10.29.2009

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Tonight Chris and I carved our Halloween pumpkins. It has probably been at least 10 years since I've carved a pumpkin, so I was really excited. Halloween is really big on our block and is quite the destination for kids to trick-or-treat at, so I had to make sure we had adequate decorations.

At the Alumni House where Chris works they're big on Halloween and have a day of fun to celebrate. They have a pumpkin carving contest and this year his department won! Here's the pumpkin Chris and his coworker Diana carved


It's a big pumpkin eating a little pumpkin, hehehehee. We saved some pumpkin guts when we were carving and when we put it outside we'll leave some entrails. I LOVE it!

After dinner Chris and I got down to business

I quickly came up with my idea, but Chris was a little stuck. Because Chris is a humongous movie buff, I thought of the perfect inspiration: the absoulute pinnacle director of thriller/horror movies (at least in my opinion)

It took me a couple tries, but I made up a line drawing for Chris

(tip, if you draw out your plan on the pumpkin, pen wipes RIGHT off with nail polish remover)

After some VERY careful cutting and carving, I think our pumpkins turned out pretty magnificent


Now we're ready for some trick-or-treaters!!!

10.27.2009

Our Roof is in EXCELLENT Shape

Started insulating the hot water pipes under the house

Have gotten two estimates on the roof and will get 4 more this week. They range from $17k - $21k, ugh! Our roof is possibly the most excellent candidate to be replaced: it has three layers of shingles, the last time it was "repaired" it was not done well, our roof is EXTREMELY steep, the turret roof will need to be replaced with the help of scaffolding (and actually probably hasn't been replaced in MANY decades), there are MANY leaks, this is the WORST time of year to get it replaced, and even the plywood underneath needs to be replaced. So basically, our roof is in REALLY bad shape. Here's to hoping we don't get ROYALLY screwed, just regular screwed :)

10.25.2009

Ultra Pure White

The theme of my weekend was PAINTING, and specifically, painting things Ultra Pure White. My four biggest projects were taking down the weird shelf trim in the TV room, drawing a rough plan for our front and backyard landscaping, painting the window in the laundry room, and painting the dresser in the office. Although I ran lots of errands, went to the gym a few times, cooked scrumptious food, gardened, and cleaned, a majority of time was spent on these four projects.

Project 1 - TV room trim

One of the many strange features of our house is the "trim" in the TV room


It serves absolutely no purpose and is beyond ugly, therefor it must come down. So I got out the drill, screwdriver and pry bar and went to town. It actually ended up being much more difficult than I anticipated. About every 15" there was a bracket with a screw (sometimes two) holding it to the wall that had been painted over MANY times. I patiently worked (and by patient I mean there was much cussing involved, SERENITY NOW) and FINALLY got all the trim down


Project 2 - Landscaping Plan

Our front and backyards aren't ANYTHING to brag about. The one thing going for us is a lemon tree (Meyer lemons, WONDERFUL) and our vegetable garden. Other than that, please look away. I've been slowly getting into gardening and have taken up the task of making a rough plan of how our front and backyards should be laid out. A neighbor across the street is a landscaper, so I was going to run my ideas by him and talk about plants, etc. but I wanted to get a general idea down of where pavers will be, where plants will be, where grass will be, etc. (minimal grass please).

So I got my colored pencils out and colored away on my line drawings of the yards I had made a week or two ago. TOTAL rough ideas, but I'm generally pleased

Backyard

I particularly enjoy the big yellow and orange gobs that represent the lemon tree and birds of paradise already planted. That little twirly-do with "flowers" and "plants" (red and green circles) just past the grass took me AN HOUR to figure out. I kept on drawing and drawing different shapes and I was NEVER satisfied. This looks good enough to me.

Front yard

The green blips of grass look like sand traps on a golf course , hehehe.

Project 3 - Laundry window

This was a MUCH longer task than I anticipated. Remember this maroon window?

Well, painting all that trim was a bitch and a half. I had to paint three coats and each coat took a LONG time, and our neighbor's dog Ringo wouldn't stop barking at me, so it made the job twice as fun


When I was done painting I got the razor out and scraped away all the paint I had gotten on the glass. Taping it all of would have taken a LONG time and probably wouldn't have given the greatest results. But, you can paint and make sure you get it everywhere it needs to go and scrape the paint off later with a razor. It's easier, but still a tedious process

2 hours of scraping and I was done, voila!

Project 4 - Refinishing the dresser

Remember this dresser?

Well now it looks like THIS!

It took a LONG time to get there though. After I got all the stuff out of the drawers I had to maneuver it outside

It was a little tough, especially by myself, but eventually I got it down to the grass, sanded it, cleaned it up, and started painting

Tebow even came to help

But he got tired pretty quickly and had to call it a day

It took 4 COATS! And painting the dresser frame four times and each of the ten shelves four times took a LONG time.

