Friday, December 31, 2010

Lez Hurry Up!!

NEW VIDEO POST!! Lez Renovate - Season 2 - EP 7 - LEZ HURRY UP!

Today is Friday which means a new video. Yayyyyyy! It has been quite a whirlwind month with the holidays and tenants moving out. In this video we show you what we needed to do to fix up the basement suite, and with precious little time to do it!

Whatta suppose Cool J is looking at?

The music in this video is from New Years Resolution. I thought it would be fitting since it is New Years Eve!
We hope you have a fabulous New Years and we look forward to many more renovation adventures!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lez get it started in here

Cool J here. With a familiar feeling that I remember from many winter evenings of late 2009, early 2010. Let me see. What could this feeling be... oh I know. I think it is angry resentment at having to work in my basement suite in the wee house that I usually love.

I thank LL for breaking it to me gently that we had lots of work to do to get Our Basement Suite restored to its splendor. Though our tenants' mamas and pappas did a lot of cleaning, in our minds, the Suite is lacking the pristine lustre we had left it with. And I think I remembered it as having higher ceilings, smoother walls, shinier paint, straighter baseboards than it does now. How did those renters make the floor so slanty? Just kidding. It was simple wear & tear and now lez land ladies spent a lovely December evening at 3 box stores then a late night of scrubbing, sanding, painting etc.

LL will send you the tv episode soon...She was 2/2 in a game I call "LL's magical product". We have this classic fight:
LL: We need a 4x4 piece of plastic, orange in color, that will self-adhere to this wall to conduct electricity to the lamp. [or something. anyway, she is clear in her need]
CoolJ: You're dreaming.There is no such product. Good luck. You can ask the homodepot person, but there's no such thing. forget it. [in an "I told you so" voice, even though I am about to be proven wrong"]
HomoDepot person: Why yes, we have just the thing. But it's pumpkin, not orange. Will this do? I can give it to you for free.
LL: smile
Cool J: no comment.
Tune in later this week to learn what magical products LL again discovered, and to see more smiles and frowns as we sweeten our suite again for our new Dream Tenant.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Xmas from Lez Renovate

One thing you need to know is that LL is a home-body. She loves to make things cozy around the place and when xmas comes, that means trimmings, garlands, and all manner of festivity. Our lucky cat even got a special xmas costume.

We hope you enjoyed the video showing our quest to make an old-timey-xmas.
Click here to watch our xmas video again.

If you live in BC, and your version of xmas includes butchering a living tree and dragging it into your house to mess up the place as it oh-so-festively desiccates, this is the blog for you!

We live near a big xmas tree lot, where a guy moves in with a fence, an RV and a semitruck load of firs in the first week of December. $50-$90 for a tree! But are they ever bushy and perfect! I'm thinking of starting a miniature xmas tree farm on in our front yard. In about 5 years, you can come and hear carols, drink mulled cider, get your kids' pictures taken with Santa Cat, and merrily chop down your own tree. $60? I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime I learned two excellent xmas tree tips:
Did you know that in BC (and most likely elsewhere in Canada, I have no idea about other jurisdictions), you can get a permit to go in the woods and chop down a tree? Moreover, that you are required to get said permit and if you don't it is akin to poaching. Xmas jailtime my friends. ho ho ho.

If you do select one of those trees from the woods, you may wish to renovate it a bit, as nature doesn't seem to grow them in perfect bushy cones and it is also illegal to 'top' the wild trees (just taking the top 5 feet & leaving the rest of the tree there).  A trick I learned from my dad: if you do the Griswald family trip to the woods, and manage to chop down a tree, get it onto your car and drag it back to the city, you are only 1/2 done. You likely will want to cut off some of the long branches, and if you are anything like LL, you'll have a festive vision that is more majestic O Tannenbaum than Charlie Brown's twig.

How to make a christmas tree look fuller
  1. Cut off a few branches and trim them with your secateurs (gardening shears, axe, sawz'all etc) to the right length. 
  2. Drill holes of about the same diameter (a tiny bit smaller is good) into the tree trunk. I recommend angling the cut and the hole so the branches point up instead of down. 
  3. Jam the branch in and count on the oozing sap of the wounded tree to hold them in place. 
  4. Water the tree frequently!
I wanted to show some picks of me using our new cordless 18V drill but for some reason I couldn't find the right USB cable for that camera.
We are very well endowed in the cable department

How about your holiday traditions.. Are you a lesbians + solstice lanterns household? Or are you rocking around a huge blinking white xmas tree? any xmas holiday renovations planned? We'll be re-tiling the basement bathroom and filling a zillion nail holes during boxing week so tune in for that thrilling video!
In the meantime, a very happy statutory holiday to all, 
xo LL and CoolJ

Friday, December 17, 2010

NEW VIDEO POST!! Lez Renovate Christmas Special

Well, the season is upon us to celebrate with families and friends. To break out the traditions that we first learned from our elders at a very young age. To smile, be gleeful and stuff our faces with food. Ah yes, it's Christmas. Celebrate with us as we show you how we decorated our house this year.


Have a fabulous holiday!

LL and Cool J

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What the heck?

Short story long.

So you must be wondering why the heck there wasn't a new video this past Friday! Well, I'll tell you why. Here is a little story.

At the beginning of Season 2, we showed you what will eventually be our jam space, tearing apart the walls and finding the remnants of an old couch behind them. Then, we got news from our contractor friend that the "structural integrity" of the patio is a little to be desired. So, we need to fix that. Which means we would have to remove the siding of the house and blah, blah, blah, blah. This upset us. And what do we do when I find out things that upset us? We ignore them and move onto something else.

So, that is what we did. We decided to replace the toilet in our bathroom. And that, my friends, didn't turn out exactly as planned either. So now, Season 2 - Lez Build a Jam Space turned into Season 2 - Lez Renovate Our Bathroom Because the Mold That Has Surely Accumulated Under the Drywall Is Probably Killing Us.

And that is where we last left you. But alas a NEW fork in the road has shown its face. Our tenants decided to move out! Yes. Which meant that we had to take a break from planning our bathroom reno to post an ad on Craigslist, search and interview perspective tenants. It was fruitful though. We found the dream tenant. One that is never around. Perfect.

Now, its our December crazy nutbar schedules that we have gotten ourselves into. But, that means holiday fun (and work)! With holiday fun comes holiday decorations. And with holiday decorations comes holiday drinking and so on and so on and so on. Plus, when the tenants move out, we are going to have to fix a couple things before the new tenant moves in. All over the holidays.

So, we haven't really had time to renovate very much in the last couple of weeks, therefore - no video.

But I have some good news though!!! We are going to be posting a Holiday Special video in 2 weeks! Look forward to that one as its going to be pretty good if I don't say so myself.

And just for being good and coming to our blog to read the newest post, here is a picture of Menue for you to admire.

That is all.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lez Jam

Here at LezRenovate there's been a whole lot of talk about a jam space. LL has been looking forward to kicking out the jams with her musical buddies in her own home studio, and we keep promising ourselves and our loyal viewers that we'd build a jam space on the premises. I hope Tegan and Sarah, and Beth Ditto to Joan Jett are all anxious to drop in to rock with us. Or at least some old friends from The Stunts & New Years Resolution could come by for a reunion...

But maybe we can get them over for tea & crumpets instead, since Cool J took matters into my own hands turned our kitchen into a jam space.

DIY renovation with a can-do, make-do attitude are my inheritance from my dad, and home preserving is my birthright from a mom who grew up on a prairie farm & believes saskatoons and rhubarb are actually fruit. Join us in stocking our earthquake shelter with preserves that will not only ward off scurvy, but also taste great on gluten-free crumpets.

