Linen Closet and Trim

Finally a post with house pictures!  This weekend while I was away Ryan surprised me by finishing the trim in the linen closet and having Brad prime/paint it along with the door (and the door to Alex’s room which still needed paint!).  I just have to finish the outlets in there, set up the lights (LED strips that will plug in) and we can install the closet system!

It’s hard to take a picture of a closet – but you can see the baseboard and door painted at least.

Ryan had finished the beadboard in the bathroom by Saturday but spent Monday working on the caps.  Bathroom trim is almost done and then it will be painted!

Next weekend he hopes to start laying the floor in the master bedroom!

Celtic Banner

This past week I finally finished up a very large piece called Celtic Banner by Butternut Road.  I used a ‘green’ conversion so it’s not in the original browns but was inspired by one we saw finished in this color way in a store that no longer exists.  In 2006 my best friend and I both purchased this piece and selected matching Yellow fabric (32 Ct Belfast in Ray of Light).  We started it when we took a vacation to Maine together on August 3, 2006.  Some history can be read on this post : Celtic Banner 2011

Most of this piece was stitched when we were together over the years (mostly on trips to Maine).  This year was the first since my kids were born that we picked it up again during a recent visit.  We decided we should just finish it up now that we had picked it up again and a month later – it’s done!


Top half :


Bottom Half : 20170215_201435It’s great to have such a large piece finished after so long.  To truly finish it though it needs to be hangable – so I need to figure out how I want to finish it off.  I’m sure that will be a project of its own.

Wicked Weekend

No house work this weekend because we went to NYC for my xmas gift!  Ryan got us a hotel and tickets to see Wicked!  We left Saturday morning when Mark and Suzanne came over to watch the girls for the weekend (THANK YOU!).  Poor Bella of course ended up with a nasty cold but is already doing much better this morning so we missed the worst of it (sorry Grandma!).

We drove down to Poughkeepsie and took the train into the city.  I stitched on my travel project (dragons!) on the train rides which was an extra bonus.  We had a hotel right on Central Park with a view of the park and we went to see Wicked!  I’ve seen Wicked before but it was Ryan’s first time and he really enjoyed it plus our seats were amazing!

Sunday sleeping in was maybe the best part and then I stitched on the train ride back.  Driving back from Poughkeepsie was horrible in the snow – stressful in the car with front wheel drive.  I missed having all wheel drive for sure but Ryan did all the hard part and I kept my head down and stitched.  I ended up finishing up my Patience dragon so I have 9 dragons ready for the dragon quilt – 3 more to go!

Some pictures – more stitching since there was no house work this weekend!

Finished - Patience Dragon - perfect for right now!

Finished – Patience Dragon – perfect for right now!


Dragons so far

Dragons so far


It’s been a few years since I’ve made any real time to do much stitching.  I’ve quilted on and off over the last few years but I’ve decided to get back into cross stitch as well this year.  I’m going to document my crafts here as well as house projects.

In January my Aunt gave me a quilt she and I had pieced back in 2011 and I had left mine at her house unfinished.  I took the last week in January and put the final border on it, then hand quilted and put on the binding.  Finishing up the Japanese Diamonds quilt (Japanese and homespun fabrics).

Pieced in 2011, finished in 2017

Pieced in 2011, finished in 2017

I’ve been going through boxes of cross stitch and quilts and patterns, trying to organize and find projects I have.  I found this piece called the Shepherd’s Bush purse that I stitched back in 2009.  It’s beaded and I always loved the soft color pallete.  So today I turned it into the purse with some fabric from my stash and a little sewing then hand stitching.  Cute and can go in my bin of finished stitchery now!

Shepherd's Bush Purse

Shepherd’s Bush Purse

Hopefully soon I’ll be able to show the other piece I’m stitching – started about 2005 and hopefully to be finished soon!

Master Bedroom and Bathroom

Work has been continuing the last month on the master suite.  Our bathroom got the tub installed, the tile all sealed and the glass shower installed!  Then the plumbing for shower and tub was finished out so we can use both!  And boy have we!  Of course then we realized we needed to upgrade our water heater just to fill our tub (we knew we needed to upgrade anyway)… so off to buy a new heat pump water heater and get that installed!  Finally nice deep hot tubs and plenty of shower time (with 2 daughters this will be important down the road!).

