Possibilities

Sheltering Space

I adore spring! I love to get outside and play int he dirt and watch my plants come alive. But here in Iowa, it also brings on the start of severe weather season. Well, here in Iowa it is also Severe Weather Awareness Week. Do you know what you would do in severe weather? We’re fortunate to have a basement in our house so, that’s where we would head to. Today, the sirens sounded, just like they do the first Wednesday of every month just to make sure they work. I’m glad they test them, but every time the sirens wail I have to stop and think what day of the week it is and what the date is to see if I really need to be concerned. I am so glad that we have them though!

So this spring and summer if you hear about tornadoes in Eastern Iowa, you can imagine we will be in our basement. But how can you imagine us chilling in the basement unless you know what our basement looks like? I will tell you a couple things. 1- It’s the typical early 20th century dark and gross basement. 2- We have done next to nothing to the space…just enough for the hubs to use it to work on electronics at the bench that was already there. As long as you remember those two things, I’m willing to show you our basement.

If you’ve read the “Tour – From the Beginning” you’ve seen a picture of our laundry room/mudroom. Here’s another one

Well, it doesn’t look like that anymore, but this is from the beginning right? That’s how you get to the basement. Walk to the window and there are a couple stairs to the right that take you to the back door. Remember, it’s not that door anymore

Another turn and a few more stairs and you are in the basement. Check out those walls that wave like bacon in a pan. The reason that happened is because of what you see in the top right. It’s a dryer vent. The walls are just pressed “board” and the washer and dryer are on the other side of that wall, so every time the previous owners would run the dryer, the hot wet air would vent into this little hallway. Not. Smart. As a side note, we also had to run the electrical to where the washer and dryer were supposed to go, so we’re pretty certain they were running the washer and dryer off an extension cord. Also. Not. Smart.

Then when you go to the basement and turn to the left you see the future game room with that table I love. You also saw little bits of this room in my cabinet reno post. You probably just didn’t know it.

To the right of that room is the room where our wood furnace, water heater and gas furnace are. It also stores some stuff that we just need to get rid of. I don’t have any pictures of that room. Not sure why. But that’s just boring boy stuff anyway so we’ll go back to the bottom of the stairs and look to the right. There’s a “bathroom” there.

Can it really be a bathroom if it’s just a “shower” a toilet and a dirty nasty vanity stuck in a room where the only door is the door to the outside? I think my favorite part is the ocean scene shower curtains.

Are you wondering what was on the other side of this wall?

It’s the bench where Michael works on electronics. In the beginning, it looked like this

Yes, that’s mold on the wall. No, it doesn’t still look like that. We took down that pegboard, scrubbed the studs with bleach and put up new pegboard. We also scoped out the island of misfit toys misfit bin at Menards and found a piece of plywood that fit the top of the bench and put that down. So before you think I’m mean wife, he’s not breathing mold spores while he’s working.

Also in the basement is our water softener which makes me super happy. That mirror on the vanity is just gross though

There is so much to do in the basement that it stresses me out to think about it. Maybe if I made a list it would be better…maybe not. I have started planning on Olioboard though. Have y’all tried this yet? I’m completely in love with it! It’s like combining Pinterest with visions in my head. It’s totally bare right now, but It works in my head

See, bare. It’s a chair that hubs already has, cork floor he picked out and I think a couple of expedits would be great for storage. Plus, I might be looking for an excuse to make a road trip to Ikea (hallelujah).

Do you have a space that is embarrassing to show people? Are you creating Olioboards and loving it?

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Possibilities, Tour | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making a list…checking it twice

Do you ever feel like you have about 27 projects going all at once? You’ve started them all, but can’t seem to find the time to even finish one? That’s where I’m at right now. I’m a multi-tasker, but some of these projects were stirring in my brain six months ago, so the fact that they still aren’t finished aggravates me.

