Reusing A Little Fun

Since we decided to no longer do the garage for Halloween and last year was a huge no go because of Covid, all of my decorations sat unused last year. What I had been using in the garage doesn’t translate all that well to general decorating and all the other pieces I used to put out are mostly old, faded, and not in all that great of shape.

I also wasn’t much in the mood to spend hours putting up a bunch of stuff I wasn’t all that jazzed about. I told the kids to go though stuff and do what they wanted with it. Considering MCG is huge on that kind of thing, I thought they’d have a blast with it. Apparently not as I still really don’t have anything up.

In an effort to kick start something, I started pulling everything out to see what I did still like and try and do something with it. We are still on the fence of even trying to open the door to trick-or-treaters this year. We got so few the last year I did the garage, it really doesn’t seem worth it, so I’m not putting a whole lot of effort into it all.

As I started pulling stuff out, a few things sparked an idea. I had SO much stuff I’d never really use as it was, but would be perfect if I put them together into a wreath for my front door.

I love the idea of wreaths, but have hesitated just because they would take up so much space to store and I really didn’t want to have to find more space for more stuff. Making one with all the stuff I already had on hand, seemed like a perfect idea. It didn’t bring in a bunch of new stuff I had to find room for later and it kept me from having to either toss it or donate it.

Halloween Wreath
Halloween Wreath

For a quick and dirty toss together project, it works. Mostly. Since we have a glass storm door, it gets a little squashed, but maybe that will keep it from falling off as I just have it on a sticky hook for now. There are tons of things I would have done differently if I’d made this with all new things, so the final look isn’t quite what I’d typically go with, but I still like it.

I think I might have to do something similar come Christmas as I have WAY too many things that never see the light of day that would make a really fun wreath, though I might need a better base frame that what this one has. I either have to figure out a way to build one, or cave and get one, which I’d rather not do. Still, it will be fun to try.

And yes, I got to play in my new room while I worked on this. It is officially christened with a crap ton of glitter thanks to that white ribbon. Glitter that I may now never see the end of.

Craft Room Project: The End Result – Before And After

I’m calling it.

My room is done.

Finally!!

It only took me just over a year, but it is done!

Where it started:

Craft Room: Before
Craft Room: Before

The Plan:

Craft Room: Original Design Layout
Craft Room: Original Design Layout

The Final Result:

Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result
Craft Room: Final Result

This has been one hell of a journey and an epically ambitious project, but I pulled it all off. I’ll say it until everyone is sick of hearing it, but I absolutely adore every single square inch of this space, imperfections and all.

I cannot believe it is finally done after all this time.

I still can’t believe that I did this myself. With what little experience I had before I started this project, I’m absolutely floored that I managed to accomplish it and in such a way that it doesn’t completely look like an amateur did it. Sure, there are all kinds of imperfections and little mistakes, but nothing huge or glaringly obvious.

I can also say, without reservation, NEVER again!

Small pieces that use some of my newfound knowledge and skills, sure. But a project this size? Oh, hell no!

Of course, I still have those connected side projects like building out my closet and refinishing the dresser, but my room is complete. I can finally unpack all the stuff from my desk that Hubby took over and do all the final move in and organizing that needs to be done. I can use the space in its entirety, as it was designed to be used.

And, I can focus on all kinds of other things that have been hanging out on my to do list for a year or so now. Many of them in my new room.

Now, where is that bottle of wine? I need to celebrate.

Craft Room Project: Final Steps

I got the final door hung yesterday. The reaction I got when I showed BG and then Hubby after they got home yesterday was hilarious and also why I am not currently posting new photos of the progress.

Each one of them, on their own, walked into the room, looked around, and then asked what they were looking at. Because the change was so small it was hardly noticeable. This one, because the door I hung was the clear front door and the overall difference in the room was extremely subtle.

I realized a while ago that each of these pieces I finish off feel huge to me as they are somewhat large milestones in these final steps to finishing the space, but when looked at from the whole perspective are really kind of small. The difference between how the room looked after I put the trim up on the cabinets and how it looked after I did some caulking, filling and touch ups was almost impossible to really see. It looked cleaner and more finished, but it was still so small of a difference that you only really noticed if you were looking for all the imperfections in the first place and then saw that they were no longer there after the next piece.

The doors really did change the look of the space, so that step has been very obvious. I could show that, but I decided that I’d rather wait and do a final “finished product” reveal when it is all done.

It does make me laugh at how I can do one really small thing, like paint the outlet cover I had to make and get that put back on the wall, but it feels huge to me in how it impacts the space. Like I’ll see a spot on the wall that maybe has a little bleed through in the paint that needs touched up. I look at it afterwards and think the room looks a thousand times better just for that one thing. When I hung that clear front door yesterday, I was all “Oooh! That just looks so amazing!” and then Hubby and BG come down and look absolutely lost because they don’t even see it. It makes me feel a little better about not posting any more progress photos right now.