Some basic jammin' tips from CoolJ to you

#1, you'll need to get some fruit. Lez Reno recommends blackberries, as they are FREE around every parking lot, soccer field, and train track in the Lower Mainland. Ok, it is a bit late for free berries if you didn't think of it in August. Too bad for you! A tip from my mom: The fruits that are pink and small and pricey are often mixed with rhubarb (and sugar), to make it all go further. But seriously, who wants sour celery in their jam? yuk.

#1 Get your ingredients and supplies
Do not pass go & do not collect Home Maker bonus points if you were too busy with softball or hangovers to pick berries. Go buy frozen berries. Meet me back here.

Next, get some Pectin. I recommend Pomona's Universal pectin, as it has a homey-looking box, includes no preservatives and works great in NO SUGAR recipes.

You'll need some basic equipment - a couple of big pots, some tongs, a bunch of jars and lids. My mom uses any recycled jar & metal lid. I tend to go for the wee jamming jars that are so cute, as I give the jam to my sugar-free, gluten-free, diabetic, organic friends and family & I want them to know I went all out and I fear they will be less impressed if the jar is embossed with "Pickles" or the lid is from Miracle whip.

2. Simmer some apple juice down to 1/3 its previous volume. Here in Vancity, many good friends avoid sugar, so sugar-free also means splenda-free, sugar-twin free, etc. The secret is reducing apple juice to a concentrate.

3. Start a big pot of water boiling to sterilize the jars & lids. Yes, you do really need to boil the jars first. Even better if you happen to be a homesteader/chemist with an autoclave on hand.
Keep the jars & lids in the boiling water until you put the jam in them

4. Heat berries & mash them in large pot
Here I'm managing to keep the boiling fruit off myself as I pummel it with a potato masher. Picture me one December night, stirring a similar vat of marmelade bubbling til 3 am, when my plane to my parents' place left in the a.m. and I insisted on home made presents. The holidays are so much fun when you're cross eyed with fatigue and sharing a special home made gift from the heart, hey?

5. Boil the berries & calcium (it comes with Pomona's pectin). Oops. Get the wooden spoon off the gas stove element. Turn off the smoke detector

6. Mix the pectin & reduced apple juice in the blender. Oops! beware using hot apple juice in the blender! Nothing like a scald burn on the face in your picture with Santa.

7. More boiling: put apple juice & pectin into fruit. Boil a moment.

8. Put the jam in the jars. This is the part where a scalding is most likely - hot jars, hot water, hot fruit, hot times in the city. Turn off smoke detector that went off due to house filling with steam. if only we had a bathroom fan to help with this

9. Put lids on jars.
10. Boil the closed jars 5 minutes.
Only eat it if the lid is sucked in and really sealed. Do not mess around with paraffin on top. that stuff is poison. Clean the purple mess from all over your kitchen.

Glow with satisfaction when you eat about 20 croissants with homemade jam. Or give the wee jars as gifties to the family & friends who helped all year with renovations.

Just like my DIY shelf project that took 2 hours when I estimated 30 minutes, always figure i'll have low-priced, high-love gift giving all handled within an hour.

How about you? Do you renovation fans also dabble in other DIY good times? Jams? Pickles? Do you even like preserves? Is Rhubarb jam really jam?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Renovation Relations

So I was visiting some friends this past weekend, ones that I haven't seen in awhile, and something dawned on me. Well, it's not a new notion in the world but, a new notion to me. Being a renovator or house decorator immediately bonds you to people that are the same. It's funny, one minute you are meeting someone new, talking about the weather, not feeling a particular chemistry with them until the topic of renovations come up and how you are both in the midst of some house improvement and all of a sudden, you're best friends.

"Oh my god, I totally know! What kind of insulation did you use?...... Do you have a best friend at Home Depot?...... I suggest that you don't go anything below 70 CFM when you are buying a bathroom fan, totally worthless! ...... What is your favourite renovation show? ........ You have your own renovation show??? Wheeeeeeee.......... (titter, titter, titter)"

It's amazing really. A few weeks ago, Cool J and I had brunch with some newly bonded home improvement faggos and we literally talked renovations for 4 hours. Non Stop. And of course the time went by so fast!

I guess when you are passionate about something, you can talk about it for hours and hours and hours. But I find renovation passions to be particularly fascinating. I mean, I don't think that plumbing or dry-walling or tiling is very exciting. Or lugging old toilets to the backyard. What is exciting is showing off the finished project to other renovators. I guess its kind of like getting approval. Is that what it's like being a parent? Dress the kids up, talk about the trophies they won in school and watch for the approval ratings to go sky high!

What do you feel passionate about? What do you like to talk about for hours and hours and hours?

Monday, November 22, 2010

2 br - craigslist ad

Ok - as promised, here is the craigslist ad for the suite!


Pass it on. Thanks!

LL and Cool J

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lez find us some new tenants!!

LL says:

So - I started the weekend with a cold. Fantastic. At least I can update you on what has been happening at the georgia cottage. I know I should be doing laundry or installing the curtain in the studio or planning the bathroom reno but no, I'm on the computer researching how to write up a one sheet for Lez Renovate and eating cold pizza. Plus, it snowed last night!! So I should also shovel the walk.......naaaaaa!

Big news of the week, our tenants have decided to give their notice! Yep, one decided that Vancouver is not home and one decided that room-mates are not home. So, once again we are going to be interviewing potential tenants. And, like last year, we are going to be working on the basement suite over Christmas! Who knows what kind of hi-jinx the girls got into but I have a feeling that we are going to have to fix a couple of things. Plus, I know I want to replace their super loud, super in-efficient bathroom fan, add some tiling and insulate the furnace room a bit.

So we will be posting an ad on Craigslist shortly describing what we have, what we are looking for, when the viewings are, blah, blah, blah. Once that is up, please feel free to share it with your friends. Vancouver based friends anyways!! I can tell you that it will be available January 1, 2011.

Here are a couple pics from the suite just in-case you don't remember, that was a whole season ago!! :)

kitchen Kitchen

bedroom Bedroom

bathroom Bathroom

So yes, we'll keep ya posted and comment or email if you have a lead for us!


Friday, November 19, 2010

NEW VIDEO POST!! Season 2 - Ep 5 - Lez Make a Plan

It's Friday! And what does Friday mean? It means tomorrow is Saturday, the day before was Thursday and its time for another afterellen video! Yayyyyyyy!

Lez Make a Plan

Yep, we gotta make a plan for the bathroom reno, or else we are going to be in trouble.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend, I know we will.......making a plan!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Working outdoors in the!

LL says:

It's raining and gross outside. I feel sorry for roofers, window cleaners, electrical power-line installers, chimney sweepers, landscapers and school patrols. Ahhh, the school patrols. Remember them? I was a school patrol. It was a nerdy thing to volunteer for back in the day, having to walk around with a stop sign and a bright safety vest. But, I got my friends across the street safely. And I was only 12.

Anyways - back to outdoor jobs that suck when its raining. And for Vancouver, that means months and months and months of outdoor crappyness for a lot of people. I think that is another reason why we decided to postpone the building of the jam space.

Ya see, according to our contractor pal, we need to re-enforce and seal the patio. Inside and out. Which would mean tearing off the siding surrounding the porch, sealing and putting new siding up. Most likely ripping the patio floor up and replacing it. Then sealing it. This is all outside work! And working outside, in the rainy winter, in Vancouver, does not sound like a good time to me. Although, I would be complaining, therefore Cool J and I would be fighting and that would make for good tv - BUT, not fun.

