Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wedding Cards Madness!

***Late breaking news: Same blog, new name!  This blog will be more versatile, including all projects big and small, from gardening and crafting to demolition and reconstruction! 

I finally did something with all of my wedding cards, wasn't sure I would get to this the same year we got married.  At first I thought about doing a collage with them, but that seamed like a lot of work.  When I saw this idea on Pinterest from Two Peas in a Bucket it seamed like something I could do with minimal swearing.  
I actually Pinned it and did it!  I got some metal rings and hand-made paper at the craft barn, and the biggest book I could find at goodwill.  Apparently my hole puncher is awful, but a Red Stripe beer helped me get through all the cards.  (My sister, asia's, was the hardest one to get through..the glitter must have been epoxied on, maybe a little karma from all of the work I put on her this summer as my maid of honor)  I got a grommet kit at the home depot, and grommeting was easy after an hour of researching rivets and realizing that rivets and grommets are two separate entities.  Here are the pics.  .  . 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Kitchen: Phase 1 Complete!

Project Kitchen, Take 2.  
Ok, so this is a second round of a kitchen redo.  I have now painted this room twice--the first kitchen redo was more of a "quick cover up." This cover up allowed me to cook dinner without going into a deep state of depression caused by tacky color combinations.  Now that we have tackled every room, some to a further degree than others, and gotten rid of all the hideous wallpaper (pondering the age old question, how many times can you WALLPAPER OVER WALLPAPER) AND gotten our wedding out of the way! we now have more time to nitpick color combinations, second guess our decisions, find adorable ideas on etsy and pinterest and imagine a better life for ourselves, a life that includes a little bit of chartreuse, a little bit of re-purposed old stuff, a little bit of imagination, some paint-y old sweatpants and a sick 90's mix.  So, inspired by an idea off of, drawn up by me and engineered by my husband, (after a lot of conversations based off of the question"are you sure this is what you want") we now have open shelving, and yes, it is turquoise (best color in the world).  

My favorite part of the kitchen re-do is this re-purposed old gun cabinet we found in the basement when we moved in.  It didn't have any guns in it, but it was old and dirty with broken glass and no shelves.  I sanded and binned the hell out of it and got sunrise glass to get me some new glass panels.  Brendon made some shelves for me and edge-banned then so that they looked extra special.  Eat your heart out pottery barn.  All and all this cabinet cost me 20$ for the glass and about 15$ worth of paint.  I think everyone except maybe the NRA would think that this re-purpose was the right choice. 

The second phase will include a new stainless steel dishwasher and hardwood maple to match the rest of the downstairs.  Phase 2 will hopefully be happening in January.  Despite my best efforts to pick this delicious set up at Restore. . . . 
we will probably stick with stainless appliances that are more "efficient" and "modern."  Brendon never lets me have anything that I want.

Phase 3 will most likely be the trim, and in the style of being a carpenters wife and a carpenters house, will come several years later. Scroll down to check out more pics!  

Re-purposed gun cabinet.  Doesn't it look so much better with fiestaware? 

Another view of the cabinets, have to show off my turkey day centerpiece, ornamental kale from Sweet Pea Garden. 

awesome 1960's cabinet I acquired from the antique School House in Brewer about 10 years ago (the pear canisters are from there too)!

Saturday, May 12, 2012



All you have to do is dig them up yourself and discard all of the other trash ( old leather shoes, bus tires, metal cans, broken glass, bed frames, water heaters).  Three trailer loads to the dump later, Brendon actually got some money for the old metal we dug out, and we have a nice trash free back yard.  I used vinegar and rice to clean out the old bottles as best as I could, they are still not perfect. 

I followed the instructions that I found on Ehow here: How to rid glass vases of residue.  Some of them turned out pretty clean and here they are displayed in our house after hours of hard labor.

Old soda cans with some flowers from our gardens. 

Pepsi-Cola bottle

 We were going to use some of the bottles as centerpieces at our wedding, but they didn't come clean enough for my liking.  Pretty happy with how they turned out though! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Much Deserved Deep Breath!

     Alright, it has been a few weeks since my last post, but its not because we haven't been busy chipping away on this house!  We have been so wrapped up with projects for the last 8 months, we haven't given ourselves enough pats on the back for all that we have done.  Brendon and I will be taking a few week break on major projects, although my hands cannot stay idle for that long so i have a few smaller ideas up my sleeve for the time being. 

     I just recently flipped through my old e-mails from 10 months ago (thanks g-mail for saving them all for me!) and was looking at what this house used to look like! Yuck!  But these pictures also made me realize how much work we have been doing, and how much we need to get out of town for a weekend to give ourselves a break!  Red Sox Opening weekend? 

