Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Attempt & An Update

First off, I am attempting an art project for our soon (hopefully) to be finished basement.  It involves this:

Second, as for an update:

Let’s just say there’s a LOT of this

&

in the works.  We didn’t pass inspection this morning because the stupid builder made STUPID decisions that our Contractor is now having to fix.  I did hear that out of the 16 building inspections recently, 7 have been from my subdivision, and ALL of them are facing this.  It really doesn’t make me any happier to know this.  Why is it that big builders aren’t held to the same standards that general contractors are?

Good news is that my new tile has shipped!!  I am hoping it is here by Friday or Saturday at the latest. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Idea List

I saw something today that I really need to make:

Freckled Whimsy

An iPad zippered case.  Aren’t these cute?  I would most likely have to make it more masculine as my husband takes it to meetings and when he travels (which is not often thank heavens!).  Also, I know of SEVERAL people who have gotten tablet devices like these—wouldn’t this make a fantastic gift?  I can’t really give out iPads, but I could give a case. Smile

Little Lovelies

Also, it’s getting to be the time of year for Teacher Appreciation gifts.  I sure do appreciate my kids’ teachers, all that they put up with.  I saw this idea—how fun!

Tidy Mom

My sister in law does cool things like this—how cool is it—pie in a JAR!  Very portable, individually portioned, great for picnics, etc.   This also reminds me of one of my guys who is obsessed with the word ‘pie’—or ‘pi’, he can’t decide which one.  I think I’m going to have to make some ‘pi[e]’ pillows for his bed. 

Remodelaholic

Now, this isn’t necessarily my style, but the phrase is the name of a cousin’s family blog—I think they need this sign.

crown molding in kitchen

Thrifty D├ęcor Chick

Do you see that gorgeous black pantry door?  I need that—badly!  Currently our pantry has a curtain.  It used to have a bi-fold door.  I’m sure most of you are aware that bi-fold doors are EVIL!!  Whichever genius came up with them—they’re not on my ‘good’ list.  Anyhoo—our refrigerator opens right into the door space too—another instance of moronic great house designing courtesy of our builder.  Don’t worry—they’re bankrupt and OOB, so you don’t have to worry that you might buy a new house from them.  Oh, back to the pantry door—if I could frame in a smaller door, I think it would work puurrfectly!

What has been inspiring you this week?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lost

As you know, one of the expected things in any home improvement project is that it will cost more than you originally estimated. 

Case in point—the tile. 

I found a screaming deal @ Home Depot a couple months ago.  12” tile for $.58 each!  I promptly bought the required amount and then had it held @ the store until we were ready (and had room) to bring it over.  That was supposed to be today.  At 7:54 the phone rang, it was the guy in charge of my held order:

                      “Did you pick up that tile?”

                      “No, I was in yesterday and cancelled the toilet, but that’s it.”

                      “Well, the tile is gone and we can’t find it.  I’m calling around to other stores and they are all out because it was a clearance item.  I will keep looking and call you back.”

 

After filling Mr. CFO in and getting everyone out the door, I called Home Depot back.  Tiles were still missing, no hope of finding them.  I decided to start over.  20 minutes later I was at the returns desk getting a refund for all the tile I purchased. 

I have decided to look at this as a blessing in disguise—I wasn’t overjoyed by the old tile.  Now I can be SUPER happy about it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Walls!!

 

unfinished pantry and utility

Look—we have WALLS!!  Amazing what just 2 days of steady work will do, huh?

Here you have a view of our lovely unfinished pantry & utility area.  Let me tell you—there’s some interesting & unique construction work back there courtesy of the crew that built this house.  Our crew has been marveling at intervals at how our house even manages to stay up. 

Nathan's framed in room

We discovered early on that there had been nothing holding this window in but silicone.  Sure, there were screws—but they didn’t attach the window to the house, missed it by several inches.  I know, quality construction.  No wonder our builder went bankrupt.  start of a bathroom

I think this area has me the MOST excited though—see that little room there?  It is going to be a BATHROOM!!  No, it’s not very big—but since when do 2 boys need a big bathroom? 

