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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Remodel of our New Home - Fireplace

The renovation of our new home here in North Carolina was completed a little over a year ago.  It ended up being pretty much a complete reno because one problem led to another, and another, and another...yeah...but for now, let;s look at how we started making this house our home.  First, we painted...
Realtor's Listing Picture of this house's living room
The paint colors from the previous owners didn't mesh together very well, so that was my first priority.  This room's olive green and the adjoining hallway's turquoise colors were really jarring together.  I decided to lighten it up a bit and painted this room a pastel cream color which was an easier transition to the turquoise of the hall and the dark grays of the adjoining kitchen.  Whew!  

Next, after living here a few weeks, we started thinking of whitewashing Big Red, our nickname for the fireplace.  She really demanded attention as you walked into this room.

One day, I started washing the bricks since they were pretty sooty and nasty.  To my surprise, the bricks started flinging off grit like crazy!  No, I don't know why, but it was a BIG unhappy mess.  Big Red's fate was sealed, I started experimenting with paint samples I had on-hand, and we decided that white was the best choice for us. 
Taping off and painting
The 1st step was to tape off the mantle and the door.  Then, I just went for it....yeah. Kinda scary but there really wasn't too much of a learning curve. It went well.

I liked this mottled effect while maintaining the dark grout the best after experimenting on the hearth side which is not visible from the room (the right side).

Hint:
 I found the best way to avoid "unbalanced mottling" was to keep 2 cans of watered down paint.  One with a ratio of 1:1 and one with a 2:1 ratio (2 water to 1 paint).  This way, as your 2:1 paint is running out, then you can add the more condensed paint mixture with an equal amount of water to maintain the 2:1 ratio...ie. if you add 2 cups more paint mixture, then add 2 cups more of water to your bucket, too.  Also, stir frequently.

The whole process...washing and painting.....took less than 3 hours in total (its best if you wait for the bricks to dry for a day or so after washing).  Washing took the most time by far because I had to sweep all that dang-blasted grit which flung far and wide.
Here's the finished product
 So, we moved here in September 2016, and finished the complete reno in November 2017.  There was  a multitude of changes that were needed.  Shortly after this little project, we discovered a water leak stemming from the shower diverter in the main bath.  This sounds like a pretty benign issue doesn't it, but THAT is where the big adventure began.

Alas, that's a story for another day.  Wishing you a lovely week, Everyone, and until the next time....

                                                                ~~Karen~~

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Big Trip for Us

We just got back from a month-long trip in our new camper.  Briefly, we went West on I-40 to Prescott, Arizona, where we visited an old friend, then kicked around AZ and NM until we got to see our daughter in South Texas.  Then we came back home.  We saw some amazing things, and enjoyed seeing old friends and making new ones along the way.

Here are a few pictures.

A Tennessee state park, Mousetails, on the Tennessee River

View of Sedona Valley

Karen with lots of carons near Sedona AZ

Lee, Vicki, and I - great time with great friends

Patagonia State Park AZ sunset from our campsite

Chiricahua National Monument AZ, hoodoo rock formations

More hoodoos

6 point deer at Spring Creek Canyon, Chiricahua

Placard of the settlers of this Parklands

This is us at a roadside historical marker Route 90, south TX


Pecos River Canyon, along Rt. 90, south TX

Our campsite at Piney Grove COE campgrounds near Tupelo, MS

Pretty colors along I-40 in Tennessee on way home