Saturday, October 08, 2016

Sale Prep - Day 15

Things are sort of out of my hands at this point.  A lot is happening, but I need to be able to work and feel as though I am actually contributing.  Soooooo, I made cookies again for both our neighbor and our painter.  And I documented that.

This is a personal recipe that I invented as a kid.  I took my favorite cookie recipes (I actually baked a lot as a kid, and still do) and I added some sugar and vanilla, because I felt like there wasn't enough of those elements.  Over the years, I've adjusted other things and perfected my recipe so that it is my very favorite cookie ever.

But I also believe in variety, so I made my standard chocolate chip and I also made some brownie cookies that are basically cookie shaped brownies and they are delicious and amazing.

First, you make the chocolate part.

Then you make the vanilla part, which is the standard cake/brownie base.

Mix them together . . .

And ouila!  BEAUTY!

And I made cookies for our painter because our painter did this:

Isn't that a freaking beautiful door?!?!?


Monday, July 11, 2016

Sale Prep - Day 14

Things are moving along nicely at this point.  Day 14 consisted of finishing out the painting in the office, the kitchen ceiling, and continued work on the downstairs doors.  All in all, the place is really starting to come together.

The downstairs doors have had problems for a long time.  They were originally painted with oil based paint, but the previous owner did a quick cover up without primer and using water based pain, so we ended up with peeling doors.  Peeling paint on a door is like peeling a sunburn.  It makes the problem worse, but you just can't seem to stop doing it.  So, our amazing painter sanded off the old paint and finished off the doors with a clean primer and new coats of white paint.

The office, it seems, we finished recently!  But the paint refresh is really nice.  No more mars and scratches from things being scraped by the wall or bumped into the wall or anything like that.  Just a clean, lovely newly painted wall.  I do miss the art, though.  This was my rotating Fuji Instax gallery, which is one of my very favorite things.

The ceiling is done!  The ceiling is done!!!!  COULD.  NOT.  BE.  HAPPIER!


Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Sale Prep - Day 13

Lots more good stuff happened on Day 13.  The painters were on hand again to continue their amazing progress and we continued to pack stuff up and get it out.

The fireplace surround now has it's first coat of special primer.  You can still see the underlying color a little bit, but things are really moving now!

The big deal today was the kitchen and the new wall.  The painter cocooned himself in the kitchen with tape (we actually taped him in from the outside) so that we could do the sanding of the new wall and the finished ceiling in the kitchen.  There was a ton of dust, even with the cocoon, but no worries.  Sooooooo much stuff was accomplished, I don't even mind.

In the meantime, we prepped the wet bar area to be painted by taking all of the wet bar stuff and putting it on the dining room table and the coffee table.  Pizza for dinner tonight!

But the empty wet bar was too tempting to the painter, so during a break from working on the wall and ceiling, he knocked it out.

So clean and pretty.

And in the kitchen, we are making real progress on finishing out our "temporary" ceiling and light fixtures.  Oh, if we had the time and inclination we would have finally installed the can lights we always wanted.  Cest la vie.

At least this way we will have a finished ceiling with the appropriate texture that will look finished and clean.  Win, win.


Sale Prep - Day 12

Day 12 means the painter is back!  It turns out that a lot more work gets done when he is here!  And boy, howdy has a lot of work gotten done.

First off, I don't know if I mentioned how AWESOME our painter is.  He has already taken on some projects that weren't in the original bid and not asked for anything in return.  We are going to compensate him anyway, because he brought down his original bid, so I'm just going to raise it back up.  SO WORTH IT!

For instance, we asked if he could paint our fireplace surround.  It doesn't match the hardwood floor and we think it would look nicer painted.  He said yes, but it is going to take a special kind of primer because of the finish on the wood.  So, it is marked with tape to remind all of us of the project.  He has also finished out our wall (details to follow) and has agreed to help us with our kitchen grout, which is dirty and crumbling.

In the meantime, he prepped the bathroom and got one coat on.  The cabinets, shelf, and mirror are down, but you can already see the change.  Such a huge difference between the dark brown and this lighter tan.

