An Extremely Ambitious To Do List…

I’ve been quite absent from blogging, haven’t I?  Well, that is just about entirely due to tackling my crazy-long home improvement to do list with a level of energy and dedication that is making my head spin!  It is glorious though… I’ve made so much progress on the tasks that were delayed due to jobs (since this time of year, not long after moving in, 2015.)  Now that I have every day free (aside from weekends,) seemingly boundless supplies of motivation, and a hard deadline with our daughter’s due date: woooooooooooo progress!  😀

My usual need to improve and organise has been boosted by the hormonal nesting of pregnancy.  It is like a superpower so far, but I fear the day my stamina fails and doesn’t return.   Behold one example of organising:

fabric organisation

This is the result of eliminating three under-bed storage bin things which held all of my hoarded fabric.  It was in Mini’s room, and I planned to put it upstairs under our bed before deciding to make use of the BILLY bookcases instead.  All the fabrics are folded to fit nicely and sorted by all types of categories.  I also finally framed a 1920s fashion catalogue that I purchased on eBay years ago.  I have another floating around storage at my mother’s that I must rescue too.

'20s fashion framed


So, what else have I been working on?  Here is the list I made on April 18th with completed tasks crossed off:

Front of house
-Patch broken front steps.
-Paint foundation a more pleasing shade.
-Buy new light fixture and install with sensor bulb.
-Last bit of patching.  (I ran out of Quickcrete.)
-Last bit of painting.

Media room
-Get rid of giant speakers and console.
-Mount TV and sound bar.
-Rip out crappy laminate.
-Remove trim.
-Installl DryCore.
-Lay insulating underlayment.
-Install vinyl planks.
-Reinstall trim.
-Paint touchups.
-Arrange furniture.
-Replace coffee table.
-Paint or replace stained ceiling tile.  (or ideally change to 2×2′)
-Box in electrical panel.
-Put together BILLY bookcases and glass doors.

Storage room (now office)
-Remove stored items from storage/office.
-Rip out carpet and pad.
-Remove panelling.
-Patch and caulk.
-Brush paint.
-Roll walls.
-Paint sewer pipe with hammered finish.
-Paint ceiling.
-Change light fixtures.
-Change outlets and cover plates.
-Frame the two cinderblock walls
-Install foam insulation panels
-Drywall or panelling…
-Prime and paint newly insulated walls

Mini’s room
-Brush final trim coat on nursery panelling.
-Remove storm windows, disassemble, and replace screens.  Reinstall.
-Remove security crap from windows. Patch.
-Paint windows.
-Change light switch and cover plate.
-Buy floor lamp.
-Buy and install shades.
-Attach casters to crib. Make replacement hardware.
-Attach casters to walker and assemble.
-Bring dresser from Dad’s and refinish.
-Refinish crib or clear coat.
-Set up furniture.
-Fix leaky valve.

Main living areas and stuff
-Replace certain outlets, switches, and cover plates.
-Paint dining/living windows.
-Scrape messy paint.
-Touch up caulk.
-Repaint living/dining ceiling.
-Apply sealant on entry and hearth tile/grout.
-Sew back of sofa.
-Staple cambric.
-Sew pillow covers.
-Finish sanding dining chairs.
-Stain and wax chairs.
-Paint and modge podge travel chest.
-Touch up kitchen chairs and hoosiers.
-Reupholster recliner.
-Reaupholster little round chair.
-Finish brushing kitchen trim paint.

-Stain east side of house.
-Stain or hire west side of house.
-Powerwash patios and chairs.
-Stain patios.
-Powerwash fence.
-Stain fence.

Unfinished part of basement
-Finish painting walls.
-Rewaterproof spot on floor.
-Touch up floor paint.

-Organise storage area.
-Organise basement.
-Organise Garage.
-Organise attic.
-Organise kitchen.
-Organise sewing room.
-Organise baby items.
-Organise master closet.

-Have yard sale.

Dressing room and spiral stairwell
-Touch up ceiling paint.
-Shift PAX and MALM to left.
-Brush edges.
-Roll walls.
-Paint trim.

-Paint master ceiling.
-Touch up master bath vanity.
-Recoat walls.
-Poperly hang mirror.
-Install tub trim kit and drain.
-Install shower trim kit.

Sewing room
-Remove sewing room door.
-Mark and chisel hinge mortises.
-Mark and drill door knob.
-Install knob.
-Hang door.

