Where Have I Been: The Bahamas Edition

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Yes, I have been gone for a long time, but I have a good excuse- I had no access to the internet for almost a week!

I had no access because I was here, in a van with my whole family driving to Jacksonville, FL to take a cruise to the Bahamas!

And I was here on the boat as we left port- the tail only cleared the bridge by 7 FEET!!

And I was eating waaaay too much good food.

And finding cute towel animals in my stateroom every night.

And trying to avoid this glass elevator because heights freak me out. It was really pretty, though.

And spending lots and lots of time doing my favorite cruise activity- sitting in a deck chair reading a book. I picked up a copy of Star Wars: Abyss the day after it came out and then had the discipline to not start reading it before the cruise. It was good. :)

And looking at gorgeous sunsets at sea and taking lots of photos of them with Dad.

And playing on this water slide. I have video of that thanks to my new waterproof digital camera!

Did I mention the food?

And the snorkeling off Half Moon Cay (also with the waterproof digital camera).

And exploring rocky beaches, also in Half Moon Cay.

And fish-watching through a glass-bottomed boat in Nassau.

And shopping in Nassau, both at the Straw Market and a local grocery store (local grocery stores are a favorite port activity of mine).

And gorgeous sunsets in port.

And learning how to make those cute towel animals with Mom. I even bought the book. :)

And playing "hurricane" mini golf because the wind on the Sports Deck was really, really strong while the ship was moving. It was still fun, though!

I arrived back at home Thursday night and went right back to work on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were spent working on the our old house cleaning it up and getting ready for the realtor to come look at it on Tuesday. It should be on the market soon!

I'm at T minus 4 days until knee surgery. I expect there will be a little lull in blogging later this week, but then I'll have some time in recovery where I should be able to get some posts up. I have scrap room photos from before the cruise that I want to get posted, and I made a ton of progress on it this weekend and need to get that photographed and posted, as well. And then I should be able to get back to scrapping for real!

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Scrap Room Part 2: Somewhere in Between

Monday, August 17, 2009

I really did not mean for it to be almost a week between posts. In fact, I took these photos last Tuesday as I was assembling the Expedit and had every intention of posting them on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, Wednesday night was when I started to get sick. It was either a cold or allergies, but either way the effect was the same. While I've still accomplished many things I needed to get done, some little things (like cleaning the bathroom and blogging) have sort of gone by the wayside. Now that I'm better, I'm catching up on things. Starting with blogging, because the bathroom can wait. :)

So, first up is the assembly of the Expedit. Honestly, I was pretty nervous about this because I've read all kinds of horror stories about trying to put these things together. I actually had very little trouble with it- the only things I needed help with were tightening the screws at the end (it just required more force than I could apply) and standing the thing up against the wall when it was through.

It was basically just a long session of knocking wooden pegs into holes with a rubber mallet, putting in the shelf dividers, putting in the long shelf, and then repeating for the next row. The process was made very simple by two very important pieces of advice that I gleaned from an IKEA forum. First, DO NOT tighten the screws at the corners all the way until all of the shelves and all of the sides are lined up and attached- otherwise you'll never get them lined up all the way. Second, knock the pegs ALL THE WAY into the holes as far as they will go. I promise, they will stop when they are supposed to.

A little under an hour and a half after I started, I had this to show for my efforts. I even had time to go to the gym afterward. :)

Now that the shelves and my desk are together, I'm ready to go to the next stage and start decorating and organizing. The Expedit really takes care of most of the organizing. It's on the wall that's behind me when I sit at my desk and so very easy to get to. I imagine it will take some time to get everything in, though. My plan is for it to hold all my completed and in-progress albums, paper, idea books, magazines, and some tools and embellishments.

The decorating is going to be the really fun part. First, I really want to do this with the tissue paper pom-poms and paper lanterns over the desk. Photo credit to Design*Sponge, where I found the idea.

I love the paper garland they have mixed in with it, too, though I plan to make one more like the photo below, also from Design*Sponge. I have the punches and tons of scraps to use up, so it should be easy and fun!

I also toyed with the idea of doing this with the top of my desk and laying a large piece of glass over it, but I think that I actually want to keep that surface white so I won't have distracting colors underneath whatever I'm working on.

I also thought of making one of these (scroll down for the pinboard) to hang on the wall, but the way things are going right now I may not have much wall space to play with. I'm hanging a lot of artwork and things from my previous house, so it's filling up quickly.

And since this room is also the guest room (at some point soon I need to move the bed in and paint it white), I would love to make one of the little DIY chandelier lamps at the bottom of this post. Again, it all depends on wall space. I don't want it to get crowded in this room at all.

Oh, and yes, Mom, the room is painted my new favorite wall color- Sandstone Cove by Behr (from Home Depot). :-) The whole house is actually slowly being changed to that color. Every room is decorated a little differently, but it plays well with pretty much any color scheme.

Scrap Room Part 1: Cleaning and Whirlwind IKEA Trip

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

After finally deciding that I've had enough of being separated from my scrapping supplies (and also with an impending knee surgery that will keep me from doing heavy work for a while), I decided it was time to just put the scrap room together, already!

