While I love having my best friend again, I am still adjusting to having testosterone back in our home (thank goodness! I never realized how much the men balance out our female crazies!). There is something God has put in them to do work. I am talking real work here, girls! Lazy days are great now and then, but my mister loves to build and work with his hands. Between searching for a new job and doing some graphic design work on the side, he still has a little bit of energy he needs to spend. That's fine with me! I have taken a mini vaca from doing ANY hard labor on the house since he has been home (filling those raised beds out back gave me my own fill of hard labor for quite a bit!). But, somehow, working in the heat of Afghanistan for 8 months hasn't slowed him down one bit.
Besides his love of work, he also has a secret little addiction I have no problem letting everyone in the world know about. But, you didn't hear it from me...he loves...to...upcycle. Shut yo mouth! Gasp!
It has nothing to do with loving the environment. Seriously. But, he loves to save odds and ends and then find a perfectly good use for them later on. His devotion to using what we have has had some pretty big payoffs in the past. As only an artist can, he sees masterpieces in a junk box, or a new mantle and bench in a wood pile (foreshadow, foreshadow!). With all the renovations we have done in past, he managed to collect a nice scrap pile. Also, when we moved in, there was a great stack of old, but good lumber stacked up in mom's apartment!
On Monday the mister started work on the mantle and kept on going into Tuesday with the built-in bench seat. When I asked him if he a drawing or a plan, he looked at me and said, "Yep, all in my head." In the past, this would be where I would leave the room and go clean something, vigorously (I like plans, and I like drawings, and those types of silly things, and so it was sometimes hard for me to imagine the finish product without getting getting all worried about the process). But he had built so many things now, and with every project he has gotten better and better. This mantel and bench, even in the bare bones phase, really impressed me with his craftsmanship and attention to detail. No more vigorous cleaning for me! Bonus!
He started off with building the mantle. (Yes, we got a TV, for all those out there with shocked looks on your faces! No worries, we still haven't given in to cable, just something to watch movies on with the kiddos and play games on with friends).
The mister made the mantle to wrap around and even fit into the little grooves on the side! Woohoo!
After sanding down the plaster, he put on the first coat of paint! Love it! Still not sure how to hide those two little cords. We will paint them some more with the white, but I have no idea if I should try to be all decoratey under the TV or not? Also, I think that is a LOT of white. Maybe we will paint the center panel or the whole area above the mantle in a contrasting color? Hmmm...something to think about.
He then started work on the bench. The purpose of the bench is to hide the TV cables, and also give a space for the Xbox, videos, records, and toys. Besides just being totally cool.
All in his head! Love it!
Let me remind you what the fireplace looked like when we first bought the place:
THE AFTER in PROGRESS!
All that without one trip to the hardware store! Mister, you're the coolest!
Still to come: The cabinets, a few coats of paint, and an upholstered cushion on the top! I guess I will submit and watch a few upholstery piping videos before I take a stab at that cushion. Will keep you in the loop!