Friday, December 24, 2021

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! We hope you have a safe and happy holiday. We don't have any lovely glamour shots this year because we didn't manage to get any decorations up because we were spending our time sifting and cleaning out the basement for the last several weeks and our main floor is such a mess from stuff moving upstairs. So, this year, we won't be doing anything beyond having a nice meal to celebrate.

Tim and his assistant, Tony, spent the last couple of days doing demo and the basement is ready for the next step. Unfortunately, the permits on Tim's other job finally came through so he is going to disappear for the next couple of weeks, so it will be a while yet before we see any progress.

The ceiling was a big mess to demo. It was full of rock wool and cardboard and Tim said was quite a pain to cleanout but we needed the ceiling cleared so we can install LOTS of can lights. I am determined that this space will not feel like a dungeon anymore.

Jeff got a job at Intel (again) and he'll be starting on January 24. He hasn't had a job since 2010, so it will be a bit of an adjustment as we figure out our new daily routines. Ack, I will have to start doing some cooking again. Though, it will definitely be nice to have an income; I predict much more traveling in our future!

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Basement Ready!

It has been a very long time since the basement has been this empty! It's been a long haul, but we made it in time for Tim to start on Monday. 

That last pile of stuff is trash and recycling
If we can get the chair out of the basement in one piece,
we have a nice couple who will happily take it for us.

Also, with our current streak of appliance bad luck, our tankless water heater decided to die on Friday, so we haven't had hot water all weekend. Tim said he has experience putting in the instant hot units so we are hoping they are available. I don't know what we'll do if they're also impossible to get now because of the chip shortage.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Basement Work Prep

We've worked all week emptying the basement. There is still quite a lot to do, but we've made great progress. I thought the 10x20 storage was way too big, but it turns out we had a lot of stuff squirreled away down in the basement. 
We've got all the furniture out that we want to keep and now I'm just working on sifting/sorting the loose stuff.
The rugs are going away tomorrow on our local
Buy Nothing group. The recliner is also going away.
We brought several pieces of furniture to storage from the main floor to clear space for exercise and for the TV setup. We bought this little media center off craigslist to use during the remodel. We'll resell it once we can move back down into the basement.
Christmas is canceled this year. We don't have the bandwidth to deal with the remodel and the decorating. At least we have the loaner range now so we can have a decent meal on the day.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Loaner Range

BASCO finally brought us a loaner range today after I had a good rant at them last week. Yeah, Thanksgiving sucked with no oven. This is on loan until our Fisher & Paykel comes in. 

BASCO did not order the new range until this week so it is likely it will be more likely the end of January before we get it. I very much regret ordering the Ilve back in May; I never would have if I'd had any idea of the headache it would turn into.

For Jeff's birthday in November, I bought him an Oculus Quest 2. He immediately signed up for the Supernatural exercise app at the recommendation of a friend. We've really been enjoying exercising to music. We actually had to empty out the front parlor area to make space for us to stand there and swing around our arms. It's the only space on the main floor that has enough clearance below the light fixtures.
Our main floor is going to be quite cramped with the addition of the TV and gaming computer. We're planning to take most of the furniture to storage to make room during the basement project.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Packing Again

It has begun again. Yet another storage locker.

The unit is way larger than we need but that size was "on sale" and cost little more than a locker half the size.
We started packing boxes in earnest today. It won't take us long to get the bulk of the stuff out of the basement. We're also going to be moving out about half the furniture from the living room so we can make room for Jeff's gaming rig and for the TV.

I'm hoping we'll only have the stuff in storage until a couple weeks after the basement is finished, probably late-February.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Making Speaker Shelves

Since we are refinishing our basement, I had expected Jeff would want to replace his home theater gear. It's getting pretty old—most of it was bought before we moved into this house—but he decided he was still happy enough with it. We don't really watch much TV anymore. But since we'll be doing all this work in the basement, we are going to actually install the TV and speaker system so there aren't ugly wires hanging everywhere. 

