Baby Steps

That is undoubtedly the best description of what this project is. There are very few parts of it that involve something big. Instead, it’s an endless string of jobs, most of which take somewhere between 5 and 30 minutes or so each – sand this board, prime that shelf, paint the back of the next door, patch the new holes… one niggle of progress after the next, not a one of which seems to look big in and of itself, but each of which contributes something very necessary to the whole. I’ve been talking with a friend this week. She’s going through some really tough times – wishing to delete certain days and experiences from her life. I’m thinking that life is a lot like this project, though. Each little thing that happens to us in some way creates the whole and contributes to the final project, and we aren’t complete the way we were meant to be until we’ve experienced it all – each little baby step through life.

So, anyway… The project creeps onward, feeling depressingly eternal at some moments, and at others sharing a flicker of future wonder. In the last few days, two big things have happened. First, the other two little shelves are now in place.

Although they won’t be ready to load until the paint has cured for two weeks, I couldn’t resist showing them off briefly. Part of what I’ve done is list 18 new items for sale on Amazon and in my online doll store, so I thought I’d brag about my baby step toward decluttering and getting out of debt at the same time I showed off the first truly completed part of the nook project. Yes… the shelves are entirely done without even the tiniest thing left to do. Yippee!!!

The other big improvement is that the right-hand vertical facepiece is mounted.

I still have to fill holes and touch up the paint, but this evening, DH mounted the “just for looks” hinges (after I realized that it might look quite silly to have hinges on all the doors, but not the two matching fixed panels), and permanently attached the board with a combination of screws and nails – enough to keep me busy patching for a fair bit.

Meanwhile, I’ve been painting and painting and painting… Thought perhaps you would like seeing my indoor painting facility. It’s pretty limited as to space, but the lighting is good, and it’s convenient – unless you find yourself out of clean socks…

Me and my math… I had to do the tally… I will be painting one or another side of a door 66 times before I’m done with primer and two color coats on each of them, which could explain why I feel like I’m always painting a door. The first one was fun. I suspect the last one may well be, too. As for the others… well…

I’ve also finished painting the three sides of the upper laundry room cupboard, clear coated my Piazza di Bucato sign, painted another section of wall, and spent far too much time on the phone and internet ironing out problems and trying to round up the hardware we need for this project. This has turned into a nightmare – not something I readily say about shopping, believe me! By the time we are done, we will have lighting fixtures, hinges, cabinet latches, bin pulls, two sizes of knobs, switchplate covers, outlet covers, drawer slides, label holders, and doorknob sets incorporated into the nook and immediate surroundings. It’s only my opinion, but I think it would be nice if they matched in finish, coordinated in style, fit the feel of the house, didn’t cause immediate bankruptcy, and actually appealed to me. For some reason or other, I never really thought this would be much of a problem. I was wrong. There doesn’t appear to be a manufacturer – or for that matter, a retailer, who thinks the same way I do. Absolutely no one seems able to fill all of my requirements – and one of my longings apparently isn’t available anywhere at all. Our house is a Victorian era Italianate. This translates into strong, but extremely simple architecture, which to my mind is begging for curves and movement in its adornments. I love Eastlake styled hardware. I enjoy the wonderful florals from the Victorian era. I would happily settle for either. However, I made a slight tactical error and worked myself into a corner. The doors we are using on the cupboard have an edge on the frame which is just 1.125″ wide. These cupboards need latches. The only logical style of latch is the traditional cabinet latch which works by turning a knob to pull back the latch, which is engaged in a catch on the wall. No problem; I’ve seen some absolutely delightful cabinet latches, and I might well be able to match the ones that have been part of the house for the last 150 years or so… Ummm… except that in hours of searching, I’ve found only one style of cabinet latch that has a footprint small enough to fit the door frame. Guess what… It’s totally and painfully plain – agonizingly Arts & Crafts. Don’t get me wrong – I have absolutely nothing against Arts & Crafts. It’s just not what I want – at all. If the latches were going to be hidden away, it wouldn’t be such a problem. But that’s not the situation at all. There are going to be six of these latches, they are going to be out on the front of the finished cupboard, and this cupboard can’t help but be a primary focus in to the room. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t see them combined with Eastlake hardware, and it’s really making me unhappy. I have a home with bold, clean lines just begging to show off some special jewelry, and what are my options? Egg knob cabinet latches with smooth cases – period. The more I know I can’t have it, but more I want the Eastlake. The more I know I’m stuck with plain, the less I like it – to the point that now I’m having a tough time making myself order anything. Add to this annoyance the fact that I’m going to have to order from 4-5 different places, praying all the time that one company’s “Antique Brass” comes somewhere close to matching the next one’s, and you will find me totally quagmired in regards to purchasing anything. I suppose it had to happen someday… sigh…


