Cuddling with Knives

The laundry room got lost in the mix.  Think milk cup under the couch.  You may want to save that ten dollar no-spill sippy cup but then you have to deal with the pungent mess inside first.  That’s our laundry room.  It. is. pungent.

Last time we were in here I swore up and down that I needed a countertop and I was gonna have it before LJ was born.  But then I actually gave birth and the countertop fell on the priority list right below cuddling baby and smelling newbornness all day long.  This is real life and this is why there are shows called Over Your Head on HGTV. So recently we opened that sippy cup and decided to finish what we started…one gulp at a time.

First we had to move everything out of the way so that we could figure out how to tackle the too-high electrical outlets and the water access.

Jeremy did a little wire checking and decided to move the dryer outlet (it’s that big black and metal outlet on the far left) down about twelve inches.  So he started cutting a new hole below it and ended up finding a blue electrical box in his path.


Fire hazard.  Against code.   Big time no-no.

(For those of you that are wondering…the long white wire below is the excess that we pushed down in there from when we wired our hood and we knew then that we would be working on this electrical stuff in the laundry room soon.  The orange wire is the one that is for the dryer plug hookups that Jer was running to the lower box.  The lowest hole with stuff coming out is the mystery hidden box.  And the one on the right is the new box for the outlet that was above the countertop on the right)

I kinda freaked out for a moment after Jer showed me the hidden box (what other fire hazards do we have in this house?!  What kinda electrician does this?!  We are all gonna die!).  Wouldn’t you?! So instead of trying to cut more holes I just told Jer that we needed to cut an access panel and just dothethang. He agreed.

I love that picture above.  It’s so us.  Jeremy shirtless (because 62 degrees in the house is way too hot for him), me with my bald spot that will just not stop can’t stop, and us joking around about “cuddling with knives”.   There may or may not have been rubbing the drywall knife on a face a la Monica Gellar style.  It’s no carrot but Jeremy pulled it off :)

After the access panel was taken out and the insulation removed, Jeremy removed the rogue box and then put in the electrical box for the dryer and for the outlet.  All the excess wire was removed too.

He also moved the box on the far right to be lower.  Then it was time to reinstall a piece of drywall with some drywall screws.  It’s a hot mess under there with the crazy outlets at every height but it all gets hidden behind washers and dryers anyway.  If you have OCD, don’t look. Oh and we figured out how to make sure the water hookups don’t interfere with our countertop…we wedged a piece of 1×3 in the top of the hook ups box and decided that it would be easier to eliminate extra space at the top so that we could have a clean countertop area.  This will make sense later.

Ok – so after we cuddled our knives, reran everything and reinstalled the outlets – it was time to patch the drywall.  This is not the funnest process in the world but we have lots of drywall experience.  We did the kitchen and living room in our last house as well as the basement and have had to do our share of punch-holes and random toy through the wall holes….so we feel like we have this process pretty well down. For little cracks like the one below you don’t really need a lot of prep…just scrape anything sticking out off….like a bit of paper or drywall chunks.

Holes that are bigger, like the outlet box hole, will need a bit more assistance.

We like to use FibaTape repair patches and DryDex spackling for jobs like this.  The patch is basically a big fiberglass bandaid that you put over the hole and then spackle.  The DryDex is like drywall mud but it dries faster and is a little easier to work with.  OH and it’s pink :)

First you put the patch over the hole.  It’s really that simple.  You just peel it with your gross-fingernails and rub it on smooth.

Then you take your spackle and smear it on.

Told ya it was pink :)

It dries white so you know when to reapply or wet sand.

Overnight it really dried out and I was ready for a little wet sanding and more spackle.  I used the 6″ drywall knife first and then the 12″ for the second smearing.

Then we did a little scraping and wet sanding.  Finally it was smooth and ready for paint.

I just did one coat back there because I am lazy.

This area is gonna get a backsplash after the countertops go in and once the sink is installed so I wasn’t worried about it being perfect.

But already it looks better with the fewer outlets.

