Completed projects:

roof, kitchen, master bedroom, main bathroom (sans shower tile), fireplace, hardwood flooring, windows, office, front entry, stairway

Ongoing projects:

shower surround, dapping/painting woodwork, ensuite vanity/lights/mirror, painting outdoor trim, finishing front entry tile work, interior door painting and hardware, decorating

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Me gyproc queen!

Well, don't believe everything you read. Yes, I'm patching up some gyproc but following Vic's lead is no easy feat. He makes it look pretty easy.

Actually, my official title this week is Stucco Girl. I'm to fix up the ceiling patches where stucco went missing when the old valances located above the windows were taken down.

Vic was Cable Guy and Bonnie was his assistant today. They relocated my exsisting cable line to another wall so I could stop tripping over the ever annoying cord. Digging into still exsisting plywood floors proved to be a very cool way to do just that!

Jeremy even snuck in for a few to check on Vic.

Lots of dust kicked up today. That may be because I got tired of hand sanding my crappy gyproc patching so I plugged in my hand sander thing instead. Yikes... snow inside a house. Interesting concept. I'll be eating that stuff forever I think. Let me put it this way. I was in front of the picture window sanding a patch of ceiling and cody was in front of the tv mere feet away from me and I lost sight of him. Once the swirling fog somewhat cleared, he slowly reappeared with his hands all over his face. Can't figure out why...

But we are moving along! After the ceilings, then it's onto painting all the upstairs walls! Already!! I love this stuff. I wish I could take a few months off work and just play on the house. That would be crazy delirious kinda fun.

It seems like it takes me forever to get something started on the house. So many things pulling me away at the same time. But once I'm plugged in, try and stop me!

There have been a series of shorter evening visits by Pete, Vic, and Rich, all in an effort to get things done. I sure appreciate how everyone working together is making such a big difference. Today I glanced at my new wall switch plates and had to smile. Something so 'normal' is so so beautiful!

Thanks everyone, for making everything come together, a day at a time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cool finds using your imagination

I bought a lamp today.

This unique lamp was sitting in Yarrow's MCC yesterday. I eyed it up and knew I loved the lines and pictured it in antiqued black. But the finials were wrong on it. So I left it there.

Today I had to go get it for I had a plan of action. I picked it up and dropped by Dan's for a quick fix it project. He showed me how to dremel the finials off that I didn't care for. Right before my eyes, my lamp started to become what I had envisioned. For a whoppin' $20!

When black, it'll have a twisted hollow wrought iron look. It is cool.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me tick. Flipping something normal I find into something extraordinary. And totally unique!

For the longest time, I've refused to buy stuff and accessorize my tired old house because what was the point. When the background isn't right, the object won't look right. Things are starting to look right!

And like most anyone, I love to waltz through Homesense and try to find the perfect little something or other for a corner, but by far, walking into a thrift or garage sale is where it's at for me. It's the search AND creative process to the finished product that get me up in the morning. It is FUN to create and imagine!

I wish I had a camera to take a picture of the lamp, but I dropped it and now it won't go click. Cameras dislike meeting floors at a fast pace it seems. So I'll get those loose ends tied up one day soon.

Until then, you get to live abit of my current world over the past three years. Imagination is a wonderful quality to have!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

When speaking from the heart works best

Today was the day. The Yarrow MB Church was to have their morning service with a Thanksgiving lunch to follow. During dessert, it was time to talk about the reno project and watch a slideshow on the events taking place. It was speech time for me.

I knew this was upcoming quite awhile ago. Many times I found myself muttering to myself on how I'd start, finish, add, not say. I haven't had alot of practice public speaking, but knew this was one I wanted to make.

It was important to me to show the others what their kindness and generosity had been doing for me. This was very big for me indeed.

I invited my Mom to join me and picked her up Saturday night. Sunday Am was abit of a blur as it was all about getting up and ready rather quickly. But I was rattled. I mean, very. I had been relatively calm for days before. Even the night before, but today felt different. I felt unprepared.

