They Call Me “Big Wicked”

Okay warning to all you squeamish at heart folk out there I feel your pain because I am also one of you. This following post contains pictures of something creepy crawly.

We moved into this house on April 1st and much to our surprise a few weeks later, we found the biggest, scariest, possibly hairiest (I wouldn’t really know about that last one because seriously who’s getting that close to find out??) spider ever to walk the land.

I happened to be catching up on some major laundry and it was well into the night. Okay not really, more like 10 o’clock.  But this spider was used to having the run of the land whenever so his clock wasn’t synched to ours yet I guess.  Anyway, enter me with my big pile of clothes that were about to get thrown into the laundry and, okay listen, I promise you that I have a seriously on-point Spidey sense that never is wrong.  Same with my own internal cop radar detector (I always know where you’re hiding Smokey!).  Nonetheless, I always can tell when there is a bug in the room or in our house even if it is hiding.  I have been know to set up a sting operation here and there to catch the predator.  And I’m always right and vindicated because Michael (my husband) eventually will have to be called into the given room and told “BRING A SHOE WOULD YA?!? THE BEASTS ARE UPON US!!!!” And he always says “How did you  know?” to which I say “It’s my Spidey sense Boo, gotta respect the Spidey…”

Anyway, back to the freak living in our laundry room that we gladly gave the title “Big Wicked” to.  He’s something out of Arachnophobia for sure.  Like one of the extras that got loose on the Paramount lot and made a cross country trip to the East Coast to just, you know, “find himself” and landed in my Southern Florida 1974 block home wall.  So wanna see him?  I warned you…blech…he’s so gross…

Hello there “Big Wicked”…

There he is looking at me with those beady little eyes…”Whatchyalookin’at?”

After doing the paparrazzo thing for a second he high tailed it at the second sight of my seriously blinding night setting flash bulb.  It was the first time I have ever used it on that setting and it was shockingly bright.  It even scared me a bit.

Anyway, he lives in that hole…and I bet he’s a real jerk.

All of you spider enthusiasts out there that are wringing your hands in excitement instead of wanting to run away screaming (like me) and make a cutout of yourself through the nearest wall please weigh in on if this spider is something I should be concerned about.  We live in the suburbs and all our “country” friends say “Oh y’all wanna keep him around.  He’ll get all the other bugs for ya…”  Riiiiiight…cause that’s what I want to do.

Should he stay or should he go?  He’s pretty fast too, which is why he’s still alive.  Otherwise I would have laid down that hammer weeks ago!  Best believe that!

This is something that freaks me out on the daily so…yeah, what do you think?

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A Woodchuck Chuck

Okay so last I wrote the weather was on the rainy side so I had to close up shop for about 2 days like so…

And then after I waited for the clouds to beat it.  I uncovered the stumps and let them dry out  for another day.  The moisture got under the bags and there was a hole I didn’t see before in another one that ended up getting the wood wet a little.  But no worries, nothing will deter me these days.  Gotta get things done so I can move on up to the next project.

I moved on to scrubbing them down with 3 different grades (?) of sandpaper.  I started off with some 100 grit that thankfully I just found in our miscellaneous tool room in the tool box and sanded off the huge chunks of wood chippy-ness that had grown on it over the years.  After finishing that step I moved on down the line…150 then 200.  Here it is in a pictures.

100 Sandpaper

150 and 220 Sandpaper

Going from the smallest number to the largest (roughest grain surface to smoothest) remember to go with the grain of the wood.  Working on the top was the hardest for me because it goes in a swirl pattern.  But I managed, so don’t cry for me.

And you will too!  Look at this picture and just do like I did…other than getting some wood dust under the fingernails it’s virtually painless.  Until the next day, when you will feel the burn in your shoulders and upper arms. Aaaahhhhh good times…

Then after smoothing all sides down with all 3 grades and the top being smooth as glass pretty much, this is what you will end up with:

I love seeing this look of the wood grain coming out sooooo light.  Love it, love it, love it.  And I would have left it like this if I didn’t have to seal it to prevent all the outdoor pests from trying to bore into it and make it their new abode.  So make sure that you seal this bad boy up.  I used Minwax’s Wood Finish in the Cherry 235 stain color so that I wasn’t fully covering up this beautiful wood grain.