Two For One

Don’t get your hopes up – not a sale. It’s just that it took two days to get one post out of me. It’s terribly frustrating to see how tiny the changes are each day in comparison to how much time is going into this project. Surely it will eventually have a few surprising moments in which huge parts of it will suddenly fall together – or so I hope!

For DH, Monday was primarily invested in cutting the two vertical facepieces that will frame the outside edge of the finished cupboard. Again, battling the old-house-overall-lack-of-plumb, not to mention an 8′ long cut that needed to be made in each of the two boards to fit them to match the less than square previous construction, kept him busy for most of his day. To make the project more interesting, we have a rather large, heavy, seriously overfilled (double shelved!) bookcase, which was in the way of his being able to mark a cut line on his board. We decided it would take less time to totally empty and move this case, then reverse the process, than for him to try to make the cut without benefit of drawing a line down the board along the edge of the wall. All told, we ended up moving about 36 linear feet of books – twice.

While the shelf was out, he also pulled up one of the remaining sections of dry rotted carpet and padding, and the tack strip, all of which were left in place when the rest of the carpet was pulled up some years back. (Bookcase was just as heavy back then…) The cuts came out perfectly, by the way.

With a little extra work time at the end of the day, he also put in this big piece of sheathing – the one I’d finished painting a few days ago.

This cupboard is nearly ready for drawers… no small project, but one of the most valuable in the entire cupboard.

Meanwhile, I sanded and primed and painted… ad nauseum! I finally finished the little shelves and cleats, put a final coat of paint inside the right cupboard, finished painting around the upper cupboard openings, and sanded and primed the two side facepieces. I also spent an inordinate amount of time looking for those hinges, which was more exhausting than useful – though I did finally find the passport that slipped away from me a couple of years ago and finally had to be replaced. Sure would love to know how it got where it was… but then… maybe not…

Tuesday was the last day of DH’s vacation days, and it was only a short work day for him, as it was his night to go to a friend’s house to play trains. (Don’t tell him I published that!) He was inordinately pleased with what he did accomplish, though. The side facepieces needed something between them and the existing wall in order to be stable enough to handle hinges, so he fitted spacers for both sides this afternoon, and even found enough time to mount the first little shelf in the right cupboard. I couldn’t resist putting just a few DVD’s on to see the effect, though I couldn’t leave them, as the paint is still too tender to permanently load shelves.

I kept looking at the shelf thinking it was so cute in there, but didn’t dare say that out loud, for obvious reasons. Imagine my reaction when he came home late tonight and commented that the little shelf was cute! :oD

For my part today, I was extremely busy, able to do much more without having to share space and grab available moments between his work. I sanded and primed the spacer pieces he’d cut in the afternoon, then put two color coats on those and the two facepieces, so they are ready to install. I gave up on the hinges and ordered replacements – which totally galls me, but I don’t have time to turn the house on its ear. They aren’t in any of the places I would normally have put them, so they were either moved innocently or with feline or masculine assistance, or they happen to be in “someone’s” shop and he doesn’t remember them arriving there. Eventually I’ll have a lot of nice brass hardware to resell, I guess… I painted part of the wall just around the corner from the left side of the nook from floor to ceiling while it was easy, so I don’t have to edge around the woodwork once it’s installed. (And yes, we know that hinges are usually screwed, not taped in place…)

And I started back on priming doors, now that the little shelves are out of the way in my indoor paint gallery.

