Friday, October 19, 2012

six months

well, here we are. april 20 to october 20. not moving quite as quickly on the house projects, but we're comfortable. and still super happy.

the location is still awesome. walking to bars, restaurants, shopping and the grocery store have us so spoiled. yes, not being metro-accessible is tough. but really only when we go to the airport. and that's what uber is for : ) i've joined car2go, which is amazing. it's a super cheap way to take a one-way trip. but mainly i commute via bus and then we share the car on the weekends. it works for now.

knock on wood - no major problem yet. we have small issues: a broken toilet flusher that's too close to the vanity to replace without removing the toilet, running out of hot water when all three of us shower in the mornings, the chilly upstairs (old houses don't have much or any insulation!), dirty carpet in the den (that just may be phil's tendency to spill when he drinks red wine)... but these are all minor in the scheme of things. ummm so maybe the chilly upstairs is a big deal. i'll let you know in february. as i type in homeless gloves.

progress that we've made is minimal. the guest room is painted, but still lacks new linens or headboard. the master has a new bed and linens (see above for the great hotel linens i found on rue la la!). and is the home to the refinished dresser - still lacking final knob choice. walls are still the blah tan - waiting to  paint until we strip the walls down to the plaster upstairs. the upstairs back room is...ummmmmm...a wreck. no more boxes, but that's the main positive in that negative. downstairs is okay: all except the front room. that room doesn't know what it wants to be yet. it is fun to see the continual evolution, though.

the garden is also in progress. it has been nice to see the random things that have popped up throughout the year. like these mums! i have a lot of work to do, but it is exciting. i want a lush cutting garden by spring... but, you know, there is life. we travel. we work. we have family and friends. and that is important. so we do those things. does it mean that the living room is still rug-less and furnished with the horrid red couch we got for free from phil's coworker in denver? yes. but it also means we've seen our family multiple times this year, gone to new york and chicago with friends, met our work deadlines and studied for professional registration exams (phil has to take another portion of the real estate exam and i am wading through my seven architect registration exams - rough stuff). so i think i'm okay with the fact that the brick in the den is still not grey. because i love our life : ) and i wouldn't trade these last six months for a finished house - not for anything.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

roman shades

finally, a project post!! my intention was to post these more often...oh, well. this is a project tackled while my mom and sister were here last month. and, honestly, they did a lot of the work. sorry to disappoint you! they are handy, talented ladies and i am so glad they came to visit!

anyway, i have been bugging poor phil to rearrange the back den. it's a former porch, now enclosed, with french doors to the back patio. phil has claimed it as 'his' room, since we rent out our basement, so it is the tv room. as i write this, he has two (!) televisions set up from watching the game last night. (which, by the way, was an awesome game!!! go aggies!) but his argument was always that there would be a horrible glare on the screen from the french doors with no window coverings. valid. i guess. but i still wanted to flip the furniture arrangement. so when momma and sarah came to town, covering that glass was the main project i wanted us to tackle.

i decided on roman shades because they're simple, easy to operate and can be installed on double doors. after painstaking measurements and too much math for a non-work day, we set off for the fabric store. i wanted white shades with grey trim and blackout lining. the lining is because those doors face south and need some solar blockage.

we found blackout lining that was a similar color to the white so we could leave it exposed to the outside. the doors face the alley, so i'm not really as concerned with consistency like the front window treatments. before starting anything, we washed and dried the fabrics, then gave them a quick ironing. we cut one panel of the lining in the full length and width we wanted (plus seam allowance and extra at the top for mounting!). for the front panel, we cut the two inch grey borders for sides and bottom, and the white main panel. we pinned together a full mock-up to hold against the door to check our measurements and see how it looked before assembling.

we sewed the front panel together first, the borders to the white. all the seams were pressed and the corners tacked. getting the mitre correct was very difficult and took a few tries.

then the assembled front panel was sewn to the lining, front faces together. we turned it inside out and checked it against the door again. and tried to fix the corners again.

then we decided how many folds would be on the open shade - this determines how many rows of rings you need. then we carefully measured to get the rows even, equal and level so the open shade would fold and hang correctly. the locations were marked and small clear plastic rings were sewn, three across, at each row. this part was done by hand.

then the entire curtain was stapled onto a 1x2 at the top, taking care to keep the curtain level and plumb. small eye hooks were screwed into the wood at the top of each column of plastic rings. string was fed through each ring from the bottom to the top. then the string was fed through the eye hooks. you decide which side of the shade you want your control, then feed the other strings across, through the adjacent eye hooks, to come out a single side.

we used those control tabs to attach the shades to the fiberglass doors. et voila!

however, we are going to have to screw them in for long-term viability. the more we tried to operate them, the more they fell. but if you don't plan to open/close them very often you could use the command strips in a rental to not leave holes...

oh, and just so everyone knows, when i write 'we' i mean mom and sarah :) my main contribution to this project was getting in the way and ironing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

cosmo couture 2012

so remember when i said i was working on a dress for a charity fashion show? well, it was for cosmo couture, which is an incredibly fun event benefiting a wonderful cause. twenty-ish design firms all over dc are paired with sponsors and then challenged to create a runway look based on a theme. all ticket proceeds go to my sister's place, which provides services for victims of domestic violence.

this year the theme was red star, a painting in the corcoran museum's collection. we were paired with HBF and decided to use textiles and furniture elements to get the layered, textural feeling of the painting. our team used scraps from the cutting room floor and drapery fabric to create a full, layered skirt. the bodice was studded with hardware that is used to conceal hinges on the interior of casegoods. it was heavy! here is a photo from a fitting.

it took a team of about eight people ten days construct. we are not expert seamstresses! the day of the show, i was lucky enough to get my hair and makeup done by a professional.

her name is hannah and she works at pr at partners in reston - go try her!! in addition to being talented, she is super sweet. she teased my hair for HOURS. no seriously. this is all my hair!

and this is me in the finished dress...

and this is me walking the runway!!!! i didn't fall!!!!