Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter!

I'm happily reporting that painting will begin at the house next week, followed by the installation of the flooring. Things look great and the siding will be finished as well right away before things get too mucky around the yard. The stipple on the basement ceiling and the front window will be scraped and the seams sanded down tomorrow, thanks to our builder who was in our corner on that one. :)
I'm going into this Easter weekend with a big grin on my face. Wishing you all Easter greetings from our house to yours.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

House Build

Well, this is where we are at now at this stage.  The counter tops are underway and look really good, and now we will just play a waiting game to hear about whether or not some of our ceilings will be fixed due to the look of the drywall.  So far any opinions we have had from friends suggest that yes, the ceiling shouldn't look like that and if it were them they would have it redone.  Ah well, I guess we will wait for our builder to come back from some holidays and then see what he says about it ( ceilings were contracted out to a dry walling company ).   I am hoping that if the ceilings need to be fixed, which will put back the floor installation as they wouldn't be installed until after all the stippling was redone, that they won't push us back too far from the moving date of May.  I honestly don't see the ceilings much right now as I'm too busy looking at how great everything else looks!

If it weren't for this crack looking like it wasn't taped and mudded and the extra stipple on this area not cracking we would have probably left the ceiling alone.  As it is, this large unfinished edge is right in the living room and is unacceptable to us, meaning the entire ceiling from the tip of the vault needs to be scraped down to this point in order to re-stipple properly... the stipple wouldn't match up otherwise.  
A good hiding spot!
This shot just shows how prominent the joins are in the ceiling, which we were told is just too prominent.  In the evening it is even more pronounced.
These next two shots show the ceiling at different angles, upstairs and down.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Kitchen's A-Coming

The uppers are finished and the counter tops are next on the list, with the vanities and the bar ready for counters as well.  Looking forward to stopping over there tonight; if they had enough time today they may have got them finished.  The flooring company takes care of the tile, so we won't be seeing that for a while.  I was freaking out a bit at how yellow the paint looked in the 5:00 pm light, but I think it was the camera and house lighting as well.

Walnut quartzstone for the island and pantry

Ivory quartzstone for everywhere there is dark cabinetry

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

House Build

 It was so great to see the cabinets started in the kitchen...and they were also installed in the pantry as well as the bathrooms upstairs.  It looks like the basement will be started tomorrow.
The installation company makes the countertops on site, to ensure a perfect fit.  At that point it will really start feeling like my designs on paper will be coming to life.  It's so weird: I'm excited to see it in real life except I already know without a doubt how it will look.  I'm going to say that that's a very good quality to possess, otherwise women like me would cost their husbands an awful lot of money on renovations for designs gone bad.

The ivory island looks really good contrasting with the dark cabinets, and later on with the addition of the dark walnut countertop on the island and ivory on the espresso cabinets, the contrast will be even more evident.  Had we had endless amount of dollars to spend, I would have loved to take it a huge step further in the kitchen as we feel it to be the heart of the home.  I love it when designers make cabinets and elements in the kitchen look and feel like pieces of furniture.  That was my goal with the island, and I'm hoping it will be a focal point.  Even the simple addition of "feet" at the base of the cabinets instead of toe kicks or in front of the toe kicks seems irrelevant but they really do make a statement.  Crown molding  under cabinet lighting, and glass doors all add to the furniture feel in a kitchen.

The butler's pantry is only now missing it's countertop and shelving on the walls.  As you can see it is not huge, and maybe most of you think I am making a big deal out of this 'need' of mine to even have this addition to our house.  But I'm telling you, I have wanted one of these ever since I was little and locked myself in the butler's pantry at our family cabin, playing tunes on my "drums" (hanging pots).  I have always loved that space.  A butler's pantry is out of the way, gives the owner an extra preparation space, and is functional in it's purpose.  And maybe I'll shut myself away in my new pantry as well, and bang on my very own pots and pans.

