Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pickling Eggs

At long last, I have made another batch of pickled eggs.  I'm sure at least three of my readers will be excited to hear this.

It is actually quite easy.  Boil and peel eggs, add equal parts water and vinegar, garlic, onions and pickling spices.  Let sit at least 10 days.  Enjoy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Only We Can Prevent Roof Fires

For some reason, our house did not come with a spark arrestor, so cinders could easily escape and light our oh-so-flammable roof on fire.  Alternately, rain could fall directly into the house, via the chimney.
We were able to locate the last available spark arrestor in southern California and I convinced Chrissy to climb the ladder I placed on the top of the fence.  Probably not OSHA approved, but it got the job done.

Photo credit goes to Uncle Mike.  Instagram effect credit goes to my scanner.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

That's How I (Paper Towel) Roll

I don't know why it took so long, but we finally installed our paper towel holder.  It works great to dispense the 1.5 sheets I use each month.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How many gate posts can there possibly be?

You will notice there is no gate in this photo.  That didn't get done with the rest of the fence project, so a couple weekends later, my brother came over to help put one up.

Long story short, after 17 Tecates we have a sweet gate now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No Longer Of-Fence-ive

Our fence was pathetically short and falling apart.  It was literally held up by pieces of string, so it was time to replace it (the new one is shown above).  We figured Christmas would be the best time to accomplish this since we would have a bunch of unsuspecting family members in town to con into helping.

It started with a trip to Home Depot and a handy 10% off coupon.
I've never had four carts full of stuff before, but this is what it takes to build 150 feet of quality fence.

Two pickup loads were required to get it into the garage.

The next step was to remove the old fence, which, due to its rickety nature, took half an hour at most. Also notice how short the fence is.

King of the pile.

 Free firewood.  Going from the photo above to the one below was a miserable process I completed after my helpers left.  It even killed my beloved Twin Cutter.

The old fence allowed us to have our first fire in the fireplace. And who's that sexy bride in the corner?

The new fence started off well, with the easiest post hole digging ever.  Then we hit the concrete.  We spent miserable hours digging out a dozen or so giant chunks of concrete that had held fence posts in the past (see the chunk in the lower right corner of the lead photo to see what I'm talking about).  This is why I don't believe in concrete around fence posts and will always practice the tamping method, passed down to me by my father.

Cousin Vincent enjoys digging out concrete, not to mention huge roots.

Eventually we were able to start screwing boards on.

And we did finish (notice the new height compared to the old).  It took us three mostly full days and 87 Tecates to tackle this beast of a project, and we couldn't have done it without our wonderful family.  They deserve a huge thank you.

I want to take a moment to point out my favorite feature of the new fence, The Kink.  You probably didn't even notice it in the lead photo because it is so perfectly executed.  Anyway, we had to go around a tree, and the result is spectacular.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Attack of the Pallets

Pallets are all the rage right now, and since I am a huge fan of all things rustic, it is no shock that I am really into the pallet trend. Turns out the super awesome parental units of my dear hubbarooski had access to pallets. One little phone call and pallets appeared at our house. I didn't know what I wanted to do with them until a few days before Christmas, I had a whole loving slew of family coming to town and no coffee table. So, I put two pallets together and got one awesome coffee table.
This is hubs making the legs for the table.

 Andy smash.  Note the safety glasses.  Always be safe, kids.

 I stained the pallet while he smashed and cut.

 See?! Now it's a table. :) Just that easy and just in time for family holiday fun time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Street Table Called Desire

Andy and I found a sad little table on one of our evening strolls. We thought we would drag it in all of its pitifulness back home to see if we could salvage it. I can't however locate ANY of the before pictures. I know, why even blog???

Ugh. I'll try and paint the picture. Our TV was sitting on a dining room table which screams college and since we aren't in college anymore, this just wouldn't do. In comes sad little table. It had been spray painted  brown and yellow missing hardware and was in very poor condition.

 I removed a shelf, sanded the living daylights out of it, primed and painted.

 The color isn't very exciting but I was in a time crunch. To finish it, I threw on some fancy new knobs and voila!
 Much better.

Inspiration 4

I like the fenders, exhaust, and mirrors on this bike.  I also like the shape of the rear of the frame.

I like the alloy mirrors and the spring-less rear shocks on this beast.  It also has cool custom fastener covers made from stainless steel.

This is one clean BMW; stance is a little funky though.  I was thinking about this exact style of exhaust.

This is another really nice BMW.  I like this exhaust too.

Ducati Sport 1000
This thing has a beautiful rear end.

1971 Honda CB350
I am intrigued by the exposed springs on the fork, and I like the minimal tail light.

The bare metal look is really cool on this bike.

The seat on this is very interesting.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Grout the Bad and the Ugly

The house blogs have been slow coming as of late; this does not mean I have been slacking in my crafting/DIY. Well, I might have taken a small break but this grout project could wait no longer. Our guest bathroom started with beige grout that had never been cleaned and was terribly stained. It was also painfully paired with pure white tile that has a gray blue swirl going through the center. That unfortunate choice would have led me to this project alone. 

I tried everything to clean this grout before taking on the task of staining/painting it. I tried making an Oxy Clean paste, letting it sit and then scrubbing it out. Fail. So, I took bleach and Andy’s tooth brush to the grout to see if I could get the stains out. No luck there; it looked exactly the same after some arduous work. That was when I decided to pull the trigger on staining/painting the existing grout.  This was a terrible, very unpleasant idea but the end result was…dare I say it? Worth it.

Here is how it went: bleach grout, acid wash grout, painstakingly paint grout with stain/sealant, smile at the fact that for the first time the floor looked clean.

And here are the photos.
Honestly, I don't think it looks as bad in the photos as it did in person. Trust me, it was seriously unattractive.

 Here is a close up:
 Half and half:

 Here it is without the super yellow lights:

 Done! Victory is mine. Just wait until you see what I have planned for this boring apartment-esque bathroom next.

Products I used:

Sulfamic Acid to prep the grout before painting:

Grout Paint (comes in many colors and you can even get custom colors) I used Gray