A limb came off one of the street trees near my house during our most recent snow storm. After walking past it few times on my way to the grocery store, I decided to cut a couple of branches off and take them home. The thicker parts were grey, with reddish tips indicating more recent growth — a nice combination of colors to accent my warm-grey living room.

At first I figured I’d put them in a vase, but they were just too cumbersome to walk around. My next thought was to mount them to the wall. A quick glance at my super-low ceilings nixed that idea — not enough space. (But hey, my heating bill is low, too, so I can’t complain.) I had to find a way to tame the tree.

So I came up with this fun little project. Plan C: turn the branches into a 3-D “painting,” without the frame.

I rummaged through some old art supplies and picked a piece of illustration board to use as a size guide. Then I arranged a couple of branches on top, minding the composition the twigs were creating across the rectangle’s field.

With a trusted Sharpie, I marked the places where the branches hit the edges of the board. I then hacked across my Sharpie lines with a jeweler’s saw, mimicking the boundaries of the board.

Now I had a couple of branches cut into a perfect rectangle. And a carpet covered in sawdust.

The tricky part of this project was deciding where to place a few finishing nails so that they might hold the branches to the walls. This involved some guesswork, a lot of fumbling with a measuring tape, and — [sad trombone noise here] — math. I choose some likely locations and marked their x and y coordinates, measuring from the bottom left corner of the board.

Transferring those locations to the wall was annoying, too, but it worked! With a bit of tweaking, I had my very own branch painting.

Extra twigs went here:

No aminals were harmed during the decorating…

Once in a while, the blogger behind It’s Lovely! I’ll take it! finds a real estate listing in which every picture of the house contains the same ugly green plastic chairs. Green chairs for the dining room table. Green chairs in the basement, backyard, bedrooms(?!). And it almost seems as though the chairs are alive, following the photographer through the house. Ready for their 15 minutes of fame.

That’s my house. Except instead of plastic chairs, I have peacock feathers.

In the living room (in a thrift store vase):

In the dining room (in a candle holder):

On the mantle by the fireplace (in a shot glass?):

In the office (in a empty bottle of vanilla extract?!):

In my bedroom (in a spool of THREAD?!):

I NEED TO BE STOPPED. When I sell this place, “It’s Lovely” is going to have a field day snarking on me. In fact, I think I may have just written their post for them.

Today was made up of several layers of awesome:

  1. New President!

  2. Donuts for the office in honor of the new President! In fact, my office mates and I gathered together in the middle of the day to watch Obama take the oath of office. We had boxes of tissues at the ready, too.

  3. I finally solved the mystery of who wrote the awesome song that I heard a year ago at Silk City and desperately wanted to download, but couldn’t… not knowing the band name and all. The only lyric I could understand was “trees.” Try googling “popular hipster dance music” and “trees”. Doesn’t get you very far.

    You should have seen my eyes light up when I wandered past a coworker’s desk this morning and heard a chorus of “treeeeeees” coming from her speakers. Turns out it was MGMT. Duh — I own one of their singles. Note to self: buy full albums, dummy.

  4. After living for six months on a table top in my dining room, Phineas is back in his real home. This calls for a first here at this blog; a video post!

[flickr video=3214229110 show_info=true secret=29e08b1e86 w=400 h=300]

Accomplished yesterday:

Woke up at 7:00. Answered a work email or two. Yes, I’m lame.

Made it to the gym.

Set up an appointment with a chimney contractor for tomorrow.

Swept and bagged all the leaves in front of my house. Saved some for composting.

Covered two walls of the living room in primer. I haven’t settled on a top color yet, but at least I won’t have to wade through this murky blue-green lagoon of a room much longer.

Took the rest of the unpacked boxes and disassembled furniture down to the basement. Yeah, none of that stuff’s going to see any use this month. Might as well get it out of the way.

Vacuumed. This never happens.

Did the dishes. Not as rare, but still an accomplishment.

Discovered that my mustard lettuce plant is being attacked by what I can only assume are cabbage butterfly caterpillars. A thorough rinsing and some googling of Mike McGrath followed, I’m sad to say.

Sorted, filed, and shred all of the incoming mail. Dear credit card provider who shall remain nameless: if you’d like to extend me extra credit, please apply it to the account I already have with you and stop sending me offers for new cards. Besides, aren’t you guys supposed to be more careful about granting credit to people who don’t have any money? Dear AMEX: thanks for my two new magnets.

Shortened the closure on a new bracelet.

Hung up and de-tagged new clothing purchases from earlier in the week.

Put on real clothes (read: jeans) for a run to Home Depot. Shot down some guy looking for a date in the lighting department. The “I have a boyfriend” line didn’t mean much to him, though. Apparently, I’m not off the market until some other guy comes up behind me and verifies my story and/or threatens violence.

Started basement pot farm:

Really, just trying to extend the growing season for my sad little lettuce/mint plants.

Finished the behind-the-scenes Newsweek article on the election. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth a look. Did you know that the ringtone David Axelrod set for Obama’s calls was “Signed, Sealed, Delivered?” Now you do. Awww.