Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

14 June 2012

Step Into My Garden

For the first time in our gardening lives, Ryan and I have full sun available to us. We attempted a vegetable garden in Olympia but had to make do with partial sun. In spite of the lack of rays we were moderately successful. Had we been more diligent at thinning, I am sure we would have had better results.

We have high hopes for our garden this season and so far, things are going well. We built four raised beds, which filled up much faster than I anticipated. We will not be cultivating a full on kitchen garden just yet. There is just not enough room. We may have gone a little overboard on the tomatoes. There are eleven plants in our tomato bed, four different varieties, three of the plants started from seed. Salsa anyone?

Aside from the tomatoes, we have beans in three colors, peas, strawberries, and assorted peppers. Wherever I found a free spot, I planted onions, kohlrabi, chamomile, and celery. Today Lola and I shall plant several varieties of lettuce around the edges of the beds. We were going to plant the greens in gutters attached to the greenhouse, but that is a project for next year. And then we wait.

Alongside the beds, we have planted corn and sunflowers. The sunflowers are doing well, but I am not too impressed with the germination rate of the corn. We started a few plants indoors, but the majority was direct sowed. I put the second batch in the ground yesterday, and filled in the empty spots. I used a different variety of corn, perhaps we will be more successful this time.

On the west side of the garage you'll find the blueberry patch and zucchini. The zucchini is growing well. Only one measly watermelon has sprouted. The ones we started indoors did not make it either. I am having a really hard time with pumpkins as well this year. I don't know what the deal is. Perhaps the June Bugs are a bigger problem than I thought.

What is left on my wishlist is an herb garden. Right now the herbs are in pots in the green house where they are very happy. The sage is out of control, and the thyme, oregano, and chives are also thriving. My only concern is that I cannot find the tiny but very hungry caterpillar that is eating great big holes in my basil.

To protect our tiny plants from critters and other wildlife, we have erected a fence around the garden, with a sturdy garden gate built of old wood we found in the garage. I love the look of the different sized and colored planks. The jury is still out on whether or not we will cut off or round the top of the gate. We will probably leave it as is. We like it. But I might persuade Ryan to cut out an opening. Perhaps even a heart.

07 October 2011

Progress Report

Before we even moved into this house, we started working on the kitchen. I took down all the cabinet doors and drawers to transform the gloomy seventies look into a more modern one by painting them white. In the meantime Ryan ripped out the ceiling, painted the walls, and replaced the fixtures. The painting took a bit longer than anticipated. In fact, it is still not done. But, we are making progress. Sort of.

You know how they say "When it sounds too good to be true, it usually is?" After reading some rave reviews on the web, I decided to use Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformation kit. It contains everything you need for a complete cabinet make-over: a bottle of de-glosser (overpriced Spic & Span, if you ask us), a bond coat, optional decorative glazing, and the final clear protective top coat.

Supposedly two coats of the bond coat will turn those nasty dark tinted doors into fresh white colored ones. Not true. Even after three coats, you could still see brush strokes here and there. I was okay with that, though, and felt a fourth coat wasn't necessary. There is perfection and then there is completion.

We have 27 doors and 11 drawers. The doors were painted front and back, three coats on each side. 27 x 2 x 3 = 162. Add the 33 coats of paint on the drawers to that and you have 195 coats of paint. That does not include the 65 coats of the clear protective top coat still to be added, nor the painting of the cabinet frames. It's a lot of painting. A LOT. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have come to detest this project.

But the end is in sight. All of the doors and drawers are done, as well as half of the cabinet frames. But then. I found out the clear protective top coat is not really clear at all. It dries yellowish, like aged varnish. My white cabinet doors all have a stained, dirty look to them. Every single one, though some worse than others. As if someone peed all over the cabinets and did not wipe it off. It's hideous!

Can you spell F R U S T R A T I O N?

I am sure if you use a different color than white and/or apply the optional decorative glazing, there would be no problem. But we did not. We wanted simple white cabinets. Argh!!! I must say though, when I just walked downstairs to pour myself a cup of coffee, I was nice to walk into a kitchen with doors on the cabinets instead of on the dining room floor.

Perhaps the pee stains will grow on me.

28 July 2011

Quickly, While I Can

We moved last weekend. Our house is in total chaos with various painting projects taking place in the dining room, living room, and kitchen. Random pieces of furniture are scattered about while the rest of our stuff is packed into the garage.

I cooked our first proper meal yesterday, not pizza or something heated up in the microwave, with the one wooden spoon I was able to find. We are still eating off paper plates, using plastic silverware and drinking out of disposable cups.

Lola and I are enjoying having some time off together. I paint; she plays with her stuffed animals, taking them for rides around the block. Every now and again we take a break to go grocery shopping.

For the time being, we are off line. No phone, no internet, no television. To keep you updated on our progress, I must visit the local bar. Our town is so small, we can walk everywhere. Also, there is no mail delivery here. We are now the proud owners of PO Box 281.

The house came with kitchen appliances but no washer and dryer. More so than buying this house, the purchase of our first proper washer and dryer makes us feel very grown up. After Ryan and I installed them, we grabbed a drink and hung out in the basement, admiring our new appliances. They make really cool noises when you turn them on and off.

I have one more coat of paint to go on the twenty seven kitchen cabinet doors. If I ever talk about painting kitchen cabinets again, someone please stop me. I don’t care how much money I am saving.

14 July 2011

Getting Started

Before we move into our new house next weekend, we thought we would take advantage of its empty state and do a little remodeling. Painting mostly. We thought about refinishing the floors and fixing up the attic in addition to painting but the contractor we talked to flaked on us. That's fine really. There is still more than enough to do.

The 'before' shots
Ryan has graciously allowed me to paint the kitchen cabinets. He is a bit of a wood snob, and doesn't believe in adding artificial color to wood. But in this case, I can do what I want. While I have been taking down thirty three cabinet doors and eleven drawers, taking off sixty six pieces of hardware, and cleaning everything, he has ripped out the charming drop ceiling and fluorescent light fixtures. We are taking out the carpet, too.

I am looking forward to showing you the 'after' pictures.