Saturday, March 23, 2013

Refreshing the patio furniture

Last year we made a 3 piece seating set for our patio.  You can see that process here.  After having guests out all summer, we never got around to painting or finishing the wood in some way, which of course, was something we needed to do to help preserve the wood.  So this weekend (while Dale's back is STILL keeping him from doing kitchen electrical), I went out and sanded it all down and gave it a coat of paint.  Here's what they were looking like:

Along with the wood getting weathered, the cushions were really faded from a year in the hot SoCal sun.  So I went out and bought some fun fabric and made new covers.  here's what the faded fabric looked like (You can see where this one had a pillow lying on top of it!):

Although I could buy sun-resistant fabric, I know that I like to change things up, and whipping up new covers with inexpensive fabric is a nice way to update the furniture each year.  That, and a quart of exterior semi-gloss paint and I can get a whole new look.  Last year, I thought I wanted them to be a dark red (well, that never happened!), but this year, I was thinking a nice black background with a blue batik style fabric would look cheery:

One thing I'm not sure about is the configuration - it's supposed to be set up as a U shape -- but I found that a little bulky.  I've got it set up as two independent pieces this time:  an L shape and a stand alone sofa.  I'm thinking of taking off one or more sides of the last piece -- still up in the air about that, but I'm not afraid to grab the sawz-all and lop the arms off if I think it'll work out better!

I have to recover some of these toss pillows, too - they worked great with the background of the cushions last year, but they clash a little with the blue. 

We really need a coffee table here, too -- so we could sit out here and eat out, now that spring is here!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Side Trip!

Our kitchen is in total disarray, but we took off to go to a conference in Fort Worth, Texas! I had a number of presentations to deliver, and was particularly excited to get together with my grad school friends.
my friends Roy and Moxie - Justin took the picture.

That was the highlight - alas, I wasn't very impressed with Fort Worth. We did have good breakfasts at the hotel, however...
Texas shaped waffles! Yummy!
One thing that we did enjoy was driving to Dallas and visiting the 6th floor Museum at the Texas School Book Depository -- a museum that details the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  It was an interesting visit.

So naturally I came back to being behind on my grading -- which I am still busy catching up with.  And then Dale pulled a muscle in his back at work, so he wasn't able to do any of the final crawling around under the house so we can finish that.  Instead, we focused on cleaning up the junk pile and getting our trash organized.  Not the most glamorous of duties, but a necessary thing.

In the meantime, we've been looking at ideas online for our beam, and I believe we are going to make a slight arch across the space, and build up the edges into some faux columns.  Something like this from Remodel-aholic:

 This is their 3-D model image - we really like the way they built a lot of character into a space that had none beforehand!  That's a similar challenge that we face - nothing remarkable about the bare space, and we like character.  So we're approaching how to adapt this idea into our space. 

In the meantime, we also went out and ordered our stove - we love the look:

And we are finalizing our plan for kitchen cabinets.  A trip to IKEA to talk with the kitchen planners and clear up some questions about particular cabinets.  We have to order in the next month so we can get 20% off during their annual kitchen sale. Score!

Hopefully, the next post will have some updates on our progress ---

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Almost done with the utility moving

Because we're GENIUSES, obviously, we have decided to move every single appliance in the kitchen, which has meant that a lot of the work we're doing up to this point is happening in the crawlspace.  This week, we got the gas and electric moved, finished up the final plumbing, and should be ready any day to finish taking out the last of the cabinets and then actually begin putting things in.  Meanwhile, we're living like this:

Stove and dishwasher in the living room, delightful! 

There were several issues that complicated things - multiple changes made over the years, all of them kind of haphazardly done (adding a 220 for a stove at some point, even though there is a gas hookup, the completely crazy plumbing changes done to throw a random dishwasher in the mix, multiple cable hookups over time -I think every major cable company has done an install here, including a dish on the top of the house, none of which are functioning except the FIOS line).  Each trip under the house means a game of "can you see where this wire goes?" so we can pull it out and simplify the underworld landscape.

The great news is, we've decided 90% on our kitchen cabinet layout - just in time for the big IKEA sale.  And better news is, they don't require any purchase of appliances this year, just a straight "if you buy $4500 worth of kitchen cabinets, you get 20% off", which fits into our scheme perfectly.  So we'll also be ordering those soon, before the sale runs out!

Oh, and you can see the gap under the door above - we did get a visitor the other night, we discovered him while putting things away:
I think he was just as surprised as we were.  We caught him under a bucket and set him back outside.  And we've covered the gap with a rolled towel when we're not working in there!
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