Friday, October 21, 2016

Moving right along!

I'm starting on the 'move' to the new bedroom. First off was an effort to organize my closet. This is what I came up with.
I am terrible with my shoes. The old closet upstairs was tiny. Each time I organized it, I ended up stacking shoes.
The shoes would eventually become jumbled and I'd simply open the door and blindly toss my boots in...shutting the door swiftly hoping they'd stay put.

Now? I used some blocks and some leftover floor planks to build a mini shelf. My shoes are now organized in their new space. I hope to keep things that way.

The room is being cleared of all the things that were stored there. I dragged all this out of the closets yesterday and actually found places for it all.

I moved our clothes into the new 'in the wall' dresser and found places for all the 'stuff' that has been stored willy nilly while we re did the living room and painted.

Old dressers were purged and moved to the basement. I stored items in them and used masking tape to label what was in the drawers.

The upstairs 'spare' room was a disaster. I spent most of the morning pushing things around and washing walls and ceilings.
It is now ready for company. Which I will have the first weekend in November. My ex 4H 'kid' will be coming with her hubby and her children for a visit.
I am almost ready to move our bed from the other bedroom to the new room downstairs.

Doin' the happy Dance!

Sorry, I didn't take any photos of that disaster area. But I am reforming it into my New Arsty Phartsy Studio of Creativity.

Well, that is what I hope.
I'll even be getting a Futon for moments of relaxation whist the artsy mind overworks. And of course a spot for Morris to relax and observe.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Heat? Heat! Maybe! Yes!

Oh and the stairs are finally complete.

I finished all the touch ups and am rather pleased as to how they look.

The landing will be covered with linoleum, we have quite a bit left over from doing the bathroom and I couldn't see wasting it.
Right now it is rough plywood with some paint on it ... with a nice fuzzy soft bath rug on it.

It is amazing the amount of 'dirt' that collects on the stairs. I am pleased to have it painted and done. A quick swipe of a damp cloth cleans it quickly and I don't have to drag an old vacuum up and down the stairs any longer.

Morris posed for me.
View from top
View from the landing

The brown railing and side 'bars' will be replaced with naked pine that I finished and sealed.

Out with the old yucky stuff and eventually in with the new. I don't dare nag my husband about it as he is still working on the heater installation.

Dearest hubby loves to draw some things out. I think he likes to see how long we can wait each year before we turn the heat on anyway.

Friday night it is supposed to be 38 degrees. Today he turns the heat on!

This is what is called a direct vent heater. For our small house we don't need a large furnace. For 20 years we've only had one small propane heater or another.

With the added insulation, new windows, new roof and doors, we ought to be able to heat this house with a match if need be!

Of course I am kidding. Those nights it gets to -20 in mid winter? Yeah, it is nice to have a nice warm cozy house.

Our contractor promised to come back and finish the trim on the windows as soon as we got the walls done. I guess I shouldn't have paid him as I've left a message and he has not responded in 3 weeks.

He has 6 windows left to trim out and trim the dining area in the house. 

Oh yes! I finished painting the ceiling in the living room. If anyone ever tells you that they like painting ceilings call them on it. No fun! But I did get it done and when the trim is in, we can start to rearrange the house!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Stairs.

I know I know. To most people a stairway is not a big deal.

But in our little cottage, it is in the center of the house. It divides the living room from the kitchen.
It is a centerpiece of sorts.

As I look around at the beautiful pine wood that Rich has added to the walls, I realized that the ugly old carpeting and dark wood rough cut posts needed to go. 

In fact I rarely took any photos directed towards the stairs in our house because. Well.
They were just downright ugly. 
[See Morris photo in previous post.]

Here is a shot of the stairway before we added the pine wood in the eating area.
First I painted the stairs white and the brown sides of the stairs white.

It took only a couple of coats and came out pretty nice looking.
However as tempting it is to have white stairs, I decided to add color to the 'risers'.

We debated long and hard on the color. Rich wanted tan. I said absolutely NO tan! No brown!

We also debated the stair railing. We could take it down and replace it, or I could strip it and clear coat it. One way or another, it will have to be refurbished. Too many years of hands up and down it have caused it to be gunky looking. 
Yes 'Gunky' is my technical word for icky.

Funny how you pretty one thing up and it leads to another item that needs fixing. 

So I put plastic up over the pine and taped the edges of the stairs. I was going to work on painting the ceiling and when my arms tired of that, I was going to start a bit on the stairs.

So I tuned in Pandora to my oldies station and began to paint.

Here is a little preview of the color we are using on the stairs. Since it is just a quick coat, please don't judge it until you see the final shots!

We will be adding carpet treads at a later date. I have them picked out already.

