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My Trash Story

Since working at Community Forklift for three years now, I’ve taken to a different view of dumpster diving. It’s a sort of rescue mission, a diversionary tactic for landfill-headed junk. I am not a dumpster diver…. I AM SAVING THE EARTH! This is an empowering feeling, even if the skeptics call it spin. I never exactly felt bad about dumpster diving before, but now it holds an elevated sense of purpose bordering my morality.

You would not believe the stuff people throw away. It is true that trash tells a story. I often wonder why someone would get rid of this…. or that. Things that are fabulous among the rubble, no matter your sense of style. Trash is an exercise in diversity.

Working in a reuse store gives you a birds-eye view of the excess of American culture. Imagine creating 30-40 jobs just sorting out and selling old stuff: the cast-offs, dirty and dusty, waiting to be claimed and given a little TLC. That is what we do every day.

Just yesterday I dragged this chair home with me. While on our evening walk, the dog and I examined it with our cellphone flashlight and carried it at least half a mile. Juggling the poo bag, the found rocking chair, and the leash was a workout rivaling Crossfit. We did make it all the way home in tact.

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A rocking chair story.

Behold this beauty! I have only one question for you all: why are we wasting our time shopping for anything new? Let your trash tell its’ story.

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Found rocking chair.

© copyright Mariam d’Eustachio 2017 at Simply Turquoise.

Shower Doors-1, Marriage-0

Why does the word divorcee seem so glamorous? In my mind, that word evokes images of socialite Wallis Simpson, holding a martini and seeming free of obligations or burden.

When I tell you that ripping out the shower doors in my downstairs bathroom almost caused the demise of my marriage, I am mostly not kidding. But that glamorized version in my mind of the divorcee causes me to proceed with reckless abandon. This is not good. Not good at all.

The Before

The Before.

It all started with an innocent search of the Internet. My downfall came when I read that one woman had removed her shower doors in half an hour. Liar.

Easy Going

Easy Going

Things went smoothly at first. Parts of the doors just fell off (with the help of the drill) while my husband was in a huff about how he can’t ever turn his back on me because I’ll start removing pieces of the house if he isn’t looking and other such nonsense. Normally, he is very supportive of my DIY projects, as long as I give him three years’ notice.

Almost done!

Almost done! This is what was left of a 2×4.

After he exited the scene, I started running into trouble. The frame came out, but there was wood behind it and it was glued to the tile.

I struggled and struggled and finally got it free. In my moment of glory the three year old said, “I knew you could do it Mommy!” Of course, she was the only one willing to hang out with me, and I had been wrestling with that wood for an hour. It was either IT or ME.

They are gone!

They are gone!

I like how visually clean it looks now. I had to grout the tile behind the frame, wrestle with all the caulk and glue, and re-do the caulk in the shower. But I did it. All by myself! Well, me and my mini cheerleader together.

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink!

Now that calls for a martini!
© copyright 2015 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

A Little Help From My Friends

This week, I called in the cavalry. Decorating has been reduced to lusting after pillows in Target as I head for the grocery aisle, usually at some ungodly hour, wondering if I’m the only human who knows Target stays open this late.

You may recall a post in which I photographed a few botanicals (Budget Botanicals) from my yard. I printed them on photo paper and then framed them for a “gallery style” wall in my upstairs hallway. This hallway is too narrow for any furniture, and dwarfed any of the artwork I had to hang on it. Without any real light coming in, it was also dark.

The Botanicals.

The Botanicals Before.

The homemade botanicals looked great, but the wall did not. This week, I hired my friend to paint that hallway. The color is a color I have throughout my house in other places and is Benjamin Moore’s Green Hydrangea (CSP-850) from their Color Stories Collection. It is the color of a granny smith apple, and it brightens that space. The botanicals look so fresh and pretty against that wall color. Now the project is finally complete.

The Botanical Update.

The Botanical Update.

 

A narrow pass-through.

A narrow pass-through.

Benjamin Moore's Green Hydrangea.

Benjamin Moore’s Green Hydrangea.

 

Benjamin Moore- Green Hydrangea.

Benjamin Moore- Green Hydrangea.