As you see, this is beyond ridiculous.  I also have working on and continue to have a to do list for sewing projects (and have been gardening.)  Also I had to make many, many trips to Home Depot to haul home the flooring, sub flooring, and other materials.  Many trips…

Things are starting to shape up nicely though, and I’m very pleased.  I’ve just uploaded tonnes of photos and will be able to blog more soon to show all kinds of progress.




PAX closet (and SEKKEN sliding doors)

This may not be my most interesting post, but I am very proud of what I did yesterday, all alone.  🙂  I assembled a big PAX closet with two 39″ x 93″ sections, SEKKEN sliding doors, and even managed to put the doors on the frame!  All of the instructions show it as a two person job, and the door hanging would have been much easier with a helper, but I did it!  Raaaaaaawwwwwrrrrr!  😀

There wasn’t time to install any KOMPLIMENT bars or drawers, and today I am completely worn out.  Hopefully I can manage get that done and finally organise my clothing.  All of my skirts are still in the master bathtub which seemed like the only safe/clean place to deposit them when the movers needed their wardrobe box back.  I’ve been dressing from the laundry basket for far too long and was getting cranky about the disorder, but I didn’t bring the boxes in from the garage until Sunday.  Those things are heavy.  

assembling.JPone section doors are on!

When we moved I was very sad and reluctant to leave behind my beloved 118″ x 93″ PAX and its lovely, sleek, [discontinued] glass sliding doors that I planned to reinstall on new PAX frames (they had been damaged in the last move already and couldn’t handle another.)  I like things to be very organised, and I find that this closet makes me irrationally happy.  Carefully grouped clothing, hanging in easily accessed order, gleaming behind glossy glass: it is a thing of beauty!  Uh, what can I say, it is logical to me that it makes me feel serene, but my husband just doesn’t understand why normal closets, walk-ins, or anything else I’ve seen don’t.  He hated the 118″ one, because when I moved into his flat it took over part of the bedroom and left less room for his desk area than he preferred.  When I found that it wouldn’t reasonably fit anyplace in our new house he was annoyingly pleased.  Luckily for me, I could just squeeze the current, narrower, combination with sliding doors into the room that leads into our master suite.  It was originally a bedroom, but previous owners added a second floor master suite and put a spiral staircase where the closet used to be, and I thought it would make a nice “dressing room.”  I’ve already assembled a 19″ wide section with a mirrored door along one wall with a tall narrow MALM dresser, and my BILLY shoe-case.

Time to organise my clothes!

Endless priming, wall patching, and bathroom updates: switching to brushed nickel

Today I am in a poor mood, because after doing some major cleaning all morning I made a new mess in the afternoon with patching walls and priming.  An ice dam caused water damage in two areas of the kitchen, but I hadn’t painted yet thankfully.  (Now I climb out the window and shovel the roof after heavy snows.  Fun.  I’m also brainstorming some more permanent solutions for next winter.)  The priming is for the crown moulding and bead-board.  I have done some priming over two days now, and it all just feels like a waste of time, like I am just causing ugly, because it turns formerly crisp looking paint into something out of a toddler’s colouring book.  See?

messy priming patched wall

Ugh.  You don’t not want to see the “before” of the ripped apart wall.  I cannot wait to finally finish the priming and painting!  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a completed project for a nice sense of accomplishment to keep me going, and it has been too long since I have felt that motivation.

Yesterday I made some changes in the main floor bath.  The previous owners had done a little renovation, which was beautiful and preserved a lot of the original 1960 charm, but I saw a few details left to upgrade.  They had installed very nice brushed nickel fixtures, but the tub drain was left in the original chrome.  It also didn’t work.  The toilet handle was chrome too, and it is an easy thing to switch (same with the doorknob that I already changed.)  I can’t find the handle on Amazon, but it is by Moen and cost around 15$ at Home Depot.  Look near the faucets and towel bars rather than getting stuck with the selection available in the toilet repair section.  😉  The instructions are clear, so I’ll just show you before and after.  The only thing that did trip me up was that I had forgotten that the nut holding the handle on is the reverse of normal.  I was so frustrated trying to unscrew the darned thing, haha.

chrome handle new handle

handle switch done

On to the tub…

switching drain

The kit to replace the drain is from Amazon.  It looked nicer than those I saw at the store and had good reviews.  The old drain was a little tough to unscrew but not terrible.  I used pliers to get leverage, like this:


I had an awful time getting the linkage out.  It was stuck which probably explains why it wasn’t working.  Advice online said to spray WD40 and let it soak, but my WD40 was missing since the move so I tried orange oil (since it dissolves grime well when I use it to clean up antique/vintage sewing machines.)  It worked and pretty fast too.  Meanwhile I had been taking the drain apart and found a huge clog of hair.  Ugh.  I have a photo all ready, but I suppose I better spare you.  😀  It was as large as my fist!  Here is the linkage after it finally came out:


I attached the new piece to the linkage with the old cotter pin, adjusted the height, then tried to stick it back in place.  That was another hard part, but finally it was in place and seemed to function.  I’d added a new gasket between the plate and the tub although the old style one was behind the tub, because I’d noticed that it was leaking into the basement when my husband filled the tub.  It all appears to work properly now.

new gasket all done

Lastly, I hung up a small wall cabinet to store things.  Aside from a shelf tower in the bath there was no storage at all, and although I am undemanding for bathroom cabinetry compared to most people there is a certain amount required so that the basics aren’t sitting on the toilet tank.  😉


I found it at Homegoods on Wednesday and hadn’t even been thinking to get one, but it seemed like such a wise idea that I reluctantly parted with some cash.  The glass is nice, I think, and I really like the way the white of it melds into the wall.  The plan has been to paint a greyish purple above the bead-board, but now I am strongly considering painting the lower portion and trim instead of the upper walls.  Decisions, decisions!

“BILLY” bookcase as a dust free shoe-case

Hello and happy 2015!

I sure wish I had written a post or two between the last and now, but things have been really hectic with the holidays, tiling a backsplash for my mother-in-law, and some other things.  Meanwhile I began some posts but didn’t finish them yet.  One project that I worked on will be featured in a post soon: revamping ugly grout with a sealing stain product.  That was… interesting.  😉  Aside from that I am about to begin re-upholstering our sofa and will show the process step by step.

The sofa:

Sofa with new cushion and blanket for now

Today I will be cutting fabric and sewing the pillow and cushion covers, but before that I have to repair a broken marble dry-sink trough.  My next post will likely be about mending the cracked marble.

For this post I’m sharing a shoe storage idea that I have used for about two years now and am very pleased with.  Before moving in with my now-husband I, like most people, simply kept my shoes on an inexpensive shoe-rack in the coat closet.  Well, when I moved in with him I was irked that there was no such coat closet, and even if there was we each wouldn’t have had enough space.  Additionally I dislike when things are not “away” and out of sight although a couple of often used pairs for each of us can be left near the door if kept orderly.  😉

So, at first I bought some sturdy and nice-looking shoe shelves from Amazon, and I installed them as a towering unit in the bedroom.  It was great!…  Until the dust began to build up.  Meanwhile his shoes were on a wire rack in his clothes closet.  Neither of us were thrilled to have to remember to grab the pair we were going to wear before leaving, and the dust became a big problem on mine.  For some reason this building has levels of dust that I’ve never encountered before, and in spite of vacuuming every other day my shoes were coated in it before long.  Nobody has time to periodically vacuum each and every shoe they own inside and out, plus the shelves, so I had to come up with a better solution.  Enter the Ikea “BILLY” bookcase.

Several years earlier I purchased a couple of BILLY units and set of etched glass doors, and I had been using the one with doors for my sewing supplies (and one without doors for books.)  The doors made a huge difference in dusting requirements, so I went off to buy another pair for the bookshelf.  As I perused the specs I wondered if my shoes would fit, measured, and they did!  Wonderful, so I ended up buying another unit, pair of doors, extra shelves, and put everything together.  Every pair of shoes, even boots, has a space, and I haven’t had to dust any yet.  Perfect.

Unfortunately the frosted and etched doors I had bought years ago weren’t available any longer.  I had to clear but etched instead.  My husband would like for me to put rice paper or something behind the clear glass, but I don’t mind the current look with the darkness of the “black-brown” finish.  Currently Ikea doesn’t even have etched glass, which I am sad about, but paper, fabric, or paint can be a fun solution if you want to hide things and personalise.  This certainly isn’t the cheapest shoe rack, but if your shoe size accommodates it (I’m a 37 or 38) I think it is a excellent storage solution.

Here is my BILLY shoe-case:

shoe BILLY  BILLY pair

I didn’t even pretend to organise the sewing BILLY for you.  This is the clutter as we generally see it… in our living room.  😀  We both cannot wait until we move into the house where I have an entire sewing room.  Aside from that clutter I do really like the look of two+ BILLYs almost like one unit.  If I had reason to I might have a whole wall-full.  *Don’t tell my husband, but I am thinking of using the same set-up in our house, too, but storing my purses/bag in the second unit.  (Right now I only use the same daily backpack-purse even if we go someplace nice, because the others are all in storage above a 93″ tall PAX closet which is definitely not ideal.)