Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shedding some light

This time of the year is always a bit busy... trying to buy gifts, make plans, get ready for Christmas, etc. So, it should be no surprise that my house is in disarray and dirty, nothing is put away, and I have a million things on my to-do list. Tis the season, right? Maybe all of this is my excuse for why I haven't written. I have been trying to get Christmas cards out. It always takes me way longer to do those than I expect when I start. I have also been on the phone with ebay and paypal over a dispute. I suppose I should have known better than to trust people, but I thought it would be a good Christmas idea for a certain J. Sigh. I may have to move onto plan b. On top of that, we need to get a roofer out to our house. Yup. I haven't shown you all the picture yet. However, Hurricane Sandy brought us lots of rain. And with that rain, we discovered a leak. I don't think it is a new leak, but it got the drywall in our bedoom. My dad and I went up to the attic over Thanksgiving, and discovered that the flashing around the chimney was going bad. I am of the opinion that we need a new roof. Ours is 27 years old, which means it's very much nearing its life expectancy (look at me, using it's and its in a sentence properly). However, replacing a roof in the winter is a bad idea. I want to get the flashing sealed up and then discuss what we can do in the spring. I also need to read our HOA guidelines on all that.

Okay, all of that was way off topic to the purpose of this post, which is the basement light. You may remember I cleaned up the basement a while back? Well, these things never last and it ended up looking like a major disaster again.

However, the more egregious part of the whole setup was this light that we hit our heads on every time we are in the basement. I can actually just barely stand up in the space down there. J has to hunch down.

So, we (my dad and I) installed new fluorescent lights up into the beam spaces. We used hooks into the particle board flooring.

Which then hooked onto the light. We actually ended up using S-hooks on the light instead of the chain so that the light would be as high as possible.

Installed between the beams.

This is after the first one went in. We discovered that the beams limited the light in the space, and needed to add one more to the right of this picture.

 First, we fixed some of the wiring. We added a new hole to move the box with the existing switch to a new location out of the way.

And then wired on an outlet to it for the fluorescent lights instead of the incandescent. The outlet faceplates are sold at Home Depot. We actually got a new electrical box as well.

We used a piece of trim to offset the box, so that the outlet would lay flat. You can see where the fluorescent plugs in.

And here is our second light.

Both lights on!

J and I then spent some time organizing, getting rid of junk and taking some stuff up to the attic. I hated to start using the attic, but we are going to try to be careful about not throwing too much crap up there. But, for now, we have a much nicer work area. I also plan on moving Christmas stuff up to the attic after Christmas, which will free up even more room.

And remember these? I ended up getting a new wall plate! 

So pretty.

Then there was this mess.

Unfortunately, the wall plate was a bit small (need to wait until I can paint).

So, I stole a screw from the downstairs one I replaced. Good for now!

And that is all for now. I should have the Christmas decorations up by the weekend! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pre-Thanksgiving House Updates

Alright folks, I am slowly catching up with blog posts. Stick with me here. I am still before Thanksgiving on these posts. My parents came down to see us for Thanksgiving. It was actually our second year hosting. We are getting to be pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. Anyway, before they showed up, I decided to do a few last minute updates. The first of which was to the guest bedroom. If you remember (and maybe you don't), our guest bedroom was looking something like this (goodness grief, that door needs to be painted - unfortunately that's unrelated).

Well, I was going through our basement and discovered a few things. One was the mirror from the half bath before we remodeled it. I thought it would go nicely here and give guests a place to do make-up, fix hair, etc. if someone was in the bathroom.

I then found the Z hook (ze hook!) that we had used in the half bath for towels and fashioned a little hanging frame thing from it. The frames aren't actually suspended by the Z. I nailed in the top one to the wall and just used the ribbon to hold the bottom picture. The ribbon around the Z hook is just decorative.

I think it fills out the room a little better. It's nice not having a huge expanse of wall without anything.

The second project I accomplished was painting the trim of the stairs. This is a before shot. I'll warn you now that the pictures don't show much change.

But looking up close, you could see how bad it was looking. The peach trim and the original trim were both showing. This is because we had our carpets replaced before we moved in. But, the peach needed to go. So, I used the trim I have been using everywhere else to paint the stairs a nice white (Snow Bound by Sherwin Williams).

After is a nice crisp white.

I took it all the way to the top of the stairs. The hallway trim needs it too, but there is only so much time in a day.

Much better, right?

And just because I love my readers so much, here's a sneak peak at one of the themes for our Christmas card. We actually didn't use this picture, but I thought it was a good one. :)

More soon!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Visit to hotlanta!

Hello! And Happy (late) Thanksgiving! Lots to catch up on from my end. Let's start with last weekend. J and I traveled down to Atlanta, GA to spend some time with our friends there. As many of you who know me in real life already know, I lived in the ATL for a year and a half while I went to Georgia Tech. It's hard to believe that it's been 4 years since I graduated from grad school! 5 years ago, I had gone to my first conference, and made my first trip overseas. Makes me feel old. We had a really great time visiting my old stomping grounds.

Tech had a football game on Saturday, which made walking around campus a lot of fun.

Tech students never stop working, even when tailgating.

I took about half my classes in the Klaus building. It was used for the filming of the movie, The Intern, where it was Google headquarters.

Beautiful fall foliage.

And we saw the new building that was put in for undergrad classrooms.

This piece of art was re-created with Legos.

I didn't bring my camera to the rest of our outings. We had a great time visiting our friends! I have more house updates. I hope to get to updating you all soon!

Wishing you the best Thanksgiving!