July 31, 2009
July 28, 2009
Sorry, but I don't know your name. I've tried Googling for you, but it seems that no one wants to take responsibility for being the brain child behind the monstrosity. Which is probably smart because I've often cursed you anonymously and if I knew your name you better believe I'd add it to my strong offensive language repertoire. Often.
Besides just wanting to have the appropriate name to curse out I'd really like to hunt down where you live. For two reasons. One is to see if you actually put your own terrible creation inside your home (or if you just laughed all the way to the bank) . The second reason is that I plan on hiding in your bushes and delivering a swift kick to your shins as you get the mail. Both shins. While wearing my steel toe boots.
I'm not normally such a violent person but your paneling seems to bring out the worst in me. Maybe its because I just had to rip out two large rooms double layered in faux wood paneling is the reason that I'm particularly bitter.
More likely the bitter feeling in my throat is because faux wood paneling is the reason I no longer have gorgeous old wood baseboards in my Wee house's great room. Your invention helped to devoid my house of historical character. Way to go Mr. Inventive Interior Designer.
In an effort to spruce the place up and modernize in 1980-ish my houses old owners installed a layer of light wood paneling and a drop ceiling. In order for the paneling to lay flat on the wall they scraped off the retro awesome wallpaper and the gorgeous 7" baseboards got ripped out for that custom floor to ceiling faux wood look. Then, in further insult to the house, the baseboards got cut up and attached to ceiling so they could be the anchors of a horrid drop ceiling. I almost cried when I realized what we could have had.
So you see Mr. Inventor of the Devil I place the blame squarely on your shoulders. Had wood paneling never been thought of there surely would still be baseboards in my house. I'm not even going to get into the amount of landfill space your product must take up, but you should be ashamed about that fact too.
Mrs. prefers cracked plaster
Ps- I'm not kidding about the shin kick.
You should run away should we ever meet in a dark alley.
July 27, 2009
Since everyone likes blogs with pictures and my camera died yesterday- enjoy an old picture of my little helper buddy Nala.
Halfway to the Wee house Pete realizes that he forgot his work clothes, which forces us to turn around. We loop back to the Wtown house and grab the missing clothes and finally head out for good.
Once at the Wee house we slowly start to realize the rest of the items left at home.
1- Permits. They have to get moved off the kitchen table and put on the front windows of the house.
2- My iPod... I need my iPod to do work around the house without turning into a major crank case.
-3- Camera battery. As I go to take my first picture the battery dies and camera shuts off.
There are just some days where you just can't get all your shit together. And yesterday was one of them.
July 24, 2009
French déconstruction, from dé- de- + construction
1: a philosophical or critical method which asserts that meanings, metaphysical constructs, and hierarchical oppositions (as between key terms in a philosophical or literary work) are always rendered unstable by their dependence on ultimately arbitrary signifiers ; also : an instance of the use of this method 2: the analytic examination of something (as a theory) often in order to reveal its inadequacy
You'll notice there is no mention in the above definition of taking a crow bar and smashing your house to bits. One would think I'd reference my giant unabridged dictionary at home once and a while before writing a post.
July 23, 2009
The scene that greeted up as we pulled into the driveway. I've cropped just the lean-to addition into the picture, so you can see how flimsy it looks. But them look closer to the larger area highlighted by the pink circle. You'll see a giant tree limb that Pete purposely landed right on top of the roof, hoping that it would cause the roof to weaken and maybe even collapse. No such luck. The roof held as the limb fell and I could swear it even yawned when everything can crashing down. As if to say "Is that the best you can do?"
The other pink highlighted circle is our neighbors wood chipper. They dropped it off in case we wanted to use it! How nice is that? They've even been chipping up the smaller branches during their down time during the week.
While Pete started with the tree removal and lean-to destruction I got busy with some ick removal on the inside of the house. I'm planning on doing a complete "Before" tour of the Wee house sometime soon, but until then you'll have to bear with just snippets of the entire house.
Here is what was once the laundry room ( see if you can find the bleach stain) and our eventual planned dining room. We had some of our overflow construction essentials in the room. I started with bringing all the tools/extra supplies into the bathroom that is just out of the frame on the left. Bigger items got pushed up against the wall.