So 15 minutes before we were to dash out the door, I sat and wrote out my speech. Putting it all down clarified the points I wanted to make. I was feeling 'abit' better...

As we were dashing out the door, I started to read what I wrote. Problem with following notes is, you must read it word for word or you forget stuff. So I tried that to myself, but it sounded like I was reading a book. Hmmmm... not liking that either.

Thanksgiving lunch was nice! But those that sat around me knew my mind was drifting off. In mere minutes, I was to get up and deliver my most heartfelt message I could. And I didn't want to miss anything, yet I didn't want to sound like a book either. I knew it was time to wing it once again.

Pastor Eldon stood beside me and knew what to do if I stumbled. So I talked about the project. The good folks that are in my life. My story on how I got this far.

Many that know me laugh at the way I misplace my glasses. Honestly, I'm not sure if they were on my head or in my hands. There was no podium in front of me to place things down, so I clutched my kleenex (in case) and notes and just spoke from the heart.

As I looked into the faces of so many good folks that have helped me along the way, I felt intense pride. I was proud of them and all they have been offering my way. I'm so glad I was able to use this opportunity to express what they meant to me and how they've touched on my life.

Then the slideshow began. Three songs long and the project wasn't even complete yet! Pastor Eldon did a wonderful job combining song to pictures, one of which I chose, Amanda Marshall's If I Didn't Have You. That song represents my early struggles of trying to do things on my own, when suddenly you are there. Many special faces flash through my mind whenever that song is played. The other two songs were “My Friend” – Groove Armada and “Anyway” – Martina McBride. Perfectly chosen and said!

While I watched the slideshow, the memories were brought back right to the beginning. I sat and just marvelled at what a wonderful story this really was and life isn't even finished yet. How when you're at the bottom, the only way back is up. And with the help of many wonderful folks working through God, just how amazing it can transform your life.

Afterwards, many came to me to introduce themselves, say job well done, just thank me for my story. I felt very cared for yet again.

For anyone who's guided me in the early days on how to fix things, right down to installing my new toilet or sorting seeds at the Church, I sincerely thank YOU for enhancing Cody's and my story. The story of a girl that lost her way for a short awhile, but had been given the chance to grab the roadmap that will take her to where she needs to go and grow and enhance other's lives the way hers was touched.

I was proud to have my Mom by my side. She was able to witness a very big step in my life once again. And hopefully quell her fears. She worries about me. But today she got to meet so many wonderful people that oversee her daughter's wellbeing. I know it made an impact on her and she now has a wonderful story to share with others.

Thank-you for the opportunity to allow me to speak to all of you from the heart today. Without cue cards. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Bedroom painting marathon

My buddy Vic stopped in Saturday and guided me in the right direction on what to tackle next. The hardwood floors may be laid down in some areas before the entire floor is placed, so next up was painting the main bedroom and ensuite.

I ran into town to grab some paint and had to just stop and peek at Chwk New and Used. My creative brain had to see if I could find a magical kitchen island to save $ or any other cool trinket.

Oh, lots of cool price efficient trinkets. I love unique oddities and morph them into something they originally weren't. (a big passion of mine) There were some really cool smaller porcelain sinks, stainless steel tables, old doors... but nothing came home with me. I'm trying to create a headboard for my bedroom for my honkin' massively high king sized bed but nothing quite hit me right that run. I'll keep looking. And it's a very good (or bad?) thing I don't have a 100 foot trailer because I would have come home with the most unique metal clad siding ever. It was rusted to many different shades (cream, rust, dark brown) with metal still showing. It was like a painter's canvas. It would have made an incredible feature wall somewhere... well, I might have to go back for it if it won't 'leave me alone'. LOL (you shoppers know what I speak of!)

Nope, I was good and got in my truck and went home to paint. And oh my... some parts of this house I can actually say look 'pretty.' I'm delighted with the results!

