Wednesday, October 31, 2007

We speak different languages

I've realized that my boss and I speak different languages.

Every time that he and I talk about something he wants my input on he doesn't understand what I'm saying and I cannot make any sense of what he is saying. So I must assume that we aren't in fact speaking the same language. It's the only way I can think to explain the fact that we generally get frustrated trying to work together on something.

So what's an employee to do?? Shall I play the "So what I hear you saying..." game with him every time? I thought I had good communication skills but he is making me doubt that. I used to be able to speak to all sorts of people. From IT to customers to manufacturing staff. Seems like a broad section of the world, right? But for some reason boss and I don't seem to be able to speak to each other in what I feel is a productive manner.

I have got to work on that because it bothers me and I can't expect him to change. Any tips would be very much appreciated!!!

Housekeeping. Would you like turndown service?

A while back I promised a picture of my new bedroom quilt. I am finally going to make good on that promise.

I only bought the quilt, not the pillow shams. It's got just about every color in the world in it so I'm hoping that no matter what color I end up painting in there it will work.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I Know You Want to be Crafty

One of my favorite design and inspiration blogs is Design for Mankind. She has GREAT taste so when I saw her posting for a Craft Inspired Pay It Forward I immediately wanted in. Lucky for me I am one of her winners!!

So here's what this means for you:
I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week,but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

I'd love it if this didn't stop with me since I did a bit of investigating and found that this idea has practically circled the globe. By backtracking links I got from America to the UK to Norway, Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, and finally Hungary.

So join me in the crafty fun!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Two More Tables for Troy to Consider

These two little tables from Victoria Hagan for Target are really cute and have gotten rave reviews on the web site. And the price could not be better, only $79.99 ea.
This is Darby. She's 20"H x 18"W x 18"D.

This is Katie. She's a little bit smaller than Darby. 18.9" x 15.67" x 21" (not sure which dim is which on this one, perhaps H x W x D but it doesn't specify.)

Don't you think Troy needs a girlfriend instead? I'm leaning toward Darby. She's just so adorable.

What Do You Think Troy Would Like?

Since Troy is going to arrive a few weeks before I thought he would, I need to find myself a new coffee table and quickly. The Ottoman that has been serving as my coffee table for the past 3 and a half years is going to belong to my brother along with the Chair and Couch.

Which of these do you think Troy would like to share the Living Room with?

There's the Red Stow Leather Storage Ottoman from Crate & Barrel. Stow is 17.5" square and 17.25" tall.

Or what about this little Alden Cube Table @ JC Penney? Alden measures 20" square and 19" tall.

Or the Durham Coffee Table at Pottery Barn? He measures 37" in Diameter and is 18" tall.

(Yes all of my furniture is male. If they insist on giving them human names I'll just have to keep giving them a gender.)

What I'd really like to do is find a basic coffee table, preferably round or oval, that Stow could stow under when I wanted him out of the way. In my little imagination that seems like it would look cute. Can you picture it too? As soon as Troy arrives I'll be sure to take a picture of him. That way you can vote on which you might like best. You will vote won't you?

On another note, I believe I've decided on a paint color. It's Dutch Boy Gull Green DC440. I used it as an accent wall in the den in my condo. It was a really nice color and I like the way it looks next to the swatch of Troy's fabric. It's a sort of blue-green. I've been wanting a blue but none of them seemed to look right. Hopefully Gull Green will.

This weekend I hope to finish removing the crown molding, paint the ceiling and perhaps I'll get the walls done too. As long as my arms don't fall off I'll just keep on working on it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's a Couch That Makes Me Happy

My cell phone started ringing as I walked to my car after work today. It was a number I didn't recognize. I answered and it was Crate & Barrel calling (more accurately someone from Crate & Barrel) to schedule the delivery of my new couch!!

Troy is on his way to my home some time on November 3rd! That's only a little over a week from now. Something like this probably shouldn't make you giddy with excitement but it has.

The other thing it has done is freak me out. There are still so many things I need to finish in the living room that I thought I would have finished before Troy's arrival. I still haven't even picked a piant color!

So this means I must kick things into high gear this weekend. I've got to paint, reroute the cable wire (this involves going under the house YUCK!), finish assembly of my new TV stand, and then buy the new TV.