Today I’m starting on the final pieces in the room, the drawer fronts. I have a little more math I need to work out before I can start the last cuts, but this should be the final sprint.

Craft Room Project: 1 Year Mark

The other day I had a memory pop up in my FB feed. It was from the day I had posted a photo of when I bought my counter tops for my room. From a year ago.

Never in my wildest imagination did I anticipate that a year later I’d still be working on this, that I still wouldn’t be done. I honestly figured I’d be able to probably get it done in a month or two. Maybe. Considering I’d never done anything at all like this, I had zero reference to get that estimate. Obviously I had extremely lofty goals and didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.

Lately, it has been slow going. Like, sleepy snail levels of slow. The garage, where I’ve had to move to finish the last pieces, is STILL insanely hot right now, making it miserable to work for any length of time. Between that and struggling to get up the motivation to get out into the heat and move everything around just so I can work for an hour or two only to move it all back so we can get the cars in, it has been hard to get out there and get much done. But, I’m getting there.

I hung all but the final door yesterday. That last door, the “glass” fronted one, is now glued and drying waiting on its turn to be hung. All that is left is to build the drawer fronts. I should be (as if should has actually gotten me anywhere in this whole process) done in the next week or two. At least with the bulk of the main room, which I’m using as my “done” point.

I still have a whole lot of side projects that are connected to my room, which I’m really thinking as more of a full studio rather than just a “craft room” because there are SO many things that are art-centric that I’m doing in there. I still have to design and build out the closet space, which is currently packed to almost bursting with things that still need to put away in the space and is waiting for me to finish before I can tackle that. I still have to paint the dresser that is in the room. I have a whole lot of boxes I want to build to go on some of those open shelves and in the cabinets. There are a whole host of things that need to be done in the adjoining room, but that is for much farther in the future.

None of those other things are anywhere near the top of my priority list right now. My target is to finish the main part of the room and then take a massive break. One where I can focus on doing some different creative things for a while. Or, you know, just do NOTHING for a while.

Yeah, that is sounding really nice right about now.

Switching It Up

I have, yet again, moved my work area to a new location.

After putting in the last transition piece for the flooring, I am no longer really able to keep working in the basement when it comes to building. That means moving all the rest of my tools out of the area.

This is both an awesome thing and a kind of crappy thing.

The awesome part is that the mess is pretty much done in the basement. I won’t have any more sawdust to clean up down there and I don’t have to worry about it spreading to every single nook and cranny, of which I now have WAY too many. All the tools being out of the space allowed me to do some much needed cleaning and I was able to put the new cover on the couch so that it no longer looks like hell because of the cats. Granted, it still has to be covered in a drop cloth when not in use because of those same cats, but it is usable again.

The crappy part? It’s SO hot in the garage!

Yes, we are quickly approaching fall, but this year, we have stayed warmer for much longer than we’ve had the last several years. And the garage acts like a furnace on most days. This limits the amount of time I can work because there is only so much of that heat I can tolerate.

Still, I’m thrilled that the mess is now confined to the one space in the house that can really handle that kind of mess without being a massive pain. It may take me a little longer to finish than I’d hoped, but that seems to be in line with every single other bit of this project.

I have one of the 6 doors built and ready to paint (pretty sure I said 5 before, but I apparently can’t count) and another one is ready to be built, but I realized that one needs to be painted first because it has a clear plexiglass front. I still have all the pieces to cut for the remaining 4.

The drawer front panels have been glued and are ready to cut and trim out. I got my custom electrical cover cut, shaped and fitted the other day, so it is ready for paint and to be installed.

These should be the final pieces to finish off the main part of the room. I still have a few side projects that are part of this overall project, like the closet and refinishing the dresser, but those I am putting aside as later projects so that I can focus on doing something different creatively for a while after I finish this first part.

Slowly but surely, I’m chipping away at my final to do list.

Brief Project Break

The office swap and repaint is done.

I’m exhausted.

I started the whole thing on Saturday and just finished putting the last things away last night. That is a whole lot of painting and moving of furniture and shampooing of carpets in that time. I’m going to take a small break today and be lazy before I head back down to my room to try and finally finish that one off.

I would really, really like to be done with all of these huge projects for a while. It feels like I will have remodeled or repainted my entire house by the time I’m done with it all.

That said, the rooms look stunning (sorry, no photos this time). Hubby is thrilled with his new office space and my new den (still haven’t fully decided what to call that room) is absolutely wonderful. Considering the kids are starting to wander down to play video games on the TV in the living room now that MCG is in the room where the games used to live, I’m definitely going to need the quiet space to be able to go read.

Today, I’m going  to sit in the quiet of the house as it is the last day for a while that no one else is home and just be an absolute slug. And keep my fingers cross that my stupid brain doesn’t decide to use that time to come up with any other brilliant ideas.

