Friday, May 5, 2017


Man, what a busy couple of weeks we've had. 

This time of year is when things start to kick into high gear with Lamphouse. Graduations, weddings, public parties now that the weather is *hopefully* warm enough! It's a whirlwind of activity all over the 'ta. 

This past weekend we took the Lampy Camper out to Final Friday (Wichita's monthly art crawl) and parked in front of a cool new venue to take some pics.

That was event 1 of 4 and by the end of the weekend, we had taken over 2,000 photos!!!

By far, the most instagramed part of the Lampy Camper was her Wichita flag sticker and little Heidi Swapp lightbox sign. What can I say, people love them some Wichita! 

So, we figured we could eek out one little project to commemorate our ICT pride. We went to Wings of the Wind and picked up a 28" x 44" medium sized flag and wooden pole and got to work! Well, Conan did any way ; ) 

Just look at this nut! 

I asked him if he was just doing this for the picture or if he actually thought that would keep him from falling. "Just for the picture" he said...VERY sarcastically. 

They had a nifty little flag pole holder that can be adjusted to tilt up or down or straight out. I prefer it straight out but who knows, it's good to have options! 

 Ta da! Beautiful! It looks really sharp with the new trim paint and I know the red and white will really pop when the whole house is done. 

Our new neighbors directly to the south put their Wichita flag up as soon as they moved in and it started a wave of flags popping up all over the neighborhood. 

Funny story: while we were taking these photos, a woman drove by, stopped a couple of houses down the street, got out of her car with her phone and took a photo of all of the flags! 

I think this could be our new neighborhood thing! The Wichita flag street! 

Thanks for having such a neat flag, Wichita! And for being a great place to call home : ) 

 Here's a little Wichita flag history if you're interested: 

Adopted in 1937
Designed by Cecil McCalister
Features 3 rays extending from a blue center with the Native American symbol for home, or "hogan" in the center. 

Up next? We start clearing out the jungle in the backyard in preparation to build a privacy fence next weekend. Stay tuned and

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Thanks to the magic of Facebook Memories™ I woke up this morning to the news that exactly 8 years ago today, we were handed the keys to our house! 

I thought that called for a little trip down memory lane and some new pics to celebrate! 

Here is what the house looked like when we moved in: 

And here it is today! 

I really didn't give much thought to painting the trim and soffit last year but in these photos it's like "BAM! 100% improvement!" and it's going to look 200% better when the whole house is done. 

And now, for a little (long) trip through the past eight years of home-ownership bliss ; )

As I mentioned, we were handed the keys on April 20, 2009 after a couple of months worth of hemming and hawing with the bank about the lack of heat among other things that come along with a foreclosed property. 

With a village worth of help, we put down sod

painted some interior rooms, and got married in the backyard on July 18, 2009

We wrote our very first blog post on October 6, 2009! It had exactly 0 pictures and an actual list of all of the things wrong with the house. It was written by Conan and you can really feel his "what the h did I just sign up for?" seeping through. But he ended it with ~


A few weeks later we gave a long overdue interior tour of the house: 

Missing cabinet doors, sagging ceiling, impossible to clean floor and an oven that didn't actually have a 220v outlet behind it. ~Those were the days~

This is the room where mismatched salvation army chairs go to spend the rest of their days, apparently.

Here are some other things we wrote about that year:

- Our honeymoon in Colorado (awwww)

In February of 2010, we *finally* got central heating installed in the house

A few months later we learned our first BIG lesson after we hired a fly by night company to replace the roof. It ended fine but it was...a journey to say the least. 

For my birthday that year, my dad built the living room shelves that basically made us famous on the internet ; ) 

Here's what they look like today

Some other things we wrote about that year:

- "Old" photos of our old house
- Heating the house
- Our first offer on the house!
- Removing one of the broken radiators
- New bedroom lighting
- Conan's little red sports car
- More radiator removal

In March of 2011, we started our first major interior renovation with the upstairs bathroom

The whole remodel took just a little over a year to complete. Here's what I wrote about during that year: 

- Cleaning up the guest room (round 1)
- Driving to Kansas City to buy an antique sink
- Buying escutchions
-The 1919 trash we found under the stairs in the bathroom
- Grout & more Grout 
- Refinishing a clawfoot tub
- Moving a clawfoot tub up two flights of stairs
- Turning an old TV cabinet into a linen cabinet

Our big project in 2012 was a tiny budget remodel of the kitchen. If you'll recall, the bathroom had leaked into the kitchen causing those ceiling tiles to droop so we decided to just tear the whole thing down and paint it white. 

