to-nisian or not to-nisian, part 2.

See what I did there??? You love it. You know it.

Corny plays on the English language are classic and always elicit a good chuckle.

Anywho.

My Tunisian project, the final ruling.

I think I MIGHT like it! I have actually started a second project, who knew!

If you are completely lost at this point, please check out this post for the first part of this saga….if you have anxiously been awaiting this post, here ya go pals!

In case you’re a visual person, here was the beginning of it. Shocker, I ended up ripping most of it out from this point and I pretty much started over. I was thrilled with the end result! I still definitely need to figure out how to join it better when making an infinity and if anyone has any advice on this, feel free to comment below!

check out my new mannequin!

I also managed to put a hell of a dent in the scrap stash in the trunk….which means there is more room again to go yarn shopping!

So there ya go! My first run at a Tunisian crochet stitch! Have you tried it yet?? If you have. share your pics in the comments!!

Speaking of which, any of you follow the #wearwhatyoumake on Instagram?? Or if you really want to be blown away, check out #crochetersofinstagram!

Not on Instagram?? No worries! Just search either of those hashtags in Google and click on images!

It is so inspirational (in my opinion) to see all of the gorgeous items out there that people make, love and wear daily!

#wearwhatyoumake

Finally, for those of you who are right with me on the countdown to spring, check it out! We can so make it! I CAN NOT wait to see the first green plant pop through the ground!

Have a fabulous day everyone! Peace out peeps.

it will be fun they said…

I am sitting here laughing at myself….mainly because that title could apply to my ENTIRE LIFE.

Buy a century home….it will be fun they said.

Own horses…it will be fun they said.

Become a teacher…it will be fun they said.

Try Tunisian crochet…it will be fun they said.

Ok, ok, ok….in FAIRNESS, all of those and my entire life do have some fabulous shining moments and I wouldn’t trade a single bit of it.

To clarify, this post is about Tunisian crochet and my lame attempt at it so far. So, if you just read those words and thought, “Um, stupid.”. My feelings will not be hurt when you dip out right now.

I have been crocheting for about 20 years and I have never tried any of the Tunisian stitches. Funny fact, neither has Momma D….which shocked the living hell out of me, because she if it falls under the crafting umbrella, I thought she had done it!

So, I was finally ready to give it a whirl and I found this beautiful scarf pattern on Pinterest (where else, duh?!)

I loved it. Who wouldn’t?? It drapes beautifully. It appears to be exceptionally warm and snuggly. It would match so many outfits.

I was SOLD!

One little problem…or a few. I did not have that gorgeous yarn on hand or anything even remotely similar and I am on a yarn purchasing hold. The trunk is overflowing and I have restricted all yarn purchases until I use up some of the stash.

would you look at that hot mess express???

So, the next best thing was this Red Heart super hot pink, right?! Well, it’s what I went with. You can see the culprit right there on top of the pile. Honest, the biggest reason I selected it was because there was an ample amount of it left.

Next issue was that the original pattern called for it to be twice as wide than what is shown. As soon as I got a couple of rows in, I realized because of the weight and texture difference in the yarns, that was going to be a terrible idea. So, I ripped and ripped, starting over at 1/2 the width.

Now, the next issue is….Tunisian crochet turns out, feels very knit-like. I do not mind knitting, but I am terrible at it. I don’t have the patience and I suck at fixing mistakes. With the Tunisian, a huge bonus is it is easy to fix mistakes (in my experience so far).

But man, it works up SLOW.

Over the last couple of evenings working on it, I have started to enjoy the methodical slowness to the project, but it has taken a minute of getting used too.

Then last night, I ran into a new issue. I ran out of the pink.

Ugh.

It is too wide to be a cowl, it is too short to be an infinity. So, I broke into the trunk and dug out some other colors, thinking that I might try going the “scrap” look route??

I am still not sure about it. My edges are horrible and obviously need some more practice.

So, what do I do? Rock it out for exactly what it is, a practice piece and just let it work up however it’s little heart wants too?? Rip it out, narrow it again and just keep practicing and hopefully get an infinity out of it as a single color?

HELP!!!

Also, feel free to share pics and helpful hints in the comments! ALL ADVICE IS WELCOME!

