Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Dull Boy...

Well it was all work and no play this 4-day weekend despite our best intentions at play. We did take a break from the work on Thursday to celebrate the holiday with some good friends but we were up and eager, just like the black Friday shoppers, to install countless feet of trim around the main floor of our house. This trim project took the better parts of Friday, Saturday and Sunday and there is still work to be done. But, I'd say it is about 80% done and I think a few weekday evenings should have us putting a nail in this project (pun intended).

Here's Justin setting the nails on the crown molding above our cabinets.
And a snapshot of a corner that we trimmed out this weekend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I can hardly contain myself

Umm, there is almost nothing that gives me that same feeling as seeing all of my "stuff" tucked away neatly in a well thought-out organization scheme. So, it was a good Monday night this week when I got to whip out the label maker and dump all of my baking goods and assorted grains and non-perishables into plastic bins. No more plastic sacks of bulk flour (and for this bread-baking household, that's a big deal.)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well, Justin just finished up his 14th straight day of work, thanks to a construction project that requires closing city streets. So, rather than slave away on the house on the weekends, he's been slaving away in the evenings. And you can only get so much done between 5 and 9 pm. Yesterday though, while I was out grocery shopping, he tackled the closet. Now, I had installed the shelf and rod a while back but our stereo components have been sitting on the floor since we moved in and we wanted a little more organization. So Justin built a little cubby for the stereo, ipod and whatever else we decide to store in the closet. It really cleans up the space. For my part, I decided to unpack the 5 boxes of CDs and see about organizing them in a way that doesn't take up as much space. Justin's been working on copying his music to his ipod but I'm not ready to give away all of my shiny Paul Simon discs quite yet. I am however totally ready to get rid of the jewel cases. I've condensed my entire collection down into those two cases in the bottom right of the photo.

Last weekend, we really made a push to get the doors hung and the hardware on the doors. Justin painted the doors and the trim and I caulked and touched up the tan paint once the trim was completed. Finally, we have some privacy for our bathroom! We only have one more door to hang, the coat closet door which needs a modest repair first.

In other news, I ordered a rug for the dining room after much deliberation. I visited a half dozen stores and surfed to the ends of the internet to find a rug that met my decor requirements as well as budget. I ended up purchasing this one off of It's got a real arts and crafts vibe to it and the color ties well to the living room sofa. And despite its heft, they shipped it to me for $1. Sweet!

Another internet find that I unpacked this week was this interesting pillow I found on I'm trying to create an eclectic feel for my living space and I think this pillow is a little quirky.

And finally, we got the trim around the fireplace installed. On one hand it covers up all of the cracked and damaged tile in the surround. On the other hand, it is a behemoth of black metal. I'm getting used to it though and the whole family (cats especially) is enjoying the warmth.

So there you have it. Our projects are a little smaller and take a little longer but at the end of the week, there is something to show for it.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Well, the first batch of doors came out of the oven, oops, I mean garage/paint barn and are almost ready to hang. I'm a little slow with the cleaned up door hardware though so we have no clean hinges on which to hang the doors. I've actually cleaned up most of the hardware but I've been trying to alter the brassiness of the metal to make it look aged. My tricks aren't working. I've probably invested an hour of researching the internet for techniques and another couple of hours trying out the techniques. I'm told that heating the hinges and then applying peanut oil and then heating them again will darken brass but that doesn't work. It just makes the hinges oily and a little tacky. Neither does ammonia fuming. I built an elaborate shelving system to hold my hinges and my dish of ammonia in an old kitty litter bucket and left it out to do it's magic for 24 hours and besides a little blue spotting (probably where the hinges weren't completely dry), the ammonia did nothing. We bought some chemical darkening solution from a hobby shop and while it worked okay, it seemed to take a lot of the chemical to do a very little surface area. Sooo, all this added up to spray paint. We want a black finish and lucky for us, Rustoleum makes one.

In lieu of hanging wooden doors, Justin hung the glass shower door in the bathroom on the main floor. This is his third shower door so he's becoming a pro. Now we can show off the tile that we painstakingly hung, piece by piece.

The new shower door! This photo is really yellow because I took the photo on the wrong camera setting.

I wasn't just painting hardware, I cleaned up a whole load of it too tonight. PS. Our internet research for this task did work: boil the hardware in water + 1T baking soda and scrub paint off with scouring pad.