Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let's Have a Teaching Moment

I've worked in the construction industry for nearly five years now and frequently run across commonly misused terms. Allow me to correct one here, because its top of mind and its cold and raining edit: snowing! so I can't work on any of my painting projects right now. Come on spring! Anywho, today we will discuss (well, I'll talk at you) bay windows.

The following pictures are examples of bay windows:





Using the above examples, allow me to point out standard bay window characteristics.

A bay window has three sides to it and is typically comprised of three windows mulled together, constructed at a 30* or 45* angle. Occasionally, the center member will use two windows, but typically one large, fixed window is used. The windows on the side are most often operable.

A bay window will be sent from the factory and installed as one unit, though it is possible to build one on the job site.

A bay window will have it's own roof or can be tied into an above overhang/soffit. It will also have a stabilizing support such as a knee wall or cable system that ties into the header. It will have a seatboard on the interior--this is undoubtedly the easiest way to determine if it is truly a bay window. If there is not a seatboard, and any window of the configuration can stand alone as a single window - is not connected to others - it is not a bay window.

Take the below picture as an example. The shape of the area is a function of the construction of the building. The windows are not connected to one another. This is not a bay window. You can call it a bay area if you want, a breakfast nook, a reading nook, whatever, but its not a bay window. It is gorgeous though, isn't it? I love the detailed trim.

A bow window has most of the characteristics of a bay window, but is made up of four or more windows and is curved like a hunting bow (appropriately named, huh?) rather than angular like a bay.

That's all for today, class. Time for recess. Or happy hour. You're of age now, right?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yay for free stuff!

Waiting for me on my front porch yesterday was this lovely *free* package from Valspar.

From top left:
A thank you note from Valspar, a $5 coupon off a gallon of Valspar paint from Lowe's, a painting tip sheet, a package of complementary colors to the one I had chosen, 2 baby trays, a roller with 2 roller covers, the 7.2 oz paint sample and the sheet with the color I chose, which is Mark Twain Gray Brick.

Can I tell you that I'm a sucker for good packaging and this one set my heart a twitter? Love it. And tell me the roller and trays aren't the cutest thing ever.

Get your free sample here!

I can't wait to start on my next project using this gorgeous paint color! Well, after my current one is finished so I can get my car back in the garage that is.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

::puffs out chest::

Lookie what I made with the help and motivation of Ana White!

Construction complete! I used poplar boards for their strength and durability and joined it using Gorilla glue and countersinking the screws. I actually used drywall screws because we have a bunch and that's what my husband handed to me. They worked.

Sooo... I kind of liked it better unfinished. Meh, oh well.

Here it is with the screw holes filled and sanded. The paint is Valspar flat base Jekyl Club blue or something like that. I looked once but got distracted before blogging and don't feel like going back into the basement to double check. There may have been "Veranda" in the name too, but I can't be sure. If you need the color let me know and I will double check the name for you. I sanded after the first and second coat, then finished with two coats of glossy spray polyurethane. If it were a piece other than a step stool, I would probably sand and coat with a little more poly, but a bit of grip on the steps will be good when the kids climb up and brush their teeth.

While I think mine doesn't look nearly as cute as Ana's, I'm proud of my work and my little guy loves it! I didn't splay my legs like she did since I'm an amateur and my distressing is minimal because distressing just isn't something that I'm wired for, but I think it turned out well just the same.

Here is my little buddy helping me measure and mark my boards prior to cutting. He even helped me paint! Oh, how I wish I had a picture from painting day but I was too afraid for the rest of my house to stop and get the camera while he was wielding a brush. I ended up stripping him down to his diaper because he was wanting to wipe the paint on his shirt. Instead he wiped it all over his belly, legs, cheeks, etc. Good thing Valspar is non-toxic and cleans up with water!

I love Ana's site and can't wait to build more! Go check her out!

2 bandaids and a sore hand

Here's what I'm working on:

I'm about half-way done with the demo, having spent at LEAST four hours last night working in the garage. I'm sore in places I didn't expect could be sore from a "simple" DIY project! I can't wait to get back at it, but the work will have to wait until naptime.

What are you working on these days?

Monday, March 14, 2011

A simple before and after

Since moving into our house 4.5 years ago we've diligently worked to update the original 80's components, e.g. brass fixtures, dated trim, bathroom vanities, &c. The fireplace has now had a major overhaul, with this little before/after being the final(?) project. My darling husband made the mantel and re-tiled about two years ago, but one thing was still bugging me.

I recently used a cheap and amazing product called Rub 'n Buff which I learned about from themoretalentedthanIcouldwishtobe Janell at Isabella & Max Rooms, to transform the brass on our fireplace doors to look like a satin nickel finish to match the hardware in the rest of the house.


Satin nickel-ish.

What do you think? I like the after better, although there are a few things I would do differently:

The Rub 'n Buff is a wax, so I applied it in a circular fashion similar to how one would wax a car. Not the best idea. Up close, the circular marks are very visible. I thought it would soften up in appearance when I buffed it but it didn't. I may try to apply another coat and brush it to give it a nicer finish.

Also, I was going to use a bronzy finish to be a little more subtle next to the black but all the art store had was brass, black or silver, so I opted for silver. I'm wondering how the black would look. Thoughts?

While we're at it, what should I do with my mantle decor? The empty vase is so... purposeless.

Oh, and the last thing I would do differently would be to have mineral spirits available to clean my hands. I looked liked I could have been an extra in Avatar, if they had silver creatures in it (did they? I don't know, never saw it.)

Overall I'm happy that the brass gone, er hidden, and all I'm out is a half an hour of naptime and $3.79 for the Rub 'n Buff from Blick Art Supplies!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

You are an obsession, you're my obsession

Remember that song? That pretty much describes my passion for pumpkin bread. It started slowly, as all addictions do. A quick stop at Starbucks every few weeks for some of their pumpkin bread when I was pregnant. Mmm, that's tasty. Soon the trips started coming at more regular intervals. My husband was questioning the rapid increase in our food budget. Lay off me, I'm pregnant!

I decided that I needed to somehow replicate the recipe to save some money (and my marriage) so I found a nice substitute on I thought the hard part was over. Little did I know...

One day whilst checking out at the grocery store the nice young lad at the register remarked how surprised he was that they even had pumpkin in stock. Why, what do you mean? He informed me of a pumpkin shortage. Oh, my heavens. Panic struck. We were nearing Thanksgiving when there was sure to be a run on canned pumpkin for pies (which I don't care for, interestingly(?) enough). I didn't want to be too greedy so I just picked up a can or two when I was grocery shopping to start a little stockpile. Now I can't even find it at Giant Eagle so I obsessively look for it anywhere there's a possibility of finding it.

Thar's my stash. What you see is all there is though. Think it will get me through until next fall? Me either. And look at that pathetic, triangular-shaped pantry. Maybe that will be on the to-do list, falling under the umbrella of kitchen re-do.

Hey, look. My first non-introductory post and I've already deviated from my blog's intent.