Archive for the ‘home sweet home’ Category

In honor of Margaret and Amy, who asked very nicely for these pictures, I give you the final paint job pictures:

A few shots before the painter’s tape was removed…
directly from patio doors

(With a “before” picture, in case you can’t remember the horror of that wallpaper…)

Looking into the kitchen from the living room…
north/west corner
I love how much the woodwork pops out with this new color!

(The reference picture, from the same point…)
(I hate even looking at this now. I’m amazed we lived with it for a year.)

The south-ish wall.
painting by Matt
The painting is by a friend of ours, Matt, who picked up painting all on his own and is self-taught. We have several other canvases of his, and this one (which previously lived in NinjaHusband’s office) fit right in with the kitchen. Hooray!

Kitchen, looking left from main room

We still have a lot to put into it, but I’m so happy with the way it looks now. So. Happy. The dining table and the bookshelf have switched places, so it’s easier to get in and out through our patio doors, which is a big improvement. The kitchen feels much more liveable and happy now.


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My memories of Day Two of The Great Wallpaper Caper are a bit vague and misty, probably due to the sheer excruciating pain of the tiny bathroom. I hate that thing now.

Moving on!

We got the dining area completely paper-free,


as well as the over-the-sink area,


and realized that the pantry was apparently installed after they wallpapered the alcove. Seriously, the paper went all the way back.

I will make you my bitch over the next 5 hours!

NinjaHusband decided to just cover the food and cut the paper where it met the woodwork, and that is what we did.


That’s kind of it for pictures from Day 2, and I will tell you why. It is because I spent 90% of my day in the tiny tiny bathroom, spraying disgusting chemicals onto the walls and into the air and over my head, and not getting very far. I have said before that I don’t have a big ability to focus on projects that I hate, unless there is suitable compensation, and on this day the radio was too far away from the bathroom for me to hear it (plus I had the overhead fan on constantly).

You know how doing a sucky job can be made better, or at least marginally less sucky, if you can rock out to good music? I know how that works too, and it wasn’t happening for me in the tiny tiny bathroom. All I heard was the roar of the fans (the overhead plus the floor fan), the skish skish of the spray bottle of Dif, and the voice in my head going on and on about “Why am I in this bathroom? How come N gets to be in the big huge kitchen where no Dif spray lands on him because he can MOVE OUT OF ITS WAY? Why the buggering fuck isn’t this paper coming off easily OH MY GOD?” And so on. All of this crap kind of washed up on the shore of my mind, piling higher and higher as the day went on until about 2:00 in the afternoon when I went to pull off a strip of paper THAT I HAD WORKED LONG AND HARD TO LOOSEN and it just broke. Immediately I flipped out (quietly, and I didn’t break anything [maturity!!!], but still totally flipped out), washed my hands, and walked out the door. I threw a terse and snappy “I’m going for a walk and when I come back there should be something else I can do” at NinjaHusband and then went on a walk around our neighborhood.

Twenty minutes of hard walking will do wonders for my ability to cope with a situation. Hell, just getting out of that tiny tiny bathroom did wonders for my ability to cope. At 2:30 some friends of ours stopped by to see how things were getting on and their enthusiasm helped me feel loads better.

The kitchen did get completely de-papered that weekend, but the tiny tiny bathroom … well. There is still a bunch of paper to remove. Most of it is because I bailed, but a lot is because we have to take apart the toilet to remove the wallpaper behind it. At this point we don’t know what we’re going to do to the decor (other than paint the walls), and we figure we’ll just tackle that room all at once, rather than taking the toilet apart twice or leaving it unusable for however long it takes us to get the bathroom sorted.

As I type the kitchen is almost done. I’ll put up pictures of the rest of the process soon.

Final count: Round 1 to Keyberts, Round 2 to Satan’s Wallpaper.

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I haven’t forgotten or fallen off the internet again, just couldn’t upload pictures at home (grr!) and had to wait till I got to the public library where the internet connection is fat and happy.


A few last looks…

The kitchen, looking in front of the patio doors

The tiny bathroom. Notice the floor-to-ceiling wallpaper. This will be important later.

The table and patio doors

We covered the table, laid out the tools, and moved the whole thing into the center-ish of the dining area. Then the mayhem began.


NinjaHusband started on the wall with the patio doors.


I started in the tiny bathroom. Why? N is way more meticulous and can stay focused longer than me, so why wasn’t he in the horrible, awful enclosed space?


There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth on my part. I do not enjoy tiny, enclosed spaces filled with wallpaper-stripping chemicals and floor-to-ceiling wallpaper and really bad lighting. I may have stomped around a bit. Miyagi sensed my wrath and, in her despair and confusion, gave a cry for help.


De-papering continued…

Hello! I am the obnoxious yellow that lurked beneath your horrific wallpaper!

Heather, bless her, stopped by to give us a hand…

And also to mock us, apparently

And I found these two gems in the tiny tiny bathroom…

Speaking of obnoxious paint beneath the wallpaper…


Somewhere in the depths of this tiny tiny bathroom’s history, someone decided to try their hand at a free-form mural of … flowers? coral? …something totally ugly. And when they wisely decided to cover that up, they sadly (a) chose this wallpaper, and (b) when they got to this inset to hold a medicine cabinet which is looking at the backside of the drywall from the kitchen wall, chose to paper the BACKSIDE OF THE DRYWALL. Because that makes all the sense.

