It is officially spring!
Our yard has recognized the change by putting on a little (very little) color.
5 daffodil blossoms.

Who knows what else we'll have.

Odd setting in front yard, those bricks were in place so our porch skunk wouldn't dig under the lattice.  It dug anyway. We removed lattice so it wouldn't feel safe there. Now we need to replace lattice PROPERLY, so many re-dos here. Sigh.  We did find an original porch spindle under there though, so we have some accessory inspiration!


Why the silence?

Well, first there's the few moments of relaxation that you take once everything is in the house.
THEN, there's getting stuff in the right ROOM.
THEN, there's snow and shoveling.
THEN, my Mom is in the hospital in Boston.
Oh yeah, we're in a band-we're recording, rehearsing and doing gigs.

We have done about zero renovation lately, a LOT of unpacking still remains and that's about it.
Hoping for good weather Saturday to start some yard/building stuff.


maybe I was mistaken

If you visit this site, you will see that the concept of carpeting running under a wall is actually Art(with a capital A)

Maybe we jumped to the wrong conclusion about the previous homeowner.
Perhaps what we thought was idiotic was, in truth,  thinking outside of the box in an avant garde sense and not just stupid.

I also recommend looking at the whole site, not just these 2 pics.

What's happening??


With an open ended move out date at 
my place in the North End, 
we made the finishing the first floor 
the priority and now we're moving me. 

It ain't easy.
Fifth Floor walkup. 
Not so horrible moving up, but coming down...ugh.
Try carrying 2 bulky totes full of stuff down 
winding stairs that you can't see.
And I have a lot of one trip items. 
Things that are too big to carry more than one, 
even though they aren't heavy. 
Makes for a lot of trips.

I have done about 40 trips up and down so far this week.
Usually I do 2 a day at the most.
Yes, my legs are killing me.
And now I have to be careful.

I'm down to.
Boxes of breakable stuff. 
Lamps, glasses.
And books. And records (yup vinyl!).
Heavy Sewing machine.
Heavy Iron Baker's rack. oh, 2 of them.
Air Conditioner.
Cooking gear. Too many HUGE pots.
Some canned food.
Big mirrors. Big paintings. 
All going in the little car.
Sunday we get a van for the last big items-table, cabinet, loveseat.
Probably bring some trash across town since 
it can't go out on the street too early on Sunday 
or they'll get a ticket.

Tomorrow I want to try loading up a 2 wheeler to go down, 
but I think it's going to be too big for the corners and steepness. 

I thought we'd be done this Sunday,but I am now thinking nope.
well Monday is a holiday so maybe can finish then.


Yay! Officially done!

The first floor is officially done!
We have a tenant moving in.
I can move out of The North End.
Yup, it got put on hold, so we could get a tenant in -
was a good idea because we just got it done in time for her
(there are whacky formatting
issues on this page - please click pic
for full size and bear with me!)

So Here's the Recap
KITCHEN - Before and After

Bedroom -
We decided the high gloss-moss had to go -
ditto with the cable through the window!???!

Living Room -
the circus left town -
no more blazing glossy sunshine yellow

Spare Room/Study? Small room
Was white with filthy blue green
now it is pale yellow with
wood grain vinyl floor

Bathroom -
The best for last
This barely captures how nice the bathroom came out
The color is much darker - a warm, greenish gray

weekly Update

Where we're at.
Right on schedule for February 1st.
Pictures soon -batteries died, but I bought more, then I changed camera and those batteries died...

On the first floor -
  • Kitchen done - needs floor cleaning and some scratch touch up
  • Small room done - probably some spots to touch up after the floor is in
  • Bathroom primed - ready to paint (tonight)
  • Hall - Painted and chair rail up. Some detail work needed.
  • Bedroom - half primed - the color is SOOOOO dark! Even under 2 coats of primer some of it looks dark
  • Front door latch repaired

What's left
  • Paint bathroom
  • Finish priming bedroom -paint it
  • Readhere bathtub surround
  • Put laminate floor in small room
  • Fix closet window. maybe throw some paint up in there.
  • Clean everything



Since I didn't take progress pics I figured I'd talk about the chairs I have been amassing.
(It's NOW officialy-I collect chairs)

This chair came as part of a $20 table and chair deal
and has great hand carving on the back,
as well as one really outstanding claw foot.
It's just a "transitional" dining chair, probably American
from the 20's or 30's but I haven't found another
like it because of the ball & claw foot. The toes are broken off the other side, but it is a clean break that
I think I can fix up pretty easily.

The fabric I have tucked into it is a trial run of this Geisha print I had picked up for something else.
It matches the colors we'll probably use in the bedroom.
There currently is a very pretty and seemingly expensive
brocade on the seat but that is a tad too prissy for me.
(despite my love for pink and french - it won't do)
I should have gotten a close up of the carving, it is nice.

This is the new chair last week
Found on Craigslist(where else?)

