Gimme a Giveaway Winner: Thirty One & A Sampling

I’m so happy today is Friday.  Already, it has been one of those mornings.  We’ve got guys on the roof delivering shingles, a dog and two kids who don’t want to listen, and projects to work on.  Hopefully the winner of the Thirty One bagLisa P, is having a better day.

We’ve been busy lately.  Two days ago, after sharing this bathroom mood board, I bought a sample can of Ben Moore’s Chicago Blues.

And tested it on parts of the vanity.  I like it.  Now I’ve got to caulk the seams and prod Ben to finish the top part so I can paint everything.

After cleaning out my paint brush, I load up another with polyurethane to coat a left over slab of Bubinga for the entertainment center.

Don’t worry, it won’t be this glossy.  I had finished applying the second coat just before taking this picture.

This is what it really looks like.

We chose a fast drying oil based polyurethane in a satin finish for durability.

On Wednesday night, Ben drove a few hours to pick up another load of insulation.  And he has ordered 200 more sheets, so this is about half of our order.

Eventually Ben will wrap the house with this insulation to make it more energy efficient.  Until then, we’ll have a pool room (and pool) full of foam.

What have you done this week?  Please tell me you’ve got fun plans for the weekend?

The Guests Are Coming!

In a few weeks.  But I got in a mood to clear things out, so I focused on the basement.  Last time you saw it, we literally had dropped unnecessary crap stuff down there.

I’d like to say it got better, but it didn’t.  We just added more to the room.  Like 45 sheets of foam insulation.

I can’t move the insulation, but I can organize things and put some of it in a better place.  Like the trash, er, under the stairs.  Yes, the stairs sound much better.  I’d hate to have to part with any of my junk.  Shuffling things around, condensing like items to a single box, and moving it under the stairs took about an hour.  And we have room to flop the two king mattresses on the floor for our guests.  Lap of luxury, I tell ya.

Bulky and heavy items are around the corner because I could barely drag them on my own, let alone across the basement.

Fueled by my desire to condense boxes, I pulled a few boxes of frames up to the main level to get some art on the wall.  First on my list, add some art to the boys’ bedroom.  This big blank wall needed some attention.  Because I can’t paint yet (we’ve got to remove the popcorn ceiling and install new trim first) I decided to hang some art.

Having several boxes of art to choose from, I picked my favorites and started hanging.  I didn’t put too much thought into the placement, just held things up and nailed it in place if I liked it.  It’s not necessarily the best way, but I can always fill the holes when we decide to paint, so I had nothing to lose.  Because this was a ‘slap something on the wall to get it out of a box and make it look like we live here’ effort, I used an easy hanging method.  First, hold the picture up to the wall.

Use a pencil to mark a small line across the top of the frame, and another small tick mark to show the rough center.

Measure the distance from the top of the frame to the hook.  I found it easiest to use a ruler for this part.

Make another mark on the wall, measuring down from your original set.

Erase your top set, pound a nail in the lower mark, and hang your picture.

The less measuring I have to do, the better.  And I didn’t have to make templates, which is nice, too.  Keeping the frames up helped me figure out what I wanted where, while seeing it in relation to the other frames in the group.

And here it is now.

I’ve got to get a pack of Command adhesive strips to prevent Everett from pulling the frames closest to his crib down.  I did strategically place the non glass fronted frames closest to him for safety.

I didn’t stop there.  Armed with another box ‘o frames, I moved down the hall to work on our family gallery wall.  Same process, but I couldn’t hang two frames because we’ll have to take down the ugly sconce.

Sconces are abundant in this house and I’d be happy if we got rid of 90% of them.  A few larger pieces of art adorn the walls, too.  The Savannah cut out map is temporarily in the living room.

I’m working on our city map right now for a matching set.  Of course I’ll have to get a set of frames to go with, but I think the pair will make a nice addition to the empty dining room on either side of the French door.  My sense of size must be off in this house, because all the ‘big’ art from our first house looks tiny here.  Looks like I’ve got plenty of crafting and painting to do.

Have you added art to your walls recently?  A gallery wall maybe?  Large pieces?  Maybe you’ve cleaned out your basement, too?  Let’s share our successes.

Gimme a Giveaway Winner: Jillian Rene Decor & Purchases

We’re excited for the weekend.  Cooler weather is on the way and we get more time to work on a few house projects.  The Jillian Rene Decor pillow giveaway reminded me of pillow fight fun.  My sisters and I had pillow fights and now V and E do.

Liz S, the winner of a $50 Jillian Rene Decor store credit, was involved in sock fights.  Ha, never tried that!

On a more serious note, we’ve been busy buying things for the mountain house.  50 4 foot by 8 foot by 1 1/4 inch sheets of recycled (pulled off a remodeled building) polystyrene insulation thanks to Craigslist.

Similar products cost $18 per sheet at Home Depot.  Ben will use this to insulate the back basement wall, which now has only framework and sheet rock.  We’re hoping to score more through Craigslist and local recycle companies to wrap the house before we install new siding.

Another necessary addition is this Killer Whale by Pur Vac.

Sure, we have a central vacuüm already, but it is super lame.  It sucks so little that it sucks so much.  And only low voltage was run to the outlets, so it can’t support a rug attachment head.  Oh, and it turns on as soon as the hose is plugged in, which has worn down the motor.  Cleaning dog hair out of our rugs with the current vacuüm and hardwood floor head is not easy.


