Martha Stewart! (Almost.)

This week I’ve been feeling very crafty! Not in a sinister, scheming way, but more in a Martha Stewart kind of way. I’ve been catching up on all of those “to-do” tasks around the house that I’ve been meaning to do ever since we moved in.

Task #1: Painting the desk

You may have seen my “painting the desk” post awhile back when we were still staying with my parents. They actually gave us two desks, both of which were white wicker. I painted one of them right away, so that we could immediately start filling up the drawers and using it right after we moved. This week we had a front of unusually warm, sunny weather (it got into the 80’s!), so I figured it would be the opportune time to paint the other desk before winter comes.

I felt like I had a lot of pressure to do a good paint job on this desk. This is a very old desk that has been in the family for a long time. It used to belong to my great-grandmother. My father insisted that it was no big deal that I was going to paint it–he was just happy that someone in the family would be getting some use out of it, since it’s been sitting unused in their storage facility for the last several years. Even if I wanted to keep it as an eggshell white, it really needed a new coat of paint anyways because of all of the scrapes and discoloring and general disrepair that comes with a desk of that age. So I figured, as long as I was painting it, and my dad didn’t object, I may as well paint it black to match our other desk. And I actually realized, as I was cleaning it, that the eggshell white was the result of a paint job as well. I scrubbed one of the legs of the desk a little too hard, and the white paint started chipping away, revealing a greenish tint underneath. Maybe it just turned green from age somehow, but it’s cool to think that this possibly used to be a green desk–green is my favorite color, and maybe my great-grandmother used to like green too.

Now it’s a black desk! Look how it turned out:

BEFORE

AFTER

The desk chair actually didn’t even have a real seat to it before I started…

…but with a new red seat cushion from IKEA, it’s looking pretty snazzy! (And it’s comfortable!)

Task #2: Revamping the Bedroom Decor

My parents are so generous! When we visited them, they also gave us a nice blue bedspread that they weren’t using anymore. Justin and I had been using a green one that really wasn’t looking so great anymore. It was kind of a cheaper bedspread from Target, and between trying to litter-box-train two different kittens (who somehow mistook our bedspread as a nice place to relieve themselves), and having mishaps with the washer and dryer (it’s a king-sized spread, and it actually got fried a little bit in the dryer one time because it didn’t have enough space to spin), we were definitely ready for a new one. The only problem is that the other decorative accents (curtains, pictures, pillows, etc) in the bedroom are green, so I’m slowly trying to change things over to blue. I can’t afford to make ALL of the changes at once, but this week I at least took care of the pictures. We have two Monet prints that I bought at an art museum in Washington D.C. hanging in our bedroom, and for years, they’ve been housed in dark green frames. Now they’re in blue!

 

The Fonz approves!

I still need to work on curtains and lamps, but I’ll get there in time. I also solved a storage space issue by hanging some hooks on the bedroom walls:

A place for my scarves and purses!

And a place for his hats and ties!

 

Task #3: Updating the Anniversary Album

This was probably the easiest one to do, but for some reason, I just hadn’t gotten around to it until this week, even though our anniversary was back in July. Justin and I have a photo album called “Anniversary Memories” that we bought at Hallmark the year we got married. It has a two-page spread for every anniversary that we have. One side is for writing, and has questions to answer such as, “What kept you busy this year?”, “Where did you travel?”, “What are your hopes and dreams for the future?”, “What happened in current events/on the news?” The other side of the page is blank for pictures. I suppose you could put pictures from the highlights of your year there, but there really isn’t much space, so we usually just put a few pictures of us celebrating our anniversary, and we write underneath the pictures where we went, gifts we exchanged, etc. I think it’s a really sweet idea, because I don’t have any other photo albums that show yearly progression in quite that way. It will be neat to look back on it when it’s all filled up. 🙂

Task #4: Getting in the Kitchen

I haven’t made any really epic meals since we’ve moved to Pittsburgh, and this week I decided that I wanted to make chicken and dumplings. I’ve only made it once before, years ago, and I actually caused a small kitchen fire last time I cooked it (the chicken stock boiled over the pot and caught fire under the coils of the stove top!) , so I was a little nervous. And when I tried to ask the man in the Giant Eagle grocery store why they didn’t seem to have any frozen dumplings in stock, he gave me such a strange look! They have frozen raviolis and frozen pierogies, but I suppose frozen dumplings are just a little bit too southern to keep in stock. So I had to make my own this time from scratch, and that made me REALLY nervous! But I think they (and the rest of the meal) turned out alright. Justin kept complimenting me on it (and I think he was over-complimenting me a little, because he knew how worried I was that it would all turn out to be inedible or cause a fire or something). But I think it tasted pretty good!

I also baked some pies this week for my church small group. Desserts are much more in my wheelhouse, and I love finding recipes for pumpkin desserts during this time of year! I decided to make pumpkin cream pie with a graham cracker crust, and peanut butter pie with an Oreo crust, recipes courtesy of the Pioneer Woman, who has great step-by-step instructions for those of us who start mixing ingredients in the bowl and wonder, “Hmm….is it supposed to look like that?”

This is the Pioneer Woman’s picture. My pie actually kind of fell apart when I tried to slice it, but it tasted just as good. 🙂

I’ve been bringing desserts to my church small group every week, even though no one asks me to (although, now I’ve set the precedent. I walk in the door and they come into the kitchen saying, “Ooohh, what did you bring this week?”). I really enjoy making a name for myself as “the girl bearing dessert,” maybe a little too much. I wonder if God frowns on people who try to win new friends with food? 😉

I can’t tell you how productive I felt actually doing some of the things that I’ve seen on Pinterest, instead of just pinning them! But this weekend, I’m taking a break from all of my crafty-ness, because Justin and I are going on a road trip! We’re going to spend the weekend visiting our old friend New Jersey Aaron (who, incidentally, doesn’t live in New Jersey anymore…but what can I say? The name just sticks). I’ll let you know how it goes! 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Martha Stewart! (Almost.)

  1. Your place is looking so great! The desk/chair are especially great! And I love that you are making a name for yourself as the girl who brings dessert! 🙂

  2. Congrats on a) getting around to a loose end task and b) creating that very oriental look into the bargain! There is nothing more satisfying is there than finally finishing a project:) Thanks for sharing.

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