Friday, March 30, 2012

Picture Frame molding

I'm on spring break this week - not that I got any break!  I spent all my time in the bathroom - taping and mudding and sanding the drywall, putting up crown molding, and priming.  The thing I really wanted to do was get all that done so I could add picture frame molding to the lower half of the walls --

 I really like the sconces I got at Home Depot.

The shower has a row of "chair rail" about 4 feet up - I carried that through to the rest of the room.  I added another rail about four inches below, and then marked off boxes down the wall.

Originally, I was just going to have one box on each wall, but the way the vanity fits, it wouldn't show up on that wall at all -- so I decided I'd put a short set of boxes and then a larger box below.

It continues around the room.  This room seems either really small (when I'm trying to use an air compressor or move a ladder) or really big (only compared to how it was when we closed on the house).  We haven't had the vanity in for about a month, so we'll have to mentally adjust when that goes back in and we have a big piece of furniture in the room!

You can see a hint of the seafoam green above the chair rail in both pictures. I just wanted to be sure I really liked it - I was afraid it would look 1950s mint, but it looks more beach-like.

I also added another rail about 2 inches below the crown molding - this will help my crown look like it's wider.  The space in between will be painted white like the crown and the trim, so it will 'read' as a wide piece of molding.

So now I am sick and tired of caulking  -- every piece of molding has caulk on both sides so when I paint it there won't be any cracks where the pieces meet the wall.  And I filled all the little nail holes.  I would love to get it painted tonight, but I'm pooped!  I'm hoping tomorrow we do the floor so that by the end of my spring break, we'll have the vanity moved back in and all we'll need is the shower glass.  I had a guy out this morning to take measurements for an estimate --  it's the most expensive part of our whole bathroom redo!

Oh - just a last little picture of what this bathroom looked like when we bought the house in October --

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I love my garage

When we were looking for a house, a garage was something we just assumed we'd have - we didn't give it much consideration, but we knew we'd want one because we have a lot of tools.  This house has a really big garage - two car, and it sits back on the lot in the backyard.  We will likely never use this garage for our car, but I have to say, I LOVE my garage as a workspace!

When we bought the house - it was full of old crap - mattresses, some shabby furniture and a really cool old stove, which we were temped to keep, but realized it needed repair and in the long run, it wouldn't fit in with our plans.  We listed everything on Craigslist for free and folks came over and cleared it all out for us.  Then we moved in and just kind of stacked things all over the place.  It also had a broken spring so we couldn't use the garage door opener to get the door up.  We replaced that, and a couple of weeks ago I spent the afternoon cleaning it out and arranging things so we could use the space, and now we have the best work space!

It's the perfect place to refinish furniture or build things - yes, that's my bathroom vanity still sitting there, but I'm hoping to get the bathroom FINSHED this week - I'm going to install the flooring while I'm on spring break one day this week -- we finished drywall installation today - starting tomorrow I am doing the mudding and sanding and priming and painting.  It's gonna happen, folks!

The BEST part about getting all the drywall installed in the bathroom is that now I can take out the rest of it from the living room, where it's been since October.  I cleaned the floor and moved the cool cabinet we got ($35 bargain on Craigslist) to center it where the drywall has been leaning for months.  And I got to get out my collection of Chinese checkerboards!


This room has so much work to do - you can't see it well, but this wall has painted paneling on it, and acoustic tiles on the ceiling, and no baseboard.  This wall above, actually, is going to be removed - the kitchen is on the other side, and we are going to open it up.  We were debating on doing it as soon as the bathroom is done in the next few weeks - can't decide if we could get it done before we have company in June.  If we are reasonable and think about our progress on the bathroom, we are probably not going to do it - but we might actually just take this wall out and make do for a bit.  I think we are going to do some furniture rearranging this week - try out some new arrangements to work around our weird fireplace situation.

So - there should be some new pictures coming this week as I finish the floor and the walls of the bathroom.  I can't wait!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kitchen fixture

While Dale is swearing in the bathroom while installing the pocket door, I decided to hang another free Craigslist score. I'd gotten a tarnished brass fixture with 70s glass hurricanes, I removed the glass and spray painted the brass a nice satiny black (to match the table).  I picked up some 2.99 clip on shades at Tuesday morning.  I'm thinking I need to do something with the candlestick covers, I got some trim for the shades, and maybe I'll add a ruched cover for the chain -- but I want to live with this a bit first.

just for a nice comparison - here's the original fixture when we bought the place.  When you turned the fan on, it rocked like crazy!  I replaced this before we moved in, with an IKEA fixture I had, but I knew it was just temporary. 

