Wednesday, July 27, 2016

This & That Projects; Out of Doors, Y'all: 3

A picnic table came with the property, but it's seen better days. The seats and table top were rotty, warped, and splintered in addition to peeling. The whole thing was painted with the same cheap barn-red bulk paint that is on the chicken coop and deck. And since it's coming of in chips and sheets, I can see that they didn't prime or seemingly otherwise prepare the wood. Of course, I didn't get specific before pictures, but here is a photo of the garbage I have collected in the "yard" over the last two-and-a-half summers (yeah... nice) sitting on the top and the boards from the seats after I took them off.

Note the lag screw overkill. So many more opportunities for moisture and rot! Woo.



Legs/trestle was in good-enough shape, just a color that doesn't work of us.



So, I sanded that down to bare wood & bought replacement 2 x 6 lumber for the table top and seat surfaces. And you know that means I got to bust out my Milwaukee 12" compound miter saw! And use a new angle! Thirty-six point one degrees*, baby!

I just used framing lumber, so there were a couple of twisty pieces and there's no disguising that I'm not an experienced woodworker, but DANG if it ain't about a thousand times better! Not splintery! Not creaky! Not pinching! Not "squishy"!

I couldn't wait until the last coat of stain was dry and it was moved into it's position near the corn hole pitch to get a shot, so here is the view from the shop doors.

I bought higher quality exterior wood stain - Benjamin Moore Arborcoat Semi-solid, 1571 - Imperial Gray. The idea was to coordinate with the new exterior window trim paint which coordinates with some of the lichen in our trees. Both colors are in the patio chair backs.



A redo of the top photo just for funsies. Note instead of lag screws, I used deck screws. Wait. Deck screws? Oh, that's right! You can't see them, because I used exterior wood glue to insert wood plugs over them. Do I know that this will work for wood furniture that stays outside all year? I sure don't! But I sure hope it does, because I like the result and it was fun to do.



I added a couple of brackets to the cross brace for added sturdiness. It's not better looking, but it is stronger and it is under the table.



Ahhhhh. I completed it and Eric helped me get it back into its spot before smoke season!




* Why is that a pre-set angle on my beloved compound miter saw? Me asking the question is another indication of my lack of experience and knowledge of woodworking.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eulogy For A Good Dog




Everyone thinks they have the best dog. And none of them are wrong. 
~W.R. Purche 







Betty was the first puppy I ever lived with or "had." I was also relatively new to being a dog (step)mom, only having lived with Olive for a few months. Oh, my goodness what a good big sister Olive was to Betty who certainly must have tried her patience. I think it is not only the people who were worse off without Olive when we lost her just a few weeks after Betty's first birthday, but Betty would have benefited so, so much had she had more time learning how to be a dog from an expert dog like Olive.







The dogs required us to put Ella the Cat's food on the counter. Ella was getting older so we put a stool near the counter for her to use to get up there. Betty learned that she could also use the stool to get up there, so the stool moved away from the counter, but close enough Ella could jump. A few times we would walk into the kitchen to find Betty on her "shame stool"!
Betty was super snugly from the time we brought her home until she got sick this spring.


Betty may have been inexpert at certain aspects of dogging, but I sure learned a lot from her. I learned patience and persistence - the former because of her skill at the latter. She could tell you again and again and again and again that you should kick this pine cone or ball for her to chase, each time as though she hadn't just asked/demanded. Sometimes I could wait her out, often not. She was passionate about her hobbies!



Grandma gave the Beastie Grrrlz large Chuck-its for Christmas 2015. I thought maybe this would mean Betty's fetch sessions would only require 2 balls - one to carry and one to chase - but, nope... she could still carry two of the big ones!



