Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quick Update

As many of you have probably seen, Joplin, Missouri, the city that we live in has been hit very, very hard by an EF5 tornado, the strongest rating there is for a tornado. Jake and I are so thankful that we are alive, our families are alive, and The House with the Blue Door is still standing. The tornado was only 3 blocks from our house, but the house is ok, just a lot of debris in the yard to clean up. We are very fortunate and blessed.

The news has been telling you that Joplin is a city of 50,000, which is accurate to the size of the city itself, however, Joplin is actually a metro area with more like 150,000 people from Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, that will be affected in some way by the storm. This site shows some before and after pictures that convey the damage better than anything I could say can.

There are many people in Joplin and the outlying areas that are much more affected by this tragedy than we were, however, we did loose our car as we rode out the tornado by laying on a sidewalk while the tornado ripped the store we tried to enter moments before to escape the tornado, and at least a 10 block radius around it to shreds. Here's a video of the live newscast that was happening at the time of the tornado. It's still almost impossible to believe that Jake and I rode it out with only minor cuts and bruises.

God was with us, and we know that Joplin will make it through this difficult time, but it will take years before things seen "normal" again. If you are interested in trying to help, there are many places to make donations, including, the Red Cross, our church, text the word "Joplin" to 80888 to make a $10 donation through the Salvation Army, and there are numerous other organizations that are taking donations to help as well. We will hopefully be back with a normal blog post later in the week, however, due to the storm, the internet is still very sketchy and we don't even have it back at our house yet, so bear with us as we go through these little struggles, and as our city tries to pick up the pieces. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Drifting Dune

That's the name of the newest paint color addition to our house, Drifting Dune, and I must say I believe I'm smitten. As you may remember from this post, the back room was kind of cave-like. Oh sure, it had natural light coming in through all the windows, but somehow that awful paneling just seemed to suck the life right out of it. Well say "so long" to that awful knotty pine, and "hello" to the calming and oh-so-much brighter Drifting Dune.

We used the Olympic Premium No-VOC paint (our first time to use it on a whole room) and it was a great experience. No house smelling like paint for days on end, and since we're experiencing a little bit of a cold snap here it was nice to not need the windows open the whole time we were painting too.

It's not easy to see here, but the wall on the left has a coat of paint on it while the other walls are still just primed. 

Here's a closer view of the corner where the left half is painted and the right is just primed.

We took off the closet doors to paint them separately so that we could make sure to do a good job on them. We just took them outside to paint them, that way they were out of our way in the room too.

 We weren't super careful about the edges or anything since we plan to paint all the trim and baseboards next, and the ceiling still needs painted too, so we just had at it.

 As with the primer, the longest and most tedious job was painting in those divots since the roller wouldn't reach them. Here's a look at the walls after we were through. You may notice that we didn't worry about edging all the way up to the ceiling; that's because we are going to put the molding that was up in the room before back up (after we give it a nice coat of white paint that is).

We got it all done pretty quickly overall, and even had time to work on a few other projects to get the room that much closer to the "grand re-opening" on Memorial Day, so stay tuned for more updates soon.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Better Late Than Never

So, maybe this is something that you could do for Mother's Day next year, but we thought we'd show you our gift for Jake's mom this year. One of our local garden centers was having a great sale on flowers, so we picked up some begonias for her and decided to diy a clay pot that we had on hand to make it into something special. And since the flowers are so easy to care for (read as: Even Audra's black thumb won't kill them) they'll last all summer instead of just a week or so like a cut flower bouquet would. So, here's part of what we were up to this weekend.We started out with a simple clay pot that we already had on hand.

I used the spray primer on it (the first time I had ever used the spray primer, and I must say that I like it) and covered it with a nice, even and thin coat then let it dry.

Next I went over it with a coat of white spray paint.

You can't tell that much of a difference between the primer and white paint coat in the pictures, but there was a definite difference in real life. Next we decided to add some stripes to the pot to add a little interest. So we got out some trusty Frog Tape and got to cutting. We didn't want the stripes to be too wide, so Jake cut the tape in half to make a thinner stripe.

Unfortunately because of the conical shape of the pot we couldn't just wrap the tape around to make a straight line, so we tore it into small strips and lined them up with one another to make our stripes.

Next we grabbed our handy spray paint (we use a lot of spray paint don't we, oh well) in a teal color and got to painting. This is what it was looking like after the first coat:

And then after the second:

I forgot to take a picture of the next step, but we took the tape off, and with the white and teal stripes it was kind of reminding me of a Dr. Seuss hat, but not to worry, we planned to add some cute little polka dots to it to jazz it up just a little more. So we got these little sponges from the craft store and got to work.

We did one coat with the sponges and then went back over the dots with a small paint brush to get them to be a little bolder. Here's what it was looking like after all the paining was finished.

All that was left was to plant the flowers in it and deliver it (along with a card and a Starbucks gift card that we stuck in among the leaves of the flowers). Here's the final outcome.

Jake's mom seemed to really like it. I think she appreciated the handmade aspect of it as well since she enjoys making things herself (she sews purses, diaper bags, dresses, baby slings and bedding, she's quite the sew-er) as much as we do. So there's a little project that you may be able to put to good use sometime. I'm considering making a simpler version for our own house, maybe just a teal pot though, I'm really loving that color. Anyone else make anything for their mother or mom-in-law this weekend? Please feel free to share!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Primed and Ready

We've been working on this back room renovation for about two months now. A lot of diy blogs that you see show the befores and afters pretty quickly, and maybe those people actually do work that fast, but around here we're pretty slow going. We are getting close to the finish line though and we just got one step closer to getting there.The room is all primed and ready to paint now.

We got an oil based primer (I've heard really good things about Zinsser primer, so we went with that one), and I pretty much followed this tutorial. It was pretty easy at first, I just got all my supplies ready and started rolling it out on the wall that we put the new paneling on a few weeks ago. It was rolling on pretty easily, and I was pretty optimistic about getting done really quickly and maybe even getting both coats of paint on. The inevitable problem that always keeps diy projects from going as easily as planned reared its' ugly head though in the form of the original paneling that had been on the wall when we started the project.

The valleys, for lack of a better word were too deep for the roller to reach, so each of them had to be primed by hand, which increased the length of time spent priming significantly.

The primer is pretty thick and sticks ridiculously well to everything, so we just get a cheap old paint brush at the local hardware store (usually less than a dollar) and throw it away after we've used it.

I have to admit that the priming was slow going, but after lunch I came up with the idea to turn on "Friends" to watch listen to while priming and it made the whole experience much more enjoyable (Jake was out of town while I was priming, so I just blasted the tv so that I could hear it throughout the house). One disc of "Friends" later and this was the result.

It took a while, and I made sure to open the windows and run a fan while I was back there in order to get those odors out of the house as quickly as possible. And for anyone that's wondering, the primer really does seem to stick well, I've been unsuccessful at getting it out of my hair still three washes later.

Now all that's left is to paint the walls, ceiling and trim and then the room will be ready for some pictures, curtains and blinds, and lots of company to come use the newly made-over room! We're planning to have the grand re-opening of the back room at our Annual Memorial Day party, and I think the deadline will help us stay focused through the last few weeks of the project.

Anyone else out there do some painting or priming recently? Or maybe you have a favorite tv show that you blast throughout the house while you're doing house work? I'll probably have to crank up the "Friends" or maybe "How I Met Your Mother" again whenever the time to paint (hopefully tomorrow) comes around again.