Saturday, October 4, 2008

little pink houses

Josh and I entered a local Habitat for Humanity design competition. They had a reception at the Yellowstone Art Musuem Friday night coinciding with art walk. We won a "Merit" award. Which is sort of like not winning. Except not not winning. Either way, it was fun and a good learning experience. Our concept was to create a set of criteria that Habitat could use to make every house they design be green, fit into the neighborhood, and better empower the homeowners.
If you're in town its worth a visit to the museum to check out all of the entries.


Well, summer's officially over. We did manage to sneak out for one weekend on our anniversary, to Yellowstone Park. I had forgotten about those buffalo traffic jams. Good thing this guy was around to remind us.

We have also managed to make a fair amount of progress on the house, mostly on the second floor. We have not managed, however, to accomplish anything vaguely photogenic.

A list will have to suffice:

We finished tearing out all of the wood flooring upstairs, layed down new sub-flooring, and Josh sealed up the perimeter so construction dust wouldn't seep down to the main floor. We have pulled nails and cleaned up a big pile of the salvaged wood floor we are going to reuse (see the photo above.) The still-to-do pile is much larger though, it pratically fills our backyard shed.

We tore every last wall and ceiling down on the second floor, with the help of one extremely kind Kyle. It was a job Josh and I had been dreading, involving mountains of mineral wool insulation, an angry skin rash, dust, dirt, abandoned bee hives, and quite a bit of sweat. Also, an upstairs only accessible by ladder and an air mattress on the floor in the living room. There is basically nothing left of the original floor plan, and best of all, no more demolition parties.

Once the ceiling was opened up we discovered pretty extensive damage to the exterior brick up in the attic. Moisture problems had been eating away at them, and some entire bricks had turned to dust. After consulting with a local mason, Josh tore out the remaining damaged areas and replaced them with new.

We have air conditioning - we had the coil put in when we had our new furnace installed a couple of years ago, but have finally bitten the bullet and bought the unit since the model we needed was going to be discontinued. We used it about two times before fall came.

We have a new roof and for the first time ever - Insulation! We've gone upscale in these parts.

Now we are framing up the walls for three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a small library area at the top of the stairs. And rehashing and re-scheming floor plan detail we designed more than two years ago, including the library and bathroom layouts.

We'll be adding a new "first" around here in the coming weeks: heat on the second floor. Maybe this winter I won't have to put a hat and scarf on before I go to bed.

Up next will be electrical and then sheet rock. I'm looking forward to some finished spaces around here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I don't think I've shown you the dining room in a while. We had a very crooked orange light for a few months before I got around to returning it and getting this less crooked one.
p.s. that is an outdoor table set. We got rid of our old dining set because we were so tired of moving it. That happens around here. I'm hoping someday we actually use it outside and get a real table indoors. One without a hole for an umbrella stand.

kitchen pictures! finally kitchen pictures!

If you've been impatient for these pictures, just imagine how I feel.
Yesterday my hardworking husband installed a pot rack, a coat rack, a door, and got the kitchen sink up and running. It's amazing how the little things make it seem like an actual home.
There is still quite a bit of work to do here, finish the island, the upper shelves, tile, flooring, etc. but we've come a long, long ways. Having a functional kitchen is so alien to us, we keep going to the living room looking for pans, and to the pantry to find a sink.

before and afters

Actually these are more like the "during and during" shots, as the befores are from after we moved in, and because we are not completely finished with the kitchen. Upper shelves still to come..


