Thursday, February 27, 2014

Different kind of remodeling project

I had this pair of pants that I really liked, but they were too small for me.  I tried to wear them on "skinny days", but they still weren't comfortable (read popped snap when I sat down).

I faced the facts this weekend and decided to make them useful form my family. My goal was to make them a size larger than the model pants, so they would fit longer, while keeping the cool pockets.
Here's the stylin' new cords on the N'ster. Mission accomplished, they definitely fit big and he likes them. Hopefully they'll work perfect for the big K this fall.
Have you ever remodeled/resized clothes? Ah, the things I find to entertain myself on these cold, cold winter days!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Shelves, shelves, shelves

I never thought there was such a thing as too many shelves. It was one of the selling points of this house - all those great built-ins. Now, let me give you a sad tour of what they all look like 6 months later.  Warning, it's not pretty...
You've seen these shelves before. They tend to be pretty utilitarian.  And, a catch all for stuff that the boys don't otherwise know where to put. 
I will step back so you can see the bigger picture (excuse the low quality night shot).
We currently have it set up so that photo albums, framed pictures, and desk stuff are loaded up on the family room shelves.  
Then, we have the master bedroom built-in unit.
Here, it's segmented out to his and hers sides. Not sure that's working for us. My stuff spills over to his side and it's completely lop-sided.
These gems live in the corners of the dining room. I fully intend for them to be un-green-ified soon.  The hold up is deciding if those hot curves will be allowed to stay (that and bringing the paint equipment home from Superior Condo). 
I stuck a few random vases, baskets, and "pretty" kitchen stuff on them. They make me wish I had a collection of white ceramic pitchers, bowls, vases, and such. I'm thinking about dark gray for them. Might make baskets and wooden bowls pop out nicely?

And, here's our final set of shelves (on the main floor, anyway). The whole fireplace desperately needs a makeover. We are itching to eliminate the country blue from this room. It is looking a whole lot better now that it isn't toy central. Though, I think the shelves looked better with the few cute toy items, puzzles, and games. 
So, any ideas? Should I just leave the blue and green ones unstyled until we get them reprinted? That's Brian's vote, of course. I think I might go digging in every drawer and cupboard for anything else I can find that's pretty enough to display and work on establishing some shelf themes. It would be so nice to have them looking pretty and functional as well!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

1000 pounds of rock

We did the fireplace.  By "did" I mean, we took down the old surround and put up a new one.  It meant hauling something like a 1000 pounds of rocks up 36 steps to the parking lot where we could load them into the van for haul-away.  Then, repeat with bringing new material in, down the 36 steps.  My legs are buff.  So are my arms from pounding at the wedge to take the old rocks down.

Here's where we started.  

Fireplace before.  River rock with timber beam mantle and mismatched hearth.
Can you see that the mantle hangs out in front of the sliding door? You had to do gymnastics to get through that door.  One of the goals with this job was to make using the deck... um... less yoga like.  Hee hee, I just noticed the light switch.  There's another goal, solid up the electrical and disguise it better.

 We had a helper with the hammer.  Make sure you're wearing your "ear mupps" when you work.
 Such a cute little worker, had to put that dusty butt in here again.  Now, you can see the deck I want to have access to.
 We're getting close!  Looking at these pictures makes my arms tired.  I'm not a regular with a hammer! (that's such an old school tool, we generally use more sophisticated things like nail guns and sawsall for hammer jobs)
 He's focused.  Trying to figure out how to get those last rocks down without swinging a hammer above his head at a chisel.  The helpers have faded out...  Revive me with some pizza and hot chocolate.  Too bad I can't sit in front of the fire and relax to re-charge!
We eventually got the (I claim) 1000 pounds of rocks knocked off the wall and hauled in a 5 gallon pail up the 36 stairs to the van.  This all happened in one long weekend with our little helper hanging around.  We made a big mess.  Then we had to go back to the real world for a few weeks.

We came back without the little helper.  This makes noisy, time sensitive jobs like tiling much more manageable.   I found out just a couple days before we were going that we were definitely going to put the fireplace surround up.  Panic!  I hadn't selected a surround!  We visited Menard's and Home Depot first, we generally prefer them.  Struggle!  I could have settled for a few of their options, but nothing was begging for me to put it around my fireplace.  The night before we left I was told we were going to buy the tile.  Pick it in one shot. Go.  We drove all the way to Lowes.  all. the. way.  Best choice of the week!  They had so many good options that I had to make a top 3 choices list and get Brian's input.  After mixing and matching hearth and wall possibilities, we settled on...  Wait, you'll see it as soon as you scroll down!

We had to replace most of the drywall and prep the floor with cement board.  We also had to figure out the "hearth" size and shape - wanted to make sure it was reasonably proportional.  We laid the hearth first, so we could land the new rocks right down on top of it.  Got that done the night before the big wall job.  Didn't take pictures at that point...  Here's the first progress picture for the wall.

 We wanted the row of stones across the top of the fireplace to be whole pieces.  You're most likely to look at that spot and it needed to be right, so we put up a guide board and just started right there.  Very happy with how that strategy worked out.  It did require a bit of math later, down at the floor...

Mmm, looking good!

Ha ha, it almost makes the orange wood paneling look good!
 Woot!  We used absolute black granite 12" tiles with black grout for the hearth and desert quartz ledgerock for the wall.  Very pleased with how it turned out.

 Here he is polishing up his shiny granite.

Gotta give that hot before and after one more time...