C’est Fini!

The other title for this post would be Crazytown, USA. Oh my goodness. I have never in my 59 years experienced anything like this. I thought back over my entire life, and I realized I have never lived in a house that was undergoing any type of renovation, remodeling, or construction. When I was a kid, my parents did the regular things–occasional painting, repairs, maybe a few bookcases being built. But nothing like this.

And let me just say that in one way it was WAAAAAYYY less stressful than I thought it would be. J. the contractor couldn’t have been nicer, or calmer. He worked steadily and methodically. No yelling or bad temper. Always a smile, and a special pat for Noah.

But after a while, all the disarray wears on you. Last weekend I took a few days and just went to a hotel. It was quite wonderful. I realized afterwards that one of the reasons I slept so well was because I did not go to sleep or wake up thinking about what was going to be done next.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I will just show you pictures of my new studio, while it is still pristine.

The new door, going from the living room to the studio (replaced that old sliding glass door!)


Those are LED light fixtures. There are three of them in this room and a fourth fixture with track lighting. All the quilt blogs I read said you just couldn’t get enough light. I think I proved them wrong. It looked like a scene from some martian movie the first time I saw them all lit up! That corner there is where my sewing table will go. I will be able to look out the window at my future new garden (MLG is coming over tomorrow and we will discuss this!)


My pink wall! “Coral Shimmer” to be exact. The other colors are Antiquity and Winter Snow.


Another view–that door leads out to the deck. This picture shows the mini-blinds inside the glass closed.


Looking the other way, toward the front door and the closet.


Same thing…


And the closet. I am most proud that I was able to build those two sets of shelves all by myself. They were super super heavy, and I do believe my arms got just as good a workout as my usual upper body weights workout at the gym.


And the exterior colors. I am so pleased with them, after spending all that time trying to decide on the EXACT. RIGHT. COLOR. The main color is Yukon Green, with Natural Wicker trim, and Savory door. I love the little landing that J. built. So much better than the step that I had imagined! Of course, you can see the old color of the house on there too. Eventually the whole house will be painted. But for now the studio is done. More furniture moving tomorrow.


Because next, J. is going to do hardwood floors and paint and trim, oh, and replace the huge windows in the living room.

And after that he will do the dining room.

And after that….let’s not talk about it. Let’s just say that I have an idea for a REALLY. BIG. JOB. But I don’t know about that one for sure yet.

Tomorrow I am leaving for a little quilt trip, and then I will turn around and take another longer trip. I’ll tell you about that one when I come home. These trips were planned way before I ever decided to do all this construction work. But they are coming at just about the right time. I am going to be happy to be out of the house for a while, and I am sure J. will enjoy working without me in his way.

Still Here, Still Under Construction

I don’t really have anything profound to say. And there isn’t a lot to show you on the construction, but I thought I’d share a few photos that show what I’ve been doing for the last week or so.

Every day the contractor comes and works steadily. I like so much how he works. So calm. He even has a calming influence on Noah! But there is still a LOT to do. And I keep adding on to the things I want done. He is very orderly, though, and wants to finish the studio before moving on to any of my other add-on jobs.

So one day when I was out driving an older neighbor lady around to do some of her chores, she wanted to drop some clothes off at the thrift store. Its not one of the thrift stores I frequent, so imagine my surprise when I walked in and here was “the chair of my dreams!” I thought about it overnight, and then went back and got it the next day. It is very large, soft, and cozy.


So long-time readers know how important color is to me, right? And you know how I think I’m pretty good with color, right? I mean, I dyed fiber and yarn, and could pretty much create any color I could think of. So do you know how frustrating it was when I couldn’t find the exact colors I wanted? I even tried mixing my own colors a little bit. And then I think I got a little addicted to buying those sample cans of paint. I’m not kidding, I’ve got about 20 sample cans out there. I lost sleep over worrying about choosing the right colors. My biggest worry was choosing the right color for the exterior of the house. Because that’s a big job to get wrong.


Do you all know the website Houzz.com? It was really helpful–they just have TONS of pictures on there. I could google “painted exterior entry doors,” and there would be hundreds of pics of painted doors. DSCN0827

So I won’t tell you my final choices, and I’m not sure the final choices are even in those pictures. I’ll wait and take pictures of the house and walls actually painted.

