Friday, August 27, 2010

And The Walls.... Come Tumbling Down.......

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month already! I wanted to post sooner, but was hoping to have at least one finished project to show you by now. It's all been more of a process than I anticipated. I have no power as of yet, although that is being worked on now. Someone had cut all the wires going into the panel box and stolen most of the breakers, so I was left with a big electrical mess to sort out. I have had someone here for the last three days trying to put it all back together with various components that we already had kicking around .

In the meantime most of last month was scorching hot so I wasn't too motivated to do heavy labor and by the time night fell and it cooled off, I had no light to see by. For years I have been drawing plans to design my dream home. It never looked exactly like this place, so I found myself just needing to hang out and spend time here feeling the place out and trying to visualize different ideas to see what I wanted to do next. I kept changing my mind every other day, so got kind of paralyzed and scared to start something. I've been slowly unpacking some of my boxes, trying to find all my tools and craft supplies. I have most of them out now, but won't show you the room just yet as I am waiting to find them all before I decided how to store them.

I've also been working five days a week, so had to wait for time off and some cash for materials before I could get much done. The first project is to get the two front rooms done so I can set up a kitchen and living room.

This is going to be the kitchen. I stripped off the wallpaper that was on these walls. Two of the walls were wood paneling that the paper just peeled off.The other two walls , it was glued on tight. I managed to pull the paper off but it left a paper backing stuck to the wall. I mixed fabric softner with boiling water ( half and half) in a sprayer bottle and soaked the paper backing on the wall.

It just peeled off the wall after that with a little nudge from a plastic scraper. ( The white wall is the first one I did, you can see the paper on the floor. To the left where the wall looks beige hasn't been done yet.)

The room beside the kitchen had horrible plastic looking paneling with plastic ribs holding it together. It looked like mobile home paneling from the eighties or something, seriously fugly anyway. Armed with a crowbar, I pulled all the molding and paneling down. What a horror show underneath. The first wall I did, had this large wood paneling which I thought, ok I can work with this.

But the next wall was all styrofoam insulation

and this wall had thick cardboard like sheets of wallpaper glued to the wood.The different wall paneling you see here is all the back of the plastic stuff that was on the walls originally.

I could of a matter of fact, I avoided that room for a few weeks after.

As soon as I have some more cash, I will be buying beadboard paneling for the bottom of the walls and more paneling for the top which will then be painted sage green or burgendy( I haven't decided yet)

Then there is the upstairs ( sigh...)
I have one room set up as a bedroom and the door wouldn't even open all the way before it hit this wall.

The room behind that wall is a huge airless, windowless space filled to the brim with boxes of stuff. In the heat wave we have been having it was too hot and lacking in oxygen to work up there for any length of time. In desperation one day, I had a fellow come up with a saw and cut me hole in the wall so I could get airflow coming through from the other side.

Ahhhh , much better, light and oxygen!!

While he was doing that, I tore down the wall in front of the bedroom door, so I can easily access the space now and have some cross ventilation going on.

In the meantime, I am still searching craigslist for more material. I lucked out the other day and got all these tiles ,vinyl and wooden flooring for free.

From this huge pile that was free to pick from.
I got tons of gorgeous blue tile for the downstairs bathroom and some nice mushroom brown ones for the upstairs bathroom. I also got cans of the adhesive and grout I needed to do the job. I got some lovely tongue and groove wood and some beadboard style as well as three different styles of vinyl flooring. In total, I probably got in the neighborhood of four thousand dollars of material for free, all because they needed more room in their warehouse!
I also picked up a laundry room sink and a bunch of dressers and shelf units so I can create a large walk-in closet type-of-affair in that upstairs space.
Here is one project, I'm close to being finished on,

The First of Many Projects!!!

The Shirley Metal Kitchen. This was donated to me by David. It is an old (1940-1950) metal kitchen sink and cupboard unit. As you can see, it was seriously rusty and decrepted looking when I first saw it.


I thought for about a nano second, that I might keep the original sticky paper that was on the shelves, just to keep it original looking , but decided against that when I saw the fifty year old dirt under the edges of it. Out it came!

I then spent a few hours sanding the whole unit down with various grades of grit, until the rust was all gone. Then I gave it a good washing with TSP and hot water, followed by a good long hosing down. Once it was dry, it got painted with 2 coats of self etching primer inside and out.

For some reason the colour I chose isn't showing up in these pictures at all, but this is the cabinet with two coats of sage green colour ( which mysteriously looks exactly like the military green tarp that its sitting on).

I found these cute handles at Home Depot. I guess over the years we have changed the standards of how wide our handles are for cupboards. The holes in mine were for about a two and a half inch spacing, but all the handles I found were three inch. So unfortunately, I had to ( get David) to drill an extra set of holes to fit the handles.

So, its pretty much done now. I want to build a small wooden frame for it to sit on as the doors catch on the ground, then as soon as the kitchen is painted, it will be installed.

All this work has aggravated my bulging discs in my neck once again ( 3 times in one year!) Each time it seems to take about 6 weeks to resolve itself. The last time it happened , I spent over a thousand dollars on naturopath, chiropracter, massage, physiotherapy and acupunture. Nothing works unfortunatly. They all say the same thing, there is nothing they can do for me, I just have to manage the pain and wait for it to fix itself. So a few advil and a demerol, then wait for it all to kick in and I have about 2 painfree hours to work with with before it all wear off. I then have to wait an hour before I can take more and it takes about another hour for it to kick in. Slowly but surely, I am making some progress. I'm off to paint the kitchen now, wish me luck, I suck at painting!

This post is linked to Cindy's Show and Tell Friday


Mikey said...

I love it! I'm so glad you are making your dream home! Good Luck! I wish my local Cragslist had all those great buidling materials for free!!!! Feel free to use my home as inspiration!


Anonymous said...

You are one brave woman...I can't even imagine...

For the bulging disc...have you tried a nerve block (spinal). I have a ruptured disc and had lost almost all the strength in my arm. After the spinal my pain decreased by probably 95%.

cyberangel said...

Thank you Mikey, this is a ton of fun and thanks anonymous for the advice. I have never heard of a nerve block, I will look into it. I was lucky this time, the pain resolved in about a week,still it's very annoying when your trying to get things done!