So we decided to keep the fun inside and work on the bathroom. Where are we at with the bathroom? Well, we have done a bunch of measurements and now we are researching how to get free stuff! Free stuff is good stuff, unless its crap. But non-the-less, we are trying to make this bathroom reno as painless as possible. So if anyone has an ideas, suggestions, tips, offers of help, we are more than willing to take them!! ;)

Hope you enjoy your day, wherever you are!

Friday, November 12, 2010

42 days

I saw a facebook status update today that said "42 days til Christmas!!". Holy crap. That means we have 42 days to finish the bathroom renovation. 42 days to convince sponsors to supply us with materials for the bathroom renovation. 42 days to finally fix the foot on one of the kitchen chairs that I have been avoiding. 42 days to find the perfect stocking stuffers for my in-laws. And 42 days to write the custom song for Cool J that I promised a long time ago.


Well, at least I'm planning ahead and preparing for the busy holiday season. Our flight is booked to fly to the in-laws, I purchased my mother-in-laws gift, I have a cheezy Christmas sweater and I have already begun the song for Cool J.

I actually promised her a song for her birthday but time got away from me and I'm a few months late (sorry Cool J). So I double promised that it would be ready for Christmas. A couple years ago, I wrote a song for Christmas that the whole family enjoyed:

CUSTOM SONGS - Happy Christmas by LauraLeeSchultz

I still remember lying in bed at the in-laws, with a bad case of the stomach flu, hearing the song being blared in their pick up truck that was parked in garage. I have a feeling its going to be a tradition to blare it at Christmas. I just hope its not my tradition to get the stomach flu.


In any case, they loved the song. So, I thought other people could enjoy the idea of having a custom song written just for them! I have launched my newly renovated website (you were wondering how I was going to make this blog posting relevant to renovations weren't you?) and I'm offering a special on custom songs.

Click here to find out more - A CUSTOM SONG MAKES A PERFECT GIFT!

So there ya have it. Now I can add to my list of things to do in 42 days, writing a custom song for you. And, 42 days to find a Christmas tree. 42 days to design and mail holiday cards. 42 days to eat a truck load of mandarin oranges. 42 days to.........

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lez Announce the Giveaway Winner!

Ok - so we kinda slacked in the blog category. Been too busy dealing with the "plot-twist" that is our renovation plan. Needless to say, we have come up with a winner to our CSN Stores giveaway!

How did we decide a winner? Well, it was easy. We wrote all the contestant names on little pieces of paper, folded them up and threw them in a toolbox. Cool J did the honours and congratulations  

Kaitlin Fontana 
you are the winner!

We'll email you with the details. Thanks to everyone who submitted your "favourite funiture" comments. We sure did enjoy reading them all!

LL and Cool J

Friday, November 5, 2010

NEW VIDEO POST!! Season 2 - Ep 4 - Lez Replace the Toilet

Ok, so I'll be the first to admit. I was kind of excited to replace our toilet. I replaced the one in the basement suite and feel pretty proud of it. So - what could go wrong? Famous last words. Take a look at the newest Afterellen video - it explains it all.


Well. Now what?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What would you do?

LL says:

We had a sobering weekend.  Well, Friday night at the Railway club wasn't sobering as I think I may of had one too many. Just ask Cool J. She'll tell you about the cab ride home where I managed to rack up the bill by giving crazy directions home. Oh well.

But it was also sobering because we had our contractor friend come over and tell us what we need to do to make the jam space a reality. And friends, this is going to cost money. And I haven't started raking in the millions yet so this may prove to be a bit of a problem. First off we need to deal with the structural problems, then the moisture problem and then the sound proofing problem. All of these problems require research, supplies and money.

So - what do people do to get money? Well - the customary way is working. Well, we are doing that. Next. There is holding a fundraiser. And I don't feel comfortable charging people money to pay for a jam space. I would rather that money go to something else, like back into the community helping people who really need it. Or - sponsorship/partnerships.

Ok - let's try the sponsorhip/partnerships. Let's go with that angle. A little product placement! Ya! Like Home Depot or Dicks's Lumber or Donald's Market (renovators need to eat too!).

If you, or know of anyone who, would like a piece of this DIY gold mine - contact us! We would love to hear from you.

Whatta think? Do you think its a good idea? Do you have any suggestions?

Friday, October 22, 2010

NEW VIDEO POST!! Season 2 - Ep 3 - Lez be prepared!

LL says:

Happy Friday everyone! And a welcomed Friday it is! We have been busy here at Lez Renovate, trying to expose our reno's to the masses. AND.......doing renos! Huh. Plus, more renos and viralizing to come, including a new video.

Speaking of which, the topic of the newest Afterellen video is Be Prepared!

It is wildly known and speculated that Vancouver will succumb to a massive earthquake/tsunami.  Apparently we have a huge fault that has been laying dormant for 300 years and is just waiting to blow. Will it be on December 21, 2012? Or will it be next week? Who knows. But we are prepared. Well, if the end of the world does happen, our little boat, sleeping bag, tent and Tupperware full of black beans isn't going to do us any good. BUT - if we just have an earthquake that kills a few thousand people and we manage to blow up the boat, keep the sleeping bag dry, not lose any tent poles and remember to pack the mini stove to cook the black beans, we'll be fine.

So Cool J convinced me that we needed to fill the shed with our Earthquake Preparedness Kit. I just wanted to use it for a tool shed. It's so small. Oh well, that's compromise for ya!

Check out how we prepared for the worst!


Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lez have a give-away!

Ok - so we promised that we would blog about the exciting awesomeness that has entered our home. We found it on Thanksgiving weekend in the Kelowna Salvation Army. We had to do a bit of repair but when all was said and done, we are happy to announce that we have a new dining room set! I know, I know. You're jealous and you haven't even seen it yet! Wait until you get a load of the dining room chairs!

But wait! We have even more exciting news. CSN stores approached us with the offer of a giveaway to our fans! Ok, you may be asking yourself, "CSN stores? What is that?". Well, I will tell you. It's a pretty awesome online home decor store that has some cool home furnishings on offer. And we are happy to say that we are offering you a chance to win a $20 certificate to put towards anything that they have to offer.

"But LL, what do I have to do to win?", you may be asking yourself. Well, I will tell you. We love comments on our blog. In fact, we like so much that we read them to each other before we go to sleep, like a lullaby. So, all you have to do is make a comment describing your favourite piece of furniture. What do you have to lose? Everyone has a favourite piece of furniture, and everyone loves telling a story. Easy. We'll decide on a winner and contact you.

Contest ends TUESDAY October 26th!

And now on to our new table and chairs. Well, our old/new table and chairs. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. It's an arborite table with a crazy design with matching gold and brown sparkly chairs. Hard to describe. Better to look at.

I'm going to build the suspense (or annoy you, depends on how you look at it) and start off with before pics and little ditty I wrote for you to listen to while you look:

Lez Renovate - Table and Chairs by LauraLeeSchultz



Ok, so there you have it. Our new find! Pretty cool hey? And what is cooler? A GIVEAWAY! So tell us about your favourite piece of furniture. You could already be a winner.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lez have a little look at the before...

CoolJ here
By the time you read this, we will have already torn out a big mess beneath our porch. As LL keeps telling you, this is for our 'jam' space. For rocknroll jams, not jellies.

