Still Not Done, but REALLY Close

This title may have tipped you off: our hutch is not complete. The only thing left though is installing the baseboards along the bottom, so we're really close. The plan was to work on it yesterday to get it done, but that didn't happen. However, we have been completing little things here and there and the counter is DONE! So let's check it out.

After the face frames were installed securely with the clamping madness, Chris sanded it all down to beautiful evenness

And then we carried it inside and plopped it down in place. Look how awesome it looks with the open shelves on the sides

It's so heavy that to secure it in place we decided two screws would be enough. The drawer got removed

Then after some pre-drilling the counter got drilled into place

The process was repeated on the other side and soon we had a secure counter! Look at how flat and even that baby is!

Next came the task of finishing it off: insert Meryl.

I decided to stain the face frames first so that if I accidentally over-stained I could just sand it out off the herringbone before I applied the tung oil. I made sure to line the herringbone with frog tape to keep it as protected as possible

And then I applied 3 coats of stain (the normal 2 were looking a little uneven), making sure to sand and tack cloth between each coat

Then it got two coats of wipe on poly. After the poly had dried it was time for the tung oil, hooray!

The first layer of tung oil gets mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits, is left for 24 hours to dry and then the next coat is applied (full tung oil, no mineral spirits added). Each layer of tung oil after that (leaving it on for 15 minutes and then wiping any standing liquid off - much like when you stain - and waiting 24 hours between every coat) makes the surface glossier and glossier, so you stop when your desired gloss is reached.

The first layer really made the colors of the counter POP

And as I applied each successive layer (3 in total) we worked on other things. The face frames on the open shelves got installed. I had stained them a couple weeks ago and the first round did not go well

Something in the adhesive that Chris used to attach these did not get along well with the stain. Chris thought he had sanded it out, but after I stained it I sanded them all down again and attempted round 2, which went a lot better

And then they got installed

We realized that the ripped down 2x4 base that we installed to sit the hutch on that would provide a backer for our baseboards sat about an 1/8th of an inch too tall so we routered out a little strip

And installed a little piece of cherry

Which I then stained to match the face frames. That will provide the backing for the baseboards to be installed against. And speaking of the baseboards, I stained those too (which we had custom milled a couple years back to match the existing baseboards in the house and I custom mixed a stain to match as well)

Then we installed the last little piece of face frame on the top of the counter

And caulked between the counter and the wall

And how does that counter look after 3 coats of tung oil that give it a nice satin finish???????

Fucking beautiful

I LOVE IT!!!!!!

Last night after the tung oil had sufficient time to cure we slapped some furniture pads on the bottom of the TV and speakers and started moving things into place

Things are looking mighty fine. But both Chris and I can't wait till we eventually get a TV that'll mount on the wall so it doesn't hog up beautiful counter top space :)

Now we just have to get to those baseboards...


I Finally Got Around to those Containers

In October of last year as we were finishing up the patio we laid some mulch down the side of the driveway

And because the line of mulch was a little wide, I had thought it would be nice the eventually put some container plants there to fill in the space and make it purdy

And seven months later I finally got around to it. I was also pining to have our herb garden back, and since I replant them every year, it was time for me to replant again.

The side of the yard along the mulch line has filled in with A LOT of calla lilies from our neighbors yard which I am much appreciative of. I love plants that I don't have to do a thing to and they're beautiful. But I probably should have done this planting about 3 weeks ago when they were beautifully in bloom, alas, now most of them have died, sigh

And so have all the container plants as you can see (as well as the buckets of weeding that did not fit in our green container last week)

So I trekked on over to HD to get some supplies to set about beautifying them

And one by one things got replanted

After about an hour and a half I was done with the 8 containers of herbs and 5 of flowers

And you might notice an interesting planting container at the end of that above picture...

Yup, a sink

When we moved in 3 1/2 years ago two sinks and a toilet were sitting in the backyard. For some reason we've never gotten rid of them. I had some leftover flowers that didn't fit in the containers so I thought this would make an excellent container. I tossed in the leftovers and put in some wildflower seeds as well

The other sink came with a pedestal so I've got plans down the line to mosaic it and put it in the backyard as a bird bath. We'll see when that actually happens though...

The other little container plant vignettes are happy and full

My birthday is a couple weeks before Halloween and my aunt got me this little container last year (with a plant inside that I killed...)

Hopefully this year I'm a much better plant taker-carer-ofer. I've been good with the veggies and they're sprouting and happy, so hopefully we'll have lots of nice herbs to add to our food and happy, pretty flowers to brighten our days.

