Monday, May 23, 2011

The Ceiling...Can it really be?

This little hole started it all.   IT. ALL.   A year-ish ago I got a wild hair, as I tend to do frequently. (Sorry babe.)  I wondered what might be hiding above the dropped ceiling in our kitchen. It started innocently enough...I took down the drop in the expose a BEADBOARD ceiling.  It was a joyous occassion.    That project went SO great that I decided...... just take a TEENSY WEENSY peak at what was above the ceiling of the kitchen proper.  Soooo....I poked a little hole....that got a little bit bigger....until it was big enough to squeeze my camera up inside the drop ceiling..... take a picture of this.  Between the drop ceiling and the original ceiling there was approximately 40 tons of blown-in insulation.  Dirty, filthy, dusty, yucky insulation. 

But, being of the insane variety that i am now sure I am, I proceeded on.  Shoveling the insulation onto the floor as I went.

Thing were promising.  My vision was to take down the ENTIRE drop ceiling....the drywall layer, the fiber board layer, then all the framework that comprised the drop.

I worked and worked, devising a strategy as I went.....FYI, if you take ONE layer down at a time it's much easier.

I made an enormous mess (and cleaned it all up).....everynight.....for about two weeks.  I think I may have died and been reincarnated...because I have no idea how I survived. 

THEN....after all those days of work I came to THIS.  GIANT, GAPING, TEAR INDUCING, HOLES in the original ceiling.  Our kitchen has its own roof...a roof I never wanted to see from the UNDER side.  From as far as I can discern, a genius home improver before myself had crawled into the little crawl space above the kitchen, broke huge holes in the original plaster and lathe to allow for the blown in insulation to migrate in between the two layers of ceiling.   Broken.  Huge broken holes.  This discovery took years off my life, for reals. 

What do I do now? I asked myself.  The only real solution is to replace the ceiling, as is, on the framework of the drop.  I was okay with that...sorta.  I REALLY wanted it to be back to its original height...but alas, it was not meant to be.  So I put up some plastic to contain the bits that kept falling from the ceiling as I was cooking.... 

Fixed the gaping holes with small pieces of drywall.  Wow, that was not fun to do alone.  I still really can't even talk about it....that's how traumatizing it was. ;-)  Insulated and insulated and insulated. 

This VERY morning, this is how my kitchen looked.  Cabinets lookin' primo with new paint and dishwasher installed....walls beadboarded and painted, trim replaced and painted, new sink, faucet and countertops installed,  floor coming along.....but no ceiling.  It's been a year.

Oh yeah, and then there was the little ReStore cabinet redo....that was a proud moment. 

THEN, two super heros arrived and saved the day.  Zach and Rich did, in about three hours, what I had waited for...for what seemed like an eternity.  I had tried to hire another contractor to do the job....but he blew me off after saying he'd show up on Thursday (about 50 Thursdays ago)...and was never heard from again.  Just so happened the gals at Mill Creek were talking about Rich doing drywall...and I was all over that like white on rice.  Local, honest, hardworking, trustworthy Rich was going to come to my rescue.

Look at that baby.  A ceiling.   A real ceiling. 

Prefill done today....tape and mud tomorrow.  Oh joyous tape and mud.  And look at those shoe thingies....that takes skills.  Balance and looking up at the ceiling and carrying around the little muddy tray....skills.

Paint by the weekend.  Then comes the fun part......accessories! 
Lights, bamboo blinds, shelves....oh I can't wait.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Our Weekend

WOOHOO!!! Summer is BAAAACK!!!  We are enjoying every minute of being outside....a long hard winter will do that to ya.  Friday Mema and Papa came to visit....and Papa brought his latest super fun invention along.  A run through sprinkler! 

Big brother was at school, so little brother got to take the inaugural runs.  Oh boy did he have fun.   

That grin says it all.  

Saturday was the BIG RACE!  Marshall (7) and Daddy (unwilling to admit age)  have been planning to run this 5k for months.   Marshall is not your average 7 year old....he ran his first 5k at 6 years old...and has the mental toughness of an adult athlete....he must get that from Ironman Daddy. 

Start those watches! 

Run Marsh run! 

The finish line!!   So proud of my little guy (and the big guy too). 

Marsh was pooped so Papa had to help him get his number off.  Grandparents to the rescue! 

One of my projects this weekend was to clean up our front walk.  (Along with planting tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, turning over the soil in a raised bed, weeding, mowing.....I'm such a whiner. ;-) 

Anywho, this is the before.  Weedy, messy....

And after!  I pulled the weeds out of the sidewalk cracks (amazing the difference THAT makes), weeded the beds and mulched.



I picked up these little guys at Home Depot.  Yay!  I've never had solar lights and EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON MY BLOCK has them.....ok not everyone, but close.  I didn't want them lined up like an airport runway, so I poked them in the porch flower beds.  Pretty snazzy....and the copper adds a  little somethin' somethin' to the beds. 

