Sunday, July 29, 2012

Guest Room-Picture heavy

the guest bedroom at last. I am still trying to get the hang of this panorama biz. The second one came out all jacked up. Maybe the way I was standing, I don't know. But the door and lamp are all jacked up. Anyway, you can use the arrows to pan through the shots. Meanwhile, I will keep working on this until I get it.


My inspiration was a mirrored cabinet that I saw in Marshall's one day. But the price tag of $140 was prohibitive so I put it out of my mind. Then I went to Goodwill one day and found two nightstands and a headboard for $99, of course I have no before pictures because my immediate thought was BUY NOW. My second thought was, we are painting this white because black is not it. 

Some time later, I also found this for $60:

Have blogged about it many times, but I had a vision of it all done up in white in my guest room as a TV stand etc.

I studied before i embarked on the journey. I read centsational girl, young house love, and onestorybuilding to get their takes and advice on painting furniture. I was on a budget so I didn't buy the pricier paints, I did buy a fancy purdy paintbrush instead of the cheaper wal-mart brand but in the long run, I ended up using a paint roller to apply the paint because I was deathly afraid of streaks and brush marks.

The dresser/TV stand still looks really empty while it awaits its television. I might have to find some art to hang up there. Hmm, project!

I had a budget of $400 but I think I was very close to it after I bought the mattress and so I stopped keeping track.

My favorite part of the room is this:

and the close up:

The lamp redo, I discussed here. The picture is a phone snapshot of my nephews that my sister sent me. I turned it black and white, then put the color back into the baby's jacket, using Picasa, and sent it to Wal-Mart for printing. I actually had a white mat in the frame but unfortunately, I miscalculated and printed the photo as an 8x10 instead of 5x7 oops. It is growing on me now. The candleholder, gosh the picture is so not sharp, i need a new camera (birthday coming up, I take gifts), water pitcher and tray are all from Goodwill.

It was hard finding a rug I liked. I kept going to Ross and leaving empty handed. Finally, I saw this purple zebra? rug and I knew I was done at last!

The chair is also a goodwill find for $9.99. I saw it and didn't hesistate at all. 

I painted the back black, and the rest of it white. I knew I wanted black seating. Unfortunately, my cheap ways nearly cost me more money because the fabric I bought from Jo-Ann's Fabric was too small (i thought I only needed half a yard.). I refused to buy more fabric (at this point I was still keeping to my $400 budget) and fortunately I remembered I had a pair of black curtains that I had bought whilst in Miami. I didn't use them here because they were too short and had an AWFUL smell that I couldn't get rid of no matter how much I washed them. Funny enough, the smell is gone but I digress. I changed the foam of the seat and adding some more fiberfill (Hobby Lobby).

The big framed picture is also from Goodwill, $4.99.

The exact budget breakdown as best as I can from my creaky memory.

Budget breakdown
Item Source Cost
Headboard + 2 nightstands Goodwill 99.99
Dresser Goodwill 29.99
Chair Goodwill 9.99
Mattress Coworker 100
Lamp + shade +duct tape Goodwill, Target, Wal-Mart 33.00
Rug Ross 19.99
Bedding + Pillows Marshalls/Ross/Wal-Mart 96
Art over the bed Kirkland's (already had) 0.00
Vases Kirkland's/Goodwill/Ross 19.00
Candles Ross 10.00
Curtains IKEA (already had) 0.00
Curtain Rod Ross 19.00
Water pitcher, tray + votive holder Goodwill 10.00
Poster Goodwill 4.99
Painting Supplies Home Depot/Wal-Mart/Lowes 56.00 +/-
Transportation U-Haul team thieves err Quality 64.00
Fabric Jo-ann's (didn't use) 3.85
Grand Total which am sure am probably over/underestimating 580

