Monday, January 18, 2016

False start

Well, I totally suck. So much for my get up and got up and went.

The past few months have been a bit hard for this blogger. Dealing with some health issues that really took the wind out of me, and is still taking some time to work through. Motivation has been the biggest problem. I see the projects...I know what I need to do...but the motivation to do it has remained stagnant.

But, I must push. Tired of my drab walls. You're home should be a reflection of who you are, and mine basically says that I'm a boring house troll...or this person:

Ugh....ew....gawd. This person should be clearly ashamed of themselves.

So I am hoping that if I get back to this blog and start posting again, I will find that motivation that I need to continue. I'm going to set a goal - that by the end of 2016, the condo will be done. Well, at least all the initial painting stuff all done. Minor decor tweaks are always ongoing. Maybe a lofty goal but if I break it down, month-by-month, I don't see why not. Though, as I write this, it is January 18th...hmmm...not a lotta time to finish a project. So we're going to go with the bathroom, as I've already started on it this past weekend. 

Ok, so let's reboot and try it again...cuz if you fail once, try, try again...or press Control, Alt, Delete...or "Go to the mattresses"...'er something like that.

(yeah...sorry, Al...that was pretty bad)

Love, Laugh, and Make it Gorgeous!

Blogger On The Run

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A New Beginning


How to start this...

To say that the past year has lead to change for this blogger is the understatement of the century.

My last entry was June 11, 2014 - and nothing could have prepared me for what was to come in the month ahead.

First - unemployment. I was laid off around the middle of July from my big corporate job, only days after putting the condo on the market, in hopes of moving uptown. I was was not something I anticipated or saw coming...and my world came crashing down.

After about a day or so of wandering around in a daze and lots of tears shed, I picked myself up and started to devise a plan - one hell of a crazy plan.

Not 2 months before all this, I had finally decided to go visit my Alberta friends, who had been bugging me for years to come out. The trip was paid for. There was no going back. So I decided to go forward with the trip, as the trip was part of my plan.

The Plan? Change. Big, huge, ginormous change. Scary change. Life-altering change.

So I went on the trip, that involved a visit to a northern Alberta city that I have never been to. I immediately felt good there.

No big city noise. No big city commutes. Everything was moments away. The Plan grew. Move. Move there. Move to a small city and start over.

So I did.

I put the condo back on the market. It sold within a week, for the highest ever paid for a 1 bedroom (have to believe that my "decor prowess" had something to do with that). I found a moving company. I secured a rental apt in my new city. I packed...and packed...and packed. I shipped my stuff. I rammed the car full of my final possessions and my reluctant cat.

Sinkin' a little low in the back

She was not amused

 On October 28th I left Scarborough. I drove and Grand Am packed to the rafters.

Two essentials = Lucky Bunny and a GPS (thanks Dad!)

I arrived in GP on November 1st and moved into my rental. I got a great job in about a month and a half, and I even bought a new car (this wasn't by total choice though...unfortunately BB (my car) was on her last legs - and not approved for driving in Alberta without a good $8,000 worth of repairs - , so I had to retire her (RIP BB) ). But, long live Darth Honda! :)

The rental sucked. Paper thin ceilings and dumpy building. So on a total whim - with the speed that someone buys a pack of gum at the check-out - I bought a 2 bedroom condo. Totally surprised everyone...heck, I surprised myself. I was back to being a home-owner again.

Sooooo...the fun begins, my dears. I once again have bought a "clean-slate". The walls are beige....blah beige. Screaming for inspiration and my personal touch.

It's now almost the end of July, and sad to say, I've barely done anything. But - no more! Time to get on it, and get back to what I love.

Hold on's time to get on with the show!

Love, Laugh, and Make it Gorgeous!

Blogger On The Run

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Grande Finale


I'm done.

It's been a push over the last few months to get the condo in time for selling this summer, but the motivation of moving to an area I love kept me going, (that, and the weather finally succumbing to accept that it was indeed spring).

