Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Lane!

This is my Lane.

He is my partner in house project related crime and I missed him terribly when he was gone on his mission.
Then I moved to Michigan and I miss him terribly again.

Funny thing, when I went to look for pictures to do Lane's birthday post, what position could I find him in in a good portion of pictures containing him?

Yeah, that's a good representation, he loves napping.

It's also hard to get a picture of him where he is not making a face.

It is extra super hard to get him to not make a face if Melynda also happens to be in the picture.

He builds stuff good.

And he is a good friend to his 'boyz'.

...and he's really buff...

(but he really doesn't like when I say so or post pictures of it, he says he looks like a "poser". But I just think he is cute and humble so I post it anyways)

Happy Birthday my little brother!
Love you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Old Pictures: Editing for Free

I'm a little crazy for pictures.
I love them.
I love seeing a time and place and people preserved.
So it pains me when old pictures are hard to make out, and it gives me intense satisfaction to make them even a little bit better.

I made the following improvements in Google Picasa, which is free.
Free + Improving Pics = Very Cool

This is Grandma L and some kids in a rock arch formation.

Grandpa L and some kids

Grandma L with Bev, Roger, and Barbie

Bev, Barbie, Roger
David, Daddy (Steve)
The before picture wasn't so bad on this one...but I love this picture so.

Sheila, Grandma L, Cindy, Daddy (Steve), Marsha
(and I think that is Barbie and Roger in the background)

David, Bev
Grandpa L, Barbie, Marsha, Grandma L, Roger
Daddy (Steve), and Sheila

*I would love corrections if I have mislabeled people*
**and I'd be happy to email any pictures to anyone who is interested**

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Side View

Holly, Loni, and Melynda

This is at Holly's baby shower.
The second baby shower thrown at my Mom's house in as many weeks.
If you know my Mom you will find the preceding sentence humorous.
Mom's not usually a party person.
:) (:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Security Measures...

So, starting with this past weekend, the weather here has been very beautiful.

Because of the warm(er) temperatures, we happened to be outside on Sunday afternoon and struck up a conversation with our new neighbor who also happened to be outside.
After talking for a bit he brought up that he had seen a couple of older teenage boys over from the wrong side of town messing with our window well grate while we were gone.
(Don't worry, George...yeah, we're now on a first name basis... was awesome and went and stared at them until they left).
Well, I have an over-active imagination and I was bothered to the point that I had to do something. If it wasn't the Sabbath I would have done it right then. But as it was, Monday after work I dropped Curt off at school, stopped by Home Depot for supplies, and...
(after making one more stop at the grocery store... man we go through milk...)

...I chained the stinking thing down! Take that, potential theiving criminals!
I had two, one foot sections and one, three foot section of chain cut for me; bought a couple packs of locks; got out my trusty drill and drill bit set; attached biggest bit from mentioned drill bit set; drilled two holes through the window well; and locked it's not going anywhere.
It's currently not against fire code as this window doesn't need to be an egress since our basement is unfinished.

I also covered both basement windows with the cheap-o temporary blind stuff so no one can see in and see all of my tools.

And while I was at Home Depot I figured I'd check another thing off of my to-do list and get light sensors for my exterior lights.
They're easy peasy; you just screw the bulb into the bought sensor and then screw the sensor into the socket.
It turns on just as soon as it gets dark...

...and turns off when the sun, er, flashlight comes out.

And all installed and done before heading out to pick up Curt from class. Nice.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Somewhere for Curt to hang his keys...

Paint Treatment Tutorial: Ragging

This is my take on the technique of ragging as a faux paint treatment.
Ragging is a wonderful treatment to do on walls that have many imperfections. You can hardly find them after unless you know where to look.

We'll start with a list of supplies that are needed:

1. A small amount of paint that is the color you want the glaze to be. I got a quart.

*Don't forget to grab a couple of these paint stirrers from the paint store.

2. A larger amount of faux glaze base. I got a gallon.

3. If you do it like me you need to get an empty quart paint can. You'll see why later. Don't worry, it's only like $2.50.

