Wordless Wednesday

21 09 2011

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Painting the Hallway

20 09 2011

My mom says she’s created a monster with my sister and I, because we both have addictions to painting.  When I moved in, I painted everything in the house (except the trim) and read somewhere that you’re supposed to paint every two years (who has TIME for that??).  Even though I’m not planning to do anything of the sort, I did want to paint the hallway for two reasons – one, I wasn’t loving the color of it after I’d painting the closet and bedroom doors, and it looked so dingy next to the bright white and two, I have a basset hound who drools.  Ordinarily, the drool is caught by furniture in the way, which I can easily wipe off.  But in the hallway, it ends up on the walls, and no amount of scrubbing makes them look perfectly clean.  So it was time to paint!

I chose a color from a magazine that I thought was yellow.  It turns out it wasn’t.  It’s more like a very light tan, which was a bit depressing, as I realized that brown in the hallway makes it feel darker (there’s no natural light directly in the hallway).  But my mom convinced me that it does the job of brightening things up, and looks lovely and fresh.

I got through one can of paint before I realized I’d need a second, and lost my head of steam by the time I picked up the second can.  So this is all the progress I’ve made so far – I must try to finish this after my trip, or someone will see it before long!

Before

Before

After (still wet) - hard to tell that there's a difference at all, unless you see the two colors next to each other.

It does look yellow here!

In the last picture, you can see the difference between the two colors, and I admit that it does seem to brighten up the hallway – changing the CFL bulb in the one light fixture that I did paint up there to a regular “reveal” bulb from GE also made a HUGE difference.

So I’ve got to dig deep for my painting motivation and finish this up soon!





What’s Coming Up…

19 09 2011

As you know, I can never stop giving myself new projects.  I’ve got a few things floating around the house waiting for me – it’s starting to be my busy travel season, so small projects are good, since I can do one or two at a time while I’m home!

So what’s coming up…

  • Downstairs bathroom faucet: Even though the bathrooms have been updated within the last few years, I really don’t love them. However, since they’re in good shape and not dated, they’re not a priority to change.  They’re just not my style.  But recently, while on a trip to Lowes, I found a brushed bronze faucet deeply on sale, so I picked it up! So I’ll be learning some plumbing pretty soon and posting on that!
  • New Mailbox: My mailbox is old and looks it.  So I recently picked up a brand new one – nothing fancy, for the first time, the one I really liked was the most inexpensive! I’ve put lovely big numbers on the side, and the only thing holding me back from putting it outside is that the old mailbox is rusted to the stand.  So I’ve got to put a little elbow grease into that.
  • Light Fixture: As I mentioned in my last post, I still have one light fixture that needs to be taken down and spray painted.  Hopefully I can get to that soon!
  • Fan: I also want to get my attic fan (the part in the house) taken down to be cleaned and spray painted.  It’s off-white like everything else in this house, and it needs updating!
  • Sealing the deck: Hopefully we’ll have some non-rainy days coming up so I can get my deck finished in time for the winter!
  • Winterizing: It will start to be that time of year soon where I’ll want to winterize my house and garden.  Time flies!
  • Orchid: My newest orchid needs transplanting, which I’ve been meaning to do for a few weeks. I’ve GOT to get that done!
  • Doorbell: I picked up a new doorbell, again the brushed bronze that I love, so I’ve got to install that.  It’s a hardwired doorbell, so that will be a little bit of electrical work which will be new to me.  I actually picked up a doorbell that I liked better first, but it’s just a little bit too big for the spot that the other doorbell is in.  Which reminds me – I need to return that!
And of course, I need to do things like finish painting the hallway and the upstairs closets and trim.  Hopefully my back will start to feel better soon so I can manage to lift those doors! The other reason that I’ve delayed that is because the office and my bedroom all have a lot of heavy furniture in front of the trim, so I’ll have to be moving a LOT of things to paint it!
I also want to work on figuring out how to stretch and fixed the bubbled carpet in my bedroom, and find out whether I can order a replacement piece for the window whose sealant has broken upstairs (the window is all fogged up. Much like my downstairs ones, but those need to be totally replaced).  Again, never a dull moment around here!




Small Home Projects

16 09 2011

While I’ve always got an endless number of big projects planned, it’s the little ones that I end up procrastinating! So I finally started working on getting a lot of the little stuff done – I tweaked my back when I moved the closet doors from the guest room a few weeks ago, so I’ve been trying to be careful of it and not do too much lifting.

I managed to finally get every electrical outlet and light switch in my house changed out for updated ones.  No small feat, let me tell you, and one hiccup last weekend that my dad was able to solve.  It makes me so happy!