Parting Friday thought…

Dead serious. You have zero idea of how much you mean to so many people. You might not see or hear it, but you are!

Peace out peeps.

#DoSomethingForNothing

Mornin’ darlings!

Recently, I was faced with some heating issues at the old house. Nothing too seriously and eventually (when the weather breaks) fixable. However, it did leave me in the midst of the Great Polar Vortex with no heat. I stayed in the house for 24 hours with supplemental heat before the decision was made to winterize the house and move out until the worst was over.

straight up…first world problems and I was a baby.

However, in that small window of time, I had a lot of time to think….and stress. Now, mind you, the house was maintaining at about 45-50 degrees! I personally found this amazingly impressive since we were being hit with wind chills of -20 to -25.

just a wee bit of frost going on

Back to the point.

I could not help but think of the homeless who were out suffering in the arctic temps. Northeast Ohio isn’t any more or less special than the rest of the country in this regard. In Akron, there has been a bit of a battle between the city and a private resident who has been using his property to provide shelter for the local homeless. The biggest point made from the entire argument is that there is a huge problem when people are living homelessly for prolonged periods and we as a society move right on by.

Chicago was nationally reported on for the issues they were facing and the amazing good samaritans who stepped up to help. Hats off to you Candice Payne for everything you did and are now doing to help! Not to mention, the city of Chicago for using their transit buses and mobile warming centers. Now that is thinking creatively!

Then, I was watching the Netflix documentary The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman, and one of the episodes talked about a gentleman in the UK who goes around and gives homeless people free haircuts. In the process of his generosity, he developed the #DoSomethingForNothing. Joshua Coombes, you also sir…are a saint.

Morgan Freeman watches as Hair Stylist, Joshua Coombes, gives homeless man, Stuart Durkin, a free haircut. (National Geographic/Maria Bohe)

Do you ever feel like the universe is throwing signs in your face? Like hello you dumb ass, wake up and pay attention?

Enough rambling, get to the point girl.

In the past, I have donated goods I have made to the homeless. Truthfully, it is when I have items that have not sold and need be rotated through to make room for new stock. Mainly, because I am addicted to crochet and will ALWAYS be making stuff until my little fingers fall right off.

I seriously feel bad just saying that. They were discards. I know they helped people. I do. I just recently donated two trash bags of scarves to the homeless around the school where I work. I know the people who received them probably greatly valued them, especially during the Polar Vortex.

One piece was missing though. The personal connection.

So, my goal for the winter of 2019-2020 is this. I want to make 20 beautiful, warm and snuggly scarves/hats/blankets and I want to personally donate them and shake the hands of the recipients. I want them to know that I see them and they are not just the underbelly of society to me.

I do feel like it is a pathetically small thing. So small. But it’s a start. Who knows where it will grow. However, hopefully my teeny-tiny step will spark a little flame in someone around me…because the world needs more love. It definitely can’t hurt, right??

So, thoughts? Opinions? Inspirations?

Peace out peeps.

how to’s of crochet item care

Hey hey darlings!

So, this topic has recently popped into some of my daily conversations with peeps who have received a crochet/knit item and are not sure of how to care for it.

Shockingly, as someone who gifts/donates/forces a TON of crochet items on loved ones, I have NEVER discussed with any of those recipients on how to care for it (FYI, my new personal goal in life is to include some simple instructions with each prize!) I have also ALWAYS taken it for granted that since I was raised in home with tons of handmade stuff that EVERYONE automatically knew how to care for their gifted goodies.

Guess what? Nope, not the case.

So, here is some VERY basic 411 on and suggestions I have learned over the years. Feel free to comment with any suggestions or lessons you have learned on this topic! Lord knows, all help is always welcome when it comes to keeping our beautiful creations looking amazing for years to come!

Cleaning

Before washing your gift, you might consider contacting the creator for specifics on what type of yarn they used and how they recommend laundering it.

Now, I can’t lie…do I throw my winter scarves I made in with my regular laundry, wash and dry it with everything else, and move on with life. Sure do.

However, you might consider following a different life path. I would always recommend a gentle cycle (consider even using a lingerie bag) or handwashing if you are concerned about damaging the item. I make so much stuff, if it falls apart (which it rarely does), I make a new one and move on.

