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Monday, October 20, 2014

A Confession and A Proposition.

I have a confession.

A deep, dark, dirty DIY blogger confession.

I don't know how to use cutting power tools.

This has been something that Kyle has always done, for a myriad of reasons not to discount continuing pregnancy, modified bedrest, broken limbs, and of course the fact that the only people I know of off hand that are more accident prone than me are my sister and my mother, so you know, I'm not going to fight genetics.

But, obviously, this now leaves me in a hard place as Kyle no longer lives at L'Casa and there's still about 328197328179 projects that need finished up, almost all of which require using light machinery to cut things.

I'm also not comfortable with cutting things with machines by myself, lest I hurt myself because my kids don't know how to call 911 yet and are still mostly confused when phone calls don't involve streaming video.

Kids these days, right?

While I usually tout that there is nothing the oracle (that's Google) can't teach you, I'm super wary of learning this without adult supervision.

So a lot of things, including my creative heart, are at a stalemate.

This is where you come in.

I spend a lot of my quiet moments these days perusing Pinterest and getting my leggings in a twist because my wheels start turning, but I don't have the ability to produce like I once did. Aside from the whole greater issue of my remaining in this house or not (WHICH I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT BECAUSE JUST SETTLE THE EFF DOWN, OKAY? UNLESS YOU HAVE A FREE HOUSE IN A PERFECT AREA WITH GREAT SCHOOLS AND ARE GIVING ME A RENO BUDGET, SHUSH) I just don't have the time or finances to make things happen, which makes me sad.

So instead, I want to make some things for you.

This is your open invitation for use of my brain -- for just about any DIY project you've got. I need to get this mental energy out and I'd rather someone benefit from it.

And for free, at that.

So leave me a comment or shoot me an email and let's play, yeah?

I could use something positive in my life. Karma will treat you kindly, I promise.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


So the day that I post that I don't know what to do with this space?

Ends up my bathroom was on Apartment Therapy as part of a round up of colorful clawfoot tubs.

You can check it out here. There's even one positive comment about just my bathroom about halfway down.

Figures, ha.

Clementine -- giving this blog life since 2009.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I rearranged my bedroom.

It wasn't anything huge or drastically different, merely just a switching of the bed and the dresser. Honestly, that's about the only switch that could be made, the way that we built the room and with the furniture currently in there.

I needed something different. A change, to reflect the monumental changes happening within these walls.


The future of L'Casa is uncertain. For now, we continue to reside in the home we bought and began to rebuild with a family in mind, the family we now have. Soon enough, however, that family will cease to exist in it's current iteration.

And that's where things get complicated, difficult -- not just due to the ins and outs of dividing what you once fought so hard to bring together and keep together, but because this house is a huge reflection of that, of the dreams and hopes and the wishes for that family.

So much is uncertain and it weighs heavy on me. I hate to lose this home, this place I've made with not much more than a couple solid what ifs and the power of Google and the hands of my friends and family, plus my own. It breaks my heart to take my children from the only home they've ever known, the one I made for them before they even existed and have built around them once they did. Never mind the small career I've built out of these experiences and this tiny space, cutting out for myself the smallest of niches to perch within and see the world through new eyes.

But the neighborhood doesn't appear to be on the upswing. And the older my kids get, the more I butt heads with the school system to get them what they need within their educations. And once you add in financial factors ... things get more complicated, more muddy.

And this doesn't even account for the other adult involved in this, the one with his name on the mortgage, and the ideas and endings he desires from this.

So as it comes to projects going forward, I don't really know what to do. There are things that need finished, for sure, but every action is bittersweet. The thrill of finishing a new room or a long-labored project is gone; in its place rests this nostalgic melancholy because who knows how long, who knows how long. How do you invest in a space you don't know if you'll be able to stay in? How do you do anything more than the bare minimum to get things done instead of doing them with intention and so you may enjoy them? How do you find a stopping place when you don't want to and all of it just overwhelms and crushes you because you're not just losing your family, but the greatest thing you've been able to produce for them?

I know the answers may seem easy, but for me, they're not.

I'm a maker; from the smallest craft to the largest spaces I take what I have and I make the things in my head exist outside of it. To stop making feels like stopping breathing. I need the outlet, the distraction, the proof that I have value and make things of value because all of this, this great undoing because of the inability to see the value of what's in front of you, how it's greater than any individual pursuit or accomplishment, has crushed that sense of value.

When someone willingly throws you, and all of your dreams, away for the tritest of reasons, it is soul-crushing and stripping of your sense of self-worth and your place in the world.

This house has given me purpose, has helped me find passions yet untapped and talents undiscovered. It has been my humble pride and my frustrating joy, my life's masterpiece up until this point, save for my children.

I don't know what the future holds and for someone with a prevalent anxiety disorder, frankly, it sucks.

