(n.) Cabindo: A condo on a lake, among tall old trees. Half cabin, half condo. My first home. This is a running journal of the renovations, projects, and general shoestring budget craziness.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

I still do stuff....during nap time

The new house is much the same as it has been since we moved in.
Paint needs patched or redone, furniture needs purchased and/or arranged, built-ins need built, etc. Funny how a tiny person, when cooking, and even more so when out; slows to a crawl (harhar... but not yet thank god) any projects or house update progress.

This kid. Showing my cousin her impressive jaw flexibility.

BUT, now that little miss is happily occupied/trapped for MANY minutes at a time in her bouncer (girl wakes up wanting to jump), and naps reliably for 45-90 minutes in a stretch; let the (small) projects begin!

HAPPY lil dumplin'

I have knocked out several projects recently, but a good one of note was whitewashing an antique low oak trunk that came from an estate sale for $17.

It looked great as it was when I got it, but the opportunity to try out whitewashing without having to strip or sand a piece was too good to resist. Because there are only so many nap times and it was 100 degrees out that week. Mamma didn't raise no fool.

milk was a bad choice will ferrell gif

I researched approximately 3 million different whitewashing techniques, and ended up going with a milk paint sample packet, water, and additional white paint to make it go further. That sample pack was not cheap; so I was not going to get 2, or god forbid a quart. I like my first born too much to sell her for what that costs.
After two or so washes with the paint, I lightly sanded and went to town with a homemade liming wax.
Minwax plain 'ol furniture wax + acrylic white paint > $20 fancy pants liming wax.
Heating up the wax before mixing in the paint really helped de-lump the consistency and make it much easier to apply.

nice grain there mr. cabinet

Turned out a very Restoration-Hardware like finish. A bit brighter than the photo above in real life, but does have good grey undertones.

Original hardware, or just old (who knows if it really came from this piece) was a nice surprise to find bagged up in the drawer once I got the piece home. It had several layers of paint, so I stripped and scrubbed it back to bare metal. Brass I do like, but not here, so I spray painted with metal-specific sparkly grey rustoleum paint. 
I used the same paint as on The Cabindo curtain rods and several other pieces, to the point that this is the only metal paint kind and color I use for anything. It applies/wears well, looks good, and keeps me from expanding my already alarming paint can collection. 

Et voila. Now mr. man can fill it up with his downstairs collection of electronics/camera/AV gear/flashlights/cords/treasures. 

Like this guy. In 25 years.

Storage for the more formidable 'archive' of upstairs electronics in Al's office is yet to be decided on....... perhaps 2017?

picture this, but 10% smaller. and all still in boxes so...

To be fair, my office/craft room goes by 'the crap room' for now. Whatevs, we prefer to snuggle babies.


- Lindsay

Monday, September 14, 2015

Utilizing Empty Spaces - Floral Edition

I had some fun flower shenanigans utilizing the empty space in the new house before we moved in, and then the empty Cabindo while getting it ready to rent.

Shenanigan 1: wedding flowers for some good friends a la Cabindo

Her colors were orange/coral and blue. 
While that was not something I'd innately go for; girl totally knew what she was talking about (insert z-snap here), and everything came out so unique, beautiful, and just to her fantastic tastes.

a living room full of bridesmaids sorting and prepping flowers

We had blisters on our hands by the end of this day from cutting veritable eucalyptus trees down to manageable floral-use size pieces. 
CPR compressions with pruning shears turned out to be a winning technique. 

Empty bedroom (minus crap on the shelf, which doesn't count) full of arrangements.
Cocktail table (left) in mason jars, and dinner table (right) in wooden boxes w/floral foam.

orange and white buffet table arrangements

The orange roses were huge, fully open, ombre, and generally incredible (once we made a second trip across state lines by lunch time the day before the wedding to get them...MANY bad words were said en route).
The pieces above with white hydrangeas, peach spray roses and berries, dusty greens, el roses special, cream stock, and some pops of yellow billy balls were my favorite.

head table arrangement

bouquets sporting the orange/coral, blue, and dusty green color theme

There were at least 4 other kinds of arrangements for various bar, isle, entrance, cake top, etc locations.
The flowers were beautiful at the wedding and the bride was happy with how it all turned out (groom too, but priorities people!).
It was a last minute scramble to get everything done, placed, and then put on a dress to see the happy couple actually exchange vows on the day, and I totally threw out my back in the process; but it was very much worth it.
The venue manager even asked me for a card to refer other brides, and I laughed and said no thank you. That much work is only ok for very, very good friends. Unless I can quit my real job and overcharge like woah on the regular, which I doubt will be happening anytime soon.

