Sunday, April 5, 2015

Change of plans.

So near the end of Winter I was having a blue day, feeling overwhelmed, thinking about how I may have been building a pond, going on four years, that might never have fish in it, digging, blocks, cement, rebar, pipes, etc...have been a drop in the bucket as far as cost goes, now comes the big money and we just aren't in a situation right now that we can afford everything I need to finish this project.  I knew going into this that it was going to be a long term project and it would be expensive, but I was just feeling like it would be impossible, so I had a little pity party, grieved my loss and decided I needed to snap out of it and go back to my optimistic, anything is possible self and come up with a game plan!  My goal has not been to have a pond, it is to build a pond, I live for building and creating things, I couldn't see sitting around all spring/summer/fall staring at my partially built pond and doing nothing, I want this so bad that I eat, sleep, breathe it, I am beyond obsessed with it, but more than that, I have 5 Koi and a goldfish that live in my garage in a 300 gallon stock tank, they have gotten huge and I am so worried that they won't make it in there until the pond is done.

I built them a S/G filter which has a 2500 GPH external pump pushing water through it to a DIY mini shower filter with lava rock.  I flush the filter once a week.  I also plumbed a hot/cold water faucet right up to the tank from our clothes washer tap, for easy water changes.

So all this got me thinking, I had planned on building a more permanent quarantine pond outdoors sometime in the future, so why not build it now and hopefully get the fish in it before winter.  This will be more affordable since it will be smaller and I already have some of the equipment from my current quarantine tank.  The most difficult part would be convincing Craig, he was so proud of the fact that we got rid of all the dirt from Pond #1 finally, he is not going to be excited about this idea, he is supportive of my obsession, but he in no way shares my passion for this hobby.  So I told him my thoughts and to my surprise he said okay!  I wasted no time staking out the spot for it, it will be where the old dirt pile was.  You can kind of see my red yarn outline.

I drew up some plans and measured and off we went, the start of the dig!

You can see my little bird houses I made from leftover fence boards, I mounted them on the fence posts and we already have a few occupants.  Anyway, we dug all last weekend and Craig even did some digging after work a few times last week, and yesterday we spent our 28th wedding anniversary digging and today I did some digging while Craig made our Easter dinner, even Carina helped me out a bit.  Craig jumped in a few times to help us break up the dirt, it is really dense and heavy and full of rocks, pretty much like the last pond.  

I put some blocks by the dirt pile to keep it from falling back into the hole, this hole is just slightly larger than what the pond will be and it includes the area for the filter pit which will be by the fence.

Craig is pretty bummed about the dirt pile and he doesn't miss a chance to tell me about it, he keeps saying that he can't believe he agreed to this.  I also had some help from Hershey today, he got an Easter treat and kept digging in the hole and burying it all the while Pixie was munching hers down.  These are my grand puppies, Carina's Dogs.


Long overdue post!

I haven't posted in such a long time!  My pond has been progressing slowly, by the end of last summer/fall, I completed 6 courses of block with horizontal and vertical rebar, stubbed in both the bottom drains and all seven TPR's (tangential pond returns) into the filter pit, and got the filter pit walls in place, I still need to fill all the block cells with cement.  I have one more course of block to mortar on the pond, this last course will be a killer because the walls are so high on the filter pit side of the pond and these blocks weigh around 35lbs each and this is my last chance to make sure it is perfectly level.
Here it is near the end of last year.

Here is view into the filter pit.

While I was working on the pond, Craig was sifting the dirt pile left behind from the dig, his mission in life was to get this done by the end of the season, I helped here and there, but this was mostly his project.  

It had taken on a life of its own.

But he kept at it and didn't give up!

Finally, it was all gone!

We poured some cement pads and used all of the rocks Craig sifted out of the dirt pile on the north side of the house where we keep the garbage cans.  It was always a muddy mess over there, it gets no sun so the grass didn't grow well and it never really dried up.  Ignore the tape on the house, had a little incident with the siding and Craig taped that little piece while the silicone was drying after he fixed it.

We used the dirt to level up the yard, we built a little retaining wall around the shed because we added nearly two feet to the yard and we couldn't move the shed easily.

We also had some random flowers pop up where the dirt pile was, I rescued them and they grew like crazy.

So fast forward to this Spring, I made a change in plans, to be continued in my next post.....

Monday, November 4, 2013

My latest DIY project

I saw this on Pinterest and loved it!  It is an Ikea hack.  Two Ribba picture frames, 1 set of Dioder LED strip lights and two bundles of Torka twig thingy's.  I ran to Ikea today, bought my stuff and built them this afternoon, they are super easy to make. You can also see my Amazon wire window/mirror thing that I bought with my Birthday gift card from Barry.  We just recently painted the bedroom, and I replaced the overhead light, eventually Craig is going to rebuild our bedroom furniture, but in the meantime I have to live with this set that we bought about 23 years ago.  I still need to finish up the crown with a little more caulk and then touch-up the paint, it just never ends.
Here they are with the room lights off, the lights are white, but they give off this reddish glow at the bottom of the picture frames which I think looks cool.

 And with the room lights on, it is hard to tell they are lit up in the photo, but in person you can see that they are lit up.

Craig also built a shelf for our satellite receiver and PS3 with little side panels to hide the cords, it drove me crazy that the cords were all over the place and all over the floor and the receiver and PS3 were just sitting on a table in the corner of the bedroom, this is so much neater and tidier. We ran the power and satellite cords behind the baseboards and I used a cord minder to run them up the wall to the TV and then just painted it to match.

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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Craft room makeover

I repainted my craft room a while back and forgot to blog about it, so here it is. 
My ceiling's were painted yellow like the walls before, in fact every room in my house had the same color on the ceiling's as what was on the wall, I decided I no longer like that look, so I painted the ceiling white.
And I got creative and made a template out of wax paper and ironed it up on the wall to create a stencil so I could bring the white down a bit onto the walls. 
Just below the points on my border, I painted little dots, you may be able to see them if you click on the pictures to enlarge them.
The only other thing I changed is I took out my cutting table that was in the middle of the room, although I really liked having it, it took up a lot of space.  You can see my craft room before by going to my Craft Room link near the top of my blog.
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Cheryl's bathroom makeover

So here's is "My bathroom" (You can read about "Craig's bathroom" in the previous post) when we bought this house it only had one bathroom, when Carina became a teenager, things got really rough, especially since she could take 4 hour bath's, so, we built this bathroom and then Carina was free to monopolize the other bathroom.  It used to be the coat closet, the closet in my craft room and the garage closet, we knocked out the walls between the closets and created this long skinny bathroom.  Besides the rough plumbing, we did it all ourselves.
The walls use to be a very, very pale minty green, it almost looked white, so I wanted it a bit darker.  I agonized over this paint color and finally decided on it, went to get some mixed up and it came out this aweful color, the guy mixing it kept trying to fix it, but it just got worse, so I finally picked a slightly darker color than what I wanted and this is what I ended up with, I really wanted it a bit lighter, but it is growing on me.
Good 'Ol Ikea, I got some picture frames and I wanted something floral, but not to flowery if you know what I mean, so I googled all kinds of things and somehow wound up finding these, it is a PDF of a really old botanical book, 400 and something pages, but there were tons of pictures of plants in it that were just perfect!  I resized them and printed them out and wahlah!

The green in the next two pictures below are way off of what the wall color looks like, the above ones and the last one are much closer to how it really looks. I would have cried if it turned out like this, lol.
The prints have kind of a peachy background that goes great with my tile floor.
I also put in a new vanity light, nothing was wrong with the old one except I couldn't get one of the glass covers off so I could paint around it, it was stuck on there, so I gave up and just put in a new fixture, I like this one a lot.  You can't really see it in the picture, but trust me, it is cool!
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"Craig's bathroom" makeover

So we have been in painting mode now for a couple of months it seems.  We decided to makeover our bathroom's, this one we call "Craig's bathroom", it use to be called "Carina's bathroom", but since she moved out, Craig has taken it over, so we thought we would man it up!
He picked out this paint, it is called "Volcanic Ash", I just love it!  It was a raisin-y color before.  He wanted some pictures of the stadium's, so I bought some frames from Ikea and googled "Safeco" and Century Link Field" and found all kinds of good pictures.
I changed them to black and white to go with the monochromatic theme we had going on.
It is extremely difficult to take good pictures in such a tiny bathroom, but hopefully you get the idea.
It's amazing how different paint can change the look and feel of a space, if you want to see the before, I have a post on my blog of when we originally remodeled it here,  I will post "My bathroom" in the next post.
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Finally finished some of the details from our 2008 remodel

So Craig and I have wanted to get this done for quite some time, but just couldn't get motivated enough to do it.  We finally caulked all of the crown molding and trim around the doors and I got all of the crown painted, we still have a little more to do on the trim and we still haven't done the baseboards, but I am proud of us for getting this much done.
I also decided that it would look best if I painted the ceiling white, originally we had painted it a shade lighter than the walls, but I never really liked it.  We also had left the crown in the kitchen unpainted, just wood, and it looked good, but it didn't flow with the rest of the house, so I took it down and painted it.
This all started with us deciding to paint all of the doors black, something I saw on Pinterest and I liked, surprisingly Craig was all for it too!  In fact he was the one pushing to get them done.
I started with the french door, what a pain, but Craig did most of the rest of the doors.
Ignore the dirty fish tank, it is due for an overhall and a new light on one side.  What amazed me the most is by painting the ceiling white it made the room feel so much taller, it is like we gained a foot a space going up, it also makes the house a lot lighter and with all of the black we have, we need all the light we can get.
We painted the front door on both sides as well, Craig was hesitant to paint the outside, but I convinced him it would look great!
I realized after looking at this picture, I need to straighten out my DVD's.
While I was in painting mode, I painted the trim around the glass block black also, now it matches the picture frames above.
While I was painting the hall ceiling I realized our old attic door was falling apart, it was just drywall and the old paint was peeling and yucky, so I cut a new door from some scrap wood we had in the shop and put a knob on it, it is much better now.
Funny how one thing leads to another, especially with me and my OCD tendencies, I was caulking around the door next to the cabinet that we keep all of our recipe books in and ended up dusting it and then cleaning out the bottom part of it and now we hardly have anything in it, just 3 empty fabric bins, it was packed with junk before, I love getting rid of stuff.
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