A word on the transportation. I am so disappointed in U-Haul right now, especially their Team Quality branch in El Paso. Avoid at all costs. Very dishonest individuals. I rented the van from there because it was close to Goodwill. Mistake number 1, I didn't write down the mileage again before I left. I thought he had written it down on the yellow slip he handed to me, because he said it out loud and I saw him write it down. Anyway, as I was driving I saw that the mileage was incredibly higher than what was on the actual rental paper. Now, I was on a strict budget and I didn't want to spend more renting a van than it cost for the dresser I was carrying, I mean that's just foolishness. I got home and looked at the slip and realized it was a trick of the eyes, he hadn't written down the mileage on the paper as I had thought. He had scribble some random bunch of numbers. By this time, I had travelled from there to Goodwill and Goodwill to my house, the google maps was saying that i had driven a total of maybe 12 miles, the odometer based on the mileage he had on the printed rental agreement said I had down much more than that. I took photos of the odometer before I went back to U-Haul and after my final destination. I call dude the next day to tell him about my issues. He tells me that sometimes they take the vans for drives and so the mileage on the computer vs actual mileage might be wrong and he then tells me that he actually overcharged me and will send me a refund. This was right before memorial day. I wait a week, no refund and now I see another charge to my bank. So I call him and again he apologizes, promises to mail my refund. This time, I call my bank to dispute the charge. They reverse the second charge. I got a letter last week stating that I had lost the dispute. Upon further investigation, I see that the mileage had increased again by two miles AND they had charged me a cleaning fee! WHAT? I am so mad still. I returned that van spotless and with more fuel than when I actually rented it with and he charges me a cleaning fee! Wow. So please, any el pasoans who are truckless like me (rare), please STAY AWAY FROM THAT U-HAUL (Team Quality). They are nothing but thieves.

So lessons learned. Be imaginative and see things as they could be and not as they are. Research, research and research again, google is my best friend. Avoid Team Quality U-Haul. 

It was loads of fun!

Guest Bathroom

I finally found a bathroom rug whose price i agreed with and with that finally finished the guest bathroom. My inspiration was the purple soap dispenser that I got from Crate and Barrel on clearance. I decided to go with purple and green as the color scheme. I originally had a rather boring green leaf shower curtain whose price was so very right but the look itself was just so boring. I found the present shower curtain at Marshall's and even though it was outside of my price zone, I got it anyway.

For art, I originally planned to create something like thisBut instead it came out like this. Fortunately, I was inspired by an abstract piece of work on Vern Yip's house tour on HGTV and created this:

using purple and gold spray paint and acrylic paint. It was lots of fun. The bible verse is a set of three that i got from Kirkland's last year sometime.

I used Microsoft Image Composition Editor and Photosynth to make a panoramic view of the bathroom. It wasn't a total success but it's only my first panorama so we will see. 

And that's it. I hope to post the panorama of the guest bedroom tomorrow, or rather later today when I wake up again. Insomnia!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On writing...

I never really formally introduced myself on this blog.

Ok, here goes. My given name is Oluyemisi Olotu and I am a writer. I wrote a novel in 2000 which I self published called Vision: a plain ole love story. Those who loved it loved it, those who hated it, hated it. I am not good at self promotion so I really didn't sell many copies of the book.

My life's mission is to help people live better lives. So vague, I know. I realized that writing wouldn't help bring that to life so I returned to my derailed path of medicine and became a pediatrician. I thought that I could be like William Carlos Williams  and continue writing, I planned to resume my now defunct online web magazine (bostonchile) but make it Worcester based. Ha! The joke was on me, Medicine is a jealous mistress, so to succeed, I had to put away my writing. Creativity though can never be put away, it just flows into another form. In my case, it became interior design, clothing, and indoor gardening.

I gave my time to medicine but occasionally I would pick up the pen and write. Most of the time though I would read a lot of Nigerian based online blogs and newspapers. During one such time in 2005 or so, I saw a letter to an advice columnist that stuck with me, and it has now become the basis of my next novel.

