Our adventures in AirBnB

So after 10 days of scrubbing, sanding, painting, constructing, plumbing, cat rescuing and even some spelunking into a well, we finally mostly got the property ready to go. We have a short term tenant in it right now, so I’ll probably do a little more work when she finds a house to buy and moves on, but here is the result so far:
photo 4
bed area:
photo 3
laundry closet to the left:
photo 2
photo 1

Need to get a wide angle lens out for real photos instead of using my phone, but that will happen later. There are still a few things I want to change before we put it up on airbnb website.

Baby Jessie and the Hellmouth

So Wanderland is undergoing a few changes these days. We’ve decided that due to the limitations of the house as it is, we are going to do short term AirBnB rentals in a portion of it. Our tenants have left and last week we started the process of installing a kitchenette in the area we’re closing off for rental. While running new plumbing, my husband ran across an odd hole in the crawlspace, pretty much almost fell into it. Looking down into the abyss, he saw a pair of glowing eyes at the bottom, and slowly, the reality of the situation became apparent. He was laying atop the mouth of what was most likely an old well, and there was a CAT at the very bottom of it, about 30 feet down, meowing pitifully.

After ascertaining it was not one of ours, we had some moments of complete panic and frustration about how to get the poor thing out. The hole is situated so putting a person or anything large down it was not really possible. Eventually, we decided on a soft sided basket with food in it on a rope, with a prayer the cat would get in and wouldn’t jump back out when we tried to raise the basket.

As it turns out, jumping out wasn’t an issue, she was so emaciated and weak she could barely walk, and we’re frankly surprised she was able to get IN the basket. When we got her back up, she was literally skin and bones and stuck to my husband like velcro.

A trip to the vet in the morning revealed she had probably been down there close to three weeks, and we got her out literally just in time.
The vet kept her for a couple of days, on an IV to get fluids and some nutrition into her, because she literally couldn’t eat enough on her own. She is home now, but she’s still really weak and has a little trouble walking. We’re working on getting her healthy again.


Of course we were dying to know what was down in the hole, because my husband could see other things, so he attached a go pro to a rope with a flashlight and sent it down the hole. Fair warning, you might not want to watch this alone in the dark.

We didn’t get the camera all the way to the bottom because it got stuck on something we couldn’t see. Maybe someday when we gut this house for a complete renovation, we’ll lift the floor above it and explore fully. Right now we’ve just put heavy boards across it so no other poor animal can fall down it. I’m really trying not to think about why there is a bathtub and someone’s clothing down there.

(oh, and we named kitty Baby Jessie and yes, we’re keeping her)

So this happened

More details on that project coming soon!

Also this precious thing was delivered yesterday:

I’m so excited I can’t stand myself.

Rearranging the yellow house. We got a pair of new tenants, so we reconfiured the rooms to give everyone some more privacy. They all work nights and since I have people in the studio during the day it’s going to make everyone happier to have separate spaces. I lost my bathroom access, but oh well. Also, I can finally bring Lucie-Fur over to be studio cat since she really doesn’t like being in a house with 5 other cats. SO, everything is a disaster right now as walls are being built and rooms moved from one to the other, but it’s going to be amazing in the end.

ANd last, but not least… starting to prep for the halloween rush!

Sunday Morning

Coffee and blogs on the porch, at least as long as our internet stays up and this breeze sticks around. Husband is off racing, cats are frolicking in the yard. Our back neighbor got chickens and rabbits and luckily a good sense of humor since our cats spend most of their day either sitting on the fence or on the roof of the rabbit house, staring. I’m going to have to hurry up and get our chicken coop built just so the kittens won’t abandon me for more entertaining pastures… Triscuit is currently way up high in a tree overlooking the bunnies. It’s adorable.

