More house picks as you read on but first the continuing of sharing Olive Us : Making Taztziki <- ever done that before? This video not only shows you how in easy steps BUT it's so visually stimulating and inspiring. I hope you like....I had so much fun doing these illustrations and Tiger in a Jar went and animated the faces and ohhhhh maaaa gawsh, I died!
Another little thing I finally finished up is Alta's flower book for my friend Grace, here are my favorite pages:
Now onto house stuff.... So, I have regrets of not taking tons of actual before photos, because this house was really dated and gross when we moved in. One of the first things we did was rip up most of the carpet in the upstairs...the bedroom we are in and the stairs to the basement still have it's carpet...that will probably be tackled in a month or two. But for now we just focused on the office, hallway, and the living room, which already had hardwood floors but needed major sanding. Luckily underneath all the carpet upstairs was the original flooring, not hardwood but fir, and good enough to sand [very easy to sand] takes stain well and varnish. If you have anything with paint that needs to come off...BUY SOME PAINT STRIPPER! <- this will save you hours of work and sore muscles! Helpful tip: use the stripping tool [instead of a paint brush] to smear on whatever surface you have, and smear generous amounts <- just make sure it is at least a 1/4" thick. To save money I thought I would be smart and spread it on thin [this was in our kitchen cupboards with 5 layers of paint] that turned into a huuuuge mess, and I did more work of scrapping and sanding than needed.
p.s. When applying the varnish, I would recommend using a stain pad rather than the wooly pads as seen in the picture above. They leave little hairs behind, and with a dark floor...It was making me crazy. Luckily after sanding the first coat of varnish down [with our hands and a fine grit paper] we applied the next 2 layers with the stain pad...<- looked soooo much better!
Our kitchen. Still a work in progress. Jesse lifted that cupboard that is above the microwave so I would have ample space with cooking/baking. We still need to fix the doors and put them back on that cupboard. The rest of the cupboards with our dishes and flour/oils etc. are exposed on purpose..we took those doors off. We changed the hardware, which we now regret jumping on that quickly because we ended up getting something that we liked but weren't in looove with. Two days after buying those handles and knobs we found some awesome iron hardware that we had been wanting but were too impatient to wait for...Anyways, one of the hundreds of morals of owning a fixer-upper that I am learning is to have a ton of patience. A ton! p.s. the couch in the kitchen... it's pretty sweet actually, and I will be sad to see it going into the living room here soon... our plan with seating is to build a built in L-shaped bench that spans the entire length of the wall with the big window. It should be pretty cozy. :) Oh! And Jesse is replacing the counters with butcher block counters...which he is going to make himself. I was very apprehensive about this, but after a couple long conversations I learned that I just need to trust him and trust that he will do a good job. :)
The outside is coming along slowly, but surely as well. I planted a lot of "cottage-like" flowers in the front and left side of the house. This was an interesting task to take on mainly because Jesse gave me free reign to do whatever I wanted. Another thing was that picking & planting flowers can be very intimidating, especially since this is really the first time I have ever done anything like this...on my own. So I did a lot of research, figured out what zone Utah is in and what flowers/plants work best in our climate. One of the things I learned that said a lot "beginners" overlook is to think of scale and proportion. <- I had never thought of that before. So in the front I got some Delphiniums, Lupine, Lavender, Lamb's Ear, Dusty Miller, Hydrangeas and transplanted a very mature white Peony bush. Another interesting fact I learned was about Hydrangeas. Right after you plant one, cut off all the blossoms! This then creates two new blossoms where you cut off the one. I had a hard time believing that but the guy in the video [I wish so badly I could find it again] promised that in a couple weeks time, you would have double the blossoms! I am eagerly waiting for this. :)
My mom gave us some heirloom seeds as a house warming gift [cute idea huh.] and due to lack of time right now I found a very quick way to get your starts going. I found that container of 72 dry pellets at Smiths Marketplace, you fill it with 10 1/2 cups of water, the pellets expand, you make a center hold in each one, drop 2-3 seeds, cover with lid, put in warm spot away from the sun, once every seed has rooted, take the lid off and put near the sun, after a week of that you then keep them outside and cover with lid at night...a week later they are all ready to plant! I am excited to have a garden and see what is and isn't successful...and to save a lot of money. Next week we put up the 6' posts and chicken wire [we get deer here] and start ah planting! YEE-HAW!
We finally got started on building our office desk last night... It will be 10' long with and extension coming out in the middle to create a his and her space. I have been dreaming and dreaming of this day. Seriously, I have ...and loosing sleep over the best way to make use of our space and most cost efficient, but without loosing style.
Nearing the end of this crazy long post! lol The other day I came across one of those half moon wood bead foot massager things at the thrift store, and decided to take the beads of their sticks, put it on some rope and make it into a strand of beads with a loop at each end. This thing ROCKS! I have been massaging sore muscles on my back in diagonal movements, using it on my neck, and then looping one over another bead and then putting it on the floor for my feet. <- my favorite. It does exactly the same thing, but I like this look so much better. Anyways, I know you can buy these same size beads at your local craft store and make the same thing for under a couple dollars! It's pretty sweet! I am tempted to paint some faces on them now... :/
Okay, now the end for realz! I saw this little photo in my latest issue of Country Living yesterday and thought it soo cute and worth sharing! I still have my dream of owning a miniature donkey [actually 2!] and hopefully that will come true with our next house after this....someday. :) Have a great weekend!
p.s. if you are and avid gardner/yard-worker/fixer-upper afficiando and have ANY tips for us on how to save money, time, whatever...please do share! This whole house thing has been extremely overwhelming some days with feeling all alone and not knowing what to do. I give you full permission to take me under your wing and make me your protege... and you my mentor! :)