Archive for the ‘personal’ Category

Frink the frug

No, we’re not Frink. I don’t think we’ll be ever be done. Frink, you may never know a home without projects. You’re a renovation pup. There was a time you enjoyed rolling in torn up carpet foam and tracking through wet paint. Even those exotic textures and smells  bore you now? Sorry, Frink, how do you think I feel?

Tudorks 1 year update: Well, we aren’t divorced yet. That’s good. Everyone says that when you take on a project this huge that a divorce is certain. No, I completely disagree. If anything, it has made our marriage stronger. We have accomplished so much, still working on 1 year before and after pics. We’ve defuzzed, defurred, decarpeted, defunked 2500 square feet of living space. We’ve painted every single room. We’ve waxed every single floor. We’ve put down a new kitchen floor. We’ve electrical and plumbing down. And much, much more. I’ve blanked out half of the nasty projects from my memory. So, what’s left? Here’s the short list as to not bore you, Frink.

  1. Finish upstairs bathroom. Please don’t laugh at us. Wasn’t this supposed to be done months ago? Need to touch up paint, clean up floor, maybe get tub glazed. This should be finished in a weekend.
  2. Finish downstairs powder room. Put up ceiling tiles, rip up old floor and put down new. Maybe get “new” fixtures, meaning something more authentic to the era of the home. Oh, and get them working. A month of weekends?
  3. Random paint touch-ups. We painted every room and then messed it all up in the renovating process. A room could be done nightly.
  4. Repair front porch. Concrete is cracking, chipping. It’s a big mess and we are so intimidated by concrete projects. Pay somebody.
  5. Finish cleaning door hardware and hang up remaining doors. Maybe a weekend?
  6. Fireplace mantel. I will be so happy when that is done. I’m so picky that this may never get finished.
  7. Oh, and all the new things that have to be done: replace windows, roof, make us completely and totally broke. Ughh, do I have to think about this? Welcome to the wonderful world of home ownership. Frink, can’t you get a job posing on a greeting card or something so we can replace a few windows or something? All you do is lay around, complaining, staying in your kennel all day.

So, yeah, these are the main things left. It’s doable considering how much we got done in 1 year on our own, but frankly I’m sick of renovating. I know this feeling is very normal when talking to other people and visiting home forums.  All of you home builders, home restorers, home renovators- how long did your project take? Are you finished? Am I sweating the small stuff? I expect repairs throughout ownership, but how long did it take you finish your “must do now” list? How did you live through it? 🙂



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For the first time ever, David and I have too much bookshelf in our life. After making a cross country move, we purged and donated lots of books and records. This house has 4 built-in bookshelves in the great room. I don’t know what to do with them because I’ve never had this much space to work with. I’ve collected pictures on-line to inspire me with bookshelves. I’ve figured out what I like about the ones in the magazines but I can’t achieve that in my home.

All the magazine ready bookshelves have these things in common:

-All the books are to the same scale. They are displayed by size. Most of their books are large. It appears that nobody in the magazines have City Lights Pocket Poets Series.

-Never do I see paperbacks! And most of the books appear to be for decoration. For example, they all look antique or old. They are like staged books.

-Cool things are incorporated in the shelves. These cool things, either pictures or knickknacks, all have a common theme. This theme can be white glassware or black & white pictures, you get it. It doesn’t feel so random.

– Sometimes books are grouped by color. I don’t know if I like this.

Tudorks bookshelf

A glimpse at one of our built-in bookshelves.

Here’s my problem:

– My books are all over the place in scale. I have giant hardbacks and teeny tiny City Lights Pocket Poets Series.

– I have paperbacks and books that look new.Many of the books have obnoxious, bright spines.

– I have too many cool things and they are all over the place in theme. I can easily choose a theme but it may take years to get that “look”. I want my theme to be old stuff that I like. Creepy, old stuff, almost like an apothecary. And pictures in black frames. I also want tabletop antique radios on the top of the shelves.

-I may have too much shelf. See this pic above and below. I have 4 of those from floor to almost the ceiling. Because of they are so spacious, they’ve been a catch all for all our random stuff. You see that shelf: antique lighting shades, antlers, 1930’s Guerlain, apothecary jars filled with exotic resins, and pictures of random people with bags of moneys. This has been were we put our stuff to keep it out of the way of the renovation. The bottom ones with the doors have been great storage.

Tudorks Bookshelf

A view of the entire bookshelf, now, add 3 more.

Our great room/living room is a disaster. This room has the most potential but we intimidated by the large space. Also, our furniture doesn’t fit and it will take time to save up to replace it all. Because this room is so useless and ugly, we never go in there. We never use it. I thought the easiest (and cheapest) thing to tackle at this stage would be the bookshelves.

Now what should I do? I’ve been thinking about getting rid of most of the books. I know this doesn’t fly with some people but I would love to go paperless except for antiques. If I can get it on a Kindle, then I should get rid of it. If I want a book, that’s what the library is for. Do I ever go  to that bookshelf and take a book off to read it? No. The only ones that I look at are the antique ones. How do I make my “theme” look intentional during the collection stage? Right now I feel it is all so random, because it is. I don’t want my bookshelves to look like me-maw’s curio cabinet of Swaroski knickknacks and Home Shopping Network collectibles. How can I make these shelves functional? Any ideas?

H.G. Lewis autograph

Had to share our H.G. Lewis autograph

I have to share our Herschell Gordon Lewis autograph. This was one of those too cool things we had boxed away. Who doesn’t want the autograph of the man that started “splatter film” and junk mail. What great contributions to our society!

So, yeah, here’s a peek at one of our many messes. I’m open to suggestions. I feel this is something that I can tackle and maybe this will motivate me to get the great room together. The room isn’t finished. We need a mantel and a sofa that is better scaled for the space. But, the bookshelves just need TLC and editing.