After that discovery, we decided to pack it in for the day and drink some beer. Wouldn’t you?

Round Two coming soon.

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I’m trying to upload pictures of the kitchen to show you what we’ve done to it so far, but today is not my day for internet goodness.

Hi! Remember me?! I’m completely obnoxious!!
This is an old picture of the kitchen.

We are going to get rid of this godawful wallpaper this weekend and I am so excited I could pee my pants. We’ve been living with this Grid of Doom for almost a year, because priority went first to our bedroom, then to the two offices/bedrooms, and then to enduring the winter, and most recently to fixing the small flood in our basement. It’s a fun combination of lazy and crisis that has kept us from giving the kitchen the attention it deserves.

No longer! Last night we moved the chairs into the garage, the table into the middle of the room, the cookbook shelving unit into the living room, and all foods and food-prep items (salt & pepper shakers, knife block, utensil holders) into cupboards. Then we took those little piranha things (not actual piranhas, this kind of piranha) and scored the hell out of the wallpaper in the kitchen and the small bathroom, in which the wallpaper is a floor-to-ceiling kind of deal and so, so gross.

Even though NinjaHusband and I have removed wallpaper from the three bedrooms, we didn’t really do much of that together. N and his brother took our bedroom (and got the crappier deal, as that wallpaper was seemingly adhered with superglue), my Mom and I took my office/guest room (the one with the creepy doll wallpaper… remember?) …

New House - my office

… and N did his office alone, which was very lovely for me.

I’m not sure how this weekend is going to turn out. I may end up with a blank canvas of a kitchen and only some mild-namecalling, or I may end up punting my husband (or getting punted by him) out the door.

Hopefully when it comes time to share all the gory details with the blog I will have a better internet situation and be able to actually upload pictures.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go mix the Dif.

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I’m sitting at my newly cleared off kitchen table with the patio door open, a nice breeze coming through, and Miyagi stealthily stalking the birds outside (through the screen door).

home - locust tree
The locust tree to the south of my patio, very shady

Everything is still, for the most part, even at 10:30am.

In an hour I’m going to take a good friend to a yarn store. After that NinjaHusband and I will head out to my Aunt’s house for my cousin’s graduation party. After that, knit night!

What a delicious Sunday.

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How to turn an old sort-of swivel/rocking chair into a (more-or-less) stable chair with four feet. Because I know you’re just dying to know.

The chair, purchased for $5.00 at a co-worker’s garage sale 8 years ago
Power drill
4 Wooden bun feet, pre-drilled with double-ended screws
4 Brackets with accompanying screws of their own
(feet and brackets and hardware found at my local Lowe’s)

Step 1. Turn chair on its head

In this picture you can see that I’ve already removed the original base. I did this many years ago because the damn thing was loose, unwieldy and generally annoying as hell. The white fabric under the chair is a fitted twin sheet used as a makeshift slipcover because I really dislike the chair’s upholstery and it kind of clashes hard with that room’s color scheme. If your chair still has its base, take it off with the power drill (set it to reverse to pull those screws out).

Step 2. Place Brackets
Bottom of Chair

Place your brackets on bottom of the chair, making sure they’re located on solid parts of the chair frame. You can see here that the brackets toward the back (curved part) of the chair aren’t all the way in the back. This is because that part of the frame is pretty narrow and wouldn’t hold the whole bracket. Boo hiss, but it’s fine. Placing the brackets on the middle part of the frame turned out fine.

(Oh, make sure you have your power drill all charged and with the right bit)
Important Tool

Step 3. Attach Brackets
attaching bracket

Before this project I had never used a power drill and I was a little nervous. NinjaHusband showed me how to use the drill, what to do to make sure the screws were secure, and then he left. It’s no big — just hold the bracket down on the chair frame with your non-dominant hand and use your dominant hand to drive the screw in with the drill. The bracket may want to move a bit as the screw gets tighter, but you can hold it still.

Step 4. Install Bun Feet
Bun foot with screw, bracket

Bun foot and bracket

attaching bun foot to bracket

This is pretty self-explanatory. The bun feet already have the screw attached; all you need to do is screw the foot into the bracket, which has a convenient central hole expressly for this purpose.

Repeat for all brackets and feet, then stand your chair back up and rejoice!

my chair's new feet

The chair has feet now, instead of sitting directly on the floor! Now all I have to do to mine is get it recovered.

You may remember that the chair’s back feet aren’t all the way to the back of the frame — yes, this does allow for some rocking back, but only if I really throw my weight to the back. I have to really want it to move, otherwise it’s totally fine.

(I’m looking forward to the wacky google hits I’m sure this post will generate.)

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Saturday morning we found our sump pump stopped working (some time between Wednesday night and Saturday morning) and the basement had flooded.


We have been very busy. Result: I have not even cataloged my pictures from last week, or the pictures of my knitting, or the pictures of my new yarn, or my thoughts on anything at all that is not part of my basement.


Just when I was going to write about my life not being very interesting…

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