Chicken coop designs… I’m torn! (should link to originals on flickr)
Chicken coop for three hens !Chicken CoopTree House Chicken CoopIMG_1241
Working togetherSolar Powered Chicken Coop

Yesterday we finally (mostly) finished the new fence in front of the yellow house. Buh Bye chain link! We’re short 3 pieces of fence, but only because once we got it up I decided on a different path for the end. The last 3 pieces will only take a few minutes to do tho, so…
Now to build windowboxes…

Source: bhg.com via Megan on Pinterest

I thought a guy was coming over this morning to look at the front stoop and back deck on the grey house to give us estimates, but he didn’t show. I guess he’ll come by after the race is over? I hate our current front stoop, and not just because it’s actually rotting and falling off, lol. It slopes down on the same angle as the roof, instead of having a little triangle point like most porches. I’m hoping while it’s being repaired, that it won’t cost much more to turn it the “right” way and I get something much prettier for the front. I’m sort of in love with this house over by the golf course. I would really love to be able to do this with ours, albeit it would be on a smaller scale since the grey house is teeny tiny.

oh, and speaking of teeny tiny and adorable, I just found this baby picture of Triscuit that Liz took. *melts*
Candler Park Fall Fest 2008

How East Atlanta Village celebrates Earth Day

So we made some lanterns:

My Lantern, representing the village:

And launched some wishes:
Fly! Be Free!

And had a parade:
The parade starts

Then there were performances:
HoopEssence gives fiery performance
Juggling fire!

and short films in the park:
Short films to watch

(most of the above photos are by John E. Ramspott /BURNAWAY on Flickr)

Then we came back on Saturday for more:

and had demonstrations on gardening, biodiesel, cycling and pedestrian friendliness, a seed swap, park tours, history tours and a fleet of alternative fuel cars!

It was a lot of work, but at the end of the day, we collected 4 truckloads of electronics, a truckload of paint, a truckload of tires, a huge box of batteries, another huge box of CFL bulbs, a grocery bag of printer cartridges, and close to 100 cellphones for recycling. We also collected a couple dozen pairs of eyeglasses for reuse, and over 5 huge boxes of books for the library. Then there was the freecycling… oh WOW did we freecycle some cool stuff! All the leftovers were donated to charity or to Wonderroot’s creative reuse team.

Thanks East Atlanta! It was a success and we hope to do it all over again next Earth Day!

Tapis Rouge

I’m currently brainstorming ways to cover my little corner in ART, both temporary and permanent, and I just love this!

found via Treehugger:

Tapis rouge ! from Gaëlle Villedary on Vimeo.

“Tapis rouge!’ was a 2011 temporary art installation by Marseille-based artist, Gaëlle Villedary….

The living carpet was rolled out to celebrated the 10th anniversary of the art and nature trail program of the French town of Jaujac.”

Axes and Hammers and Crowbars, oh my!

The Lady L was gracious enough to give up part of her friday evening to help me conquer the drop ceiling in my to-be aerial room. It was very cathartic.

Next up, removing the faux “rafters” and repairing the original plaster ceiling.

I’d like to say I’d get that done this weekend, but I don’t think I have the money in my budget for a few weeks to finish all of it. I’ll probably have to put up cardboard in the meantime since there are some actual holes from where the old roof leaked. Also, we discovered that the 12 foot original ceiling was for a room with a different footprint than the current room. At some point, a hallway was carved out and so the 12 foot ceiling extends across the hall, and the wall for the room does not go all the way up. I think that I’m going to lay a floor across the rafters over the hall and use it as storage. I can put cabinet doors on it from the room side, instead of rebuilding the wall higher. I’ve lived places with this sort of storage before, and it’s drastically more convenient than having to get all the way into the attic. We also unearthed the remnants of another fireplace, but sadly they disassembled the lower part and build a closet where the mantle would have been.
Sometimes the decisions people make while “renovating” old houses make me very sad.

I’ll be building some sort of support from the attic side to hold the rigging points, but that is also a project for a day when I have help.

In other news, part of the reason it’s been quiet here this week is because I was also up north, helping my mom with her house. She lucked out when ripping up the carpet, and the hardwoods underneath can get by with only some minor work (well, there are a couple spots that need new boards, but that will wait for a while, they are in a closet and mostly hidden) We did some minor repairs and refreshed the finish, and it looks so good! I’m also getting a chance to brush up on my electrician skills with a couple of tiny projects – replacing light fixtures and hunting down a new exhaust fan motor for her kitchen.
It so satisfying to see immediate improvements. Flipping the switch and the new chandelier works? Simple, but a nice payoff. Small projects tide me over while the big ones are waiting on more funding.
I really do love working on houses.

problem kitchen

The kitchen in the Yellow house is driving me insane. Something must be done, but since the whole house will get gutted in a couple of years, the “fix” needs to be cheap and relatively easy. Paint will go a long, long way, as one of the things I hate most is the horrible faux finish the last owner applied.
My problem is what color.