It needs to be re-upholstered, and it isn't as old as it looks,
but it is a great reproduction and I am going to funk it up big time.
It's too bad the upholstery is cat mangled, because it is a very
plush, high quality chenille.
No way I can afford to redo with something this nice.
I am hoping to find some far out upholstery and add heavy
fringe around the bottom. Freddie Farkel's here I come!

THIS is why I got the electric staple gun!


Downstairs update

Where we are now
The kitchen just needs the drawer fronts and last cabinets put up. 
Those 'white spots' are from the flash off the window.
I am sure there are some renegade paint spots to get off the floor as well.  
I think the top of the inside of the window needs a 2nd coat of paint, too. 

The living room is 1/2 painted, bedroom is 1/2 primed, small room is primed and bathroom is only 1/2 prepped for primer.
The rest of the chair rail needs to go up in the hall.
2+ days of SNOW slowed us down a lot, but getting  3 1/2 rooms painted should be pretty quick.
The wall color is darker than it seems, living room
The back wall is browner and darker than it looks here.


I was headed down the hallway to the kitchen for something. 
Dave was headed to the bedroom and made the finder to lips "shhh" 
gesture as he snuck into the bedroom.
About 10 seconds later he's yelling, 
"*&#!ing squirrels!".
Apparently he was in the bathroom and heard some scrambling 
around in the eaves and headed to the bedroom where he could take a look.  
And saw a squirrel come out.
That hole patch jumped in priority. 
It had been on the list and we had the supplies.
Patching that for the winter is no longer on the list...but that corner is worse than we'd thought...
(I had to stick my arm out the window to take this, so you'd don't get a good idea 
of the hole in the before state, it also has some plexi over it for now)


The "Living Room"

I took pictures for this, but brought the wrong camera today.
Photos will be here later. MUCH LATER as it turns out!
This is the hang out, dining and go online room for the moment.
When we finish with it, it will be our bedroom.
We pulled up the laminate flooring, since we actually prefer hardwood...even if it is poorly stained with some red stuff. The stuff is actually stain, but they did such a terrible job staining that I guess they decided that covering it with laminate would be easier than refinishing. Whatever. At least they actually realized that they did a crappy staining job. Si.

It took us maybe 10 minutes of actual floor disassembly time and 20 minutes of moving stuff around and sweeping to get all the laminate taken care of. We are going to recycle the flooring down to the small room/study in the first floor unit (aka the room with the wall built over the carpet). We are trying to recycle, repurpose as much as possible here.
It is actually a goal of ours to buy no NEW furniture.
We'd like to rescue unwanted period pieces that fit and give them new life!

So after the floor got ripped up, I brought in some furniture and carpets and tried to make it more like a room we can use.
It's definitely funky.
(Update: there is now an exercise bike where the red chair was, and a loveseat where the leopard chair was-the silly green chairs are both up on the 3rd and the red chair is to big to go up the stairs so it's in the "dining room")

Oh yeah, the walls will not be remaining a high gloss mint green, nor will the trim remain yellow.

I am trying to decide between a grayed out brown or a brownishy olive color. Neutral, but a little darker that your everyday tan. Since we'll probably have a bunch of small carpets for a while I think the neutral will be best.
The carpets are Turkish or Afghan or Iranian and mostly in the traditional reds.

And we'll bring the ceiling height back up as well.
This is the only room in the BUILDING with a low ceiling. Even the tiny leech room adjacent has a high ceiling. The 3rd floor rooms have higher ceilings and that was the attic!

Just another classic undergrade by the former owner.

I am willing to bet that there's nothing wrong with the old ceiling above the new one.

Silly kitchen

The kitchen has what I'd call one small set of cabinets.
I could fill all the cabinet space with just my spices.
There's also a small wacky closet/pantry, and we put up 
a metro shelving sort of Baker's Rack, by the door but 
the real fun began when I decided that the way to get the food out 
of the gym bags on the floor was to take anything that can be wall 
mounted and hold food and put it on the long wall. 
Some of these shelves are trash finds and/or need paint jobs, 
but it's what we need until we redo the kitchen for real.
While I was making breakfast Saturday, Dave put up a couple shelves 
and added foods. After a bit of organizational rearranging, 
I thought they looked pretty decorative beyond just 
storage, so here are some pics.

This is all tea.^^
Haggis and quail eggs, hmmm.
Canned fish and tea...
Miscellaneous meats and soup bases, 
(more evaporated milk as well)
We have some pretty colorful as well as 'interesting' eats!


Moving along...

Thursday night after a yummy dinner, we got down to some more biz.
Dave sanded the bathroom walls - no pics.
I painted the chair rail and the back wall in the living room and that's it.
Back wall in Living room - I have named the color cafe latte.
I could go for a latte right now.
The other walls will be a lighter version of the same color
thanks to a 5 gallon bucket of flat white paint.
Yup, I didn't cut in on the top, I'll fix that tonight

First piece of chair rail up in the hallway,
it makes it look like a nice apartment instead of just an apartment.

