Tuesday, March 26, 2013

weekend update: bathroom and kitchen projects started!

This past weekend was fun:

don't worry, we have another toilet... it's in the living room

it's normal for houses to ooze blood, right?

this makes getting utensils SO much easier!

Things are super exciting around here! So much so, that I forget (ignore) the 4 rooms piled up in complete disarray...

*Yes, all are iPhone pics

Friday, March 22, 2013

kitchen overhaul: more cook-friendly

WARNING: HUGE post ahead. And it's way overdue... cuz I found this draft sitting sad & alone & waiting to be published. So sorry to have forgotten about you, little post!


Some things to note: 
  1. stick tiles
  2. that dishwasher is broken/wouldn't close
  3. there's an oven & stove AND a separate cook-top
  4. that cook-top is not hooked up
  5. nasty, broken vent from the 60s over the oven
  6. off-centered lights
  7. no fridge! (it was in the dining room/eat-in area by the sliding glass door)


Since the fridge was broken, I had to buy a new one of those (OMG, I love my fridge!) almost immediately.  Also, removed a section of the counter & lower cabinets so the fridge could move to inside the kitchen.  You can also see where I removed the stick-tiles to place in the new fridge...

And here it is with all stick tiles removed!  This is actually a white, ceramic tile... you'll have to take my word on that, as this is looking kinda tan in the picture?  Odd. (i.e. crappy camera/editing software)


In moving the fridge, however, I covered over this light.  And yes, isn't that a lovely amount of dirt?

As you can see, this meant to turn on the kitchen and dining room lights, you had to squeeze your hand between the fridge and the wall.  How awesome is that??

So, we reversed the electrical box so that it is now accessible from the other side of that wall (which is in the stairwell.)

ignore that other hole...

Onto the cooktop-for-show:

I am all about a gas stove, and this one was pretty & gas & retailed for $500-$800. Buuuuuuttttttt, we couldn't justify running a gas line, where no gas had been before, solely to have a gas stove. Besides, we cook a lot, but we don't cook 8-burners-worth (yet.) So we decided to Craigslist the stove-top & replace the hole with leftover counter-top.*

*The leftover counter-top was from the section I removed to fit the fridge into the kitchen, as previously mentioned. It had been living with it's cabinet-partner in the utility room as a pseudo-work bench/storage.

counter-top out! maybe we should have left it like this for easier access to the lids??

previous owners were GROSS

marking line to cut

We used a ruler and a clamp (and the tape) to mark the line and then create a straight edge to cut against. You could free-hand it, if you are a ballsier man than I.

erm, this would be the cutting

Like this! Only, with the drawers put back in... 

Fits well. Gives us TONS more usable counter space. And stops all guests from asking what one actually does with two stoves. The seams were all caulked (with clear caulk) to make the lips less noticeable and less crumb-catcher-y.

CONFESSION: This was done maybe a year ago?? More? I dunno. But this is just a patch. A band-aid. For while we can put up with counters like this, there is NO WAY a buyer will stand for this monstrosity! Therefore, these counter-tops will soon meet their doom...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

prepping the exterior

Our plans for 2012 went something like this:

  1. Get Married (gawd, that was soooooooooo 4 months ago!)
  2. Fix Up Main Living Space: new wall color, actually hem the curtains properly, paint the ceiling, install moulding so there's no gap for Jaq & Gus-Gus to get in
  3. Paint Exterior - All of it.
  4. Paint & Spiffy Master
  5. Start Kitchen Re-do?

... yeah, no biggie.

So, seeing as item #1 is done and item #2 is somewhere kinda-sorta done (I'm still edging the ceiling... ugh,) we've moved on!

On the right side of the house, there's a flower bed and a walkway to the backyard. On the left side? Oh, that would be the wilderness!

though, the azaleas are lovely in bloom

Sure, ivy-covered walls are romantic or for smart/wealthy-kid schools...

maybe in a little while I could scale the house via ivy?


yes. bars. that's where we keep our pet tiger.

Ugh. Just, ugh. Do you SEE that piece that's inside the screen???? You invasive jerk of a plant!

So, obviously, the ivy needed to come off if we were to paint the house. With just a little pulling, most of it came down, and 3 or 4 bags later we had this:


While back there, we also trimmed the bushes. The one good thing about this area is that between the large bushes, shade from a nearby pine, and the ivy, not much else in terms of weeds (or poison!) grows back here. Which is nice.

The bars, not so much.

seriously, I look like a freakin' warden

We will give this area a good power-washing before painting to clean & remove the ivy debris. The last remaining pieces of ivy will just hang out upstairs until we get a large ladder/scaffolding to tackle it.

After this was cleared, we moved onto demo....

Because, honestly, who wouldn't jump at the chance to swing a sledgehammer at innocent brick?

Back-story: the houses of this model in the neighborhood all have this little planter to the right of the door. No other styles have that. Just this raised-rancher. It's handy for setting items on as you open the door, but not handy as it is tough to get things to grow in there. Let me rephrase. It is tough if you want something pretty, but low-maintenance and year-round to grow in there. Sure, I could have planted annuals ever 5 days to keep things in bloom, but it's a narrow pain in the butt area to work with. Oh, and it was falling apart. There was that. So, we just helped it on it's way to eventual demise.

Fun surprise? There was a line of cinder blocks inside the brick for added support and headache. And, unfortunately, no pics of the after. Someone MAY have had the camera outside when a passing shower started and they MAY have freaked out and wrapped their baby in a towel to be left alone in the hopes that it was ok all along (totally was.) And now, well, now there's primer over it... so... this is more just a leave-you-hanging kinda post, isn't it? You're welcome.

