26 Jan 2013

In the Middle....

Do you ever feel like you are in the middle of a million projects but are never quite done any of them?  That's where I am at.  Maybe it's because it is the end of January and the middle of winter and I am feeling totally unmotivated - but I just can't gather the gusto.  Or maybe it's that most of the house projects we have left just sort of suck.  They are the piddly projects that you put off.  The ones that are really not much fun.  The ones you leave until you really can't stand it any longer.  Please tell me I am not alone in this. Please.....

Remember our winter to do list? Well we've checked off 2 items (and 2 half items...yes, I measure success in halves). I guess that's not bad, but it's also not great.

We finished 75% of our basement almost 2 years ago.  When Fin was born we needed the space, so we moved our TV and sofa down there, with full intention of finishing off all of the trim and ceiling.  You know how that goes.  You just get used to living with it as it is and forget about the fact that you haven't had baseboards or a ceiling for 2 years.

Notice the play mat turned not-so-good black out shade?  Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Last spring we hung half the ceiling (over the office side of the basement), and now we are working on hanging the rest (mostly I'm just supervising and holding the level while Mr. Swell actually DOES the work!).  We only did half  last year because it's all the spare money we had at the time (unfortunately maternity leave and spare money don't really go hand in hand) and because it felt like more of a winter task than a summer task.

It's a beast of a project.  Hanging the trim around the edges was loud, so it took us forever because we could only do the work while Fin was awake.  Now at least that part is done and the rest is quiet work, so hopefully we can make some progress in the evenings. 

Having a hung ceiling in the stairwell wasn't an option, so we actually hired someone to come in and do all of the drywall (we didn't have the tools to hang drywall that high).

That was a year ago.  I bought ceiling paint over 6 months ago, but still hadn't painted the ceiling, or repainted the walls after the ceiling drywall.

By the way...closed in stairwells are really quite challenging to photograph, aren't they? You should have seen the strange position I had to get in just to try and get the floor and the ceiling all in one shot.    And yes, that ledge is totally my dumping grounds for all things thrifted/left-over that I haven't gotten around to fixing up yet.  I have big plans for all of those items down there....that out-of-focus bull on the left better watch out because I think there is glitter in his future....but I digress....

One very snowy night (when there was nothing good on TV) I finally talked myself into painting it.  If you follow me on Facebook, you knew how excited I was about it :)

True story/confession.....I was getting so hot in the stairwell with that giant roller pole above my head that I actually took my hoodie off and painted most of the ceiling in my bra.  Luckily this picture was taken before that lovely image could have been singed into your brain.  Do what you gotta do, right? 

At least it's looking a little better now.  Now all that's left is finishing up the baseboards (they are filled just not sanded or touched up) and adding the stair nosing.  Easy little stuff.

The other item I crossed off was touching up the paint in our master bedroom.  Since I started blogging I have managed to avoid showing you our master bedroom.  There's a reason.  It was a disgrace.  I painted the whole room a dark navy blue (Behr's December Eve) in October 2010.  I actually had to look on the can of paint to find the date because it felt like it was only a year or so ago, even though it was over 2!

Anyhow, at the time we decided that we were going to switch out the baseboards for nice new 4" baseboards.  So....I slopped paint everywhere and didn't trim in along the baseboard.  Then I got pregnant and was too exhausted to do anything for the next 9 months.  Then we had a baby, and you know how the rest of that story goes.  So, for more than 2 years we lived with it like this.  

Then about a year ago the painting that was on the wall fell down and broke....and as you can see the wall is still empty!

This is real life people...no tidying before I took these photos....clothes are spewing out of the closet, a hello kitty sticker book is on the nightstand and the lamp shade is crushed from a toddler playing with it.

I can't believe I left the sloppy paint that long.  It's embarrassing really.  I dug out the paint, trimmed it all, then repainted the baseboard.  Seriously, it took me less than an hour total.  

Much better.  I still wish there were new baseboards, but this will do for now.  I honestly don't think we will get around to new ones before we decide to move.

I have a few more little plans in here (which hopefully involve new fabric on the valances and maybe some new art) and then I promise that I will show you the whole room.....

In between all of the piddly tasks I have been working away at the little desk for Fin.  I decided to go with Cornbread by Martha Stewart.  It's looking so cute, and I can't wait to show it to you once it's done.  I always have to have one project going that I actually like doing, so that I feel better about the ones that I would rather leave until another day.

So there you go.  That's what we have been up to.  Not very exciting, but the reality of DIYing your way through your house.  

Does anyone else loathe painting ceilings as much as I do?  Please tell me you don't love baseboards!  (if you do you are welcome to come over...I may even feed you)


  1. Man, you are busy, busy, busy! We have unfinished projects all over our house and they may stay that way for a while! I like the paint line you picked for the wall/ceiling going down to the basement. It looks great!

  2. We have a lot of unfinished projects in our house also. Sometimes I think maybe it was not a good idea for us to work on the kitchen - we still have a handful of projects in there to make it "done", but I have had little desire or energy for home improvement lately.

    I do however, have no problem going in and baking or cooking up a storm. But I really enjoy reading about other peoples projects. :)

    The stairwell turned out really well - I know thats a project you were really happy to get behind you. I did ours last year and hated every moment of it - but I am really glad its done now.

    1. Thanks Erica. I seriously hated that stairwell project. I had heard other people complain about painting ceilings, but hadnt experienced the pain yet myself. Youll get to your kitchen when you feel ready....no point in rushing it, i say (hence the 2 years of sloppy baseboards!)

  3. Its amazing how long some jobs take to do: changing the burned out headlight on the car - six months and twenty minutes; putting up baseboards after painting - two years and two hours; sorting out the crawlspace in the basement - a year and three hours....
    Caroline, Calgary

    1. So, so true! I think I have been much longer than 6 months and twenty minutes since fixing the baseboards after painting...
      Thanks so much for your comment.


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