Tuesday, March 30, 2010

oreo truffle goodness

disguised as Easter eggs...yummy sweet, sugar and chocolate coated Easter eggs.
Can't wait till Sunday to have these

oh, and cheese which I gave up for Lent!

Thanks to Ana at Knock-off Wood

Just in case you are like the only person on earth who has not seen this website, Knock-Off Wood, you should leave here immediately and head over there.  Ana is seriously the most talented and prolific semi-professional, stay at home mom, living in Alaska (yes Alaska) carpenter you could ever cross paths with-even on the internet. 

From the first time I saw this website, I just knew I was going to become a master carpenter (mostly in my mind-the same way I can do pretty much all the gymnastics and ice skating I see on the Olympics) and complete all the projects on her site in record time.  While other people have pretty much done just that (check out her "bragging board" section for proof), I decided to start small.  My objective:  Gabe's room, which started out looking something like this:

Not much to look at, to be honest.   With this project in mind, I was happy to find that I had in my possession a few stray pices of wood, left over from a wall storage thing we bought when Cecilia was born (score one for reusing 13 year old wood).  I also got some new clothespins and painted them with the blue glazing paint I recently got at Ikea on clearance (score again).  Here is a photo of the tedious but worth it painting process:

I also stained the scrap wood with antique finish stain from Ikea that I got for 99 cents!!  I actually love the shade that the antique stain brings out in even cheap pine, so I got several cans just for good measure, yet another testament to my ongoing obsession with oops paint and the like. 

Next, I assembled the necessary tools:

Which included my new favorite: the staple/nail gun I purchased because apparently I lost the old one.  This one is superior anyway because it shoots small nails in addition to staples, which made attaching the clothespins really simple.  With Ana's design, she used glue to hold the clothespins on the boards.  Because I know my son, I went with the small nails to hold them on.

Here's a look at just the boards, all nice and level.   Well, except for the fact that the concept of "level" is relative when your whole house isn't level and your plaster walls aren't straight.  But, this is as good as it gets around here.  I had to stop short of both the wall and the frame of the window if I wanted the boards to look level, but that's the "charm" of a house that is nearly 100.

So, I used the staple gun/nailer to attach all the clothespins to the boards, and only nearly stapled my finger once, which I thought was really talented and amazing. 

After struggling for quite a while trying to hang two frames perfectly next to each other on the wall that isn't straight in a room that's not level, in my old house, I resorted to some old-school tactics to get the frames up.  I won't show you how I did it, but let's just say, it isn't pretty.  The end result, however is:

All, in all, I am pretty pleased with my first small project from Ana's amazing blog.  I can't wait to really build something big! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

a little perspective

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all the big and little things I still want to do in this house that I forget how much we have really done in the 3 years since we moved in.  We were so fortunate to find this house because it really was very updated considering its age of almost 100 years.  The electrical was already updated; the kitchen was at least from the 90's and the basement was finished.  The finished basement was like a small miracle when we were looking for houses. 

So, in the interest of feeling a sense of accomplishment-I present the western wall of our kitchen (and our oldest child).  Here is how it (and she) looked 3 years ago when we bought the house:

Yes, that is a pink kitchen with pink countertops and pink knobs and pink rose stencil all over the wall. 

Here is the same space just a week ago!  Oh, and that's the same kid, too-just for shock value.  We still have to do the countertops, the backsplash, the ....oh, yeah, I am not supposed to be making lists, I am supposed to be basking in the glow of accomplishment. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

snow day bathroom

I've never been a fan of snow-not even when I was a kid.  Somewhere back in this blog, I detailed one of my many, many horrific snow stories.  In case you want to read it, go here.  I would much rather put this winter for the record books far behind me and get on with the business of Spring!!!!  Of course, once I start sneezing I will be ready to dump spring for its much better looking cousin, Summer, but that's another story altogether.

On snow day 9,876,856 this winter, I decided that it would be a good, no great, idea to re-do my downstairs bathroom commonly known as the boys' bathroom.  In this old house of ours there are no "facilities" on the main floor, so when you have to GO, you either go up or down to do so.  Our upstairs bathroom had already had a bit of a facelift, but downstairs was beige and boring:  Exhibit A:

Armed with $5 oops paint, some vinyl flooring that looks really, truly like wood and a good dose of invincibility, I started the process of getting rid of the boring boys' basement bathroom.   the first victim was the medicine cabinet, which the previous owners, thankfully only hung on the wall. Score one for no drywall repair!!

Next, came the paint-I have to admit that I have a problem with "oops" paint.  I cannot for the life of me resist a $5 can of paint-even if I have no use for the color-it's $5 for a GALLON!!!  Anyway, after some messing around, I came up with this color which seems to be somewhere between gray and deep plum. 
Thanks to Layla at The Lettered Cottage, I learned about this great and inexpensive vinyl flooring that goes down like wood planks and is perfect for this little bathroom makeover!  

I also put up a new light fixture (okay, my husband did that one), new mirror and hung cheap clearance curtain panels over the shower and the shelf area-more photos to follow! 

If you ask me, that's a good way to spend a snow day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A little demolition is good for the soul

I never knew before we started this project, but I really like breaking stuff!  I am not sure what that says about my personality, but I felt really at home using the crowbar. 

You know I have always been in love with our house, from the moment I laid eyes on it just over 3 years ago.  In case you don't know, this is our first house and it took us a very long time to get here.  We were busy-going to school, having kids-you know, that kind of stuff.  When we finally bought our house, it was a dream come true. 

One thing that was anything but dreamy was the kitchen.  With pink walls, pink COUNTERTOPS and a lovely floral stencil lining the walls, it wasn't exactly what I wanted in a kitchen.  But it worked fine, and we painted it a shade of green I never quite settled on and got on with being busy. 

Until-the roof leaked. 
and leaked
and leaked
we patched and patched (and prayed)
but still, it leaked.

So, this demolition is the other side of the roof repair-the great ceiling renovation of 2010, which coincided with the snowpocalypse of 2010!