Well, it's been a while since I've spent any significant time on the computer, so I just caught up on all the blogs I like to read, and Facebook, and now I am pretty sick of being down here in the basement! Although, the basement has changed a lot over the past couple days. I have about half of it painted. We're doing most of it in the neutral color used upstairs, but there will be some accent walls in an orangeish-brown color (or brownish orange).
We listed an old drop-leaf table and 2 chairs on Craig's List and sold it in a matter of a couple hours. They are picking it up tomorrow! Quick cash that can be turned into something useful for down here, like decor or a new window treatment (to replace the vinyl mini-blinds in light blue that we currently have!). We are also selling our old microwave for two reasons 1) it is too big to sit on our counter unless it is in a corner... but at this house, our countertops have no corner areas, and 2) if we ever move to or build a place we should by all means be able to buy a new one that either fits in a corner of the counter or is built in, or for all we know we will move somewhere that already has a sweet microwave! The fact remains that right now it's not being used and I don't want it sitting around gathering dust anymore. It is a great microwave, Panasonic, stainless steel, 1.6 cubic feet. We just don't need it right now. Hopefully we can turn that into some quick money too, which we could put to better use than an unused microwave.
I'm excited about an upcoming photo session this week (children), since the past month or so has been pretty slow, meaning nada! Understandable, I suppose, with the holidays and all (especially since I'm pretty new at this biz) but it feels like it's been too long since I did a session. I do get the sense that word is getting out though, which is exciting. I was contacted about doing a wedding in September. That may be a little intimidating right now, but I'm planning on giving them a good deal and I know I would do well (even though I think I'll be pretty nervous about it)! Also by then I will have so much more experience - including a couple weddings that I'll have a chance to "practice" on with no real pressure (other than my unrealistic need to make every session I do better than the one before): my sister's and my friend's weddings, which are completely different from one another, which is cool. I will have better equipment as well, and that is a factor (although I do believe cameras don't take great photos, people take great photos. A camera is a tool, and only as good as the person using it)... but sometimes you need better tools to do the job right, and to the quality that you'd like.
Blah blah blah...
Oh, our mantle is done and painted. It's so nice to have a fire and be able to enjoy looking at the surround as well. Ron made the mantle out of a rough-cut piece of wood which had to be cut to length from 12 fee to approximately 8 feet, and planed smooth, and sanded by hand. The leftovers are sitting at the top of our basement steps, and you'd never believe something so ugly could become a silky smooth, straight piece of wood for a mantle! It was screwed to the surround framing through holes drilled on the top, which were filled by wood plugs so you don't see any fasteners. A big project, and it's finally pretty much completed (once I finish a couple paint touch-ups)!