Archive for the ‘projects’ Category

Powder Room Remodel: Day 2-3

More pictures of the powder room remodel!

Yesterday was kind of an uneventful day.  Another coat of mud and sanding on the walls.  Another coat of stain on the vanity.

Today is also an uneventful day.  More sanding of the walls.  Last coat of stain on the vanity.  BUT…the wall have been mostly primed and are ready for paint.  The biggest event is that I broke a light bulb off inside the light fixture.  I did a good job of it too — some of the actual I-make-light part was in tact.  No big deal — needle nose pliers got them out!

It’s currently 9:07 p.m. and I’m waiting for my sister to come over to get the painting started!  That’s how we do it — put our kids to bed, then stay up and remodel.  That’s mostly why I’m glad my husband is out of town for work these last couple of days (he gets home tomorrow).  Not only does he miss out on the mess, but it really throws off our bedtime.

By the time Jeff gets home tomorrow, the staining of the vanity will be done and so will the painting.  Not yet done will be: the polyurethene coat and I’ll still have 1 more coat of stain to do on the door/drawer fronts.  But it will be ready for him to help me install the sink and the new faucet.  I’m sure he’ll be excited!

Here are some pictures of these uneventful days:


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Powder Room Remodel!

We’re re-doing our powder room.  It’s a room that has bothered me since we moved in.  It had icky wallpaper, icky sink top, brown tile.  Just icky.  And then I took off all the wallpaper and did a horrible job patching the walls.  So when I repainted, there were still blotches everywhere — just now they weren’t wallpaper blotches; they were painted blotches.  Slightly more subtle, but still annoyed me to no end.

So I’m re-doing it!  Here’s the Way Before.  The Before-We-Moved-In-And-Ever-Started-Touching-It:



And here’s the Jayme-Removed-the-Wallpaper-While-On-Maternity-Leave-In-Her-Spare-Time-And-Did-Not-Patch-The-Walls-Well:


  • New paint color (even if badly applied)
  • New light fixture
  • Toilet has a different color lid than bowl.  We’ll fix this eventually.



And here’s the After-Day-1-Removing-The-Sink-And-Vanity-Top-Staining-The-Vanity-And-First-Coat-Of-Mud-To-Fix-The-Walls:



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There are soooo many cute gifts for teachers on pinterest!  Well, my kids don’t have any teachers, but I like the ideas.  And I like encouraging my co-workers.  So I put my couponing skills to work.  Added in my not-very-good-but-good-enough design skills and came up with gifts for my co-workers.

They were just a bottle of either orange Gatorade, Diet Sunkist or regular Sunkist with a note attached.  It said something clever like

“Orange You Glad:

->Work for such a cool team?

->Work on such a cool product?

->Work with such cool people?

Orange you glad for all that?

We sure are glad you’re here!

Yeah, it was dumb.  It was cheesy.  Yes, they’re mostly grown men.  Yes, it cost me less than $.50 bottle.  But I think they liked it!orange

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(You can see other Everyday Life posts here.  If you wanna.)

Day #31: Organization in the Garage

Jeff’s parents came to town earlier this week and helped us install shelves in the garage!  LOVELY, LOVELY, LOVELY!  It gets stuff off the ground.  It allows me to put stuff in totes.  It helps me to walk around the cars without tripping. It keeps things like bug sprays, ant killers, weed killers and gasoline out of little ones’ hands.  LOVE IT!

The cool black tool chest is also from them – it was Jeff’s Christmas present!  Our garage is very grateful to them!


Here’s Phinehas learning how to work the cordless drill:

LearningToDrillAnd playing with Grandpa’s Hat:


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“Cheater” Quilts!

I made 3 quilts recently — well, a few months ago, but just now getting around to taking pictures of them.  I made one for each of my sister’s 3 kids.  I really like the way they turned out!

They start with a down comforter, so the only thing you’re really sewing is squares onto the comforter.  It would seem that it wouldn’t take that long to do, but it still took 3-5 hours per quilt by the time you cut the fabric, arranged the fabric, ironed the squares on, then sewed the squares on.  (Which I guess isn’t long for making a quilt…)  The hardest part is that I did Twin size and it was a little difficult to fit 1/2 of the comforter under the arm of my sewing machine.  But it might be because I have a smaller sewing machine?

I used Little Bit Funky’s tutorial here.

Anyway, I’m pleased with how they turned out – they’ll be great blankets for movie watching and I think they’ll really last quite a while since the “basis” for the blanket is a down comforter.  I intentionally picked fabrics that are fun while the kids are young, but hopefully, will also “grow” with them!

Here’s the purple one:

Phinehas showing you how you can run all over it!

Phinehas showing you how you can run all over it!

Here’s the pink and red ones:


Quilts are folded into thirds in this picture.

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We now own 2 houses.  For a couple of weeks until we close on our existing home.

Last week, we took ownership of our new house and then a few days later, we took possession of it.  Let the fun begin!