Because we got the dresser for free (we found it on the side of the road with a sign that said "free"), I thought I could invest a bit in some knobs. So, for the small four drawers on top I thought I'd get some that were a little exciting. I went to Anthropologie (GREAT home decor stuff) and got some knobs. They're a little pricey, so I got the cheapest ones at $6, they were SUPER cute though

I went to Home Depot to get the rest for the remaining six drawers. I really wanted glass knobs, but the cheapest ones were $4. Each of the six drawers needs two knobs...so that wound up to $48! No thanks. So I got oil rubbed bronze ones instead, a much more manageable $18.

Installing the knobs was not without its hiccups because of course the hardware they give you isn't long enough to go through the wood and screw into the knob, so I had to figure out how much longer of a screw I needed and go BACK to Home Depot and buy new screws (less than $2 for 12, phew!).

Getting the dresser BACK into the house was much more challenging than getting it out

I had to do a dead lift from the dirt to the deck landing which wasn't very pleasant, but going up the stairs wasn't an option because there wouldn't be enough room to turn it around. But, alas, I got it in the office, and now as I'm blogging I can't stop looking at it, pretty snazzy

And, one last exciting piece of news, our first bell pepper!

10.22.2009

Potting Plants and NPR

I was such a stereotype this afternoon: I sat outside on a nice sunny afternoon with my short, hipster haircut, planting herbs to spice up our dinners we cook with veggies from our organic garden, all while listening to NPR. But hey, if that's the stereotype I fit, I don't really mind :)

Chris and I have wanted to plant some herbs for quite some time, but like a lot of things with the house, we haven't gotten around to it... So, on this beautiful sunny afternoon on my way home from work and lunch with my momma (thanks mom!) I stopped at Home Depot and got some potting soil, pots, and herb seeds and sat out and started potting


Currently, we have ONE potted herb sitting on our side deck landing (with a cool fire pot from my Aunt Brenda)

So the Greek Oregano needed some friends


With The News Hour on and the sunshine out I had quite a pleasant time and whipped up some homies for Mr. O




(I don't know WHAT was going on with this picture. It wouldn't upload correctly, so it's sideways :( I tried it about 7 times, grrrr)
I would still like to pot a couple more, get some stands so that there is variable height to make it a bit better looking and make some more exciting plant labels when my art room is done, but for now I think it's splendid :)

Because our vegetable garden in the back has done SO well

Especially the tomatos


Eventually I'd like to make the flower bed that runs along the back of the house into another vegetable garden. At the moment it's filled with A LOT of other stuff, so that is WAY down the line

We'll have to repair the rest of the addition, restucco it, test the soil.....but it's a goal!

Totally unrelated, but I found this AWESOME spiderweb in the backyard

10.21.2009

See You Soon Mr. Christopher

Chris will head down to LA to see his family today when he gets off of work and be gone till Sunday. I'll attempt to be productive all weekend without him...

In the last few days I pulled down the painted wall paper in our foyer


And now the foyer walls look like they're from an ancient Italian villa


I also bought the flooring for our laundry room (from Ikea, $1.15 sq ft!), and Chris checked it out to make sure he approved :)


And before Chris left he worked a bit more on the electrical and repairing the ceiling


I hope to be a Busy Bee and get lots done to impress Chris when he gets home on Sunday night!

10.19.2009

A Little of This, A Little of That

Saturday Chris and I made the trek down to Soquel (Santa Cruz area) for the wedding of one of his college friends, Johnny. Johnny is a geologist, Leigh is a geographer, and they are adventure and nature enthusiasts, so they had their wedding on the anniversary of the Loma Prieta. It was LOTS of fun, and very beautiful. They inherited a ranch when their grandparents, and later mother, passed away, and the wedding was on their beautiful property. We had a great time

Football was watched (the best man insisted Chris and Ryan keep him updated on the score)

Games were played


Ceremonies were performed (with the most AMAZING backdrop of beautiful redwoods)

Toasts were had

Dancing was done

We had a really great time

Then yesterday it was back to work on the electrical in the art room. We've slowly been replacing all the knob and tube wiring that is original to the house


Chris has replaced nearly all the knob and tube, and redoing the art room electircal helped push us towards the goal of having it all replaced

In order to repair an outlet on one of the walls of the art room and install another one, we needed access into the wall that the art room shares with the bathroom. The horendously heavy (probably over 300 lbs) origial tub was in the way and we really had to use some elbow grease to slide it a foot or so

We had success though!


We'll probably spend another day on the electrical, and then that will be done. Then we'll move on to retexturing the ceiling. After that it's paint, build my shelves, paint them and assemble and move in the furniture and supplies!
We were really good about going to the movies this weekend as well. We saw The Messenger (really good, but a little too long) at the Mill Valley Film Festival on Thursday night (with an interview with Woody Harrelson before the movie, and a Q&A with him and the director after, THANKS CLARKE!), Whip It (okay) and The Stepfather (good) on Friday, and More Than a Game (great) and Law Abiding Citizen (great) last night. Very close to reaching 100 movies in the theater this year!