Minwax Cherry Stain 235
 At one point, we did consider going really dark and maybe even tint the outside blueish grayish.  But settling on this color really turned out well for us.
I rubbed it on with a cloth and then came up behind it and wiped off the excess soon after applying it.  Here it is mid progress…
Staining tree stump
You see how the grain is starting to pop already?  In my humble opinion, I think it’s got it going on.
Now I haven’t fully finished the whole biznass so I won’t put it all out there in this here post.  The next post will be about how I painted the tops, sealed them with some Poly, and gave them some character.
Until then, remember – a cut tree stump is never really dead…just sleeping.  Unless it goes through a wood chipper.  Then it’s deader n dead.
My Best,

Here’s What’s Up

Now if you are reading this blog the date will say May 17, 2012.  But the last 4 posts will say May 14th, 2012.  No you are not going loco but I did start this blog off all kinds of wonky and now I realize I should write a post clarifying what is going on here dateswise.

See I started writing this blog over on Blogger first and then I said about halfway through the house makeover process: “You know what Lynn?  This should be the year that you get real familiar with WordPress and stay in the know…”  Yep.  In the know, relevant, hip to the dip, all that stuff.

I started by transplanting a whole bunch of previous posts from Blogger over onto the new blog here and then about halfway I got a bit tired and may or may not have fallen asleep at the keypad and woke up with such a crick in the neck!

So what I decided is that instead of just dumping a whole bunch of posts on one given date (May 14, 2012 OR May 17, 2012) I will keep them over on Blogger for now and like a vintage baseball card take them out and polish them off and share them with the world one post at a time on here.  Maybe I’ll call them “Vintage Closet” or “Wavy Lined Flashback”.  Yeah one of those should work.

Now since I am going to get all current and up to speed on what we are working on right now at this moment in this very house here, things should be more like “Oh that happened in this time zone and not millenniums ago!” and not super confusing.  I hope.

So the last couple of days I have been working on these here thangs…

We have been living here for a little over a months time and in only 2 weeks time we will be hosting our first big shindig for our kids end of the school year/Preschool Graduation Party.  The guest list is hovering around 60 people.  How that happened I’ll never know. I can’t think about it though, otherwise my chest starts to tighten and shortness of breath and this vein that comes out when I’m stressed happens.  It’s just not pretty…

Anyway back to my above picture.  Hopefully by the end of today at least on of those logs will become a fully functioning cup holder/table.  My inspiration is from a picture I found on Martha Stewarts site…

Isn’t that sooooo purty?  I have a few ideas up in my cranium that I can’t wait to put out there.  It’s been raining all day yesterday so I lost some time, but today the sun is out in full force.  So off I go to start the sanding bit up again.  Hopefully tomorrow I will have an after picture to share with you.

My Best,

Why I Oughta…

Today I was on the phone making an appointment to go show my mom a house that we have fallen in love with. It’s old (1980), 2 story, space for days, and a definite fixer upper. When I went with the realtor the first time to look at it, he warned me before going in. He said:

 “Now Lynn my fact sheet says it needs some TLC which basically means the place is a dump. But don’t be deterred because you’d be surprise what a little elbow grease could do to a place.”

Thanks Dale! That’s his name….Dale.

We get into the house and whoa and behold the place is faaaaaar from being a dump. It’s actually quite the little gem and diamond in the rough. It had a super solid foundation, nothing super wrong with it. The only thing that I could see where they say needs TLC is that the previous owners ripped out all the flooring in the master bedroom and bathroom and gutted the closet. But hey, there are carpenters in my family and my husband and I are pretty handy. So that was basically a non issue.

 I’ve watched enough HGTV “My First Place”, “House Hunters”, and “Property Virgins” to have that eye that cuts through all the mess of a house and realize its true potential.

And so did Dale apparently…… (enter ominous looming music)

After looking through the main parts of the house – uh did I mention that it had a pool, coy pond set up, screened in lanai and wait for it……an already built TREE HOUSE FOR MY KIDS TO FORM THEIR OWN SECRET BOYS AND GIRLS SOCIETYS??????? Well it did. And Dale noticed that the house didn’t indeed need TLC. It needed to be B-O-U-G-H-T! Halfway through him showing me the house before going out back, he starts showing me other houses that I should be interested in. Come on! Was he serious? Yes he was. He even tried to pull:

 “This house here I just showed to a young woman with 3 kids (I had my 2 there with me) and she loved it and if you want I could get you in to see that house. I think alot of people are looking at it this week so you’ve got to get in there fast.”

