Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hardware Headaches

When we moved into our house over 5 years ago, we fell in love with all the little architectural details stashed away inside.  Sure, there was a TON of work to do.  And yes, we were probably way in over are heads...but we were two crazy-in-love kids, who thought they could take on the world!!

We soon figured out that there was more to home ownership than just adding a coat of paint to the walls, and sitting back to enjoy your work.  There were expenses.  MAJOR expenses!  Things needed fixed and updated.  Problems had to be dealt with (all at once), and sacrifices had to be made.  We soon learned what our priorities were, and that some "dream projects" were just not in the cards.

It was at this point that the "shiny new home" bubble popped.  We realized that in order to maintain our  1920's home, we were going to have to pour more than just money into it.  We need to sacrifice some blood, sweat, and tears too!

This mainly meant, that if we wanted a project done in the house, it was going to be up to us (and not a contractor) to do it.  For me, I've always loved projects...for my husband...well lets say he likes funding MY projects and leave it at that!!  And since we are extremely frugal cheap home owners, we save every penny we have for BIG projects.

Which leads me to the point of this post (about time, I know). 

I came across this article on line about fixing up your doors hardware.  It was mainly a whole how-to on stripping paint off old knobs and hinges.  Let me tell you, the "Hallelujah" chorus was going off in my head as soon as I read it.  And this is why:

{Sorry about the bad picture quality, but you get the idea.}

Pretty much every single door knob, lock, and hinge in our house is coated in multiple layers of sloppy paint.  And before I go off on a tangent about bad-home-owners who are to lazy to remove hardware before painting; lets just say that I was not looking forward to replacing everything.  Especially since it was all original (including the glass knobs), and I wasn't sure how much I'd have to pay...let alone if I'd be able to find any.

So the article sparked a fire in me, and I said whattheheck, and gave it a try.  So here's what I did (Side note: this was probably the easiest, and most environmentally friendly project you could ever ask for!!):

  • I started off by removing all the hardware, and lining them in the bottom of an old crock pot.  Note:  you do NOT want to use your nice crock pot, because it will not be fit for food afterward.  If you don't have one, I recommend looking at garage sales!
  • Next pour a layer of water in the crock pot, making sure that it more than covers the hinges.  Try leaving at least an inch of  water above the hardware, because in this case it's better to have more then less.
  • Next pour in at least 3-4 Tbs. laundry detergent in with the water.  Sounds odd, I know, but trust me it works!!  And it leaves your house smelling really good in the process (which = no strong chemical smell!!).
  •  The only thing left to do is put on the lid, set it to low, and leave it be.  This will take at least a day, but sometimes it takes 2, which is why you want extra water, cause eventually some will evaporate.
  •  You'll know it's done when the paint brushes off easily with your fingers (preferably protected in rubber gloves!).  Note: Some paint might be a little more stubborn, which might require a hard-bristled, plastic brush...not metal, it will scrape off the plating.  But hopefully when all is said and done it will look like this:
  •  I finished everything off with a mild metal cleaner, which brought everything back to their original shine.  And the Hubs fitted it all back onto our newly stripped and painted door!!

 Some extra notes for anyone doing this at home:
  1. Be sure to dispose of all leftover water and paint scrapings through a chemical disposal company.  Do NOT throw this down your drain, especially if it might contain lead paint. 
  2. If you have glass knobs, do NOT put them in the crock pot.  I have no idea if it will be able to handle the heat.  If they need cleaned, boil equal parts white vinegar and water in a pan.  Using rudder gloves and an old wash cloth; dip the cloth in water and press against the painted areas for a few minutes.  This should softer the paint up enough to scrub off.
And that's it!!  Pretty easy, huh!?!  I love that I didn't have to use expensive/scary chemical strippers...and that I had everything I needed at home!  Woo Hoo!!

I'll try to do a follow up post on how we stripped all the doors; which was a much longer and more intense project.  Heck, I'm still working on some of the doors :(  But in the end, I guess it's worth it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fett Fetish

I don't care how crazy that title sounds, it was too good to pass up!

So anyway, in my last post, I told you about an early Christmas gift I was working on.  Before I show you the goods (at which point you'll understand the title), I'm gonna give you a little peak into my brain...scary!!

First of all, you should know, I hate keeping surprises!  Specifically from the Hubs!!  Call me pathetic, but I love sharing my day with him when he gets home.  So if I work on a project, he's the first to know...and the first to shower me with "praises" ('cause you know I can't get enough of that!!).  Usually, this makes for a fun catch up on each others day.

But since I was working on one of his Christmas gifts, I had to keep quiet.  Well, obviously that didn't work!  In my defense, I thought this project would take a lot longer than a few hours...and that I'd be working on it for weeks and weeks before it was show-ready.  So when I finished up, I couldn't keep my excitement to myself.

Ironically, this makes me the exact opposite of my sister.  It's not uncommon for her family to open up Christmas gifts weeks before, 'cause she can't stand the suspense of waiting on her presents...Well, I apparently can't help showing a gift off.  And it's true, I generally get more excited about gift giving than receiving.