The only room I didn't get to was the laundry room. I debated over throwing up a coat of paint, but it's not really necessary. I think anyone looking at this place will be more focused on the fact that there is an actual laundry "room", not just a laundry "closet" (which is what most modern condos have these days). There's actual storage to be found. So I just gave it a good clean and left it up to the next owner to do as they please.

I'm proud of this place. I took such a small, dumpy space and made it a place to call home. I hope the person that buys this place appreciates the work that has been done, and maybe lives with it for a while before making their own mark.

So let's take a run through the "befores" and the "afters":


Before...                                                                                                   After...


Before...                                                                                                   After... 


Before...                                                                                                   After...


Before...                                                                                                   After...


Before...                                                                                                   After...


Before...                                                                                                                After...

I did want to insert a final video tour of the place, but Blogger is not playing nice, and the video just won't upload. So I'll leave it for the time being - but if I ever get it to work, I'll post it up.
So, that's it. Everything is done. I've done my de-cluttering and cleaning this past weekend, and the Realtor arrives on Thursday night to take a look and, hopefully, get it on MLS in time for the weekend buyers. I'm hoping that this sale will be a quick one, and that I might be able to get into my new place by August.

I am going back to renting for now, which is a big step, but I feel it is the right one. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get to the greater good. And I believe this new adventure will bring me to where I want to be.

But hey, that ain't going to stop me from decorating! It will be limited to the extent that I can decorate, but decorate I will. It's amazing all the tips and tricks there are out there...and how many you can conger up yourself. I will be trying as many tricks as possible, and passing along those that actually work and don't require a degree in engineering.

So stay tuned as I venture into the rental world again and show that just because it's "temporary" doesn't mean it has to feel that way!

Love, Laugh, and Make it Gorgeous

Blogger On The Run

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Kitchen - the final frontier ~ Part 3 - The Cupboard Condundrum

It was time to move on to the dreaded, final project - the cabinets.

It started off ok...

Cleaned the cabinet doors off, and added 2 coats of White Gloss Tremclad

The cabinet doors were in relatively good shape - except for the two under the sink. Before I moved in, I was aware that there had been a leaky pipe under the sink and that there was damage (why it is so hard for some people to do a simple repair, I'll never know - it took 1min and a small bit of Plumber's Putty).

The bottoms of each of the cabinet doors were "chewed"  by the water, and a little warped.

I thought that replacing the cabinet doors would be a snap.

Uh. No.

First off, these types of doors really aren't "a thing" anymore. Yes, there are melamine cabinets and matching doors, but I was hard-pressed to find melamine cabinet doors with the metal pull-bar. So I decided to remove the pull-bars to install them on the new doors. The first one came off relatively easy, but not the second.

There I sat for a good 1/2 hr, burying at the door like some kind of frantic hamster. The glue was definitely on the industrial side, and made getting the dang thing off a little bit of a chore. But, eventually, after making a bit mess, I freed the bar.

Second problem. Standard size for these type of cabinet doors is 30". My doors are indeed 30"...with the pull-bar attached. My first error was that I measured the doors with the pull-bar on, and ended up getting the 30" doors. I then returned them - thinking that I must be able to get 28" cabinet doors. Uh. No. Didn't come to the realization that they don't come in this measurement until after I returned the doors. I then went back to buy them again - this time I was going to go to the cutting service, at the back of Home Depot, to get them cut - only to discover that their saw was out of order.


So I put off buying them until I could get them cut.

I then went back to buy the doors again a couple days later. During the time in between, I thought "how the heck was I going to put the appropriate groove in the tops of the doors without the right tool?" How indeed. Knowing me I would find some make-shift way to do it, only to experience a "slip of the tool" and crack the front of the cabinet door. So I decided the best way to solve this problem was to avoid it, and instead replace the 3rd small door as well, in the lower area of the cabinets, and just find suitable door pulls in place of the pull-bars. Seemed like an easy solution...

