Friday, January 20, 2012

Homework Area

Well, it took several months but the kids and I each have our own clearly defined area in which we can do our homework.

Nevaeh's desk has been painted.  Once again we used Rust-o-leum's 2x spray paint but unlike brother's gray she chose eggplant.  A girl after my own heart.  I didn't use a spray primer this time but some sort of a white primer I found left over from painting the upstairs.  The desk is a fairly cheap particle board covered in laminate so we sanded it down and put on 3, yes 3, coats of primer.  That particle board just sucked it right up.  It was worth it though because I only had to do 2 coats of the purple spray.  She has hung up her very important Justin Bieber calendar, some karate study aids and a koala poster.  Apparently these will help her to concentrate while she does her homework.  :)

Sorry for the crappy phone pics.  I used my iPhone 3 & it was nighttime. 

The little plastic organizer to the right of her desk was organized as well.  The pink box on top holds miscellaneous crayons, colored pencils and markers.  Top drawer has glue sticks, rulers etc.  Middle drawer holds scrap paper (I save EVERYTHING that has a clean side and no sensitive info for the kids) and the bottom drawer has all of the kids extra school work books.  I love to buy grammar books, spanish help, math fact helpers etc... for the kids to do when they tell me they don't have any homework.  :)

 Same desk now moved under the window.

Kelen has removed all of the toys from his desk although I did agree he could keep his comic books there.  If they prove to be too distracting from his studying I can always remove them.

Momma's desk is cleared off (we can ignore the boxes of papers needing sorting & filing for now).  The wireless router works well enough (despite the cats knocking it down and breaking the antenna) that I can use my laptop in the basement.

We went through the bookshelves and got rid of quite a few books that the kids no longer wanted and I have made the very difficult decision to sell my record collection.  My record player broke and replacing it is simply not high on my list of priorities.  I already have too much clutter in my chaotic little life so I am taking control.  The records go.  Except for Michael Jackson's Thriller because I bought that when I was 8 years old with my own money.  :)

My thrifty little kiddos noticed that our next door neighbor was unloading some furniture and a tv from his house and they asked if he was getting rid of it.  Turns out he was about to take it to the Good Will so they asked if they could have it.  Its a much nicer tv than the one we currently have and now instead of using a bedroom nightstand for his video game area Kel has a new to him t.v. stand.  :)  Eventually we will get it painted but for now it is good to go.  The t.v. is HD and I confiscated that for our family room (lifting a 100 lb. television from the floor up to the top of my buffet was not the easiest task).  I took my 10 year old tv down for his video game area.

The room still needs wallpaper removed and a new floor and paint on the walls but those kind of projects require time and money, something I am short of these days.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Kelen's Desk

It took about a week but we managed to get the desk to look pretty darn good.  It isn't a bad desk for one that we have had so long.  It was just sort of blah.


We took it apart, sanded it and painted it.  Two coats of Rustoleum 2x Gloss in Dark Grey covered with a clear protective coat.  Why did it take so long you may wonder?

Because I am tired and lazy and that gets much worse when its hot outside.  Its been between 93 and 99 degrees outside for the past week.  I would get up and paint around 7 am then lay the pieces out to dry and head out for a 2nd coat an hour later.   Then we let that dry until the next day at which time I would get up and start all over.

This is what it ended up looking like.


It really looks pretty good.  I will definitely use a better primer next time because the one I had on hand left some imperfections visible.  Although that could be because I used gloss.  I hear satin finish hides the smaller flaws.

Now the kiddo is busy organizing his desk.  He's putting up pictures and deciding what should go where.  :)  Next up, Neva's desk.  We are getting closer and closer to a finished basement office.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Heavy MoFo

Remember how proud I was of my new set up for the laundry area?  Well I discovered a downside.  The pipe that the washing machine drains into got backed up and water was pouring out everywhere.  I got the dryer down pretty easily (it's not that heavy).  But the washer was a whole different ball game.  First I had to use a bucket to drain the darn thing.  One bucket full at a time.  That was pretty slow going.  Then I pulled out the sopping wet laundry and put it in a plastic tub outside.  The smell is AWFUL!!

The next thing to do was snake the drain which my amazing neighbor did.  :)  Getting this  dang washing machine down was not easy.  Not easy at all. 


 This is what happens when you can't lift the washing machine by yourself...but you are in fact, by yourself.  There was cussing.  A lot of cussing.  And I sent a couple curse filled texts to my sisters along with this picture.  Then I stepped away and played Zuma Blitz until I ran out of lives.  :)

While staring at the computer monitor (after my lives were all gone) it came to me.  I just had to tip the machine onto its side and there would be less weight on me as I tried to lift it down the 14" from the shelves to the floor.  That's not saying the machine suddenly weighs less when tipped over but I would be able to get my arm inside the tub and also use my legs to slowly lower it.  When it's standing I couldn't even get my arms around it and there is just no way for me to get a good, solid grip on it.  

 Step 1.

I took several deep breaths before I attempted to lift it down.  With a little groaning and just one more well-timed F-bomb (when I almost set it on my foot) I got that S.O.B. down on the ground.


Now I need a crowbar to get those shelves free.  They got so water logged that they are a bit swollen.  Or maybe I could use a saw?  Well, I'll worry about that tomorrow.  :)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Laundry Storage

This is the most amazing fix EVER.  Seriously.  I am in love with it.

