Friday, August 15, 2008

Cardboard Counter Experiment

The kitchen has been the single biggest source of frustration, as they always are, I'm sure. One of the problems we have there is that it is in the middle of the house without much light - we figured out a solution I think - it's a bit unique but hey, everything we do usually ends up a little unique ;-) We are cutting a window into the wall here, but to leave it as an open window would mean that the kitchen would be open all the time to the formal front room (not so nice when we decide to blow off doing the dishes lol!) so we are putting in a vinyl shutter, on its side, to make it "closable". Thanks to Habit for Humanity Denver, this funny little project cost us $12 for the shutter and $10 in sawzall blades (poor sawzall - plaster is hard on blades!)
The other thing we are debating on for the kitchen is an island, a counter, a peninsula, something to add more counter space and give a little bit of a division between "kitchen" and "dining room". Some brilliant person on Houseblogs (I can't remember who!) had made countertops and cupboards from cardboard to test their layout and we copied their idea with our cardboard counter/island. Oddly enough, it double as a fantastic "den" for Sara and Alex, and she took great pains to decorate all of the outside with signs and hieroglyphic symbols about them living there ;-)

Speaking of mud...

I snapped these pics a couple weeks had rained, the new gutters for the shop work wonderfully, but of course, land right in the unfinished and unlandscaped dirt from the foundation dig. Which of course, makes it irresistible to all children 3 and 5 years old.

Ouchie lawn!

Well, only if you can call tangles of low growing weeds "lawn", I suppose...I forgot to post this, but the guys had to trench to bring wiring out - this trench went right through what was a sorta "flagstone" patio, we had to pull up the flagstone, but we are currently searching for more to add to it and make it into a really nice large outdoor patio. David snagged some today (yay, Craigslist again!) and we will probably end up buying some from Santa Fe Rock and Gravel, too. We are looking at ground cover plants to put in between the stones and loving this site: Stepables

Shop Progression

More apologies - been too busy to blog! So, here's a catchup - the shop is coming along fantastically! Framing, siding, drywall, wiring are all done. Yesterday they textured (MESSY!) and painted, I didn't snap pics yet but will if we make it over there - it is currently raining and the yard is a ginormous muddy mess, so we may not take the kids and dog over LOL!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Luckily, it isn't all work, all the time

Dad and Charlie taking a little break

Sara's "Rock Museum" collected from all around the yard

A soda break

Soooooo worn out

our work crew ;-)

And believe me, they earn the "work" part of that title every time they are over here!
Mom, Dad, David, Alex, Sara and Kristy eating some pizza!

Our pizza cutter and server that night LOL - I couldn't resist snapping a pic, it just cracked me up for some reason!

More shop

That was several weeks ago, in the meantime, David and Dad have been busy beavers getting walls and roof up - I can't believe how fast they can work together!

They used one of the flatbed trailers from the rental shop to pick up the wood and drywall - yikes, that is a lot of building materials!

Why, yes, that is my dad perching on the top of the trusses there! At least we managed to retire the 4 foot wooden stepladder that was so precarious it was freaking even the grandkids out to see dad and poppa on there!

Who can forget the shop?

Our reason for moving, the single biggest project that needs to be done before the move and actually the thing that is fitting together the smoothest (YAY!) I don't remember the exact date,
but we had the cement foundation poured for us. David and my dad did all the prep work, dug the trench (I think they called it a monolithic slab?? big deep trench around all four sides, less in the middle...) and then had a fantastic customer of theirs from the rental store do the foundation. KW Walker is a gem of a guy, and has some of the most fantastic crew working with him, they were awesome! If I can hunt down a website for him, I'll post it here, but otherwise, if you need concrete work in Denver, feel free to email us for his info!

And it wouldn't be a work event at the Zserdins without food - my mom brought donuts and juice for everyone to munch on, on our fancy sawhorse and scrap door table :-)

Painting is a family project...

well, maybe it shouldn't be, but it has been here. Sara thinks she likes to paint, although it is not always exactly what we would like her to paint. Check out this took three more coats for that not to show through the paint!
It is amazing how "white" walls turn out not to be very white at all when you start to get a new layer of paint on them! We are going pretty neutral on most of the house - white, glossy for the halls and baths, washable flat for bedrooms and living areas. There are a few exceptions, but for now, just getting it done and moving on is good enough - we have so much on the plate still!