Yet Another Side Project

I think it is becoming glaringly apparent that I’m am utterly incapable of doing a project from start to finish without getting pulled off on a side project, because here I am, starting yet another project instead of finishing off my room.

This latest side project is a huge office swap that also includes getting the carpet shampooed in one room and the walls in both rooms painted.

These rooms have been tossed around between Hubby and I over the years. One room was originally just a general “the office” but was mostly Hubby’s. The other was our dining room that is too poorly designed to actually function as a dining room. After a while, the dining room became my craft room, but I hated that the mess and disorganization of that space was always front and center when you walked through the front door. Hubby felt a little crammed in the office as it is on the small side and is the worst place in the house for being cold in the winter and hot in the summer. So, we swapped rooms.

The smaller room didn’t end up working for me as a craft room, so that’s when we moved the craft space (mostly my jewelry bench and supplies) to the unfinished basement, but left the room as my office. It is the room I wrote my book in and was such a perfect space for me, at least for an office kind of room and felt absolutely cozy, but I still had to go to the dank basement to do anything not on my computer.

Above photos are from when the office space was first mine.

Then Covid hit and Hubby needed to work from home.

Because the dining room space he took over was never intended as an office, there is no door. There was no way he’d be able to do any of his meetings in there and have any kind of privacy or quiet, so he shifted his work stuff into my office (he stole it back, so this is really ALL his fault! lol!) and kept his personal computer and office things in the dining room.

Of course, him taking over my room is a huge part of what prompted me to build my craft room in the basement. Especially after we found out that the work from home part was going to be a semi-permanent hybrid kind of thing.

When I got about half way through working on my room, we started talking about rearranging things between the two rooms. There were still all kinds of things in the office he took over that were still mine and I needed in there often and had to wait if he was in a meeting. He is often between the two rooms for various reasons, so we just decided to move him back in and rearrange things in a way that will work better all the way around.

Part of why that room was so crowded before was because it was still considered something of a joint office space and I had some of my bookcases in there. The dog’s crate was kept in there as well, which wasn’t small. Between those, Hubby’s computer cabinet, a big roll top desk, and a good size file cabinet, there wasn’t much space to move.

Now, we are moving all my bookcases into the “dining” room and turning it into a library/den/sitting room (we can’t agree what to call it, though media library is the most accurate as it will have books, movies, music and all the kids video games store in there). Taking those out of the equation of what has to go into Hubby’s office makes it so much easier to give him some room. That and he won’t have my bookcases and all my junk as his meeting background anymore.

His room is going to get painted as I never wanted to deal with that in all the other moves and those walls desperately need it. That carpet is also going to get shampooed because that was the dog’s favorite room and she loved to come crawl under the roll top after she’d be outside and had dirty wet feet, so I have a seriously ugly stain that needs to get cleaned (though I’m pretty sure I attempted that before and it didn’t even lighten, but I’m going to try).

I’m also going to repaint the other room as those walls are in just as bad a shape after having been my craft room. Doing the jewelry and silver work is shockingly messy and the walls are evidence of that.

A huge reason why I’m doing this now is that my Hubby is on a hybrid work from home schedule where he has to be in the office for 4 days every so many weeks or so. This coming week will be when he isn’t home, so I need to get this done now or wait for an extended period again. Considering I’ve started pulling things out of that room already that need to go in my new room, I figured I might as well just get it all the way done so he doesn’t feel like he is living in limbo.

Doing all of that means that I have to completely empty out each room, one at a time. My house is now completely upended. Again. Everything from the office is now spread out in every open space in my kitchen, living room and dining room. Talk about crowded!

It will take a couple of days to get the first room done and then my hands are tied until Hubby can help me move things back in before I can start on the next. By the time these two rooms are done, it’s going to feel like my entire house has gotten a makeover.

Craft Room Project: Drawers Installed

I was so incredibly intimidated by these drawers. Especially after the epic failure of my attempt at the kiln shelf. I was so worried I’d run into similar issues with something not being square and off enough that I just couldn’t make any of it work.

Finished and Installed Drawer Boxes
Finished and Installed Drawer Boxes

The first one was a bit of a pain, but I figured it all out and it worked exactly the way it was supposed to. Once that one was in, the top two went in so easily. Now that they are in and done, I kind of wish I’d done more in other areas, but I’m also really glad I didn’t.

I still have to build and attach the faces, but I’m not nearly as intimidated by that as I was putting these on the rails. These really need some sanding and maybe some sort of inner finish instead of just the bare wood as well, but I couldn’t help but try out the inserts I got for each drawer just to make sure they will work.

Drawer Inserts
Drawer Inserts

My original plan was to build the organization into the drawers themselves, similar to the divider I have in the bottom one, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make them that complicated when I could just get something that would work just as well for a whole lot less headache. I could not be happier that I made that choice!

