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Bartsch Blunders…

What’s up, homeslices!?  I’ve neglected you far longer than I ever intended.  Don’t worry, it’s not you…its me. Bah!  Does anyone understand how on earth it is already March 23?!  Ay, Caramba!  I think I’m delirious…

Well, the last few months have been packed full of craziness.  The hubs and I tossed around the idea of selling our home.  We brought in realtors and looked over our options, but ultimately we decided to stay put for the time being.  This adventure combined with watching some of our friends in the process of buying a home had me reflecting on our own past home adventures.  Three words can sum it up: “We.are.dumb.”  For serious.  Dan and I have learned tons during our first (almost) 5 years of home-ownership, and we decided the blogosphere could learn from us.  Also, feel free to laugh at us…we’re ridiculous.

Bartsch Boo-Boos:

  • Measure the size of any cabinet pulls you want to change out.  Oddly enough, they all have different hole widths and you might end up buying tons of pulls that don’t actually work in your kitchen.
  • When you think there is hardwood flooring under the carpeting, you might still be wrong.  Even if every corner you pull up has hardwood, the entire center of your living room might just be subfloor.  Therefore, don’t rip out carpeting at 10pm two weeks before your wedding.
  • Semi-gloss paint is a bad idea on the ceiling.  Hello, shine!  (I guess Satin is the preferred type of paint for most people, but semi-gloss stands up to cleaning better.  Kid areas and bathrooms are usually painted semi-gloss…I see no use for Flat paint.)
  • When in doubt, prime the walls before you paint.  Generally, you should always paint over paint with the same gloss level used before.  If painting over semi-gloss, use semi-gloss or prime the walls first.
  • That nifty paint color match does not always work.  In my opinion, if you’d like your wall color to match a specific item just match it using paint chips.  My green (and not smokey blue) walls are a prime example of this…
  • You actually can tell a difference between walls painted with a brush vs. painted with a roller.  Making a touch up with a brush may not be a good idea.
  • When they say to paint in a “W”, they aren’t lying.  If you just randomly paint all willy-nilly, there’s a very good chance you will see streaks all over your walls.
  • When you paint a room, you might want to keep the paint can.  Two years down the road you’ll fix a hole in the wall and want to touch up the paint only to figure out you apparently threw away the paint can…even though you never throw away paint cans.  (Seriously…anyone know where my kitchen paint is? Boo…)  
            As a side note:  Pinterest said to paint a hunk of wood with your wall color and label it with the brand of paint, color name, and room you painted it.  Keep these wood chunks on a ring in your purse and you can use them when buying decorations as well.
  • If your dryer randomly makes your breaker flip, its probably just that breaker.  There’s no need to call in a dryer repair man for $60 when you can just buy a new breaker for much less.
  • Know the size of your car before you buy things.  Even if you think your car looks bigger than that, it might not fit.  And not even just lengthwise…height actually makes a difference.  Weird, huh?
  • When in doubt, secure everything that is hanging out the back of the car on the way home.  It just might bounce out the back and break into a couple pieces on the way home.
  • Always know where a flashlight is… Pinterest also said to attach one to your circuit breaker box with a magnet.  But when in a pinch, your cellphone works.
  • Don’t place hammers on top of ladders.  When you move them they fall on your head and your bleeding will freak out your wife.
  • Never throw tools to your significant other.  They won’t be paying attention, and your wife will get hit in the head by a screwdriver.  And that hurts…
  • If your house is freaking freezing when you get home from work, your pilot light could have gone out.  There’s no need to call in a professional.  All you have to do is relight it, but it involves gas and flames so it’s okay to just make your husband do it because you’re too freaked out.  Just tell him I said so.

Bartsch Betterments:

  • We almost always have to do paint touch ups the next day.  When we’re done painting on day 1, we always wrap the rollers in a plastic bag.  This way they don’t dry out and we don’t have to waste all that water cleaning them.  Then we throw out the roller after we’re done painting.  I’m far too lazy to sit there and clean them out, AND lots of water (and money!) are just washed down the drain.
  • Be prepared for something to always go wrong… Because 9 times out of 10, it will.
  • Home Depot has the cheapest carpet around, but they wont install it in your house if they think your flooring might have asbestos in it.  But you can have someone else come in and just glue carpet down without a pad.  Since they aren’t nailing into the asbestos and disturbing it, apparently its okay and you won’t die.
  • Buy extras.  Returning things is easier than having to stop midproject.  Just make sure to keep your receipts!
  • When moving to a new home, figure out and label your breaker box clearly.  Do not just trust that what is on there is correct.  Also, try to do this on day one.  You will have to plug in and set all your clocks anyways, so you might as well turn off breakers beforehand!
  • When in doubt, youtube it.  There are instructional videos for just about everything!

