Thursday, May 9, 2013

IT'S GONE!!!! Part one: the deck

Mudroom, deck.... you were warned.
You continued being rotten and ugly so now you've been ripped out of my life forever.


This is going to be a pretty picture heavy and long post. I have a lot of finger pointing and best practise advise to give on this subject. Especially on how NOT to build an outbuilding that one's family might be using once a day.

To start off with: the deck was rotten. Greg had to replace a few boards last year before our Canada Day party so that no one would fall through and/or stab their foot into a nail. This is what it looked like before:
early spring and it always looks so bare. before anything has happened.

have a mentioned how much i hate red painted wood???? I also really hate that white plastic lattice

the un painted boards are the new ones. don't you love those short length boards there? nothing like measuring before you cut...

this is what i look at every day when coming home. makes me really happy.

this is like the only non-rotting part of this deck. too bad its ghastly.


rotten. these ones did a looney tunes-esque board to the face when you stepped on them

the left is the original deck. they added on at some point.

We weren't sure when we were going to rip this out, and if we would also take off the mudroom at the same time. Well last weekend was a really nice weekend, the first warm one of the spring (this years winter was loooong). Gregs friend said he would take all the wood to burn at his cottage so we paid him in beer and gas money and he came and helped. Which was awesome cause the kids were home for a bit. We promptly dropped them off at their grandparents house and I did some furniture refinishing while the menfolk laboured in the misty rain.

bye bye boards

lined up really well. this footing was not footed, it jiggled and was basically floating in a dirt hole

this is what a deck looks like, unassembled

the supports.
 It appears that there was an older portion of the deck (which was cedar!), that was then added on to. I have an old photo album that was left in this house that shows the older part before the addition. It seems that it was added on in the 80's, probably at the same time the kitchen was redone. The older deck does not appear to be original to the house, as there is a asphalt covered concrete walkway under it. It is all gravel and busted up granite under there (dude was a headstone maker, this was obviously a broken headstone. Creepy? Meh not really, I've seen worse around here!)

bit of a step down there, now...
when you already covered the walkway with asphalt, the only thing left to do is build a deck over it. duh...
the old footings are poured concrete. new ones, not so much. those big rocks at the top were meant to be over someone's grave *cue creepy ghost music*
 Under the newer part is all mud. Which is pretty much what we expected. Not big surprises yet. Actually we didnt have any surprises concerning this deck. Which in itself is a surprise!!! It didn't take too long for the guys to get all the boards up and the supports knocked out. Greg even had time to make a new fence out of the deck rails, to replace the old fence that was the last remaining particle board in the yard (fiiiinallyyyyyyy).

just what i always wanted; my own mud pit! let the redneck olympics begin!

new fence is much better than old fence
old fence, you sucked.

It was then decided that the mudroom was coming off the next day. It was easier for Greg's buddy to just take all the wood. I was not ready to loose my child herding station. But sometimes a mama has to suck it up and see the bigger picture.

I'll post the mudroom demolition soon (I promise!!) cause that's where the finger pointing gets really good :) AND I KNOW YOU ALL LIKE FINGER POINTING.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Jaws music?

duuuu duh
duuuu duh
duuuu duh duuuu duh duuuuu duh duuuuuh duh


Your days are numbered.

I'm coming for you at spring-fall.

Just giving you the heads up.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Den: part 2

So its been like two years since I wrote about renovating my den. It is so much better now, but it is NEVER CLEAN. This is the computer room and also playroom for the kids. It is always a disaster. Today it was sunny and we (mostly) cleaned it, so I finally took some pictures to show you the finished den.
Did I mention that we are probably making this the kitchen again, as it used to be before the 80's? So this will look much different in a few years. Perhaps it will take me less than half a decade to show you lol.
OK so, we put in green carpet. Its more mossy than the one I'd picked out, but we decided the one I liked was TOO green, like 60's green but not in a good way. So we found one that was a little more modern but still retro. I really like it! Lowes was brand new in town and they had a fabulous free installation and sale on their carpet so it cost under $500 to carpet this room. While the carpet isn't the best of quality it is fairly decent and will hold up for the duration of time that we need it in here.
kitties smell the new carpet
You can see in the above picture the baseboards we had made. Also, that is the amazing vintage wallpaper we put up. At first it was pretty overwhelming but once we lived in it for a bit, it's normal and I really really like it. here's a close up of it (ps it is old and was painted, not a print):

pretty folksy!
It was fairly easy to put the wallpaper up, as it was preglued and was in great shape. Sometimes vintage paper has damage on the end of the roll and that can make the seams quite obvious. greg did a great job of lining everything up well.

I found some nice lacy curtains at the thrift store that were exactly what I wanted. this room has two windows, a big south facing one and a smaller west window so it is very bright in here. I like the sun shining through the lace a lot. In fact I take quite a few hipstamatic pictures of sun through my lace curtains cause that's how I roll.
Solly is consumed by squirrel activity in the lilac outside the window

Else also likes to look out the window
After this, we picked up a sweet yellow sofa bed from Kijiji. I love this couch. I take so many pictures on it, especially of kids and cats. It is holding up quite well for the abuse it takes. The mattress needs replacing but other than that it is solid and pretty :) Its a Kroehler so it will last forever!

ive added the quilt as an extra child mess barrier

look at that sweet fabric!! its my favourite. also love the buttons. love the cat too i guess.

  I got a teak bookshelf from FullCircles (freecycling! yeay!) which did house books until Else was old enough to start ripping them. Now it is the toy shelf. The desk is also teak, and needs to be sanded a little and reoiled. The mirror on the wallpaper wall is not teak but it's from Ikea and has that teak stain going on. This room needs teak. This woman needs teak. NEEDS TEAK I TELL YOU.

desk is always messy. this is nothing.

i promise theres a shelf under all those toys. 

