(Sheet) Rockin the Hop

November 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Thank goodness we made it passed the sheetrock phase! That was a VERY long and tedious process and it made us appreciate the walls everywhere we go now! Here's what the house looked like a couple months ago when we had finished the sheetrock and were about to texture the walls. Our ceiling joists were going to stay exposed, so we got to build tents all through the HOP to prepare for the mess! We were both excited that we were not putting sheetrock on the ceiling-that's an arm killer!


We got the flooring put in the laundry room. It was some leftover travertine from an old job Kelly had from work. We had just enough pieces to fit! But THEN we moved our MONSTER hot water heater back in and just the weight of that thing cracked a tile in the very middle of the room. Not sure what we're going to do to replace it....it's been hard to find a match.

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We got these cute lights from the outdoor lighting section at Lowe's but we are using them in out bathroom over our vanity. We got a larger version to go outside over our front door.
After texturing and sanding...and texturing and sanding comes paint! The Light grey is the main color through most of the house and the orange and dark grey are accent colors. The orange is going in our mudroom near the front door and the dark grey called "Knight's Armor" is for our bathroom and window pop out.
Lots has Happened since August and we are all moved in! Still working on the kitchen and as of last night, we got the wood stove going! And if you have not yet heard about the newest member of our family, we have a pet potbelly pig!!! Kelly got her for me when my family came up to visit and see our house at the first of October! It was a surprise house-warming gift! She is hilariously FUN and we named her after a character in one of our favorite movies, Dan in Real Live. I present to you, Ruthy Pig Face.


Hopped around for the Hop

August 20, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

So I'm sad to say that our Construction Living Quarters was torn down over the summer. This was where would stay for the occasional late night Hop building. Now that we have finished out our bedroom inside the Hop Floor plan, we decided to tear down this added on room that was encroaching on Kelly's workshop space. As you can see there was an excellent design element of the food/bed/TV triangle. The only thing that would have made it better was to have the fridge handle on the right side closest to the bed :). Oh well, I guess we can't have it ALL.

My summer work schedule has put me on the road a LOT! Kelly and I were able to squeeze in our annual Texas 2 step tour in June though! We spent most of our time in Gruene, Texas! It is the home of the oldest dance hall in Texas! We went dancing to a live band there as well as danced our way around some mountain biking trails in Dallas and the Texas Hill Country. If you like dancing, antiquing and eating near a GREAT view, GO TO GRUENE TEXAS and eat at http://gristmillrestaurant.com/ You will not be disappointed. Live music, dancing, family atmosphere right on the edge of the Guadelupe River! It is an amazing view and really cool rustic restaurant made from an old gristmill. 

We were so excited about exploring antique shops and flea markets that we even gave up our annual visit to Luckenbach, Texas because we spent all our money on weird items that we wanted to turn into Light Fixtures. Here is the one we put in our bedroom.

It was a very successful trip! I've collected a few things too on my journeys for work too. Here are a few photos of some of our other finds. 

Someone came to visit the Hop a couple of weeks ago and they weren't as surprised as I thought they would be because they said they felt like they had already been there because of the blog and instagram photos (usernames: robyncloud and storytimeproductions). So I have decided to keep the shock factor sacred (and hopefully motivate many of you to come visit me and see for yourself) and only post close-up detail shots from here on out. That way you can be surprised when we have our big dance and open house party! If you know of any willing bands who would want to donate their talent and live music, we are in the market and would gladly accept your talent too ;)

Now is the time to brag on Kelly. He is so thoughtful! While I was away on one of my work trips this summer, he surprised me with this bed frame that has built-in drawers all around! He knows how I like to save and reuse, well everything. Now I have space to store those things and maybe there will be room for some of his clothes too.

Kelly and I designed a custom closet and I really needed a space for my long dresses. We are currently sharing a small closet and my long dresses hang down on the rod below and get caught in the wire hangers underneath them. Also our shoes are thrown all over the closet floor near the dirty clothes hamper. So here is what we came up with! On the far right, I have a skinny section for those long dresses and Kelly made drawers for our shoes to go in!

Here is the before and after of the door that Kelly designed and built! He made the arrows and everything! The wood from the door is over 100 years old and also from Old Main, the old school house in Huntsville that was torn down. 

As of late tonight, the sheetrock is almost complete! We still got some muddin to do though. And for the newest addition to the family... our bathroom sink! Our latest and greatest Craigslist find.

Here is a good reminder for us all as we live through our busy schedules and 'stuff-filled' lives. "I will place no value in what I have unless it is in relationship to the Kingdom of God." Just this week, we are so humbled to already have our house be a place of God's work. I had a girl stop by after school to talk and pray with me because she has been going through a hard time. Kelly also had a former youth student come help us a couple of nights and after talking to him and hearing about his college experience, we have been able to see some real fruit of the Spirit in His life! I pray that our houses never take value over God's kingdom.



