Friday, November 19, 2010


Have you guys ever seen this video?  I stumbled across it while reading the oh-so-funny design blog of Manhattan Nest.  It just might be the cutest thing I have ever seen!  The "my only regret in life is that I will never have a dog" line just kills adorable.  I found myself actually connecting with Marcel and feeling bad for him...haha...what is wrong with me?  anyways, I have already watched this video like 4 times (and it is only noon) and I suspect I will continue to watch it for a long time...I hope you guys enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Floors Update

So this will be my last floors update until my final post with pictures after they are all done, but I wanted to just share with you how the first day of sanding went.  Now I guess it is hard to tell from these photos (mostly taken in the dark with an iphone) but after the finish was sanded off them they are a really light ash colored...sorta like bleached wood.  They are actually really pretty.

 can you see the difference from the warm honey color that they were before sanding them?

And that lighter colored stuff that appears to be masking tape is actually a sandable wood filler.  This filler is around the base of the floors covering up the nail holes that remain from the tack strip that held down the carpets being removed.  You also can't really tell from the photos but that filler is actually all over the floor filling in the holes that remained after I pulled up all of those staples.

Now the reason you see so much filler here is that the boards were REALLY bad here in the hallway.  Not only was there a lot of staining, but the boards were starting to come apart and there were large gaps between the boards.  And this filler will really help keep the boards together, as well as make my home more energy efficient (since removing the carpets actually made my house less energy efficient).

And remember the really bad termite damage?

it is now all filled in:

(the landlord didn't want to pay to rip up the floor boards and replace hopefully it will turn out ok!  Fingers crossed!!!  And as you can see from this picture...the molded was just at the surface (not throughout the whole board) and it was easily sanded off. 

Here is another board that had termite damage that has gotten the first round of wood filler...

  And lastly I wanted to show you a picture of where the wood floor meets the fireplace.  The nail hole damage was the worst here as the people who put the carpet down put in two rows of carpet tacks and then folded the carpet down onto itself.  Which I guess worked great and looked ok, but it left some pretty bad damage to the wood floors underneath.  But I guess that isn't something you worry about when you are installing carpet...

Monday, November 15, 2010

More Than We Bargained For...

So ripping up carpets and refinishing the hardwood floors has already turned into a much bigger project then I originally anticipated.Even with basic things like just ripping the carpet up.  I didn't realize just how many nailed down rotten carpet tack strips were going to remain and need to be removed with a pry bar.  And I didn't imagine JUST HOW MANY STAPLES were going to be stuck in the floor.  And let me tell you...prying up staples in a wood floor is hard work!  I mean look at how the carpet was staples down to the hardwood:

And to make the project more manageable, my boyfriend and I ripped up the carpet in sections of the house so that we had time to complete "finish" off cleaning up and prepping that one area before we moved on to the next.  This actually worked out really well for us, so that each night when I went to sleep, the house wasn't a complete disaster and I knew that the one section we had just worked on was clean (well as clean as it could be), prepped, and ready to be sanded.  Because I am a little crazy, this method worked really well for me.  So we started with the dining room, moved on to the hallway, then did the back of the living room/entryway.  These were all done fairly quickly (as in rapid succession) and took care of the carpet removal for most of the house. 

So the only carpet that was left was a large piece that covered out living room.  And since we hadn't found really any problems with the hardwoods underneath in the rest of the house, we surely WERE NOT ready for what we found on Saturday morning when we removed the rest of the carpet!  We found this:

Pretty extensive termite damage (like down to the subfloor) and mold!  And the mold smelled so bad!  As soon as he carpet was removed the whole house smelled of it.  And I have been sick for a few weeks now and was out of work last week with what I thought was another bad cold.  So I went to the doctor and she told me that she thinks I am having some sort of severe allergic reaction to something in my house!  And well now, I have a pretty good idea what that "something" is.  So Rob went to home depot and bought me two of these...

We are doing a mold test inside the bedroom (where my reaction tends to be the worst) and one right outside of the bedroom.  So hopefully it will come back as nothing...but at least now I will know! Now back to the floors...check out some of the termite damage...

So I cleaned up the mold with the only thing in the house I thought would really kill the growing spores...Kaboom mold killer with bleach!!!

After I was done using this (and then mopping the floor with Murphy's soap) the smell was gone and the floors looked much better...

So today marks the first day of sanding...and I will post pictures of the progress along the way.  Fingers crossed that this can be done by the end of the week!!!

