*Lyrics from Phantogram’s You Are The Ocean off their album Eyelid Movies. I considered using the lyric “This song is about you, ’cause I can’t live without you” regarding Brad, since his work was so essential, but thought that the above sentiment was more accurate now. Not that I don’t think that I can live without Brad. I’m sure I can’t.
I can barely remember where I last left you. I mean, I think it was somewhere around painting the walls and floor delivery. Or something. Honestly, I had to look it up. Since then, so much has been done. Let’s see: the walls were patched and painted (last coats, minus touch ups if needed); the baseboards were completed (painted, patched, sanded, etc.); the dishwasher was installed; the sink faucet was swapped out; the (cheap-O, IKEA, it’ll do until we can really afford to tackle the kitchen) undercabinet lighting was installed; we installed the underlayment to prep for the flooring; and, some lights were swapped out (from 150watt flood lights to LED replacement kits). Also, Brad and Eric of Osgood Electric came by to add some closet lights, wire and install a fan/light in the bathroom, swap out some switches here and there, add some boxes for lighting in the stairway and the laundry area, and installed recessed lighting in the living room. Phew, again.
*Lyrics from St. Vincent’s song Surgeon from their latest album Strange Mercy. I totally dig her voice, their strange and quirky sound, and the fact that this album is so new to me. Have I mentioned that I love music? I do. Can’t help it. Wouldn’t want to.
With the fall season officially upon us, and with rain seemingly never ending, I am just now getting around to noticing that my blog is woefully out of date. Perhaps due to the marathon of painting, prepping and coordinating that I’ve been doing for my mom’s new place. Yes, yes, that’s it. My neglect for my blog is due to the work that I’m doing that I should be blogging about. A vicious cycle.
But, over at ye old condo we’ve made quite a bit of headway. Since last you saw pictures, we’ve completed the following: painted living room; painted kitchen; patched sheetrock in laundry room; painted ceiling and walls in laundry room (after visit from plumber); painted trim in entire downstairs, including doors; sanded and prepped baseboards for painting and reinstall (thanks to a lot of help from my sister and a friend); stenciled and painted a bedroom; painted other bedroom; replaced toilet in main bathroom (extra thanks to sis’ bf); ordered and received (and stacked and acclimated) flooring; and, received new appliances. Phew.
Summer has effortlessly shifted into fall, marking the official close to a season that was full of fire and energy, heat and flooding, plenty and too much plenty. Windows were unceremoniously closed, yet screens remain in place; sweaters were unearthed from the drawers, or backs of closets, yet summer clothing has not been put away yet; seasonal cooking has shifted from tomatoes, fresh herbs and all things raw to squashes, soups and an increased interest in baking. The tides have changed, without us really noticing, though we are certainly aware.
Way back when, in late spring (a full two seasons ago!), we met with Mr and Mrs K to discuss ideas for their new kitchen (at that point merely a hope). Meeting after meeting, month after month and we weren’t sure they were going to choose us. Or even start at all. Drawing after drawing, email after email and we finally arrived at a direction, picked a start date, and boldly attempted to renovate an entire kitchen and bathroom in a month. Well, that didn’t quite happen, but it very nearly did: the kitchen is finally done!
*Lyrics from We Are Family as sung by Sister Sledge. I debated about which of the several horrible videos to share, but settled on the one from Solid Gold. The pyrotechnics alone make it worth the viewing. The outfits, well, they’re just the cherry on top of that sundae. (Oh, and the Solid Gold link is solid.gold.)
Between the after effects of Tropical Storm Irene (hurricane to some of you), and closing on a house for my mom, I’ve had barely a moment to reflect and enjoy the last fleeting moments of a summer that practically sprinted by. Labor Day, traditionally considered the ‘last day’ of summer (though summer lasts well in September, if we’re lucky) became a reason to enjoy not one last lazy day filled with sunshine, hammocks and cookouts, but to enjoy discounts on appliances, toilets and sofas for the new place. And due to the gap in schedules at Mr and Mrs K’s kitchen/bath remodel, I was able to switch gears and get into full remodel zone for my mom’s new condo. So long, summer. I wish I got to know you better.
*Lyrics from the Geto Boys’ song of the same name. As (poorly) fake sung by fake Kermit here. As heard first in Office Space. Totally not safe for work, by the way. Maybe not safe for most. You’ve been warned.
