When packing up our apartment to move to our new house, Tim and I came to an agreement. We weren’t real sure what we were going to do to each room, since we were going to tackle one project at a time, so some stuff was going to remain packed up until we’d figured out appropriate storage for it. These items included DVDs, CDs, books, a lot of decorative things like candles, and photo frames. Some of these items we’ve since pulled out of their carefully-labeled boxes. The TV shows on DVD were the first, as we realized after unpacking all day that we wouldn’t have cable till the end of the week and the entertainment system was all set up anyway. (Tim requested to start Buffy, and while he seemed to like the pilot well enough, we have not picked it back up since. Maybe after we finish Six Feet Under, which we’re working our way through courtesy of the library system.) My books made it to my bookshelf, though only half of Tim’s books are unpacked. When we were preparing for hosting Christmas for my parents, some candles made it down to the dining room. Occasionally we have the urge to watch a movie we own or pop a CD into the player, so a small assortment are in circulation throughout our home. The frames, however, have remained firmly packed away. It’s not just a matter of finding storage for them, we just can’t bring ourselves to put nail holes in the walls until we know what we’re doing to the rooms.
We have a lot of pictures in frames, too. When we got engaged, we decided for a variety of reasons not to register for our wedding. When it came to wedding showers, we asked people to share a picture of their family with us in a frame, so we could fill the walls of our home with pictures of people who loved us and supported us. We’ve got lots of framed pictures waiting for us in boxes up in our loft, ready to go up as we renovate each room in our home, filling our walls with people and places we love again.
Our rooms are not completely bare, however. Three very special things have made their way to the walls of our home, and I want to show you what they are.
I spotted this painting, “Chandelier Deer” by Emily Beveridge, on the wall at Casa Nueva in Athens during my birthday lunch last year with my family. It was hanging by our table and I was smitten with the charming deer, which felt like a folksy Christmas illustration, without being overtly holiday-themed. I snapped a picture on my cell phone before we left the restaurant (after a thoroughly delicious lunch including yummy tofu fries), which became my wallpaper, and has remained so to this day. Tim noted how much I loved the friendly deer and placed a call to the restaurant to track down the artist to purchase the painting for a Christmas present. I was surprised and delighted to open the package Christmas morning and Tim hung the painting before the weekend was over. The deer hang out in our living room and they make me smile when I see them.
Tim and I went to the Columbus Spring Flea (Columbus would like to be Brooklyn sometimes) primarily to check out Freedom a la Cart, a food truck supporting victims of sexual trafficking that was rumored to be serving empanadas. Those little handheld pies of delicious are one of our favorite foods, so we’re always pumped to find more places offering them. (Oh, El Arepazo, it’s been too long since I’ve enjoyed your cilantro sauce.) While at the Flea, Tim spotted this screenprint and said “that’s the palette I can imagine in our kitchen.” After discussing the merits of the print, we decided to get it as an “inspiration piece.” (How HGTV of us, I know, heh.) The honey of the wood is nice and warm and the green is a lovely pop of color against it, bold without seeming overly bright. The black keeps it all grounded and prevents the room from winding up too country. It’s hanging in the kitchen, even though we’re a long way from planning that project, to remind us of our thoughts on color and materials at one point (though we know that could change drastically in the years before we get to it), but mostly because I thought it was amazing that Tim is always picturing what changes we’ll be making in all parts of the house and constantly keeping the big picture in mind.
Tim really likes the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. (Also, to out myself as a total ABC Family geek, the actress who played the delightful character of Katherine on “Greek,” Nora Kirkpatrick, is the accordion player for that band, so every time she shows up in the video, I get really happy.) It was all over the radio during the time that we moved, and the lyric “Home is wherever I’m with you” lodged itself into my brain. I had been wanting to get back into cross-stitching, so I thought making the lyric into a piece to frame would be a neat project as a gift for Tim. I designed the pattern using a cool font to keep it from looking too “cross-stitchy” and got the materials last September but ran into a few obstacles (mostly dealing with how much I’d underestimated the scope of a project where each character is a minimum of 200 stitches). A birthday present became a Christmas present, which became a St. Valentine’s Day present, which became an anniversary present. When April passed by, I decided to really dig my heels in and finish it for the anniversary of our purchasing the house in August. I ended up stitching like crazy, including on the bus (where many a nosy fellow bus-rider would ask what I was doing), and managed to finish it just in time to frame and surprise Tim with it. He seemed to like it quite a bit and hung it up a few weeks later, where we can see it as soon as we walk in the front door. I need to take it to a store and get the mat re-cut, because the pattern ended up being a little off, with regards to how many stitches actually fit per inch on the fabric, so the 5×7 mat is a bit close to the pattern, but I’m glad it’s up on the wall in the meantime.
Anyway, that’s it, the three pieces that have made it onto our walls, even before we know what those rooms will be like in the end. The house doesn’t have the coziness and texture yet of all of the frames filling the walls like our apartment did, but the artwork we have up is a step towards the final product.