Monday, December 31, 2012

Isaac and I Make a Mess

Today was the day! Isaac and I were going to get started on the living room. I started prep yesterday while Troy was picking up Isaac at the station, but only got as far as getting the Christmas decorations put away. What a chore.

Today we started by emptying the dining room and moving stuff from the living room into it. We ended up with a living room like this:
Facing SE

Facing NW

Facing SW

Facing NE
Yup the room was pretty empty.

The set up in the dining room is pretty cosy:
No room for the crafting stuff so I'll have to watch how much I get out at one time!

Then we put up some plastic to try and contain the dust and got to it.

First thing I took down was the trim blocks from around the doors. I'm collecting them in case someone wants them. We don't.

But what do I see there?
It was a nut. Squirrels have been "burying" nuts in my house! (Or my friends have been messing with me...time to fess up.)

From there we tackled the ceiling, and we hit it hard:
And we made a big mess. Lathe and plaster and bad wallpaper (yes, on the ceiling) all over the place.
And a mess of ourselves:
(It got worse once we hit the part where the insulation was blown in from the exterior walls. Here's a DIY tip--don't wear a low cut top when plaster, dust and insulation are falling down on you.)

And by the time we were tired out, we had about half done. Only half, but I think it was the "big half."
Don't bare floor joists look so clean and neat compared to
falling down plaster? Quite satisfying.
Isaac did find one skeleton:
He recognized it while it was falling to the floor, and managed to find most of the pieces. Although I would have scooped it up with the rest of the garbage, he thought it was worth keeping for further study. It's like he's planning to a vet or something.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Island Dressing

So we had this island. It was very useful and we liked it a lot. But its "backside" needed a little work:
Just the unfinished back and sides of the cabinets. But I had a plan, or at least an idea that I had torn out of a magazine, and I showed it to Troy. He said, "I can do that." And off he started (a couple of weeks ago)...

We used OSB since we knew the surface would be painted. First a base layer which concealed all:
Then Troy piled layer upon layer to build my dream. Here we are "mocking it up" when my sister was visiting:
Then he dressed it up with some trim:
Then it was my turn. First some primer:
Troy thought it was really cute that I used a drop cloth to protect our subfloor. (An old shower curtain--they make great drop cloths because nothing soaks through. But nothing soaks up either, so you have to watch you don't step in a drip or spill.) Anyway, there was no way I was going to live with a messy paint job for a few months (or years) even if it was going to be covered up later.

The the real dressing--the gloss paint:
Remember I had to fight for it at Lowes? Totally worth it.

And finally, the corbels I found online a year or two ago:
They're a mismatched set and I still really like them. I'm a little unsure of the dark wood finish with the paint, but I'm sticking with it. (Besides, Troy won't let me paint them, even if I wanted to.)

This was a fairly quick project, partly because Troy was really gung-ho to get his part done. And partly because it's a nice small project and not a freaking giant 30 x 70' wall!! (Ok, sorry, flashback to working on the shop there. I've got a hold of myself now.)

The only snag was when I realized Troy did the base trim correct on one side, and for some reason a different way on the other side. When I gently pointed this out to him, he tried to convince me that it was ok and I would love it, but I soon talked him back to the side of reason. He pondered the fix over a day or two (at first he thought it would be really easy, but then he kept realizing how well he secured everything to everything when he made it and then it would seem hard again), and then did a very nice job of fixing it so I could finish painting.

As this is one of the first things you see from the front door as you look into the kitchen, I wanted to to be a real feature. I'm very happy with what we ended up with.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Island Lights

Kitchen lights. I was having a hard time with choosing them. Everything in the stores was gross and I didn't know what I was going to do. But at that time, it was a long way off from needing them.

Then my sister called to say that she had driven by the second hand shop we all like in her town and had seen a nice hanging lamp in the window. She said it was white with orange and yellow fruit slices. Not exactly an encouraging description, but I trust her and she liked it, so I figured I would like it. And if I didn't, well, I didn't have to hang it.

A few weeks later she called and mentioned she hadn't done anything about the lamp. Should she check if it was still available? I said sure.

So a week later she goes to the store and finds it still hanging in the window. It had a sold sign on it. Oh no! But she looked at it closely and the sold sign had an old "hold by" date on it. So she went and asked at the counter and one of the women there happened to know the lady it was being held for. They called her up and no, she didn't want the lamp anymore. She just hadn't called them. Snap! That was Judy buying my lamp. (Thank you, unknown lady, for saving the lamp for me from all the other buyers who didn't ask about the sold sign.)

The lamp is lovely and will be great hanging above the kitchen table, and you will get to see it when Troy hangs it (soon). This is all a back story for the lights that are now mounted above the island.

