New Blog and Thoughts…

I’m finding myself torn between two worlds right now.  I love high fashion and I love down and dirty housework.  Not everything I wanted to say could fit in the mould of this blog, so I started a new one this morning.  I’ll keep this one about crafts and life at home and things of that nature.  I’ll make the other one about living a high fashion life 0n a less than glamorous budget.  In case you’d like to see it, it’s just a click away. 

I’m feeling kinda home-y today, too.  I want to go home and nest a little and bake a cake and grocery shop and hit up some local produce stands that I’ve been eye-ing for awhile.  I want to work on my Halloween costume and bathe my dogs and smell clean laundry.  I want to paint my nails and put on a clay masque and chase the dogs around the house.  I want to brew a nice cup of tea and settle in and read a good book for a couple hours in the guest room.  I want to host a dinner party for my family or a few close friends.  Does anyone else get like this sometimes or is it just me?  I think I’m 24 going on 84.  haha…


Giving back…

to myself.  It’s been over a month without a glimpse of the gym or a thought about what I put in my face.  It’s time to start that back up again.  The house is settled and the housewarming is over.  All that’s left is to send “thank you” cards out and prepare for the holidays.  I started logging my information on a website and I’m ready to leap into that challenge.  You bet your sweet bippy that I’ll have some gift and costume info for you soon enough.  I just wanted to pop in and say hello! 🙂

Oh, how time does fly…

My BF and I have been working non-stop on the house to get it in order.  We’ve had the help of some lovely friends throughout the whole process.  Now, it’s crunch time and I’m sweating it.  Other than the floor, we’ve mainly done cleaning.  We painted the master bathroom (the one room that didn’t get any love from the previous owners), repaired the sink (what a mess…), and installed a new cooktop (the hole’s too big and it’s ugly right now).

We have our housewarming on Saturday and there is sooo much to do.  I just made a list and i’m a tad overwhelmed.  We still haven’t finished the move; basically, the entire kitchen is still at my old apartment.  What’s super not helpful is that we are practically broke right now.  Not the “I should probably only get a tall latte instead of a venti today” kind of broke.  The “hmm… maybe I can just put a couple gallons in my tank until my next paycheck and still eat lunch tomorrow” kind of broke. 😦  It won’t be this way for long, but fixing up that house has just drained us both… physically and financially.

Oh, but I do have a smidge of good news.  The BF has officially dropped the “B.”  He’s just an “F” now… as in, FIANCEE!  He proposed on the 5th and I can’t stop looking at the ring.  We’ve set a date in the spring of 2011 so that his sister can save enough money to travel back to The States.  BUT… I’ve already picked out the dress and this means I’ll have all kinds of crafty projects to write about soon enough.

Well, I’ll TTYL!  😀

Removing Vinyl Flooring and Laying a New Floor – Part 3

The third night, we had just a little bit of the floor left to pull up.  I let my friend do that while I sprayed bleach-water all over the floor and cleaned up the strips of paper.  I took a putty knife and firm-bristled brush to stripped floor and picked off any of the particle board that wasn’t 100% commited to its brothers.  Then, I filled all of the dips with wood filler.  We laid a hair dryer on its side on the floor near the particularly heavy sections.  It had been our intention to lay the floor that evening, but I didn’t think that was wise since the wood filler hadn’t completely hardened in some places.  The package said that it can take 2 to 8 hours to fully dry.  With that knowledge, I went to bed.

I planned to get up early to do the floor before I went to work.  No dice.  We had a thunderstorm and my dog is a sissy.  He started barking and digging at his crate.  (Yes, we crate them overnight for now.  I don’t like it, but the house doesn’t have enough padding to keep their sounds from carrying and it’s hard to make a dog understand what it’s like to get up at 6, work all day, and not get home until 6.  They tend to think you’re rather silly and continue to scratch or bark or walk around or chew or snore or moan.)  So, I will have to finish the floor laying when I get home.  Luckily, I did start it before I left and realized that I was confused.  So, I called the help line and they walked me through it.  New floor tonight?! 🙂

Removing Vinyl Flooring and Laying a New Floor – Part 2

The next evening, I had given up on the whole idea of ironing the floor.  I decided that I would much rather deal with chemical strippers.  After putting the dogs outside, I tried a “green” floor stripper.  We let it sit for a little over an hour and realized that it didn’t do a thing.  It wet the paper backing pretty well, but it really didn’t touch the adhesive.  Back to the iron.  

