Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry merry

I thought I'd pop in to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates, and to share a few shots of the couple areas of Turtle House that are starting to look suspiciously house-like. We have been working our tushes off the last few days scrubbing and sweeping and painting and unpacking (and trying not to get paint on the things we've scrubbed and swept and unpacked). So far we have a decently functional living room and kitchen! Please excuse the various dog blankets, tools, and boxes... I'm keeping it real here, people.

My eBay train painting is the only thing we've hung up in the entire house at this point, but I love it there because its colors really tie the beams, couch and rug together perfectly. AND HOW ABOUT THAT RUG.

That last picture shows our storage solution for Brandon's huge and ever-growing record collection. Those are two IKEA Expedit bookcases turned on their sides, which are the perfect size for records, and will also act as a behind-the-sofa console table. Our trip to IKEA on Friday was actually the first time I'd ever been there (despite the fact that it's only about 20 minutes away) - that place is kerrrraaazy!

Here are a couple shots of the neat and clean side of the kitchen. I'll post photos of the island once we deal with the piles of stuff all over the counter...

And just for fun, here's a shot of the two swans who hang out down in the river by our house - I took this from the living room. Can't beat that!

ETA, I forgot I had this photo of sunset two nights ago on my phone. Can't believe I get to live here...!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Ohhh dreeeeeam weaver

You guys! I just bought the most expensive house-y accessory-ish item I've ever purchased. I'm freaking out, talk me down and tell me it's OK. I have been searching high and low for a living room rug. It had to be BIG (ideally 9x12 so our monster sectional could sit on it), and I wanted a geometric pattern in an orangey/rusty color. Too specific? Apparently the answer is yes, because I have been rug-stalking for weeks and haven't found anything I like. Well that's not exactly true - the two rugs I looooved were both out of stock. Behold the Pottery Barn moorish tile rug in clementine (I think)? ... beautiful, but perhaps a little too reddish for my needs:

(Image from Apartment Therapy)

West Elm had a similar one that I liked even better, but I can't find a photo of it at the moment and it was out of stock. What they also had, though, was this totally rad Iznik Dhurrie rug:

(Image from West Elm)

I LOVE THIS RUG. I have been obsessing over this rug to a moderately embarrassing degree. Why didn't I just buy it? Well if you go on the West Elm website, the only color option is "Citron" - the greeny color in the picture above. I even went so far as to email West Elm last week to ask them whyyyyyy oh why I couldn't order the other color. The friendly West Elm emailer wrote me back: "The orange rug you have inquired about is a photographer's prop and is not currently offered for sale through west elm. Please know we have not been provided any information as to where this item was obtained. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused." Huhwhat?! The photog just happened to have an exact match to the West Elm product in a different but infinitely more desirable color?? I said a small curse at West Elm and their rascally photographers and tried to let go à la Rose in Titanic ("I'll never let go!").

Which brings us to tonight. We again spent all day painting (master bedroom is done, and guest bedroom is really close!) so I am vegetating on the couch checking Craigslist and other websites for stuff we need (also on the list: dining room table, bedside tables, bar stools). I don't even remember what magical combination of search terms in Google caused it to pop up, but LOOK WHAT I FOUND ON EBAY.

West Elm emailer - how could you betray me!?!!? The color is called Sorrel and it is mine all miiiiiine. And (GULP) I just dropped $650 on a rug. Am I totally crazy? Wait, don't answer that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Photo dump

I have been remiss in updating the blog. I've been caulking trim for pretty much the last 36 hours straight (with a brief break for sleeping), so I'm almost completely brain-dead and to be honest typing hurts because my hands are falling apart. All that whining aside, the house is looking AMAZING. I am going to let the photos tell the tale so I can get back to picking caulk out of my hair.

CARPET IS IN! This carpet is amazing - the day they installed it there was a mild odor, but by the next day it was completely unnoticeable - hooray for no-VOC all-wool eco-geekery.



WE GOT THE TEMPORARY CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY TODAY! We are going to move a few things over the weekend, but the MOVE move will probably be mid-next week, since there is still some work to be done and we don't want all our shtuff in the way.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm selling all the furniture

No seriously. All of it. When you visit, we will just have to hang out sitting on the floor. Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll hang on to a few pillows.

I mean really, could you stand to cover up this gorgeousness?!

These pictures seriously don't even do it justice. It's such an amazing beautiful combination of colors. The whole house feels warm and cozy now, and I el oh vee ee LOVE the way it looks with the paint colors... swoon!

