Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sink or Swim...

Sorry for the delay in posts. It's been a terrible two weeks at work, and I haven't felt much like posting about some of the good things going on. Two weeks ago I shared with you some of the updates to our kitchen. It's starting to feel like a place I want to work in these days. Our stove top got fixed, well actually Darcy just troubleshooted and pulled up a spring and the negative button works on the stove top. Yes, you can actually turn down the stove instead of turning it off. 
We also got the handles on the drawers and cupboards. It's so much easier to get into cupboards now. You forget how important and convient they are to your life when you have them but when you don't look out. You find other ways of opening cupboards. It was getting really difficult to get into the drawers and cupboards as more appliances and drawers started to be installed. 
What brings me to this post tonight is my new sink and faucet. I love them!!!! 
I was cleaning up from super and thought about the choices we'd made in the sink and faucet. I have to say, we are both really happy with the choices. They both came from Costco and were the best prices when we searched around Grande Prairie. The sink is stainless steel and it's got a square look to it. If you know me at all, you'll know that I'm drawn to straight edges and clean lines. The counter insert was even cut out to be a large square, I think that's part of the reason why it took 8 weeks to come. The large tub is nice and deep, you can put in several dishes while cooking and there is still a lot of room. The grates at the bottom are not as bothersome as I thought they would be. Sometimes, cutlery gets caught underneath them but so far so good. 

Here is the faucet. I'm quite smitten <3 with it. I've always wanted a faucet like this. I know they are going out of style, at least that's what the man from DASA said when I showed it to him but it's a personal choice. It's easy to operate and the water comes out of it so nice and smoothly. When you put a pot underneath and fill it with water, there is not splashing of water and it's easy to get the pot in and out from under the tap. Love that!!!
The faucet swivels nicely and it's easy to un-attach and re-attach when you need it to spray and extend to clean the corners of the sink. I've not wanted to clean the inside of my sink each night but I do this one. It's so nice when it's clean and shiny. You'll also get to see what the counter top looks like. It's not a complete view but it's something. More to come, I promise. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Hold On Tight

I know I promised to show you our new kitchen counters but we worked all weekend, again, in the kitchen. I didn't quite realize how much work the kitchen can be. Maybe it's because I want it done so I can work in it but as we added cabinet doors and drawers, and then the dishwasher was installed this week, it become difficult to get into the drawers without pulling the bottom one out, then the second drawer and finally the one you want. 
We worked today on installing the drawers underneath the cooktop. Yay, no more looking at the pots. I was determined to get the drawers installed this weekend even though the repairman has been here 2 times to fix our NEW cooktop. He was here on Saturday to replace the circuit board and we ended up getting a F47 code. Not sure what that meant, other than it didn't work. Frustrating to say the least. It works now, you just can't turn down the heat. You need to turn it off then back on again. Maybe the third time will be the charm. 
We didn't get all the pulls put on but we got the drawers done which will sure has helped with opening drawers. It was a long process of building the template. I'm not sure how he did it but he spent a good hour in the garage building it. I have to say, it worked incredibly well. You'll see in the picture below, all the drawers have to come out to get into the top one.
It was fine until all cabinet doors were installed. We needed to get this fixed.

We found the center of the drawer front, marked it with a little pencil. 
You'll see the block has a saw notch made by the blade going down the center of it. We lined this up with the little pencil mark.

Marked the two holes.
Then drilled the holes with a 5/16th drill bit. The wood behind was used so the drawer front didn't split at the back. I attached the pulls as he did more of the drawers.

They are all nicely lined up and so much easier to use. 

When it came to the pot drawers, we decided to use two handles per drawer. Not because each drawer needed two pulls but we liked the look of them. It makes them look uniform. They are all nicely lined up and symmetrical. Now the question becomes, do we go horizontal or vertical with the pulls on the doors? Any thoughts would be great.
We'll work on the doors this week or weekend and let you know how this worked out. Oh, I just about forgot, the top drawers don't have the same fronts as the other drawers. You won't see the boarder on these one. We looked through the IKEA catalog and kitchen catalog and noticed. most of the time, they attach the pulls the same distance from the top of the drawer as the drawer with the boarders. This means the pulls are the same height from the top of the drawers. 
As I was making dinner tonight, it was so nice pull on the handles and reach into nicely organized drawers. I'll show you how I organized them in other posts to come. Glad this task is complete. It's slowly coming together. 
Hopefully, the tutorial will help you attach their drawer pulls to your drawers. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Updates to Kitchen Coming Soon

We've been busy with the installation of the kitchen counters, more drawers and doors going on as well as the front for the dishwasher. Come back on Monday to see the new additions to our kitchen family. In the mean time, here are some sneak peeks. 

