Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New (to me) Chair

I can never think of a clever title for these things.  It's much harder for me than writing the actual blog. So that's what you get today.  I'll probably whine about that again.

When I bought this house I knew that everything that went inside the house was going to have to be cheap.  I've always lived with roommates.  All my roommates have had most of the major items that go in a house.  I basically had everything for my bedroom and a dining room table-and that's it.  Except for a few old coffee tables, practically nothing for the living room.  And the kitchen was pitiful. I had a few baking pans, 2 forks, 2 spoons and a knife.  p-i-t-i-ful.

Garage sales and estate sales are my favorite places to find things. I don't know why, but I feel more accomplished when I find some great treasure than if I had spent a lot of money at a fancy store. Sure, you have to be careful about what you buy, but 95% of the time I'm happy with my purchase.

I think it has something to do with my Walton blood.  I've talked about him before, but my Grandpa, Rex Walton, is the king of garage sales. 

He also loves overalls.

He even takes it a step further and goes to the storage unit auctions.  He knew Storage Wars was cool before TV did.  He finally found a unit with some diamond rings the last time! In the same storage unit was a ton of furniture.  I was thinking "Perfect! I need furniture!"  Then I saw it.  Terrible.  Worse than you could imagine.  (Think mid-90's floral/abstract paint splatters) So those were a no-go.  He sold them at his annual garage sale.  Apparently it was exactly what someone was looking for.

My mom set aside this chair for me to look at. 

I loved the shape of it and it was pretty comfortable, but not really very pretty.  You can tell that at one point it was very fancy, but she was really starting to show her age.  I figured that if I started with a free chair, I could at least try to reupholster it and if it turned out horribly, no harm done.

So, I bought one more package of canvas drop cloth from Home Depot (I already bought 4 for my curtains-more on that later) and then I waited.  And waited.  This chair was intimidating me.  Seriously, giving me the stink eye. Luckily, I had a week of vacation coming up so I could use that as my excuse to procrastinate.  "I'll just wait until I have plenty of time!"

Then it was vacation time and I had to get started.  All the instructions I found online pretty much said just get after it and figure it out as you go.  So that's what I did.  I just started pulling staples.  For about 4 hours.  It was ridiculous.  I forgot to take a picture of the basket I was keeping them in, but I would guess there was about 300.  Yikes.

I tried to take pictures as I pulled pieces off so maybe I could put the new fabric together the same way.  I would definitely recommend this method.  Once I got all the fabric off, I pinned these to my drop cloth and cut out the new pieces.

Thursday was a super big help, like always.

We did a little playing.

And sitting.

Then I dragged the thing to my parents garage so I could use his staple gun attached to his air compressor.  I'm so thankful he had this.  I would still be stapling the dumb chair if I had to use a manual staple gun.  I bought a button-making kit at Joann's (my second home for the past couple months) and made some buttons to pull through for the tufting.

I think it turned out great! I love it because it's so neutral, no matter what I change everything else to, I just change my pillow cover to match-just like this beautiful blue fabric!

I'm pretty proud of it.

Speaking of proud, I feel a little like a proud parent because my house was in the Denton Record Chronicle today.  The paper is doing a series about different neighborhoods in Denton and focused on my street today.  If you want to read the article there's a link here.  The article online doesn't have my picture, but in the real paper on page 13A this little beauty is front and center! Well, really it's right above the obituaries, but that's close enough, right?

That's right.  I'm practically famous.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"I'm sorry that I ruined your lives and crammed eleven cookies in the VCR"

If you know where that quote is from, we're probably friends.  Elf is one of my very favorite Christmas movies. I love Christmas.  So. Much.  I love to get all the decorations out and listen to all the traditional Jacobs family Christmas music (Beach Boys, Elvis, Amy Grant, Muppets -you know-the classics.) In college, my roommate and I had a tradition of going to the Dollar Tree every year to get some high quality Christmas decorations. 

