Monday, April 6, 2015

Our front yard

We've taken a few easy steps to reduce our grass foot print in our front yard: pushing out the flower bed and extending it down the front of the house and putting a ring of rocks around the tree in the middle of out yard.

Before small flower bed:

Before grass up to the edge of tree:

Now were thinking that we want to do a more intensive remodel to our front yard --- with the intent to reducing the grass amount even more. We found a photo of an awesome house in Austin TX that has the look of the front yard we'd love to have.

We like it's modern look without being midcentury modern. Perhaps we can implement some changes in pieces over time.

Friday, July 11, 2014

another year, another new door color

Rachel convinced me that our red door wasn't working for us. She picked some bright blue from the Martha Stewart Home Depot paint lineup and I repainted it. Gave it a light sanding to remove some of the old paint drips, and some bondo to patch some dings and dents in the wood. Found it easiest to use a weenie roller on the flat front sections and a 2" brush for all of the edges. Let it dry all day with the door open (letting in all of the Sacramento summer).

Then replaced the old tired and worn hardware with a new handle and deadbolt from Emigh hardware. The Ace brand was much cheaper than the equivalent Schlage or Kwikset.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our new trailer: 1987 Coleman Columbia

Well we sold Patchy the project trailer a couple months ago. Decided we'd get a pop up tent trailer instead because its compact and can be towed by our Passat wagon. We almost bought a few different trailers over the last two months, but didnt. Then a couple weeks ago, we were driving through a nearby neighborhood and saw this guy with a for sale sign on it.

The owner was asking a lot less than comparable popups on Craigslist, the condition was pretty good (a lot of the 80's trailers I'd seen on Craigslist were major projects, of which I wanted no part).

So we bought it!

Adeline likes it

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Outdoor living room

Surprisingly, I guess our "winter" is over here in Northern California. Rachel and I are planning on spending more time in our yard this spring and summer. We've talked about converting this circular section of our backyard to a sitting area complete with fire pit and low slung seating. 

A few weeks ago we made it happen.

Dug up all of the slate pavers, removed the roots from underneath, smoothed and graded the area and set them back down. 

Then filled in the gaps with pea gravel. It took around 18 bags of the stuff from Home Depot. We stole the furniture from our front porch, and already had the firepit from a few Christmas' ago. 

I also got some cafe lights from Target on sale that we're going to hang over the area to add some cool lighting, but first I want to upgrade the roof on our old rusty shed. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Salvaged wood coffee table

When we moved to our new house a couple years ago we decided to just buy two Lack side tables to use as coffee tables. They're cheap (~$8), easy and look okay.

Well we've decided it was time to upgrade to a real coffee table. I saw this Ikea hack on Apartment Therapy a few months ago and we bought the Ikea Vittsjo set. The Vittsjo is a pair of tables that nest and have a glass top to them. That's fine but perhaps too delicate for a family with a 16 month baby. 

Then they sat in the box for months.

Over the long weekend, I found some wood next to a dumpster behind an old hardware store. I put as much as would fit in the car. I got some plywood, 2x4s and six pieces of old pine 1x12s that look like they were used for shelving for the past forty years. 

I thought the shelving wood would look great on our coffee table project.  A couple hours later and we had this. 

I just used some bees wax based wood restorer/cleaner to protect the wood and restore some moisture back into it. As well as some mineral oil --- the same stuff to treat cutting boards. 

The wood has a really nice aged look to it with stains and scratches. On one edge it still says "rain gages" in felt tip pin. A lot of tutorials tell you to make new wood look old by hitting it with a chain, hammer or other tool. No need here. This wood actually has been used for the last few decades. 

We'll get some more small baskets to put on that bottom shelf for Adeline's toys. Now to get to work on the smaller side table...

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More garage progress

One wall was left in the garage that I hadn't yet gotten around to. I knew I already had a good amount of storage so didn't want to add cabinets to it. Instead I sketched this out in my projects journal:

The idea was that I'd build a small cabinet with a shelf and put it over the workbench I already made for that wall. Trying to keep a vintage theme, I thought I'd add some chevrons to the door front.