Once empty(ish) I started with the removal of all curtains, mini-blinds and window covering plastic. I really wanted to open the windows and get some air flow circulating inside the house, but alas, all the windows are nailed shut. At least sunlight is an improvement.
Then I busted out the utility knife and started attacking the carpet in a neat orderly manner. Hacking up carpets is hard work! The plastic backing carpets have is surprisingly tough. It took at least three cuts for me to get through the plush shag and cut all the way through.
I was at the last two feet of carpet rolling up when I realized that there was poop. sitting. on the carpet. an old big poop. I might have started gagging. ( actually I'm gagging just thinking about it now) and I might have gagged so much that I eventually threw up in my mouth.
I unfortunately now have literal first hand experience with the very popular phrase "I just threw up in my mouth a little" Except it wasn't a little and I had to run outside to heave some more. Friggen dis.gusting.
After Gatorade and some bad jokes about how I just don't have the stomach for house renovations, I grabbed a mask and headed back in to de-poop the house. Blech. Finish rolling up the carpet and start on the wood paneling.
After removing as much of the paneling as possible without a sawsall (which was being used on the outside destruction project) I glanced upwards and decided that the ceiling was ready to come down. Since I'm accident prone I decided that it would be prudent to utilize my hard hat for this part.
The whole thing came down with one massive pull. You like the one teeny tiny bit of insulation that was placed above the ceiling? One would think that in a house full of plastic lining, drop ceilings and nailed shut windows all in the name of preventing heat loss that they would have sprung for an entire roll of insulation... but no. It's less for me to destroy and clean up though, so I'm fine with it.
After the ceiling was pulled down I went outside to see how far Pete had gotten on the shed deconstruction. Now the lean-to certainly looks like a fun clean up. I can see me throwing it away at the dump already.
While cleaning up I dunked my hand far into the chip bag, popped one in my mouth and then looked inside to see how many were left. And I saw this instead. An entire colony of ants swarming about, ecstatic to have found such a mother load of food. You better believe I spat my chip out with the quickness.
Who knew that a simple piece of paper could cost so much money. The construction permit alone is 7% of our total garage budget. um. yikes.
While in the permit office we filled out an application for the house interior demolition. At this point we've only done some cosmetic removal, but there are big demo plans in the future and I wanted to make sure we were legal going foward. One of the last things that we need is the inspector coming out to check on the garage, take a peek in the house and see a massive demo project that wasn't permitted. Paying major fines, project delays and creating a bad name for ourselves in our (very) small town is not what we want.
One massive check later we headed out of the office with all the paperwork in hand.
I can't wait to peel the plastic off our front windows and stick the permits right on them!
July 21, 2009
Husband (with chainsaw at the ready) assessing said giant Maple tree. I was diligently working on cleaning up all the overgrowth in the yard when I heard the dull roar of the saw, followed by a colossal crack...which meant the first giant limb was down. Thankfully it fell right where it was supposed to.
At this point in the afternoon we had to clear out the structure because the next giant limb was slated to land right on the rickety roof. Stored inside were our old salvaged pine and oak floor boards. Pulled out of an attic ourselves we love these stupid boards. They are huge, 13-20ft long, 12-24inches wide and massively heavy. We have grandiose plans for them in the future, I just don't know what those plans are exactly yet. All the boards were moved across the yard into the lean-to until we get the new garage up. Fun times were had by us carrying those suckers around two at a time.
I'm just going to gloss over the rest of the tree chopping down story until the very end. Because we all know that's the interesting part. It's now getting late and Pete's been diligently chainsawing away at the main trunk for over an hour now. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Turns out there is a chain buried deep within the tree, which dulled the blade.
One very tired Husband.
Posing with the chainsaw. As if I actually helped!
The chain buried deep within the tree
* here is where I have to mention. please please please leave tree removal to experts who know what they are doing. I would never ever suggest that anyone attempt a DIY lumberjack job. at the very least you'll be sparing your wife from the 15 heart attacks she has while you play around with the chainsaw.
