Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Spring clean up, desk build update, and new kitty photos

Large lawns and treed lots are beautiful during the summer but come spring.....I long for a postage stamp size yard.  We have loads and loads of leaves to rake no matter how much we rake in the fall. They blow in from all directions but ironically none of our leaves blow out and away.

So we rake and bag and rake and bag and rake and bag until we have to do something else and that else is work on the cabinets, desk, and book shelves that we are building in the kitchen.  Since we are virgin cabinet builders....this is going slow, like glacial slow.  Since we want these built ins to match the other cabinets we are using reclaimed wood from previous demos and we are also building the cabinets in the same manner as the other cabinets in the kitchen.  Now I am not such a cabinet virgin that I don't realize that the other cabinets might not be built in the most correct manner but we need these cabinets to blend and blend they will, imperfections and all.

To add to our frustrations are the unlevel floors and walls.  Seriously our levels are getting quite the workout.  But we're not setting any speed records with this build.

On the kitten front...oh my how they are growing.
Look at that face. 

 Kitties everywhere. 
Look at all the little faces.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Finished the grey paint

I made the classic mistake of believing the weatherman.  Today was downright chilly with a capital C.

Despite the chill in the air I made an attempt to paint today.  R removed the rivet from the downspout so I was able to paint behind it and I also finished the little strip under the door .  All that is remaining is the white paint on the trim and doors.  But if I am to believe the weatherman AGAIN, we are not due for any real painting weather for over a week.  As a matter of fact, they are predicting snow.  I sure hope that is not the one time they get the forecast correct.

Today was not only chilly but windy so that made it a perfect day to rake leaves....NOT.  In an attempt to tidy up the curb appeal, we raked the leaves by the mailbox, stone pillars, and swept the entrance to the driveway.  It looks a little better but until I can rake between the lilacs, I just will not be happy with the way it looks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Painting before it rains

Yesterday I was able to get a quick coat of grey on the garden shed.  As I mentioned before, the grey paint goes on much faster than the primer.

I'll try to finish up on the painting tomorrow if it is warmer and less windy then today.  The remaining painting details are the white trim around the doors, the threshold, a little tiny strip of grey under the doors, and a coat of primer and grey behind the downspout.

The doors will need to come off the hinges so we can sand and paint them.  At that time we will take care of the remaining hardware installation.

We really are happy with the difference/improvement to the garden shed.  Money wise the costs have been fairly low because of reusing of materials or using leftover materials from previous projects.  I'll have a total once we finish.

Yesterday after painting and before it rained we swept the curb.  There was a lot of debris along the curb because of the severe winter.  We removed 3 wheelbarrows of dirt, small bits of broken plastic from cars, one center wheel cap off of a Chrysler, and one tiny empty Jack Daniels bottle.  Sweeping the curb is one of those thankless jobs.  Nobody notices a clean curb but they do notice a dirty debris filled curb.

We were forced indoors today because of the cold and windy weather, so we started another project in the kitchen.  This will be a first for us and we know it will be slow going but we are going to attempt to build the desk, 3 cabinets, and book shelf built ins.  The cabinets will be built in the same manner as the current cabinets and with materials we already have on hand.  Let's hear it for a ALMOST zero cost project.  The only cost we can foresee is the 2 sheets of good one side plywood for the top.

The photo below shows the chair where the corner desk will be located and the book shelves will be all the way to the right.
Of course I have to include an updated photo or two of the kitties.  At 16 days old, they are really starting to get around.  That little grey kitty is so cute.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Back to work on the garden shed

Last year we were able to finish about 95% of the garden shed restoration.  But as always happens here in Michigan in November....it got cold and snowed.....so we had to stop.

Yesterday was warm enough (barely) to lay down a coat of primer on the front of the shed.  Last fall we were able to prime and paint the other three sides so this is the remaining side that needed to be painted.  I still need to move the downspout and finish priming under the threshold, and over the door.
The doors will need a light sanding and painting and the hardware on the door needs a spray painting (in racing lingo a Krylon rebuild) and we will probably add some weatherstripping to the doors.

We will finish up the shed restoration with a project that we hope will replicate the hand hammered metal straps that are original to the doors on the house.  More on that later.

The final dark grey coat will go on much faster then the white primer.  The cedar has a rough surface so it requires more time insuring that it is completely covered with primer and that there are no drips coming from paint in between the shingles.

