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

Craft Room Project: Counters

I am a solid, walking ball of pain today. Every muscle in my body is screaming at me to to just sit down and not move, something that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

I never imagined that staining countertops would be such a harsh activity on my body, but apparently rubbing stain in, wiping it off, then sanding between coats of poly on 6 different surfaces is a lot of work. And I’m feeling every tiny twitch right now.

But, I have stained countertops.

I’m not in love with them, because they came out a little darker, streakier and spottier than I had expected after my test run. They still look pretty good, just not quite as nice as I’d hoped. I’m going to live with them and just say they have a slightly “rustic” look because my alternative is to sand them down and start over. I don’t dislike them enough to make that worth it, so I’m keeping what I have.

That said, my table top came out amazing and so did the two non-butcher block surfaces I stained. When it is all in place and functioning it is still going to look nice. It has taken 5 coats of poly, so far, to get these where they are. Fingers crossed #5 is the magic number and I’m actually done.

The goal is to try and get them anchored in place today. I’m now officially in a time crunch to get this done. I have a little over a week before we have our visitors here. I know the whole thing isn’t getting done by then, so I have a plan to get to a stable stopping point for now.

    1. Get the counters done and in.
    2. Get the stairs trimmed out and ready for carpet.
    3. Get the floor in this room done.
    4. Reframe out the doorway to the basement and take off the temporary door.

If I can get all those things done, then we can FINALLY move the cat boxes back down to their little room and out of the room that will become MCG’s when she gets here in the fall. I want her to be able to see that space when she is here in a week as a decent, clean space instead of the mess it currently is.

This is all assuming no more major bad days, but this list should be doable. It does mean I’m working my tail off until then, because I don’t even have that full time to work. I have several things I still need to do to get prepped for the visit and that is going to knock off at least a couple of days.

I’d love for the carpet to be able to go in before they get here, but I doubt that is going to happen. There will still be a lot of work left to actually finish this room, but it gets me to a good pause point that still looks mostly finished.

Oh, did you see the doors? They went up perfectly! I’m over the moon happy that I switched to the hidden hinges as it allowed me to make micro adjustments to get them all lined up the way they needed to be. The entire space is starting to look amazing!

I might be scarce here for bit so I can focus on this, but I’m sure I’ll try and poke my head out every once in a while.

Craft Room Project: So Many Problems

The last several days have been a roller coaster of problems.

I spent an entire day working on getting the crown molding up on the installed cabinets only to burn through an entire piece of trim just trying to get the angles right. Of course, I had to make my life exceptionally hard by choosing a trim that isn’t true crown molding that already has the tilted angle built in. I fell in love with a flat trim instead and had to create an artificial angle for it to sit against. My first attempt proved I had that angle ALL wrong, even with Hubby’s math brain to try and help me out.

After getting to the point where I was ready to burn the whole project to the ground, I finally got two pieces to sit at an angle while creating a right corner AND the edges hit flush the way they were supposed to. So, instead of trying to get the trim to fit a predetermined angle, I had Hubby figure out the angle I needed to be at to fit that corner.

The next day, I was still extremely hesitant to cut another piece of trim after the previous disaster. I even had BG double check Hubby’s math just to make me feel better. Thankfully, those wonderful brains were correct and I now how some pretty good looking crown molding on top of my cabinets. They aren’t completely perfect, but really close. Close enough a little caulking and some paint and you wouldn’t ever be able to tell unless you got close.

The whole thing was kind of a nightmare. Crown is made the way it is for a reason and doing it the way I did was probably not the best of ideas. I really don’t recommend it unless you are WAY more skilled than I am. Sure, it looks really pretty now that it is up, but it was such a huge problem to get it that way that I’m not so sure it was worth the entire day that I wasted the first go round.

I will have to repeat that process for the remaining 2 upper cabinets, but they aren’t connected so it didn’t matter if they were up when I did these, making it easier to get that installed before the counters. At least now I know what I need to do, though I do have to do an inside corner for those that I haven’t done yet, so there is still some fun to come.

I had really thought that once I had the better second day when I finally got that figured out an installed that yesterday would be smoother sailing. Nope. That great idea I had for the kiln shelf? Isn’t going to happen.

The slides I bought to get the shelf to pull out like a drawer won’t work for a number of reasons. After spending yet another day doing all kinds of things to try and get it to work, I finally decided to just chuck that ideal all together. I’ll now have a designated shelf in the new closet for the kiln and I’ll use the cabinet that was supposed to be for the kiln for something else. I didn’t see the sense in wasting any more time on something that wasn’t going to work out well when I could just shift my plans and do something different that would still serve the purpose I need.

