Sunday, December 28, 2008


Houston, we have a staircase! It has actually been in for almost 2 weeks, but Ben took a picture on his new phone the day it was installed, so I have not been able to post any. He didn't take any pictures of the process of putting in the staircase, so I have no idea how it looked before it was installed.

The inside is coming together very nicely. It should be done in the next week or 2. Here are a few pictures of the progress:

Picture of the staircase installed. It turned out much smaller than I had imagined from the plans.

View of the stairs from the upstairs loft

View of the how the staircase looks in proportion to the room

And here is a picture of the master bath vanities. There will be 2 mirrors on the wall eventually.

And here is a view of the toilet & tub side of the master bath. Just needs a little more glass tile & plumbing fixtures for it to be done.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Well, crap

There is this new law that goes into effect on February 10, 2009 that creates a standard for lead & phthalates in children's products. It is in reaction to the lead recalls last year in children's toys & jewelry.

I know a little bit about the law because we are dealing with it at work on some of our products because it also sets standards on some adult product as well. I hadn't really thought that much about it because I didn't think it had anything to do with clothing. What little I knew about it, I thought that clothing was excluded....

Remember that business that I am forever talking about starting. Well, we (we being my husband & I) have a plan in place that would allow me to start working on this in the next couple of months. It's a solid plan & I have been very excited as I saw the time when I could begin working on my clothing coming closer & closer.

Today, I was reading one of the designer blogs that I follow. It turns out that the pesky little law designed to protect children is going to make it so that I can not do my business. As the law stands right now, any existing product has to be tested for lead by a "reasonable testing program". The cheapest I found testing for is $200-$300 per style.

And as of August, 2009, all product will have to be tested by an approved 3rd party testing facility. Which is f'ing expensive. Like in the thousands of dollars expensive.

What this means for me, is that the law as it is currently written, will make it cost prohibitive for me to start my business. So that really sucks. I will continue to follow this. As it sounds, people are finally realizing the effect this law will have on manufacturers big & small. So hopefully, there will be changes made so that small business owners are able to sell children's clothing.

But for the time being, I am pissed. I am this close to getting my business started in earnest & now there is a HUGE road block in the way...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Flip Updates

the Victorian after it was sandblasted to remove as much paint as possible

We have made quite a bit of progress on our flips.

The quick one has been on the market for about a month. We had an offer that fell through. The woman lied about being able to be a cash buyer & could not qualify for financing. That was a little unfortunate, but probably a good thing in the end. The house now qualifies for FHA financing (which is a very good thing) and the showings have picked up quite significantly. Here are some more pictures of it done. I never got any before pictures because the contractor started working the same day we closed. And, well, my husband forgot to take some.

The big project has been, well, a big project. It took several weeks longer than planned to get the new furnace installed & passed inspection because the furnace guy booked too many jobs at the same time. And the drywall & texturing has turned in to a bit of a nightmare. The contractor promised he would be able to do all of it in a matter of days. He ended up taking weeks to finish & used more than 3x the materials that he should have. (The contractor is paying for the additional materials, not us.)

So we are a little behind (by about 6 weeks). But our contractor is working hard to get us done as quickly as possible. And really, with Christmas coming, it is probably OK to be behind a little since it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to put a house on the market right before Christmas anyway.

The good news is that the walls are done; textured & painted. The bamboo floors are in. The travertine tile is going into the kitchen. Lights are all installed. New windows are installed. And the spiral staircase will be ready sometime next week. So things are coming together pretty quickly at this point.

Our camera is having some issues, so I don't have a whole lot of pictures. But I did add some to the group. Sorry that some of them are a little weird to look at.

So what do you think of the progress? Would you want to live there?

Friday, December 5, 2008


I know, I went a month again without posting. More on that later. Since this is supposed to be a blog about me designing, I figured I should post a couple of pictures of some of the stuff I designed recently for work.

If you click on the images, it will direct you to our website so that you can see these bigger.

What do you think?