Shower (clearly in use already)

Shower (clearly in use already)



Next was the master bedroom, we got the spackling all finished up, sanded, primed, touchups, more sanding and priming.  The ceiling is painted (2 coats)!  We picked out a nice light green for the wall color but haven’t painted the walls yet.  The closets are all primed too! (hallway closet as well as little closet in the master).

Trim work has been under way, we can’t do the main trim in the bedroom until we do the floors but Ryan got the windows in both the bedroom and bathroom all trimmed out this weekend!  The ceiling in the master closet was started but the store ran out of the bead board so we’ve been waiting to get more (this Wed??!!).

Bedroom windows

Bedroom windows

Bathroom windows

Bathroom windows

Closet window

Closet window

Windows are getting primed/painted this week which is great because they are a lot of work individually.

Bathroom Catchup

I’ve really fallen behind on blogging!  And it’s too bad since we took a staycation from work off in November to work on the house (tiling) so I should have updated then – it was a long week though.

So this post will just be a catch up of progress since the last one – based on pictures I have 🙂

The master bathroom was our main project if I go in order – we finished spackling and sanding, then installed water proofing for the shower and floors (Kerdi system)

Sanding done

Sanding done

Shower system installed

Shower system installed

Bathroom door installed

Bathroom door installed

Bathroom ceiling painted (don't want to paint after tile - ceiling painting can involve drips!)

Bathroom ceiling painted (don’t want to paint after tile – ceiling painting can involve drips!)

Getting shower tiles ready to go - Schluter Ditra on the floors

Getting shower tiles ready to go – Schluter Ditra on the floors

Tiling the bathroom was a long process – mostly because we were using big tile and that meant that most of the tiles had at least 1 cut.  It basically went – 1 shower wall done 1 day, 2nd shower wall done 2nd day.  Break on the 3rd day (other projects).  Shower floor 4th day.  1/2 floor day 5 and finish day 6 (saturday after our vacation).  The days were short because we had drop off/pickup at daycare and we were cutting outside until saturday so once it was dark we couldn’t see.  We brought the saw inside Saturday and stayed up late to finish.

After day 2 - shower

After day 2 – shower

Shower floor went pretty quick since we dry laid it first (and cut)

Shower floor went pretty quick since we dry laid it first (and cut)

Shower finished

Shower finished

Floor in progress!

Floor in progress!

Floor finished!

Floor finished!

These pictures I took today but they cover the projects since our vacation.

Tile with the spacers removed (not grouted yet)

Tile with the spacers removed (not grouted yet)

So we haven’t grouted yet – 1 month later!  The reason for this is that the tile turned pretty grey after being installed.  (it started white).  We had to wait for the thinset to dry out so the tile would turn white again (white thinset) – the floor is white now, the shower is still a light greyish tinge but I think we’re going to call it good now.  I love it – it bothers ryan more (the color not being bright white) – but 12x24s take a long time to dry.  So now we have to clean out grout lines, seal the tile, grout, then seal the grout.  So plenty left to do!

Bathtub view.  The wainscotting is going to go across the front of the tub surround (to tie in with the walls)

Bathtub view. The wainscotting is going to go across the front of the tub surround (to tie in with the walls)

Other projects included more sheetrocking …

Master bedroom is sheetrocked (i think 1 sheet is waiting to get installed) - so just about ready for taping

Master bedroom is sheetrocked (i think 1 sheet is waiting to get installed) – so just about ready for taping

Sheetrocking the playroom downstairs - also there's new plywood on the floor that you can't see due to the rug  :)

Sheetrocking the playroom downstairs – also there’s new plywood on the floor that you can’t see due to the rug 🙂

Obviously we couldn’t wait to start using the playroom! I finally have space in my livingroom – this was a must in order to put our tree up this year!

Organization in progress....

Organization in progress….

And then we did the tree!

It's starting to feel like Christmas around here

It’s starting to feel like Christmas around here

This past weekend we started another new project – Garage organization.  We have some new cherry wood coming that we need to store in our garage – but our garage was full!

Step 1 - empty the garage out

Step 1 – empty the garage out

Step 2 - take out the old shelf that was very inefficient

Step 2 – take out the old shelf that was very inefficient

Ryan built new shelves!

Ryan built new shelves!

We can fit more on narrower shelves than we could on that one big/deep one!

And one shelf for strollers... clearly I need to get rid of some strollers

And one shelf for strollers… clearly I need to get rid of some strollers

We finally did some yard cleanup in preparation for snow so this time we were prepared for the snow that came!

