Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I spent a good part of last week in planes and airports and got Photoshop installed on my new computer.  The results look like this:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I'm no interior designer.  I'll be the first to admit it.  But I'm a bit of a junkie for it and am always looking at images and saving them as inspiration for my own home.  After I chose the color for my living room and moved on to bigger, more important projects, I've felt trapped into the scrub-blue color that was SUPPOSED to be sort of a gray-blue.  I looked many times for blue living rooms to give me ideas for what to DO with this color, because I can't start over at the moment and re-paint.  I will eventually, but so many other projects have to come first.


Yesterday, this little room showed up on The Lettered Cottage!
They were interviewing Kim Myles for her episode of HGTV'd and do you see that?  She used a VERY similar color on that living room.  On purpose!
My faith in the potential of my living room is bolstered and I'm thinking of purple curtains.  Even the rug in the "before" room looks like what I have in here and she uses black furniture in the after :D

Now how do I make my couch yellow?

Monday, June 20, 2011


My phone has informed me that Plexiglas has only one "s" in it.  So this is a disclaimer that if you see it typed as such, it is not a typo!

I installed Plexiglas this weekend!!!!  The windows in my garage door have been busted out or missing since I bought the house, and there were only hanging bits of plastic where windows should have been.  Now that I've replaced the side door on the garage and straightened out the garage door, I finally got around to sealing the remaining openings so that fewer critters would make it into the garage.

Now, when you see the pictures you will probably wonder why I bothered going to the trouble of installing the plexiglas when I haven't painted the door yet.  There was a reason for this.  My garage has quite the insect problem.  Mosquitoes and wasps have been making a home of the building for a long time and make a meal out of me every time I work on it.  Fogging the garage while there were big gaping holes in the walls didn't seem very efficient.  So, I installed the windows and left the film on the inside and fogged the heck out of it last night.  When I go back in to air it out, I will remove the remaining plastic film from the insides of the windows.

Repair Pr0n!

Also, since I believe I didn't do an official "side door" entry, here's the before and after:



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Dreaming in Photoshop...

I don't get to work on the house every day, but sometimes I can't make it through the whole day without at least *imagining* I get to work on the house.  So that's what I did at work today.  I photoshop-renovated the garage.

If you need a reminder, the front of my house looks like this.

The Garage, currently looks like [the bottom half of] this.

And here's what I did today:

I've been taking inspiration from pictures of children's play houses, cottages and ornate sheds on Google Image Search.  But for the board & batten one, I'm both drawing inspiration from the Tiny Victorian Cottage, and Pink Toes and Power Tools, while the second one is drawing from my house and the appeal of having the finished garage match the rest of the property.  The turquoise accents are just my attempt at adding color without painting yet another door red.  

Please excuse my not taking a picture after cleaning up the tree slaughterhouse in my back yard.

For your enjoyment, some inspiration photos:





Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I spent the last few minutes attempting to identify the tree that was trying to eat my garage and had found a lot of useless sites claiming to have tools for plant identification.  The most usable tool was the Virginia Tech weed identification site, but it only had a database for grasses, or so I thought.

This, is my new favorite site (of the day): Key to Leaves of Virginia Trees

So, that plant that I thought might be a Virginia Creeper... or a Wild Sarsaparilla?  IT'S AN ASH TREE!!  TREE!!!


Ahem..  So I'm feeling appropriately vindicated that it took a few hours with my favorite new toy to successfully remove the thing:

Oh Skil Saw, how I love thee

Here are some better pictures by which I attempted to identify the plant, if I'm wrong please tell me

Slaying the dragon

This is the monster weed that was attacking my garage:
And this is after I cut off its head, so to speak:


Now I know what the corner of my garage looks like!  Holy crap!

This is the weed cut down the center
You can kind of see where the branch curved and ate at the 2x4
There's definitely evidence of past termite damage

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A girl can dream...

I haven't posted much about it, but my house has a garage that has been the bane of my existence since I bought it.. my mom called it a "blight," my friends said it was a shack pretending to be a garage, but the listing said it just needed some "TLC." Ha!  This is what I'm talking about:

The first neighbor who visited me after I moved in wanted to talk to me about the plants growing on the other side of the garage, and the basketball hoop that had been drawing kids to play on the vacant property.  I've taken care of neither of these, oops!  But I DID get a roof on it!

Cue "Hallelujah!" Chorus, please.

Now that I have the garage protected from incoming rain, I feel comfortable going forward with all the OTHER plans I have for it.  The problems are many:

Broken doors let neighborhood feral cats in, who pee, so there's a smell
Poorly sloped concrete leaves a pool of water in the back of the garage
Trash from former residents and loitering kids on the "table" 
Plants have grown into the walls on the inside and outside
Wood siding needs to be re-fastened, scraped and painted OR torn down and replaced with siding to match the house
Fuses need to be replaced if I want to wire for electricity (yes)
Basketball hoop needs to be removed
Window needs to be replaced
Door needs to be replaced
Garage door needs to be removed and replaced or straightened and new windows put in
Driveway might need to be paved/graveled

Good god, that's a lot, isn't it?

First things first: I'm going to annihilate the "weed" (tree) growing up the side.  Then, some self-leveling concrete on the floor and garage floor paint.  

And someday...


A girl can dream, right?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bye bye flat and yellow..

Mom came over this weekend and helped me paint the kitchen.  Besides fixing up the walls a little, I've been stripping paint from some of the woodwork.  You can see a little bit of that in the pictures, but I'll reserve that process for its own post when I'm done.

Here's the kitchen when I bought the house:

The walls don't actually curve, that's a combination of three photos taken from the same angle across the kitchen

See that wallpaper border up and on the right?  It's held up with GORILLA GLUE!!!

I tore that sucker down.

I don't think you need pictures of my primer, but you can check out the snazzy paint I (finally) picked out, it's Eddie Bauer/Valspar Travertine and I chose it after painting my friend's living room with the same color, and then I plan on using Benjamin Moore Icicle for the trim and cabinets.


Of course the Travertine isn't nearly that brown, this is a picture of it in my kitchen, with a sample of the Icicle:

By now it probably looks like I have no idea where I'm going with all this, but trust me, there is a method to my madness.  I'll share a few inspiration pictures before I head off to bed for the night:

(If you have the source for this one, please share!) 

Long time no blog!

Contrary to what my blog makes it look like, I HAVE been doing some work.  Mainly on the kitchen and a little bit tackling the jungle in my backyard.

The area in the corner of the kitchen where the old furnace was went from this:


to this:

First off, in the kitchen, I tore down a bunch of crumbling plaster over the old furnace chimney.

A lot of people thought I should finish exposing the brick and seal it.  I didn't like the look in my kitchen,  as opposed to say, a modern loft or townhouse in the city.  It just didn't work for what I want to do here.

So I bought some small pieces of drywall.  Home Depot sells them in manageable 3'x3' (I think?) squares so I didn't have to cut down a full-sized sheet of drywall.

I tried several methods of measuring the space that stuck out where I couldn't break up the concrete around the vent hole into the chimney.  I tried lipstick, I tried brown paper.. in the end I just kind of guessed at it and kept cutting it back 'til it fit.

Before I put up the drywall, I filled the space around the old pipe with spray foam insulation and primed EVERYTHING with an oil-based primer.

after that I smoothed everything as much as I could with patching compound and decided that eventually, I'm just going to frame the whole thing in with drywall.