Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Little Privacy and A Little Veggies For The Backyard

Quick post for you on this Father's Day!  I kind of gave you a sneak peek of the latest project at the end of the sunroom reveal.

I picked up a fence panel from Menards a few weekends ago.  It's 6 ft high and 8 ft wide.  You can see it through the windows.  We are using it more as a privacy panel since behind it is the curve of the street and everyone going by just stares into my yard.  Sometimes a girl just wants to sit outside topless without all of her neighbors gawking at her.  Am I right?

Well we were driving to pick up our new patio set and we were chatting about finding some sort of privacy panel and I saw this image.

I showed it to Todd and he was all in.  Exactly like what we wanted.  Well until I told him I saw a fence panel in Menards flyer that was on-sale.  So I went to their site and showed it to him and we decided a half  DIY project is what we really wanted.  HAH.  After we picked up the patio set, we went and grabbed the panel.  We've had it propped up between one of the couches and some planter boxes ever since.  Until this weekend.

We picked up cedar boards, 4 black Rubbermaid tubs, garden/veggie soil, and veggie plants and got to work.  On quite possibly the hottest two days ever recorded, I might add.  It. Was. Brutal.  But we got it done.

First was removing the planter boxes.

So this view is from the back, the couches are on the other side.  I'm standing on the curve side of the yard.  Then we built two rectangles using pressure treated 2 X 4's.

We used Rubbermaid tubs pretty much because I couldn't find planter box inserts that were rectangle other than window boxes and as you can see above- I needed much bigger than window box size.  We drilled holes in the bottom of the tubs and they are raised up off the ground by another 2 X 4 for drainage.  Then we started to attach the cedar boards.

We did both sides first, here you can see how nice it's starting to look.  We were beyond exhausted and drained at this point by the sun.  But we suffered on to get it done.

Isn't she pretty?  We were very happy with how it came out.  It really didn't take us very long to cut all of the boards and attach them.  It was a very easy project- if not for the sun and heat.

Today we went to Lowe's to get veggie plants and soil.  We went to a couple stores yesterday and the selection was extremely disappointing.  Not sure if it's because we are really out of veggie planting season (hey, we're rookies) or if they just had a crappy selection.  But we were really hoping Lowe's had a better selection- which they did.  So we were very happy!

We grabbed a pot of zucchini, cucumbers, jalapenos, and tomatoes.  We also picked up a couple of trellis's for the cukes and zukes to grow up.  But we'll need to go grab a cage for the tomatoes.  This is what it looks like now!

I can see it outside of my kitchen window and it looks so nice!  Hopefully we get something to grow!  I guess we'll see.  I've about killed all of my flower plants and bushes over the years.  So there really is no guarantee on any of these.  But if I can get these to grow, we plan to do more raised veggie beds and then we'll just turn this into flowers next year.

The other good news- I FINALLY GOT APPROVAL FOR MY FENCE AND IT'S GETTING INSTALLED NEXT WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Guys- you have no @#$&^%&! idea how difficult of a process this was and how many times I bit my tongue and played nice throughout it all.  Especially when I wanted to go all Kristi-Bitch on them.  But they FINALLY approved it and you know I'll be showing pictures when it's done.  Oh, and I'll definitely do up a blog on how bullshit HOA's are and the crap they have put me through.

So anyone have any gardening tips for this rookie black thumb?  Who else is growing their own veggies?  For the first time or have you been doing it for a while now?

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Sunroom Part Four and Hopefully the Last

Y'all.  It only took 9 months but I'm pretty sure the sunroom is finished!  I mean, except for the decorating part- which I'm super excited to be able to start putting all the cute stuff I've bought in there!  Like a fireplace!  But that's for another day.  I know, I'm such a tease.

So last we talked about the sunroom, the walls were up and we were going to start on casing and trimming the windows.  This is what it looked like.

See the inside of the windows?  Still the exposed 2 X 4's.  See the top of the walls?  You can see how uneven the ceiling is.  See the bottom of the walls?  You can see how uneven the floor is.  Well, they are still uneven but at least we made them look slightly less uneven.  But first, windows.

They were really starting to look good once we got the insides all trimmed out.  Then came casing them.

Don't they look like real windows now?  Like a professional did them.  HAH.

So the windows got done about a month ago.  Then I was in Florida for two weekends and Hot Toddy was in Arizona for Mother's Day and the following weekend I worked and it rained.  So a whole month has gone by without us being able to do anything in there.  Until this past weekend!

