Friday, September 27, 2013

Stairs Again

We have had some amazing weather lately, which makes it kind of hard to get too busy working in the basement. 

But these stairs needed some serious help.

Hero jumped up to help me figure out how this project was going to roll and it looked tackle-able to us.

Or at least to me. I think I might be on my own with this one for awhile.

We started here:

And look at that! Now we are here:

So, no photos of the unveiling. I had a kiddo that needed a project (in trade for all we do for him) and I came home one day and it was done. He was actually disappointed that it only took him about an hour - He thought it was very rewarding. Um - I understand that concept, I just did not realize he did. I'll have to be sure to take advantage of this new discovery in the future.

The two layers of linoleum came right off, but of course the bottom layer was glued down. And left splotches.

Kind of looks like an abstract cow mural or something:

And a little closer:

Okay - Plan A is to try the "soak with hot water and scrape the residue off" plan. I was warned that it would take several soakings and scraping to get it all off. But after the first soaking and scraping, I was so done.

This photo makes it look like we were actually getting something accomplished here. And perhaps there was a little progress. But believe me when I say "a little". 

This is so not happening.

Plan B - Sand it off. 

Hero jumped up to help me here when I assured him it would be "just one step, to see how it works out". 

Icky steps to strip? Check.

Heavy duty sander? Check.

Shop-vac cranked up and ready to keep the dust under control? Check.

Faux-Crocks? Check.

Making amazing progress? Nope.

And Plan C - vacuum each step and call it a day.

And think about Plan D outside in the great autumn weather.

signature photo teresasig1.png

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Stairs

As Hero was sitting in a comfy chair in the living room, I casually say something along the lines of, 

"We need to get working on another house project".

He is such a good sport - He did not even pretend he didn't hear me.

Our goal for the next few projects is cheap.

We have lots of those.

Ever notice how some of the smaller, less complicated and less expensive projects tend to get forgotten? How nice it would be to get a bunch of those done to get them off the list! I notice that sometimes we put them off until it's time to sell. Then we do a bunch of stuff that we could have enjoyed, for the benefit of someone else. 

Don't let that happen!

Next up for us are the stairs. 

You will notice that we are not quite rid of all that lovely linoleum yet. But this is the last of it. 

Pretty good list of things that we need to accomplish, right?

Holy cow. These things are bad. I have nothing else to say.

Continuing on with my story - Hero was sitting in a comfy chair when I suggested we consider working on the stairs. I get up to go look at the stairs, he gets up to go get a few tools.

And checks out what we are dealing with.

These are just two of the 85,186,163,359,214 reasons I love this man.

First the banged-up, dinged-up trim comes off.

And reveals ickyness underneath.

Then we pull back a tiny little corner of the layer we can see. 

Just as we suspected - Another layer. Why are we not surprised?

Pulling up on the goldenrod, floral-paisley tile reveals that these stairs top out at two layers.

But these are two layers that are really, really glued down.


Before we can get much further, that trim at the back edge of each step needs to go.

This one pops off no problem.

Under that little trim we discover black. These steps were painted black at one time. 

At least it is not another layer of tile/linoleum/carpet/mystery that we have to get rid of.

First layer off - Piece of cake.

Take my word for it that the next layer was a pain in the neck.

But look what we were left with. So totally worth it.

No really. We have a plan for this.

signature photo teresasig1.png

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Little Charm

First off, let me just say - I cannot figure out why a few of these photos are sideways. I have tried and tried to get them going the right direction.

Anyway - 

Now that most of the big projects in the kitchen are behind us, we have been getting on some other stuff - like band camp and driver's ed for Liam, cross country meets for Colin, a mini vacation to Traverse City (love!) and trying to keep ahead of the garden. And a few little projects that would easily be left behind if we didn't make the effort to get on them.

I love the little things in decorating that make a space special. Ever been in a model home? They look a little sterile sometimes because there just isn't much personality to the furnishings, artwork or accessories. But it really doesn't take much to make your home feel like your own. 

The best way to get on that is use stuff you love or has a special meaning to you. If you love it, it will most likely work with what you are already have going on. Really. Give it a try.

I came across this cutie little book cover among the things I got from my mom's house. (I promise, the cover was already detached from the book.) I just love its quirky design and that it belonged to my family somehow.

Check out the copyright on this - 1915. So cool.

I grabbed up a frame from IKEA that was a little bit interesting, but not so much that it would overwhelm the art. 

And got out my Sesame Street sheets.

I use pretty fancy drop cloths, right?

I knew I wanted the frame to be dark, like the dark ink on the cover - which by the way is not black but a very awesome dark blue called Payne's Gray (One of my very favorite colors). But I was hoping to add a little interest to the frame by having some layers of color show through.

So I started with a creamy color and then an icy blue-greenish color. Looks kind of fun.

And the first coat of Payne's Gray. 

In my mind this looked a lot better.

But the Sesame Street sheet is looking good.

This could really be a good look for something, but not what I had in mind this time.

So I painted it again and covered up most of that creamy, blueish-greenish color. But that's okay. When you get up close, it is like a little surprise, without being overwhelming.

And the perfect little spot for it - in the very non-1915 kitchen. But that kind of variety can work pretty good. That is what makes a space more personal.

That handy yellow stool in action.

I love the kitchen, I love the stool and I love the cook book cover. For me, they all work together.

And the finished look. 

I am trying to keep things to more of a minimum so that things stay special. Believe me I can get carried away with cool stuff on every wall and on every surface - I just like so many things! 

Have you found any great treasures lately? Did you have to change the plan after the first try didn't work out so well? Are you charming up your space? Let me know!