(From the apartment in Nac)

(One of the Dollar Tree decorations that made the cut in the new house)

They did their job, but it wasn't quite the same as my real tree and familiar decorations from home.

Now that I have my own house, I have to get my own decorations.  I've accumulated a few things over the years from gifts or the aforementioned dollar tree runs, but they would look pretty shabby on their own.  Enter Pinterest

If you haven't heard of Pinterest, you should go there right now. There are so many great ideas, from recipes to crafts and everything else you can imagine.  One that kept popping up was a tomato cage turned upside down and decorated to look like a Christmas tree.  I loved it.  Fortunatly, my mom likes to keep a garden and happened to have a cage handy since I couldn't find one in the stores.  I think it looks great paired with my simple wreath on my lovely red door.

My Christmas tree is a little untraditional this year.  Usually I am a real tree- no excuses kind of girl, but my Grandmother gave me this tree last year after she bought it for herself but wanted to go back to another type of tree. I love it!

I found some sales a Joann's for most of the ornaments.  My mom and I raided my Grandpa's attic (where you can find just about anything) and got some of my grandma's old ornaments out.  There's a red scarf on my tree.  If you read my mom's blog, you might know this already, but this is because my Grandma (I call her Nan) wrote a poem for Thanksgiving this year and put a red scarf on her tree as well.  It's a sweet reminder why we have Christmas in the first place. 

A Red Scarf Christmas

Our Thanksgiving meal is over and oh, how wonderful it turned
out to be.  Even though some dishes had to be amended
for some of our little ones, you see.  Some don't like onions,
nuts, and even dressing; something wonderful to me.  The
Thanksgiving dishes rattle as women scurry about and little
feet dance sweetly for the candy that melts in their mouth.

I heard the cry from a newborn baby doll held tightly in
Adelaide's arms.  She pats her tummy, and then gives her a
kiss.  She waits for applause, and then smiles at her success.

Cash runs to find his daddy, Chris, and climbs up on his knee.
And I hear him say sweetly, "Daddy, can I have just one more
piece of candy, please:"  I smile as Chris holds him close and
thank God for the fine man our first grandson has grown to be.

Hannah looks at her baby sister with love in her eyes and her
heart.  As I look at her it's easy to see what a wonderful 
mother she will be.  She favors her mother.  That's easy to
see.  This must please Elyse greatly for she is beautiful to me.  

Then there is Mimi & Lily.  What a wonderful, happy gift.  They're
as sweet as can be.  We all love them dearly with their shiny
black hair, big brown eyes, and the most beautiful skin you
will ever see.  Truly two perfect China dolls.

I look at our Bob Number Three, so handsome and tall and
wonderful to me.  He's Captain of The Fly Boys.  As he leads
the other planes far from me I wait and pray.  

Then there is our beautiful Kaylee, our first granddaughter to 
be.  We love her dearly and a good example for the rest is she.
She has a new house and it will be blessed as she turns it into
a home.  

I feel happy as I see all the family and friends sitting about.  
They are good people and all have sweet stories they could
tell.  Yes, I am thankful for the family and friends we care so
much about.  

There is a Christmas tree in the corner.  It is smiling brightly
for you and me.  And on that tree in the corner is a bright
red scarf we can see.  A reminder for those who love Him
what Christmas really means.

So many little stories are stored up in my heart, but nothing
will compare with the sweetest love story ever written.  It was
written in red on a tree.  Oh, what a blessing Jesus is to me.  
I love to tell the story of how He came to set us free.

                                         by Jinny Jacobs  

Please fence me in.

When I bought the house, I knew I needed to finish the chain link fence so that Thursday could run to her tiny heart's content while I was at work.  I "helped" build a fence in Mexico on a mission trip and I didn't remember that being traumatizing, so I figured my maintenance crew  dad, brother, and I could get it done. My dad and I went and priced fencing materials one Saturday.  After I got over the initial sticker shock (around $800 for materials for only 1 1/2 sides of a fence!) I thought i might as well try craigslist and Bart's Barn, a local Habitat resale store.  No such luck on either one.  I found a couple of people trying to sell fencing on craigslist, but it was mostly "come dig it out of my yard and then you can have it." Nothankyouverymuch.