Then, I tackled a project that has been avoided for quite some time… I was working steadily on my laundry room (Piazza di Bucato) last year, but work came to an abrupt halt last October, when I had three trips (two major), three holidays, a birthday, and a really nasty virus all in the space of ten weeks. So much has happened since then (in addition to just trying to catch up), that it’s been very easy to put off starting back into the work – which ironically enough is currently sanding, priming, and painting… Tonight I gritted my teeth, climbed the ladder yet again, and scuff sanded the high cupboard, washed it down, primed all but the face (I want to remove the doors for a proper painting), and later went back to put a coat of paint on the top, side, and bottom. I’m feeling quite proud of myself, to be quite honest – and I hated every minute of the job! It’s not going to do itself, though, and I can’t do anything else in that room until it’s finished – and I’ve grown more than a little bit weary of it being unfinished. Pix here are before and after, with the primed doors definitely showing a contrast between old and new. Can’t wait to pick out some nice new handles that aren’t flaking to put on these doors!

Before After

At least it isn’t boring around here!

Published in: on May 28, 2008 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Something That Feels Real!

Admittedly we’ve been making a lot of progress, but so much of it doesn’t show or won’t generally show in the completed nook. Sunday we finally put up the first thing that is painted and will show as part of the finished project, and not only that, but it covers some of the framing, so actually improved the look of things – a lot, at least to someone who has been looking at it as much as I have. Along the ceiling, the first facepiece is in place. The nice (and amusing) thing is that it fits the ceiling so well that I told DH to skip the molding. I didn’t want quarter round up there anyway, as it doesn’t fit the feel of the house or the rest of the woodwork. However, I thought there was no way he would get the fit that accurate. I actually told him to just get it close enough that we could put up half inch quarter round to cover any gaps and not sweat it beyond that, and he agreed. Then he put it up and we got out of the quarter round anyway. :o)

I still have to fill holes and touch up the paint, but I decided to do it all at once with the other upper face pieces. My knees really don’t like ladders enough to climb when I don’t absolutely have to do it.

In work that doesn’t show yet, the little shelves and cleats for the upper part of the right hand cupboard have been cut and I’ve started working on painting those. Second coat of paint went on the wall, around the upper cupboard openings, on the back of one door, and I put both coats on the face piece we mounted.

Current nightmare: Despite my having looked in all the most possible locations now, I’ve yet to find the bag of hinges and latches I purchased years ago when the project was first started. Not having hinges is very soon going to be a major problem – i.e. project stopper. Suffice it to say, I’m praying for guidance to find them.

Published in: on May 26, 2008 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Something for Saturday

Though it doesn’t show a lot, a good bit happened on Saturday. Most of it is stuff that will pay off later in the project. DH had two big goals and made both. One of them was wiring this side for the new light, which doesn’t look like much, to be quite honest.

He has it wired, but then tied it back into the light on the ceiling, as neither of us thought it wise to have either a bare bulb or the nice new fixture exposed in the middle of the construction zone. At least it will be easy to tie it in when the time is right now. His other project was to cut the first face piece – the long piece running across the entire top of the cupboard. Since this is an oooooooold house, nothing original is true and level, but we built the floor of the cupboard level. That meant that the piper was paid at ceiling height and he had to shape the piece to match the curve of the ceiling fairly closely. It’s a remarkably good fit. Can’t go up until Sunday, as I have to sand, prime, and paint it first, but just seeing it held up in place was exciting!

Watching him work on the face piece, I suddenly realized that I needed to paint the inside of the upper cupboards before he put the vertical face pieces up. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to get to them and would have to leave the raw, splintery wood in there – probably collecting samples every time I used the upper cupboards, knowing me. Cupboards are temporary holding places for my craft tubs, which eventually will be in my studio, where I’ll actually be able to use them. I can’t believe how much the fresh primer up there has attracted my attention!

