Posts Tagged ‘home’

Leaving A Legacy


It’s about to get pretty personal up in here. FYI.

Last weekend we took a last-minute trip up to Oregon to see Chris’s grandpa, Tom. On Wednesday we got the news that he was diagnosed with aggressive pancreatic cancer that’s already spread to the liver. It’s not looking very good. Chris and I looked at each other and both felt that if we were going to see him any time in the near future, we would have to leave the next day. So we made our preparations and packed up the car.


The travel was grueling – Felix and Penelope were sick (vomit and diarrhea) on the car ride up which made the 14 hour trek last over 18 hours. Longest. Day. Ever. I was so glad that Chris was right along side me to help with clean up and keep it all in perspective.

But boy, did it sure pay off. We were able to see Chris’s grandparents, and they got to meet Felix for the first time. I think the best moment was when Felix and Gramps fell fast asleep on adjacent recliners. Felix was so sweet with Gramps, giving him some really great hugs and lots of knucks (bones).


What struck me the most about this trip was how delicate life is. It’s crucial to focus on loved ones and building them a legacy. You never know when someone will be called away from this life.

Just days before Grandpa Tom was in the hospital with his diagnosis, he whipped up two side table lamps (above). From scratch. While we were visiting we wandered through his workout room, drafting room and workshop to see so much evidence of hard work and creativity.


It was inspiring to see all of the things that he’s made, some new and some old, and look at all of the details. He’s made everything from side tables and lamps to bikes (15 bike frames from scratch!), golf clubs and buildings (he’s an architect).


Being in their home made me think of how I want to decorate my own home. I’m having a really hard time nailing down a style that’s my own (that Chris can call his own, too). I want to put things in my home that are beautiful, meaningful and/or useful. Of course it doesn’t need to be perfect, my home will never be close to perfect; but it’s given me new perspective on the artwork and objects I put on display.


It’s also made me think about my DIYing. I’ve pulled back on home decor DIYing lately (Chris and I used to DIY home projects all the time), and I think I know why. If I can’t do it right, I don’t want to do it at all. Laziness doesn’t need to be in my DIYing vocabulary (even though it often times is).


Look at that side table and lamp. There’s nothing lazy about the construction of either of those, and those are the kinds of pieces that are meaningful, beautiful and useful.


They also decorated their home with unexpected pieces with a story or great history. The above is a light fixture from the old SF bay bridge. They flipped it upside down and mounted it to the ceiling. It’s a huge piece in the room, too. It’s simply stunning.


Original artwork was all through the house. And in a wide range of styles. This was my favorite of all of the pieces. I love this style from the late ’70s – dark, slightly impressionistic with the most delicious color combinations and brush strokes.


I also noticed a lot of tapestries on the walls in varying styles and colors. Color schemes are really great, but I love all color and the variety it brings. I really should branch out of my crutch colors more often.

• • • 

This visit was so important for us to take, and we will never regret those grueling hours on the road with screaming and sick kids. It reminds me of when I was able to say good bye to my grandma several years ago.

Back when I was in college and without a car, a friend asked me to drive with him to a wedding up in Salt Lake (40 miles away). He gave me keys to his car while we were downtown and I decided I needed to go shopping with the time I was going to kill. Then my mind turned to my grandparents who were just blocks away. Surely I could visit and go shopping, but which to do first? I decided to call them and see what their plans were and go from there.

My grandma picked up the phone, which was a huge surprise. Because of her Alzheimer’s and Dementia, she left that up to grandpa. Not knowing who I was, she politely said that I could come and visit and I hung up the phone. I got the distinct feeling this would be the last time I would see them together, but I brushed off the feeling thinking that I was going crazy.

We had a great visit, grandpa snapped a picture of grandma and me and I said goodbye. Grandma gave me a hug and said, “I love you.” It felt like she was saying it to me and not a girl she didn’t remember. It was a special moment. I went home and three days later she passed away. Upon hearing the news I took so much comfort in the visit I was able to have.

And I’m so grateful that we could take the time to visit Chris’s grandparents. I don’t think we’ll be able to see Grandpa Tom again in this life. It was a really hard goodbye for all of us, especially Chris who looks up to him in many ways.

