Monthly Archives: June 2012

Fabric bought…

Standard

I guess this will be a bit of a girly post, so those who are already suspicious of the title might want to flee before you get too far in…but oh my god fabric!!!! Don’t worry, I’ll make it short. On Tuesday, my sister and I went to downtown LA’s semi seedy fabric district and spent hours and hours searching and weighing options like children in a candy store. A really big block of candy stores with beautifully inexpensive linen πŸ˜€Β After much deliberation, comparing and wandering, we got everything to make all my curtains and upholster the window seat bench!

I’m going to make split curtains for each window so that they’ll tie at the sides when not in use, and have another rod for a lighter material (the white stuff) behind to provide a thin covering if I don’t want to block as much sunshine. I say ‘I’ am going to make them, but really my sister gets the credit. I’m pretty decent at hand sewing, but it would take forever to do them all that way and her skills with the sewing machine trump mine by a lot.

Apparently I ‘break’ her machine every time I try to use it. Confounded piece of…Anyway πŸ˜€ It’s actually really nice to have help when that someone is far more efficient than I could be.

Can’t wait to get these going!

Of corner shelves and window trim…

Standard

For some reason, I’ve started calling the back/changing room adjacent to the bathroom ‘the pink room’. It’s not pink, nor shall it be as I’m not particularly wild over large amounts of the colour, but that’s what it has named itself and I can’t seem to shake it.

Last week, the pink room got corner shelves. Lovely, crooked corner shelves with irregular spacing…but there you go. I stand that if I had a third arm or so they’d be perfect πŸ˜€ Making 45 degree angle cuts on the 1×12 pine took two runs through the chop saw for each side and I attached them to the wall with 3/4″ cedar strips.

I was going to use galvanized corner braces to hold the shelves up, but those little buggers aren’t cheap when you buy enough of them. I also decided that I didn’t like how they looked (probably because of this), so I ran some cedar fence boards through the table saw and they provide perfectly adequate support. Best to nail each strip to the bottom first though unless you want the shelves to slide off and on. Don’t try to attach them to the wall at the start, what a faff. Hammering up-the-way is not a calming task.

As of yesterday, I finally have all of my window trim up. All of it, wahaha! This is exciting mostly because it makes things look pretty and finished, but also because my indecisiveness regarding them was so vast as to take several weeks of delaying. I put 1 x 2-and-whatever-each-window-is-wide pine boards in first (it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’re all different) then trimmed them with 1/4″ tongue and groove pine wall paneling. I decided to make them swirly, sort of like my fascia boards outside, and cut each one with the jigsaw. It didn’t take as much time as I thought, and I’m glad I put the extra effort in. My windows look so pretty now πŸ˜€

It is worth noting that I bought shorter (3′ long), slightly more expensive wall paneling for my trim that is intended to be wainscoting, and the quality of wood was considerably better than the 8′ bundles I used for the walls and ceiling. Good to know if you’re working on something that doesn’t require longer boards.

And now, one of those horrible gripping moments for you. I woke up the other day to some tree pruning going on across the street where a flatbed trailer had been brought in to haul out the debris. A 7′ x 18′ trailer I’m pretty damn sure, and when I looked out the window in my half-sleep haze, I was in an absolute panic that I had dreamed my house’s existence and had to go back to the floor framing stage. It didn’t take long to trip downstairs and assure it was still sitting pretty out there, but gad zooks. A beastly, beastly feeling!

A Danish master carpenter…

Standard

I’ve made some wonderful progress around the house this last week which I will go into soon in another post, but the following story is more important right now.

Last Saturday, my dad and I went to meet an incredibly skilled Danish master carpenter who lives in the next valley. Not everyone can just call themselves a master at their craft, but he’s been at it since his apprenticeship in Denmark at 14 and makes the most amazing wooden things in his very well organized shop. He talked endlessly of tools and Copenhagen as though he’d known us forever, gave us a box of organic eggs from his chickens, and agreed to make slab counters for my kitchen.

The next day he came to check out the exact dimensions in Little Yellow, and by Wednesday at 9:00 am I had custom counters; milled, glued, and expertly crafted from local pine hauled out of the woods. He proudly stated when he arrived that I now had $1000 counter tops, and he charged me $60.

I found out Sunday that Flemming Nielsen had died in his sleep that morning, June 10.

It’s so strange, I can remember everything he said to me and he was so alive only a few days ago. It all went so fast, 4 days after meeting him I had my counters and 4 days after that he was gone. We almost didn’t make it out there Saturday, what if we’d waited until this week?

My beautiful counters had to have been one of the last things he ever completed and I am so sad yet so grateful to have known him briefly as I did. I will think of you every day and what your did for me and Little Yellow, rest in peace and thank you so much Flemming.

White walls, a window seat and some bad yellow paint…

Standard

It turns out I love spaces with white walls. Of course in saying that, I recall some sort of rhyme they used to say in school about white walled rooms and crazy folk…so to be clear, this love is for white, house-y walls. Not the kind one might find in mental asylums.

So last week, I went out to buy my first ever gallon of paint and started with some serious purpose. I painted above the wainscoting on both sides of the living room/kitchen, behind the middle shelves, the back room, and 3 walls in the bathroom.

I could say that my dislike for painting has improved on the interior surfaces, but that would be lying. These surfaces have all just gotten bigger, and perhaps even less appealing. Despite my annoyance, I put 3 sanded coats on everything and did my best to make it look even and as if I didn’t hate what I was doing. It was totally worth it though for how everything turned out, and Little Yellow now houses the most lovely collection of white walls.

I’ve also made legs for my window seat bench! I decided to use branches from a fruitless plum tree that needed some pruning as they are just the right colour and thickness. I love the look but let me tell you, cutting those buggers up was a nightmare. They may have seemed straight when I selected them, but each branch was its own sort of wonky that resented and battled my every attempt to level them with the chop saw.

I spent a good 45 minutes trying to get the 4 of them just right before giving up and screwing them into the wall to see what’d happen. Perhaps my willing for it to work had some effect, because the bench sits on them so very nicely and it doesn’t wobble at all. I’ve set up some fluffy pillows from my room and it’s so cozy πŸ˜€

I should probably mention what happened with the yellow paint I thought to put on my wainscoting during my mad painting phase. I like yellow, right? So then I’d like a yellow wall, right? WOAH, wrong. I picked a nice sunny colour, went home and got to painting me some wainscoting. It didn’t take long. I know it was a fine shade and all, but on my wall it looked like the colour yellow turns when it’s about to be sick.

‘Touch of Sun’ (as it was titled) lasted as much time as it took me to make a frantic run for the hardware store and buy enough white to cover that thing in short order. Man, I don’t even know if I waited long enough for it to dry before the coat of white…That’s ok. I’ll take the repercussions.

So, it looks like what I really want is to put yellow things in my house, not to have yellow wainscoting that punches me in the eyes every time it graces my view. Yellow curtains, maybe?