Archive for September, 2009

mad tips

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Did you know that in addition to a wonderful companion to any home-cooked meal that Trader Joe’s Canola Oil spray is a great home-repair lubricant? It’s true. This was discovered by the brother-man when he was customizing the brackets for our window coverings. You can always count on mad for a little advice for your own home repair projects.

The secret's in the spray. . .

The secret's in the spray. . .

Rolling along. . .

Monday, September 21st, 2009

You’ve heard the adage measure twice, cut once? Today, mad is going to remind our readers why that adage exists.

One of the benefits of living in an older Victorian is the beautiful woodwork that surrounds our windows and doorways. The woodwork, coupled with the relatively small size of our living room, inspired mad to get roman shades to cover the downstairs windows. My grandparents used to have both shades and sheers on the windows, so we decided to go with something a little more sleek and straightforward. I found beautiful red cotton shades. I knew we wanted to do an interior mount on the shades, so I measured the windows multiple times and called the company to make sure I was getting the right size. When the shades arrived, we learned that they weren’t as long as stated. After calling the company they sent me an extra shade for free and I found an awesome seamstress to graft the extra shade onto the original three shades. Unfortunately, when we started to install the shades we realized that one of the three windows in the living room is two inches wider than the other two. I measured twice–but I didn’t measure each window twice. Thankfully, mad had already planned to use the same shades in the the dining room, so I can use one of the recently lengthened shades in there. But of course, we still need to receive and install the wider shade on the middle window. Yesterday, we installed the two shades that fit in the living room with the assistance of the brother-man. It seems that many things with this house turn out to be a little more complicated than originally planned–the brother-man had to drill an extra hole in the metal bracket so everything would fit correctly, but once he did everything moved along nicely. We love the color–especially against the paint color on the living room walls.

Of course, this means we can’t show you the full reveal until we receive the wider shade for the middle window (lengthen it if needed) and install it. Honestly, we’re pretty happy with two nice, new window coverings. I’m clearly getting easier to please.

our beautiful new window coverings--not on every window, but we're happy to have them on any at this point.

our beautiful new window coverings--not on every window, but we're happy to have them on any at this point.

Can you see the light?

Monday, September 14th, 2009

As mad mentioned in an earlier post, we have successfully replaced the light in the living room. Given that this is a living room and not a laboratory, we were not looking for something that was interrogation-worthy. We searched quite a bit for a lamp that would fit our taste and functional requirements and came to a quick conclusion–lighting is expensive. Given that we’re not chandelier people, our options were immediately limited. We found one fixture we mostly liked–but for the amount of money it cost, we felt that true love was necessary to justify such an expense. Instead, we found something from Ikea, our favorite Nordic big-box home goods store. We were happy with the shape, texture, materials (made from bamboo), size, and cost. the only thing we changed was the color–thanks to a can of spray paint. I will admit getting it up wasn’t as easy as other lights we’ve installed. However, with some online research complemented by our new friends at Victor’s Lighting (and less than $5 in addition parts), mad triumphed over the tarantula. The most important component to our victory was knowing that we didn’t need the tarantula becuase we were installing a much lighter fixture. Since we’re still a ways away from the big living room reveal, we decided to share a mini-reveal. Included here is the before and after–take a look at my earlier post for the during shot.

The original light fixture in the living room. Did your grandma have the same one?

Before. The original light fixture in the living room. Did your grandma have the same one?

After. Our functional and fetching light.

After. Our functional and fetching light.

We’re still here. . .

Friday, September 11th, 2009

My apologies, loyal readers. A series of annoying (yet not too devastating) setbacks plus an unrelenting work schedule have prevented me from posting lately. I’ll be back in regular form very soon. Shall I provide you with some teasers?

  • The tarantula is gone and a light is up
  • The new living room mantle is painted
  • That old adage “measure twice, cut once” is still relevant today
  • While the living room is not perfect, we’ve started to tackle our second room of the house

So you can see, there are plenty of reasons to come back to


Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Before we started this endeavor, I knew there would be setbacks. Really, I did. But when we’re so close to having the living room finished, setbacks really set me back. We’ve replaced other light fixtures in the house, but it seems that the light fixture in our living room is going to present us with some challenges. So for now, we have to live with what looks like a tarantula growing out of the ceiling until we complete some research, breathe, and reboot. And if any of our readers are familiar with replacing victorian lighting tarantulas with more contemporary fixtures, please let me know.

Not a tarantula, but it is laughing at me.

Not a tarantula, but it is laughing at me.