Monday, January 31, 2011

Form meets Function

The kitchen is looking better than I imagined and wow does it ever work well. I knew the old kitchen was terribly nonfunctional but I guess I was making the best of the worst. The new kitchen is not even finished and it is like a dream come true in terms of functionality. Colin's favorite part of the new functioning kitchen is the dishwasher. I think I have to agree. Another wonderful aspect is counter space. A place to set the pan while you pour in the brownie batter vs. balancing the pan on the stove while trying not to bump anything with your elbow is quite the improvement. I also like the fact that we no longer have appliance row. Appliance row is like death row but for appliances. Before we only had two plugs in the kitchen-one by the stove and one by the refrigerator. This meant that we had an extension cord coming from behind the fridge that powered the microwave and its close neighbor the toaster over. On top of the microwave and toaster oven we had the espresso machine and the regular toaster. When I baked I would roll a little cart up to appliance row so that my kitchen aid mixer could be with the rest of its small appliance friends. Now all the appliances have moved to the country where they don't have to deal with their annoying neighbors. Best of all there is room for all kinds of elbows and when I gain my weight back from eating all the deliciousness from the new kitchen Colin and I will still be able to work side by side- because there is just that much room. I am off to make a cake.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, January 27, 2011

DIY Rookie Mistake

There are times when doing something alone is ok and then there are times when asking for help or waiting for help would be the better plan. Last night I was feeling ambitious and decided I could do something on my own that would have been a whole lot easier with someone else's help. Here's the back story. Our corner cabinet has a shelf in it that spans the whole space. I thought we were getting one that just had a shelf on the hidden side and was open by the cabinet door. So we installed the cabinet with the plan of taking the shelf out later to cut it in half. Well after the cabinet was installed we realized we could not get the shelf out of the cabinet due to the placement of the window sill. I was very bummed. Colin assured me that we could still cut the shelf with a little skill, while it was inside the cabinet. So I did that while he was gone. I propped the shelf as best I could with random 2 x 4s and started sawing. I instantly broke the blade of the jigsaw due to the massive vibrations of the shelf not being held properly while being sawed. So did I wait for someone to hold the shelf while I sawed? No, I got out the sawsall and started at it. When I got to the bottom of the cut the saw broke through, the shelf fell, and the saw went into my leg. Now don't worry, I was lucky and only got a little nick. I was not positive of this at first and was so terrified that I might have sawed through my leg that I dropped my pants with no regard to the fact that I was standing in front of the picture window. But my legs is fine, it is my pride that is injured. Lessons learned- if something is not working right- wait for help. If not you will suffer a sawed off leg or neighbors seeing you in your underwear, or both.

Please ignore the fact that I am tanless.

Let there be light- again!

This is the wonderful light fixture that I got at restore for $10.00. I made the shade out of tissue paper and modge podge. Isn't it pretty. I particularly like the way it plays off the curved wall. I will try to get a picture with the wall and the light together. Colin likes that it is high and he won't hit his head on it. He was constantly hitting his head on the old one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Which comes first the chicken or the egg?

Why do I ask this? Well, I always thought that the sink would come first and then the dishwasher. But we have the dishwasher installed and yet the sink is not quite there. I mean it is physically there, it just does not have any plumbing hooked up. It is way bigger than I thought it was when I ordered it. Don't worry it will fit, it just will fit a lot of dishes too.

Here it is under the cabinet. Now it looks less huge.

I will let you know when it is up and running. Can wait to show you how the faucets look. Oh and in case I have not mentioned it. We have temporary counter tops made of plywood for now. We are waiting for warmer weather to pour the concrete ones. Colin suggested we paint the plywood ones to demonstrated the colors of the concrete- so that may be a future project.

better than a maid- a dishwasher

Wow oh wow. We got our dishwasher installed. I love it it so much. I hate doing dishes and Colin doesn't seem to do them-so for the last year and half I have been doing the majority of the dishes. But now I have a dishwasher that works really well. We installed it on Saturday (and Colin and I both agree that it is the easiest kitchen project we have done yet) and we scrambled around the house collecting dishes and got it all loaded up and then realized we did not have any dish washing detergent. So I scurried off to John Brookes ( 1 block away from our house) and came back with the magic cleaning liquid that will save me hours of work. And then we ran the dishwasher. And then a little while later we had clean dishes- and I mean really clean. I had put in a bowl with dried-on-pieces of squash soup from over a week ago - and the bowl was spotless. Yay for modern-day appliances.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chalk board paint

First, what is it? Chalk board paint is a paint that turns any surface into a chalk board.

Second, it is always black or green? Nope you can have chalkboard tinted to whatever color you prefer. I prefer a light blueish greenish.

Third, does Lowes in NM have it? No! I will try Shermin Williams this weekend. 

Fourth, what am I going to do with it? Well, I am planning to add a nice chalkboard to the wall opposite the bar. Hopefully this will make the transition between the smooth mudding of the kitchen and the rough mudding of the dinning room less obvious.  Basically it will be just to left of the light switches in the photo below. Then when I have guests I can write the menu for dinner on the chalkboard (and pretend I have my own restaurant). Plus I can leave little to do notes and items not to forget on the board as well.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lowes Shopping list for the day-yippee

  • Sink (will post pics as soon as I can)
  • under mount sink hanging kit
  • garbage disposal
  • drain kit
  • chalk board paint

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lowers are in- well except one

Here is the row of lowers. Turns out the floor is really really uneven so to get the cabinets level we ( Colin and his dad- not me) had to raise the ones on the right up a full inch or more. What does this mean? I am going to have really high counter tops. Might have to get a little stool or something.