Sigh. I struggle with writing it daily, and I will pick it up and put it down for months, years on end. This year I am committed to finishing a very very rough draft. Of course, being my usual ambitious self, I have decided to set this story in 2005 (because it spans 7 years), Lagos, Ibadan and Miami. So much for write what you know, huh? One thing I am realizing as I travel back in time is that communication technology has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 7 years. I think Skype had just come out in 2005, right? And per my cousin the BB rage didn't hit Naija until 2009 or so. Since these two items were initially going to figure prominently in my story, I had to hastily reconfigure my brain and try again.

Sigh. Be that as it may, I am happy because when I do finally sit down and write, I feel so amazing afterwards. So even if no one ever sees this book, I plan to enjoy the process of writing it.

Off to work!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. Hab 2:3 NLT

Marvin Sapp - Wait 
Said I'm gonna wait, on you
Got no choice but to wait, on you
No matter what the problem is he's gonna see me through
So Lord I'm gonna wait, on you, on you, on you.

Verse 1
Oh to know
The problem you got really ain't a problem
Every problem you got really He can solve them
He's a fixer of everything broken, broken
Just remember
He will put it back together don't you worry
No need to be in a hurry
Have patience, He will see you through

When things are good, when things are bad
When I'm happy when I'm sad, I'm gonna wait
I'm gonna wait on you Lord
When times are up when times are down
He's never let me down, I'm gonna wait
I'm gonna wait on you Lord


Verse 2
Through my storm
I really got a testimony
You see the devil thought he really, really had me
But I'm here to let him know
I'm still standing
And I've learned, how to trust and wait on Jesus
Tho I know he will give me the power 
So I keep the faith and know that joy will come

When things are good, when things are bad
When I'm happy when I'm sad, I'm gonna wait
I'm gonna wait on you Lord
When times are up when times are down
I know he'll never let me down, I'm gonna wait
I'm gonna wait on you Lord


When you cannot see 
Trust and believe
God will never leave
He'll be all you need (Repeat)

So I guess I'm gonna wait, on you
Got no choice but to wait, on you
No matter what the problem is he's gonna see me through
So Lord I'm gonna wait, on you, on you, on you.

Wait on Him
Wait on Him
Wait on Him (repeat as directed)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Decade of Destiny

2002 was a significant year for me.
Two significant events marked that year for me:
1- I emerged from a horrible crushing black fog and decided to become a medical doctor, and
2- I gave my life to Christ.

It wasn't an easy ten years, except for the first year when I was in love with God and immersing myself deeply in His word, the rest of the years were a daily battle. Battle with self, flesh, school, work, matters of the heart, loneliness. There were many times that I felt like just giving up. There were many times that I turned my back on God because I felt He wasn't answering my heartfelt pleas: no bible reading, no church attending.

Somehow, I made it through. I survived. I graduated from medical school and then residency and my first few months on the job. Now a year later, I have an intense desire to LIVE. Not just survive, but thrive.

My birthday is exactly a month to today and I have decided to embark on thirty days of meditation on what and how I want my next ten years to be. One thing I know for sure is that I want to start living out God's purpose for my life. I think I have an idea of what it is, I wrote something out some 8 years ago, my prayer is that God will show me how He wants me to bring this to life.

Many years ago, my cousin and I read the Sacred Romance by John Eldredge and Brent Curtis I decided to study his follow up book:The Journey of Desire:(Searching for the Life We Always Dreamed of)

I know what I don't need are words and more words but a time of hearkening to God's voice. I hope He speaks to me. All I am certain of is I want more than the life that I am living right now.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Read vs Write part 2

Am late to the game on this one. And unfortunately, I learned about this author due to her obituary (sigh) but I just finished her two novels this week and they were awesome. Her second one Feminista, much greater than her first. Who am I even talking about? A beautiful woman named Erica Kennedy who wrote the novels Bling (2004) and Feminista (2010). Really great books, I could not put them down until I was done.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Read vs Write

I should be writing my notes but I ordered "Fine Boys" by Eghosa Imasuen yesterday, and it was a total wrap. Just got released from the spell the book cast on me.

