• Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
  • Sunshine and Unicorns
sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

06 January 2010

whats on the horizon?

Well, it's spring time (actually, it really isn't) and I have a lot of stuff I'd like to do with the house.

Some of those items include:

  • Paint the extra bedroom.
  • Refinish the stairs and landing.
  • Seed the rather large part of the back yard that was (prior to snowfall) just mud.
  • Plant some kind of garden (maybe).
  • Replace all the shitty goldflake closet doorknobs with more era-appropriate aged bronze ones (there are 7 in the house).
  • Touch up the white trim throughout the house (harder than it sounds: previous owners used different shades and finishes of white depending in the room).
  • Hang art on our walls (currently all of our frames are in a box in the basement).
  • Kill the overgrown weedy side-yard and do something else with it. (We never see that side of the house, and so we tend to ignore it...)
  • Paint/fix up the main bathroom.
  • Paint the kitchen.
  • Paint the basement.
  • Paint the closed-in front porch (the floor too).

If we could get half of those things done this year, I'd be pretty thrilled. It's really hard to pick and choose projects in a house you know you won't live in forever. Sure, we'll be here a while, but we won't be here forever. It's not that big of a house, nor is this our ideal city in which to settle. So we have to make our choices based not only on what we like, but also on what will (or won't) appeal to a future buyer. Some things just aren't worth the time or money, even if they are things we'd want in our 'dream home'.

In addition to the stuff above, I have two pieces of furniture I'm dying to refinish. One, I have had for about 3 years:


I bought that for about $50 at a local thrift store: Dakota Boys & Girls Ranch. The 'Boys Ranch' is probably my favorite thrift store in town, especially if I need a picture frame, basket, candle holder or dishware item. They usually have a unique selection of furniture, too. In fact, I think we got one of our two basement recliners there (the one that doesn't Have That Smell). Anyhoo, when I bought the dresser, I thought I'd refinish it someday. That urge has grown stronger over the years (especially due to sites like this and posts like this!).

This other piece of furniture:


I bought it for a cool $12.50 at St. Vincent De Paul, just today. Our Vinny's is small and hidden down an out-of-the-way residential street, but occasionally I see really cool stuff there! Like this side table, which practically matches my dresser (style-wise: see the legs?).

My goal is to sand down the dresser and strip the paint off the side table...then either paint or stain them the same color, replacing their drawer pulls too. I'll do that in maybe 5 (or more) months. Because it's like -5 F outside right now. Until then, the dresser remains in use in our bedroom, and the side table is chilling in the garage because it stinks like a bowling alley. That's the problem with thrift-store shopping: everything you buy freaking reeks.

Meanwhile, I'm still on the lookout for a hutch-top, vanity-top, shelf, microwave stand or other skinny dresser/table for our 1/2 bathroom. (That's what I was looking for when I stumbled upon smelly mister end-table.) Small as our bathroom is, it has a big vacant space that just screams "Put something HERE!" Preferably, something that stores extra rolls of TP, hand towels and toiletries for guests. Given the finishes and quality of the items I generally see while browsing the second-hand stores, I'll probably have to sand and paint that too.

Speaking of thifty finds, I picked up this futon frame on Craigslist for $20. I wanted to paint it (white?), but P.Hubby thinks it's a bad idea. It's going in the extra bedroom (the one I want to paint this year). It has no mattress yet, but when we get one, I may want to make a cover for it.


I'd also like a big mirror. My mom suggested putting a big one on our living room wall, and I agree with her about the aesthetic appeal. If I can't find one used (I found a tight art deco one today, but the store would only sell it with its matching vanity and head/foot board, for over $100, grrr!), this might involve buying a cheap one and making a frame around it. Fun!

All of the stuff above is doable, sure, with time and money. So lets add a few more things to the equation. I have some scrap-booking to do from our wedding. That won't take too long though, just a Saturday or two. Also, I have been yearning to make a quilt for years too, and decided this will be the year. That is a project I can work on over time, a few squares a night (or whatever).

But there is also that pesky ol' workweek, and I am also taking three classes this term. They're at night, on different days of the week... lovely. And I really should be starting my research if I do wish to get done in the next 18 months... So my nights and weekends are/will often be pretty full of school work. Hubby's are too: he's taking more classes than I am. Though a lot of these projects can be accomplished alone (and I don't mind!), I won't pretend he doesn't get dragged in... sometimes, a gal needs an extra hand (or extra strength, or uh, extra willingness to climb up shaky ladders). So it's hard to find time to work on these things. Especially when occasionally, you really just want to relax... and there are always the day-to-day or week-to-week commitments too, like mowing the lawn, doing laundry, etc.

So that's how my DIY and project load is shaping out right now (and that's only a portion of it. I don't think I included anything up there that costs big money (aside from the bathroom re-do, which is more a wishful thought than a reality).).

You ready to take this ride with me? We'll see how much I get done! School starts next week, and currently I'm trying to finish up editing photos of my friend's December 19th wedding. I've done about 150, but have over 600 to go. Wish me luck. Which home projects do you think I should tackle first? What are you interested in seeing?