Thursday, 28 November 2013

Happy Turkey Day!

To all my friends in the US of A,
I wish you all a peaceful, restful and delicious Thanksgiving.

I'll be a while...

Got back from Las Vegas last night and had a great time! Although it did rain continuously the first couple of days... (Vegas is a desert, for crying out loud!) And Monday night, Maart came down with some kind of bug ~ fever, chills, nausea. At least it was our last night there. Would have been even more terrible if he'd picked up this bug when we first go there. The plane flight home on Tuesday was so not fun for him, poor guy! He's feeling much better today, although still weak. Thankfully no upchucking occurred at all (especially thankful for that on the plane) due to regular ingestion of Gravol.

But we saw Michael Bublé (love that man ~ he is very entertaining! plus can he sing), went to a shooting range and shot a few WWII guns (I have targets to prove I would survive the zombie apocalypse as I can definitely hit the head ~ the big head, you two... get your minds out of the gutter!) and took in one of Cirque de Soleil's productions. They have 8 in town ~ we saw Zumanity (here's a brief clip ~ the real show has the girls topless). Spent time walking around, people watching and just enjoying each others company. Neither of us gambled at all (no interest) but we found a bar right in our hotel with bikini-clad cowgirl waitresses and a mechanical bull. Had good laughs at the drunks who got on that thing!

Well... I still have lots to do in the bedroom. I have to finish the smoothing of wall imperfections. I will be taking down the cheap little white ceiling fan light fixture and replacing it with one a bit more stylish, but will repaint the ceiling while it is fixture-less. A pain in the ass to do, what with the stipple texture crap that so many houses have. I hate that stuff but it is too much work to remove. So I will spruce it up instead with a fresh coat of paint. It hasn't had one since the place was built, I'm sure.

Then I'll roll primer over the patches and crap green walls, then paint a lovely pale cream (aptly named 'goat cheese') over it all. All the trim will be nice and white, but first the floor must go in.

I picked up 11 boxes of a nice 12mm thick laminate (Sacramento Pine) today (to do the bedroom and hallway). And I can order more later when I get around to doing the living room and front bedroom. It is a regular item at my local hardware and everything else store. The blades of the new ceiling fan are a very close colour match to the flooring, which was a guess until I opened the box at home... and I am pleased!

I still have to find the closet doors but haven't even asked anywhere about them because I am nowhere close to being ready to install them. I want the floor to ceiling mirrored sliding ones. That means one whole wall will be mirrors.

Run with that one, boys! ;-)

So the final picture will be... pale creamy walls, crisp white trim, cocoa brown cellular window blind, warm rich pine floor, brushed nickel fan with matching wood blades, room expanding mirrored wall and soft amber light from Himalayan rock salt lamps nestled on small white shelves flanking the queen bed, which is cloaked in a rich purple, soft green and warm mushroom watercolour floral duvet.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Slow process

My bedroom is in a state of chaos, having had almost all of the furniture moved out (except the bed and nightstand), the carpet pulled out, and the trim pulled off.

(No, my house isn't tilted... and no, I wasn't drunk!)

It is a very slow process to get things patched up, what with the shifting of the house and the original wooden studs being rather rough cut and uneven (the house is 63 years old, after all).

(The former closet door with two layers of mud and tape ~ more to go.)

Having closed off the original closet and drywalled over the opening, I am now in the process of applying multiple layers of drywall compound (mud) to cover the joints (and all the other cracks and nail holes elsewhere in the room). Because the studs we used to frame in the door opening are nice and straight, and the original ones are rather wonky, the drywall edges dip in and stick out in various places. *sigh*

(This wall will become the new closet ~ looks tiny but is 10' long.)

It's going to take a while to complete this part of things, especially given that Maart and I will be winging our way south to Las Vegas on Thursday for a 5 day stint in Glitz and Glitter Ville. We are going to see Michael Bublé in concert on Saturday, take in one of Cirque de Soleil's performances (we are eyeballing Zumanity ~ they have 8 different shows going around town) and visiting the Gun Shoppe for a little firearms action. Other than that, we'll just wander around and play it by ear as to what we do.

It will be nice to get away for a bit. We now have snow here in the Centre of Canadia and temps of around -8C. The forecast for Vegas is overcast and +16C or so. I think we can handle that!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Tearing it down and building it back up

My bedroom is a very modest thing. It is rather small ~ only 10'4" by 9'9". One window only 28" wide but a good 52" tall. And one electrical outlet.

