Friday, May 28, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

Do you remember a time or situation when things got so heavy that you just couldn’t think about it – or even talk about it one more time? That is how I have been looking at this renovation this week – especially with all of the errors, time issues and drama.

First there have been the issues with the schedule and as of today we are a week overdue and counting. The original contract stated 3 weeks plus touch-up and today makes the end of week four and as it stands now it is unlikely that this will be done by NEXT Friday. It may take even longer than that. It is really frustrating.

Then the columns and pony walls were wrong and had to be fixed. Last Friday, John came into the house and immediately noticed a major issue with the columns not being centered either at the top or bottom. Carmen, Eli and John came up with a plan of attack after Eli complained bitterly that the problem stemmed from an error in dry walling. Their solution was to add drywall to make the wall wider in order to center the column – WHAT?????

So Wayne comes home – you have heard about Wayne, right? The completely anal engineer who believes there is ONE way to do something…the right way? Anyway he comes home and I tell him about the issue as if he hadn’t noticed and he tells me that he saw it Thursday night and was just waiting to see if the contractors did anything about it without him saying anything first. He pulls out the six-foot level, multiple tape measures, laser level and proceeds to take multiple photos to email to John to support his position that the framing was wrong, that the measurements that were right weren’t even followed and adding almost an inch of drywall was NOT an actual option. It is good to know that I wasn’t the only one who thought that was a really stupid idea.

Nothing lined up

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Nothing was even the same width

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While he was in this mood, Wayne decided to climb the scaffolding and clean the ceiling fan since it was painted on and not cleaned well.


John came over the following Mon day morning, pretty early, and he and Wayne conference called before Wayne’s first meeting and Wayne, John and Carmen agreed that Eli would have to take the columns out, center them as they should have been AFTER taking out the pony wall closest to the back door and making sure that they are both the same width and on the same plane. Notice I said they all agreed…seems that Eli didn’t agree. He didn’t show up until Tuesday afternoon and he did only part of the job. The columns are now centered on the existing wall but since he never actually took down the pony wall that part didn’t get done correctly. I have told both Wayne and John that it didn’t get done but apparently it falls under the “it looks ok so file it in the done column even though it isn’t”. So Eli “finishes” the trim and calls the job done – AGAIN.

Of course on Wednesday morning we realize that he didn’t listen AGAIN and there is another screw up. Carmen and I talk every morning, even just for a few minutes, so that he and I are on the same page with painting or whatever is being done that day and he informs me that the top of the trim at the arch is paint-grade instead of stain-grade wood and he was told by Eli that he is supposed to paint it white. He is pretty sure that is wrong since Eli, Carmen and I were all talking together and I was saying that I wanted all of the drywall painted and all of the wood stained. Really, I stay at home during this entire thing and it would have killed Eli to check with me if he wasn’t sure??? So Carmen stains the top piece which really is just plywood in pretty rough condition so that I can see what it looks like and he could always prime it and paint it if required. Well, it looks like crap. There is a wood patch at one end that stands up and just looks horrible. John came in and Carmen warned him that I wasn’t happy even before he talked to me so he was ready for my comments right away. Now neither of us is happy with the work and Eli is going to have to come back and fix it again. Notice the recurring theme?

Oh, and during all of this drama someone taped the plastic in the kitchen to the ceiling with masking tape which peeled off the paint which is now added to the list of things to do before they can leave my house. Since I no longer have the paint from the builder they can’t just spot paint the ceiling so they have to do the whole thing in white. Add at least another few hours for that to happen, plus all of the covering of cabinets, appliances and seating. GRRRR. Needless to say, when John left he looked really mad. Mad to the point that I thought I had done something particularly stupid so I called Wayne to ask him to call John and make sure he was ok. Since it was late, they didn’t talk until Thursday (way-to-early) morning but they had a good conversation. According to John we are actually one of his most reasonable customers (ARE YOU SERIOUS) and he is just upset with Eli and the amount of time the job is taking.

While all of this was happening, Carmen was also busy. He has stained the fireplace which looks awesome by the way, stained the newly fixed columns, textured all of the wall surfaces and painted a lot of trim.

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Today the tile guy is supposed to be here to get the fireplace surround done but I have no idea what else is on the schedule.

In other news, last Friday my parents came over around 4pm so that we could head to George Bush Park for mudbugs, BBQ, and beer. YUMMY!! Our church held their second annual crawfish boil and we had three times the number of people this year as last. The Women’s Ministry provided the desserts and I had to do double duty as a floater and an eater. I excelled at one more than another though. Our music ministry leaders each put on a mini-concert and we really all had a lot of fun.

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On Saturday, Wayne and I decided to spend MORE money on our laminate floors, which was not in the original plans for this month. We went to Tile Zone where we picked up our last order and we went with a specific laminate chosen and a $3.47 sq ft price that I wanted to do better for. We found a slightly different product for $2.79 and a promise of them to be delivered by today for hubby’s 4-day weekend. Of course, after we paid, he called on Monday to let us know that it wouldn’t actually get here until the second week of June. Like I expected anything else at this point.