I spent a lot of time with sandpaper and primer today. I sanded the faceboard, one big door, and the four small doors, and primed not only the upper cupboard edges, but also the big door, the faceboard, and one and a half small doors. I finished the green on the big wall sheath board from Friday and worked on the inside of the right hand cupboard – managing to stick my knuckle in some tacky paint. Without thinking, I quickly moved to brush the mess I made smooth – and since it was tacky, it turned into a rather large, ugly blotch, which now needs sanded and repainted. I’m blaming this foolishness on breathing too much sawdust.

Since everything I was doing was agonizingly mundane, I thought I deserved a treat by late evening, so I dug out my wall paint and my crack filler and worked on the small area above my studio door just for fun. I should have taken a clear starting photo of the crack, but perhaps it shows a bit on the wall coming forward to the right of the photo. I filled that and cut in the rest of the ceiling paint, and once that was dry, put on the first coat of gorgeous, exciting color. (Anything other than the current Avocado Mustard Whirl is gorgeous!) I’m really looking forward to the day that the entire room is this color. :o) I took the after picture with a little “old wall” in it for comparison.

Published in: on May 26, 2008 at 2:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Back on Track

Real progress again – thankfully! We are both bemoaning the loss of yesterday, and feeling as well that things are still moving too slowly, but today saw legitimate changes, and it sure is nice.

DH’s two primary accomplishments were the installation of the sheathing panel we remade yesterday, which you can see in the photo on the inner wall to the left of the cupboard, and all the niggling details that were necessary to mount the upper half of the fixed door panel at the top of the photo. In order for the panel to lie flush with the face of the cupboard, it was necessary to plane the support wood – not much of a project if one actually has a planer or the appropriate hand tools. Not owning either of the little beasties, though, made it a much more involved project. With the hole cut for the electrical box and my coat of primer, it’s at long last ready for the wiring.

Alas… I was back to my normal sanding and painting again today. Though it can be a tedious job with its heavy dose of no-brain repetition, I’m a bit faster at it than DH, and doing it gets me out of things like precision cuts in costly (for us) pre-fab bi-fold doors. Since I’d rather save any perfectionistic moments for knitting lace shawls and Aran wraps, I work very diligently to be content with boredom. At least it eventually produces an impressive bit of metamorphosis, and by the time I’m finished, my handshake should be noticeably firmer. With it being in the mid 50’s and drizzly today, and having only one set of sawhorses to hold my painting, I had lots of waiting time between painting moments, so managed to do a few other small tasks. I sanded another large sheathing piece, which will go inside the left cupboard, primed that, the front and back of one of the cupboard doors, and the fixed portion at the top of each cupboard today, most work being well in advance of actual need. I like working ahead like this when I don’t have anything that has to happen immediately – no pressure now, and less later, too!

Published in: on May 24, 2008 at 8:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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My Misty Moors

Okay, I’m taking a break from sandpaper and paint this afternoon and finally posting about my newest big knitting project. I finished my last one at the beginning of last week, and if I can manage to get it blocked and find a model, will be sharing it here. Meanwhile, not one to have no major project on my needles, I dove into my next one immediately. Because of a bit of serendipitous timing, I created a lovely bit of atmosphere this time around. Here’s how it all fell into place…

I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to make next. Several shawls and wraps were tempting me, but usually one will jump out and say “ME! ME! ME!” and nothing was doing that. Then, about a week before I was ready to start my new piece, I logged onto ebay one evening and there was my fantasy yarn – the Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in moss that I’d been dreaming of finding. I’d only discovered this yarn after the color I wanted had been discontinued (of course!), and finding 10 skeins of it for a price I could manage had looked more impossible by the day. When I saw this auction, it took me about 10 seconds to hit the BIN button… ;o) I may be avoiding ebay most of the time these days, but I was more than happy to make an exception in this particular situation!

