December 24, 2011 1

happy holidays and happy anniversary house…

By in Uncategorized

It’s hard for me to believe that 8 years ago today I signed the final papers and closed on my house and moved in later that day, on Christmas Eve! It was a lot of work, made much easier by some very helpful students and my parents! I have put a lot of work into this house over the past 8 years, a lot of it posted about on this blog. I’ve had a lot of ups here, a few downs as well, and made a lot of happy memories with family and friends! That’s what I’m most thankful for.

I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday season this year, spending it with family, loved ones or maybe just by yourself relaxing, doing what you enjoy most! Happy Holidays!

Adam's house, Christmas 2011.

December 17, 2011 3

finished stairs and downstairs hallway: updated…

By in Downstairs Hallway, Stairs

As promised her are some updated pictures if my downstairs hallway with the new Levolor cellular shade I got for the window (in Snow) and the artwork re-hung. I switched a few pieces around from before and I also am awaiting the arrival of a print for the stairwell.

December 10, 2011 12

living room facelift…

By in Living Room

My living room was one of the first rooms I did something to when I moved into this house almost 8 years ago. The room was painted sea-foam green and I had it painted a soft yellow with a darker yellow trim. Surprisingly, the paint went with the already existing, but somewhat dated, drapes, so I let them be. I was sure I would soon replace them. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The floor was also covered in wall to wall brown shag carpet. A friend and I removed that about 4 years ago now (I think). Other than that, and a few different furniture configurations, I haven’t done much else to the room since then.

During my recent painting spree of upstairs bathroom, stairs, downstairs hallway and more, I decided I really wanted to paint my living room to match what I had done upstairs and in the downstairs hallway. Everyplace else was so fresh and bright the living room had been feeling a little dark and drab. So I added it to the makeover list.

In the process of taking down the curtains to prepare for paint prepping, I realized how much I really liked my deep window sills with the inset wood on the sides. I also realized how the curtains had been hiding a lot of that, so I decided no more curtains! I also finally removed the wood grain contact paper the previous owner had put on the sills (this woman really, really loved contact paper. It’s everywhere in the house). My Mom and a heat gun helped with that, and it came off pretty easy, but also left the window sills pretty sticky. Some Goo-Be-Gone, scrubbies, TSP substitute and elbow grease and a lot of the stickiness was gone. Several coats of clear polyacrylic and they are as good as new!

After prep and caulking, the thing that took me the longest was painting the windows and window trim. I think the end results were well worth all of the time though. The trim is Behr paint in Swan Wing and he walls are Behr paint in Ostrich. My surround sound wires, which are hidden above the crown molding, used to run down the wall behind my curtains, the curtains hiding the mess. I installed a wire chase next to the window by the t.v. and painted it the same color as the wall and it worked out perfect! I also had to go around and lower all of my base boards, as I had never done that after removing the carpet. Nothing in my house is level, so there are a few areas where they don’t touch the floor, but I don’t think it looks too bad. Maybe when I re-finish the floor I can put in some shoe molding that will hide the gaps.

Lastly, I put in some Levolor cordless cellular shades in place of the previous curtains and metal blinds and I love them! They give me privacy and let in a beautiful amount of light into the room. I also put the same blinds in the downstairs hallway window. I also had to re-hang all of my artwork. I had hung it too high before, so I tried hanging it 57″, but it was just a little too short for me. I went back and changed it to 67″ and I think it’s perfect. Here are the before and after pictures!

December 6, 2011 4

finished stairs and downstairs hallway…

By in Downstairs Hallway, Stairs

Several weeks ago I finished painting my stairwell, stairs and downstairs hallway. The whole process took me a week and I photographed it when I was done but before I got around to posting the results I moved onto re-painting my living room. I started the night before Thanksgiving and I’m just about done putting it all back together. I figured I better post the results of the stairs/hallway so I can photograph the living room and show that off too!

My stairwell, and downstairs hallway were all covered with a light paneling. It was well done, quality paneling but it just wasn’t my style. Several years ago when I removed the carpeting from the stairs I discovered they were a stained plywood, not awful looking but certainly nothing stand out. Ever since I finished the upstairs hallway I thought how nice it would look to continue the two shades of Behr paint I used, Swan Wing and Ostrich down the stairwell and throughout the downstairs hallway. The area was often dark and gloomy looking and I knew it would brighten it up a lot. Boy was that an understatement! It is so refreshing and bright now in there. I painted all of the trim around the window and the window casings and sill in Swan Wing as well.