This view was my first as I came around the living room corner, and I was actually shocked at how expansive the kitchen actually was.  I thought, wow, that's our kitchen!  Then my second thought was "yippee" at how the color on the wall warmed up the space with such dark cabinets.  Everything, and I mean everything in the house was designed around the paint color.  The undertones in the espresso cabinets, the warm glaze on the ivory cabinets, the brushed striations in the dark flooring, as well as the creamy coffee color in the lino as well as the carpet...they all have this color in common.  It was all riding on the paint to bring it together, and so when the painter surprised me by color matching my swatches I was worried.  I'm glad it worked out.  All of it may not seem like much, but to me, that was key.  And if it was any other way, or if it looked 'off' and the undertones ran cold rather than warm, I would have been repainting the entire house.  I suppose to me, this house is it for keeps for a really long time, so I want it to be the way I want.

This is our master bath, and man that shower looks big.  Our last ensuite shower wasn't big enough to wash my hair fact the shower in the travel trailer we rented last year had a bigger shower!
That prompted us to have a nice big shower, for the extra room of course but also so that we could share. ;)

Here's all the extra drawers.  Yes drawers.  All of the bottom cabinets will have drawers as well as the island.  The only doors are on the uppers.  See our pullout spice shelf that will go right by the stove in the upper right?  Yay!

The basement is all trimmed out, and all the doors in the whole house are hung.  The painter will spray the trim and doors at the same time before painting the walls.
The last two weeks has seen next to no activity, and part of the ceiling will have to be redone as the drywall joins can be seen across the length of it.  Due to that I'm not sure if the house build will be set back much, and everything from now on will just be added here and there.  So I will update once in a while when things have changed in a more noticeable way so as not to be too boring.

That was such a long ramble I'm not sure if I want to post my yummy cupcake recipe or not tonight.  Maybe I should save it for another post?
Charlie helped me make cupcakes today as she's been hankering for them for some time.  I wanted easy no fuss, and she just wanted chocolate.
So I went with a self-frosting cupcake that was a part of my childhood.
I've posted the recipe before, and I will again as I found a bit of a different version with a bit more cream cheese added.  And who doesn't like a bit more cream cheese, am I right?

Chocolate Surprise Cupcakes

8 oz soft cream cheese
1/3 c sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Mix together and set aside.

3 c flour
2 c sugar
2/3 c cocoa
2 tsp tacking soda
2 cups water
2/3 c veg oil
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat 350 and line muffin cups.

Stir dry ingreds together make a well.  In large measure cup add wet ingreds and pour into well.  Beat for 3 minutes.

Use an ice cream scoop for fast and accurate filling of cups, about 2/3 full.  Add a tbsp of filling onto the top of batter.
 If you do this right you will end up with two dozen cupcakes plus two more, and the filling will last to the end!

Bake for 22 minutes (adjust to your oven) or till toothpick comes out of cake portion clean.

Try to wait for them to cool 5 minutes before you eat them but it's perfectly normal to not be able to do so.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

House Build

We stopped by the house to take a peek on the progress, and there hasn't been any that is really relevant at all.  Except that we have light bulbs in the recessed lighting in the basement and the interior doors were delivered.  Those are great things, but I was really hoping to see some cabinets out of their boxes and on our walls.  They were supposed to have been started last Friday, and so we are thinking that the installers must be really busy at another job and just haven't had the time to tackle ours yet.  Patience just isn't my best virtue and I want to see what we picked out, dang it! :)
We also saw a few infractions with the dry-walling,  or rather lack of tape and mud in a certain (large) area that the painter/stippler should have seen before doing their jobs.  So we made a note of that and are moving on! :)
On the up side of the visit, it was nice seeing the gorgeous doors we picked out.  I really love this style; it reminds me of the doors at our family cabin at Brightsand Lake, and the doors in my grandparent's old farmhouse.  The difference is the modern twist of the square cut rather than a bevel in the recessed panel on the door.  And I can't wait to see them painted darker than the wall: that is something that I have only seen but never attempted...but hey, it's only paint.

I thought I would share this little beaut of a picture!

This concrete pad is stamped to look like paving stones for a fraction of the cost.  Seeing as Mike wants another paved patio, and I really don't like the thought of spending the money on it, we compromised and I really like this look; it's grown on me more since I saw it last!  And the colors can be varied in the concrete after wards to give it a more realistic look.
I think I really want to do this!  What do you all think?

