If You Want Something Done Right, You Have To Do It Right

Ahh… moving.  Unless you move into a place specifically built for you and fresh as a daisy, you have NO idea what’s in store for you.  Sure, you go through all the right steps.  You get the appraisal.  You get the inspections.  You walk through it as many times as you have to be 100% that this is the home for you.  The truth is, though, until you get in there and start looking at every inch of the home in all its nakedness, you can’t possibly grasp what you have waiting for you.

So, I made sure to get my boyfriend and I in there EARLY to try to get this stuff cleaned up.  I’m a huge believer in starting with a clean canvas.  A house is only as good as the foundation.  If you take shortcuts to get things done, you wind up doing the work all over again to fix it.

After tackling the floors (pictures to come along with a how-to), we decided to attempt to find white grout in the bathrooms.  We both decided on the bleach and water method.  In an old spray bottle, we mixed bleach and water until it smelled like bleach and sprayed it all over the walls and floor in both bathrooms.  First of all… ouch.  We both walked away with a tad bit of a chemical burn in our sinus passages.  But that’s okay if we get white tiles, right?  Well, that would have been nice.  No dice.  We left the house for about 2 hours while we ate some brunch and shopped for additional supplies.  When we came home, the tile was just as black as it was before.  I bought some cleaning products before and decided to break out the Softscrub with bleach and a scrub brush I had bought ages ago but never used.  VOILA!  We tried it on the floor in the main bath and it was ridiculous how fast it cleaned up.  It just goes to show you that you can’t shortcut cleaning.  If you want something cleaned well, you have to get in there and do it.  We’re only half done with one bathroom, but I can’t wait to finish it.  We bought grout sealant so we can try to protect the grout when we’re all finished.  I PROMISE there will be pics.  The bf goes out of town tomorrow morning so I will have the house to myself… and actually be able to accomplish something.  I will take pictures of our current progress and update you on the surprises that I planned for this week!  Thanks for hanging in there with me!!!

The Most Basic Non-Basic Need

So, we have been in possession of the house for almost exactly 3 days at this point.  (2 days… 23 hours… and 40 minutes to be exact)  The first project was, of course, to replace the locks.  After all, a sense of security is pretty much the most basic of needs… aside from food, water, and air.

It took me two trips to the hardware store, but I managed to acquire enough locks of the same color and have them all keyed the same.  Thinking ahead, I stopped by the super-mega-ridiculous mart and bought a can of bug spray.  I should have just bough a nuclear weapon and we might have been able to call the battle between me and the bugs a fair game.  It was dark when I got to the house since it was already almost 8 and that is “morning calisthenics” time for little spidies.  Luckily, it seems that the creepy crawlies are isolated to the garage.

After unleashing and ENTIRE can of bug killer in a single corner of the garage and smiling at myself for buying dust masks (which are not ideal, but certainly prevent one from passing out from fumes…  I should know), I tackled the outside door to the garage.  We have four doors into the house.  One to the garage from the outside.  One to the house from the garage.  One from the back.  One from the front.  The only one without a deadbolt is the one to the garage from the outside.  I figured that starting simple was probably best.  Turns out that I was terribly wrong.  Someone got creative with the way strike plates are supposed to be attached to walls and decided that it would be best to NAIL it in… Ugh…  So, about 15 minutes of pulling on a nail wore this poor girl out.  I managed to get the knob all replaced and could not have been prouder.  By this point, my friend had shown up (out of curiosity of the house… not to help. haha…) and so had my boyfriend and my friend’s boyfriend.  Somehow, I still ended up replacing all but one door entirely by myself.  Hmm…

My boyfriend DID, however, save us about $50 on a new motor for the range hood in the kitchen by simple luck.  When you turn it on, it goes *whirrrrrr* but doesn’t move.  Being the boy that he is, he decided that he would just touch it and see.  Why does that always work for them and I always break things?!  One little push from his finger and whatever was stuck got unstuck in a hurry.  Voila!  Working exhaust fan and $50 I can spend on something much more fun.  Using the same skill, he also fixed most of the solar lights that they had along the sidewalk.  Turns out that the batteries were just loose.  HAHA.

I wish I had pictures of all of this, but I don’t.  I was so frustrated, hot and tired that the idea of picking up my camera didn’t even cross my mind.  Besides, new knobs and a moving exhaust fan just don’t strike me as interesting and artistic.  I PROMISE to have pics of all the demo and reno (renovation… it’s cute cuz it rhymes that way) as we progress.

Love and kisses, ya’ll!

Coffee at 7 PM + Closing Day jitters = Glorious Accomplishments

So, it’s the night before closing and I just keep going over and over it in my head.  As of tomorrow morning at about 10 AM, my boyfriend and I will be homeowners.  We will no longer be renting… ever.  We don’t have to ask permission to paint the kitchen cabinets purple with orange polkadots or beg maintenance to fix our screen door.  If it’s broken, we can fix it or hire someone who knows what they’re doing to fix it.  It’s a double-edged sword, though.  If we break it, there is noone else to blame.  My stomach has been tied in knots all day and I finally had to take it out on a project.

