Posts tagged ‘positive’

07/20/2011

A Renovation Education

Renovating this house has been an educational experience of sorts. I learned to properly use dust masks by pinching the metal part to fit your face. I have discovered signs indicating a termite infestation. I have seen the usefulness of putty knives, and I have a whole new set of vocabulary words – utility bar, squares, caps, sistering, blocking, etc.

A possible result of my ongoing renovation education, I have been become a much better bargain hunter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been fond of sales and saving money, it’s just that I don’t usually go out and hunt these things down. It all started when I hired a new contractor. He is my uncle’s good friend, but lives out-of-state. So, I am in charge of getting materials for the upcoming jobs. Armed with my list, I have contacted every hardware store, lumber supplier, and siding manufacturer that I could find within 45 miles. I looked for the best prices, made comparisons, called for estimates, and wrote everything down in handy lists. I even learned how to make double-sided copies on the machine at work to run the lists off! I checked for deals, I found coupons. Basically, I did everything I could to save money, and more importantly, I think it worked out. Lowes was having a sale on windows, so every one of them was 15% off. I signed up for moving coupons. I found french doors on clearance. I received discounts from sales people trying to beat my other estimates. Ultimately, I think we manages to save quite a bit, even though the front door was a bit of a splurge. I saved some money, I learned some new skills. Both pretty valuable to this renovation…although, finding a bag of gold under the floorboards would probably be more helpful.

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07/17/2011

Decorating…Wizard Style

I didn’t update this week, mostly because I’ve been geeking out over Harry Potter. I could go on and on about why I love those books and movies, but since this blog is supposed to be primarily about my home, I decided to celebrate (mourn) the end of the series by posting some of my Potteresque home decor and discussing how I plan to decorate with it. After I have walls. Just so you know, I did try using Reparo and Accio, Drywall…but it didn’t really work. Anyway,  I know it may not be considered sophisticated to have Harry Potter stuff throughout the home, but I wholeheartedly believe that your house should reflect who you are and the  things that you love. 

Print made by Pink Caffeination

The first thing that will be incorporated is Godric Gryffindor’s sword. My sister likes weaponry, and I got her this replica for Christmas a few years ago. I see it hanging in the library/dining room, shining in the candlelight, looking pretty awesome. When we bought the home, one of the first things I purchased for it was this print from Pink Caffeination on Etsy.com. I had the seller remake it for me in greens, blues, teals, grays, and black, our house colors. If you are a Harry Potter geek like me, you will also recognize this is a mixture of Ravenclaw and Slytherin house colors. This is kind of perfect, as I am a self-proclaimed Ravenclaw, while my sister is a Slytherin.

Over Christmas break, my sister and I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where besides having a fabulous time, we purchased a bunch of stuff. In case you didn’t know, Besides having character wands, the theme park has wands specific to certain months, so that you can pick one to represent a particular date. We both purchased wands representing our birth dates. When we go back, I want to get one to for February 10th, the day we purchased the house. I want to frame the wands in a shadow box to hang on the wall or display in the bookshelf. We also purchased some of the candy sold at Honeydukes in glass apothecary jars. I kept the jars to use around the house, for cotton balls in the bathroom, as a candy dish in the kitchen, etc. That way there will be little reminders of these things everywhere. I want to get more of them, so if any of you guys are planning a trip, let me know!

It might seem strange to incorporate this sort of merchandise into your decor, but it makes me smile, and brings a dose of whimsy and nostalgia to everyday life. It makes my house a home. If you agree, come on by for some cauldron cakes and pumpkin juice…just wait until I get appliances first.

02/25/2011

Staying Positive in the Midst of More Problems

Be still, my moldy heart!

So, my sister and I have been slowly and gradually cleaning up the house. The outside construction has yet to begin, and outside stuff is not really my area of expertise anyway. So, while I’ve been cleaning, I’ve made all kinds of little …discoveries. Most of these are not welcome discoveries. One of my moldings has succumbed to dry rot. Many of the floorboards will have to be replaced, as they have been eaten away by wolves, rotted, or are damaged by some other random occurence. Outside, one of the floor joists has rotted, and parts of the original porch posts have been demolished. I have some extras in the areas we are enclosing that I hope can be used to replace the others. This all brings me to today’s discovery…mold. I knew the house was moldy, it has been unoccupied for 9 months. Yet, I did not expect a veritable petri dish on my walls; a mini ecosystem inhabiting my home! Yes, today I found fuzzy walls, and not fuzzy from wolf fur! Luckily, I have never been prone to hysterics.

Lovely Hinges

So, it’s days like this I have to look at the positives. I mean, not all the discoveries are bad. The house has lovely, elaborate, Queen Anne style door hinges. You can’t buy those anymore, and they are definitely a nice feature. The cast iron fireplace inserts are all intact. I love the look of them. The living room and dining room floors  are in great shape. The foundation is solid, and so everything else can be repaired, right?  Truthfully, it is all a labor of love, I guess. That, or my over-developed visualization skills. I can see what it will look like when it is finished, and it’s beautiful. That is the image that drives me. Unfortunately, the distance from where the house is at now, to that image, is a little bit further, considering I didn’t envision living in a terrarium. Oh well, good thing I have a whole bottle of Clorox.