As I've mentioned before (and you can see in the pictures above), the flooring guys had a whole bunch of issues to contend with - mainly missing notches and peg holes - due to this being reclaimed barn wood. These were filled with a combination of wood and epoxy.

In a few of them, Brandon and I stashed pennies with sentimental dates - they look really neat! I think you'd need a bright light to read the date in most cases, but we know what they are and I'm sure I'll smile whenever I notice them.

And for your last "detail shot"... my feet! No shoes allowed yet on the newly finished floors.

This was the first time I walked around the house in socks - what a milestone! It is actually pretty amazing when you consider where the house started out (and how many tetanus shots I would have needed if I tried this back then).

I want to close this post with a big hug and THANK YOU to Brandon's family - especially Grandma, Uncle Scott, Mark and Roxanne - who all had a big part in making this beautiful floor possible! I know you guys thought we were crazy - but don't worry, when you visit and we make you sit on the floor in our furniture-less house, you'll TOTALLY change your mind about that. xoxo

Friday, December 9, 2011


This is a terrible post, I'm just going to warn you up-front. Why? The floors are done (and amazing!)... and I can't show you. I went by the house but we aren't allowed to walk on the floors all weekend... so I creepily peeped into several windows, and tried to get photos, but the windows still have a layer of protective plastic on both the inside and outside - so I got a lot of photos that look like this:

Boooooo. This was the best I could do, after peeling a bit of plastic off the outside of one window (shhh don't tell):

At the far right of the bottom picture (and the very first picture as well) you can see the really neat dark trim around the area where the wood stove will sit - that is going to be a slate tile pad, since it turns out that putting a wood stove on a wood floor is not a good plan. From the barn wood haul we had only two of these very dark boards, which the flooring guys have been debating are either walnut or mahogany. We weren't sure where to put them, since there were only two, but our GC suggested ripping one down to use as the trim around the tile pad - I think it looks great!

Anyway, it was moderately agonizing to not be able to go inside, and to just get a fuzzy hint of how completely rad these floors are going to look. Hence the title of this post... I promise I'll get better photos next week. At least there was a photo op outside the house as well - we have a porch floor!

In other news, I actually uploaded photos and wrote nearly this entire post while on hold with DTE trying to sort out my psychometer problem. Remember how I mentioned Tuesday that our meter had jumped 3000 KWH in two weeks? DTE asked me to go back and read it again in a few days, and call back to schedule a meter check if it still seemed fishy. According to our faaaabulous electric meter, we have used EIGHTY THOUSAND KWH in the last three days. Apparently we have been powering Fenway Park, Six Flags, and hourly laser light shows. They are sending someone out on Monday to see if there just might be something wrong with the meter.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Floors are sanded and Brandon spread numerous bales of straw out across the back clearing to deter erosion. Neither of these make for particularly stellar photo ops (especially in the dark), so here's this instead:

I also got mocked for not knowing the difference between hay and straw. Am I the only one??

Hopefully a better update in the next couple day (finished floors?!).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Quick trip to the house this evening, mainly to read the electric meter because OMG we just got a bill... these have generally been in the ballpark of $50-60... and this one is SIX HUNDRED THIRTY-ONE DOLLARS. And 36 cents. Excusemewhat??? I know the guys have been running drills and saws and whatnot, and a couple small space heaters - which I know are total energy hogs - but this still seems completely out of whack. Want to know what seems even MORE out of whack? That number is based on a KWH usage of 4381 for a two-month period from Sept 22 to Nov 21. It is now Dec 6, and the meter says we have used another 3000 KWH. Since Nov 21, a.k.a. two weeks ago. Ahem. Needless to say, I have spent some quality time on the phone with DTE, and I am supposed to call back in a couple days (when their next reading will be reported) and get someone to come out and do a meter check. Because I'm pretty sure our meter is possessed by demons. Extremely dizzy ones.

Anyway, enough ranting about that - check out the beautiful trim around our kitchen cabinets!

So so pretty. We also have a handrail!

And yes I ran my hand the whole way up it while I went upstairs, despite the dust. The rest of the handrails should go in after the flooring is finished, which will hopefully be later this week! Between Brandon and the flooring guys, all of the floor holes appear to be filled with epoxy and/or pieces of wood (for the larger notches). Hooray for a hole-less floor. Next up will be sanding, because what this house needs most is MORE SAWDUST!

But, you ask, none of this is MAGIC like you promised us in the blog post title. Where is the magic?! Well just you wait, my friends...

