Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh the things I've seen to bring you the Sauce...

About half of the time I find a cool image - be it a saucy vintage diva, a kitteh or a good interior - and go to find the source to find more deliciousness I am inevitably led to some tumblr page with a ton of gay porn.  Now, I don't know what that says about my aesthetic but I swear to gawd I'm going to break the internet's face if I have to scroll through one more page of hairy ass to find the stuff I'm actually interested in.  THIS IS WHAT I DO FOR YOU PEOPLE!!!!

I'm not discriminating against your hairy taint if you in fact have one or like one but it's sort of a buzzkill when I'm trying to find more pictures of glitter eyeshadow and then it's all BAM!  Ass balls in my face.  Rest assured readers that I, Madame Sunday, heretofore in to-eth swearest that this post and the tumblr wishflowers where all of the below images came from is 100% taint free to the best of my knowledge and the only kind of porn on these pages will be design porn.  You're welcome.

I'll note the link for each image so you can explore that rabbit hole if you want.  I'm done.  I've reached my 'bear in leather chaps' quota for the decade.

James Whistler here

The quota I haven't reached?  Sunshine.  Seriously, where does light like this exist because it's nowhere near the ModSauce Ranch.  Perhaps it lives in Photoshop...

Jeane Myers here

Black house, green roof!

I still have architectural jungle fevah.


I wish graffiti in Chattavegas looked like that.  We mostly have gang signs with zero panache and a few misspelled obscenities.  Start getting creative local street thugs!!

I also wish there was furniture in Chattavegas that looked like that.  Or I guess I could set some shit on fire this weekend but I think my IKEA Lack tables will just melt and not char so pretty.

Gerhard Richter here

I'm not sure what those Series 7 chairs did to go to the time-out corner but it musta been bad. 


The corners are all a little hurty to me but how many times did you draw a swimming pool of some kind in your fantasy house when you were about nine years old?  Or was I the only one who drafted fantasy floorplans with my Hello Kitty set of colored pencils?  I also drew pages and pages of interlocking plumbing pipes with my hot pink ruler and a primitive T-square I made out of a broken VHS case of the Care Bears movie... that's all totally normal right??!  RIGHT????!!!!


I'd really like to find out more about this building but I'm scared to follow the source link.  If someone is brave enough to venture on please let me know and I'll be forever in your debt.  Go with gawd, friend.
I said this post is100% taint free not free of delicious burrito unicorns.  

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fresh highlights and manipulation are the real diplomats.

We have finally arrived at a solution to the Countertop Disaster of Epic Proportions of 2011 and All Time Ever from last week!  Drunk hugs to everyone for their support!  I’m giving you all the boring and dirty details not because I think you really care about my most important kitchen remodel of all time ever but it’s a lesson in problem solving and I’m nothing but a horrible warning amazing tool you can learn from.
So the morning after the gaping “incident” we met to discuss what the hell happened.   They (the owner and project manager who you’ve already met) told me the sink is slightly concave on all sides (uh… maybe that’s why it was on…??) and cutting a curve through an inch and a half of solid wood is kinda hard.  Uh yeah... no shit.  They assured me that the gaps could be filled with silicone because apparently they aren’t aware of the awesome power of glitternaise…  it’s the new duct tape!  Well it didn’t matter because the sink was sitting improperly so far back in the cabinet that the faucet couldn’t have been installed correctly and my 50 yr old windowsill would have been breathing down Venuto’s neck and Venuto does NOT like to be crowded y’all.  

Don't crowd a brotha.
Gaps aside, the major point of contention was that they felt like I told them where to place the sink therefore I’m at fault for its incorrect placement and should take responsibility for the fuck up.  There weren’t any instructions with the sink (nor were there any specs online) and despite the fact that I emailed pictures about how I would like for it to sit they neglected to pay attention to that or ask questions.  At one point I received a text that said “We’ve found the natural resting spot of the sink!” to which I replied “Go for it.”  Madame mistake #1.  In addition to not being at home for this because, ya know, I was working and shit, I ordered the sink four months ago and hadn’t opened the box which is really dumb and unlike me since I’m the type of Madame that will rip open a new Sephora box with the ferocity of a rabid make-up slut in desperate need of some under eye cream.  You do not get between a Madame in need of fixing her under eye circles and her overpriced lotions.  So I didn’t know the “resting place” of the sink but apparently agreed to it via text with the company owner.  I guess the texting magic only exists between my project manager and myself.  Le sigh…

At first it was sitting on that tiny lip inside the cabinet box.  This is how it looks now.
Turns out the “resting place” is really just the extended facing of the sink which you can see above but because they had never installed a sink like this they didn’t know.   Let’s all just blame Overstock and their lack of diagrams but ridonkulously low prices and $2.95 shipping for this one.

