Monday, November 30, 2009

Drapes project back on track

The ribbon I ordered to edge my drapes arrived during the flood episode and I put it aside until I got through the big clean up. I have to say that I really pleased with the color I ordered, which was the pure yellow.

The company from which I ordered had a purchase minimum, so I also ordered some cool ribbon that has a crocodile-ish pattern embossed or crimped into it. I think I might use it on a throw pillow or neck roll.
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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The joys of condo living

Every now and then, I wish I lived in a freestanding house and not a condo. When 2D's leak flooded my unit, I was definitely wishing I was out on my own. However, the response of the property management company here had me thanking my lucky stars to live here! The facilities guy, Jacob, was here within an hour and had Wilton & Chico from Specialty Cleaning on the job shortly after.

What really got me, though, is that after I ripped out the floors and padding in my place, the manager of the complex sent some guys over to haul everything away for me. I fully expected him to give me the name of a company to call (like that Got Junk company).

People often have complaints about property management companies and the one that works with my complex has dozens and dozens of clients, but we still seem to get fantastic treatment.

Good-bye piles of flooring!
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Saturday, November 28, 2009

O Christmas Tree

Why isn't Baxter more curious about his first Christmas tree? He barely sniffed it when we brought it in. Taking a picture in front of it inspired a look of ennui.

He promptly fell asleep when we started decorating. We didn't put any ornaments on the lower third of the tree for fear he'd try to play with them, but we might be able to move some down in light of his lack of interest.

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Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

The flood at my place left me less than motivated to post since Tuesday. Thank goodness we got away to the beach for a few days to celebrate Thanksgiving with my boyfriend's family. Leaving the dust, dehumidifiers, and concrete behind was great for my perspective. It was great for Baxter, too.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

A calm post Thanksgiving dinner walk on the docks

It only takes dogs about 30 seconds to realize that food falls from high chairs

Baxter was exhausted by the end of the day, but there was little chance of him napping.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm lucky. I'm lucky. I'm lucky.

This post brought to you by the resident of 2D in my complex. When 2D slept through a massive leak in his unit and sent streams of water into my home, he did what most people would do: he left town. The three of us who were affected by 2D's leak were a little surprised he never came by in the days since our places were drenched to say hello. A little "I'm so sorry this happened" would have gone a long way.

The owner of the cleaning company told me that he left the afternoon of the flood. Do you know where he went? Wait for it...FRANCE. He's chilling with his brother, an actor, in France.

Meanwhile, I'm pulling apart the moldings I so happily painted a few weeks ago and peeling up laminate flooring.

Obviously, it could be much worse. The insurance adjuster said he has seen condos without ceilings due to leaks. I'm lucky. That's my mantra as I destroy my warped floors.

I'm lucky. I'm lucky. I'm lucky.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Chico was at my house this weekend

The clean up of the flood on Saturday took hours. I called the emergency maintenance number for my complex at 6:45 AM and the clean up crew didn't start working until 11:30 AM. They spent about 3-4 hours in the condo above mine, where the big leak originated.

One bright spot was when Chico showed up.

Okay, it wasn't Candice's Chico, Chico Garcia. It was my Chico...the wet/dry vac carrying Chico. Thank goodness for him...he sucked all the water up, retrieved two toys from under the oven (Baxter must have lost them there as a puppy because I hadn't seen them in two years), vacuumed behind my fridge, and even pulled out my washing machine and dryer, climbed behind them, and cleaned back behind them, too.

There's Chico emptying the wet/dry vacuum tank

The negative: Chico and his boss left these monsters behind with the instructions that they were to run 24 hours per day until they came back.

You can't see them in this picture, but all the seams on the floor boards are peeling up

I'm waiting for Chico to come back and my insurance company to call. For now, I'm packing things up and trying to learn about flooring by reading everything I can online. Anyone have any experience with bamboo? Buying flooring online? Opinions about the big box stores? Some of what I'm reading online has be scared of the flooring from the mega stores. I'm thinking of buying online or using a small, local store.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009


I woke up to about half an inch of water in my kitchen, laundry room, dining room, and front closet. I didn't even know how to start the clean up. I called the condo's emergency number, called my neighbor (who also has water), and got Baxter out of the house. As I started pulling out the bins that were in my front closet (which is a huge, walk in meant for storage) and moving furniture, I got to thinking about all I've done to this place and I'm so sad.

The condo management company has a clean up team in the area (they started in another unit, where the leak started) and I'm waiting to see what they'll do. I'm afraid they'll need to take out the baseboards, some of the drywall, and possibly my flooring. It's so early in the game that I don't know if I'm responsible for replacing the floors and walls or if management does because the problem originated outside my unit.

I realize this is a tiny inconvenience compared to what families in flooded areas have gone through, but in my modest, little life, this is a big deal.

Update: Apparently, a guy one floor above had his toilet tank break in the middle of the night and the broken tank tried to fill itself for hours and hours. I woke up at 7 AM and the water was still coming because he didn't wake up until 8 AM. There are at least four units flooded. His ENTIRE unit had water in it. At least the water didn't touch any of my carpet.

Update 2: One of the facilities guys came in and said that he could already see the laminate floors buckling and it would all have to be replaced. Happy holidays.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Why is it so hard to buy some ribbon?!?

Buying 50 yards of grosgrain ribbon is harder than you'd think. Apparently, Schiff Mills, the people who make the grosgrain I want, sells their product to people who cater to hair bow enthusiasts. If you want to buy Schiff grosgrain, you can find oodles of websites that will sell it to 5 yard pieces.