And that counter/hutch update???? Well the counter is DONE and we're actually just about almost-so-very-seriously-amazingly close to completely FINISHING the hutch. I'm hoping we complete those last tasks today (questionable with staining and poly-ing the baseboards and then coping them in the install). Either way I'll have a hutch update for you tomorrow and hopefully it's about it being FINISHED!


Nope Counter Not Done, But I am Very Tired

Welp, that counter didn't get finished this weekend. It is installed, but between stain and poly on the face frames, waiting for everything to dry, then applying the tung oil and having to wait 24 hours in between coats, operation finish the hutch did not get completed. We are oh so very close though.

In other news I'm completely exhausted. My step dad and I ran a 5k yesterday, and although that is a totally, completely short distance, between all the training I've done to try to beat my best time of 21:11 (which I didn't, damnit) and all the house work we've been doing, I felt totally hung over all day yesterday. And today I'm feeling like a zombie. I've got a slow 2 weeks of work ahead of me, so it'll give me some time to rest and get to finishing that hutch! (and other house projects of course.) Speaking of which, I've got to get to staining some baseboards...

In the meantime, here is our beautifully labeled Festool: Last weekend while watching TV we went through all the drawers, made labels...

...slapped them in place

And then ooooh'd and aaahhhh'd at their beauty

Tool storage that comes with a built in spot for labels and a nice little protective cover for them?

Who wouldn't be in love? And now it's time to stain the baseboards. And then possibly take a nap. It is already 8:45 in the morning.


That's a Big Pile of Foliage

I hope you all had a splendid Saturday. This is what we did

Well, let me be more descriptive: for our Christmas present to Chris' boss (who we LOVE, seriously, she is positively awesome, and so is her family), we gifted her a day of labor out of the two of us. She could pick anything she wanted and we'd be there. Her family is always doing such wonderful things for other people and her and her husband's yard had sadly been the victim of their constant generosity. So she, her husband, me and Chris, their three sons and two of their friends attacked their yard for eight hours. And this is what we got

That huge pile of greenery is about 30 ft. long, 10 ft. wide and an average of about 5 feet tall. Yup, we kicked that yard's ass

The other lumberjacks (one of whom actually was a lumberjack) were in various stages of showering and/or passed out on couches. It was a long and humorous day and we were very happy to help out. And I'm even more excited to be working at the A's today. The thought of lifting, pulling, lugging or otherwise expelling any other energy makes me exhausted. I'd much rather sit and watch baseball. And get paid for it. Have fun on the house Christopher! :)


Chris is Awesome

Chris had the day off on Wednesday. When I left for work I took this picture

I knew he'd be working on the cabinet while I was at work, so I set the camera down and said, "You can take pictures, but don't feel obligated..." I secretly meant, "PLEASE TAKE PICTURES!" Chris indulges my constant picture taking mostly by rolling his eyes

(you like Chris' stained finger from our flooring adventures?)

Or by making funny faces

But mostly it's the back of his head

Or even just his back

So I wasn't really expecting Chris to take too many pictures because the man finds actually working more important (the nerve!) But when I got a text while at work of his amazing project, I was even more dumbfounded to come home to a camera of photos of his handiwork.

As he finished laying down all the herringbone he set up the level to make a perfect cut on the front

He did the same thing for the sides, and had to cut them on a more detailed angle to match the open shelves on the sides of the cabinet

Then he had to cut the interior angle that will allow the counter to slip inside the alcove

Look at that beautiful curved corner

To conceal the small gaps here and there Chris slipped a little wood glue into the cracks

Then he sanded and brushed the dust into the cracks

Would you like to now see its amazing-ness? This is the text I got while I was at work

With Chris saying, "Still needs some work."


When I came home from work (my 3rd extra innings game already this year) I saw this madness

That's the beautiful herringbone all done and the face frames starting to get installed

Even though you can't see it all clearly with the clamping madness (Chris likes to make sure those face frames are there to stay), I LOVE THE HERRINGBONE

I'm telling you, I'm a lucky girl that I've got that Christopher :) He builds an amazingly awesome counter and he takes pictures of it :)

This weekend we'll be working on doing a final sand down to make sure it's all nice and smooth. Then we'll install it. After, I'll stain and poly the face frames and then apply several layers of tung oil to the top. But this weekend we're spending a day helping out a friend, we've got family visits, and I've got a race on Memorial Day so we're jam packed. We're keeping our fingers crossed that we get everything done to share with you by Tuesday morning!