Variety Pack Day! Handy Tip! Recipes!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Wow, I can't believe how long it's been between Variety Pack Days.  Ooop's jeez louise, heh, my bad, sorry!

Well we're here now!  Rejoice!  And I've got a smattering o' little check marks to share.


It's funny, right?, how sometimes getting hoards of itty items completed can feel more, what?, substantial than finishing one big project.  Like they all add up larger somehow, making you feel oh hells yeah roar, look at all I can do in a day!  

As I mentioned, I had a slew of little tasks backing up on me; it was time to knock some out.

Got the second stop into the track for the hall bedroom sliding barn-type door.  Again, it was a wee fussy like the first one but it went on.  This stop will keep the spiffy stick handle from getting whacked by the jamb if the door rolls shut too quickly.

And here we have a fascinating image of a sliding door track stop.
I hunkered down and finally got the hall bedroom light fixture swapped out because doh, I was a bozo.  I lamely wrapped a plastic bag around the hanging broken one in case it fell but obviously a flimsy bag won't stop spraying shards of glass, so, gotta git 'er done, right?

After much task evasion and running through all sorts of scenarios on how to best accomplish this, in the end, no matter how hard I tried not to, I still had to remove the base.

My poor little hands were all super sweaty, I was sooo nervous about breaking the new glass.  Dropping it.  Bonking it.  Hitting it with the ladder.  Ya know.  Every possible way for it to shatter along with my hopes and dreams for this room.  Ok, that's a stretch but still.  Paranoid.  Thankfully installation was incident-free and the replacement is up, shining bright.  Whew.  What a relief!

Yay!  Back in light business!  Almost like the broken one never happened!  The new ladder, btw.  Kinda not super easy for one lone DIY'er girl to manage easily unfortunately.
Clearly I have mad wiring talent as it took me a bit to undo the old fixture, hands only getting slicker.  

With electrical tape, I tried to really tack down the screw heads inside the mounting bracket as I had last time in order to get the balls back on.  It helped somewhat but not a whole heck of a lot.  I dropped those balls I don't even know how many times too, skittering all over the floor, those darn nervous nelly fingers of mine, heh.

Got the curtain started and finished for that room too.  You can kinda see it above -- it is hard to take photos in this dark dark room with a glaring window.

Curtain fabric closer up.  A tan-ish sheer with white stitching.  Vaguely '70s.
Of course I royally messed up the hem.  It's heh, pathetically on a major diagonal.  My brain hasn't been at full capacity, kinda distracted.  Ah well, no biggie -- I can always re-hem the curtain.  But next time making sure I align it with something square first!

Whilst walking in the park I came across another wood wedge.  Don't tell anybody but I snitched it out of the wood chipper.  Which was very much off!  And fyi, yesterday, I saw four wedges in the park!  Four!!  So if you're in town and want one, zip your butt over there asap!

This wedge is smaller and all bark-covered and works well in the hall bedroom.  I trimmed some scrap pieces of 2x4 for underneath as this wedge is way more angular.  I attached another batch of handy dandy keyhole brackets* onto the 2x's and hung it on the wall from there.


It's enough to put a glass on, glasses, a pen, ya know, smaller stuff, but it's better than no table at all.  Right?  Right.  I may or may not keep it as I'm a wee loathe to repeat myself and the first one is so unique.  So, we'll see.

Keepin' the woodsy theme kickin' with the wall mural!
After it went up I opted to move the yarn art over there rather than by the pallet wood clock as, well, the room was starting to look too stuff-on-one-wall, stuff-on-opposite-wall.

My shadow Finn says hi! Oh, testing paint on the wall too, hence that weird blob of color.
Interior decor man, it always evolves, especially if you're adding pieces as you go along.  You gotta adapt, roll with the punches, bob and weave, jump the hoops, keep it movin'.

Glued a couple more headboard blocks back on.  I dunno what the dealio is with this Liquid Nails failing me so.  Frustrating.  But, so it is and I keep gluing them buggers back on.  I still have yet to examine the tube, see if maybe I purchased a non-stick version.

I made some macrame-ish plant hangars to clear off our front window sill.  I'll share those another time but meanwhile I'm working on caulking, cleaning up, repainting the sill as ahem, a certain ginormous furry one keeps insisting upon jumping up there to greet passer-by, enthusiastically, emphatically, and with outstretched talons, despite all of our "hey get down!"'s.