The only other thing I wanted to mention before you guys can go (if you are actually still reading) is that I just inherited another cat. A kitten actually and dang they are hard work. Josh brought it from Richmond on Sunday night but I didn’t realize that he left the kitten until Monday morning when he was up in Austin. Of course, I have never been serious about not really wanting another cat before so he didn’t realize I was serious this time. Now Shi Fu is adorable but is only about 6 – 8 weeks old and is teething and climbing everything. The other cats are looking on with tolerant aunt-like attitude but they definitely have no problem smacking him around when he crosses the line.



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Friday, May 21, 2010

Renovation Update

It isn’t that I am being a bad blogger, I promise, it is just that things around here had been as exciting as watching paint dry – LITERALLY for about a week.

Carmen has been working on mostly the white paint up until yesterday when there was finally color put on the wall. That being said, the ceilings look nice and crisp, the arches pop and the window trim is gorgeous – provided we find no more paw prints in the wet paint. <grin>


The color that we added to the new “library” actually is more of a semi-gloss than a satin and has more blue than the “baby puke green” that I chose before. My bff Terry came in in 2007 while we were in Alaska and painted for me as a surprise. I just wished I had chosen a better color. I think I did this time.



The original artwork that I picked for this room is actually too small and too floral. This metalwork is what I had picked for the living room and with the new mantle isn’t right either so it is being repurposed. I love the colors and it is going to work really well I think. Add the drapes and the rest of the furniture (and of course the hardwood floors) and this is going to be the perfect conversation area / library / quiet time space. Really, I can’t wait to sit in here and just commune.

Last night Wayne and I curled up in here (cause wait til you see the actual living room – not a seat to be used) and just played catch up from the last few days. Things have been super busy with him at work and between the construction and school, things at home aren’t much better. Of course, I did get to go play on Wednesday. Terry and I went off to a day spa for the day and I came back pampered and much more relaxed. Wayne liked it cause I came back happier which of course worked better for him. Apparently I have been a bit of a bear :)

Ok, enough dallying, let’s get back to the important stuff – the progress:

Yesterday, I ended up with all three sets of subcontractors in at some point in the day which led to a lot of progress. Carmen with the paint (above), Richard the electrician and Eli came back to work on the carpentry.


Richard and his son were playing on the scaffolding in order to put in the new lights in the living room. We were tired of relying on just the ceiling fan for all sources of light – or using the lamps which weren’t all that effective either. This way we have a lot more option as the new lighting will be on dimmer switches for wider use. They also put the ceiling fan on a dimmer and a remote (hopefully one that we don’t lose regularly like the TV one). We checked it out last night and should work really well for lowering the lights during movies (which I like) without turning them off (which Ben likes).

Look, there is another hole in my ceiling!! At least Wayne didn’t fall through to make this one.



Does Tink seriously think that the coil of wire is going to jump up and bite her? The cats are as done with this construction as I am. There are too many people in their house who bring in too much noisy stuff and junk. I know the feeling. :)


But…the results are awesome – 4 new lights


Eli has been spending quite a bit of time with the woodwork part of the construction and Carmen finished the drywall last night so that Eli could come back and work on the columns between the living room and breakfast area.


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This one is more complete than it’s twin but Eli ran out of molding. He tried to put crown on the top but it was just too much so he has to shop for something a little different to make the same dramatic statement.

I have learned something from remodeling though, and truthfully I am still learning. I am being taught patience and grace. There have been so many times during this ordeal that I have just wanted to move to Zimbabwe until this “three week plus touchup” project is done, especially since today is the end of week 3 and the list of things left to do is as long as the things already done. There have been times that I wanted to just yell at the people around me for things like leaving the door open or throwing sawdust all over my house. Believe me, these are things that are irritating and have been addressed but the good Lord has given me the wisdom to know that I am not the one who needs to address these issues with the contractor as God gave me a good and patient hubby who is much more politically correct than I am. What the Lord has given me is peace. Peace to know that when it is over it is all going to be good. Peace to know that these are men…fallible as all man and working hard to do the right thing. And Peace to know that I am not in control of any of my life, and the wisdom to know the difference.

It is going to take another three weeks…God be PRAISED!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Finally…Scrap news our first CT Call, and a freebie

For most of the shoppers and designers in the digital scrap world, you all know that stores have been down for days, and while most are back up there are still some missing in action. Happily, Enchanted Studio Scraps is Back!!! Why is this important? Welllllllllllll, I have news. I have finally found an awesome combination of store, owner and participation and AM GOING EXCLUSIVE AT ESS.

That being said, I have more news, Tammy and I are having a CT call.


It says:

BlueMaige Designs and Polka Dot Chicks are having a JOINT CT call! Come join the FUN and be a “BlueChick

Since we have a joint project together, Life’s Everyday Moments and our personal stores at ESS, we thought it time to have a joint CT Call.