We have learned many times that home renovators sometimes improvise rather creatively. Our role as contemporary renovators is first, almost archeological. We have to pull back layers of renovation improvisation -- history really-- to get ready to MacGyver our own project. It's also becoming clear that renovation is a widely spoken language, at least in middle-class North America. Though we are LezRenovate, our winter lives seem to be more Renovate than Lez, and I wonder if there is a particular lesbian way to renovate? Except that we like to say "LEZ" all the time, the stories sound pretty similar, and give me something reliable to talk about with the fellas at the office!
L is for Lez Renovate! and LL

Anyhoo, this blog today is sharing some Before and inviting input to the After.

Before we started, our Jam Space was a highly useful space, with every modern convenience.

It had taps in the wall and ceiling to provide water and drainage for the laundry machine just outside (under the stairs).
Note the hoses go through the wall toward the left - outside.
Note also the electrical wire going through to outside.
The chief problem with the outdoor laundry innovation was that the drain hose came back into the room, then across, then through the wall to outside, to drain the washing machine INTO THE DRAIN TILES ON THE UPHILL SIDE OF THE HOUSE. This was my thought process about that.

When we first looked at the house: "What a clever use of space. Laundry in its own little room outside but out of the rain"
When I looked again at the house to plan our work: "Hmm. Now I see where the bathroom drainpipe is. That is no where near the laundry machine. I wonder where he... jeezuz!"

Washing machine drain pipe was about 20 feet long, and went neatly through the wall to outside.
hi outside! great to see you. what a nice little port hole
Luckily the drain tiles and sump seem to be working a-ok, and the basement was dry. Cripes.

Since we plan to rock'n'roll in here, not run a laundry or petwashing business, we pulled out the plumbing, closed the hole(s) to outside. Whew. No matter how nuts our renos may be, we can at least say how gruesome the place was before. Wouldn't you say the best part about renovating is complaining about other people's work, while hiding one's own improvisations??

We also corrected some electrical innovation. I wish I had a picture: Jimmy (remember this is our pet name for the previous owner) had plugged an extension cord INSIDE the upstairs kitchen. Poked a hole in the outer wall of the house to run it to outside. Then a drilled a hole in the porch floor for power to the storage/jam room. Then he spliced several other extension cords to run the lights and outlets. Here is his custom Twine and Twisties Lamp at the end of that spiderweb of wires. Watch out ReadyMade fans, this guy will give all those DIY loft-owners a run for their money...
Rest assured, we removed all this crap.
Our electrics and plumbing have passed inspection!
After we pried off the patchwork plywood you can see in the background, we Ripped it Up. See video for that fun. But now we are puzzling over the best solution to prevent water coming from the top, noise coming from inside to the tenants, and keeping heat in, moisture OUT!

Hey tenants how do you like this drum beat? Can you hear us?

Here you can see where the siding was ripped off the house. You are looking at the back of the tenants' living room...yes that is the back of the drywall on the left.

Any suggestions for vapor barrier and soundproofing?
Our basic plan is to sprayfoam every crack (we removed the crushed up insulation and couch cushions that were stuffed like wound dressings into all the crevices). This room is under a porch that has a roof,  so water coming down is not super likely...

Then we'll most likely use Safe and Sound insulation, vapor barrier on the 3 outside walls (and ceiling, I suppose because it faces outdoors??) Then Quiet Rock if we can afford it or get a sponsor.  Maybe we'll use some sort of keep-the-drywall-off-the-joists method, and maybe some vinyl soundproofing tile. More research needed. Maybe baffles. It is truly baffling.

And there is one more thing...the 'joists' are sort of "interesting"...
aren't they supposed to go to the TOP???
We are almost prepared in case of earthquake (future blog post to educate you).
But since we like to have parties with a few people in attendance, and since this room is under our Party Porch, we may indeed do a little further reinforcing.

And so the second winter of warming our hearts with renovation begins... thanks for enjoying with us and see you next weekend. maybe wear a mask. and a hard hat.
xo love coolJ

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lez Rip It Up!!


We started demolishing the jam space and we found some interesting things behind the walls. Check it!

Lez Rip It Up - 2.2

Looking forward to some delicious Canadian gluttony this weekend. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

LL and Cool J

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lez Demolish! Again.

LL says:

You know, its amazing to me how fun it is to demolish stuff! Have you ever wanted to take a sledge hammer to a windshield, bust a whole box of burnt out fluorescent bulbs or stick your foot through drywall? I have. Actually, I have done 2 of those three things. I had the pleasure of hearing 6 fluorescent bulbs break in a cardboard box at one of my MANY warehouse jobs. And I also had the displeasure of my dad yelling at me because I was trying to recreate a scene from Karate Kid in my hallway and because of faulty depth perception (and lack of martial art skills), stuck my foot through the wall. I think that was the first time that I heard the phrase "Money doesn't grow on tree's you know!!" Thanks for the education dad!

So I can safely say that I'm looking forward to demolishing this weekend! Yep. Last time we demolished a room it was December of last year. The first day of Lez Renovate! It was crazy, but satisfying. Ripping lino, prying kitchen cabinets and sledging tiles. Fun. And now we get to do it again! But not on such a huge level. Ha. That was punny. Here is the demo video from last year, for those of you who haven't seen it:

Anyways. We need to take apart the walls in the jam space. Which is put together with old curtains, some foam and mismatched pieces of plywood. What else could be behind those walls? Who knows. Exciting. But maybe also, gross. We'll see. Maybe I can do another karate kick or two!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lez get sharp here. And call that guy?

Cool J
For a  lez renovator, I sure do seem to talk about men a lot on this blog. This morning is the first Sunday in approximately 17 years that found me on my couch in my housecoat saying, "Dang, I wish I had gotten that friendly guy's number."

In this case, I mean the friendly wood worker at my office - programmer by day, cedar-hot-tub-builder and all-around (self identified) handyman by night. Here's the thing I've mentioned before: LL and I are self taught renovators. We are working with tools mostly given by or scavenged from our dads, and were it not for the web, we would be improvising without even the most basic of guidance. Even for skilled googlers like us, some things are evasive and we need to call for help!

Two examples:
In season 1, we made a boo-boo and didn't arrange the bathroom sink, its supporting board, and the pipes in such a way that we could screw BOTH of the sink's supporting bolts into the board. One was just hanging out in the drywall. What are you going to google? "Sink. Drywall. Help"? "Sink. One bolt ok?' "Heavy. Drywall. Mount". Geezuz. That was solved, thanks to a quick brainstorm with an electrician who happened through.

This weekend, I'm installing the wooden door into the shed, so we can live in the shed securely if any sort of natural disaster or high interest rates drive us out of our house. Or so we can securely store the scavenged tools. The hinges are recessed, so I know i'll need a chisel to carve out some space in the cedar Craigslist door. Fine. But... how do you know if a chisel is sharp enough? Google.

If I buy one from CTire, will it be "sharp enough to shave my arm"? According to the experts turned up on the web, that's how you know. As an aside, good thing I'm a feminist  & have plenty of body hair to work with.

The Web claims I need a grinder to sharpen my one chisel. Since fine woodworking is definitely not in my genes or jeans, I am skeptical. 

If only I had gotten that guy's would be like one of those calls one makes in one's 20's
To self before calling:  Did he mean it when he said he'd be happy to hear from me? Is it too early to call? What if his wife answers?

Since I don't have the number anyway, I'll just have to take my chances a few cheap chisels, rely heavily on wood filler, and brave the laughter on Monday.

As another aside, a sweet Lez Renovate fan on estimated that trimming our door to fit should "Be a few minutes' job". I wish!

Will post to let you know & show a few pics of Lez Renovate Fine WoodWorking on that shed door, but remember, good things take time. And 'good enough' also seems to take a lot of time. Never mind 'jimmy it and see if it stays'.... it all takes time. Lots of renovating, need more Lez!
 cool j out

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lez Build a Jam Space - Season 2 Premiere

And we're off! The premiere to Season 2 is now live. Check out Episode 1 - Lez Build a Jam Space.