Got the stair wall paint (repeat link, sorry) second-coated, so that's nice.  And yay, done!!

And the hand rail!  Got that done!  Yippee!!

The flipper had installed a regular, off-the-shelf average, typical, nothing exciting handrail going up the stair.

Handrail before.
As I myself am not a regular, off-the-shelf average, typical, nothing exciting person, I deemed it inevitable a replacement would be had.  Poor Mike -- when I told him many many months ago I would be changing it he shook his head, rolled his eyes, and asked, "but whyyyy?!"

After cutting the holes in the walls, a new rail became mandatory.  Besides, it's a well-known fact that if there's something I can change, customize, make our own, I'mma gonna do it.  Yes, I am special.

So I splurged.  Using a rebate merchandise credit, I procured a 1x3x10' solid maple stick o' lumber.

Getting it in the house was entertaining.  I knew it wouldn't make the turn at the top of the back stair, that it also wouldn't make the turns to get down to the basement so I passed it through the tiny vent-y window in the front glass block wall.  Heh.  Hey, it worked!

Yay mini window!
After easing the edges with a sanding block,* I stained it with some old pickling stain* I had though it didn't take too well despite a pre-sanding and a spreading of wood conditioner first.  I then sanded lightly, sealed with oil based semi-gloss poly, light sand, seal, sand, done.

The scariest part was making the angled cuts -- with math as my enemy over the last few, well every project, measure twice cut once was pounding in my head.  What a shame it would be to mess up such a pretty piece of $20 lumber.  Right?!

Go miter saw, go miter saw!
I managed to get the angles going in the correct directions, whew, even if my angle and length are slightly off.  I will trade that for a major mess-up any day of the week.  Besides, one would have to dial focus right in to tell, so it should go generally unnoticed.  Except now I've pointed it out to the world....

Unscrewed the boring hand rail then screwed the new one on.

And this picture really emphasizes being a half inch short, angle off.  Great.  Looks way worse here, trust me.  And the bottom is better, fyi.
I ended up having to move the top bracket but that's fine, no big whoop.  They stuck it on all crooked anyway.


Looks way nicer, right?  Just a simple piece of stick lumber and the change is dramatic.


Much more modern.  Me likey modern.  Gotta, got to, must get rid of that cheap a** horrendous carpet!!


And it looks more tolerable through the wall cutouts too, yeah?

Mike's reaction?  Very genuine approval with a tinge of "you were right babe," without saying those exact words.  Whew!!

Oh hey, here's a handy tip:  when you're carting around a handful of small screws or small parts or small what-have-you's, put them in a lidded jar for easy transport to minimize chances of losing them.  Spiffy trick, yeah?


Time to check in with my big master list as I haven't done that in a while, see what I can check off, see what I need to add.  See what I can work on next!

The in-laws will be in town and staying with us Saturday night through I'm not sure how many nights yet, one, two, as a continuation of the Week of Mike.  (Now you can see why I was focusing on the hall bedroom so much, ahhhhh!)  Lots o' cleaning ahead for me, woo hoo.  *cough*

But also as such, menu planning, mmmph....I have a hard enough time figuring out what to make for dinner every night.  Doesn't help I'm not a fan of cooking.  

As every Variety Pack Day post has recipes, let's see, how about a potential breakfast-y idea....Ah, maybe this Creme Brûlée French Toast as Mike is a huge creme brûlée fan.

Hm, I might need an appetizer or two....Maybe I'll give this easy peasy sounding Cheddar and Horseradish Spread a whirl.  This Bacon Ricotta Crostini sounds pretty yummy too, maybe I'll try that.  And as a possible third munchie, maybe Ethereally Smooth Hummus.  Yeah, ok, good list.

Dessert?  Sounds like Mike's mom is bringing her Peach Pie.  And that Mike kinda wants my famous Chocolate Cream Pie too (a recipe that won't be pried out of my cold, dead hands even.  Sorry.  I know, that's mean.  Not that I don't love you all.) but I'm thinking maybe possibly this Mexican Chocolate Cake.  I best decide all this faster than asap!!

Well all righty, off to clean and such!  Have a great weekend and I'll catch you all next week!  xo

*The sanding blocks, keyhole brackets, and pickling stain are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.

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