Monday, January 26, 2015

Fear, Possibility, and Great Expectations

On Monday I was painting and listening to the Invisibilia podcast. The topic was fear. The show's hosts interviewed a woman who has a rare brain condition where her amygdala has been compromised by calcium deposits, resulting in the inability to feel fear. The podcast asked the question, 'What would you do if you had no fear?' Limitless possibilities! The program went on to talk about snakes and social anxiety and trying to abolish fear by facing it head-on. Which brings me to my next point.

We are afraid to lay our flooring. Or maybe fear isn't the best term. We don't scream when we think of it. But we don't want to do it wrong, so we avoid it. The planks are sitting in the corner of our dining room in a pile. An organized mountain of limitless possibility. Sometimes I secretly hope to walk downstairs one morning and find it all magically self-installed.

Due to the unlikelihood of that materializing… 
We began ripping the linoleum up a day or so ago. We saved our giant cardboard microwave box for all of the trash.

There are two layers of linoleum. It is sticky, gross & difficult to rip up. At one point, I was getting cocky because I got a big sheet to come off, then the next section I tried to pry up {which must have had extra glue underneath} took much more effort. It was coming up in tiny dollar bill sized pieces.  Andrew double checked online to make sure there wasn't some fancy tool we'd overlooked that would help us out. But his search lead to one common thread/consensus: Removing linoleum is a by-hand job that is tedious & terrible.

My dad would say this activity was "character building."

We didn't want to spend our {entire} Saturday doing that, and our arms & hands were sore. If you looked at our kitchen right now, you would probably think we worked on it for about 15 minutes and then got busy doing something else. In reality we worked on it for hours. We ripped up around 1/3 of the kitchen area, then called it a day. Taking a break from that fun, today I've been going around priming & painting the baseboards white. Baby steps.

Some parts of this project yield bigger results than others, but we're in it for the long haul. And now that the floor looks so crappy we have no choice but to continue with things and install the Pergo. At least that is the trick we are attempting to play on ourselves…

Expectations can predict a great deal about the success or failure of a DIY project* 

*for more on that, check out this story - another episode of that podcast I mentioned earlier. Fascinating!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Touch Ups

Happy Thursday! Today I'm tackling some clean-up…

At the end of a big paint job, there is always a little detail work to be done. Back when we were engaged and had just moved Andrew into OE, we repainted most of the rooms in the house. He introduced me to foam brushes to fulfill the need for touch-up, and I've never looked back. I like to put the paint I'm going to use in a little disposable tupperware container because it's easier to move around and hold. When I'm done, I just let the remaining paint dry & toss it in the trash. Easy peasy.

While I work, I'm dreaming of breakfast nooks. This is what the area currently looks like, and {hopefully soon!} it's going to get a whole new lease on life.

Here is a renovation I found on Casa de Lewis earlier this morning. What a transformation! Their finished product is really similar to the vision I have for ours. We're currently trying to decide if we want a counter height table & stools...or traditional height with chairs. Both will turn out great, it all comes down to preference. TBD.

Other ideas I like? Those can be found here.
And here.
And finally here.

Thanks for stopping by. It's back to work for me.
Keep creating! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How Far We've Come

Well, the painting is over for a while. And the microwave is installed. With so much more to do, sometimes I forget how far we've come. I've tried to take pictures along the way to help jog my memory. Speaking of photos - I'm totally amateur. I envy other blogs with super crisp, flawless images. {You will not find such things here.} Okay, on to the mediocre photos.

The new shelf sits on L-brackets that are bolted to the adjacent cabinets. The microwave is attached to the shelf with screws. The microwave is also supported from behind by a steel brace that's been screwed into the studs. Andrew did a great job on converting the outlet, fitting the shelf & drilling holes for the electric. The cord for the microwave comes up through a hole in the shelf and plugs into the new outlet.

Here is what the outlet situation looks like:

The island is finally put back together, too. Remember, the flooring and counters still need addressed. Currently I'm just happy that all the crap on the counter in the lefthand picture is no longer in existence. {That stash makes us look like contenders for a hoarder show. Geeze} It's been replaced by our collection of cookbooks.

Let's see…what else? Oh yeah, this light! Here's a shot of our light above the sink:

That about sums things up for now. Today while I was at work, Andrew got subway tile samples at Lowe's. I was worried about the whites not looking right together. White is just about the dumbest paint color family because there are 1,958,711,245,987,902 versions. Matching can become very overwhelming. Or not even matching…just trying to make sure things don't clash. As luck would have it, the samples look great & Andrew is happy because they get good reviews online. High-fives all around.

Thanks for stopping by Old Elm today, you were lovely virtual house guests.

PS: While the paint was out, I kept having these 'why the heck not!' thoughts. 
As a result, here is a mini-transformation of my antique library table:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

OE joins Facebook

Well, the blog has finally joined the Facebook world. Here's our link: CLICK ME

Is Facebook old technology? I bet plenty of high school and middle schoolers would tell me yes. I use it to connect with family & friends who are spread out over the country, so I'm still on there. Because the family and friends are still scattered. It's the easiest way for me to reach the people. There have been times where I've contemplated deleting my personal account. But I like to periodically update this blog and know a handful of people who access my posts through Facebook…so here we are.

This month we've continued to work on the kitchen renovation. I didn't do anything in there for a two week stretch while I had the flu {which was not a good time} but now I'm back to it! Painting cabinet doors while listening to podcasts is my new part-time job. And I love it.

We were able to put the shelf in above the stove and install a new pendant light above the sink. It has a vintage Edison bulb that I adore turning on in the evening. I look forward to posting a photo of the finished cabinets soon {complete with the microwave in it's new hanging home.}

Thanks for checking in, and keep creating!