Monday, April 14, 2014

Never ending remodeling.

You'd think we were done with the remodel of Andy's bathroom.
But you'd be wrong.
We thought we were done in that bathroom.  
We were wrong too!

Here's the towel rods we originally installed.  They looked nice, but they kept pulling out of the wall or would fall off the brackets.  These are the kind where you don't have any visible screws, and they hook over brackets that you tighten a screw against the bracket to hold them to the wall.  

Nice in theory.  Not so nice in actual practice.

So, I've been brainstorming, and shopping, looking for something that would stay on the wall and still be "oil rubbed bronze."

I got the idea for the new ones we have by thinking about the stair rail in Mom and Dad's house.  It's simply a galvanized pipe screwed to the wall.  Now, granted, as a pretentious teenager, I thought it was cheap and hokey, and just lived with it.  (It was better once we painted it bright apple green!)  But now, I was thinking how it has been on that wall for almost 100 years and was trying to think of a towel rack that would do as well...Eureka!


 So I presented my idea to Kevin, to make towel racks out of galvanized pipe.  He was skeptical, but I searched Pinterest and found several examples.  I even found some painted black and a couple with a shelf.

I had him hooked on the idea with the shelf.


So on Saturday morning, Kev went to town and came home with all the hardware for new towel racks.
I washed them up--to scrub the protective coating and oil off the metal.  Kevin built his rack.  I spray painted it.  Kev then went out and found a piece of wood, cut it to fit, drilled the holes for the pipe, and we were in business!

I washed the piece of wood, because it was pretty dirty!  Kev spaced his brackets so that two were in studs and he installed those plastic brackets in the other holes.  THIS towel rack isn't going anywhere!

I LOVE it!

(Note, we did use ONE recycled pipe out of some that Kev had at home.  We didn't have any brackets or elbows.  I'm sure we could have found some if we'd gone to the farm, but it was easier to buy new.  But rest assured, I'm thinking of other ways to use some old pipe that's laying around!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Eldar update Page 9

It's been a while since I've update progress on Eldar.  I'm on page 9 now.  Pages 8 and 9 have proven to be confetti heavy and have taken me much longer than anticipated.  Or maybe my finishing speed has had more to do with the holidays and working on the house.

I started this project a year ago.  I see the end in sight, and have hopes to finish this by the beginning of summer.  I'm taking some vacation time next week, but I won't be able to stitch much because I promised Miss Kat that I'd finish her scrapbook/photo album by graduation.  I need to spend some crunch time on that next week instead of stitching.  Since we finished laying floor in Miss Kat's room, and moved her big stuff in, I was able to stitch for about an hour last night.

I think I needed to step back today and look at the big picture of this project again.  I've gotten tunnel vision with this, and had forgotten what a big accomplishment this will be for me!  You know, over all, I've enjoyed working on this.  Sure I get frustrated with the thousands of color changes, and it annoys me to no end when I think I've stitched all of one particular color in an area and then find that ONE darn stitch that I missed.  But still, this has been relatively enjoyable and relaxing for me.

I've thought about doing a normal sized Heaven and Earth Design, but it's taken me over a year to stitch a mini design.  The bigger designs can run 30+ pages!  I'm just not sure I'm ready to spend that much time on a project!

I'll be glad when Eldar is finished.  This page, page 9, is the last of the full sized pages.  The last 3 pages are about 1/3 of the size, so they should go fast.  In the meantime, I think I'll take a minute and just sit back and appreciate what I've accomplished so far!

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's time for something to go right. Isn't it?

Our basement is a mess.  Carpet is gone, laminate is gone.  Miss Kat is sleeping in Andy's old bedroom.  She's also taken over the newly remodeled bathroom.  (And she broke off one of the new towel rods.)  She has stuff upstairs, downstairs, and in the garage.

The garage is so full of her stuff that I couldn't get to the recycling yesterday.  I can get to the freezers, but can't get to much else.

Kev and I went carpet/flooring shopping in Wichita Saturday.  It's rather overwhelming when you don't know what you want, and you don't really know what you want to spend.  We'd discussed our options.  We decided to go back with carpet. We tossed around the idea of carpet tiles, but we wanted more information about them before committing.  We've tossed around radiant heat with tile or wood.  But we just didn't really feel strongly one way or another about anything.

On the drive, we were enjoying music on the radio, when we noticed the display going bonkers.  (Bonkers IS an adjective!)  It started flashing, the display kept blinking, going dark, becoming normal, going bonkers again.  We were almost to Wichita when it went OFF.  Just blacked out.  Then we smelled hot plastic.  Wei figured it had shorted out and all was well.  Who really needs the display of the clock and the radio station?

Then we attempted to turn it off.  Nothing.
I attempted to turn it down.  Nothing.
I tried to change the station.  Nothing.