The main thing not really shown was the new plywood on the playroom and office floors – nice and sturdy!  The master bedroom will get new plywood next and we’ll start taping/spackling soon.  We’re having flooring for the master made now too (more cherry).

That’s a long post, i’m sure more has been done i’ve missed but right now we are in holiday mode – getting ready for our first christmas here!  The girls are excited – cookie baking this weekend and next week!

Hopefully the pictures all load, I’ve heard they don’t always load – I’m going to try to figure out a new way to show photos if these don’t work well but initial research was not promising.

Spackling and Jacking

I think I’m 2 weeks behind – so let me catch up.  The weekend before last Ryan and his dad sheetrocked the master bedroom (yay!) – i think we have 1 piece left that is waiting on me re-wiring the switch because they cut out the sheetrock that had the switch installed (it had an old work box, needs to be changed to a new work box).

In the meantime I was spackling the bathroom most evenings and finished that last Thursday – plus our tile arrived for the bathroom on Thursday too.  So we were thinking – ready for tile prep this weekend but alas Ryan was concerned about the engineering loads to hold the marble tile without it at some point cracking or popping.  He did some calculations and realized we had a few issues – a) our floor joists weren’t even 2x10s – they are like 8 1/2″ wide not 9 1/2.  Then the subfloor plywood is not structural flooring plywood.  Finally the hardi backer we had down which is not structural is also not recommended for Kerdi because they don’t bond well.  Plus there’s major sag in the floor towards the middle – and leveling would just add more weight.  The hardi backer we put down and it was glued so taking it up was no easy thing.

The plan :

  • Take up all the flooring (hardi and plywood) in the bathroom.
  • Jack up the floor from underneath to reduce a bit of the sag
  • Add 2x6s on the flat to the bottom of each joist – making a T beam essentially – they are glued and screwed – we lose 1.5″ of ceiling height downstairs in that room but gain a LOT of strength to the floor
  • Laminate each side of the floor joists with plywood (we do this a lot to add strength – works great)
  • Put down 3/4 structural plywood then a layer of 1/2 that we will then use the Kerdi system on – including the underlayment on the floor

This was quite a project and due to the rough in plumbing being done – we had to pull that out and the water lines will have to be re-run.  Luckily the drain lines were fine – except for taking out the toilet flange – they were mostly waiting to be installed anyhow.  So a little re-plumbing has to be done – but we have a much more structurally sound bathroom floor and our tiles should not crack.

So far we got steps 1-4 done above – plywood isn’t down yet because we have to take down the jacks (so waiting for glue to fully cure) – then they’ll shim the plywood as they install it to get it more level.  I assume this will happen a bit next weekend.

In good news the sheetrock held up surprisingly well and we hadn’t sanded yet at least!  So there’s a crack over the door – which is very expected since that’s center of the room – which will be repaired once the new floor is in.  Then we just have to patch that one crack,  sand/prime/paint the rest.  Then we can move on to tiling!

We also got the boat out of the water for the season and cleaned off really well – I think the weather is warm and sunny tomorrow so once the rug dries we’ll finish winterizing it and cover the boat then move it to store it over by the driveway (it’s by the hose right now) 🙂

Finally some pictures of what our office ceiling looks like now – and you can see through the floor joists to the bathroom – nothing like going backward in a renovation to move forward in a  better direction!

2x6s along the bottom of each joist and it's still jacked up

2x6s along the bottom of each joist and it’s still jacked up

You can see the bathroom upstairs - spackling done - and the plywood laminated on the sides

You can see the bathroom upstairs – spackling done – and the plywood laminated on the sides

We will continue this across the rest of the office – to support our bedroom floor which we’re not actually worried about but for consistency.  We are going to pull up the 1/2 inch particle board in the master bedroom and replace with 1/2 or 3/4 plywood as a better subfloor for our hardwood.

We also purchased another 750 board feet of Cherry lumber – milled 40 years ago – going to have it turned into flooring for our bedroom and the playroom!  That should be getting delivered this weekend and we’ll take it next week to the mill for planing.  We need to get more still – for the rest of the downstairs but when you get a deal on good Cherry and we’re going with Cherry throughout – we had to jump at it!


Master Bathroom Sheetrocked

We’ve been working on some projects lately so I’ll just try to recap some of what we’ve done.