I learned about the joy in repetition and in the little things. Every time a pine cone was kicked it was a thrill to block it or chase it or pounce on it. EVERY. TIME. Of course, the same goes for fetching balls. Betty was a ball chasing maestra and a pleasure to watch run after them. She was so fast on her long, muscular legs that people would ask if she was part greyhound when we lived in Portland and went to the dog park every day.

video


Betty learned to be a water dog at the Thousand Acres park at the Sandy River Delta.


Sometimes a stick isn't enough, but to a dog their people are good enough even when they're filthy from remodeling a kitchen.

When she and Delia decided they could not stand each other, I learned about loving someone so much and so hard that I had no choice but to accept a catastrophic flaw.



video


I re-learned to be ready for the fun and funny unexpected things. Betty did not howl or bay really. This is the only time we can remember her doing it and we were just lucky that I happened to be filming the play session when it happened.






I learned that a nap with a dog was one of the best naps one could nap. I relearned how it was nice to hold hands on car rides. I learned it is just as much fun to make costumes for dogs as it is for people, in fact maybe it is more fun.



Captain Betty. This post on craftster.org got this project published in a Star Trek craft book - no doubt because of Betty's elegant good looks as the model.

So prim.

I never got a good photo of her in her completed hobo spider costume.

Luchadog! La Cazadora, The Huntress

I picked up this elf outfit for Betty at the after holiday clearance. I am glad I got a photo then.

I learned more about sharing and more about the joy in watching others that I love in the acts of
loving each other.

A snap Betty's Auntie Adrienne took of Betty with her cousin/best friend Wacho and her people-cousin, Kate playing in their yard.


Getting up in that hammock with Eric was her idea and she managed it all on her own.

I have so many photos of Betty throwing herself at guests, but can't seem to find most of them. :(

Fathers Day 2016 walk in the National Forest.

I have already known the sorrow and deep pain of loss from pets dying and now I am learning it again. I love Betty. I miss her.








Wednesday, July 13, 2016

One Step at a Time: The Bathroom Redo Edition. Volume 5

Despite how it might sound, there is nothing sexy about caulking the shower. It's necessary, though and gives a nice clean-looking edge.

[ I had planned to insert a photo here, but then I was trying to take one and realized a photo of the caulk where the shower and the drywall meet is a dumb photo. ]

Number 4, part b: Because I am planning on installing Venetian plaster on the walls and I noticed that the shower sprinkles up a bit onto the walls above the fiberglass shower surround, I decided to add a row of tile. Luckily, my mom recently remodeled her bathrooms and was sent the wrong special order border tile that the supplier didn't want back. It happens to pretty much match the resin counter and is free so it's a go!

Yeah, the photo is blurry, but it's not blurry in real life unless you take your glasses off which is what both of us do in the shower. Usually.

It also doesn't show with the shower curtain up. Wink.

This is the better of the two household showers and it's been out of commission for a couple of weeks. Now the curtain is back up and we're ready to roll. YES!

Oops! I didn't get the box fan all the way out of the shot! How embarrassing. It was a very important tool for working on these bathroom projects in the summer.

And now back to those outdoor projects!

Downstairs Bathroom Redo Master List

1. Walls
   a. remove floral wallpaper & repair damage
   b. prime original wallpaper & skim coat
   c. prime skim coat and paint
   d. veneer plaster & topcoat
2. Ceiling
   a. skim out or remove popcorn texture
   b. remove some of the plant hooks?
   c. prime
   d. fun faux finish
3. Cabinetry
   a. sand
   b. pickle
   c. replace pulls and knobs
   d. add reclaimed, refinished wall shelves
4. Tub/Shower
   a. remove and replace caulk
   b. add tile "backsplash" above
   c. remove doors
   d. replace shower curtain
5. Move hardware
   a. train rack over toilet
   b. hand towel bar
6. Floor
   Not sure, but must deal with wrecked stuff beneath tub/shower
7. Window covering
   a. tba
8. Decorations
   a. on walls
   b. in shelving unit

Monday, July 11, 2016

One Step at a Time: The Bathroom Redo Edition. Volume 4

There are just a couple-few small projects on the downstairs bathroom to accomplish this summer with the rest of them happening at some undecided time in the future. But I want the bathroom to stop having that in-progress feeling it has had for so, so long. To that end, the hardware & decorations have started to go up!

