Monday, December 12, 2011

House on the Rock

This weekend we took a much needed break from doing things around the house (especially since we have a two week vacation coming up that we plan on getting all our unfinished projects done), and took our friend to the House on the Rock in Spring Green, WI.

For those of you that are not from Wisconsin or do not currently live in or around Wisconsin, the House on the Rock really means nothing to you. So let me explain. This is a house that was built on and in a cliff in Southeastern WI by Alex Jordan, JR. It's a Japanese style house with a large collections of gardens and out buildings and just plain crazy stuff. A lot of people think that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was not. It is just located near Taliesin, FLW's house and studio, thus the confusion of many people. The house is full of crazy and colorful items. Most of which were made by Jordan himself. There is a new section of the house that explains the history of everything, but we didn't spend a lot of time there. I mean we weren't there for a history lesson, we were there for the craziness.

Here is an example of what I mean. It's a large musical instrument playing "thing". The house if full of things like this. Rooms of instruments that look like they play themselves. It has a section that look like old timey streets and shop fronts. There is the infinity room that juts out into the landscape. Then there is this.....

A massive whale fighting an octopus.  Crazy, crazy stuff.  It's really hard to explain to people, you kinda just have to go see it for yourself.  My friend, K, was really excited to go and was lost for words when we first started through the house.  She said that everything we had told her about this place couldn't prepare her for what she was seeing.  It's that crazy.

Here J and I are posing for a nice Christmas photo.  And of course he can't just take a regular photo, he has to make it crazy.  Don't worry, we got a good one as well.  Though, he keeps telling me this is going to be the picture on our Christmas cards.  

And here I am in front of what they call the "World's largest indoor carousel" I'm not sure if it is, but it is pretty crazy. The animals are really beautiful and it doesn't include one horse. I tried to get a picture of it, but I think between my fatigue and the confusion of my camera, I just couldn't get a descent picture.

This is one of my favorite carousel animals. The llama. It's so cute and even has eyelashes.  This one isn't on the carousel, so I was able to get a good picture.  Look at how cute he is.

And then we finished our trip with some homemade fudge from the gift shoppe and some lunch back in Madison.  It was a fun and exhausting trip.  But I'm glad we went.  We had so much fun showing off one of the most crazy things Wisconsin has to offer.

But now it's back to the grind.  One more week of work for us and then two weeks off.  It sounds nice, but I know we'll be working hard.  Now I'm off, have a great Monday.   

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Laundry Room

We are taking a little break from working on the kitchen to work on a room that very much needs attention, the laundry room.  The laundry room is located in our basement in the second bathroom.  It's the only part of the basement that is unfinished and it was painted this wonderful pink color.  Okay, that was sarcasm.  I hated this room.  I hated the color, I hated how it was so unfinished, I hated all the network of copper pipe everywhere.  I just knew we had to do something.

Here's a little close up of the pink color.  It was so awful that I couldn't even get a good picture of it.  It reminded me of pepto bismol every time I had to do laundry.  

The doors are unpainted, there is copper pipes everywhere, the sink is stained and old.  I am not a fan of laundry as it is and this room didn't make it any easier.   It was just a sad, sad room.

So I busted out some of the paint the previous owner left us.  I added some white paint to make it a little bit lighter and went to town painting the walls blue.  The bathroom has blue tile, so I thought blue walls in here would look nice, and the paint was free!  The walls look purple in these pictures, but they are a light blue. 

I painted what I could reach with everything still in place and I've been waiting for a month or two now to have our pretty new utility sink installed to finish up.  But what to do with that plumbing?  So, J's dad came over and suggested that we re-plumb the room using pex so that we could get rid of the network of pipes.  It's a lot larger project then what we were expecting to do, but I guess we should probably just get it out of the way and get it done.  And the best part, J's dad can do plumbing (it's part of his job with the county) and J's uncle has all the tools and knowledge of pex.  Win!  We didn't have to hire a plumber to do the job.   

So here's what we plan to do in the laundry room.
  • Replace the copper pipes with pex
    • By replacing the pipes we can rerun a lot of them and clean up the space
  • Replace the utility sink with a new one with a vanity
  • Finish painting the walls
  • Texture the walls (hopefully will make them look less like cement basement walls)
  • Put in flooring (probably just vinyl)
  • Paint the doors
  • Figure out what to do with the ceiling
  • Maybe figure out a way to hid the litter box and still have Toonces use it 
  • Put up wall storage/shelves
I'll show you tomorrow what we accomplished in the laundry room.  It's not done, but it's coming along nicely.