I'm looking forward to this season. I love music, We are going to have guest stars, new music and lots of laughs (hopefully). Let us know what you think of the new project!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Live from Lez Renovate - it's Saturday night

8:35 pm Saturday night:
My finger is throbbing mildly from a fierce pinch under our dryer. Whooee! Kick-off Lez Renovate season 2!  LL is closing up the drywall in our kitchen, the last remaining evidence of February's installation of plumbing and electrics for our washer & dryer.

LL: Hey can you grab me some drywall screws from the tool 'storage'?

Sure no problem. First I have to find a flashlight and a camping lantern because the tool storage is the focus of Season 2. It has no light, is a jumble of all the tools, scraps, and supplies jammed in there and essentially abandoned when we concluded Season 1. 

Aha! I grab the box of drywall screws. It's open, upside down & empties into a bin. !@##%%.
Ok. I dig around & find the actual screws.

Cool J: do you think you'll need more than 6 screws?  (Ummm. I guess yes)

8:50 Saturday night:  I put my primary skills to work for Lez Renovate. I google like mad to find the store hours for all the  big box homo reno shops in the vicinity. Guess who came through for us this time? Canadian Tire. Much to my surprise and delight CT is open til 9 on Saturdays. Amazingly they also stock drywall screws, not only a surprising array of small appliances, badminton nets, and mechanic services both relied on and mistrusted by thousands of Canadians with automotive emergencies.

So I zoom down there & in the screw aisle, another customer starts chatting with me. A guy squinting at the wall'o'screws (as I am). He, too is amazed "Hey, look at all the screws! I needed brass screws and here they are! Canadian Tire! Saturday night".

I wonder what it is about my demeanor that makes men in box stores enjoy sharing with me our pursuit of renovation supplies? I've had a guy ask me about the hammer drill he was thinking of buying. Another tell me about the faucet he bought & ask me if it was the same quality as the brand I was choosing. And of course last night's screw session.

I've gamely wandered around the aisles with them, comparison shopping and talking pros/cons of the different box stores, while LL leans on the cart & waits for me to finish chatting & get on with the renovating.

LL's at home & it won't take long to finish with her 6 screws, so at 8:55 Saturday night I grabbed the box of drywall screws & booted out of CT just before closing time. Didn't spend enough to get any Canadian Tire Money, Canada's second currency. This was a bit of an outrage, but overall I was pleased. Because even though I can't shop at a small local hardware store at 9 pm on a Saturday night, this renovating project sometimes brings these lovely moments of camaraderie with all kinds of folks, that remind me of Saturday morning trips to the small town lumberyard with my dad.

Just like my dad, I like to chat with the other customers. Just like my dad  I like to swear profusely when I get home and find I bought not quite the right thing.  But then, I get back & chat about that mistake with the next comrade in the screw or garden hose aisle & blame the big box store for selling me the wrong thing.

9:10 Saturday night. I make a mental note to ask my mom how she thinks my dad would have wanted us to deal with his estate he spent so many years carefully building: how shall we split his stash of Canadian tire money?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The World Wide of Handywoman/mans

LL says:

One year ago, we were in the process of finding a new house. We had been looking at every house in East Vancouver under our guidelines (mainly monetary) that we could. As you may or may not now, the housing market in Vancouver is well, redonkulous. And finding something in our price range made it even harder. Every listing that we were looking at had "fixer-upper" or "handy man's dream" in the description. Well, I can't say that fixing an 80 year old house is a dream, but becoming a handyman is. I tell ya, knowing the difference between a jig saw and a circular saw has been quite helpful.

I didn't start off as a handy woman. No no. Although my dad gave me a couple tips growing up. We even built a fake electric guitar for my airband version of Prince's - I Will Die 4 U in grade 6. I even borrowed my mom's kimono and put a scarf diagonally across my face. Yes, I was Prince.

Anyway, It was an awesome guitar. Complete with fake toggle switches and frets. Dad did most of the work, but I watched in awe. Mainly because I couldn't wait to have my own electric guitar. Actually, I think it was that Christmas when I found a red electric guitar under the tree with a mini amp. Huh. Dad, you're great.

I digress, handy woman. Yes. Where was I? So I had basic knowledge on how to fix things. Nothing like the major overhaul we performed this year. And how did we do it? Well, first we asked our dads to give us tools. Done. Because when you ask dads to give you tools, every tool comes with instructions. Handy. Then we looked to the internet. The World Wide Web. So many instructional videos on anything you want to know - for free! Sometimes the information is hard to find, and sometimes you have to work it out for yourself but for the most part - it's free school.

So I feel like we need to give back. Give you little tips that will help you with daily life. You may not be building a 2 bedroom apartment or a loft bedroom but, you may have to fix a hole in your drywall, or know how to properly prepare a room to paint or know the difference between a jig saw and a circular saw.

What do you think would be helpful to learn? We want our videos to be educational AND frickin' funny. Could you be a burgeoning handy man/woman?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lez Renovate - Special Edition 3 - Lez Make Vegan Cupcakes

Yes. It has been awhile since we updated you with all things lez and renovate. Well, the wait is over. We now have a new video on!

Yayyyyyy! Vegan cupcakes rock. And the winner of the vegan cupcake contest is announced in the video. To find out if you have won, you have to watch the video. Easy enough.

Happy Friday!

LL and Cool J

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lez Renovate - Special Edition 2 - Lez Build a Shelf

Okay - its that time again! Another webisode:

This is another special episode since it is technically not part of season 2. Cool J shows us how to install a shelf, DIY, using recycled materials. It's not as easy as it sounds.

You may all be at the Joan Jett concert tonight at the PNE so you won't have a chance to watch right away. But, when you have had your fill of 70's rock, mini donuts, wack-a-mole competitions and rollercoaster rides - watch, laugh and learn.

Have a greet weekend!!

LL and Cool J

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The PNE.

The PNE. For those of you who are unaware of this annual event, think Calgary Stampede, think the CNE, think massive amounts of people buying massive amounts of junk food and spinning around on rides testing their stomach strength. But also, picture massive amounts of people clapping along to acts like En Vogue, Rick Springfield, Chilliwack and walking around with their newly purchased Sham Wow. It's magical, really. And that was last year!!

This year its a whole new ball game. The 100th anniversary of the PNE. 100 years! That means that this,                 

is 100 years old. Yikes.

This year promises to be crazy! Especially because there is going to be an audience full of lesbians screaming at the free Joan Jett concert this Friday. It's going to feel like Gay Day at the PNE, but it's not. All the suburban moms and dads are going to have alot of 'esplaining to do!

This year is also different for Cool J and I. We have lived in Vancouver for many, many years. We have frequented the PNE, pigged out on mini donuts (OMG, I love those things) and watched the Super Dogs. We have witnessed the parking lot craziness that creates gridlock on Hastings. But what we haven't done is lived 2 blocks away from the PNE while in session. When we bought this house, Jimmy (the previous owner aptly named after his willy-nilly approach to home renovations) told us that he made his property tax money in parking for the PNE.

What? That's like a couple thousand dollars. Cool J had the big idea of taking all of her vacation days over the summer and sitting out back charging people to park in our alley. We even think the little shed out back was a ticket booth at one point.

We didn't see the potential of making money until last Sunday rolled around. Holy crap. This neighbourhood was nuts! The PNE offered free admission to the fairgrounds before noon. We had gotten up early to go for breakfast and do a bit of grocery shopping. By the time we got back, all we could see were elderly asian ladies running in all directions, arms flailing in the air, leading cars to park in the backyards, garages and alleyways. Some yards had 5-6 cars in them!! The going rate was $25/day!! $35 if you were on the main street. Holy crap.

