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I’m Moving

17 Oct

So, I’m moving. Not physically moving, just moving on the internet, which thankfully doesn’t involve much heavy lifting. This little site has served me well for the past year or so, but I’ve upgraded.

You’ll now find me (and this blog) over at rachelqwest.com along with my illustration and writing & editing portfolios, a link to my shop, and lots of other awesome bells and whistles. It’s the full shebang over there, and I’m pretty excited about it. This blog won’t be updated anymore, but it will stay active for a little while before being permanently retired. Everything has been transferred, so you’ll find it all at my new site. So, please head over and take a look around the new site and blog. I hope you like what you see.

A Little Pixelated Project

19 Sep

In June, I mentioned my intention to paint something to fill the large void above the green chairs in the living room.

In the time between now and then, I narrowed down the size canvas the space needed: 48 x 36 inches. This size canvas was placed really high in the store and looked huge from my vantage point below, which made me worry that I couldn’t fit it in my car. But the painting bug had bit, so I purchased a mini canvas to paint the sketch I’d done in colored pencil, and I went home contemplating how I’d get the larger canvas home. To spare you the suspense, it turns out the canvas fit in the back seat of my car without any problems at all. It was a totally unnecessary mini-freakout.

My idea (a little of which I shared here) was to create something pixelated and full of happy color.


I used this mini canvas to give me an idea how a 48 x 36–inch version of it would look in the space.


These pictures look a little ridiculous, but they helped me realize that I don’t like my original plan. It just doesn’t feel quite right and the space would have way too many sharp right angles and squares going on. So, I’m back to the drawing board, literally.

Decking Out the Deck

14 Sep

This is the last view y’all had of the deck.


It still looks pretty much the same.

We’ve had a couple of very busy weekends traveling, then Tropical Storm Lee popped up and we were without power for several days. All that to say, we haven’t done much work around the house, but we did get around to ordering some outdoor furniture which should be arriving in the next couple weeks.

This is what we’ve got going on so far.

Rectangular wood table from Overstock…


…with these stackable chairs

…and two side tables that can also be used as seating. We got one of each color: green (it looks more chartreuse in the picture but we’ll see when it arrives) and aqua. I’m loving these guys.

It’s a fun starting point I think. We still have plenty of other things on our outdoor to-do list.
• Finish sealing the deck
• Finish painting the exterior (This is an ongoing project this fall.)
• Replace the shed door
• Paint the doors Valspar’s Cut Ruby, which is a beautiful deep red
• Spray paint the wicker chairs a fun color
• Build a table to place next to the grill so we’ll have a place to stash plates and grill tools while things are cooking

I’ll be sure to show y’all the results once the furniture comes in. Until then, we’ll be tackling some of this to-do list.

Images courtesy of Overstock and Crate and Barrel.

Mirror Exchange

30 Aug

The mirror in the bathroom has always bugged me a little. The screws and pieces holding it in the wall didn’t look great and didn’t look like they were doing a great job of keeping the mirror attached either.

Turns out I was right.

Let me back up. We’ve had this mirror sitting around for awhile. I purchased it when I lived in my first solo apartment, and then I used it in my condo.

It came with me when I moved to Ty’s house, and it sat in the master bedroom for awhile, and then it hung out in the office for a bit. It just never found a home.

Then I realized it would be much better suited to prettying up the bathroom instead of the mirror that came with the house. This one.

So, I took the existing mirror down, and I was right, it wasn’t attached very well. It came out quickly and very easily (too easily). I painted the area behind the mirror with some leftover paint we already had on hand, hung two 75-pound wall anchors (one on each side, which it a bit of overkill since the mirror weighs maybe 30 pounds), and hung the mirror. It was an easy project that took a couple hours, including paint-drying time. Here’s the improved after.

This simple change makes the bathroom feel bigger, a little less ho-hum, and more like a room rather than just a bathroom. The pictures don’t really do it justice—it’s hard photographing the narrow room and the light is definitely a little golden in the pictures (even with color-correcting), but I can assure you that it doesn’t look too Donald Trump-esque in there now as the pictures imply. It just looks better and makes me happier. It’s the little things.

Exterior Motives, Part 3

22 Aug

We finished the deck! I’m actually quite in awe that Ty and his master-builder friend who spearheaded this whole operation completed it from start to finish in two weekends. They had another friend helping for part of the first weekend, but it was a ton of work for two (and sometimes three) people, and they clocked some long hours. We’ve already been enjoying it and plan to pretty much live out there once the temperature cools down.

I also finished painting the back of the house, except for the two doors, which will soon become a rich red. Here are the before and current progress shots. The before was definitely looking a little tired.


And here are the much-improved in-progress shots.



As you can see, the deck is a bit bare, and the two chairs we do have are dwarfed by the massive deck. We’re planning to acquire furniture little by little, but first up on the to-buy list is an outdoor table and chairs. I’m not married to any particular look and really could be happy with a number of options, so I’m hoping to find something great during some of the end-of-the-season sales going on. More updates to come.

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you like.

Modern Baby

17 Aug

This image from Purl Soho has gotten me inspired.

Aren’t these baby blankets gorgeous? I have a number of friends who are preggers at the moment, and this looks like such a fun and relatively simple (although undoubtedly time-consuming) project that I think I’m going to add it to my to-make list.

Purl Soho sells a kit (called The Super Easy Baby Blanket) in the nine colorways shown, but I’ll be gathering my own yarn for a few reasons: 1) I want to pick my own colors. The color combinations offered are beautiful, and I plan to use them as inspiration, but there’s something wonderful and rewarding about creating something that is uniquely you. 2) The kit (including yarn and pattern directions) is $120, which is a little pricey, and 3) it’s also for knitters. I’ll be crocheting mine.

I won’t be starting this project for a bit, but I’ll give y’all an update when I do.

Image courtesy of Purl Soho.

Exterior Motives, Part 2

15 Aug

What a weekend! It was a long, hot one filled with more painting and the start of our deck project. With the help of a few friends (including one who came over, crawled under the house, and replaced and moved a water spigot for us), we tackled a lot, and we owe our talented, hard-working friends BIG TIME. See for yourselves.

Before. It was definitely looking a little tired.

On Saturday. (It was a gorgeous day.)

This morning (Smoky and Mack were surveying the changes too.)

We’ll be working on everything again this weekend—and we’ll hopefully be finishing the deck. The painting is going to take awhile. More updates to come.