Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Project House Update: Shop Details

When we last left the shop, the exterior had just been painted. The interior was a blank, clean 'Polar Bear' white, but the shop was a drywall box. This post describe the details that took it from a structure to Dan's shop.

At this point in the construction, the contractors were basically done with their work. Dan was on his own to wrap it up. Step one: coating the floor. Before anything was moved in, Dan needed to coat the floor. It took him several days of cleaning, rolling, and letting it cure. I have never smelled something that chemically before. Fortunately, Dan wore a respirator.

The shop floor is now coated in a special garage floor paint. It's so shiny and clean.

In the right light, you can see your own reflection in it.

With the floor done, the last step before Dan could move everything in is painting. Yes, the contractor and his team painted the whole structure white, but Dan wanted more than that. In the garage (the one built with the house, not this new shop), he painted a gray half-wall to hide dirt. It worked so well that he did it again in the new shop.

A laser level, some tape, and more patience than I have and he had painted the full shop.

And that was it. He peeled the plastic off the windows, removed any remaining tape, and moved in all of his stuff. He's got a lot of stuff, but I helped with that part. We got a bunch of people and made quick work of it. Especially since the garage is nice and clean now.

In the six months since then, he's been organizing. He's been buying shelves and containers and labeling things like crazy. It's still a hot mess, but it's the definition of a work in progress. He'll get there. However, this is his favorite part: going through everything he has and finding homes for them.

The shop will probably always be a work in progress. Someday it will get a lift and a loft and maybe a corner wood workshop. But it's done enough for Dan. This building was his dream and as much as I complain and whine about it, I'm so glad he has it. It makes him so happy

Monday, May 23, 2016

Project House Update: Odds and Ends

In preparation for my annual whole house update with "The List" of completed projects and ones still to be done, I wanted to do a grab-bag post of all the little things we've been up to.

While our dining room still needs a large, full-wall statement piece, I did frame and hang the two pieces of elephant art that Dan gave me, because he's the best husband ever. They occupy a great corner of the dining room so I can see them first thing when I get home.

In the opposite corner of the dining room now lives this beautiful bookshelf from World Market. Comparable Art Deco bookshelves cost thousands of dollars, so I had this one pinned on Pinterest for a while. When a store-wide 30% off sale happened and I saw it in person for the first time, I couldn't say no. I haven't styled it yet, but I've got lots of pretty bits to show off.

In other news, while the window in the den still isn't 100% complete, aesthetically, Dan did install the windowsill. It's the same style of marble that we used in the work-out room. Yay for uniformity! And once it's done being caulked and painted, it'll be so pretty.

In the den, there's also been developments with the ceiling fan. We've got a new one on order from Lowes. A beautiful mid-century modern one to go with our mid-century modern desk. It looks really terrible right now because the wiring is in a state of change. There used to be a chain, running up the wall and across the ceiling. However, updates in the bathroom have changed that...

In blue bathroom, all the dry wall is out! It's really creepy in there now, but we've made so much progress!

With all of the drywall removed, we finally have access to the wiring in the den. Back in 2012 when we had the roof redone, Dan ran wire under the new roof for the ceiling fan in the den. One end of that wire has been dangling from the den ceiling since. Now that the wall is open, the remainder of the work required to finish the wiring can be done!

Additionally, we have a new tub! It's in the shop, still wrapped up in all its packaging, but we've got it! It's a long story about how this tub came to find its home with us, but I'll tell you that when it's all installed and pretty.

And I still haven't written up a run-down of the finished shop yet, but we'll get there. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, but we'll get there. Eventually. I think.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fan of Friday: Week of 5/13/2016

I hate being one of those people who's all like "Sorry I haven't posted in a while...", even when it's true. I haven't and I'm sorry. This implies you noticed/cared that I wasn't here, which seems really self-centered, but whatever. Anyway...

The reason I have been AWOL has been this game: Stardew Valley. It is not an exaggeration when I say that this game occupies all of my free time. I play in until my hands hurt. If I didn't love it so much, I would search out a 12 step program.

For those unfamiliar, which is probably a lot since I believe the game released in only February, it's an 8-bit styled game in the lines of Harvest Moon/Animal Crossing/Minecraft. The premise is you inherit a farm from your grandfather in a small town. That's really it. You farm fruits and vegetables, you raise livestock, you make friends with the townspeople, you start a family. It sounds so boringly simple but IT IS THE BEST! It's an almost perfect example of how to suck someone into a game. It gives you small quests and challenges, rewards you accordingly, and slowly unlocks tidbits of information over time.

You start off with a tiny house and farm parsnips.  With your axe, scythe, pick axe, hoe, and watering can, you clean up your acreage and plant your crops. As your plants grow and you uncover resources, you upgrade your tools, your farm, and your house. Your only limiting bounds are your energy levels and the amount of daylight. Unlike Animal Crossing which is based in real-time, the average Stardew Valley day last somewhere between 15-30 minutes.

I've been playing this game for weeks now and play as two characters. The first one, 'Carolyn', is my exploratory character, doing everything for the first time. Her farm has been running for 'years' and is almost fully built. My second character, 'Red', is my efficient character now that I know what I should do. Although she's only been running the farm for a few 'months', it's developing very quickly. Here's an image of Red in her tiny house:

And here's Carolyn's fancy, fully loaded house:

In addition to farming, there are lots of other ways to explore and make money. A big way to do both is mining. You break apart rocks, gather gems and minerals, and dig deeper and deeper into the mine. As you descend, monsters and creatures fight you, but the resources become more and more valuable.

It's also a remarkably progressive and honest game. You're a female character and fall in love with a woman in town? Cool, get married and adopt some babies. The homeless old man in the mountains is scared of strangers because people have abused him in the past. There are at least two alcoholic characters. There are poor characters and insecure characters. One character returns from war and is battling PTSD. Spoiler alert: two characters are having a secret affair. It would have been so easy for the creators to make everything shiny and pretty, but the silly little NPCs are deep and real. Over time, as you befriend them, they open up to you.

My Carolyn character is now married to Elliot. He's an author with Fabio hair. While sweet, he's honestly kind of boring. My Red character is slowly playing the field, trying to find a more interesting match.

For $15, it's a great game. Given that I have 100+ hours banked between my two characters, I've definitely gotten my money's worth. If you know me from the real world, I would seriously buy the game for you just so we can talk about it. I've been away from it long enough now. Back to Stardew Valley!