Before you knew it we were in on the action. It took 1 minute to get someone to take the spot. We realized a little while back that Jimmy jimmy'd the back fence to "unfold" so he could fit as many cars in his yard as possible. Still haven't figured out how to "unfold" the fence but we could double our income!

So those of you who plan to drive to the PNE and plan to park, look for me. I'll be wearing a beach hat, flip flops and waving my arms in the air. Just follow me down the alley as I run towards our house.

And we may not be watching the Beatles or Elvis perform this year, but Joan Jett,  Cyndi Lauper and Trooper are just as good! Oh, and one more thing: remember to wash your hands after you pet the farm animals and before you eat the mini donuts.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Georgia Cottageville Horror Part 2

So what were you doing last weekend? This is what we were up to:

New video on shows us in a cramped space, an eerie attic and taped up. Sound scary? Well, it was. But worry, it's all good! Funny even.

 LL and Cool J

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lez Renovate Season One Finale!

Alright peeps, its the moment you have all been waiting for. The season finale to Lez Renovate! We had tons of fun preparing/filming the video as the wrap party included celebrating and not working in the basement. In this video we show you the finished renovation! Check it out on

And don't worry, plenty more seasons ahead. We are just going to do some planning and take a wee break before we start demoing again.

Cheers and HAPPY PRIDE!!

LL Cool J

Oh and stay tuned as we are going to have some Lez Renovate merchandise soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homo on Homes

CoolJ here... I'm writing from a luxurious and pleasant (ie no renovating required) suburban pad in Northern Alberta. I don't know if you can actually call it suburban, as the town is 3 hours away from the nearest city. But they do have a WMart...

I'm on Auntie Time. Playing dawn til dusk (which in the North is about 5 am - 10:30 pm) with my much-beloved little nephew.  Between wagon rides, playing circular saw with his plastic tool bench,  and trips to the lake, Nephew has to occasionally nap. Which gives Anti lots of time to watch renovation channels on TV and muse. 

I watch Holmes on Homes, and Holmes Inspection and I am no longer riveted, as I was for years before we bought Georgia Cottage.  As a Lez Renovator who had to do so much work myself, argue with my lover about whether we should hire dudes or diy, and who had to sign huge cheques, I no longer believe we necessarily have to "make it right' - I see how much ripping, and smashing, and rebuilding he and his smartly-clad crew do in an hour-long episode. Having just lived through at least 400 hour-long episodes in Lez Renovate Basement Suite Edition over the last six months, I believe Mr. Holmes' standards are unattainable for the typical homo owner. Right enough is good enough for me.

Moreover, I'm a bit bored of the same old fairytales where hapless damsels get ensnared in some mess then fall asleep and wait for their prince to rescue them.

Of course I see the appeal of a prince in shining Carharts, with his faithful cavalry brandishing laser levels and nail guns.  But as much as we may want it, Lez Reno doesn't seem a likely Cinderella to be featured in those reno rescue shows. Prince Holmes, and his son/helper have both been named among the sexiest Canadian men. Darn straight (har har pun intended) - it is sexy to sweep in to the rescue of helpless maidens who bought some falling down place without investigating what they were getting into, and who have been duped by some other scoundrel.

Instead of these classic rescue missions by the buff tradesmen, where the damsel's skinny, bespectacled husband wrings his hands in the background, I have another idea for a great home reno show. How about teaching lady householders how to do simple repairs for ourselves, without patronizing us? Or how about pressuring the other Princely Contractors to make their work right in the first place?

I'd kiss the frog in Carharts too, if he came and fixed our slanty floor and insulated our upper story, and made our rockspace sound proof.  I wonder if LL (with her not so princessy look) would be expected to give The Prince a handshake, like the husbands always do in the TV show, while their wives slop all over crying about what a hero he is? Anyway. As I say, I'd slop all over him and any son of his who did $100K of free fix-its for Lez Reno.

Do you ever wonder how many guys actually watch the reno rescue shows? I remember now that my dad hated it.  I bet that whole channel is watched only by people like me...women who want a beautiful home. But know what a pain in the arse it is to actually make one.

If only someone would come and wave their magic laser level on georgia cottage.... More likely lezeno fairies than a prince but that is a-ok with me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bad blogger. Bad.

LL says:

Blurg. I just realized that it has been a week since we have updated the blog. Bad blogger. Bad. I'm sure you are all just sitting by your computers waiting for a notification that a new blog post has come up. Ooooooor, you are swimming in lakes, having bbq's, going to amusement parks, picking berries, sitting on patios......, I think a neighbour has just started to learn the tuba, great.

Anyways, as I was saying....... busy going to outdoor music festivals, camping, burning your ass as you suntan at the beach, eating freezies, going to night markets, riding your bike and listening to a neighbour play the tuba for the first time.

Well - good on ya! That's what summer is all about. Busy doing fun things. But ya know, I miss the basement. I miss the times we spent together, the arguments we had, the laughs we had. I hope its ok. I did spend some time with drywalling upstairs though. It fulfilled my reno need I guess. It was a project that I was ignoring for months. The electrician had to cut big holes in our plaster and lath bedroom walls to move the new breaker box upstairs. It was previously located in the kitchen downstairs, right over the sink. Dumb. So, we decided to move the massive 200amp breaker box into our bedroom. Now we need to find a huge painting/picture to cover it. Right now it's a break box headboard. Which is not very romantic. Unless you find electrics hot. Wait - they are hot....umm, yeah - you know what I mean.

Anyway - the drywall is fixed. Yay! And I'm starting to feel anxious on getting the jam space started. I was having dinner with my drummer friend last night and we both agreed that jamming sooner than later is important. I think we may even rent a space a couple times to fill that need. I just know that the jam space won't be done in August and I need to play live, loud music. 

Well - that's it for now. I need to get cracking on packing. Having a little camping trip to enjoy the beautiful BC scenery. Hope you are having a fantastic weekend as well!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lez Renovate - Episode 5 - Lez Enjoy Summer!

Newest Afterellen webisode has been posted, check it out here:

I put together a little outtakes video for your viewing pleasure. The season finale is still being edited but it will be revealed very, very soon!

Enjoy your summer!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sprinting to the finish of season 1

Hi all
CoolJ here. We recently have been wrapping up our last touches on GardenSuite 2.0. We were so delighted to shop last week at HomoDepot, and all we had in our basket was a couple of hair traps and a plug for the kitchen drain. Decor, basically. Our good pal at HD shook our hands and congratulated us on a job well done. We know him by name. And also get jaunty hellos from the guy who sold us 3 kinds of cement, the night shift guy who helped us with the doors & lumber...basically our Winter Family.

A few Deep Renovating Thoughts...
Is a reno project under budget if the unplanned loan you had to take out is not completely spent?
Is "shim" a verb or a noun? Or both?
How do you know when you are done? Apparently, the caulked baseboards are the clue. If baseboards are on, filled, painted, then you are actually done.
I had to explain to our tenants that we PERSONALLY installed their kitchen counters, their toilet, their ceiling, the pony wall etc etc. They got it "It's like your baby". Darn straight, it's like our little baby. Now that they are in there, we can't even sneak in for a look. I'm starting to miss that basement. I walk by and peek surreptiously into the windows..."Hi Basement" i say, like we did for so many days. "i miss you". I miss the drywall dust in our lungs, the bare bulbs, the mousepoops in the ceiling, the bandaids, the angry -hungry trips to hamburgers we used to say in the 90s ---NOT.

lezrenovate is living it up! summer! whoopee. we'll see you very very soon with the season finale, more reminiscing and then some great retrospective and gardening episodes.

see you soon

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love thy neighbour

LL says:

Ok, so maybe I'm a hypocrite. Sometimes. Or, I'm just getting older and I want things to go my way. Or I expect the same kind of courteous behavior that one would want in a neighbour. Is that so wrong? Is that above the realm of respectfulness? Personally, I don't think so.