About a week ago, I went to the Goodwill near my office and found the most glorious lamp.

Beautiful lamp

Unfortunately, as it is with most lamps at thrift stores, there was only one like it.  At least that’s what I thought…  Next to it was another lamp identical in shape.  It was black, though.

 

“Oh well,” I thought, “I can find a home for this one at least.”

Just like that, the pretty one was mine and I left the black one to live with someone else.  A couple days went by, though, and I kept thinking about my lamp’s cousin.  Surely I could find a home for it in my new house.  So, I went back… sure that all was lost and I would walk out empty-handed.  To my surprise, there was Lamp 1’s cousin still on the shelf!  I snatched him up and took it to check out.  Oh, but wait… there were paint flecks on it.  😦  I guess I could touch that up with magic mar-… oh, no!  It was not Lamp 1’s cousin; it was Lamp 1’s long lost twin!!!  Fate had brought them together again.  It was my job to return this lamp to it’s original luster.

Starting with the very scratched part, I began to uncover the lamp beneath.

the start

I gathered together cotton pads, non-acetone fingernail polish remover (because my artist friend came back with a resounding “I don’t know” when I asked her if acetone would damage glaze), cardboard to protect my floor, a nail brush to scrub off the yuckies, and sexy dish gloves (because one must protect her manicure at all times).

Supplies

Now, if there is anything that I am, I’m lazy.  And, after about 5 minutes of scrubbing with fingernail polish remover with little success, I gave up.  I emptied a bottle of window cleaner that I had never much liked anyway and poured in one bottle of polish remover.

remover in a bottle

Miracle of miracles!  A little spray went a loooong way!  The paint began to bubble and peel.  See?  I have the most glorious hunk of paint in my hand ever.

exciting bubbles!glorious paint!

Oh, and the results were worth all the paint peeling and wiping and a tad bit of scrubbing.

sisters reunited!

Whomever painted over the beauty of this lamp should be flogged with a wet noodle.  About ten nanoseconds after finishing the project, I called my friend and told her the great news.  With her toothbrush in her mouth, she seemed excited enough.  Haha… Well, anyway, I’m glad that my work paid off.  I can’t wait to post pics of how these look in the bedroom.   Any idea on shades?  I thought a nice cylinder shade would look good, but it has to be plain no matter what shape.  I worked too hard to not let the coolness of these lamps take centerstage!

Now, time to bake cookies (yes, it’s 1 AM), and head to bed. 🙂

EDIT: Do not leave fingernail polish remover in a plastic container overnight… you will end up with a very floppy container.  Thank goodness it was thick plastic to begin with!  haha…

Hello world!

Well, I decided to leave my default post title since that’s just about how I feel.  I’m just chomping at the bit to get out there… start doing things.  What really prompted me to start this was a couple of really awesome ladies.  I’ve followed them for awhile now and read some of their older stuff.  Good stuff, my friends.  Good stuff.  Not only do they keep me in absolute stitches, but they inspire me to think of my life as an experiment in crazy.  In other words, how seemingly nutty can I be and still get away with it?  People look at me like I’ve lost it when I tell them that I want to sew something (heck, I get stares when I say that I have a sewing machine for that matter) or that I can take an old piece of free junk and turn it into something amazing.  With the new direction my life has taken, I can’t wait to see what insanity I can get myself into.

Here’s my life in a nut shell:
My boyfriend and I live together in a “lovely” little apartment with our two dogs, turtle, ten fish, and tadpole.  I craft like the dickens whenever I can get my hands on supplies and he’s a tech geek.  Recently, my landlord and I got into it over the condition of my air conditioning.  She thought that 85 degrees inside at 11 PM was okay and I didn’t.  See where we might have a bit of a falling out?  Looong story (and it is because I’ve told it many many times) short, we decided to buy a house.  After 3 months of searching and tears, we found the cutest 1967 brick ranch home not but a stone’s throw from our current residence.  We close on it Monday.  If you ever wanted to see an excited face, I have one!  BUUUUT it’s a huuuge responsibility and there are plenty of things to keep us busy for awhile.  So, in between repairs and decorating and herding pets, I plan to share life’s little ups and downs.  Hopefully, you’ll be able to take away a little something here and there.  If nothing else, you can just laugh at my follies and think “glad that wasn’t me!”  Ahh… schadenfreude.

Well, the dogs won’t quit running around me and I’m still mega sweaty from the gym.  I guess that means it’s time for me to sign off, shower, and get cracking on my first project for the new house. *does excited dance*

Sláinte!