Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Ugly Truth...

Although the title may sound like a confession waiting to be told. Some deep dark secret. Some juicy gossip. It's actually just my way of sharing (and remembering) the UGLY truth of our guest room remodeling adventure.

Like most of you, I read EVERY home remodeling & home decorating magazine, book & blog. I fall in love over and over, again and again, with all the wonderful vignettes shown on every page.

I love the staging. 

I love the make-overs. 

I love the inspiration. 

BUT, what I hardly ever see is the UGLY truth. 

The good. 

The bad.


I dream of the finished room. The basics done. Ready for the decorating.
There has been blood, sweat, tears, bruises, smooshed fingers, broken nails, dry skin, dirty hair, no-make up, old-holey-and stained up clothing, a little cursing, mis-placed tools, and a whole lotta MOCHA!

The house gets cleaned up. Looks good for a few. Then, WHAM! Another room project. Well, really, only some areas get cleaned up. We have at least 3 or 4 areas going at once.

I think it's TOTALLY worth the mess though. I'm O.K. with it, cause I don't have a magic wand or midnight elves to do all the work around here, so until it's done, the house will be a mess! 

Mess = Progress.

I'm good with that.

You always hear the phrase:
"If a couple can survive a remodeling project, they can survive anything!"

I guess, we are still o.k., cause we've been in remodel mode for 5+ years and we're still laughing in the same in-progress house!

This my dear friends, is the ugly, messy, dusty, smelly, completely turned-upside-down-house truth.

This is why people move out of houses when they remodel......if they can.....
 Dining room. Walkway between kitchen and family room.

 Dining room table.
 Hallway from Back Door.
Hallway to Guest Room.
 Guest Room. Texturing in progress.
Texturing. Almost done.
Texturing. Done!!!
Fan On!!!! Dry baby, dry!!! 
Primer & Paint goes on tomorrow....Whoo Hooo...
(whoo hooo, until my arms feel like they're gonna fall off !!!!)

Closet doors....

Well, since the hallway closet door will get changed out to match the new bathroom and bedroom doors,
and not get chalk boarded, I'll CHALK BOARD these! They are really big and will make a 
fun doodle board for guests. 

So-and-so was here....

Welcome, so-and-so.....

Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite.....
Fun stuff. All trimmed out in creamy-white trim.
Nitey. Nite...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes....

What a difference a day door makes.

For 30+ years, (5+ with us in residence) this house has had hollow core, dark wood veneered doors to every room. Bathrooms. Bedrooms. Closets. Etc...
Today, after collecting one door at a time, all the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom have new solid wood, 2-panel doors!!!! Whoooppeeee!
Guest room door - open. In the guest room.
Guest room door - closed. Hallway side.
Phillip's office door. This one was the first one put in a while ago. It was the guinea pig, so to speak.
 A.J.'s bedroom door. Won't he be surprised when he gets home from school!
Bathroom door. In the hall way. 
The door to the right, is the closet door. I have a matching door, but I think I want to paint it with chalkboard paint, so it doesn't match. I'll live with it a while and see....

eta: So, it's been a few hours. Phillip came home from work (I sort of ditched work today!). He agreed. The closet door will have to be changed out too! Even as a chalkboard, it would look cheap and out of place now that the new doors are in and looking so nice!

Now for the big debate going on in my head. At a home tour in December, I saw a beautiful home with all creamy-white trim and the doors stained dark. It was gorgeous! And so, I've been debating about doing the same. BUT, now here's the pros and cons:

Staining Pros: 
easy to stain vs. priming and painting
shows wear and tear less
shows finger prints and dog-leaning less
easy to clean

Staining Cons:
stain wouldn't be as bright as I'd like it, especially in the dark hallway
wouldn't be that wonderful creamy-white I always croon over
wouldn't have that wonderful cottage-y 30's farmhouse look I'm going for

So, what's the verdict...?

I'm still deciding. 

I LOVE the creamy-white brightness, but there are all those cons lurking about!

My heart says light. My head says dark.


So, whilst I'm playing stain vs. paint tennis in my head, let's move on to the new guest room, shall we? Uh, 'cause we have a few-month guest coming on March 7th!!!

Welcome to my guest room - circa mid- 1970's (photo: our 2004 purchase walk-through).

It began life as a bedroom for Kyle when we moved in.

When he moved out, I removed the carpet. Removed the tack strips. It was going to become my kitchen pantry. I was going to remove the closet, that backs the kitchen. Open up that wall, etc.... (thank goodness, I didn't)

Kyle moved back in.

Lived in there with a throw rug for the last few months.

Kyle moved out a couple of weeks ago.

Guest coming in a couple of weeks.

Not going to be a pantry after all - EVER! We have new kitchen/pantry plans.

Order carpet. Need new tack strips and padding.

Let's paint before carpet.

Let's fill the zillions of thumbtack holes. Can you say teenage boy with lots of posters?

Let's peel off the old wallpaper before paint.

Let's gather up the tools of the trade!




The last piece!
The aftermath. 
Two walls worth! Whatta Mess!!!
And the smell. Old, wet wallpaper...
No texture under two walls of wallpaper.

Let's texture the ALL the walls to match. Glad I took the time to fill all those stupid holes - anyway!