If you have been following our blog for awhile, you know that we have had noise problems with our neighbours in the past. Hence the video Happy Easter Neighbours. You can watch it here:

We have taken our revenge and also spoken up. But does revenge REALLY solve the problem? No. Does talking to the neighbour fix the problem, actually - no. Not in this case. On top of party neighbours next door, we have an aspiring bamboo flautist that lives across the street. Fine and dandy I say. He also dabbles in the clarinet. But, he likes to play right in his front door, which is open. The only thing that separates him from the street and the ears of the surrounding neighbourhood is the screen door that cleverly disguises him from prying eyes. At first I thought, "cool, another musician in the neighbourhood!" and "Hmm, he plays ALOT." and "I wonder if he knows any other tune?"and "wow, that's loud." Now it's, "OMG, can he learn another tune?" and "you have been playing the same song for 6 months now and can't play it through without making a mistake?" and "Everyday?! Everyday. Seriously? For hours. Everyday. Seriously?" and "OMG, I can hear you in my headphones, in my studio, with the door closed. What?! How am I supposed to record this acoustic guitar part now?"

I kinda lost it. I had enough, thought it was time to ask the aspiring flautist to close the door and continue practicing inside. So over I went. I was on a mission to do the neighbourhood a service. I arrive at the front steps of the house where one of the housemates was cleaning. The flautest was fully playing so I had to talk loud to get the housemates attention. "ummm, hi - I live across the street. Hi. So, I'm wondering if you can ask the musician inside to close the door while playing. It is REALLY loud." She looked annoyed as she listened to my request. Then she turned around, opened the screen door and began to translate what I had to said to her. Inside stood an elderly asian man who was clearly blind, mentally handicapped, wearing a fanny pack and ear plugs. He looked a little annoyed at what was being said to him and I found my tail curl between my legs. I looked at the housemate and said "Sorry, thank you."

As soon as I entered my house, I sat down and felt shitty. I told my friend Mel this story and she said "that is pretty much the worst case scenario in that situation." Indeed. It looked to me that the housemate was upset with me because I had taken away his one joy in life. To play the bamboo flute for everyone to hear. Crap. So - for about a week or so, the door was closed and I could barely hear him. But that week quickly passed and we are back to front row seats at the Orpheum. Now instead of just feeling annoyed, I feel guilty AND annoyed.

It's a bit of a transition for me. A noisy neighbourhood. Previous to this house, we lived in a rental that didn't have anyone living in the basement, no houses so close that we can hear someone breathing in the kitchen as they struggle to get that last pot clean or surrounded by young people partying all the time. Sure, we have parties - but they end early and we always informed our neighbours that we would be having one. And to join us if they wanted. It never got out of hand and I was totally respectful to everyone.

I guess we all have different standards and we all live according to our own beliefs. I believe that we should all be respectful, nice and courteous. Don't you? Have you had some neighbour annoyances? Get them off your chest, you'll feel better. I know I do.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lez Renovate - Episode 5 - Lez Finish Already!

Newest Afterellen video has been posted!

And we are getting close to the season one finale! Stayed tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend - hope its sunny and fun wherever  you are!

LL and Cool J

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's official - tenants have arrived.

LL says:

Well, they have moved in. Our first tenants. We popped a bottle of bubbly last night to celebrate. It's amazing how fast a bottle of champagne goes! Must be the extra air in the bottle that takes up space, which means less liquid. Yes, that's it.

We had our very successful launch party and everyone was so great! I think I drank way too many gin and tonics. But whatever. Fun times had by all! We filmed the season finale to Lez Renovate, ate lots of snacks and drank. Good times. And we lucked out by having a beautiful evening.

Now I have to edit the season finale and start plans for the second season. Yes, there is going to be a second season. Lez Renovate - Season Two - Jam Space. But first we have to fix the toilet that busted upstairs. Not one day passes before something needs to be reno'd! Blurg. Well, at least I know exactly what to do. The previous toilet installation was a learning process so now I feel confident in my skills.

So, we have to get used to having roommates/tenants living in our house. I'm used to it being quiet when I want it to, stomping around in my kitchen when I want to and playing the guitar at midnight when I want to. Oh well, it's the price I have to pay if we want someone to pay half of our mortgage. At least we didn't mort-gouge our tenants.

Just wanted to give you a little update on what we are doing. A new video will be aired on Friday and then stay tuned for the season finale!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

F***ing Renovations!!!!

LL says:

I don't know if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, but we post spur of the moment announcements, goings-on and annoyances. This is the latest:

Jax: Ummm, I accidentally put a hole in the wall when I was putting molding up. You'll have to fix it. LL: I hate you right now.

So as you can tell, tempers are running high and little things set us off. It's getting to that point. We just want to be done the f***ing thing (censored for the seniors who follow)! A friend of ours commented on how awesome we are doing and that we still like/love each other after renovating. Divorces happen over renovations all the time!! I'm sure there are tons of books out there that couples have written recounting their experiences loving and hating each other through a renovation. Some end up apart, some end of up closer. Of course I hope for the later in our case. We did realize some things about each other that haven't been to appealing. Like the fact that I take things way to personally and feel attacked when asked why things aren't working properly. And Jax's attention to detail is, well, not attentive. And the fact that we don't get to see each other very often as it is, doesn't make it any easier to continue a relationship. We used to fit in hang out sessions that was satisfying but in the last 6 months - every minute that we spend together is in the f***ing (again, for the seniors) basement!

I know, I know - we are almost done.....season one! We still have season 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...... It seems like the reno's will never stop. How do we stop from killing each other? Some people say "Hire someone to do the work" well, fair enough - you wanna pay for it? Or how about "Don't go to bed mad!" Well, fair enough - you wanna sleep beside someone who insulted your grout making skills or molding installation skills? Blurg.

I guess I have to look on the bright side. We own a house. In Vancouver. I have 6 blankets. 6 blankets. Oh yes. Here is a little story for you. I recently recanted a story for a friend of mine because she was feeling down. I have to remind myself of it every once in awhile, to take things into perspective.

One time, back in the 80's, I was living with my parents and I was maybe 10 years old. I used to have a super single ('member those!), and about 6 blankets on my bed. And every night (for about a month) my nightly routine would go like this:

Roll back all the blankets to the end of the bed. Get into bed and lie down. Look at the ceiling and say (at first out loud and then as the days passed, to myself) "I'm lucky because I have this blanket" and pull one up to my chin. Then I would say it again "I'm lucky because I have THIS blanket" and pull another one up. I would continue like this until I had all 6 stacked under my chin. It was a routine that reminded me that I have it pretty good and that not everyone has a blanket, let alone 6. And to this day, when I get in bed and I'm feeling crappy, I pull the blanket up and say "I'm lucky cause I have this blanket".


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Lez Renovate - Episode 4 - Lez Build a Pony Wall, Part 3

LL says:

Yes - it is the 3rd installment of the pony wall series. has posted the video and you can check it out here:

Well, it's seems as though we are almost done the basement suite. And we have tenants moving in at the end of the month. But before that happens, we need to tie up a few loose ends. This week we are going to tackle those and feel proud when its done! I can't wait til it's done.

