Monday, April 21, 2008

Another organizational feat!

You might recall that we had them frame in the extra space behind our master bath for a slim little linen closet:
This weekend I got out the tools and put in the shelves for our previously open space. Some cheating was involved. As I picked up the paint-ready pine boards at Lowes they were already the right width for the closet (hooray for 20") and they will do a couple cuts for free, so I just had them slice my shelves to the right depth. Then I painted them hearts of palm green (like the closet walls). We had lots of leftover 1" trim that I cut with the jigsaw (just because it was handy and they were only tiny cuts) to the right length for shelf brackets. I squeezed into the closet and did lots of measuring and leveling and stud finding to attach the brackets, popped in the painted shelves and VOILA~ instant linen closet:
OK, it was really like 2-3 hours worth of work between the finding of supplies, cutting of supports, sanding, painting, measuring, affixing, etc. But it all worked out right (read: level) the first time and I did it all by myself (Eric was at the Clarksdale Blues Festival in MS) so I was pretty pleased with my organizational quotient for the weekend! Now we just need storage for the basement, the steps to the basement and the shelves and bar for the coat closet!

What to do with an obscene amount of clothing?

Hi, my name is Mary and I am a clothing addict. My weakness is vintage clothing and thrift store finds. I likely have not seriously shopped in a bonafide department store since I left my job as assistant manager at Elder Beerman (Department Store) some dozen plus years ago. But I can have a field day at an outlet mall. Which has led me to this...we have a magnificent and HUGE new closet (compared to many in old houses + our old house) and I am still trying to devise a system that will accomodate my collection of clothing and shoes (Doc Martens are kinda chunky, ya know?). Eric seems mostly settled on his half (40%?) of the closet...while he technically has less of the space, he's got the "full-size" space with walls and a ceiling that neatly meet at 90 degree angles:
I am working in the eaves on my side. So envision a 16 inch span of flat ceiling, that connects to a wall that is immediately at a 120 degree angle until it meets the floor (it's been a long time since my last geometry class, forgive me if that is totally off). My ingenious mother helped me put in four wood pillars which then attach to angled blocks anchored into studs on the drywall so I've got 4 hanging bars that work for my on season (in front) and off season (in back) shirts and jackets. The right side:
The left side:
And I've got a fabulous old brass fixture from my former clothing-store-owning friend Anne (thanks Annie) that sits amidst the pillars and houses my "long hanging":
Because, yes, I'm still sentimentally attached to my wedding dress (among other things) and my parents kicked it out of the closet at their house. The big hanging picture:
So, most of my tops, jackets and dresses have a home in the closet. What I'm still working on is medium-height hanging for my pants. I thought it would be brilliant to just hang a bar from the ceiling- it's flat, I can fix it into the studs, I can still access my other stuff....but I can't find anyplace that sells ceiling hanging bars (our ceiling is maybe 6' tall, so I could easily reach it). I think this space needs just that:
Not Lowes, not Bed Bath & Beyond, not even my last bastion of hope The Container Store could solve the dilemma and give me a ceiling hanging rack or suitable alternative. And, yes, it's all on an adjustable mobile rack right now, but it's taking up too much space. So if anyone has any brilliant insight, I'm all ears!
Other workable stuff we assembled includes a sweater shelving rack that steps down with the angle of the wall:
A shoe rack that fits in at the bottom of the floor angle for shoes on top and storage below:
And these great armed towel holders that I got from Ikea, but mounted on the side of the sweater shelving that are working fab for handbags:
That's the closet so far! Stay tuned for more organizational accomplishments!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Do you miss us?

Sorry for the lack of updates...but last weekend we started MOVING....and now the computer is still at the OLD HOUSE...and we're not so much anymore. And the packing, loading, unloading and unpacking is still just as much fun as I remember from 11 years ago (NOT!) And our basement is still untouched. Ugh!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Fence on a Budget: $0.00

So we need to enclose the backyard for our dogs. And we have hopes of either building a garage or replacing the whole Western fence in the next couple of years, so we don't want to spend any $$$ on something we are going to tear out soon. But we don't want it to look crappy. So, using lumber salvaged from the front deck when it was torn down (posts and rails), other 2x4s from the interior demo we did last year, plus some fence board and an old gate given to us by the Magnificent Mr. Ressa, I constructed the following fence. At 52'' high, it's not a true privacy fence, but it will certainly keep our dogs in and uninvited guests out.

Day 1 I finished the first panel (after having sunk the posts earlier in the week):
Next, I hung the gate and began constructing the second panel:
Here is the cheesy handyman pose:
And below is the "best face forward" look. Only a top rail to install and the finish pieces on the backyard side and it is done.
Bonus shot: We dog-sat this monster over the weekend. Anyone who thinks we have big dogs needs to meet Luke, a full-blooded Bernese.
Yes, as a matter of fact he is sitting completely ON TOP of Bogart...and neither one appeared to mind in the slightest....

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Puttering about here and there

We've been over to the house the last couple evenings and the weather's been so nice that we weren't overly inclined to work INSIDE. Not to mention we are now (still) in possession of an extra dog and the three like to romp in the yard. So Eric has been working on constructing a make-do fence with all of the pieces parts that we've got lying about: fencing planks from friend Jim, posts from the now-defunct front deck, random wood beams from whatever else. The current conglomeration is looking a little white trash, but it will have to do for a bit while E assembles something better. Meanwhile I started to tidy up the mountain of bricks. Once upon a time they were organized: the red-orange bricks from the wall taken down in the center of the house, the hard-fired pink ones from the chimney and exterior walls and the pavers from the porch foundation. At some point they started looking chaotic, falling over, getting mixed up, etc. As seen here:
So we took a pallet, put it on the side of the house and started re-organizing them. It's a nice workout to haul half a dozen bricks at a time across the yard. And eventually, our brickyard will return to our actual yard and we'll have better access to the shed. Today I did a little bit of polyurethaning in the master bedroom. The side cabinets and one eyebrow window. We want to get that done so that we can move into our bedroom "for real." Who needs a really charming young male golden retriever? Animal Kingdom continues!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Final Inspection!

In the hopes of having an uneventful final inspection by the city, we had hand-rails installed on both porches. While the porch design looked cleaner without them, the city likely would have required them and they do serve a purpose. So, voila!
Back porch:
Yesterday was supposed to be the final inspection by the city. I waited at the house all day, and happily the inspector did show up at 3:00pm. While waiting I stained the woodwork in the entry/dining room area:

While also waiting, I dug some post-holes for our fence. Turns out we have all the components to finish the fence, thanks to Mr. Ressa and some other wood we salvaged from our old deck.

So, how'd the inspection go? Passed without a hitch. We have our occupancy permit and are free to move in!

Oh, final bit of news from yesterday. While on our way to the old house, our celebration plans (dinner at Basi Italia) nearly got derailed as we found this creature wandering along 4th Street (a very busy road). Had a collar but no tags, though it is obvious he is a well-cared for dog. So we lured him into the van and are now trying to find his owners. Thankfully, he and Bogart have been getting along very well, wrestling non-stop. And he has enough sense to leave Wiley alone.