We plan to hang the TV up on the wall with an adjustable wall mount.

Also, I decided to make some little shelves for the speakers so we could place them around the room correctly. I saw a cute photo the other day of small shelves made with pipe fittings and decided to make some of my own. I used galvanized pipes because I like the finish better.

I'll go dig through our douglas fir scraps soon and cut some small shelves so I can stain them with the rest of the wood.

Finally, we'll be taking the time to install cord raceways/concealers, but we haven't chosen one yet. It's tempting to order them now during the holiday sales, but I think it would be better to wait until we're ready to install them so we'll know better what size we need.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Basement Work Scheduled

We have a start date for our basement project. Tim Austin is currently on a job and believes he'll be ready to start our basement project on Dec 15!! So, I guess it's time to get serious about this! I am not excited about emptying out the basement, but it needs to be done so I scheduled another storage space and we'll start moving stuff over as we pack.

We have a fairly simple "remodel" planned; it's not really going to be more finished than it is now but Tim will be bracing the house to the foundation and then installing a steel framework around the perimeter of the space which should provide further support. This is an example photo he sent me of another job he worked on.

Then Tim is going to level the floor as much as he can within the framed sections. We're not going for full-on level; that's not possible with our horrible floor without more effort than we're willing to pay for. This is another photo he sent as an example.

Once leveled, the floor is going to be finished with one of the Lifeproof plastic floors, probably in the Crosbyton Oak color. Tim assures us this flooring is one of the best options for an occasionally damp space. Even though our water infiltration problems went away once Jeff installed the French drain on the side of the house, it surely is better to plan for some future water seepage.
For the ceiling, I had originally wanted to install a dropped ceiling but it is already too low. With a dropped ceiling, we would lose several more inches so Tim persuaded me to replace the current sheetrock with new sheetrock after the wiring is finished. We will take good photos and dimensions to document the space once it is open so hopefully we'll have less destruction when we have future work to do.

This floor plan is roughly what we are hoping for once the space is finished. Really, the only change from the existing space is the addition of two closets and better lighting. We have made some minor changes since I did this SketchUp file, but they're not important enough for me to take the time to update SketchUp.
A couple days ago, I discovered some great wall-mounted arms to install Jeff's computer gear, so we'll be putting those in once the walls are up. Right now the computer gear is in the center of the room clamped to a table and looks so untidy so I'm really looking forward to this change.
LX Wall Monitor Arm

LX Wall Keyboard Arm
We have so much to do in the next couple of weeks. I guess I'd better get started tomorrow!

Friday, November 19, 2021

More News About Our Range

Our Ilve Range finally arrived in Portland, and it's the wrong f-ing color! It is gray, not green. I am not kidding. It is the worst possible color. Needless to say, I am not taking delivery. So, it looks like there won't be a thanksgiving dinner this year.

BASCO is therefore trying to fix it for us. Obviously, it is not really an option to wait for another range to come from Italy. I didn't get the final word yet, but I think we actually ended up ordering the Fisher & Paykel in black because it comes from Mexico and supposedly it will be here by mid-December. They say December, but I don't know if that's a wishful thinking due date. I hope not. I guess we shall see.
I am so tired of this. Though, possibly not as tired as Jeff, who does the cooking.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Range Rant

Do you guys remember this drama from last May? Our BlueStar range started on fire and we called out the fire department to put it out. (Jeff thought the gas line was burning and couldn't reach to get it turned off.)

We went back to BASCO in May and ordered a new range but we decided to try an induction range from Ilve that came in emerald green. Boy, was that ever a mistake. It was originally scheduled to come in mid-August, but it didn't. Then they gave us a revised date of the end of October. Well, I spoke to BASCO again yesterday, and now they're saying we won't get our range yet and they don't want to give any delivery date. 

