Tuesday, August 30, 2011

organization, please!

Does anyone's closet really look like this?

Where things that are hanging are not packed together as tightly as possible, and shelves have stacks of only two or three items, perfectly folded?

I'm sure you are sitting there saying "no."

I hope you are sitting there saying "no."

With a little work last night, my closet went from this...

...to this...

Perhaps you see no difference, but after replacing the lightbulb with a brighter one, straightening clothes, organizing them by type (and color), stacking flats, and purchasing some nice bins from Target, it feels much better. There are still piles that are a little taller than I would like, but can that really be avoided? Not to mention that beautiful dresser we painted is packed to the brim with all the stuff that didn't fit in the closet. Sometimes the drawers don't close. (Really I just need to get rid of the ridiculous amount of t-shirts I have accumulated over the years.) That is still on the list of things to do.

Is it strange that I have dreams of having only wooden hangers in my closet? No more plastic garbage! Especially no wire, please.

I also had the thought of creating a closet pole that has evenly spaced indents so that your hangers will always have the perfect distance between each other. When I told Aaron, he said "There is a niche market for that." What he meant was, "There are plenty of other freaks like you who would get extremely excited about more ways to micromanage their closets."

So what? I'm proud that I can make my closet look better. However, I still haven't figured out the best dirty laundry system. Right now I have mesh pop-up hampers from my freshman year in college that are ripping apart. Not to mention they are all different shapes and sizes and take up an awkward amount of space on the closet floor. (Not pictured due to dirty laundry.) A hamper thing with 4 containers at Target costs $50. That seems a little much for dirty laundry receptacles, but maybe that's just the way it is. 

Any brilliant hamper ideas for a limited space closet?

Monday, August 29, 2011

crate shelf

We were worried when we moved in about what to do around the TV. Since we were used to really low ceilings in our basement apartment, the idea of vaulted ceilings seemed to mean miles of empty space to fill.

We thought about standing bookshelves, but they are expensive.

We thought about pictures, but it seemed strange to put big pictures above a TV that would have lots of pictures on it when in use.

So what to do with the void?

The answer came through a Google search, of course. Here is my inspiration.

Cute, right? I wanted to give it a try, but I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the same effect.

First I found crates. There were only 6 at the store, but that seemed about right for the space we had.

Then we spray painted the crates. It was an antiquey vanilla color, so you can't tell too much by the pictures.

Next we played around with a LOT of configuration options. This is the one we liked the best.

With lots of care and planning, box by box we drilled, measured, drew, drilled again, screwed and voila! Custom designed bookshelves.

Now to find little things to put on the shelves...

Friday, August 26, 2011

from cave to treehouse

We've moved! Aaron frequently says he feels like we are living in a resort. That is the kind of effect you get when you move from a cave to a treehouse.

(So I was going to start this post with a picture of a cave and a picture of a treehouse and ask where you would rather live, except there are some pretty sweet pictures of caves on Google.)

The first morning we woke up to pink clouds rising over Y mountain, which we can see from our bed, through the leafy green trees. It was marvelous. There is light streaming in all day, which is just one of the many perks.

I debated whether or not to take pictures of it yet. There is still stuff that hasn't been put away, and things that are not how I want them to be in the end. So these pictures are the "before". Hopefully, after some fun decorating, purchasing of furniture, and hanging things on the walls, the "after" pictures will be even more dramatic!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

back to school

Yes. It is almost back to school for Aaron.
And me.

Wait. What? I graduated.

This is true. I am an adjunct dance faculty now, teaching a Dance 240 class (Contemporary Dance Technique & Theory 1) and I am an honorary Friday-only Dance 243 teacher. So it will be back to school for me on Monday, too.

You know how the first day of school you get all your syllabi and are told all that is expected of you and you feel completely overwhelmed? Turns out that is pretty much the same story for the first day as a teacher that you have meetings, are handed your syllabus, and are told all that is expected of you.


It just hit me that I have a class of 25 students who are expecting to learn something from me. The funny thing is, I'm sure the faculty that know me have some faith that I can teach decently well, but mostly I was known for dancing skills, not teaching skills. I can teach dancing skills, but can I teach them well?

Not only am I supposed to teach these 25 students, but I am supposed to be an example and mentor for one of the student teachers who has taken far more educational and teaching classes than I ever did, and is preparing to go out and teach in high schools. I am supposed to be an example of everything they should be doing (and I still can't really accompany on the drum), and give them feedback about how they can improve, then give them a grade at the end.

Feeling very humbled? Yes.

This will be a wonderful learning experience for me. I am excited to plan my semester out, create exercises that will help my students improve, and just have a good time with them. I hope they are forgiving of all my shortcomings.

Monday, August 22, 2011


A few months after Aaron and I got married, my cousin Leanna was moving and donated her old dresser to us. We were very grateful, because up until that point I believe we were storing all of our unhung clothes on a worn down bookshelf--which basically meant piles and piles of t-shirts spilling everywhere.

With our recent move to a new apartment, we wanted to upgrade the old, two-toned dresser. I read lots and lots of things online about painting veneer furniture. Lots of people were total skeptics, but since we found at least a few people who did go through with it, we decided to cast sail and try our luck.

Step one: Sand. Grandpa had a pretty powerful electric sander in his work room that Aaron used. Though with the first layer of primer we could really tell the sanded areas from the non-sanded areas, I'm pretty sure the main purpose of sanding was to prepare the surface to adhere to the primer. Aaron started our really thoroughly sanding, then he got more and more lax about it. Luckily, it really didn't matter in the end.

Step two: Primer. Two coats. It looked better already.

Step three: Paint! We went with "Weeping Willow". Yet again, two coats.
Step four: Rub-on Varnish.
Step five: New hardware.

We are pretty pleased. And yes, that is our new apartment in the background. More pictures to come once things are actually put away.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

absence explained

These last several weeks have been non-stop. From the Design Workshop, Yoga Teacher Training, and mini family reunion for the Grandparent's 60th Anniversary for me, to working hard, finishing up a challenging Independent Study Course, and having so many exciting ideas to ponder for Aaron, we haven't had much time for blog-worthy activities.

We are, however, getting very, very excited to move apartments in a few weeks. Some friends of ours are moving out of their rented condo into their newly purchased home, and we are taking the chance to upgrade, too. The new apartment has vaulted ceilings, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, a garbage disposal, covered parking, a storage unit, and it is painted a nice beige. No more white cement walls for us. They also said they very, very rarely have spiders. Hooray! There is even the possibility of painting! Wait a few weeks and there will most likely be lots of pictures of the new place, and the hopefully cute ways that we are decorating. Somehow, it feels like moving into this new place is the start of a new life, or at least a new page in the same life. Aaron's last year of college, I'll be working...it is an exciting time, especially to see what may happen next!