Hiking Weather

Merely a few images captured during a recent autumn hike on the greenbelt.

berries cactusfield2 cactustuna fallcolors fallswamp heart kelseywoods stellawater texascactus treehugger waterfall wyattwater

 

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In the dog house

This morning I awoke with the full intention of taking some updated photos of the DH with which I could provide a splendid house tour blog post outlining my favorite spaces of the home. But during our little photo shoot I noticed a peculiar pattern: Stella and Wyatt began photo bombing ever picture I attempted to take. No matter how much I shooed them away, the doodles always found an excuse to slink back into the photos. And I liked it. So instead of gushing about the bookshelf that Heath built or the kitchen we poured blood, sweat and tears into, I bring you a collection of images of the dogs sprawled upon nearly every surface of our home. It truly is the doodles’ house.

dogsguestbedroom wyattoffice stellaoffice office greyroom dogbed stellaguestroom friendlydogs greenlivingroom

Yes, I am attached to our furniture and artwork and wall colors and yadda, yadda, yadda. But at the end of the day, it’s the dogs that make the house a home. Thanks for the reality check, doodles.


For dog lovers

This Saturday we followed our friend Christine to a “pup crawl” on Rainey Street to benefit Weimaraner Rescue of Texas. About 60 dog lovers leashed up their hounds to show support for the local rescue organization and to enjoy a cool pint and warm weather in the process. Along with the doodles, I also brought the nikon out for the walk, resulting in the following canine collage.

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The handsomest of the bunch.

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This one’s for you, Joy!

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Oh. Hello, Phyllis. I didn't expect to see you here.

Oh. Hello, Phyllis. I didn’t expect to see you here.

pupcrawl037 pupcrawl028 pupcrawl027 pupcrawl024 pupcrawl022 pupcrawl021 pupcrawl018 pupcrawl015 pupcrawl010 pupcrawl009 pupcrawl008

 


A little hallway pick-me-up

I sometimes forget that hallways are rooms too, and important ones at that. They carry us from one part of the house to another, acting as passageways to new attitudes.  Think about it, you enter the hallway and instantly have to change your school of thought from “it’s time to cook” to “it’s time to sleep” or from “it’s time to study” to “its time to shower (or, you know, other things that happen in that room).”  If you consider the mentality switch that occurs in hallways, you realize these literal and figurative passageways are kind of a big deal.  So why oh why did it take me so long to give our hallway the attention it deserves? Despite being an area of the house we don’t spend much time in, hallways shouldn’t be an afterthought. When given some TLC, I figure they can become as beloved a space as any.

A blue hallway adorned with maps

A blue hallway adorned with maps. Photo from The New York Times.

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Black doors and dramatic lighting make this hallway a distinctive space in its own right. Photo from Pinterest.

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Geometric wall stenciling in bold patterns and a consul table make this part of the house sing. Photo from Apartment Therapy.

Big bold stripes from floor to ceiling contrast well with the light wood flooring. Photo from Pinterest.

Big bold stripes from floor to ceiling contrast well with the light wood flooring. Photo from Pinterest.

A gallery wall or a brightly colored rug give interest to long narrow spaces. Photo from Apartment Therapy.

A gallery wall or a brightly colored rug give interest to long narrow spaces. Photo from Apartment Therapy.

I really wanted to emulate one or all of these ideas into our hall space, which is long, narrow and boring beige.

longhallwaybefore

Lots of doors in and out, but not a lot to look at as you go from one room to another.

But because our hallway has a very low ceiling (an air conditioning duct was put there after the house was originally built), I didn’t want to do anything that would close the space in and make our guests feel claustrophobic. And because there is no overhead light, just a little wall sconce midway through, I didn’t want anything that would need a lot of light passing through it to look good.

I briefly considered painting the doors instead of the hallway, which I think can give a really cool effect, like this photo from housetohome.

Painted-hallway-doors-Style-at-Home-Housetohome.co.uk

But that solution didn’t solve my boring beige dilemma. So I decided to do what I normally do…paint it turquoise! (Technically, the paint color is called Fiji, but hey, it’s close enough.)

The hallway after

The hallway after

I love, love, love how it turned out. I actually don’t dread walking through that part of our house anymore.

tealandwhitehallway

I’m also really loving how it looks as you glance through one room and get a peak at the new peacock-blue hallway that lays behind it. Check out how much better the hallway looks from the kitchen in these before and afters.

The hallway as seen from the kitchen before...

The hallway as seen from the kitchen before…

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…And after. I love the lime green and turquoise color combination, so this feels very happy to me.