To be safe, always air dry your items. One of the easiest ways it to lay an item out on a flat surface that is covered by a couple of towels. Feel free to “block” (shape while damp and smooth out to lie evenly) for this process to help the item retain a lovely shape. It is IMPERATIVE that the item is completely dry before it is folded and stored away. Yarn will get funky and nasty quick if it is stored damp. Imagine a wet dog smell forever, only worse.

A random end….

So, you have a glorious blanket that your Great Aunt Gertie handed down to you. It’s your fav. EVER.

One night while binge watching Handmaid’s Tale or Outlander, you spot a random tail peeking out of the edge of the blanket. You think, no biggie and you tie a knot in it and snip it short.

Worst thing EVER.

If you do not crochet or knit, you might understand the mechanics of how that tail works. Nor should you! It ain’t your gig to make this stuff!

That little tail however, plays a pretty important roll in the construction of your piece. Each time a color is changed or a new skein of yarn is added, there is a connection made. Those connections have two tails. Now, most creators, weave them back in using a tapestry needle. Over the usage of the piece, those ends can weave themselves back out. When you snip it short, you are getting dangerously close to where the two pieces connect and therefore closer to the creation of a hole. If you see an end, the best thing to do is to tuck it back in. You can use your fingers, a crochet hook or a tapestry needle to weave it back in.

Dum, dum dum….a hole.

Oy. This could be a problem. Your favorite winter scarf that you have sported for years and washed without a care in the world has developed….gasp….a hole.

Now, there are a couple of approaches on this. First, do NOT pick or pull at it. It will only get worse….promise.

Next, call your craftiest friend, offer to buy them wine, dinner, whatever and beg them to fix it for you. They most likely will do it without any payment minus the joy on your face when you get to wear your gem again!

cute, random kid who loves his crochet scarf!

You can always also contact the creator. I know personally, if I have made it, I will ALWAYS fix or replace an item. I back my work and I want people to wear and use the crap out of things! That is what it is for and should know that I have their back!

If you feel fairly savvy with a needle and thread, you can always try to repair it yourself, by catching as many of the loops as possible and “securing” things back in place to prevent any more unraveling.

Highly recommend jumping to YouTube for some guidance on this. You will most likely not have the exact yarn, so match it with thread or yarn the best you can. One quick Google search provided a ton of options, including this one!

Most likely, this will always look like a repair. I personally am good with that, because you can still love and use the item! It just has more character now that it is showing it’s age.

In closing, if you have been so lucky to be gifted a handmade gift, please NEVER insult the creator by not using it. They made it for you. They want you to enjoy it and love it forever. The best thing you can do is bring it into your life fully and just go with it. If it has an issue, contact someone. We are everywhere…us crafty folks…and all of us are awesome and amazing and would love to help you!

Don’t forget, comment with any advice you have to add! LOVE hearing from y’all!

Peace out peeps.

Welp.

Well, would you look at that.  It is almost December!!

So, I have a question for everyone….what’s everyone stance on Christmas decorations?? Specifically Christmas trees.

Not holiday trees either.

I am not hugely religious, but I have a wicked old-school traditional streak that runs through me.  It’s hard to modify the name of one my of favorite things ever.

I personally am addicted to Christmas trees.

I just returned back to school from my Thanksgiving break.  Over the course of my 5 day (really actually only 4 days…) I managed to decorate a total of 5 trees, 4 of which were at my house.  Friends and I were discussing it this morning and it is kinda crazy.  I don’t have holiday parties, I don’t really entertain…but I LOVE the house being decorated and enjoying the lights!

In years past, I would spend Black Friday decorating the house.  However, I knew that with everything, I should start to break it into chunks.  The themes of these two are “Ice Queen” &  “Thin Blue Line”.

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Then the big one got done!  I found my new little tree stand at my fav Hobby Lobby.  Don’t be like Momma D. and point out that the plaid doesn’t line up in this picture!

Love you Momma D.!

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Just for the record….this is the kind of chaos that ensues when I decorate…plus you can see the little kitchen tree, even though it’s not done!