My little laundry closet had absolutely no place to store the dirty laundry.  I know that most people would then keep the dirty clothes in their rooms in hampers until laundry day but this just does NOT work with my kids.  They would hoard the dirty clothes, shove them in drawers, under the beds, in the closets etc...and I would have to deal with that.  I am such an impatient person that my "dealing" generally involves a lot of yelling.  Too much yelling.  So instead we just tossed the dirty clothes on the floor in front of the washer and dryer.  Yuck.

Gross.  Who wants to keep stepping over this?

I had an idea several months ago to make my own version of those super expensive under-washer storage bins.  I just didn't know how to implement the idea.  Well, my super sis Linda said that her work was throwing away (THROWING AWAY!!) perfectly good particle board and did I need any for something?  She knows I am constantly trying to "fix" things around here.  


She came over, did some measuring and showed up today with three perfectly cut pieces.
A quick trip to Home Depot for a few cinder blocks and we got to work.

12 16x8x4" cinder blocks waiting to be used.

Linda the super sister unhooking water hoses.

Ewww.  This got swept out thoroughly.

Once we got the sweeping done we got to work.  Well, mostly she got to work.  She measured, re-measured, placed the blocks in the correct place etc...I was a very willing helper but mostly just stayed out of her way and handed her things.  :)

She was smart enough to remember to pull up the dryer vent BEFORE we put it up there.

It supports her  

Lifting the washing machine up the 16" was the biggest pain in the butt but with only a little spilled water we managed to get it up there.  

Heavy son of a gun.

Hooking up the water hoses.

The dryer was simple to get up there.

I had these two containers that fit good enough for now.  The dirty laundry is no longer in the hallway and that is a wonderful, wonderful, thing.  Next up, replace the shelves that we took down in order to accomplish this.  A small price to pay and one that is SO worth it.

Total cost for all of this was only about $50.00  and that is because we bought a bunch of tools that I didn't have but would come in handy.  The cinder blocks were only $1.92 a piece so technically this project cost less than $25.00 with tax.  Those under washer storage things are several hundred dollars.  

Now for the downside.  I am short and need a stool to do the wash.  However, if I think of that as exercise its all good.  :)  Plus, now I have a reason to start saving for a front loading washer.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cheery yellow-walled great room

The great room makeover continues.  The purple wall is done and now we have yellow walls as well.  Sounds like a crazy combo but it really does work.  The room is so cheery now, I just love to sit and stare at the walls.  To see what it looked like a month ago, click here.

That makes me sound kinda sad huh?  :)

Here are a few quick pictures.

This is the hutch & the one thing I have hung on the walls.  Grandmas bowl from Mexico.

                                 The purple wall is also in the great room.

The couch is facing the purple wall and as you can see I have some green lace curtains in the room.

So if you are counting the great room has
--1 deep purple accent wall
--3 cheery yellow walls
--1 red striped couch
--light green lace curtains.

We are clearly not afraid of using different colors in this house.  :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Paint on the floors?

Yeah, paint on my floors.  Purple paint + white primer equals lavender floors.  I can't really say anything about this without risking an aneurysm so I'll let the pictures speak for me.

The first couple are blurry because I was literally shaking with anger.

Kel wanted to know why was I taking pictures?  My answer: it's better than me screaming isn't it?  And yes I did help with the clean up but I needed to get the pictures too.  Otherwise who would actually believe me?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Paint on the walls

I FINALLY HAVE MY PURPLE WALL!  I have always wanted a purple wall.  I mean, ever since I was just a kid.  Purple is, and always has been, my absolutely favorite color.  This reminded me of how Dad tried to be a sweetie and he painted my room purple for me.  He chose lavender.  I was never a pastel kind of girl but it's the thought that counts right?  I really wish I had that attitude as a punk teenager.  I don't remember but I am sure I was a completely unappreciative snotball to him about the wrong color choice.  Just one more on my very long list of things to apologize to Dad for from my adolescence when I get to see him again.  (Dad's been dead 3 years now and I still miss him every single day and its the little things like that that sneak up on me.)
I owe a huge thank you to my mom & little sister for painting my great room yesterday.  I did all the plastering and priming about a month ago but then had the incident with my darn ankle (you can read about that here).  Basically I was unable to finish the job because I could barely stand and there was just no way I was going to be able to climb up and down a ladder.  

So, I swallowed my pride (it almost got stuck in my throat) and sent out a text asking for some painting party help.  Both mom and Kesh were available on this particular Sunday so I said let's go for it!  :)  I bought the paint the day before and they came over and got straight to work.  Four hours later and my room is painted and it is gorgeous! 

I chose deep amethyst for my purple accent wall and natural straw for the rest of the room.  I will be posting pictures next week after we get all the furniture set up and you will be able to see the completed look.  I ended up using paint by Glidden rather than the Fresh Aire that I wanted to use.  Unfortunately Fresh Aire no longer had the purple color I wanted and that was an absolute must for me.  On the plus side, the Glidden didn't leave too bad of a lingering paint odor in the house.  It helped that we locked up the cats and were able to keep the back door open to let in some real fresh air (pun intended).  

Next project:  Switch the living room from the basement to the main room and put the office (currently in the main room) in the basement.  

Here is the finished project.  :)

I uploaded this pic after moving the living room stuff upstairs.  yeah I know my tv is filthy but after lugging that 100+ lb. sucker up the stairs on only one good foot I just didn't care enough to get up and clean it.  ;)