Monday, May 18, 2015

Adjusting to the green

It's been a week, and I'm getting used to the green. I did make a few more adjustments, though.

Most of my picture frames were dark colours:

I bought some new frames, but for the large pictures, I could only find black frames, so I painted them. (The new black frames, not the original ones, in case I want to go back.)

And I bought a new clock for $3 at IKEA, and I painted that, too.

I also painted some light switch covers. (They were gold, which wasn't enough contrast and is not my favourite in general.)

I'm much happier with the colour now.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Project #3

The next project was pretty straightforward - paint the living room.

Of course, I actually decided to start on a whim, which made it more work than it needed to be. I bought the paint Saturday morning and started cleaning out the room. Removing the furniture, pictures, and outlet covers took about three hours before we could start to paint.

I painted the ceiling while Wanda painted the trim. By that point, we were exhausted, so we stopped for the day.

On Sunday, we finished the trim, did a second coat, and started on the walls. We got two coats of primer and 1/2 a coat of paint done.

On Monday, I finished the coat of paint and did a second coat, then did another coat of trim and touched up the ceiling. I finished painting at 4:20.

The Pathfinders arrived for our meeting at 6:30.

It's very green. Maybe a little too green.

I may end up painting above the fireplace the same colour as the trim.

Of course, first there's project #4 to deal with.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Project #2

When I talked about the jewellery hanger I made, I mentioned using a piece of scrap wood. I didn't mention where that wood was from.

You see, many years ago (pre-blog), I had my upstairs bathroom redone. As part of that work, they needed to access the pipes & wires in the downstairs bathroom ceiling, which was done with those foam tiles that get stapled up. They cut a hole so they could take one down (with my permission).

Of course, you can't really fix that well, and the ceiling has been less than ideal ever since.

The main room downstairs has a similar problem, but it's even more complicated. (I want to move a bathroom wall to create a bigger shower, and move the door, and ....) Since I was just re-doing the bathroom ceiling, I needed something that would work on a small scale, but that could be removed if necessary.

I pulled down the tiles and bought some 1x4s. I painted the boards white and started screwing them in place.

Half of the boards went length-wise, half across the width.

When I was done, I caulked the gaps and painted it again.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Project #1

One of the things I've been doing for the last few weeks is working on projects around the home.

Just after Easter, I saw a necklace holder on Pinterest. (I really should stay off that app!) It looked interesting, and we'd just had sparkling lemonade for Easter, so I saved the bottle and got to work.

I soaked off the label and painted the bottle with a few coats of blue food coloring mixed with mod podge. I wasn't thrilled with how it looked, so I did one last coat of green food coloring and mod podge.

Next, I found a scrap board and drilled a 1" hole in it. (Well, actually, I drilled a 3/4" hole, then discovered it wasn't big enough and tried again.)

A coat of paint and a bunch of cup hooks, and it was done.

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Saga of the Soap

Sometime last year, I was walking through the dollar store and I saw some soap.

Now, I don't normally buy soap at the dollar store, but it smelled nice and it was a big bar of soap, so I thought I'd give it a try.

I didn't start using it until fall - probably October or November. I was pretty excited to try it, because I really liked the smell.

It really did smell nice.

Well, at least until I got it wet. Then it smelled like death.

(But it was a really big bar of soap.)

After a couple of days, it only smelled a little like death, so I kept using it.

And kept using it.

And kept using it.

In fact, it's now May and I'd say there's probably 1/3 of it left.

It was a pretty good deal.

Except for the smell.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Yes, it's been ages

Wow, it has been ages since I updated.

Job Hunt
No job news. I've applied for a handful of jobs, but haven't had any response.  My outplacement help through my last employer expired, and I got in touch with one of the government centers. It sounded good and they set me up with a coach - which is really what I was hoping for.
I had my first meeting with the coach last Monday, and it did not go well. She asked for a copy of my resume, and then talked for 45 minutes about how I needed to change my job titles (which I'm not going to do). She's a big believer in search results, and, while I suspect that works well for someone with a linear job history, my job history is too eclectic to make that a good approach. I decided that approach wouldn't work for me so I told her I wasn't going to continue with the coaching. I may try again with another job center or I may just decide it's not valuable.

New things
I've done a few new things in the last couple of months.

First of all, I went to two career fairs. Oddly enough, I've never done that before. I have a friend who is also unemployed and we went to the first one together. We talked to employers separately, but it was helpful to have someone motivate me to get there. The first career fair was ... kind of a bust, as there were very few employers there. The second one was high-tech specific and was much better.

I also went to a "Women in Technology" evening. It was interesting - there was a general meet and greet, then a short talk, then organized networking where everyone picked a table and discussed the topic that they provided. After 20 minutes, everyone switched tables and discussed a second topic. After another 20 minutes, we switched again and discussed the third and final topic.

I also made mozzarella cheese. I had tried this at my mom's at Christmas, but we didn't have a proper thermometer so it didn't work well. I tried it again and it turned out surprisingly well. 

And Chris at boxing guilted me into trying the warrior workout, which is an optional set of exercises after boxing class. I don't do the chin ups or pull ups (my shoulder is still weak and I'm lazy) but I do squats, lunges, push ups, and tricep push ups after class. And then I end up really hungry and start trying to bribe people to bring me cookies.

It's getting to the end of the Pathfinder year. Since we meet on Mondays, it seems like the last couple of months always end up being a ridiculous rush. We don't meet during March break, then we take a meeting to sell cookies, then we miss a meeting for Easter, and then it's practically the end of the year.

And this year, one of my Pathfinders had surgery that will put her in a wheelchair for a couple of months. We spent a few meetings this year making polar fleece blankets, and I ended up with the leftover polar fleece. Since this girl is a Harry Potter fan, I used it as a backing for a wheel-chair-sized quilt.

I currently have sandals, winter boots, shoes, and hiking boots in my front hall. What will I need tomorrow? No one knows.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Recipe Book & Deadlines

I'm the oldest grandchild on my mom's side. I have a cousin who's a couple months younger, and then a sister and cousin who are two years younger. When I was in university, my mom wrote down a bunch of family recipes and gave all of us a recipe book.

As time went on, the computer that had the original file crashed and the file was lost. As others grew up, the old recipe books were photocopied and shared.

Two or three years ago, I thought, "Hey, we should make this an ebook."

I started copying out the recipes one at a time. I was doing this at work on the days when I stayed late because it didn't make sense to come home after boxing.

After a few weeks, it occurred to me that scanners could easily scan the book, and I could use Acrobat (which was on my work computer) to translate the resulting PDF into text.

That was much, much faster.

There was still some proof-reading to do, but it was a good start.

I moved everything into InDesign (also on my work computer) and tried to figure out how to make each recipe its own link under a table of contents. (The answer, it turned out, was to make each one a separate file in the book.)

Then I discovered that I had too many recipes, because InDesign has a hard limit of 150 files. I'd have to make multiple books and then merge them in Calibre.

That was in December 2013. In January 2014, I changed to an earlier boxing class. I had no time after work to work on the book.

Last week I picked it up again. Now that I had a deadline - the work computer has to go back - it didn't take long to finish it. (Probably a couple of hours, and that was mostly because I found a formatting error that needed to be fixed in each of the 150+ files.) I made a title page on Wednesday and finalized the book.

It's finally done.

At least until someone finds a typo.