(n.) Cabindo: A condo on a lake, among tall old trees. Half cabin, half condo. My first home. This is a running journal of the renovations, projects, and general shoestring budget craziness.

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Utilizing Empty Spaces - Floral Edition

I had some fun flower shenanigans utilizing the empty space in the new house before we moved in, and then the empty Cabindo while getting it ready to rent.

Shenanigan 1: wedding flowers for some good friends a la Cabindo

Her colors were orange/coral and blue. 
While that was not something I'd innately go for; girl totally knew what she was talking about (insert z-snap here), and everything came out so unique, beautiful, and just to her fantastic tastes.

a living room full of bridesmaids sorting and prepping flowers

We had blisters on our hands by the end of this day from cutting veritable eucalyptus trees down to manageable floral-use size pieces. 
CPR compressions with pruning shears turned out to be a winning technique. 

Empty bedroom (minus crap on the shelf, which doesn't count) full of arrangements.
Cocktail table (left) in mason jars, and dinner table (right) in wooden boxes w/floral foam.

orange and white buffet table arrangements

The orange roses were huge, fully open, ombre, and generally incredible (once we made a second trip across state lines by lunch time the day before the wedding to get them...MANY bad words were said en route).
The pieces above with white hydrangeas, peach spray roses and berries, dusty greens, el roses special, cream stock, and some pops of yellow billy balls were my favorite.

head table arrangement

bouquets sporting the orange/coral, blue, and dusty green color theme

There were at least 4 other kinds of arrangements for various bar, isle, entrance, cake top, etc locations.
The flowers were beautiful at the wedding and the bride was happy with how it all turned out (groom too, but priorities people!).
It was a last minute scramble to get everything done, placed, and then put on a dress to see the happy couple actually exchange vows on the day, and I totally threw out my back in the process; but it was very much worth it.
The venue manager even asked me for a card to refer other brides, and I laughed and said no thank you. That much work is only ok for very, very good friends. Unless I can quit my real job and overcharge like woah on the regular, which I doubt will be happening anytime soon.

Shenanigan 2: the unsuspecting florist of Links house

"Just help me figure out which flowers to get, and how order them" she said.....
Famous last words from a friend I once 'taught to sew' and ended up making a formal gown for.
Yeah @myra_khan... I'm talkin about you.

Said friend Myra has a crafty side company and wanted to test the waters of adding floral work as a viable new line of business.  

After several conversations back and forth between me/Myra and Myra/bridezilla, a decent amount of planning work via spreadsheets and budgets, along with going to the wholesaler to get the flowers (me paying for them upfront), then doing a lot of the arranging work; my fee of a milkshake-for-a-simple-job was feeling very low. I raised her one salad, and won. She is also known to feed me every time I go to her house (I can't say the same), so all measures of kindness even out in the end I'd like to believe.
Regardless; it's still a pretty good day when I get to hang out with Myra and play with flowers.

I only have one picture, because my lovely and truly well meaning mother in law stopped by the Links house while we were arranging, and brought with her: 
- an ice cream cake which became a crisis to fit in the freezer (because let's write off any freezer that doesn't fit a full sheet cake w/o finagling)
- and some landscaping 'must-do's (mulch is stressful)
- and some furniture placement recommendations (all my furniture is garbage apparently)
- and some contractor names who had to be called (the totally stable roof/plumbing/electrical are all going to explode imminently)
- and thought Myra was a non-english speaking housecleaner (even after that was cleared up; it wasn't)
This happened to be the day after closing, so all Mr.Links House had to his name was 3 folding chairs and a camping table, and with 2 hours logged; I'd spent double the time in the house that even Al had to that point.
Bonus: Al's birthday party/surprise house party (to the guests who didn't know we'd bought a house) was coming up in mere hours. 
And I was tired & under the weather. (whine, whine, bitch, bitch. i know. #firstworldproblems)

To say I was distracted was an understatement. 
If you've read this far: god bless you: here's the damn picture.

in the foreground: a BIG cascading bride's bouquet (drapes left to right as seen here)
propped up in a giant beer mug from college.
thanks Green Leafe Cafe!

in the background: some of the 10ish small bouquets made from:
baby's breath, blush spray roses, ivy, and tears

I have no idea if the bride liked the flowers. 
Myra was pretty disillusioned with the whole thing too by the time of delivery and didn't hear much back afterwards, so we'll just chalk it up to a floral learning experience, and be glad to not repeat it.