I also love how it makes our art and photos pop, something that was definitely lacking with the old beige.

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The black and white photos stand out against the vivid background. And check out those cuties hanging out in the office.

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Because it’s not a huge space, taping the walls, patching the holes and slapping up the coat of paint was done in just a couple of hours on a Saturday afternoon.  I still need to touch it up in a few places, but over all I’m really happy with our playful new corridor. Once we get some wood floors and change out the door hardware, this space is really going to shine.

labradoodlesinthehallway

 


Instadoodle

Happy Tuesday!  Ok, I’m about to become Crazy Dog Lady. This is your warning. Turn back now if you don’t want to experience labradoodle overload. (Though, as Crazy Dog Lady, I wonder if there is such a thing.)

It’s been way too long since I’ve written a doodle-related post, which is too bad since this is The Doodle House after all. So in tribute to my little dust bunnies, Stella and Wyatt, enjoy our favorite (aka all of our) doodle pics from Instagram.

Lazy Sunday with the little ones.

Lazy Sunday with the little ones.

Next time on Cheaters, Stella gets caught with another dog.
Next time on Cheaters, Stella gets caught with another dog.

formal portrait

The formal portrait

Ranjana lounges with Wyatt (Featuring special guest stars Keyser and Socs)

Ranjana lounges with Wyatt (Featuring special guest stars Keyser and Socs)

Not interested.

Not interested.

Summer at the green belt
Summer at the green belt

This is her spot.

This is her spot.

Stella really wanted to meet the new chicks.
Stella really wanted to meet the new chicks.

Post hair cut

Post hair cut

My fellas
My fellas

play?

play?

Playing in the leaves
Playing in the leaves

The glamor shot

The glamor shot

dogsitting doodle number 3

Dog sitting doodle number 3, Mia

Stella was the first one to check out the new couch.
Stella was the first one to check out the new couch. Not sure about the position she chose to test it out in though…
designer dog

designer dog

If you just can’t get enough, feel free to follow us both on Instagram: @doodlehouse and @patchyredbeard.


Stencil me in

Great news! I made good on my promise (to myself) to stencil an accent wall in my living room. (Bless Heath for going along willingly with my wacky, wacky ideas for designing the house.) I started the project Dec. 15 and finished about a week later, just before the fam came down for Christmas.  What timing!

The before…

greenandturquoiserooms And the after…brightretrowallcolors

starburstmirrorartThus far I’m really loving our dizzying scalloped wall. I’ve always been a fan of bright and bold patterns on my blankets and pillows, so an entire wall of a retro and repetitious pattern is right up my alley. Since it has been up, I find myself zoning out on the couch, getting lost in the sequence of scallops.

The stencil pattern was ordered from Cutting Edge Stencils and set me back about $40. I already had the paint and rollers, so the cost of the stencil and my time was all I ended up investing on the project. So, I’d say it’s worth it to give stenciling a shot if it’s a look you’re keen on, though, admittedly it’s not for everyone. Should you give it a go, I’d recommend the following:

  1. Keep a level handy.  I eyeballed everything, which works OK with the guide of a stencil, but as I was finishing the project, I noticed a slight upward movement of the pattern as I went along.  It’s not something that’s really visible when you’re just glancing at it, but during my long stare-down sessions with the wall, I can notice the slight slope of the pattern. It’s minimal, but were I to do it over, I’d definitely recruit the aid of a ruler.
  2. Start at the very edge of the wall and work your way over. When I got going, i didn’t exactly start at the very edge of the wall, leaving instead a small gap between where my pattern started and where the wall started. It ultimately affected the all-over, saturating effect of the pattern I was going for, and I had to go in with my individual stencil to fill in the gaps. Start the stencil so that parts of the pattern flow off the edge of the wall so you don’t have to go back and fill in the holes when it’s done.
  3. Keep a blow dryer handy.  When stenciling, you don’t load up the roller with paint, so the wall itself drys fairly quickly. However, when you’re layering the plastic stencil with paint, it takes a little longer to dry. So moving the stencil pattern over the wall can result in wet splotches of paint where you don’t want it.  I got in the habit of using a blow dryer on the stencil so I could move through the project more quickly.
  4. Use a small brush for touch ups.  Careful as I may be, it seemed inevitable that there would be drips and smudges as I went along.  A tiny paint brush was crucial to cleaning up the oops-ies.

