Saturday, November 30, 2013

Video Tour! Round Three!

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and for those of you from other countries- well, we hope your regular day was just as nice. ;)

Without further ado- here is the highly requested video tour. The last video tour- I believe - was in August, and we had just put the floors down and there was still MUCH to be done. In this video, we are almost done the interior!! Only a couple details left! So enjoy!

Oh- and for anyone who normally reads these right from their email- the video may or may not work. I would recommend you head right to the blog page if the video is giving you trouble.
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Our Seating Has Been UPGRADED!

Sunday was a very cold, but very fun day.

It just goes to show that outlook is everything. We finally had one of those bursts of ambition and energy and decided the built in love seat was getting DONE. Of course it had to be the coldest most uninviting day of weather yet this season. That was not enough to snuff out the fire though. 

We forged ahead despite the bitter blustery winds that ripped through the yard. The average temperature for the day was about 16 degrees, and that did not include the wind chill. We layered up and headed out to the store for supplies. Since we mapped out just exactly what we planned to do, we were very efficient with purchase of wood. We also swung by the garden section and grabbed a few clay pots to give the tiny planter heater idea a try. (A couple weeks ago, I posted a link on our Facebook page about a man who used this simple set up to heat his one room studio.) The man in the video makes use of a bread pan, but we couldn't seem to find any combination of pots that would nicely fit over the bread pan we had. So we opted to use some of those bricks we collected nearly a year ago. 

It certainly can throw some heat once it gets going, but it's still too small of an operation to do much for us. I held my hand over the little "chimney" and was surprised at how concentrated the heat was. However, it wasn't enough for the space. We are toying with the idea of making a bigger version to see if that would create a noticeable difference. 

We measured and cut our boards in the freezing weather, each of us taking turns with our duties and then employing some form of heat generation. Dan opted to do sprints back and forth in the yard while I intermittently busted out into intense Jackie Chan air fights. I'm sure we've gotten looks before, simply for the little box we live in, but yesterday would have been a sight. Two people running around their little house, doing jump kicks, hard knees, and turbo fist pumps, then diligently bending down to measure and cut lengths of wood? Yeah, even I would stop and stare a moment.

Once we had our pieces cut, we hurried inside to assemble them- BRILLIANT! We were very happy to come up with that idea ahead of time. We are so used to building everything outside, that we often overlooked the smaller projects that could be carried out indoors. Well a cold so deep that it makes your teeth hurt when you talk-- that will make you start thinking smart in a hurry!

We assembled each bench in the warmth of The Pod. After putting the first one together with no issues, and checking to make sure the water bricks would fit- we started in on the second one. Both pieces came together quite quickly. We then cut out the pieces of plywood that set right into each unit, providing a level covered surface. We drilled a couple holes in each so it's easy to lift these covers up with just a finger. 

Once we were happy with the benches, we measured and ripped down our table top. We bought another piece of the same wood we used for the counters in the kitchen. When the table top is not in use, it will sit across the two benches to form the love seat. When we want to use the table, we will screw on the legs and set it between the two benches to create a nice little dining nook. 

We were both so jazzed up about how easily it came together and how nice it looked, that we cleaned up the work area and ran off to the thrift store. Neither of us could wait another day to have a comfy cushioned place to sit! We picked up some large pillows (all for under $4 each) and I also made a pass through the curtain section and found a nice set for the last window. Only $6!! Woohoo! Now I don't have to make them! Plus, material alone would have been more than that!

I plan to make use of the leftover curtain materials I already bought (plus some other colorful scraps) to make quilted pillow covers. That way our pillows will look brand spankin' new, and match the decor to a T! I will also be making the cushions that we sit on. For those, I will most likely make two larger cushions with a crease so they can easily fold in half. That way, when it's a love seat, each cushion folds out and covers the expanse, and when it is a booth, each cushion folds and fits on each bench. 

We didn't anticipate the change that swept over us once the love seat was done. That was the final major eye sore of the house, and now it has been replaced with a cute, cozy space and I absolutely adore it! After coming back from the thrift store, I started making dinner while Dan did few more small jobs, like installing a knob for the lower closet door, and hanging the rod for the curtains. Then, we happily squished together amongst the big pillows enjoying dinner, the vastly more comfortable seating, and being able to sit right beside each other for the first time in over two months. :)  

We will have a video tour soon!
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cubbies! Curtains! More Bunny-free zones!

I cannot believe that it is November 20th. 