Hope that's the magic of getting the good rent.
Contemporary traditional?
I have no idea what "real" designers would call it, but it's looking purdy.


Yeah, it's COLD outside!

We messed up.
We set the thermostat in the downstairs so low that when we went down to work last night it was too cold to do what we had to do! It was about 50 degrees down there and that was too cold to paint and the sanding discs wouldn't stay stuck on the sander. Dave sanded maybe 3 square feet in the bathroom and I managed to paint some chair rail and put a first coat on a cabinet door, but the paint was just not working otherwise. Since it would have taken too long to warm the place up, we went upstairs installed a hanging rod in the giant closet area and put drawers in one of the dressers. It's fun to put clothes away instead of having them piled all over the place.

We got a great start this week and we're still about halfway through our Monday to Sunday chore list, so I think with a break from band practice we'll get it all done and have the first floor complete by the end of Sunday. Whoo Hoo!

We're going to turn the heat up as soon as we get home tonight.


Kitty can help!

Last night the cat came down and "helped" while we were 
working on the rental unit. She has been generally 
reluctant to come downstairs, but she'll stand at the top 
of the back stairway and yell for us to come and give her an audience.  
That stairway has great cat howl acoustics...
I'm helping in the hallway by sleeping in the most high traffic place possible
Dave finished patching the bedroom walls the living room, 
I finished the hall and cut in on the back wall in the living room, 
Miss Kitty made sure we didn't stay up too late.

Also, as threatened yesterday, Miss Kitty on her Princess Chair 
- funky furniture from Craigslist that started a Family Feud. 


The Roommate...

Dave's cat - Miss Kitty. She's something of a cranky old girl.
More about the hole in the wall behind her later, promise.
She sleeps in a Princess chair (pic tomorrow) or 
the leopard ottoman during the day 
and howls to be in the "people room" at night.
Even if we aren't in the bedroom, she will sit 
outside the door and yell at it.
"Open Sesame!", not that's not it,
 "Abracadabra!", um
"Open Sesame!", damn!!
"Spoon!", uh, for Pete's sake!
"Open Freakin' Sesame!", jeez...
(what can you say, she has a brain the size of a walnut)
She can be in there under supervision. 
I am trying to find TV shows that'll engage her. 
Planet Earth seemed to catch her attention for 
a bit,  but she's unpredictably pukey.  
No sleeping over.

What happened last night

Hallway is painted except for touchups
This shot gives an idea of what it will look like with the chair rail up.
Last night I was thinking the top color was too 
dark, but it looks great today
These are great dirt hiding colors too.
I think in this one the color is closer to what it really looks like.
Your monitor may vary...
The chair rail is the same color as kitchen cabinets, antique white.
Can't wait to get that up there!
Hole in wall before...
Hole in wall - 3/4 done(?). 
Ran out of mud, but it'll be done tonight.
Then it's sand and finish priming and paint it.
This room is going to be on the yellow side since it is the smallest room on the "dark" side of the house, I figure it should be on the "light" side colorwise.

The best part is this puts us about 1/3 of the way done 
on our planned chores for the week,  
with one of the worst (wall patch) done. 
The worst job is sanding in the bathroom. (Tonight)



as we head into week 3, this is where we're at
  • Kitchen-done except for touchups and cleaning up paint spots and non-upgrade cleaning
  • Hall - bottom half of wall painted 
  • Bathroom - half primed, half of wainscoting is up. 
  • We decided to finish the painting before putting the rest up(Duh!)
  • Sm. room - all carpet and foam is up, half of the walls are patched and sanded.
  • Bedroom - Carpet is as clean as it's going to get this shot. Walls are patched.
  • Living room - carpet is cleaned and looks good, big wall is primed
What we're doing this week
  • Patch big hole in wall in small room(done 1/12!) finish walls in there 
  • Paint top half of wall in hall(done 1/12!) and put up chair rail
  • Prime and paint Bedroom
  • Finish priming (done 1/13) and paint Living Room
  • Clean oven and fridge
  • Put down laminate floor in small room
  • Sand and prime bathroom walls and put up the wainscoting and fixtures 
We should be able to get that all done this week
The biggest waste of time is the priming...they painted everything with high gloss paint in vivid colors, so we have no choice.


"NEW" kitchen

Except for some touchups the kitchen is done...

The vent duct won't be visible once we get the crown molding topper up there.
It looks a lot bigger than it did as a "vision of rosiness"

Well there is the internal battle over the trim, door and window. The left wall has a window where I have left the wood finish that matches the door and mopboard. Once we paint the hall and do the chair rail we'll decide if we have to paint over the plain wood.

But it already looks like bigger and better than it did 2 weeks ago, see?

We are going to do some carpet shampooing then take a drive out to Concord to pick up some uber funky chairs I found on