Thursday, December 17, 2009

everybody's doing it...

...and with good reason. darby's cinnamon honey butter is delicious. many thanks to darby for sharing the recipe and to the guinn sisters for their tip that the jars were available at my local superlo.

this little elf and her big brother brought me my baby grand piano more than 20 years ago, and they have been reunited this holiday season :)

that reindeer is my fave too. holy goodness, I LOVE CHRISTMAS.

Monday, December 14, 2009

it's the most tedious time of the year

so here's what we've been up to:

stripping. wallpaper.


after scoring, dousing in glue remover and ripping, we were left with a second layer...which we scored, doused in glue remover and ripped...aaaaaaand ripped and ripped and scraped and ripped in teeny, tiny, wee little pieces until every last bit was gone. then scrubbed the walls down with water to remove the rest of the glue residue. it. took. for. ever. thank goodness it was only the hallway. thank. goodness.

then we replaced one section of quarter round

...and flexed our scraping muscles some more to clean up approximately 50-yrs-worth of gunky paint on the baseboards.

after forever and a day, we finally had a clean slate

then it was time to fill in a bisquillion little holes and gouges and scuffed up edges...

and, drum roll please...PAINT!


ok. so, technically...still not done. because we're painting stripes. however. that will have to wait until after christmas. baby steps.

don't worry, there's plenty of holiday cheer chez stone in addition to all the paint and brushes. holiday vignettes forthcoming. and the tree is coming home tomorrow. least that's the plan.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


behold the Big Green Egg, grill of champions (and captains. of fantasticness.):

complete with custom grill table featuring granite counter top, storage drawer and fold-out extra workspace. just-arrived wedding gift from best man, cousin joe bob, and fabulous friends, matt & wendy. i know. ridiculous. ridiculously generous. ridiculously awesome. captain fantastic is ridiculously thrilled. me too.

but lauren, you don't eat meat, whatever will you do with that grill?

BOOYA. frigging spinach and mushroom pizza. on the grill. so not kidding.

best. grill. ever.

you can also bake bread on it. and make cookies. MAKE. COOKIES. we are so doing this all the time. too bad the back porch light suddenly refuses to operate. no matter. improvisation, meet holiday spirit:

the hedges are jealous.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

giving thanks

isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen?

wait, that's sterling as a puppy. isn't this the second cutest thing you've ever seen?

teeny, tiny urns holding teeny, tiny candles shaped like teeny, tiny topiaries! oh. em. gee. i about died when i saw these yesterday. and immediately purchased them. you KNOW how i feel about topiaries. if you live in memphis, you too can have a pair of wee topiaries, courtesy of rachel's flowers at poplar & hollywood in midtown.


Monday, November 23, 2009

diy lined bamboo shades

so after we painted the living room this summer, we replaced the white blinds with a lovely bamboo shade. two thumbs up, looked good. night. totally see-through. our across-the-street neighbors probably saw a leettle bit more of us than they'd like, what with those late night snack trips to the kitchen in our skivvies and i-forgot-to-get-my-jeans-from-the-dryer-before-gettin-nekid incidents. oops. something had to be done.

enter target.

on saturday, i picked up a package of blackout drapery liners for $25. in an uncharacteristic act of preparedness, i'd previously measured all of the windows/rooms/doors in the house and stashed it in my purse for just such an occasion, so i figured that two 27 x 60" panels would cover my window, lengthwise.

chez stone, i took the bamboo blind off the window and laid it on the floor. here it is on top of the two carpet remnants we've got home on approval (i think we're going to go with the more neutral one on the left for the living room, you like?). one blackout panel is laid across the length of it.

to get down to business, i moved to the office/studio to be a) closer to my sewing machine and b) further from my dogs' tendency to lie on top of floor projects. i sewed the two blackout panels to each other along their length. the material was thick - kinda suedesque - and i may or may not have broken a needle. so, be careful of that. theoretically.

