Monday, May 30, 2011

Nursery Room - Monogram

This is the last nursery project I plan on doing before Kalia gets here.  I actually didn't really plan on having to get it done before she arrived, but since she's showing up fashionably late, the last and final project is complete.  Sort of.  I'm still working on sewing her quilt, but right now my sewing machine and I aren't on speaking terms, so that one most definitely will wait until after she gets here.  Hopefully before her first birthday!  (Kidding...sort of).

For above Kalia's crib, I wanted some of our maternity pictures displayed.  I initially planned on just doing some sort of canvas or frames, but after doing the gallery wall above the dresser, I decided I needed something a little bit different for above the crib.  I walked in and out of there about 1000 times, and finally came up with something that I thought I'd like...decoupaging our maternity pictures to a big huge K.

We have at of scrap wood left over from various build projects, so this project was pretty close to free.  Actually, it cost $5 for the spray paint and pictures.

First up, I drew out my K on a leftover sheet of 3/4'' plywood.  I couldn't decide if I wanted 5 x 7's or 4 x 6's, but after laying out both sizes, the 5 x 7  K was just too big.  I do kind of wish I would've made this so the arms of the K were the same size as the body, but I still like the final outcome.

Chris came into the garage at some point during this, and agreed to make my cuts for me with the jig saw.  I don't fit behind tools anymore, so I either have to bend over waaaay low to get things below my belly, or just pass the task of to Chris.

After Chris made the cuts while I held the board in place, we were left with a huge giant K.

I spray painted that black (while wearing my awesome mask), and then got up in the middle of the night to decoupage our maternity pictures to it.  Sleep is getting harder and harder these days, so I moreso just nap a lot.  My weekends consist of : nap, project, errands, eat, repeat.  Anywho, I don't have pictures of the giant K just spray painted, but just imagine the image above black.

After the decoupage, here's what my K looked like :

I decided the ends needed a little bit ... more ... to it, so I cut out circles of fabric and added fabric type flowers.  It added a feminine touch without being too girlie.  These two fabrics are leftovers from her quilt too, so once I start speaking to my sewing machine again, this will tie in perfectly.

The centers are just pins that I snapped off and then bent into place.  I glued them down using quick grip, and then attached the flower with quick grip to my K, but only where the pins were.   That way I could still ruffle the 'petals' of my flower to have more of a 3D look.

Chris came in and thought the middle of the K needed flowers too, so I made a few smaller blue ones while I was at it.

We put the hangers in the back of it, and hung it above her crib.  Here's the final product :

What do you think?  Too big, too small, or just right?  I debated about painting the K another color besides black, because I do love color in a nursery...but ultimately decided the pictures would look better against a black background.  I also decided the black background went with her crib skirt and crib a little bit better, but I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'm going to add color back in.

Here's how it ties in with her crib :

When she gets big enough to pull things off the wall, we'll either have to put a screw through this, remove it, or pull the crib away from the wall so she doesn't pull it down on herself.  For now, I'm just ready for her to be here already!  Oh, and ignore the wrinkly sheet and bedskirt.  The last thing I feel like doing is ironing these days!

And my favorite's where we started with this wall :

And after a ton of work, here's what it looks like now :

Installed bamboo floors, painted walls and closet, new crib, custom built in closet system, custom built dresser
(To see my documented projects and paint colors I've used on this section, click on any of the links below the picture.)

So that's last and final nursery project.  Maybe Kalia was waiting for me to finish that up before deciding to show up.  I'm done, she can come now!!  I'll do a full nursery tour and recap everything sometime soon.  Unless Kalia shows up...then I'll go MIA for a little while before sharing her with you guys, and then do a full nursery room tour!  :-)

Believe it or not, we had a busy busy Friday and Saturday.  I've got another room that we gave a mini face-lift to show you guys later on in the week, so stay tuned!

Hope everyone's enjoying their Memorial Day today!  Happy Monday!

