Millerhomestead’s Blog

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Couch March 11, 2011

Filed under: House,Suburban Farming — millerhomestead @ 8:18 pm
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After much research and thought- seriously, like almost 2 years worth- I finally made the jump. I just ordered a couch today. First let me explain that I originally had every intention of buying a sectional because it’s tons of seating. But when it came down to it, I started to worry how I could accomplish change after I get tired of it 10 years from now. I mean, you can’t rearrange furniture when only have one giant piece of it. So I decided to go back to the traditional sofa, loveseat, chair and ottoman. I didn’t, however, compromise on the quality. I am getting the whole shabang-  8 way hand tied spring system, thick down stuffed cushions and     and   

and  (building it up for the shocker)….

full grain leather. Yes, I never in a million years thought I would go this route because of price and icky sticky leather. But this is the good stuff. It is the soft buttery leather that isn’t freezing cold to the touch. Plus, I was thinking of long-term durability and leather seems to fit the bill and best of all, it keeps in style with the traditional lodge/cottage thing we are rocking in our living room.

This is the "Madison" from Casco Bay Furniture. And it is super deep for reading, watching tv and sleeping on.

From one of my last posts, I was looking at a similar style sectional in fabric, but in the thought process, I started to panic at the images of #3 drawing with markers on the side of the couch. Hence, a vintagey dark leather.

When I am able to round up some more cash, I will get a slipcovered loveseat and a chair/ottoman set. The slipcovers are washable and from the samples we received, we chose a soft pale slate blue.

Right style, wrong color. Ours will be a light grey-blue-green color. It goes great with our living room rug. These are also 8 way hand tied and stuffed with down.

See how the arms on the slipcover couch match the arms on the leather couch? Love that. And I can also order more slips when I need a change. You likey??

On another note, the weather is starting to change and I just got finished planting some spring greens in the garden. They are already sprouting up! I am am brainstorming ways to keep out the rabbits that are having breakfast buffet every morning before the sun comes up.


Woah, stop the car! February 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — millerhomestead @ 1:41 am
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Have you ever seen something that you just wanted? I mean, REALLY wanted so bad and no matter what, you couldn’t justify its need, practicality or expense? Oh, this is my specialty. I could be scrolling through a blog or checking out a magazine and woah! There it is! I want it! Thank goodness I am not an impulse shopper or we would be broke.

Here are some recent guilty pleasures that were either too expensive, too big or too fancy.

Too big. I would love to put something like this in the living room instead of the 1980's fan, but this would hang so low and being decapitated does not fall into the category of home comfort.

This stopped me in my tracks. It was a stare-down. Wow. I want to marry it, but it may be a bit fancy for the lodge living room. It might even be a twinge too big. The true test is to climb inside of it. If you end up in Narnia, it was too big...

Too expensive. Seriously. I want to buy two of these for my bedroom and put them side by side. Then I would lean a bunch of framed black and white architectural photos on top. Aren't these just special?

Okay. Back to reality. I am going to go back to working on my calligraphy job, but I thought I would take a quick break and drop yall a line. Yeah, I am still feeling a little guilty for my long  blog absence.


Bad blogger :( February 3, 2011

I did it. I achieved bad blogger status. My sister called me out on it and now I feel bad. I don’t live by my family and I know they look at this blog to catch up on out comings and goings. Last entry was titled “sick” and now everyone thinks we might be dead. But we’re not. We are here, healthy and b u s y! Here is some of the stuff currently on our plate:

Kids’ Bathroom- OK, this project was going full steam ahead. The new tub was installed. The whole room was demo’d and the floors were tiled and grouted. The wallpaper/paint has been stripped. The mirror was taken down in one piece (yay!) and now we are ready to plank the vanity wall. I have pictures but they’re all on the camera right now. I promise I will load them soon!

Wood trim- This is the never ending residual project from hardwooding the floors last year. We traded out the 4 in baseboards for 5 inchers. They look much better with just that little added inch. Unfortunately, once you change it in one room, you have to do all the others or you break up the continuity. So currently Husband is tackling the pantry hallway. There are lots of nooks and crannies there, so it have been taking awhile to get it perfect.

Living room- A while back, I made a slipcover for my sadly deteriorated couch in the living room. I won’t go into the story about how Husband had to work two jobs to pay for these couches 12 years ago…but seriously, we were taken. Bought them from the local family-owned furniture store with a 300% mark-up (probably). I was expecting to be buried with one of these couches. The sales person talked up the quality and durability like he had just made the couch with his own two hands. Well, I sure wish I would have done my homework back then. After a little investigating, I found out that these couches were designed to last 6-8 years. Great. Of course they were.- which would explain why mine look the way they do now. So this year, after doing my homework ALL last year, I will be purchasing our “forever” living room seating. I listened to Husband and the kids to see what their wishes were, and I am trying to accommodate everyone. Husband wants something that still fits the lodge look and is super comfy, the kids want something huge to build forts on, and I want something a little more streamlined and modern that is made really well on the insides. When you put that list together, you get $$$$. I knew it would be though, so no surprises here. This is what we are looking at getting.