I thought that I’d probably like one of the two top inserts better than the other, but I really love them both. The drawers will be used for different things, so being able to organize each one differently really works. They both completely fill their drawers. Even though you can’t see it in the above photo, those amazing organizers goes all the way to the back of these REALLY deep drawers, which shocked me when I tested it out the first time.

Next up is to work on building and attaching those drawer faces and to finally work on getting those last 5 doors built and hung.

Craft Room Project: Getting To Play A Bit

I took a couple of days to shift my focus in my new space to doing a little decorating. From the time this project started, I had been tossing around different ideas and plans for what I wanted on the walls that weren’t going to have cabinets on them. I’d been itching to get those done the second the walls were completely painted, but just couldn’t work in the time until now.

Let me tell you, it was WAY harder to pick which photos I wanted to print and hang on the walls. There are so many I’ve taken over the years that I love that it was extremely hard to narrow it down. And when I say narrow down, I still printed over a dozen to put in frames.

I was a little surprised at a few of the ones I chose to print, though. I’ve definitely had some favorites over the years, so some were obvious choices. Some of the others? Not so obvious.

The one above is kind of a surprise. It was when I took it and how much I liked it because, in general, it isn’t a great photo. It is actually a bit of a mistake as I had all my settings wrong on my camera. It is over exposed and slightly out of focus, but those are the things that give it such an interesting feel. I’m actually a little lucky I was able to hang it on the wall at all because BG kept threatening to steal it as it is one of her favorites. Again, surprising because of what it is.

The stairs going to the basement are now lined in photos and the wall where I’m putting the dresser that still needs to be finished has both photos and a painting I did hanging on it.

My plan is to hang a few more of my pieces on a couple of other walls, but I ran out of what I needed to get those hung up. I also have a couple of smaller frames that will sit on my shelves in the corner that I plan to put photos of the kids when I can get around to printing more.

Having all these walls covered in my photos and art has brought my space another huge step towards being completely finished. It now feels so warm and cozy. The stair area looks so much more inviting now as well.

I’d like to get or build a little table for the landing at some point to finish that space off, but that is a much later future project. One that I may be lucky to get to, especially if I can’t figure out why my table saw is suddenly not cutting right. *sigh*

I’m now, finally, working on building my drawers. It would be absolutely amazing if that process went smoothly, but, you know me and my superpower. That probably won’t happen.

At least I can be frustrated in a gorgeous space!

 

I Knew, But…

I was wary of putting any piece of finishing off my room on hold, knowing it might be hard to get back the motivation and drive to finish, but I thought I’d still be able to pull it off. It is proving WAY harder than I anticipated.

It probably doesn’t help that I have so many things I still need and want to do that aren’t yet another endless piece to working on my room. It also doesn’t help that one of the things that needs to get finished off are these stupid transition pieces on the floor and they are proving to be just as big of a pain in the ass as almost every other single thing I’ve done in the space.

When I went to attach my first one I realized that it doesn’t actually work well with our floor as our floor is too tall. I never expected that. Because of that, it doesn’t snap into the piece that you bolt to the floor. I’m now having to try and get creative and find another way to make it work. I’m definitely going to have a love hate relationship with this flooring by the time it is all said and done.

I did manage to get the final wonky floor piece cut and installed. It was in a weird place around a door frame. The first one I did was off and I ended up with a small gap in an awkward place that wouldn’t get covered by trim, so I had to do it differently. I’d put it off and avoided it like crazy, but I couldn’t avoid it as it had to be done before the transitions. Shockingly, it went in pretty easily. Maybe it was all the rest of the flooring mess I had to deal with since I first attempted that piece that made it easier?

I didn’t do much more today than figure out the transitions were going to be a nightmare and cut that final floor piece. I just didn’t have the energy or motivation to start anything else. I really do need to finish those transitions before I can finish my doors and drawers because I need to move all the rest of my tools up to the garage for that and I can’t do that until those pieces are in.

Hopefully, I’m just in a mood today and tomorrow will be better.

Never A Moment

You’d think I’d have learned by now. Things never really slow down around here.

I’d really thought I’d have at least a week of uninterrupted time to work on my room this week. I stupidly forgot to look at my calendar, which was packed full of things I had to do, mostly shifting into back to school mode and all the things that entails.

Between Dr. appointments for required vaccines for BG (yes! Shock of all shocks! Schools can and DO require your child be vaccinated for things!), yearbook photo appointments, and BG’s summer dance workshop (not so much my thing, but I have to work around it to some extent because she isn’t home) I’ve hardly had a day this week where I didn’t have a full day to get things done.

So far, MC and MCG haven’t had anything yet, but theirs is coming. MCG has some sort of training that she has to go through as part of her scholarship program and MC will have his own back to school stuff to do. I doubt I’ll be needed for those, but… I’m not taking any bets on that.

