Monday, July 30, 2012

The Basement Becoming Less Basement-y

I'm sort of overdue for some updates on my basement makeover. A lot of times I like to wait til a project is done to reveal it all at once. But since this is such a huge undertaking, I figured posting some progress pictures would motivate me to get 'er done.

This is the most finished looking section, minus the random filing cabinet and computer monitor on the right. This was a couple weeks ago, so I've actually done more since this was taken.

This is my holiday corner. Christmas on the right, Halloween on the left. :-)
As I was painting, I noticed that some of the windows had a less-than-tight seal. These windows do have 2 layers, so often times the outside layer had a better seal, but some of these windows needed to be fixed up.

So you remember the random hole in the wall right? It looked like this before my parents came to visit.

Um, yikes.

Luckily, my dad was kind enough to cut down a cinder block back at his house in Michigan before coming out to visit. We picked up some pre-made mortar tubes and filled in the cracks and got it looking like this.

Once it dried and cured, I gave it a quick coat of paint (it's still wet in the pic below) and got it looking like there was never a hole there at all. :-)

 As for the windows, I've been caulking all those gaps around the frames so they can still be opened in case of emergency, but won't let in as many bugs. Although two of them I did caulk shut because there was no way to secure them without filling in the gaps between the windows and the frame. But four can still be opened.

In this picture, there's only a coat of primer on the trim, but I have since added a coat of glossy white as well.

OK, so this is probably going to be the cutest object in the basement. It's a shopping cart, but it works perfectly at the bottom of our laundry chute so we can wheel the clothes around the corner to the washer and dryer. My mom bought it, refinished it, and sewed the liner. She left the wheels the original teal color, which goes perfectly with the new sea foam color walls in the laundry room! So so so cute.

The picture below is definitely in progress. The laundry supplies are all on the dryer because I was painting the built-in shelves they normally live on. And the woodwork has since gotten another coat of white. And I finished painting the walls.

This little corner here is going to be the new home to the kitties' litter boxes, once I get the floor painted and such. I'm hoping this little area will help keep stray litter contained to one small area I can clean easily.

 I let Zoro down to keep me company one day, and he had fun exploring the new setup. He loves this new perch I created for the kitties to look out the window.

So there you go. Updates galore. It's definitely getting brighter, cleaner, and more organized down there. And since those are my main goals, I'm happy so far. But I can't wait to be done. Spending all day, several days a week down in a basement is no one's idea of a good time. But it'll be worth it once it's all done and I can walk down there to do laundry without dreading the smells, darkness, and clutter. :-)
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Terrarium Multiplier

That's my Big Bang-esque subject line to what basically means my terrariums had more babies today. lol I used rooting hormone to cut some sections of plants that had grown too big for their current terrariums and replanted them in new ones. Such a cheap hobby. lol

I also bought a new plant at Lowes, which I'm hoping will survive being split and replanted in all the new terrariums. It's the plant that takes up most of the terrarium in the picture below, called Selaginella, or "Asian Spikemoss". So pretty! I love the texture of it against the leafier plants.

The wood in this picture is from our trip to Moffet's Beach. Chris, my mom and I collected twigs and rocks and miniature pine cones to use in the terrariums.

My parents actually found this funny little painted rock in our garage while looking for scrap wood, I think. There were two others that said "Trust" and "Obey."
 Two of these are ones I already had but beefed up with the new plant, and the three smallest ones are new. The middle jar I picked up at Christmas Tree Shop for 79 cents. Woot!

Mr. Fireman is still hanging out in this old salsa canning jar turned terrarium.

And while I'm on the topic of plants, my mom helped me repot this Hawaiian guy into a much bigger container. He had lately toppled over a bit and had grown too big for the tabletop. So far, he's loving his view from the floor.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shades of White

After 3 years in this house, I finally got rid of those ugle sheer brown curtains in our master bedroom, which you can see in the picture below, which I posted a year or so earlier.

Pretty boring, right?
The new white shades are the same brand and style as the grey shades I put up in the dining room and guest bedroom, but these are a pretty white. I'm thinking about repainting the bedroom a lighter color, so these will help to make everythign look a little more seamless. I also finally moved these lamps upstairs, which my mom bought us when we moved in and lived in our living room for a while.
Please excuse the mess of cords.

And here's the white shades over the built-ins in the dormers. So soft and cozy looking.

And they are way easier to open and let the light in, especially when we have the air conditioner or a fan in the window. The old curtains used to always be in the way ... and also they looked terrible. haha

I did have to outside mount the shades in the dormers because the window size was unusual, but I think because they're white, they looks just as good as the inside-mounted ones. Definitely looking forward to finishing up the basement and moving on to the next project ... maybe the master bedroom?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Camping at Moffet's Beach

Last week, Chris, my parents, Chris's dad and stepmom and I headed up to the Adirondacks to go camping for three nights at Moffet's beach. We had a wonderful time, ate so much delicious food, and had fun on the water. Here's some pictures from my dad's camera (I forgot mine, of course).