My office is also getting it's first coat.  It's hard to work here, one of the many reasons that I took my time with the update on the blog posts, but it is a clean, open space and now the paint will match as well.

And, the wall.  We're pretty proud of what we did, but what the painter did makes it look really official and intentional.   I think that's what was starting to bother me about it is that it didn't quite fit in and I was worried that we may have made a mistake.  Because the floors don't go under this wall, we started the wall project when the floors were about to be installed.  But now it looks awesome and natural and even original.  Now, the other version looks crazy and wrong.

Now, this is one of my favorite parts.  Do you remember when I was staining the cabinets and I over stained onto the wall a bit?  I always told myself, "Ah, no worries, someday it will be painted."  AND NOW IT IS!!!!  No more evidence that I didn't use plastic, paper, or tape to stain my cabinets in place.  Ahhhhhhh, that's a huge sigh of relief.

Yeah, the ceiling isn't done.  So there is still evidence there.  But not for long!!!


Sale Prep - Day 11

Day 11 was also a day we spent doing work ourselves.  SPF finished off the door install with two tiny pieces of base board at the edge and we prepped for the final stage of painting.

It looks nice, huh?

Unfortunately, our garage is looking less nice and more like a hoarders nest.

That's okay, though.  Our goal is to get a lot of this stuff out of the house so that we can stage it.  Our realtor's exact words were "Whatever you can live without for three months, put in storage."  So, we are.  Actually, we're doing two better.  As things come out we are putting them in three piles:
1 - Store
2 - Give Away
3 - Trash

Sigh.  We have lost a lot of our sentimentality in this process, but so be it.  Do I really need that t-shirt from middle school where I went to that one day camp that I don't remember?  Probably no.  But someone else might like it, or it might be useful as recycled textile.  Still, though, a lot of this is getting stored and saved.  Turns out that living in a space for 12 years, almost 13, means accumulating a lot of crap.


Sale Prep - Day 10

I know, I know, I'm the worst!  I promise you, a lot has been happening, so the lack of information is not reflective of the amount of work happening.

Luckily, I know what days we worked and which we didn't, so I have an idea what happened when.  And I will recount that information here.

Day 9 was all us, as was Day 10.  We were less productive, as it was a weekend day, but SPF did manage to finish out the door and we did that last touch painting around the new window sills.

Ultimately, this little area needs a patch, but it is nearly done at this point.

And the window sills turned out so beautiful!  I realize that whoever buys this place won't know the work and love that went into each decision, each detail, but I hope they at least can appreciate how lovely it all is!


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sale Prep - Day 9

Day 9 is my favorite day so far mostly because all of the work done on day 9 was done by me.

Our painter took off two days to go to his daughter's graduation in San Francisco.  Cool.  I support that.  But I kept thinking, hmmmmm, what can I do to make a tangible impact when I won't be in the way of the painters and don't have to go in to school to teach or go to meetings?

I call it - THE SOLUTION.

See, our problem is that we are outgrowing our space.  It happens to the best of us.  When we bought this place we were just two young people, engaged and looking forward to our wedding and our first little house.  Since then we have had a landslide, had two kids, started our own business, and I've worked about a dozen different jobs.  (Bear in mind, that is the nature of Adjunct educators, so it's not like I've been fired or something, it's just the way things work.)

So, on Day 9, I decided to find a way to clear out the clutter of our lives.  Now, at first, it may seem cruel.  Because at first glance it really just looks like I got rid of the toys.  I didn't.  I'm a pretty nice mom.  But I DID find a better place for them in a closet downstairs, and the stuff from that closet found a better home in the office because it is my photo equipment, and our dining room and living room have opened up beautifully.  The place is starting to REALLY come together.

Clear out the clutter.  Clear out the clutter.

After fine and a half hours of manual labor, I went from this:

To this:
Hmmm.  Not a great picture on that second one.  I will try and reshoot.  But what you should hopefully see is that there are NO MORE TOYS!  You are correct.  Noneso.  Nil.  Zilch.  It actually looks like a real live adult dining room.  Now I just need to get rid of the folding chairs, the wooden chairs that don't match, and buy one more Crate and Barrel chair to match our set of 3 (don't ask) and we are good to go. 

