Little touches and weekend fun

Now that we are done with painting the outside of the house, I’ve felt a little more free to do some of the littler things around the house. Little projects that I didn’t want to start because I felt that painting was the number one priority and I didn’t want to get sidetracked. I was able to get some sheer curtains up in the bedroom, get a framed photo in the bathroom, purchase a couple more for the living room, (I haven’t put up yet but they are bought and waiting for hanging), and even organize my spice cabinet a bit.

Finally got something on the wall
Finally got something on the wall
IMG_5214
Aren’t these guys amazing?

IMG_5197

IMG_5201

IMG_5217

We like to buy spices in bulk because it saves you TONS of money and you can buy only what you need, but then I end up with a bunch of little bags in my cabinet which is not conducive to efficient cooking. I went to Hobby Lobby when they were having a sale and grabbed some great glass jars. I think I’m going to have to go back for more!

We also made a cake for our roommate who just turned the big 3-0. I think he was pretty surprised and appreciative of the gesture. He’d worked that day so I think it was a welcome surprise to come back with cake and ice cream. FullSizeRender

The weather here is starting to cool down, which is making me want to be outside even more than usual. I think my next medium-sized project will be raised bed gardens. The challenge is going to be placement and size. Time to start doing some research….

Finally! *collapses face first onto floor*

We finally finally finally (barring little touch-ups) finished painting our house at 8pm Tuesday night. I had so little left and I was losing light but we did it! When I gave the hubs a high-five, we both had smiles on our faces. The relief rushed in and the pride in our work came soon after.

Even though it took waaaay longer than I figured (I originally estimated two weeks tops – try two months!), it looks great. We are proud of our work and I feel like we did just as good, if not better than most professionals. We went over the house with a fine toothed comb, finding any spots, re-caulking areas that had either been missed, never touch, or already needed more touching-up. It took a lot of our strength and sweat and a ton of our time, but everyday now, when we come home from work, our hard work shines through. I love it.

We still have the doors to replace and paint, but there’s no rush on that. They work for now. Next up is some fun stuff – new house numbers and finding a spot for our raised bed garden. But again, in due time. For now, we rest. These other projects take little time and can be done whenever we feel so inclined. I’m not worried about them, and I usually forget about them completely until something triggers my memory.

For now, we relax and have some fun.DSC04072 IMG_5101 DSC04098 IMG_5097 IMG_4750 IMG_5105

Last night we went to Austin’s last Sound and Cinema for the summer. It’s a great free deal Austin does at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. They have a band that plays music from the movie they are showing, and when the sun sets, they play a different movie each time. This time was The Sandlot, a classic coming of age story. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it. It’s a favorite of ours.

IMG_5093

We stayed for a short while, but since it was so busy, it was hard to hear the movie so we ended up leaving to find a quieter place. We stopped at Radio Coffee & Beer, a great newer place that has great cold brew coffee and local drafts, so everyone can get something they want. The place has a great outdoor setting. One area has an open field with chairs for chatting, and the other side has picnic tables (and a couple food trailers of course), and they happened to be playing a bunch of short films. During the short films, one of the trailers came out with samples of their rosemary honey popcorn. If I hadn’t just eaten earlier, I would have grabbed a bag because it was amazing.

IMG_5094 IMG_5095

I stayed out much later than planned but it was well worth it. We hadn’t “gone out” and done something like this for weeks, heck, months, because of the house projects. When I have a big project going on, I feel guilty leaving it undone, so we committed ourselves to one last push, finished up the painting, then went out, partly as a celebration, and partly to renew our love of the city. You can start to forget why you like a city if you don’t take advantage of the things that made you love it in the first place.

Improvements here and there

I’m STILL working on the house painting. We have a tiny, but difficult section left to go on the main body (plus touch-ups) and I’ve started on trim, but we have a road trip coming up soon so the finishing up of the house will be delayed, but it’s inevitable and I’m okay with it. It will get done, just later than sooner. In between painting, we’re also working on cleaning and organizing the garage. We have a new roommate, so it’s the perfect time to declutter and make some room for his stuff. Unfortunately I don’t think I have any before pics of the shelving unit that was here before. It was some 2×4’s haphazardly thrown up with some screws and two plywood shelves, but not anchored to the wall, so it wiggled dangerously every time you took anything off the thing. It was inefficient and downright nerve-wracking, so we tore it down and will be keeping the plywood and 2×4’s to make a workbench later (you can kind of see the plywood shelves in the picture). For now, we started with one of these handy shelves to see how much stuff we could fit on it. We’ll be going back for one more, but it’s coming along well. We got almost everything that was on that entire wall unit (it went from the left wall to the fridge), into one small shelf. Plus, adding the clear containers helps to preserve all of our gear but still makes it easy to find.

IMG_4943

I wanted to get trim done in the front of the house, since that’s what’s seen the most, and will slowly but surly complete the rest of the trim. I was a little worried about the yellow tint in the trim paint, but I think it’s going to look nice against the limestone wall and the golden door.

IMG_4944

Our potential door color below. Please ignore my painted fingers. I’m no clean painter.

IMG_4947 IMG_4948

24 hours of painting in and making baby steps

I’m still working on painting my house. I’ve had some road blocks here and there, mostly rain. One minute it’s sunny and perfect for painting. The next minute I have this over my head…

IMG_4839

Luckily, since I’ve been working on the entry, I’ve still been able to paint a little while the rain comes down since it’s luckily been raining strait down, or from the west, keeping me dry.

DSC04105
Before pillars. The bottoms were replaced with cedar as they had molded and rotted out.
IMG_4854
After pillars!
These have been quite helpful with the heat and humidity
These have been quite helpful with the heat and humidity

This week I plan on finishing the front during my spare time, then finishing up the north and south sides. I also need to figure out if I should paint the garage door the house color or the trim color. I still have to pick out the trim color too. Anyone have any tips on garage door colors? Should I make it blend into the house with the body color, or brighten it with the trim color?

Either way, stay tuned – more to come!

Planters on the road, spiders in my garage

You never truly know how your day is going to turn out, even if the majority of it is like any other. I went to work just like I do every day. I went for a walk before lunch, like I do almost every day. But today was slightly different, and maybe a precursor to the rest of the day. As I walked by one of the homes, I came across a big wooden box. It was tilted, half of it on the road and half on the boulevard, with it’s castors left in the box, one broken. It was lying in a gesture that said, “Free to anyone that wants it”, and it felt like it was speaking directly to me. It wanted a new home. I was pretty excited. My next outdoor project includes creating some raised bed gardens for veggies and herbs. I walked back to the office at a quicker pace than I normally would, and asked a co-worker if he would help me load it into my car. He said he would so we drove over to the house and grabbed it. I felt that someone would snatch it up soon if I didn’t so I had to act quickly. The rest of the day was the same as usual, but I was in a pretty good mood, just for the fact I had a new planter in my car. I ran some errands after work and headed home to work on some more painting before I lost any day light. The forecast for rain had actually decreased so I wanted to get out and work on the entry some more.

IMG_4876

IMG_4879

Today though, was going to be a bit different…again. I went out to the garage to get my supplies when I saw something I didn’t recognize. I crouched a little closer and then backed up immediately once I realized what it was. I had a tarantula in my garage. I knew they lived here in Texas but had never seen one in person. At first it was scrunched up tight, looking almost like a big, wilted leaf. I took the broom and swept some dog hair out of the way (don’t judge) and he all of a sudden came to life and expanded himself (or herself, I didn’t bother to ask). Please don’t judge the fur. My garage isn’t that terrible but he happened to be in the corner where the dog and cat fur congregates.IMG_4859 IMG_4862 IMG_4866And in case you’re all curious (and if I have any members of PETA on my site), the bugger was not harmed. I got him swept into a bucket and the hubs brought him across the street to a boulevard. I even let a mom and her son know about it when they were taking a walk, and they brought dad back to look at it and take pictures, so it turned into an entertaining, learning experience for the evening for a number of us. 

You just never know how your day will turn out. I definitely did not plan for a tarantula in the garage.

Painting a house….14 hours in

I’ve collectively put in around 14 hours of painting so far into my house. I thought I’d be a bit farther along, but alas, I should be used to this. It always takes longer than you think to finish a project. Especially when that project involves painting an entire house, even if it’s just little ole ours. So far, I’ve gotten the far west side painted, parts of the south side (ran into sun so I had to quit), and some of the north side done. My house isn’t a square since it comes in at one point where the deck is. It’s more like a polygon, so in reality I have six sides to paint. And although I only have around two sides painted, and progress is going slower than I thought it would, I’m still happy with it. I also keep reminding myself that I still have a boat load of trim to do as well. The trim is going to be a creamy off-white (no I haven’t picked it out – took me a flippin’ month to pick out a body color). The body color is called Mined Coal, and I’m using Behr Marquee exterior in Satin.

So here she is in all here partially painted glory. More to come once I finish.

IMG_4497 IMG_4824IMG_4750 IMG_4823I just noticed that you can tell we got quite a bit of rain (hence my paint delay), just by the grass from the before and after pics. Ha!

Monday it is….or maybe Tuesday

llama

More rain today, but Monday is looking good. If we dry out over the weekend (30-40% chance over the weekend), then we paint Monday! If we need more dry time, we paint Tuesday!!