If they could cut everything correctly I agreed to allow them to piece together the counter using leftover wood to make two side pieces and a back piece just to speed things along.  Madame mistake #2!  I wasn’t happy about this but two tiny seams seemed like something I could live with at the time.   It’s only a few inches right?!  I’m not that high maintenance and demanding am I??!!!  ANSWER ME!!!  So fast forward two days through some sleepless nights and an embarrassing number of distraught phone calls to Saint Nick (heeeyy!!!) and they still hadn’t cut it right.  Then I really had to grow a pair and told them I would be willing to drive to Atlanta (I like big city shopping and cinnamon rolls!) to pick up a new piece but they would have to pay for it.  Seemed reasonable to me.  Mr. Owner Contractor suddenly decided to grow a backbone and said no because in trying to follow his customer’s exact wishes (thanks a lot, stupid text message) he still wasn’t at fault for the sink placement and I was being too picky about the side gaps because in the end I would never notice them.  *screeeeecchhh*  Stop the music y'all.  Fuck.  You.   Don’t tell me what I will or will not notice.   I’m noticing it NOW.   A very heated 7 AM discussion ensued and still no resolution.

*eye-motherfuckin-roll* This has gone on long enough - I’m tired of their bullshit, tired of my surprising inability to find my balls in this situation and want to get the project moving again.  I will get the counter I want regardless of how it happens.  I have to live with this shit FOREVER!  If these guys couldn’t figure it out then I would micromanage until they wanted to slit their wrists or call someone who knows how to use a damn saw.  I called Nick and Queen of IKE-RA Becky of Ecomod again to learn exactly how they will cut the counters and what saws to use, what tolerance I would accept, how to finish the edges, how to fix the cabinet below the sink and the consequences if they didn’t follow through this time.  

Me draw good.
I did more soul searching (yes over a damn countertop), went to the salon and refreshed my highlights and felt bolstered in the way only a girl’s stylist can provide.  It was time to put on my big girl panties.  They looked great with my fresh highlights of course.  

By now I was confident that I was not going to live with halfassmanship or those seams at the back of the sink.  They weren’t just unfortunate design details at this point but giant chasms filled with food crumbs and my self-loathing and I really don’t want all that drama staring back at me when I do the dishes.  I hate doing dishes enough as it is!  So I was going to get the countertop I wanted regardless of price - monetary or emotional.  I would have to do horrible, horrible things.  I called Mr. Owner Contractor again for a civil discussion where there was so much petting of his construction skills and stroking of his ego that I think I have a friction burn.  He was so happy to see that I had “decided” to compromise (we’re both paying for the new top which I still had to pick up) that we were both laughing and joking and bestest friends again at the end of the convo because I may not be ballsy at the right time but gawddamn I’m exceptionally good at being nice.  But now I feel so dirty on the inside.  So we are a team now which is how I felt we always were supposed to be rather than the "customer is always right" dictator that they felt I always was but, in fact, forced me to be.  There is some serious mind fucking going on here!

In the end it doesn’t matter that I’m right and awesome and that you all 100% agree that I’m right and awesome because being right and awesome doesn’t get shit done.  So I’m out about $100 and a trip to Atlanta to pick up a new countertop.  Big fucking deal.  MY ego is not so big that I can’t swallow some pride about a small detail for some dudes I barely know.  I do not want them to be pissy as they finish the rest of the project either.  The stroking continues… 

But it worked because look at it now:

That's a sexy tight fit.  Even my monkey toes agree. 

I know I should have demanded this on the first day but I'm not unreasonable and understand that oopsies happen and tried to make the best out of their mistake even if they were resistant.  They should have just owned up to their mistakes in the beginning since it's not my job to tell them how to do their job.  I really need to work on this second guessing problem I have...  People say that I’m the one with the money so therefore I’m in charge and should get what I want when they mess up.  That sounds logical and rational but that's not how the real world works and if everyone was logical and rational all the time we'd never get to enjoy watching celebrities self destruct.  Although maybe having Chris Brown as a threatening back up may have helped...  However, just because I have money doesn’t actually give me leverage.  I’m the one in need of their services and they can leave at any time (regardless of the contract we signed) because we're both even at this point - they have 80% of my money and I have 80% of a kitchen.    Neither party is going to sue over 20% of this tiny project.  They already have other projects lined up so they could easily move on to something else if they wanted and leave mine unfinished.  It happens all the time - it’s happened to me before and most of friends too and we are all filthy rich!  I don't think they are the type of guys to do something like that but we were at an impasse so something or somebody had to change.   I chose me and I'm fine with that.  As a customer with no real means of recourse it often feels like I’m bent over a counter where I’m forced to take one for the team WHILE I stare at the giant gaps of their poor craftsmanship and pretend to like it.