For the stairs I primed them with a Valspar primer and painted them with Swan Wing. I then used the paint I had leftover from my master bedroom floor, a light blue-grey-aqua color and painted a runner down the stairs. I’m very, very pleased with how it came out!

It took a lot of caulking all around the paneling joints and where it met the moldings, as well as caulking every part of the stairs but it was worth it with how unified and clean it all looks. This area of my house looks so much brighter and inviting now. I will post some updated pictures once the art work has been re-hung!

October 25, 2011 2

completion (partial)…

By in Upstairs Bathroom, Upstairs Hallway

Several weeks ago I started painting a part of my upstairs hallway that I had left unpainted for the past several years after a remodel. This quickly morphed into an upstairs hallway painting/upstairs bathroom partial remodel project.

I’ve never really liked the upstairs bathroom. I painted it after I moved in but never really liked the color (left over spare bedroom paint) and the ceiling needed to be re-painted as well. The medicine cabinet was old, rusty and discolored. First, I will have you know that I gave up the flower motif over a year ago for white towels and a white bathmat and I gave up the toilet seat cover after being shamed about it my many people 3 years ago! So I decided to paint the ceiling and trim the same as the hallway, Behr eggshell Paint in Ostrich (walls) and satin Swan’s Wing (ceiling/trim). I took down the old medicine cabinet/light combo and with a little re-wiring put up a new Kohler medicine cabinet and vanity light (thank you Lowes!). I have so much more storage in the new cabinet- it makes a huge difference. I also put in a new glass and chrome overhead light. I put up a new toilet paper holder, hand towel bar and double towel bar and a washcloth hook in brushed and polished chrome (thank you Lowes again!). Add some new towels, bathmat and a bamboo tray and Voila! I think it came out very nice and feels so much brighter and cleaner.

I am all done with the hallway except for the cabinet doors and a couple shelves. As this whole project got delayed from throwing my back out while painting the bathroom ceiling (previous injury that acts up) I’m waiting for my back to rest up before I paint the doors and reassemble everything. I must say that hallway is much brighter and everything integrates so much more than before.

This summer I hope to replace the floor, toilet, sink and bathtub/shower surround and take out the shower doors. I’m going to keep my current bathtub. I might also replace the ceiling. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

October 5, 2011 0

RIP Steve Jobs…

By in Uncategorized

Steve Jobs.

I began teaching in 2000. I had used computers in college but not even a fraction of the amount that kids in elementary school use them now. In my unfinished classroom that first year of teaching art I had a PC. I’m not sure what kind, I think maybe a Dell. It was fine. It got me on the internet, let me type up plans and play music. Nothing too inspiring.

In the winter of 2000-01 I bought my first computer. Even though I had been using my PC at work just fine I decided to buy a Mac, a translucent charcoal colored iMac. The reason for this was because when I was a student teacher my sponsor teacher had a Mac lab and I LOVED them. AppleWorks, which would be considered outdated now, inspired me! It made tasks fun! Photoshop on a Mac was a perfect fit! I decided then if I were going to own a computer it would be one of Apple’s Macs.

I’m now on a 2006 MacBook Pro that serves me very well and a 2010 MacBook Pro at work. I have a mini lab of several MacBooks and iMacs in my classroom. My iPhone follows me everywhere I go and I still have a few old iPods and a dome iMac floating around. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m thankful for what Steve Jobs brought to Apple and the World.

October 3, 2011 6

catch up, catch up, catch up…

By in Upstairs Hallway

Two years ago I remodeled my upstairs hallway along with my bedroom and the results were much better than I expected. In all of the photos I posted I left something out however- the wall outside my upstairs bathroom. This wall is bumped out from the rest of the hallway due to construction the previous owners did. I’m not sure why I never painted it when I was doing the work originally. I guess I didn’t want to deal with all of the caulking it would take (there is lots of molding on this side) or the fact that there is a built in cabinet that would need to be taken apart in order for the job to get done right. So I put it off. I mentioned it in this post in August of 2010 but still didn’t feel very motivated to work on it until this past weekend when I went out and bought the necessary supplies. Today I had some unexpected time on my hands so I decided to get to work and unify my hall. I wiped it all down with some TSP substitute, took the doors off and got to work caulking. Let me tell you, I hate caulking, but I know from Anna that it makes a big difference. After 3 hours, two tubes of caulk and a little sweat, I’m all ready to prime it this week!