It seems like just yesterday was the beginning of the month. How does that happen!?! Once again, a full week has slipped by without a peep from The Pod (we finally chose the perfect name for our home). My apologies for the lack of posts! I've got about a 30 minute window before I have to run off and do the next thing on my list, so I'll try to pack in as much as I can. 

Over the past week, we have done a collection of small detail projects here and there....gone are the days when we could post photos displaying dramatic changes in less than 24 hours. Sigh. Oh well. ONWARD AND UPWARD, I SAY!

The last window finally got trimmed in too!
No more drafts there!

So, since we last posted, I was able to finish all the curtains for the loft windows. Sadly, I don't have enough material left to complete the large window down in the great room. Boo. :/ I will either go back and see if more of the same material exists, or simply get another type of material. Since I love color and diversity, the latter will probably come to be. 

Meanwhile, Dan has been busy working away at the built in. So far he has created the doors for the top two cubbies and a door for the large bottom cubby on the left. Hooray! One less area for the little fuzzy she-devil to dig around in and make a mess! 

Hanging curtain rods. :)

Another nice surprise that I cam home to today, was my full length mirror mounted inside the closet door. Let me tell you why this makes me exceptionally happy: a couple weekends ago I purchased a mirror with the intent of hanging it myself. My brother sat on it in the car, before I even got it home. Went out and got mirror number two, then spent a solid hour and a half trying to mount it myself. With an uneven surface and non-parallel lines messing with my concept of "level" I found it very difficult to hold the mirror in such a way that looked even.

Once I finally did, I somehow had to screw the clips on as well. That didn't go great. The short story is I dropped the mirror twice, nearly having a rage stroke each time, and then on the third and final fall of the mirror, I had two clips in place and  was securing the third- when it slipped off and snapped all three clips. I carefully picked up the magically-still-unbroken mirror and gently stored it away as I stated with gritted teeth, "I'm going to go do something else now." Oh, DaaaAAAaaaannn! I have a job for youuuu. ;) haha

So that's it in a nutshell. The jobs may be getting smaller, but the steady culmination of all these little improvements is leading to the completion of that grand vision we had just a year ago. Most days, I walk into my home still staring at all the things that aren't finished. We both need to manually refocus at times...but when we do, I look around almost breathless. This place is so beautiful, functional, and deliberate. Still, every time, I find myself remarking, "I can't believe we did all this!"

Thanks for stickin' in there on the lack of posts, and as always, thanks for reading!!!
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Weekend Of Milestones...And....Not Much Else

Even the grand-babies made it,
all the way from NY! :)
As weekends have a way of doing sometimes, this one slipped right on by.

Two big milestones happened this weekend, calling for social outings to celebrate. Dan's Dad celebrated his 60th birthday- with a great big crowd I might add! He thought he was just going to grab some food with his kids! Needless to say, that was a great time. 

Monday made two years that Dan and I have been together. My how the time flies! We were both just remarking the other night (in a light-hearted way) that the last twelve months have felt more like twelve years. We both feel much older, but in very distinct ways. This experience has certainly polished away some of our rougher spots. I carry more confidence; I feel as if I'm just more on top of life in general. Anything that get's thrown at us these days receives the same calm reaction: "Okay, we can do this."

Two peas in our pod! :)
We have grown immensely together over the last year. Through this experience we have faced intimidation of the unknown, doubt, fear, anger, frustration, the nay-sayers, the set backs, the screw ups, the do-overs, the price tags, the dirty jobs, and also...triumph, excitement, joy, inspiration, strength, drive, perseverance, courage, and heart. We said we were going to do this project together, and every last major step- we have done together. If I was away or he was away, we would wait. We kept to our word and we gained so much as a couple. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and followed along with interest over the last year. It has been quite the ride!

So, now that I've danced around the bushes enough, I guess I have to admit it. We haven't really done jack on the house in the last few days. BLURG! I know! 

One thing we were very motivated to do was create some additional weather proofing for the house. The way our tiny house is situated, leaves it dead on to the winds coming off the lake. As a result, it can get pretty chilly at floor level when cold air is whisking under your home. We went to the local hardware store and bought some construction hay bails, which are much cheaper because the hay isn't top quality. Since we aren't spreading it on land, we don't care. We took one of our large tarps and wrapped the hay bails in place to provide rain/snow protection, and also to act as additional wind breaking. We noticed a difference almost immediately. Tonight is going to be a true test of our heat source-- it's supposed to dip into the teens!

