Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We're still kickin'!

This blog is still working, people! In celebration of Bones's BIG birthday, I felt it was time to dust off the ol' blog and get her runnin' again. Of course, the editor was really on my case. He was totally looking over my shoulder the whole time to make sure I stayed focused. I'd say I hate working for him, but he's pretty cute (don't tell my husband!). Here he is now:

Anyway, I can't speak for Bones, but I think he had a pretty terrific birthday. We had some great friends over to help us celebrate on Friday, and to them we say, "Thanks for coming! We don't see you guys enough."

However, it was Bones's family, once again who really came through. Especially his mother, Barb. She not only gave him an early present of a kayak, which by itself is awesome, she also surprised us with a couch! A beautiful black couch that really pulls the room together. Here is Scruffy modeling it for us:

Bones was never sure about the carving because of the black background, but the couch makes it look like it needs to be there. I can't say enough about how well the couch pulls the room together. It balances out the colors, and the leather contrasts the texture of the curtains perfectly.

However, there is an added benefit that we were hoping for that has worked out perfectly. Scruffy spends more time with us AND sleeps in our bed with us again. Although he can't go under this couch, he does have his spots for "Scruffy time."

Thankfully, though, I can say that he goes to those spots less and less. So, Barb, you gave us not only a couch, but more time with our puppy. Best present ever!

But let us not forget about the good times we had on the old couch. Here is one of the last of those good times:

No, Mom, I didn't let him have the bone.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Oy! What a month May was! Between the birthdays, weddings and holidays, I'm not sure which way is up anymore. I told myself I was going to enjoy the summer and since it only just started--well, I gotta say I'm off to a pretty good start.

Now, as many of you know the, the bathroom has been an anchor dragging the whole house down. Initially, it was the kitchen bringing the whole house down and before that the living room and so on...
But now NOW!

But wait, in case you forgot what I used to look at day after day...

Ok. Now scroll back up and look at the after photo, then scroll down quickly and pretend like you never saw the other photo. That's how I live my life.

So, if you'll look at that cabinet in the corner, Bones actually tore out the old one and rebuilt it. He got two of those stained glass panels off of eBay for $20! Some men hunt with bows and arrows, Bones hunts with a mouse and a keyboard. So much more humane.
In keeping with his bargain hunting ways, Bones bought the mirror from the ReUse Center and built the frame for it.
Oh, and I feel the distant drum beat of the ancient bargain hunter in my heart, too. That shower curtain? Among a wall of $25 curtains, I found that one for $4.98+tax. And I used a gift card! (Tarzan yell)

Here's a detail of the corner of the mirror. The frame is curly maple, and the spline is purple heart. From what we understand, it is particularly unhealthy to breathe in purple heart sawdust. Bones is putting his life on the line, people!

It's a big mirror, right? Well guess what? It opens up!

Can you see the medicine cabinet behind there? Really, though, I just like the picture because of its cinematic qualities. Do you see the bucket? Now just picture a hand with a knife in it over that bucket. Then picture some young blonde out of the shot pawing unaware through the medicine cabinet looking for her mascara.
I watch a lot of horror movies, sorry. Don't worry, the blonde wins.

Let us step once more into the Wayback Machine and check out the way it used to look when we first moved in.

Ah, yes. Institution green, my favorite of all the washed out greens.
Moving on. Remember when I wrote about redoing the bathroom so it was like peeing in a millionaire's library?
Well, it's totally like that.

The painting is by Bones's Aunt Margaret, by the way, who has an unrivaled skill with watercolors. That is not an easy medium. You pretty much have to go in with confidence, or at least have a lot of paper to waste.
While that is an amazing painting, it's the divider that I'm into. Specifically this:

That is an inlay and yet another example of the man's talent. The design comes from a book of Japanese designs. You have to realize that he had to carve the shape into the board and then cut pieces to fit in them.
I just love that he puts all these cool, random details into the house. Our house has a long way to go, but when it's finished--or as close as it can be--it will be one of the most unique homes I've ever seen. And whatever happens to these old digs, at least it has given him practice and a portfolio.
Maybe I'm gushing, but if you went from this:

And this:
You would too.

As an added bonus, since I surprisingly don't have pictures of Scruffy, is one of my lovely birthday gifts.

That vase was made by Bones's sister Marty, and serves as yet another example of the bottomless well that is the Dwyer talent.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We're Crafty!

And we're back! It's been almost a month, people. Didja miss me? I've been super busy, in a good way. Everything's comin' up Ann! Finally. I've got a new, full-time job. The position was just created, so they really have no expectations at this point. I'm also going into grad school in the fall, so you may see or hear less of me than you already do. But don't worry, babies, we'll always have the Doghouse.

