Sunday, January 31, 2010


As I recently mentioned, I've had the urge lately to get painting. The boring beige that covers most of my walls has worn out its welcome.

I thought I'd start with my dining room(/office), so I picked out a colour. It's a small room. 'It'll be easy', I thought. 'A quick project'. Right.

To start things off, I wanted to fill some of the nail holes that the last paint job had just painted right over. So I started in one corner. 'Hmmm, what's this bubble?' I wondered. And then, all of a sudden, I was looking at bare plaster, as years and years worth of paint layers came sliding off the wall in large sheets. This is what de-lamination looks like, boys and girls:

(notice the stack of paint 'sheets' piled on the window sill)

So I turned to my trusty friend Google for advice, and together (along with some further detective work - AKA scraping) we decided that it's most likely the result of (hopefully old) water damage, as evidenced by the water stains on the plaster, and some mildew spots in the area below the window sill. Plus the cracking/peeling problem I first noticed seems to just be mainly around this window, which is also directly underneath where the porch roof meets the wall (remember my fun flashing adventure?).

Anyway, to tackle it properly, I've first got to get all the loose bits off (basically scraping until I'm out past the edge of the water marks). So I decided to make a game of it, a little something I like to call 'who can carve the biggest slice?' And guess what? - I won! Fun times, let me tell you.

It's a good thing I was the type of kid who loved peeling sunburns.

(And for those of you keeping score at home, under the beige paint I found dark red, more beige, pea soup green, emerald green, and peacock blue. None of which are going back on the walls once I get this project back on track)

At this point I think the next step is just to clean it up, patch with wall compound, and then prime it all (and hope for the best). And I'm REALLY hoping it's just this section of wall that needs so much work...

So much for a 'quick, fun project'.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Painting Puzzle

In case anyone thought that no posts meant I've just been sitting around twiddling my thumbs, here's what my living room looked like a few days ago:

What you see here is more than 300 feet of beautiful baseboard and casing (and all the other requisite bits and pieces) that my dad bought for his place. I managed to fit them all into my living room so I could put a couple coats of paint on them, figuring I had more unused space (and unlike dad, no four-legged friends to disturb them!) to get the job done. I also thought it would be easier to paint them before he installed them on his freshly-painted walls. (I still think I was right about that one!)

Speaking of those walls, ever since helping him get them painted, I've had the itch... I think it's time I said goodbye to some more of the boring beige at my place...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Organization Makes Me Giddy

There's one room in my house that I end up spending most of my time in, and I'm pretty sure I haven't posted any pictures of it yet (it's late, or I'd check). It's my studio, it's the largest bedroom upstairs, and if you're wondering what it is that I DO in there, have a look over yonder

Anyway, it's a work-in-progress (aren't they all!?), so I'm not ready to show off the whole thing yet, but I couldn't wait to show my latest bit of organizing/thrifting/DIY awesomeness. But first, let's get the 'Before' mess over with quickly, bandaid-style:

Ugh. Ok, that's all you're getting, and I insist you forget you ever saw that. My propensity for making (or attempting to make) practically everything, means I have A LOT of stuff. And up until recently, no place to put it all.

Now check this out! The two white bookshelves were an absolute SCORE from Kijiji (I showed up expecting to buy just one, it turned out that they had two after all, and I got the two of them for just the $15 I'd planned to pay for only one).

As a side note, for those of you in the US: do you have Kijiji? I only ever see Americans talk about Craigslist...

Anyway, they were in great shape, but since I'm apparently not one to be happy with plain white shelves, I lined the backs of them in this cool 'formica'-like stuff that looks like bamboo (formica=weird, I know. But it was relatively cheap, easy to work with, and I love the look of it!):

(and no, I don't typically store placemats and stemware in my studio. I use these random objects as photo props, and my business cards are just in the glass because I think they look cool)

The fun stripe-y pegboard is super functional, but it's also practical: shelves all the way along that wall would've made for a tight squeeze trying to walk around my extra large work surface that's almost as wide as the room. This way I still get the storage, but it doesn't take up any floor space. (The stripes weren't for function, though. Just like the bamboo stuff lining the shelves, they're there because I think they make it more interesting, and because I can't leave well enough alone.)

Anyway, that's it for now. Maybe next time I'll show you how I store my ridiculous fabric stash. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What a Pair!

In my quest to furnish this house (a quest which is far from over), I happened upon these at a thrift store:
Someone had (obviously) already tried to re-upholster them, but the result was pretty lumpy and, well, not pretty. But at $8 each, I figured I (and some lovely fabric) could give them a new life.

Not bad, eh?! The fabric was a remnant from a favourite fabric store in Toronto, and I was lucky to have juuuuuust enough to do the two of them. After replacing the foam on the seats and recovering, the chairs ended up costing about $15 each. Now if only the place where I want to put them wasn't over-run with other projects, I could show you them in their new 'home' rather than lined up against the wall, 'jail booking photo'-style. Sigh.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Snow fun? No fun.

What did I do today? I shovelled. This:

For the second day in a row.

I can barely move my arms. And winter has barely begun!