(taken at nite, sorry, it’s a little off, but you get the idea)
The cabinets are a pale oak-ish color, and are too nice to rip out. Painting them would also be a headache I’m not quite ready to tackle, although that may happen within the year (and they would go white, at least the uppers). The floor is a beige-ish ceramic tile which would actually be passable except for the horrible brown grout. Apparently changing the grout would also be a PITA, so that’s out. The countertops are black/brown speckled formica. (changeable, but why bother for 2 years when they’re in good shape?)

Here’s the other side. The island used to be twice this size, but I ripped half of it out and put up the beadboard, which also needs painting. The top is temporary, will probably get an Ikea butcher block top for it, since that would be re-useable. You can also see where I started painting the back wall, it is now a giant chalkboard.

Most of the photos of kitchens that I see online with this combo of floor/cabinet/countertop are painted some variation on beige, which seems incredibly boring. The room gets a ton of light, has 10 foot celings and french doors onto the deck. It also only opens onto a hall, so coordinating with other rooms is not an issue.

Examples of kitchens I love are here, but as you can see, they are pretty far from what I have to work with. (and I know… I’m complaining about beige being boring and most of these are white. I know. )

Here’s the side wall, just for good measure. The drop-leaf table is going to my mom’s, so pretend it’s not there.

Contemplating an apple green, or maybe turquoise. Or not. Anyone got any good ideas they want to share? Bonus points for pictures!

Hello real life!

So there was plague. omg was there plague. It hit our house like a sleigh full of germy gravel the day after Christmas (screw you, Santa) and we didn’t really start shoveling our way out of it until like two days ago.

In light of not feeling like death, looks like the husband and I are actually leaving the house tonight and heading to a Speakeasy party. I wish I’d had time to throw together a real costume, but I’ll just have to ransack my closet, grump a little and then settle for coveting my friend Aimee’s outfit, which I gather will be dazzling if the links to pieces from Etsy are any indication.

The Lady L taught me to not be afraid of handstands. I still fall right over, but there is much progress since the last time I tried (and gave myself a concussion – yes it was spectacular and became irrationally afraid of them). Her way of building up to them is much gentler, so when I fall over it’s a no-brainer to pop right back up.

Moving on!
I’m so excited I can barely contain myself about two upcoming projects I’m working on. One will be on Earth Day in the Village, and it will involve community education on lots of fun happy-earth stuff, a craft fair, craft making, and best of all, A PARADE! Even better, said parade will be at night, everyone will be lit up, there will be a marching band, fire dancers, lanterns, more dancers and giant puppets. Giant Puppets!

The other will be in the fall, also in the Village, and I’ll be a little more circumspect about the details except to say that it will be an immersive experience involving Russian folklore, dancers, more fire, puppets, fairy tales, bones and houses that run around on legs. Mmm Hmm. (Some days I can’t believe I actually get to make these things happen!)

There’s more stuff, but those are the two biggies so far, because they’re actually funded and being started on. I’ll update on the rest when I know if we can actually do the rest.

On a lower note, there’s some other sorta odd stuff happening which is kinda scary, but I have faith it’s the right stuff and that a year from now I’ll be really happy I did this. Sometimes it takes a lot of bravery and some thinking outside the box to get what you want and need, and I need to be brave.

Liz is moving out of the yellow house, which makes me a sad panda, but it’s really exciting for her future, so I can’t be too sad.
A girl named Kate is moving in, who some of you locals might know. She’s a really amazing artist who draws modern pinup girls, so that should be a lot of fun. I’m taking over the rest of the space to give myself some needed breathing room. This means I get to hang my aerial stuff inside for once, and install a ballet barre. There’s been no room for even a yoga mat in our house for so long, so being able to move again, (in climate control at that!) is going to be really, really good for me. I already feel a million pounds off my chest having made the decisions, so despite not quite knowing how I’m going to make it all work financially, I know it’s a step in the right direction.

Oh, and yeah, I need to make a lot more money this year. Got job?

Ok. Now I have to go clean the house because family is coming this weekend and this place still has gravel everywhere.