Thursday, April 29, 2010

At least the first floor isn't smelly anymore

Bart and Bling came for a visit this weekend. Bling spent a lot of time chilling in the basement but Bart claimed his spot on the chest by the window. The dog spent his time trying to smell Bart's rear hence why Bart is up high er, too high for the dog .

Moving on, this is what I smelled whenever I walked in the door. I don't think I need to describe it, the photos speak for themselves.

The first floor bathroom was carpeted!

AND the toilet was leaky. Gross!!

No more carpet equals no more smell. Yay!

No more toilet really means no more smell! Mark, did you turn up your i pod to cover the smell??

Well, after we plugged up the drain to avoid sewer gas there was no more smell. The evolution of the decor is displayed on the wall behind the toilet.

Go Pink! 1970 was a little late for the pink bath craze?? I wonder what original flooring they had.

Our display of supplies - minus the entertainment center in the midst.

Mark is disgruntled about me taking pictures. He would be shaking his fist if he wasn't holding down the board.

The cement board? (It says cement board but the Home Depot guy called it something else, it was sitting in the tile area anyways) is down and it already looks fresher.

Yea, yea, I chose the same tile everyone else seems to choose but I was looking for some generic black and white tile and how can one beat the $2.50 a sq ft tile from Home Depot? The main bathroom will be a little more exciting maybe? But as far as the 1/2 bath goes this sure beats that carpet. So far I just have it sitting loose and I haven't started the adventure of actually attaching it. This will be a test of my true talent and also practice for when it's time to do the real bathroom.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My "New" Hall-Mack Towel Ring

I was extremely excited to find this today though I do admit to getting very excited about odd things. I went over to the eco-store to scope out any new inventory of interest and see what I could find for our smelly 1/2 bath. I was looking for a chrome towel ring which might sort of pass off as 50's/60's. I actually had a cheapy one in my hand I was trying to decide on when I spotted a pile of old boxes and alas what was inside but brand new vintage towel rings for $3!

The only disadvantage is I do feel obligated to keep the nifty looking box!

I'll try to do a post of our weekend activities tomorrow?? We shall see. But in the meantime here is a little sneak peek of the action:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Floor Finishing

OK, I started this post a while ago and have not gotten back to finish it! I have been embarrassed to admit not only am I still working on refinishing the first floor but I am also still only on the first square! No more!
I was definitely procrastinating on finishing the section because A: I would have to decide a color. B. I was afraid I would completely mess it up (umm, anything would look better than before) and C. Me being the only one working on it was a slow process. Mark now feels pretty confident he can help so the next sections will be delegated and hopefully move along a little faster??

Pine is more finicky than Oak so I was informed by the Minwax pamphlet I should use pre-stain.

I know they say to test in a corner, but where? I tested right in the middle because chances are we will have a rug. The test spot blended in anyways so it didn't matter. The brush was ditched as it just smeared both the pre-stain and the stain around on top. I used an old sock for the pre-stain and then a different sock for the stain.

Yay, it's getting finished. Ironically (is it irony? I've been confused about the definition since I heard Mark arguing with Alanis Morisette) I used oil based Golden Oak to add a little brown/red and get rid of the yellow pine raggy basketball court look it had going on.

Previous refinishers (circa 1970?) not only took a good 1/8" off the floor with their sander but they also decided to fill each crack with filler of some sort. I'm going to take a guess this was a very tedious process and all it did was make the cracks wider since the wood still needed to expand and contract. It also left nasty white streaks in between the boards where we had sanded/it had fallen out.

This is where all of those hours of art class finally pay off! I somehow managed to match the wood color though even a generic dark brown color would look better than the bright white.

The floor completely finished but no polyurethane yet.

The first coat of polyurethane came out really splotchy, shiny and gross. At this point I was thinking the floor was going to look worse than before and it made me sad. But I know myself too well and decided to keep on going since I obviously can't stuff this project in the back of my closet unfinished!

The paint brush worked perfectly for the polyurethane. Dad left the brushes and I figured they were special pricey brushes for this project but he informed me yesterday he just picked them up at the dollar store. Four coats of polyurethane and I did not have to pick out a single bristle so note to self: dollar store brushes work better than $15 brushes.

The final coat of polyurethane still wet. I used semi-gloss so it is not this shiny. I tried getting a dried shot but the lighting was bad. The color and finish evened out as I had hoped. My goal was to freshen it up without losing the character the wood had gained over the years. The previous owner's dog left behind a little more character than I would have liked but the floor does look better than before.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Home Invasion

All of my cute mid-century Better Homes and Gardens say nothing about being invaded by ants. Of course not, I'm sure those nifty suburban homes never had ants! They never had dirty laundry or dirty dishes either, right?
I came home from work yesterday, walked into the kitchen to pour myself a refreshing glass of water and Agh! The sink! It was full of ants!! Fortunately only two rinsed breakfast bowls were the victims so it wasn't too bad and none of our food is stored nearby. They hadn't ventured into the pantry yet, whew! I was thinking about taking a picture but it was pretty disgusting and I didn't really want to relive this moment again.
I have nothing against ants but I do when they are crawling around my house so a bunch got washed down the sink. I learned a cheap and easy way to stop these critters while living in our basement apartment. Borax and Syrup. Mwahaha. Borax costs like $3 for a giant box in the laundry section and it doesn't take more than a teaspoon. Plus it is a bit like Baking Soda so it does have multiple cleaning uses around the house without stinking stuff up with toxic fumes. And syrup, everyone has sugary syrup. Just pour some syrup on a small scrap of cardboard, mix in some Borax and the ants are all over it, collecting it and bringing it home with them. It works similar to the official chemical ant poisons but at a small, small fraction of the price. I sprayed the rest of the area down with vinegar so they lost their track to the sink. It usually takes a couple of days but this morning I only saw one ant. WooHoo.

We had another invasion this week as some of my trolls finally got to escape their boxes!

Yay, my first set of troll shelves is up and running. Oddly, the most fascinating thing to people is my chain of Cincinnati clippy trolls. Lets just say there was a lot of left over store stock when the troll craze ended in the 90's which I fully took advantage of with the help of my mom. I think I paid $1 for all of those guys plus 2 cute ropes with a round cardboard troll toppers to display them with. I'm not really a Cincinnati fan and apparently neither was anyone else!

The tall one in the back I got when I was about 10 and my mom paid either $20, maybe $30 for it at an auction. One of her arch nemesis' was bidding against her so she got all flustered and was bound and determined not to let her have it! I was horrified (despite the fact it benefited my collection) and I felt guilty because I though she paid way too much for it! I think I have seen only one since and it was priced way higher plus we do have a good laugh about it on occasion.

Troll Barbie in all of her 90's glory.

Ahh, vintage Moon trolls. They creep everyone out, teehee.

A huge troll cave couple. A normal size troll is in the lower right.

The teacher troll with the molded on molester-stache is probably one of my favorites. I don't know why except it makes me laugh whenever I look at it.