Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mr. P

It's been about 6 weeks now since P-Kitty moved in and he's starting to make himself at home. And Tink is starting to tolerate him. We've even seen them chase each other around a few time for play. Pongo doesn't like to be picked up or petted much but he's frequently up for chasing round and rolly objects from one end of the house to the other.

Here are our two cutie-pies almost snuggled up together. This is actually a huge improvement from the first three weeks of cohabitation.

In the Nook

Every time we get ready to wrap up a project, Justin and I love to indulge each other with our mental "to-do" list to try and come to an agreement on the next project. For the past 5 or 6 months, I've been saying my preferred next project is the shelving in the office. And, for the past 5 or 6 months, we've worked on something else. But this month, my project prevailed. I think 2011 is going to be a good year.

There were a few hitches to this seemingly simple project. First off, we had some dimensioning issues but those were luckily solved with 5'x5' pieces of plywood. Second off, our oven broke in the middle of this project. You don't need to use your oven for any part of this project, other than for fixing dinner. But, that is exactly what we were doing the evening that I applied the first coat of stain to the shelves. We didn't realize this at the time, but the petroleum fumes from the oil-based stain dispersed throughout the house and our gas range started combusting them. It didn't cause a fire or anything other than a noxious smell, but we did have to finish cooking our dinner in the microwave and we spent the next day puzzling over what went wrong with our oven. It wasn't until two days later when we called the appliance repairman that we got our first clue about the paint fumes. So, bottom line, don't use oil-based paints inside unless you can open all of the windows and ventilate the space well.

Okay, onto the shelves.

Here's an action shot of Justin installing the cleats.

I've been checking out office organizing systems here and there for the past few months, anticipating we'd be doing the project. It's really fun to get a bunch of boxes and move all of your disorganized stuff into its new home. The last time I got an organizational bee in my bonnet, it was 15 months ago so I haven't had this kind of fun for a while.

Here's the view of the new shelves holding up our important (and not so important) stuff.

We were able to get the printer off the counter and the bulletin board hung and all of the cords tacked up neatly under the counter. I'm going to keep my eye out for a nice large colorful print to frame and hang on the wall adjacent to these shelves...there's a nice big open wall to fill.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

And a belated happy New Year!

We rang in 2011 with barely a jingle, sorry to say. I was laid up on the couch with a truly unpleasant cold. But, our 2011 has been pretty productive nonetheless. We have been working on a bunch of odds and ends. Starting off the new year, we got back into our painting clothes and finished installing and painting all of the trim in our master bedroom. Now our closet is really complete, with a door and molding and everything. This weekend I worked on a chore that I have been postponing for more than a year: touching up the wall paint. When we installed the new baseboards and door frames, we ended up with caulk and white paint on the walls. I pulled out 3 different colors of paint today and touched it all up. Sad to say, but I think the upstairs hallway is going to need a total repaint since the touch-ups seem to dry just a smidgen off the color on the walls. We'll probably save that project for another year.

The other super exciting thing that we worked on was building shelves for the office nook. We had some really unfortunate dimensions to work with: 49" x 13.5". Every commercially available shelf was 48" so just a bit short of the full span and when you look at making shelves out of sheet goods, you get really annoyed because everything is just a little too small to get an optimal cut from a 4'x8' piece of plywood. Lucky for us, our trusty lumberyard, Compton's, happened to sell 5'x5' pieces of 1/2" plywood. Eureka! We needed 4 pieces of 49"x12.75" plywood cuts and this did the trick with hardly any waste which made it a cheaper project in the end. Justin fabricated the shelves on Saturday afternoon and I stained them up. I'll get some polyurethane on them over the next week and then hopefully we'll get them hung before next weekend. The true fun starts when I can start filling them up with all of the office supplies and storage.