If you stand at the bottom of the stairs, you see the downstairs hallway and the upstairs hallway together, and they complete a color circle as they are both painted in Green Hydrangea. This is an interesting effect and while I am a fan of color, the risk is to use too much or too many different colors in one house. I have achieved a balance here and the amount of color feels just right.

Peaking into the downstairs hallway.

Peaking into the downstairs hallway.

 

A view of both hallways at once.

A view of both hallways at once.

The best part was coming home to a project done. Sometimes we just need a bit of help.

 © copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

This Post Brought to You by…. Me!

Two of the decorating blogs that I read on a regular basis, both had posts about how pretty the Kleenex box is, on the same day. It was a Kleenex marketing invasion. God save me from this type of success. The first thing I do when I get sick is scour the house looking for the Puffs Plus with lotion, for the sake of my poor runny nose. I don’t care about the design of the Kleenex box. That is like trying to pretty up the toilet paper or the paper towels. I am just grateful we have tissues, and I’m not blowing my nose into a leaf, or a piece of Soviet newspaper.

Puffs Plus!

Puffs Plus!

I promise this post has not been sponsored by Puffs Plus.

In the news of The World’s Slowest Kitchen Renovation, I have a blind on my kitchen window! I also have an outrageous estimate for getting the window replaced with a larger window, but for now, I am thrilled to have a blind. The morning sun is brutal. My mom said she wasn’t able to do the dishes because the sun was in her eyes. This is tragic. I can’t risk losing an opportunity for someone else to do the dishes, so we installed a blind.

Ikea kitchen blind.

Ikea kitchen blind.

These blinds are wood blinds from Ikea. We have put them on all of our upstairs windows for privacy, but they come a little too wide for our windows. Long ago I bought one, just to see if we could trim it down, and it worked!

Downstairs in the office.

Downstairs in the office.

Using a jigsaw, we were able to trim that extra inch from one side of the blind, so they fit the window (by we, I mean Stuart). You can’t tell that they have been altered and we have saved lots of money this way. The cost was $25 per blind, which is an approximate savings of $1000 per window. Wood blinds that are not from Ikea cost a fortune.

Bedroom windows.

Bedroom windows.

The color match on these Ikea blinds is just right for our old wood trim. They come in white and blonde wood and several different sizes, and if you own a jigsaw, you can cut them to fit.

I promise this post has not been sponsored by Ikea either, although I am open to offers.

© copyright Mariam d’Eustachio 2014 at Simply Turquoise.

The Dead of Winter

I have no inspiring words for you. It is cold and dreary and if you were to take an “i” out of inspiring, you would get in-spring. But alas, we are not in-spring yet. Even the groundhog has dashed our hopes with a forecast of six more weeks of winter. I can’t blog because I am so easily distracted by Expedia offers and checking the “Wanna Get Away” deals on Southwest Airlines. The arctic, tundra-like landscape seems to be here for good.

But the other day, in the cool, crisp morning and freshly fallen snow, I was walking the dog and was struck by the quiet. There is nothing so still as a fresh snowfall. I seemed to be waiting an interminable amount of time for her to do her business, when I spotted the red head of a woodpecker. He was so bright in contrast to the white snow and the brown woods. He was singing his song and was alone in the landscape. This woodpecker was beautiful and my spirits were lifted. Perhaps, spring is not as far off as I think. In fact, we may already be over the hump.

So take heart! In between episodes of “Sherlock” and replacing the keys the baby keeps lifting off of my computer keyboard, I have a few projects simmering. I have officially started “The World’s Slowest Kitchen Renovation” with a found batch of hardware from Craig’s List. I scored 40 handles for $20. They are the shape I was looking for, but need to be painted. After consulting a friend who is a paint expert, I soaked them in a vinegar solution, primed and painted some of them. I have to wait for warmer weather to spray paint, but I have finished a few. Here is a sneak peak:

Vinegar solution.

Vinegar solution.

Primed.

Primed.

Painting.

Painting.

New hardware!

New hardware!

Okay, so far I’ve only done three.

What are you doing to shake this cold? I love to snuggle with my pup and drink some hot tea. Daydreaming about Benedict Cumberbatch warms me up a bit too. Excuse me, I think “Sherlock” is on again. Until next time!

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.