4. You need a bucket. As you can see, I use this for lots of projects.

5. You need some rags. I like a pretty thick, smooth, cotton painter's rag. I use them for so many of my projects that I buy these 5lb boxes and keep them on hand.

6. You need paint roller covers and paint tray liners. And of course a paintbrush, a tray, and the roller (but I always have those on hand). I usually buy the most el-cheapo stuff, but I have found that I need at least the mid-grade roller covers (the el-cheapo ones leave fuzzies in your paint on the wall, not cool).

7. You need a drop cloth. the cheap plastic disposable ones are fine, but let me introduce you to my beautiful 32'x15' investment. It's purty. It's so big that it can cover anything, a whole room's floor, but folded up its nice and convenient and moveable. I got drop cloth envy when I did this project down at my grandparent's house and my grandpa pulled out his spiffy canvas drop cloth. I bought it right after we closed on the house, since the whole thing needed the walls painted.

OK, now onto the project steps:

1) First you tape off your walls. Stick the tape to the edge of the baseboard as tight as you can so that you can get a clean edge when taking it up. It's almost certain that paint will get under the tape in a few spots, but don't worry, I'll show you how to take care of that later.

2) Paint the walls the base color you want. Let it dry well before moving on to the next step. For my base color I liked our builder "antique white" color that was on the walls already, so I got to skip this step.

3) Mix the small amount of paint with the faux glaze base. The color I wanted my glaze for the loft project was the Behr color "English Toffee". They don't offer it in their paint chips anymore, but Home Depot still can mix it up. They no longer offer the tinted base that English Toffee calls for, but my Home Depot paint guy was clever and used a medium base and adjusted the color saturation to compensate. (that is why you see the hand writing making the listed base "7400", instead of "7500", and why this is an adjusted "{ADJ}" English Toffee). It turned out perfect.
On the faux glaze can Behr reccommends that it be mixed to a 4:1 ratio, meaning that you should mix the whole gallon of glaze with the whole quart of paint. I'm a rebel and I do it differently. Remember that empty quart paint can I had you buy? Yeah, I just pour a quart (which is a quarter of a gallon) of glaze out into it and then pour the quart of paint into the glaze can, making it a 3:1 ratio. So sue still work wonderfully, and then I don't have to mess with trying to find a big container to mix stuff in. See, I'm all about convenience. Also, now I have a quart of glaze to mix with a small amount of other color and I can do other projects.

4) Paint a small area with the glaze/paint mixture. Do this with a roller where you can, a paintbrush where you can't. Realize that the glaze will go on thicker with the roller. I had to do a really small area at a time because my base coat was a flat paint and it just soaked up the glaze and set really fast. If your base coat is a semi-gloss or gloss you will have a long time to work the glaze. (though if the base paint is a gloss the glaze may come off too easy and make it harder to get the look we're going for)

5) Take a rag and crumple it up like this:
Then smush it all over the painted section of the wall, working it until you like how it looks. Uncrumple and re-crumple the rag as you work to get different patterns. When it gets too clogged with paint, just dunk it in your bucket (which you have filled with warm water) and squeeze it out. When a particular rag isn't doing it for you anymore, get out another one. I used two for this project.

6) Repeat steps 4 and 5 until the whole area is done. The hard part is going fast enough to make the edges blend between small sections as the glaze is drying. This means that you need to continuously go until you get to a corner or other section divider. Then you can take a break.
*Warning: this will get really tedious and you'll be very sick of ragging by the end, but just remember, it looks oh so good when completed*

7) Take down the tape.

8) Touch up the glaze where needed. I'm picky, and where I don't like a particular section blend, or where I think a section looks overall lighter than the rest I will take a paint brush and do a very light coat of glaze over it to even things out.

9) Touch up where any glaze has gotten on the trim. See what I mean, sometimes even when you're careful about firmly attaching the tape, glaze gets through:

Just take a clean rag and wrap it around a small flathead screwdriver and gently rub the glaze off of the trim. You'll have to move the rag around several times to prevent having the screwdriver poke through and scratch things.

See? Much better after some gentle rubbing:

And then you have a lovely painted surface. Enjoy.

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