Monday, December 28, 2015

christmas 2015

Merry Christmas! Christmas came very fast this year - it seems like before I knew it, it was here. Here's some memories for my online scrapbook.

How cute is Butters? He's starting off my photo story with the cutest picture of him.

My daughter said I could take Matthew to see Santa this year. Holly, Eileen, William and I set off to the mall. I was so excited to have a little one to take to see Santa. I sat him on Santa's lap and Matthew turned and looked at Santa - poked his beard and then started to cry. Bless his little heart. After that we walked the mall and he loved it! The activity of the mall kept his whole attention. It was so cute!! And I love this picture.

We purchased tickets to Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village on the nastiness night of the year. There was severe weather warnings with lots of wind and rain. Holiday Nights is mostly an outdoor event. Greaaaat...

With no refunds on the tickets, we put on our big girl panties and braved the weather. It wasn't too bad. They had the largest train set and lego build I've ever seen.

The amount of lego effort was amazing.

So with much detail - you could literally spend all night looking.

We rode the carousel - it was super old, built back in the 1800's.  With the wind and rain, I wasn't keen on using my camera and my settings were hurried and not very good.

And I got some pretty good shake in my photo. Overall the night was good. We were soaked to the bone when we left - but I would go again. It actually was a lot of fun.

Christmas morning and Holly and Eileen opening presents.

And Jason .... 

Holly made this for Burke. She did it all herself. She picked out the fabric and designed the embroidery on the apron. It says "Never trust a skinny cook." He was fighting the tears. Special daddy gift. I was really impressed how well it came out. The best part was she actually let me teach her how to make something.

Burke gets me a Santa every year - and here is the one for 2015. This Santa I can put down by my fireplace as it's ceramic based. He came bearing gifts of his one.

I almost forgot to take pictures and Jenny reminded me .... right before everyone was about to leave. So I quickly set up the tripod. The lightening was bad with this beam of light coming in and I wasn't able to do much about it. So .... we powered on.

The baby had just about had it for the day - ready for his nap. We were able to snap a couple and I was practicing with my photo editing skills.

The same with this one. I like how it turned out. It would be an excellent picture if everyone was looking at the camera. The dogs weren't cooperating either.

Jason was in the shower when we took the family picture, so I snapped one of him near the tree. It was a little dark so I lightened it up a bit. He was wearing his new Christmas clothes.

End of the day and everyone was gone. Time to clean up. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I'm looking forward to the New Year.

basement project - drywall

I realize I've been neglecting my blog, but with a basement remodel, new exchange student, Girls Who Code club, and Christmas - something had to give.  I'm especially geeked that we made some visual progress on the basement, so I'm taking the time out to write about it.

Mudding has definitely been the hardest thing about doing the basement.

With so many nooks and crannies - it was very time consuming to do the area properly.

See what I mean? This is the area under the stairs and will be the coolest treadmill space. Sooo many nooks and crannies in there.

My new sewing room area. I plan on making my own custom table space to house my 3 sewing machines.

A better picture of the furnace room (where the door is). I can't believe how quieter the furnace is now.

I love the pocket doors. It nearly cost me my marriage - but they are beautiful and now even Burke likes them. My new photography studio lies behind those doors.

I lined the windows with some 1/4 inch plywood. Lowes ripped the pieces for me and I cut them to length to fit the windows. These windows will end up holding my spring garden - making use of the deep wells.

The other egress window. Still needs lots of work.

So these pictures show the drywall all mudded and sanded. We ran out of primer and there is still a couple rough areas that need sanding. The great thing about the drywall primer is that you can sand it down.

I went through 6 five gallon buckets and it look me nearly 2 months to complete. If I was to ever do the much square footage - I would invest in some professional tools.

The finishing coat of paint is next and the floor is already downstairs getting acclimated to the new environment. I really excited to move forward. Stay tuned for new blog posts of the custom areas in my new "lair". 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

basement project - part 2

I've taken a break with my blog and this is the reason. We started the project back in August and with only weekends to work, this is our progress. I'm really bummed .... I took pictures after the framing was done and now .... I can't find them. Dang it!

As you come down the stairs. The first door is to our new bathroom and is only framed in at this point. The other door is a small closet for kitchen overflow.

At the bottom of the stairs .... it's the little closet on the right again. Burke really loves those pot lights. We was down here measuring for the floors.

This is directly across from the kitchen closet. The space is under the stairs. We took out some of the extra framing and really opened it up. Burke put in some outlets for my treadmill and a monitor for watching stuff. This will be my treadmill's home.

This space is filled with construction materials at the time of the picture, but it will eventually be the sewing area. The window is wired for a window garden.

Standing in the sewing area, overlooking the family room. In the back where the door is will be a giant storage closet. The dog crate is Nova's (Jackie's dog).

A better picture of the storage room and Nova's cage (who hangs out there when Jackie is working). You can see the kitchen closet there too. 

We're back in the sewing area and looking at the new furnace room.

Looking at the new pocket doors with the french doors. They close off my new photography area. Right now filled with construction materials - some of which is ready for the recycle place.

My treadmill is in the corner while the stairway is being drywalled. But that corner will house my new electric fireplace and TV.

And my big giant closet. Burke wired it up with 2 pot lights. Still so much mudding to do. I think we have a week or two left to continue drywalling and mudding and then on to the floor. We picked out a really cool laminate floor. I'm still trying to figure out what color to paint it. Still moving forward!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

eileen's senior pictures

Burke and I started working on the basement and the deadline for submitting senior pictures was fast approaching. So finally, one Saturday morning, Eileen and I set out to complete her picture for the yearbook and then some.

We took a couple near the house but headed over to my work where there were lots of trees and a pond. I think she's a natural.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

finishing the basement - the beginning

We built our house 4 years ago and I moved all my artsy and fitness stuff into the basement.  Every time I go down into the basement, I day dream of finishing it, but after 4 years I finally realize that I'll have to do the work myself as $25,000 is just too much for me.

So back in June, I announced to Burke that it was time to begin finishing the basement. He looked at me as if I had turned into an alien and had squids coming out of my head. I told him, "I'll let that digest" and I walked away.

I began with going to my favorite resource - youtube, and looking up anything having to do basement finishing.  There's plenty of resources available. I spent hours there.

I also purchased a Sweet Home 3D from the Apple app store. I found the basement plans and started designing. It's a great app, easy to use and I love how easy is it to get a visional on our plans.

At least we had the foresight to have several egress windows and 9 foot ceiling installed. I consulted with several license contractors about my questions particularly regarding the bathroom plumbing.

After many, many fights with the husband, we sort of agreed on design.

And then it began. I ordered the wood and set to have it delivered. Initially I ordered 130 2x4's and various length of top and bottom plates.

This actually was my photography area. Really, really raw, but effective. You can see the pipes coming out of the floor for the bathroom plumbing. The plumbing was roughed in when the house was built.

It's actually going on pretty well. We originally rented a few power tools to help complete the work. I finally realized it was much cheaper to buy them, so my new framing nail gun arrived in the mail last week. So far, we've spent about $1,000 on materials. Lots has changed since these pictures. The vision is starting to come together. The artist lair is underway.