Oh that pull to come inside is getting stronger and stronger! And with it, of course, the need to nest - to cozy up our spaces, to freshen things up, and to make sure that all the little corners of our home suit all of us and the needs we have coming in the season ahead. I've been wanting to change things up in the living room - it needed something, but couldn't quite puzzle out a solution that would fit into the budget I had in mind. But oh - paint! Of course! And with this mostly NorthWest facing room, I thought it was time to change out of the lovely, but slightly gray blue that we originally painted these walls. Let's try white! I said, to much skepticism from everyone else at the table. But they trust me, for better or worse, and Dove Wing (by Benjamin Moore) really was just the right white for us, and for this room. It feels so much brighter, open, and bigger even. Just the things we need to feel about the space in which we'll spend so much of our time in the coming colder, darker months ahead.
The other thing that was needed in this room was a new firewood box. While it was great fun for Harper to "repair" our old, ancient, falling apart box on a weekly basis, it was a rather inefficient and messy system. I found a few shaker-style boxes online to use as inspiration. After surveying what we had on hand for wood, I got to work on puzzling out a box that would fit, and that I thought I might be able to construct. Yes, a glass of wine and sewing tape totally help in carpentry planning. (No worries, the building started the next day!)
And so I built a box. Not the most amazing of feats, but it sure did feel like it when at the end it was all in one piece, and miraculously square(ish). This project did involve a new-to-me tool. I'm not sure how I feel about the jigsaw - I'd like a little more control than I felt like I had with it, but to be fair I will give it another chance on the next project. Maybe I'll get the hang of it. In the end, the box isn't exactly what I had envisioned, but it's close enough. Perfection doesn't have any place in beginner projects of any kind, I say.
After building and sanding and all that jazz, we did a little bit of painting, Miss Annabel and I. I used Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint - first a light wash, then a bit of rubbing with beeswax, two coats of the milk paint, followed by a light sanding, then two coats of hemp oil. All of that was SO much fun, and especially lovely for my need of instant gratification as it took only twenty or thirty minutes between each coat. And of course, super fabulous that because of the mild ingredients, I could say YES to the help that was being offered. (I think milk paint might be my new best friend.)
But the best part of all? It holds wood! A whole lot of wood, actually. Two and a half wheelbarrow's full, which means that the number of times I have to remind someone it's their turn to fill the woodbox will be fewer this year. A small but important detail. Just like this box. Oh it is so satisfying to fill a need with my own hands, imperfect and and useful all at the same time. The timing is just right too, for I think the fire we lit in the woodstove last night just might be the one that doesn't go out until March. I'm feeling good about this little corner that will keep us warm through the months ahead!