One of the other projects that has kept me oh-so busy is the design and creation of curtains for the living room. Finally, it is my chance to shine while also adding to our house. I'm also pretty sure the neighbors across the street will appreciate them. Generally, a grand unveiling means pulling back the curtains. In this case, we're keepin'em closed. Voila!

Grand! It felt really nice to use the sewing machine again. Except for the constant barrage of Project Runway phrases that kept running through my head. Make it work. It looks home-sewn. Fer-osh. And I really think that Tim Gunn would disapprove of my seams. But I don't care. I have curtains.

Believe me, curtains are harder to make than they look. I had an easier time making a formal dress back in high school compared to these unwieldy bolts of cloth.

You may be surprised that it was actually Bones who on his own wandered into a Joanne Fabrics and picked out the fabric. However, I am less than surprised because there is someone who can sew blindstitches around me while blindfolded .

My Father!

Here is a jacket he put together especially for Scruffy:

Here is Scruffy working the haute couture with his Blue Steel gaze.

He is definitely working it.

I also have to show you my practice curtains. And just like the cocktails with a friend you've long parted company with, they were how I was able to reconnect with my sewing machine.

Hee hee. I do believe Bones was the only male in Joanne's that day when we picked out this fabric.
Well ,it's great to be back sharing with y'all, and you guys are going to be stoked, STOKED when you see the latest project that Bones has been working on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


So obviously many of you are pet owners yourselves, and this got me to thinking...What if instead of constantly barraging you with pictures of Scruffy like some grandmother with a wallet full of pictures and a linty lozenge in her pocket, that I post some of your pets? They would be known as FoSs. Friends of Scruffy.

Just email pictures of your little ones to me at dwyera@charter.net, and I'll post them at my discretion. Right now, it will just be an experiment. Depending on the response, or if someone gets mad at me for not posting darling Rover, or whatever, than I'll stop.
And try not to clog up my email with huge files! And get off my lawn!

Sorry, the inner curmudgeon got out for a second there.

Include some information when you send your pictures. Things like your pet's name (obvy) and their breed. Do their turn-ons include long walks on the beach and fire hydrants? Do their turn-offs include guys who are fake and vacuum cleaners? Whatever you'd like to include.
Ok, this should be fun! (fingers crossed)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Good news, everyone!

I know it's been awhile since I've last blogged, but it is only because I am actually working on a very important project for the house. But, my friends, you will have to wait for more information on that. Hopefully, if I keep my nose to the sewing machine (hint, hint), I will be finished this weekend!
Bones is working on a very cool project for the bathroom. But I'm not sure when that will be done, as a certain distraction by the name of Chris D has rolled into town on a rail. Well, rails. He came in on a train.

But one thing is for certain:
I got into Michigan State University's graduate journalism program!
Yeah me! Now buy me a cocktail.
Of course, I've also been discussing trying to get into law school. Certain parties have suggested I do both. Here I thought if people wanted to kill me, they would just lock me in a room full of cats. I wasn't expecting such a slow and laborious means of death.
So on with the show.
Many of you know the how the exterior of our house looks now.

A lovely shade of blue. Like the summer sky (not pictured).
But let us not forget how our sweet little starter home used to look.

A not so lovely shade of flesh. Like a... well, you know.
The one thing this picture has going for it is the sunshine and the leaves on the trees. The blahs going on outside right now really makes me want to stay curled up in bed. Like this:

Or, even better:

This is how he got his hippy/Native American name, Scruffy Sunbeam.

I promise, the next post will have some exciting new projects. Including one from a special guest. Oooh!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

If They Mated: Dog Edition

But first, this is a blog about the house after all. So, I offer up further proof of Bones's talent and skills. Here we have a chair that Bones bought off of eBay for cheap.

Keep in mind that Bones painted the metal black. It had previously been a shiny gold. Very '80's. However, it is really comfortable; thus, worth saving. Here it is today:

Ok, it's not the best photo, but you get the gist. And the chair is not technically finished, in case you noticed that the slats are not perfectly spaced. Bones based his remake on a style created by William Morris. Google Image "William Morris chair," and you'll see Bones has essentially created a very nice replica.

The chair has gone from exile in the sun room to a central spot in the living room and has become my favorite chair.
Here's bonus "behind-the-scenes" footage of Bones in process of making the chair. Yes, he's in the living room. No, I wasn't pleased.