My current to do list:

  • I can’t wait to have the sideboard in the entry room finished. I still haven’t convinced the hubs to let me paint it. I think I’m going to have to strike a deal with him. I paint it and if after a month he still doesn’t like it, I’ll paint it back (which would make me incredibly sad BTW)
  • Paint the deck chair that y’all picked the color for…waaaaay back in September. I have the paint, it just hasn’t made it’s way onto the chair. Notice the date I bought the paint? Waaaaay back in September
  • Build another deck chair so two people can sit on the deck at the same time instead of me sitting out there by myself with my laptop

  • Make a table to go between the two chairs. I know I can’t do the plants just yet, but I feel like I should have the glass at least since I already have the pots.
  • While perusing ReStore one day, I found some shutters. They could end up like this

or like this

  • I’m fairly certain I want to do a banquette on our three seasons porch. This is odd for me. I don’t like banquettes. Maybe it’s the claustrophobic in me that is afraid to be blocked in or my fear that Johnny won’t come and get Baby out of the corner. Whatever it is, I was surprised when I found myself considering this. We already have sectional pieces a-la- Ana White. We would need more pieces and we have to build a “platform” for them to sit on and raise them to chair height. Maybe a table made from an old door that is sitting in the loft above the garage. The prospect of having room to seat 8 people on the three seasons porch and keep bugs out of our food at barbeques makes me more than a little happy.

That’s the short list too. The hubs has been busy working on some electronic stuff and building a couple computers. We also have a restoration project that we are working on with my dad. In the midst of all this, I was able to find a few hours on a Wednesday night to have some quality time with my mom, a couple glue guns and this pile of stuff

Tutorial tomorrow? Should probably start writing it…there were a lot of steps. Including driving to the craft store because I forget things and grabbing a couple cups of coffee. End result: totally worth it. I can’t wait to show y’all…tomorrow!

 

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Possibilities | Tags: | Leave a comment

Home…Two Years Later

Welcome to two years later.  Today is different because it’s been 2 years. Two years of painting. Two years of shoveling. Two years of mowing. Two years of drywalling. Two years of sanding floors. Two years of hanging lights. Two years of trying to decide on curtains. Two years of rearranging furniture. Two years of building furniture. Two years of making this house our home and loving every minute of it…okay, most minutes of it. Needing to have half of the plumbing replaced in the week before we moved in wasn’t fun. Finding out that it needed to be replaced wasn’t at all fun for Michael, but it was for me. It was I-laughed-so-hard-I-was-crying fun – “I stuck my hand up on the top of the pipe and there was no top of the pipe…there was poo.” I promise I’m not a mean wife and he was laughing too.

Have you ever looked at someone’s “accomplished” list and thought “Wow! I’m lazy”. I feel like that every time John & Sherry at Young House Love post one of their lists. I have to keep reminding myself that they do this full time. But you see, I’ve never been much of a Listy McListerson so I don’t have a list. In honor of our two year house-iversary, I thought I would do a little recap of some of our Beginning and Current pictures and give myself a list of what we have done since the beginning…two years ago. I’ll do a couple rooms today and a couple rooms next week . Let’s start with the entry room, shall we?

What we’ve done so far:

  • Tore up the stained, torn carpet
  • Sanded the floor with hand sanders because we didn’t want to take off too much of the wood on our original to the house maple floor
  • Changed out all the outlets and replace the covers with pretty copper ones
  • Changed out all the light switches and replace the covers with pretty copper ones
  • Took down the ceiling fan and put up a light we got on sale (post here)
  • Ripped down the falling tile ceiling and drywalled a new ceiling in (post here)
  • Took down the lace curtains and put up other placeholder curtains (update since the picture below – I keep changing out the curtains in here for different ones hoping that something will just hit me and I’ll love it)
  • Painted the ceiling with basic Sherwin-Williams white ceiling paint (post here)
  • Repaired a lot of cracks in the plaster using lightweight spackle like this one
  • Painted the walls with Sherwin-Williams latte paint in Cashmere low luster finish
  • Put up some art that shows our hometown pride (this post)
  • Replaced the old wooden front door with an energy efficient insulated metal one

See all the posts I’ve done about our entry room with the Entry Room tag or just click here

The kitchen has gotten quite a bit of attention and since it’s right next to the entry room, let’s review that one next.