My mom delivered the lamp from my sister's on one of her visits, and it happened that the next day Mom and I were driving somewhere and stopped at a yard sale. Mom found a few things, and then I saw two lamps like this:
They don't really match the lamp Mom just delivered, but they have the same sort of swirls and I thought they would look good together. There was no price marked and the person there seemed at a loss when I asked for the price. I suggested $5 for the pair, and they took it.
Of course, I couldn't use the lamps in their worn and harvest-gold condition. I took them apart,
and repainted all the metal parts a bright yellow.
Let me just comment here that spray painting and I don't really get along. All the fix-it shows and blogs talk about spray painting like it is the easiest thing in the world; such a simple transformation, etc, etc. Well, I don't know what my problem is, but I do not find it easy and simple. But anyway, I got it done and it's good enough for something hanging up at the ceiling.

Troy got them installed a couple weeks ago and put them on a three-way switch so we can control them from either main entrance to the room.
We have found that having just these two lights on is the perfect amount of light for general use. The other overhead lights are for when we're setting up the operating room (ha ha).
At some point in the process I started to get really worried that the lights were not going to look good in the room, and definitely weren't going to look good with the other ceiling lights. But once they were up, I liked them. It'll be even better when the other light is up. (It goes without saying that it will be even better when the ceiling is done, but that will be a long while yet.)

Sunday, December 02, 2012

A Productive Day

Yesterday was amazing. I slept in a little (8:00, I think), but had started the laundry Friday night so I was ahead of the weekend already.

I finished priming a project in the kitchen (more details later) so that I could paint it later in the day.

I went out to meet a knitting client at Red Purl (the knit shop). He tried on the sweater I had made and although he and his mother (who's paying for the sweater) didn't exactly bow down and worship my awesomeness, they seemed to like the sweater. They certainly didn't complain about it. So it is approved and I am done with the project. (Don't worry, my ego survived because of all the praise from the other knitters in the shop. Thank you, ladies!)

From there I went to Goodwill just because I was in the neighbourhood. was 50% off day. I stocked up on dress shirts for Troy because he had mentioned he needed more. As you can imagine, it's hit or miss on finding something suitable that will fit, has long enough sleeves (his arms are just short of freakishly long), has a pocket, is made from the right fabric, etc, etc, but I found five! Then I found a couple pair of jeans that fit me great. (Although GW commercials talk about finding the little black dress as the ultimate prize, I think finding well-fitting jeans is a more pressing issue.)

Then I went to Lowes and bought the paint for the aforementioned project--in my opinion the best part of a painting job, just above picking the colours. When I went to the counter to have it mixed up, she told me I couldn't get that colour in high gloss. She said the base she needed to use only came in the five kinds of matte, and I could get semi-gloss, but not high gloss. I looked at the samples, and honestly said out loud, "That will never do." I was a little surprised that came out of my mouth (!), but it wasn't in a snotty tone, so I hoped I hadn't ruined my chances with this woman. Apparently not, because the next thing she said was that she couldn't use the formula for that colour, but she could colour match it and use a gloss base. Well, that's more like it. I guess sometimes it pays to blurt out what you're thinking and draw the line of what you will and will not accept.

Then it was to Walmart for groceries and whatever else I could find. I've been looking for a new bathmat, so I took a look around. I've had a couple failures so I wasn't hoping for much. (By failures I mean stores that had bathmats, but not in colours/patterns that I liked and too expensive anyway.) So I look around a while and find myself searching for the place to put a mat away that was misshelved. (Honestly, I do this all the time when I'm shopping. Sometimes I try to stop myself, especially when I really don't have the time, but I've realized it's usually more work to talk myself out of it than to just put the item away.) Anyway it turns out this mat was a pattern I liked, and although I never found where it belonged, I found others from the same brand and it looked like the price was good enough ($12-$15). I put a second choice in my cart ($10) and found a price check machine. I put the mystery mat under it and the price came up at $7. Score! (Sometimes it's the collection of little victories that make a great day. :)

From there it was home where I unloaded the car, getting the Goodwill clothes into the laundry straight away. Then I painted the first coat on the kitchen project, and then got dinner made. I wanted to ask myself, "Who are you and what have you done with Christina?" but that is a bit overused so I didn't. (I just waited for Troy to come home so he could ask me.)

I hope it is obvious that I am making a point to write all of this not because I am so incredible, but because this is so unusual. I don't expect to have a day like that more than once a year, but I tried to keep it going today. I got some detail painting done before church this morning and the second coat on this evening. I hope it's done now, but I'll evaluate if it needs another coat when it's good and dry. Ok really, do you need a peek?
That's all you're getting for now, but trust me when it'll be worth the wait. I am loving it.

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