But all of this to say that I don't know what's coming. I can't promise you lots of exciting and new things here at L'Casa. But know that every last one of you has been so deeply appreciated, and I've so enjoyed sharing this home and the family within it with you. Your encouragement and support and even trust with your own homes has been such a blessing, and I am eternally grateful for every ounce of it.

You are a part of the community that has pulled me through these trying years, the purpose I found to keep moving, keep making, keep dreaming. It has been a gift beyond measure and I cannot thank you all enough.

I hope to keep coming back to this space, and I do hope you'll join me here. Maybe we can move on to the next chapter of this story together.

It would be nice to see friendly faces wherever it is that I end up next.

Thank you friends. Thank you for your time, your encouragement, your love. I could not have made it this far, been this strong, without you.

Go get a Pumpkin Spice Latte for me, and this little blog, today. We could all use a little caffeinated seasonal joy, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In The Wild: An Interview with Floor Coverings International

So on the very first day of my sojourn to BlogHer '14, I received an email asking to be interviewed about blogging.

Well, color me flattered, like I know much about much of anything.

So if you're curious about what I love about blogging, the DIY community, and how this here little corner of the internet came into being and some other trivia, you can check out the interview here.

Thanks to Thad and the people over at Floor Coverings International for the great questions and the opportunity to throw my two cents out there!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Big Kids' Room Closet Progress!

I know. This is taking forever.

Reasons, dear readers. Reasons.

Anyway, remember how I was concerned with how we'd get a more functional light in the closet, since the wiring box was on the wall kind of tucked into the weird interior corner close to the slanted ceiling? I know that sounds convoluted but I don't have a before picture, apparently.

Well, I finally figured out a solution.

The Big Kids Room Progress!

Good old trusty track lighting.

There just wasn't a fixture I could find that would properly light more than just the corner where the box was (there wasn't enough wire in the walls to move it, and we didn't really want to rewire the whole thing) and after doing my due diligence and researching the options, track lighting seemed like the most flexible option for the kids' closet.

So about 30 minutes in the lighting aisle at Home Depot procured us the box adapter and a 90° angle connector to get lights above the doorway instead of in the weird corner.

The Big Kids Room Progress!

Along with two pieces of track and a single LED fixture (with a pivot-able head!) to make sure we (a) could cover the space needed and (b) make sure the whole thing worked in the end.
The Big Kids Room Progress!
As you can see, it does. And yes, I know the tiny sliver of ceiling there is obviously unfinished. That's another project I'm still trying to figure out. And luckily for us, part of the beauty of track lighting is that the fixtures easily swap out, so when I know what I'm doing there, I can just take the lights down and move them out of the way. 
We do plan on picking up a couple more lights (though this one is pretty bright) but as we opted for the LED one over the incandescent, they're a little pricey. Soon enough.
And, because I've made you all wait for-freaking-ever about this project, I'll give you a little peek into some of the other progress we've made in the closet:
The Big Kids Room Progress!


For now. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Gardens Of Babylon ATTACK.

I had planned on having a different post for you today, but I have to retake some photos. *grumble grumble*

Anyway, why don't we take a look at how moving the raised garden beds is working out?

The Gardens Of Babylon Attack.
The Gardens are travelling, y'all. Across the entire back yard.
The Gardens Of Babylon Attack.
Now, I know my back yard is the same size as most suburban home garages so it's not terribly hard to have something overtake my back yard (I mean, ahem) but this, this is viney and prickly and damn near invasive. 
Good thing I planted it, right?

And it appears to be thriving.

The Gardens Of Babylon Attack.

That's right -- for the first time in three years of trying, I've finally managed to grow a few pumpkins. I actually took this photo before I left for BlogHer '14 in late July, so this little sucker is already turning orange and three or four new little green buggers have popped up since. They're all roughly the size of a cantaloupe. Also, there are approximately 3948389748275298 more pumpkin flowers creeping along the back of the raised beds and over behind the gypsy corner and up into the magnolia tree (for the love) and so forth. I'm pretty excited. 
It probably helps that we've had one of the mildest summers I can ever remember (like highs in the 60s, wut) and the fact that I moved the effing garden to more sun and better drainage. My tomatoes and zucchinis (another first success for years of trying) are also exploding, and my very first attempts at carrots and peas have been amazing. The potatoes were excellent, as were the spinach and kale, but the peppers, eggplant, strawberries and watermelon are struggling and the onions and broccoli kind of bit it completely. I'm working on beans and considering second fall crops of potatoes, peas, and spinach here soon.
So basically, come mid September maybe, the back yard will just be a small urban pumpkin farm and maybe we'll throw a party and you can come pick a pumpkin and we'll have apple cider and it'll be an awesome autumnal good time.
The Gardens Of Babylon Attack.

At least it gives me something to look forward to.