The yarn arrived promptly – at the same time my newest audiobook finally got to the library after a painfully long wait – and the next day I received some CD’s… and the serendipity of it all is that my audiobook is Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, set in Scotland, my wrap pattern is the Little River Wrap, designed by Alice Starmore, a Scottish knitwear desiger, and one of my tapes was The Pipe Major’s Chorus by the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band – Scottish bagpipers… I managed to save everything for the same evening, and last Wednesday, I put in my new CD quietly for background music, popped the first book CD into the computer, and sat down to cast on what is my first Aran knitting and my first Alice Starmore pattern. I have an Irish friend who pointed out that Aran knitting isn’t Scottish, but at least the designer is, and that will have to do. She also thinks I’ll knit on it faster to Irish music. Anyone know a really good Irish audiobook for me to put in next? Irish music I own. :o)

Anyway, a week into the project and I finally took it outside to get a good photo of how it’s coming. (I’d already discovered that flash makes lovely cablework vanish.) I’m thrilled with it!

The Silky Wool is a little thinner than the hefty Shetland Wool Starmore’s pattern suggests, so it’s a little narrower than the original, but that’s fine by me. I also think it isn’t going to use nearly as much yarn as I’d figured I need – which only means I’ll have some of this awesome stuff left over. I can live with that. :o) Last weekend, based on the amount of time it was taking to do a row and how much time I knit on my big project on average, I calculated a finish date of August 21. However, I am pretty certain already that I’m going to beat that by quite a bit now. When I started, I discovered that unlike lace knitting patterns, cable charts aren’t intuitive for me, so I had to memorize the code instead. I’m not having to think so hard for each twist and turn now, and I’m getting pretty quick with the cable needle, so it’s becoming much faster work. For some reason, although I’ve done a lot of cables without a needle (hundreds on that sock that is in time out), either this design or the yarn isn’t cable-free friendly for me, and I’m faster using the needle.

Gotta Get Better…

Let’s just say that the second day of focusing on the nook project was anything but stellar. When I got up, I found that an experiment had been effected. DH decided to kibitz on my sanding/painting portion of the project, while looking at a rather nasty piece of paneling he was trying to salvage to line the right side cupboard. Having cut it to fit, spliced pieces together, then relaminated portions that were water and weather damaged, he feared it wouldn’t withstand sanding, so tried putting a nice, thick coat of some rather aged primer on first. The expectation was that I could then sand the primer smooth without bothering the weakened semi-wood product beneath the paint. Suffice it to say, you needn’t bother trying the same approach. Paint that is only a few hours old cannot be satisfactorily sanded, though I tried to make it work for him. He’d put so many hours into it, and so much was riding on that piece today, that I had to give it my all. However, the predictable happened. The paint rolled itself into tiny pellets which littered the surface of the wood and shot through the air like tiny bullets, stinging any uncovered skin they hit. It was a constant battle to keep the surface brushed clear of them, as the friction caused by the sander heated them and melted them into permanent warts on the tender surface of the new paint. After at least 30 minutes of this less than pleasant endeavor, my sander began to choke and sputter. While I frantically tried to chart the knitting pattern for my class, which was less than an hour from starting, he tore my sander apart, trying to clean it out. Eventually it hit me that I wouldn’t subject my favorite power tool to more of the same abuse, even if he did save it, so suggested we needed to finish the project by hand. That fizzled quickly, as even my best sandpaper clogged in a matter of minutes. Watching me scrub diligently for a moment, then pick out the bits of paint before hitting a few more strokes, he finally told me to give it up – that he’d go buy a new piece of wood. I felt bad that the many hours which had gone into that piece were all going to naught, but have to confess that even sanded to the best I could muster, the resulting product wasn’t at all nice. So, while I went off to teach knitting class, DH ran up to Lowe’s for a fresh piece of plywood, some more sandpaper, and a dowel I’d requested, and by the time I was home again, he had my sander back together and the new piece of wood cut and ready for my ministrations. Sanded, primed, and with one coat of finish color on it, it’s drying and will be ready to install first thing tomorrow. Hurrah! Meanwhile, the wiring didn’t get done, and we had another panic – which eventually resolved itself into a puff of smoke when we finally realized that we were incorrectly picturing the way the doors would be fitting into the cupboard. Considering what we thought needed to be done, it was an unbelievable relief to find that our imaginations were tuned in faultily. Not much to show for today, especially since I didn’t take a picture of the large piece of sage green plywood outside on the sawhorses. In fact, it doesn’t look tremendously different than yesterday.

