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Jennifer E. Thomas
j3nny3lf
...... .:::.:.:


Waterfalls
It's almost like there are these periods where our relationship is smooth and steady, and then there are times when it's like standing on the edge of this gorgeous, wonderful waterfall and just letting yourself drop, knowing that there's a safe pool of water ready to catch you at bottom. You take the plunge and you're in wayyyy over your head, but oh man, it's exhilarating, it's breathtaking, it's just incredible and you feel better than you ever have before and the water is cool and refreshing and exactly what you needed.

Sam is my waterfall.

- LJ entry from 8/2005





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June 2017
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Jennifer E. Thomas [userpic]
Sewing...

Tonight I made new curtains for the living room and kitchen. The living room curtains are a royal blue, and for tiebacks I'm just using navy blue 1.5 inch grosgrain ribbon right now. The LR curtains are not done. I plan to use the blue curtains as the I don't know what it's called, the one that stays basically closed and lies flat, and then make over curtains to tie back out of some sort of a variegated blue fabric.

The kitchen curtains are a sunflower pattern, all golden yellows, with some green as the background.. very little green.

The kitchen cupboards are a disaster, two sets of them that go from the ceiling to about 24 inches above the counter top. Each one of the two sets is missing a door, so there's door/open shelving/door/open shelving, and it looks like shit. Yesterday I had Sean remove those doors, as well as the remaining two doors on the under counter cabinets (has two, missing two), and put them in the pantry. I am sewing curtains from the sunflower fabric for the upper cabinets, and will purchase a coordinating solid color, maybe a forest green to pick up the green in the sunflower stuff, to make curtains for the lower cabinets. So far I've completed two of the upper cabinet curtains, the other two get made tomorrow, and tomorrow night we hang them. There will be before and after pics.

This is all part of a makeover for the house. My landlord has given me the go ahead to do WHATEVER I WANT as far as improvements to this house, and he will pay for up to $100 per month in materials, as long as I provide him with receipts, and he said that we can do this for as long as our family lives in the house. Soo..

Plans. Lots and lots of plans.

All of the floors are horrible. Cracked linoleum in the kitchen. A disgusting carpet in the living room. Wood paneling laid down on the bathroom sub-flooring , not attached to anything. Ancient chipped linoleum tiles in the master bedroom, and let's not even discuss the old somewhat mildewed carpet in the boys' room. I am replacing ALL of it. I've decided that carpet is a no go. We're going to buy some of that linoleum that looks like hardwood flooring at a glance and lay that down in the living room, parlor, and bedrooms. For the bathroom, I think individual lino tiles will be easiest to work with, in a parquet wood look.

The kitchen, bathroom, and living room will all be painted. The bedrooms are wood paneled and the paneling looks fine, but the trim needs a paint job - the bedroom trim will all be white.

I'm doing the kitchen in white, but all of the woodwork and the cabinets in a buttery yellow. We have an old low boy dresser that we found on trash day in the kitchen, beside the stove, which serves as a nice low counter surface for me to work at while sitting in a chair, and I will paint that white and yellow, and we're going to put a slab of formica on top of it.

I have a blue sofa and a blue glider rocker with matching footstool, so I want to go with a blue theme in the parlor. I want to sponge paint the walls in there, and am not sure what will look better: white base with blue sponge painting, or blue base with white sponging. Any thoughts, folks? Or will it make any difference at all?

The bathroom will be painted in a dusty rose color, which will make my family of men want to vomit, but I don't care. :) The walls are this formica like surface to about halfway up them, sheer white, and those will remain as they are. The drywall will be dusty rose. Then I'll buy a new shower curtain in burgundy. I'm also going to make bathroom curtains out of a burgundy shower curtain liner, and... God, the bathroom sink. Ew, okay? It WAS a pedestal, but the pedestal is long gone, and the sink is just sort of attached to the wall and sitting on its pipes. Very ugly. I'm not going to go to the hassle of replacing the sink and putting in a sink console, but will instead just make a sink skirt out of (you guessed it) a burgundy shower curtain. All of this burgundy will tie in wonderfully with my towels, which are, of course, burgundy.

I read a long long time ago that the way to make a house feel "put together" decor wise is to choose one color and use it throughout the house as accents or whatever. Since Sam's papasan chair is honey yellow, and the kitchen will be shades of yellow, I'm going to use yellow as accents in the other rooms. I've got just enough of the kitchen sunflower fabric to make a couple of throw pillows for the sofa, for example. And I'll make a blue throw pillow for Sam's chair, to tie that in. I plan to paint a couple of 5x7 sunflower motif pictures, with pinkish or burgundy backgrounds or frames and put those in the bathroom. Yellow based linens for the bedrooms.

