Living Room Face Lift

We liked the dining room face lift so much we've decided to make the same changes to the living room. Hubby bought the trim and started priming, he ordered painted and started scraping the spots on the walls and ceilings that needed patching.
At the moment the entire house looks like something blew up inside. All of the living room furniture is displaced throughout the house. I'm in the midst of a few sewing projects and prepping for a baby shower on Sunday. I hope the paint job is done by then! In other news, I'm having a hard time finding a single piece of clothing that doesn't have paint on it somewhere.


My Seattle Snow Plow

Front sidewalk shoveled. Stairs and front porch shoveled.
Driveway shoveled. You can take the boy out of Minnesota, but you can't take Minnesota out of the boy!

Anyone need their driveway or sidewalk shoveled? I know an expert.


Let It Snow

It's officially freezing here in Seattle. It's 57 degrees inside our house. We turned the furnace off because it wouldn't stop running. I'm in the front bedroom/office working from home because Seattle drivers scare me in this weather. It's warm in here with space heater and the cat is curled up on the bed. Hubby is in the back stair entrance insulating the walls.


Dining Room Face Lift

In the beginning there were dingy white walls. Before we moved into the house we painted the walls in the living room, hallway, and dining room a sandy color named Baha Beach. After the re-wiring of the house last winter, there were little white patches everywhere. We decided that repainting would be one of our 'indoor winter' projects. Late this summer, before paint, we installed new light fixtures in the dining room and living room and thought it might be cool to paint the ceiling a different color and put in a picture rail. We went back and forth between a light or a darker color on the ceiling and what color the trim piece should be. Ultimately we decided on a darker version of our walls for the ceiling and a dark olive color for the trim.
Hubby had a lot of patching to do before painting the ceiling and walls. The finished room looks pretty awesome!


Summer on Sunnyside: Part 2

In the beginning, I don't think hubby or I had any grand notions of painting this house ourselves. Then I heard a friend of a friend bragging about painting her house by hand and saving a ton of money and I got all competitive. I kept thinking, if SHE can paint a house, I can too! So it was decided. We were going to do this ourselves! I realize now that I should be less competitive.

The plan started out with hubby finishing the house exterior projects. First, it was the front porch. Then it was the back porch. Then their was a lot of scraping and sanding. I tried to help. But have you ever scraped the paint off of a house? It's worse than watching paint dry! Tedious and boring. So hubby did 98% of it. (He just made me change this stat from 90% to 98%). In the midst of the scraping and sanding, we picked a paint color. It was hard, but with some input from our friends and neighbors, we found the right one.

Then our neighbors loaned us a paint sprayer, insisting it would make the job easier. I was sold.
Finally, it was Labor Day weekend. Exterior projects were finished. Scraping and sanding was finished. It was time to start painting! I took Friday off so we had 4 days to get the house painted. I think we both thought 4 days would be plenty of time.

The number one thing you should know before starting any house project is that it will take twice as long as you expect and cost twice as much.

Day 1: Finish scraping and begin taping windows.
Day 2: Complete taping windows and get sprayer prepped.

Getting the sprayer prepped consisted of following the directions left behind by the neighbors. Picture me holding directions, reading them step-by-step for hubby to follow.

Plug in the sprayer. Check.
Purge and prime the pump. Check.
Purge and prime the spray hose. Check.
Spray... Um...This is not what the instructions say are supposed to happen. All the paint sprayed in a big glob instead a nice fine mist. We went through the directions again step-by-step. Same results. We thought it was a pin in the spray nozzle so hubby took off the freshly splattered paint suit and we headed to the paint store. It took two paint stores, nearly two hours, and two new parts before we were back at the house going through the directions again. By this time it was late afternoon and it seemed like we were finally getting closer to getting this paint party started.

Plug in the sprayer. Check.
Purge and prime the pump. Check.
Purge and prime the spray hose. Check.
Spray... Nothing.

By now the situate was too funny to get mad about. The whole thing was absurd. We couldn't figure out how to use the dumb sprayer!! I finally gave up, told hubby he could spend the rest of the day trying to figure out the sprayer, but I was going to paint. So I grabbed a brush and started with the window trim. I got this far by the end of day 2. By the end of day 4, we were far from finished and I hate to admit it, but I was so glad to be heading back to work the next day! A week later the house paint was finished - no thanks to me. Hubby spent over ten hours each day finishing the project. I'm pretty thrilled about how it turned out. I was a little worried that the color would be too dark - but I think it looks great and we've received an endless amount of comments from our neighbors and friends. We even had a couple of friends drive right by the house because they didn't recognize it.

Here's a picture of the house before we ripped out the Juniper last summer. And this is the house now.


Summer on Sunnyside: Part 1

So now that we're finally finished with our 'outdoor' summer projects, it's time to show everyone what a handy dandy hubby I have. The first project was the front entrance of the house. From the 'before' photo you can see that the original house entrance was enclosed and covered. This made the front porch dark and sort of uninviting.

Hubby said he had a plan to make it better. After a lot of design description and hand gestures he finally said, "Just trust me!" I did and I have to admit that I'm pretty in love with the end result - oh, and my handy dandy hubby!


Unexpected Visit

We never met the woman who owned our house before us. We knew her name, that she was in her mid 80s, and that she was moving in with her son, the one who was helping her sell the house. We knew that she had a grandson in Spokane, because he came and took the handmade wooden kayak that hung in the basement (which we secretly hoped they would leave behind).

We didn't know much about Genevieve Crosby, but we've always assumed that she had lived in our house for a very long time. As we've mentioned, when we found our house it wasn't in the best condition. But we knew it had potential. And even though it was a little sad when we found it - the house felt like it had been loved for longer than it had been neglected.

This past Saturday afternoon, in the midst of our weekend projects,we heard a knock on the door. A man introduced himself as the son of Genevieve Crosby. His name was Joe and he had grown up in our house. He'd moved into the house with his family in 1958. He was 8 years old and remembered a lot about those days.

It turns out that one of the basement bedrooms was his. He had helped his Grandpa install the knotty pine. He also helped plant the Juniper bushes more than 25 years ago. He cupped his hands closely together when he described how small the plants were when they put them in the ground. He said they had planted them because they were low maintenance. I think our friends would disagree.

We learned that there used to be another cherry tree in the backyard and that one year, during a bumper crop, the tree produced 300 quarts of cherries. We also learned on the south side of the house Genevieve used to have a grape arbor and that she made her own wine.

Joe was on his way to a Husky game. A friend from the neighborhood mentioned that the new owners had made a lot of changes, so he thought he'd stop by and see for himself.

Joe and Genevieve live near Wenatchee now, closer to the rest of the family. He said she asks often about the old house and has wondered out loud if the new owners love it as much as she did. We assured him that we do. If we stay in this house for 50 years, like Genevieve did, we'll be in our mid-80s also. Thinking about that makes me smile.