Today's job is to try and finish off the ceiling. I think I will need to run to town and get more paint. The ceiling was in need of repair and now it needs to be brightened up to match the new section of the house.

See? One thing after another!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Moving along slowly

Well things are still moving along. The clear coating of the wood has been finished.
We did two coats and are ready now for Kurt to come back and get the window framing done in the living room and kitchen areas.

With that done, we can have the bank come back out and do the inspection.

Our new direct vent heater was delivered last week and Rich is working on getting that installed.
Just in time too. I think we normally have the first frost around the first week of October.

I've finally gotten the carpeting all pulled on the stairs and that is ready to paint.
[View from the top]

Morris was rather put out by having his 'perch' changed.

He refused to come down the stairs until I had all of the little pieces of wood removed. I don't blame him. 

That night after he came down the stairs he refused to come up and go to bed in his normal spot. He curled up on the couch and didn't move until I came down the next morning.

Here is a shot of him when he was quite young. Laying on his 'perch' on the stairs.

What a change it is! I am going to paint the stairs with a primer and then a greenish very light color for a finish.

The stairs have always been a huge issue for me to keep clean and tidy. The dog hair was always embedded into the stairs and now I'll be able to wipe the stairs clean.

We will be adding stair treads for extra cushion and for safety.
I'm thinking something along these lines:
The big project will be pulling the carpet on the living room floor.

I need to do some research on using textured paint. I plan on a 'do it yourself' job for our ceiling.

Then I have some repaint and touch up work to do in the bathroom and kitchen.

Slowly but surely we are getting there. I'll have photos of the new heater once it is installed.

One day at a time!
It is really looking quite nice.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

The woodwork is done!

Here is the living room wall as it looked on August 19th. The new drywall was in place and Rich was preparing the wood to put up.

Here is the wall as of yesterday evening before supper!

What a huge difference the wood makes. The brick is a past memory now. Along with the old chimney and dark paneling.

Here is a reminder of what it used to look like.

The brick area was pretty unusable. But we lived with it for so many years.

Rich has to install a new cabin heater soon as our mornings are getting chilly already.

Yesterday I started clear coating the wood as I'd finished the chair rail in the dining area.

I pulled the carpeting from the stair landing. I'd like to put something other than carpet down.  I'm thinking about what options we have.

I have an idea for right now but Rich wasn't sure he liked it.
I want to just paint the wood white to make it brighter and easier to keep clean.

He says it is extra work and I say it will save us a bit of work as we won't have to address the ugly stair syndrome for a bit longer.

The next thing on our list is sanding the patches in the drywall on the ceiling and getting it texture painted.

I'm not sure where to go on this step. Buy textured paint? Hire it done? It isn't a large area, but it is the next step.

Rich is going to call our contractor now so he can come back and finish framing in the windows.

We need to pull the carpeting in the living room too and we will replace the carpet with the same type of flooring as the downstairs bedroom has.

Morris is handling this quite well for an old dog. He likes to lay on the covered couch and supervise with a hedgehog toy.

I still have some small areas to paint as you can see behind Morris.

One step at a time. It goes slower when we have to juggle work, farm work, and everyday life. But I am enjoying the transformation completely.

I keep reminding myself that this ...

was how it used to be!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Oh work update.

Two weeks ago


We are moving along. The other walls are just about finished except this west wall.

It is covered in pine which I am working on clear coating.

This is the area in the 'dining' room. The wood is turning out quite beautiful. It is light and airy feeling. The bricks in the living room and the dark paneling is gone.

I don't have a photo of it 'finished' yet, but this should give you and idea of how it is moving along and what it will look like when finished.

Rich has finished this wall and he is now working on the ceiling and the west wall. The old tape job one the ceiling looked bowed and cracked so we are replacing that also.

We still have to pull up the carpet on the stairs and the living room floor. We are gaining little by little.

Of course Morris is still feeling slightly put out by not having things 'just so'. He is not used to having furniture moved constantly.

And he hasn't been getting the hikes that he is also used to.
So he does pull up a blanket and pout.

However, he likes it much more when I toss his blanket on the couch and he can lay there and watch us work.

I'm sure he is thinking that we could be done with this remodel thing any time soon and he would be happy.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Inside Work Remodeling Part 2

There is the pile of bricks we took out of the living room and a view of the side of the house that faces East.
My husband says that his little cabin in the woods has become a palace and he isn't sure he likes it.

He likes it. He actually loves it. But he is still having a time dealing with how 'fancy' it looks to him.

Inside however is another story. The addition is beautiful and we are now working on the living room walls. The paneling is gone and he has started with the Pine Wainscoting.
I think it will look fantastic and brighten up the house tremendously by the time he is done.

The changes are amazing and I am trying to keep track as we move along.