Client renovation – days 18, 19, 20 (+ 20.5, aka Saturday)
By the third day of the cabinet install it was clear that my position as photographer/designer/jack-of-whatever-trade-you-need was going to be utilized in a new way: as a painter. I was already acting as a coffee fetcher (what else is new), lunch grabber, vacuumer, sweeper, holder of things that require extra hands, trash collector, and back acher. Well, that last part was my own contribution to myself. But, no matter how you sliced it, my camera was going to have to be put down for much of the week. Still, I managed to get some photos (don’t cry!), so you can still inspect the progress for yourself(ves).
*Lyrics from Steve Winwood’s Back In The High Life Again. Yeah, I went there. Oh, and the video is terrifically awful. The ’80s were a different time.
Client kitchen – days 13, 14, 15 and a little bit on 15.5 (aka Saturday)
By the end of week three, the floors had been sanded and coated three times. Let me put that another way: the floors were sanded and coated and sanded and coated and sanded and coated. In that order. Just writing that was exhausting, so you can imagine how tiring it was to do. (I have to imagine it, too, since my primary function was to open and shut windows to avoid thunderstorms, and to turn on or off fans to help the floors dry smooth and clean.) The Team worked extra hard, watched the weather and the humidity adjusting their schedule to suit the optimal times to coat, and managed to get the entire space finished in the span of only a few days.
*Lyrics from Jay-Z’s 99 Problems as resung by Hugo on his album Old Tyme Religion. I may even prefer the Hugo version, though the video is absolutely stupid. The sentiment remains the same. And it ain’t a bitch.
Client kitchen renovation – days 11 & 12
The week started out great. Tile. Flooring. Wall color. Mostly all hits (as I said in my last post, there’s a shade of yellow that’s under investigation). And we even made an ambitious and detailed schedule for all of our sub contractors so we could confirm finish dates and get a game plan for the end date. That’s when we hit our first significant snag. Ugh. The countertop installers have us at the back of the line, the bottom of the list, and aren’t able to complete our project within our overall timeframe. Blerg.
*Lyrics from 2 In A Room’s 1990 “hit” (can you say it was a hit if you had to hunt wikipedia for information on it?) Wiggle It (Just A Little Bit). This one’s for you, Dave Powell. This is what you get for mentioning off-hand old lyrics to a crappy song from our youth.
Day 8: Client kitchen renovation
My head is still spinning from how much work went on today. After a week of waiting for subcontractors and inspections (passed!), after many mostly quiet days spent twiddling thumbs (or leg jiggling, fingernail biting, pacing, etc.), today Team Carpentry made up for the lack of visible progress and then some. Working through sweaty, humid and dead of summer weather, the guys rolled their way through installing 3/4 of the new hardwood flooring and installing sheetrock on nearly every wall and ceiling. Let me put it another way: there are now floors and walls and ceilings where yesterday there were none. It’s a mighty impressive step toward making the space take shape, toward realizing the vision for the design, toward putting back together the bones of a formerly hard-working (and much missed by Mr & Mrs K) kitchen.
*Lyrics from OK GO’s This Too Shall Pass.
So, for the past month (I looked it up since it seems like it’s been longer) I’ve been battling the never ending saga of tooth pain. If you’ve ever suffered from anything related to that, you’ll understand exactly why I’ve barely done anything but bathe, eat soft food, haven’t exercised, and have only gotten mildly through my punch list for the family bath. After my latest dental examination showed that I might not just have one tooth in peril, but two (cue meltdown here) I’ve decided to stop feeling badly about neglecting my work, and my blog. I will be back at it, and the exercise, too, once I feel that my tooth pain issues have been properly addressed, and when I feel safe in encouraging blood to pump freely (and quickly) through my head.
*Lyrics from Fitz & The Tantrums’ song Winds of Change from their album Pickin’ Up the Pieces.
Ok, I’ll fess up. I’ve been slacking on the blog lately. I blame the dentist. Or rather my wimpy constitution. (Turns out minor tooth pain is all-consuming, even when it’s planned.) And I blame my epic lack of emotional fortitude. Watching that bathroom come together inch by inch really damaged my psyche. And made me want nothing to do with finishing it. But I have to. It’s my job (the hubs is busy like the dickens, and has NO time to fiddle around with joint compound, grout sealer, or primer and paint).