July 20, 2009
This was on the inside of my (delicious) Magic Hat #9 last night. I found it oddly inspirational after spending the day busting my butt working on the Eboro house and seeing how much work lay in front of us. Funny how a beer bottle cap made me smile :)
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and we (yet again) amazed ourselves with how fast we can make a clean house messy!
less than 24 hours folks and we had to spend two hours in a cleaning frenzy pre-showing. Someday I'll learn to clean up after myself right away. Someday.
July 17, 2009
July 16, 2009
Which means more cleaning and another go round with the cat trying to claw off my jugular as I carry her out to the car. All while the puppers is going nuts with excitement.
I really need to get a cat carrier.
July 15, 2009
Now to think of something to do during the showing. I'll be wrangling the cat and dog by myself...If only coffee shops liked it when you brought your pissed off cat and hyper dog inside.
July 14, 2009
What does that mean? It means that when I start a project I usually get about 90% through before I throw in the towel. There is something about completing the final home stretch that doesn't work for me. I'd sometimes like to blame my ineptitude to finish projects on my undiagnosed ADD.
The reality is I get bored or frustrated. Sometimes I even get all freaked out that my project is going to turn out like poop and scare myself into stopping before there is actual physical evidence out there of my failure. This is the part where I could launch into many lengthy paragraphs of my personal trials and recent life changing epiphanies. But that crap is boring. Moving on.
In storage at our other house is an old dark pine dining room set. There is a hutch, buffet and dry sink. Purchased about 5 years ago at a thrift store we had lofty goals of stripping the dark finish off and refinishing it. Stupid us forgot that we had an entire house to refinish, so that project got pushed to the wayside. For a few years the set sat in our dining room, accented by the salmon paneled walls, as an example of two 20-somethings who were trying to build a nice home with no money.
Then day came two summers ago when we gutted the living room and the set got sent over to storage. Storage is where the set has lived ever since. We've decided that in the next house to build in a china cabinet and that there will be no place for our dark pine set once everything is finished. I'd recently been obsessed with the idea of putting a small bar in our house. Mainly because I want to get more room in the kitchen cabinets and all the wine/martini/beer/maragita glasses take up a lot of space.
I convinced Pete that I should make a bar out of the dry sink. Since we had it on hand in storage with no plans to use it in the future (and I'd get about $5 selling it at a yard sale). Unfortunately the frigging dry sink doesn't fit by 3" where I really wanted it so location B, the dining room, came into effect.
This would one of the first bigger home decor projects I've taken on by myself, so I was pretty excited about it... good thing I had enthusiasm...
Forward and onward I went with my enthusiasm for creating the bar! To start I wiped the whole piece down with some warm soapy water and a rag. Off came the cobwebs, dust, debris and stain. That darn stain was going to give me problems already. Since I was planning to paint a dark color with crackle I wasn't that concerned with it really.
We've painted every room in our house at least once so it was only a matter of heading up to the attic and picking the right rust covered paint can for the project. Down came the primer and I got to work. Priming took longer than I imagined, about two hours. I did two very thin coats, just to make sure everything was adequately covered. Even the inside got coated. Sure enough the stain was a problem again and leached through the primer. Turning it from white to a very mellow yellow color.
The next day (I really barrel through projects at first) I went over the whole thing again with a coat of white ceiling paint. This was to be the under coat of the red crackle. Sometimes its pretty miraculous what a coat of paint can do, as this was when I started to see the potential of the dry sink really come out. I also started to notice the fact that this thrifty dry sink would make an excellent baby changing table.
Noted that little fact to myself for the future. From home bar to baby table!
After the white coat of paint I was really digging the way it looked! The sink was looking really fresh and updated. Even the interior went from dark to cheerful. Now you could look in and actually see if something is on the shelves. It should be noted that I could not remove the old shelf paper, so I painted on top of it. Some new, fun scrapbook paper will be modge-podged onto the shelves eventually.
There are no pictures of me scrubbing the floor with a sponge trying to get all those tiny paint flecks I splattered everywhere. I'm 90% sure I got them all.
Here is where my story takes a wrong turn. I'm going to gloss right over the horrible experience of painting the bar with the crackle finish. Short story, the red paint was sliding down the sides of the bar and puddling into a goopy mess near the bottom. The crackle never dried and I was stuck with this gluey bar where the red paint peeled off. Ugh.