After what ended up essentially being two wasted days, I’m now kind of terrified of trying to get my doors hung on their hinges, which is what I should be working on today. I’m actually really tempted to just wait and focus on something else, but I really can’t. Not if I want any shot at all of hitting the date I set for myself to get the bulk of this project done.

I’m am so close, but it feels like I have the most difficult to get right parts left. The kind of parts that if they are messed up even a little can make the whole thing look really bad. Or will require me to completely rebuild doors or something equally horrifying.

I’d say that I’ll be keeping all my fingers and toes crossed, but I think that just might make it kind of hard to use my tools and that would guarantee that I messed up the next part.

But isn’t that crown molding pretty? Okay, so you can’t really see the details, but… it really is.

 

Rolling With The Changes

It seems as though we are just past the edge of several major shifts around here.

MC has gotten and started his first job. So many things prevented this from happening before, but he is finally getting out and getting a taste of the real world. Of all the jobs he could have chosen, he is working in a small fast food restaurant because he has a friend there. It is so weird having to make plans around his work schedule now. Him going off to work is making it feel way more like he is growing up and becoming an independent adult than his first year of college ever did.

Since we are all vaccinated, he is also starting to get back out and socialize. Again, it feel so weird as he was never that kind of kid in the first place, but he is finding his feet and that is an amazing thing to watch. He has shown in so many ways what a considerate, respectful person he is by making the choices he has and why.

I had expected the late nights of waiting for my kids to get home from wherever to have happened when they were still younger teenagers and not almost 20. It is an interesting shift to have something you expected not happen, get used to that, and then have to reshift when it does happen much later on down the line.

Hubby returned to the office for the first time since March of last year. It is so very different in the house with him not home. His work is doing some odd things with going back right now. They are supposed to return to a semi-in-person basis with 3 days in person and 2 as work from home, but his department doesn’t have the space for that yet as they have revamped the offices for more distancing permanently. So for them, they are doing a rotation with the smaller groupings, having them in the office for 4 days every 5 or 6 weeks, at least until they can work out something different. He won’t be going back to a pre-pandemic “normal” work schedule at all.

That will take a little adjusting, but we’d both prefer as much work from home as possible. He has an ugly commute and he is much more productive when he can avoid that. Not to mention how much better it is for the environment to not have to burn through all that gas. It also doesn’t make a lot of sense to house him with his “team” as most of the work he does is with a variety of other groups and not that specific team. The whole thing is a little odd and will definitely take some getting used to.

BG has been going to the school several days every week to work with her calculus teacher. Not once have my kids ever done any kind of summer school thing, so, again, it is so weird to have her take off for school when she would normally be jumping in the pool. She also opted to take the summer ballet class since she is going to be an assistant this next year. For the first time ever, she has a busy, fully booked summer.

Between the 3 of them there are large chunks of some days when I’m the only person in the house again. I’ve gotten so used to having everyone around almost all the time, that the quiet takes some getting used to.

On top of all of that, my mind is trying like crazy to start addressing some of the things I need to do to get prepared for MCG moving in with us in August. It is going to be so different having a new person in the house. Her being here has become a near constant topic around here. We are all looking forward to seeing how she reacts to our particular brand of crazy.

Even though this is only June, if I had to pick a theme for this year, it would definitely be change. Most of it is the good, growing kind of changes. Though they also bring hints of bigger, future changes I’m not quite ready to start considering too deeply. Like MC being ready to get married and move out, or BG heading off to college in a year (if she doesn’t choose to stay local).

Thankfully, I have a goofy, wonderful Hubby that likes to recreate some of his more romantic gestures, like getting me a rose for every day he will be gone, except times 3. He makes all those changes so much more bearable.

 

Craft Room Project: Doors & Hinges

I don’t have a photo to go with this post because, even though I’ve gotten a lot done in the last couple of days, it isn’t really visible progress.

I finally started working on building the doors for the upper cabinets that are in place. Of the 6 I need installed before I can work on the counters, I have 5 assembled. I have one more to glue and clamp and they will be ready for touch ups and paint.

After I worked on the first two, I did a check and realized that there is no way that the hinges I bought are going to work with the way I designed these cabinets. At least, not in a way that doesn’t leave a gap. So after much debating and research, I caved and went with a hidden hinge. I will lose that little pop of color on the white cabinets, but the overall lines will be cleaner and a little easier to finesse.  This is one of those times where form should not come before function.

I did a little practice test of my drawers to figure out exactly how I want to build those. The test came out great, but I went with a much more entailed process that makes them more labor intensive. The upside to that is they will be stronger and more durable.

