4.30.2012

The Long List of Building

The list is LONG of things we'll be building in the next couple of months. And I say couple of months because that might be how long it will take (more like couple + a couple more).

1. There is of course the sports ticket table...

...which we haven't worked on in over 6 weeks. Yikes. We really gotta get on this one. After all, I'm sure we ALL want the front room done.

2. But to complete the front room we also need to build our free weight storage

Our free weights are just strewn all over the place so it would be nice to corral them all together. Then we just have to buff out those scratches from the fireplace tile...sigh...the front room we thought would be quick and easy.

3. Then there are all the TV room building projects we've decided to pile on ourselves :) The hutch

That will one day look more like this (that's the plan at least)

And so far things are looking good.

4. Then we have to build all the picture frames for our posters. But thankfully we've done that before and it won't be too hard, just time consuming to build 10. Clearly I got ahead of myself with that idea.

5. Then we also decided to throw a coffee table into the TV room mix. Because we are idiots. I haven't planned that one out yet. Despite Chris asking about it a few times. Maybe I should get on that...

6. We wanted to make our lives more exciting by building another few things around the house. There's the really simple door to the crawl space under the addition

Remember the great new foundation Chris completed?

Yup, still needs that door.

7. And you might remember those compost containers we have in the above pic. We've thought about retiring the compost system. It's just a tad smelly, it doesn't make a ton of soil, and we're able to put food scraps in our green container so the compost containers might be leaving us soon. In which case we'd be building a nice storage container for some of our sports equipment

Some place for basketballs, footballs, gloves, baseballs, the frisbe. You know, all that fun stuff.

8. And lastly, we need some new garage storage because this shelving system is looking a little crazy

Chris has been asking, "Have you designed a new garage bookcase?" for a few months now and I hadn't gotten around to it because it freaked me out. Why? Because we had a grand idea of building it with a piano hinge so that it had a door attached to the top 2/3rds of the cabinet that could swing open and have 3 layers of storage - the physical cabinet and then the front and back of the piano hinge door. I wanted all the storage to be maximized in spacing with all the wood glue, wood stain, spray bottles, spray paint, but it also needed to be flexible for future stuff we'll be putting there. The piano hinge door combined with the specific flexibility felt out of my comfort zone, but I finally buckled down and made a plan

Chris is now very excited.

So there you have it. Our 8 building projects either in the works or soon to be in the working. Yup. We're nuts.

4.27.2012

Veggie Planting Round 2

I was on a veggie planting roll this past weekend with the absolutely beautiful weather and so after I planted the veggies in our first raised bed, I turned my attention to Veggie Garden 2.0 which used to look like this

But now it's looking like this

Our of control much? The peas have turned very brown and crinkly (and a lot of them do not taste very well), the broccoli was edible about 3 weeks ago (when Chris tickled himself pink and bit a broccoli shoot off the plant) but now the broccoli has shot straight up and flowered, and we really have no idea what was going on with the potatoes, because like I mentioned on Wednesday we tend to plant things and just...well...see what happens (by ignoring them). So I resolved to rip everything out and replant, and maybe this time I would pay more attention.

First up: the potatoes. I really had no idea what would be going on with these suckers, and so when I ripped them out and saw this...

...I just about crapped my pants. POTATOES! I excitedly ripped out all 8 plants and discovered a whole bunch of them! Chris was building the carcass of the cabinet and so I made sure to discover all the potatoes very quietly and then I pulled him outside to reveal our wonderful treasure

20 potatoes! I cleaned them up and made Chris take a picture of me because I was so excited

And then it was time to tackle the crazy peas

And all the weeding (including some weed whacking and lawn mowing) made quite a lot of green waste

But the weeded veggie 2.0 garden was looking ready for some fresh plantings

I tilled the soil before I replanted and I just happened to discover... (can you see it on the rock wall?)

15 more potatoes!

Our ignoring planting strategy gave us 35 super awesome yummy looking potatoes! Just imagine what would have happened if we knew what we were doing!