Shenanigan 2: the unsuspecting florist of Links house

"Just help me figure out which flowers to get, and how order them" she said.....
Famous last words from a friend I once 'taught to sew' and ended up making a formal gown for.
Yeah @myra_khan... I'm talkin about you.

Said friend Myra has a crafty side company and wanted to test the waters of adding floral work as a viable new line of business.  

After several conversations back and forth between me/Myra and Myra/bridezilla, a decent amount of planning work via spreadsheets and budgets, along with going to the wholesaler to get the flowers (me paying for them upfront), then doing a lot of the arranging work; my fee of a milkshake-for-a-simple-job was feeling very low. I raised her one salad, and won. She is also known to feed me every time I go to her house (I can't say the same), so all measures of kindness even out in the end I'd like to believe.
Regardless; it's still a pretty good day when I get to hang out with Myra and play with flowers.

I only have one picture, because my lovely and truly well meaning mother in law stopped by the Links house while we were arranging, and brought with her: 
- an ice cream cake which became a crisis to fit in the freezer (because let's write off any freezer that doesn't fit a full sheet cake w/o finagling)
- and some landscaping 'must-do's (mulch is stressful)
- and some furniture placement recommendations (all my furniture is garbage apparently)
- and some contractor names who had to be called (the totally stable roof/plumbing/electrical are all going to explode imminently)
- and thought Myra was a non-english speaking housecleaner (even after that was cleared up; it wasn't)
This happened to be the day after closing, so all Mr.Links House had to his name was 3 folding chairs and a camping table, and with 2 hours logged; I'd spent double the time in the house that even Al had to that point.
Bonus: Al's birthday party/surprise house party (to the guests who didn't know we'd bought a house) was coming up in mere hours. 
And I was tired & under the weather. (whine, whine, bitch, bitch. i know. #firstworldproblems)

To say I was distracted was an understatement. 
If you've read this far: god bless you: here's the damn picture.

in the foreground: a BIG cascading bride's bouquet (drapes left to right as seen here)
propped up in a giant beer mug from college.
thanks Green Leafe Cafe!

in the background: some of the 10ish small bouquets made from:
baby's breath, blush spray roses, ivy, and tears

I have no idea if the bride liked the flowers. 
Myra was pretty disillusioned with the whole thing too by the time of delivery and didn't hear much back afterwards, so we'll just chalk it up to a floral learning experience, and be glad to not repeat it.

Floral design: ya win some, ya loose some.

But when you get to share important life events with your person like buying a house and having a milestone birthday all wrapped into 24 hours; it turns a loosing day into awesome day pretty quick.

I really like my person.
I'm happy to report he likes me too.

P.S. The ice cream cake was delicious. But I'm still waiting for my milkshake.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Curtains on the Cabindo

The eagle has landed condo has been rented.

A very nice couple will be continuing the Cabindo love for a while, and I couldn't be more excited for them, and for me.

On the way to getting it rented, we had quite a time washing and re-hanging the curtains.

Let me start at the beginning: there were zero window coverings or even window hardware when I moved into the Cabindo. It was a touchy couple first weeks and months of changing in the hallway and hanging sheets via thumb tacks (with questionable opacity) before I was able to find affordable, attractive, long enough, and opaque enough drapes to cut the mustard. 

Ikea Lenda for $20 a set
Great 'linen' look like Restoration Hardware-ish products, for less than one drawer pull at Restoration Hardware

They hung on the cheapest walmart hardware for a year or more before I got around to building metal pipe-based rails for the extra wide sliding door walls in the dining room and master bedroom. 

4 iron pipes cut to my measurements at Home Depot  ~$40
Various fittings ~$15
Spray paint to seal the iron pipe - had it
Anchors & bolts - had 'em
Labor - had him (Al)

$55 and some mild cursing is MUCH cheaper than the West Elm version that would have cost me an arm and a leg, and been made of glorified aluminum foil. 

West Elm pipe curtain rod. $109.
I would have needed 4 of them. Uhhh... no.

The DIY version worked great and the curtains hung attractively and REALLY securely long enough to acquire a nice coating of cat hair.

To get them down and washed, I realised they had to be cut off at the tabs, as they were put up on the rails when the system was built, and it was bolted to the wall.
I'm not stupid (most days), and knew those bolts were staying put if I wanted the system to stay intact and secure.
So the curtains got cut down, washed, and dried by the ever helpful Mama P. 