Our store is:

Enchanted Studio Scraps (both of us plus Life’s Everyday Moments) (soon to be exclusive)


- 2 layouts per kit/1 QP per kit

- Post in the galleries of our store, ESS as well as DST and DSA

- Post on your blog to advertise/enable us

- Be involved in the forum at ESS at well as the CT forum there

- We ask for a 6 month minimum obligation

Please send:

- A short bio

- A link to your blog

- A link to your best gallery/galleries

- Why you want to be a “BlueChick”

We are looking for 6 – 8 CT members as well as 2 CTM’s. (CTM’s have the same requirements as above plus advertising, enabling and blog posting)

Please send applications to:

- - - - - - - - - -

Credits: Charming Birthday (Life’s Everyday Moments Collection)

And look at this:

sneak peek

This is the kit that is coming out at the end of this week for my personal store. As a reward I am giving away a cluster freebie.

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zip file with both shadowed and non-shadowed version available HERE

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Renovation Days 10 & 11

Sorry it has taken me so long to blog about the renovation today but I have found that since school starts tomorrow (Sun 5/16), I am a bit more reluctant to spend all of my time behind my monitor. 

FYI – John said at the beginning of this renovation that all of this work was going to be done in 3 weeks plus touch up.  I told that to Carmen yesterday and he actually laughed at me.  Monday starts week 3 and he hasn’t put a single bit of color on any of the walls, still has drywalling to do, has another coat of paint on all of the trim and hasn’t even looked at the spindles of the stairway.  Unless John sends another couple of painters there is no way the contract will be done on time.

Thursday, May 13 – Day 10

I really wish that I had pictures to show you from day 10 but it ended up being an emotionally BAD day.  Anyone who knows me knows that I am an uber-control freak and I am really tired of having people in my house, tired of the constant noise, dirt, sawdust everywhere, having to manage people and feeling like I have to be home all the time.  Now, John has said that there is no reason for me to feel like I needed to be home and I really do like all of the subcontractors  Everyone who has come into my house has been super nice, very professional and I have no problem being alone with any of them, but I think it is the control thing. 

Anyway, Thursday I had had enough and decided to get out for a while.  I headed over to La Centerra and wandered around Kirklands looking for decorating inspiration, then I went to Mission Burrito and Toll House.  I really wanted chocolate chip cookies but with all of the sawdust and plaster dust in the house I just don’t want to cook anything before giving everything a very through clean.  They even had the table saw going in the livingroom without putting plastic back up so I have sawdust EVERYWHERE.

I got back and the fireplace was almost done, the trim was started and things looked a little better but not done.

Friday, May 14 – Day 11

Today was a better day, not because anything really changed but I slept later and better and was a whole lot better equip to handle it, plus I knew that Wayne was going to be coming home early and should be home when John showed up.  I actually woke up the first time at 7:30 and got up to unlock the door expecting to lay back down and get up when Carmen came in.  Instead of the door chimes, I got a phone call at 9:15 from Terry – something I needed which worked well in my favor.  That extra couple of hours definitely changed my outlook.  Carmen came in about 30 min later and got to work painting ceilings, caulking and keeping on.

Eli and Osley got to the house around 1, Wayne around 2 and John about 2:30.  Talk about good timing.  Of course I had to ask John to have the guys put the plastic back up in the kitchen (which the guys did but pushed it back out of the way, opening the kitchen to sawdust and making me wonder why they even bothered).  I said as much to Wayne and he is going to deal with it.  Also, when they started putting up the wall they cut the carpet, which they weren’t supposed to do (instead of cutting the laminate which they WERE supposed to do) and because of that we are going to have to replace the carpet 3 months earlier than we planned.  Now we are going to start hardwoods the day after the contractor leaves.  I am not sure whether to be angry about it or jumping up and down.

So, here is the progress:

Wayne looking down over the carpentry work and sticking his tongue out at me :)







All that is left for the wood is the stain!


Pony Wall:

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Carmen is going to be working on the drywall for this wall on Monday so that Eli can come back and work on the columns.  I can’t wait to see what it ends up looking like when it is done. 

After the contractors left we headed over to Cherry and Norris’ house for the BESTEST, MOST YUMMIEST fish dinner ever.  Cherry made spicy Creole style rice, baked Tilapia and a creamy shrimp and crab sopping sauce that was the best with garlic bread.  Cherry, if you are reading this…it was SOOOOOOOOO good.

Me…with my best friends



No contractors!!  I got to sleep late!!   Wayne and I basically just chilled out, spent time planning the new floors, watching the Discovery Channel and watching it rain.  Ben didn’t seem to stay home longer than 45 minutes and I cooked for the first time in about a week.  Good Grief – it was a GREAT day.  Tomorrow Josh will be coming home for a while before he heads back up to Austin.  Not bad day…not bad at all.

Oh yeah…..before I go, look at what I made today:

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I have gotten my mojo back!  YIPPIE!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Feeling Creative

  I swear it seems like years since I last scrapped anything…I just couldn’t seem to find my motivation.  (Yikes I sound like some drag queen actor don’t I?)  I just felt like I needed to put some things down in my scrapbook – especially since I have been putting more time and effort into my blog.

Here is what I have accomplished!!



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