Yesterday I brought the tree down from the attic, put it together, and decorated. We were away around Thanksgiving, and I haven’t been terribly productive recently, but at least the house feels nice and Christmas-y.
Actually, I’ve been working on things here and there, like massive organisation bursts, but in the last week and this one not much else could be done. L worked from home, took this entire week off, we were away, and I’m about to flip out for lack of alone time, so… I’m looking forward to more productive times. Also, I’m now in the midst of the IVF cycle (number II,) and it is rather inconvenient. For example, we left for Manhattan well before 7 on Monday and weren’t home until noon. Thankfully on week days I can mostly go to a nearer location for monitoring, but city trips make for an exhausting day without much hope for large projects. However, I do have a long list in mind to complete before family visits for Christmas.
-Purchase quartz tile and supplies to re-tile the entry area and hearth. (Likely to be done this Friday when I go for local-ish monitoring.)
-Tile the hearth and entry. This would have been ideally done before putting the tree up, but alas. I am antsy to do this in particular, because it is a small enough project that I’ll get a lot of satisfaction quickly, and it will make a huge change to the look of our place. Of course I’d like that done before we have the rare occasion of house guests. (It already irks me that my tree photos now showcase the old tile!)
-Finish sanding the dining chairs before staining and waxing them to match the Restoration Hardware style dining table that I completed at least two years ago. (!!!) While I’m at it I ought to touch up the coffee table.
-Brush trim paint (coconut ice) on the remaining 40% of the kitchen beadboard that is sadly still only primed after about two years. (Also !!!)
-(Semi-temporary) repairs to the front steps. I began this and ran out of Quickcrete. L would like this to be completed, so if I get warm enough weather and a chance to then I’d better get to it.
-Brush edges of masonry that I painted earlier in the fall.
-Finish the sofa reupholstering. Specifically to staple the back properly, stitch the upper back as needed, and staple black cambric stuff to finish underneath. (Why haven’t I done this yet? This is why I should never let myself stop at “good enough for now.”) To truly complete it I’ll have to sew four-six throw pillow covers of the same linen as the sofa. I have them all cut and ready to go, but I suspect this will be a long term sort of thing, because the jewel toned silk dupioni covers that I make long ago are “good enough for now.”
-Paint ceilings of guest room, hall, and main bath; guest and main bath walls; guest paneling, doors, and re-coat other doors; and re-paint main bath headboard with gloss.
-Pattern and make a winter coat. I’ve planned this for two years and have all the fabric and notions required. I actually started work on this last week but felt a bit overwhelmed and stopped, because nothing but wasted work ever comes from pushing through when I’m not in the right creative mode.
-Change out all remaining switch plates and outlet covers after painting.
Hopefully, but maybe:
-Change all door hinges to brushed nickel, adjust, and touch up paint.
-Fix the drop ceiling droop, add cross bars for 2×2′ tiles, and install fancier new tiles to replace the institutional styled 2×4′ kind. (I may have to cut this from the allowed budget thanks to a fancy Butchers&Bicycles bakfiets we bought. This change would make such a huge difference in the appearance of the media room part of the basement, but it is one of the most sensible to cut from this year’s list and save for later. I anticipate it being a very messy, fussy, and time consuming hassle of a project.)
-Replace the sewing room and probably dressing room/master suite doors with some that have a frosted glass panel to let in light. (I’m dying to do this too, but it is the other sensible thing to cut from the budget as it costs a lot for likely a less dramatic change. It makes less of an impact than the drop ceiling, I guess, but it is a far easier task without all the hassle and mess of the ceiling project. We’ll see.)
-The exterior staining project. Soon I’ll write an update post about this, but due to ladder circumstances I haven’t finished the two sides of the house. I began the west side and wanted it done this fall, but the ladder thing complicated the matter. Not only do I need good enough weather and L’s availability and willingness to help, but the hillside is a severe obstacle. While I purchased legs for the ladder I’m still nervous. The other side would have been easy, but first we needed to have a nastily rotten old pile of firewood removed, and that happened way too late. It makes sense to leave that until spring now. I sure wish the warm and dry weather lasted longer here! A part of me still holds out hope of finishing the west side before winter.
-Paint dining/living window trim with coconut ice.
Future projects that I won’t even think of trying before Christmas but do intend to do within 6-9 months:
-Rip up the carpeting of the master bedroom. Prime, paint, and stencil the sub flooring.
-Sort and organise the remaining boxes and stuff in the storage room and basement.
-Tear out the laminate and carpet in the media room and storage room. Level whatever I find beneath, and install vinyl planks. This is huge. I’ll need to remove or move around L’s workstation and big entertainment thing, furniture, and a tonne of stored crap (see previous item.) Then I have to deal with the demolition and rubbish, but I’m most concerned about what I’ll find beneath the laminate. I can only fear what has caused bouncing dips and unlevelled spans as drastic as we have down there… I hope that some levelling concrete is all that is required, but all sorts of nightmares plague my plans with this especially after we had a massive swarm of carpenter ants to eliminate this spring. It’ll be a gorgeous change though.
-Paint the dressing room and curved stairwell. Maybe re-do the master bedroom too now that I have selected the proper pale grey?
-Continue to replace torn and ugly aluminium screens of storm windows and re-glase windows.
-Refinish a crib, maybe???
-Lots of sewing.
-Reupholster a recliner and a cute little tufted round chair.
-Restore or basically do something to make an antique travel trunk useable as furniture.
Anyway… On to the holiday decorations:Above is the sofa featured in my reupholstering instructional posts (that I have yet to finish.) Actually, I did that round chair/loveseat twice too! You might also see that the crown moulding has been finished but the window is only white primer?
This year’s additions. I found a few more of the Egyptian glass, liked the random matte white with black ornaments, and finally added a pickle!
A closeup of the centre-piece on the coffee table:
I have these allllllll organised when stored! Each year some ornaments are put into rotation or maybe not. Believe it or not, I’d like even more options to select from! Since I do add a dozen or so each year that is becoming more of a reality.