Friday, May 22, 2015

Putting the entry back together

After we made all that mess, we fit a few extra studs into the openings and hung some random sheet rock pieces.  It was a little like a puzzle.  The big challenge was... guess what!? The concrete walls don't have equal thickness everywhere.  We have a new rule - don't ever lay a straight-edge along these walls.  They look flat and that's what matters.  
 Brian grabbed an hour here and there to mud this space up and smooth it nearly perfect.
 It feels so much more open!  
Our froggy-boot, shirtless friend got in on the painting fun.  You gotta have a uniform for these activities.
Our flooring expert friend is going to make a topper for the slant that matches the stairs.  He also has to fill in a few pieces that weren't there with the closet wall - easy stuff for an expert like him.
I'm planning on creating a welcoming area - much more so than a closet door.  A little bench and a row of coat hooks are definitely in the plan.  Maybe a mirror, maybe a shelf.  All we kept in the closet was a handful of outdoor toys that Noah rarely played with.  He can find another home for them.  I'll look for a bench that will contain something so we could tuck a couple things in it that might have been in the closet.  If we do a shelf in there, maybe a cute basket to hold some balls too. Since we couldn't ever open the front door and the closet door with any more than one person in the tight space anyway, guests coats rarely made it into the closet anyway.  Hooks will serve much more useful without a side of claustrophobia. :)

Any bets how many months this will take us?  

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Making more mess

Taking things apart goes much faster than putting things back together.  The next day, Brian and Noah took a few more pieces apart.  They traded in the hammers for a saws-all, made fast work of the remaining wall parts.  
We made a huge pile of garbage!  It was challenging to work in those close quarters.  I didn't feel like I could get much for pictures of the process.
We have some fun ceiling lines to work with here, and in the end, it will be smooth and continuous to wrap from the stairs to the entry.
That was one fun weekend making a big mess and opening up that space.  I want to do it again!  Have to wait until this one is put back together before breaking into the next.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Entry-way action

They asked me at work not too long ago what I do to deal with stress...
Meet my very tight entry way (minus a door and shelf because I wasn't quick enough to grab the camera).  
 One day this spring I was feeling a little stressed, dealing with a work situation.  I needed a good hard labor project to burn off some of that stress.  From the first time we walked into this house, the front entry felt a bit claustrophobic. It's hallway sized with the front door swinging across the entire width.  The closet door could not be opened when the front door was.  It's hard to imagine any number of people coming in there, which is how we met the house the first time because it was an open house.
 My helper and I sent Brian for a bike ride, threw down a little protective paper and started tearing the place apart. :)
 This is not as easy as it might seem because our walls are made of concrete - can you see the layers here?
 Noah and I did some serious wall banging, got really dusty, and blew off some stress!
We took pounds and pounds of wall material out of there and added lots of light to the stairwell.

Anybody else think a sledgehammer workout is a good stress buster?

Sorry about missing last weekend's post.  Just when I start getting nice and regular on here, I go and take off for a party weekend at a waterpark with friends.  That's another good stress-buster!  See you next weekend!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Paint prep

Now that the bathroom is done, we're working on getting everything painted upstairs. While we're itching to bust into the kitchen, we have to finish things in order. So we talk and plan about the kitchen and shop appliances and dream and put cardboard mock ups together, while we drag our feet about finishing the upstairs.

Previously, the stairs had been carpeted. I know because there are little red tufts stuck to the painted skirting boards. They have bothered me for as long as we've lived here.
I finally took a paint scraper to them and they disappeared faster than a magic eraser. It felt so good to say goodbye to those little carpet reminders!
We even got the stairwell walls painted, so we're working slightly out of order here, but we can't get any further out of order, the masking would be too much of a burden in the bedrooms if we do walls before trim, so it's time to get the trim prepped and sprayed!
We're motivated now to keep moving on the upstairs because we got a slot on Super Jim's calendar (that would be our wood floor guy).  Brian was working the doors while I prepped the built in dresser.
Paint prep isn't very exciting, but progress is! We'll be able to see something more exciting than a lack of red fuzz within a week or so.

I spent some time working the kitchen planner - I wasn't able to export an image, but the tool allowed me to learn that we don't have sufficient space for double wall ovens. I was a little sad about that until Brian found me a range with an included steam tray. Now I feel like making up some bread dough!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring on the Shore

We had our final visit to the condo, and enjoyed some fun time on the shore while we were there.
The weather was typical spring - different every day.  We had snow, cold, cloudy, sunny, warm, windy weather that week. We were determined to not spend too much time indoors there (because we would get bored without projects going on).  We hiked the Oberg peak loop. The trail was covered in ice; crampons would have been helpful.  There were usually places to get by the ice, or rocks and roots sticking through to keep some traction.
There was frost in all the trees making for some beautiful vistas.
When we crossed the windy side through the trees, the frost was actually falling out of the trees.  It was a new weather phenomena for us - kind of a cross between a blizzard and a hail storm.  The larger bits of frost had some mass to them.  We tried to hurry through that area, but of course, the snow packed trail made that challenging.
Have you ever been in a frost storm?

One day it was 50+ degrees, so we spent most of the day outside.  We got our biking gear together and packed a picnic and played around near Beaver Bay.  The intention was to bike much farther, but with the warm temps, came a strong wind...  We turned back after only 5-ish miles, took the requisite giant chair picture, and went exploring.
We took some time at a beach and river confluence for a bit.  There were rock treasures to hunt for and Noah didn't want to leave the beach.
Then we went up into the woods to try to hide from the wind some.  We hiked up to high falls on the Baptism river.
 Took the happy family photo on an overlook.
 Got in to see the falls up close.
 One thing about hiking to waterfalls along the north shore is that the hiking trails around them usually have large staircases going from top to bottom.  We counted stairs - one of the sides of the falls we went to was 180 stairs (we went up and down).  I don't take the stairs at work to the 7th floor, but in my vacation time, I willingly do the ultimate stair workout!
In spite of the wind, it was a beautiful spring day!  Best day of the week.

How many stairs do you climb for fun?