One Blonde and a Stan: The Genesis of the Basement Renovation

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The basement project is in full swing even though we are short one blonde. Abby has been a bit under the weather and has been really busy being the VIP…so it has just been Stan and myself.

The plan to renovate the basement started innocently. I thought that it would be a simple project.  There was really no other choice because the room was dark, dingy, and scary.  I have shed many a tear walking down the carpeted stairs into the pit of carpeted filth.  Our bad weather safe zone was not really “safe”…it was frightening.  Something had to be done.

I thought, “How hard could it possibly be?”  Get in.  Get out.  Done.  No, I am afraid that is not how it went.

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Apparently, we love living in a mess and on a prayer…thank you, Bon Jovi, for your musical inspiration…

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Now, grab a cup of coffee (iced coffee is pretty delicious), and sit a spell with me, as we take a look at the genesis of the basement transformation…Note:  it is not finished yet…but one blonde and a Stan are getting close!

First, we had to get the disgusting carpet out and the dried glue removed…it was so gross…and that is all I want to say about it.  To read more about this ordeal, check out my article “Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales:  Thoughts While Scraping Glue” at This is Real Media http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/05/31/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-thoughts-while-scraping-glue/

My plan was to start painting immediately after the last inch of glue was scraped, but that is not what happened.  The original basement renovator did not tape the sheetrock joints…and probably did not use or even own a tape measure.  So…we had to do a little sheetrock repair.  Then we had to do a little “drylocking” on the concrete blocks…

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Carpet gone from the stars, glue removed from the floor, and sheetrock repaired

Carpet gone from the stars, glue removed from the floor, and sheetrock repaired

Stan doing a little sanding...notice that I put a little art on the wall...it was serving as inspiration.

Stan showing off his mad sheetrocking skills…notice the wall art…it was serving as inspiration…and hope….

While we were waiting for the sheetrock mud and drylock paint to dry, we started priming and painting the tribute to Roll Tide doors and trim.  I have never encountered such…but we persevered…and the crimson became Ultra White (Behr–Home Depot).

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We replaced ceiling tiles and the lights.  I am so glad that Stan replaced the original two light kits with four light ones.  The room is so much brighter.

We replaced ceiling tiles and the lights. I am so glad that Stan replaced the original two light kits with four light ones.  Good call, Stan!

IMG_9603My goodness!  I must be getting back to my basement.  There is still work left to be done.  Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me, and be sure to join me next time for all the details about wall colors, floor color, how we hid the plumbing, and much more.

Also, check out my latest article at This Is Real Media, “Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales:  How to Eat and Paint an Elephant”…guaranteed to make you smile…and it has a few tips about choosing paint sheen http://thisisrealmedia.com/2013/06/07/sweet-sorghum-living-short-tales-how-to-eat-and-paint-an-elephant/

Be sure to “Like” Sweet Sorghum Living and Lolly Molly Art on Facebook to keep up with the latest randomness and blog information! www.facebook.com/lollymollyart

For sneak peeks and cute photos of our precious dogs, follow us on Instagram at http://instagram.com/thelollymolly

Big Hugs xx,

Chasidy

Two Blondes and a Stan: Mailbox DIY

Down it goes!

Down it goes!

My goodness!  The past few weeks have been crazy busy.  We have been tearing up more ugly at the new place, attending events with Abby, and most importantly…killing poison ivy.

There are 1001 things to do around here…but we decided that the ugly mailbox was not good for the curb appeal…so we tackled it…literally…well kind of…we knocked it over!

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This is Two Blondes and a Stan:  Mailbox DIY.  I have no specific instructions because we mostly winged it.  What I do have is a story told in pictures…with a few random comments thrown in because I have the inability to remain silent for long periods of time.

When you decide to tackle such a project, here are some things you will need….

(1) Sledgehammer because every home renovator needs at least one…if not two…it is also fun to sing Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel while slinging it…I have also been known to grunt and yell while slinging…I should video.

IMG_9066(2)  Gloves –a really nice pair of gloves…and at least three extra…not necessarily three pairs…

IMG_9106(3)  Wheelbarrow and Shovel –I suggest various types of shovels–ones for digging, trenching, scooping, and so forth because you never know what kind of situation you will get yourself into while home renovating and landscaping.  As far as a wheelbarrow, invest in a nice one…the hubby actually made ours out of two broken ones that we had…yes, we DIYed our wheelbarrow.

IMG_9123(4)  Tape Measure(s) and Drill(s)–one can never own too many tape measures or drills…mainly because they have legs and walk away…mine like to play hide-and-seek.

IMG_9089(5)  Chainsaw –at this point, I should also recommend safety goggles, a hard hat, steel-toe shoes, and a safety class…

IMG_9079(6)  QUICKRETE –this is actually a very useful and handy product.  Please follow instructions on bag.