He sanded down the putty spots, and with exacting measurements to make it match the other side, placed the frame that will hold the upper section of the door panel, which will be permanently fixed in order to hold one of the lighting fixtures we bought years ago when starting the project. Unable to resist the temptation, I spread a bit of green paint in the otherwise “construction drab” cupboard while everything was still fairly wide open, but I’ll wait to do the second coat until he’s mostly done working in there, so I don’t have to do a lot of touch up work. I think it will be nice with white shelves against the green…

Published in: on May 23, 2008 at 8:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Starting in the Middle

Some years back – 5… 6… 7… ??? – a comment from a friend started a dream growing in my mind. One end of our family room had what we always called “the nook” – a recessed area which housed the TV that we turn on once every year or two. The area had really started to bother me, as it felt a bit like a shrine to something that we didn’t even hold in high esteem, and the area around our tiny set had turned into a somewhat unsightly storage area for our substantial media library – the largest portion of which was music. I’d been at a loss for many years as to how to store all this modern paraphernalia in a way that wasn’t such a major eyesore in our Victorian home. Enter Norm… While trying to help me decipher what might have been the original architecture in our rather obviously rearranged downstairs, he tapped on the plastic wood wall of the nook and commented that it sounded to him as if we had a lot of good storage space going to waste.

I took that comment and ran with it! In no time, I’d sketched out a concept that removed the much hated paneling and turned the hidden areas into cupboards. Then I added bi-fold doors and more custom built storage in the current nook to my design, and I was giddy with excitement and enthusiasm for the project. Not only would it resolve storage problems and dispose of two big, ugly monsters, but it would be like pulling a cork out of a bottle to help with some other difficult situations in the house. Before long, I’d arranged a loan and had a contractor coming to quote framing in the area for me. Then I got cut off at the pass. DH decided that he was going to do the job. This would save me a lot of money, but it also meant that it was going to be a long time coming.

Eventually I will find the starting date. I know it’s been at least 3 years now, and possibly longer. The project went swimmingly well in the beginning, but then ground to a halt. In fact, it hadn’t been touched for two and a half years – until today…

About two or three weeks ago, DH nearly gave me a heart attack by announcing that he was taking a week off work in May to finish the nook. Despite the fact that this threw a huge monkey wrench in my own rather major plans for May and June, I’m no fool. ;o) However, in the many months since the last happening in there, I started using the space. (In this house, empty space isn’t a luxury I can afford right now.) In order to have enough elbow room to work in the nook at all, some major excavating was required, and we spent quite a few hours over the past few weeks doing just that, only Tuesday night getting to the point that work could start Wednesday – the first day he had off. (Translation – still more digging to do…)

Here’s somewhat of an idea as to what has happened, since the real beginning pix are on the old computer. (Click to enlarge.)

Click to enlarge

When we started, this area was covered in paneling on the front and lining the recessed area, which was just slightly larger than the area you see open in the photo. We resized the opening just a bit to fit the available bi-fold doors. When we removed the paneling, we discovered that this had been a walk through to what is now my sewing room, and there had once been closet shelves on each side of the passage. It’s impossible to know which incarnation of the house that would have actually been, but it was a fascinating discovery.

In addition to reframing the center area, the upper portion has now been built in and floored with half inch plywood, and the old recessed light was removed. I painted as we went, so the ceiling and walls in the top cupboard and all other areas that are now enclosed and inaccessible are properly painted. We got walls up to partition the side cupboards from the center space, and lined everything with wood that will be primed, texturized to match the rest of the room, and painted. Only the areas inside the smaller cupboards are done to that level at this point.