But not anymore!!

Fortunately, their early resistance was smoothed over rather easily once we "compromised" and they realized I wasn't trying to cheat them out of the $180 bajillions of dollars for the countertop made of diamonds and dreams.   I continue to charm them with my hilarious jokes and ego stroking because I ain't dumb!  We are really close to being done and I want them to FINISH WELL!!!  I still bring them breakfast and use my biggest happy face and they are back to being super nice and taking out the trash and mopping my floors.  They are also making cutting boards out of all the leftover wood!  Guess what you're all getting for Christmas this year?!

There are more developments and things are looking hot!  After almost 4 days of doing nothing last week we are still on schedule and will be done probably by the end of this week.  If this is the most traumatic thing in my life during this remodel I'm still doing pretty damn good.   In the grand scheme of things this is nothing and maybe I needed to buy some perspective last week during my over-dramatic angst.   Do they sell that on Overstock?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Inaugural Sunday Set

I come across so much amazing awesomeness on my interweb adventures that you guys regrettably never get to see.  Some of it is best left to the shadowy confines of my browsing history but some of it DESERVES to be seen!!  And then promptly forgotten as you make your way onto other sites just like I do.  So from time to time I'll be posting a dump of random inspirational images that have made pause lately.  We'll call it the Sunday Set because I can't think of anything else to call it and if you're a blogger you have to title things in cute ways so says the handbook you get when join the club.  The handbook is really just a Lisa Frank trapper keeper with some ripped out Elle Decor pages stuffed inside. 

Without further ado, Sunday's cool shit:   

via textiles and other such things
It doesn't have to be on Sunday but any day of the week because I'm a rebel like that.  And there may or may not be any commentary from me either because it's all just visual inspiration that I'm giving you to feed your insides.  Insides that, like mine, feed off of awesomeness.  

Canoe that haunts my dreams via slyAPARTMENT
So not a word from me...

Ian Francis via Booooooom

via This Is Glamorous

via The Selvedge Yard
(pssst....  I'm whispering because I'm not supposed to be talking.  I saw an actual Delorean on the interstate this weekend.  I don't think I've ever seen one that Alex P. Keaton wasn't driving.  It was so horribly awesome I almost ran off the road.  That little tiny window-in-a-window rolls down by the way.  I know because there was a cigarette hanging out of the one I saw.  I tried to see if there was a mullet inside but all I saw was the wispy mustache of a 40 year old man boy.)

katieannyates via Bijou and Boheme

via Designspiration
Sometimes there might be a theme to the set and sometimes not.  Today it's just a random smattering of things.  It's really all at my discretion according to Chapter 2 of the Lisa Frank Blogger Handbook.  Chapter 1 tells you to post a lot of pictures of macarons.  I'm going to fail this blogging test.

via Brian Paquette Interiors

Metropolitan Home via Desire to Inspire

And to conclude, the video that made my weekend.

Hydraulics bring people together with awesomeness.  Omigawd just like Sunday Set!!!!!!  I might just pass the blogging test after all...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It's all funny fun times til someone forgets how to use a table saw.

It's been a rough few days for the Madame this week.  I had to grow a pair of lady balls and get tough with the contractor dude.  This is pretty hard because despite being the HBIC of this here blog I'm kind of a puddle of sweet Southern mush.  Mush with glitter.  Omigawd I AM glitternaise....!!!!!  Well shit.  

I'll update with pictures the kitchen situation - the kitch sitch?! (barf) - next week because it was mostly a lot of us using our words to fix the "incident" as we are referring to it now.  Really harsh words I don't like to use like "Weeellllll.... I guess it's okay.... uuhhhh.....*frowny face*...."   I'm sorry you had to witness that.  So after a few days of hurty words and bad juju I thought I'd remember the good ole days when one of the contractor dudes and the Madame were bestest friends of all time ever.  Over the past few weeks I mostly communicated with my project manager (PM) via text.  We're so high tech like that.  During this time I learned about all the day's progress and that this dude is kinda funny.   So here's an actual transcript of some of our texts over the past few weeks.