Ben has some wiring to run to get this behemoth hung in the garage.  Actually, we don’t have enough room in the house electrical panel, so Ben is working on adding another to the garage.  The previous owner ran wiring for a future shop/garage and we’re using that.  As if we didn’t have enough irons in the fire, Ben tore down the wall separating the two storage rooms in the garage area.  One month ago, after closing on the house, the storage room looked like this:

As of this morning, it looks like this:

Notice the square on the floor?  That should help you get an idea of the wall placement.  Soon, Ben wants to tear out the rest of the walls in this area to make room for his boat and give us room to park two cars in the garage.

Between knocking down walls and installing vacuums, he’ll have to add wire to each vacuüm port to power the new attachment kit we ordered.

That’s on our agenda this weekend.  Maybe a little bathroom work for good measure.

What are you working on?  Wall removal?  Weekends just aren’t the same without demo work.

Move In Ready

On Friday, I mentioned we moved in to the mountain house, as Ben calls it.  I think a moment like that deserves a celebration of pictures.  So, here’s the mountain house, filled with our crap, I mean furniture.

The entry isn’t huge, but we have a rug and storage bench for putting on shoes.

Our old sectional, which lived in the theater room at the first house, fits in the new living room with plenty of space.

We arranged the furniture to face the television about 2 1/2 feet from the window wall.  I have high hopes for bookshelves on either side of the window and a window seat between.

Small end tables and a bookshelf turned entertainment center work for now.

Ben built that bookshelf for V’s nursery and we’ve had it in the basement for the past few years.  It is the only piece of furniture that can serve this purpose until we get a chance to build a proper entertainment center.  This also means Ben’s kick butt surround sound system is tucked away for the too small shelf.  Once we finish the bathroom, we’ve got this on our to do list.

Okay, enough of my whining.  Here’s our empty dining room.  The stool and lantern are for the deck and the chairs are there as additional seating.

Some day we’ll buy or build a large table to go in here, but that’s not a priority.  Right around the corner is my office.  I’ve got my craft and shop supplies in the lower cabinets and lots of electronics on the desk top, but it’s totally functional.

Jack has deemed this her spot, so I tossed a few towels down to keep her cozy until I can make her a little dog bed.

Then there’s the kitchen.  Oh, the kitchen.  Even though this kitchen is at least twice the size of our other kitchen, we’re quickly learning the main cabinets are poorly laid out.  Not as much storage as it appears to have.

So we’ve been stashing most kitchen stuff in the giant pantries.

That pretty French door fridge above?  I hate it.  Ben packed up all the food from the fridge and freezer at the first house on Friday.  The fridge contents fit without a problem.  However, the two drawer freezer couldn’t hold an entire box of frozen foods.  As I tried to cram everything in, getting more and more frustrated while cursing the LG designer I started crying out of annoyance.  The stress from packing while watching two little boys and unpacking had gotten the best of me.  Luckily, we have space in the utility room for a chest freezer, so Ben bought one yesterday.  Rant over.  Check out the breakfast nook we’re using as the dining room.

That large window is a great place to watch the wild life in the back yard.

Friday night we had five deer visitors, right off the back patio.

It was chilly over the weekend, so Ben built a fire and we roasted marshmallows right in the family room.

Figuring out a layout for this room was tricky.  We have several traffic patterns; one from the stairs, another from the hall, and a third to the sliding door.  This works best, keeping everything centered on the fireplace and windows.  Too bad we don’t have close enough outlets to plug-in the lamps.

I’ve moved my books from the old office into the guest bedroom.  The pile on the bed is my sewing machine and 20 yards of fabric for curtains.

We’re still working on the main bathroom, so we’ll share pictures soon.  Floor tile has been delayed and should be here tomorrow.  The boys’ bedroom layout is very similar to their old room, just a few feet wider.  Here’s V’s side, complete with a dresser due to the lack of organization systems in this house.

E’s side is so bare right now, but he does have a faux Jack to keep him company.

The last bedroom, our bedroom.  We sold our bed to the buyer and we’re using the old guest bed for a while.  Ben hates the headboard covering the window.

I finished painting the closet over the weekend and put our clothes away.  Instead of a pile of clothes, we’ve got a stack of empty bins.  Wahoo!

Ugly master bathroom with an awesome steam shower.  Still ugly despite a few accessories.  I guess putting lipstick on a pig doesn’t make it pretty.

You want to see something that really isn’t pretty (and kind of stresses me out)?  The basement.

It’s funny because we’ve gained square footage over the last house, but we’re desperately lacking built-in storage.  Not to mention we’ve lost two bedrooms (hence the mattresses) and practically two bathrooms.  The main bath is under construction and the basement bath is just gross, leaving us with the master bath.  Eventually we’ll get there, but I think the basement will look like this for a while.

Ben and Handy Sammy hauled over the washer and dryer, too.  The plug for the dryer isn’t the same as the outlet though.

So that’s how we’re living in the new house.  I’ve off to pack up the few remaining things at the old house and then I’ve got some sewing to do.  Mama needs black out curtains in hopes of getting the boys to sleep past 6:30.

What did you do over the weekend?  Do you have a sewing project in your near future?  How about a move?