Because it is dramatically easier to paint (the inside) of the house and to replace carpet when the house has no furniture in it, we’ve decided to do those two things before we move in.  Seems simple, right?  Especially when you consider that we’ve ordered carpet from Home Depot (so that they’ll install it) and that we’re hiring my uncle, who is a professional painter to do the painting.  Seems really simple.

But it’s turning out to be ALOT of work.  And we haven’t even moved yet (that happens this week).  The complexity comes in when you start talking wallpaper removal.  What fun that isn’t!  There was wallpaper in each of the 3 bathrooms, a border of wallpaper in the master bedroom, and the entire kitchen was wallpapered.  Now, I don’t like wallpaper.  Mostly because I don’t like removing wallpaper.  It’s never a blast.  But this time?  Oh wow.

In the kitchen (and I’m suspecting the 1/2 bath on the main level), the wallpaper was applied directly to the drywall.  The drywall was never primed.  Never painted.  Never prepped for wallpaper.  They just stuck the wallpaper right onto the wall.  And now, 27 years later, when we want to remove it, it isn’t easy.  In fact, it’s taken over 80 man-hours of work (I have wonderful family and friends!) and in the process, the walls got severely damaged because the wallpaper was so glued to the drywall.

We had no choice but to get the wallpaper down by any means necessary (read: lots of water and soaking and elbow grease).  After that, we sanded down the walls to as-smooth-as-possible surface and then had to prime the walls with an oil-based primer (apparently, if you use a latex primer, any glue or residue left from the wallpaper will eventually soak through and you’ll again have sticky walls).  Next a drywaller has to come in and patch the walls to get a smooth and flat surface.  Then we can start the real painting process.

It really wrecks timelines.  What I thought would take 1 evening to do with 8-9 people working on it, has now taken 3-4 days and the drywaller hasn’t even started his work yet.  His work will take 2-3 days to complete (a couple of coats of mud over a few days).  And we haven’t painted yet.  And that isn’t even taking into account what else we’ve had to put aside in order to dedicate so much time to this.

We will be moving in Wednesday, no matter what the house looks like.  With me being 38 weeks pregnant and Phinehas having been born at 38.5 weeks, I really am itching to get in there.  If there are unpainted walls, well, so be it.  Better that than having to direct movers around while I’m in the hospital or while I have a 3-day old.

So please don’t install wallpaper in your house.  Future homeowners don’t need that headache.  And if you must install wallpaper, please prep your walls well.  (“They” say it’s possible to install wallpaper well, but I don’t know that I believe them anymore…)

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I’m sure this is a normal feeling, but I’m feeling lots of self-induced pressure to know everything about the next house.  Specifically how it will be decorated.  On one hand, it makes sense.  If you’re going to hire someone to come out and just paint everything, it’s certainly logical to have picked the ‘final’ colors for each room.  Otherwise, you’ll just have to paint again.  Waste of time and money.

If you’re wanting to get new carpet, you might as well get it all at once so that you can get a better deal AND so that you can get new carpet installed when there isn’t any furniture to have to navigate around.  Seems wise, right?

Except, I don’t know if I want carpet in the ‘toy room’ (really supposed to be a formal living room, but we’ll make it a toy room).  Carpet isn’t exactly child friendly and I adore the look and ease of the wood floors that we have now.  So if I’m going to get wood floors in that room, maybe I’ll get wood floors in the kitchen.  After all, the rooms are right next to each other.

But what if I’m going to want tile in the kitchen instead?  Tile is a nice look (so pinterest tells me).  Is it more expensive than wood floors?  And I haven’t made any decisions on what I’m going to do with the kitchen cabinets.  I don’t like the style of them, so I’ve thought about getting new doors for them.  But will I do painted doors or wood doors?  If I do paint them (off white?  gray?), will that affect what I want for flooring?

And what if I don’t really want carpet in the family room?  If the kitchen is going to be wood floors and the toy room is going to be wood floors, maybe I should just keep everything “downstairs” wood floors?  That would like nice.

Money isn’t unlimited either.  Since we aren’t living there yet, I can’t get semi-decent measurements.  And I can’t let in professionals to give me design ideas or price quotes.  We can handle spending $20,000 in house upgrades, but not all at once.  Spread over 2-3 years, that’s doable.

But I’m not prepared to make these kinds of flooring decisions yet.  I’d still like to identify what I think the final room colors will be so that I can have someone else doing my painting.  The idea of me painting being 9 months pregnant (which I’ll be when we move in) doesn’t appeal to me.  The idea of me painting with a newborn and an 18-month-old doesn’t appeal to me.  The idea of shoving furniture into the middle of each room-by-room doesn’t appeal to me.  And I feel reasonably confident that I can pick colors that I’ll be happy with.  I can always add decorative touches later – stripes around a wall, some board and batten maybe.

So finally I relinquished the idea that I had to know right now what the house was going to look like in 2 years.   So I’m officially post-poning making any decisions on flooring for a while.  Let me live there, meet the house’s personality, THEN I’ll decide.

It’s another case of where my head gets ahead of me.

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