A few hours outside on a nice Sunday was needed to get the bar cleaned up for a new coat of paint. What a pain in the rear it was to try and correct the crackle finish disaster. Good thing I still had my initial motivation keeping me going, because the dry sink was about 5 minutes away from becoming a bon fire.
In the driveway I washed off as much of the red paint crackle as possible. Then I sanded the entire piece down, Thank God for the sander! The doors were taken inside and I was able to wash off almost all the paint with some hot water. That night I re-primed everything with a coat of grey primer and was able to get on the first coat of the new red color I bought. Chianti by Behr. Which matches the kitchen back splash tiles a lot better than the previous used red color.
Another two coats of red paint and everything was ready for the antiquing. Hours later, tons of sandpaper and two t-shirts covered in wiped off glaze - It's done. Except I'm not sure if I like it...So once again I'm about 90% done and have almost thrown in the towel.
At this point in the project I’m remembering the exact reasons behind my 90% finishing attitude. The final details of any project suck. All your hard work gets put together and only then is it then when you see if the vision came though. Or if you earned a big fat fail. I spend another hour (or two) working on the final touches. This included another coat of the antique glaze and updating the hardware. I'm thrifty so instead of buying all new hardware the hinges and screws got a coat of brass spray paint. They ended up look pretty decent for the total $5 paint cost.
I love the knobs.
Since the old screw holes had been painted over it was not exactly easy going to get the hinges back on. That's when I bust out the drill, and subsequently its when Pete wandered downstairs because he heard power tools. Turns out I was using the drill wrong, but not really wrong, just a little wrong.
Praise the power tool gods, because the drill made putting the doors back on an almost painless process!Unfortunately I (Pete) realized that a piece of wood ended up getting warped. Because of that warping I couldn't finish everything as planned that night. Pete had to glue it down and we had to wait to put a finish nail on the other end to get everything squared away.
Now the bar is finished, living in the dining room just holding all our rarely used glassware. I'm still not 100% sold on how much I like it. I think in its next life I'm going to paint it some glossy, solid finish bright color (aqua?!) The lines of the ol' dry sink arn't lending themselves to the distressed look very well...
Things that we already had laying around the house:
The Dry Sink-part of a dining set we bought from a thrift store for $125 about 4 years ago. Since the dry sink is about 1/4 the size of the china hutch I'll use that reasoning to make it cost about $31.25. One fourth the total over all cost of the set.
paint-First Red Paint
Items that I bought new:
New Brush ( That I ruined)- $7
New Paint- $14
Fancy Knobs from Anthropologie- $48
Bronze Spray Paint- $5
Adding together everything I bought new and the dry sink equals about $120.
Not too bad. Especially since I learned a ton while doing this.
I'm not going to even add that up. Maybe a total of 24 hours? It took me what felt like forever.
I can't quite figure out how to post a draft a few days later and have it post under the current day.
Update! No need to scroll down! Someone filled me in on the little trick to make it work!
I suppose the problem is bit genetic, my maternal grandfather was a world class champion pack rat. He had a chicken coop filled with oddly random yet useful items. Old wire? Got it. A three foot wrench? It's over there to your left. I don't blame him really, he was a product of his environment. Growing up during the great depression made a mark on him and his generation about consumer goods.
I, however grew up in the 80's. It is now 2009 and somehow I have a 4 bedroom house filled to the brim with random crap. How do I have an entire house full of stuff at the age of 26? That question has been on my mind lately. How is it possible for someone who used to make no dollars a year to have a house full of stuff? With that question being asked over and over (both in my mind and being muttered to myself) I've come up with the following answers:
-When people find out your moving they give you their old things that are no longer needed. You take said old stuff because you are poor, you like free stuff and this way no ones feelings get hurt.
-You put the old hand me down stuff into storage because " I might need it someday" That mindset would be the reason for keeping the old sheets that were given to us that are paper thin and scratchy. What the hell am I ever going to use those for? Maybe a drop cloth you tell yourself. Or a sails on a pretend pirate ship. or you'll need to jump of the roof one day and the sheets will make a perfect parachute while you hold the corners a la a cartoon.
-The sentiment of throwing away a crappy serving dish that was once your grandparents is too strong. You tear up and start to cry at mear idea of it.