…………………………..really Dale?……………………………..really? Like. Really, really?………………

And by the time we had finished looking at the whole house he was showing me 3 other properties that I SHOULD be interested in because every other family that he showed them to absolutely loooooooved these houses.

 ANYWAY. So today I call him to get in a showing because our intent was to purchase it with our tax return and spend the rest of our lives fixing the place up little by little. Blog post by blog post. ;o)

 He calls me back and says “Oh I’m sorry I called to make an appointment on that house and the listing agent told me it’s under contract.” Probably under HIS contract. I said rather quickly, “Oh okay thanks anyway. I’m sure we’ll find another.” and hung up with him.

 Then it really sunk in……I’ve lost my dream house……..and right at this moment I feel like no other home can hold a candle to it. I feel disgusted and depressed. How dare that house not wait for me – it’s rightful owner…..I am cut to the quick.

Sadness ensues.

Has this ever happened to you? And if so, how did you deal with it? Did you camp out at the house until the owners called the cops on you or invited you in for a cup of tea? Is there any moving on from this?

 My Best,

 
**Update: after further searching I found out that this house was bought, painted quickly and then rapidly spit out onto Craigslist and then snatched up by another family all within a months time – by that same realtor!  He bought it at a huge discount (40,000 or so) and then put it back out there for $75,000!  What a charlatan…

I’ve got some nerve, ay?

Yes I most certainly do. Today I was perusing home improvement blogs for inspiring thoughts, pics, and the ever present Before and Afters and I stopped over at HGTV. I saw the Rate My Space banner sprawling across the top of the page. So I clicked on it and saw a room that someone posted and asked it to you know, be rated.

 Here I go with my untrained yet highly opinionated eye taking this family room living space way out in Missouri (does anyone else say that state with a slight drawl to make it sound like Misery? Just me? Hmm….okay) to task. I was saying “You need more zip, zow, and pizzazz here, here, and here.”

 Like anyone asked me….Oh wait! Yeah they did. Thank you Rate My Space for giving me license to spout off on many things I may not know a lot about, but I feel just as strongly about it anyway… ;o)

 How about you guys? Do you like to Rate “Their” Space? I am seriously loving looking at peoples rooms and giving honest constructive criticism.

 I may have found my new addiction….uh oh….

 My Best,

Know what I Love to watch?

I absolutely love love love watching DIY Network. I don’t have cable right now because I watch all my shows online and the same goes for my home improvement shows. There are a ton of options online at the following websites:

  • diynetwork.com (has videos and step-by-step instructions)
  • hgtv.com (full episodes of their best shows)
  • planetgreen.com (all of the “green” goodness is found on here)

So these sites plus whichever ones you happen to love and keep tucked in your d.i.y. arsenal are what will definitely be driving our discussions and keep many posts lively I’m sure.

 

Question: What sites or TV shows inspire you to create or demolish things in the name of your own useful hands?

 

Share, share…..

 

 

 

My Best,

Hello World!

What an aptly named first title for my first blog post here.


What do I have to offer you say? Well I would like to think that I have a fresh take and perspective on something that I absolutely LOOOOOVE! (Can you hear me singing that in a very high falsetto? Well I did.)

Houses. Every single kind of house. Large, small, big, tall, ranch-style, 2 story, cottage, shack, foreclosure, newly built, needs TLC (particularly yummy!), or fine the way it is. I. LOVE. THEM.

Now I do not own a house currently, it’s a shame I know. But I am an expert looker-ater. I love to look through magazines, online posts, diynetwork, HGTV, all of it and pretend like I’m going to do all those projects on this little ol rental of a house we live in now.

But someday that will change. Hopefully sooner than later. How we are pulling off living in a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom ranch house with two toddlers is beyond me, but we do.

So here is my point. I love to work with my hands and create beautiful things. But I rarely have the time nor the drive. Until now, because now I am making a blog that will hold me accountable to millions (okay maybe 5) people around the world.

I will be showcasing talent, hosting before and after picture days, vlogging about my own refurbishing adventures, and so on and so on.

So I hope you strap yourselves in for this ride and enjoy it right alongside me. This is going to be alot of fun, I can tell already.

My Best,