Looking forward to seeing you back here. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beam Me Up Scotty

Our old house had a Beam built in vacuum cleaner and when we moved into this house the Broan was installed but I soon realized it wasn't working properly. That was evident when you saw the baseboards and the dirt which accumulated while the renter lived here and either did or didn't vacuum. 

You can see how dirty the carpet is in certain places but image thinking your vacuum works because you can here it making the sucking sound but it really isn't because it's not sucking up any dirt. As it turned out, the rubber rings were not on the doors of the wall sockets to create a seal. Image, not even thinking to check them. Yes, we moved into a house where the floors were not vacuumed for some time. That would explain the smell and the dirt. Gross isn't even a word which remotely comes close to describing it. 
Well, I promptly went out and bought a Dyson because I'd heard such good things about them. 
They are very pricey. It worked great for the time we needed. I could clean the carpets and I used it on the lino just as it was. I didn't need to use the floor attachment because I wasn't worried about wrecking the lino, the lino was coming out when the floors were replaced. It does a wonderful job of sucking up dirt and such, it is very loud. After a while what I didn't like about the vacuum was that I couldn't vacuum under anything, like my bed. Our Beam had a wand that bent and it folded flat so it could go under the bed and dressers. Loved this feature. The Dyson's bulky ball and canister get in the way. Like I said, the vacuum worked well for a time but when I went to use it on the hardwood floor, the attachment for it was cumbersome and I had to bend over when using it on the hardwood and it was uncomfortable and hard on my back. My physio therapist wouldn't be happy with me if he saw how I was leaning over the vacuum. I also always felt like it was going to scratch the hardwood as I pulled the large canister around behind me. 
And doing stairs was a HUGE pain. I don't care if the uprights claim to do stairs but they really don't. 
I longed for my old Beam built in vacuum. So we looked and thought about whether we should take back the Dyson and use the money towards a Beam but I still really liked the Dyson so I came up with using it in the basement since all the floors are carpet and I don't have to vacuum under anything and the built in would be used upstairs where the flooring is hardwood, carpet and soon to be tile. 
When we went to Quality Vacuum in GP he said he was putting a vacuum on the local radio station (Q99) auction. It was a larger model, it does a 10,000 square foot house (Who has a house that big?) but also more money than we were intending to spend. 
We bid on it all week and eventually won the bidding war, thanks to Darcy for staying at the store for the last hour of bidding. Someone would call in and he would up his bid. He, he, he...we ended up paying $1000 for the extra hose and stair nozzle. If we hadn't won we would have paid over $1500. That's a substantial savings.  

Darcy installed it this weekend and it's fabulous. It's so nice to have a vacuum on the level you use most often. In our old place, the hose and attachments were in the basement which meant going down 3 sets of stairs if you wanted to vacuum the bedroom on the top level. It was a pain to say the least. 
I'm happy with the Beam, now does that mean I'm going to vacuum more often? Well the jury is still out on that. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Stuff We Own

We moved into this house Oct. 12th, before the moved we lived in a home that was 2000 square feet and there were just the two of us, well and two wiener dogs. They are deceiving with their miniature size, they have A LOT of stuff. But so do we. This brings me to my point, why do we have all this stuff? 
I've managed to live for the past 4 four months without a lot of it. I looked in my, what will be my office space, and thought how little I've missed ALL the books, paper clutter and such. The problem is, it's still all packed in boxes which I need to unpack and put away in the room, along with the other boxes that need to get put away. 
The question I keep asking myself is, do I really need all this stuff? I know the answer is NO! So now, what do I do with it? I've purchased it all and I don't want to give it away. In the past, I've packed it up and given it to Good Will. I didn't want it in the house any longer. Darcy is talking about having a garage sale in the Spring. This means keeping it in the house for another 2 or 3 months which means hanging on to it for a longer. The basement storage room is getting really full with all that we've unpacked so far. It makes me wonder where we stored all of it in our smaller house. 
My goal is to have open space in closets, drawers, and rooms. So in order to accomplish this goal, I need to get rid of things. Where do you sell things? On-line? We moved for many reasons and now that Spring is slowly coming, I'm wanting to get rid of the old and simplify my life.
As I'm typing, I'm thinking to myself, wouldn't it be nice to sell some stuff, put that money in the bank and maybe use it for a bathroom renovation or outside landscaping. This is a larger task than I actually think it is. Perhaps, this the problem I'm facing, it's not the stuff, well it is the stuff but the overwhelming feeling of how I'm going to get rid of it and the amount of my time it will take. Hmm... now I'm rethinking things. Maybe it's okay to store it in the basement for another three months then do a garage sale. I need some places around Grande Prairie where items can be sold quickly and effectively. Any thoughts would be appreciated...
I'll keep you posted about what I decide.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pretty place for shoes