 

Colin's framed in room

All in all—we are VERY excited by how fast the work is going.  This would have taken us a month to complete.  Which would explain why WE are not the professional builders. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Stack

Something is going on here…it involves sawdust. 

We are finishing our basement.

When I say “We” I mean that Mr. CFO is paying for it and I am overseeing it to make sure the ‘grand design’ is being adhered to.

I got an email last Tuesday “Hey, we’re going to come over tomorrow and start.”

WHAT???

There was still carpet, furniture, legos & other misc. toys hanging about.  Shelves & pantry items that needed to be relocated. 

I put my scrawny armed offspring to work moving furniture, rolling carpet, dejunking…Wednesday morning was busy.  By Wednesday evening this is what we had:

stack of wood in the basement

Nowhere NEAR cleared out.  Oops. 

woodpileThat stack of wood DID smell pretty good though.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Measuring Up

The other night I spontaneously pinned my kids to a small section of a wall and pulled their hair with a rotary ruler.  True story.

The rule is—feet flat on the floor, heels against the wall, and I use a ruler (usually one of my big clear rotary ones that is handy) to make sure I am getting an accurate measurement of their height.  When one kid gets measured, they ALL want to be measured. 

Then they ran around looking for the tape measure to see how high their mark was on the wall.  This specific section of wall is pretty skinny, so it’s not like it will ever have another purpose, but as I was laying awake in bed, unable to sleep thanks to a massive caffeine buzz, I got to thinking.  What will happen to our measurement wall when I repaint? 

Did you see how I slipped that in?  When, not if, but WHEN I repaint. 

Then the inspiration came—sweet inspiration.  I should make a growth chart. And it had to be cool, funky, unique, not babyish or goofy—totally awesome!

I started out with a 1 x 10 x 6 pine board that Mr. CFO had sitting in the garage:imageimage    Add a sample of “Frozen Pond” and with a tape measure start marking where the lines will be.

image  There’s a great wood marker I like to use:

image  Works like a dream!

imageimage  Obviously it looks better from a distance.

Now comes the super fancy technical part—adding the numbers, you ready?

Print out the numbers on a piece of paper.  Make sure it’s a font you like.

  imageimage         Using the biggest, most preschool-ish pencil you can find, scribble all over the back of the paper where the numbers are.

imageimage

Now, put the numbered paper down where you want it to be on the board and trace around the number—and a magical thing happens—all the pencil rubbing on the back acts like carbon paper (if you’re old enough to remember that) and you get an outline on the board!! 

Ooh—aahh!

Color in the number—remember to use your best coloring skills.

 

image

Here’s where I got a little fancy.  I took a scrap of 220 grit sandpaper and sanded down the entire board.  The lines and numbers then looked like this:image

Not to worry, a little stain marker along the edges and some finishing paste wax and the board looked fantabulous!

image

Now I won’t ever have to lose their measurements! I put where Mr. CFO and I measure up b/c the kids like to see how close they’re getting.  I need to put grandparents on there too I think.  They get a kick out of the idea that my grandma was only 4’ 11” at her tallest.

image

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Regular Homes & Gardens 4/14

For the past few days I have been asking a certain little person to clean his room.  I don’t mind the legos and blocks so much, I understand that it’s frustrating to pick up when you’re in the middle of creating.  The laundry drives me nuts though.  To think I spent so much time washing & folding just to have him dump everything out…

*deep breaths here*

messy boy2

It really is a wonder that he can manage to find anything in this mess.  Doesn’t it look like the laundry is in the middle of an epic battle for room dominance? 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just Looking

A few weeks ago I had to go buy some touch-up paint for our house.  Currently it is {faded} Connected Grey by Sherwin Williams.  I am always amused by paint color names.  This ‘grey’ isn’t very grey at all, especially when paired with the stone and the black shutters.  It turns positively green!

  house

House 007

I don’t know if this picture helps.  And yes—the skies are AMAZINGLY blue here in Northern Colorado. 