Here are some before pics and a progress pic:

July 20, 2011 2

another year completed, time for some renovations…

By in Life, Me, Side Porch

Today is my birthday! 36 years have been successfully completed and now I’m embarking on year 37. So far it’s off to a pretty good start, thanks to wonderful family and friends! It can be easy sometimes to get mired down in day to day gripes and issues and lose sight of the important things, but today I’m making a point to realize just how lucky and fortunate I am with a good job, a great dog, a nice house and a lot of people who love me. You can’t get much better than that!

Speaking of great things, I’m finally getting around to replacing my less than good looking side porch door. It’s not a very good quality door, and over the past several years it has been on a downward spiral. Two winters ago during a very strong storm the wind blew in the plexiglass on the top part of the door, breaking a section of the plexiglass off the top. I was able to get it back in place but there has been a several inch gap that lets in snow, rain and bugs ever since. It also has a tendency to fall out ever time there is a strong wind. The closing mechanism has also been broken for quite a long time which means that every time I open the door in a strong wind it almost gets ripped off the house! At some point someone tried to fix it leading to an unsightly collection of washers for some reason in the corner of the frame where the closing mechanism attaches. Enough is enough! I also plan on replacing the wooden railing outside with a wrought iron railing on the opposite side that will match the railings on my front porch. The new door is going to open in the opposite direction of the current one to allow easier access to the railing inside the porch.

My Dad went with me this morning to Lowe’s where I purchased a new door! It has a much simpler design than my current door, which I like a lot and is a lot more energy efficient. It even has one of those hidden screens so I can get some nice ventilation this summer! It will installed next week by a friend of my Dad’s who does a lot of work for me that I’m either not capable of doing or too afraid to attempt. Installing doors is one of those things.

Here are some pictures of the current porch door in all of it’s tiredness!

May 24, 2011 0

spring has sprung…

By in Exterior, Lawn & Garden, Life, Me

After what seemed like an absolutely endless winter to me, spring is finally here! To say I’m breathing a sigh of relief would be an understatement (although allergies are trying to get in the way). Winter does not have a very “uplifting” effect on me at all, hence the quiet on here throughout the winter months. This is something I’m working on, and a solution may be in the works right now, time will tell.

With the arrival of spring comes the arrival of seasonal yard work! I’m pretty thankful I got all of the major raking done in the fall so I only had a mild amount to do compared to some past springs. We have had a lot of rain this spring so things have been growing very fast! A few weeks ago my Mom came down and helped me do some new mulching and refreshing all of the previously mulched areas. We also finally did something I like with my rose garden area. For the past 4 or 5 years I’ve had the area surrounded by green tin edging and wrought iron fencing pieces. It looked ok but I got tired of it after a few years. Plus some bricks from my old disaster-chimney fell on it when it was coming down and squashed some of the fencing, so it started to look a little “abandoned-house” like. I took down the fencing and pulled out the edging and my mom helped me weed it out. We visited my sandstone pile and brought a bunch of pieces up to use as edging, which I think ties the area into the house better and the surrounding landscaping. Then we gave it a good mulching!

This winter and spring have brought a lot of changes, some twists and a few surprises into my life. To say the least I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed. My downtime lately has been spent relaxing with some wonderful people, Chloe included, and sorting some things out. Life is certainly is unpredictable!

April 4, 2011 0

“happy birthday, chloe darling”…

By in Uncategorized

Happy Birthday to my dog Chloe, who turns 5 years old today! It doesn’t seem possible to me that she is 5, it feels like I just brought her home some days. Chloe is a Rat Terrier, she has a lot of energy and a big personality and she definitely keeps me on my toes. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. I just couldn’t imagine coming home from work and not seeing her looking out the office window at me as I come up to the porch door each day. Pets really do make a big difference in people’s lives.

A lot of things are going on here, and some big changes may be coming my way. I’ll be more certain of what’s going on soon and then I’ll be letting everyone know what’s up!

Chloe, 4/4/11

Chloe, 4/4/11