We brought down a mirror from the bedroom to replace the cheap/thin one that came with the place that was installed lower than either of our heads. The frame is old and warped which gives the mirror a bit of a fun house quality, but it turns our that neither of us care! We've plenty of other "accurate" mirrors in the joint.

I've had this mirror for probably 12-15 years and in five houses. The frame is a little grungy so I'll probably refinish it eventually.
I have had those empty frames for a long, long time and haven't had them up in several years so it was nice to have a good place for them. My mom gave me the cast aluminum stag hooks and they work great in here! It will be fun to find small trinkets to hang on the hooks.

I moved the the train rack to over the toilet to accommodate a wall-mounted shelf near where it used to hang. Now that the walls are painted, the cloth basket I made for towel storage makes more sense, as does the shower curtain.

I found this candle vase to use for stowing an extra couple rolls of toilet paper near the toilet itself. The vanity cabinet is just far enough away that it's hard to reach while seated (ahem) and it's always frustrating to not notice the roll is out of paper until you need it*.

Since other pieces of hardware have moved it made sense to reinstall the towel bar on the wall to the left of the sink. I don't feel like there was a just-right spot for both convenience and aesthetics, so it went here. Whatevs. Just so long as we and our very occasional guests* have access to a clean towel for drying our and their hands. Besides, when I repair and hang the decoration I have to hang above it, I think it will look fine.

So yeah. I have a thing where I don't want totally matching towels. That is, I want them to match the decor, but not necessarily each other perfectly and all the time. It's not for everyone.

I saved a shelf that I took out of the laundry room to paint in what was probably the first week we lived here. It will be refinished inside and out when I do the rest of the cabinetry. It's going on the wall stocked with tchotchkes, knick knacks, and doo dads. I have been collecting them and decorations for the walls via gift and purchase for a long, long time. Hopefully, I'll get the shelf refinished and all the stuff up in the next month or so, but I'm not going to sweat it if I don't.




* It's always a little embarrassing to be a guest when there's no obviously available hand towel or back up toilet paper.

Downstairs Bathroom Redo Master List
1. Walls
   a. remove floral wallpaper & repair damage
   b. prime original wallpaper & skim coat
   c. prime skim coat and paint
   d. veneer plaster & topcoat
2. Ceiling
   a. skim out or remove popcorn texture
   b. remove some of the plant hooks?
   c. prime
   d. fun faux finish
3. Cabinetry
   a. sand
   b. pickle
   c. replace pulls and knobs
   d. add reclaimed, refinished wall shelves
4. Tub/Shower
   a. remove and replace caulk
   b. add tile "backsplash" above
   c. remove doors
   d. replace shower curtain
5. Move hardware
   a. train rack over toilet
   b. hand towel bar
6. Floor
   Not sure, but must deal with wrecked stuff beneath tub/shower
7. Window covering
   a. tba
8. Decorations
   a. on walls
   b. in shelving unit





Friday, July 8, 2016

One Step at a Time: Kitchen Edition, Done Enough For Now

It's been a few weeks. We had a house guest and some other priorities, so kitchen projects were done piecemeal. Not to mention I really just took my time glazing and especially varmishing the "brick" beneath the wood stove and fitting in a few other projects in the main bathroom. Now I'll take a break from this to work on other things around the property before starting Phase II, but I will probably work on some decorations and such here and there. 

Just about every surface except the floor was refinished or replaced and nearly all the hardware and fixtures, too. Dudes. Here are the after panorama shots of each side! I'll put before shots at the bottom of the post.





The last Four weeks' projects are all on the fireside of the room and the last of the kitchen projects for a while.