In the meantime, I decided to re-measure the exterior, just to be sure that I was getting the correct square footage, therefore the correct amount of paint. I’d used the blue print we’d been given when we bought the house, but only used it as a rough map. I realized that I had to be cautious of using the measurements as fact, because in certain parts of the house, there’s a limestone facade, so I needed to make sure not to take that into paint consideration. Once I re-measured, I felt much more confident that I had the correct square footage. I did over-estimate in three areas, where our house peaked. I measured the square footage to the peak, just to play it safe.

One question I’m still mulling over in my head, is that if I do two coats, do I double the amount of paint needed? I feel like I use less on a second coat than a first in an interior wall, but I’ve heard differing opinions when it comes to exterior paint. Anyone have any sound advice on this?

IMG_4799

Another call to patience

Patience has a way of testing me. I just wrote a previous post about patience and once again, I’m thinking about it today. After getting the house all prepped and ready (and in a pretty ugly state) for paint, we are now waiting out storms for most of the week as a tropical storm comes closer and closer to Texas. We are in a flood watch until Thursday, so it’s looking like Friday may be our lucky paint day, as long as the sun comes out to dry off the house. Either way, thanks for sticking with me. The paint will come! Meanwhile, after the rain passes through, and I’m waiting for the house to dry, I’ll have to spend some time plucking all the snails off the side of the house before I pull out a brush.

This just screams "paint me!"
This just screams “paint me!”

It’s the little accents that make the difference

I did a little planting today. Potting some plants can add some extra oomph to your deck, patio, or living space, and it doesn’t take much to add that oomph. I was able to grab some Agave shoots, called pups, from a big one at a local grocery store – it was planted in the parking lot – you could ask anyone who owns a plant like this if you could take their offshoots. They may not care since you’d be doing the large plant a favor.

I decided some simple clay pots would be best for these guys. I didn’t want too many different colors and shapes going on, which could end up being distracting. To me, simple is best when it comes to pots.

IMG_4751 IMG_4752

After I planted them in their pots, I gave them a little water and added some leftover pebbles I had to give them a finished look.

IMG_4754IMG_4767

Then I planted the Bougainvillea. I got the Bougainvillea at a whopping 75% off and I got the pots at half off from Home Depot. I love a good deal.

IMG_4757  IMG_4766

There’s something calming about planting and re-potting plants. These little changes can make a difference to a quiet or drab deck. I encourage you to check out the clearance racks of plants at places like Lowe’s. They’ll have shabby looking plants anywhere from $1-5 and I’ve never had any of them die on me. They just need a nice pot or a place in the ground to spread out. It’s a great way to experiment with plants you maybe wouldn’t buy otherwise.

Either way, have a wonderful weekend. Get out and about and maybe try to do something different this weekend. Summer time is all about exploration and enjoying the weather, the food, the music, or whatever it is that makes you happy.

Sun! And progress!

Saturday we planned on having some friends over for a make-your-own pizza grilling party. Well, we got more rain in the form of severe storms, so we had to keep the party inside and bake them. The party was still a hit. We had three pizzas going at a time, with all different kinds of toppings. We played games, drank beer, and laughed a lot. As much as there are always things to do, sometimes it’s nice to forget about those things and just be with others.

Sunday morning, we awoke to sun. A full day of sun. Not just a few hours, mixed with clouds, and a sprinkle. No. A whole day of sun. It was fabulous and definitely needed, especially for those who have been adversely affected by the floods.

Previously, I’d mentioned that I went back to Home Depot in the late evening to pick out some more colors because I kept dreaming of grays (literally). I got the samples painted in a couple spots on the house now, and I think I finally have one picked out. I still am not sure on trim though. I may need help with that.

The three colors, from left to right, are Magnet, Mined Coal, and Pier (all Behr). I like Magnet, but I think it has too many cool undertones. I love Mined Coal (right now it’s my winner), but I do love Pier. I decided to try it out as I’ve seen a couple other people paint their houses in it and it looked amazing. I really like it. A lot. But I think it may be slightly lighter than I’d been thinking. But I’m trying to figure out if using it as a trim color might work. What do you think? Or maybe going one shade lighter than Pier for trim? I don’t know. It’s a great color though. I think if my house had more dramatic, mid-century modern type lines, I could get away with a more mild color, but to give my house a more dramatic effect, I need to go slightly darker.

IMG_4694

Here’s the same color trio, starting with Magnet on top, Mined Coal in the middle and Pier on the bottom, towards the front of the house, where our stone is. Again, all the colors work well with the stone since it’s so neutral. I think the darker color will definitely make it pop.

IMG_4700

Below is a color scheme I found on Pinterest that uses our colors. I’m excited to transform our house soon. The paint prep guy said he will most likely be available early next week so I happily await a phone call from him. Once they prep the  house for paint, I’ll take a day off work during the week to get as much painting as I can get done in a day. Lucky for us, our house is one story, and a lot of the front is limestone, so I don’t think it’ll take too long, especially with the prep being done by pros.

Modern-Exterior-with-Yellow-accents