After revealing the seam where they butted together the sheets of the subfloor, we realized that this floor was not solid wood.  They had used a particle board and the previous floor covering had done some serious damage.  There were huge sections where the top layer of board peeled off with the backing.  Particle board is literally just that.  It is a board made up of wood particles pressed together and held with an adhesive.  They chose to staple the flooring down in several locations and moisture had reached yet other sections.  Again, we had a cross-roads.  Should we stop and replace the subfloor or patch the existing subfloor?  We don’t have the money to replace the subfloor and we need to have a floor in the kitchen.  So, we decided to buy wood filler to patch the spots that had weakened.  I was concerned about mold growth, so we continued removing the backing until we couldn’t see straight anymore and I decided that I would give it one more night to air out before we patch and lay the floor.

Another almost midnight evening and we called it quits.  I did, however, leave the solution on a section of backing that we didn’t pull off  so that we could see what would happen overnight.  The next morning, there was absolutely no difference. 😦

Removing Vinyl Flooring and Laying a New Floor – Part 1

This is a three parter… I thought it would be one night of intense work, but it ended up being almost 4 nights of up-till-midnight-back-breaking-labor.

The one thing in this house that we HAD to change was the flooring in the kitchen.  It was this horrible green sheet of vinyl flooring that was so poorly laid that dog chews, chapstick, vitamins, pencils, dead bugs, almonds, etc were hiding under the flaps that weren’t tucked down.  After we decided to replace it, we came to a crossroads.  We could either lay the new flooring directly on top of the old after triming and properly finishing the old flooring or we could remove the old flooring and lay the new flooring.  The BF and I had a convo and decided that we should remove the old flooring so that we can patch and care for the floor underneath.

For the second week in a row, he left on business.  With our anniversary coming up on Monday, I decided to make the new floor my anniversary gift to him.  Granted, we bought it together, but I knew it would be hard work and doing it for him would be that much less he had to worry about.  Okay… he doesn’t worry.  I worry.  But it would be one last thing for us to try to plan to do.

After much research, these are the events that transpired.

First, remove all thresholds or baseboards that you intend to put the new flooring under.  Score the flooring for easy removal.  I took a straight razor blade and ran it up the length of the room every 12 inches or so.  Using a plastic putty knife, I picked up the edge of the top layer and pulled.  Glorious.  Let me just tell you, it was sooo nice to see that ugly green go away.  I sat back and thought, “Gee!  That was easy!”

Boy was I wrong.

After the top layer comes up, you’re left with the backing.  Every site I looked at told me to use a hair dryer and it would come right up.  Lies.  I tried that on an edge and it did nothing.  About that time, one of my girlfriends came over.  She was going to help me this week so that I could get it done for sure.  Seeing my plight, she said “Well, why don’t you iron it?”  That made sense enough.  So, I got out my iron and a rag and steamed a small section of the floor.  It came right up!  (WARNING:  This will cause your iron to get a nasty funk all over it.  If you have a crafting iron, use that.  If not, you might want to go with a cheap model.  I happened to have a decently cheap model, but it also came off after a little work.  I ended up heating the iron to its highest setting and running it back and forth over a wet towel.)  The room is just under 100 square feet.  About 10 square feet took us almost 2 hours.  By 11 PM, I was EXHAUSTED!  We decided to wrap it up the next night….

Say What You Mean And Mean What You Say

With our new home, our lovely prior tenants decided to leave us with a few “friends” and a ton of trash. Through our agents, they asked if we wanted a storage shelf in the garage. Well, duh! haha… I’m a scavenger at heart and I’ll take just about anything I can get my hands on if I think it has any potential to be useful. I laughed and told my boyfriend to tell them that they can leave anything they don’t want to take with them. Apparently, Mr. Everything’s-A-Joke took me literally. AND so did our agent. We got the house with random stuff left all over. Ready for this?

10 gallons of paint – all partially used
about 20 pieces of fencing – some cut
a hurricane lamp
two large boxes of books
a bag of really large clothing
three boxes of honest-to-goodness trash
random 12″x12″ tile
several pieces of corningware
old coffee
a windchime
some dead plants in hanging planters
a broken lawn chair
a broken plastic table
a rusted candle holder
an unused faucet for the bathroom
TONS of toothbrushes that were obviously used
old makeup
roofing material including tar paper
tons of spiders
dead bugs in a sheet hanging from the garage ceiling
a dead baby bird that had definitely been there awhile
mold in the bathrooms
termites and black widows in the woodpile.

HA!  At least I have plenty of stuff to play with.  🙂  I’m sure that I’ll be able to upcycle just about everything they left (minus the dead critters).  Wish me luck!!!