Pulling it together.

Whew. So as it turns out, quitting your job and moving 500 miles away from your home for the past 17 years can be quite stressful. We are lucky to have so much familial support here but it doesn’t always help with the homesickness, if I’m being totally honest. I miss you, Chicago.

That might change when we start seeing the hints of spring as early as March.

Until then, I’m busying myself with trying to make this rental house feels as much like home as possible. It’s tricky, given that we’re on a six-month lease, and then month-to-month after that (it will go back on the market at that point). I thought I would leave almost everything decorative packed up, but that lasted about…36 hours. I can’t help it. I’m a nester, people. I’m going to be cursing myself in about five months, as we begin the packing process all over again (God, no, please, no) but in the meantime, we’re enjoying this quirky old house we’re in. Over its lifetime, it’s had many owners, all who have had their own idea of how to expand its walls and how that expansion would be executed and decorated…resulting in a maze-like house with, shall we say, interesting design choices. I was wary at first but I have already grown to like it. Maybe a little too much. I told Justin that our 14X30 bedroom was starting to look normal sized. Bad news.

Here are some pics of what I’ve done so far.

Remember the pretty built-in china cabinet in the dining room?

It seemed custom-built for my cake plates and milk glass. But once I had all of that stuff in it, because of the white background and doors all of the glass and milk glass just kind of disappeared. My mom suggested I use craft paper to give it a background.

Hard to get a good photo with the sun shining through that window and reflecting on the glass.

And I used my wee little china cabinet for my matte white pottery in that room.

I do love that china cabinet.

So this room pretty much houses 80% of my collections at this point.

A lot of white in this house. But, what can you do. Someday I’ll actually own a house and I’ll be able to paint to my heart’s content.

I have been spending a lot of time on Craigslist, and I got this headboard for the guest bedroom for $75:

I think it looks just about perfect with my $15 down pillows (from the Junior League Thrift Store in Evanston — seriously — $15 for all six of those pillows) and chenille bedspread that I’ve had tucked away for a while. That little pink round pillow was given to me by my sister-in-law, Michelle, eons ago, when she didn’t have enough money to buy Christmas presents and instead slaved away at making something for everyone. It’s from a set of three, all of them velvet, and I thought I had all three of them but after the move can only find that one. 🙁

Also in the guest room is one of my first thrift store purchases from Fayetteville (the start of a new era…dum dum dum):

It’s tiny, and hand-painted, with a fabric cord, so seriously old. $3.75 from Potter’s Thrift. I like that place! Have to make a shade for it and it’ll be perfect.

Okay. So you’re about to see the weirdest thing I’ve ever, ever, ever purchased. Remember when I said I was spending a lot of time on Craigslist? Well, this post went up for a frame that was 48X40 for $75. It had a (what the poster called) “whimsical” canvas in it but it was easily removable if it wasn’t to the purchaser’s taste. $75 for a frame that big is a BARGAIN. It’s a well-made, all-wood frame. Lovely. The art?

OMG. I can’t stop laughing every time I look at it. The woman I bought it from said she and her husband had it painted for their wedding because they had a pug at the time. Parse that sentence. It makes absolutely no sense. We’re getting married and have a pug dog so thought a portrait of two monkeys in wedding gear would be suitable? And, what the hell, let’s make it 4 feet by 3.5 feet so we make sure the statement is made? PUZZLING. But, ya’ll. I kind of love it. Only anyone who comes in my living room will think we’re completely insane. I have to decide whether I care about that or not.

On the upside, it’s a really nice frame.

The sideboard it’s on is a new purchase as well, from one of my new favorite stores in Fayetteville, Precious Cargo. They have a mix of older (second-hand) furniture and new, contemporary, low-priced furniture. And just about everything you could possibly be looking for.

I really like this, and it was only $249. We have a huge wall in the living room that I had absolutely nothing to fill, so it works out just perfectly. And, hey, the monkeys had to go somewhere.

That’s all for now. I have a lead on a booth, just trying to work out the logistics. And the timing. Seems kind of crazy to try and get a booth together right now, but on the other hand, I’m kind of dying for a project to work on. Hope the New Year is going wonderfully for all of you so far!

January 6, 2013 - 7:13 pm

Shara I think I saw that lamp at Potter’s House. I am there about four times a week. I keep thinking I will see you or recognize one of your kiddos in the toy area. I ran into Leilani over Christmas at the thrifts SO, it could happen! Glad you are adapting. Sprinig is just around the corner. (But, I’d really like a big honking snowfall first….)

January 8, 2013 - 8:40 pm

Jane Hightower I love all the photos. I really want to know what the twins think about that monkey picture.