We started with the ceiling molding- which I chose a simple, flat board since I thought crown molding was a little too fancy for this room.  This was thought to be the easiest of what was left to do- so we started there.

The left wall doesn't have the molding yet and the front wall does.  See how much better it looks already?

And below are two finished shots!

Then came time for door casings.  I have the exterior door and a sliding door in this room.  First- the sliding door. Didn't get the bottom trimmed out yet for this pic but that came with putting the baseboards on.  First things first, people! 

Then there's this sexy beast.

The door.  I was talking about the door.  Hot Toddy wanted to model the door.  All mine, ladies.  All.  Mine.

Finally came time for the baseboards.  People- this floor was atrocious.  I have no idea who poured this concrete but they should be fired.  So rather than putting a baseboard across and having a big gap in the middle, we used a pencil compass/scriber to get the exact sloping of the floor so that the baseboard fit snug against it, leaving no gap.  We did an OK job at it.  Definitely don't have the most steady of hands.  But it'll work.  Oh and you can see we also added quarter round in the corners to hide where the boards came together in the corners.

The above picture shows how bad the floor really was.  Look at the width of the baseboard under the outlet and then look at how much smaller it is towards the corner.  Terrible.

Oh and for those of you who took the FB poll a LOOOOOOONG time ago about what rug I should use in the space.... here's your answer.  

I can't even begin to tell you just how happy I am that this project is done and over with.  It looks so much better and is so much more functional with it as a sunroom rather than a screened porch.  I LOVE IT!  I can't wait to decorate it and make it pretty!  

Oh and funny story- there should be quarter rounds going along the baseboards to hide our not-so-steady scribing/cutting skills.  Went to Menards to pick them up on Monday.  They only had 8ft or 12ft pieces.  So I grabbed three 12ft pieces cuz all three walls are longer than 8ft.  Got in my car and made it about halfway home with them sticking out the window before two snapped in half and flew at the car behind me.  Thank god they were paying attention because they swerved out of the way and missed them hitting their car by about a foot.  I felt like an asshole but totally acted like it wasn't my car that did it!  Nothing to see here!  I called Todd and told him we'd have to make another stop to Menards.  Oopsie.  I got home with the remaining 12ft board, figuring we could at least get one wall done.  Todd measured and cut the board and I brought it in to fit it to the wall and nail it in...... and whomp whomp it was about 7 inches too short.  Good thing Hot Toddy is pretty.  Cuz his measuring skills need some work.  He came in all excited to see how it looked with the quarter round hiding the baseboard and saw me glaring staring at him and just looked defeated.  We were exhausted, we were drained, we were over it at that point.  So he proceeded to take his frustrations out on the poor quarter round.  Needless to say, we have some extra firewood now.  :)

And if you look really closely at the picture above, you can see the start of our next project......  Get ready for it.  I'm super excited over this one too.  

So what do you think about the finished sunroom?  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Reason(s) Why I Write This Blog

I get so many questions and statements and opinions (soooooooooo many opinions) on why I write my blog, I figured it’s time to answer some of them.  I’ll be straight right now, you’re gonna get honesty from me here.  
I started writing my blog originally because I’m out here in Indiana and my family and the majority of my friends are not.  They have not and probably will not ever visit me here and therefore will never see my house.  It started out as “Look at how I decorated my brand new, empty house” to “Look at what I’ve changed/built/created/etc.” just so that those people could see where I live because they more than likely will never step foot inside.  I have never, nor will I ever, care if anyone outside of that circle reads my blog.  I don’t want to get paid for it.  There isn’t a company looking to sponsor a girl in middle-America who does semi-decent DIY that swears far too much.  I’m not DIY Blogger friendly.  I don’t want people from other countries reading it.  Or random strangers.  But if they do, I’m OK with that.   But none of that is the intent of me writing on the blog. 
From the start I’ve always loved decorating and I think I’m fairly OK at it and apparently some others do as well, because people constantly tell me I’m in the wrong industry.  But aren’t we all?  Seriously.  I would probably hate my job if I was an interior designer- because it’s a JOB.  I love to decorate but I don’t want to be forced to abide by other peoples design requirements or choices.  I like MY decorating.  Not all houses need to look like mine.  That would be boring.  
I also do DIY as a way to relax.  My mom is always telling me to take a break, enjoy my weekends, slow down a minute.  But sometimes, to me, sanding a dresser IS my relaxation.  The loud, obnoxious hum of a power tool drowns out all the assholes out there.  It’s my quiet place.  I need that outlet or else I am the asshole out there and no one wants that.    
I began refinishing furniture because I had just purchased a rather large house and barely had enough furniture to fill a small apartment bedroom.  If I wanted to look like I should own said house, I should probably furnish it.  I didn’t have people out here handing me pieces of furniture to put in my house, nor did I really want that.  I wanted to pick my own furniture out.  But if you haven’t purchased an entire house worth of furniture lately- let me break this down for you- that shit's expensive.  It’s expensive for cheap shit, never mind something of quality.  I’ll also let you in on a little secret- I’m not loaded.  I’m not rich.  I’m not a trust fund baby.  I don’t have a sugar daddy.  It’s me and my mediocre salary, with a house payment and a love for quality food that's not in the form of a frozen cardboard container.  So there wasn’t much left over at the end of the bill cycle to buy brand new everything for my new palace.  I scoured Craigslist, Goodwill stores, yard sales.  Aside from my bedroom furniture that was purchased for me as a house warming present and my living room set that I purchased new, most everything in my house is used or discounted or built by me.  Because that’s what I had to do rather than going into massive credit card debt. 

