the cabin

This past weekend we were lucky enough to get to visit Luke's grandparents at the cabin. It was a really special time as we haven't seen them since we moved up to New York. They hold such a special place in our hearts, as does the amazing place they call home for six months out of the year -- this is the place Luke asked me to spend my life with him.

 

January 2, 2010

I love the cabin because of the significance it holds in Luke's family history, and now ours. I love it because it's a place of refuge, full of peace and relaxation. Cell phones don't work there. It's full of books and old things. It was built from the ground up by Luke's granddad and family members--each strip of molding around the windows painstakingly measured, sawed, and stained by hand. Every cabinet door and handle, even the bed in the master bedroom was created specifically for this space. Luke remembers helping out as a boy with some of these various projects during its construction and he's sat down for countless meals on the back porch looking over the most amazing view. The very first time he brought me to the cabin, I knew instantly it was a rare and special place. Who wouldn't love it here? The moment you walk in the door you can feel the weight of the world melt off of your shoulders. I feel priveleged to be part of this family and get to share in this gift of a place.

The best thing about the cabin, though, are the conversations Luke and I have shared with his grandparents there. The cabin walls and mountain air seem to be an invaluable tool for getting to know these two beautiful people. This weekend we had long, fascinating conversations all about their childhoods, families, and early marriage. These conversations teach me more about life and love than could be read in any book. Their lives are an example of what it means to live sacrificially. I am blessed to learn from their wise ways. Just look at this man!

 

 

 

 

This is an older photo taken of my mother-in-law, Lola, but I love it because it is the epitomy of cabin life.

 

 

I wish I never had to leave!

 

But now we're on to the next thing -- spending the week in High Point, NC (Luke's hometown), where the Warriors are running soccer camps at Luke's old high school. We're staying with good friends Austin and Rachel who are the kindest hosts. Later this week I get to see my in-laws and Charlotte friends and stuff my face with these, hopefully!

 

An Injured Leg & National Parks

Today started out like any other day...until I took out a large chunk of my thigh trying to kill an ant. I swear, my injuries are so LAME. Last time I drew copious amounts of blood was when I sliced off my fingertip cutting cardstock with my guillotine paper cutter. I mean, that's not even cool. This morning I climbed on top of our old-dresser-turned-tv-stand to reach an ant on the wall and, when jumping down, didn't realize there was a drawer slightly open. I hopped down without looking and my upper thigh made contact with the solid wood corner, which dug in deep as all my weight came down on it. Ouch. I'd show you a photo and try to convince you it's a bullet wound, but it's really gross and you wouldn't believe me anyway since I just gave away the real story. And the worst part of it? I didn't even kill the ant.

In other news, I feel like a failure as a blogger. It's really hard to get back into blogging once you've been away from it for awhile, but I miss it, and maybe one or two of you out there miss it too. Part of the problem is that my crummy point-and-shoot camera is broken. Can't have a blog without fun pictures, right? A small part of me actually believes that I'll be a better blogger if I get a nice camera...but I don't think that's in the cards anytime soon, so I'll have to take a field trip to Best Buy and see if I can figure out what's wrong with my ol' Canon Powershot.

Once that's done, I'll get around to posting some photos of our humble apartment. Today I wanted to share some awesome vintage posters I dug up while searching for something to fill these empty frames that have been taunting me in the living room: 

We got them on sale at Ikea for $10 apiece and there they have rested on the couch frame with nary a nail in the wall since we're indecisive about what to put in them. Luke wanted to frame up some maps, but I wasn't feeling that 100%, so I scoured the interwebs for a cool variation of framed map art and came across this vintage California state map...

...and thought "Oooh. This could be perfect if I could hunt down Pennsylvania and North Carolina." (What is it with me and my obsession with home-states? I do not know.) Two problems: one, I couldn't find cool vintagey PA or NC posters anywhere. Two, although Cali is a nice tall state that works well as a portrait-oriented image, PA and NC are both short and wide. I want to hang the frames vertically side-by-side--probably not going to find any prints of our short, stubby states oriented the way I'd like. So I kept searching, and my hunt yielded these amazing vintage National Parks posters from the 1930s:

  

 Love at first sight. The colors, the images, the vintage lettering and quotes--they all called out to me. Not to mention the very cool story behind these posters designed by Dorothy Waugh, an artist of the New Deal era. President Franklin D. Roosevelt implemented the New Deal to help boost the economy (and morale!) as America was at the height of the worst depression in history, and developed cultural programs in which artists were employed by the federal government! Now those are tax dollars I can be proud of. Waugh became the art production supervisor of the National Park Service. She designed these two particular posters and later went on to teach typography and design at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art. That's my kind of woman! All this and much more gives me a whole lotta love for National Parks. I want to visit many of them with Luke in my lifetime. You never know, maybe having these hung on the wall will spur us on to future travels. So far he's been to Yellowstone, I've been to Acadia...what's your favorite National Park?