Since you can only seen an electrical socket so many times, I thought I'd show you the tools I use instead

I also did a few other electrical things. I replaced the back outdoor light with a matching one to the front (and PS, my next door neighbors’ front light just stopped working, so they replaced it with one not too dissimilar to mine. I’ve started a trend!).

I also wanted to replace the light fixtures in my upstairs and downstairs halls – they have a gold-ish base, which makes them look so dated.  I looked a number of fixtures, and couldn’t find any I liked that weren’t incredibly expensive.  So my mom suggested that I spray paint the fixtures with the same bronze paint that I’d used for the light over my sink. Brilliant!  There’s still one left to do, but I need someone to spot me while I take it down and put it back up, because it’s just a bit out over the stairs.  I’m still trying to figure out why they put it there in the first place. I’m not even sure I could change the bulb if it blew!

Before

And after! MUCH better

And speaking of light fixtures – you’ll remember that I said that the glass in the recessed fixture above my sink was broken.  I planned to get a new piece of glass cut, but saw instead a piece of plastic that they use for fluorescent lights.  I got a big piece and decided to cut it myself.  That’s not as easy as it sounds – the plastic does crack a bit when you cut it. I initially tried with a utility knife, but it wasn’t doing the job, so I got out my gardening shears (I’m all about MacGyver-ing it) and used those.  Even though it chipped a bit, you can’t tell when it’s in the fixture.

The after - looks good!

I also noticed that one of my smoke detectors was fairly old and dated looking.  I just wanted to replace the cover, as I did with my hardwired doorbell, so I picked up a cheap one.  Of course, it didn’t work! But I had an inspiration and decided to spray paint it white, since the paint works with plastic.  So I did that!

Before

After! Looks like it was always this way!

I also added a new shade to the back door and put up a wall cling in the kitchen…

Also during my vacation, I decided to give myself the gift of one of those address signs for the front of my house! I didn’t photograph the whole sign, since I don’t want to be publishing my address! But I did get a corner of it to give you an idea.  And as a note – when you’re going to be hanging a sign on brick, you want to use a masonry bit…and a hammer drill. I had a regular drill and wasn’t getting anywhere with it, until my neighbor rescued me and lent me his hammer drill. Much easier!

It’s been busy busy around here!





From the Garden…

15 09 2011

It’s been a rather fruitful summer in my garden – I’ve gotten more tomatoes than I can count, lots of jalapenos, and finally two cantaloupes!

Finally, I have roses too!

Someone's been nibbling on my cantaloupes!

Could it be bunnicula?

No, it's this woodchuck!

Don't worry, I totally salvaged them by cutting off any nibbled bits!

I still can't believe these came from my garden...from seeds!

Yum!





Wordless Wednesdays

14 09 2011

Okay, this can't be completely wordless - I got a friend for Barney. Meet Oliver!





A Deck Project – Staining the Deck

13 09 2011

As I mentioned, I used a couple of my vacation days to stain my back deck.  I’d gotten the deck power washed by my dad, and planned to stain and seal the deck over four days.  Of course, the hurricane put a damper on my plans, so I only got the staining done.  I’ve still got to photograph the full finished deck, but I’ll show you the progress I have photographed!

I decided to start by staining the railings.  In reading the can of stain, I saw that they suggested if you are using more than one can of stain, you should mix them together in a bucket to keep the color consistent.  I figured it would be one can for the railings and one can for the deck itself, so I didn’t bother to do that.  I did pour the first can in a bucket, and used a large paint brush to brush it on – a note here – since the stain is oil based, it is recommended that you get a brush that is used with oil-based products.  I believe mine was, though I can’t be sure.

I also recommend getting a lot of latex gloves – staining is SO unbelivably messy, so it’s helpful to have some gloves to protect your hands. Then you can pull them off if your phone rings and you want to answer it!

Here’s what I started with:

As you can see, the deck is in good shape – it just needs some TLC to make sure that it stays that way.  Plus, I wanted to give it a little color, so I went with a semi-solid stain in redwood.

First side of the railings done!

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? And it really shows off the green lattice work too. I had to unscrew that from the deck to stain the railings behind them, which was a bit of a pain and resulted in some of the stain ending up on the lattice work (because I couldn’t fully remove the pieces because of the ivy), but overall, it looks good.

The other side of the deck

 

Here you can really see the contrast between the stain and the old deck

 

Barney wasn't too sure about all the work on the deck - particularly when he wasn't allowed out there when I did the deck itself!

 

Another view of the railings

So the staining is done, but the sealing isn’t yet – I’ve got to wait for it to stop raining all the time and for the deck to dry out! That being said, the stain does appear to be a bit water resistant, so it’s good from that perspective. I just want to seal it to make sure it’s fully protected.  I’m very happy with it though!