Saturday, January 16, 2010

Progress Report

Thanks to 11/2 Kettle One dirty martinis last night, I didn't finish putting the bed together. I did, however, discover that my bedroom is big enough to hold two queen beds, one of which is under construction.

I haven't built furniture for a while, and I'd forgotten that I actually like doing it. Yes, it's challenging and messy and time consuming and yes the directions can be obscure (these are actually pretty good, but still). But I get satisfaction from putting the puzzle together. Not to mention I will actually have a bed when I'm done.

Also on the agenda for this weekend: table salvage. I snagged a big, beautiful table out of the loading dock of my building. People ditch their unwanted furniture here and the garbage men come and break it up and haul it away. Honestly it makes me ill to see so much waste. I understand that not everyone wants a used couch or a giant media console. But to me it's disgraceful that this furniture isn't hauled away to someone who can use it. Maybe someday I'll start an organization to do something like that--it's going on my list of things to do.

But in the short term, I have personally snagged three tables from the clutches of oblivion. The first is a Crate & Barrel children's table that needs a little TLC--I plan to sand it down and stain it and use it as...well, not sure what yet.  The second table--originally from Ikea I think, but big and sturdy--is serving as my desk. And the third table is the real find. It's a heavy, solid, dark wood, 4'x3' dining room table that had to cost more than I paid for...well I don't like to pay a lot for things, so that's not a good analogy. But it's a beautiful table, with the exception of a heat stain on the top--trivets, people, trivets.

I already have a dining room table (the one I bought for the condo in Connecticut, which I love), so I've ordered coffee table legs and I'm going to convert the big table to my coffee table. Of course I'll save the legs in case I ever want to turn it back into a dining table. Know where the decorative arrangement is going to go?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bed Time

My new bed arrived today. It's HEAVY and has approximately 80,000 drawers. I'm doubtful that I'll sleep on it tonight, but I'm going to start building.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Chair Remodel

It's been a while since I did a DIY project, so to start my comeback I gave my friend's rustic Mexican-style chairs a makeover.

The bottom gave out on this one, so the first step was to strip off the fabric and cushion and see what the frame looked like.

It was obvious that this chair needed a new base. The chairs have a slightly trapezoidal shape and cutouts on each corner, and at Home Depot they can only cut square, so I bought a saw to do the rest.

I cut three new bases from a 2'x4' piece of tri-ply. I only needed two, but since I had the material, I decided to use it. Like my sexy orange gloves?

Once all the chairs were stripped, I sanded them down to prep for a coat of new varnish.
It's quite a lot of work to prep for varnish, but putting on the varnish is pretty quick.
On the right is the sanded and prepped wood and on the left is the new coat of varnish. The color came out great.

Once all the chairs were stripped, sanded, and varnished I cut the new material: red pleather. (You can see a piece of the old fabric, a cream- and red-stripe.) The tricky part was the corners.

For cushion, I cut a full-sized egg-carton mattress pad into 12 approximately equal pieces--three layers per chair is pretty plush.

And here's the finished product. The pleather was a little hard to work with--next time, fabric for sure. But ultimately, they look great and they're a lot more comfortable.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Show and Tell

Okay, mostly show.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


...days until the party!

Here's what's left to do:

  • Have the stairs carpeted. This one will be checked off in about an hour--much to my surprise, the guy actually showed up today, an hour late, after missing four appointments. I was begining to think I would have to preface the party by saying "please excuse the twenty-year-old carpet in the entry." Fortunately, that's not the case.

  • Nail down the trim in the dining room. I will try to do this sometime when my neighbors aren't asleep.

  • Buy a bed and mattress.
  • Install threshholds on the bedroom, bathroom, and closet doors.

  • Find some way to hide the holes where the floor doesn't meet the wall. A finish carpenter, I am not. My miters don’t match, my trim is dented where I banged and crooked where it doesn’t fit in because of the paint, and ... you get the idea. But there must be a product for this.

It's really not such a bad list, considering.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Etruscans: 1 Gardenia: 0

Okay, so here's the update. I took the faucet back to Home Depot and showed it to the first guy I saw in the plumbing aisle. He remembered me from the last time I was there ... or more likely, he remembered the faucet ... and went to find another guy, Andre, who I had also met before. Andre took one look at my faucet and the mutilated hoses and said "What the heck have you been doing?"

It turns out that Manny gave me the wrong connectors. He gave me a female to female compression nipple (I SWEAR that's what it's called) but unfortunately I needed a female to female ... something else nipple. IU? UI? Some acronym that means do not try to screw a compression threaded piece in here. Well as you can imagine, I put quite a bit of thrust into trying to get the pieces connected yesterday, and now it turns out that I probably stripped the faucet.

(Jeez, stripping and thrust and nipples and female to female connectors ... but I digress.)

Andre helped me out and talked to the manager, so I think that Home Depot is going to replace my faucet, but what a PAIN in the BUTT this has turned out to be.

But here's the thing. I said that I needed a man for the screwing, BUT if the first man I talked to had given me the right advice, I would have been able to do it myself. However, Andre was very helpful, and also not bad looking, so perhaps there's something to be said for the damsel in distress.

The first room is ALMOST finished.

27Taylor - 107

27Taylor - 108

Don't look too closely at the faucet yet! But you get the general idea.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

It's all in a name.

I learned that faucet handles are called escutcheons, but I keep geting escutcheons confused with Etruscans. So as I'm fiddling with the chase that I'm building (it's built, looks like crap, but it's built) I keep thinking "Where do the Etruscans go?" This is surely not the question I should be contemplating.

I wasn't even sure what, or who, Etruscans were until I looked them up on Here's my favorite quote from the entry:

  • The Etruscan language also presents difficulties to the scholar. It can be easily read (the alphabet is of Greek extraction, and the sound value of the signs is known), but, with the exception of only a few words, the vocabulary is not understood.
I'll bet an Etruscan could help me with my hoses. The problem is, how would I ask him?

Okay, I finally found one good reason to say I NEED a man.


Actually, it's not the plumbing part that's the problem. It's the screwing.

I tried to turn my faucet on today (I finally connected the drain with a series of j-bends, p-traps and sawed-off plastic pipe) and water spurted EVERYWHERE. This is not a good thing. The water is spurting everywhere because the female to female connector that I'm using is not tight enough.

I screwed it in as far as I could, which seemed to be about halfway. I thought to myself "well, that's as tight as it goes" and bravely turned on the faucet. Apparently, that's not as tight as it goes. Which is the first legitmate reason I can think of that I need a man. I mean, I suppose I could find a woman who is stronger than me and could tighten the hoses all the way, but lets face it, I'm not that likely to find a woman who's stronger than me!

(Okay, let's face it for real: I'd rather ask a man for help with the screwing. Screwing of the hoses! What were you thinking?)

A day without Home Depot ...

is my biggest fantasy.

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