I rigged shower curtain ring/track curtain clip do-hickies to hang them up again, since the tabs were now gone. (Mama P's idea. So helpful)

Yet again, thank you Ikea.
I actually really like how it looks.

Al, Pookie (the dog), and I set about ironing and rehanging the fresh and clean curtains.

Wrinkle free? Hair free?
Meh, close enough.

To our great consternation, we'd forgotten that cotton shrinks, and the curtains which previously had an attractively generous break on the floor, were now were waiting for a flood.

Since flood insurance is not necessary on a 2nd floor condo,
neither are annoying 3 inch slivers of daylight.

To say I was unreasonably upset is an understatement. There may have been tears. It's a theme at the Cabindo the past few months I guess.

I've shrunken other cotton curtains previously, and fixed them by rewashing and line drying. Figured it was worth a try on these suckers too.  
When that was done and we hung the first panel; they were better, but still too short. 
I was again thrilled and handled it exceedingly calmly and well.

Back to the washer they went to get wet, we had a soothing ice cream break, and then tried option 3 while the curtains were still damp:

Nothing to take out your anger like tug of war with purpose.
This of course turned into us trying to pull each other over.
No one was hurt, but Pookie was VERY worried the whole time.

Lo and behold, it worked: those suckers all touched the floor. We prayed they would not shorten up as they dried, and luckily they did not. 
There was no ironing of these babies and risk shrinking. They are rocking the 'crushed linen' look, and it actually seems intentional/passible. The new renters even noted that they liked them (even if they were just being polite: #kludgeforthewin).

The new folks don't have, nor do they plan on getting furry pets anytime soon. So as long as there isn't some errant spaghetti sauce accident: they shouldn't have to enjoy toil through washing the drapes. 
And they can change their pants wherever, whenever they please.


Friday, August 28, 2015

New House, Old Chair

The new place is getting unpacked, slowly but surely. Al and I each have an 'office' room which are box repository areas right now, but other than those black holes; most rooms are liveable.

The modern architecture of the Links house (yes, it still needs a better name), goes very well with my horde of mid-century modern furniture, which also compliment Al's modern-leaning tastes.

Here is one little corner in the family room (adjacent to the kitchen) that will surely get shuffled around, but is a good start down the 'clean & neutral' road this place seems to call for.

Navy approves of the Craigslist chair.

I got that chair for free and fixed up the worn finish. Happens to be one of these Baumritter brand ($$$) bad boys, but I have no plans to actually sell it.

El chair bones

There may or may not be about 6 other chair 'projects' stashed away in our storage area for some undetermined future use. Options, I consider them options.

Until those options are exercised: they are darn good box shelves.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Getting the Condo Ready to Rent

The past several weeks have been an exercise in finishing the myriad of 80% done projects at the Cabindo.
SO MANY moments of 'damn, that looks great.....and only took an hour..... damn. I REALLY should have done that 2 years ago'.

Oh well. Nothing to dwell on.

Switchplates seem, in particular, to have been something of a huge blind spot for me.

Open switch plate with unfinished woodwork transforms to:

So, so simple

Oh hello there you pretty 'tenants-wont-run-the-same-risk-of-electrocution-that-I-did' thing.
I'll lie to myself and say I lived for the adventure of it all.

Aaaand another switch plate oversight rectified:

Call me Steel, Stainless Steel, baby

Seriously. 2+ years. I can't even remember what I thought was such an impediment to finish.
Papa Steve finished this one, so; guess I never really did get over the mystery problem, just outsourced the solution.

Actually, more than half of the switch plates that had no special construction requirements never even made it back onto the walls after painting.

Painting was the day after closing.....for SHAME, Lindsay!

But: fear not. Yesterday was momentous: ALL OUTLETS AND SWITCHES ARE COVERED.
That deserves a milkshake. Or hopefully, even better; a renter?

oh, oh but I have


Friday, June 26, 2015

Time To Say Goodbye

Well, it's the end of an era. A relatively short era, but a very important one in my life.
The Cabindo is empty.
I have moved.
It's exciting and sad all at the same time.

Mr.Man and I bought a townhouse about a mile away from the Cabindo a couple weeks ago. The Cabindo was a lady, and new place is definitely a dude; so while it's a very different vibe; he's a handsome fellow, and I'm so excited to get to live there.