Bill, the landlord, will not be paying for all of this, of course. Linens, shower curtains, window curtains, these are not a landlord's responsibility. Nor is the fake oriental style area rug I plan to put on the living room floor. Those things we will purchase as money permits. Fortunately I have a nice fabric stash, and the curtain stuff is already taken care of, except for curtains for the boys' room and our room, as I want those in yellow or gold and have nothing that will suit. Shower curtain liners are cheap, and for the outer curtain, I'll be making that from my stash.

I know that we'll be putting an awful lot of work into a house we don't own, but we plan on living in this house for several more years at least. If I had my druthers, we'd live here for a very, very long time. Either way though, the labor is, in my opinion, a thank you to our landlords, who are just fucking fantastic to us. They actually lowered the rent on this house when we were looking to move into Denton to save money on gas, which, what with us moving in here out of the mobile home we were renting from them, plus the lower rent on this house from what they WERE charging for it is saving us about $250 a month. They rent us a shed that they usually charge $90 a month for at the bargain rate of $45 a month. When something needs fixing, Cliff and Mike, the handymen, are here within 24 hours of our requesting it.

And Bill is paving over part of the yard to make a walkway that my wheelchair can drive over easily, making getting in and out of the house easier. And is having Mike and Cliff build me a wheelchair ramp if I want it. I've told him that this can wait a while, as I CAN climb two steps still.

And I will never forget Mitch, Bill's dad and business partner, filling our propane tank (a $500 expense) for us the first winter we were here, because we couldn't afford that kind of outlay all at once, and letting us pay him back in small monthly increments. VOLUNTEERING to do so when he realized we had no propane and a cold snap was coming (no, we didn't tell him, he found out because he wanted to know why the propane company hadn't billed him for the new gauge needed on the tank, called to find out how much WE had paid so he could reimburse us, and we explained we didn't fill it, would be heating using electric space heaters. Mitch refused to let us go through THAT expense, which would have cost us about 4 times as much as propane by winter end.).

So these guys are great. And improving their property with our labor and their money is a small thing to do in thanks for that. Landlords like these don't fall out of trees.

So my slate is chock full for the next six to eight months, as we'll be doing all of this work bit by bit, so as not to overwhelm ourselves. I'm starting with the bathroom for the major stuff, painting, floors, etc, but since I had the fabric sitting here, I made those curtains today.

I feel good. It's nice to have something like this to look forward to. I've never really lived in a NICE LOOKING environment before, where things coordinated and worked together. My Dad was an antique buff, and a yard sale buff, and brought home some amazingly beautiful things.. but also some real shit, like the black sectional sofa with gold glitter threads shot throughout it. If Sam had his druthers, everything is just fine in the house for him.. but he understands that I really honestly need to make this place beautiful for ME. Have I mentioned that I love this man?

Whoo, long post, and probably bored y'all to tears. But it is making ME smile, and that's what a person's journal is all about, right? Later, taters!

Borderline symptom of the day: accomplishedaccomplished
Comments

It sounds great. I will look forward to seeing it one of these days. We will still be coming to Denton to other family we have there.

I'm so glad to hear that, sweetie. :)

sponge painting

Rather than blue and white paint, I'd do a darkish blue with a lighter blue. You know how they give you those paint samples with gradients of the same color? Find a sample where you like both the dark and light of that color. If you want the room to look light, use the light blue as the base. If you want the room to look dark, use the darker blue as the base.
The gradients of the same color play together much better than two different colors. If you use pure white, the difference between the two will be so stark to the eye, it won't look right. The light blue will be light enough to fool the eye but give a nice texture pattern at the same time.

Re: sponge painting

Thanks! I'll definitely try that look!

Re: sponge painting

PS: I was wondering, would you have any clue how to make a wraparound skirt that hangs right? I tried doing the flat rectangle method with ties and it came out like crap. I know there's a way to make them where they lay correctly, but I am damned if I can figure it out! Thought you might know, being handy with a needle and all!

Re: sponge painting

I've done a couple of different methods. The first is the pleated rectangle. You need to sew down the pleats (aka, sew the pleat down the length of the fabric to about lower hip level. You sew them so they are askew a bit, making the skirt flare out). The second is using trapezoids. You take a rectangle of fabric and cut out a bunch of triangles with their heads cut off. The small end of the trapezoid should be a fraction of your waist. So, if you cut out 6 trapezoids, you need the top of each of them to be 1/6 of your waistline measurement. (You need to add a few inches to your waistline measurement to get it to a proper wrap around.)

You can also just do a simple circle skirt and leave one seam open to have that as a wrap around.

Re: sponge painting

Thanks a LOT! I was getting sooo frustrated. :)

Sounds like wonderful plans; I hope you continue to enjoy the work, and love the results!

I love mutual gains from trade-- or any interaction. :)