Brick work finished!

A couple posts down I talked about my difficulties in procuring a bid for the brick skirt around my house. The contractor I referred to came no less than five times, gave me a bid, called me, changed his bid, scheduled a date to work, then called and rescheduled. At that point, I told him to not come back. Luckily, a man I knew who is a brick mason, but specializes in walkways and landscaping, agreed to come and do my work. Even though it was not his specialty, he was so kind to help me out and he did a GREAT job. His name is Joe Moore if anyone in Alexandria/Pineville is in need of a brick contractor.

He repointed all the bricks and he filled in the massive holes where the bricks were crumbling and cats were getting under the house. I am sooo pleased!!!






^^^ that used to be one big gaping hole.

After this work was complete, we laid trash bags along the perimeter of the front to kill the grass and get it ready for landscaping.



DIY utensil holder

Spring is in the air and summer will soon be here. Time for outdoor parties and summer BBQs. I ran across this adorable utensil holder idea here on Put It In a Jat and was inspired to make my own. Normally, I collect links and ideas with the hope that I will one day remember to do any of them. :). This time was different.


I remembered that I had a wood basket type caddy sitting in my giveaway pile and I have an embarrassingly huge collection of jars…old and new. Combine that with leftover spray paint and chalk tags from another project, I had a basically free utensil caddy.





While digging through my pile of misc junk in the attic, I ran across another wood caddy. I now have plans to put all of the old bottles we found in the attic and other misc. bottles Steven has collected, in this caddy and display it on the living room coffee table. More to come on that later.

What I’m working on now is a long post regarding our front landscaping showing the realtor walk through pictures to present. Following that will be pictures on our Last Project (eeeek!), which is painting the back of the house. I can’t believe that we are completing the very last project on our six page list!!!

Stay tuned!!!!!

100+ year old cedar benches

This week, I decided to “use or lose” the excess wood we had sitting around leftover from our December 2012 projects.

In restoring the porch, we pulled up several rotted porch boards. We salvaged what we could by cutting off the damage and moving them to a “shorter” area of the porch. But even after that we had a few leftover.

I decided to try out my new “paint eater” sander to see if I could refinish the boards and stain them for bench tops. I bought the paint eater sander for the back of the house because I’m about finish up the paint work. But, that will be another post for later.

Here are the old cedar porch boards. Steven cut all of the damaged ends off and fashioned them in to bench tops.


Here are the pics side by side of before and after sanding.


After using the paint remover sander, I used a belt sander to smooth board out a little (lots of pockmarks and character), then I finally moved down to a hand sander, then a buffer to get a fine, smooth, furniture finish. Although it still retains it’s character with the bumps and such, now we won’t snag our clothes on a splinter.



Now It’s Steven’s turn to put feet on them. They are going to go back outside to once again live on the porch.

What can I fit in a 20 yard dumpster?


Because I am tired, I published this on my hobby blog. But, it was meant for here.

Originally posted on Real LIfe Cards:



Lots of this….


And all of that….


After using leftovers to: build a kids playhouse, 3 large porch planters, a planter for the school auction, a wood interest wall, a range hood, a headboard, a porch rail, and 3 benches; we still had tons of leftover fence materials and cuts from when we milled our porch boards down. After two years we, I mean *I* decided it needed to go. We kept enough to make a couple more benches and planters for the yard.

I put it all up on Facebook offering it to anyone who wanted it. I had three people come by and load a good portion of it up for their misc projects. All of the lighting, sinks, and salvageable home items I am bringing to the Habitat for Humanity’s Restore. The junk metal, we recycled and alllllllll the misc paint cans will be brought…

View original 34 more words

Spiffing things up

I think I am just going to turn this into a picture blog…hahaha.  I have lots of pictures to share, but nothing cute to say.  The last three months we have spiffed up a few rooms including updating Alex’s room. Taking him from toddler to little boy room. I also brought down an iron bed we had in the attic for Lillian. For some unknown reason, she has always hated her little twin size platform bed.  I got it because it was low to the ground and she could get in and out of it easily. Anyway, she loves her new full size “big girl bed”.


I updated the front porch by putting new plants in the boxes and making spring wreaths. I am not a pastel gal, so I used turquoise and brown/burlap (Thanks Steven for the suggestion!). I also made a wreath for the back porch.


Back Porch

Back Porch

I bought some gerbera daisies and impatiens a couple weeks back, but I didn’t pay attention to the weather and the late frost got them, so I had to toss them out and buy more.  I went to Fads and Frames and bought some gorgeous ferns! Fads and Frames, hands down, has the best plants in town. I also bought more daisies.  In the next few weeks, when it warms up enough, I am going to landscape the rest of the front yard. I can’t wait!


I went to Ikea a week or two back and bought a tall skinny cabinet for the bathroom. I have had trouble with storage in that tiny bathroom. This cabinet worked out great! It looks so clean and streamlined in there now.


I also bought 3 sets of curtains for my gables.  Sometimes I like to leave the lights on upstairs. At night, you can see into our messy attic. So, we put the curtains up last week. I think they make the window look a little more “finished”.


And…….that’s it!  I have called several paint contractors. Only one showed up to quote me. I got tired of scraping and painting, so I was going to hire someone to finish painting the last two back walls of the house. After receiving estimates between $15 and $20k, I decided that I am not that desperate. So, I put an airless paint sprayer in my cart at Home Depot and am going to put some scaffolding on reserve at the local tool rental place and get to work painting again.

???????? ????????

The absolute LAST two things we have to do on the house are: Paint the back walls and fix some of the bricks crumbling in a few areas around the skirt of the house. After calling 8 brick contractors over the past month, I actually had someone show up this morning!!!!  I was excited. Now, let’s see if he comes back with a bid. That is always the hardest part. Getting someone interested in your project.  So, I will be back to report whether or not that happens.  You can see the bricks in the above picture around the electrical box that I have stacked up to keep the cats out. I have about 5 places like this that need to be repaired. The man I talked to today is going to give me two quotes. 1) to fix the 5 brick holes; 2) to re-point ALL of the bricks around the entire perimeter of the house.

So, there is your little update on progress of the house.


Painted pew

About five years ago, Steven bought me this pew in New Orleans for an anniversary present. I was ecstatic! Now that our floors are refinished, We were able to pull it out, wood glue some of it back together, reinforce it, and get it ready for its new debut in our hall. Steven picked out Moroccan Red by Benjamin Moore in the pearl
finish for the pew (shout out to Joseph’s Paint on Bolton Avenue. BEST customer service—buy local!!!!) and I went to town painting today. Here are the results. I will be back tomorrow with a picture of it installed in the hall.










I was really pleased with how it came out.