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Then throw in Momma D’s tree for more fun!  Excuse the look on my face, it was after Turkey Dinner and I had a sore throat and was TIRED!

I even have two little trees in my classroom!  I can’t get away from them.  One of my life mantras is to do all the things that make your heart happy and Christmas trees make my heart happy!

So, do me a favor peeps!  Share your pics!  Add your comments!

Most of all, do what makes your heart happy!

Peace out peeps.

 

The Wall.

 

So, way back in March, I wrote a post about resolving the annoying bird problem by fixing my ceiling in my closet.  I also hinted at my next big project.

HA!

Well, needless to say.  I forgot about that promise to fill you in…and I am SURE you have been sitting on the edge of your seat since then!!  I mean, who wouldn’t be???

This is where I left all y’all hanging.  Truly.  CLIFF HANGER.

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Let me fill in the back story here a little bit.

This wall is in the craft room.  It was built when they installed the upstairs furnace by some very creative and talented carpenters.  When I moved into the house, I immediately wanted to remove it. It was very elaborate.  It had a screen door installed to access the furnace “room” and a dropped ceiling.   It was a true work of art and craftsmanship…as you’ll soon see!

However, before I got crazy, I did talk to a furnace guy.

He informed me that the only thing that might be up there would some of the duct work running to the attic.

Crap.

So, the above picture was my trial run.  Before just destroying the wall, I wanted to make I knew exactly what I was getting into!

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Apparently, the only thing all of this “wall” was hiding was a massive amount of dirt and cobwebs!

Maker:0x4c,Date:2018-1-13,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

This lame little map gives you a SLIGHTLY better idea of the design of this wall and how it affected the room.  The bold line indicates the actually crappy wall.

You would never believe I was an art teacher based on the above image.  Please don’t hold it against me!  lol!

So, with the good news that there was nothing stopping my progress….bring it on!

Out came the sawzall, the shop vac, the drill, crowbars of various sizes….and pretty much anything else I deemed worthy of this demo!

This was the first big change and frankly my favorite!  With this STUPID wall gone, the amount of natural light that now floods the hallway is amazing!  You can really see the dropped ceiling in this picture and how “cave-like” it made the hall.

Now, it might be hard to tell in this grouping, these walls were built from rough OLD stock wood of some sort.  There was a TON of wood used in this little wall, with not real rhyme or reason to it.

Little by little.  Chunk by chunk.   I managed to get 97.3% of it removed and carted outside to the burn pile (no small feat if you know my steps!!)

As with any project around my house, there are always surprises!  I mean, what a perfect place for a hook…just missing the latch!  How about those lag bolts???  I can’t lie, they might end up staying.  They are securing that board into the wall of the house (which is solid brick) and as dad says, “If you take them out, the house might fall down.”

Plus, they would make for a great conversation piece for the rest of EVER!

So, as of today….this is how the room looks…

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Ok, that’s also a total lie…it’s cleaner than that!

I do love the original ceiling color in this room!  Although, it won’t be that color this next time around.  Thank you again to $9.00 mistints….you’ll see hopefully before the end of the year what it will be!

I need to finish a SMALL amount of demo (hence the 97.3% reference above).  Then rebuild enough to frame in a door for the furnace and WA-LAAAAA!!

Just look at all of the light and space I was able to add back to the room!  It was well worth the demo!

Until next time.

Peace out peeps.

another day. another closet.

Well, hello everyone!

Missed y’all.  I know, it doesn’t seem like it, because I just fall off the face of the earth for weeks at a time.  But yet, I am here…doing well…and I hope you’re all doing well also!

Since I moved into the house, I have had this little bird issue.  Starlings.  Oy.

So annoying.

Because the eaves have not been repaired yet, (I know, right??  It’s like what the hell have I been doing!) the starlings love to build their nests in there.  I do not understand why they can’t just be happy with the barn, but oh well.  However, since they build in the eaves, each spring I have had an instance with birds in the house.  I can’t lie, each time has shaved at least a year off of my life.

I knew where they were coming in.  There is a hole in my closet, rather WAS a hole in my closet.  However, I thought they were going up into the attic and then down through the hole in my closet.  Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had the morning from hell and had two of them in the house.  The worst part was, I had already been in EACH of the rooms they were in.  So, when I strolled nonchalantly back in those rooms as part of my normal morning routine, I was scared to death.