Wow, that was a long sentence!

Anyway, I started the scrap room project off in the same way I started the bedroom project- with the floors. Luckily, the floors in the scrap room do not have big, poorly done patches in them, so I didn't have to worry so much with covering it up. Over the course of a few hours, I had removed the remaining tack strip, pulled out lots of little staples, and cleaned (and cleaned, and cleaned) the wood.

Then it was time to assemble my desk, which actually took less than an hour. After moving the iMac in, it looked like this:
Not that it's anywhere near that clean now! Currently it's covered in half-assembled IKEA paper lanterns, the packaging of a new waterproof point and shoot camera (and I think the camera is in there, too), some paper honeycomb balls, and a stack of things that need to be filed.

With the floors done and the desk installed, the next issue to tackle was where to put everything. I'd already decided on the IKEA Expedit shelving system, but the closest IKEA for me is nearly 4 hours away! So, Sunday after church we hopped in the good ol' ($1600 and worth every single penny) Honda Civic hatchback and made for Atlanta.

Isn't that a beautiful skyline, with IKEA just over the horizon?

I posted some photos of the showroom at IKEA in a previous post, but have you ever seen the warehouse in one of these places? It's ENORMOUS!!! There were 30 more aisles just like this one. You find the aisle and bin number of the item you want, get one of their big flat carts, and go pull your stuff. I got very, very lucky and got the last white Expedit that they had available that wasn't damaged!

Did I mention that the Expedit is huge? It's 73" x 73" x 15" and weighs 215 pounds. And I got two of them- one for the scrap room, and one for the living room that's designed to hold flat-panel television. So this is what the trusty little Civic hatchback looked like with 430 pounds of furniture boxes hanging out the back. Man, I love this car.

We pulled our items first just to make sure we could get them while they were in stock, and then browsed the showroom for a bit before starting the long drive back home. We arrived at about 11:30 pm and unloaded everything, and by midnight my scrap space was full of evidence of having been to IKEA...see the half-assembled paper lanterns I mentioned? Oooh, and IKEA chocolate is so yummy!
And that's it for Part 1 of the scrap room move-in. Next up will be assembly of the Expedit, and then either decorating or moving stuff in (the order of which will depend on how quickly the chief Expedit anchorer of the household can get the Expedit anchored to the wall). Who knows, it may just be a mix of both.

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Weekend Recap

Monday, August 3, 2009

This weekend I...

Worked on putting the bedroom together (finally!) so I can get my craft room set up. All of the bedroom stuff had previously been in the craft room while I worked on the flooring and painting in the bedroom. The plan had been to wait until the floors were refinished to put everything together, but it may be a while before that happens and I'm tired of living in a construction zone, so I decided just to go ahead and do it for my own sanity. :)
Just as a quick reminder, here's a post that shows what this room used to look like.

And here's what it looked like Saturday morning when I dove into the project. There were still some pieces of tack strip left, plus about a zillion little carpet staples that I pulled up.

This was the only really icky part, and it wasn't so bad. There was a layer of grime over the wood from years of being under carpet and padding. I used a microfiber mop and Murphy's Oil Soap to clean it. It took 4 passes (you can see the mop head from each pass...the first is on the bottom) and a trip to Target to get a couple more of the replacement heads- good thing these are washable!

Starting to move the furniture in. The room is small, so the bed takes up a big portion of the floor space. I put it on 7" risers, but since the bed is supported by the frame underneath and not the headboard/footboard, it looks like the legs are floating in mid-air. I'll have to figure out something to do about that.

And here it is with all the furniture in. I put new curtains on the wardrobes after I finally settled on a set from Target's Simply Shabby Chic line (after waaaaay too many trips to the store and web site to see which ones I wanted). The curtains and curtain rods over the window are from the living room at my old house. The rods are from Target, and the curtains are just plain white cotton tablecloths hung with clip rings.

I ended up not using this rug- I bought it at Anthropologie and it's beautiful, but it simply doesn't work in here so I returned it. I think I need to find something much more neutral so it won't clash with the quilt. Speaking of the quilt, it and the sheets were a Christmas gift from Mom and Dad last year. This is the first time I've used them, and I just love them!

Got the first coat of paint on the scrap room walls. I still have another coat plus pulling up staples and cleaning the floors like I did in the bedroom, but it's a lot better than it was.

Watched an episode each of Burn Notice (via Hulu) and Stargate: Atlantis (Season 5 DVD)

Downloaded the September digital editions of Scrapbook Trends publications, including the new Holidays idea book.

I love being able to download the new issues as soon as they are available- no waiting for them to come in the mail or trying to find a place to store them later. I've taken to scanning in most of my magazines when they arrive anyway, so this just eliminates that step for me.

On a sort of related note, several members of the now out-of-publication Simple Scrapbooks Magazine editorial board have formed a new company- Ella Publishing. They are going to bring the same professional content and editing talent to digital publications that can be downloaded. I'm pretty excited to see what they come up with.

Found a few more pics of the new BasicGrey releases that I wanted to post here. :)

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