Here’s an embarrassing funny picture. See that duct tape on the sliding glass door? Yes, I lived with that stupid sliding glass door with only duct tape and no handle for over fifteen  years. And the tracks for the door didn’t work right either. And that was the main door I used to enter and leave the house. I think that’s how I got the tendonitis–trying to get the stupid door open. I don’t know why I lived with it so long. Indecision?


So here’s the new door between the living room and the studio. Its SO FUN to open a door with a real door knob. And to have the door open without any effort at all LOL.


And here’s the room with drywall done. He put some texture on on Friday afternoon. I don’t really like texture too much. Oh well.


Well, me and the contractor have had the weekend off, so we will be back to our regular routine for the next five days. I am surprised that I can actually get on with my regular routine (to a certain extent) with someone working here all the time. I’m not sleeping all that well, but I’m not stress eating, and I am getting in plenty of exercise (more than usual afternoon escapes to the gym!)

And Then There was Insulation

Man, I am tired. It seems like I’m not doing that much every day. But every day I am just exhausted. I think part of it is emotional exhaustion. Its exciting to see the studio progress. Its frustrating to be having this much trouble picking out paint colors (for both the inside and the outside.) Its fun to watch the construction progress.

It was super fun to have this stuff arrive today!


The hardwood flooring! It has to sit in the house for at least 3 days to get acclimated.

I was so happy to take a few boards out of the box and see that I liked it even more than I did at the store! It is natural acacia.


I can’t say enough good things about my contractor. I was telling him how much I admire the way he works. He never seems to be in a hurry, and yet at the end of each day there is another huge amount of progress to be seen. He said “the secret is to do it right the first time.” Ha! Seems that might be a lesson a lot of us could apply in life.

And in between I continue to choose a couple of areas to clear out/clean up/put away every day. I went through a CD cabinet and got rid of 90% of the CD’s (and empty CD jackets) yesterday. That cabinet will be a great place to store all the little tools I use in my sewing and other handwork. Today I put away all the rest of my Christmas stuff. That might not seem like much to most of you, but I am the person who is putting Christmas away the first of March! And, if you can believe it, I am going to the gym at least every other day, and taking Noah for a walk every evening before it gets dark!

Here is the most current view of the studio. You might not be able to see it, but I am particularly happy about all the electrical outlets. He put extra electricity in every outlet, so I should not have any trouble with things shorting out. There is even going to be an electrical outlet in the center of the floor. I thought of that, because I know there will be a work station there, and that is probably where I will also do most of the ironing.


What you can’t see is the trailer load of sheet rock that is waiting right outside. That goes up tomorrow. Oh, and the doors will be here tomorrow! Very exciting.

This is where there was a window from the living room to the covered deck. I never liked it there. So now it will be filled in and there will be more wall space.


And that is the end of my story for tonight. I am off to bed to dream of furniture arrangements and paint colors. Yes, that is what I dream about every night. Now I know why I’m so exhausted!

Studio Update!

(I posted this on my quilt blog, but copied it over here for all my non-quilty friends : ) )

Things are moving along so quickly with the studio, I can hardly believe it! In spite of starting the work right before two of the biggest holidays of the year, the contractor has continued to work steadily, and here is what it looks like today.

While browsing the local antique shops for a piece to place my grandpa’s cupboard on, I ran across this desk. It seemed just right for a multi-purpose cutting/ironing table and desk. And it was in great condition and was real wood (white oak,) instead of the laminate I was considering. After thinking about it over the New Year, and checking on the ideal height for me for cutting/ironing, I went back to the store to look at it. It was exactly the right height, and I even got a discount on it. It took a bit of doing, but we fit it in the back of my car and it came home with me.


Then the contractor and I had to carry it up this little ramp and across the studio space to the deck to store it until the room is finished. I said it was like a circus act, carrying that heavy desk up a little ramp like that!


Here’s the view of the room from the deck-side doorway. You can see the closet partition now.


And here is a view from the outside with the siding and the windows in place already!


We talked again about outlets and lighting, and he put all the wiring in so that on Monday he can start on the insulation and drywall!!

While I was out I went to the paint store. Do you know how many colors of white there are???