I spent a good part of the day processing corn and vegetables then I turned my attention to clear coating the basement stair rail again and then using steel wool to finish it off.

I am also working on the in the wall dresser to give it a better finish. I'm getting pretty good at refinishing I think!

Today I'll give it a rub down and another coat!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Remodeling, Part 2

The addition is now finished and we are all done except for framing a few windows.
That will be done after we have replaced the old dark paneling with light pine wood.

Yesterday and today we took down the bricks that covered a section of the west wall. It was where the previous owner had a wood stove when he first owned the house.

What he told us. He had a chimney fire and converted over to LP because the Fire Department is all volunteer and slow to respond.

We found that he had bricked over the fire damage. And while it was a bit concerning to see it, no structural damage had occurred.

This chimney fire occurred about 30 years ago and the previous owner died about 12 years ago.

The weather cooperated and it was cool enough to have windows open and a fan in one to suck out the dust.

And here are a few views of the outside of the rest of the house, I believe Lori Skoog wanted to see what it looked like.
So I remembered to take them for you Lori!

North Side Entrance and bedroom.

 We have some serious landscaping and grading to do yet!

East side of the house and the pile of bricks we were removing.

Part 2 of the Little House Remodel is ongoing. The exterior and addition portions are done and it looks fantastic.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The cabinet is in and settling up.

The hole to the right of the red door was where we decided to have a 'in the wall dresser' built.

And it came!

Morris gives it a once over. He is our quality assurance dog. He seemed to approve.

When Kurt built this he didn't realize that he had picked out the same exact wood that we were using on the 'old' part of the house. Pine Wainscoting.

The dresser looks fantastic. A big nod to Rich for the idea and Kurt for his input also. Kurt thought we could put a closet in this area, and Rich wondered about an 'in the wall dresser' to save space in our little downstairs bedroom.

Perfect. Wonderful work and craftsmanship!

While Rich and I looked over the expenditures for our remodel, Kurt installed these ceramic pulls.

I really like them. They are called Pumpkin Ceramic pulls. I'll probably have then on the rest of the cabinets as I find them easy to use.

We looked over our final budget and of course as with most remodels, items went over budget and Kurt went through everything with us before he gave us some privacy to look at it and talk to him about it.

Yes, we went with solid pine doors for the interior doors and got the nicer trim for the windows. We added a water softener, the trim for the gables went over budget. When Kurt broke it down it all made perfect sense.

We went over the bottom line and decided we could handle it without going to the bank.

Now the rest of the interior work is up to us. That is coming along a bit more slowly than if we had 3 guys working on it of course.
But it will look fantastic once it is done.

The old paneling has been removed. Now if the weather would straighten up, we'd be able to open up the house and remove the rest of the brick. 

Rich counted something like 300+ bricks that needed to be taken out.

To keep some costs down at the moment, I got creative and used some pine crates to make my linen tower. If I replace the crates, it will have to be a custom built one.
We might even modify these crates to make one.

However, I sort of like this idea and it is handy to be able to grab towels, hand towels, and washcloths in the same room! A lot better than having it all in the coat closet on a shelf!

I have a behind the toilet stand that a neighbor gave me that is used.
It needs a bit of clean up and with a paint job it will help with the bathroom storage.

My husband wants the bathroom to stay white, and I almost agree with him. I'd like to add my own little touches of course,...what woman doesn't?

I did add the personalized shower curtain. One person made a comment that it was 'too' dark. I don't know about that. But I do know that I can change over to my white lace one or my country graphic one any time the mood strikes me and they will all look nice.

Finally, a view of the porch side of the house from the garden. The other side is still a mess and needs to be graded again and black dirt brought in and seeded.

With these gully washers of rains this month, there are wash outs and a lot of erosion in the yard.

However, this side still looks quite beautiful.

So onward we go into the next step of 'self interior remodeling'.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Moving along

Remember this?

It is starting to look like this:

I can't believe the difference this is making! It looks fantastic.
When my husband first presented me with this idea, I was a huge skeptic.

Not so any more!

Well it did go from this:

To this!

The trim on the beam across the top of the photo has now been finished also.

In the new little bedroom we are awaiting the built in dresser to be put in. Kurt estimated it would be ready last Friday, but then said it would be delayed.

At this point we are moving things out of the living room and into other areas, like the small downstairs bedroom and into the basement for storage while we work on the living room and dining area.

Morris was a huge help to me while I used a light coat of Acrylic sealer on the basement hand rails.

The basement is nothing to write home about yet, but it is cool, dry, and a convenient place to store things out of the way now until we build some shelving.

All this work is tough on a little dog who has to constantly supervise.

We'll probably do inside work today after chores. Our area is currently experiencing an 'Excessive Heat Warning'.