After my potato excitement was over I sorted through the seeds and decided to plant these babies

All the seeds went in really quick: peppers in the front, then the watermelon, then the peas and beans over by the deck where the climbing trellises are

We shall see what happens! I have resolved to actually weed the veggie bed this time, so hopefully that means I might tend to the veggies as well...

4.26.2012

We Have a Carcass

Now that sounds morbid, but I promise, it's actually very exciting. What carcass am I talking about??? The carcass for our hutch/entertainment unit, hooray!!!!

It all started with the cut list

And once we had that jumping off point we got out some cabinet grade plywood we already had and starting cutting down all the pieces - the bottom and top supports, the sides, the middle supports, etc.

Some things were only different from each other by an inch or so, so I made sure to label things as we moved along so it made our lives easier during assembly

We also needed to build a frame that the cabinet would sit on. The frame would be made by 2x4's and be attached to the floor in the TV room. This would provide a stable base for the hutch and also give a solid surface for the moulding to nail into. It didn't need to be built to perfect dimensions (no need for an absolute correct width), we just needed to make sure that it came out into the room the correct amount (we were deciding between 20-22" deep) so that the baseboards had something to nail into.

We ripped down the 2x4's just slightly so that they were the same height as our baseboards (about 3 1/4")

And then we started assembling it


Next was drilling the pilot holes for our pocket screws

Then we brought it inside to install

Now, usually Chris and I are the kind of people that install hardwoods completely under cabinets in case people eventually rip out all of our work and then they don't have to worry about matching wood, but this time we got lazy. We didn't refinish the hardwoods where the cabinet would be sitting and we decided to drill the frame into the hardwoods to make sure it was very strong. We debated attaching it another way, but we resolved that drilling into the floor was the smartest decision, and hey, if someone eventually wants to rip this sucker out there will only be 8 nail holes to cover up so it's not a huge deal. Matching the stain on the other hand...

With the frame installed we got a decent idea of the eventual hutch placement

And then it was back to building the carcass. While cabinet grade plywood has a pretty decent surface, it's always a good idea to sand everything down, so once all of our carcass cuts were made Chris broke out the sander and got to it

Then it was time to put it together





And ta da!

Now, it needs to be rotated clockwise 180 degrees because it's upside down, but it's looking good! These two areas are where the drawers will be (remember, it's upside down)


And here is the center column where the center channel speaker and other components will be

The next step will be spraying it, then installing it on top of the frame in the TV room. After that we'll assemble all the face frames and then attach that to the carcass (we're not 100% yet on whether we'll stain before or after it's attached). But it's looking good! Hooray for progress!

4.25.2012

Our Sadly Forgotten Veggie Garden

Our veggie garden has sat pretty sadly in our backyard since last Spring/Summer

We're bad veggie garden tenders

We really are actually pretty bad when it comes to working on our yards. I'm not a huge gardener first off (I don't know why though because I always have fun when I finally get started), and we also have sooooo much going on inside the house that I think it's hard to get our brain wrapped around another area that we need to tend to. As a result, our backyard usually looks like a disaster. But with the amazingly yummy weather we had this past weekend I decided it was finally time to rescue the veggie garden and plant some yummy veggies.

Chris' mom helped us build the raised bed a few months after we first moved in as a housewarming present to us 3 years ago

And the weeds were getting a tad ridiculous and it was probably time to add some more soil, so I hopped to it

And look at all the wonderful goodies I had to make it wonderful again

After I tilled the soil I added in 3 bags of new soil, 1 bag of compost, some bone meal and plant food and tilled again


Then it was time to get to planting. First went in the corn

Now, I don't actually like corn (Chris does) and I have a feeling these might get really big and out of hand, but because we're not great gardeners, we sorta have a habit of not knowing what the hell we're doing and planting something and seeing what happens, so I guess we'll see what happens

Then we planted three varieties of tomatoes (which usually do really well with our complete laziness) and some yellow squash

Lastly was a row of bunching onions and zucchini, and then it was done

And a HUGE improvement on what it looked like a mere 2 hours before

I'm really excited for the yummy tomatoes we get

Hooray for nature: I mix around some soil, toss in some plants, let them soak up some sun and throw in a little water and soon we'll have some tasty morsels to eat! :)