Monday, April 29, 2013

Stuff that happened recently

Oh, how time goes by...
Here's what I have been up to lately.

Giant marshmallow s'mores...

Big marshmallows make a big mess. The roasting marshmallows definitely overwhelm the chocolate and graham cracker sandwich. Maybe next time we get the bigger, square graham crackers?

The kids enjoyed themselves. It took a little while for the boy to get used to eating something so messy. He doesn't like sticky, messy fingers. The girl didn't mind so much.

The girl got some kiddie nail polish in her Easter basket (thanks mom), and had been asking to open it. So we did. I painted her finger and toe nails. She loved it. Makes me wonder where that "girly" girl came from. She didn't get her girliness from me. She loves dresses and pink and purple and jewelry and shoes. I have to admit that it is fun having a girly girl. It provides me with an opportunity to experience something that wasn't a part of my being when I was little. It also makes it easy to shop for her. Cute dresses and shoes are a-plenty, and I love it.
Change of subject...
And it's a little baffling to me.
My department, like many others, have a special event every spring, a recognition ceremony.


I knew I was a nominee. I had heard about one other nominee. I didn't think anything of it really. It had to be a tough decision for the committee to chose between my coworkers and frankly, I think we were all deserving. Officer of the Year is an honor and I was surprised to be selected from the candidates. It still baffles me that the committee chose me. Eventually, I guess, it will sink in, but it hasn't happened yet.

(I am third from the left. You know, the tall, skinny girl. I never realized how slender I really look when dressed like everyone else. Well, except for my coworker in regular dress clothes. He's normally dressed like the rest of us but wasn't for this occasion.) 

On Friday, April 26th, my girl turned 3 years old. This year I took a photo of the kids the night before their birthdays because it would be the last time they would be that age. I am no longer the mother of a two year old, or four year old.

She is such a sweetie, sometimes. She's giggly and talkative. Loves to sing to herself when she keeps herself occupied. She's entertaining and fun. She's girly and silly and so much like my sister. She is her mini-me.

Every girl needs a pretty dress to wear on her birthday. She chose to wear a pillowcase dress I made her earlier this year. I loved this fabric (of course I have no idea who designed it or where I bought it from) and have been waiting about two years to use it for this purpose. And of course she looks adorable in it.

We went to the store to her her own birthday helium balloon. This year I made her a Hello Kitty cake. I made the face out of modeling chocolate using a recipe I found online. It's a super easy recipe, it was not super easy getting it to do what I wanted without cracking on the edges. But it worked out alright. She enjoyed my efforts. Her only request was to have a sparkly candle. So I found her a sparkly number 3 candle, which was easy enough.

Two days later my hubs had his birthday. It was an event filled weekend and we enjoyed it, including the rain.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Painting a cement Floor

My short work week gave me some much needed time off and a chance to begin the painting process of my studio floor.

First, I cleaned the floor. Swept, swept more, and swept some more. Repaired some of the deep gauges in the edges of the floor where old meets new. Swept again and mopped the floor to get rid of the fine dust that had settled. Three days later it was finally time to paint.

I went to Home Depot to get the garage and basement concrete floor paint and primer. I picked out the perfect shade of grey as the topcoat for the floor only to find out that they can't just match any ol' color from the paint samples. It has to come from some little booklet in the floor paint aisle. Bummer. Luckily there was a color extremely similar to what I wanted. Win!

First, I primed the floor so that the topcoat would stick to the concrete better and last longer. As I was working my way out of the room I put the can outside the door. I was trying to be careful, to not knock it over as I made my out. Well, that didn't work out for me. I tipped to can over with my foot and spilled the rest of the contents on the pallet/temporary landing to the studio. There wasn't much left in the can after that. Quite a bit was spilled. :(

Photos of the primed floor and application of the first coat of paint.

It's a little hard in the photos to see a difference between the primed and painted floor. If you look closely you can tell that the painted floor has smoothed out some of the imperfections of the primed floor.

After about a day and a half I used the rest of the can of paint to apply a second coat to the floor. This will help to even out the coverage from the first coat. There were definitely some places that needed some attention.

I love the even-ness that comes from a second coat of paint. Once it is dry it will look great. The last photo shows the completion of the insulation on the triangle part of the big window wall. Eventually the ceiling insulation will be completed and the walls and ceiling will be finished.

In my last post I talked about the paint scheme for the floor. Now that the topcoat is completed, I could potentially start painting the squares the way I want. Here's the downside: Home Depot does not sell cement floor paint in anything smaller than one gallon. : / I do not need a gallon of three colors of paint. I must do more research and see what my options might be. Also, since I can't just pick any color I want, I have to use what the manufacturer allows in that little aisle booklet, I need to make sure the colors they provide match what I envisioned. I did notice in the booklet that there was a slightly darker grey color, white is easy enough, and a bright not-quite-turquoise-but-close-enough blue that would work great for the floor squares, if the paint came in a unit smaller than a gallon.

The progress is slow, but I enjoy being able to do some of the work myself instead of paying someone else to do it for me. A part of my creativity and hard work will always be a part of this studio, and I love that.

There is so much more to do with the studio, as well as home life. Work days and birthdays are coming up so I am trying to get ahead of the game. I made the cake that will be for my daughter's and husband's birthdays Friday and Sunday. I made two round cakes from one box of mix instead of just two cakes. Their birthday's are two days apart and we don't need that much cake in the house. One round cake will be for the girl and the other will be for the hubs. Presents have been taken care of and decorating the house will take place on Friday, as well as finishing the cake for my girl.

Back to work for me.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Some work I have been doing...

I bought insulation and began installing it. It wasn't too difficult and it didn't take very long to do as well. I started in the afternoon and after a couple of hours I had most of it done. After the kiddos went to bed I finished the rest of the wall studs.

