Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The finished Fireplace

Well, once again Kevin proved me wrong.  He actually finished the fireplace on December 20.  Since we were celebrating Christmas with family on the 23rd, I was relieved.  He modified the design a great deal since our floor plan is unique.  The fireplace sits in a corner and is angled.  That required us to modify the web image that sparked Kev's imagination.

We used pine to tie the fireplace with the stairs. Kev had the perfect piece left to use for the mantle.  It's three inches thick, just like the steps and the banister rail.  Since  it is the outside edge of the tree, it curves and isn't square, but it's awfully pretty.  Kev then built the lower shelves to hold our DVD player and Satellite receiver, moving them from the east wall, as seen below.
With the addition of the upper shelves, he created more space for me to showcase items.  Those shelves are "disappearing" shelves simply because we didn't want to put a side up against that angled wall.  It would have looked...odd.  

I like the firewood storage.  I thought about asking him to make one shelf on this side, but he veto'd that, and I think he was right.  We rocked the fireplace together.  It took about 5 hours.  I struggled with the layout of the rocks because I kept wanting them to fit perfectly.  They don't.  Kev did a lot of trimming to make them fill the space and they've grown on me...or I've let go of my idea of perfection. All in all, I'm happy with the end product.  I'm also eager to put away my Christmas decorations to see how I'm going to arrange "pretties" on the shelves.  

What's the next project?  Who knows!  It's now been a week since Kev has had anything to work on.  He's getting stir-crazy already!  We need to replace the Purple bathroom's tub and the skylight...we need to replace Kev's shower, and we need better cabinets in the kitchen.  But, I'd be happy if we didn't do anything for a few months.  I'm not sure Kevin can sit still that long!
Once again...before and after.  Quite a difference!

Friday, December 14, 2012

The NEW project

Remember when I said, "stay tuned" at the conclusion of the last post?  Well, it's time to change the channel.
My basement is complete.  Kevin won the bet.  Last Sunday, my living room looked like the above picture.  By the end the evening, it looked like this:

Notice the mantel is missing.  The fireplace trim is missing.  The wood that you see we discovered was simply a vinyl veneer adhered to sheet-rock.  What you can't really see is the wire mesh that now covers the sheet-rock.  If you look closely, you can see some stone laying in front of the fireplace.

That pointy piece of wood to the right side?  That will be a shelf.  Kevin found this photo below online:

And this is his goal for our fireplace. It's beautiful, and I like it.  However, I'm hosting Christmas on the 23rd.  I want this project FINISHED by the 23rd. I want my house "normal" by Christmas!

Our project will be amended, because our fireplace sits on a slanted wall in the corner and we'll use pine instead of oak.  But Kev insists that he'll be finished by the 23rd.  He's the only one in our house who thinks he can have it finished by the 23rd, and he's rather indignant that  none of us think he can get it done in 14 days.  

I'm annoyed by the whole project.  Why?  Because before we had the carpet laid, I asked him if he wanted to take down the fireplace mantle so the carpet would be all nice and flush and even.  "Nope" was his response, because he wasn't going to do anything else to the house.
That lasted 4 days.
And now my living room is tore up.  Again...

Friday, December 07, 2012

A very special quilt

Many many years ago, like sometime during the 1970's, my Grandma Woodruff bought a set of quilt blocks and floss.  She stitched four blocks and either tired of the project or got busy with another one.  One day, she showed it to me and asked if I would like to finish embroidering the squares.  I, of course, said yes.

 I manged to embroider 4 more blocks and then I put it away myself.  I think I got bored because I just didn't (and still don't) like embroidering cross stitches.  And, my knots weren't as nice as Grandma's.  She could tie a knot using one hand and that knot would be nice and big, tight and at the very end of the floss.

Then one day during the 1980's, my other grandma, Grandma Berends, needed a project.  So, I brought the remaining four blocks over to her and she finished embroidering them.  At which time, Grandma W. told me that if I'd piece the quilt, she'd hand quilt it for me.  So, Mom and I went shopping for fabric.  I wanted to match the green, but both Mom and Grandma B. thought we should go with pink.  And we did.

By this time, it was 1987.  I took the blocks and the pink fabric home and I pieced the dang thing.  I hated piecing it.  Hating having to stitch perfect straight lines, hated sewing all those pieces together.  I just hated it and vowed that I would never again piece a quilt. (I haven't, either!)

But, I got it done, and Grandma W. quilted it. She drew her own design on the pink borders.  She almost always designed her own quilting pattern, and she quilted a lot of quilts (like 40 some baby quilts for her great-grandchildren.)  I used the quilt for a time on my full-sized bed, but then some of the stitches (the embroidered ones) started pulling out (probably mine since I was the worst at making knots.)  I quit using it and put it away in an acid-free box, wrapped in tissue paper.  I got it out not long ago just to admire the work and to remember both of my Grandmas.

When Grandma W was quilting it, I knew it was special simply because it was something we three worked on together.  Now that they both are gone, it's even more special.