Why only one outlet? I can't imagine, even back in the mid 1950s when the house was built, that one outlet would be sufficient for any room larger than a bathroom.

But it's how my house was built. Both bedrooms have only one outlet each.

At least the bedroom I sleep in had a closet. The other one doesn't even have that.
But given that it is used as my computer room, a closet isn't really necessary.

The one in my bedroom was virtually microscopic.

You'll notice I keep saying 'was'... because it is no more. Last weekend, Maart and I closed it off. I had removed all the furniture other than the bed from the room. Having a lingerie chest (6 drawers high), a chest of (5) drawers and an armoire in there, along with the bed and a nightstand, meant it was pretty crowded.

So here's the plan: build a closet the full length of one wall and eliminate all the furniture other than the bed. Smaller floor area but should be more useful space with a closet that will have ample hanging space, shelves and 2 dozen wire basket-drawers from Ikea.

So Maart and I pulled out the closet door and trim, all the baseboards and the door frame. We also tore out the wall to wall carpet and foam underlay (which was firmly attached to the floor with at least 5000 staples!) to expose the horrible and rather elderly adhesive floor tiles that are supposed to look like parquet flooring.

We crawled around on the floor, prying up all the staples and their associated bits of foam. (Which, by the way, make the absolute best cat toys as far as Lila is concerned! She's a hoot to watch, flinging those tiny bits around.) My back was killing me by the time that was done.

All the demolition detritus was subsequently chucked into my truck and hauled to the dump. We put up a few scrap pieces of drywall over the former closet, as it now opened directly into the kitchen and I was not going to be wakened by one big hairy cat whose name starts with L standing on my chest, purring and kneading me with her claws, all the while head butting my nose and licking my eyelids.

That's just downright rude, and she doesn't understand the term "WTF?!?!? Get OFF of me, you Damn Cat!!!"

We then died for the evening and lounged around trying to recover from all that. The next day we went out and bought wood studs and drywall to cover the door sized hole properly.

So here's the plan: All the cracks in the walls from the house settling over the years, plus nails from things being hung, plus the new chunk of wall, will be repaired with mud and tape. Following that being completed, the entire room will be painted with primer. I will be going from the same crap green that the living room was to a pale creamy colour called "goat cheese", with all the trim white. I'll have to install new baseboards and door frame. The window frame can stay as is, just with fresh white paint.

I need an electrician to come and move the existing outlet, as its current position will see it living inside the new closet. Not very convenient, as you can well imagine. I also need two new outlets installed on the wall where the bed has moved. The phone jack needs to be moved as well, as it is also in the designated closet space, but I can do that myself.

The pink metal mini blind that's on the window is leaving, as is the green floral valance. Both are remnants of the previous owner. I am sure someone at the local thrift shop will delight in the acquisition of these items. I have a cocoa brown cellular (room darkening) shade to take their place and it will fit right inside the window frame.

The nightstand is being replace by several small shelves on either side of the bed. I have ordered a pair of rock salt lamps to act as ambiance lighting. If I really need to see what I am doing, the ceiling fixture gives the room a good bright glare. I am considering replacing that light/fan thing (cheap little white thing that it is) with one of those ceiling fixtures that looks like large woven bamboo leaves with lights in the centre.

The floor will be covered with some kind of laminate that will be accessible in the future for the rest of the main floor. Since I can't afford real hardwood, nor can I afford to buy flooring for the whole main floor all at once, it has to be something that is consistently carried in one of the local stores.

Once all that is done, then the closet hardware installation will take place. I am doing a combination of a Rubbermaid closet organizer with the wire basket towers from Ikea. It should be more than sufficient to replace all the chests of drawers previously cluttering up the room. The finishing touch will be mirrored sliding doors along the entire wall. Wall to wall and floor to ceiling.

Now that will make the room appear much larger!

And speaking of building, Maart and I are still continuing along really well. We are going to Las Vegas later on this month for a 5 day get-away. We've got a concert lined up (Michael Bublé), and have plans to catch a Circe de Soleil performance as well as some time spent behind the barrel of a gun or two at a shooting range. Neither of us is much into gambling, but getting away for a bit and just doing whatever we want will be a welcome change! We've got a room with a Strip view so we'll be able to catch the pirates' show whenever we want. He's a good man, my Maart. He treats me well and has become very special to me.