Uh. No.

So I got the doors home. The one I got to replace the smaller door was a little smaller than it should be, but it would still fit alright. I then noticed that the grooves for the European latches were in a completely different place. Ugh...I'd have to break out the drill for some new pilot holes.

Then, I took out one of the larger doors to see how I would have to adjust the hardware locations...only to realize the doors were too small! How the heck did I manage that? I had noted down the right width measurement. Duh.

So back to Home Depot I went. Returned the doors - again.

Then it got worse.

I needed 19 1/2 inch cabinet doors. Do they make 19 1/2 inch cabinet doors? No. No they don't. They make 18" (which is what I bought the first time), and they make 21". I took a chance and bought the 21" (hoping at that point that the "Theory of the 2x4" applied to the 21" measurement....Theory of the 2x4: Many always ask why 2x4's aren't actually 2x4. It's because the measurement is taken when the wood is wet. Once it dries, it shrinks a bit, thus resulting in a small measurement).

I was hoping the 21" really wasn't 21".

It was.

Way too big. Plus...if the odd-sizing wasn't enough...the new doors were thicker too. It would look weird.


The alternative at this point was to go "custom" (aka. expensive), or risk having the cabinets cut, which I was warned by the HD associate could result in splintering.


What the heck was I going to do? I was cursing my decision to replace the doors for just a minor issue at the bottom of them. The doors were otherwise fine. I could have just fixed them


Yeah, they were "fine" - before I pulled the pull-bars off of them. Especially the one that I hacked like a crazed hamster in to.

So what to do...

I decided to go "off the grid", (as I'm pretty good at doing that), and attempt the "repair to end all repair jobs". I was determined to fix the cabinet least enough that my "reno crimes" would be unnoticeable.

First, I put the pulls back on with Hard As Nails glue. It recommends a good 24 hrs of drying time, so I just let it sit and cure fully before I attempted anything else.

Next...well, I had to figure out how in the heck I am going to fill in those huge holes in the one door. I sifted around through my supplies and found and old container of spackle. It was almost dried out, it was no longer useful as a spackle. However, it was surprisingly still pliable. Sort of the consistency of Play-Doh, which was perfect. So I used a bit to start building the huge, gaping holes back up.

But I still needed something with a little more strength. I Bing'd around a bit and came across references to the great uses for Bondo. But when I went to Home Depot I couldn't find it, but I did find Elmer's Probond Max Wood Filler.

Seemed to be just as effective, and there were recommendations of using wood filler in my searches, so it was a viable substitute. It's not that I really need something that had mega-strength, just enough to keep the door together and allow someone to open and close it without it disintegrating in their hands. So I went with the filler.

After the globs of spackle dried, I slapped on the wood filler. It requires a good 24hrs drying time before you can cover it with anything else, so this was not a quick process.

Alrighty. Looks ok.

But I found that the wood filler is a little grainy, and is also a little dark.

To allow for some fine-tune sanding, I put some spackle over top, let it dry, and then gave it a final sand. I definitely recommend using DryDex, as it starts out pink and then dries to white. It eliminates the guessing on when the spackle is ready for sanding.

After that, it was 2 coats of the gloss white on the outside, and then one quick coat of flat white on the inside (to disguise my reno crimes). This wasn't a quick process either, as they recommend a good 24 hours drying time between coats.


I did it...sorta, kinda.



Why, why, WHY did I not just do the repair??? It looks fine. Could have saved myself a lot of aggravation.

So here it is. The long-awaited completed kitchen:



Ok, that project kind of sucked....but it was my fault for assuming things and not doing my research.

But - dang - it does look good, don't it?

Stay tuned for a final condo entry, that I'm going to post over the weekend (after I clean up). A little summation of my latest "Reno Madness", the Before and Afters, and a video tour (as the pics don't always do it justice).

I can't believe I'm done.

Love, Laugh, and Make It Gorgeous!

Blogger on the Run