Here is what the shed looked like at the end of autumn 2013.

AND this is what it looked like when we bought the house.  Actually, it looked worse.  If you look at the photos you will see that we had already cut down a dead crab apple and several dead choke cherries trees/bushes.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

First Curbside Treasure of 2014

The vast majority of our curbside treasures are found by my husband.  I usually justify not stopping by saying that I would have to turn around or the item is too heavy or too large for my vehicle.

Today's find was in fairly good condition.

The dresser is missing a brass caster on one of the legs and one of the back legs is broke but R found it with the dresser.  He says he can fix it.  None of the decorative applique is missing but the top has seen better days. But for now the dresser will be stored in the barn.

We removed the drawers to make the dresser easier to move.  I spied something wadded up behind a drawer.

Looks like little Billy Frame was a player.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Paint scraping, tack removal, and kitty update

Using my current iffy set up I scraped paint until I just couldn't scrape anymore.  I'm to the point where either of two things must happen for me to continue on.

#1 My arms grow longer


#2 I devise a better set up for reaching high up on the walls.

I had better put on my thinking cap and think of something quick since I doubt that my arms will grow longer.

I also pulled out about 30 carpet tacks that were still in the wood floor up on the landing.  I'm sure there are still more to remove and I know if I removed my shoes I could find them in no time.

The kitties are growing fast.  Today they were 11 days old.  Some have their little eyes open.  Two are large and one is small but all are doing well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finishing the oven install and wood shelves

The double Thermador ovens have just been sitting in the opening and needed a final leveling and securing. Who knew it would take an hour plus to get the oven level.  Leveling your oven is a must if you want your cakes to come out level and believe me I need all the help I can get with my cakes.

We screwed down the oven after we shimmed and checked the levelness by putting a level on the oven shelf.  When I opened the oven door to remove the level we noticed that there was still a little vibration in the oven when the oven door was slightly slammed shut.  We remedied this problem by taking a 1 inch by 8 inch long piece of metal and fashioned a strap.  R attached the strap to the oven by removing one of the screws holding the sheet metal side on, he then added the strap, and put the screw back in place.  On the other end of the strap he bent a 90 degree bend about 1 inch from the end and drilled a hole to accept a screw.  He then screwed the strap to the wood tongue and groove wall behind the oven.  Problem solved.

The final oven piece that needed installing was a little black vent strip that had to go under the bottom door. We still need to hook up the electrical but we are waiting until the cook top install to do both at the same time.

The shelves have been nailed and screwed down.  We also added a piece of screen trim to the top two shelves.  The trim is to help support platters and plates that I might be lean against the wall on the shelves. We could have routered a groove but platters are generally thick and we didn't want to permanently alter the shelves.  The trim is 3 inches from the wall and held in place with little pins nails which can easily be removed.  The trim was left off of the lowest shelf because this shelf is for canisters and large jars.

Yesterday, I rummaged through the bedroom where I have stored furniture, lamps, paintings etc.  I brought down the French wrought iron and crystal chandelier, 1 vintage ceiling fixture, and 3 glass globes (vintage) so that I can figure out what we need to get to finish our lighting.

Ironically, while we were working on the shelves we talked about how it would look cool to have a plant in a vintage pot sitting on one of the shelves.  I was so surprised to see this vintage green pot sitting on a table.  I have no recollection of buying it.  Actually, I have no recollection of buying a lot of the items in that room.

Monday, April 14, 2014

General Motors Refrigerator on Craigslist

General Motors Refrigerator on Craigslist.

I tried to copy and paste the photos but the quality was horrible.

Cool emblem on the door.  This is only the second time I have seen a GM fridge.  The other was a fully restored fridge in an antique shop for 2K.

Speaking of fridges.....we decided today to paint the area to the sides and back of the fridge in flat black. Since we have a space of an inch or so on each side of the fridge, I wanted to make sure that you couldn't see behind and to the sides of the fridge.  I wish it was a better fit but until i can come up with an idea....flat black will do.

On the weather front, we had a storm blow through here last night and wouldn't you know it, we now have even more limbs down or broken.  One medium size branch fell on the roof without any damage thank heaven.

And if that wasn't bad enough, snow is predicted for Wednesday.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Waiting on the fridge & a tiny project

The refrigerator delivery guys were wonderful BUT I still don't like waiting around all day.

We were given a delivery window of 1-5PM so I thought I could get a little done while I waited for my "we'll be there in 20 minutes" phone call.  But everything I wanted or tried to do made noise.

1. I wanted to start the sanding of the shelves so we could finish nailing/screwing them to the brackets and officially call the shelf project done BUT no cigar.  See the pneumatic orbital sander makes so much noise I can't hear my phone.  I know you are probably thinking, why doesn't she put it on to vibrate?  Good suggestion BUT I would have to put my phone in a pocket and currently my shirt pocket was holding my heart monitor.  I know you are probably thinking, why doesn't she put it in her jean pocket?  Good suggestion BUT these stupid (yes stupid, who makes jeans with the front pockets non existent? I know you are probably thinking, why doesn't she put it in her back pocket?  Good suggestion BUT I tried that and the pockets are shallow and my phone sticks halfway out of my pocket and when I bent over to pick something up, my pocket or my phone made a weird noise.  It was too tedious to try and keep my heart monitor in my shirt pocket and keep my phone from either butt dialing someone on my contact list or keeping it from shooting out of my back pocket or just breaking in half.

.....so I tried something else.....

2. I thought I would get the air gun out and blow all the dust off of everything in the kitchen.  Halfway across the kitchen I thought I heard my phone but it was my ears ringing instead.

.....so I tried something else....

3. My fall back project when all else fails...scrape paint.   As I mentioned before....my ladder set up is iffy at best and after almost losing my balance twice and not wanting to send any wrong data to the heart monitoring people I thought it would be best if I didn't ping an erroneous signal so I sat down and ate a key lime Bismarck donut** from Krispy Kreme.  Damn....they are good.  AND before anyone thinks that my heart monitoring needs are a result of greasy donuts, the tests all came back....no blockages.  I have very few vices besides my home restoration vice, but I am also a sucker for a good donut OR two.

**why is spell check flagging donut?  It is suggesting doughnut......who spells it that way????

R arrived back home around 1PM after cutting a tree limb into pieces for a friend.  We decided that we would go outside and sit in the sun and enjoy the 70 degree weather.  After 10 minutes the sun went behind a cloud, it got windy, and the temp dropped.  AND they wonder why I need to wear a heart monitor.

So we went inside and tried to think of a quiet quick project.  I know your thinking, why can't R listen for the phone?  In a nut shell.....R can't hear $%^&.  So we decided to fix the wood around the new ovens because the double Thermador ovens are slightly shorter than the old double ovens we removed.

Halfway through the project the fridge guys arrived at 4pm.  Delivery went smoothly.  They left and we continued on with our little project.  R found an old wide piece of tongue and groove.  He cut it to length and cut the tongue off.  I used the heat gun to remove the Liquid Nails that was on the board. At his point we called it a day.

Tomorrow I plan on making a lot of noise.  I'm going to sand, use my air blow gun, and I am going to turn the classic rock station up to blast.

Kitchen Shelves and Kitten Update

Today was great because we FINALLY got to see what the shelves will look like when they are completed.  We both are very pleased.

But first.  Before we could cut the actual shelves we added the ledger board between the brackets.  We used the same 1x4 boards that we used behind the brackets but we ripped them down to 3 inches because 4 inches was too wide and felt wrong.  It's one of those things where it is hard to explained but we both felt the same way when we put up the first board.
Next we glued two 1x10s together for each shelf.  After the glue was dried, we trimmed the boards to 9 inches wide.  First we took 1/16th of an inch off one side and then flipped the shelf and made the final trim to give us a 9 inch wide shelf.

The shelves are up but they still need to be sanded and nailed/screwed to the brackets and ledger board. What do you think?

Tomorrow they deliver the refrigerator sometime between 1 and 5.  I so dislike waiting around for delivery people even when I know I am going to be home.

Now on to important stuff like kitty photos.

