Thursday, January 31, 2013

Getting back to It....

So I have been trying to get back into the swing of things. Having been commissioned to make some gifts for the baby shower of my niece, it gave me the motivation I needed. Still it will be a while until I reach the same state of comfort I had in my previous house. Doesn't feel "right" yet. Like I am visiting, rather than "this is home" feel I had. I miss that feeling of comfort that comes from living in a house 15 years. Which by the way was our longest period in a house since I left home at 18.  It was the home all our children "left" from, which also adds to the feeling of loss, and nostalgia I have for it. Changes, big ones like moving while having some excitement, are very hard for me. I think this was the hardest move so far.  Still we are here now and working each day to make it ours. So I decided, once done with the shower gifts to make a small banner. Something with a Valentine feel. Seeing the decorations at the local shops, and online put me in the mood for something shabby, pink, and (of course) glittery sweet.

 So I cracked open the dies and cut some shapes out. Love the paper soft pinks, peaches, and greens, a creamy scalloped backing, glittered letters and trim...but not really loving the plain. So I made these crepe rosettes, hmmm not sure I like them with these letters. Maybe another font?
 Here the version with nothing behind the letters. Sweet, but just too "plain". I want simple but this way doesn't give me that shabby feel I want. I am going to have to think about this a bit.
 All the shower gifts ready. I die cut the boxes from the cardboard waste they throw away at work. Yep, our condiments come layered between these nice Kraft colored chipboard sheets. I thought I can use that. They turned out so nice, all I had to do was glue pretty bows on them.
 Inside some shredded paper and a necklace with one of my handmade charms. In the previous picture the boxes with the white bows are special. They contain pins, one for each of the Great Aunts, the boxes with the cream bows contain a pin for each of the soon to be Grandmothers. You cannot see them but the boxes with the green bows have pins for the two Great Grandmothers. My niece will be giving them out at the shower.
I also made two soldered and hinged bottles. One will have a chain on it eventually (the smaller, it has the loops on the sides). These were fun to do, although cutting them is a bit of a challenge. I was actually thinking I could put some pretty beads, or even calling cards in the larger one.

So that's it for now. Steve loaded all the pictures of the work we are doing on the house to his computer. Hopefully I can sort it all out and post a few. We have made some nice changes. The carpet is out (yuck! the owner had a large dog, nuff said), and Steve has painted. Cannot wait to show you the before and after.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm Back....

So we have finally moved, actually we moved the begining of November. Unpacked (some not all), and immediately started ripping the place apart. Why? Well for one it was dated, had weird Moroccan 70's elements to it, and once the previous owners stuff was gone, you saw all the repairs that needed to be made. Second the owner had a dog, not a small dog but a big Newfoundland "moose". The thing was huge, and no real surprise here, he made several spots his personal "potty". I have three small dogs and am no stranger to "accidents". what I was not ready for was the amount of damage one dog could have. Seriously, this dog must have been a chronic offender. Some areas were black (removed) others we could treat. There was an area where the carpet was discolored, where I expected (must have been a favorite spot) some damage but I wasn't really ready to see that he had several areas, most around the windows and doorwall that needed attention. While it appears the owner did have the carpet cleaned on occasion, because you didnt smell it, it had not been enough to prevent damage to the base. Another reason to clean, remove, repair, and paint was that the owner was a smoker. I would call her a "discreet" smoker as the place doesnt reek of it. I think she favored the bathrooms and just outside on the back porch. Still I am one of those who can pick it up at 100 yards. I washed everything down, and hopefully new paint and floors will help.

So all the carpet, and the four floors in the kitchen (yeah, I said 4, a laminate, then three layers of vinyl and sub floor, with the last two layers glued to each other. Oh and I should mention they leveled the flooring with SHINGLES. Yeah they nailed shingles to the floor between layers) had to come out. They had installed new cabinets once that were in decent shape.....except they needed to be really cleaned and they had (I have stopped trying to figure out why people SHORTCUT on jobs) put them and the counters OVER the Formica back splash they then put some ugly tile over. So the tile came out and we are now mulling over pulling everything out to remove it, or cutting it out?

We had the house inspected, but now realize the one that inspector who tested the water, drew the sample from the kitchen tap. Really? So no surprise now we learned we needed an iron filtration system. Yeah she had the softener cranked up and a small unit attached to the line but the water smelled funny. I have had well water before and it never smelled like this, sort of sulfur and mineral, yuck. Which is also why we had to remove and install a new water heater. We also think we found the late Jimmy Hoffa. His remains were/are in the duct work. We removed the vent covers (yet they had some rust issues - doggy maybe?). Behind them we found enough dog fur to knit a new dog out of,  and so much dust and dirt they could be the remains of the late Teamster Leader.  We removed as much as the length of the shop-vac would reach, but will need to have them checked and cleaned.

Shouldn't complain, but boy did it make me homesick for our old home. When we updated that house we took it to the frame and did it all right. Yet for me it seems we always manage (as I told my husband) to get someones cobble-job. Now, I know that houses are all money pits, and even a job well done can have problems. Still after three homes it would have been nice to have one that only required paint and decor. For the most part the house will be fine, although I question having an electrician out to check out the system (it appears they tapped into lines and did some changes with it. We have switches that do nothing. I think they may have screwed up some of it).

So we have removed and scraped, treated and replaced parts of the floor. We ordered and picked up our new bamboo hardwood flooring to be installed. Steve has painted the main floor, and we will be painting the bedrooms and bathrooms later. Then maybe, just maybe it will start to feel like home. Well thats all for now, but I will be posting pics later. Like with the other three homes we have owned, we like to take before and after photos.