Even with the busy, I have still managed to get a lot of work in. I now have all the crown molding and base trim on my cabinets. There will be some final trim along the walls that needs to get done, but that will be it for cabinet trim.

I should be able to get my peg board installed today around my jewelry bench area. That is the last piece that needs to be done before I can trim out the counters. With that counter top trim, I’ll be down to just finishing the doors and drawers, though I’m probably forgetting something obvious in that list.

Slowly but surely I’m chipping away at my to do list and getting closer to completion. I’d like to say that when I do finish I can finally sit down and enjoy for a while, but that probably isn’t going to happen. I already have a “must complete” project I have to dive into right away. I might even have to stop and work on that if everything else takes much longer because I need to get it done before BG has to start back to school.

My never ending project list is, well, never ending. *sigh*

Craft Room Project: Shelves Are Done!

This was another big piece that needed to get done that’s finally completed. Of course, it had to be a challenge, because that is the ONLY way this project can go.

I’d forgotten about the bowed back wall. Or, more accurately, didn’t consider that what made my counter tops difficult to fit would also impact shelves that need to be installed on that same wall. It ended up making those corner shelves a massive pain in my butt to put in. It took several hours yesterday to just work out how to get that bottom one to work and it forced me to rethink my upper shelves.

I’d planned for 3 in that corner, but after getting the bottom one in, I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with that many. I’d also wanted the upper shelves to not be boxed in on the outer edges like the bottom one is. I’d done that design on the bottom to keep the look flowing from the cabinets and to give me room to add a few more of the under cabinet puck lights to keep that corner bright. The way I had to tweak things to even get the shelf supported wouldn’t really allow for a more open upper shelf.

I’m still not thrilled with what I worked out for that upper shelf. I won’t be able to put anything too heavy up there as it isn’t quite a stable as I’d like. Considering I’d only planned on putting lighter things like photos on it, it might be okay long term, but I might have to make some adjustments at some point.

The narrow shelves that went between the tall back wall cabinet and the corner cabinet were a breeze to put up and came out great. Because of how that will be used, the 3 shelves worked there where they wouldn’t with my corner shelves.

It is a huge relief to get this part done. It is one of the last big construction pieces left in my room. I still have a few doors and my drawers to build, but those are all a very different kind of thing and more minor in comparison. They will also most likely be the last thing I tackle.

Up next: Crown, base, and finish trim!

 

New Resident Arrival

We officially have a new resident in the house!

Hubby and MC ended up having to make the trip to pick up MCG without me because my stomach decided to try and secede from my body the night before we were supposed to leave and there was no way I could sit in a car for 8 hours a day for 2 different days. I felt absolutely horrible, both physically and emotionally, because I also felt like I let everyone down.

It was a horrible couple of days while they were gone. This trip triggered some not so fun emotions and stress beyond just not feeling well physically. I talked to some friends and realized that I just might be at that point in my life where I need to be discussing some hormone options with my doctor because my brain isn’t behaving well with way more things that just my old lady memory.  Everyone did make it home safe and sound and both my stomach and my brain have calmed down for now.

We are working on painting her room today so she can actually settle in and start feeling at home. When I say “we” I really mean MC and MCG. I did help by getting most of the edging done, but they are working on the rest of it themselves and I’m trying to stay hands off.

I am discovering that even though I’ve known that I have a few control freak tendencies, there are WAY more than I realized and I need to learn to put a leash on that. lol!

After we get MCG’s room set up the way she wants it after the paint is dry, I am free to turn my focus back to finishing my studio.

One more day!

MCG To Do List: DONE!

All the furniture has been painted. All the touch ups are finished. The room is cleaned.  My house is back to relative normal. Everything is in place and I am DONE!

This was quite the project and parts were more work than I anticipated, but it is completed. I couldn’t be happier as everything turned out beautifully, even the wanna be king bed, which is a shock.

I wasn’t entirely sure the idea of connecting two twins to make a king would work all that well. I got a kit that allowed you to essentially tie the two mattresses together that had a “bridge” of padding for the small gap. I didn’t think that would really be good enough, that and these aren’t the best mattresses, so I also got a puffy mattress pad to go over the whole thing.

I also decided that since this was getting painted, I wanted to make certain it was secure and I rigged a way to attache the headboards and footboards together so there is no chance of them moving. It looks amazing and is really comfy, so it worked. We’ll have to see how well it holds up over time, but I now have a killer set up for a guest room later on down the line.

MCG is going to paint after she gets here and not everything is going to stay in these positions, but my part is mostly done other than helping her paint when she’s ready.

Now, I get a few days to not work on house stuff. I’ll be taking BG back to school shopping instead, but, knowing her, we won’t take long and I’ll have plenty of time to just chill out and not move for a little while.