Dale and I went out to dinner last night, and were chatting about our plans after getting the bathroom done (which is progressing s-l-o-w-l-y), originally we talked about adding onto the bedroom for a second bath as our next project, but we are really sick of the kitchen, so we might get started on that next. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More yard work

For all the work we are putting into it, our yard looks like crap.  But it will get better eventually!  This morning we got up early - someone had listed free bamboo on Craigslist and I didn't want to miss getting some.  It was perfect for along the back wall, so we called to get an address and took off.

We went to a house that was completely overgrown with bamboo - it was everywhere!  It's certainly a caution - this stuff will invade everywhere if steps are not taken to contain it.  I wish I'd taken a photo - it was pretty spectacular.  But it was also gorgeous - this is black bamboo, and the stalks are ebony black after 2-3 years, and mixed with the light green foilage, it's gorgeous.  So we brought our shovels and got digging.  A couple of hours later, we had a big pile of bamboo and sore arms.

Then we had to dig through our root-infested yard - the avocado tree has roots that run right at the surface and about 12" deep - once you cut through those, you're fine, but it's pretty exhausting and our arms were already tired!  But we got it done, and we're really happy with how it looks.

After we sat down with cold drinks and congratulated ourselves on how nice it looked, we took a look at the smaller of the 2 avocado trees - and decided to cut that sucker down and get more light in that corner of the yard.  The main avocado tree is lovely and plenty big enough to cast a nice filtered shade over the entire yard - the second, smaller one is just unattractive and creates a jungle in that corner.  Here's what it looked like when we closed (it's kind of hard to see that dark corner) -

and what it looks like today.  We still have to dig up the stump, but turns out that weedy looking tree in the corner cleaned up kind of good!  I don't know what it is, yet, but I think I'll keep it.  (*sigh* -- the grass is completely pitiful).

Oh, and here's some company we had while we worked outside today:

We have lots of lizards out there!

Our bird of paradise must not have minded all the man-handling it got when we moved it - all three segments have blooms on them!  The agapanthus we got free on Craigslist a few weeks ago is also looking great.

So, we sat back down with another cold drink and talked about what we were going to do for dinner, and Dale says, "Oh, what the hell, let me get started on digging up that camellia -  and you can check out that stump" so back we went.  We only got halfway done with that last part, though - too tired, so we'll finish tomorrow!  Thank goodness for beautiful California weather --

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

New York

So - I went off to a conference in New York City.  I love New York (I love big cities - New York, Chicago, Los Angeles!), and besides the absolute joy of meeting up with my art educator colleagues from all over the US (and staying up til 2:30 am giggling like kids at camp!), I took advantage of going to the major museums while I was there:
One of my favorite artists - Charles Demuth - and one of my favorite paintings.  Going to the Met is like looking at Gardner's Art Through the Ages in person.  Every room has something my AP Art History students would have studied.  I could stay there for hours.  But...instead, we hopped on a bus and took a ridiculously long ride to visit the Cloisters - the medieval gallery at the other end of Manhattan:
I love a ton of stuff there - but to see the Unicorn Tapestries - oh, it takes my breath away.  Also - the Merode Altarpiece, which was so wonderful to see up so close --oops, up so close that I set off the alarm (twice!).  My friends totally ratted me out to the guards.

Also visited MoMA and saw a ton of spectacular artwork, including this piece by Doris Salcedo:

This is just a single part of a series of niches cut into the wall, with women's shoes inside, and animal skin stretched over and stitched to the wall. It was gorgeous, evocative, sad...just beautiful.  But my FAVORITE -- really FAVORITE thing at the MoMA was a Cindy Sherman retrospective - the entire 6th floor.  Oh, it was magnificent!  Loved it!! (couldn't take pictures there - but how silly is that - they're photographs.
Then, the Guggenheim, which had a show of John Chamberlain.  It was great, but what I LOVED were the Kandinskys!  To be up so close and look at them --makes me want to paint right now.
It's so inspiring to be around all the wonderful artwork and art friends and discussing art education issues.  I came back with a crappy cold - thanks Kris! - but ready to get caught up with my grading and to make some art!  Oh - and Dale did some last minute wiring and so I came home to a house full of extension cords and a blown breaker, LOL!  That's the kind of stuff we take in stride around here --
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