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.  

Monday, April 23, 2018

Sun Room Part Three

Has it really been since October that I've posted about the sun room?  Or in general?  Jesus!  I guess when I think about it- it turned cold outside and winter has lasted for 947 years.  So there really was no way to be out there working when it was negative hell outside.  But we've done a ton of stuff in the room the last few months, I just haven't gotten to the posting part of it.   So sit down and kick your feet up.  I'm about to give you at least 7 minutes worth of reading. 

Last time we chatted about the sun room it looked like this- the floor was down, the ceiling was up and the walls had the first layer of plywood up.

The goal was to have the room finished by end of spring.  We got an early start the beginning of March.  The sun was out and it was what you could consider slightly warmer out.  Hot Toddy and I jumped at the opportunity to get the wall boards outside and painted.  I had gotten a Wagner paint sprayer and this was the first time we planned on using it.  Let me tell you- SO WORTH IT!  Like- I want to paint the most random things just to use it.  It's ah-mazing!

So we set up shop on some saw horses and 2 X 4's out in the backyard and started painting.  

There were a lot of boards- so this made it easy to get 4-5 boards painted at a time, move them to the 2 X 4's, and set up another 4-5 boards.  It went pretty smoothly and quickly and we didn't have to paint them all by hand.  Again, so worth it.  

While they were drying, I worked on the floor.  Oh, the floor.  UGH.  This is when bad things happen to good DIY people.  So throughout the winter and the slightly warmer weather and then back to the freezing tundra- we noticed that the floor was having a lot of moisture on it.  Enough that we could swipe our hand on the floor and it would be wet.  In some places there were actual puddles.  It was bad.  Especially since we had a rug and some furniture in there on the floor.  Talk about deflating.  All winter long I wondered if I was going to be able to decorate this room with indoor furniture.  I didn't want to deal with a wet floor and I already sold the outdoor furniture that had previously been housed in the screened porch.  FML is what I was thinking.  After a call to my dad and chatting with some workers at Menards, we ended up painting with a water proof concrete sealant (two coats cuz I'm ridiculous like that) and also laying down a vapor barrier.  Fingers crossed- we don't get any water or moisture in there now.  Cuz the floor is back down and it's not coming up again.  

Next came the tongue and groove boards.  And no- this isn't ship lap.  Please don't call it ship lap.  I don't ever want to hear ship lap again.  Ever.  I mean, I love those two but shit.  Enough with the ship lap.  Find a new wall treatment.  Anyway- back to tongue and groove pine boards.  Once they were painted we started getting them up onto the walls.  

 After the first few boards were up, it looked so much different!  It was starting to really look like what I had envisioned.  It almost made it worth the amount of time we spent going to multiple stores sorting the entire stocks of boards to find the perfect ones.  Or just ones that weren't damaged. That was quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever spent my time on.  

By end of day one we looked like this-

Figuring out those outlets was a bitch.  Took us a lot longer than either of us wanted and a slew of curse words were thrown around.  Maybe even some never before heard curse words.  And I'm purposely not showing you a close up of the outlets.  They are not pretty.  

Day two went like this-

Two weeks later, we had some more time to work on the room.  We finished the walls.  Hells yeah!!

Guys- did you ever think I'd do white walls?  On purpose?  White walls equate to institutional walls to me.  I have never wanted white walls.  They drive me NUTS.  But for some reason, I thought painting tongue and groove boards a color would look more like painted paneling- a la 1986.  And I don't want this room looking like awful basement paneling.  Which is also why I went horizontal with the boards.  A little more contemporary and fresh.  

Next up is trimming out the windows and casing them, casing the doors, and putting in the baseboards and ceiling trim.  Then caulking.  Lots of caulk.  And can you guess how many inappropriate comments were made in the caulk aisle?  LOTS.  Cuz I'm a teenage boy.  CAULK- so fun to say.  

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sun Room Part Two

Now that we've gotten the framing and rebuilding out of the way, it's time for the interior.  Seeing the outside with all of the windows in and siding up definitely made it a LOT more real.  It looked like an actual room.  But getting the interior done will make it an actual room with walls and flooring and the ceiling and decor!!  Lots of decor!  But not just yet.