Here is a little video of it.  I apologize for the swearing in advance.

 

After that fun little morning, I decided it was time to tackle the hole.

See, what was alarming was I had known there was the hole that I could see.  But there was this nasty shelf in the way.  Until I demolished that, I had no idea that you could actually see daylight.  The birds were not actually ever making it into the attic.  If they missed their nest by a couple of inches, they were instantly in the house.

The good news, I noticed my room was quieter once the ceiling was fixed!  Which brings me to an entirely different topic…

Do any of you living in old homes (that are being restored) find themselves compromising living standards that most normal people would balk about??

Anywho…back on track.

With a new piece of drywall securely in place (and now with the new roof, leaks are gone and the eaves will hopefully be done this summer, so that will be the end of this mess) and me sporting one of my fav Christmas presents from the best bro ever!  I was ready to paint and put it back together.

 

Another fabulous mistint find for $9.00 and some shoe organization and WHAM!! No, the irony is NOT lost on me that when the house was built, the inhabitants were probably lucky to have one pair of shoes and now I am using this closet just for shoes.

That has been an ongoing collection….don’t judge.

I have also decided to paint the craft room closet this color instead of the bright blue/green…because I have enough left and I like it better.  I really hate that damn blue/green mishap from the original stair project… read here if you’re brave enough to relive that hot mess.

In other news….hint, hint to the next big project….

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I love doing my own stunts.

No birds were hurt in this post.  Every single one made it out alive.

Have a fabulous week and remember….be kind.  It ain’t worth the drama to be any other way.

Peace out peeps.

 

Winter Break.

Good morning!

So, about three weeks ago, I started my winter break.  A family friend posed the question to Momma D., “So, what is Lyndsey going to get into over break this time??”

The answer is simple…absolutely nothing.

Well, my version of nothing.  I still managed to tackle a fairly decent To Do list.  I started with finally putting some attention into the craft room closet.  It was in desperate need of some repair work and a coat of paint.

Funny story.

Being the frugal person I am, I totally thought I had a gallon of white paint leftover from something.  I was so excited!  I’ll finish it up on that silly closet! So, I get all of the repair work done and I am ready to paint.  I dig out the gallon and crack it open ready to go….it’s a solid block of paint.  I guess leaving it in the garage to freeze wasn’t a good idea.

Oops.

So, remember back when I tried painting the hallway the first time and that horrible jade/teal weird color.  Yep, you guessed it!

After much patching, painting and some new shelves….I am pretty pleased with how it turned out.  Obviously, it could always be better.  But this is a definite improvement.

 

The other big project I have been working on over the last couple of months is a kitchen island.

Mind you, this idea stemmed from wanting a dishwasher and this seemed to be the easiest solution.  Back in July, I set up the ironing board with one of my doors laying across it to see if I liked the “concept”.

My dad officially thought I lost my mind.

Seven months later, I have got a pretty good thing going.  It’s still not done, knowing that I need to finish trimming it out and finish the “storage” side.  But I can’t lie, I am in love.

The best part is, remember this piece of wood?

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That came from this scary basement?

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Well, officially….that piece of wood has become my kitchen island.  This is the progress so far.

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Once it is completely done with trim and everything, I hope to write a blog post about just this project.  But I was too excited to not share the progress thus far!

Ok friends, stay warm out there!

Peace out peeps.

Damn.

I crack myself up.

Seriously, I have NO idea where time goes.  I am also painfully aware that almost every post references this point.  But geez….it’s OCTOBER!!!!

Well, I have been a busy little bee.  I am back in school (which greatly affects my project time…waiting to win the lotto!) and have been utilizing every Sunday for the last 6 weeks or so to wrap up projects at the house.  We have been in a moderate drought here in NE Ohio, which although is terrible for vegetation, has been wonderful for painting on the house!

As of this past Sunday, I THINK I am done with all of the outside painting.

**Minus cleaning one window and putting a second coat on one door. **

I added a few extra projects…so overall, I am thrilled where the 2017 work season is ending up!