I hope I get this done before Troy arrives so he isn't ashamed of his new home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Retail: The Other Therapy

Yesterday's attempts to lift my mood included leaving work at 1 PM, heading straight home and onto my couch for a two hour nap then heading to IKEA @ 6:30 for some Retail Therapy.

While the nap and last night's sleep helped a bit I'm certain the retail therapy also had it's benefits. My intent while at IKEA was to look at the Bjorna Bench and the Besta Shelving Units. They had the Bjorna bench in stock but didn't have any on the floor so I could see what it looked like. So that got crossed off the list. It was down to the Beech or Black Brown Besta.

In the end I chose the Black Brown 2 by 2 unit which will house my DVR, DVD player and an LCD TV (when I actually buy an LCD TV). Then next to that I'm going to put the Black Brown tall narrow unit for DVD's and various items. I also bought some legs that will raise both of the units off the floor about 4 inches. Should be really cute. I'll post a picture as soon as I get them put together. I tried to PhotoShop them into something but I can't figure out how. Must learn more about PhotoShop soon.

Now if I could just figure out what color to paint this room I'd be nearly there.

Sleep I Blame You

A study done at UC Berkeley found that:
"While we predicted that the emotional centers of the brain would overreact after sleep deprivation, we didn't predict they'd overreact as much as they did," Walker said. "They became more than 60 percent more reactive to negative emotional stimuli. That's a whopping increase—the emotional parts of the brain just seem to run amok."

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. SO THERE! Ok so perhaps my somewhat decent night of sleep last night didn't ease all of my emotional issues. But on the plus side I don't feel as though I want to tear everyone's heads off or cry my little eyeballs out today. So that has to be a step in the right direction.

So it's ok to talk to me today, I promise.

Monday, October 22, 2007

And a Sigh of Relief

Before and After! (Remember the Before is actually Molly's house flipped in PhotoShop)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Drywall, Part Deux

I'm still the girl living in the bubble today. He wasn't able to finish last night like he thought. So he's coming back later this afternoon to sand and spray the texture.

Here's how it looks right now.

And hopefully by the end of the day today it will look DONE!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Present is All About Plastics

Here's a view of my living room today.
The drywall is getting done. Right now he's off getting food and supplies. As soon as he's done I'll put up pictures of the finished wall.
Can't wait!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Art of Flipping

On my way to and from work every day I have to pass through a 6-way stop. A 4-way stop is usually challenging enough for most drivers because people really don't pay attention to who should go and when. So imagine a 6-way gathering at a very crowded location, a recipe for disaster.

This morning was proceeding normally until it got to what I thought was my turn. Let me preface this by saying that I am one of those people who does pay attention to who has taken their turn and when, even if there are several cars ahead of me in my lane. So I don't just go because I want to take my turn with no regard for the other cars and their drivers.

As I was moving forward from my stop sign the car across from me apparently believed that I had just struck down a grandmother or killed his puppy or something else as horrid and terrible. As he crossed in front of me he looked directly at me and flipped me off. I also believe that he said something with the equal amount of bile and hatred as his middle finger displayed. To top it all off he had a child sitting next to him in his little truck.

Was what happened really worth all of that anger and hatred especially in front of a child? I don't think so. It was an honest case of someone believing they had the right of way and someone else believing that they did. I can only hope that man did not go on to have one road rage incident after another this morning. I also hope that he did not take his anger out on his child.

Life is too short to take his approach to it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Will He Or Won't He?

I called my drywall contractor yesterday after work to see why he didn't show on Tuesday night. Apparently it is his phones fault. He set his phone remind him and it didn't. He did say he was sorry. He says that he is going to come over tonight to do what should have happened on Tuesday. When I asked if he was still planning on coming over to do the work on Saturday he said definitely.

I wish I could blame an inanimate object for all of the things I forget to do. For instance I cannot for the life of me remember to start the dishwasher. I keep thinking that I'll start it before I leave for work, but then I don't. See it's not my fault. The dishwasher really should remind me that it needs to be run.

Oh and if you were wondering why I don't just start it when I am home, it's loud and my place is so small it's tough to watch TV while it's running. See I have my priorities in order who needs clean dishes as long as you can watch Pushing Daisies, Biggest Loser and Chuck without interruption.

I really am rather lame huh? Oh well at least I remembered to take out the garbage and recycling today. Small victories.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Bad Start to the Drywall

The Drywall contractor was scheduled to stop by last night to measure for the molding on top of the half wall. He didn't show. I'm hoping beyond hope that when I call him later he has a fantastic reason for not following through.