This is the sectional that we want. I am waiting on fabric swatches, but it will either be flax duck fabric or flax velvet. I should mention that the top seller here is that the couch is SOOOO deep- approximately 46 inches. So, yes, my oldest sister's legs would probably not come close to touching the floor when sitting. ha.

Although I LOVE my antique french fireside chairs- they are not kid friendly at all. They must evoke the look of a jungle gym, because #3 climbs them twice a day and for some reason, #1 (about 70lbs), likes to sit on the arms. So before they are completely destroyed, I will probably sell or give them away to someone who can preserve their beauty. I will be getting this leather club instead. Again, large scale and deep. Indestructable.

Over Christmas, we got the kids a flatscreen tv/blue ray player for the living room so that we could all watch movies together. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a real home yet. It sits on our coffee table which has been shoved in the corner by the window. This is not ideal since we like having the coffee table in front of the couch to prop up our feet or set drinks on. So my plan is to try to build this media console. I won't buy it because it only comes in this horrid red finish or white- neither would go with our living room. I found the building plans online, and I was thinking I would try to build it and give it my own finish. Most likely I would give it a rustic dark stained finish or an antiqued weathered grey finish. I haven't decided for sure. Anyway, I would move our IKEA shelves into the front formal living room, since that will soon be a showroom for my calligraphy business.


At home calligraphy business- BOOMING! Every year I worry that I will wake up from the dream and realize that no one wants to pay for handwriting, but apparently they DO! I am enrolled in a letterpress printing course and I love it. I hope to be able to get into printing my own designs. Husband is very excited about this possibility too, because it would drastically increase my income. The downside is that the equipment for letterpress is heavy and hard to find. We would lose one side of the garage to house all the stuff. Big deal, you might say, but we have SO much crap in our garage…

Kids and school- Everyone is having a great year so far! Homeschooling is going well. However, if I do this next year, I will make sure to better look through curriculums before making a decision. We ditched our reading program because it was stupid, and the math program is mostly review. Next year, I would choose much more challenging textbooks. I have had to do enrichment to compensate for the things that aren’t in the book that aren’t. Gosh, I sound like a big snob…

Husband’s job- Husband did not take the job offer 15 minutes north of our home. It was a real downer for him, but he has moved on and is focusing on the good things about his current job. He is really working hard on relationships within his group of guys. That’s a big deal for him!

Gardening- Spring will be here before we know it! I picked up a bunch of organic seed packets last time I went by the Farmers Market. As soon as I get a few other projects completed arounf here, I will start making my plans and strategies for gardening. I will say that for the first time in awhile, I bought some flower seeds too. So this year we will infuse lots of color in our garden as well as edibles. I hope to talk to all the neighbors about getting them to grow edible too! I would love to see everyone on our street with a veggie/fruit garden. I am thinking about holding some sort of neighborhood get-together at our house to get the ball rolling. We’ll see!

Carpet- Last but not least, I have been slowly peeling up the carpet in our upstairs rooms. When the bank took the house from the former owners, they sent their workers in to ‘fix” stuff which included all the flooring. So they put down the worst apartment grade carpet in light beige throughout the house. Seriously, we ruined it the first month we lived in the house. Right now, I am concentrating on getting up all the carpet and random floor staples from each room. Then I will go through and screw in all the squeaks- and trust me, there are tons of them. Once all the rooms are cleaned, de-stapled and de-squeaked, we can go carpet shopping. I am thinking that this will probably happen in the fall since the living room furniture will drain my account. We like the Martha Stewart carpet line offered at Home Depot and the stain warranty it carries. We also like that there are so many darker color choices that would mesh with the colors in our house.

So there you have it, a complete run-down of ideas and happenings. At some point, I will download all the pictures in my camera and share all the progress with you. But in my spare moments it is hard to motivate myself to do that, since all I want to do is sleep and recover from long nights of calligraphy. But I promise I will do it for you. I hope everyone is well out in blogland and making plans for their “homesteads.” What about you? What plans are you making this year?


Sick December 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — millerhomestead @ 7:17 pm

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I have been dog-sick. #2 caught the same thing I have, so everything here has come to a screeching halt. We are trying to do everything we can to get better so that we can enjoy Christmas day and spread some joy and cheer (and not germs). Be back real soon!


Cottage style December 17, 2010

Filed under: Projects,Uncategorized — millerhomestead @ 12:44 pm
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By now, you have probably figured out that a cozy cottage rocks my world. And it does! I think cottage style is so suitable for a young family. I also like how most of the furniture is casual and comfortable and sports that fresh airy feeling. I have tried my best to marry together my love for cottage/farmhouse and Husband’s love for rustic lodge. Here are some looks I love!

