Monday, July 28, 2014

Small projects

Although I really want to get started on the pergola, I have to teach this week, and so we had to content ourselves with some small projects.  The first one is a door makeover - which I've been wanting to do forever.  This is how our front door looked:
Not so bad, except that we didn't need a peephole, the mailbox slot is unusable, and the kick plate on the bottom has several missing screws, and I hate the color, it gets really hot when the sun beats down on it.  So - other than the fact that it fits the door frame, we kinda hate it.

But what I really hated was the inside.  It still had the old paneling attached to it, and we have the peephole and useless mail slot in it. 

Finally, what I hated the most was that it made this whole area dark.  What I wanted was something that was more attractive and let light in.  But I don't want to buy a new door (too much $$$!) and I don't want the hassle of hanging a new door, drilling new holes for locksets, etc.  So the part where it actually fit was kinda important.

So I was checking out CL (my favorite place to shop) and someone had these great leaded glass inserts for the bargain price of 25 bucks for four.  I only needed one, but I can sell the others and recoup my 25 bucks.  One has a cracked piece of glass, but I might be able to salvage that one for another project.

So what we did was take the door down off the hinges - simple, just pull out the three pins from the three hinges - and bring it into the backyard.  I took off the locksets, the mailbox, kickplate and peephole so I could remove the glued-on paneling.  Yuck. I have removed SO MUCH DRIED contact cement from this house!  That was a messy job and yet somehow, I forgot to take pics. 

After we cleaned off all the glue, we measured the glass insert, and centered it from each side.  We used the measurement in from the sides (9.5 inches from each side), and measured that much down from the top.  Then we added 5/8" all around, and cut the hole out of the door.  It's a hollow core door -- cheapo!--so we had to put in a few supports so we could attach a 2" wide frame inside the hole.  Again, forgot to take pictures!  What a doofus.

Next, we attached mitered 3/4" quarter round on the front with the brad nailer. 
OK, this i have pics of --

You can see the supports in the mailbox slot.

And then we could attach the glass panel.  We ran a bead of silicone along the corner of the "ledge" created by the quarter round, and then lowered the glass panel in.  We added another bead of silicone, and added another layer of mitered quarter round, nailed in.  So we sandwiched the glass in between the layers of quarter round.  Then I caulked all the gaps and painted the door.

I also added a small rectangle over the mail slot.  This placement really gave me pause - if I moved the glass down to cover the hole, it would be oddly centered, so I opted to cover the slot inside and out with a small flat panel. I think I'll get a "welcome" sign or something to put on here, but it actually doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would.  So - turquoise for the front, and white for the inside.  I used one of those small sample paint pots from Lowe's -- it's the perfect amount for 3 coats of paint for my door front.

I'm really happy with the amount of light it lets into our entryway.  It's hard to capture the look since the sun comes in so brightly, but I'm very happy with it.

The leaded glass panel we got had beveled glass, and it really sparkles without looking too "fancy" -- the 50s look of the panel goes well with the house.

Because we have a black screen door over the front door, taking a picture of the outside doesn't come out fabulous - but here we go:

 from the inside (so you can see the color accurately!)

and through the screen door.  It was a long one day project - if I hadn't had to remove all that glue with stripper and sanding, it would have only taken a few hours, but it looks great, and I'm really happy with the light it provides in our house!

Another thing I did this weekend was a quick stain job on our temporary kitchen counter tops.  We've got plywood serving as a counter, and they were looking pretty gross.  So I decided to water down some black paint I had leftover from painting my patio furniture, and did a fairly light coat over the plywood. 

I then added a coat of polycrylic, and then a layer of paste wax.  I'm really happy with how nice they look and feel - and they feel more durable to work on.  Maybe they'll last us a  year -- plus, they give me an idea of how black or very dark gray countertops will look.

It only took a couple of hours, and it really looks great.  So those are my two quick projects this week!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

New Puppy!

One of the things I planned on doing this summer was to get a dog.  Although we were traveling quite a bit in the past few years, I would love to cut back on that.  Also, we would love to get into a more healthy lifestyle, and having a dog to walk several times a day is a great reminder to get out and about.  So we started looking after all the summer work was done.  We went to the animal shelter, and checked out all the possible candidates.  We also looked on Craigslist, but we decided we'd rather go through the shelter, so we knew we were not just putting money into someone's pocket not knowing how the dog's backgrounds were.

Our first few choices were these:
I really had my heart set on the first one above -- so we showed up at 10am the day he was available, met up with him, played with him -- then found out he was actually 2 years old instead of the 6mo old he was listed -- which was a bit of a problem for us since we wanted a younger dog (so we could get them integrated with our cats).  Then they did a cat test, and he failed that pretty clearly -- barking and jumping around.  So we sadly had to pass on him.  Second dog was also 2 years old - same problem, but we actually thought she was too little, since we want a dog that can jump in the car or truck to go places with us.  The third one was already adopted, but we had played with a cute little terrier and had forgotten to take pics of her - her name was Triscuit when we met her --

And she's the one we chose!

Here she is at the shelter, pretty shaggy but happy!

We brought her home, and took her shopping -- she got lots of fun toys and a nice new crate and bed: (she was really well behaved at the store!)

We decided to call her Luna.

She's a happy little dog!

The cats are not impressed:

But they will get used to her.  Today, she got her coat clipped and she looks a little less shaggy:

She's got a few habits we need to work on - she likes to chew, so we have to be sure to give her chew toys and keep her busy, and she also wants to bark a little when the front door is open and she can see out the screen, but she is responding really well to commands.  Dale's a great animal trainer, so I know she'll have her manners in place soon.  We're really glad to welcome her into our family!

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

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