Is it stupid of me to still hope that he shows on Saturday to do the work?

Dang hiring people sucks.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Searching Sunday

The weather this weekend was amazing. I tried to take full advantage of it on Sunday by running around looking for furniture.

I started off by visiting Standy's Unfinished Furniture where I found two tall dressers and I'm hoping that one of them might be perfect for my bedroom. Then into Fremont were I dropped in Capers, Portage Bay Goods, the Fremont Antique Mall and Starbucks for a Chai. Then off to the Fremont Sunday Market where I looked for more furniture. After scouting all of the market I moved northwest toward Ballard stopping at HomeSite along the way.

Once I made it to Ballard I realized that they were having their own Farmers Market which made parking in Ballard a bit difficult for a Sunday. Of course parking in Ballard is always a challenge now that it is the new hip spot to shop in the city. I walked up and down Ballard Ave and stopped in at Space Oddity Vintage Furniture, the brand new Skarbos Furniture, Collective, Enlighten, Greener Lifestyles, and Ballard Home Comforts along the way.

At Ballard Home Comforts I found this ADORABLE little bag that jumped into my hand and just had to come home with me. I'm in love with it. I'm sure from the picture you can tell why.

Before heading back home I went to Lowes because I had to get paint swatches for the living room and bathroom. WARNING Paint Chip overload below. Living Room options are on the Left and Bathroom on the Right.

As you can see I'm thinking of a grey of some sort for the living room. In the bathroom I want to go with something a bit more calm than what I put in there and something that matches the slate more. So I'm thinking of a peach/orange. The picture doesn't do justice to how awful the current yellow looks. It's bright and obnoxious.

In the end I found a bag that I had to have and maybe a tall dresser for the bedroom. That doesn't help me decorate my living room now does it?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Molly & Photoshop I Owe You One

Since I didn't take a picture of the living room/kitchen wall before all of the destruction took place I took some pictures of the next best thing last night. Molly's place is the mirror image of mine and she was nice enough to let me intrude so that I could have complete photo documentation of the Before and After.

Here are the "real" Before (with the magic of Photoshop working a mirror image flip for me):

I find it odd that the wall color looks so different in these two pictures. I swear it's the same space just from to vantage points. It is a bit eerie to see these two images, knowing that they weren't taken from my house and feel like they just had to have been. Molly is it weird for you too?

Up soon are the final images of my "wall" remodel. I met with a drywall contractor last night. I'm going to let go of the project at this point and actually pay someone to finish it off. He's going to also fix other imperfections in some adjoining walls while he's there. And he's even going to put the molding on the half wall. Keep your fingers crossed that it will all be done by next weekend!

When I say final images I really don't mean final because then I'll have to paint the living room, and repaint the kitchen wall. But "Close enough for government work", as my dad always says. Then again he also always says "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." So it depends on which of his -isms that I choose to pay attention to. Given my slightly OCD nature I have a feeling that I will not be truly happy until the couch has arrived, which barring any unforeseen issues should be some time in mid-late November. Until then I'll have to be happy with progress for progress sake.

Some day I'll get around to putting up Before and After images of my bathroom too. But since I hate the color I painted it I'm going to withhold those for a while.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Wall Was No Match For Me!

It's gone daddy gone!!!
The wall is gone.

And now for the action shots. Well, not exactly action but the middle steps anyway.
This is the remains of the wall and the view without it.

A few shots showing just the header from the kitchen and living room.

Before and AFTER!!!!!!!!

Now who's proud of me?? I am!!!

The Sawzall is coming!

My boss is supposed to be bringing in his Sawzall today. I really hope he remembers. I really want to take down that wall tonight. It will be so great to have that out of the way.

Then I need to figure out where to get some small strips of drywall to patch the ceiling of the new opening. Do you suppose I should just scavenge at building sites? I suppose that's technically illegal but I really only need the smallest amount of drywall. There is no way that I'm going to buy an entire sheet for such a small job. That would be so wasteful.

I also need to figure out what color I want to paint the living room. I was thinking blue but now I'm leaning toward a warm grey. Haven't been to Home Depot or Lowe's in a few weeks so it's about time for another trip. Oh and that silly little crown molding needs to come down too.