(7)  Old Fashioned Post Hole Diggers –great for digging holes…and the blades are great upcycled magnet boards (perfect for holding 4×6 photos).

IMG_9099(8)  Metal or Wood Poking/Tamping Stick –be creative.

IMG_9108(9)  Good Helpers –we are Two Blondes and a Stan.

We love being silly and having fun because it makes all the hard work go by faster.

We love being silly and having fun because it makes all the hard work go by faster.

Now, it is time for the Mailbox DIY from the beginning to almost the end….

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Repurposing 4x4 posts we found into an "insert" post for the new mailbox

Repurposing 4×4 posts we found into an “insert” post for the new mailbox

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I forgot to mention earlier that you will need a level...I am more of an eyeballing-it kind of gal...but Stan is much more precise!

I forgot to mention earlier that you will need a level…I am more of an eyeballing-it kind of gal…but Stan is much more precise!

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Removing the monkey grass and cleaning up

Removing the monkey grass and cleaning up

IMG_9573The hubby did such a wonderful job designing and building our mailbox.  I cannot wait to plant pretty summer flowers around it!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today.  Please be sure to check out and like our fan page at www.facebook.com/lollymollyart to keep up with the latest happenings and randomness.

I am so happy to announce Sweet Sorghum Living Short Tales.  To read the latest tale at Real Media, click here.

Hugs xx,

Chasidy

It’s All About Location and Laundry

Happy Cloud

Happy Cloud

If I have learned anything from the many years of watching HGTV, especially House Hunters, it is that one can change a lot of things about a house–but not its location.

I have had to remind myself of that daily (well, numerous times daily) during these past couple of months of home renovation–location–view–location–view.  I am not going to lie.  This project is overwhelming.  Some days, I think this house is trying to kill me.  Other days, I feel like it is a money pit…one rot problem after another.  Thank you, previous homeowners.

A little more rot...we have to decide if we want to replace the old windows with new windows or replace the old windows for French doors...decisions, decisions.

A little more rot…we have to decide if we want to replace the old windows with new windows or replace the old windows with French doors…decisions, decisions.  Do you see Mattie and Ziva’s laundry basket full of toys?  They love looking out the windows.

Mattie looking out at the living room windows...I am thinking that French doors would be lovely here...

Mattie on the inside looking out–She had gone inside to get a drink of water and a toy.  Hmmm, I am really thinking that French doors would be lovely here.  I am pretty sure that Mattie agrees!

Today…as I was spraying my 16th gallon of poison ivy killer (make that 18th gallon–I took a break from writing to go kill stuff)…I thought about how focused I have been on completing the house…that I have not taken the time to enjoy it…just as it is…mess and all.

Often times, we are all so focused on the daily routines that must be done, we are all so focused on perfection and how our lives look to our Facebook friends–that we forget to just be happy…like a real happiness. To be happy with the little accomplishments…to be happy with the fact that there is only one load of laundry left to do–at this exact moment…knowing that there will be two more later on this afternoon…to be happy because God has blessed us in so many ways…even the troubles and struggles are blessings.

Love the view from my laundry room...the

Love the view from my laundry room…sure, the floor moulding needs to be painted, the walls need a bit of art, and the clothes need to be put away…but sometimes there are just more important things to do…

Abby and Ziva enjoying the beautiful weather--I spotted them out the laundry room window and just had to snap a photo!

Abby and Ziva enjoying the beautiful weather–I spotted them out the laundry room window and just had to snap a photo!

We decided the day was too gorgeous to stay inside doing projects.  Ziva really enjoyed eating Abby's snack!

We decided the day was too gorgeous to stay inside doing projects. Ziva really enjoyed eating Abby’s snack!

Sure, I would love to wake up and my home renovation be completely finished.  I would love to have a laundry fairy…but what I do have is this exact moment to be happy with my location…and with where God has placed me.

View from the breakfast room--Abby traded her computer for the pool today.  Do you see the brass table feet on the window sill?  Yep, that project will have to wait another day!

View from the breakfast room–Abby traded her computer for a book and the pool today. Do you see the brass table feet on the window sill? Yep, that project will have to wait another day!

View from the upstairs landing--Note to Self:  (1) get taller ladder (2) finish painting

View from the upstairs landing–Note to Self: (1) get taller ladder (2) finish painting

View from the screen porch area--going to rip out this screen, replace all the molded and rotted wood with vinyl deck, posts, and rails

View from the screen porch area–we are going to rip out this screen, replace all the molded and rotted wood with vinyl…deck, posts, and rails

Thank you, previous home owners, for the Christmas lights...I wonder how long they have been hanging there????

Thank you, previous home owners, for the Christmas lights…I wonder how long they have been hanging there???? Do you see the 1980s intercom?

Rotted and leaning deck rails...this is the no-no zone...but the view is fabulous...and the deck will be too!