Using scrap pieces of wood I had in the garage I put this thing together in an hour or so and painted it the green color I'm using on the other cabinets. 

I added some family photos from my grandpas, great grandfather and great great grandfathers:

I picked up the deer antlers off of eBay, the American flag is from the thrift store but is actually an Annin flag. Annin is one of the best and oldest flag makers in the USA, the flag the Marines raised on Iwo Jima was an Annin as is the flag Armstrong and Aldrin planted on the moon.

 Still a lot of plans to make the garage more usable, organized and awesome...

Monday, May 20, 2013

What Trailer is Complete?

We are making slow, slow, slow progress on the trailer. We basically have to wait until our budget resets at the beginning of next month. In the meantime, Jeremy has been researching solar panels + wiring which will = our lighting in the trailer. The other thing he did was join a trailer forum and pick their brains about an argument we've been having. We really only want the trailer to sleep in and to get out of bad weather or mosquito craziness.  However, we are also interested in going to trailer rallies too - they look like a lot of fun. I was concerned that if we didn't put back in the sink and stove, we would lose resale value and be laughed out of the trailer rallies. He checked in at the forum, and it turns out that people want to use trailers for the same reason we do and that most people do not actually cook in their trailer, whoo-hoo! We are all on the same page.

Very good news, what trailer would be complete without a set of flamingo tumblers? No trailer! Which is why I picked these up:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Additional trailer photos

First thing we did was to get everything out of the trailer. Next we pulled up the linoleum tile squares. Took the walls and ceiling off and a previous owner had already gone through and installed foam insulation, that's going to save me a bunch of time and money.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We bought a trailer!

It all started when I noticed a medium sized airstream for sale down the street. I drive by it a few times a week and I started thinking about it a lot. How much does it cost? Is it a steal? Does it need a lot of work? Well it's listed for 5K. Probably a decent price considering the size, but it's way to big for our car to pull around. But the seed had been planted. We could get a trailer and then revolutionize the camping experience...we could be....glamping! No more rocks in my back or getting dressed in a vertical position. But I could still sit around a campfire and be close to the ocean and have an affordable vacation - this is ingenious! So I put a bug in Jeremy's ear and described to him my dream, my dream of a new way of camping: a revolution, the perfect hybrid!

We started checking out eBay and Craigslist. Turns out that all old trailers are going to need work, maybe even a lot of work. OK. So since they are all going to need work, why not get the cheapest one we can find? We might have to rip it a part no matter what, so does it make sense to spend several thousand dollars on something that needs to be rebuilt?

There was a trailer on Craigslist listed for $315! But it was in the outskirts of Modesto....but it was so cheap! But the listing made several references to trading Prop 215. What's that? Marijuana. OK. I really didn't want to drive 3 hours to some field in the middle of  nowhere to buy a trailer from someone who was hopefully just a pothead. But, I was seriously considering it. Telling Jeremy to plan for a day off of work so we could drive down there and get it. Luckily he called me that week to tell me he had really good news.

It had occurred to him that Jackson highway, the road he takes to meet my mom twice a week, is full of those rural houses where old junk collects in their yards. Surely it's possible there would be a trailer sitting in one of those yards? Well it was possible, because shortly after that thought, he spotted one! On the way back he slowed down and guess what? There was a for sale sign in the window! A little old lady was selling it because the family members she bought it for, never made the trek out to California.  A few hours later, we were pulling it home with the help of my Dad, because...well, we don't have a hitch, let alone a truck. But that's another story.

Say hello to our new vacation home!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Small projects completed

I got a few small house projects completed this weekend, quite a few I got from Pinterest.

First was this spice rack on the inside of a pantry door. Here's the "pin":

Here's my version: 

Next was this custom utensil insert:

Here's mine:

The next two weren't found on Pinterest. First, I replaced the toilet paper holder in the grey bathroom because a normal sized toilet paper roll wouldnt fit on it and actually spin: 



Lastly, I added a clothes rod to the laundry room so that clothes could be hung up in there that needed to hang dry: