Saturday, July 27, 2013

New House Progress: Wicked lots of paint, and a horrifying discovery of the final remains of stinkyness...

Main floor hallway with freshly painted everything, new light, and new hardware on the doors.
My plumbers have an even higher level of OCD than I do.  Is this not the sexiest bunch of new pipes you've ever seen?!

When I posted the last house update, Hubby and I had just torn out all of the carpeting to help eradicate the yuck-o-rific smell in there.  It worked...mostly.  There was still a nasty stench bomb emanating from the half bath on the main floor.  This was strange to us, because there wasn't carpeting in there to start with, and it didn't really smell like pet urine.  Well, then the worlds most disgusting light bulb clicked on for us, and we realized that the awful stench was human urine, not pet urine.  Eewey!  So hubby and I pretty much gutted the room, and I'll be renting a wallpaper steamer to take off anything else that may have soaked in any of the grossness.  For now though, the door is closed, and that makes it look and smell pretty darned lovely (see photo above.  The door on the right is to the "stinky bathroom," as my plumbers have been calling it).  Keeping the door closed helps me pretend that there's a cute fluffy bunny behind it, and not the stench of a dive bar urinal.
The gutted-ish bathroom.  The vanity remains for now, as does the classy vinyl flooring that we had the pleasure of finding under the laminate.

BUT!  The rest of the place is starting to come together.  Painting of the first floor is finally coming to an end. One more coat left to cover up the blue on the walls.  Doors and trim are all done, and new door hardware is on.  Flooring has been delivered, and is hanging out to acclimate before putting it down in the next couple of weeks.  

Master Bedroom and Bath being painted...
By the way, we would have ZERO repeat offenders in the correctional system if we made inmates paint louvered doors.  Just sayin.'

 Master Bedroom and Bath, first coat of paint done on the walls, and both coats done on doors and trim...

Living Room, brightened up with a coat of paint, and lots of boxes of flooring...
This is what the new flooring is going to be.  It's wide-board, hand-scraped birch.  So, hopefully it'll look right at home in a farmhouse.

Still to do before we move in (hopefully before school starts):
-finish the roof.  
-get to the 2nd floor with a paintbrush, finally.
-install flooring.
-replace all the toilets we tore out (after our discovery in the half bath, we decided to take out the rest alos, just for good measure).
-keep fingers crossed that the plumbers can find the rest of the cracked pipes, and repair them without having to destroy too many of the walls in the process.
-finish de-stinking the half bath.

Sounds like a wicked lot.  But we've already gotten a ton done in this last month.  So I'm hopeful that we have it in us to keep up the pace for one more month.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, July 26, 2013

Some tweaks to the product line, and why...

I've been promising this post for quite a few weeks now, and I just read this post by Tessa from New Duds, and it motivated me to finally write this...

My Fall/Winter line this year will have fewer products.  Lotion, perfume, facial cleansing oil, lip balm, and a few healing hand salves.  That's it.  Those are the products that people are buying from me the most, as well as being the products that I most enjoy making.  The rest of the products will be dropped from the line.

I am a one-woman-show running my business and making all of my products, and this Summer has been a huge wake-up call for me.  New house that needs tons of work before we can move in, old house that needs to be sold, kids that need their Mom to play with them, husband that needs a partner, and a business with way to many products for one person to make on her own, while still giving these other things the attention they deserve.  I put a few too many things on my plate, and lots of stuff, including my health, suffered for it.  My Doctor told me that coffee was adding an extra stimulant to my already over-stimulated life, and that I should probably stop drinking it.  Ummmm...No.  But, I did take another bit of my Doc's advice, and learn to chill a little (with a coffee mug still firmly grasped in my hand).  Part of this learn-to-chill journey included making some tough business decisions, like seriously editing my line, and saying no to a few shows.  In the long run though, I think these changes will help me be a better businesswoman.  It's forced me to take a hard look at what I can realistically handle before jumping at every opportunity.    Having fewer products will give me the ability to keep offering really wicked awesome stuff to my customers, and still give me time for chill stuff like family time, yoga, and of course, coffee...  
No Coffee No Talkie - Hand Stamped Vintage Coffee Spoon
Stay tuned for the unveiling of the new line in just a few weeks!
Thanks so much for staying supportive and awesome, and thanks for stopping by,

"No Coffee No Talkie" spoon by BellaJacksonStudios on Etsy.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

One year ago today: Adoption is a crazy ride...

Today is the one year anniversary of one of the happiest and most terrifying days of my life.  On this day last year, my husband and I were 400 miles from home, waking up way too early in a hotel room in a city we'd never been to before.  When we made it to our appointment that morning, we sat in the office of a woman we'd never met before, waiting for another complete stranger to walk in and hand us a baby.  20 minutes later, we were driving back to our hotel, plus one.  Just like that, we were parents again.  We spent the few days waiting for a phone call that OK'd us to leave the state with our new baby, and bring him home to VT.  So we, of course took full advantage of the sight-seeing time in a new city to bask in the novelty that is Target, as well as numerous other retail establishments that haven't made their way to good old VT yet.  In all fairness to us though, it was literally 100 degrees out that week, and we hadn't yet grown accustomed to the massive heat that's generated by such a small being while strapped into a carrier.  The baby loved it.  He fell asleep in tropical bliss every time we put him in the carrier, while my husband and I took turns being the one to wear him and sweat like a pig.  We ventured into the city to do actual sight-seeing one day, but came back to the hotel after a half hour of unpleasantly sticky temperatures again that day, only being amplified by the poor air circulation among the tall buildings.  We were growing more and more fond of our wide open, cooler spaces back home in Vermont.  Not to mention our own bed, in our own house, and looking forward to getting this new baby out of the city, and into his new home.  Our home.

On day 4 we were picking out (in our dreams) future dinnerware at Crate & Barrel, and my husbands phone rang.  He had about a 45 second conversation with someone, hung up, and said to me, "we can go home now."  The staff at Crate & Barrel must have thought that we'd stolen half the merchandise in the store by the pace at which we left their lovely establishment.  By 2am the next morning we were home.
   I can't believe that a year has gone by already, but it's been an amazing ride so far.  He's a wicked great little guy, and we're incredibly proud that he's here with us.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, July 12, 2013

Info about my shop in Jeffersonville...

If you're local to the greater Jeffersonville area, you may have noticed my lack of open shop hours lately.  First of all, I'm NOT closing House 54.  I have been asked by some folks that observed a lack of goings-on at the shop recently.  Eek!  NO!

So here's what's going on...
My family and I recently purchased a new home, and there's room at the new place for me to have my own workshop space.  And since I do the bulk of my business online, and at markets and shows, we decided that it wasn't worth it to keep paying rent at the shop.  So, I will be closing the shop that's in Jeffersonville, but NOT the company.  It'll just be running behind the scenes again.  You'll still be able to buy my products online, or locally in shops or at shows, and as always, you can shoot me an email, and I'll be happy to meet you somewhere local to drop off your order.

I hope this helps clear up some confusion, and I completely apologize for not getting this info out to you sooner.

Thanks for stopping by,

New House Progress: Out With The Old...

These last couple of weeks have been consumed with the "demo" projects on the new house.  This is the period of time when things look worse before they look better.  Behold...
Roof be gone. 
Carpets be gone. 
Priming of trim and doors begins. 
Priming seems to never end... 
Coal stove be gone (it was pretty, but we have a woodstove that we'll be moving with us, and the hearth needed to be redone anyway to make it safer and more heat tolerant). 
Red door be gone (not gone, just repainted). 
Window trim done, cutting in begins. 
Cutting in seems to never end...
New loft bed goes in for The Kid.

So, basically it looks like a bomb dropped.  But it smells a TON better in there with all the nasty old carpeting out, and it's starting to look brighter and cleaner as I get more painting done.  When I painted rooms in our old house, I did just that...painted rooms.  One at a time.  Painting one room at a time is an afternoon project.  So is painting the trim around a few windows.  So I had some majorly delusional views of how quickly painting this new house would go.  HA!  I've been going up there almost every afternoon for about 2 weeks now, and I haven't even touched the 2nd floor with a paintbrush yet.  I'm becoming more efficient as I go though.  Each window or door that I do goes faster than the one before.  So I think the 2nd floor will go much quicker than the 1st one has.  This afternoon I'm taking a (sort of) break, and going to price out hardwood flooring options.  Then within the next few days, we'll be able to get some seriously needed R&R at the beach.  Wicked craving some ocean time!

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, July 6, 2013

New House Tour: The Interior "Before" photos...

The property at the new house is pretty much to die for.  It was the number one selling feature for us.  The interior of the house?  Not so much.  It has great bones, solidly constructed, and lots of potential.  But it's current cosmetic state is pretty nasty.  Hubby and I spent all of last Monday and Tuesday tearing out every single square inch of seriously stinky carpeting.  And I've been going there to paint for a few hours each evening after hubby gets home from work.  To be perfectly honest it really doesn't look like we've accomplished much at all, which is a little discouraging right now, but it certainly smells better in there now, which is a pretty major feat.  So this is the (slightly blurry iphone-pic) tour of the before state of the house...

1st Floor:

 Dining Room:
 Living Room:
 Master Bedroom:

 Master bathroom (with some seriously epic pink plush carpeting.  GROSS!)

 Half Bath (this is actually my most dreaded room to tackle, even though it's the smallest.  Not only was it the location of the previous owners litter box, but it's feline occupants apparently chose not to actually use the litter box.  So it's a pretty stinky place, AND it's completely wallpapered.  I'm not opposed to wallpaper, but this stuff isn't in spectacular condition, and I'm going to end up taking it down on principle of completely eradicating any lingering smells in the room):

 2nd Floor (in much better condition than the 1st floor.  After taking out the carpeting the other day, there's zero yuckiness up there anymore, and needs pretty minimal cosmetic stuff):
Upstairs Hallway:


The Kid's Bedroom: 
(that nook in the corner is the perfect spot for a sweet loft bed)

The Baby's Room:

 "The Gym" (we're not really sure what else to call this one).  We think it was originally the Master Bedroom, but it's just ridiculously huge.  I think a bedroom should be a cozy space.  Plus we thought it made more sense to have the master be the one downstairs with the attached bath.  It actually ended up working out well to have this extra space available.  Even though the square footage of this house is more than our old house, it's spread out over 2 floors.  This makes the footprint smaller, and with the garage under the house also, the basement is actually pretty teeny.  So this room will end up being where our workout stuff will live, and the attached walk-in closet will end up being storage for seasonal stuff.  Basically everything that we currently have in our basement at our old house will end up in this room, and the itty-bitty basement at this house will end up being my shop space for HOUSE 54.  I can't even begin to explain how happy I am to be able to move my workshop back home!!!:

More pics coming soon of the mess progress we've made so far.  

Thanks for stopping by,