When the moving truck was full and the Cabindo was empty this past Saturday, I sat on the floor and ugly cried.
I loved living there.
In that moment, it didn't feel empty; it still felt like home, but somehow I was missing all my furniture and stuff, or just didnt see that it was gone.
The new house did not feel like home at that point, and still doesn't; but it's getting there. We have a mountain of boxes in every room, so hopefully as the trove of stuff gets sorted and put away (or thrown/given away), it will start to fulfill the job of 'home'. It has big shoes to fill, but I think it will do very nicely.
Once all the damn kitchen stuff is put away.
And there is a bed to sleep on.
And a dresser in which to put clothes away. (I know, how could I have refinished so many dressers and not have one? Answer: I'm after 2 matching ones.)

On a less sappy note: anyone looking for an apartment to rent in Reston, VA??
Thats right, the Cabindo will live on in my life as a rental property. I'm even leaving the highly prised Porch Couch for the next occupant to enjoy.
I'm clearly biased, but see above: it's a great place. And you can have kitties/puppies, and a boat, and lots of happies.
Seriously, email me if interested.

Remember the Alamo Cabindo!!

-Lindsay P

PS. I have so many half finished posts about the Cabindo, I'll surely throw a couple of them on here before all is said and done with home #1. And there's always the new place...... ;)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Artful Antique Tool Storage and Display

So, I don't really keep this blog up to date anymore. All of the things have been happening around here but some of them have made it to instagram....

But overall; I have become a social media slacker. #firstworldproblems
This is a post I wrote a long time ago and was just waiting to take a final picture for. Today is the day!

I have a thing for antique tools and industrial trinkets.

They are such a beautiful combination of form, function, elegant design, and craftsmanship. You can look at them and truly say 'they don't make em like that anymore!'. Because this, while it does a great job, is darn ugly:

Bumblebee jr.

My engineer grandfather was a man of many tools. A good example is his file 'collection': off the top of my head I'd say he had at least 20, with more than a couple duplicates. Since he passed away I have been fortunate enough to inherit some of his treasured tools and hardware items.

Sprout gazes into the distance, lost in her dreams of becoming a lumberjack.
Alas, she knows it's a dream that cannot be.....curse you, lack of opposable thumbs!!

I want to use the tools where I can; to keep them, and his memory alive.  I would also like to have them on a wall somewhere to be able to appreciate how beautiful and special they are.

Not so much going for crazy:

Ettore Guatelli
As I am sleek and modern:


I like the idea of using a framed out space to delineate that these are pieces for display, rather than 'Hi! I'm sadistic!'. I tried hanging Sprout's saws artfully on a wall, but it came across more 'Preppers' on a good day, and horror flick on a bad one. Those babies came down soon afterwards.

I picked up two matching heavy duty wood framed cork boards from Public Surplus for $10.

Sorry Sara plain & tall, it's Cork board plain & wide's turn now. 

I knew I wanted to cover them with fabric and mount them on the wall, but I had no fabric laying around that sung out to me. As I'd just dispatched with a good chunk of change buying fabric to make slipcovers for the living and dining room seating, I was not about to go out and bleed more money. It tends to stain the fabric anyway.......
There was some gingham laying around that was heavy weight and would tie in with the lumberjack/tool/etc. thing, but the high contrast colors would not work in an already high contrast yellow & magenta room. I dug through a craft box and found bottle of dye, so I did a test run.

um......what the what??
Not what I expected.

Actually, I think it's way better than expected! The blue dye clearly did not come out blue at all, but the shade of purple it ended up ties in well with the rich magenta wall on which it will live.


As you can see above, I covered the cork boards with the dyed fabric. I started at the top, and using a staple gun attached the fabric going down both sides and then across the bottom. It was important to keep the fabric tight and be mindful of the pattern to avoid wavy lines everywhere. I had one box of oil-rubbed-bronze colored upholstery tacks laying around, which I used to anchor the front in several places.

The dye is not totally even, nor is the pattern completely wave-less.
Oh freekin well! I'll be putting tools all over the thing anyway, and there are too many other things to worry about; like when will I get around to laundry/sleeping/riding my scooter/etc.? Yeah I'm 30 and said scooter. Whatevs.
I put the better of the two panels right above the desk, and hung the other one wonky-side-to-the-window. (Wonky side pictured above)

I used silver push pins to hold down each item because they don't distract you visually from the tools.

board for all the small tools

Because these are HEAVY, I used 50lb wire in a triangle method to distribute the weight and ensure the structural integrity of the frame.

will be hung from the horizontal section on a anchored screw

I did not have enough D-rings, so rigged up a different kind of bracketed attachment at the bottom of each frame.

thats dust from drilling, not crumbs

It worked great and validates my hardware-hoarder tendencies.
I think Grandad would be proud.

hey there craiglisted (free!) mcm day bed, let's snuggle
and pray no tools attack us