Inspiring. Amazing. Must read.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

London Life, Lagos Living: The Documentary

Just saw this on Linda Ikeji's Blog and I am so inspired.

Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog: London Life, Lagos Living: The Documentary is the official website.

Definitely adding Bobo Omotayo's book to my shopping list of African authors.

The distance between...

Just 6 miles left between me and my pretty!
Soon, my love, soon.
Women's Mossimo Black® Petra Sandal.Opens in a new window
Target Petra Sandal 29.99

Omi o l'ota o. (Water, e no get enemy)

Water and I have this amazing passionate but very unreciprocated love affair.

I love it, it doesn't know that I exist.

I love it in all its forms, rain, river, lake, ocean, a tall glass of cold water.

Unfortunately, I can't swim to save my life.

All of my life, with the exception of the past few months, I've lived close to a body of water. Cambridge (Mass), Lagos, Boston, Worcester, Miami. Now am in the desert, and even though the mountains are gorgeous, it's just not cutting it for me. I guess that's why I am drawn to any form of picture or photo with water in it.

I took the following pictures during my last months in Miami using my phone and my ipod touch. I blew them up in a graphic editing program called GIMP, free of course. Hmm, maybe I should use it instead of Picasa to retouch the photos. Never thought of that. But I digress. Then I printed them at Wal-Mart. I found some truly vintage frames at the Goodwill and spray painted them black. In fact, the frames, me and the song which titles this post are all of the same vintage year.  Imagine that.

I am trying to decide on the positioning of the pictures because one of these is not like the other.
I really have to figure out how to tweak my photos.

I leave you with Fela, as I return to my book.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Today was awesome...

I woke up on time for once and for once instead of writing nonsensical complaints in my morning pages, I actually wrote about my beloved characters. So am happy!

My writing corner, except for the lamp and books,
everything was thrifted. The chair was my first repair. 


I painted the chair with fabric paint, but I ran out of paint and covered the seat with an old skirt of mine that was made from ankara (adire?????). I discovered wood glue, and glued the leg back on. Now that I am not scared of painting wood, I think I will sand the feet down and restain them, one day.

The bamboo table was $12.99. It took me a week and a half to decide on it. It was covered in dust, the glass was taped down and it looked mad beat up, plus it was missing a glass top in the middle.

$12.99 Goodwill

I thought the price was too much. But then, I saw this:

$199,  Ballard Designs
And I ran back immediately and snatched it up, soap and water, glass cleaner and it looks pretty nice now.

My baby cousin joined us today, July 5th, welcome love! I can't wait to see you. 

Sunday, July 01, 2012

This or that?

So I finally committed to the lampshade I bought for my Goodwill lamp.

It was a basic white rectangle shade from Target. I couldn't get anything longer because they didn't have any, plus and actually most important, I didn't want to buy a shade that cost more than the lamp. But that's exactly what ended up happening. Note to self, do not buy a lamp without a shade.

At first, I hated it because you could see the metal part peeking out from under the lampshade. Dang, I forgot the before picture. But after I painted it black and covered it in gold duct tape, i think i might like it. 

The question now is, just cover the top in gold or cover both top and bottom. Please consider Exhibit A and Exhibit B if you will. 

before, before. 

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Lamp base. $14.99 from Goodwill.
Lamp shade: $14.99 from Target
Black fabric paint: $0.67 Hobby Lobby
Gold duct tape: $3.37 Walmart.

I made my first pillow. I had some leftover fabric, or maybe it was a headtie for one of my gowns. I had an old comforter that I was going to throw away, I took it apart and used the stuffing for the pillow. My only regret is that I should have made it a tad bit taller.

Tiny bolster pillow. 
It was fun though. Haven't sewn by hand since I was a little girl making clothes for my doll, Sunbo. It was a blue plastic doll with no moveable parts, but I loved her. Anyone know of it?

Now to clean the dust off this other lamp I found. The shade is stuffed with dust, and I don't have the right type of vacuum cleaner. Any ideas? I have been brushing with a paintbrush. 
$12.99, goodwill of course.