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Mini Living Room Project

I know, you guys can't believe I'm so close to my due date and still doing projects.  Me neither.  I think breathing these days is a project in and of itself.  But things that would normally get put on a 'list' drive me nuts right now, so if I can muster the energy to get something done, I do it.  Even if it's small.

After we moved the cable, I noticed the shoe kick around the fireplace just  It's too light, doesn't blend in with the floors, and certainly doesn't go with the fireplace.

It didn't bother me as much when the obnoxious cable was running across the harth, but now that the cable is gone, the shoe kick bothered me.

When we redid the front door, we stained the shoe kick to match the floors, and I was completely amazed at how well our 'already had on hand from another project 5 years ago' stain blended in with the floors.  I have plans to do do something else to that fireplace, so I decided that I wanted to stain the shoe kick to blend in with the floors instead of painting it to match the fireplace.

So, one night this week, when my big 'ol body couldn't get comfy, and my hubs loud snoring wouldn't allow me to fall back asleep, I got up and stained the shoe kick.

I think this needs one more coat (we did two on the front door shoe kick) to officially be done, but I might have to enlist the helpful hubs to do the second coat.  Scooching around on my rear in the middle of the night to do this did not feel so awesome.  To be completely honest though, as of me typing this post, he has no idea that I even got up to do this, or that it's done.  I'd be in so much trouble if I got caught doing this in the middle of the night!  I'm pretty hard to slow down, even when I'm exhausted.

It looks much better than it did before though.  I'm happy it's not screaming out "hey, look at me, I don't match".  Because that, my friends, was getting annoying.

Hope everyone enjoys their 3-day weekend.  My tired body and tired brain are excited to have an extra day off of work.  Why in the world I thought it'd be a good idea to work up until Kalia gets here is beyond me.  For future reference for any of you guys, working up until your due date (and even possibly past...please Kalia come this weekend!), isn't recommended.

Keeping my fingers crossed hoping that Kalia comes by her due date, which is Monday.  I know, I know...enjoy the carefree life with just Chris and's just hard to enjoy when you can't breathe, sleep, or get up from low places on your own, let alone are a constant sweat ball from this amazing Florida heat.  Come on Kalia!!!  Yes, I think I said that I was ready for her to get here 3 or 4 times in this post. That's how ready I am though....

Happy Friday everyone!
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chris the Cable Guy

I really wanted to title this post "My Dad is a Big Butthead", but I decided it worked better as a subtitle.

Let me explain.

When we moved in 2 years ago, we went around and around on different configurations for our living room.  Within a few months, we found a couch off of craigslist, bought some bucket chairs, and eventually had a layout that we were both happy with.

The one problem with our layout is that there is no cable behind the TV.  That, in and of itself, is not normally that big of a deal to fix, however the wall that the TV is mounted on goes directly to the outside pool deck, and is solid concrete.  We've had "move the cable" on every.single to-do list for the past year and a half or so, and it always gets neglected.

So how does any of that fit in with my Dad being a big butthead?  Well, if you know him, you know he just is one regardless (my sisters will agree!), but that's besides the point.  Back in December, I wrote a post to the weather about our frigid Florida winters, and included this picture of how we sleep during the winters (this was prior to us getting our new a/c and heat system installed a little while ago) :

Chris told me not to post this photo, and not because the lighting was horrible with it, but because the cable cord was showing.  I told him all of my readers were too nice to comment on that.  I was right...a few of you guys even commented on how much you loved our coffee table.

My Dad...not so much!

I forgot to take into account that he reads my blog too.  He left the comment below :

Biggest.Butthead.Ever.  The funny part about this too is that my Dad knew that I had pre-posted that and was out in Hawaii by the time that post was published.


Well, enough is enough!!  My parents are staying here with Kodi when we have Kalia, so, once again, we put "move the cable" on our to-do list.  This past weekend, we finally crossed it off.  Chris said he didn't want my Dad coming over yet again with that stupid cable still running across the room.

Ugly Cable
As expected, this wasn't an easy project.  Chris got up in the attic and pulled the cable up from the previous exterior wall and attempted to drop it down into this wall.  Since the wall is solid concrete, that wasn't working.

