Is this thing ON?

I'm baaaack!  I've been away on account that I had a horrible tragedy happen to me and my life has since changed in more ways that I ever thought was possible.  Just this year, 2017, the one year I had such high hopes, decided to rip me to shreds and "show me a lesson".  Not only this new president, I have endured unimaginable pain on a personal level.  On another post I will dig deeper as it's taking me a bit of time to come to terms with myself again.  With all this bad, something good actually happened, or rather I made it happen.  This is life, remember, nothing just happens, we make it happen.

So without further ado,  My Dream Studio. I just can't believe I made this happen! (enter squeal) I had a dream of this moment about one year ago and it finally came into being.  I almost died a few times yes, but God Almighty, it happened!  The one thought that kept coming into my head while all this was going on was "I will be able to say I DID THIS and that's all that matters."  The thought of being proud of myself at the end of it all kept me pushing forward when nothing else could, except the Motrin I took daily for pain.  

There were times I (almost) gave up but the very next morning I would get up and begin all over again.  Going back through my rigorous note taking in my ToDO lists, I get exhausted just thinking about everything that I did.  Not just in this room, oh no, I wish, but throughout the whole house.  
The Beauty
While still a work in progress, I am so happy of how it has turned out so far.  I chose, or crazily obsessing over the choices rather, the colors and made insane amount of trips to and from to get sample materials. There was so much prepping before the work actually started and Pinterest helped tremendously on this part.  I will try my best to list what I did in each project that were probably done on different days.  There was only so much my body could do in one day before exhaustion set in or it got night and I had to get up at in the morning to take my girls to school the next morning.  Exhausted and sleep deprived but I never stopped.  So here it goes.

  1. Painted 2 giant walls in studio white. (SW White Dove)
  2. Painted 2 walls in studio gray.  (SW Repose Gray)
  3. Painted 2 accent walls in Living Room. (SW White Sand)
  4. Painted Dining Room. (SW Revere Pewter)
  5. Painted Foyer. (SW White Sand)
    ... Getting pretty SICK and EXHAUSTED of painting right about now...
  6. Painted Hall. (SW White Sand)
  7. Painted Bathroom.  (White Sand)
  8. Painted Bathroom accent walls. (Repose Gray)
  9. Painted Bedroom accent wall. (White Dove)
    ... DONE!  If I ever see another paint brush I will projective vomit!
  10. Floored the Studio with amazing flooring from Sams Club.  They have the best flooring I've ever come across.  I floored my whole house (minus kitchen and baths) with flooring from Sams a couple of years ago and I still love it.  So when I knew I had another flooring project coming up, I knew just where to go. I got lucky they have this new beautiful caramel color called Mocha Walnut and went for it.  It was not that easy of a decision in choosing this color by the way.  I made crazy amount of trips and even photoshopped the different flooring on a photo of the studio to see if I would like it.  See I told you I obsessed over the details.  If I was going through all that hard work, I wanted to at least love the finished product. I am glad to say I DO LOVE the way it turned out!  P.S. I also purchased the underlayment from Sams club.  It's so much cheaper and better than at Home Depots or Lowes.  It's called Soundbloc and it helps block sound transmitting from the top floor to the bottom floor.  I knew I had to have this even though the flooring already has a barrier.

    PHEW.  That's flooring sure kicked my butt (knees and joints) out of existence.  It took me 3 days to finish the flooring and that's because my body was already extremely tired of all the painting I had done. Moving on to the STAIRS!  Yes, there was a "Stairs Project" in there.