All of my grand plans center around getting that wall down. Cross your fingers for me that it won't fall on my head.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Oh so tired and puzzled

This weekend was Puzzle Hunt 11. Of course I had a great time but today I am painfully tired. I even went home and slept for 4 hours on Sunday morning. Several other members of my team didn't sleep at all so I really have no right at all to be moaning about how tired I am. But there you have it, I am MOANING! Compounding the issue is that my head is full up with all sorts of nasty snot.

I really do enjoy all of the puzzle solving so I wouldn't give it up just because of how I feel today. It's really invigorating to be working your brain like that for an entire weekend. This was my second time playing in a Puzzle Hunt. I've also done a couple of other events and beta tests of events. The format of Puzzle Hunt is so far my favorite.

During the weekend you spend the majority of your time in a conference room at Microsoft but there are always puzzles that take a few team members out to various spots on campus as well. I think it's the home base (or HQ) with small excursions style that I like the most about this event. Every time I feel like I need a change of scenery to restart my head there is something that I can go out and accomplish. Something to get the blood flowing again. Some times pulling yourself away from a puzzle that you've been pouring over and distracting yourself with something else entirely is the best way to solve the first puzzle.

The other great thing about this event, at least with the team I've played with, is that everyone has their strengths but it is truly a collaboration. I can't even tell you how many puzzles were solved by having nearly every member of the group take a look at them and add their ideas. It seems like most of us saw nearly all of the puzzles at some point or other. I think there were about 60 or so puzzles which is a HUGE amount.

I know that our finish place was disappointing for the team but we were two people down all weekend and 3 people down all of Sunday. So I'd say we completely held our own and I'm very glad that I was able to be there again with them.

Thanks guys and gal for inviting me in again and making me welcome. I hope to be invited back again next time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I'm so full of ..... Good Ideas!!

At least that's what I'm telling myself. So there.

My newest idea involves finding a bench to use as my new TV cabinet. The one I have is too deep to use where I want to move it. I'm also going to have to get a new LCD TV to fit in the new space. It's a sacrifice but I think I'll make it through. The look I'm going for is something like this Bjorna bench from Ikea.

It has an upholstered top so I'm not sure if it will work. It seems to fulfill my other requirements which are narrow, low, long (17 3/4" D X 19 5/8" H X 53 1/2" L), cost effective ($199), and has a bottom shelf to hold the DVR and DVD players.

Then there is my other idea which I stole from a table that Doug made for Britten and Brooke. He got a hydraulic barber chair lift and attached a table top to it. I'd like to do the same thing except figure out a way for the table top to have drop leaves. I want the table to be small and short enough to serve as an end table but also have the option of turning into a dining table. Since my place is so small I don't have enough space to have a dining area but having this Transformer table would give me an option to have a table when I want it. I mean who wouldn't want a table that's more than meets the eye!

I think that's all of my good ideas for now. Perhaps I'll have another inspiration tonight. You never know what can come out of this little brain of mine.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The sawzall of my dreams - FREE!

My boss owns a Sawzall and is going to bring it in so that I can borrow it to remove the evil wall. That means I don't have to rent one and I can use it at my leisure. Wahoo!

I spent a little bit of time last night pulling down a bit more of the drywall and learned that the HUGE header over the door isn't one piece of wood. It's three pieces put together.

This new discovery makes me feel a lot better about taking out the doorway. It was confusing and concerning me that the header was so hefty looking. Made me feel like the doorway just had to be holding up an important part of the house. That seems much less likely now.

Can't wait for the real destruction to begin. Bring on the Sawzall!!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Things that make you go....Clueless

I have no idea if the header and little wall in between the living room and kitchen can come down. I am not a structural engineer, in case you didn't realize, but I do have a more than basic understanding of home building, structural support and plain old physics. But none of these "skills" are helping me to determine if that wall can be attacked by a sawzall.

On Sunday morning I went into the attic to take pictures of the area above the kitchen and found this.

Left: View from the attic access toward east end of house. The double beam in the picture is above the wall between the kitchen and living room.

Right: This is a close up view of the far end. The end of that beam sits directly above the kitchen door. Those 2 x 4 's going up from that beam don't actually attach to the roof rafters and some of them don't even reach the roof sheeting. What does that beam do exactly?

Any structural engineers in the audience? This gal as mentioned before is clueless.