Zero Budget Project: Acrylic Utensil Holder



Either I’m a utensil hoarder, or utensil holders are made much too small for the utensils required for making yummy food. I think it’s the latter. I dreamed up this idea while my sister-in-law was still in Utah, and she helped me on it. It just took 1/2 inch acrylic an acrylic heater bender thing, glue, a drill and some string.


I found out that a local business sells acrylic for a reasonable price. For a 4’x8′ sheet of 1/2 inch acrylic, it was $140. I bought the whole sheet, intending to use most of it for coffee tables. Turns out 1/2 inch acrylic is a bit too thin for coffee tables. Lesson learned: research before buying. They also sell small scraps for cheap, this piece could easily be made out of one of those scraps. They also have black and white acrylic.


The utensil holder is base-less, there really is no need for a base, since this rarely if ever gets moved (I’ve had this for 3 months and I’ve only moved it for the sake of this picture). The holder is 9 inches tall, 18 inches wide and 3 inches deep. It’s basically a 9″x42″ sheet of plastic that’s been bent, and the seam joined in the middle back. Bending it really easy when you have an acrylic heat bender, but if you don’t have one of those and are in a DIYing spirit you can make one of these.


The problem that I ran into after I begun using it was since it was too wide, the utensils would fall to the bottom and make it nearly impossible to fish out. To remedy this, I drilled a few holes and thread some string from front to back creating little utensil sections. The white strings are hardly noticeable – Chris didn’t notice anyway.

I love having my utensils out of drawers and within arm’s reach of the stove top. And I also like that it’s pretty. I like having clean, pretty things in my home.

DIY Color-Blocked Frame Tutorial


Today I’m over at Make & Takes sharing how to make a color-blocked frame without using paint. And if you decide you want to switch it up, it’s temporary!

Click here for the full tutorial. 


For other color-blocking tutorials: color block wiggle skirt • color block leather pillow • color block v-neck tee • color block bib necklace • color block maternity/nursing top • color block shirt dress • color block earrings

Oh yeah, and you can download your very own leafy drawing right here.



Speaking of elsewhere, I’m also over at It’s Always Autumn talking about how I share my love of crafting with Penelope.


Zero Budget Project: Wall Decals


I finally got around to finishing the decal. I decided on simply, “to forever and back”. It’s a nod to “I love you to the moon and back”. It’s not cheeky like I had originally planned, but I really like the sentiment.


It’s sort of hard to capture this well on photograph, since it is in one of the darkest parts of our house, but you definitely get the idea.


I’m pretty thrilled with how this turned out, and I think I may be doing more wall decals in my future. I’m putting it on the calendar for next week.

What are your DIYing plans for the weekend?

Flu Season Wins


I’ve been popping pills like an addict to stave off the pain and fever basically all weekend. I’m pretty sure this is how I felt when I had strep throat many years ago, but we won’t find out for sure until later this afternoon.


I feel like at least one of us has been sick at any given time since the end of January. No reprieve for us. Penelope has been hit the hardest, poor girl. Seriously, look at that face. It stinks, but it could always be worse. We are counting our blessings.


And then there’s Felix. He seemed to be least affected by all the bugs flying around our house. Look at this guy! He’s so happy and cuddly, it doesn’t matter what’s going on (unless Penelope takes away one of his toys).

empty hallway

On a more positive note, we got rid of a bunch of old furniture that has been cluttering up our hallway. It’s only taken us 3 months to do it. No big deal! Our hallway feels so empty without the headboard and six foot desk propped up against the walls. It’s time to put artwork up there instead.


I’m planning on taking it relatively easy this week and focusing on hanging art in the hallway and living room. We’ve got an expansive blank wall above our couch, something needs to be done about it. Stat.

We were very pleased to get our new vacuum last week (huge splurge) – it actually works unlike our last one. It’s got so many beautifully engineered bells and whistles I’ve actually enjoyed vacuuming the floors (!!). P has even joined in on the fun, too.

We also got the most lovely wool rug from Dash & Albert. I’ll show more pictures once this space is complete, but you get the idea. I won it at Alt Summit – I’ve been eyeing it for months, so I couldn’t be more thrilled about our new piece. It definitely makes the living room look more posh.

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