Look at Dan's
Aside from the weather proofing, Dan has been doing some little detail jobs here and there including finishing the ceiling trim and great room storage shelf trim. I have started some curtains, messed up some curtains, need to fix some curtains... sooooo that's what I'm thinking about doing after this post! 

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's Looking Really Homey In Here!

Curtains are under construction!

Over the last few days, Dan and I have each been working on a wide array of little projects. I have started work on the curtains for the windows- the kitchen windows are done! I've also done some work on the built in, the door curtain, and the organization of stuff. Dan has been completing trim here and there, installing hardware, and sealing up the last few places where cold air can seep in.

Window skirts for the kitchen!

We have both felt quite jumbled lately. It seems like there are an endless amount of things we could be working on, we just need to prioritize. It was easier earlier in the build. There was always a clear order as to how best to complete something. Now we are looking at the last of the little details, and they are all seemingly unrelated, so there is no clear starting point. I don't know about anyone else, but that's when things can get overwhelming for me- when there are a hundred things to be done, but no particular order in which to get them done. BLURG!

Hanging the rods!

Anyways- the bottom line is: we are still chuggin' away! I plan to continue working on curtains each night until they are all done- which I'm hoping won't take much longer. I also really hope I bought enough material! We shall see. Beyond that, we'll be painting here and there, deciding what to do with the raised counter top (it gets a lot of traffic, tung oil isn't going to cut it), building a short ladder, and finishing up the built in love seat/dining space.  

In other news, I have officially sequestered the last of my stored things. Now, instead of having a few things stored here, and a few there, I have all my junk in two places. I still have to comb through and thin those piles out too. More will be going up on Craigslist! We have made $430 to date just by selling our junk on Craigslist. It feels great to have everything more organized. 

I'm always sneaking in a splash of color. Breaks up the pine- and it's fun!

Instead of trimming the excess lenghth,
I decided to use that length to create a built in
draft stopper. The bottom is filled with rice!

Speaking of organization, I am still re-arranging belongings. As we continue to live there and I observe our new habits, I have started to make small changes here and there- for example, I took most of my clothes out of the loft. With the addition of more shelves elsewhere, the closet has begun to open up- and I was tired of climbing up and down from the loft nine different times each day as I tried to dress myself. I would grab one item up high and climb down to get another and put those things on....then realize I needed another item up high....and so on. It gets old real quick at 5 in the morning. 

Now, only my gym clothes live up in the loft, and the other cubby holds some of my less accessed items like my camera bag and accessories. I have a feeling I will be making changes for several months before I feel we have reached optimum organization. 

Our next major endeavor will be the built-in love seat this weekend. Stay tuned!

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Finally! Those ugly cracks around the door are gone!

So long, drafty spots!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nesting Is Fun!

I should go back and find the early post in which I shared my daydreams of when I would be choosing curtains, not heaving or hammering wood. 

Boy, does it feel good! Being home in general feels pretty damn good right now. After a four day conference in DC, I arrived home yesterday, then woke up and went right to work again. I made it through the day! I took tomorrow off, and I already have a sizable list laid out for myself. While I was gone, Dan did a myriad of little things from trim, to installing hardware, to tung oiling. Soon I will get a video tour together. Hopefully tomorrow!

I have this new rush of energy coursing through me and I'm taking advantage. I grabbed the dry erase board and made lists for both of us. Having that to reference can be really helpful when things get overwhelming. We are hoping to have a get together on Sunday for everyone who has helped in some way. So keep your calendars open people! We want to give everyone a chance to check out the inside once it's done, and have a fire, some music, and of course a toast and heartfelt thank-you's to the community that we have become a part of through this adventure.

Materials for the curtains.
 The super colorful one is for the kitchen & cubbies. :)

Since I am in the mood to STEAMROLL my To Do list --I'm keeping this entry short and sweet. In fact, I'll leave you with one of my favorite things, a list. (OCD- I know) 

So here is what is going to get done or at least started in the next 36 hours or so:

  • Final coat of yellow on bathroom door
  • Measure and sew curtains - Kitchen and cubby curtains first
  • Unpack organize arts/crafts stuff
  • Materials for fridge drawer, shelf doors, and built in love seat
  • Move miscellaneous items from Uncle's to storage
  • Find/make storage baskets
  • Laundry
  • Hay Bails around the base of the trailer - for weather proofing
  • Post more Craigslist items (Sold a bed frame for $50 yesterday!)
  • Mount closet mirror

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