We live in a climate where you have to have about 4 different pairs of shoes for one day. For now we don't have our mud room finished and we won't be parking in the garage anytime soon, because it's filled with STUFF (yes, boxes, wood, carpentry supplies, unpacked boxes, etc, etc... oh yes... Did I say tools as well?) We don't have a place to store our shoes when we come in and I don't want them on the hardwood floor because they are wet and muddy with little rocks from the road. Yup, we live in the Arctic Wasteland as Darcy says. I found this great idea on Pinterest and loved it. I've never liked boot trays but with the rocks in it, I think it looks so pretty. I love rocks so this is a nice way to display them. 
What I didn't realize was how many bags of rocks each tray would take. I bought 3 bags for each tray (we need one for when visitors come over) for a total of 6 bags, well I used all 6 bags on one tray. Yikes!! Good thing I bought them for 15% off at Michaels. I guess I'll be going back to get more bags for the other tray. 

Here's my version, now I just hope the rocks stay in the tray or else you know who (The D Man) will have something to say about it. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pleats Are In Again

Hanging our curtains became an all weekend affair. Who would have thought a weekend would have been spent hanging 4 panels of IKEA curtains. We went to hang our new curtains on Friday night and soon realized we didn't want them to be hung with the clips like I had originally intended. Darcy won out on this and I'm glad he fought for the solution we came up with. We made our weekly pilgrimage to Home Depot on Friday night looking for rings and a solution to how to hang the curtains without the clips. 
We came up with using pleat hooks and the rings. At the time we didn't realize this was a common way to hang curtains and it would result in pleats. Da... After we got home we realized the pleat hooks we bought were not the right ones. They have a butterfly wing on each side and it wouldn't fit inside of the slots of the curtains. We searched all over GP finally finding them at Fabricland. If you are looking for anything related to curtains, drapes, rods or accessories head to Fabricland. We hit the jack pot. 
This will create a single pleat, double or triple pleat. These 2 videos helped to show me how to create the pleats and the different options for IKEA curtains. I love Google and You Tube for helping to come to decisions about how to do stuff. 

We chose to hang the curtain rod close to the ceiling because our ceilings are low. It helps to give the room a feeling of being higher than they really are. This site gives some great advice on how to far to place the curtains from the window frame. 

As Darcy was installing the rods, I went to work creating several different configurations and finally coming to this final product. It was 8 spaces, hook, 8 spaces and hook to create a single pleat. I tried double pleat and smaller pleats but it didn't quite look right. Pulling out and redoing 50 pleats can take it's toll on your fingers. Mine are killing me as I'm typing. 
We decided to hang the rod brackets 8 inches from the trim and the rod extended another foot past the bracket. We needed to do this because we used 4 panels and we wanted to have light coming in. 

Here is the final product. They just need to be hemmed and ironed. I'll tackle that this week. 

I've loved these curtains for years. I'm so happy with the way they've turned out. Darcy keeps saying I could look else where but what he doesn't realize is these were my inspiration for this room looking this way. It's calming and serene. Just what I need after a long day at work. 

We've Come A Long Way Baby

I've got so much to share but I wanted to update you on the new living room arrangement. It's not finished, mainly because we still have our double ovens sitting in the their. Oh I wish they would get installed but we've got to wait until the beginning of March when D's cousin can come up. 
The living room has been in many different states depending on what we were demolishing or repairing or painting. It's a large room but it's got this wall which extends into the space. I would have loved to have taken this wall/closet out and made the room a large rectangle but budget, wiring, heating/cooling vents and ceiling repairs prevented us from taking it out. Plus, it's my cleaning/storage/pantry closet now. 
Here's what the room looked like before we moved in. 

Yucky Hey!!!
Here's how it looked at various stages of renovations

Pre-hardwood flooring
After hardwood was installed and we could have some furniture to sit on. 

Here's the 75% finished room. 

My apologies for the terrible photos. I'm still learning how to use my camera and the light in the room isn't great. We're still trying to figure this part out as to the best places to have lamps and such. We would love pot lights, maybe when the electrician visits in March. Obviously, there needs to be some styling going on and it will come, but for now I think this is the arrangement we'll be going with. We need a different coffee table, some pictures up and the right side of the room is cluttered with double ovens, dog crates and dog beds. I'm confident it will get cleaned up, at least that's what I keep telling myself. One day!!!! I put up our curtains this weekend so my hope is to get that post done sometime this week, if you're interested please come back and visit.