Monday, August 24, 2015

Library Study

So, it's finally begun.  This year has been so busy that I haven't had time to start building the library, even though I had cut all the lumber for it months ago.  But, I have finally buckled down and begun.  I will update as I make progress, but here's how it has progressed so far.



Remember that last summer I added a window:
Hole cut for window

Adding window

Window installed
Now, I am working on installing the library:
Door Bookshelves Rough-In

Adjustable shelves in place in Rough-In

Window Bookshelf Rough-In in progress

Cap Shelves added to Window Bookshelves Rough-In

Boys get impatient and start adding books to the Rough-In.  Stereo bookshelves begin.

Still gotta live, even though it's a construction zone.

Children's Bookshelves Rough-In added

Stereo Bookshelves Rough-In Up so I can now listen to music while I work.
The stereo side is set off the wall to allow space behind for wires to stay out of sight. I moved the light switch from the wall to the side of the bookshelves by the door.  I also added an outlet with USB ports for a charging station and wired for the light fixtures that will be on the front of the bookshelves and for the outlets that will be on the front of the base trim.  I also ran hard wire to the deck area so we now have a speaker zone out there as well, since we spend most of the year living out back.

This week, I'm working on the face trim.  More pics to come . . . .

UPDATE:  Sorry with all the traveling birthdays, weddings, etc., this project has continued to be slow-going.  I have finally added the face- and end-trim bit have not yet installed the crown or base trim.  I need to make some final decisions on the light fixtures so I can order those parts and install the lights before I finish up.  Then I can start staining!
Since the last pictures I have:
-Cut, routed, and installed the face trim
-Cut, routed, and installed the end trim
-Trimmed out the window and doorway
-Built and installed the charging dock
-Routed the front edge of all the shelves.

Here's what it's looking like now:
Hoping to find a small sofa for where the chairs are and some nice chairs for where the old ratty sofa is.
Removable charging station

Close-up of routed shelf edge
UPDATE:  Working on adding the base moulding.  You can't tell in these pictures, but I have the grain all lined up around the corners so that it looks good once it is stained.

Next, I need to work on building the doors for the lower section of the bookshelves. . . .

UPDATE:  Got the doors cut, fitted, routed, and glued-up.  They are now sitting in place, though they don't have any hinges yet.

Now onto the lights . . . .

UPDATE:  Lights are done
First time I've ever order parts to assemble my own light fixtures.  I have since ordered some new parts to tweak them a little, but I won't be able to reassemble them until the new parts come.  These are all sold cast brass, so they are heavy duty and shoudl last as long as or longer than the house itself.
Let there be light.  Worked late into the night with a headlamp to get these babies installed.

Now onto the crown moulding and window sill . . . .

UPDATE:  Crown moulding is in.  Window sill is cut and routed and sitting in place.  I won't install it until I decide if I want to take the time and energy to do something fancier with the trim below the window.

I'm sick so I will be taking a break. Next, I need to stain everything, work on wall trim for the rest of the room, build the desk wall, and wallpaper or paint (or do both to) the walls.  I also need to find a small sofa to fit under the window:  I have a feeling that this will be my favorite room to lounge in this winter . . . .

July 4th Backyard Bash

We are loving our new tradition of having family come visit for the 4th of July.  And, because my sister is awesome and took pictures of this year's backyard bar-b-que (since I'm a loser and never remember to take pictures myself), you all can see how fun it turned out:

Just so happens that my kids' art eisel is red and blue, so I drew a welcome sign to greet my family when they arrived.

Cheapo plates and napkins and some garden clippings make for fun place settings.

Love having a chance to use my awesome cutting boards--this time as a center piece.

Nothing as fun as having cousins come play!

Something fun for everyone!

Grass Under Deck

So, we have had a situation under our deck for some time.  Basically, there was a ton (or probably closer to 8 tons to be literal) of rock piled up below our back deck.  It was about 3 feet deep and 25 feet long and 10 feet wide.  So, there was ALOT of rock. This was a problem because all the rock would constantly roll down onto the grass.  Also, we had swings hanging from the deck, so we had to always worry about the kids falling off the swings into the rocks or onto the concrete curbing directly below swings..  Plus, it was just UGLY and HOT.  So, we thought grass would be a much more beautiful and practical material for beneath the deck area.

This is the only before picture I have.  Unfortunately it is not a close-up so it doesn't really give you any idea of how terrible this rock was, or how much there was.


 Well, my husband and boys moved ALL eight tons of that rock by hand with wheelbarrows and our neighbor's truck to give it to a  family up the street who wanted it.  It was ALOT of work!  I then went in and regraded the whole area by hand so it could drain water away from the house while still feeling relatively level to walk on. I also prepped the site for an extension to our concrete patio.  This is the only picture I have during that process.  Again, it gives you no concept of what was going on really, or how many boulders I dug up, or how much dirt I had to move (with my 9 year old son's help).  But, believe me, it was CRAZY!

I also had to cut the rebar that ran through those concrete curbs and dig up the cubs.  Do you know how HEAVY concrete is?!  It's out-of-control heavy.

With all that rock, and boulders, and dirt to dig up and move, prepping the site took us months.  But, once it was prepped, I built a wooden planter along the house (and a taller planter box under the stairs), added lattice in front of all the exposed concrete for our new clematis plant to grow on, layed sprinklers, poured and spread top soil, and finally was able to lay sod (which was our Family Home Evening activity that night).  Here is the final product.  We haven't planted anything in the taller, deeper planter box under the stairs yet, but we are loving finally having a shady spot for our hostas and daylilis.




All in all, this project was a huge amount of work, but oh so worth it.  The kids are loving having grass below-foot while on the swings.  I am loving having a grassy spot to relax in the hammock and take in the view, and my husband is loving his new planter boxes to tend.  It really is a great new space to add to our backyard.