-Organization. To most its an important habit to get into. To you, it's just another 12 letter word that starts with O. Kinda like Orangutans's. ( So I cheated a little)
I think these are the answers behind the reason to why my attic is full. Still searching to the reasons behind the basement, garage and the rooms in the OTHER house we own...
question- Do they do interventions for pack rats?
July 10, 2009
As for the garage itself, it will be a four car garage (two deep) with a car port off the side for our everyday drivers. There will be a second story/loft area for storage or future rec room for the kiddos we don't have. The new garage is going to get placed using almost the same foot print as the existing larger structure. Which is excellent because we really didn't want to break up the slab of concrete that is already down.
pictures by Spark photography!
July 9, 2009
The large building on the right is just too haphazardly throw together to make any sort of good designed garage out of it. Also worth a mention are the cinder blocks that have noticeable spaces between them on some of the corners. If this was a cool old structure that had any sort of character we'd try to save it. But it isn't and doesn't have any character. Unless you count moss on the roof as character.
See? Not awesome. at all. Which is why we applied for a demolition permit to knock it down! Our neighbor will be so happy. The permit came in the mail this week, so soon enough everything will be gone! We're debating on how to do the demo work, especially when it comes to all the cinder block. Knocking them down is going to be some hard core work. Pete's been talking about renting a bob cat to help out... The town official who gave us the permit also handed over a card of a nearby facility who supposedly takes old cinder blocks and recycles them. So we just have to call to get the details and see if everything will work out.
July 8, 2009
I think I'm headed down the path of a frustrated home seller.
July 7, 2009
Allow me to take you way way way back to August of 2003. We're two months into home ownership when we pack up and head south for some sun in Florida. After a great week spent in Orlando and Key West we arrive home and pull into the driveway...only to see this before us.
What a whole lot of green our driveway has...
We were told by neighbors that a freak, unconfirmed tornado ripped through Wtown and our (must be 150 years old) Maple tree decided to let loose a limb and land it right smack on my boyfriends car. My car was safe only because we had his father come over mid-week to switch the cars around. There is no way my *super awesome* '88 Mustang 5.0 convertible would have lived through this.
Surprisingly the Acura did not get totaled, instead it got fixed back up courtesy of insurance and we drove it around for another two years. However, the AC never worked quite right afterwards.
I guess my point is this... owning a home is full of surprises. I would have never thought in a million years that a Maple tree would wage a silent war on us, eventually damaging three cars ( I left out the Explorer story), the garage and shed. But it did. and if you don't find the humor in these incidents and make yourself laugh about them at some point, then you'll eventually drive yourself into living in a underground concrete bunker.
Here is my fancy shmancy house related to-do list for Friday:
- Weed Garden Check!
- Mulch Garden Check!
- Stare at Tomato Plants Check! I do this everyday anyway.
- Farmers Market! Check! Got a bag full of local produce and peach cider.
-Finish Laundry with my amazing new Iron No check.
- Clean out the lower Kitchen Cabinets (this one depends on my level of ambition) Who was I kidding with this one? Way too ambitious.
- List stupid hot tub on Craigslist. No. The stupid thing is still there.
-Pull out Poison Ivy creepers Nope.
July 2, 2009
Here is my fancy shmancy house related to-do list for Friday:
- Weed Garden
- Mulch Garden
- Stare at Tomato Plants
- Farmers Market!
-Finish Laundry with my amazing new Iron
- Clean out the lower Kitchen Cabinets (this one depends on my level of ambition)
- List stupid hot tub on Craigslist.
- Pull out Posion Ivy creepers
As you can clearly see nothing very exciting...
We're going to be doing massive Demo on the Eboro house soon. The permit came in the mail yesterday! So that means much more interesting posts with captivating pictures of me in my (pink) hard hat.
July 1, 2009
If you want to see Lucy's new paint job in person while down the Jersey shore this summer check out her website for tour and visiting info:http://lucytheelephant.org/ I highly recommend visiting and learning about her rich and interesting history!
*all the photos were taken by Spark Photography, Kevin and Joy are awesome! http://www.sparkphotography.com/
Thank you Abbie for sending me the link!