Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So That's What The Garage Floor Looks Like

For 2.5 years, the space commonly known as the garage, has been used as a dumping room for all our construction waste.

Finally, we did our first big city waste management pickup and it scooped up about 1/3 of our debris.  I imagine by next year we will have nearly most of the garbage cleared out.  I've been taking pictures and contemplating the uses of this room ever since Bagster started having their $5k contest.  If you're a DIY homeowner, you should check it out.

We're fortunate to have a garage.  As you know, most old homes did not have garages since there was no such thing as a car in those early days.  According to the city records, the "garage" was actually a beauty salon of some type in the early part of the 20th century.  It makes some sense since the house is on a street with a lot of walking traffic.  But why a beauty salon?

According to this makeup artist in Chicago, "Around the Victorian era, there was a decline in makeup and it came to be associated with actresses and prostitutes. Genteel women did not like to tamper with the natural color of the skin and the respectable thing to do in lieu of using artificial makeup was to make face masks at home from natural ingredients like egg yolks, oatmeal, rosewater, and honey.
Beauty regime of women included, plucking the eyebrows, use of castor oil on the eyelashes, dusting the nose with rice powder and buffing the nails. No lipstick was used, but they did apply clear pomade for the sheen. The rosy tint to the cheeks could be attributed to some vicious pinching of the cheeks or red beet juice."


Continuing, "20th century saw a revolution in the field of makeup. Women made their own mascara where hot beads of wax were placed on the tips of the eyelashes. T.L. Williams came out with the first mascara and named it after his sister Mabel. Today, you may recognize this brand as Maybelline. In 1914, the pancake makeup was first introduced by Max Factor and it was during this decade that the first of its kind pressed powder was introduced. This was followed by pressed powder blush and the metal case for lipsticks, and then, there was no looking back…"

Possible that an early owner of our Vic was jumping on the makeup bandwagon.  The floor of the garage space currently has this neat tile color arrangement too good for any car to just sit on.  There was also a pipe for a water source of some kind.

 So I've drummed up a few PhotoShop pics trying to imagine what this space could be.  I'm partial to the indoor garden idea myself.

Yeah, I dream big. Most likely it will be a garage and a workout gym.

Any suggestions would be helpful too!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eating the Leftovers

Leftovers are usually consumed in our house within a few days.  Same can be said about the leftover construction materials in the basement.

 I particularly like to hold on to things and try them in different places and get a thrill when I am "lucky" enough to put something in a place that just seems to work.  Case in point is replacing the old, ugly blinds on a tall window, facing the neighbors house, with two Asian-themed wall dividers that I had for the past 15 years.

Then, Andrea remarked about not having enough closet space.  So I looked at what she had and used our 3D program to re-imaging a bigger closet that would add about 5 feet of more closet bar space plus a section for really long outfits and long shelves for other things.

The closet wall was added by previous owners in a fairly quick and shabby way.  Just kiln studs propped between the ceiling and floor with plywood nailed to them so it was fairly easy to release some screws and move a wall.  I had some lumber and leftover drywall pieces, paint, plywood, and even some pieces for a faux fireplace and essentially added about 10 square feet to the closet.   I wanted to try something different as well and thought a nice archway would give the space more height and allow for better airflow and natural light.

I did buy 2 sheets of drywall, which didn't turn out to be enough, so I opted to put in my first make-shift faux fireplace.  I had seen a few examples online and particularly liked the one with a chalkboard center and stone-looking fireplace.

We needed a few things so we went to Urban Ore and bought various stone tiles and used the last of the leftover tile adhesive and leftover mortar to put seal together Andrea's design.

It was hard and a bit frustrating trying to move things within our room but we think it now adds a bit more character and space to the bedroom. What do you think?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

No More Old Floor

We found a partial box of vinyl squares at Urban Ore this week and thought it was neutral enough to finish covering the old, linoleum floor in the connecting section to the kitchen. We only had to pick up about 10 more squares from Home Depot and in an afternoon and about 7 bucks, George installed and finished the floor.  

View-walking in from living room
View-from back of kitchen

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring has returned...

 Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

The butterflies are out and the hummingbirds are back so we are trying to give them more reason to hang around a little longer this spring. We've been planting and reconfiguring the yard. Most everything is growing really well. The Japanese Honeysuckle had grown to the top of the fence and has just started to flower.  

Blackberries are still growing along the back fence which are also flowering.The nasturtium and wild radish are going crazy.

On the far right, are white begonias that were planted last year which got huge. I just added 3 new reddish-pink begonia plants to the mix.

We are growing strawberries for the first time.
Strawberry plant in container

Newly configured planter w/strawberry plant in front

Sign I made for the 'Joie De Vivre' section.

George's awesome sign

Roma Tomato and Basil Plants. We also just planted beans in the very front for the first time..

Another view of the main planter.  The twig trellis is for the sweet peas grown from seed. George used 100-year-old electrical fabric wire since we couldn't find the twine! He's resourceful that way.

New Lemon Verbena