The gang enjoying some breakfast.

My mom showing her pouty face.

Jackson and his goldfish crackers.

Baby Emma!

Jackson had a blast playing in our tent.

We jumped on the air mattress so he could bounce around. Every so often he'd scream "earthquake!" and throw his hands in the air. hahaha

Mom and Papa looking cute.

Not sure Chris and I have ever gotten up early enough to see the fog on the water. haha Good thing Papa was there to grab these pics.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

More for the Wall 'O Frames

This past week, Chris and I had the pleasure of a visit from my parents, who drove out from Michigan. I'll share pictures of the camping trip soon, but for now, here's a little update on the wall o' frames, thanks to some new frames my mom painted and gave me. I did some rearranging and paired down a few of the smaller frames near the top and bottom.

The empty square frame near the light switch is one of the new ones.

Here you can see Mr. Shadow trying to sneak by me. He doesn't blend in too well with white trim, though.

 The wall is getting closer to being filled with frames near the top of the stairs now. You can see another new empty frame from my mom and a blank canvas I added to fill things in. We'll see what I do with the canvas, but for now, I kinda like it in plain white.

See how the window fits right in with the frames? Love that.
 Not sure if I'm going to keep going with the frames and fill in the space on the adjacent walls as well. For now, I'm enjoying the plain walls in my pretty pretty Moonshine paint.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What I've Been Up To ... Or Down In?

 If you've ever wondered what $130 worth of garbage looks like, here you go.

Don't mind the insanely dead grass. We don't own a sprinkler and it hasn't rained in weeks. But back to the giant pile o' crap. Apparently it costs $125 plus tax to have this much garbage picked up and hauled away. Awesome, right? My garage sale didn't even make that much money. Womp womp.

So, at this point, you may be wondering where all this junk came from. There's a bunch of big black contractor bags underneath that are full of junk from the basement, (packing materials, broken stuff, etc.) And the wood on the left was randomly stuck between the fence posts when we moved in. The rest is from the garage. Turns out the people who lived here before liked to save every scrap of material they used on every project around the house. Definitely past due on getting rid of this stuff.

Oh, and see that coffee can in the middle of the picture? Full of mice. I picked it up and walked halfway down the driveway before I realized it. You can imagine the scene of me running with it held wayyyy out in front of me, dropping it in the pile and then running like hell back into the house. That's when I decided I had enough in the pile and it was time to get the crap picked up.

After that, I filled three blue bins with a ridiculous amount of boxes to be recycled. It's like the day after Christmas over here. lol

Now for the reason behind my compulsive pile making and purging. Have I ever posted pictures of my basement before? Probably not, and you'll soon see why. Here are some pictures I took a couple weeks back, before the garage sale.

See the tile in this portion of the basement? Yeah, that's going to be a problem. It's in the laundry room area too, but it's all cracked and there are tiles missing. Painting it may not be enough...

Sweet window treatments, right?

I think you get the idea. Our basement was a mess. Although honestly it wouldn't have bothered me enough to tackle such a huge project if it wasn't for a few problems that were more than aesthetic. First, the floor, which is chipped and cracked and produces some sort of white foamy stuff when we run the dehumidifier. Not sure exactly what the white stuff is, but we assumed it wasn't great to have around.

And the next problem I found after starting the basement rehabilitation. And it lurks behind this piece of fiberboard:


That's right. There's a hole in the wall. In what we assumed was the outside wall. We were wrong. There's a little room back there! It's not anything we would use, though. It's just under the front porch, and must have been dug after the foundation was already laid. And then I guess they cut the hole to run a vent to heat the porch, and then later took it out. That's our best guess. Anyway, the hole is 8" x 12", which means it's smaller than a full cinder block. So patching it is going to be tricky. I talked to an employee at Lowes for tips and decided this was too big a project for me alone. Any volunteers want to come help? ;-)

Since I've aired my dirty laundry (well not literally. Although pictures of the dirty laundry room are soon to come) I feel like I should post a couple pictures of some progress I've made on the basement. To make myself feel better. haha

Here's the pretty yellow wall color I chose for the basement. You can also see the hole uncovered in this picture.
 Ok, I have to explain the picture below. The light grey color to the left was the original floor color. Then I painted it the darker grey color. But the chipped portions of the floor kept coming up on my paint roller so the paint wasn't covering well. So then I had to get this patch stuff to go over the exposed portions, which is the light brown spots. Then, when I went to Lowes to get more floor paint (which is also an epoxy sealer), I found out they no longer had that color. So then I had to buy the new color, which is the light blue along the wall and the spots on the floor.

As usual, this project was spiraling into a much bigger project than I anticipated.

But that's all you get to see for now. I'll post more pictures soon of my progress. I've had a little extra time off this week and have been working hard down there. But I gotta say, being surrounded by spiderwebs and daddy long legs and dust is really starting to get old. I'm ready to get this project wrapped up!