I am so frustrated. First, BASCO sucks at communication. They basically ignore the situation until I call in looking for my range and then they have to figure out what's happening. And two, what was I thinking ordering a semi-custom range during a pandemic? Sigh.

Anyway, it's not actually clear whether we'll have a range by Thanksgiving. Finally, now BASCO will let me cancel the order (I put down a 50% non-refundable deposit) but do I really want to get in the back of the line for a new appliance?

So, I may start looking around and see if there is anything else that can be found. The space is 36" and most hardware store ranges are only 30" so I doubt we can walk into Lowes or Home Depot and just buy something off the floor.

On the bright side, Jeff has gotten quite good at cooking with the Instant Pot and toaster oven. He's been amazing dealing with our kitchen situation, but I am past ready for it to end, so I need to get on the phone and start calling around and see if I can find a different option.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Nearly Finished

We might fiddle with a couple of pieces of glass and lead came, but it's mostly ready for soldering. We also need to figure out how to cut out that metal border. We have a bunch of really long pieces and we'll need to cut them down to properly fit them to the outside edges.

Since we started this more than a decade ago, it will sure be nice to finally get it done.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Making Progress

I've been working pretty steadily on my stained glass project and I think I'm on track to finish by the end of the month. I'm finding the closer I get to the end, the easier it is to motivate myself to work on it. 

This piece is going to suck! It will probably take hours of grinding to get it right.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Dream Basement Plan

I spent a couple days playing in SketchUp again. The plan isn't as complete as I would like because my version is so old I can't download the fun free downloads. 

We have a big job ahead of us getting rid of all the extra stuff that will no longer fit. LOL

Since we still have a TON of douglas fir in our garage, we are going to try and build that media cabinet behind the TV.
The shelves are double-sided. The front side is the right depth for DVDs and the backside is a little deeper for the storage closet. The right side open shelves are for the home theater gear and our printer.

We're working up the plan with Tim Austin (the guy who built our garage) and he is expecting to be able to start in about two months. I'm crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

More Stained Glass

We are going to try and fix up our basement this winter so we're going to need to move out of it fairly soon; a project I am definitely not looking forward to.

So we are making another go at finishing our heraldic stained glass. I would like to finish it this month so we won't have to package it up again. I got in about four hours today.
We've gotten to the fiddly tiny pieces in the turtle's head but we're making good progress every day. If I keep at it, I will definitely be able to finish it this month if only I can avoid getting distracted by some quilting project. LOL

Saturday, August 28, 2021

So Much Purging

We have spent weeks sifting old boxes. On the bright side, opening 15-year old boxes is like going to the store and getting new stuff without paying. It's also a lot easier to get rid of stuff we haven't touched for so long.

We've filled up the car twice this past week to get rid of stuff. And I've had a parade of people coming by to pick up free stuff. I love our neighborhood Buy Nothing lists.

Some of the mess remaining in the basement is stuff that needs to go in for recycling. It will hang out until we get our truck back from the body shop. Some uninsured moron decided to hit it last week. The front bumper was totally crushed in.
The living room is still a mess, but it does look better than it did.
Here's how it looked on Aug 19.
Here's how it looks today. 6 more days to get this cleaned up.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Finishing the Basement

I don't know if I've mentioned it here on this blog, but last month I ordered a Handiquilter long arm with a 12' frame. So, now I need a space that is 14'x7' to set it up. Even though this house is really quite big in total square footage, most of the rooms are pretty small by modern standards so there is really only one good place to set it up, the basement family room. 

I've been slowly sifting and downsizing during the pandemic, but now I am finally getting thrown into high gear. I am so looking forward to having a quilt studio down in the basement.

For folks who have followed us for a while, you'll know our basement is like a dungeon. There are some windows, but not very many, and mostly they are under bump-outs, so they don't provide much extra light. And there are only a couple of single-light bulb ceiling lights. 