Okay, now we are to day one of this construction period… aka, making lemonade out of lemons. The side cupboards had been designated as storage areas for the audio/visual library. Facing the nook, the left side was great – huge gaping emptiness. The right side made me cry! Although it had sounded hollow, we discovered that in the original house, there had been a wall – most likely an outer wall – that came in and turned a corner, ending hidden behind the paneling. Although open in the back, it comes across about two thirds of the front of the opening and is about 8″ thick.

In the matter of a heartbeat, I lost half of my storage drawers, and I have to say that was pretty devastating. We’ve recouped as much as possible by building in an open shelving area accessible from the main cupboard, and the side cupboard will still be able to hold a few movies on top and either TV trays or folding chairs in the bottom – not the same, but at least not a complete waste. Sadly, the brick wasn’t nice enough to leave exposed, and it would have chewed our knuckles and anything else we tried to slide in there, so today DH did some pretty tricky cutting around all the lumps and bumps of existing construction and old bricks to make a sheath for the old wall. I thoroughly sanded and primed both sides of the two pieces, and he installed it tonight and puttied the screwholes, which will need to be sanded and primed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, while he was out cutting, I realized that if I wanted an easy job of painting the ceiling in that area, I’d be best off doing it before there was woodwork to worry about not splashing, so I forced my poor knees up the ladder and brush-painted a three foot wide swath the full width of the room – an activity I’m paying for dearly tonight! My painting muscles are most definitely out of shape, and I can hardly move! I was most distressed when I put this picture on the computer. Nothing like the good, clear light of a flash to reveal what the incandescent bulb doesn’t. Obviously I have more time on a ladder in my near future. You can compare old and new ceiling if you look at the unpainted area in the lower right hand side of the photo.

The new ceiling paint is actually a nice sage green. Odd as it seems, it looks white once the walls are painted the correct color – a trick I learned from Christopher Lowell and use in all my rooms. It helps the light show evenly throughout the room instead of glaring off the ceiling unnaturally, and it really looks fantastic.

Published in: on May 22, 2008 at 10:05 am  Comments (2)  
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Frustrated, but Trying Again

I’m not sure what happened, but something changed at WordPress and the old Platial map links no longer work, so I’ve lost the entries. I have the new map made and posted toward the bottom of the sidebar, and I’d love for those of you who are so inclined to put a marker on the map for your own town. It’s even set up to allow a photo, if you’d like to share, so please check it out!

I’ve also spent the last hour trying to get my LibraryThing html widget to work, but it’s not saving, so I can’t share that with you yet. More info when I figure out how to hold my tongue right – which, concerning some of my other unsuccessful sidebar efforts, could be a while. There’s apparently something I don’t know about the process…

Published in: on May 19, 2008 at 4:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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What’s a Click to Give?

Okay, just a short, boring post tonight. I’ve been watching the stats since I started my blog, and I’m noticing that over the time I’ve been here, there has been exactly one click other than my own on the Click to Give section in my sidebar. I thought perhaps I should explain just what they are, and hopefully generate a bit more action on them.

The most important thing for you to know is that Click to Give doesn’t cost you a penny – and it doesn’t benefit me in any way, shape, or form, either. All you have to do is click on the link. You will be presented with a screen that has a button to click, reminding you that there is no cost to you. When you click that button, your visit will be logged and you will be shown a page with a few relevant ads – just like driving down the street and seeing a billboard or turning a magazine page and seeing an ad. Because you see the ad, the charity that owns the page receives a penny from the advertisers. (You can only visit each site once every 24 hours.) The advertisers obviously do it for the exposure, and it’s a very painless way for all of us to give a bit of a boost to some special organizations. The two I have linked to are for a pet rescue and breast cancer research. These charities were chosen in honor of three special friends.

Hopefully, now that you know what they are, you will want to pitch in a painless 30 seconds each day to contribute your two cents worth.


Published in: on May 13, 2008 at 9:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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