvageable. Some were rotten and others couldn't be removed in one piece. As a result, BD had to cut new sills, using one of the originals as a template. The only problem is that originally, each of the window sills was created by hand to perfectly go with its window, while BD's were all the same, based on one of the originals. You see where this is going, don't you? When we went to put the windows back in, only one actually had a proper fit with its sill. Normally, I would have suggested we just adjust the sills, but since they were already nailed in place, we had to do the next best thing and trim the windows to fit. You can't tell from these pictures, but if you were to open one of our windows, you would see that the bottom actually has been cut at an angle.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just Like My House...

Today on Design*Sponge, there was a sneak preview of a house that looks like it has a foyer and staircase just like mine. I'm always looking for inspiration for what to do with a foyer that's about the same size as one of our other rooms, but has three doors and a staircase in it, so I was really excited to see how . Here are the pics from the Design*Sponge feature on Karen Hill and Frank Marshall.

I'm telling you, mine is almost exactly the same (albeit unfinished, undecorated, and not very clean...)except that at the bottom of the stairs, we have another doorway and set of stairs that lead into the kitchen.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Year I Learned to Garden

Why of all the years to take up gardening did I have to choose the one with enough rain to float an ark? As a wee child, I never grew up thinking I would be a weeder and yet here I stand, spending nearly every nice weekend moment outside in my yard weeding. No sooner have I cleaned a patch up, then we get gallons of more rain and they sprout up again.

Back in April I believe it was, I told BD I wanted a flower bed in the front yard that mimicked the shape of our patio in the backyard. I had read a helpful hint in a home design book a while ago suggesting the use of a hose to outline the design that you want your bed to be. BD agreed that this was an awesome plan, so we used this trick to dig out a space in the front of our house. And then I had my bed, but not a clue what to do with it. I started looking up garden plans on the Internet to try to find some inspiration for how to set it up and what to put in it. What I finally decided on was this prairie garden plan in the small garden plan on the Better Homes and Gardens website. It's no secret that I love the color purple, so I wanted that to dominate. I also wanted to try to use as many native plants as possible.

As you can tell, my final plan is only loosely based on the BHG one and about half the plants have already bloomed this year. We dug the bed around an existing rhododendron and left the whole back area pretty clear because we still need to replace the lattice work under the front porch. Our neighborhood also has enough cats to start its own cat army, so I also employed the liberal use of marigolds as a feline deterrent. The original plan called for eight different kinds of plants, but I chose to only use three of them: purple coneflower, black eyed susan, and creeping phlox adding in all the marigolds, midnight salvia, and a couple of other purple flowers whose names escape me. Next year I'm toying with the idea of adding clematis, prairie blazing star, and/or alliums, but this year's work just about the broke the bank, so those will have to wait for now. I'd also love to try some heather or some lavender.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fabric Bunting

It's no secret that BD and I are baby-making, which means, of course, that I spend countless hours (ie. time I'll never get back) thinking about what our nursery/kid room will look like and scouring the internet for inspiration. Recently, I've become kind of obsessed with fabric bunting. I don't really think it would go anywhere else in the house, so the nursery it is. Here are some of my current faves:

Word Buntings from The Sew Happy Shop

Awesome Retro Bunting from Aunt Cookie's Etsy Shop

I think I'll Call It Farm Share Soup!

At last. It's getting later in the season and we finally got something besides greens in our farm share this week. Sure there were some greens, too, but we also got a bunch of carrots, a bunch of peas, a zucchini, and a summer squash. Last week while I was flipping through some cookbooks for inspiration on how to use all the greens, turnips, and radishes we'd been getting every week, I found a cookbook that featured three different versions of minestrone soup, depending on the season. Inspired by these recipes I decided to make a vegetable/minestrone soup using all my farm share veggies. The final product has the farm share carrots, peas, and squash, and turnip greens in addition to some onion, garlic, beans, and crushed tomatoes. Oh. And some basil from our container garden. Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Good.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pico de Gallo

Last week, when we went to pick up our CSA share, there was a choice between cilantro and red Russian kale. Now normally, I'd take the kale because BD hates cilantro (truth be told, I'd already taken the kale and put it in my tote before I changed my mind), but then I remembered some salsa recipes I'd just read, so I went with the cilantro, And, boy was it the right choice. I chopped ot up with some tomatoes, a poblano pepper, and onion, added a little salt and olive oil and had myself some amazing pico de gallo. Even BD was a fan,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ikea Basil

Sounds crazy, I know, but BD and I bought basil the last time we were at Ikea, or rather, more specifically, we bought a basil growing kit or something. For about $3, we bought a 4 oz cup containing a packet of basil seeds and a peat pellet. The directions were all in picture form and basically showed you to add water to the peat pellet, pour in the seeds, wait 10-12 weeks, and then eat what you had grown. I wish I'd saved the packaging so I could post it anywhere. Anywho, I'm not sure what they were thinking when they wrote up directions instructing us to plant a whole packet of sides in a 4 oz cup, or why we followed them, but the end result is more basil than I know what to do with or how to raise properly. I've already divided it twice and now have two window boxes full of it. And this is addition to the basil that BD and I are already growing in our backyard container garden. So, today I finally decided to try some of this Ikea basil and put it in a pasta salad I was making. I also got to make a dent in this week's CSA share by using up some of my scallions.

Patio Distraction

So this morning I woke up with every intention of declaring it "the day we finally finish this stinking bedroom," but as soon as we went in to start working, BD decided he needed to take down all the storm windows and wash them (and the screens) outside before he could proceed with anymore work. Since the rainy weather has kept me indoors most of the week, I decided to work on weeding my flower bed and join him outside, but that was before I remembered the patio project i started last week. Some time in the past of 29 Timson Street(we're guessing 30-50 years ago), some enterprising soul laid a brick patio in the backyard. While it's a bit too overgrown to even see the shape right now, it's a great organic curve, which I fully plan on taking advantage of one of these days. The only problem, of course, is that it's completely overgrown. It's almost as if immediately after it was put down, all maintenance ceased. "Well, it's done now. Let's just enjoy it." I started plain old weeding it last weekend, but then realized just how easily I could get up all the dirt, grass, and moss between the cracks with a big, ole' screwdriver. It's been slow going, but as you can see it's going to make a huge difference once it's all cleaned out and refilled in with sand. As you can see, in the bottom pic, BD slightly altered the shape of one end earlier in the year, so this cleaning up should hopefully work to blend the new and the old a little better, as well. In the meantime, I'll just keep dreaming of a neat and tidy patio with a picnic table and umbrella.