Dan and I still have TONS of learning to do, but we’ve come so very far!  Owning a house is one of the craziest adventures one can tackle, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Have you learned anything you’d like to share with the world?  Post it below! 🙂


Heeeere’s your sign

My brother’s kitchen is going to rock.  I made him two more beer signs.  These ones are painted, but I’m only blogging about one of them.  The other one?  It sucks.  It was looking good, but I just kept playing with it…whoops.  I just started a new one to replace that one, so I’ll finish that story later.

So, originally when I decided that I wanted to make something for Cody’s kitchen I searched the internet high and low for ideas.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do (or what my superbly picky brother would like).  I found subway art and fell in love.  I eventually decided to make it out of beer words (and later made one with beer brands), but was waltzing around the idea of quotes about beer/alcohol.  I had emailed a bunch of quotes that I found (Yay Google!) to my family to look over.  Cody decided that he was pretty stoked about two of them.  So I went ahead and made them into signs!

Our workshop is full of a bunch of scrap wood, and I thought this would be a great way to get rid of it upcycle it!  I headed off to Hobby Lobby where I bought light gray and off white paint (And some crackle paint which I will complain about in a future post.) and some nice brushes.  I spent less than $15 and will be able to use this stuff again and again!  I found a nice sized piece of wood and painted it black with some paint we already had lying around.  Yay free!  Once the paint dried I just went ahead and painted on the quote freehand.  I was positive that I needed a stencil, but I couldn’t find anything that I liked.  I just sucked it up and gave it a try.  I think it turned out pretty darned great!

At first I liked it, but it was still a little plain.  I took a bit of the light gray and added some color around the edge.  Then I sanded up some distressing action along the sides and rounded the corners.  Then I added a bit of gray into some of the lettering…and Voila!!  Honestly, I can’t really give you a step by step tutorial because I hardcore winged it… but I wanted to blog about it anyways. 😉


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Oops! I did it again!

Yep…made another piece of subway art for my brother’s house.  My mom called me up and requested another piece.  She has a “vision” for his kitchen.  So, I came up with the idea to make this one using the same theme, but using beer brands instead of beer words.  It was definitely easier this time around.  Always is the second time, isn’t it?  I did it the same way as the first piece of subway art.
Check it out!

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To beer, or not to beer…

My little brother bought a house.  It’s another one of those moments when you have to stop and ask yourself, “When did we grow up!?”  Well, anyone that actually knows me would question if I am, in fact, a grown up but you get the picture.  So, being the amazing big sister that I am (pause for Cody’s rebuttal…), I thought it would be fun to make my brother a fun piece of artwork for his new kitchen.  He’s a 23-year-old boy so naturally he’s going with a beer theme.  I expect nothing less from him.

I’ve been obsessed with subway art lately.  There’s so many different ideas out there and people are using the idea for just about anything!  I stumbled across a picture of beer-themed subway art and knew that I had to take a crack at my own masterpiece.  Cody’s favorite beer is Budweiser (pause for a collective “ewwww”….I mean it’s Wisconsin.  Where’s the Miller, dear brother?), so I incorporated that brand and some of its catchphrases into the art.  I made the entire thing on Photoshop CS4.  I just started learning Photoshop, so I thought this would be a nice little project to get my feet wet.  It definitely took more time than I thought it would, but I wouldn’t say that it was hard. 

I think it really turned out well!  I made it as an 8×10 and we’re going to print, mat, and frame it.  When all is said and done, my brother will have a piece of custom artwork for under $20!  I think it’ll look cute!  Cody hates the word “cute”…had to make sure to throw it in here somewhere.  Looooooooove you! 😉

 I’m excited to try this for all sorts of different themes.  Maybe a Green Bay Packer one will be next. (Go Pack Go!!)


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