Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Paint

I.S. & I have many dreams for our home. Renovation dreams, that is. But before we tear down any walls & break things, we figured we'd paint our master bedroom because painting is a simple & harmless thing, right? WRONG. What a learning curve! And so many trips to Home Depot. When you have as much wood trim as we do in one room, you'll quickly learn why they say that prep work is 90% of a good paint job. Anyway, here's a quick before & in-progress shots. Probably no after shots until the doors are painted, which seems like a whole other weekend job in itself (though I.S. assures me it'll be straightforward, just like sanding, priming, caulking, painting, sanding, and painting all the window trim was). With snowboard season upon us & our passes purchased, I foresee many of these "little" house projects being neglected. You can probably guess where our priorities lay ;)
(before) 

(after)
It's a pretty dramatic difference with the white trim, eh? I love it. Dark wood trim needs to go away. It is everywhere in our house. ahhhhhh. It is pretty in its own right, but not for us thanks.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Welding!

Remember when I said I.S. & I were taking up a welding class this weekend? And that my hope was to one day weld a coffee table or something? Well BAM! This happened:
then this:
and then THIS!
Yup. I did it. I made a table. I really didn't think I'd weld a table on my first day of welding, but you know. This coffee/side table got in my head and they let us use whatever materials they had (which was a lot) and I had 4 hours to kill (it took me about 2 to make) so yeah... I made a table =) With MIG welding (in case you're curious). I feel particularly good about the table as I was one of two people in the class who made something big & functional. One couple bailed early after welding random scraps together, the other guys tried out the other forms of welding & made some smaller things.

The plan now is to cut the legs down more as I didn't have any idea of what table height I wanted until I brought it home, then grind it down/polish it to make it shiny & then lacquer it to maintain the shine & then get a piece of glass cut to top it off. As basic as it looks, it was not easy so I can now totally appreciate why these things cost so much money (sometimes).

And here's a money-shot of I.S. welding a little decorative bicycle:
er, well, technically he's just lighting up his oxy-acetylene torch but you can see the bicycle in progress.

Conclusion: welding = awesome; my welding technique = not-very-awesome-but-only-will-get-better-with-more-welding.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Welding

I.S. has always wanted to learn how to weld and with his truck's exhaust pipe being temporarily held up with a pipe clamp, it's even more motivation to learn how to weld so he can fix it permanently. He found a class at the local community college and I decided to join him because ever since I saw this, I've daydreamed of all the things I could make if I knew how to weld.

I wonder if I'll be a natural at it or if I will learn that welding is not for me. It's a day-long class so let's hope that I'll be a natural at it and make something awesome, like this:
or this:

Something like the second table would be perfect for our living room right now. With that ottoman we got, it takes up too much room to allow for a good-looking coffee table but isn't quite big enough to fill the space and act as a coffee table (with a tray). Returning the ottoman is not an option because we love it too much, in case you were wondering. But after signing up for the class, I.S. and I have been talking about making a table to accommodate our awkward space layout issue. We figured that with the feet taken off the ottoman (the feet add about 2" to the height) and the magic slider/mover things we got at harbor freight (amazing store with so much good, cheap stuff, by the way) in place of the feet, we could have a coffee table at a normal height with the ottoman underneath. My idea is to weld a basic 4-legged frame and then cast a concrete slab to go on top that is about as thin, if not thinner, than the slab of marble in the photo above. Seems simple enough, right? Super. Our class is next weekend so I'll let you know how it goes. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tape!

When I was visiting Taipei, my cousin was supposed to take me to a stationery shop near her place that carried inexpensive patterned masking tape (compared to the MT brand of washi tape), but she got stuck traveling for work so that never happened. Except, yesterday I got a package from my cousin who figured if she couldn't bring me to the tape, then she would bring the tape to me! Best cousin ever.
My favorite is probably the one with stars that says "happy birthday." I picked up a few of my own from where ever I found the tape in Taipei and I'm just dying to start wrapping presents so that I can use them!
My favorite is probably the dark blue one on the bottom that has yellow speckles (though the yellow speckles don't show very well in this photo; it still has the wrapping on it).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

IKEA

Last weekend I.S. & I made a trip down to the Ikea south of Denver, which just opened up this past summer. We laughably went down there thinking we'd just do an initial survey of the stuff to see what we want to U-haul back the next time. Instead, we drove away with I.S.'s new/old truck filled to the brim with boxes and boxes of pieces of a Kivik sofa set (the exact pieces are shown below)

We've only got the bare essentials right now so no photos of the actual set up for you yet; that'll have to wait until we get drapes & area rugs & all that jazz. So to get all of the above (plus a long tv bench) home, I.S. worked a lot of tetris-inspired magic to fit it all into the back of his new/old truck, which was pretty impressive. Such a handy little truck. And husband, I guess, too ;)
And there's a peak of our garage! Partially filled with Ikea boxes. It turns out to be a bit of a challenge pushing 3 carts with only two people from the self-serve area to the cash register. Someone saw our struggle and helped push one of the carts out to the elevator for us. Then another woman helped hold the elevator open for us. Then an Ikea staffer helped I.S. load the truck. After a very long day, it was pretty exciting to finally have couches to sit on! OH, I should also mention that Ikea has a promotion right now where if you buy a sofa, they'll give you 15% of your sofa purchase back in an Ikea gift card, which was a pretty sweet deal to stumble upon. 

Prior to our Ikea trip, our tv-watching room looked like this (less squiggly though... and maybe not so black&white)
I.S. had initially picked up a few butterfly lounge chairs that were on a ridiculous discount at Kohl's (they were about $2 each; I told you it was ridiculous!) as something to temporarily sit on since we didn't know how long it'd take us to find a couch we liked, which is what those purple blobs are supposed to be. Across from the chairs is our new 55" tv, which I always thought was really big, but then you put one in this space and it makes it (almost) feel small! Crazy, I know. On the far wall with all the lines is supposed to be a fireplace flanked by built-in bookcases with glass doors.

Next step: infusing our now super-beige room with some color! 

Speaking of color... did you know that there is a company out there that makes custom slipcovers for Ikea furniture? So instead of getting one of the colors that everyone else has, you could get one in the fabric of your choice. Kind of a brilliant business idea. The company is called Bemz & if the covers didn't cost nearly as much as the couch itself, I might consider swapping the ones we have out. Maybe down the road when our covers are beyond saving. Anyway... I need to get back to figuring out which storage containers I want after I picking up the Lock & Lock deal from Plum District!