It's beginning to look a lot like sum-mer, eevvverywhere I goooooo. (in my yard)

Up next, we need to get the porch furniture down from the garage attic but there has been a delay....a robin baby delay.  Robins decided to build a nest in front of the attic quick do babies learn to fly?  I sorta want my porch furniture.

OH!  AND THE MOST EXCITING NEWS!!!!!   We are getting a kitchen ceiling tomorrow. Can you believe it?  Me either.    Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trading with Willow Avenue Pottery

Would you like to know the best part of owning your own business?  (I like to call it "business" like I'm a big shot ;-)   Bartering.  I know some REALLY cool people...that do REALLY cool usually I feel like I make out like a bandit.  They get a sign....I get something WAY cooler. Several months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Becky from Willow Avenue Pottery.  Have you met?  You must....she's DE.light.FUL.  Delightful.  And she lives in a neato geodesic dome....she's super cool like that.  ANYWAY....Becky's studio needed a sign...and...well...that's what I do, that's who I am. ;-)  

SO.....Becky got a sign....and I got a amazing, beautiful, custom fruit bowl.  We'll get to that.  First, however, I wanted to buy one of Becky's beautiful yarn bowls for my mom, knitter extraordinaire.  I got to choose the glaze colors and everything!  Becky did an amazing job.  It is beautiful.

THIS is my fruit bowl.  LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.  Perhaps I should say it again....LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.  The color is is's perfect. 

Just look at that pretty. 

Becky even gave the inside of the bowl this beautiful design. 

Pretty pretty pretty. 

Oh how I love it. 

And check this out....TWO bunches of bananas, TWO peaches, ONE tomato AND a melon!  How many fruit bowls can do THAT kind of job?

My fruit is happy and so am I.  Thanks Becky!!!

Visit Becky on her website or can have your very own beautiful piece of handcrafted pottery from Guthrie County, Iowa!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Irradicating the World of Faux Paneling One Closet at a Time

I am a turtle.  I do everything at turtle pace.  Usually when I do a project it takes...well...a while.  I have kids, I have a husband, I have a life, I have friends, I have a business (squealing), I have a giganto yard that needs mowed, I have stuff that needs done.  You get the idea.  Projects move slowly.  But then...once in a while the stars align, you go on a fun trip with Kim (to IKEA and get some cool stuff), see lots of inspiration, the hubster goes on travel....your window of opportunity is open....JUMP!   You may remember the was bad. 

I started the closet redo by emptying it.   Not as fun as a barrel of monkeys but hey, not too bad.  And yes, that Nike box IS holding up the clothes bar.  Don't judge.  That was an improvement, as it had fallen out of the wall and the clothes were slaloming downward toward the back of the closet.

Removed all the bars and wire shelf doohickies.  Sometimes the old timers actually got it right....let's not reinvent the wheel here folks.  In old houses closets tend to be small....there is only so much that SHOULD go in the closet.

Irradicating the world of faux paneling one room at a time. had to take SO much more effort to put all that icky paneling OVER the walls than to just strip the wallpaper and paint.  (The guy before us must have spent a FORTUNE in paneling)  I have added even more square footage to my house.....the paneling had expanded and was bowed out at least 2 inches.   This is a small closet...I need every millimeter! 

Goodbye paneling and all your bits.  Jen's home improvement hint #1:  Clean up as you go.  It just makes things nice. 

It's not child labor if it's your kid.  That's the law.  He enjoyed it...look at that smile.  I have caught onto something here....two adults would not have fit in the closet together  The key is to enlist kids into your home improvement army.  You're welcome. 

Used my magic potion on the walls.  Worked like a charm. 

Stripping wallpaper is a messy business.   But it's so nice to paint over that gorgeous old smooth plaster...nothing like it. 

Ta da! 

Ta da ta da! 

I put back the hook strips...or whatever they're called.  There are a bajillion of these precious strips with the clever wire hooks on them laying in our basement and garage attic....long ago abandoned for the latest new fangled organizer doohickies.  I decided to do two strips on each side so I could have two hanging bars.  One for me, one for the hubster. 

Oh and my dad rocks.   Have I mentioned that previously?   We have these automatic light thingies in our closets thanks to him.  For years I had the kids convinced I was magic...
a mear wave of the hand turns on the light. ;-)

Filled up.  Look at that!  I can actually SEE my clothes.  They're not all strangled under clumps of my husband's polos and weird triathlete singlet thingies.

And as if I was transported to a time when I was ACTUALLY crafty....I whipped up this little baby this afternoon during naptime.  I was pretty proud of myself.   

Thank you old house basement that apparently at one time had screen windows. Um...ick.  Every creepy crawly thing would find it's way right in...not my scene.  You should just be my jewelry organizer...that sounds like WAY more fun, no? 


As I finished up this post I remembered something......I think my VERY FIRST DIY project was the closet in my bedroom at home, as a kid.   My folks must have wondered about me when a 10 year old was asking to remodel her closet.  I spackled, painted, the whole show.  Then my dad installed organizer was awesome and I was so proud of myself.   It starts somewhere folks. ;-)

Do your closets need a sprucer?  It's actually kinda fun....go for it! :-)
Related Posts with Thumbnails