Thursday, July 23, 2015

The saga continues

Now that I have a new bed, my old nightstand was too low. Naturally, the solution was to make new ones.

The advantage of having two is that I don't have to dive across the bed to turn on the reading light - I can have a light on each side. It's awesome.

And, of course, then it's time to re-evaluate the dressers. One of them could be replaced by the drawers in the bed, so I just had to build one more.

I finished on Wednesday and transferred everything from the old dresser to the new one. That caused a minor issue, because I had to get rid of the old furniture, and I have company arriving tonight. Luckily, Wanda helped me load the furniture in the car, and yesterday morning I dropped it off at a thrift store. Problem solved.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Back in January, I came across these plans. I had three thoughts:
1) Cool!
2) I am in no way qualified to do this.
3) I'll have to wait until it warms up outside, because I don't have room to do this inside.

It's warm outside, so two weeks ago I started. I didn't want to use plywood for the head and foot boards, so I used the techniques described here (but the measurements from the first plan). I started by buying the wood for the headboard and footboard, with the exception of the posts.

(See point #2 above - I didn't want to commit to buying all of the wood if I failed miserably on step #1).

To my surprise, it was pretty easy, so I went and bought the posts, cut them, and attached them. The first wood I bought was knotty pine, but of course I couldn't get untreated pine 4x4s, so I bought cedar and thought "rats, I'm going to have to paint this", but once I got the posts attached, I liked the mixed-wood look.

So far, so good.

Then it rained for three days. I waited impatiently for it to stop, then went and bought two sheets of plywood to start on the drawer cabinets.

I finished the cabinets and decided to go with a tung oil finish. I did one coat, then waited a day and did the second coat. While that was drying, I started on the drawer boxes. I cut the drawer fronts and oiled them.

On Sunday, I took apart the old bed. I installed all of the drawers (which took a long time) and got Wanda to help me carry everything inside. The bed is heavy - I can barely lift the headboard.

I installed felt pads on the legs and Wanda helped me attach the drawer cabinets to  the headboard and footboard.

Then I measured the length of the slats, cut those, and installed them. While I was doing that, Wanda brought the drawers inside and installed them (minus the fronts and handles). After the slats were done, I had to call Wanda back upstairs to help me lift the mattress over the footboard.

Yesterday, I installed the drawer fronts and today I added the handles. They're not perfect - some of the drawers stick, and none of them are flush with the edge of the cabinet - but I love the bed anyway.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spring camp

Last weekend was the final Pathfinder camp of the year. (The only thing left is to finalize the financial books, which I plan to do tomorrow or Monday.)

This was the hardest camp of the program for me, because the girls plan and run it themselves. I struggle with letting them do that, even though I know it's critical that they do it.

The two girls running camps did a poor job of preparing - they needed to be prodded multiple times before the camp - but they did a great job at the camp itself. One of them, in particular, has become a much stronger camper over the past two years. A year ago she'd light a match, scream, and drop it, and this weekend she was confidently lighting fires and camp stoves with no issues.

Now to get the books done and put it all away until fall.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Secret door

I painted the living room when I did because I was waiting for a back ordered set of hinges.

The closet in my front hall had a folding door, as many closets do. The door was always open, and it tended to get scuffed because it was always open, so I decided to remove it and replace it with a secret door.

I started by removing the door. I measured the opening and bought 1x6s.

The I realized that I had to remove at least the ... door edge inside the frame. Basically, the boards that covered the pink paint.

Next I drilled holes In the tile to place the bottom hinge, and made the basic door frame. (Drilling through tile takes forever, by the way.)

Once I had the frame the right size, I built the cabinet. (This took a while.) I then painted the frame. I ended up removing the rest of the previous trim as well, which required more repainting.

Then I attached the rest of the frame. This also took several adjustments.

I added trim and realized the hinges needed to be adjusted again, so I took it all apart and moved them to the front of the cabinet. 

Finally, it was done. I touched everything up and attached the latch (which requires a magnetic key to open).
Weeks later, it was finally done.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Start Spreading The News

I spent the weekend in New York. Wanda and I left Friday morning. We drove down to Newark and parked at the airport, then took the train into the city.

For some reason, we decided to walk the 24 blocks from the train station to our hotel. It wasn't actually that far, but it was wall to wall people.By the time we got to our hotel, it was around 7. Since we left to come home on Sunday around 9, it was a quick trip

Here is a quick look at our trip by the numbers:
  • Modes of transportation (car, train at airport, train into city, subway, shuttle to get back to the airport since there was an issue with the train, shuttle back to the car, Staten Island ferry) - 7
  • Restaurants with free wifi - 2. Luckily, we had excellent internet access at the hotel.
  • Subway trips (to the west village, to the World Trade Center, from Battery Park to the West Village, to Times Square, to the train station)- 5
  • Number of times I filled my subway card - 3
  • Broadway shows - 1 (Hedwig)
  • Partially consumed bottles of Cherry Coke I brought home - 2 + 1 full one
  • Ice cubes obtained from the (apparently broken) ice dispenser at the hotel - 0
  • Pairs of shoes worn (by me) - 2
  • Degrees difference between NYC and home on the day we returned - 18
  • Number of states (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey) - 3
  • Stops in each direction - 3
  • Tanks of gas - 3
  • Visits to the Sock Man - 2 (it wasn't open the first time)
  • NYC maps obtained and left in the hotel room instead of being brought with us - 2
  • Women in Times Square wearing only body paint - 2
  • Questions asked by the customs officer on our way back into the country - 4 (where are you coming from, when did you leave Canada, did you buy anything, do you have any firearms)
  • Number of tolls paid - 3 (two of them to get onto the island with the border crossing)
It was a good trip.

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.