I put up a watercolour of a yellow iris that we bought at an estate sale for this room, and also a picture by Alicia Bock who I have loved since I first found her shop on etsy way back when I first started looking at it. This is her etsy store and I can't recommend her enough!!!
i think this was $5. estate sales are a great place to get cheap art

it took me forever to find a frame that had matting that would fit this 8x8.
This is the room that Liza lives in. She freaks out many unsuspecting visitors.

liza is ususally sporting some crazy vintage dress and sometimes a wig. other times she is naked and hairless. which is how I like my mannequins.
before: fleshy and crowded

after: brighter and happier    
before demolition
after demolition
room is so much bigger

where all the stuff is, used to be closet.
 Taking the closet out of the room was a lot of work, but worth it. We didn't need the storage (and it was crappy storage anyways) and now the room is bright and open and happy. We did have to have our electrician come and and move the light switch over to the wall (it was on the closet before) and that was a bit of a pain cause he had to make some holes in the wall and ceiling. These houses were built with lateral supports half way up the wall so you can't just run a wire up through it, you have to get past that wood support so that's good to know if we need to do any other electrical! Our electrician did a bunch of rewiring for us while this wall was open, as the basement light control is on the other side and it had some issues. Greg got really good at hiding the repairs to the plaster by making drywall patches which you can barely see. 

 This is a special room where sun rays bounce off the walls and ceiling and the lilacs bloom outside the windows, making it smell heavenly in May. Its a nice central room so the kids can play while I make dinner, or I can hear them running around while I write or waste time online. It is fairly easy to keep clean, and its a good room for guests to stay in (though the door has been removed to save little fingers from being smashed and yes that mattress needs to go!).

And just to let you all know, my husband knows how to do everything right. I will never assume otherwise again :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

happy new years everybody

The holidays were busy. I feel like they just finished yet here it is, the middle of January. And what have I done.
Well, Christmas was low key this year which was fabulous. I didn't go home, so no 8 hour drive with two babies. Granted that meant I didn't get to see a lot of friends and family but I needed a small holiday after the long year that was my first with two children. Those two children really kicked my butt this year!!!

Else looking super duper cute
gregs christmas present from the kids. they picked it out themselves i swear. its a moulded leather buffalo head plaque. i cant find any relevant info online

I went boxing day shopping at Chef's Paradise or C.A. Paradis down on Bank st and I have to say, I got great service from the sales girl who helped me. And the lady that helped her. I really felt like an important customer. You see, I bought that stand mixer a few months back but didn't have any beater whisk or dough hook, or bowl. So she made sure I got what I needed. Save the bowl cause I got that online for way cheaper :) Anyways I really appreciated it especially cause it was super busy and she could have just told me that she didn't have any instead of stealing ones off the floor models. I got my bowl in the mail last week. I made cupcakes. I messed up the recipe and I didn't have cupcake cups but whatever they tasted delicious and thats what really matters.

that beater blade is great by the way

ready to go, yo

chewy moist chocolate...

What else what else.... Oh! I went to a crock pot party! I got a new bigger crock pot for Christmas. Me and four other awesome women got together, made bags full of food, and shared them with everyone else! It was pretty simple: each of us chose two recipes from a book and then tripled it. We bought enough to make the tripled recipes and then we each got to take one of each recipe home plus keep an extra of ours due to the wonkly number. Half of the recipes were not great, I'm not going to lie. But a couple were quite tasty. I think it is easier for me to just make stuff the night of, rather than worry about crock pot stuff. A lot of it was very juicy. Steak fajitas in theory sounded good. They tasted good but man.. so watery. All over the plate. Soaked though tortillas. Easy to just fry that shit up in a pan, yo. Anyway it was a good experiment and I may actually make up a few bags of my own for the freezer, of the ones I liked plus a few of my own (chorizo and chickpea casserole?? yes!!)

12 dinners for the freezer

my first meal in my new crockpot was cranberry chicken. It was passable.

I ordered my dream Apple green mixer online.. it is just the hand mixer but I love it. I've used it a ton already. I freecycled my old one. An old friend who I didn't know was back in town replied to my ad so he obviously got my old mixer. It was nice to see him and catch up!

usually $70. I got it for $20 ooooh yeah

The kids got a nice white retro kitchen from my parents. They both love playing with it though I have wooden foodstuffs scattered throughout my house.

the babies on christmas morning, inspecting their new kitchen

I reorganized my Pyrex. I'm going to do a post about them separately soon. Stay on the edge of your seats!

a pretty rainbow of bowls and casseroles

I did a lot of cooking. The only "holiday" cooking I did was for my friend Wilma and her family. I made some pretty sweet dinner items. Namely, red cabbage (an old family tradition), rouladin and this AMAZING PECAN CAKE holy crap you guys... make this cake. make it and eat it and die happy. FYI You need a 14 cup bundt pan... oops :)

red cabbage (arshlicken?? lol)

the best cream cheese pecan and apple cake with caramel frosting in the world

rouladin i love you i love you so much get in my mouth right now

My sister came for a visit for like 5 days. She has moved to Austria and she brought back a dirndl dress for Else and some lederhosen for Eddie. They look pretty frigging adorable in them. Eddies are for when he is older. Unfortunately for me (and him) he won't want to wear them when hes six. Too bad kid. Its gonna happen :)

i think this is the only picture of me on this entire blog lol. anyways my kids are adorable.

OK so.. thats about all I can update you with for now. I'm working hard on getting that teak sideboard from my last post finished. Time has not been easy to find. However, both my children are sleeping through the night FINALLY so I should have a bit more time to sand and paint and refresh.

Signing off for now :)

solly says stay warm out there