And another definite big benefit of getting all of the carpet up to expose the original 90 year old hardwood underneath (and getting paid early and discovering it Saturday afternoon) was.........having a great dance floor for the new Xbox Kinect and the game Dance Central!!!  Yes that is right folks...I have a new addiction!  Dancing in my living room to Dance Central using the is amazing!  As soon as I have the hardwoods refinished you can bet your sweet little behinds that I will be hosting dance parties at my casa!!!!  And I am sure there will be more on that latter too!  Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Am In Love With A Font...

And his name is "Feel Script!"  I have been lusting after this font after seeing it on a few different Blogs...especially this one:

Nuestra Vida Dulce

After seeing this font I knew I need to find out what it was and get it!!!  So I started doing some research to find out what it was called and I wasn't having any luck.  And then I saw it spring up here:


And here:


In fact, these three blogs gave me total design envy...and inspired me to commission the amazing Torri of Digital Confections to design my website.  So I sent Torri on the search to find the font as well...but both of us were unsuccessful.  So I settled on the font that you currently see on my website (which I like A LOT), but it just wasn't "the one!"  And I know that all of you out there KNOW EXACTLY what I mean by that!

But yesterday I FINALLY FOUND IT!!!  The font is designed by none other than Alejandro Paul and it can be purchased on Veer!  After reading a little more about the font I see that "Feel Script has more than 1200 glyphs including: stylistic alternates, contextual alternates, titling alternates, swashes, and ligatures." -- isn't that amazing?!?  So on Monday morning when I get paid...this will be the first thing that I purchase!

If you are obsessed with fonts the way that I am, I am sure you will be compelled to do the same after seeing some of their promotional material...

Now I just wish the font didn't carry a $99.00 price tag!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010



> Testing out my new mobile blogger application with a picture of my
> Buddy Man!

Refinishing Hardwood Floors

So I currently live in a house I rent.  The house is very cute but definately has its quirks.  Here is a picture of the front of the house from when I first moved in.

One of the quirks the house has is that when in was built sometime in the 1920's it was not built on a slap foundation.  You can see that from these two pics of the back of the house:

And just for fun so you can see the rest of my dwelling, here are two shots of the backyard:

Now back to the no-slab foundation -- besides the fact that this means that walls tend to crack (messing up your freshly painted walls) and during some seasons certain doors in the house won't open/close (due to swelling and house movements), this is a little bit of a concern when you are a constantly-looking-for-projects-to-complete freak like I am.  Originally the house had hardwood floors, and when I moved in there was wall-to-wall cream color carpeting which looked nice, but with me living in the house along with 4 animals...the carpets didn't stay cream colored long.  Even with regular carpet is just hard to keep cream colored carpets cream if you really live in your house.  But I could see the hardwood floors in my closets looking out and me and laughing because they were there but I couldn't have them.

So I really started thinking about what hardwood floors would be worth to me.  I did some reearch and found that I could take care of the refinishing of these floors myself, and it wouldn't be in the thousands of dollars like I had initially thought (and by thought I mean told by friends who had worked with professionals doing their own houses).  And I determined that hardwood floors would definately be worth $50 a bucks more in rent to me, so I proceeded with contacting my Landlord...who surprisingly was fine with the idea of redoing the original hardwood.  Turns out, she even has a friend who is a professional who might be redoing the floors for me!  If she likes what she sees, she will come in and sand and seal the floors for me herself...I will just have to rip up and dispose of the carpet & pad, pull up all of the staples and nails (the floor is tongue and groove) and pry up all of the carpet tack and dispose of it.

Turns our that "just" I mentioned is A WHOLE LOT OF WORK!  I really didn't know what I was getting myself into!!!  And remember when I mentioned that my house "moves" and it does not have a solid slab foundation?  Just imagine what this means to toungue and groove floorboards that are 90 years old and have been covered in carpet and not maintened in a couple of decades?!?

Now my puppies are potty trained to pee outside; however, sometimes they have to use puppypads that are strategically located in the house in case I cannot let let outside.  Now for the most part the are really good about using the pads, EXCEPT that my little girl Bunny Bear will not use a pad that someone besides herself has gone on.  And her brother Bowser will "mark" a pad as soon as she goes on one.  So what this means for me is that I am changing out pads several times a day due to my finicky little girl...although I really can't blame her.  If you ever saw what Bowser could do to a wouldn't want to use it after him either!