Crunch Time: Countdown To MCG

I’ll be scarce for a while. I’m in major prep mode for MCG’s move.

The last several days I’ve:

Finished prepping the furniture for paint.
Painted the closet (so frickin’ glad I did, it was so nasty!)
Painted the ceiling where we had water get in.
Shampooed the carpet (again, so happy as it looks way cleaner.)
Am in the process of painting all that furniture.

I still have probably another day’s worth of painting left to do, then I have to set up all that furniture in approximately the places MCG is going to want it. It isn’t critical that I get it right as we will be moving it again pretty much right away because she is going to paint the walls when she gets here.

We talked about having me paint before she got here, but she really loves that kind of thing (is going to school to be an interior designer), so I’m just getting things ready so that is all she has to do to get her space ready. It’s probably good she is so excited about doing that because I’m going to be flat out burned out by the time she gets here, though I’ll be offering whatever assistance she wants or needs.

Thankfully, I’ll be able to get all of this done and have a couple of days to just chill before we have to go get her. I’m going to need a break after all of this, especially if I have any hope at all of having the motivation to finish my room after she gets settled in.

Phase One: Furniture Refinish

Originally, when I made the decision to paint the furniture in the room MCG is getting, I did it because I didn’t want the lighter wood finish and the dressers were plain enough I didn’t think they’d look good in a darker stain. I realized today, that staining this probably would have never been an option.

This is the furniture that OC had when they were still here. I spent nearly a day getting just these pieces cleaned up after they left, so I should have known they weren’t in awesome condition, but you don’t quite realize how bad they actually are until you start really working on them. There are so many deep dings and gouges that even a deep sanding probably wouldn’t have gotten a third of them out.

The other day, when I had to get another tub of wood filler, they only had a larger one. I was a little worried that with as little as I had left of the cabinets in the basement that it was going to be way too much. Now, I’m worried I won’t have any left to use on those cabinets as this has already taken half the tub and this is just round one.

I had hoped that I’d be able to just do a light sanding and some minor touch ups and be able to paint today. Sadly, this will need another good sanding (not even remotely light) and most likely another round of filler in the worst areas that I missed. There were so many places, it was impossible to see if I actually got them all. It kind of feels like I painted these in wood filler.

Seeing these does not give me a lot of warm feelings about tackling repainting the closet. Thankfully, I don’t care much about how that actually looks, I just want it to look mostly clean and not gross.

It is slower going than I’d hoped (how many times have I made a statement like that now?), but, it is a start. I managed to get the room and these cleared out over the weekend, so it is ready to work on as soon as I’ve got these with at least one coat of paint.

Craft Room Project: The Cat Milestone

It took absolutely forever, but I reached another major milestone on this project.

The stairs are now fully trimmed out with all the major paint touch ups done (I’m sure there will be more before this is done). This includes the doorway to the basement. That means that my ugly, makeshift, temporary door is finally down and the cats again have full reign of the house. It also means their cat boxes are back in their little room and out of my laundry room.

Finally!!

This was a critical point for me. The stairs are completely ready for the new carpet to get installed, which happens next week. I now have to do the bulk of my remaining work in the garage to keep the mess and paint away from the cats, but most of what is left is on the smaller side, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

It also means that it’s time for me to take a brief break from working on my room so I can shift to working on getting the bedroom ready for MCG. That is going to be similar, but still different to what I’ve been doing.

I have to paint the ceiling to cover the water spots from our freaky cold weather condensation drips that happened over the winter. I have to clean out that closet and repaint it (OC decided at one point to draw on the walls in there when they still lived here and I never got around to painting over it). I’m also planning on painting all the furniture in that room and shampooing the carpet, again, since the cats were in there for a while.

None of those things should be all that horrendous or time consuming. Which is good as we are going to pick up MCG and bring here here in about a week and a half. Yay for deadlines!

Once she is moved in, I’ll be able to get back to my room. I still have a long list of things to do before that is fully finished, but I have a stable usable space right now. I’ll also have pretty much every solid deadline behind me and I can work again without any pressure.

There are a lot of changes coming our way with the arrival of MCG. It is going to be interesting, but I also think it is going to be a whole lot of fun having her here. And, of course, MC is bouncing off the walls impatient for her to get here. It’s hilarious to watch and tease him about. Sometimes it is an absolute blast to be an obnoxiously annoying parent.

 

Craft Room Project: Working On Stair Trim

I’m slowly chipping away at my list of things to get done on this project. One tiny, or not so tiny, headache at a time.

In order to get the carpet installed on the stairs going to the basement, I have to trim out those stairs and landings because it was all left completely unfinished beyond the door that used to go to the basement. It really shouldn’t have been a major headache, just a bit more math and angles to figure out.

Of course, it couldn’t actually be that easy.