     Our biggest major project was installing hardwood in the living room.  When we moved in there was 20+ year old carpet that had to be ripped out immediately due to my allergies.  I painted the hardwood that was already down, but we weren't really happy with the way that looked.  I am so glad that we decided to lay the new hardwood sooner rather than later because it makes a HUGE difference in the space.  Before i chose a gray floor paint, and the walls were a gray tinted white-it really wasn't working, but after painting EVERY room in this house, I wasn't mentally ready to re-paint anything just yet.  I am glad that I kept the gray walls because I really like them with the new wood floor. 


Everyone is happy!  Brendon did a great job laying the floor with some help from me, (some).  Even Steve approves, although the lack of traction on a shiny new floor has taken some getting used to. 

Steve's Stamp of Approval

Friday, February 24, 2012

linoleum, carpet-board, and horsehair plaster, oh my!

So I finally tackled the worst bedroom in the house.  From the cracking ceiling, to the multiple layers of wallpaper and the idiot-rigged closet, it is all fixed and i am happy to say that this room is complete!  I had to mud over the wallpaper (all of the walls) to make sure that the walls were smooth enough to paint.  I was going to do new wallpaper but it seamed wrong since I loathed every type of wallpaper that had been on those walls already (also wallpaper is expensive!).  I then sanded the walls and ceiling (next time i will wear a hat because i had stiff hair for 3 days after the dust in my hair got wet, although my hair did look thicker than it ever has).


I chose an eggshell paint because the walls were still not perfectly smooth and I thought the less shiny the better. I used Bin 123 primer because I wanted the paint to really stick to the walls, in the past I have had a hard time painting the plaster in the other rooms so bin has helped a lot because it will stick to anything.  I ripped up the linoleum only to find carpet board underneath, which brendon ever so graciously helped me pull up. 


We found 3 deeds to monopoly properties, a wheat penny, and a picture of the old owner when she was a child (pretty funny stuff) we will add that to our collection of the WWII food rations booklet and stamps.  Brendon also helped me rebuild the closet and remove the framing that held on two closet doors by their hinges,  I then made a curtain to go across the whole wall, hiding the still imperfect closet (but it works for now!) Anyways after sanding and painting the floor, the room is now complete!

The finishing touch was to frame a piece of the old wallpaper, I couldn't help myself it was so kitsch and perfect that I needed to save a part of it.  3 down and 1 more bedroom to go!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Personal Touches

I try to remind myself weekly that we really have done so much to this house already--but it still feels like we have so far to go.  I am constantly thinking that I cant wait until all of the projects are finished, but I also know that as a homeowner, that never happens.  Once everything is nice you start thinking about upgrades (when i'm done with all the rooms in my house I will unsubscribe to Real Simple and stop going crazy on a quest for the perfect wall color). 

While I am amidst finishing the orange room (the room with the weird orange wall paper) and tearing out the closet in the truck room (the room with the weird 1950s American automobile wallpaper), I thought that I would share one of the smaller projects that I just finished.  When we moved into the house there were a lot of weird quirks (on top of the orange bird and old truck wallpaper).  There were room numbers on the 4 bedrooms upstairs, and there was Madonna (not the singer) wallpaper above the stairs with reddish pink paint dripping down it and also "area rug style" linoleum flooring on the bedroom floors.  Some of the things were out in the driveway for the garbage man the day we moved in, but some of the ideas I wanted to keep.  I really liked the idea of the room numbers, even if it was perhaps because the house was an insane asylum in the past (maybe??  you have to be insane to choose the old truck wallpaper right?)

I decided to create my own ceramic room numbers for the bedrooms upstairs.  I built them slab style, fired them, glazed them and with some decorative carpet tacks they now hang on the doorways of all of the second flood bedrooms.  I like how it pushed the bed and breakfast feel that our 1920's farm style house already kind of has.  It also helps me feel less overwhelmed by not only taking on huge demolition projects, but finding a balance of small projects and bigger projects to help you feel productive.  

Stay tuned for next week when I am either mudding the truck room or helping brendon put down wood floors (if we can settle the age old battle of hickory vs. maple)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Lesson 1: Patience is a Virtue

 My fiance and I bought a house in July of 2011.  It was the first house we looked at, out of two.  I am a teaching artist and Brendon is a carpenter, we always thought that we wanted a fixer upper.  Being in the middle of a complete home overhaul (Project House to Home) hindsight is 20/20.  I learn more and more about carpentry and myself everyday (such as why you shouldn’t spray scotch guard in the basement next to your oil tank and furnace).  I cant even leave the house if the bed isn’t made, needless to say, living with half finished projects is really hard for me.  Rome wasn’t completed in a day, and neither was the spare bedroom makeover that I am in the midst of.  As things get ripped up, refinished, primed, painted, sanded, striped, and toxic fumes inhaled, I am (slowly) becoming more able to deal with it all.  This blog is about sharing the successes and failures of DIY home projects, reflection, and getting these damned projects finished. 

Welcome to my blog.