Since we finished up the exterior as quickly as we did, my Daddy-O offered to help with the interior as well.  Bless his heart.  Here's what we did before he and my aunt left to go back to MA.

First- electrical.  He asked if I wanted outlets and I said yes.  He asked how many and I said LOTS.  Like, probably way more than I'll ever need.  But you never know when you'll need a spare outlet.

Here's just two walls.  Oh and see the gray one in the corner in the photo above?  That's the outdoor box.  Seriously though- there are now six electrical outlets in the sunroom now.  SIX!  I've got the power.

Then came the ceiling.  Oh.  The ceiling.  The bane of my existence.  Hot Toddy and I went to a burger joint one night and I happened to look up at the ceiling and saw the most beautiful stained wood ceiling and I knew I had to have it.  It was what I referred to as a "mink" color.  It had tones of brown and gray swirling throughout.  It was a blended combination that went so perfectly.  And like I said- I HAD TO HAVE IT.  Our waiter came over and asked if we needed anything else. I said, "Yes,  actually.  Could you find out the color stain that was used on the ceiling?"  I mean, a completely normal question for a waiter.  Right?  Well he looked at me like I had 4 heads, gave me some bullshit brushoff and never came back.  Well I made it my mission to find said color stain.  And didn't tip him.

I came up with nothing.  NADA.  None of the stains around here are a mixture of gray and brown.  So I got it in my head that I'd create the color myself.  Cuz apparently I'm a color specialist.  I bought so many different cans of gray stain, mixed it with brown stain, it did nothing.  I stained the wood brown first, then went over with a coats of gray.  It sort of worked.  But not quite what I wanted.  We brought the piece in that I "thought" looked like what I wanted and held it up and you couldn't even SEE the gray on it.  I finally gave up because I had about 20 boards that needed to get stained and put up onto my ceiling and I wasn't about to be trying to get this color to work on every damn piece of it.  So I gave up.  I went with my go to stain- dark walnut.  We ran out of the quart I had so I went to get another and they were OUT.  Cuz that's my luck.  So I ended up getting a gallon of it and then had to go to work.  My dad and aunt then went to town on the remaining unstained boards.  They got the first coat on all of the boards and stopped.  The gallon color was definitely NOT the same as the quart I had.  Like, drastically different.  They didn't want to go further until I saw it.

When I got home the boards were in the garage, under the garage lights.  I didn't like them.  I was almost at the point of hating the color on the boards and possibly crying because I wanted the ceiling to look amazing.  And I didn't think it would.  I finally asked if we could pull all of the boards out in the driveway and see what they looked like.  Hence the below photo.

This photo was after we moved them around and sorted them so the two different tones weren't so obvious. And once it was out into the daylight, I loved them!  Amazing what different lighting can do.

Then came time to get them onto the ceiling.  Check out the Pops.  He got to use his fancy schmancy new nail gun for this job.

The middle photo it's very obvious which boards I did with the original stain and which ones were done with the gallon color.  They almost look black.  Fast forward to it being done- hah as IF it was that easy.

The color is kind of washed out since it was so dang bright in there when I took these.  But once you see the below photos with my super cool airplane propeller-like ceiling fan, you'll get a much better idea of what it looks like.

Beautiful right?  I seriously go out there and just start at it.  Like, a lot.  So puuuuuuuurty.

Then came putting up the first layer of "walls".  We got sheets of lauan plywood- which is basically super thin plywood and my Dad got that taken care of the last day they were here.

It definitely looks different with actual "walls" up, doesn't it?  It's definitely coming along!  Such a difference from what it was a week before that!

Here's the last update on the inside for a while.  I had Monday and Tuesday off of this week.  So on Monday, Miss Emily and I got to work on the floor.  We got about half of it done before we called it a night.

Yesterday, Hot Toddy and I finished it.

Up next?

  • walls
  • baseboard
  • framing out the interior of the windows
  • trimming out the windows
  • decor! decor! decor!  (I'm not gonna lie- I've bought a LOT of pretty things so far!)