Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My new retro kitchen clock

I'm trying to do a red and white retro / cherries theme in the kitchen. I had this space up above the sink with an electrical outlet for an old electric clock. I finally found one that I liked on Ebay, and it's arrived!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Act of Violence (against my bike)

Well, it happened. Someone broke into my garage by busting in the side door. They stole my bike and my friend's snow blower. I am so sad about this. My bike was awesome. It was the first bike I'd had since I was a kid. I loved riding it around my neighborhood, singing the first lines of LDN by Lily Allen in my head. And now someone stole that from me. They've also stolen my peace of mind. Now I just worry that they will come back for the things they didn't steal. Maybe next time it'll be the house, instead of the garage. I'm going through a lot of emotions over this. I know it's not personal, but all I can think is why did someone do this to me?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I've got mail.

This house came with an old mail slot built right into the house.

The mail came into the entry way. The problem is that it was basically a 3"x5" or so hole directly into my house, covered by a little door.

Needless to say this wasn't very efficient for the winter months. So, I decided that I'd get a new mailbox to mount on the house. I put it right over the old door, which was caulked over and will be filled with insulation. The new box has a lock so my mail is secure.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hardwood floors refinished

Here are a couple pics of the floor, how it looked before and how it looks now. I have to say I love it! I didn't know how much of a difference I could expect, and I would have been happy with anything better than they were, but they turned out great!

Random old stuff

Here's a few things from the past I've found around the house. I love the hair dye.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My beautiful bathroom tile

OMG I love this tile job so much! I am so glad that I went back to doing it this way. If you don't remember what it looked like before, take a look at this post. Here's how it's looking now. Yippee!

I was a little surprised at how few places just carry plain white porcelain tile. Apparently that is not "in" right now. I am trying to do something a little retro looking in there, so the stuff that is popular right now (very stone looking) wouldn't work. Anyway, Tile Shop had nothing that would work for me and the guy there was an asshole anyway, so I ended up just getting this at Home Depot. It was cheaper anyway and it looks just like I want it to.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More done in the living room...

I think the last major trace of pink is gone from the living room and I couldn't be happier! Yippee! The good news is that the living room is very close to being done and I'm loving how it looks. The bad news is that James and I both wasted a lot of time painting these shutters and then I didn't even end up using them.

The living room had these built in cabinets that ran along the wall with the fireplace. The top 3 shelves were closed up with shutters, and the bottom shelf had a wood door with a big ugly knob on it, which is unfortunately not visible in this picture.

So... I took off all the shutters and James spray painted them. I then took them and did a couple coats of regular paint, and in the end they looked presentable. I went to take off the bottom doors and realized that I'd never get them back on again. I asked James what he thought about leaving the bottom part open. He thought it was a good idea, and I started to think of things I could put down there so I didn't just have a big empty space near the floor.

As we started to attempt to put the shutter doors back on, and realized this wasn't going to be a fun task either, James suggested I just leave ALL the doors off, and have built in bookcases. Great idea! Sometimes it takes 2 brains to figure out the best way to do something. So, here's how it looks now, all painted and finshed and ready to go. I was going to buy a bookshelf anyway, so this saves me space and money!

I'm also just so glad that the sheetrock is all finished. I was so sick of looking at all this insulation, as seen below. I can't even believe that it's been 5 freakin' months since I had that done. Gawd I'm slow!!

On another note, my shower is almost done!! It's all tiled and waiting to be grouted. I can't wait to post some pics!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Who has purple floors?

This girl, that's who!

Here's my basement, or at least a corner of it.

As you can see, the floor was a sad lookin' piece of work! I knew it needed to be painted but I didn't want to go with a traditional gray cement paint. So I ended up painting it the plummy gray that I was considering (and have now rejected) for the outside of the house. My basement is so pretty now!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Poodles, giraffes, roosters and elephants

It was a sad day at my house last week when my friend James and I started working on making part of the basement another bedroom. Sad because it meant I had to lose this AWESOME wallpaper. Lucky for me it was put up on boards that were attached to the wood wall behind it, so we were able to save a piece of it. It's in the garage now, I might just have to mount it out there.

I just wish I knew the story behind this. Dancing elephants, alcoholic giraffes, a slutty poodle and a rooster with a top hat and cane, all interspersed with giant cocktails. Who thought this would be a good idea for wallpaper? Who gave it the OK for production? Were there drugs involved? And who buys this stuff? So many questions. Here is my wallpaper in happier times.