Sorry for the blurry photo but I wanted to show how Aunt Sasha fills in when Mama Patches goes for a walk around the house.
Just look at that face.  Is she precious or what?
 Look how she has her paw on her sister Sasha and look how the little kittens have grown.
Kitten update.  We started out with 4 black and white kitties and 1 muted tortie.  We now have 3 black and white kitties, 1 muted tortie, and one muted grey/white kitten.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Paint scraping update

The scraping progress has slowed down to a crawl.  I'm still putting in about three hours a day but now I am standing on a precarious set up of a ladder, scrap pieces of wood, and two paint cans.  Don't call OHSA.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Kitchen Brackets, Corbels, & Shelves

I finally have the camera situation taken care.....for now.  Cameras and I just do not play well together. Several years ago, my daughter in law took her mother and I out for a Mother's Day romp with a group of other mothers. First on the agenda was a pedicure and then lunch.  I retrieved my camera from my purse and wasn't paying attention to the person who was to give me a pedicure.  I didn't realize that it was a guy and when he grabbed my foot to put into the foot bath, I looked up, saw a guy, kind of jumped a little, and promptly dropped my camera in the foot bath.

Today was day 3 of the brackets, corbels, and shelves installation project.  On day 1 we installed the brackets under the corner wall shelf.  The area under the shelf will eventually have a built in desk and cabinets.  The shelf looked plain and I needed to add something to it.  I decided on a smaller version of the brackets that I am using elsewhere.  A bracket alone was kind of blah and I am of the school of moulding where the motto is 'when in doubt, add more moulding.'  We took the same 1x4 that we used on our ceiling trim and found some small scraps that were long enough to back the bracket.  These brackets are purely decorative and offer no real support to the corner shelf.

Next on the agenda was the corbels under the ceiling beam.These two bracket were large but if used alone would of been out of scale and wimpy.  So we took the same 1x4 and backed the top and back of the bracket.  Next we headed to the big scrap pile and found a wide board that we ripped to 5 3/4 inches wide and backed the top and back of the bracket creating a stepped layered look that made the bracket larger.  Again these were decorative and were held in place with finish nails.

Last on the list are the shelves above the lower cabinets that will be my baking center.  These shelves will support a lot of weight so installing them required more than finish nails.  We decided on 3 shelves with 3 brackets to support the shelves.  The actual shelves will be (2) 1x10s glued together for thickness.  One board would be too wimpy and out of scale for the brackets.  Also gluing two boards together rather than using one thick board adds strength and will help eliminate cupping and warping that happens a lot with pine boards.  Why pine?  We felt we needed to repeat the pine which is on the walls.  Even after they are painted white you should still be able to make out the grain and knots.  Plus, these 6 boards were 70 bucks and if we had purchased poplar the cost would have been a lot more.

We first found the center of the cabinet and marked that on the wall by adhering a piece of blue painter's tape and marking center.  Next we needed to determine the spacing of the three shelves.  I'm short so I wanted the bottom shelf to be somewhat accessible without a step stool.  BUT it needed to be high enough for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to sit underneath it.  We decided on 18 inches and then used the 18 inches for the spacing between the other two shelves marking center and spacing on painter's tape.

We used the same design that we used on the corner shelf by backing the bracket with a 1x4.  Since these brackets were functional and needed to support weight we first screwed the 1x4 to the wood wall.  The placement of the screw was in the center of the board so that it would be hidden by the bracket.  The bracket then was hung on the 1x4 using the hanging hardware and a screw.  We then finished it off by drilling small holes into each side of the bracket and inserting a medium size finish nail that was then counter sunk.  We tested each bracket and they are not going ANYWHERE.

By the end of the day we had 6 brackets installed.  Tomorrow we will install the last three brackets and then add a length of 1x4 between each bracket to give the shelves additional support and provide a place to nail the shelf to between the brackets.

Last but not least....a gratuitous photo of the little kittens at day three.  Mama Kitty and Aunt Sasha Kitty are busy taking turns cuddling the kittens.  One of the kittens is a lot bigger than the rest and one is already trying to walk.  He can't stand up but he gets around in the drawer quite fast with his*** little legs moving like crazy.

***I have no idea whether he is a he or a she but for some reason we just keep calling all of them HE.

Monday, April 7, 2014

For Sale Pink Stove w/French Doors on Oven

I ran across this ad on Craigslist today and thought I should pass it on in case someone is looking for a fabulous pink stove.

Those French style doors on the oven are very unique.  I wonder why they didn't offer that option on more ovens.

Pink stove on Craigslist http://flint.craigslist.org/atq/4411291144.html