But - we are far from being done renovations. Oh no. In season 2 of Lez Renovate, we tackle the jam space. Building it out of an old work shed. I'll show you how to do everything! In the first season, we learnt how to do stuff from the internet, trade professionals and trail and error. Now, with experience under my belt, I can tell you with confidence how to do it. Plus I'm sure that there is going to be some tom foolery at some point, which everyone enjoys!!

Anyways - must tie those loose ends and possibly sit on my porch with a beer. I hope are too. Well, not the renovation part.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lez Renovate Search Story Video

Just having a little fun with the Google search story video tool.

You can make your own!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

To not be a slumlord

LL says:

Ok - so it has been awhile since we have posted anything. Well, with good reason. A break!!! Man - that basement suite was eating me alive. And we also felt it necessary to focus on finding a tenant. And that we did. Stay tuned for more info on that. But for now, I just wanted to talk about what it feels like to be a homo owner,  a renovator and now, a landlord.

All my adult life I have struggled with paying bills, rent and fighting the injustices of the world. I have had my fair share of crappy situations and crappy landlords. I even wrote a song with my ex-band New Years Resolution called Slumlord. Here's a little video that a friend put together:

So I'm pretty adamant about being a respectful, fair and overall cool landlord. That's why we didn't jack up the rent for a 2 bedroom suite, which in Vancouver is very hard to come by. And of course we can't avoid fixing things in the suite because we live above the tenants. I was talking to a friend at a show last night and she said the she has been waiting for her landlord to install doorhandles for 2 years. Well - of course I shook my head. Damn landlords, and really - doorhandles are very easy to install. I'll give you folks a tutorial video one of these days. But that's besides the point. I will never say that I will do something and not follow up. It may take some time, but not 2 years!

I have lived in some gross places. The apartment that had mice living in the walls, the main floor of a house that had 3 dogs living in the suite above me and the tenants rarely let them out so they would pee in the suite hence leaking down into my living room and of course the expensive bachelor concrete shoebox. I used most of my monthly pay cheque to pay rent and it had a tiny patio big enough for a burglar to crawl up into and look into my window as I looked out trying to figure out what that sound was. He ran off and to this day I regret not calling the police. I figured that the amount of money I was paying covered security. Obviously not.

We are going to provide our tenants with security, comfort, financial ease and fairness. I'll be a good landlord because I'm a good tenant. Know what I mean? I'm sure you do.

So here's to the rad landlords of the world! You know who you are and we appreciate you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Lez Renovate - Episode 3 - Lez Use Caulk

Happy Friday! Indeed it is. And the weekend is going to be full of little fixes, last minute touches and suite viewings. Hopefully we will find a tenant by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, check out the newest webisode for!

Lez Renovate - Episode 3 - Lez Use Caulk

We are getting close to being done the basement suite. Which means a season's finale! But don't worry, more season's are planned for the future. Lots to do yet. Lots to do.

Have a fantastic weekend and let's all yell at the sun to come out!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

2br - Newly renovated ground level suite, utilities included

Yes - that's right we are officially interviewing potential tenants this weekend. O.M.G. It has been a long time coming. But this past weekend was a whirlwind of activity. Thanks to J's family, we barreled through a lot of the little things and now we just have a few lose ends to tie up. Thanks go out to the aunt's, uncle's and mum's that made it happen. Here is the officially craigslist ad, please forward it on to your friends who are looking for a place to live in East Vancouver.

We'll have more pics up soon but as it stands, the ad has only 3 pics. We still need to do some work before the viewings on Saturday.

Yayyy us!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lez have some fun times gosh darnit!

LL says:

So last weekend we went out for dinner, a couple beers and laughs. Which we needed. Things have been a bit stressful lately. Since we have surpassed our finish date (a few times) our money tree is looking over pruned. We are so damn close though! Just have to keep pushing through.

We also reminisced about the good 'ole days of visiting friends, hanging out reading and going on mini vacations. Ahhhhh - good times. I want to make sure that this summer is full of them. Here are a couple excerpts from our 3 page list:

- lake swimming at least 3 times a month
- rock n' roll bonfire in the backyard
- ride bikes around the seawall, have a drink at Monk McQueen's then watch the fireworks
- yard sales!
- Bumbershoot!!
- NomeansNo at the Biltmore on July 1st!!!
- go berry picking and then pet some goats
- Powell street festival
- the drive-in
- sleep in

Those are just a few of the fun times we plan to have. What kind of fun times are planned for your summer?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lez Do a California Patch - Handy Tip #2

LL says:

Do you have a hole in your wall and you don't know how to patch it up? Well, take a look - we show you how to do a California patch!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cake Contest

Enter your yummy vegan chocolate cake recipes here! We will make the cakes and the one we find the most delicious, wins! What will you win you ask? Well, a goodie bag of music made by yours truly (and a couple surprises).

Contest ends June 11, 2010

Good luck!

To hear all about the contest, watch the latest Lez renovate video - Lez Make a Cake!

After Ellen webisode 2 - Lez Make a Cake

LL says:

Hello peeps,

Happy Friday! And for Canadians, a super happy Friday because of the long weekend. I wish that meant that we could go outta town for a few days. I think we may go to Ikea in Coquitlam, but that's about it. We are spending our long weekend in the basement. Sounds depressing, I know, but don't worry - we plan to have a bbq, drink some beers, go to Homo Depot and give high fives for a job well done.

In the meantime, check out the latest episode of Lez Renovate on After Ellen.

Lez Make a Cake - Concrete and cake. How are they similar?

So whatever you are up to the weekend, wear sunscreen, drink lots of water, don't swim in brown water and give high fives to your pals. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dear basement suite,

Dear basement suite,

Hi, how are you? Good I hope. I'm doing okay. A bit busy right now, but that's alright. I'm learning a lot and I love the satisfaction of doing things right. It's hard though, with you. I know that we have been spending lots of time together lately and I feel like I need to get a few things off my chest.

When we first met, I felt sorry for you. No one was taking care of you. You looked tired and unappreciated. So I made it my mission to make you feel better and let you know that everything is going to be ok. I could tell that you welcomed the attention, but I'm pretty sure that the horrendous task of performing surgery on you has left you a little pissed off at us. In all seriousness, we did it for your own good. Your ticker was about to go, you showed signs of incontinence and your wardrobe was outdated. You needed help. Now, we need help.

Lately we have been dealing with annoyances that are reminiscent of a rebellious teenager. I mean come on, do you really have to make me search for the EXACT screw for your bathtub faucets? Or that not all of your ceiling vents are the same size? Or that providing a pony wall for your leaning pleasure was like pulling teeth? Is this your way of acting out? Maybe you can just talk to us. Are you scared to be alone after its all done? Scared that the new people that will live with you won't give you the same attention? Well of course they are not going to give the same attention! Not even close! I have seen your insides, I have given you a month long massage with sand paper and I even made friends and helpers be nice to you. What more do you want?

I know what I want. I want a day where I don't run into problems that make me pull my hair out. Why won't you let the recycled wood shelves fit? Why won't you let the new bathroom fan vent fit? Why do we have to go to Homo Depot 3 times, A DAY!! It's simple, just let me do my job and we can all go about our lives without any resentment. Please don't hold it against us that we had to gut you to make you feel better. And I won't hold all these irritants against you, just let us finish already!

Ok - are we good? I'm sorry that I had to bring this up but it does make me feel better to talk about it. Plus, it didn't seem like you were going to speak up anyways. I'm sure we can be friends, and once we get past this, we can move on and have someone move in.