1/26/2012

Getting Busy

If you look around your house you can always find some little things that need to be taken care of but for some reason you just never do it already! It may be something that takes all of five minutes but still you just procrastinate.  I've decided that for the next couple of weeks I'm going to finally cross some of those items off my to-do list. I've already accomplished a couple tasks! Props to me! High fives.

photo via MindMindful

First was to restring a pleated shade in our master bedroom. Months ago --- like last summer maybe --- one of the cords broke. I did do a half-hearted repair job. First, of course, was to just tie a knot. That didn't work so well because the shade couldn't be lowered all the way or at least one side of it couldn't. Nothing drives me nuttier than a crooked shade. What is it with some people? When I see a house with curtains or blinds hanging all askew I want to stop and knock on the door and tell them, for the sanity of their neighbors, to please put it in a museum already! Anyway, back to my shade. Not lowering it all the way wasn't an option since our room faces the front street. So I went in search of some new blind cord. Trouble was I couldn't find the right diameter cord. The one I came home with was just a wee bit too thick.  Lowering the shade involved having to grab hold of the bottom rail and pull in a series of jerks to get the shade all the way down. Then this last weekend I was looking in my sewing drawers for something or other and wonder of wonders I found about 20 feet of blind cord just the right thickness. I vaguely remember buying it years and years ago to make some roman shades that never got made. It only took me about a half hour to untangle that hot mess of cord and another 20 minutes to restring the shade. And now, the shade goes up and down like nobody's bid-ness. I'm sure the neighbor's appreciate it. I know I do.
                

Next, I have a small vintage electric fan that I use for strictly decorative purposes. It sits on a ledge between our living and dining rooms. The trouble was that it had lost it's little rubber feet and the metal edge was quite sharp, thus resulting in some unsightly scratches to the nice oak ledge. I grabbed a piece of thin cardboard and some felt, traced the bottom of the fan, glued the felt to the cardboard and the cardboard to the fan. So difficult. (The bottom was hollow so I needed something stiff to attach the felt to.) Problem #2 solved. I guess I should repair the scratches too while I'm at it.

The third project I've started isn't such a little thing but it needs to be done so I can finally hang up the new window shade in our bathroom. The trim in the room is white. Or at least I thought it was. When we had a new window put in last fall it turns out that was white. Our trim had badly yellowed since the last time it was painted, oh about 20 years ago. Seriously. It has held up pretty well considering it's the only bathroom that served two adults and three kids for many years. Our woodwork was a dark stain before that and I know it took about three coats of paint to get it all covered. But the problem with oil based paints is that they yellow over time. I'm not so concerned about the baseboard trim or the door just yet, but the yellowed trim next to that bright white window was so obvious. My Google research led me to decide that I should use a waterborne alkyd paint since those aren't supposed to yellow, like Benjamin Moore Waterborne Satin Impervo. Problem was the old paint, being oil based enamel, could present a problem with a latex paint on top, plus it was peeling in some spots from moisture damage. That meant stripping the old paint off the window frame. Ugh, what a job. It took about three rounds of Strip-eze, lots of scraping and finally washing everything down with a coarse scrubbie and a good degreasing cleaner to get down to bare wood. Here's where it stands now:

Looks pretty clean actually. At least the stripper solution has a nice aroma. It smells like oranges. That's where I am at this point. Next comes sanding, caulking, priming and painting. And I laughingly thought I would accomplish this minor project in a couple of days. It's taken me four just to strip! (I'm sure that should get some Google hits to my blog. Haha.) Plus if you happen to have any old Stendig calendar  pages around, like I do, they come in mighty handy for all kinds of things. Wrapping gifts, drop cloths, window coverings. The neighbors must think we've really flipped. Maybe we'll start a new trend, who knows? Pretty soon everyone will be sporting calendars on their windows.
Disclaimer: Bad lighting. The walls are actually white.
We've been discussing bathroom updates as well. One thing leads to another. That wallpaper border has got. to. go. as does the light strip above the mirror. A new cabinet, new faucets and resurfacing the clawfoot tub are all needed. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Have you been tending to any tasks that you've put off for too long? Little or big I'd like to hear about them. Link to them in the comments so we can see what you've been doing and hopefully get some other people inspired with us.

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