We love you Craigslist....oh, yes we dooooooo!

A tiny ode to Craigslist Denver, from whence comes many random bits of our house. I need to get better pics, and as we actually install things, I will make better notes of where everything came from, but the most useful purchase so far:

This well loved wooden swing set, playhouse and slide combo. In one of those twists of small world coincidence, the gal listing this is actually a member of a Home School Group we are also members of (although we don't attend very regularly yet with the kids being so young still.)

Picking it up in Parker - the kids are already enjoying it before we even moved it!

Proving that nothing can be as easy as it seems - it was much larger than the picture showed! David had to come back down with larger flat bed trailer to pick up the main body.

In its new home, already in use that day! Even Charlie likes it, he can leap to the platform in one jump!

Our "Master" Bath

In quotes because "master bath" to me has always implied it was off a bedroom, and private for just the owners of the bedroom. Ours is off the bedroom, but also off the main hall into the house, from the backyard, that will probably have more traffic than anywhere else in the whole house LOL! Oh, well, it is still going to be a cute bathroom, and means that if we are brushing teeth late at night, it won't be directly across from the kids' rooms like now.

Oddly enough, we weren't in love with the pink and yellow flowers in here, so wallpaper removal was the first line of order. Oh, lordie, I had forgotten how very much fun that is! Kristy, bless her heart, was a trooper about helping, and we had lots of fun giggling at the "steamy shower scene" with the wallpaper steamer and both of us covered in grimy paste and paper shreds.

For some reason, I don't have pics of the in between, but there was pink paint under the wallpaper. It is now a bright glossy white throughout, and next up in here is re-doing the linoleum floor with tile (yet to be picked...)

Yep, it's been over a month...

...since I have blogged *shamefaced*.

I could use the excuse that we have been busy (which is very, very true) or that I kept forgetting to bring the camera back home to download pics (also true) or that Flutterby Designs has been busy and I've been needing to do real work instead of blogging (also true) but really, it is also probably just that I've been too beat to have anything witty to say here! I finally ran myself down enough to catch a nasty summer cold, so I'm home today, all alone :-) and thought I might use a bit of my rest time to catch up a bit. So here goes...

Friday, April 25, 2008

soooooo far behind!

I'm woefully far behind on updating here, we have been crazy busy! Mother Nature is seeing fit to give us wild and wacky weather extremes (70 degree days followed by 30 degrees and snow *sigh*) so we are grabbing time to work on the outside shop and prepping for concrete work whenever the weather is being good for it! To add to it, I've had more business for Flutterby Designs in the last couple weeks that is keeping us hopping, too. I've got gobs of pictures to load up and lots to tell you all - hopefully over the weekend I will have a chance to do so!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

These are sanding out nicely!

The upstairs bedroom, which I think we are going to use as a tv/reading room instead of a bedroom, had some seriously dusty and furry carpet that we have already yanked (should have taken pics, but we were both wheezing too bad to bother - holy cats, batman!) The floors were pretty beat up, but it is wonderful what some 16 grit sandpaper and a drum sander can do! I love this built in desk- IF we can figure out how to get electricity to it, it will make a perfect little laptop area, as well as a writing desk, and maybe even a scrapbooking nook...which I'm sure to do in all that abundant spare time I gave away by opting for this house LOL!

Why, oh why.... there linoleum over this hard wood? And why oh why are there no shut offs for any piece of plumbing in this house? It makes it ever so much tougher to take toilets out to sand floors when flooding the house is also an issue *sigh*

Shed Demo!

First off, let me say I was really sad to see this go - it was such an adorable shed! We really tried to figure out some way to keep it and just add on for the bigger shop, but it was already two slabs of concrete patched together, neither of them with a deep enough footer, plus the roof slope went the wrong way. We did save the windows out of it, and some inside cabinetry, but the rest of it had to go! The boys got out the bigger equipment for this one, and I think they had more fun then they really should have with squishing it ;-) We have sorted the scraps for usable lumber, etc. and now the rest is off to the dump truck. It seems so bare back there with it gone now!The camera hogs posing with the dump truck!

We've been busy!

Busy enough to not have time to blog ;-) Sorry about that! So, to catch up a bit, I'm going to do a few posts in a row today. David is out doing deliveries, when he gets back we need to go see two clients this afternoon, but in the meantime, I have a few minutes to sit and breathe!