While we're at it, let's scrape the popcorn off the ceiling.

Tools of the trade...Hey, I've seen these before....
Done! Man, my upper arms and wrists hurt...

Oh, gee, let's replace the old aluminum window. 
You know, the one that drags in its track and makes that really horrid metal on metal sound...
(this after picture is really dark, but just imagine a nice, new, double-paned, white, vinyl window)

Note to self: When you go to Lowe's to pick up the window, make sure you ask the guy more than once that the window he is loading up for you, is in fact the window you've asked for! AND then double-check him. Do not rely on the Lowe's guy to get it right. DO NOT have him load it up before triple-checking what you know is right - not wrong, so you don't have to drive back the 30 mile drive - one-way - to pick up the RIGHT window!!!! Lesson learned.

While we're at it. Let's replace the door.

Oh, we already covered that..huh?

Does any of this sound familiar? How many ONIONS have we peeled around here???

My mom asked me the other day on the phone - "are you kids EVER going to be done with that house?"

Uhhhhh.... maybe.....someday......hopefully......I dunno......uhhhhhh.....

Now, we just need to fill all the "waves" on the ceiling.
Texture it. Prime it. Paint it. 
Texture the walls. Prime them. Paint them.
Hang up the ceiling fan/light.
Trim out the window.
Trim out the door.
Prime the trim.
Paint the trim, including the baseboards ALL before carpet is scheduled for install next Wednesday.
Sounds like another busy weekend at the 'ol Schiefer house....!

ps.. the old doors, because they are still in good, re-usable condition, will get donated to Habitat for Humanity Restore in Medford, OR. I will not be repurposing them for any thing. CAN you believe it???

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bag Lady.

Have you ever been so excited in your life to find that perfect item that's been rolling around in the back of your noodle?

A long time ago, on a website far, far away, I spied a VERY cute idea.

This was MY very first time seeing a vintage shopping cart in all its face-lifted glory.

Jenny Doh's cart. 

The idea seed was forever planted.
You can be inspired too...
IF ONLY I COULD FIND A CART TO CALL MY OWN.....Where would I EVER find one??? And if I did ever find one, would I be able to afford it? 
Woe is Me!!!

Then it happened. 
I hadn't been to my local Salvation Army since Christmas! Yeah, I couldn't believe it either! Amazing what happens when life gets busy. Huh?!!!

In I walk. Say hi to all my S.A. peeps. Laugh about where I've not been.

Then, I spy.

No way! 


How cute is this?

All four wheels work? CHECK!

Folds up nicely? CHECK!



$ 4.95 !!!!!

 I swear my heart was doing the HAPPY-DANCE.... 
 Sure, it's a little tarnished around the edges. And it could use some vintage metal wheels to replace these plastic jobbers. BUT....
With a quick coat of paint and some embellishments, it could be this....
I found this one online here:
It's picture #5 in the slide show section....

or this
How cute is this Aqua one? 
 ...and this cute one from Vintage Trifles.

Now, I just need to get busy. Painting. Designing. Sewing. Embellishing.


pssssst....Even though, my "treasure" is still in it's "trash" state...I'm linking all these beautiful carts to REINVENTED's Trash to Treasure Party!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Many, Mini Snails.

Last Monday, there was NO school. President's Day. A.J. and I stopped by the corner market to get a tasty beverage. Me, a hot mocha. He, a Gatorade. On our way out the market door, we almost stepped on a huge worm. It was a little wet out, not raining at the time, but it had been earlier. We got into the Jeep and then I had a thought...."We need to save the worm!" Save him or her. Are worms asexual? I don't remember. I just remember middle school worm dissection. Cut it open and name all it's parts. Who thought of that? And why, at that age, do we need to know about worm parts? In middle school, we are just barely figuring out our own parts!!!

Any who. Moving on. All I could think about was that poor, huge worm getting smooshed by some shoe coming out of the market. So, I opened the glove box and grabbed a Taco Bell recycled brown napkin. I always have some fast food napkins in the glove box - you never know when operation worm rescue might be in effect.

A.J. got the worm in the napkin and air-lifted him to the safety of the grassy area. Whew! Worm smooshing disaster averted. The guy parked next to us, just coming out of the market, gave us a chuckle and complimented A.J. on doing a good deed! (see we aren't the only ones with a heart!) 

Sure, if the worm was lunch for a bird, that would just be the circle of life. But, for a poor, misguided worm, lost in the concrete jungle, to lose it's life under a waffle-bottomed shoe...well, we just wouldn't stand for it!

Note: I stopped by the market yesterday, and the pest control guy was on the grassy area spraying all sorts of toxins from the "sky". NICE!!! Slink, worm, slink!

Now onto the snails. Same day. Monday. Same Me. Same A.J.

Our day to connect with nature. On the sidewalk leading into my office, he spied these guys. Can you see them? 

 They look like little pieces of pea gravel.

Here's a little closer look. Many, mini snails. 

These are not the regular snails we always see. Must have just hatched!? Do snails hatch? Or are they live births? Never thought about it before. But, clearly these little ones were new to the world.
Never thought I'd think SNAILS were cute! These snails WERE cute!!!

After their photo-shoot, A.J. promptly relocated them OFF the sidewalk. He's such a good Samaritan.

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