Between our original builder not giving a big enough gap between the stairs and the walls in places (partly because of slightly bowed walls, part just not quiet measuring correctly) and our contractor building my new closet right up against the edge of the stairs, this became a bit of a nightmare.

The reason for that is that the design of my stairs in the rest of the house has a wide board that sits in that gap between the wall and the stairs to edge out the stairs. When you don’t have enough room, getting that board in place isn’t easy in the least.

The first one, we didn’t have any real problems other than figuring the math and angles, like expected. It went it relatively easy. The second, we ran into issues with a couple of nails that stuck out into that gap from the stairs as well as a super tight fit because one of the stair treads was almost too close to the wall. Putting that one in scraped the hell out of my wall, but it went in.

Middle Section Of Stairs With Side Boards
Middle Section Of Stairs With Side Boards

The third I had to shave off the front corner of the stair tread just to get the board to even come close to fitting, then I had to pound the hell out of it to get it into place. Even then, because it ends right at the edge of the angled wall in my room, I won’t have room for the trim that should go around the outside of that board to finish it off, forcing me to get creative to give that a clean edge when it is all said and done.

The last one? That one is the one where I had no gap. I had to cut that board in the contour of the stairs themselves since I couldn’t slide the board next to them, which was so not fun as the front edge of those stair treads are rounded. It was such a pain in the butt. It was kind of like having to cut my own puzzle piece and expect it to fit perfectly. Thankfully, I figured out how to get the correct shape to make a pattern to cut from. Even that only worked because I had a paper thin gap between the wall and the stairs and I was able to trace it. Shockingly, it worked on the first attempt.

Lower Section Of Stairs With Side Boards
Lower Section Of Stairs With Side Boards

What made all of this even harder was the fact that every single wall had something different that had to be worked out, so every one of them looks a little different, either at the top or the bottom.

I have a huge mess on my walls from bumps and scrapes and these boards will need a lot of touch ups, but they are finally in. I still have to put up the trim along the exposed edges of this to finish those off and put in the floor trim on the landing, but I’m ready for carpet. Thankfully, the top section of this stairway was already finished out, so I only had the two sections.

Today I’m working on that trim. Once that is done, I have to go through my priority list and see if there is anything at all that would prevent me from trimming out the doorway. If not, that is next up and the cats can finally get back into this space again, which is very near the top of my “need to get done asap!” list of things to do.

After that, I switch gears to work on getting MCG’s room ready as she will officially be moving in at the end of this month.

Craft Room Project: Extended Floor Finished

You know I couldn’t stick with a plan. My life just doesn’t work that way.

Again, I rearranged my priorities and the things that needed to get done to fit those priorities. The cats getting access to the basement is still a priority, but the things I needed to get done for that to happen have changed up a little.

I realized that the mess of cutting the flooring was not something I wanted to attempt if the cats could get into the basement because that would end in disaster. That meant I had to finish the floor into the other room. Hubby very generously gave me his last vacation day and the two of us spent 12 hours getting that room done.

Flooring Done: View From Craft Studio
Flooring Done: View From Craft Studio

Originally, the floor stopped just at the wall between the two rooms. Now the second room is done. All that is left for the floor is to install the transition pieces where the floor stops and there won’t be trim or anything else for it to butt up against.

Flooring Done 2nd Room
Flooring Done 2nd Room

Even this, though, required a bit of a plan change. When we were cleaning the space to prep for installing, we realized that the floor dipped too much around the sump pump pit and that the pit came out of the recessed area into the room more than we realized so we couldn’t just go against that wall on that side (left side of the first image). We talked about several things as a fix to the issue, but I finally decided that I’m just going to build some low bookshelves that would sit in front of the concrete walls and would end at the floor edge.

The goal is that we don’t want to have to hire anyone else to come in and build more walls. We hadn’t intended to fully finish the rest of the basement, but do a sort of semi-finish that we could do on our own. The bookshelf solution allows us to keep to that plan. We may need someone to build the closet around the sump pit area, but that is all we want done.

Now that the floor is down in both rooms, the bulk of the mess is finally done. There are some things that will be messy, but a lot of that is going to shift to the garage. I have some painting I need to do on the rest of the trim pieces and boards I need to work with. I’ll be putting plastic down on this new floor to protect it so I can do that in all that open space.

Once the paint is done, it will leave putting the stair trim up and trimming out the upper door. I think that is the point I need to be to let the cats back down. There are still a lot of things left to do to finish off my room, but I’m pretty sure that most of that can be done if the cats are down there. Maybe.

I have to get to that point before I can work on MCG’s room, which is my next step. We will be helping her move in at the end of the month, so I’m on a deadline to get her space ready.

Sadly, I cannot shut my silly brain up. I keep coming up with ideas for all of these spaces and each new idea is that much more work. This is becoming the never ending project. At this rate, I just might get lucky to get into my room to actually work on something other than building it by Christmas.