Now, with the walls insulated, oh, and the rise above the the windows, I just have to wait until my semi-co-worker-helper has some free time to do the ceiling insulation, and start the paneling.

In the meantime, I was thinking about flooring. I can't really afford much and I didn't want to really do alot to it. Then, I remembered seeing painted cement floors on Pinterest. So, I went looking for some. See my sewing room ideas board for a few painted cement floors, as well as other ideas I found for my sewing/craft room. I liked a couple of the ideas I found so I decided on a color scheme and  layout.

The topcoat color will be a very light grey (Paint only has the grey color so you'll have to use your imagination a little). I like the bight blue color and I think it will go well with my red pendant lights and white walls and ceiling. I chose white to brighten things up a little, of course, and a darker grey for depth. I think I will go with the top configuration. I like the randomness of it. The bottom one is also an option but I couldn't find a stripe configuration that I liked. So random colored squares it is! Hope I like it.

On Monday I can clean the floor and prep it for paint, then over the weekend I can put on the first and maybe second coat of paint. Then I have to wait about 7 days for the paint to cure. After that I will start buying ceiling insulation and paneling.

Once the inside is absolutely completed I can paint the squares. Well, I guess that all depends on when I can get my co-worker to help me. I might be able to finish the floor then finish the walls and ceiling.

Finally, the most important part---moving in, organizing and decorating!

Waiting is not easy to do.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Electrical work has been completed. I now have my outdoor light, and interior lighting. The outdoor light was a compromise between me and my hubs. He wanted a motion sensitive light and I wanted something simple and cute. My original light was about $10. He wanted one of those two-headed, industrial motion lights...ugly. We both got what we wanted, and I love the outdoor light. Apparently I need to get a better photo of it. I'll have to remember that when I get around to completing the interior.

The interior lights are awesome. I love 'em. I'll probably love 'em even more when the inside is finished and the walls are a clean white instead of plywood brown. The idea for the pendant lights came from another blog website: Shannon Berrey Design. She had seen some cute lighting at Lowe's and posted some photos from her cell phone. The next trip I made to Lowe's, I searched out these pendant lights. I wanted to see them in person. And they were adorable. They come in black and red. Or as Shannon suggested, you can repaint them any color you want. I left mine red. It was a hard decision though. Black would have looked great as well, with white walls, it would have made the room feel clean...I can't explain it right now. I think the red will do the same, but in a different way. The color will give it a more whimsical and fun feel that I wouldn't necessarily get from the black.

Their size is perfect for the space of the room as well. The room is not so big that they shrink into the space, and the lights are not too big that they are overwhelming. The scale is perfect.

The next goal is insulation and finishing the walls and ceiling. Then, on to the fun part...decorating, setting up, and organizing.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Almost complete, plus Birthday and Easter

The end is near for the completion of the exterior of my studio, as well as the electrical stuff. It is beginning to look great and I couldn't be happier with the results. I love it and I can't wait to finish the interior and move in. I am so excited about that.

Here is a look at the progress so far...

Green shingles added to the roof. :) I would have liked metal roofing to match the existing building, but metal roofing is expensive and I am not made of money, nor do I have a money tree growing in the yard. At least it is green and not some other color where it would stand out even more. It doesn't look so bad.

The installation of siding has begun. I wanted to reuse the siding they took off of the existing exterior, now interior wall, to keep costs down and not fill up the landfill with perfectly good siding. Mainly, to help with cost. The two short sides got the repurposed siding so it would blend in with the existing structure. The new exterior wall got the brand new siding.

Windows were cut out and installed. New siding was added. It looks wonderful. It looks like it has always been there as well. I am just itching to get inside and get organized.

The road side siding is finished and blends in very well. Eventually, I will get around to actually cleaning the old siding so that the dirt doesn't stand out as much. The dirtier pieces of siding were at the bottom of the previous exterior wall and didn't receive much sunshine to dry out the mildew-y stuff. I'm sure the same thing will happen to the new siding, seeing as it faces a more northerly direction. But since it is mine, I will try my best to take care of it. I use that side for photo sessions with the kiddos. Although, I think I may change it to the road side of the building...? Something to think on.

Speaking of kiddos. My boy turned 5 years old last week. He is excited to go to big school. I'm pretty sure he doesn't understand what that actually means, for the both of us, but he had a great birthday at home and then a trip to see the grandparents for Easter, and his birthday activity...bowling. He's been waiting almost an entire year to go bowling. (He mentioned it shortly after his 4th birthday so I kept it tucked away in my mind). There was a ton of excitement going on this past weekend and I haven't recovered from all of it. Also, it is my long week of work so I won't get much rest anyway.

A construction birthday cake and birthday bowling activity, or more accurately "chucking" the bowling ball down the alley. Fun was had and that is all that matters.

Egg hunt and Easter Sunday outfits. My fast-growing-independent-mommy-lovin' kids. Love you.

Ok, back to the construction. Today my builder, or handy helper as I like to think of him, or Spider-man as my kids call him, will be installing sockets and switches, and lighting. I didn't think he was going to do that part until the final phase, so when he mentioned it I just went with it. I figured if he was going to be there anyway I might as well buy the pendant lights I wanted and have him install them. That part will be completed today. The only thing that will be left is finishing the interior. I think I will do that myself, with a little help, to save on labor expenses. Then, I can do it at my own pace (funding pace). Future medical expenses may be my Achilles heal on that. Good news on that front as well....the CT scan verified that I do have pneumonia, in both lungs, in the lower portions, and nothing else. Now, if I could actually get some rest I might be able to heal completely and quickly.

Hope your Easter was wonderful!