Whoa. It has been a little over 2 months since my last post?! That’s bananas! Life has basically been in a constant state of fast forward lately. This post will be similar to the last one in that it will be a ton of random updates on projects and a bunch of photos. We are trucking along on the kitchen and it’s ALMOST totally done! We’re so close! To keep with the half brick backsplash we did along the concrete countertops, I wanted to do a half brick entire wall to the ceiling behind the stove. Atom and I both had a good chuckle at the irony that we are laying bricks literally on top of the bricks that are behind the plaster on the wall. Oh well, I wanted it to match the rest of the backsplash so we went with it.
Atom custom built me a coffee counter/nook with an oak butcher block top that he cut, rounded and sanded until it was incredibly smooth before sealing it. I loved the natural color of the wood so we didn’t stain it. There is a small hole in the wood at the wall where the cord to my Keurig and electric tea kettle are dropped down to the outlet underneath.
At the end of September I traveled to Toledo, Ohio with an amazing group of ladies from my church where we attended a weekend women’s conference. It was such an uplifting experience and it was exactly what my soul needed.
The first weekend in October we hosted our second annual Block Party! We had such a wonderful time with our neighbors and it was so nice to all be together at the same time and continue getting to know each other even better. We were having so much fun that I totally forgot to take any photos of the event other than this one of the “updated” sign. Haha. I think I need to just order an official banner for next year.
In my last post I showed the kitchen island framework that was up and since then, sides have been added and painted, the screen on top was bolted into place and we were ready to pour the concrete!
Atom bought the cutest little baby concrete mixer ever. (He wanted the larger one but the store was out of if and he didn’t want to wait any longer to get the darn thing poured.)
The island top took 19 bags of concrete to fill. I knew I wanted to somehow incorporate Labradorite which is my favorite stone into the counter top. We found a killer deal online and purchased 18lbs of raw labradorite chunks directly from Madagascar. I was blown away at the quality and the flashes that were in literally every single piece.
We decided to add in some smaller amethyst chips with the Labradorite and put it in a sort of flowing river diagonal pattern from corner to corner. Each piece was hand placed and then very gently pressed just under the wet concrete surface. When Atom grinds and sands the top the goal (and hope!) is that the pieces will shine and look amazing once the rest of the top is stained and sealed with the wet look finisher.
Our volunteer pumpkin patch produced a grand total of 15 pumpkins!! This was such a fun treat that popped up over the summer when we were in San Diego visiting family and friends. We watched it explode from a small, couple leafed plant to a gigantic wild vine to & we were constantly retraining it back up onto the grass from the sidewalk. Here is a photo of 12 of the pumpkins in the entryway. By this point we had already eaten 3 of them. 🙂
You might remember the giant spider Atom and the boys built last year that was attached to the top of our mailbox in the front of the building. This year they decided to make it look like it was coming down on a piece of web from the roof. It looked AWESOME!! My sincerest apologies to our neighbors who aren’t spider fans and had to look at it for a month…
Our boys bedroom designing and building is also coming along. They each have worked with Atom to completely design their rooms and have been involved with the entire building process. They have made a TON of progress in just the past week and they can’t wait to enclose the wall between them complete with a secret connecting door and build the custom individual closets on their side of the dividing wall!
You might remember me posting photos of my favorite tree last year (and if you follow the Facebook page you’ve already seen these photos) and this year the colors of the leaves are more vibrant than last year! It literally looked like it was on fire! I did a live video on Facebook from the roof earlier in the week and I showed the tree as it looks now that it is bare. Here’s the progression:
With the help of our neighbor, he & Atom got the HUGE upper custom cabinet hung above the sink area. I’m pretty strong but this sucker was so heavy & awkward there was no way I could have helped him. While they were shimmying it into place, they discovered the wall behind it is actually bowed. They must not have had a level back in the 1920s. With a few quick modifications they got it into place. The cabinet doors are currently being fabricated.
The entire ceiling is down & gone in the basement. It took an entire year for Atom to get it all down. What an agonizingly long, tough process that was. He would spend one entire day per week on a very tall ladder with a sledgehammer and would be cutting through steel mesh working meticulously to get it all down. He could only do so much per week because it would fill up our dumpster and we would have to wait until the next week for it to be emptied. A couple weeks ago I bought Atom a chisel hammer drill which has made the process of getting the plaster off of the original bricks on the basement walls take a fraction of the time it would have taken if he were using a basic chisel and hammer. He was able to get almost an entire side of the basement stripped in one day! These bricks are going to look absolutely amazing when they are brought back to life!
A really neat thing that happened on Halloween was that we got fan mail! A follower graciously sent us these beautiful gold leafed plates! We plan to eventually make a memorabilia display with things from the building as a tribute to its amazing history.
People who know me know that I love popcorn almost as much as tacos. It’s my FAVORITE snack in the history of the world. My grandparents have always had a huge popcorn machine in their house since I was a little girl and some of my fondest memories are when my papa would make us popcorn. They have continued the tradition with our kids and they look forward to spending time with their Grammy & Papa and helping Papa make popcorn. They surprised us with an early Christmas gift when this showed up on our doorstep. Seriously one of the best, most thoughtful gifts we have ever received.
If you aren’t already following the Facebook and Instagram renovation pages, (links are to the right) be sure to do so as I’ve been posting more photos and updates there as well. I’ll be sure to post more frequently here too, even if they are shorter updates.
Also, IT SNOWED YESTERDAY!! Nothing really stuck but there were flurries all day. The magic of winter hasn’t worn off yet from last year and we will see how we feel after our second winter here…..