We drilled a hole in the top of the ceiling to see if could find a hole to send the cable down that way, but all we did was create a hole for us to patch.  Beyond the drywall is more concrete.

We decided our only option was to bring the cable in from the exterior wall again.  Not exactly a seamless pretty project, but much better than the cable running across our fireplace.

Chris drilled behind where the TV is mounted :

The drill bit sticking out through the other side made us both laugh.

After that, Chris drilled from the outside to the inside to try to widen up the hole a bit ...

That's the cable sticking down from the pool deck area ceiling.

Yeah, things are starting to look worse at this point instead of better, huh?

This was the hole from the inside :

And this is the most ridiculous drill bit I've ever seen :

But hey, it got the job done!

After much finagling, we got the cable from the outside of this wall to the inside, and pushed back up as much of the cable as we could back into the attic.  For the outside, I can't decide if we're going to get some sort of tubing, paint the cable to match the house, or mount something to this wall to cover it up.  This is one of those 'domino projects'...check one project off the list, add a few more.

You can see in this next picture what you see of the cable from the majority of the pool deck.

For the inside, we still have to run the power line up to behind where the TV is mounted.  Because there's already power on this wall, that, hopefully, shouldn't be as bad.  Famous last words, right?

Woo Hoo!!!  No more cable!!!
We were both entirely too tired on Sunday night to do anything more with this, so it's another "good enough for now" project that we're checking off the list.

Oh, and as a side note, I actually finished off the front door this past weekend too.  I painted the trim, the wall around the trim, and Chris helped me grout the missing tile piece back into place.  So that project went from a "good enough for now" one to a completely crossed off the list.  Whew!

It's true that my Dad is a big butthead, but I'm really glad we've finally gotten this project crossed off the list.  Chris's been one of those things that's just been an eye-sore for entirely too long now.

Love you Dad!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

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Monday, May 23, 2011

House Numbers

Well, I'm still here...and Kalia's still not.  But it's most definitely not for lack of trying.  I'm keeping myself as busy as my tired body can handle these days!  Sigh...

Onto weekend projects...

We live in a community with a Homeowners Association (Chris was actually president last year...however funny that is!), and in our spring time mailing this year we received a friendly reminder that all of the houses needed to have the house numbers located on the actual house per the guidelines.  Hmmm...we've neglected that for 2 years now...oops!  The previous owner actually took the numbers with them.  How odd would it be if they actually moved somewhere with the same exact house number?

Anywho, on one of our many trips to Home Depot within the past few weeks, we picked up a wooden plaque :

Image courtesy of Home Depot

and these big plastic numbers :

Image courtesy of Home Depot

I forgot to take pictures of the actual purchase, but these are exactly the same ones we bought.  We actually wanted to test out the stain we had gotten for the front doord on something before committing and applying it to such an expensive purchase, and then hating it, so this plaque was perfect.  I told Chris that we could just use scrap wood and make our own plaque, but once we realized the plaque was only $5 smackaroos, I let Chris talk me out of attempting to tackle yet another project.  Although it would've been really easy, bending over to even use tools is a challenge with this big 'ol belly I'm rocking these days, so he won.

I applied two coats of stain on the plaque, and we decided we really liked the color, so we did the front doors with it.  Last weekend we had a marathon spar urethane session going on.  We applied a coat to the front door, this plaque, planter stands we got for the back pool deck area, 

and our hammock (which I like to refer to as 'the boat' since it was hammock-less while we were applying the urethane coats on it)...and then repeated the cycle again...and again.

We thought about getting plants for these planters this weekend, but I got too tired.  Those might wait until after Kalia gets here.  If she ever gets here...I guess technically my due date is in one more week, but I feel like I've been pregnant for 10 years already!

Sorry...pregnant brain absent mindedness...back to the house numbers...