Linen closet :

  • Done : The old shelving was removed, a new door installed
  • Left to do : Spackle, paint, new trim, new shelves


  • Jacked up the ceiling and put in new beams and blocking to support the floor of the dormer
  • Framed out and cut out a door between the playroom and the office (This brings in a LOT of light into the playroom!)

Master Bathroom

This weekend we got the bathroom prep work finished (just a few small things we had left to do) and then got the bathroom sheetrocked!  We’ve started taping/spackling and picked out the tile (we just have to order the tile).  We’re going to go with marble tile in the master!

Bathroom sheetrocked!

Bathroom sheetrocked!

Got a light in there too so we can work at night finally

Got a light in there too so we can work at night finally

Our focus is on getting the bathroom moved along and then we’ll sheetrock the master bedroom!

Finishing up Lights

Alex’s pink light arrived so I figured I’d update quick with her ceiling lights finished.  I just ordered a new dimmer switch for her light – it will connect to a smart things hub when we get one, for now it will just be a dimmer so we don’t have to have her light on full blast.  I’m interested in trying out more smart switches but we’ll start with her light for now.

Pink chandelier and glow in the dark lights finish out the dormer!

Pink chandelier and glow in the dark lights finish out the dormer!

Alex's (ours for now) fan

Alex’s (ours for now) fan

I put up the fan last week I think but it finally has bulbs that work.  We’re switching to LED bulbs as we finish rooms and so far I’m really liking them – much better than CFLs for dimming if you get good ones.  I tried buying the ‘Eco’ brand from home depot – no good – you have to go with Philips and Philips dimmable depending on the application.  The candelabra and regular bulbs by Philips have worked great with regular and dimmer switches including our fancy Maestro dual light/fan switch we like to use.  All the closet lights are LED as well.  Those have no bulbs, if they burn out (which they shouldn’t for 25 years) you replace the whole fixture.

The new washer and dryer JUST arrived today – can’t wait for those to go in tonight. Finally it shouldn’t take longer than 3 hours to dry a load of regular laundry!

Moved In

This post is long over due but we moved in as planned and we’ve been a bit busy since then!  We had a few weekends off between a wedding and then camping but a little house work progress has also been made.

First – the floors were finished, the painting was finished, the electrical was finished (minus a few lights in these pictures but most are now done).

The first piece of furniture was moved in

The first piece of furniture was moved in

Not a lot was done in Bella’s room once the floors were finished.  Shoe molding was installed in all rooms, a few minor painting touch ups.  The closet door still needs to be re-hung but it’s more convenient not having doors on closets at the moment 🙂

Another view of Bella's room finished

Another view of Bella’s room finished

The first night we were in we had no doors hung and with Bella not being a good sleeper in general plus no doors – we were all up at lot.  The next day we hung those doors immediately 🙂

Bella's room moved in!

Bella’s room moved in!

Alex's room finished!

Alex’s room finished!

Alex’s room is also missing closet doors – hers actually have to be made still.  Initially we didn’t have her light or fan installed yet, her fan is in now but not her light (it comes next week – this is the third try ordering a pink chandelier – they kept sending white ones!).

The other side of Alex's room

The other side of Alex’s room



Ryan made the thresholds for the 2 doors but they haven’t been sanded or poly’d yet (they aren’t actually installed either, we’ll do that after they are finished).  But they are made at least!  He made them out of leftover cherry flooring.

Alex's door and threshold - neither are finished

Alex’s door and threshold – neither are finished

Another project we did the first week we moved in was outfit the kitchen with some new temporary cabinets and a new counter top (not finished yet)

Temporary cabinets

Temporary cabinets

We won’t be re-doing the kitchen for a while now so this makes it much more usable.  We can fit most of our stuff in the kitchen now and I was able to unpack the kitchen once I put my large rolling shelves in the pantry.

The next project we did was the first weekend we had lived here.  We went out to boston for a wedding saturday but when we got back on Sunday Ryan and his dad finished the siding on the dormers!

Dormers have siding

Dormers have siding

This weekend we promised the girls some family time so we spent most of Saturday doing fun activities with them (a trip to the museum and then to Huck Finn’s playland).  Ryan and his Dad spent the rest of the weekend finishing installing the trim around all the windows!

Widnows (upstairs) are completely done!

Widnows (upstairs) are completely done!

Front windows one

Front windows one

Side windows

Side windows

The outside is almost buttoned up for winter.  We still have doors to replace but those will be spring projects.