Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day 2008

I liked this year's Google doodle of their logo in celebration of Earth Day. Turtles always remind me of Jen's nose.

In celebration of Earth Day, I'm pleased to announce that an initiative I've been working on for quite some time is now officially live. As I result of becoming more educated on sustainable building, I've partnered with some experts to create Eco Achievers, an online education company that will provide online courses on sustainability for homeowners and green building professionals.

Eco AchieversOur first courses deal with home energy fundamentals (like understanding that utility bill you receive every month) and figuring out ways to improve your energy efficiency. We also have a solar energy course, which is an in-depth examination of solar energy and it's applications to buildings like homes and small businesses.

While still a little rough, we feel our courses are ready for prime-time although we will continually work to improve them and add more courses to our catalog. If you're interested in green building topics, let us know and we may build a course just for you! And perhaps we can all carry a little bit of Earth Day into every day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Bathroom in a Weekend - Part 2: Walls

Although the first floor bathroom had been remodeled before we moved in (indeed, it was redone between the first time Jen saw the house and the first time I saw it), during the three-year mayhem of construction at Humphrey House, it had sorely deteriorated.

Once we uncovered the cool original bungalow floors and decided to go with them, we knew it was time to tackle the walls. I had previously repainted the ceiling and while I had the setup ready for the kitchen ceiling, but the walls had seen many patched holes that I later spot primed, and needed a fresh coat throughout. Well, they got four.

On Saturday, I began with a thorough coat of moisture resistant primer (this is a bathroom with no ventilation fan after all). After letting it set overnight, it was time to tackle the finishing coat. Scott, being the sport he is, offered to help paint before he had some other things to do.

Since the first floor bathroom is such a small room, we planned to reuse some of the myriad gallons of previously used paint that still had some left inside (about 15 cans or so). Jen thought a nice cool white would work well on the walls, so we went with Swiss Mocha leftover from the upstairs painting. So Scott and I cracked open an extra gallon and went to town. It went pretty fast as I cut in and Scott followed me with the roller. Without a toilet or vanity in the room, there was actually a fair amount of space for us both to work in, and things went along smoothly.

Until Jen exclaimed, "Wait, that's too yellow!" Turns out we did not have Swiss Mocha (the mix label on top was too faded), but some kind of creamy yellow. Suddenly the cool bath became draped in muted yellow, that when seen against the pastel blue bathtub, left you feeling that all we need was a dash of pastel pink and we'd have a perfect room for a baby shower. Needless to say, the yellow was out. I didn't have the heart to do this while Scott was still over, so I waited until after he left to redo the paint in a whiter shade.

About two thirds of the way into the new paint color, I heard a voice from behind, "That's still not it." I incredulously turned around to see Jen frowning at the walls I had just painted.
"It's practically white! What are you talking about?"
"No, it's still too warm. I want this room to be cool."And she started to go into some design philosophy as I wondered what i would be like to not be married to a graphic designer.
"Okay, well what color do you like best?" I asked.
"The white that was in here this morning was nice," Jen replied.
"You mean the primer?"
"Yeah, whatever. That was cool. Get it, cool? Let's use that."

I got it all right. So, I went around the room yet again for the fourth time with the same color (primer) that I had used the first time that weekend. Fortunately this primer has a bit of a gloss to it so it will actually relatively easy to maintain. but going through the process certainly wasn't easy!