So when Casey got home, I kept my mouth shut for a total of 20 min. before I had to spill the beans.  I should note, that I'm good at keeping secrets...just not surprises when it involves the Hubs!  Also, Casey actually did try to keep the surprise for me, by saying he could wait till Christmas.  But before you think him all "noble", it was mainly to drive me crazy!!

Anyway, enough suspense!  Here's what I did:
{In case you're like my mom and older sister...this is Boba Fett from the Star Wars Saga...hence the title}

And before you think my talents crazy-good, let me tell you it's not.  I by no means could do this on my own.  After finding a few images online, I set about re-creating them.  If your wondering, mine's the less pretty one on the right.

I don't usually care for copying, but since I don't plan on selling this, and I by no means could have done it on my own...I'm gonna let it slide. 

So why Boba Fett?  To put it simply, the Hubs is a huge Fett fan!  And when I was collecting art for our office (stuff to represent both of us...all of which I'll reveal in a later post), he expressed the desire to have a Fett painting, but only if I did about pressure!

So after some research and a few hours of water-color-magic...I was left with a fairly nice representation!  I was a little nervous, having not spent a lot of time with water colors, and not knowing how it would look once water was added.  I was on pens and needles for a bit there!  But it all came out really well, and I'm pleased with the result!!

 It still needs to be cut down, signed, and I'll be sure to fill you in on all the latest updates.  And in case you're wondering, Case loved it!!  Mission accomplished!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Un-blogging Life

Otherwise known as "a pathetic attempt at a catch-up"!

SO....lets just say its been a while since my last post, and leave it at that.  Actually, the Hubs thought I should put that we've been "otherwise entertained" and couldn't make it to the computer....but I'm classier than that (or at least I was before revealing his idea of a joke!).  The truth is, life got BUSY.  That, and our computer and I had a war of wills. Long story short, it won quite a few battles, but I'm gonna win this war!!!

Anyhoo, I've been "blog planning" for a while now, in an attempt to structure-ize this little page into something good, and I think I've come up with a plan.

I started this blog as a journal of sorts.  A way to express all my emotions as Casey went off to Basic.  It worked out really well, and I began to venture even further in my blogging topics.  It then morphed into a catch-up on both me and Casey's life, since I was constantly bombarded with "Casey questions" whenever I left the house.  Just FYI:  I hated the "How are you doing?" and  "He'll be home in no time!" comments.

Eventually, I started adding in all my DIY projects and Home Repair updates.  Mostly to show Casey what I was up to while he was gone, but more to just take pride in a job well done!!  It became a major "love affair" in my life, and I haven't been able to quit it since Casey's been home (how taboo!)! 

Along the way, family events, random happenstances, and stupid-no-point posts found their way onto this page. Heck, I was bored with a few of those posts!

So looking back, I've realized it's a bit crazy and chaotic.  Nothing really ties in smoothly together.  And for a MAJOR neat freak, this bothers me.  Yep, I'm the gal who likes everything nice and uniform....including this little page!   So I'm making some major changes, and organizing out this bad boy!!

First of all, my  page is mainly going to revolve around a few points:
  • Art- mainly my own attempts
  • Home Repairs- this house has a long way to go before it's perfect :)
  • DIY projects- 'cause I like a new hobby/challenge!

But I plan on also adding in filler posts about:
  • Family life-you can't have a Home Repair Blog with out showing how it's used as a home!
  • Outreach projects and faith based posts- 'cause I'm building up those "treasures" in my heavenly home!!  It's a stretch, but it's going in!
  • Meals and Recipe- cause when I'm not demo-ing, I'm cooking!! 
 I'm working on a Room-Breakdown post for each room in our house, to really show you where we're going, and where we've been.  Along with some catch-up posts of my latest projects.  I'm also gonna try to add in some meals and recipes too.  In case you're wondering, I've never added these, cause I always thought the pictures turned out bad (another thing to work on I guess!).  So hopefully that's worth staying tuned in for.

As for my next post, I've got an early Christmas gift to show you, and it has to do with the art we're putting up in our office!  Speaking of my next post, my goal is to post at least 2 a week, but if I've got enough topics, I'll try to do more...pacing myself is key!

So that's the format...lets see how this works!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

1 + 1 = 2

Well it's official, the Hubby has been home now for nearly 2 weeks...and we haven't killed each other yet!!  Hooray!

Actually, we've adjusted back into "married life" pretty smoothly.  Other than a few night of bed-hogging and snoring on Casey's behalf, my sanctuary has pretty much gone unharmed!  And miracle upon miracle, I'm not even bothered by the piles of clothes on his side of the bed...or the extra nick-knacks and gadgets he brought home with him.  Having him home out weighs all the extra clutter.  (This probably has a lot to do with my whole house being ONE BIG MESS, because of garage sale items, remodeling and everything one more pile really isn't going to phase me).

We didn't have much time for a reunion.  Casey came home Thursday, and had to head into work on Friday...then he worked all weekend (drill weekend)...then had another full week of work, before finally getting a day off.  Of course, I woke him up early on Saturday for the Farmer's Market and some remodel work around the he didn't get much of a day off till Sunday (Sorry, Babe!!).  But he's been a great sport about it.

