Well that escalated quickly

Before I start cooking a meal, I like to have the kitchen cleaned – at a minimum to have the counters around the stove cleared off and dishes either washed or soaking.  It’s nice to have the space to make a mess when needed, but also makes it easier to wash dishes as you go if you are only washing things you just used.  I’ll admit, clean-kitchen-Emily is the utopian version of myself, but it does happen occasionally and is a nice thing to strive for.  That same Emily decided that before building furniture for the patio and starting on it’s redesign, it would also be nice to clean the garage first.

Before Brien starts cooking a meal, he likes to start two more projects – the knives must be sharpened, let’s feed the bread starter, ooh the herbs need to be dried, but no need to wash the bowls – this is why we have 100 mixing bowls! (I may exaggerate).  Following that methodology in our attempt to clean the garage, we started two more projects.  Admittedly, they are things that will help with long term garage storage, especially for scrap wood, but we aren’t good at one thing at a time.  So after we had purchased plywood for a rolling cart, and while the under-bench crate storage was waiting to be glued together, we started on my number one priority project- removing the existing, not very functional cabinets above the washer and dryer to put in rubbermaid shelving.

While I know it doesn’t seem like it should be an important project (we already had storage up there), it just wasn’t working for us.  A: we didn’t like the looks of it.  Petty, I know, but it had these flimsy yellow doors were that never my thing.  B: we never knew what we had in there, because in a quick sweep of the garage we wouldn’t see the container of weed-b-gone and would buy another on our next home improvement run.  C: the shelves weren’t tall enough to fit things easily and the paint, household cleaners, bug spray, and gardening supplies just got scattered about the garage.  Open shelving would fix problem B, getting adjustable shelves (as opposed to building them ourselves) would fix problem C even as we changed what was stored there, and they don’t sell rubbermaid shelves in yellow.

First things first though, we had to take down the existing cabinet.  This is where things escalated…

The whole unit was built in place and nailed to itself and the studs behind it.  So instead of just unscrewing some supports and lifting it down, we had to take a mallet to it and get things down piece by piece.  During that process, we discovered that the cabinet was covering some holes in the drywall.  We also got a lesson in Newtonian physics: when you hit one part of a cabinet with a mallet, it exerts a force on the wall it is supported by (equal and opposite,don’t ya know).  When there aren’t any studs in that section of wall, you end up cracking your drywall…

And then we opened up the junction box behind the cabinet (since the cover was coming down with the drywall) and found a complete rats nest of wires.  They were capped, true, but it just did not look like it was up to code.

So this is where we quit with the project.  The demolition debris at least got taken to the city drop-off center, but those wires are both beyond our ability and make us a little nervous.  The electrician is coming for an estimate this week, and as a silver lining for Brien, while he is here we may put in more dedicated circuits in the garage to power the equipment we have.  As a silver lining for me, at least we hadn’t started on the patio yet 😛


Lots of Work, Little Progress

As a little background story, when we fell in love with our house, we knew we were buying a house with settling cracks. You could see them, but we didn’t think they would be that hard to patch. What we didn’t know was that we were buying a house with some real foundation problems that needed more than the band-aid the house flippers had given it…

Two re-shims, four new piers, and probably 200 ft. of soaker hose later, we have a house that is mostly level with doors that can consistently be opened and closed, although they still stick a bit. We also have tons of cracks in the walls from the process, and our motivation to fix them had nearly petered out until I took up the style cure, the blog, and a “no time like the present, even in little pieces” attitude.

So far, the style cure has been moving along well, and I even felt a little bit ahead of the game. However, this weekend was one of those weekends, where I put a lot of hard work into the closet but have very little to show for it, and it kind of got me down on the whole thing. I didn’t get ahead painting like my sister, didn’t make it to the container store, and didn’t fix any of the many settling cracks in the closet. But a lot of hard work went into the prep work, so I’m going to focus on what did get accomplished.

1 – I have two sections of cracks ready to get plaster applied to them! The short stretch on a flat wall and small corner section under the closet shelf will make great trial areas for the floor to ceiling cracks I have coming up.

2 – It could have been worse! The prep work consisted of scraping every last bit of paper tape off the wall, and sanding off the previous joint compound until it was all smooth. While half of the crack was like getting all the paper wrapper off warm caramel candies (you know, where you end up eating paper because you can’t taste it anyways and it’s just not worth it), at least the other side had totally delaminated from the wall and came off in a couple of tugs!

3 – My wrists don’t hurt today, even after all that hard work scraping and sanding! This is a big deal for me – Mum can tell you roughly why here.

4 – There hasn’t been any clothing or jewelry left scattered about the room this past week! Yup, my confession and cleaning out my closet shelves have really helped motivate me to keep the clutter down.

5 – Trying to document things for the blog has meant having my camera out and about the house, which leads to cute pictures of my dog! And on that note, I will leave you with this.


Style Cure: Planning and Cleaning

Most of this past week in the Style Cure has been pretty boring, involving cleaning, planning, and more cleaning.  It really does no good to have a stylish room if it isn’t clean, so I spent a better portion of the weekend dusting, sorting, and vacuuming.  Part of cleaning is also getting rid of stuff, so I said goodbye to quite a bit of old costume jewelry from the high school dance era.  It was (weirdly) fun going through all of those things, although the highlight of it was finding an earring which had been lost for the past 2.5 years.  Makes me glad I hoarded the other one!

I also made this lovely floorplan to show roughly the layout of our room, and our color choices! The bedroom is already painted Frosty by Valspar, and for the closet we decided to go one shade darker/more saturated and paint it Valspar’s Sea Wave.  So although it seems subtle in the pic below, since the closet gets no natural light I’m hoping it will come across as maybe a little darker.


Side Note: Ellen helped us in picking out paint colors and painting when we first moved in, and she was constantly telling me I picked the wrong color for the bedroom. Worst paint-color-picker-helper ever.


As far as planning goes, a trip to the container store is definitely in our future.  I’d like to tackle my closet shelves once and for all, which means better box systems to put everything in.  I love the look of these pretty grey boxes, but the linen drop-front boxes may be more practical and are definitely more Brien’s style.  I’d also like to create a jewelry holder like some of the ones I have obsessively pinned on pinterest – I’m leaning between a combo of this one for dangly earrings, this guy for necklaces, and maybe a small bowl to catch my stud earrings.  I don’t need a lot of storage because I am happy with my jewelry box for the rarely worn pieces, but I want a better way to not tangle the 5-10 pieces I wear most often.

So with the closet cleaned out, I’ll be spending the rest of my week prepping the walls for painting, including fixing some cracks in there.  I’m also gonna spend more time deep-cleaning the bedroom itself by trying to get a stain out of a rug and repairing our duvet/cover.  Yes, both problems can be attributed to a certain guilty party…


(This is the only time I have been able to catch the guilty dog look on camera)

But with that cute face, I think I may have to forgive him.