But first off - didn't I say that I didn't want to become toooo casual with my contractor because it would prevent me from ripping them a new asshole in the future should the need arise??  Yeah.  I know myself too well.  This is like watching a bus full of happy kids with sparklers and one liners right before it crashes into a brick wall.  It was all going too well... 

I'm illustrating this post with images from Living Architecture: India via but does it float because why the fuck not?!
On Day 2:
MS: Can you make sure to turn on the breaker to the guest room? I can't find where you put the panel and I need my internet! 
PM: I know what you mean. I cry when my phone doesn’t have 3G.

Ok.  I like where you're going, dude.  Carry on.

On Day 3 the ceiling fell.  On Day 4...

MS: No accidents today? [editor’s note: foreshadowing?]
PM: So far. I’m hiding under the floor to be safe.

And then the shit hit the fan with the plumber.  Actually we should change that phrase to "and then the plumber's face hit the grinder" because damn y'all...

MS: Is it bad form to buy the plumber something because um seriously…?!
PM: No you can get him something. I don’t know if there are any social rules for having a grinder blade break and hit your face. 
MS: What’s the plumber’s name for the card?
TB: Jimmy The Plumber.  That’s his first middle and last name by the way.

they should be thankful I'm not asking them to build this
MS: Did you and the inspector make nice today?!
PM: Oh yeah. Best buds lol
MS: Now you can give him the other half of your friendship locket.
PM: Oh I already gave it to him.
MS: Will Jimmy The Plumber be jealous?
PM: He will understand.

MS: Heads up! I’m coming home to grab my tile and run to the tile store!
PM: I’ll make sure I’m not asleep then.
MS: Turn off the pay per view too please.
PM: Well, I’d have to be awake to watch that.
MS: Touche.  One  at a time.
PM: It’s fine. I’m not even there right now anyway.

Because color is my LIFE I needed a weekend (ok and the two weeks before while they were doing other things) to make my paint decision.  Specifically I needed the  morning light on a Monday after a rainstorm before the vernal equinox but it's not like I'm picky or anything.  But I'm a dumbass and waited til the Monday Daylight Savings Time started and it was dark in the mornings again before I went to work.  Fuck.  I just had to go with a color...

MS: Stupid time change! Please use BMoore Soft Chamois OC-13
TB: Yeah it’s a little dark still.
MS: It’ll be fine. I’m just neurotic.  I AM a designer after all! ; )
TB:  It will be fine.  As long as it’s not a really bold color.
MS: It’s a really bold beige.
TB: Oh no!

Oh yes.
TB: Be prepared when you get home today.  It may look a little sufferer.
MS: Was “sufferer” a Freudian slip or a sadly timed autocorrect?  I’ll hope for the latter… ; )
TB: It was an autocorrect error. It was supposed to be different.
MS: Good!  I’m excited about different!
TB: Good.  It’s better than sufferer.

And then the glorious cabinet install...
MS: Everything going as planned?
TB: oh yeah. We are on schedule to finish sometime
MS: As long as I can cook a meal by Christmas… ; )
TB: It may be Christmas dinner but definitely before we have a new president.

Ahahahahahaha *wipes away tears* ahahahahahaha!  Remodeling is so fun I can't believe people complain about...  Boom.  Countertop fuck up.  Sadness.  I cry for real.

It couldn't last forever.  Next week see how my tears are dried.  Hopefully.  In the meantime, this weekend text a friend a smartass remark. It shows you care.  You never know when the plumber's face will hit the grinder.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nick and glitternaise can fix anything. Except countertops.

It's time for another installment of Sad Rags to Rich Bitches: the ModSauce Kitchen Remodel of Amazing Awesomeness and Pizza Roll Fabulosity!  But first I'd like to welcome all of my recent new readers!  Thanks to the snark mama herself, Raina Cox of If The Lampshade Fits for her generous mention as well as the gang at Remodel Crazy.  Your fraudulent checks are in the mail.  You've all jumped into the middle of a remodel so make sure to catch up here if you're so inclined.  Or not.  It's not like you haven't witnessed Charlie Sheen unleashed from the depths of Hades to spread disaster and destruction upon a crappy 60's rancher before, right?  

Anyway, this week we started turning an empty room into a room that actually has a function!  That function is to house all my boxes of wine of course.  The gorgeous Kraftmaid cabinets from my friends at Cupboards (that's their fancy button over to the right) arrived and are making themselves comfortable in the ModSauce Ranch. 