If I’m lucky.

Vacation, Visiting, And More Work

This last week has been packed so full, I’ve hardly had a second to sit down.

Hubby took the week off, in part because this was our week for our visitors and partly to help me get some things done. So even though he has technically been on vacation, there has been no vacationing involved.

We finally got to meet MCG and her family. Considering we were first supposed to do that in March of 2020 and MC and MCG have been dating for over 5 years now, it has been a long time coming. Seeing the two of them together finally has been adorable. Sadly, they only had a little over a day together before she had to go back home, so now they are struggling with this gap of almost a month before she gets to move here. After finally getting to see each other outside of a computer screen, they aren’t loving having to go back to that for a while.

It was awesome to get to spend time with MCG’s family. With my history of families and in-laws, I was understandably a nervous wreck before they got here. I was worried it would be hard to get along with them, even though I’ve talked to MCG’s mom several times through text and FB. That kind of communication is always different than actually being in person.

Thankfully, it went really well. We all got along great and I can see that how we interact in the future will continue along those lines. It makes life miserable when the in-laws don’t get along at all, so it makes me happy for MC and MCG’s sake. I think it is amazing that both sides are so willing to make things as good for our kids as we can, especially with how unique their meeting and relationship has been.

I did work my butt of to try and get a huge portion of my craft room done before the visit, but putting the floor in kicked my butt. I had to take some time to recover from that before digging into all my preparation for the visit, so that took a slight backseat at the beginning of the week. It has also shifted my priorities knowing I have things that I have to do to be ready for MCG to move in at the end of July.

One of my biggest priorities at this point is to get everything to a point where we can finally get the cats access to the basement again. I hated them in the bedroom and the move to the laundry room for the visit (so MCG’s future room wouldn’t look and smell like a giant litter box), is awful. I do not want them to be in all the mess or the paint. So after some discussion with Hubby, we bumped up getting the rest of the floor in place in the rest of the basement (realized how horrible the dust gets from cutting that stuff when I did the floor in my room).

Unfortunately, to do that floor, I had to completely clear out that room. I didn’t want to move any of the bigger pieces into my room (like the white cabinet and the dresser) until the floor trim was in place. Hubby helped me with that on Wednesday, at least the critical areas. I still have a couple of places that need the 1/4 round, but I somehow didn’t calculate that right and ran out. Thankfully they are in non-critical areas.

The last couple of days, Hubby and I worked to move almost everything into my room, even if it is in a temporary location, to clear out the other room we are going to put the floor in. My room now looks a little like a junk pile, but again, most of that is temporary. I’ll clean it all up better and organize it when I can get things back into that other room as well.

It was a pain and a whole lot of puzzle fitting to get everything out of that space, but that room got completely emptied and cleaned out. We even had some help from BG on that one, giving us just enough time to get the underlayment down as well. We are now in a position to start laying floor on Monday, giving me another couple of days to recover from crawling all over the floor again today.

We even got the carpet ordered for the stairs and that should get installed in a few weeks. I still have that area to trim out, but that is one of the last things I’m doing before allowing the cats down as I have to take off my temporary door at that point.

The main goal is to get the cats access soon, so I can stop and work on getting MCG’s room ready. I have a ceiling and a closet to paint and I’m painting all the furniture in that room as well. She wants to participate in the painting of her walls when she gets here, so that will happen later.

I’m so close to the end of this project. All that’s really left to finish out my room is building and installing the last 5 doors, building and installing the drawers, finishing out the trim on the upper cabinets, putting in the corner shelves, and doing the peg board sections around my jewelry bench area. I think. I’m sure I’ve forgotten something.

I never expected this project to take nearly this long. The deeper into it I get, the more of a toll it is taking on my poor old body. I think most every major joint in my body would be happy to be in a brace because it hurts. It has definitely triggered one hell of an episode with my tendonitis in both arms, which is a whole lot of fun. I’m having to force myself to take more breaks to heal from all the work. So while I’m close, there are just so many things left to do that I’m probably looking at two months or better before I can finally say I’m done.

Happily, Hubby and I will get to relax for the next two days and attempt to enjoy a little bit of his vacation before I force him back to work helping me.

Craft Room Project: Finally! Floor!

Considering I really thought at one point I’d be able to do the floors first, this has taken 6 months to come about. I’m utterly exhausted and every single muscle molecule hurts, but I have a gorgeous floor.

I’m going to celebrate by doing absolutely nothing for the next day or two in an effort to give my poor old body a much needed break. Even after that, I may not get back to my room until next week after our visit with MCG and her family.

Seeing the cabinets and then the counters go in felt wonderful, but seeing the floor finished? I’m ready to move in and get started working on projects. I’m not quite there yet, but I am definitely on the down hill slope of this project.

Floor Installed: Closet & Stairs Area
Floor Installed: Closet & Stairs Area