Monday, April 12, 2010
Instead I've been preparing the garden for the summer and so far the front is pretty much complete. The weather has been quite warm so far so I'm ahead of the game. The front garden last year was nice but not nice enough for me so I decided to ensure that I never needed to weed again. I got that black cloth for gardens and installed it on a windy day. I won't sport with your intellignace and describe that adventure except to say ... wait for a not windy day. The little plot you see here is the right hand side of the deck when you are facing it.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
I went French door shopping knowing they cost about $100. I knew I wanted a simple finger-jointed pine door, unpainted and pretty standard. I was perusing the door aisle of our local DIY and came across their 'no returns' section. Always with an eye tuned to a bargain I started looking through the doors. What's this? A 32" finger-jointed pine French door with a DAMAGED - NO RETURN sticker on the side. Well, what is wrong with it? It had one single broken pane. It was $20. I bought it on the spot. I explained to the HI employee that the broken pane was perfect as I intended to remove one anyway from whatever door I bought. He then expressed his concern about removing the pane, "I wonder the best way to get that pane out?" Uh. Break it?
I discovered upon getting the door home that the pane of glass that was broken is actually the second from the top, not the bottom, so I ended up hanging it upside down. I think, unless you actually knew it was upside down, you'd never know. My Amazing Dad, with his circular saw that is literally older than I am (but with a new blade so it still cuts marvelously), cut off some of the bottom/top of the door because it exactly fit the space it needed to be put into and all doors need room to swing.
Last week My Amazing Dad and I spent the day hanging this door - actually My Amazing Dad hung the door, I watched and held various tools and made lunch. It is quite a process. You never realize how important 'square' is until you try to hang a door. The entry to the livingroom was 36" and the door was 32" so we had to make up the space with 1x4 pieces of wood. Here is a terrible photo of the door partially painted and the wood(kinda) inbetween the original frame and the new frame. The handle hole was an absolute bitch when we tried to put the handle in it but we finally manhandled the thing so it would work properly. It does now thank doG. I also moved the desk from the kitchen, where it was increasingly annoying me, into the livingroom where, conveniently I can now surf online and watch TV ... the stuff of dreams. You can see the internet cable strung up and over the door. And now you can't. I painted the cable the same color as the walls and I think it blends beautifully. This is obviously the livingroom side. When this door is shut it takes about 10 minutes for the room to warm comfortably and stay warm. And this is the kitchen side of the door, the bathroom is off to the right and my bedroom is off to the left. The hardwood still needs refinishing but that will wait until warmer weather and I can open all the windows.
In all, this door cost about $90 total including the hardware, casing and paint - a pretty good solution to a cold winter draft! I also expect in the summer, with the monster fan going, that the room will cool down quite nicely too ... can't wait to test it!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
My first project of the new year was the lino for the laundry floor. With the layers and layers of plywood and vinyl pulled up it was simply a matter of smashing the nails in a bit more, levelling the dips and holes with a patching agent and laying down the flooring. I had a day in mind to do the whole thing in one go, went to pick up my supplies and discovered they were out of flooring adhesive. So I bought what I could but didn't get the lino as I didn't want to be stepping over it for the week it would take to get the adhesive in.
Once the adhesive arrived I went to pick up the lino. I decided that since the space I needed to fill was 8x11 feet and the end rolls sold pre-wrapped were 8x12, what better solution than to just choose one of those? So I get the roll home and it sits for a couple days before I have time to get it laid out. While still in it's wrap I slid it into the laundry area by the back door. Huh. That's odd, did I mis-measure? It's 2 inches too short. Nope, *my* measurements are correct, the lino, however, is too short. So the day I was going to spend doing the lino turns into yet another day of not.
Then I dropped the trowel handle-first into the adhesive. Take a moment to imagine how that went.
I then stuck the other corner down and realized, too late, that is was not lining up properly, it was curled at the corner a bit which meant the whole roll was about a quarter inch crooked. Since it was taking so long to get the roll down the first corner was mostly dried and there was no moving it. I just sat for a moment and despaired, then carried on with a shrug and WTH.
I spent the next 45 minutes spackling down adhesive, unsticking my hand from the trowel, unrolling the lino, spackling down more adhesive, unsticking my hand from the trowel, and unrolling the lino. At about the three-quarters-done mark I dropped the trowel handle-first into the adhesive a second time. I was almost beyond sanity.
Eventually, I won the battle and managed to get the whole sheet stuck down to the floor. I put cans of paint along a couple edges to get them to lay flat to dry, gave the whole ordeal a sticky finger and went to bed.
The next morning things looked a lot better. Although I intend to refinish the kitchen floor I put down the threshold so that the edges of the lino don't curl up and get ruined.I also put in the threshold, at last, across the dining door. The next project to finish off the laundry area and back door is to put in the baseboard. That will mean the entire area is relatively complete. I put a piece of plywood under the expen because I don't want it to mark up the flooring - especially after what I when through to install it. I hope one day to build an actual laundry room, which there clearly used to be, but for now this will have to do. The dogs give it their stamp of approval anyway.