I finally found a site that sells entire rolls, which is considered wholesale. Then, I realized that the Schiff ribbon comes in 2.25" or 3" wide rolls. I had been banking on 2.5" bands. At this point, I'm so tired of thinking about this that I just want to be done with this, so I'm going to go for a 2.25" wide roll.


By the way, I tried to make that awesome ornament wreath that everyone is doing this year. Chalk up a big ol' fail for me. I had 40 ornaments and probably need 20 more to finish the project.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ribbon samples are in and I need your advice!

I ordered four shades of yellow ribbon for the grosgrain trim I'm thinking of adding to my drapes. I have to admit that I'm second guessing the colors I originally thought I'd use. I'd love some advice on these!

I couldn't buy samples of the widths I wanted, so this might be hard. I'll be ordering 2.5" or 3" ribbon.

Let's call them 4, 1, 2, and 3

1, 2, 3, 4

Close up of 1 and 2

Close up of 3 and 4

Here's what I'm thinking. #1 is a bit too beige. #2 is surprisingly cheerful. #3 is a bit too dark. #4 is almost an acid yellow in real life and is waaay too bright. I'm leaning towards #2. Before I got the samples, I was leaning towards 3 or 4.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shop and learn tonight at Sustain

I sometimes read entries about swank events written by the bloggers in larger cities with envy (hello, someone in Richmond better blog about the Eddie Ross event soon!).

In Charlottesville, we don't have many in store events. Our Junior League doesn't have a design house. In fact, no one has a design house. I haven't even heard of a garden tour in the city (there has been one in the more horsey suburbs). Jonathan Adler isn't going to be opening a store anytime soon. Anyway, when I got an email from Sustain, a beautiful, eco-friendly boutique I wrote about a few months ago before and after they opened, about an event tonight, I got excited.

This is Charlottesville's type of in-store's one with an environmental twist. I'll be there!

Do you get these sorts of invitations? Do you see the same people at the events? Will you bring me to the next one? :)

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Art for kids

I just came across some pictures I took during a visit to my brother and sister-in-law's house a few weeks ago. Most of the pictures were of my adorable nephews, but I snapped a few of the art my sister-in-law put in their rooms.

I remember her saying that made these prints by herself by enlarging color images from some favorite children's books, matting them, and framing them. For my older nephew, she used illustrations from Le Petit Prince and for the younger, she used Curious George. Would you ever guess that these were made at home?

Pretty cute, huh? Has anyone else framed pages from books? I remember trying to do this with a few pages from a calendar a while back, but it didn't turn out well. It wound up looking like...framed calendar pages. Any tips for those interested in doing this from those with some experience?

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Why sew when you can iron?

When I converted the bedroom drapes from rod pockets to pinch pleats, I sewed some special tape, by hand, across the top of each panel. It took me an entire evening to do each panel and my fingers were killing me by the time I was done.

In chatting about the living room drapes with my neighbor, she suggested I use some sort of binding fabric to attach the grosgrain trim to the drapes. She said it would be invisible from the front and it would add some stiffness and weight to the drapes. The fabric is thick, but woven, so the drapes are kind of floppy, so this binding fabric sounded great.

I read up on fusible tape online and realized that I could also use it to attach the pinch pleat tape to the drapes.

I bought a roll of fusible tape called Stitch Witchery.

I rolled the tape out twice to cover the width of the pinch pleat tape.

I used a damp pillow case as a pressing cloth and left the iron on each spot for about 10-20 seconds.

Testing the bond after my first works!

I also threaded the tape through the rod pocket of the drape so the front of the drapes wouldn't fall forward now that the back of the drapes were stiff.

Now the floppy fabric will hold the pleats!
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Spotted at Target

Dear Target fairies,

Please let everyone in the area where I'll be spending Christmas think these wrapping papers are ugly so I can snap them up for 50% off on December 26th.

Thank you.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Baxter's last dog bed

I wrote about trying to select a dog bed for Baxter a few months ago. Up until now, I've bought an inexpensive dog bed every other month at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Those dog beds were cute and cheap, but they never stood up to more than a few washings. I've probably spent about $300 on them over the last 2 1/2 years. Adding that up made it easy to justify buying a Crypton dog bed.

Crypton fabrics are "impenetrable" and the company's ads in Bark magazine show someone pouring a bucket of water on a bed as a dog looks on curiously. Charmed, by the ads, I looked them up online and was delighted by the variety of fabrics the company offered.

After much debate, I settled on a fabric, placed an order (and got 20% off with the code "messfree"), and waited. I think they make each bed to order because the wait was over a month for Baxter's bed. When it came, it was fluffy and substantial. It took Bax a while to tame the bed so that he could sleep on it, but he's now on the thing all the time. He's sleeping on the bed under my desk as I type this.

I think the $140 purchase was worth it. Do you splurge on your dog bed? I'm curious about how Orivs, LL Bean, and other expensive beds hold up over time.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you close your drapes?

Image courtesy of DecorPad, a fun place to chat about design ideas!

I have window treatments on the brain these days. I'm embarrassed to say that just last night, I finished converting my rod pocket bedroom drapes into pinch pleat drapes. Pretty lame that I had one panel unfinished for the last few weeks, huh?

Tonight, I'll attempt to add the same drapery tape to my living room drapes. It's a tall order for one night!

All of this has me wondering if anyone, like me, draws their drapes. We never did this when I was young, but in my little condo, I like to close the drapes at night. I like that it blocks light a little more and it also insulates the windows a little bit. Since I hung the living room panels, I've noticed that there isn't such a stark contrast in temperature between the bedroom and living room.

By the way, I still haven't turned on the heat! I think this is the longest I've ever gone without it!
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