What we’ve done up till now:

  • Took out that bar that broke up the two rooms and made it feel closed off (this post)
  • Repaired the hole in the floor that was uncovered by the removal of the bar (this post)
  • Took doors off the upper cabinets to create a more open and modern feel – and to make it safer since there was peeling paint on the cabinet doors
  • Took down the English cottage wallpaper…and the three other layers of wallpaper that was under it including some butterfly stuff with gold outlines
  • Took out the cabinet that was in between the two windows
  • Took down the scalloped things that blocked the lights and the windows – I don’t love the lights that are there now but haven’t decided on our new lights yet
  • Painted all the walls with Sherwin Williams Latter Cashmere low luster paint
  • Painted the window trim with Sherwin Williams Greek Villa paint -until we do a full kitchen reno and strip all the paint off all the trim (post here)
  • Painted the backs of the now open cabinets with Sherwin Williams Parakeet paint (post here)
  • Took down curtains and replaced them with some pretty cafe style ones I made (this post)
  • Took down that snazzy under the cabinet radio to the right of the sink (that thing was melted on the bottom)
  • Changed out all the outlets and replace the covers with pretty copper ones
  • Changed out all the light switches and replace the covers with pretty copper ones

See all the posts I’ve done about our kitchen with the Kitchen tag or just click here. I also just realized that I need to take a new full picture of the kitchen. Until then, here’s a few different pictures of the changes.

I’m feeling a little bit better about what we have done and what we still need to do now. I think I might need to start making lists. Thanks for stopping by to share in our two year house-iversary fun! I hope you’ll continue to come by and watch as we renovate and rejuvenate our house. Check out how all the rooms started out on my “Tour – From the Beginning” page.

Sidenote: If you stopped by for the $10 holiday decor series post, today’s post is a little bit different. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave you out in the cold. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll want to head over to this post and see the white fluffy wreath I made from coffee filters and a $2 wreath form (that could easily be made with cardboard).

Categories: It's Our Life, Possibilities, Tour | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The colors of…Christmas?

That’s right, I said Christmas. Even though I refuse to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving, it’s still on my mind. I need to start working on our Christmas card for the year but I can’t do that until I’ve picked our Christmas colors and theme. Last year we did olive green, black, white and silver. Yes that’s a lot of colors, but our Christmas cards (that never got printed or sent – oops) looked like this

Designed using My Digital Studio by Stampin' UP! All Images copyright Stampin' UP!

And the gift tags for presents (which also never got printed) looked like this

Designed using My Digital Studio by Stampin' UP! All Images copyright Stampin' UP!

One year we did a red, white and blue Christmas. Two years ago was a John Deere Christmas. My favorite colors were back in 2004 when we did deep purple and gold. Anybody else pick new colors every year so the presents under the tree will look like one beautiful coordinated decorative masterpiece? Just me? Oh well. That’s how I roll. Usually I don’t have any problems, but this year I’ve really struggled with it. You see a couple weeks ago Hallmark sent me my rewards certificate to spend. It was only $3, but that’s better than nothing right? Not to mention that it came with an extra $2 one to use the first weekend in November. You know I’m not about to pass up a deal so I was all over that one. Off I was to Hallmark to visit Deb (yes I’m on a first name basis with the manager of the local Hallmark store) and see what I could find on sale and spend my free $5. The answer was definitely gift wrap after I saw that deal! Buy one roll and get the second roll for 99 cents. Woo hoo! Now which ones? Do I go fun but traditional red and green like these?

Image from Hallmark.com

Maybe something a classic filigree or damask style but with not so classic colors like this set

Image from Hallmark.com

Well, I ended up with neither of those and can’t find a picture anywhere of the one that I went home with. Doesn’t matter much because it’s heading back to the store and being exchanged for something totally un-Amy. But I was at Target and saw some paper that will coordinate with the Hallmark stuff I got and I came up with a great idea to make bows and stockings and a wreath and….oh, I’m so excited. I may have had to fight the urge to start singing and dancing in the Christmas aisles at Target. I’ll start sharing with you soon in case you want to craft along with me this Christmas. Oooo, the suspense.

Anybody else pick perfectly coordinated Christmas colors? Come on, someone has to. It’s okay, you can share. We’re nice in this house, this is a safe place (that’s what I tell Bella when she gets mad at her brother). I’m ready to start working on my Christmas cards so I can actually get them printed and mailed this year. Self imposed December 1st deadline. Keep me in check people!

 

Categories: Best Laid Plans, Let's shop!, Living Frugal, Possibilities | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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