    ... SO THIS IS RIGHT ABOUT WHERE I DIE.
  11. The Stairs!  Oooh Wheee... let me tell you, this was no "EASY, DO IT ON A WEEKEND" type of project like all those Pinterest posts led me to believe.  No Ma'am!  After ripping the carpet from the stairs I knew it was going to be a nightmare.  But there was NO TURNING BACK now and there was definitely NO QUITTING or RE-CARPETING.  Ewwww NO!  I had to tough it out and I did.  Check it:
    1. Ripped carpet by almost dislocating shoulders.
    2. Prying a gazillion nails and staples and poking my fingers raw until I couldn't feel them anymore.  (Realizing I had just made the worst decision of 2017 right about now)
    3. Begging my husband for help!  (Luckily he just happens to be "the man" to ask for help.  He has a handyman business so his qualifications were more than "adequate".  Sure, he didn't want to help, I don't blame him, but he knew there was no way I could do the next step on my own.)
    4. Cut out each step by using power tools too loud and heavy for me to mess with.  I have to say I was impressed.  Cut the new floor steps to size and nails them in. All this was so intense and erotic, there is nothing like watching a man work with power tools... or was it that for the first time there was work that didn't involve me and I could take it easy?  Yeah, moving on. 
    5. Next project involved me and in a BIG way.  So, here are my pretty new steps and pretty new plain risers, yay, finished right?  NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!  Nothing could've prepared me for what was next.  Again, this is a girl that nearly died painting 2/3 of her house and now I had to Prime and Paint risers TWICE (because I didn't like the first color) and Stain TWICE and polyurethane TWICE the stairs while enjoying the intoxicating scent of poison for two days straight.  Oh Joy!
    6. The final and really final step was to OIL PAINT (Ugh and Gag) ALL the trim of the stairs.  I mean all, even the rails.  I had to find a color match that led me into a crazy hunt for the perfect match to different stores until I found it in oil base.  Oh, the many amazing joys of painting with oil based pain.  My hands and poor little fingers and my drugged up brain of all the fumes could not take it anymore but again, I knew quitting was not an option.

      This was all one big labor of LOVE (what else could it possibly have been?)  Maybe I'm just an insane woman who gets off on toxic fumes and exhausting manual labor.  No, it was love, I'm pretty sure.  I dreamed of pretty stairs since we bought this house and many years later it finally happens.  Darn you Pinterest pins for lying to me!  This was NO easy on the weekend one hundred dollars type of simple project you led me to believe!  I actually had to beg my husband for help and that's a no-no in my world! All joking aside, my husband saved me (again) and I'm so thankful for his help.  If it wasn't for him, just the stairs project could've cost me over 2 thousand dollars! He knows I get these crazy ideas and I just can't shake them off.  They will fester and rot my mind until I make them happen.  He knew what was up ahead and he tried to warn me, but it doesn't help, I still jumped.  But I am so happy I did.  I swoon every time I go past my pretty new stairs and I whisper to them "i love you."
  12. Vanity project to finish things off.  Yes! See on the left of the top picture?  That actually had a sink and tile, so we assume it was meant to be some kind of bar area, but no drinking went on in this room.  Actually not much of anything went on in this room because well this just happened to be the ugliest room in the house.  No one could see the beauty this room was hiding, but me.  I tried to explain the room as I saw it in my vision, but they just saw it as a toxic wasteland.  It not only looked bad, it smelled bad (with hundred year old carpet) and had turned into our own personal junk room, or a hoarder's paradise depending on how you see things.  A lot of this junk was going to get sold or re-homed or stored in the attic but meanwhile it just sat there.  That thing under all the junk?  That's actually a $3000 pool table hardly ever used on account that balls don't roll too well around junk on top of them.  
The Beast
There are my cats thinking "who are these people and how did we get stuck with them?!"  That furniture leaning on the couch was actually a giant entertainment by the wall for the tv that had already been removed prior to this photo.  How, What, Where is all that came to my mind as I stood there looking at everything I had to do.  At this point my stairs were just naked sitting there looking at me like "so, now what genius?"  No material had been purchased or even knew what colors my walls were going to be.  I was just a young and innocent child then, full of confidence and dreams without even realizing I would die a few times over before my dream would came into fruition.

Ladies, (and gentlemen) DON'T GIVE UP!  Sometimes our dreams are a lot harder than they appear.  There's actually like a gazillion staples that you didn't even know were hidden from your view or that's there's even toxic fumes you must inhale in order to make your dreams come into reality, but you must move forward.  There's no doubt in my mind that if I had to do it again, I would, because nothing is more amazing than the feeling of ACCOMPLISHMENT.  

Do I feel like a BADASS?  Damn right I do! I tamed the beast and now it does my bidding.  My studio, my Girl Cave, my getaway from the kids (just kidding, there's no such place), my confidence booster, my inspiration room, my chillaxing place, my vision.  We watch movies here, party and dance here, amazing photography light, editing desk and a bar area, what more could this girl ask for?  It's still a work in progress, but I thank God for giving me the strength for all this as I finally had time to write this down.  I officially finished project "Are you Insane?" with clean up in May 3, 2017, so you may call me Crazy HandyWoman if you like, but now I will be taking a long break.  (Or at least until after I paint an accent wall in my kitchen and bedroom or get a hard craving for toxic fumes)

Lorena Frith

Lifestyle Photographer in the Houston, Tx area.

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