As I waited for the paint to be mixed I asked about how long could I expect our paint to last before I had to repaint the entire thing (instead of a few patches here and there).  It turns out that I will probably need to repaint the house in the next year or two (BOO!) as our builder used the cheapest watered-down grade of paint they could from SW, and it’s only guaranteed for about 5-7 years.  In case you haven’t read before, this is year 6.  Colorado weather, while seemingly mild in the pictures, is anything but!  Lots of high winds, hail storms in the summer, blizzards in the winter, frequent subzero temps, the fact that we have virtually NO humidity, are a mile up in elevation, and LOTS of blazing sunshine in the summer makes for hard wear on a builder’s grade paint job.  (Not to mention hard wear on a red-head with sunburn-prone skin!)

Naturally, I have been thinking—do we go with the same color again, or do we change it up?  Here’s some options I’ve played around with:

aquaAqua

Blue ExteriorLighter Blue

brownBrown

dark blueDarker Blue

grey exteriorDark Grey

tan exteriorTanwhiteWhite

What is your preference?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Idea List 4/12

on the bottom

Self-Adhesive Velcro to keep drawer organizers from sliding around by Tatertots and Jello

--check out her drawer organizational project—pretty cool!

Yarn Ball (with tutorial) by Make and Takes

How cool are these?  So many options….

Canning Jar Soap Dispenser by Blissfully Content

I am sorely tempted to make this for my kitchen.  It would be so much nicer than the big bottle of dish soap.

Mom Cave by Simply Mod Mom

I am ever so looking forward to having my special space back.  I have a plan formulating in the back of my head.

Chocolate Mug Cake by Buttermilk Cottage

Honestly though—with how this week has started out—I think this could be the BEST idea of all.

I hope that these bits of bloggy inspiration help you find your creative mojo. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yummy Book Review

As it happens so often in bloggy-world, I saw a review for a book that I thought would be GREAT to try out.  This book has nothing in it that I can eat, but being the nice mom that I am, I thought I would try it out on the kids.  If you’ve ever made  your own bread, you will understand the draw that a claim of 5 minutes bread has. 

The recipe was pretty basic, the technique a slight bit different, simpler really.  The results were FANTASTIC! 

imageimage

One batch made 4 good-size round loaves of bread, which my kids tore into in a way I’ve never witnessed.  At least when it comes to bread I’ve made.  It was very similar in texture to french bread you buy at the store—crackly crust, soft on the inside—tons of flavor even though it was made with a minimum of ingredients! 

I will admit that it took about 3 hours to make—however, the idea behind this is that you can refrigerate unused dough for up to 2 weeks.  It will develop a better flavor as time goes on (similar to a sourdough) and the rise time out of the fridge is only 25 minutes.  Not bad, huh?

I do have to share that my kids were discovered squeezing the bread and quoting this:

Friday, April 8, 2011

Love is…

My stash of thrifted frames has been growing (bad Alison!), which meant I really had to use one.

 image

I just found this lovely and came up with an idea right away—a message board to go in the middle of my ‘someday completed’ gallery wall.   In this case, I thought the use of our name wouldn’t be too cheesy. 

image

Here’s how it worked:

1.  lightly sand the frame

 image

2.  paint it.

 image

first I tried black, then thought better when I remembered this fabricimage

which I absolutely ADORE and have decided to use as inspiration in the house.        

*don’t forget the gloss coat—one interesting effect is that a gloss coat will deepen colors and hide flaws.

3.  cover the cardboard with some homespun fabric.  I used Krylon’s spray adhesive to help me with this.  Up until trying Krylon I was NOT a fan of spray adhesive as they get gunky and yucky and all sorts of other ‘-ucky’ words, they’re hard to clean off your hands afterwards, etc.   Krylon comes out in a fine mist, it has a longer repositionable time, but dries permanent. 

4.  lettering.  I do not have a cricut or silhouette or any other sort of cutter that doesn’t involve my hands and scissors.  I used a roll of clear contact paper and a printout from my computer.  Not TOO time intensive, I think it worked out pretty well. imageprint it out

image trace it & cut (I love how the contact paper has a grid on the back to keep things straight!)

image   put the stencil on your backing and sponge paint into it.  peel off stencil.

5.  put it all together

imageimage

All that was left was to put the glass and backing into the frame—not too bad!

I am planning on putting this in the gallery with a dry-erase marker nearby so people can add their own messages. 

I love it!

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