Old but cool.

May 20, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Don't worry everyone. I'm still blogging! We had several youth events and endless graduations to attend the past couple of weeks, so I haven't made much time for blogging until now. The shop has really improved since we put in the insulation. You can feel a stillness just standing in the middle of it now because there is no more drafty air swooping in all of our cracks and holes in the sheet metal! That spray-in insulation really sealed everything up! It's supposed to be a LOT more cost-effective in the long run too! 

We started putting up sheetrock in our bedroom. The ceiling is finished in that room and thank goodness we only have one more room with a sheetrock ceiling because that is a shoulder killer! Standing on a ladder with your arms extended over your head, holding a large piece of sheetrock while your husband repeatedly drops the screws is not the most fun activity! It will for sure look nice, but I'm glad the rest of the house's ceiling is exposed wood!

The story behind our ceiling joists is so cool! All the wood is from an old-school house in Huntsville that was torn down several years ago. Those boards are VERY old and it's really cool to have a piece of history in our home! Kelly and his dad's business were part of the team that tore down the old-school. They were able to save lots of the rock walls, which my father-in-law's going to be using on a new barn at the farm. This is a picture and proof of the age of these boards. This little white round knob is how they wired the electricity back in the day. We thought we'd just keep it on there to show how old these boards really are! 

Our ceiling detail turned out so cool! I wish I could take credit for this but it was really my father-in-law's idea: a chevron ceiling! Who doesn't love Chevron? Kelly thinks that years from now we will look back and say how hideous that pattern was. He may be right but right now I'm in love with it as is everyone else. These boards were from a huge storage room that we purchased from a guy off of craigslist. We weren't so sure about what was going to be in the storage room because it was labeled as "lots of steel." When we open it up, it was full of warehouse shelving that you would see at Sam's Club and these boards where the slats that went into each shelf. There were several pallets of them, so it was plenty to make our ceiling! Another small design detail that Kelly and I have been excited about is putting a few pieces of furniture on casters. When we open up that storage room we were so excited to see boxes full of caster wheels! This is a perfect addition to our industrial style!

One thing we both are really proud of are the large pine columns and beams and the beams beams that hold up the ceiling. With a little extra work you can really save yourself a lot of money while building at home. Kelly found a huge pine tree down in a neighbors yard in town. He knocked on the door and asked him what he was planning on doing with that tree. He was going to do just haul if off and said that Kelly could have it if he loaded it up himself and got it out of there. So he rounded up a few boys from our church youth group and together they loaded up this giant log on a trailer and hauled it off to a friends sawmill. He cut us a good deal and made our kitchen column and cross beams with a few extra pieces that we plan to use on a porch or backyard structures.

Kelly had a birthday the first week of May and He wanted to buy this door handle for the front door of our house. He and his dad love to play around with blacksmithing and ironwork. So when kelly saw this steal on Craigslist, he said he would rather use his birthday money on this than on new boots! It is really pretty and very unique! He is currently making our door and I will paint it to be a distressed yellow where some of the wood shows through. We will have this door handle and other chunky ironwork on the hinges. Here's the drawing Kelly and I did together for it. 

Here's our verse of the week. When life get busy or hard, remember this: "So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."



Electric Eclectic

April 15, 2014  •  2 Comments












To start off I wanted to show a better photo of our window pop-out from the last blog (above left). Since our last post, we have put in 2 more windows and cut out the old air unit. We have also started on our electrical too. We made a generic lighting/electrical plan (above right) and also laid out all of our receptacles. Kelly had me drill holes in all the studs so that he could go through and run the wires behind me (below). I learned in the UA Interior Design program how to draw up electrical plans for the spaces that we would design, so after Kelly and I talked about what we wanted for lighting, I drew that up this week so that Kelly could have a reference for placing the wires. It was a wonderful teamwork moment. I drew, he worked! Haha! However, after getting the drawings to him, he quickly put me to work to further explain the electrical process. He had me make loops at each receptacle and then cut the wire in half. Once that was done, I started on all the corners to make ends meet for the sheetrock. I added boards perpendicular to all the existing corner studs so that the sheet rock will have a place to attach.