So I realized that Bunny B was having little accidents (if you can call them that) on the carpets while I was at work or during the night sleeping.  And then Bowser would mark those accidents seeing that he is a typical boy dog.  And while I was pretty good about alwasy find these accidents and throughly cleaning up after them, last week when I met with the lady who may be helping me redo the floors last week she terrified me that the hardwood floors under the carpet were going to be ruined.  I was so scared ripping up the carpets this weekend as I was fully expecting that in the two places that Bunny Bear "goes" the floors were going to be warped and black with urine stains. 

Well thank goodness this was not the case!  However, it isn't as nice as it sounds.  There was a little puppy piddle staining on the hardwoods near the bathroom door, but that was NOTHING compaired to the condition that most of the floor was in.  Here are some picstures to show you what I have been up to.  I promise I will post a full reveal and tips to what I have discovered along the way once I finish the project.

These is the floor in the small hallway between the two bedrooms and the bathroom (where the floors really were the far):

And do you like the not-so-little cutout of the floor where whoever installed the wall heater (obviously put in since the house was built in the twenties)?  I am not really sure what can be done about that...

And how the carpet installers thought it was a good idea to prepare the inside of the house for a hurricane...seeing that the insire floor was covered in staples ensuring that the carpet pad was adheared to the floor VERY WELL...

The first area of carpet I ripped up was in the dining room...and the floor boards are not in that great of shape there...this is definitely where the non-stable sub floor has come into play the most.

And as you can see from this picture, whoever installed the cheap vinyl linoleum at the front door entry way was A REAL to love the uneven cuts and excess glue that is everywhere...

But after sweeping, moping the floors a couple times and then polishing them with wood cleaner, the floors look MUCH better!

Dining room:

Living room:

And the entryway:

While It May Be A Little Early For Christmas...

I was just browsing through my picture files and I found my "Christmas 2009" folder.  Last year for Christmas I had flown home to Wisconsin to celebrate the holidays with My Dad, Sister and Step Mom.  My Dad comes from a big family (like really big...his Mom had 15 children!!!) and last year he hosted the annual Skifton Christmas party, so it was s good time to come home!

So a little background on my Dad...he was a Christmas buyer for 20+ years, but recently he has made a switch to reping Christmas products and even designing some himself!  So while Christmas has always been one of my Dad's favorite holidays, the last few years it seems like he is in a competition with himself to top his previous year!

So I just wanted to share some pics from my last Christmas with you, and share some of the AMAZING decorations at my Dad's house.  I hope that these pics inspire you!

This is the formal dining room set-up as the "head table" for my Dad's brothers & sisters:

And did you see that mantle ?!?  that has to be one of my favorite areas in the house decorated by my Dad.

And these are the angel collection also shown in the formal dining room:

And this is the ever growing Santa collection...

These are just some of the animated pieces that my Dad has throughout the house... 

Here are some pics of the snow village that my Dad creates ever year.  In fact, he designs many of these little houses that you can buy in larger retail stores and they are titled with family members my sister Madeline has a "Maddy's Dance Studio" Christmas house!

And my Dad likes to be funny and put "interesting" little details into the village each year, so here is a close-up of a man being eaten by a bear...

And my personal favorite decoration every year is our "Snow Baby" collection.  I absolutely adore them and we have had some of them since I was a little girl.  So I really enjoy watching this collection grow and seeing them get put out every year!

This is the main front door (there are several)...

Another great area of decoration is the Christmas trees!  Now my Dad and Molly have a large house -- it is 3 stories, 5 bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths and a full gym.  But last year they had a ridiculously high number of trees in the house!  They had 39 trees, and 8 of them were fully hand decorated...CRAZY!  So here are just a couple of my favorites trees from last year...

And last year my Dad won the best outside light display in the Chippewa Valley!  This was their picture that was in the paper!

And this was the little excerpt that Molly had included in the case you were wondering just how crazy my Dad may be...

"As some of you may know, our Christmas light display this year can be seen from outer space. Rolly has truly out-done himself, not only creatively using store-bought items, but inventing some brand new, one-of-a-kind items for our front yard. The entire yard, house, shop and treehouse are timed to 25 different Christmas carols playing from 6 outdoor speakers. This is not a computer generation! We have also gone green using almost exclusively LED lights. Features include the most extensive blowmold snow man collection I've ever seen, a Santa/snowman inflatable motorcycle gang coming down the wooded path, a runway for Santa to land, LED trees, a 14' tree of lights and so much more. We hope you can come see the spectacle in person, but if not attached is a short video displaying some of his hard work." -- Molly

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and inspiration.  I will try and get my step-mom Molly to send me some pics from this year's set-up!