Chris test sanded the plaque before officially deciding it was my job to sand the front doors because he wasn't any good at it, but I think it's just the different qualities of wood.  The sanding job scratched some of the stain off (we sanded with 220 grit sandpaper after applying two coats of stain and letting that dry overnight, but before adding the spar urethane), but it wasn't enough that I thought it was worth re-staining and then waiting to add the urethane to it.  It just gives it character now!

This weekend I added the three coats of spar urethane to the back of this plaque, and we made yet another trip down to the big orange store to buy some stainless steel screws.  After adding the plastic numbers on, here's what our house number sign looks like :

I think between the sign, the plastic numbers, and the screws, we spent about $12 on this.  I really love that it ties in with our entry way with our new front door too.

I plan on spray painting all of the lights on the front of the house the oil rubbed bronze, and that statue in the front has been on my to-do makeover list for forever now.  It's way heavy though, so it's something I'm waiting to tackle until I'm un-pregnant.  We'll get around to doing those two things when we repaint the rest of the house.

I think both Chris and I were shocked at how big the numbers actually look against the house, but I think the plaque does a good job of making it something pretty instead of just having the numbers there.  What do you guys think?!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  Ours was entirely too short.  How is it that when you're this far along with pregnancy time seems to fly and stand still all at the same time?

Happy Monday!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Shut The Front Door

Just as a refresher, here's where the entry way started :

And here's where it was after my quick makeover of it a year and a half ago :

Which wasn't bad, it just wasn't great either.  And it left us with zero privacy, which was no beuno.

The rest of the 'door story' isn't so quick, but I'll try to summarize so my post isn't a buzillion miles long! (Note...I fail miserably at this...if you just want to see pics, scroll on down!)

We saw Home Depot had a 15% off special order doors, which we knew we'd have to have because of our size, so we went into check it out...months ago.  Like back in January.  We found a door we liked that was marked down to $875 for the double doors, which was an amazingly great price, so we went to the door sales guy to place the order.

And the bill came up to something close to 2k., I want the $875 doors please.  Apparently the door prices were mis-marked, but he did go through door company after door company, and threw in promo after promo to get us down to the $875 price.  We had a 10% off coupon too, and he told us to go up to the service desk to pay for it, and we could use it there.  Apparently they're not allowed to double dip, but if you go up to the service desk to pay, they don't know that there's been promotions applied already to the door, so you can generally get away with using another 10% off coupon.

Sa-weet...cha-ching!  That left our door price down to right around $800 after all of the promos had been taken off and applied, and taxes added back in.

The door was supposed to be in a little over two months ago.  It came late, and it came with all sorts of mistakes.  The hardware wasn't the oil rubbed bronze, the door was flat instead of having an arch paneling, it wasn't double bore holed (holed for two entry way handles), and it opened on the wrong side (we switched the configuration to open on the right side instead of the left).  All of which we didn't realize until we got home with this big huge heavy door and managed to get it in our garage.

I called HD and told them to come get our old door and order us a new one.  For some reason, they were a whole lot more accommodating with me than Chris.

Fast forward two months, and our new door finally comes in.  The guy swears that everything's checked out with it, so Chris goes by and picks it up and brings it home.  After getting THAT one out of our truck, we realized it was missing a piece of weather stripping.  I called and told them that they could bring me by a replacement piece that day because we weren't driving BACK to HD for just weather stripping.  My pregnancy hormones must've been in full gear, because they gladly obliged.

Oh, and they took an extra $107 off the door.  Sa-weet.

Well, now the big conundrum is how the heck we're going to install this massive door.  There's no way I can hold it being 9 months pregnant, and there's no way Chris can do the door install by himself.  So...Chris searched around, found a door installer, and had him all set up and ready to go for the week before last.  Happy happy joy joy dance all around.

And then the guy emails, says it wasn't worth his time, and he wasn't interested in doing the job anymore.  Yeah, he emailed that the night before he was supposed to get here.  Great.

So, Chris called around some more, found a handy-man that charged $25 an hour, and got put on his list.  The problem?  His first available day was June 9th.  My due date is May 30th.  Oiy.

