Category Archives: Furniture and Build Ins

Curtains up…

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And the window seat bench has been stuffed and upholstered! My wonderful sister came up with her wonderful sewing machine and slaved wonderfully away for hours on end, several days in a row to get them done. I was the dedicated fabric cutter and seam ironer, but she basically made everything and I’m so grateful.

We stuffed the window seat bench cushion with extra sheep wool insulation I got back in September from Oregon Shepherd, and let me tell you, that stuff makes for a really wonderful thing to sit on. I did put a 1″ high density foam pad on the bottom just to keep it rigid and the combination has totally worked. It got a relatively thick canvas casing first (which we spent AGES stuffing) and then another of the good upholstery fabric to finish it off. I’ve brought back out some pillows from the big house, and it’s super cozy now 😀

And then come the curtains…Little Yellow has 10 windows. Each got a curtain for each side, and all but the bump out windows also got two sides of sheer fabric, which means that there were 34 curtains on the list. 30 freakin’ 4 of ’em, and my sister made them and my bench covers in two days. Amazing? She is.

We made the front curtain rods out of copper pipe (3/4″ for the big windows and 1/2″ for all the others) and round pieces of 1/2″ craft wood for the sheers behind. Leftover moulding with drilled notches is holding the rods up. I say leftover moulding as though I merely bought too much, but this moulding has been thwarting the heck out of me as I try to make my baseboards. I keep cutting the angles wrong, leaving me with sad little sections of unloved, unreturnable, angle-challenged wood.

I’m sure it’s happy to have gotten used, but it was disagreeable stuff to drill into, and the process involved a vice, more patience that I had at the time and plenty of ‘test pieces’ that shattered and flew in every direction. Just as well I had lots of leftovers, eh?

But now I have curtains! All of them, and they are so very, very nice 😀 They instantly make Little Yellow so much more homey!

Cabinets framed…

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Perhaps nothing has caused more procrastination than my kitchen cabinets, and considering just how much procrastination I am capable of, this is really saying something. For a while my dad thought it’d be better to find someone else to make them, but Little Yellow is quite in need of her cabinets, so we have faced our fears and plowed ahead.

I bought a bunch of 1 x 3 pine to build the frame and we mostly based it on the cabinets in my parent’s house, since they are so conveniently there. This left us ripping the horizontal sections to 2″ and leaving the vertical ones as they were at just under 2 1/2″ I believe.

Have you heard of a Kreg jig? I hadn’t, but holy grandmother Moses is it a spiffy thing. My wonderful neighbor lent us his set-up and (having previously attempted dowling and biscuit joining) it was such a quick and excellent way to stick wood together that I was almost giddy during the framing stage. I think I’d like to keep this stuff on my bedside table, just for those springy, wood joining emergencies.

It is essentially a system that allows you to drill into wood at an exact angle, so by then screwing their fancy square headed screws in with a little Titebond III (great glue, strong as all heck), you effectively secure two sections. It worked really well for us and we had the frame up in no time. Before attaching it, we had to build a floor on the toe kick, make both sides with 1 x 6 tongue and groove, and stick a 2 x 2 support runner against the wall to hold the weight of the counters.

Being suckers for instant gratification, we put Flemming’s counters on as soon as we got the frame up, and what a sight. They are just breathtaking. I honestly believe they make the whole house.

Since then, my dad has started making the cabinet drawers and I’m on doors. By spectacularly fantastic luck, the 1/4″ wall paneling fits like a freakin’ dream into the groove of 1 x 6 T&G, so all I’ve had to do is rip the 1 x 6 down a little, chop saw 45 degree angles on it, stick some panels in the middle and Bob is most certainly your uncle.

I’ve been biscuit joining/ gluing them together with pretty good success, and I have to say I’m darn proud of my wee doors 😀 There are 4 on the main cabinets (one big under the sink, two smaller beside it, and one smaller still at the L corner) and 2 on the little linen closet cabinet thing I built in the space between my two tall shelves.

I decided it would be a good idea to have another closed off space for various, not necessarily kitchen related storage, so I tested out what my dad and I did for the big cabinet framing and made my own little one. I used cedar for the shelf, as I hear it’s good for such things that hold fabrics, but I’m not sure what I’ll do for the counter. Nothing can really compare to the master carpentry of Flemming’s, so I’ll likely end up doing something pretty plain.

I’m so happy to have the semblance of a kitchen!!! I simply can’t wait til it’s functioning. On the subject of kitchens, apparently I can navigate jig, miter and table saws, but those paring knives still pose a viable threat. Twice I’ve cut myself with the damned thing in the last week, twice.

I’ll put up clearer pictures of the counters soon 😀

Of corner shelves and window trim…

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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 😀 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 😀

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!

