Trash wedding

There are some woods at the place where Tony and I live. A few months ago, while walking in them, we stumbled onto a strange trash heap. It looked like it might have been the remains of an old moonshine still. There was an overturned toilet and a whole bunch of glass bottles and jars scattered around.

My uncle thinks that it’s just an old trash pile, from a time before plastic. His theory goes that, over time, everything that wasn’t glass or porcelain disintegrated. I suppose that’s possible, but I tend to prefer the moonshine still theory. It’s more fun to imagine old-timey people making moonshine than it is to imagine them intentionally throwing old toilets into the woods.

When we stumbled onto this trash pile, Tony and I immediately thought “wedding!”

You see, earlier this year we read Devil in the White City and  really loved the descriptions of the white plaster architecture.

How cool would it have been to see an entire city all in white? I decided it must have been tremendously cool and that we had to use a lot of white in our wedding. Later, I found this ceramic artist who creates beautiful, one-color assemblages. It seems to me that this art might be gorgeous in the same way that the Chicago World’s Fair white city was gorgeous.

Walter McConnell, “A Theory of Everything”

I’ve decided that there’s just something spectacular about a limited color palette.

Walter McConnell, “A Theory of Everything: White Corner”


Tony Cragg, “Cumulus”

Design by Jeroen Van Spek


So, to get back to the trash pile, we figured when we saw the jars that we had stumbled onto some potentially awesome wedding decorations. A few coats of paint later and I think we were right. (Thanks to Grace, Phil, Katy, and Kristen for helping us paint! Thanks also to Davey for supervising.)

I think we’re set on jars, but we still have more painting to do. I love the way the figures look in the Walter McConnell pieces above, so we’re keeping our eyes peeled for cool toys and figurines that we can paint. Here’s hoping we stumble onto a trash pile filled with them!

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Happy New Year from Fawn Log!

The other day, when Tony was wearing the outfit pictured below, a stranger stopped him in the store and asked, “Waldo?”

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Both of us are willing to concede the resemblance, but let me be the first to say that it is not perfect. I mean, Tony obviously needs a curved cane and a striped shirt. Duh.


In other news, things are starting to get real on the wedding front. This weekend, Waldo and I bought our first official wedding decoration: tons of strands of white Christmas lights.

 photo IMG_1191_zps353957cd.jpgIf any of you readers are waffling about whether you should come to the wedding, I hope the addition of a ton of white lights sways you. Personally, I think Christmas lights are magical any time of year.

If you have a New Year’s resolution, would you please put it in the comments?  Mine is pretty boring: keep track of the number of books I read. This is something I’ve never done but have always been a bit curious about. Unfortunately, I’ve already run into a conundrum in that I’m really close to finishing a book I got for Christmas. Do you think I should count it in my total when I finish it a few days into January?  Or should I count only books that I both start and finish in 2015? Also, should books on tape count?



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After we made our awesome headboard, Tony and I were on the hunt for cool bedside tables. We searched craigslist and thrift stores, but didn’t find anything even remotely suitable. Then I checked out the Ikea website and found this:

It’s made of solid, untreated pine and is a really nice height and width. Plus, shockingly, it is only $40! Tony and I thought it might be fun to stain or paint ourselves, so I asked my parents to get me two for my birthday and they did (thanks, parents!). As far as I know, these are the first brand-new pieces of furniture that Tony and I have ever owned.

Before I delve into the tables, I need to share some philosophical musings about our lack of new furniture. I generally care about the environment. Caring about the environment can, at times, seem expensive. For instance, I wish Tony and I bought all organic food to prevent more pesticides and herbicides from from getting spewed all over the earth. I wish we used exclusively eco-friendly shampoo and soap. I wish we had an electric car. Plenty of intelligent people have written about green-washing, and how gross it is when companies use a token, eco-friendly cause to hide behind. I agree with them. However, I tend to think that there’s a bigger problem  with the green-living movement, and that’s the de-emphasis on the reusing and reducing part of this familiar triangle:


It makes sense that companies would promote recycling above the other components, because companies– even good, legitimately eco-conscious companies– want to sell stuff, and reducing and reusing lead to fewer sales. I’ve met lots of people who care deeply about the environment, but demonstrate that caring only through the stuff that they buy. This seems like  cognitive dissonance to me: yes, eco-friendly purchases may help the planet in some ways, but almost never as much as not adding additional crap to the planet would. Not buying stuff at all, or buying used stuff, seems like such a simple way to help the earth. I’m pretty sure that we don’t hear that message often because it doesn’t benefit any large corporations.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, and I also realize that I’m a total hypocrite.  My last post was about buying new pants, for God’s sake! And we made our headboard so that’s basically equivalent to buying a new piece of furniture, right? Even though we try to be conscious of it, I know Tony and I buy way too much new crap that we don’t need. We definitely could spend less money in other areas and more on organic food. But at least we lived comfortably for five years without buying new furniture and hope that, with the exception of these tables and headboard, we can continue with that trend. In conclusion, let’s all try to stop buying so much crap, ok?

Alright, now back to these brand-spanking-new tables!


I put them together myself, which made both me and Tony really proud. The first one took a couple hours, but the second was much faster. The above is one of them without stain. The Ikea website says you can leave them like this but, eh, it looks really unfinished to me. Tony’s dad has done a bunch of (awesome) wood-working, and he recommended Minwax stain. After much deliberation at Home Depot, Tony and I picked cherry:

We also got a semi-gloss polyurethane to put over the stain, because we like things a little glossy.

The stain went on really evenly.  It turns out the cherry is a pretty midrange stain without too much red or yellow. I really like how it turned out!

Here’s the whole bedroom:

Nice right? Here’s a pre-headboard before:

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And here’s the earliest before I have, from after we took up the shag carpeting:

If you want to read more posts about how we fixed up this bedroom, you can click on the D.I.Winos tag below.  If you don’t want to read more posts about how we fixed up this bedroom, congratulations! I’m pretty sure we’re done in here and so there won’t be any more posts about that subject.

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