But I've taken the approach on whatever gets done before Kalia gets here, gets done.  Whatever doesn't wasn't meant to be.  June 9th it was.

The guy called this past week and said he had an opening and would we like to be squeezed in.  Yes please!!!  I was on strict request to hold Kalia in until the front door got installed.

Can you even imagine?!  The thought of no front door whatsoever is WAY worse than the thought of a glass front door, but we really wanted that new door installed.  And...we're not the type to be able to just sit around and WAIT for things, so...I stopped doing my labor dance and sat on my rear all day long trying to NOT encourage labor to get here.

Here's Chris beaming at lunch time...after they got the old frame out, and the new one in, and it was all plumb!

As you can see, installing new front doors is way more than just taking off the old ones from the hinges and installing new ones!
Do you see the one causality from ripping out the old door?

Apparently the old shoe kick thingy ma bobber (yes, that's my technical term) was screwed into the concrete under the tile, so when it came out, my piece of tile popped right off.  Sigh...put it on the to-do list.  We really weren't too concerned...we were just excited that our new front door was going in!

And after a loong day (6 hours with the handi-man, 3 extra hours with just Chris), our new front door, with our old hardware, was installed.

Look at how pretty those doors are!!

And here's a VERY happy Chris after the doors are in.  Chris helped the handy-man to speed up the process, which saved us a ton of loot in the long run.  They worked!

This past weekend, we worked on getting the doors finished.  On Saturday, I sanded down both doors (Chris doesn't trust himself with a sander and anything expensive just yet), and then we each took a door and stained it.  We waited the recommended 4 hours, and then applied another coat of stain on it.

On Sunday, we applied THREE coats of water based (low VOC for Kalia!) spar urethane, which is supposed to be good for interior and exterior wood finishes (most polyurethanes say interior use only), and sanded with 220 grit sandpaper in between each coat.  Holy.forever.

We really were hoping that I didn't go into labor during all of this too.  If I would've, there would've been boxes blocking the front door instead of hardware because we took all of the hardware back off to do the finishing work.  We had a good chuckle on Sunday night, after the hardware was put back on, about our parents being at the hospital and asking for the keys to our house to go check on Kodi.  We could just see us telling them "oh, no need...just move the boxes and walk right on in.  Hopefully everything is still there!"

This week we fixed the broken tile from out front (it's still not 100% done, we need to re-grout it back in!), painted around the inside frame (the new frame is a little more narrow, so things aren't just a quick and easy replace...booo!), re-installed the trim on the inside, and added in the fill trim to account for the size difference.  We still need to go back and add more caulk around the frames, paint the frames, and maybe give the walls one more coat, but this is good enough for now.  I just wanted the framing at least on the doors in case Kalia decides to show up soon (please oh please!!!).  After all's the result of our hard work!!

We need to find a new runner to put in front of this door too, but for now, we're working with what we've got!

Onto the outside...

On our to-do list is repaint the rest of the house (we did just the back when we were re-doing the pool deck), but that is certainty not something I'm wanting to tackle this weekend, at 39 weeks pregnant!

And here's the full Monty entry-way.

So what do you guys think?!  Do you think we're a little crazy to be doing stuff like this with two weeks left till my due date?!  I keep saying I'm ready, but now I'm REALLY ready!!  I'm so happy with the way these doors came out, and I'm SO THANKFUL for our privacy!!

I might or might not have stopped in front of the door and sang out "I'm in my skivvies, yeah, I'm in my skivvies!!!" while doing some retarded looking form of a dance that's only acceptable for my hubs to see at 38 weeks pregnant.  I could be making that up though.  You wouldn't know, even if you lived in my neighborhood, because you can't see in anymore!!!  Hallelujah!!

Whew...what a long post!!  Congratulations if you made it to the end...

Happy Friday everyone!!  Can you guys do me a favor and please get your 'labor dance' on for me...this Florida heat is getting to be too much, and I'm a-ready for Kalia to get here.

Hope you guys have a great weekend!
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