Here's the before: 

And the after: 

Maybe the biggest thing in 2012, was the purchasing of our vintage camper and starting up Lamphouse Photo Co. 

Here's what the ol' girl looked like almost 5 years ago: 

And here's what she looks like today! 

Here are some other things we wrote about in 2012:

Showering in a washing machine drip pan for a year
Moving a clawfoot tub up two flights of stairs
- Turning an old TV cabinet into a linen cabinet
- Painting our old fridge with chalkboard paint
- Refinishing our kitchen floors
- DIY Antique Trouble Lights
- Finding a vintage Roper Stove at a garage sale for $45
- Saving our sash windows
- Being featured in This Old House Magazine
- Our first David Bazan Living Room Show
- Using the 1940 census to learn about our house
- Talking to the granddaughter of the family who lived here 1938-1944
- Being featured on Houzz
- Stumbling upon photos of our house from the late 40s
- Being in This Old House Magazine AGAIN!
- Being given a piano

Our big project for 2013 was the downstairs bathroom, affectionately dubbed the "toilet closet"

Here's what we started with:  

And here's the finished product

Here are a few other things that happened in 2013:

- We gave you guys the deets on our vintage camper plans
- We got a very cool antique camera cabinet
- We added a darkroom to our vintage camper
- Slow decorating
- We refinished our FREE dining room table
- Finding the perfect sink for the toilet closet

In 2014, we did a few little things like sprucing up the guest room to use as an Airbnb: 

and how the chalkboard fridge was holding up

We also did some work on the exterior of the house and added our beloved Birdie Booth to the Lamphouse lineup!

Here are some other things we wrote about in 2014:

 - Our second David Bazan Living Room Show
- Replacing the front porch steps
- More chalkboards
2015 was a pretty slow year for the house but we did manage to add built in shelves to the dining room: 

Before Dining Room

Olympic Stormy Weather
We built a second Birdie Booth to keep up with demand and put a "pool" in the backyard : ) 

We also got back to the business of painting the house. Picking colors

Climbing around on scaffolding, etc. 

In 2017, Lamphouse became our full-time jobs (INSANE!) so that occupies pretty much 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Still, we're hoping that the house will get some attention this year as well. 

This year, our big projects are working on the exterior of the house and installing a privacy fence in the backyard.

A lot has happened in the past eight years and it was a trip to see it all laid out in front of me in pictures! I know we're not the most punctual bloggers but we really did leave a nice record of our time in the house so far. 

Thanks for hanging around these past eight years! 

Keep Smiling! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Tennis Racket Picture Frame DIY

You all know how I feel about slow decorating (if you don't, see this post). So it should come as no surprise that it's taken us nearly a decade to finally start hanging things on the walls. It may have taken me a while but in the past 4 months we've put more holes in this plaster than the previous 9 years combined.

And since the weather has been especially "stay your a$$ inside" this past week, I decided to tackle one tiny project to lift my spirits. 

I've had this photo pinned for years: 

I love it but since it's hard enough to convince myself to put on "real pants" these days, I figured I would skip the ~take the rackets to your local mirror shop and have them cut pieces to fit~ step and just hang the dang things on the wall. 

And use them as photo frames! 

One of our favorite rainy day activities is going to the big antique mall just outside of town and sifting through boxes of old snapshots and taking home just a few interesting ones each time. 

Don't you just love the girl jumping rope? 

The racket ain't too shabby either ; ) 

Conan tacked them up on the top inside and bottom inside to keep them from swaying if they're bumped. 

I originally wanted to put them in the kitchen but since we already have a little collection going in there, we decided it was overkill. 

There's a few photo booth pictures on here (of course!) and some others that I'm starting to collect: 
- Women holding dogs
- Pictures where you can see the photographer's shadow

There's a really neat article in the Atlantic about collecting snapshots that inspired those if you're looking for a fun little read. 

Girl drinking out of a paper sack while holding up a finger doesn't have a collection category yet but I couldn't pass her up - too sassy. 

Another thing we finally got off of the floor: 

Conan's guitars! The acoustic was just collecting dust in the guest room and the electric in the corner of the living room so we figured - pop those puppies up there and treat 'em like art. I really like how it warms up this corner and makes the room seem even taller. 

Well, that's all for now. Hope you enjoyed our (very) little project! 

Hopefully the weather takes a turn for the nice and we can get back to work on the exterior sometime soon. Until then, 

Keep Smiling! 

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