After a long day of exterior work, this is the proper reward:

grilled branzino with a lemon-herb butter

Saturday, August 11, 2012

busy bees

We have been busy:

yup, married woman now (and a total DIY wedding!)

sneak peek at living room

And there has been lots and lots of spray-painting!! (duh)

Finally, how 'bout a little name change? No, I'm not asking your take on maiden v. married names- I'm talking about the blog! I'm planning on changing it's name to "Jigsaws and Ginger"!!

Please don't tell me you hate it. My heart can't take it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

never-ending to-do list

This list is permanently located under my "pages" (on the right side toolbar), but it bears bringing up because...

... WE ARE BACK IN THE GAME, BABY!!!!!  Wedded bliss is done with, and now we can get back to what really matters: spray-painting.  So check out the status of things, though I'm sure I'm forgetting things.

Oh, and if you're good, I'll share the wedding DIY madness that we took on.  

To-Do List


Rec/Aquarium Room
  • install flooring
  • remove paneling & drywall
  • stain the glass table
  • replace broken window
  • install molding on unfinished window
  • paint window moldings
  • caulk & touch-up floor molding
  • paint front door
  • hang new curtains
  • reupholster 4 chairs (paint?!?!)
  • replace front door molding
  • remove entryway light fixture
  • find & install vent covers
  • finish flooring patches

Man Cave/TV Room
  • remove kitchenette
  • install flooring
  • drywall
  • floor molding
  • make door for under-the-stairs storage nook
  • find & install vent covers
  • replace broken futon
  • make built-in for TV and games

Grey Guest Bedroom
  • install flooring
  • floor molding
  • replace ceiling light
  • add ceiling medallion & do touch-up paint
  • window treatments
  • sell dressers & move upstairs ones into room
  • paint large mirror & hang
  • paint bookcase thatch

Green Guest Bedroom
  • install flooring
  • paint bed frame
  • replace ceiling light
  • sand down packing crate
  • paint trim & doors
  • new window treatment
  • new bed linens (kinda done... for now)
  • paint bookcase thatch
  • finish table lamp (painting & fun shade)

Downstairs Bath
  • paint ceiling 
  • paint walls (one more coat needed)
  • re-caulk 
  • replace shower-head
  • re-glaze tile
  • new sink
  • new medicine cabinet/mirror

Upstairs Bath
  • fix plumbing
  • tile 
  • molding
  • install vanity
  • install light fixture
  • install new medicine cabinet
  • floor molding
  • install transition
  • replace door hook
  • paint floor molding

Living Room
  • floor molding
  • turn closet into a bar
  • create side-shelves for entertainment center?
  • mount TV on wall
  • re-paint walls lighter?

Dining Room
  • remove stick tiles
  • secure bookcase to wall (L-brackets?)
  • floor molding
  • replace broken candle-holder
  • touch-up paint on chandelier

  • caulk around counter-wall edge
  • remove stove-top and replace with extra countertop
  • caulk countertop seams
  • tile floor
  • replace wall tile
  • replace counter-top
  • hang pegboard on wall for pots & pans
  • replace lights w/ track lighting
  • move fridge into kitchen 
  • paint walls & ceiling

Master Bedroom
  • move TV outlet to behind the TV
  • paint doors white
  • replace ceiling light
  • new curtain/panels for closet
  • bust out wall to convert to a full-wall closet & install closet organizing system
  • gold & white chevron to back of closet
  • floor molding

  • reupholster armchair & ottoman
  • paint filing cabinet
  • curtains for 2nd window
  • hang mirror
  • floor molding
  • curtains to replace sliding closet doors?

  • replace all windows
  • clear out attic
  • upgrade all outlets to GFCI
  • remove door/door-frame between hallway & living room to make one seamless hallway
  • replace utility room door with louver door

  • move day lillies
  • correct/re-do patio & walkway (temporary fix now)
  • install floating deck? paint/refresh concrete?
  • paint concrete half-wall and stairs
    • replace stairs with composite stairs?
  • move hosta
  • create bench in front
  • remove outlining bushes in front (2/3 done)
  • transplant bushes by front walkway to backyard?
  • clear/weed hill
  • plant more pachysandra on hill
  • patch hole in shed
  • clear valley
    • plant leyland cyprus wall at fence line?
  • remove red fence
  • plant anemones
  • paint exterior house
  • re-seed lawn
  • remove crape myrtle?  EEK!
  • transplant hydrangea to side of house
  • veggie garden enclosure? (temporary fix, permanent to come in fall?)
  • new gate for side of house
  • re-lay paths in front of house
  • plant garden by bench
  • treat moss & reseed front yard
  • build up front yard (to make level) with stones or landscaping timbers?
  • remove barb wire on fence
  • transplant side bushes to along back fence-line
  • plant forsythia along side, by shed
  • create compost bin by rotting trunk
  • plant over-hanging ground cover along side of house 1/2 wall

Friday, January 20, 2012

adding more closet storage

Here's a quick and minor update that has me dancing in my pants:

All the closets in the house are your standard bar and one shelf.  It works, but either leaves a bunch of un-used space at the top OR a circus-car-packed-with-clowns effect when cram in as much as you can...

So, we built a second shelf.  More organized & more storage!  This is really quite simple: curt & screw to wall the 1x3 frame, and then cut shelf to size & voila!  Add some paint, if you like things pretty... but ONLY if you like. 

1x3 frame installed & painted

was also painting the shelf... both dry & both go up!

immediately jam with junk... TA DA!

Word to the wise: remove closet doors before embarking on this journey. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

building built-ins: in progress

Let me tell you about the state of things....


THIS is the state of things.  With a little of this...

 ...and a little of that....

Because, ya know, the perfect time to make a built-in is when you are 110 days out from your wedding....

Anyone surprised?