Just another one of those Before shots.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Further evidence it doesn't take any expertise whatsoever to grow a garden. I can't wait until we can focus on the outside of our house. I'm going to completely tear up this flower bed and start over.

last weekend

The one in which Sam tried to eat a perfectly adorable duckling. Don't worry, Josh retrieved it from the clutches of one bloodthirsty cat and released it back into the wild, or at least the nearest ditch of water.

how I spent Memorial Day

It's hard to explain just how much we appreciate taking a morning off to do nothing but drink coffee other than to say I think the last time we did was Christmas.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

how to build a kitchen

First we built the soffit the kitchen cabinets sit in and furred out the exterior walls so we could get just a bit of insulation into our house. The cabinets will not always be a pile of boxes sitting in the middle of the living room. You can see our temporary kitchen-on-wheels setup in the first picture. This has been very convenient during construction, but very confusing when cooking and I can't remember if my pots and pans are in the living or the dining room!

this past month

Let me catch you up on the happenings around here. For my birthday, Josh brought me a JoJo! Then he proceeded to make us all sick. Jo and I went to Butte, but there were too many vampires (and so much digging!) so we had to leave. Then I had jury duty. Then Josh and I went to Missoula to see Wilco and Greg. Which was as awesome as you might expect.
Oh, that, and we put in the kitchen.

Josh used to look like this

Josh wanted me to snap a couple of pictures before he cut all of his hair off, just so he could remember how pretty it was.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Monday, March 17, 2008

new pantry

Here's the new pantry, aka the old bathroom. We inherited the cabinet from a friend who recently remodeled and painted it candy-apple-red, then searched forever for a white countertop, and eventually ordered a taupe one. This will be a temporary kitchen sink setup for a while untile the new one shows up. It's also a welcome storage space, since our kitchen is soon becoming a major construction zone. I still need to get some pull for the cabinet doors and a little hook for a towel, as you can see above.

goodbye, old wall

This was the very last piece of old wall in our kitchen. The last remnant of the old floor plan. Now nothing is left of the two bedroom apartment we first moved into. This is where our old much maligned trough sink used to reside. For some silly reason I felt a little sad to let it go, and even tried to talk Josh into reusing it in our new pantry. It now rests in our shed until I can think of a good use for it.

Monday, February 18, 2008


This has happened exactly once. Normally these two are alternating between stalking each other and fighting. They're so in love!

it's been a while

Hey, there. It's been a while. We're still working away. It's just not very fun (or photogenic) things, like new bathrooms. The new kitchen will happen, I'm told, and Josh is plugging away at all the unglamorous work to get it ready. See the beginnings of a new pantry, above. This was our old bathroom, in a previous post. And, assuming we do indeed find the "simple white" countertop I thought would be so easy to buy (silly me), we will get to do the very last demo work of the main floor - a skinny little piece of a wall in the kitchen holding up our favorite sink. I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

dance hall, dance hall, everyday

One day in December we had moved all of our bedroom furniture out of the way to do some brick work, then quit and went to a Christmas party, and then at midnight came home to a huge mess and contemplated getting a hotel room (or an apartment). Instead we hauled our mattress upstairs. Although a bit cold, it's actually kind of nice to be up and out of the way of the main work going on downstairs. So we decided to move the whole bedroom.
The added benefit is the extra space in the living area means its easier to shove the couch and coffee table out of our way when we get to work. In the meantime, we have a lovely dance hall. Libby loves to square dance, although I'm partial to the running man.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

making it worse before it's better

Adios old bathroom! Can't say I'll miss you. This will at some point be a new pantry. In the meantime we've unearthed some pretty cool looking linoleum patterns.

Monday, January 14, 2008

back to work

Happy New Year! We enjoyed a long break of doing absolutely nothing, and now we are back to the grind - trying to make progress and still have a place to live at the end of the day.

The next big project will be the kitchen. Before we can start installing new cabinets we need to:
- knock plaster off all the walls where we will be exposing brick
- clean and seal said exposed brick walls
- prepare and paint the ceiling
- finish demo'ing the old bathroom/ build and finish walls for new pantry
- plumb in/ install new utility sink so I have something to wash dishes in until the new sink's in
- rip up all wood flooring on the main floor and lay down new OSB
- make 1,000 decisions about cabinetry and countertops - we have the main cabinets nailed down ( white shaker-style base cabinets with open wood shelves above) but haven't picked the countertops yet (choices: boring laminate or super expensive)

I'm sure this list is missing some things, but you get the picture.