Oh and that piece of wood we put in the top of the hookups?  It got spackled in place and the countertop should cover it completely making it disappear from sight.  I photoshopped a white line so you can see my point.  This was definitely the easiest solution although we talked to my plumber-brother and he said that moving hookups lower takes about twenty minutes if you know what to do.  We don’t like messing with water so we decided this hack was the best fit for us but if you care about stuff like that, it can cost about $100 for a plumber to do it as long as you do the drywall work.

I know that some of you will ask if we can still access our hot and cold valves and the answer is yes.  Our hands fit perfectly fine in the shortened box.  And we have decided to make this center section of cabinetry removable so that we can quickly access the hookups if we need to.

Next up – countertops!!!!  Can you hear my excitement?!  It’s like I am on Naked and Afraid and found some wood grubs for breakfast!  Except a whole lot less naked…nobody wants to see that….especially not me :)

Loser Bench

First off….dude THANKS.  You guys have been really awesomely patient during this whole blog remodel and I ‘preciate-cha.  Things are still getting sorted out and I am slowly tweaking the site and probably will continue to make small changes over the course of the next month (hello mobile device readers – I am working on your stuff next!) and ready to roll for a few more years….because that is how long I will need to recover from coding.   But for now it is functional and I have a backlog of stuff I wanted to talk about (Nornie’s baby!  LJ’s birthstory!  The beach!  crafts!  remodeling!)

So first up…let’s recap some of those Bower Build-Off projects!  Thank you to everyone that took the time to vote.  I hate you all for making Jeremy win.  His head is so big now.  And then I have to hurl insults at him because I’m jealous.  And then he cries himself to sleep on his huge pillow.  (name that movie).  No but seriously…I probably would have voted for his project too.  It was a great great GREAT idea and it turned out better than we both expected :)

Today we talk about the big fat loser project – the bench.  Yes, I made it and even though it wasn’t the winner – it is serving us well.  Everyday we plop down right there and jam Weston’s fat feet into his shoes.  As most toddler-mommy’s know, research shows that it takes about seven minutes to get one toddler foot into one shoe…so it’s a solid chunk of time we find ourselves on this bench.

Here’s how I made it…Bower Build Off

The first step was to attach the spools to the seat of the bench…a piece of 3/4″ plywood.  Since the bottoms and the tops of the spools are a thick rubber type material, it means that predrilling is an absolute must.

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Then I used 1 1/4″ wood screws to hold each one in place.

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See how the rubbery part of the one spool is a different color than the other?  This is why I chose for the slender foot to be on the top – hidden under the bench and made our bench with the fat foot at the bottom (which is what people were saying makes the bench look a little foot-heavy.)

Just as long as nobody says that I look foot-heavy, I’m good though :)

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After the structure was complete, it was time to attach the 2″ foam and the batting.  I got a roll of this stuff at a local discount fabric store.  You could also use one of those mattress pads that you can buy at Walmart or wherever.

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I simply laid the top down on the foam and marked it with a marker.  Then I cut it out with scissors.

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After that, I laid the bench foam side down onto a length of the batting.  This will get wrapped around the bench on all four sides and stapled into place.

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See how I say things and it magically appears?

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Then came fabric.  This fabric is seriously my soulmate.  I love it so much it hurts in my intestines.

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That’s quite the lovely bald spot Katie.

And now for some high speed stapling….CAUTION: the following contains high speed video.  Do not watch repeatedly or your brain may not process normal human speed again.  If you do, you may experience anger at your spouse for not renovating fast enough or frustration at the fact that your kids can’t talk like chipmunks.

After I flipped the bench on it’s legs, I decided that it didn’t look finished enough so I took some scrap wood that we had cut off a past project (it was already stained so WHEW!) and cut it to length – mitering the corners.  I attached it directly to the plywood by sandwiching the fabric inbetween and using a brad nailer to hold it in place.

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I honestly think that bit of trim really helps make it look way more finished.

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So that is my bench tutorial!  Hope the five of you that liked this project will get something out of it.  The rest of you can wait till later for the lamp tutorial….because that is how it works for Toddlers and Tiaras.  And also as punishment for not giving me and my loser bench a pity vote :)