But you're probably wondering what's new with Casey.  Here are a few things I've noticed since he's been home:

-He's much more willing to help me out with home projects!!  In the past, I had to practically twist his arm to do anything (other then demo...he's always up for that!).

-He's insanely picky about his attire.    So much so that we went and bought him a new suit this weekend.

-He's gotten HUGE!!  Most of his clothes doesn't fit (hence the new suit)...and from now on I will refer to him as Thor!

-He still has his sarcastic-teasing-goofy personalty!

-He's more responsible and on top of things.  Actually, I should say that he's upped his responsibility level, cause he's always been very reliable.

-He's extremely thoughtful, loving, and kind something I've missed this last year apart.

Those are it for now!  I'll try to keep you updated on any new CaseyTHOR-quirks that pop up!!

I'll be back in the next few days to share some of the house projects I've been working on, so stay tuned!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A year ago...

A lot has changed in the last year.  I've grown, Casey's grown, and now he's almost home!  

As you might have guessed, today marks the 1 year anniversary of Casey's enlistment into the Air Force.  I'm SO incredibly proud of him and all that he has accomplished in the last year.  And although it's been a very difficult year, I'm amazed at how wonderful and fulfilling God has made it.

Being apart hasn't been easy, but God has provided us both with refuge and comfort.  I know now why he put this path before us.  To teach us. To guide us. And to show us how to trust Him.  It's been hard, but SO SO worth it!

And now that it's coming to a close, I can't help but be excited for where God is leading us next.  Casey will be home in 8 days, and a new chapter in our lives will begin...and I'll be able to put my "living alone" days behind me (at least for a little while!).


Thursday, May 19, 2011

2 weeks...

That's how long I have until the hubby is home!!  Just 14 more days until I can see him again.  14 days till I can hold him.  That's also only 2 more weeks of keeping my emotions in check.  'Cause if you're wondering how I'm's pretty much calm, reserved, and numb. 

I pretty much shut myself off to deep emotions when Casey is gone, it's a defense mechanism, and it's necessary.  Since day 1, God has guarded my heart against all extreme emotions, and I don't think I could have made it otherwise.  Even when we first said goodbye at the terminal, it felt like I was watching myself walk away from him...and that God had stepped in to take my place, emotionally.  I don't recall making any decisions, one moment we were saying goodbye, and the next moment I was watching myself walk away.  

It's the same for Casey, whenever he has to leave me, he shuts off his emotions too...we call it military mode, but it's pretty much the same thing.  He morphs into Airmen Perkins, who is all about the mission...not emotions.

All this low-emotion stuff might sound cold and heartless, but it's become crucial to my post-Casey survival.  Otherwise, I would be crying myself to sleep every night, wondering how I could possibly go on...and I don't need that!  

Don't get me wrong though, I am extremely excited to have my husband home.  I miss him, and love him, and can't wait to hold him (nothing could remove those feelings).   It's been hard and lonely without him here to comfort me and cheer me up.  I'm more than ready to have him home (heck, I'm down-right ecstatic), I'm just not allowing myself to get my hopes to high...just to find out he has to stay another week (which is totally possible with the military).

And I've found that instead of dealing with the onslaught of new emotions, I've been throwing myself into home repairs...desperate to finish things in time for Casey to be home.  It helps me process things a little more clearly, for example:

-Once I get this work done=Casey will be home!!  
-I'll have two rooms completely finished in the house= and Casey will be home!!
-The yard is coming together=Casey will be home to enjoy it!!

It's like I'm working towards a goal.  Like all the repairs I do, bring him home faster.  That's nonsense I know, but that's how my brain is choosing to process it!  So I'll humor myself a little longer, and finish up those projects, in hopes that it will fill my time till he gets here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If you know me, you know I HATE working a garage sale.  It probably has something to do with sitting out in the hot sun for hours on end, and never making any money.  So I usually just donate stuff to goodwill.  But God has been laying a burden on my heart to serve the less fortunate, and it seems like a garage sale might be the best way!!

So a few weeks back, I brought up the idea of a yard-sale-as-a-service-project to my Girls Bible Study...and miracle beyond miracle, they all LOVED the idea!!  Woo Hoo for not doing this on my own!!  We've dubbed it "Garage Sale for God"!!  The dates have already been set (June 16-18 to coincide with our local Delano District Garage Sale), and the location (My friend's house).  So all that's left is to start purging all of our junk!! 

If you're interested in helping, please message me, or check out our event on facebook.  My hope is to raise at least $300-$600 (how awesome would it be, if we could raise even more!?!).  ALL proceeds will be used to further God's kingdom (either through a charity donation or a pay-it-forward type event).  That's right, we aren't making a penny off it...we want to give that money to someone who could really use it!

So, if you're interested in contributing, we would love the help or donation!!  It's always exciting to see God take an idea, and change it into an awesome way to serve others and himself.  And that's what we're praying for this event.  So if you can't contribute, or help, please consider praying!!