A Peek in our Library

Hi everyone! I'm just popping in for a quick post today. I know when I shared our screened-in porch I said I would be back to show you photos of a couple other spaces in our home, and I'm glad I snapped a few when everything was still intact! As of right now, our house is in full-blown packing mode and looking pretty empty. I can't believe tomorrow is my last day of work and we only have 4 days until we pack the cars and go! I'm trying to stay afloat, and Luke is doing a great job keeping me sane. He has packed up so much of our house while I've been at work...and I love him for it.

Today I wanted to show you one of our joint favorite nooks of the house. In the corner of the living room is a bookshelf that houses our little library. We both love books and the idea of having a library in our future home, and this is definitely a humble beginning. There are lots of books we love that aren't seen here, but these things take time. I'll point out a couple of my favorite details while you take a closer look...

1) Budvase of lavender, memento from my best friend Mary's beautiful wedding.

2) Vintage Kodak Instamatic I found for $2 at an antique store.

3) One of the vintage dessert plates from our wedding.

4) The tiniest pewter frame for which I have not yet found the perfect tiniest photo.

5) Sailboat drawing by Mary, a wedding gift.

6) This was a "birthday present" for Luke last year. I definitely had personal motives in mind with this one.

7)  One of three globe bookends I've picked at yard sales. I guess I've started a collection.

8) Luke and I each subscribe to one magazine. My pick is Real Simple, his is Outside.

 

It's fun to walk over to the bookshelf and choose a book I haven't read in awhile. Speaking of things you haven't read in awhile, do any friends spy books that belong to you? I've been bad about returning in the past...I promise to be better!

We're off to spend a much-anticipated evening with great friends. I'm sad to leave these amazing people but so glad for the brief time we had getting to know them. I'll try to check in on Monday but I think it will be really hectic, so we'll see...have a beautiful weekend!

 

Our Screened-in Porch: A Peaceful Place

In just a little over two weeks, Luke and I will be leaving our first home and moving somewhere new. I have to be honest and say that when it comes to change, excitement usually wins out over sentimentality for me. I love our beautiful home and I'm so grateful that the first nine months of our marriage were spent here, but I don't dread leaving because I know something else awaits us. I know it involves downsizing significantly and living in a building full of other people, but I think it will be fun and exciting. I also can't wait to tackle our new small space with functional and inspirational solutions (and share them with you!).

I'm going to try to document some spaces around our house until we leave. I'm bringing you one of my favorites first: the screened-in porch. I love relaxing and eating meals out here. I put some time and, as you'll see, not a lot of money into making it feel special. I'm so glad I did, because here's what it looked like after a winter of neglect:

Dead tree, dead leaves, a random saw, spiders galore...scary! 

 Here's what it looks like now:

 

 

The rug and matching patio furniture was there when we moved in, but mostly everything else in the room was picked at a thrift store or yard sale, starting with the light above the table. I got it at a yard sale for $5. It was painted a bright teal color when I bought it.

 

I knew that I wanted to tone it down, so I spent maybe 10 minutes dabbing a rag soaked with white acrylic paint all over the surface.

 

You're familiar with the chairs that surround the table, and the table itself was scored for just $10 at a yard sale. Unbelievable, right? Perfect for sharing meals.

 

I got the round lace tablecloth and all of the antique blue budvases at thrift stores. The tablecloth was 99 cents and I paid no more than 75 cents for each budvase.

 

The lanterns were dusty and worn when Luke's grandmom bought them for me at her favorite antique market. I took them apart, cleaned them up and bought new wicks and lamp oil for them--now they're good as new!

They're so lovely in the evening...

 

My dad picked up the cool wine crates off the side of the road for me because he knew I'd love them. For now, I'm using them as side tables. The hand-painted lamp was $1 at a thrift store.

 

The colorful Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs were purchased from two separate yard sales for a total of 3 or 4 dollars. I thought they were fun and cheerful, but I don't think they'll make the move.

 

This garden table I use for my seedlings is perfect. I mentioned before that I got it at a yard sale for $3. Speaking of which, check out that post and see the difference in the baby plants! It's like a jungle now!

 

The two plant tables below were found at a thrift store and flea market for a few bucks apiece. I had intentions to paint both of them, but their purpose is served well just the way they are. Both of the plants (jade on the left, peperomia on the right) were gifts from Luke on two consecutive Valentine's days.

 

Last but not least, the oriental throw rug from this post found its home on the back porch. I love stepping out of the house and having it lead me to such a peaceful place.

 

So that's our screened-in porch. It's an easily neglected room which can be one of the most enjoyable if you show it a little love! After you are done perusing the photos, leave a comment and tell me: have you ever realized the potential of a neglected area of your home and revitalized it?