1. Do something with that terrible brick veneer and shelf.

At the time of the last post, the brick veneer had been repaired and primed. It has now been glazed and varnished! Whew! What a change in the room to be rid of those dirty, red, brick-bastards!



I searched around the internet for images of grey bricks to find some examples to semi-replicate using various glazes. Even though I know better to just go at a surface without making a sample board and I did intend to make a sample board I did not actually make a sample board. Sooooo, this took longer than expected, but still with some days to start curing before Renaissance Handyman Nick cuts and installs our replace shelves on the top.

If you look, you can see that the new grey switches and outlets now have their plates! I also removed the land line port (socket? outlet?) and replaced it with a blank cover painted and glazed to match the brick veneer.

I still have the base part to do, but wanted to wait until the shelf was installed so we'll won't not be walking on it for a good while. Renaissance Handyman Nick got the shelf up in pretty short order! I had pre-finished the kiln-dried, fir 4x4s that just needed a bit of touching up here and there after the cutting, screwing, and nailing. I still have to touch up the paint where these projects marked it up a little.

I was so excited about the shelf that I couldn't wait for the base bricks to be done to get another panoramic shot!

2. Install picture rail.

I waffled back and forth about whether I should install this or not. I wasn't looking to add a contrasting color where the planes of the wall and ceiling meet - that could do the same thing that all the wallpaper borders did around here: make the ceiling seem even lower. BUT this hall gets various seasonal and holiday decorations and I a) was tired of hanging them haphazardly on just available nails and b) didn't want to put a bunch of holes in the walls to accommodate each season. This is pretty much the same reason I chose the picture rail profile for the crown I added to the upper cabinets. AND I just could not get excited about painting them to match the walls and ceiling. Finishing them to match the cabinets seemed a bit like Garanimals-style decorating.

You'll note that the picture rail stops short of the end of the wall. I still hate that corner where the beam and post come together and have that weird and weirdly finished drywall. I have some ideas for dealing with that brewing in my noggin.

I think that this photograph of Mount Hood will be the main occupant of the space. It had been in the kitchen before and came from my grandmother's house. I believe she got it from her parents or perhaps paternal grandparents.

I need to scour the house for appropriate tchotchkes. I can not wait to see the stockings hung with care this winter! I noticed in the photos of the stockings you can see the ugly old phone jack. And what do you know, it was crooked to boot! 

I think we'll have rotating and seasonal knick knacks, doodads, and tchotchkes on the shelf under these great silver, resin antlers I got for my birthday!

Look at all the line-thrus! YAHOO! But of course, the original list begat another list (see below).

The original list of the order I thought the projects will happen. Line through for complete items, italics for additions. I'll let myself do partial line throughs for partial completion, because it's good for my morale. And brown-out for items moved to Phase II.

1. Light fixtures
2. Remove corner shelf in order to...
3. Remove wallpaper and repair walls (& ceiling) as necessary, get temp solution for backsplash
4. Paint walls above cabinets, around wood stove, paint laundry/bath hallway.
5. Cabinet repair, move, modify
6. Refinish cabinets
8. Level, repair, and refinish counter tops
11. New sink and faucet and the counter modifications that go with it.
10. Replace outlets, switches, plates in backsplash.
9. Install backsplash, probably tile
12. New refrigerator surface to replace old new refrigerator surface.
16. Replace light switch and plate in hallway.
14. Replace outlets, switches, plates by wood stove.
15. Paint wood stove and stovepipe. 
7. Maybe try to do something with that terrible brick veneer wood stove surround and shelf?
13. Build a door of some sort for that too-big hole for the microwave & deal with the inside.
17. Install picture rail in hallway and that one wall behind the wood stove for now.

PHASE II


Of course, that's supposed to be "... rest of stovepipe" but hey. it's my list on my phone and I know what I mean. I'm obviously no stranger to typos! Also, we've decided to continue the picture rail around the kitchen.