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Greetings from the Family Room

January 17, 2010
by thenestinggame

Wow. Not earning any frequent blogger miles around here. I have a zillion excuses. Let’s run through a couple of them.

Ahem.

1. My hard drive crashed, making it impossible to blog. But I got a replacement laptop.

2. Then the replacement was stolen. No blogging!

3. We’re in the middle of a big pitch for Baskin Robbins at work. Busy, busy! No time to blog.

4. The pitch has required me, FORCED ME, to eat copious amounts of ice cream. Therefore, I have been spending lots of free time at the gym. Way too sweaty to blog.

5. Taylor is out of town, so I have had to cook my own meals, and gourmet creations leave no time for blogging.

6. I’ve been obsessed with this book, reading it nonstop for 5 days. Hence, no blogging for me.

Lame. I agree. Let’s try to do better, shall we?

Around the nest, we’ve been focusing much of our attention on the family room. It’s the room that we’ve bought furniture for and the room we spend the most time in. Taylor and I have some pretty intense travel schedules this month and next, so I took advantage of our last week together to get some things done. First? Hanging art on the long wall behind the couch. We decided to use a collection of vintage postcards from cities we’ve lived in.

The summer after I graduated college, I worked in a little restaurant on Lookout Mountain, cooking. (That’s funny…)So, I worked at night and during the day, I browsed every store in Chattanooga, mentally shopping for the apartment I would eventually have wherever I ended up. One day, at a little gift shop on the north shore, I found some notecards featuring vintage postcards of Chattanooga. I picked up a set, thinking they would be cute to frame for the future apartment. Well, a few weeks later, I got a job offer in Memphis, moved there, and hung my Chattanooga postcards in my $475/month apartment on the border of the ghetto. A few months later, I decided to track down the same postcards for the other cities I’d lived in–at that point, St. Louis and Memphis. I added Atlanta and Tampa over the years too. And now that Taylor and I are living together, we’re going to add Clearwater, Gainesville, FL and San Diego. Luckily, the Pier 1 frames that I chose years ago are still around, so that makes adding Taylor’s towns pretty simple. Here’s Atlanta:

So now all we had to do was hang 8 frames. In a row. Level. Without killing each other. In my obsessive home blog reading, I remembered a trick: Butcher paper. So, I spread out a long roll of paper, laid all the frames out evenly and traced around them, marking where the center of the sawtooth hanger was on the back for the nail.

Then we taped the paper to the wall, measuring the same distance from the bottom of the crown molding to the top of each outline.

We put in nails where I had marked on the paper and ripped the paper down around the nails. Then we hung the frames. Ta Da! They are totally level! And we only yelled at each other, like, twice! And there was a bare minimum of math involved. BONUS.

The frames are (now) hung in chronological order of when we lived there, though they are not hung that way in this picture. We are cheating a bit–I lived in Atlanta before I lived in Tampa and before Taylor lived in San Diego, but we thought it was more fitting for the last one to be Atlanta since that’s where we are now. We are also contemplating hanging some ledges beneath the frames and displaying photos or mementos from each city beneath it. Downside to that idea is it’s a high traffic area and they could get bumped by children’s noggins or nearsighted, slightly klutzy homeowners.

In other family room progress, we have hung the TV over the mantle, organized our components on a lovely and price-is-righteous IKEA table/bench, salvaged some chairs from the basement, looked into fabric for recovering said chairs and bench (why is foam more expensive than premium denim?) and purchased a rug at a nice discount.

Sneak preview:

So, I hope, dear reader (hi Taylor), that this makes up for the lack of posts lately! No promises, but I’ll try to do better!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 18, 2010 4:28 am

    Love, love, love the butcher paper idea!! Usually I just eye things where Charlie is the ‘use a level and measure exactly’ kind of guy. That would definitely keep us sane if we were hanging multiple items!

  2. January 18, 2010 8:46 pm

    Gourmet creations like tuna fish salad sandwiches? Or butter and crackers?
    Hang in there. I’m coming.

  3. Jackie permalink
    January 20, 2010 3:18 am

    I think you went wrong with the fabric. I say call up Karen Fesmire and ask about that “fabulous” $500/yard fabric she used at the KD house. I bet it’s in the clearance bin about now.

    Looking good!! That butcher paper is a great idea.

    And your first apartment on Central Ave. was super cute!! :-)

  4. Elizabeth permalink
    February 7, 2010 6:16 am

    I loved “The Hour I First Believed.” Hated Wally’s second book so didn’t have high hopes for it, but ended up really enjoying.

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