Category Archives: Excitement

My jewelry project!

My sister made herself an earring frame based on an idea she got from me, when I was living in an old apartment. So I’m stealing an idea from myself, via her.

Anyway, she has this frame in her room, with wire mesh in place of a picture, to hang her earrings up. It looks awesome, and she always knows where that one pair of earrings is. So I decided I wanted to make my own.

First step: find a suitable frame. I decided that I wanted a vintage wood frame, preferably painted and looking cool. So I did some poking around antique stores in town, had no luck, and turned to Etsy.

I found this:

It looked a little different online. OK, it looked a lot different online. In fact, I was more than a little bit alarmed at the color that showed up in the mail.

Step two: Figure out what to do about a color I didn’t like. Enter Art Media, and a can of matte spray paint in the color “pine.”

Step three: Spray paint something for the first time in my entire life. And discover that I would be the most hopeless, hapless tagger ever. I couldn’t even figure out that the spray can was being prevented from spraying by a little, plastic washer. Clearly, I am the brains of the operation.

Step four: Spray the bejeesus out of the frame.

Step five: Source wire screen mesh, from Home Depot, thanks to our BFF Sylvia in the door/window department. Sylvia is actually a family friend, who has now sold me and my husband five windows and the front door. She’ll probably sell us a few more things before we’re done. And she helped me score some screen mesh that was perfect on one end and squished on the other, and marked it half off. Seriously–ask if your local hardware store keeps the damaged screen mesh for crafts–you just might score.

Step six: Find out that the staples in your staple gun are longer than the frame is thick. Fortunately, do not find that out by stapling through the frame. Go buy smaller staples.

Step seven: Figure out how to use the staple gun properly, and finally get the mesh stapled into the back of the frame. Realize that your dining room table wasn’t the best place to do this, as some of the paint is now transferred onto the table, and will require elbow grease and a scrubber to remove. Oops.

So here’s what the frame finally ended up looking like:

and here’s what it looks like with my earring collection:

Moral of the story? I need more earrings. Time to go shopping!

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Filed under Blah blah blah, Excitement, Little help?, Looky looky, This could get ugly

More door adventures…

So the door got an additional facelift, thanks to my fabulous husband. He picked out the stain and the trim color all by himself, and it looks amazing, in my opinion. It was a pretty funny process–we had to spend the entire day hanging around the house with no door, since the door was sitting in the carport curing. Awesome.

During the staining process:

More staining:

The doorless house:

And the final product:

So, all’s well that ends well.

Unfortunately, the reinstallation of the door hardware somehow irreparably damaged it, and we can no longer reliably open the door. The key gets caught, the handles don’t always work, and we’ve had to let ourselves into the back door several times. So now we have that problem to solve. Argh. Any suggestions?

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Filed under Construction, Excitement, Little help?, This could get ugly

“It is a dangerous business going out your front door.”

Well, Tolkien had a lot more going on in his fictional neighborhood than I ever do, but we still badly needed a new front door.

Some of these DIY adventures are going to be out of order, but I’ll try to put them into context. After the Great Window Debacle of 2010, my dear husband and I decided that when we finally got around to replacing the front door of our house, we would not attempt to install the thing ourselves. Instead, we would throw money at it.

I should offer up a caveat–the door looks fine. Good, even. What you can’t see from the pictures are three things: lead paint, footlong scratches on both sides of the door, and daylight between the door and jamb. We tried weatherstripping it three separate times, and I could practically pictures $20s slipped through the cracks in the wintertime.

So, a new door it was. Here are the before pictures:

The inside of the door. After I cleaned it up.


Needless to say, it's a little worse for the wear.


Note the lovely toothpaste color of the door.


The last shot as I left for work on New Front Door Day (aka, Tuesday)

And here’s what I came home from work to see:

So, so much better, right?


Look at that pretty new hardware!


Such an improvement!

Obviously, that’s not the end of it. More pictures to come!

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Filed under Construction, Excitement, Looky looky

Kale Chips!

I have bought more than one bunch of kale thinking I would get around to making kale chips. Not so much. This time, however, things were different. I actually did it! They are tasty little buggers, eaten hot off the baking tray. They are a little less exciting the next day, after softening in the olive oil. That said, they make a terrific snack for movie, game or TV show watching, or anything else, really.

The recipe I used is from The Kitchn, of course, and here are the pics:



I know–the before and after baking pictures don’t really look that different. But it was nice and tasty!

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Filed under Cooking, Excitement, This could get ugly, Uncategorized

The shag carpet removal project

About six months ago, I finally decided to remove all of the nasty, ’70s shag carpeting from the stairs going to our relatively unused upstairs.  So it wasn’t the most pressing project, but picturing the nastiness that was living in those polyester strands was starting to keep me up at night.

For example, I am certain that there was lots of dog hair in it from dogs I have never met.  Ew.

Either way, it was me or the carpet, so I collected my husband’s tools, changed into work clothes and set to work.  Only to discover that the project was going to be much harder than I anticipated.

Here’s the before pictures–great swaths of yellow shag horror.  Well, mostly yellow anyway.

So I set about ripping out the carpet.  Which kind of sounds fun.  It was…for about 30 seconds.

Until I discovered that every single stair was individually carpeted.  With approximately 70 staples holding the carpet in place.

Seriously?  Who does that?

So instead of getting a single, satisfying, stair-clearing riiiiiip!, I got to spend 2.5 weekends painstakingly removing carpet remnants from each step.  Was it worth it?

Oh hell yes.

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Filed under Deconstruction, Excitement

It’s alive!!

I’m currently doing my very first loads of laundry in my brand spanking new washer and dryer.  I’m getting ahead of the narrative as far as the house renovation goes, but I’m so excited that I literally cannot hide it.  And it’s making me quote terrible 80’s songs.

That’s a problem.

What’s not a problem is my new appliances.  I got a pair of LG high efficiency appliances from Home Depot on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, since I don’t have an unlimited budget and I can deal with the occasional big box store. Plus, the clothes washer qualified for an Energy Trust incentive.  Which technically makes me a freerider, since I work for an energy efficiency nonprofit and would opt for the energy efficient…wow, that got boring in a hurry.  Sorry about that.

Anyway, I got a washer and dryer that make me seriously so happy and doing laundry is now making me happy again. Because I’m a dork.

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Filed under Excitement