Friday, November 16, 2012

Dorm-like fun

The last time we were up at the Superior Condo there was a lot of action going on in the building.  The immediate neighbors were "moving in".  The guy upstairs was working on his floors.  There were 2 other units occupied by owners.  We were, of course, bringing in lots of stuff and working on our place as well.  We haven't chatted with neighbors that much since college.
We were working on turning the brass accents on the door satin nickel, so we had the doors propped open all day long.
Mask around the metal and spray.

In order to avoid the runs, think fast and light while spraying.
Sorry about the bad pics, dark hallways plus clouds of spraypaint makes for lots of tricks on the camera.  For those of you who want to know what we used: Rustoleum Satin Nickel spraypaint.  The doorknobs are brushed nickel and they look great together.  The texture difference between satin and brushed is not enough to drive these perfectionists crazy in this application, especially when we were looking at $50-60 per door to buy new "armor" vs. $6 for the can of paint.

We got to check out the projects that the others were working on.  We shared tools, techniques, and inspirations.  The folks immediately next door have a fantastic backsplash that they tiled up in their kitchen over the weekend.  They also went out and copied our doorknobs and discussed our spraypaint experience.  The guy upstairs was doing a lot of work himself even though he hired a contractor - the contractors are all so busy this time of year when the tourist traffic is very low that they can't keep up.

The neighbors all seem to be a long ways ahead of us on the remodeling - they either had more time, more hands, or more money sunk into their projects.  They all had their ugly, dated flooring tore up by the time we left.  We're leaving ours until it's ready to be replaced, as in, we're ready to lay the new flooring and we need it out of the way.  The neighbors started with the mantra of "purging and painting" over the weekend, I was pretty impressed that they also tore out the carpet, tiled the backsplash, and changed up the locks (they had 5 capable people working).

The purging was extra fun with the crowd.  We laughed at the garbage that was left behind in each others respective units.  We watched how long the free items lasted up at the roadside.  It was amazing how quickly the junk just disappeared - during the most quite season of the year no less!

Anyone else out there laugh about the junk you find in a new-to-you property?  Anyone else using the roadside method of getting rid of unwanted furniture and stuff?  Anyone out there experiencing dorm-like fun with their neighbors?  If so, where?  I want to move in too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Yes Mom, I know you're dying to see the "new" living room.  Here we go.  This is the full extent of progress that we've made so far.  It's finally at a share-worthy stage.
Brian got up early or stayed up late or otherwise snuck an hour a day for the past week to get the walls painted.  Bye bye pumpkin butter, hello cloud white.
We had a full window treatment plan purchased from Ikea that's been sitting in the closet waiting for the paint stage to be complete before getting on that.

Doing the detail work of getting the mounts up and level.

After only 6 years, we now have window covers on the east side.

The new chairs, side table, and lamp.
 The chairs and table were from HomeGoods.  The lamp is from Menards.  Eventually, we want to get a floor lamp for that corner (between the chairs and couch) and another end table to go next to the couch on the other end.  The table lamp would then move to the other end.
East end curtains all put up!
We even noticed that the main floor held more heat overnight with these up, so we can count this a one of our insulation initiatives.

We know what we want to do about art for the walls, just need to get on it.  We're taking it slow and easy, though (now that we have seating established again), so I don't expect it to be done by the end of the year.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Opportunity knocks

Looky what we put in...
 The black one around corner from the long row of white ones is ours.  That means that others could visit this place...  If you ask nice, you to could indoor camp at this fabulous location!  The ground rules are - anytime we aren't going to be there, you can go.  You're in charge of changing the sheets and cleaning up after yourself.  Remember, this is a construction zone, so keep your expectations low.
 Here's the new improved bedroom, much better than a camping mattress with too small sheets.  Now it's an 8 inch memory foam mattress with an old set of knit sheets and my special Grandma Jean wedding quilt.  It's still on the floor, but it's a pretty good night sleep (compared to the floor!).  The waves are so loud out on the shore, that you hear them inside when falling asleep at night.
 Here's our ghetto, almost camping dining room.  It's one of the ugly, random end tables that was left there along with some cheap-o plastic chairs, also left behind.  You'll notice that one of the windows is sitting on the floor.  When Brian cleaned the windows, he had to take off the extra pane to get to the foggy, dirty viewing layer.  It is assumed that if we put it back up, it would fog right up again and block the lake view.  We'll see what we decide to do about that...
This is the very much cleaned up living room, we got rid of the broken mood light picture thing above the mantle and propped up the cool street signs that we found on a different wall.  There's also a tiny little speaker sitting up there, we pulled that from the neighbors garbage pile (it seems everyone is cleaning out these condo units) to connect with the tuner that was left behind.  Now you can enjoy a true north shore experience and listen to WTIP radio while hanging with the fire.

So, how do I take advantage of this fantastic opportunity?  Comment here.  Tell me you're interested and I will let you know the details.  Depending upon the amount of interest, I'll put a little calendar together to let you know when we'll be there and when it's available for you.  There is no maid service, so you have to promise to clean up after yourself.  We leave the place in "ready for us to come back" mode, we will expect you too.  The sheets are fresh to us and the tools are piled neatly in the corner.  And, I've put so much energy into cleaning the grease out of the kitchen, there will be a damages assessment if you fry bacon while there!  Bonus points for hauling something useful there while you're at it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hauling loads

When we go up to work on the condo, we stuff every inch of our car with tools and supplies.  It's challenging to determine what we will need to have each visit.  We can't fit it all in and that leaves lots of decisions about what we should or should not bring with us.

This particular visit's winners were: a mattress - no more indoor camping! and light fixtures - no more dark cave!  Tools & supplies for patching all the holes in the walls was the other big need, we want to be prepped for painting as soon as possible!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Caribou Falls

Another GREAT hike not too far from the Lake Superior property is the hike to Caribou Falls.  It's only a mile, so it's Noah friendly.  The destination is very worth the walk.  The falls are so tall and magnificent that the photos don't even come close to doing them justice.

A piece of the falls

Can you see all those stairs??  Noah was bribed with cookies when we got  to the waterfall, he's enjoying sweet victory.

The rock wall that the water falls down is absolutely huge and amazing.

More falls as seen from the bridge just a little further up.

Picnic rock or possible preschooler swimming hole for next summer?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Britton Peak

Another fun hike right near our Lake Superior place.  Britton Peak is a very short round trip from the trailhead to the vista.  Britton Peak trailhead is also trailhead to a new mountain bike trail system that they are working on up in the area.  We'll definitely be checking that out one of these visits!
Rock dome at the top

Pretty trail

It's apparently named after a war hero.

Grand views