Of Ant Bites and Primer...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Okay, so you know me. I like to dive headlong into things, and when I have a new project, I go full force until it's finished. Thus, I spent all of this afternoon scraping the bedrails with a steel wire brush and using phosphoric acid to eat away the rust. I had planned to call it a day after that, but I kept looking out the window and thinking there was plenty of light to prime them. So I did!

This is what they looked like at the beginning:

And after several hours of scraping and scrubbing, with one coat of primer:

Unfortunately while I was spraying, I inadvertently stepped into an ant hill. My foot started stinging really badly, so I looked down and was like, "CRAP!" To be fair, the ants didn't know it was an inadvertent crushing, but still. OW! And now, since I'm allergic to ant bites, my foot is going to swell up and be beyond itchy. Ugh.

Feeling HOT HOT HOT!

I just checked the weather, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of next week seem to be the best days for working on my bed. Thursday and Friday have a high of 92°, with 10% chance of rain on Thursday. It's going to be 96° on Saturday, but no rain. Maybe if I get up early enough, I'll be able to beat the heat!

The porch est fini!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Finally, my front porch is finished! Well, I think it's finished, haha! After I got my first paycheck, I went to Home Depot and purchased 4 hanging baskets ($10/each), 4 ferns ($15/each), a planter ($10ish), and some small plants to put in the planter - caladium, jasmine, and some sweet potato vines (though I won't be growing any sweet potatoes!). The little plants cost about $5 each, and I got 1 caladium, 2 jasmines, and 1 sweet potato vine. I also bought some MiracleGro and a cute green watering can. So for about $200, I have everything I need to keep my front porch looking cute and lush. Here's a photo of the seating area, complete with my Adirondack chairs and some fabulous Target cushions I found at my local Target for a mere $6 a piece!

I'm so proud of my little planter, but I couldn't have done it without the help of Floyd at the Home Depot. He gave me plenty of advice, was so helpful, and basically devoted 40 minutes of his time to helping me and me alone. He was wonderful and really did a lot to redeem Home Depot in my eyes.

Today, though, I went antiquing. I was searching for a vintage bed frame to go in my guest bedroom. I started at 11:00, having dropped Lilly off at my parents' for the day to play with Bear and Chloe. I visited three shops in Capital City and struck out every time. The first place I looked had only one iron bed (I decided that was what I wanted) and the decorations at the places the pieces of iron met looked like skulls to me - so not my taste. I then ventured to another shop, a small antique store, which had a cute mirror but they seemed pretty proud of their items. Plus, no beds. I might go back and get the mirror though... :)

After Small Antique Store, I headed down to Large Antique Store. They did have a small selection of iron beds, but the one I liked the best cost $365 without rails. I decided that if I didn't find anything else, I might ask my cousin to weld some rails for me. But the day was only getting started, so I kept going.

After Large Antique Store, I drove to North Capital City and visited two more antique malls. Nothing at either, unfortunately. Then I drove to Antique Mall Number 4. Nothing there, BUT the woman behind the desk gave me a tip to check out some shops in Nearby College Town. She also gave me a circular that listed an absolute TON of antique malls divided by town. It was a fantastic resource for people like me, who aren't really familiar with antique malls in the area. I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is looking for great spots to search for vintage furniture or accessories.

So, circular in hand, I drove to Nearby College Town to check out an antique store in the downtown area. They had some cute things, but unfortunately, she only had one iron bed (not the 5-10 the woman at Antique Store #4 told me...:(). It wasn't exactly what I was looking for, so I moved on. The woman at College Town Antiques suggested I look at College Town Antiques #2. They had a HUGE selection of iron beds (and everything else!), but the store was unpleasantly jampacked and I really couldn't make heads or tails of anything. If you have a lot of time and are willing to dig, I'm sure there are some real treasures hidden in there.

After poking my head into another store that seemed too formal and traditional for my tastes, I decided to give up on Nearby College Town. I plugged in an address for a shop in Airforce Base Town which advertised iron beds, but when my GPS told me it would take nearly an hour to get there, I decided to call it a day. I told my GPS (I call her Garmeen) to take me home and discovered that going directly home would save me a total of 5 minutes. So I decided what the heck! And oh my gosh, I'm so excited I did. Lookie what I found:

It's totally rusted and in need of some serious TLC, but I can see the potential. Expect future posts on my progress. I think I can do it in a total of three days - 1 to clean it up, 1 to prime it, and 1 to paint it. At only $175 for both the headboard, footboard, and rails, I really consider it a bargain!