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This weekend Tudorks went to Portland to pick up much needed bathroom lighting from Rejuvenation. Yeah, Seattle has a store, but we need an excuse to get out of this renovation mess. And the Portland store has salvage.Is there anything that I love more than salvage? So we went on a Portland home salvage tour.

OK, so Rejuvenation is completely amazing. Being obsessed with antique lighting since I was a kid, this was totally awesome. So organized, so clean, and so big. Being in a reproduction lighting store in Portland was one of those “I’m back at the mothership” experiences. You can even get espresso. The salvage selection was tops, very much pieces from the area. So couldn’t find our speakeasy. But, we did get our Rufus Streamline Porcelain in Black. I’ve been waiting for this stupid lighting for what, a year now? I also picked up two reproduction jadeite pieces. Each retailing for under $20. Totally awesome.

We also went to Hippo Hardware. Amazing, amazing place with too much salvage selection. As I was told, I was “hippo-tized”. The place had a great Portland vibe. Traveling to Portland? Want to know what Portland is about? Go to Hippo Hardware. It’s eclectic, smart, and funny. I hope when I grow up, that I can be apart of their team. Rejuvenation was the sterile, clean “mothership” and Hippo Hardware was more Sun-Ra “Space is the Place” kind of mothership.

Weekend electrician David

So, really excited and super stoked and full on delicious vegan food, Tudorks, went home to install the Rufus. Well, David did the work. He’s more comfortable with the electrical, well, not too technical electrical. I hope I can learn cool stuff like wiring one day. Then I can make anything a lamp or light. I have to up my home improvement game. So, here’s David putting the light after a really long day. I hope that I can show a before and after post of the bathroom sometime this summer. The bathrooms were the last projects we decided to tackle and I’m sick of them. I’m glad we took our time. We seem to make better choices when we take our sweet time.

So the Portland trip was awesome. Portland was the reason we moved to the PNW. But, we couldn’t get jobs in the tiny town. All this little trip did was remind us why we are here and helped us set goals. Yeah, goals to move to Portland, again. But, in a sick way, it’s been a nice motivator to finish the house. I’m taking any motivator I can get right now to push through this project.


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I must apologize for totally neglecting our home blog. As you can imagine, we’ve been really busy with life outside of renovation. We both work full-time. David got a new job and a promotion! His nerd skills worked in his favor earning him the title of manager of IT. I’ve been working and going through the grad school application process. Tons of other things have happened these past few months. Including a computer issue that left me without my home inspiration folder and a few of our before and after pictures 😦 This last thing got me down. But, hey, maybe I needed new inspiration. So, I’m pulling up my boot straps by admitting that I’m a slacker. I’m on the hunt for new inspiration. We have done so much to the house that I haven’t share. I have so much to show you and I’m manic with design ideas. This blog will be updated 5 times a week. (Thanks, to my new lady-of-leisure schedule. Now I remember why I don’t work in private sector and instead in the schools: summer!)

And you have to forgive me. (More apologies!) Since I have so much more time on my hands, I’m getting a bit more Martha Stewart-ish. And I’m currently obsessed with creating new and exotic fro-yo flavors. My newest dream, forget my current career, drive around and sell exotic fro-yos and custards from a vintage ice cream truck in Portland. I’ll have to share my creations with you. Forget cupcakes. Designer fro-yo is what all the cool kids are doing.

And I’m sure I’ll be doing so much to the house this summer. We still have much to do. And I’ve got to raise a well-adjusted frug. He needs constant enrichment. Does snacking on paint chips count as enrichment? Oh, and we have a garden! Our first one ever. I’m loving it.

Stay tuned…


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Frink the Frug

Frug life. Yes, Frink the Frug has a Facebook fan page (here). It appears this mutant half French bulldog/ half pug has sniffed too many renovation fumes and enjoys telling the world about it.


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As usual, Frink is overseeing the renovation.

We finally removed every trace of the layers and layers and layers of retro-fabulous wallpaper from the dining nook! We may have resorted to an electric sander with a buffer pad and diluted Mrs. Meyers cleaning products, but we did it. Since then we’ve had the windows replaced being that the ones that were there had some homemade mess of glass that was caulked together. We painted the room a dove gray mistint that I love (less lilac than the picture). I am going for a swank early 60’s Hong Kong hotel, think the decor of the hotels featured in the series I Spy. I got my wish and it will be fantastic. I didn’t realize that most of the things we own fits in the “swank early 60’s Asian hotel” category.  I’ve started decorating this space. I’m not finished. Does one ever stop decorating their space? I’ll show those pics when I get there. I desperately need a sputnik!!!

I just wanted to share this little accomplishment. I can now eat dinner at a table. I haven’t had that in 7 months.


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2009 was a pretty busy year for the two of us. We both started working our “professional” jobs and spent time adjusting to not being in the university setting. We made a big move and were still settling and trying to look like “native” Pacific Northwesterners. We had a dramatic home buying experience that lasted half of the year. We bought a rehab home and have been working countless hours on it to make it a pleasant living space. We got Frink the Frug. It was a good year even though it didn’t lack stress. I shouldn’t complain. We’ve been in good health. Our families have been in good health and we’re happy.I haven’t been able to say that every year.

I hope for 2010 that we will finish up this home project. (We have only been working on it for 4 months and I have to remind myself that). I hope to start working on the exterior of the home and finally get a night blooming moon garden started. I hope that this project will feel worth it. I just hope for a somewhat stable year. It’s been a very eventful decade and I just wonder how it would feel to not have something major going on. Does it feel boring?

I also hope that everybody has a prosperous 2010. Make it is eventful or uneventful as you please.


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