Now, I’d like to write a little more about our kitchen. Since it is a small space, sadly we're not going to have very much cabinet space. On the bright side, we have a couple of creative solutions! The first is an old retro refrigerator (2 photos down) that we are going to use as an extra pantry/storage space. Not only will we have more storage space, but it is such a cool conversation piece! Another recent addition was the kitchen window above our sink (the horizontal window on the left side of the photo below). That exterior wall is very thick because of some of the existing structures of the shop we had to work around. This allowed us to have an extra deep window sill that can also be used as open shelving. I am definitely displaying my Fiesta dishes here! The last little thing that will help with our lack of cabinets is a tiny space near our fridge and bedroom door. The angle of the wall creates just the right niche for a tall and skinny pantry.  

The outside of our kitchen window was one of Kelly’s creative ideas. It is a stationary barn door (below)! We have been constantly brainstorming about ways to dress up the front, road side of our Hop. This really helps break up the plain, sheet metal on the facade. He is going to weld a pipe across the top of the door and attach 2 large wheels to make it appear to be a working barn door! Unfortunately it cannot open because our kitchen sink, cabinets and that deep window shelf are on the other side. Kelly surprised me with those old wheels (below) about a month ago. He bought them at a flea market in Lincoln when he was on one of his jobs. 

One of the best things about all this work is collecting treasures when we travel. Last year when we went on vacation in Texas, we made several stops at antique stores and flea markets and have collected giant letters for decorating our home, pulleys for our custom light fixture we are creating for our dining room and a vintage door knob! I'll have to do a future blog post just for all of our finds! It’s been a very funny journey learning about each other’s styles. Kelly seems to want everything brown and wood! I, on the other hand don’t really have much rhyme or reason to the things I like; the only way I can seem to summarize it is by saying I’m eclectic. This has been the running joke with Kelly towards me, because he tries so hard to predict what I like whenever we walk into a new store and most of the time he is very surprised by what I fancy. He just settles to say I’m unpredictable and eclectic! We are so excited to finally get our drawings and ideas onto the computer! Here is our grand design idea for the exterior, porch and front door. Enjoy the sneak peak to our dream ending! 

We plan to keep the sheet metal and use Western Cedar for the wood structure and window pop-out. 

The Window Seat of Love

March 31, 2014  •  2 Comments

When Kelly bought the shop a few years ago before he met me, it was full of tools, metal and the outside was just a junkyard full of stuff! The good thing though it that he was able to make some money by scrapping out a lot of the old metal and parts that were no longer usable. This is a great way to make some extra money, especially if you are trying to save up for a building project. So, if you have an old car that doesn't run anymore or you buy a piece of land that has a bunch of old things laying around, take them to a recycling center and get paid for it! Several of the tools did still work and we have been using those on our home and other projects. One of the finds from the shop was the chicken house fan in my last post. Another rustic piece was an old wood stove! This will be our main heat source. Since the downstairs area is mostly open and pretty small, it will have no problem keeping us warm. 

The window corner pop-out out is one of my favorite features! It probably wasn't a favorite at the time of construction though for Kelly and dad. It was a little tricky trying to work with the existing structure and there were a couple of issues trying to support the upper floor above the corner area that extended out past our foundation. But, by keeping the existing corner pole that was already in the shop and using some steel brackets that kelly welded to hold the weight of the window seat, it's all going to be pretty sturdy when everything gets connected together.



(This was the time of day that we got all the windows put in our window seat after a late night of work by our community from church. I'll try to get a daylight photo of it in my next post. Our windows were a steal to say the least! We found them on the "materials" tab on Craigslist. They were made custom for a project and were made wrong, so we got 8 of them almost for the price of one! They were triple-paned, fancy, and efficient to say the least.)

I just started reading a Bible Study book that is called “Live Tastefully” (Savoring encounters with Jesus) by Lenya Heitzig http://www.amazon.com/Live-Tastefully-Savoring-Encounters-Jesus/dp/0781405947 and it has been a very cool study on specific times that Jesus met with people over a meal or food. We are so excited about that window seat and are ready to fill it up with people to eat together, learn together,and love together as Christ and his disciples did! Last week I read about him attending the wedding where they ran out of wine. The coolest part of that story to me was learning about the culture. It was so shameful for a host not to have enough wine for their guests. It was more than just a shortage of food. People would have shunned the host and brought shame upon them for not being able to provide for the wedding. So when Jesus stepped in and turned water into more wine, he did so in abundance to provide the host of the celebration with MORE than enough for his guests. Not only did he provide for a need, but he rescued the host from shame! Kelly and I were so blessed this past week to find out that our tax return was abundantly MORE than what we were expecting and planning for! This is such a blessing for our home because the next thing on our list to purchase was foam/spray insulation which is much more efficient than the traditional insulation. Since we are keeping most of the metal as our siding for now, we were hoping to invest in this type of nice insulation, but not sure how we would pay for it. Thanks to those of you who have been praying for us as we build our home. Just as he did in abundance for the host of that wedding, God has provided for us too once again!


“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19

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