The whole thing took a few days to complete, but I wasn’t the most committed of painters. I stopped to bake, attend holiday parties and watch Christmas clay-mation movies…leaving only a couple hours a day devoted to stenciling. Should you choose to get your stencil on, I’d say it’s a project that could easily be knocked out in a day if you were truly diligent.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll offer a peek at the good, bad and ugly of the project.

The paint poured, brush not yet loaded. Still time to turn back…

The first round of the stencil pattern on the wall. No turning back now.

The first round of the stencil pattern on the wall. No turning back now. (You can also see here the spacing faux pas I am referring to in tip #2.)

One of the “whoops” moments. This is why a touch-up brush is so crucial.

Progress…

crookedstencil

Eventually I’ll need to redo the top. This is why a level is handy. Once I was at the top, I was eager to finish, and you can see the results of my sloppiness on the top row. Woe is me.

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Everyone here, dogs included, agrees the end result is bad ass.


Scoob Sitting

Today I shall tell you the tale of Scooby, the newly adopted dog of our friends Zack and Caitlin, who spent a recent weekend at the doodle house playing the role of awkward stepchild.

Scooby is a 3-year-old mutt that might be part German Shepherd, might be part Shiba Inu. We don’t really know. Such is the fun of adopting a mystery dog.

We dog sit all the time for other mutts, but what made Scooby’s case special is that he was a fairly new dog to us and his “forever family.” Scooby had been bounced around through a few other foster families over his life so you never quite know what to expect. So allow me to let you know how some of the weekend played out.

Chapter One: The Chase. In addition to being part dog, Scooby might also be part bunny or antelope because your boy can jump. We learned this when, within 5 minutes of being in the backyard, he promptly cleared the fence to chase after a neighbor cat. (Clearly Scoobs has some long-running hatred toward felines because there was no convincing him that this cat was not worth the effort. Come on buddy, there are 4 chickens and 2 dogs to play with, why are you wasting your efforts on this dopey cat?)

The escape sent Heath into panic mode…panic along the lines of misplacing someone’s child or wrecking someone else’s car, but 10 times worse. Is there any feeling more gut-wrenching than losing your friend’s new dog in less than 24 hours? Nope. Definitely not.

The cat took off toward a busy intersection, followed closely by Scooby, and Heath trailing not too far behind. The cat made a right cut toward some houses and led Scooby to a corner. (Hallelujah!)  Scooby tried to break free and continue the chase, but Heath made an epic lunge at the Scoobster and the event was over as quickly as it has begun. Scooby was back in custody and Heath had the road burn to prove it. CRISIS AVERTED. Note to self: maybe don’t let Scooby in the backyard without a leash.

Chapter Two: The Affair. Stella gets along with most dog folk, in fact she’s kind of a flirt. She’s never met a dog she didn’t like and Scooby was no exception. This is not a problem except that it drove Wyatt crazy. He’s not one to “show affection” if you catch my drift, but when Scooby was in town, Wyatt was all about letting him know that Stella was his gal. Though that didn’t keep Stella from falling into bed with this mysterious stranger. Wyatt didn’t take it so well.Luckily, they have worked things out since then.

Chapter Three: The Good Dog.
I love dogs and I love to be helpful, so volunteering to take on Scooby for the weekend while his parents were gone was a no-brainer for me. It wasn’t until his family had left that I realized this was a big deal…for us and for Scooby.

Until Zack and Caitlin came along, Scooby never really had a stable home environment. And now, the only people who ever really gave him the proper attention he needed, were taking off for four days. Who could really know what effect that would have on a little pup with abandonment issues? Plus, as we saw with the cat incident, we didn’t know all of Scooby’s quirks yet. We didn’t know how he would act in tense situations, or around loud noises, or in the rain. (The list goes on…) Anyone with a pet knows that there are dozens of factors that can sends animals into a tizzy, and there was so much we didn’t know about Scooby, his personality, and his past.

So let me clarify my “awkward stepchild” comment, by saying that Scoobs is a really good dog. There were a few rough patches (or should I say “RUFF” patches? Yes I should.) which is to be expected, but all-in-all he was a welcomed guest. He is amazingly friendly and playful (sometimes too much so) and was a very fast learner. He never chewed anything or had any house accidents and that’s more than I can say about Stella and Wyatt.

I applaude Z&C for taking on the challenge of adopting an older, larger dog, rather than shelling out $$$ for designer dog puppies like  we did (yes, I am aware that we are going to Hell). It takes a tremendous amount of courage and patience and love to be able to take on the title of adoptive parents. And in the end, I think Zack, Caitlin and Scooby will all be better for it. Way to be.


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