I also bought some really gorgeous bedding by Rachel Ashwell on eBay:

$40, plus $12 s&h = $52. Not too shabby! (Like my pun? I do too.) Of course I can't tell until I actually have it, but it looks to be a blue-grey, which I think will go a long way in keeping the room from being too feminine, should I have male guests or a couple come stay. I also plan on using the dresser and mirror from my bedroom at home - it's a medium wood tone, so it should balance out the white bed with the roses.

I can't wait to get started on the bed, but I need to have three days without rain to get started. Pray for sun!

I may be grounded, but my house is not.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Okay, cheesy title, but I'm tired. Cut me some slack. Since I'd been having so many issues with my cable and internet, I had Comcast send someone out to check what was going on. I mentioned to the CSR that the house was built in 1945 and that I was concerned perhaps some wires were corroded or just old and needed to be replaced, etc. They scheduled someone to come out and take a look. I was at work, so Mom came by. The service guy poked around a bit and then spent 15 minutes explaining to my mom what was going on with the house. Basically, the house isn't grounded, and there is, therefore, too much electricity running through the house. This screws with the cable, because I'm getting feedback or something. I don't totally get it, but what it boils down to is that I need an electrician out. Super.

This site talks about grounding and electricity. Maybe one of y'all can make heads or tails of it.
Poor or No Electrical Ground
The site confuses me, though, because I thought my mom told me that the house had been rewired to enable me to install central heat and air at some point in the future?

New photos!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I've officially been moved in for a little over a month now and have really made progress. My living room and dining room are finished:

And I've made significant progress on my bedroom:

As you can see, the walls have been painted, curtains hung, and a few decorative pieces are on the walls.

Big change from this, huh?

I also bought a loveseat from IKEA (Ektorp) to go at the foot of my bed. Well, actually, I bought it off Craigslist from this really nice man in Dallas. He even threw in an extra slipcover for free! The room is surprisingly large and I needed something to fill the space. Plus, I've always wanted to have a chair or sofa in my bedroom. I just think the idea is cool.

The kitchen is still a work in progress and doesn't look much different from before, except I have aqua accents scattered throughout. Yesterday, Mom and I went by Lumber Liquidators. We've decided to do a laminate in the kitchen, and I'm leaning toward the Golden Teak Handscraped laminate:

It's only $2.69/square foot, plus $1.99/square foot for installation. This means that for my kitchen, which is about 75 square feet, it would cost less than $500 to have new flooring installed. They would move the appliances, pull up the baseboards, put down the flooring, and reinstall the baseboards. I leave and $500 later, I have new floors. It sounds ideal.

We've also decided to put down Formica countertops. Now, if you've been reading, I'm sure you're like, WHAT?! But hear me out. I'm just starting law school. Three years from now, who knows where I'll be? What if I move? Well, then I would have wasted nearly $4000 on countertops that I love that the next owner might hate and rip up. If I do Formica, I'll spend around $1500 and have good looking countertops that will vastly improve the overall look of the kitchen for resale in case I do move, and, if I do end up staying in this house, I won't feel bad about replacing with my favorite granite. Plus, I'm hoping to ask for a new stainless steel stove for Christmas, which, again, will both improve the look of the kitchen and add value for a possible resale.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and happy renovating!

Adirondack Chairs!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Turning this...

Into THIS!

Apparently, assembly was required. But for $29.99 each (ACE Hardware Memorial Day sale), compared to $49.99, these Adirondack chairs are made of 100% fir and will look really cute once I've painted them to compliment the exterior. Or maybe I'll just paint them fun colors. Haven't quite decided.

Am I building a chair or a boat?

I'm feeling very much like Noah at the moment.

Well, it looks like a chair, and it's pretty comfortable. Unfortunately, I can't get the armrests to attach to the supports. I guess I need to put in some wood filler and use bigger screws. Any ideas?