One of the addon projects was painting the exterior of the laundry room. This is the newest part of the house, built sometime around 1910 and was definitely an eye sore.

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There are definitely lotto dreams for this little room, but for the time being, it just needed a little makeover!

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Sometime this summer, dad also donated me his fav stool.  I ALMOST feel guilty, but I love that little thing and it comes in so handy!  It’s been in the family for YEARS.  I grew up remembering Gramps using it in the shop.

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Honestly, I still can’t believe Dad parted with it.  I don’t think he would appreciate me sharing this pic, but it’s one of my favs.  Mom, don’t tell!

Anywho, I digress.  So, the exterior is all painted.  This isn’t the most current pic, but you get the idea.  The rain moved in and I haven’t been able to snap a better pic.  That upstairs window is painted now too,  you’ll have to take my word for it!

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I also managed to cram a crapload of Fall decor into my overused, tired Mazda to decorate for the season.  Hands down the best car I have ever owned.

So, thank you again for reading along the journey!  It’s been crazy.  But with the darkness setting in and winter coming…I hope to write a little more!

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Peace out peeps.

Hallway Debacle.

As usual, months before I get a break from school, I start planning out what projects I am going to tackle.  Nothing was different for Spring Break.  Over break, the biggest project I wanted to get a handle on was the upstairs hallway.

I have officially done nothing upstairs.  Primarily because I literally didn’t know where to start.  It just seems like an endless stream of work up there.

But I knew I needed to.  I also knew that once I did, I would feel much better.

So, I start planning and hit Pinterest hard for some inspiration.

I first fell in love with this idea.

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But I also loved this.

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So, I was faced with the challenge of combining these two concepts with colors that I wanted.  I have been trying to put up a picture rail in every room I have done, so I was so excited when I realized I could make the whole hallway upstairs a bit of a gallery with the two tone paint.

YES!

Here we go!

First was dealing with the challenges of painting on steps.  I needed scaffolding.  Do you think we could find the community scaffolding between the 3 houses that make up the “community”?

Sure couldn’t.

Well, not until about 2 weeks after I was done.  Thanks J-Town for that text.

But being the resourceful girl that I am, I managed to make it work!IMG_20170330_085204576

The one thing I always under estimate in a project is the repair work.  Especially in this old house.  I mean, let’s be honest, you could literally repair forever…and never get it perfect.  But I decided a long time ago, that I didn’t want it perfect.  I want the house to look nice and that it has been loved, but it’s scars….they are a part of it’s history.  So, I like the imperfections…plus, I don’t have that kind of patience.

In my head, I knew I wanted to go for more “period” colors, vibrant, strong and bold.  I knew I wanted to have a dark brown picture rail and that I wanted to be able to use the hallways as a gallery of sorts for all kinds of fun stuff.    So, with all of that in mind, I put together my palette of colors and got started.  I have to admit, when I first started I was super excited.  As I continued, I became progressively more and more nervous.

By the end of the work…I was flat out scared.  I even tried painting the runs of the steps, thinking it would help.  I couldn’t even bring myself to put a second coat of teal on to cover the patch work.  But knowing how much work had been invested, I decided to live with it for a few days before I made the final call.

Three days later, I couldn’t handle it anymore.  I tried to tell myself that once the picture rail was installed, it would be ok.  But it wouldn’t.  I literally could not handle it.

It was the Sunday before I went back to school and I was back at Home Depot that morning buying more paint.

I cried to Momma D.  I had never been that off in color selection.  Granted, I have been getting more risky in my old age, but all of them always turn out so cool.

Not this time.

Horrible.

So much teal that it almost caused a negative physical reaction.

So, I ended up staying the same color family as the ceiling, just a few shades lighter.  I have to say, I love it a lot more!   Plus, the neutral wall will work a lot better to use the hallways as a gallery.  I still got my teal steps…which makes my heart happy.  So, now that I have been living with it for a month, it’s time to finish the rest of the hallway.

Did I mention that the hallway is really big?

Baby steps.

One month until Summer Break….no worries, the planning is in full swing!  Lots of things hopefully will be getting done.  That is unless I decide to spend the summer swinging in the hammock.

Yeah, right.

Ok friends…have a fabulous Saturday!

Peace out peeps.