So it was a paint into the night marathon. I treat myself to a wonderful Yarrow Pizza house special when I pull off one of those. Cranked up the radio, and watched the house transform.

Many nights just like this are upcoming. And I couldn't be happier!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I have time for the house!

I am so excited. Really. I woke up by my internal clock at 7:20 AM today raring to chip away at this monstrous house project. While the coffee was brewing, I went back to my bed to try and brainwash some sense into my head. I can sleep in today! But I couldn't do it. As soon as the coffee maker beckoned me into the kitchen with it's friendly little beeps, off I went.

My most used quote lately is, "I LOVE this bathroom!" That bathroom being nearly done totally motivates me to do more more more of the same. It's so pretty in there. Cody even commented last time, "Mom, I LIKE this floor! It's so soft.." Not sure what that meant as it's cold hard tile but I'll take it as a massive compliment all the same.

So I have this task before me. Actually, many. Just not sure which fork in the road to chose. Shall I gut my bedroom and paint the ceiling and prep the walls to the ensuite? Or should I tile around the shower? Or start boxing my spare room up which holds ALL of the upstairs contents...(where's Vic when I need him for advice?!?)

I need to do all that and more, so it doesn't much matter I guess. As long as I, well, do it!

And just for you advice kinda folks, I'm stressing over the island and need advice. I wanted a simple island with an overhang towards the living room. But we love to sit on the kitchen side of it so I'm thinking I need an overhang on that side too. What will this contraption look like with all these overhangs?!? I'm thinking overdone. But oh so functional. Why form vs. function don't relate well I'll never get. So which way do I go? Two overhangs? Overhangs on three sides but not in the kitchen? I thought my cool idea of a gliding top to overhang however I wish to use it at that given time would be perfect but got voted down by the cabinet place. Drat.

Anyway, time to get off this computer, quit talkin' about what's to be done and actually do it.

I love weekends that start like this. Nothing on the calendar to TELL me what to do. Just, wing it. Cody is with his Dad so I don't even have to stop and cook every 30 minutes. It's all about hacking!

And a happy hacking weekend to all of you!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kitchen ordered... FINALLY!

I FINALLY ordered the kitchen cabinets and island! Finally!

This one was a huge decision. I had originally chosen antique white and black hardware and it would have been lovely. I worked hard to find the right tone of wall paint, the whole works. But I couldn't commit to the cabinets. I was having a hard time making them right for this house and our kind of stuff. And then the light came on when I came across a pic in a magazine of a more rustic warm woodsy kitchen. THAT was me and this house to a T. Thank goodness I pay attention to my gut instinct from time to time.

So the cabinets are a medium/light tone of stain on alder, which picked up the stain colour in a more rustic random manner. The colour is warm and just light enough to be stunning against black accents. For that eclectic variation, the island is distressed black. The laminate counter tops will have a mix of black and taupe. I'm debating on a wood plank distressed topper stained like the cabinets for the island instead of using laminate for the works... thinking thinking... but it's all coming together!

And I think I'm actually ok with a wall paint colour I have. (I actually have stock at this point) I can't use the one I would have used with the antique white cupboards (trust me, it's perfect and I put in a good month of time to achieve it) but I think the undertone I used in the office and bathroom is right on with the warmer cabinets and perhaps just needs a slight touch of depth in a bigger better lit area. I have a new wall kind of patchwork quilt look going on in the living room and kitchen once AGAIN.

The cabinets take 8 weeks to completion. That means I have to get in gear and do my homework! I need to gut closets, purge more junk, box things up, tile around the tub.. and as soon as gyproc is repaired, a whole lotta painting ahead.

And that means a lot of things ahead for the team as well. I felt guilty putting in my order for I know that with deadlines now looming, they will be very busy indeed.

I feel like such a weight lifted off my shoulders getting the kitchen decisions made. I know everything will look stunning in the end.

I can't wait for this new kitchen! What took me so long?!?