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

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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 😀

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?

Of shelving and pine floors…

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These last few weeks have been a bit mad, and progress has taken a back seat for a while to life and visiting family. Still, I have been working on and off on my storage/shelf/closet and am getting closer to having the hitch end interior walls insulated and paneled.

The storage unit will consist of two contained side closets for clothes or the like and open shelves in the middle that are accessible from the kitchen. I originally had 2 x 2 lumber all ready to go with plans for covering the framing in wall paneling, but I couldn’t make my mind believe that it would turn out very well so I did me some shelf research and changed the whole plan.

Instead, I said screw it to the extra weight and got five, 1 x 12 x 8 pine boards because I just love the way it looks. Most of the time I don’t really know what the heck I’m doing, but know what I wanted to achieve and made the closest thing my abilities could muster. It’s a bit wonky, but it’s probably only me that will notice and think I’m pretty much over the ‘perfect’ thing. Just as well I’m planning on putting non breakable things on these shelves though, most of them have slight, nicely alternating asymmetrical tilts… I should get the middles ones better now I’ve gotten the learning curve.

My flooring arrived yesterday! I say arrived, and by that I meant that I somehow fit it all into my car and drove up the hill a bit slower than usual so as not to upset its precarious balance. It is 3/4″ x 5 1/8″ unfinished white pine tongue and groove boards at 6′ lengths from Lumber Liquidators, great stuff from what I can see so far. I ordered it over a month ago but pine flooring is apparently not in very high demand so it had to get milled and shipped from far off wherever. Don’t think they were too jolly about my needing such a small amount either.

I chose pine for several reasons, and it fit my list of flooring criteria brilliantly. Firstly, I didn’t want a shiny, prefinished floor that I’m afraid to walk on. They’re beautiful, but I’m not big on how the inevitable scratches look white and I don’t like the idea of the lacquer stuff they put on there to begin with. Secondly, I wanted something as light as I could possibly get my hands on. A friend lent me a 3′ piece of 1/2″ bamboo flooring that is really lovely, and weighs easily as much as one of the 6′ pine. Thirdly, I really wanted to get something that didn’t cost me my teeth, and at $1.19 a square foot, it beat out anything I’d previously considered.

My parent’s house has a pine floor and I LOVE it. It’s scratched up like nobody’s business and covered in dents and marks after 20 years of footsteps and dropping things, and I just think it’s beautiful. I suppose you could call it ‘rustic’. Installation will be more of a faff because I’ll have to finish it myself, but I believe it will be worth it in the long run.

In any case, I am going to visit friends on a whirlwind trip to the east coast for two weeks tomorrow. It’s not a very smart decision progress wise and it’s certainly not one of the better financial decision I’ve ever made, but I’m young and allowed to do irresponsibly adventurous things, right? I hope you all have a wonderful April 🙂 Away I go!

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Plumbing started…

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This weekend, my neighbor began the task of running pipes through the walls. Though I worked on more wall paneling and wasn’t much at all involved, it’s a very exciting step to Little Yellow’s housedom and is making a good dent in the list of things about this project that scare the pants off me.

I don’t really know the specifics, but the procedure included an RV water entry, a water filter, a 50 ft roll of semi flexible pipe stuff called pex and a bunch of other plumbing related things that I should probably know the names of. And of course there is the most important part which is my shiny new water heater.

It a tankless model (requiring a 12v connection and propane) called an RV500 from Precision Temp. I’m still not sure how it all works but I believe the 12v DC tells the thing to start working and the propane heats the water as it runs through the pipes. It only runs when a hot tap is turned on so it is supposedly very efficient, and is considerably more compact and lighter than having a 10 gallon tank on board. A review that helped my decision can be found here: http://www.rvdoctor.com/2010/03/product-spotlight-precision-temp-rv-500.html

I looked religiously for a less expensive alternative, but most everything else I found was either not intended for moving structures or not intended for indoor use. I also researched a cheaper competitor by Girard, but heard too many negative comments to be convinced. I spoke with the company I got my heater from before buying it, and they said they had stopped carrying the Girard because of numerous complications. So, I coughed up the funds and bought my very own RV500. It looks pretty mental to me, but my neighbour seems to find it straightforward enough so hopefully it’ll get up and running soonish.

Monday brought a confused little snow storm that has been hovering around the last few days, intermittently dumping down bouts of promising flakes between constant sputters of tiny slushy bits. Basically it’s too soggy for spending extended periods of time outside, so my dad and I have been working in the big house by the fire on my window seat bench. It was finicky and used a shit ton of clamps, but it looks half way decent. I’m looking forward to the sitting part.