Friday, March 27, 2009

The Kitchen

I know, I know, I just got a brand new, beautiful kitchen here in my parents' basement, but we can't live with my parents forever. Well, probably we could, but I don't think that's the greatest idea.

Here is the kitchen in our new house. It has fairly new cabinets, although, sigh, they're not Ikea. No fancy drawers for pots, or softly closing doors.

At first I thought I might paint the cabinets. I still might, but I'm remembering that it took me 6 months to complete that job in my old house, and I only had 4 cabinets there!!

I'm trying out a few new colors, and I think that will make all the different. If not, I'm going to paint the cabinets. They're not that bad, but I like either WHITE or a color. I'm not really an ivory fan for the most part.

Drumroll, is my new photoshopped version of the kitchen. These 2 walls will be a dark brown, and the other 2 are going to be some shade of yellowy green. In this pic I did lighten up the cabinets a little, but I think even without painting them, they'll pop more on the darker walls. I'm a little concerned about the lighting in there, but in time I hope to put in some recessed lighting. It makes every thing better.

Other changes I want:
-Paint the fridge some fun color. Is that okay?
-Change countertops--I've been dying to make concrete countertops, but realize that's probably not my best idea for DIY
-New appliances
-And I'm in the market for a kitchen island of some kind. Do we have room for it? I don't know.

I went to the house this week for a furnace estimate, and the homeowner was there. Super nice and cool. She says she popped out this little window between the dining room and kitchen, which is awesome, but I want that wall gone completely. We'll have to wait till we've got a few basics under control before we start knocking things down.

If you haven't already seen it, SHONA has a Sneak Peek of her GORGY home up on Design*Sponge. Go check it out!!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:54 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Craft night

Not to make my old Tennessee craft buddies jealous, but I think we may be starting a new tradition here in Missouri. Last night I went to Columbia (the coolest place around) and had dinner at a really delicious place. I had a Thai Caesar salad that was TO DIE FOR. Garlic and ginger were made to be together. I think I just crave really different tasting food, since in Mexico, where I work the most ethic thing is grease-and-cheese style Mexican food.

Anyway, back to the crafting. Here we have Carrie, my role model for living a simple, crafty life. You have GOT to go check out her etsy site. Seriously. Good. Stuff. Her house is really cool. I just like to wander around and see what she has sitting around. She's going to have a little art show at the end of April at the Mustard Seed, a fair trade store whose logo she designed. I'm always scheming a way for Carrie to make money doing art. She just keeps quietly being brilliant.

Here's one of Carrie's woodcut prints:

Abby and I sat in the living room and gabbed. She's working on a crocheted blanket for the next person who has a baby. And I'm trying to get her hooked on quilting. She's been coming over to my house to work on a One Block Wonder quilt. It's coming right along! All my evil plans are working! Soon she'll be addicted to fabric and there will be no stopping her!

I worked on some new drawings, but mostly, I just wanted to hang out with my friends. I've known Carrie for like 15 years, and Abby and I lived together in college. These are solid friends. I'm so very happy to live within 30 minutes of them.

Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:56 AM :: (4) comments

Friday, March 20, 2009

I made it to the Front Page!!

Thanks to Freshie, I got to see my recipe cards on the front page of Etsy! It's a first for me, and was totally thrilling. I'm really trying to do all the right things with marketing. I must have taken the first picture 10 times, always zooming in closer so that it looks the best in thumbnail form. I changed my tags, and generally have been babying this listing to get it seen. Cause I think it's great, and I want it to get seen! It's really amazing how much work it takes to get something seen (and sold) on Etsy. It's the downside to Etsy's huge success, I suppose, that it's hard to get face time.

They're selling like hotcakes! I'm up to 8 sold in a week and a half which I'm thrilled about. So, I've got to get to making some more boxes, I guess! And printing more.

Have a great weekend! I'm going to try to work today at my job and not obsess about etsy.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:12 AM :: (7) comments

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The living room

Jason is shooting down my Grande idea for the living room/dining room. See, they're connected, and share a long wall. I want to paint said was super dark and then do a glaze of 12 inch tall horizontal stripes--very subtle. The only thing Jason says when I ask why he's shooting it down is "Because horizontal stripes will make the wall look fat." Thanks, buddy. Very helpful.

One of my loyal readers, Kristi, mentioned that it took weeks for she and her fellow graphic designer husband to pick out paint colors. I'm beginning to lose hope for my creative scheming. I mean, how is it going to get on Apartment Therapy if we don't do anything cool? I never should have married someone artistic. I just want to do what I want to do. This might be a good lesson in marriage compromising.

I will say that I'm shying away from color commitments. Probably because in my house in Nashville I painted the dining room a green that I loved at first, but hated in about a year. So I LOVE color and want to use it, but I keep backing down from it.

