Old School

Hello (as if anyone out there still reads blogs)! I’m feeling more and more dissatisfied with Instagram as a place for me to share my creativity and write stories, so I’m going to try out this old-fashioned blogging thing again. I haven’t published a post in five years, but I’m going to see if I can remember how to use WordPress (so far, so good, since I’ve obviously started a new post, but I can’t figure out how to update to the latest version or how to backup my site just in case I delete the whole thing in the process of refamiliarizing myself with it). It’s also surprisingly challenging to write without using emojis.

If you’ve followed along on Instagram for the last couple months you’ve seen that I’ve been doing some serious kitchen updating, but without reconfiguring anything, removing the existing cabinets, or replacing our appliances. I like to think of it as real world renovation for the creative-minded without any formal interior design training

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, and it’s actually going pretty well. I’ve done some other renovations the past few years as we’ve acquired some rental properties, so I’ve learned a lot in the process. I’ve been fortunate to work on two houses that I really love (not to mention cleaning out and fixing up my mother-in-law’s house, but I still have some trauma from that experience, so I try not to think about it too much). Both houses had some remodeling done by the previous owners shortly before we bought them, but in both cases there were lots of little details left unfinished. I learned so much from both projects-from considering all the details to prioritizing the most important work to be done before having tenants move in, to deciding what I could do myself and what required professionals. Then of course there was finding and working with contractors from every possible trade. I was pretty lucky and really had only one bad experience, and maybe a few minor misunderstandings with the contractors I’ve worked with on every house, including our own. But back to my kitchen.

I’ll do a full before and after post when absolutely everything is done. I have just a few more things on my to-do list before I can consider it complete:

  • Arrange botanical prints on wall by the back door (do I want just a grid of my prints-there are nine, or do I want to do an interesting gallery wall with other small pictures and interesting things? I don’t know yet)
  • Paint chairs (I am not looking forward to doing this project, but I think they’re going to look so good, so I really want it done ASAP)
  • Hang wallpaper in the two glass-fronted cabinets (it’s peel & stick, so not difficult, except that the paper is 20.5″ wide and each cabinet is 23.5″ wide inside, so do I center the paper and do 1.5″ strips on each side? I don’t think there is enough paper for that because I’d essentially need two whole lengths for each cupboard. Would it look bad to butt the paper in each cupboard to the middle and just have one 3″ strip on the outside edges? That would only require three lengths of paper because I could use the left edge in the left cupboard and the right edge in the right cupboard.)
  • Hang a gallery wall of family photos in the hallway (this won’t be hard, I just have to be in the mood to do it and I’m not in the mood for that right now)

Here’s my problem right now. I’m so excited about this wallpaper and the paint for the chairs, but I’m also so very burnt out with house projects. I know I probably also have some decision fatigue, and most of that to-do list involves making yet more decisions. I’m hoping that talking about it here with help me get over myself and just finish everything.

First of all, I love William Morris patterns and I have since the first time I ever saw one, which was probably decades ago. I’ve always wanted to use one in my home, and I think this one will work well. It looks so good with the pink. I think it’s just the finishing touch the cupboards need, even if it won’t be fully visible with all the dishes in there. But there’s the fact that I’m going to have to empty out my cupboards, to do it, which I just refilled after having to remove everything for the painters. It’s a minor hassle that I just don’t feel up for at the moment.

I’m not 100% sure that the paint is going to be perfect for the chairs, but I’m fairly optimistic. The color is Valspar Taiga Spruce, and that tiny splotch on the paint can looks great with the wallpaper. I wanted a sort of muddy, darker, bluish-greenish color because I need something to ground all the bright white and counteract the sweetness of the pink. It’s going to be a big and tedious job, but again, it’s going to look so good to have the painted chairs around the table.

I’ll report back if writing about this has helped motivate me to power through and finish, but I suspect I need to just take the next couple days off from the kitchen, including making any decisions about what to hang on the walls and how to deal with the wallpaper, and just enjoy cooking some good food and enjoying all the improvements that have already happened.

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APPlesauce: Paper

There’s an exciting new development in the Hey Lucy household. Mr. Heylucy is the proud owner of an iPad Mini. It was an anniversary-birthday-Christmas present. I have been ignoring it, because I didn’t think I really had any need to use it, but he is very generous and keeps downloading apps he thinks I might like, and is very happy to share it with me. So I’ll start including the occasional iPad app review, along with my usual iPhone app reviews. I knew there were lots of iPad-specific apps, of course, but we’ve discovered some really beautiful ones that would never work on a little iPhone screen, so I’m really excited to start sharing them here!

My current favorite is called Paper, which you’ve probably heard of if you have an iPad, since it was just named App of the Year. I like it so much that I’m going to write about it anyway. I have a few drawing apps on my phone, but I never use them. They are really powerful and have tons of capabilities, and I’m sure they’re really great, but I find them just too intimidating for my non-artist self. So I had my doubts the first time I opened up Paper. I didn’t buy any of the extra tools at first, the free version comes with just a pen tool, but I starting just making swirls and lines on the page and knew that I had to have all the tools. There’s something about the way the app works that makes all my doodling look good.

Paper is beautifully designed, and opens with an assortment of Moleskine-like notebooks, which you can name and customize as you like. I had fun making covers using Phonto and Poolga wallpapers. You can re-order the notebooks, and add and remove pages, or move pages from one book to another.

paper app

The drawing interface is very simple and intuitive. Choose your tool and just start creating. The color palette is also very easy to use. There are several pre-set color palettes, and you can adjust the color in the large mixing palette to anything you’d like, and then move those colors over to your own palettes. You also have the ability to blend colors, which makes it easy to make the colors in your work of art all cohesive.

flowers

There’s an eraser tool, but you can also undo your work by making a circle gesture with two fingers and “rewind” your last strokes (up to 20, I believe). I’m still no artist, but Paper is so easy to use that I am drawing more. Here’s an evening’s worth of sketches:

paper sketchbook

more sketches

I’m still doing lots of experimenting, but it’s so satisfying to watch my little notebooks fill up with color and lines. There are so many uses for this app, not just drawing, but note-taking, journaling and creating idea repositories.

The creators of Paper have a tumblr blog, showcasing art created with the app.

The Paper website.

Get it in the App Store:
Paper by FiftyThree - FiftyThree, Inc.

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