BAM! Do you see the magic??? No? How about now:

Why hello, glorious H20. You are sure going to be helpful when I need to wash my hands or my clothes or my dishes. But I might still pee behind the boat house every so often. You know, for old time's sake.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A penny for your thoughts

This weekend has been supercrazyinsane for me with work for the job I actually get paid to do, so I haven't had a spare moment to get anything done at the house. Brandon, however, has spent a bunch of time there - stacking wood yesterday (we'll be ready to fire up that wood stove the second we move in!), and working on a flooring project today.

As I've mentioned before, the reclaimed barnwood flooring has small holes where the beams were held together by wooden pegs.

We want to preserve the look and historical character of the flooring, but obviously we don't really want holes all over the place (dog fur trap much?). Brandon is filling the holes with a two-part epoxy that the flooring crew will sand down this week when they come back to finish the floors. Apparently he and the GC were joking about putting things in the holes, like dead flies that would then look like they were trapped in amber. This gave me the idea that it might be a lot of fun to use one of the holes as a mini time capsule, and plop in a  penny from the year the house was built. Going through our can o' loose change, we decided we would actually hide six pennies in holes around the house.

Top row - our birth years, 1980 and 1982 (that's right, I'm a cradle-robber!)
Middle row - the year we met (2003) and the year we started dating (2005)
Bottom row - the year we got married (2008) and the year we built Turtle House (2011)

So when y'all visit, consider it scavenger-hunt time!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A house of a different color


I promise that is all the same color - Benjamin Moore's Summer Lime - even though it looks wildly different in each photo. At least on my monitor, the bottom one is the most true to life, and the top one is much more buttery-yellow than the real color. It's a great cheerful yellow-green that changes a lot in different lighting conditions, but so far I like all of the permutations it's thrown at me!

The dining room has also been painted (Benjamin Moore's Silver Fox), and I loooove this color. It immediately sets the dining room apart as a more calm and serene space - a little bit formal without being stodgy.

We decided to bring the guest room Tranquil Blue out into the entry way as well, so as not to get overwhelmed with Summer Lime. I love that it's bright and cheerful without being obnoxiously turquoise. I also admit to a bit of geekery at the thought that my beloved jellyfish will be swimming around in a Tranquil Blue sea...

The back of the kitchen island (where you see the 2x4's in the photo above) will be white beadboard with a dark wood countertop. The wall below the cabinets will be tiled - I am thinking something in tones of gray and white, possibly like this inspiration pic from Pinterest:

That will basically leave us with a bright and light kitchen separating the Tranquil Blue entry from the Summer Lime living room, which I think will work really well.

The plumbers finished up installing the sinks and faucets in the master bathroom vanity - now I have to modify the drawers to fit, and stain and install trim around the bottom where we ripped off the ornate original trim. I think it is going to look fantastic when it's finished!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

All of the lights

OK, not ALL of the lights. But I've been looking for an excuse to link to this video ever since my sister introduced me to it - gotta to love a music video with an epilepsy warning, am I right?

And check it out... WE HAVE LIGHTS.

They don't all have bulbs in them, but oh my gosh, I skipped around the house like a little kid, flipping switches and doing a completely ridiculous dance/squeal combo whenever a switch actually did something.

Walk into upstairs guest bedroom...

Flip switch...


As you can see in the photo above, the plumbers were back today installing fixtures, and I think water is supposed to be hooked up tomorrow! The master bathroom now has its shower faucet and glass surround and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Now we just have to get in there and paint the trim and beadboard, and the tile installer has to finish off the shelves in the shower (where you see the red below).

The plumbers also installed the faucets for the vessel sinks I mentioned a couple days ago.

The toilets are in too, but I figured no one really wants to see pictures of toilets...


The painters were also back at the house today, and painted the entire kitchen/living room area! We settled on Benjamin Moore's Summer Lime, and it's actually pretty subtle at night with only a limited amount of lighting. It looks pale yellow, whereas in sunlight it has a bit more green in it. I can't wait to see it during the daytime, but for now this was the best I could do, photo-wise:

Things are getting SO CLOSE, you guys. Seriously, I can hardly deal with it. Throughout this whole process, I have every so often just burst into tears when I visit the house, but I think the frequency is increasing. This evening I sat down on the steps for a while to look around, and before I knew it I was crying my face off because I was so overwhelmed with how completely amazing everything is, and how I am the luckiest person in the universe to have the opportunity to build this house, and live there with my best friend and our best canine friends, and have our wonderful family and friends support us in this crazy adventure, and have a job I love so much that hanging out here for the duration of a 30-year mortgage is totally appealing. And all of you who stop by and read this goofy little blog! And and and... amazing. And now I'm totally crying again. Get it together, basketcase!!