We had no control of the radio.  We finally pulled the fuse just to turn the darn thing off.

At this point, I was fed up.  Frustrated.  We paid off the loan for this car one month ago.  I was ready to go buy a new one.

But, logic prevailed, and we continued with our flooring shopping.  We took a break for lunch and our friends, Kim and Bob called.  They were headed to Wichita as well, so we hooked up with them and spent the rest of the day running around.  We even went to supper.  If they hadn't come down, I'd have probably bought a new vehicle.  Not because I want to, but because I just want something to go right!

Yesterday, Kev went out to start our Diesel pickup.

It wouldn't start.

He fiddled with this and that.  Nothing.
He changed the fuel filter.  Nothing.

I tell ya, after all the water issues, along with trouble we've been having with our home internet, and now TWO vehicles acting up...I've just about had it!

Maybe we should  have gone car shopping!

After the events of the last two weeks, I'm ready for a break.  It's time for something to go right!



Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Good bye laminate floors

Last Thursday morning, Kevin went down to feed the dogs at 6 a.m.  He quickly came back upstairs, very angry, and said, "The basement is full of water."

He then disappeared back downstairs.

I went down to find him mopping up water in the main room.  You know, the one we'd finished remodeling a little over a year ago.  The floor was soaked.  Laminate floor + lots of water = disaster.

Also soaked were the bathroom floor, and both bedroom floors.  But where did the water come from?  The main floor bathrooms are both over the garage.  The garage was dry.  We checked the middle bedroom, because the kitchen drain and the laundry room are above it.  Dry ceiling and walls.  That left the basement bathroom.  But no water was running in there.

Finally, through process of elimination, we decided it had to have been the toilet.  The top of the toilet was wet, but it wasn't running over, and the water level was normal.  Kev flushed it, it flushed just fine.  We decided it had to have been plugged and eventually, after running over for hours, resolved itself.  Either that or the dogs did something.

Poor Miss Kat, she was blamed for the fiasco.

Poor us, we had a mess on our hands.
 See the swollen seams?
 Here, the trim bowed.
 The floor in the middle bedroom
The floor in Miss Kat's room.  (Yes, she's a pig.  she had stuff all.over.the.floor.)

I contacted our insurance company.  An Adjuster came out on Monday.  I stayed home from work to visit with him.  All went well, we're set with insurance to replace it all.

On that same Monday morning, around 6:20, Kevin came rushing back into the bedroom, turned on lights, started throwing clothes around, and said, "We just had a pipe burst. I'm sorry, but I had to turn off the water."

What?

Yes, it was -4 outside.  Yes, a water pipe broke in the wall by the stairs.  He just happened to be on the stairs and heard it break.  His quick thinking saved us from MORE water damage.

But, this meant that I'd be home all day without water.  Which meant no bath for me.  It also meant no laundry as well!

But, we're prepared.  I keep bottled water, and I keep one of the water coolers full in the garage.  So I had water.  Kev repaired the pipe that night and put extra insulation in the wall.  We've ripped out the carpet and the laminate floor.  We're now deciding just what to put down now.

I think we've both agreed that we won't put laminate down again.  While it's pretty, the basement was colder this winter.  We really think we need that insulation aspect of carpet. Miss Kat wants laminate in her bedroom, and we might do that--simply because it's a small area and we think we can salvage enough to do her room.  

But for the main living area...we're leaning to carpet tiles at this point.

Who knows.  All I know is I'm going to miss my wood floors.  I also really  hope that we are DONE with water issues!

Countertops...check!

Miracle of all miracles, we finished putting down our new counter tops.  Formica is down.  New edging is on and stained.  It's finally a functioning kitchen again!
 This is the bar area where it meets the west wall.  Here you can see the finished shelf Kev built.
 The sink area... note the nice wood looking back splash!
 Over by the stove.  (Yes, that's two new loaves of homemade bread on the counter.)
 Here's a close-up of how we finished the front edge of the counter top.  It's a wee bit distressed and jagged.  On purpose!
The cabinet on the left is one Kevin built me years ago.  We stained it to better match the edge of the new counter tops.

And, we're trying to decide about staining the cabinets.  The doors and the fronts won't be a problem--they are solid wood.  But the sides of the cabinets...they aren't wood.  They are thin plywood covered with vinyl.  So, do I paint that vinyl to match my wall color (to be determined.  I'm still thinking of leaving it green.)  Or do we spend MORE money on cabinets that I hope will be temporary.  Right now, Kev's leaning toward leaving the cabinets alone and not re-staining them.  I was ready to stain them, until this past Thursday.  (that post is above.)

I think we'll worry about the basement, and then we'll come back to the kitchen and make a final decision about whether or not to stain the cabinet fronts.  (But I'm always open to advice and ideas!)