We're planning to hire Tim Austin again to help us finish the space. (He's the guy who built our garage for us.) I'm hoping he can help us get the room wired up for better lighting and some decent outlets and I'm hoping to replace the battle-scarred sheetrock ceiling with some sort of panel system, probably something along these lines. In the old days, I had big plans to makeover the basement and make it beautiful, now I'll be satisfied with bright and comfortable.

Ideally, I would like to get the work done before I take delivery on the long arm, so we're going get started as soon as Tim is available, which is about two months. That will certainly provide a good deadline for finishing that stained glass project and cleaning out the space.

This is the area I am planning to turn into the quilt studio. 

The goal is to move the workout gear into the front storage area. We're trying to empty and collapse three racks. We've been making good progress on the project.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Stair Railing Progress

Our forecast calls for nice cool weather for several days so it seems like a good time to finally get this railing installed. We made good progress this afternoon. 

We have a couple more hours of work to install the outer boards and the flat upper portion. Then I'll have to touch up the paint.

We also still need to route the edges of the board that goes flat on top, but it will be nice to have most of it finished by the end of the weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Sifting Stuff Again

We are going to have out-of-town guests over Labor Day so we're trying to get the upstairs bedrooms cleaned up. They still had big piles of boxes sitting around that had been disgorged when we cleared out the closet to build in the cabinetry.

(I haven't given up on the stained glass. I am definitely planning to finish it this year, but our weather has been so hot that I really can't spend all day down in the freezing basement and then go up to bed in the unseasonably hot upstairs bedrooms. I don't get a lot of sleep when the weather is consistently over 100℉. We really need to get a bed down in the basement before next summer.)

Anyway, I have been trying to talk myself into cleaning upstairs, but it turns out I like quilting more than I like cleaning. LOL 

Today, I decided to try something drastic. I asked Jeff to help me carry all the piles of stuff lying around in the bedrooms down to the living room so I could get it all in one place. I'm hoping it will make it easier to sift. Plus, it has the advantage of being located in a cooler area of the house.

It's quite a lot when you get it all in one place. I have two weeks to get this mess cleaned up. =)

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Day 3 - Slow Progress

I've been trying to split my days between sewing and working on the heraldic stained glass. Progress has gotten pretty slow as I'm having to refit quite a few pieces because we changed to using lead cames. 

We're actually trying a crazy experiment; we're going to solder the animals with copper foil and the diamonds with lead came. I don't know if it will work but I looked around and it might. I didn't really want to lose the fine detail on the animals, but the diamonds are just straight lines. It may turn out to be a disaster, but I hope not.

I finished another (diagonal) row today. The next row will take quite a bit longer as I need to refit many of the body pieces. Hopefully, I won't have to cut any new ones. 

I'll just keep plugging away at this project. I'd like to finish it this summer.

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Stained Glass Again

In an effort to finish old stained glass projects so we can sell off the extra glass to clear space down in our basement, we are finally working on our old heraldic stained glass project we started in 2008! I thought about just abandoning this project because we're not active in SCA anymore, but I still like it and it would lovely to hang this up as a memento. We played a lot with SCA for more than a decade.

We dug through all the glass in the basement and I could not find any more of that clear glass I originally used, nor could I find a close match. So, ultimately I decided to replace it with a glass I had enough of. It's a bummer because now I have to repeat all that work shaping the glass around the rabbit, but I'll be much happier with the finished project.
We also decided to change this project from copper foil to leaded came. We don't have enough of the copper foil tape left to finish this project but we have a ton of leaded glass channels because when we made the panels for the cabinets we had to buy an entire box. We will lose some of the fine details around the paws, but we won't have to spend any more money on this project.
I hope we can finish this project this time; 13 years is more than enough to be hauling this around. And once I get this finished, I can turn my attention to other projects, like this panel for the front door and repairing a broken pane in the living room. 

My goal, once I finish the front door panel, is to get rid of all the excess glass we are storing in our basement. I have ordered a long arm machine with a frame and I need to make room for it.