Click images to enjoy larger amounts of fabulosity
So purty.  It smells like freshly painted wood in here and whatever intoxicating scent Kraftmaid sprays on their products.  I think it's Mario Batali pheromones or something.

These tongues are my secret corner rotating storage thingies.  I can fit a lot of pots and pans I won't use on those bad boys!  Nick, my cabinet designer, was able to put all kinds of fun rollout tongues and handy storage around the place - I just told him I'm cheap but really lazy so make it work.  And he did.  Oh, he did.

That broom needs to get all Fantasia from 1940 (not the Fantasia from American Idol 2004) and starting sweeping some shit up!  It's dirty up in herrr.

This is the stove wall.  How sweet of the contractors to stack their tools in the stove cubby so I can dance and twirl at night when they're gone.

OH COME ON!!!  Could you at least flatten them for me??!!  Guess what I'll be doing for the next six weekends...  Somebody just send me a case of hand cream now.

So in preparation for the light at the end of the kitchen tunnel, this past weekend I dug out of my hovel, borrowed a giant pick up truck and went to meet Nick in person at IKEA in Hotlanta to pick up my countertops.  It's the place that brings people together.  Specifically real people and people that are cartoon avatars.  It's like the Swedish "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"  Guess which one of us was Jessica Rabbit?  Since it was the first time I'd ever actually met someone from the internet I was pretty freaked and my face decided to grow a giant zit because of COURSE it did.  Thanks a lot, asshole face!  But in between cinnamon rolls, dirty jokes and Ektorp encounters we had a great time and he helped me finalize my countertop and hardware choices.  Pro tip: IKEA does NOT carry everything in stock at all times.  I've had plenty of furniture pieces be on backorder and the counter options I wanted were out of stock too.  Big blue box fail.  So I came home with the oak butcher block which I'm still totally happy with and: 

BLADOW!!!!!  Shit fire that looks good!!  Even Charlemagne couldn't help but snoop around.

The angled cabinet at the entrance of the room looks so cute and adorable I want to violate it with my love.

The cabinets on the fridge wall aren't installed but you get the idea.  The hole is for the microwave where the pizza rolls will be prepared for the fancy guests.

And then we move to the sink.  The glorious glorious sink.
Full body squeegasm.  Where's the Fantasia broom for support when I need it??

Knowing that I was getting butcher block I assumed I would get a drop-in sink to protect the wood.  Not my favorite but, hey, I have a budget.  Trying to find a contemporary single bowl, single hole drop-in sink for $12 is nearly impossible.  I know, right???!  So weird.  I found this one which was pretty damn hot in terms of drop-in sinks but if I decided to change out the counters in a few years I figured I'd want to switch to an undermount thereby wasting the significantly larger than $12 I'd just spent on said sink of hotness.  Enter Nick to save the day.  He sent me a link to a stainless steel farmhouse sink for about $300.  I pissed my pants.  Flushmounted it'll help protect the wood a little more and the apron front will eliminate possibly damaging the wood there too.  But every sink in that style I'd seen was about a jizzillion dollars so I didn't even think it was a possibility lest I start whoring (again!) and that's really inconvenient and the hours suck.  But after a bit of internet stalking we were able find one at the perfect size - 33" long and 10" deep - at the same price.  I don't know if I can handle that much steel but I was willing to give it the old college try.

Holy hell on wheels that's pretty.  But something's not quite right...

Gawddammit.  That's a pretty big gap.  And why is it sitting so far back?  Can I even fit my faucet behind it?  How awesome does that wood look though?  Do you think if I fill it with a paste I make of glitter and mayonnaise anyone will notice??

So I call Nick.  We talk daily anyway and by this point he's become my guidance counselor and self esteem coach in addition to being my design snarkfest partner.  He reminds me I'm the one with the money and to put on my big girl panties and tell them to fix this shit because it looks like my contractor is Edward Scissorfuckclaws.  (Ok he didn't say that but I used artistic license.)

On the back of the sink.
I bet I could drop an entire pizza roll down there!!  No amount of silicone or wood filler or  glitternaise paste is going to make that almost 1/2" gap look good.  Fuck.  

After a few texts the contractors aren't seeing the problem (I guess they think their glitternaise is better than mine) so I'm meeting with the guys in the morning to discuss why I think they are going to drive two hours down to IKEA to buy a new butcher block top.  In the meantime has anybody seen my big girl panties??  And do you think glitternaise gets rid of zits?