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.

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.