Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chores and Paint and Wood

If you're here because you want to see beading, I'm sorry, not today. I had all these intentions and lists (really just the one list), and the intentions fell by the wayside and the list, while in decent shape actually, was beset by digressions.

Remember the lamp from Wednesday?
 It has a sibling. A fraternal twin if you like.  One for each side of the bead, you know.

(And that little thing on the left is an experiment which I believe to be successful but which I've decided I won't use because it's really only Plan B and Plan A is in process. It's a drawer pull, in case you were wondering).

Lampshades, that's the thing. I can't quite. They're sort of balancing in the picture above, while below I hit on the genius idea to use that foam insulation tape to make a snugger fit and keep it upright.
Genius except for the white foam tape glaring through the frosted glass. Truthfully, this is not the shade I really want, but the one I do really want involves wire parts which I suspect I can't make successfully and which I'm not keen on buying for more than the entire lamp (excluding the bulb) cost me, even if I could find them in the appropriate size so that's on hold for now.
I found a thingie in the plumbing department which doesn't really support the shade any better, but it looks more finished, so I guess I need another one for the other lamp. No, I don't have pink light bulbs - I'm all out of LEDs and the stupid CFL just won't do anything but be pink. I'm so over CFLs and I have a whole box of indoor flood CFLs which are horrible and represent a year's allowance for a very small and possibly somewhat deprived child but which I'm thinking should just be donated somewhere because they're just awful.


There were projects on the list which fell by the wayside:
Stupid warped wood. I can't keep it firmly clamped forever, but I might have to hammer some nails which I can do, though not reliably. They go in crooked. That I'll tackle another time.

My bathroom, by the way, finally has its second shower door and is all inspected. Finally.

I had this thought about bathroom vanities. (Also kitchen cabinets, but I'm not on a Quest in that room right now).

So there's a big rather deep space and if your bathroom is anything like mine, much of what is kept in the vanity is small, except for maybe the toilet paper.  Or a hairdryer, but mine isn't usually in there. And oh, you know, toiletry bags for travel but STILL, most of it is small stuff and in Bathroom 1.0 there was a crappy dollar store plastic bin which (a) overflowed and (b) was not a useful size being too small to contain everything and yet too big to find anything in it.

I keep thinking I can do woodwork because my father was fabulous in that regard and I spent hours in his workshop watching him, and all three of my brothers are pretty capable too - though admittedly they're all replete with power tools: drill presses and table saws and belt sanders and planers and whatnot and all I have is one corded and one cordless drill as well as a small assortment of not fabulous hand tools.

But still, I keep thinking I can, especially when I see instructions and pictures of all these girls on the internet doing all sorts of remarkable things with wood.

With power tools but STILL, I'm sure I could.

What I wanted to make is a bunch of drawer-type things - I mean, how hard could it be? You can get the drawer glides and there are plenty of instructions both anecdotal as well as from the manufacturer about how to install the glides so surely I could do that small amount of woodwork.

Not so much with only two cheap mitre boxes and only one saw between them, and a hacksaw which works (not accurately in my hands) for dowels and PVC, but not so much for planks of wood. This means that any woodworking I do must be with the full cooperation (and their three free cuts per board) of Home Depot and/or Lowes and it's not as though the cuts are accurate so perhaps I should leave the drawers in the vanity until I'm better equipped in the workshop department.

What I was able to make though I'm quite proud of - not as much for my mad woodworking skills but rather for the idea.

You can't really use the space directly under the sink because it's oddly shaped and then there's the problem with all the pipes.  I'm against bathroom furniture whose sole purpose is the storage (and all too often the display) of toilet paper. There's just something wrong with it. You know toilet roll covers are an abomination, and the multi-roll holders really aren't much better. It's not as though I'm Victorian in my attitude towards toilet paper - I do not for example refer to it as "bathroom tissue" - but it seems to me that there must be a better storage solution that utilizes that funny little space under the sink.

You know, something made out of vinyl-coated wire because there are at least forty-seven things out of vinyl-coated wire that are ridiculous and unnecessary as well as a few things which are useful so surely there must be a well-designed space-saving TP dispenser? I mean, there are soda can dispensers (I don't drink it) and canned soup dispensers (I might buy a can of lobster bisque once a year when the memory of the last can has faded) but no. No sensible TP dispensers.
 So I made one.
It lives under the sink, is slanted, hold four rolls and honestly could have been an inch lower but still it works as designed.

Installing it though, that was a bit of a logistical puzzle but as you can see, I managed. It doesn't even wobble (much). No more piles of toilet paper that come tumbling out every time I open the door,

And this was on the list!

There's been a whole lot of painting, some planned and some unplanned.

I have a pair of unmatched nightstands/dressers which are both wooden, mostly, but have "oak finish" which is probably a veneer with a varnish which ends up yellower than I've actually ever seen actual oak. Not crazy attractive, but perfectly functional and I'm pretty sure they could be improved upon.
 Yeah, I've already removed the bottom drawers so that I can have my way with them.
I still haven't rehung the overmantle by the way. See? It's still resting against the wall.
Looks a bit funny with one plummy drawer.
Yeah, there's an ombre thing going on. I mix paint colours the same way I mix dye colours the same way that your great-grandmother cooks: sort of by feel and/or trial and error.

The larger dresser will probably keep its handles but the smaller one will not. Those artsy colourful ceramic handles are no longer beautiful in my eyes and they will have to go - just as soon as my eBay purchase arrives.

This job too was on the list.

When I moved into this house about fourteen years ago, there was a very ugly thing (a few ugly things actually) attached to the wall on the little landing to the basement stairs which were held there with screws and red plastic wall anchors. My parents, who were visiting at the time, brought me a few things which I believe were intended to be placemats but which had been painted by some so-called artist and which they placed on the walls of the landing to the basement steps to cover the ugly things in the wall.

I never really liked them but I only really started disliking them a few months ago. They were attached with that double-sided foam tape which when you attempt to take it off invariably peels itself partially in half, leaving both surfaces with some jagged janky foam and some adhesive, and removing these placemats was no different, so I removed two of the four and let the other two glare at me every time I walked down the stairs. Or up. Which I do a lot as my studio is downstairs and the TV is downstairs and oh yeah, the washing machine and my two drills (corded and cordless) and the nails and screws and miter boxes and all that are all downstairs. And the paint.

Yesterday I reached my limit and pulled off the remaining two placemats, yanked out the red wall anchors and filled in all the holes and then thought about what I'd done and what needed to be done.


A stairwell.

What, scaffolding? Not really.
 But I can tape off the areas I can reach and perhaps sometime I'll add decorations along the probably barely visible lines between the new white paint and the old most-likely-used-to-be-white paint.
I'd thought there was plenty of paint in the basement but the first three cans of white were completely dried out.
Luckily there was paint that was useable and so I set to work. The temporary shower curtain made a pretty decent drop-cloth and I picked up a little "helper" along the way, but it turned out she really didn't enjoy the process, although she did watch me carefully, especially when I painted the edges around the door. She seemed to think that was pretty interesting, but declined to offer any further help.

This patch and paint job was absolutely not on the list which is nonetheless in pretty good shape (more things crossed off than not, even counting the extra things I added afterwards).

Not that I'm itching for the weekend to end so that I can back to work, but still, it was generally pretty satisfying.

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