Tag Archives: New

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

Not a resolution, just an idea

I didn’t actually resolve to start blogging this year.  I also didn’t resolve to completely redo my house either, but since that ship already set sail, I suspect that I might as well enjoy the ride, and document it.  My name is Katie, and I live in Portland, Oregon.  I have a full-time job, a black Lab, and a husband as well as a 1940s Cape Cod house that could generously be called a “fixer-upper.”  My husband bought the house almost nine years ago, long before I’d even met him, and we started tinkering with it after I finished grad school a year and a half ago.

One thing led to another and the tinkering has turned into a full-fledged renovation that we have so far undertaken entirely on our own.  The only thing we enlisted a contractor friend for was the installation of two very large front windows.

The reason for the title of the blog is that I have long claimed that I do not have a DIY bone in my body.  I am starting to discover that I might have been lying all this time.

Awkward.

So the point of this is to discover if I really do have some DIY abilities, and what the hell those might be.  I plan to post before-and-after pictures of our projects as well as links to stuff I like, and probably other assorted randomness, depending on how the week’s going.  Hopefully it’ll be interesting!!

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Filed under Blah blah blah