Kitchen light

When I got this house, the previous owner had put a drop ceiling in the kitchen. I couldn't figure out why someone would do this, but when I removed it I saw what was going on, though I'm not sure if it was to cover up the damage or the horrible avocado green paint job. Who knows what happened here.

So, I chipped away what I could and got out my trusty joint compound and fixed it up as well as I could. I did get a bigger light that would cover some of the damaged area since I couldn't get it perfect, but I think it looks pretty good!

Friday, September 19, 2008

New Stuff!

I totally had one of those OMG new homeowner moments a couple days ago when I brought home my brand new washer and dryer (and water heater). I just looked at them and smiled and thought "these are MY washer and dryer". I've never owned a washer and dryer before. Pretty fun! I am getting these three appliances and a new single laundry tub put in on Tuesday. Yay!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Front Entry

This isn't even totally done but I'm kind of in the middle of projects right now and don't have much to show. The entryway was, like everything else, coated in this horrible Pepto pink. Who does this? Anyway, I went with this kind of mushroomy brown color. I think it looks nice against the white trim. It looked like chocolate cake batter in the can, and it looked delicious.

You can see the roll of vinyl flooring that is going in there too. I'm just waiting until the hardwood floors are refinished to put it down.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Living Room ceiling lights

I went back and forth between at least 3 different lighting options for the living room. One was too small for the space. Another got lost in the ceiling. I love the look of the ones we put up, my only complaint is that they are halogen bulbs. First a picture of what was up there when I bought the house, and then the new lights. Ignore that wire hanging down on the right side, that will be cut off when I decide for sure how far down I want the lights to hang.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stinky and green

The hydro-seeding was done yesterday. It stinks and it looks weird., but I should have grass shortly. Woo hoo.

Here's the yard all filled back up with new, safe dirt:

And after it was hydro-seeded:

Apparently the hydro-seeding apparatus isn't very precise.
Now it just has to be watered daily. The EPA is going to water through the end of the month, rather than the 2 weeks they were suppose to, but after that they are not working for a week because of the RNC. I guess they need to be ready to go at a moment's notice should we have some kind of biological or environment issue. *sigh*

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Goodbye stumpy.

Yeah! The stump is gone. The stump is gone!!

I went on Craig's List and found a guy who could do the stump today. I was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect, but Ken, the guy I called, was awesome! He was really nice, he was quick and he did a good job. If you are in the Minneapolis area and need a stump grinder, shoot me an email and I'll give you his information!

Here's Ken grinding it out, followed by the absence of stump. :)

The saga of the stump.

Well, the EPA doesn't want to pay to have my stump ground down any further. As it sits right now if they don't do anything there will be jagged pieces of stump sticking up into the yard when this is done. So, I've had them stop their work for now and I'm going to have the stump ground on my own. I just know I will not be happy the way they were planning on leaving it and if I'm going to go through all this I want to make sure I'll be happy with my yard in the end! I am meeting with a guy in about a half an hour, hopefully he can get it out of there today or tomorrow and the EPA can finish up their work.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

EPA clean up - Day one

Everything went well, they have made a lot of progress. I did have an odd moment today when I was in the house and they had put the plastic over the dirt for the evening. Seeing the white ground outside the window made me feel like it was the middle of winter for a split second and actually made me a little disoriented. haha. Anyway, here are some pics of what's going on back there.
The only thing I am concerned about is the stump, you can see it near the chain link fence. I hope they are able to get it further down than it is right now!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

3 more days of weeds...

and then in 2 more I'll have a newly hydroseeded (back) yard!! I am so excited! I met with my contact person at the EPA yesterday and she told me what needs to happen and when it needs to happen.

My first step is to go through my back yard and write down everything that is there, plant-wise. How many, what types, etc... My uncle, who went to school for forestry, used to be a landscaper and actually knows what kind of plants they are, will be helping me out with that today.

Then tomorrow I get to take my list to Gerten's and figure out just how much it would cost if I wanted to replace everything that is currently there. Gerten's sounds great, I appreciate they aren't making me go to Flip's Discount Plant Shack and Taqueria to price things out.