The test also gave me the idea to make some lidded boxes, similar to the drawers I built for my recessed shelf area, to use on some of those open lower shelves. I’ve been a little unhappy with the fact that all those were open and dust is one of my biggest complaints, so those boxes will solve that and give an little extra something visually to the space. I won’t be building them anytime soon, but I love the concept.

Once I knew for sure the design, I got all the pieces cut and ready for the main container part for the actual drawers. I’m waiting to start building those until I get an insert for the file drawer and to figure out how I want to divide up the other two. Just getting all those pieces cut and grooved for the bottom panels took about half of my day today.

I’m estimating having the doors built, painted, and installed by mid-week. Hopefully, if no other random things pop up to pull me away, I should be starting the counters by the end of next week.

The one thing that will delay that is if we get any cool days at all in that time as I still need to get out and finish painting the new garage door. I have the main sections done, I just need to paint the trim, but it has been brutally hot and not even morning shade has been comfortable enough to work.

It has been awesome working in the basement, though, because it is down right cold. I keep joking and telling everyone in the house that if they get too warm, they can come down and keep me company, but I might put them to work. Funny how no one has come down for more than a few minutes.

Too Many Projects

I have had so little time over the last several days to get work done on my room. Instead, I’ve had to focus on getting some things around the house taken care of that have been a bit neglected. And it seems that every time I turn around there is something else that needs my attention and time.

Yesterday, I started the chore of finally getting the new garage door painted. Unfortunately, it is stupidly hot and humid out and there is only shade on that side of the house until about noon, so I only have a few hours to work each day. All I was able to get done was a single coat of paint on the main parts of the door. The second coat will go on today, then I have to do the pain in the butt trim, which will almost definitely need two coats as well. I’m looking at at least a couple more days before it is finished.

The plan was to work on the garage in the morning and the basement in the afternoon, but the heat zapped me and I had no energy for much. It isn’t helping that I’ve reached a stage where I feel like a permanent sore muscle and every single thing aches every day.

I’m also trying really hard to not spend time focusing on the massive list of projects I have yet to get done, some of which I’m on a deadline for as they are in preparation for MCG moving in this fall. There are way too many and I really need to keep my focus and attention on the basement right now, but I’m starting to stress about getting it all done.

The low energy and the extra distractions have just been killing any progress on my room. I’ve gotten the touch ups done on the installed cabinets and painted all but one of the beadboard panels so they are ready to become doors. That’s pretty much it and it’s annoying me that I’m behind where I want to be.

I’m hoping I can be more productive today than I have been, but I’m not holding out much hope. The heat has already hit the miserable mark today and I haven’t even started working yet.

 

Another Pink Sky

We were treated with another extremely showy sunset last night. Also with so much pink in the sky it seemed a little unreal.

There was a big difference last night, though. All that gorgeous pink? It was in the east. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a sky quite like it. On the horizon to the west where the sun set, where you almost always see the most brilliant of colors, only had a low band of paler pink clouds near the horizon. There were some other, fluffy clouds in the area, but they didn’t get tinged and stayed on the white/gray side.

Until you hit about the midway point of the sky looking to the east, then it just got amazing. Those clouds just lit up in these amazing waves of pink across the sky, getting deeper and more vibrant in color the closer you got to the eastern horizon where the clouds were a little thicker.

It was so unusual to see the normal color clouds closer to the sunset like that. There was a somewhat distinct line between where the color was and where it wasn’t.

West Side of Sunset
West Side of Sunset

The above photo is facing west, the first photo is towards the east. I really kept expecting the color to start hitting some of these other clouds, but it never did.

We got that pink tinge to everything again, too. It was like a classic golden hour, except it was pink.

 

Craft Room Project: Lower Shelves Are Done

All of the lower shelves are finally installed!

I spent a portion of today cleaning up some of my filler spots and getting the upper shelves to sit more easily in their cabinets. It was some tedious stuff, but I’m now ready to do the paint touch ups on all the cabinets that are in so far.

The last part I got accomplished today was getting the last upper cabinet installed that I could get up before the counters go in.

Oh, I also got my under cabinet light installed. It turned out it was a massive pain in the butt. I started it yesterday, ran into all kinds of issues, one of which is the fact that I am perfectly capable of being a brainless twit (no, you will not have a current in a wire if the light switch is off), and had to call it a day before I even hit noon just so I wouldn’t completely screw something up. I have a few things to do to finish it, but it is hooked up and mounted. I’ll need a new wall plate that I can cut a notch in for the wire. It isn’t the prettiest solution, but it will be okay by the time I get it done.

Tomorrow, I think I’m going to work on those touch ups and start building the doors for those cabinets that are already up. I was considering starting the counters but I realized that I really probably want to get those doors installed before I put the counters in place.

Little by little, this is looking more like a usable space.