Projects Abound

As we move past the first month of Spring our little homestead has started to gather projects. This is a natural thing, I suppose - as the warmer weather emerges the spirit begins to awaken and the desire to do stuff and things begins to take hold.

The need to replace the chapeau on our chateau has significantly limited the budget for any substantive home projects, tho, so efforts are focused on activities which are a little easier to attain.

LB’s been asking for a while now to have a different color for their bedroom walls - the lavender-tinged gray they chose as a tween no longer holds the same appeal, it seems, and so we are moving to a richer blue for that space.

old to new

old to new...

In addition, they’re moving from the studio apartment-style loft bed arrangement to something more traditional. This again is by request.

It mystifies their father a bit - I think having a loft bed is just about the coolest arrangement you can have - makes the bedroom space into something more akin to a studio apartment. Still, I’m not the one who actually has to sleep on it, and I’ve been informed that I might not actually understand what cool is, so...

The bedroom project is actively underway, and mostly in the capable hands of LB and MLW. My role, due in part to work schedule (LB is on spring break, but my work doesn’t seem to get one of those), has primarily been restricted to the lifting of heavy things. This is not unwise, as MLW is more skillful than me by far with a brush and paint. And it provides LB an opportunity to learn skills in this area, skills which will likely see a lifetime of intermittent use. And MLW has proclaimed that the kid seems to have a knack for it...

As we’ve discussed here before, the room that is now LB’s bedroom was largely unused as a bedroom for a span of probably 70 years or more, instead serving the role of storage place for generational cast-offs. The activity in there over the past four years is the most action that space has seen in the form of human habitation for quite some time. For myself, I like to think that the house must appreciate it. After all, what is more sad for a home than simply sitting there, holding on to things that no one wants any more? And we have plenty of those in the region already.

There will be more coming through the spring, I believe. Modest projects, but projects nonetheless.

Timely Decorating...

It’s been about 9 1/2 years since we moved out to the Homestead. While it may still be a bit premature, I decided to start hanging some of my pictures up in the office.

Yes - it’s a little sad, but while the essentials have been in the office since we moved in - desks, chairs, bookshelves - it’s taken me slightly longer to get to niceties like pictures. I’d like to claim that the wait is because I was looking for just the right items to complement the space, but the reality is that these pictures are things that I already had. They had hung in my office space in our old home.

I said some, and by that I mean two. I figured that I would start with the area around my comfy chair, which is the first area you see where you enter the space.

So this is a shot of that area prior to any intervention:

Baseline pic here

The first item I hung up is Watched by Mark Daehlin. This painting was a gift from MLW, and a one I very much enjoy (I’m a long time fan of things wolfy). And it turns out that it’s more enjoyable up on the wall than in a stack sitting along the floor.

Watched on the Wall

Once I got that one up on the wall I was still feeling relatively motivated, and it seemed like the space between the window and the corner on by the comfy chair was a reasonable location for my Mark Twain print.

Before

This one is a gift from my mother, and shows Samuel Clemens is his classic garb, sitting in a comfy chair, reading a book. The caption underneath is a quote by him that reads "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them".

The man who does not read good books...

Seemed a good fit, he in his comfy chair over me in mine. Now if he was just holding an iPad instead of a book...

I don’t want to make it seem that I’ve been terribly industrious in this. There are still at least a half-dozen items that I have yet to hang. I’ve let a couple of things, some more real than others, function as drivers (or perhaps rationalizations) of my procrastination.

The issue that is perhaps less real is the thought that I need to have frames on these items match the woodwork in the home in some way, or at least the era the home represents. You’d think after nearly a decade I’d mostly be past that idea - after all, the home now has other modern conveniences that aren’t original to its era. You know, I’m referring to little things like electricity, indoor plumbing, and central heating. And besides, it’s not like I’m scrawling these posts out on parchment with a fountain pen...

The eclectic nature of some of our items is really in keeping with the presentation of the home itself, which bears the imprint of multiple generations, each consistent with its time. So yeah - I can put up a print with a silver metal frame, dammit.

The other, more realistic issue is one of wall space. While the house is undeniably big, and the office is, in fact, the largest room on the second floor, the amount of unbroken wall space is relatively limited. Because of the layout of the home, with most of it centered around a front hallway and staircase, virtually every room has at least two external walls. Each external wall hosts (or at least hosted - one or two have since been removed) at least one window, and most of the walls have two. The windows are large and, while it’s delightful to have the sunlight they bring it, they do leave relatively little room for pictures - smaller and/or narrower are the rules of thumb for wall hangings.

Which is why the Mark Twain print seemed it would fit in nicely in that spot - between the corner and the window.