Rotted and leaning deck rails…this is the no-no zone…but the view is fabulous…and the deck will be too!  Stan brought home a little sneak peek of the material he will be using. I am so excited!

Progress on Abby's bath area...one day at a time...one day at a time.

Progress on Abby’s bath area…one day at a time…one day at a time.

It is a nice place to set up shop...all the deck will be vinyl...you won't recognize the backyard or deck when we finish!

It is a nice place to set up shop. The new deck will be vinyl.  I promise, you won’t recognize the backyard or deck when we finish!

No progress in the master bath...same as we left it two months ago...

No progress in the master bath…same as we left it–two months ago…

A little sheetrock dust art...it is a losing battle haha

A little sheetrock dust art…it is a losing battle haha

Thank you previous home owners for never replacing anything...in thirty-one years.  The deck is in poor condition...very poor condition...but I know a guy that is really talented in designing and building decks!

Thank you, previous home owners, for never replacing anything…in thirty-two years. The deck is in poor condition…very poor condition…but I know a guy that is really talented with designing and building decks!

Flooring for the master dressing room...yes, it is right next to Stan's side of the bed. Hopefully, we will be able to get to that project soon...but until then...I am going to focus on what we have accomplished!

Flooring for the master dressing room/closet…yes, it is right next to Stan’s side of the bed. Hopefully, we will be able to get to that project soon…but until then…I am going to focus on what we have accomplished!

Today, I took a little time to go outside with Abby and the dogs to remember why we bought this fixer upper, to remember that sometimes it is good to be lazy, and to remember that kids grow up quickly...and laundry will always be a constant.

Today, I took a little time to go outside with Abby and the dogs to remember why we bought this giant fixer upper, to remember that sometimes it is good to be lazy, and to remember that kids grow up quickly…and laundry will always be a constant.

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by abby

Wall art by Abby:  this piece is hanging outside her room

Even though, we are still living in a mess…living out of boxes…and living on a prayer; we are happy.  And at the end of the day, that is all that matters.

Thanks for sitting a spell with me.  Have a blessed day!

Chasidy

Two Blondes and a Stan: Living on a Prayer and in a Mess

Abby getting ready for Birmingham Fashion Week...in her vanity area that is under construction!

Abby getting ready for Birmingham Fashion Week…in her vanity area that is under construction!

Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living and all our mess!  Grab a cup of coffee, and sit a spell with me as we take a look at “Living on a Prayer and in a Mess”.

The Bon Jovi song “Livin’ on a Prayer” seems appropriate for today’s blog…except that I have a Stan…he has never worked on the docks, nor has he ever played or owned a six string…and I am not working in a diner…but, for the most part, the song is perfect for our current situation…”She says we’ve got to hold on to what we’ve got, Cause it doesn’t make a difference, if we make it or not.  We’ve got each other and that’s a lot. For love-we’ll give it a shot. Whooah, we’re half way there…Livin’ on a prayer….”

Yes, there is art on the wall…we like to keep our priorities straight!

The question that I am asked the most is “Are y’all living in your house during all that renovation?”…yes, yes, we are.

During the demolition phase, the little family and I stayed in a hotel for about a week–just long enough to tear out, clean up the debris, and install one working full bathroom. Most of our belongings were (and some still are) in storage or the basement…a few items remain with the parents until we get a chance to go fetch them.

Powder Room being demolished...rag rolled paint on top of navy blue wallpaper (with little pink and white flowers)

Powder Room during demolition phase…”rag rolled” decorative paint on top of navy blue wallpaper (with little pink and white flowers)…Let’s just say that it isn’t our particular taste!

Here at Sweet Sorghum Living we use red Solo cups for all kinds of things!  Plugging toilet drains (see the above photo), storing nails and such, painting, drinking…such a versatile item to have in the renovating arsenal!

Lucy supervising the removal of the linoleum floors (yep, as in the plural of floor) in the kitchen area

Lucy supervising the removal of the linoleum floors (yep, as in the plural of floor) in the kitchen area
What light through yonder window breaks?  It is the east...and we have a big mess in the master bedroom!

What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east…and we have a big mess in the master bedroom!

Better Picture

Abby managed to get all dolled up for Birmingham Fashion Week events despite the mess…and she got to meet Joshua McKinley!

VIP_BFW_FridayNightHopefully, we will not be living in chaos much longer…things are beginning to take shape, and projects are slowly getting checked off the “to do” list. During the past few months, we have battled weather, leaks, and each other…all while living on a prayer and in a mess!

Be sure to keep up with all the crazy mess by liking Sweet Sorghum Living/LollyMollyArt on Facebook and Twitter (see the right sidebar for the like and follow buttons).  Follow us on Instagram  www.instagram.com/thelollymolly (@theLollyMolly) and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/thelollymolly (Chasidy Hathorn).

Check out www.vintageinspiredpassionista.com for Abby’s adventures in fashion and much more!

Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me,

Chasidy