Friday, January 22, 2010

Renovations Update

Well, Natalie and I have now been working on the study for about 4 months now. We are SO CLOSE!

Here's what we've done in the study alone:
1. Basic demolition: ripped out drywall, outlets, lightswitch, ceiling fan, built in cabinets, tore up carpet carpet+padding. Opened hall closet into bedroom.

2. New drywall, taping and bedding. This was the most time consuming. For those who have never tried it: it's not that hard-- just get the tape wet before applying to the wall.

3. Textured walls. How? Watered down (like pretty thick pancake batter) compound and a paint roller. Didn't turn out exactly like the rest of the house, but it's subtle and it looks nice.

4. Finished subfloor around old crawlspace access (bottom left of picture below).

5. This is the biggie. When ol' Wendell put in his magical 80's mystery shelves, somebody went CRAZY with the ceiling texture-- it almost looked like acoustic (popcorn) texture, but it was made from compound. So I consider my options to make it look nice again:
  1. Tear down existing, then hang new drywall on ceiling. Cost? Another $30 or so. Time? Demo, cleanup, hanging new, taping, texturing... 12 hours work? Maybe. A big mess? YES.
  2. Hang new drywall over existing drywall. Still $30 and a lot of time.
  3. Scrape off fake popcorn texture and see what happens...
Hey. Not bad! I spent about 2 hours spraying with a squirt bottle, scraping, then scrubbing off this previous texture. It looked BEAUTIFUL underneath-- just like the original ceilings. So I asked myself... why, Wendell, WHY? Why did you cover up the modest ceiling texture? I should have known...

At the end of my two hours of backbreaking, over the head arm-work, I got to a spot in the ceiling that acted funny. I scraped and all that was underneath was more compound. I still don't quite know what's going on with it. Natalie suspects that his leg went through the ceiling at some point and he just patched the whole area (about 3'x3') with putty.

Anyway-- my idea was a bust. Which brings us to my solution:

4. Scrape off as much of the texture on the ceilings as you can. Sand down any noticeable bumps. After a good wipe-down, float a layer of compound with a 10" drywall knife in one direction (I started going south to north). Allow compound to dry. Sand again. Float another layer of compound over in the other direction (this time I tricked it up a bit-- I went west to east sometimes, and east to west other times-- it was a total hoot).

So-- here it is. The near final product. I'm about 92% happy with it. Maybe it will look better with a layer of primer then some nice paint.

*deep breath*

Monday, January 18, 2010

Craigslist Finds Part IV

Item: Couch
Cost: $150

Well, Natalie roped me into buying another couch. It is our fourth. FOURTH.

The fabric is called Naugahyde. It's plastic-coated fabric, so you can clean your couch with window cleaner.

We haven't looked for labels or any info on it, since it currently resides in our garage, so I'm lacking many interesting details.

It folds out into a sleeper, which is awesome, and since it just uses the cushions it doesn't have a nappy matress all folded up underneath it.

Why, it's a chaise lounge!

Or IS IT!?!?

Anyway, it was a fun find. More to come later.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Yet Another Date Night...

Natalie and I usually have fancy date nights at fancy places with fancy people and fancy music playing... like this one:

This is my first foray into timelapse photography. I've always found it extremely interesting... and I hope to tackle some more interesting projects, but I thought this would be a good start.

If you're interested in making your own time lapse photography, here are the tools I used (and a couple I found and didn't have to use).

  1. A webcam. I used a Logitech C200. $30. Available at Walmart.
  2. Webcam Timershot Powertoy for XP-- this saves JPG files at specified intervals from your webcam. I've seen lots of people have problems with the program not detecting webcams, and I've actually had a lot of trouble in the past, but I had no trouble with mine now.
  3. Yawcam-- free webcam software with motion detection, FTP upload... seems very cool. You can even set it up as a quickie security system! I will probably use this in the future because Timershot doesn't support Vista or Windows 7.
  4. JPGVideo-- this takes a series of JPG files and combines them to create a video file.
  5. Windows Movie Maker-- I use this to do editing, video compression, and adding music and effects.

Simple-- and all (except the webcam) free! Hurrah!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


We're still here. Promise.

We have two posts in the works, but between work, the holidays, and renovating the bedrooms we haven't had much time to do anything else.

We also have a fun craigslist find to share with you guys once Graham finishes up the post.

Hopefully (Graham hates it when I say that, apparently it is not proper English), we will get a new post up for you guys soon.