We did lots of painting last week, it was a bit chilly and dad has had the coughing crud, so we didn't do much outside until the end of the week. Turns out the kids like to paint (or at least Sara does, Alex tires of it pretty quick) so we painted the Hidey Hole BRIGHT high gloss white (the better to wash walls!) We're leaving the tile in here, but planning on having a chunk of carpet bound to fit the room (Denver Rug Binding - yay!) I'm debating on a grass green or a sea blue, I'm hoping mom and I can go look at carpet pieces so I can get another opinion on colors! We also painted most of the "classroom/craft room" last week, in a beautiful Butter Cookie yellow, I still need to finish the white trim in there one day soon. I think we are going to leave the floors in there, they are funky "school" tile: taupe and tan, with marigold orange and charcoal gray streaks - it will be easy to clean up paint, crayons, etc. as the kids create in there, and it even sort of fits the theme...I think we are going to ask mom for the little attached desks in my grandmother's basement to put in there, and there is already a fantastic bigger built in desk that was built by the previous owner (Frank) . I need to figure out a light for here still....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Darn cold...

The darn coughing crud finally caught us, slowed things down for a day or two. Why is there carpet in the vents? Sara and I just had to take a picture, it is interesting! We finished up the tack strips and removing carpet from upstairs - that leaves the "master" bedroom that we are still debating on leaving.

And just in case you were wondering how much work it is to remodel a house...the kids were in our bed to watch a 15 minute video before bedtime- I came in to tell them it was time to go to sleep and found this - two very zonked out kiddos LOL! Apparently they had done their fill for the day :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No more Green Grass :-(

Well, maybe it isn't really such a sad definitely changed the look quite a bit all in one swoop! We have almost all of it pulled up and the pads pulled out. Now to the ever so fun task of pulling up staples and tack strips. I lost count somewhere around 500 staples, and that was before we started on the stairs!

Charlie and both kids had to get in on the action this time around- Sara actually does a pretty darn good job of pulling staples, as long as they aren't in too hard- and she did a bang up job of gathering the little bits of carpet padding left on the staples and putting them all in the trash can. Alex, on the other hand, mostly just wanted to climb on our backs every time we were sitting down somewhere ;-) We still need to finish de-stapling the upstairs room and carpet and all in the "master" bedroom, then we'll be ready to do some sanding.

Might be a day or two, though, because the weather is good enough this week to work on the outside - yay! My dad started tearing out the coop area on Sunday, we are planning on building the shop out there -if all goes to plan it will be somewhere around 16x32'- I don't know how I will function will so much space- WOOHOOO!!! I'll post up some pics of the progress on that tomorrow - for now, happy March!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Here we go...

A new place, a new blog to celebrate the craziness that is! Just because we can't seem to resist- we only had one or two projects left at the Zurich Ct. house, so of course, that seems like the PERFECT time to move into someplace and start all over with remodeling. This time we really are going for the gusto - the Green Grass House is a 60 year old farmhouse in Lakewood, complete with horse and chicken zoning, a half acre yard and all sorts of personality :) The real reason for the move is to build a shop, someplace to have Flutterby Designs that doesn't involve trooping people through half of the house to get to the office. The added bonuses are two fireplaces, a ginormous garden plot already fenced off, a cute little attic room that Sara has dubbed "the Hidey Hole", well and ditch water (woohoo!) and the cutest sconces in the front room. Some of the bummers include teeny bedrooms, interesting but outdated kitchen and bathrooms, fences that Charlie may or may not be able to jump (that remains to be seen...), being way closer to a major highway than we would really prefer and gobs of flooring that needs to go.

Which brings us to the name. Why the Green Grass House? This should help clear it up:

When we were house hunting, Sara had names for the places we looked at - one was the Cat House because they had two cats there, another the River house because the yard was right on a little stream - this one just happened to be Green Grass House- I would say for obvious reasons. Alas, the green grass is coming out- with our allergies, hard floors are so much better for us, and this beautiful house has plenty of hard woods under almost everything from what we can tell so far. We were really hoping to save some to make a bound rug for the Hidey Hole, but there isn't any section long enough that isn't also pretty worn, so we will have to find another choice for there. We pulled up about half of the carpet and pads yesterday, two rooms to go today - whew!