I’m also one that loves a challenge and doesn’t like to be told no or that I can’t do something.  My whole life I’ve been in the “prove them wrong” state of mind- from leaving my hometown to go away to college, to my majoring in a male dominated industry, to making it pretty damn high up in the sports world- don't tell me I can't do it.  I also love to learn and fiddle around with things.  Since we didn’t own a home growing up, I never had to worry about any house related stuff- meaning I never had to learn how to fix things.  But I was intrigued by it.  I can't tell you how many times I took off the outlet covers and pulled out the wires to see the connections- at the age of 9.  Or how I dismantled shelving units/cabinets/door locks- to see how they were put together and to see if I could put them back together.  Should've been an engineer- I would have all the money in the world to just buy everything I wanted and not have to worry about doing it myself.  HAH!  But this was new to me and I think I loved the challenge of figuring home ownership out.  I knew I couldn’t afford to hire out everything single thing I wanted to change in my house just because I didn't know how to do it.  So I learned to change out a light fixture.  Then I learned to put in a ceiling fan.  Then I learned how to rip out wire shelving and install wood shelves.  Every time I learned to do something new, it pushed me to learn more.  And I always say to anyone that asks “aren’t you scared you’ll screw something up?”- well, no actually.  Not at all.   I can always pay someone to fix it if I can’t figure it out.  Or call someone to help me figure it out.   If you start small enough and succeed at it, it gives you the confidence to try something bigger.  Take that as a life lesson.  Boom.  
But the big thing that has kept me writing the blog aside from all of these reasons- is you guys.  The questions that I get on what to do with this dresser.  Or how do you think this would look?   Or the "done" photo and the exclamation marks that accompany the "Look at this!"  and "I did this!"  I feel like maybe a really small part of me might maybe help some of you get the courage to try something on your own that maybe you wouldn't have before.  But the fact that someone out there reads a post about something I built or painted or sewed or re-purposed and asks me if I think they could do that too?  That's an amazing feeling.  Because the answer is YES- always YES.  Don't keep a tan paint on your walls just because you are scared of color.  Paint the walls bright fucking purple!  If it ends up looking like a fat dinosaur and you hate it- you can always go back to tan for roughly $35 and a half-days worth of manual labor.  Easy peasy.  Don't be scared!
I know I am no expert.  At anything really.  Except at sarcasm.  I'm amazing at that.  But really though- I'm just an average 38 year old female.  One who has her good days that hopefully out-number the bad days.  Who has tried to figure things out and sometimes, more than people realize, has failed miserably at them.  So miserably.  Who has champagne taste on a Kool-Aid budget and has to be forced to realize that at times, no matter how disappointing it may be.  Who has to step back at times and realize there are a lot of things that I will never have, that life isn't fair, that life does suck sweaty balls at times.  Who at times is so miserable and tired and moody that I just want to crawl under my covers and shut the world out entirely. I'm human.  
So that's why I do the blog.  Even when I'm dead tired.  I enjoy the fuck out of it.  Read it, don't read it.  Like it, don't like it.  But I hope that the time you spent reading it- that you enjoyed what I wrote about.  And I possibly made you laugh at least one time.  If you didn't, obviously you are dead inside cuz I'm fucking hilarious.