i wanted the blackout lining to end at the first line of stitching running down the bamboo blinds, so i lined up the hemmed "bottom" (now side) of the joined panels with the stitching on one side of the blind, then folded the excess on the other end to line up with the stitching on that side. below, you can see the "top" end of the panels with the trim meant to attach to your drapes - this is the end i removed. the hem at the other end was 7" wide, so i measured 7" and cut the other side, then sewed it down to make matching hems on both sides. capishe?

now, the liner was ready to attach. when attaching, be sure to place the lining UNDER the ropes that raise and lower the blinds, like so:

otherwise they won't roll up with you're finished. and that would be lame. when my liner was all lined up on my shade, i attached it with fabri-tac, which said it would permanently attach a variety of substances, including fabric (check) and wood (check). sweet deal. totally worked.

i glued along the top edge and both sides, leaving the bottom unglued because i was a) tired of gluing b) aware that it would always be rolled up in the bottom of the shade even when it's all the way down, because the shade is longer than the window. be sure to put something under the blinds when gluing, as it can leak through the slats, and you don't want it to stick to your brand-newly-refinished hardwood floors. i managed to avoid that mistake thankyouverymuch, just wanted to warn you. after everything was sewed and glued, it looked nice and neat, like it was meant to be:

and now instead of this:

(see our pod? it's still there. i'd rather not talk about it.)

we have this:

ta-da!! no more see-through! no more free shows for the neighbors! good news. i actually didn't mind the see-throughness, but it was a serious privacy issue, especially since we converted the den into the dining room and moved the tv to the living room. we'll be spending a lot more time in here now, and we don't want everyone on the street up in our bidness all the time. i've got a curtain project in the works too, so stay tuned.

lagniappe: behold captain fantastic and the big dogs in the guest room (now the studio/office) two weeks ago in the midst of moving all the furniture out. notice the cream wall-to-wall carpet. and the adorableness.

you want more? can you handle it?

gooooooooood dooooooogs. snuggling daddy. aaaawww.

and here, friends, was the new studio/office last week:

look at those floors! ooooooh! aaaaaaah! ignore the midst-of-moving-back-in-detritus littering the place and focus on how that stain looks so gorgeous with the white trim and blue walls. i heart it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

a place to hang my hat

...or set my glasses and cellular-cum-alarm, as it were. the bed, dresser and mirror are back in place chez stone, but we are currently using mismatched old nesting tables as nightstands. our bed is reminiscent of this one:

and has a matching dresser (whose attached mirror we removed and placed on a different wall) and one nightstand, since pre-dating-me captain fantastic didn't need a pair when he purchased the furniture several years ago. i've spent the past five months climbing across my husband to retrieve a sip of water at night, and i'm over it. we experimented the other day, but our enormously spacious roughly 11' square master suite only supports the placement of the bed in one corner of the room, thanks to window and door arrangement. like if the picture above were our bed in place, you'd be standing in the doorway, there'd be a window immediately to the right of the bed and just enough room between the other side of the bed and the other wall to accommodate a 65 lb dog on her bed. we tried turning the bed 90 degrees and centering it on the pair of windows in the middle of the wall to the left, but then there's barely space to maneuver around the bed in the rest of the room, and the dresser doesn't fit. so we are stuck with the corner arrangement, and a big ole honking 4-drawer bedside table that matches the captain's will not fit on my side. i need something fairly petite, either with long legs and one/two drawers or no drawers at all. and i'm feeling an antiquey silver to coordinate with the starburst mirror over the bed. and i'd like to get a pair to break up all the matchiness of the captain's bedroom suite. are you bored of my talking? i am. let's get to the pictures.

from z gallerie:

(ok so that's big and honking...but pretty, no?)

from horchow:

from pottery barn:

from julian chichester:

from wisteria:

whatever shall i choose? most likely, the closest cousin to one of the above that i can find rotting in the corner of an antique store and paint silver. and lo and behold if my buddy get your martha on didn't post this very same day about a silver-leaf-over-gold-paint treatment that would totally give me the finish i'm digging. great minds, friends, great minds. anybody else have a similar big-bed-little-room conundrum? seen a pair of tables on your neighborhood curb? glad it's friday? can i get an AMEN?
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