I would buy this place.


Sale Prep - Day 8

Oh, man, I am so far behind!

Okay, for Day 8, a lot more work was accomplished by our amazing painter and his assistant.  LOTS of work well beyond painting - there is dry wall work, texturing, even some grout work is on the horizon.  He's even cleaning up things we did wrong in lives past (cleaning up the overpainted areas on the fiberglass shower surround in the kids room.)  He's awesome.

Some evidence:

Prepping and starting the painting of the wet bar, inclusive of the wine rack, which is built in place and can't be removed for easy painting.

He finished our wall, which now has smoothed joint compound and texture!  It isn't painted yet, obviously, but it is so beautiful!

Prepped the half bath for painting by taking down the cabinet and sink shelf.

Started work on the corner bead and dry wall patching that needs to happen to the kitchen ceiling.  Awesome.  Sauce.

Now, as promised, I will keep actually working on projects as well.  So, this is me clearing off more of my desk, actually putting stuff in boxes, and getting rid of my second monitor.  For those of you that know me, I am not quite certain how I will function without my second monitor, but I'm in staging mode!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Sale Prep - Day 7

Day 7 is when things really picked up.  At this point, I am actually behind in relating the progress, so I will do my best to get a few posts up today to get back on track!

For Day 7, our painter brought in help and the two of them moved through the upstairs like a hot knife through butter.  It was fascinating to watch because they were so effective at what they were doing while also being very fast and precise.  Really amazing work.

I grabbed some pictures of the progress before I went to work.  They had started the prep the day before, with painting the edges near the curtains and what not, as well as starting the painting around the window in the entryway.  The living room is a huge mess, of course, but look beyond it to the wall!

Entryway window:

Detail work around the lower ceiling before the vaulted ceiling begins:

They also did some texturing on the wall where the drywall patch was for the new banister.

When I got back home, holy moly!  The wall up to the vaulted ceiling was done, with two coats, the entry way window was done, the stairway completed, the entire place starting to look more beautiful and put together every minute.  Why are we moving, again?

Again, far be it from SPF and I not to do more work, so he worked on completed his door project by adding in some sealing, expanding foam:

And I tackled my desk so that it could be painted in the very, very near future.


Thursday, June 09, 2016

Sale Prep - Day 6

Okay, so after a weird weekend of sick kids and not as much work done as intended, the work started up in earnest again today.  Our amazing painter got to work and didn't stop.  He finally gave this astoundingly beautiful new staircase the finishing touches I've been waiting for.  SO BEAUTIFUL!

Okay, so he started, like he does every day, by carefully laying out the drop cloths and taping off and protecting what needs to be taped off and protected.  Awesome.

Then he works like a Tasmanian devil.  But, a really effective one, not a tornado one.  He's insanely fast and very, very precise.  So maybe not a Tasmanian devil.  Hummingbird?

The result is so great.

This is before.  It's kind of hard to tell, but that space under the apron is the same "white" as the far wall.  It's really more of a cream, though I can't tell you why.

But after, it is a beautiful light tan.  It's really bringing the whole house together and it is SO GOOD!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Now, far be it from SPF and I to not do work of our own.  I know some of you may be disappointed that we didn't tackle this INSANELY IMMENSE job by ourselves, but you know what?  I can respect a good craftsman and I can respect how little time we have to get our house in order.  I don't think I could have even done the job he did, let alone with so much perfection.

That said, however, we have not been sitting idly by.  Hell, I'm still teaching through the end of this week!  So, don't think we are somehow now the idle rich.  WHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!  Sorry, that one got my funny bone a little.

What we did do, while our painter and his assistant were taking mad swipes at finishing this job, was fix our light fixture.  It had a busted out socket.  We thought about replacing it, for a lovely price tag of at least $119 for a decent one at Home Depot.  So, instead, we asked the electrical guy if he could help us figure it out.  He did.  We dropped it down and took a look.

Then SPF fixed it, moved it 16 inches more into the dining room so that it will actually be over the dining room table, and hung it back up.  Which took not only the new socket, but a new chain and new wire long enough to make it to the middle of where we want the dining room table.  Piece of cake.