And now, I present If They Mated: Dog Edition

Miniature Schnauzer
(courtesy Junior Britannica)


(courtesy cuteoverload.com)


Essentially, I'm just offering proof that Scruffy is a "Schnorkie," a Schnauzer-Yorkie mix. Yep, he's a designer dog. Most likely, the (illegal) breeder was trying to make more money by crossbreeding, since designer dogs are in such high demand.

By the way, the sweater on the Yorkie was made from an argyle sock.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

I realized that pretty much everyone I know is married, about to be married, or at least getting a steady dose of lovin'. All happily, as far as I know. It was four years ago today that Bones proposed to me. Awww. What I remember best is that I totally screwed up my hair that day. It was a bleach job gone horribly awry. Yet, Bones still proposed. What a guy.
Anyway, go get your Love on, make it a whole long weekend of lovin'. The world will be a better place. Right on.
The photo is courtesy http://cuteoverload.com, where there are other pictures of animals with hearts on them if you need some inspiration.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Scruffy's Birthday: A Photoessay

Man. Why did they drag me from under the couch? I was so cozy. I should be called French President Nicholas So-Kozy.

What? What do you want?



For moi?

No! Really?

*Nom, nom, nom*

*Nom, nom (deep breath) nom*

So full


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Works in Progress

Today's focus is on showing some of the baby steps Bones has made on various parts of the house. But, to paraphrase, "This is one small step for us, one giant leap for home improvement." I am just amazed that in a relatively short amount of time, Bones can undo years worth of outdated conventions (painted-over wallpaper everywhere, including the ceiling) and create modern, yet classic, looks. Judging by that description, I think it's safe to say I've been watching too much Project Runway--stop me if I start saying that the house is "fashion-forward" and "fierce."
So, on with the show:

This makes me feel rich just looking at it. And, lately, that's the only way I'm going to feel rich. The only thing missing is...Anyone? That's right, the doors. However, Bones can't be faulted for that, since he is currently working on a more important project which I will show below. Bones used curly maple for the cupboards, which has quickly become one of my favorite woods, unlike some of those boring and useless woods out there--I'm talking to you, balsa. The counter tops are granite tile, the color is known as "Uba Tuba." Just say it out loud, it's fun. The tiles were the cheaper alternative to having a slab counter top. It was a good compromise considering my refusal of anything laminate.

To appreciate the rich beauty further, let's take a look at the "Before":

And yet, we almost didn't get this place because someone bid over the asking price. Notice the linoleum on the counter top. That's brown duct tape around the sink. I don't even know what the old owner's were going for with the black, scalloped thingie, but it ain't working.

Moving on, Bones is in the midst of a fixing up the bathroom, formerly a blight compared to rest of the first floor. You may have seen it thusly:

All done up in a color I call "Institution Green."

But, Friday night Bones started a new project that I have to show before it's even finished.

Ahh, yes, much better. And it's just going to get better. He'll be breaking up the wainscotting into boxes, or frames; and of course we'll be getting rid of the green. Now I feel like I'm peeing in style. Like I'm peeing in a millionaire's personal library. Take that, random millionaire!

Well, come back on Tuesday, Scruffy's birthday is tomorrow, and I'll be posting pics. He's going to be four. That's two years that he's been with us. Our baby's growing up! I'll be making him a cheeseburger.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Scruffy's Do

Recently, I gave Scruffy a new hairdo. While it is far from professional, it does make him look more puppy-ish. I figured now would be as good a time as any to give you all a glimpse of Scruffy through the ages. And, at the right you can vote for which 'do is your fave. Fun! Behold:

The Ewok.
The original look. This is why he got stuck with the name. But notice the crossed paws and overall casual look, he doesn't seem at all bothered that he can barely see from under those eyebrows. Or the fact that whatever he had gotten into is stuck in his beard.

The Gandolf
This was his first haircut. I guess the groomer thought the beard was really working for him. Maybe she was just trying to balance out the ears.

Haircut #2
Ummm...Not much to say here. He's just too friggin' cute for words.

The Keith Richards
Or, in this case, the "Scruff" Richards.

The Traditional Schnauzer
So shiny. He looks like he's made of metal. He could be the Tin Man's dog. What would he ask the Wizard for?

The Punky Beard
You can't really tell here, but his beard is significantly shorter (and uneven).

So, that's Scruffy through the ages. Be sure to vote for your favorite look and DON'T BE AFRAID TO POST COMMENTS, PEOPLE! Seriously, just click on where it says "comments" and post, post, post. We'd love to hear from you. Dosie has been the only brave and smart soul to do so. You rock, Dose.