Once I've done this (by Monday evening) I send it to my EPA lady, we hopefully agree on the amount, she cuts me a check, and then on Tuesday they show up, remove part of my fence, and start taking out the yard, and then replacing it with new soil. This is going to take a couple of days. Then if all goes well, by Thursday the landscaper will come by, hydroseed the soil, and then come back and water it daily for two weeks. And I should have a glorious, green, plain (back) yard!!

Then, hopefully next year, we get to do the whole thing over in the front.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

EPA meeting tomorrow!

I got an email from my contact person at the EPA, she is in town and they are ready to roll on the clean up project. We are meeting tomorrow at 1pm. I assume this is when she will let me know exactly what will happen and when, and hopefully she will take the inventory of all the plants in my backyard. I guess this is when I get to negotiate and make sure that they remove all that I want removed. I hope this goes well and that my yard will be dug up in no time! Keep your fingers crossed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More progress made, dining room completed!

Yay! Thanks to my awesome mom, the dining room has been wallpapered and is looking great. I couldn't be happier with the way it looks. Check it out. It's come a long way from this:

To this:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weeds galore!

Here are some pictures of my back yard that I mentioned in my last post. This yard is a mess. I'm more of a minimalist when it comes to landscaping, so I'm very excited to get rid of a lot of this stuff.

Here's a close up on the south corner of my yard. There is so much crap growing here I have no idea what is supposed to be there and what is not. There appear to be raspberries, but they aren't edible due to the arsenic in the soil. You can see some of the ferns in the bottom right that I've already managed to kill. I don't have a green thumb, that's for sure!

Here's the north side of the back yard. Those bushes back there are in some sort of depression, the yard goes down about 8 inches out there, where the grass is greener. You can also see the huge stump in the upper middle right. My neighbor said the EPA will negotiate and I should be able to get them to grind it down 12 inches when they removed the top foot of soil. The stump was on her side of the fence as well but they did grind down her side, so I hope they will do the same for me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

EPA Update

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the EPA arsenic clean up project has been delayed, I'm sure that is standard when dealing with a federal government agency. So what was supposed to start in June is now scheduled to start "by August 15th". Who knows when they will get to my property, but I do hope it's soon.

I have basically done nothing with the garden area in the backyard because I know it's going to be ripped out. Part of it is that I don't want to put in too much effort since it's being taken out, and part of it is that I don't want to rip out anything that is actually supposed to be there. I'll be getting a check to replace any plants that are there. Unfortunately I don't know the difference between a weed and a plant for the most part, so my garden just looks like a mess. It's half overgrown and about 1/4 dead, since I've managed to kill about half the ferns. Not that I even want the ferns anyway, but I want to get credit for them from the EPA!! I'll take some pictures today and add them to this post. It's pretty ridiculous.

Green walls finished

I've finally finished painting the 2 walls in the living room green. At first I was a little scared of the color, the first coat was very yellow and streaky, but after I finished a few coats it looked much better.

The next thing I'm working on is the entry way. I've already painted the ceiling, changed the light fixture, and painted the trim. I'll be painting the walls tomorrow but I'll have to wait on the new vinyl floor until after the hardwood in the adjoining room is refinished.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dining Room Built In

I'll start by saying that I've had some problems with tendinitis in my shoulder, wrist and hand on my right arm, and since I'm right handed and need my hands to work, I've been laying off the house stuff for now because I need to give this time to heal. It's a bummer and it's actually got me a little worried about my livelihood, so I guess it's better to have the house take a bit longer to keep being able to go to work and make a living. So I guess I'll take this time to try and get caught up on posting some of my progress since the last update.

I got the dining room built in painted and added new hardware.

To the right you can also see the little door that opens up to the little telephone cubby.

First I took off the door and the wood frame. Please excuse the mess, this was one of the only horizontal surfaces to place things for a while, so it became kind of a catchall. Since I have only one phone jack, you can see I already had an electrical outlet placed in this area so I can put in a cordless phone.

I stripped the door and frame, primed, painted, added a new knob and put it all back together:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Living Room ceiling done!

Many thanks to my cheap labor and good friend James for his 40-some hours of work sanding, caulking, priming and painting my living room ceiling. I have been criticized by some people for not keeping the wood stained, but it wasn't that nice in the first place and that's so not my taste anyway. It looks so much better now, it really opens up the room. It looked a ski lodge before, and that's fine for some people, but it's not what I am going for here at all. Now I just need to get the new lights up to see if they work in the space, and I can get started on the rest of this room.