Floral design: ya win some, ya loose some.

But when you get to share important life events with your person like buying a house and having a milestone birthday all wrapped into 24 hours; it turns a loosing day into awesome day pretty quick.

I really like my person.
I'm happy to report he likes me too.

P.S. The ice cream cake was delicious. But I'm still waiting for my milkshake.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Curtains on the Cabindo

The eagle has landed condo has been rented.

A very nice couple will be continuing the Cabindo love for a while, and I couldn't be more excited for them, and for me.

On the way to getting it rented, we had quite a time washing and re-hanging the curtains.

Let me start at the beginning: there were zero window coverings or even window hardware when I moved into the Cabindo. It was a touchy couple first weeks and months of changing in the hallway and hanging sheets via thumb tacks (with questionable opacity) before I was able to find affordable, attractive, long enough, and opaque enough drapes to cut the mustard. 

Ikea Lenda for $20 a set
Great 'linen' look like Restoration Hardware-ish products, for less than one drawer pull at Restoration Hardware

They hung on the cheapest walmart hardware for a year or more before I got around to building metal pipe-based rails for the extra wide sliding door walls in the dining room and master bedroom. 

4 iron pipes cut to my measurements at Home Depot  ~$40
Various fittings ~$15
Spray paint to seal the iron pipe - had it
Anchors & bolts - had 'em
Labor - had him (Al)

$55 and some mild cursing is MUCH cheaper than the West Elm version that would have cost me an arm and a leg, and been made of glorified aluminum foil. 

West Elm pipe curtain rod. $109.
I would have needed 4 of them. Uhhh... no.

The DIY version worked great and the curtains hung attractively and REALLY securely long enough to acquire a nice coating of cat hair.

To get them down and washed, I realised they had to be cut off at the tabs, as they were put up on the rails when the system was built, and it was bolted to the wall.
I'm not stupid (most days), and knew those bolts were staying put if I wanted the system to stay intact and secure.
So the curtains got cut down, washed, and dried by the ever helpful Mama P. 

I rigged shower curtain ring/track curtain clip do-hickies to hang them up again, since the tabs were now gone. (Mama P's idea. So helpful)

Yet again, thank you Ikea.
I actually really like how it looks.

Al, Pookie (the dog), and I set about ironing and rehanging the fresh and clean curtains.

Wrinkle free? Hair free?
Meh, close enough.

To our great consternation, we'd forgotten that cotton shrinks, and the curtains which previously had an attractively generous break on the floor, were now were waiting for a flood.

Since flood insurance is not necessary on a 2nd floor condo,
neither are annoying 3 inch slivers of daylight.

To say I was unreasonably upset is an understatement. There may have been tears. It's a theme at the Cabindo the past few months I guess.

I've shrunken other cotton curtains previously, and fixed them by rewashing and line drying. Figured it was worth a try on these suckers too.  
When that was done and we hung the first panel; they were better, but still too short. 
I was again thrilled and handled it exceedingly calmly and well.

Back to the washer they went to get wet, we had a soothing ice cream break, and then tried option 3 while the curtains were still damp:

Nothing to take out your anger like tug of war with purpose.
This of course turned into us trying to pull each other over.
No one was hurt, but Pookie was VERY worried the whole time.

Lo and behold, it worked: those suckers all touched the floor. We prayed they would not shorten up as they dried, and luckily they did not. 
There was no ironing of these babies and risk shrinking. They are rocking the 'crushed linen' look, and it actually seems intentional/passible. The new renters even noted that they liked them (even if they were just being polite: #kludgeforthewin).

The new folks don't have, nor do they plan on getting furry pets anytime soon. So as long as there isn't some errant spaghetti sauce accident: they shouldn't have to enjoy toil through washing the drapes. 
And they can change their pants wherever, whenever they please.