Monday, March 11, 2013

How to Catch a Leprechaun

Jacelyn had her first big project assignment for school due this week.  The project was to make a Leprechaun Trap, and boy did she have some really good ideas! 
After sorting through them all with her, and with a couple game plans in place, she picked out some stuff at the store and we started almost right away.  Of course her ideas changed as we went along, but she had fun making it up.
I ran the hot glue gun while she directed me where things should go, and in a few hours she, Mike, and I finished it up.
Charlie keeps checking it constantly to see if a leprechaun is sitting on the mound of rainbow mini marshmallows at the bottom of the top hat. :)

A devilishly, sneaky pathway will lead the leprechaun to his doom.
And of course this sign will fool him too!! Mwahahahaha.
...then he will tiptoe along the tempting Lucky Charms path, go under the rainbow and up the ladder to...
...a yummy pot of gold; only to fall through the false floor into certain captivity!
(Insert another evil laugh here)

Don't worry, Jacelyn threw in three handfuls of soft fluffy marshmallows to make sure he wouldn't
"break his leg".

Scrapbook Corner

I am posting this now before all the snow is melted, so that I don't have to look at this picture for a while and be reminded of how long winter was this season.  October 20, 2012 was the first snowfall, and here we are almost half way into March and we have yet to have a serious snow storm in our area.  Gosh knows there is still time for that yet, although it would be wonderful if we just get lucky!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We have Cabinets!

Basement Bar and double vanity cabinets

Kitchen Island cabinet color: Irish Cream with a coffee stain (mmmm sounds like Bailey's and Coffee to me)

Kitchen and butler's pantry cabinets and vanities

The comfy chocolate brown furniture we found on Kijiji. 
Lots of stuff is going on and we can't wait to walk through the house on Friday as some cabinets should have made it out of their boxes and into my kitchen! ;)  The island is Irish Cream as is the butler's pantry.  But the rest of the cabinets along the wall and the three vanities will be espresso.
And we love our new furniture so much that I glued some things called "Soft Paws" onto Jimmy's back claws to stop him from putting any (more) scratches on it.  He ran back and forth a few times and I cried when I saw the scratch marks.  Some shoe polish did the trick but still I was mad.  So called the vet to talk about removing his back claws as he already has the front ones out.  I decided to give the little rubber claw things a try first.  So far so good!  And they are supposed to last a few months so will see.  If not, then to Turtleford we go!

*Update on Warts*

Last week I reported Jacelyn's warts would probably be gone this week and they are.

I will keep dabbing on the oil for another week just to be sure as it can't hurt anything to do so.
My baby has her face back after four long years.

original wart post:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A-Stippling we Go...

Last week the crew was in stippling the ceilings.  And yesterday the priming was done as well as the painting where the kitchen cabinets go and the bar cabinets downstairs.  The cabinets are in and will be installed soon.  I just want it all to be finished soon so I can put everything where it all belongs.  Thankfully the storage room here is really big and we have made great use of it, piling Rubbermaid containers 4 and 5 tubs high to the ceiling in there.
We had our hearts and eyes set on a gorgeous living room couch and love seat from La-Z-Boy, and instead found a less than one year old set on Kijiji in a deep chocolate brown leather from the Brick.  And for a fraction of the cost we decided to grab them up and get the La-Z-Boy stuff in a few years when we can put the new stuff downstairs and get rid of our "made in India" bonded leather set.  With that decision made we just need to now finish paying for all of the appliances.  The rest will all fall into place as we play the waiting game. :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Week of Rest

Busy weekend again full of dance, and Jacey did her tap and jazz routines for a packed audience at the Vic Juba Theater here in Lloydminster.
Now we can all have a rest for the week during a break from dance, and a short week of school due to a teacher's convention.  Then things will pick up again for dance competitions, the Kiwanis music festival, and the end of gymnastics.
I really love to be busy but I am looking forward to a bit of a break as well. :)