I had resigned to pay the ridiculous amount at Home Depot when I was working late on an incredibly slow afternoon and decided to check craigslist one more time. A church about 20 minutes away was selling EXACTLY the amount of fence I needed including all the hardware, brand new, still on the pallet delivered from Home Depot for $450! So after 2 trips to the church, (there was a small hiccup involving 20 ft top rails that I didn't about) I was on my way to a brand new fence. 

Remember that fence in Mexico I supposedly helped build? I must not have actually done any of the work, because I'm sure I would have remembered this.  This is hard work! My dad started digging the post holes while I was at work and then I helped a little on the last few.  Along the way we came to some no-so-happy surprises.

See that huge patch of gray? It's concrete.  A significantly different digging experience than if it were just plain old normal dirt.  Yikes.  My hands were so sore at the end of the day, and I hardly helped with 1/4 of the work and managed to only get one blister. And I whined about it.

Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have a dad and brother that will do all my handyman jobs for me? Because I am.  My brother came down the next week to dig the post holes on the other side of the house.  Once those were done the work was much easier and the fence was up in no time. I mostly stood nearby handing tools to the real workers.  Super helpful.

 I never knew a fence could look so good.

But these guys did.

Thursday took her time inspecting every inch of the perimeter.  I have a weird dog.  This is the same thing she does when I take her to the dog park - just sulks around the edge, ignoring the other dogs for a good 20 minutes, mouth frothing.  She's really good at looking like a creepy rabies dog.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


No, not that kind of white house, but I suppose I am the Commander in Chief now.  I'm still getting used to not having a landlord. I'm sure none of you would want me as president.  Decision making is not my best quality.  I tend to think over things way too much.  Exhibit A: This blog.  It took me almost a week to actually think of a name for it and I'm still not completely sold on it.  But i figured I might as well start the blog while the house is still new.   As most of you know by now, I bought a house!  I wanted to start a blog so I can involve those who are very dear but not always so near. 

Let me tell you how I found the house in the first place. Most of you know my mom (and if you don't, you should), and know that she's a little crazy.  But always in a good way.  : )

 After I put an offer on a seemingly perfect house and got outbid, she just knew she could find me another one in the same area.  The neighborhood has cute, old (probably 1950's) houses, some needing more work than others. So she drove around until she saw one she liked and then wrote down the address.  No for sale sign - just a house.  When she got home, she looked online at the public tax records and found that most of the owners of these houses didn't actually live there, they were rental property. So being the go-getter that she is, she wrote letters asking if they would be interested in selling their house to me.  Crazy, right? Well, what's crazier is that several people actually got back to her.  She even had tea with a lovely elderly lady that was not able to sell me the house because her grandchildren were living there.

One of the letters happened to go to an elderly couple with several rent houses.  They had just been discussing whether to continue renting or sell the house.  They invited us to come and look at the house.  It was a cute little house - "little" being the key word.  While we were looking, my realtor was speaking to the owner and he mentioned he had one other empty house closer to downtown if I wanted to look at that one as well.  We drove right on over and it might have been love at first sight.  The red door is what sold me.  So cute! (I realized lately at least 4 out of 6 places I've lived have had a red door - I'm sensing a theme) I just knew they would be asking way over my budget, but once we started negotiations it didn't take too long to settle on a price- and now it's mine!

I'm hoping to use this blog to update friends and family on how things look. I'm always trying to find the best deal,  and rarely pay full price for anything. There's a lot of DIY around here too. I don't think I'll be featured on Extreme Couponing anytime soon, but i do love a good deal.  I think it's my Walton side coming out.  I've heard my Grandpa haggle down 50 cents down to 10 at a garage sale.  It's intense. I'm trying to make it look nice on a tight budget and that's almost more fun than a spending spree.

Also, here's Thursday, because who can resist that face?