We both love the wood which Bryn excavated from under stinky carpet and multiple layers of linoleum, but it was painted, patchily, in what we assumed was lead paint. An experiment in sanding proved fairly nightmarish, not to mention hazardous to our health. So we decided to paint!
An example of the patchy paint situation
We also finished painting the walls as we worked on the floors. Bryn chose this lovely blue before I was on the scene, and I really like it.
Experimenting with color ideas
Going for it!
All of our newly-arrived furniture was shoved onto one side of the room, and getting to and from the kitchen involved going out the front door and around to the back for a few days.
We usually decide anything less than perfect is part of our "shabby chic" aesthetic.
We discovered it took multiple coats
And we're stoked with the results!
Once half the room had (basically) dried, we moved all the furniture onto what we'd just painted, and did the other half of the room.
Yahoo! It's done!
We felt like we could actually start moving in with this big project accomplished.
Project Giant Flower Bed
Our huge, sunny yard begs for bushes, trees and flowers. The possibilities are endless. I wasn't sure how to start (this is Amy writing), but when I observed a monster campanula patch right in a spot that would be great for many of the plants I'd brought with me, I decided just to start in there.
Sod removal was the first order of business. This was the first little bit of that process, next to the fence. I dug pretty deep and placed weed barrier up against the fence line. Then I tossed in some needles and pine cones from the front yard as mulch (there was a multi-year buildup that needed to be dealt with).
Then I dug the perimeter of the whole bed, wondering aloud repeatedly if I was biting off more than I could chew. It's over twenty feet long and I'm not sure how wide. I didn't really want to measure and get daunted. All I knew was that making it this size was sure to take out all the close-by campanula (and will look really cool when full of native plants and shrubs).
Many days later...
I guess I didn't take many photos of the sod-busing process, because it was just not really much fun at all. I did get to know the feel of the soil in our yard though (clay, but not terribly heavy), and was seranaded constantly by mourning doves and other birds while I worked.
Adding more weed barrier
...and tamping down the piney mulch I lugged from the front.
In a cool twist, Choteau has a community compost pile which no one seems to use too much. The sweet old couple who manages it charge me $5 for a full truckload of compost. In Missoula, this would probably cost me $45.
It's got some funky stuff in it, but it's totally usable. I'm building up the bed and hope to make small mounds in it, to add some vertical interest to our super-flat yard.
Kate the Toyota has been doing an excellent job, as always. She's a reliable old girl! In fact, there's another load of compost in her bed as I type this....
A few months later...
It's looking good out there! A little hard to capture in pictures, but I'll try anyway...
Thank you Carolyn
Potentilla from Bryn's mom
Project Compost Bin
Bryn whipped up this compost bin and locked me inside it, but then he decided to move it to the other side of the shed, presumably so he could see me better from the kitchen and make sure I didn't escape.
Once it was completed, a battle ensued for who had to live in it.
The joy of my ultimate victory was dampened by how much he liked it in there.
Project Bedroom Floor
Hot off the success in the living room, we decided to do the same thing in the bedroom. It's hard to decide to paint on top of wood, but man oh man is that old lead paint nasty!
As in the living room, the kitties left their mark.
We preserved a few prints. Just too darn cute to paint out.
A little stark, perhaps?
But such a relief from the smoke-stained pink that used to be in this room! And it will soften and warm up as we move into it. I'm dreaming of big soft rug, maybe in a rich earthy red.
Project Raised Bed
We're very into projects that cost little to no money, which has made these free pallets Bryn found one of his favorite building materials so far.
On the table in the background, over twenty tomato plants are waiting anxiously for their new home, along with a bunch of kale, arugla and chard scrunched into a pot. Oh, and two sad little pepper plants, too.
Ooooo so exciting to get these into the ground! I grew them from seed in Missoula, and they are ready to leave those hot, confining pots behind!
Unable to winnow anyone out, I planted them tightly. It's a learning year.
I could smell that amazing tomatoey smell as I put them into their new homes. Mmmm....
We currently have two beds, and lots of tomatoes! Even the pepper plants survived, and we managed to get a few leaves of kale out of the transplanted, rabbit-chewed, hearty little troopers I started in Missoula.
Project: Front Door
I forgot to take a picture until after I'd started sanding, but you get the idea.
More doorways await...
A random example of grime
I'm still finding remnants of a nicotine haze on things. Nasty!
Project: Hallway Floor
Bryn is installing new flooring in the hall. A vast improvement!