Friday, May 18, 2012

Around the House

Wowza… lots of updates!

I got a "real person” SLR camera last week and I’m still learning how to use it. It was a pretty good deal – I got a refurbished Nikon D3100 with kit lens extended 2-year warranty for $400. It’s my first time buying a refurb, but it looks and feels squeaky clean and brand new. Thumbs up so far!

Anyway, I decided to walk around the house and take some photos of the latest stuff I’ve made and been working on. I’m new to using this camera, so the shots you’re about to see are not stellar, but tons better than the old point-and-shoot.

Before we go on our tour, here’s Todd’s Zoolander pose: Blue Steel.

DSC_0101 I love how Ben’s working on his computer in the background. So typical for a night at the Bartleys.

Come see – there’s new stuff all around this house! It’s all still in progress, of course.

Here’s my new chair! I’ve been eyeing this one at World Market for months, only to find out that they’re out of stock every time. I hit the jackpot one afternoon, and not only did they have five in stock, but they were also running a 10% off coupon. Win! This is the Erin Cute-As-A-Button chair. It’s the perfect size and shape, and when you look closely, all of the buttons are unique. No two chairs are alike!


Prepare yourselves. I am in love with succulents and cute little indoor plants. A neighbor was getting rid of some old weather 1"x4”s, so I took a few boards off of her hands. I cut them up, nailed them together, and made myself a tabletop planter. All the plants are from Home Depot.


Top view:


More plants. I have a ton of glass hurricanes and thought I’d use them. Here’s a tiny terrarium I made with some clay birds, cactus soil, and some rocks I had laying around.


Last weekend was a HUGE sewing weekend for me! I made three pillows in a day, with only one casualty (I actually sewed my finger – ouch!). The pillow you see on my new chair is actually a placemat from World Market. I found out later that they sold out of these napkins REALLY fast. All I had to do was rip out the stitches on one side of the napkin and sew a zipper into the side.

The pillow insert is actually a bed pillow from Ikea from the scratch ‘n' dent area… I cut it in half and sewed it back together. For the $3 I paid for the Ikea pillow, I now have two lumbar pillow inserts.


See? The buttons are so flippin’ fun!



Then, I found YET ANOTHER hurricane glass and decided to go for a terrarium with a more local flavor. :) In Indiana, we don’t have soil, we have clay. I took a hike down the creek path behind our house and found two types of moss, a fern (which is still being revived), driftwood, and a couple of rocks. I couldn’t help myself… yes, I made a tiny bunny to sit inside my terrarium.


Cleaning out some old drawers, I found a bunch of memorabilia that has some significance to me an Ben. So, I framed it. This is another Ikea frame. Top left – a fake diamond ring (long story). Top right – key to our first house in Indianapolis. Bottom left – a key to our current house, before the locks were changed. Bottom right – my favorite! A (quartz?) rock from the bottom of our first trip to Colorado together. [We did a Fourteener that day, Mount Evans. I know it’s totally cheating, because you can drive to the top. We’ve legitimately climbed two other 14,000-foot peaks since, in all of their oxygen-deficient glory!]


You guys, this is my pride and joy (that’s still in the works).

Ok, wait! Stop! You have to see what it looked like before. This corner is/was not only awkward, but really poorly lit, no matter what time of day. This means that every photo attempt was a dark and grainy mess…


The hanging mirror-coatrack from Target was nice, but I was always a scared that it would fall when we hung heavy Winter coats on it. There’s only four hooks, too. I have more coats and bags than that! Pretty, but not a good fit or size for this area, especially when we have visitors… half the time we’d end up throwing coats on a nearby chair.

I just built and installed this permanent coat and key hook (below), and I’m really proud of how it turned out! The wood for the coat rack is just a 1”x6” and the hooks are from Target.

I’ve had the Ikea picture shelf for-ever and finally got to use it!! The canvas is one I painted over with random stuff and acrylic paint I had, and the middle frame is art I made from paint chips. The left-most frame is framed text on cardstock (if you must know, it’s a list of all the names Shawn ever called Gus in our favorite show, Psych). I leave the left side of the shelf for mail, sunglasses, and other items.

The hardest part about getting this coat rack installed was working around the angled corner of the office wall without a miter saw. After lots of sanding and cutting, it turned out alright!


I’m still trying to find a larger entry bench to put beneath the coat rack.  You can go ahead and ignore the random stool & bench beneath it right now!


Maybe something like this?

we bench

Here’s the top of our office built-ins. I found the globe at HomeGoods. That’s another one of those pretty World Market placemats to the left of it, but instead of being a lumbar pillow, now it’s framed artwork. I am going to fill the rest of this area with smaller frames and artwork. I think I’ll also line the inside of the bookshelves with fabric.

Check out the second shelf – that’s an alpaca that Jaz & Jose Carlos made for me for the epic Handmade Bartley Christmas!


This picture turned out GREAT! compared to any attempts I took with my point-and-shoot digital camera. This is the breakfast nook and my gallery wall. I made all of the artwork on the wall, and some of them are just placeholders until I find something I l.o.v.e.

DSC_0227 I like the idea of displaying some of our race medals, since it’s important to us. My two biggest achievements are hung there right now – the blue ribbon is from my first 50k trail ultramarathon (31 miles!) last weekend and the one behind it is the Rev3 half iron triathlon on September 11, 2011.


Oh – more obsession with cute little plants. Meet my cactus!

Yes, that is definitely a Bowerman book underneath it. We’re huge running nerds.


Highlighting a tiny – but hugely helpful – tweak to the laundry room… the $4 Ikea spice rack mounted to the wall! It’s just big enough to hold the essentials and keep this stuff from stacking up on the dryer in an already-tiny room.


I love West Elm. Is it too obvious? I got this new hammered vase on sale in the Columbus, Ohio store at Easton a few weeks ago.


Outside, there have been a couple of tweaks. Check out the new bench for the front porch:


I spent last Sunday making these pillows. It’s so fun when things coordinate! They pillows were made with outdoor fabrics, so that should help them stay clean and dry for a while. I sprayed them with water-dirt resistant spray just in case.


Yes, I engineered this built-in zipper in each of the pillow covers. It only took three pillows and three tries to get it just right!


Well, that’s the latest! Want to know more? Just ask. :) Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Ahh so much stuff! Looks great. BTW, that thing in your terrarium looks like watercress, not a fern (if I'm looking at the right thing) and probably won't survive without a ton of water. AND if you ever want to borrow a miter saw, I just got a sweet secondhand one from someone moving to Australia. I haven't tested it out yet and it may need a new blade, but anyway the offer is out there!

    1. Thanks, Emily!! :) Watercress, eh? Nice! I've been watering this thing like crazy... but have a tendency to kill plants easily. I might take you up on borrowing that miter saw!



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