Here are the other choices for the living room:

The rug is a Thomas Paul number, and I love it, but it's $815. Haven't dropped that one on Jason yet. Also, don't know about a rug whose colors are listed as "Corn and Cream". We're definitely doing the picture thing on that wall--only more extreme than this swatch, which is why I'm willing to lose the stripes--I think it might compete too much.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 7:57 AM :: (4) comments

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Daydreaming, daydreaming

Spring is really starting to take off here, and now that it's only 30 days till we have our new house, I'm really good for nothing. I'm daydreaming all day about paint colors, new furniture, refinishing hardwood floors, you name it. I think my mom said it best "I never should have given you that paint swatch book." I've been carrying it around with me like a baby's teddy bear.

At night I have dreams like this: last night I was at an estate sale outside the Columbia mall (between sears and MC sports) and there were fabulous furniture pieces all around! But I left my cell at home, and needed to call my dad to come with his big truck. When he got there, most things were sold, the one desk I thought I had held onto was suddenly built for a child, not an adult, and the person whose cell phone I stole was looking for me. Hmm.

One thing at a time. We'll have our hands full with the projects that need to get done before we can move in--painting, refinishing the hardwoods, and staining the concrete in my (209 square foot!!) studio. Then we'll move on to furniture. In the meantime, I'm going to be showing you some photoshopped versions of rooms and asking for opinions. Disclaimer: Jason will probably have final say.

Let the fun begin!


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:24 AM :: (3) comments

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recipe Cards are up for Sale!

I finally got all the cards printed, boxes made, and photos taken so I could post my recipe cards and box on Etsy.

From start to finish, the recipe card box has been in the works for up to 2 months. I spent days drawing out just the perfect little illustration for the dividers, writing the text pieces over and over, and sending them to the plate maker to make them into something I could print with.

Then came all the paper cutting. I bought a huge amount--60 pounds!--worth of French Paper, in huge sheets and have been cutting them down for a couple of weeks during tv time.

Finally, the real kicker: the box. I couldn't for the life of me find a wood or plastic recipe card box in which to put my precious new cards. The only ones I could find were at least $10, and I just didn't think that was good business. So I went to Home Depot, bought some boards, cut them up with my dad's saw, and assembled them. And frankly, I think they look way better than anything I found previously.

So a lot of time and effort and Beth speciality has gone into this simple finished product. I am smitten with it.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 9:37 AM :: (3) comments

Monday, March 09, 2009

Why I've been MIA

I had the most stressful week I've had in a long time last week. I'm just totally snowed under with things that I need to do for myself and for other people.

But, I do have exciting news! It's not all completely gone through yet, and I hope I don't jinx this in someway, but Jason and I are buying a house! It's in Fulton, Missouri, home of the famous speech by Winston Churchill, 2 small private universities, and restaurants, parks, etc.

It's exactly halfway between my work and Jason's, and about 15 minutes from where my parents live. We have to get the home appraised, but after that, we should be free and clear to close in mid-April. So I think we're out of the woods as far as it possibly falling through. Like I said, it was a stressful week!!

So here are some pics:

This border is going ASAP. And I think I'm going to paint the cabinets.

We hope to do a TON of style upgrades. The hardest thing is realizing that we can't do everything all at once. First up, the carpet--HAS TO GO. The seller was a smoker, and had a cat and a dog, and I'm pretty sure the carpet has been there for 15 years. We think there are hardwoods underneath the carpet, so keep your fingers crossed!

Overall, it's a great, solid home which has been well taken care of. And it's HUGE!

We never could have afforded this home in Nashville. I'll have a 12x18 studio, and Jason will have a huge lower area for a future theater.

Needless to say, I've been addicted to Apartment Therapy. I wish I could see some other before/afters of 1960's split levels. It's not really my favorite style, but we're going to make it our own.


Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:31 AM :: (7) comments

Monday, March 02, 2009

Letterpress recipe cards!

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh! I'm soooooo excited about this. This is the first draft--I still have some fab little details to work out before they go up in the shop. I contemplated not posting this at all until I could get it to the shop--but I'm too excited about it.

I'm skipping ahead of myself here--I intended to show you the process first, with my new Boxcar polymer plates (which are flippin' awesome--more on that later). But I'm thrilled to pieces with the way my latest project is turning out. I've been trying and trying to make progress on the recipe card front for as long as I've had my letterpress. I did make some about a year ago--when I knew nothing about the press.

They turned out cute and cheerful, and I've sold quite a few, but I was longing for the ULTIMATE in recipe cards--with a box. And it's really hard to find a good cheap wood box for this purpose. So I made my own! Here's to living within feet of my dad's powertools is paying off!

I can't decide if I'm more proud of the finished product, or the fact that it's all my hand-illustrated text and icons that I printed the cards and dividers with.

Here is the original file that I sent to have made into plates. I am obsessed with my calligraphy nibs and india ink!!

I spent the weekend pumping and printing. Printing and cleaning plates. It was delightful!! I'm trying to decide how many cards I'm going to put in the boxes. And how much to charge for them.

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Posted by Beth Howard @ 8:15 AM :: (6) comments