I love these colors! It's neutral and calming but not boring.

These are two pics of the same kitchen and I love it! On the left- I love all the greys and whites against that rustic wood beamed ceiling. And the open shelving is great for displaying the fancy plates I don't have. On the right- I like how it is so lofty and sunny. I bet that stove is a dream to cook on too!


I like how simple this dining room is. There is lots of room to walk around the table and the chairs look super comfortable for hanging out after dinner is over. And the light is just pouring in through that huge french doors and reflecting on the planked ceiling. Check out that primitive cabinet on the left. Love that too!

Bathroom update: Everything is completely torn out and Husband has put in a extra studs where they were needed for backerboard. The tub fit in place perfectly and needs to be set perfectly level. Right now it leans ever so slightly to one side, which would drive both of us crazy. Next will be backerboard and subway tile. I bought the little pale blue mosaic tiles that we plan to use as a border around the shower area. They are really pretty! I will update you next week with pictures since we will be working on it this weekend.


Waiting and saving December 3, 2010

Filed under: House,Uncategorized — millerhomestead @ 1:20 pm
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Don’t you hate it when someone tells you that you just have to be patient? I do. And I really hate that phrase “Good things come to those who wait.” Ugh. Right now, I know that we have almost a year before we can officially move to Louisiana. I have plenty of things to keep me busy until then, but I just hate the waiting. I hate not knowing what my living situation will be and what the school arrangement will be and if my business will flourish, etc. And the other thing I hate? Saving money. Now, I have always been more of a saver than a spender. So it’s not like I want to go out and blow a wad of cash, but I am used to saving up for things that have a definite price and that price is never in the thousands or tens of thousands. Everything is sorta on hold right now. I will have to budget out some money to finish the reno on our current house, but for the most part, the big bucks will be stashed away for the new place. I know that I’ll be glad later. After all, I am not making any compromises on my next kitchen.
So how about you? What are you saving your pennies for?


Could it be love? November 24, 2010

Filed under: House — millerhomestead @ 1:55 pm
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While driving around our target area, we searched for “for sale” signs, but as life would have it, we found the house we want. And it’s not for sale. Darn. That didn’t stop us from poking around. I mean, we didn’t break in, but we did walk around the sides of the property and peek in the front window. She is very much vacant and starting to fall asleep….

Built in 1909.

We have actually been stalking the house for a little while on google street view. When we got into town, we knew exactly where to go to see her in person. And she was every bit as glorious stansing tall in front of us, just as she presented herself on the streetview image. Sadly, she has been neglected. No one values her now that she has become old and tired.

Standing on the front porch, zooming in on the porch roof details. Perfect example of a Neoclassic Revival.

Another view of her soaring columns. They are magnificent when you are close up.

So after we tresspassed, we went to the courthouse to get every piece of info we could on the property. We found out that who the owner was and some other things like the lots size, the history, taxes owned, etc. Did we leave it at that? Of course not. It was now an adventure. We went straight to the old owner’s house and there was the guy, sitting on his front porch smoking. I did all the talking. We chatted for about 30 minutes about the old days and what we wanted to do with that glorious house. And if he would consider letting it go. I told him to not give us an answer right now, but to think about it a little while. I left my name and number. I don’t want to go into all the details of the conversation, but I will say that it looks promising. It *might* be the new homestead one day. No telling how many hoops we will have to jump through, because it will have to be sold through succession. That means lawyers and heirs, but it is worth it. We will see where it goes and keep everyone updated.

I should also add that we are still looking for a big yard and a place that I could run my business out of. This property is an half acre, and it includes a giant workbuilding in the back with 4 skylights in it. It was originally an art studio. How perfect! And there is plenty of room left over to grow all the veggies and fruits we want and of course, add a chicken coop. All in all, it seems to have everything on our wishlist and more.

We also looked at a few other places such as these:

We like this old foursquare too, but I'm not sure why someone would have spray painted it salmon pink??

Interior shot of a house we toured with a realtor. The house was 3 stories high with almost 5000sq ft. The yard was great. The house was crooked. Every room slanted to a different side. Fantastic woodwork throughout.

Cute attic bedroom with beadboard walls. This was one of the 7 bedrooms. Crazy!

The best feature of this house, besides the yard, was this grand staircase that wrapped up into the second story. From there, was another simpler staircase that ascended to the 3rd floor. Try to ignore the sinful red carpet.

We learned alot from this experience so far. Like, when a realtor comes into the picture, expect to pay way more for a house. And what one person deems as “great” shape is another person’s dump hole…

We’ll keep you posted, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be a long process since we will most likely take the unconventional route. Would you expect any less from us??