This is the sink cabinet. The dishwasher will go to left of the sink where that bottle is sitting. Colin said I would have a dishwasher by the end of the week! Yay! Obviously there are some doors missing in this picture.

Sharing isn't so easy

Poor, poor Luna has suffered more than anyone through this remodel. She has not gotten her evening bike rides and has put on several pounds due to the lack of play time. The other evening when we went to put her harness on it did not fit and we had to loosen the straps significantly. Secondly, her house has been a constant mess with lots of scary noises and she has not quite taken to the dog door. She uses if she has to but sometime she just sits there and barks at it until we tell her it is ok and she hops through. And the last indignity, she had to share her blanket by the fire with the drawers while they got their pulls added. Poor Luna! Good thing she has a cabinet of her own and every time I show someone the kitchen she gets a treat.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Knobs and Switch Plates- we must be getting close

See, look, watch-- I have knobs and switch plates. Yay.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lights, Cabinets, Action

Turns out these wonderful little pendants that I got at ReStore for 15 bucks each were the hardest things in the world to install. I spent about an hour before I gave up and told Colin, "You do it!" He did but it took him a really long time and we owe his mom a new arm for standing patiently like the statue of liberty holding up the light while Colin wired it. Thank you Wendy for your super strong arms and thank you Colin for not giving up like I did. They sure are pretty! And they give out a great amout of light. We were worried that we had not put in enough lights. The ironic thing is that the kitchen in now the best looking room in the house and the brightest. My friend Maggie came over and was oooing and ahhhing over the amazing kitchen. Maybe someday it won't stick out as so pretty because the rest of the house will catch up to it. All in good time.

Three water line?

First and foremost Colin and I owe a huge thank you to Jim and Patty for helping us install the uppers. I really shouldn't say help I should say do. I helped and they did. Thank you times a million.

Secondly, what is this?

Colin patiently explained to me that these were the three new water lines that would feed the sink. Now if you are not quite as interested in water lines as you are in cabinets you might have asked the same question that I asked. Three? Hot, cold, and what? Well the "what" is a hot water recirculating pipe. Meaning that I will be able to push a nice little button on the sink and wait a moment and there will be hot water there instantly. The alternative to which is letting the water run down the drain until it is hot. Another amazing thing that Colin installed is a grey water pipe. Again I was a bit confused so he again patiently explained that there would be a valve on the kitchen drain and when the water isn't really yucky I can flip the switch and the water will go into the garden instead of the sewer. How cool is that?!

If you are wondering about the powder on the pipes, it is boric acid to keep the bugs away (you should have seen the bugs we found inside the walls - ahhhh). It will be all covered up by cabinets soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wow- uppers are in!

The real color of the cabinets are the darker pictures.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Copper Polishing or Copper Sweating

I love, love, love to polish copper. I know, I am a strange being. But wiping away all that grime just makes my day. Turns out Colin has a thing for copper too, no polishing but sweating. "Sweating?" you ask. Well, sweating is when you solder copper pipes together to create hot water and colder water piping from your brand new hot water heater to the rest of your abode.

Out of order painting pics

Thanks mama and auntie for giving me a b-day painting party. For those of you who know when my bithday is (November) you can see how really far behind I am in updating and how out of order I have gotten. So sorry.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Plug it in, plug it in.

How many plugs did we have in the old, ugly, non-functioning kitchen? Two. One behind the refrigerator and one by the stove. Needless to say we definitely needed at least one more. But we did better than that. We now have 14 sets! Yay! I have all the plugs wired but I am still trying to figure out how to wire the three ways switches and the dimmer switch. Once those are done we will throw those break switches with a shout of joy. Woooo!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope that this new year brings you both fun and happiness and perhaps some DIY.

I am getting so excited about coming home to the beautiful floors ready for cabinet installation.  And since I am feeling a bit better I have once again began to think of all the possibilities for the new year and all the little projects that we can do to make the house truly ours. Some items are fun and some are just necessary evils. Below is a list of things that I think I will actually get done.

1) Finish the Kitchen (duh)
2) Make paper star lanterns for the bedroom. Colin and I have both hated the light fixture in the bedroom since we moved in and I figured that star lanterns would both be functional and bring some interest to the very blank wall behind our bed.
Image from:

3) Clean out the bird's nests from above the porch. Yuck. Then add some of those poky things that will keep them from nesting there next year. I have no idea why, but the old owner encouraged this behavior which results in a porch full of poop. Not happy about that.
4) Once everything is nice and clean we will repaint the dark brown trim to a beautiful dark turquoise. I feel this will make the house feel a bit more New Mexican and bit less blah.
5) Another necessary evil- we need to clean the grease off the white garage door. I know, I know we should not have let it get this bad. Let my try and make excuses...The garage door is very noisy and we have to grease it about once a week in order not to loose our hearing, also I only notice the atrocity when I am driving up to the house and then the deafening noise of the door closes quickly erases the memory of the ugly grease spots that have spilled down the front of the door.
6) Something fun! I bought a massive amount of bulbs for only $10.00! at the high country garden holiday sale. So those need to get into the ground. They might not bloom until spring 2012 but boy will they be beautiful.

Well I think that enough for now. My number one priority is getting better. None of the fun or evil will take place without the gift of health. Thankfully things seem to be getting better and better.

Have a wonderful new year and do everything that you want to do!