Do-it-yourself ideas, bargains and resources for all around your home.

Monday, March 24, 2008


Okay, I'm kinda stuck.

My bathrooms are as finished as they are going to get. My kitchen is certainly done. I've scraped and cleaned every dang window. The only thing I have left on my original plan is to paint the trim. And while I've started doing that, photos of my paint drying don't sound all that exciting to post.

So now what?

I'm eager to keep working on my skills but I'm not sure in which direction I should go. Perhaps part of it was that I just had a week of both girls being home on spring break. Other than cleaning up I just didn't have time to even think about the next project.

Here are two options for now: post a comment about your project. Tell us what you are working on. Or give me some ideas for my place. I love fresh ideas.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Clean living.

We have worked hard the last few weeks to clean up our house. We have decluttered, repaired, painted, rethought storage issues, decorated and deep-cleaned. Honestly, our house looks great. And I've found that a lack of clutter has more benefits that I imagined.

I feel freer. I feel less overwhelmed. I feel like I have more free time. I'm happier. Who knew?

We put several things out in our shed. And now I'm not sure what is in there, because I don't miss anything. Last night after dinner the girls wanted to play a game (btw, we keep games stored in our kitchen/laundry area because it's next to the table where we are most likely to play). Since the kitchen was clean and we didn't have to move a bunch of stuff around to make room, we said "sure!" And it was fun.

My desk is extremely clean (I've been reading LifeHacker, LifeHacks, Unclutterer, Zen Habits, the Simple Dollar and LifeClever and have been very inspired by minimalist workspaces) and suddenly I no longer feel overwhelmed by my work to-do list. In fact, I keep thinking of ways to reduce what I need for work. Because it just feels so good to have a clean space.

Have any of you had this effect? I know that I'm always happier when I clean, but I'm surprised at how great it feels to actually get rid of stuff that I used to think was necessary. Tell me about your experiences.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Orange Glo?

John is just about to clean our hardwood floors with Murphy's Oil Soap. We love the stuff. Especially the clean smell. While he was sweeping up around me, he said he had a conversation with a co-worker about how to clean hardwood. His co-worker has just replaced her hardwood and she asked the installer about cleaning it. He said things like Murphy's are fine, but whatever you do, don't use Orange Glo.

You may have seen a commercial or two for Orange Glo. It makes claims to repair and clean damaged hardwood. According to the installer mentioned above, the product does look good going on but you'll never be able to repair any scratches or damage without ripping out the wood and replacing it. I also found a list of consumer complaints about it.

I've never bought or used this product but I'm curious if anyone out there has used it and what your experience has been. Care to comment?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I'm on a mission to scrape the previous owner's paint slop off my windows. I started out using this:

It's a $3 razor blade scraper and is a wonderful all-around tool. We use it all the time.

Yesterday I bought this:
It's a Kobalt 5-in-1 painter's tool. I do not know all five functions, but I can tell you that it is great for paint scraping off of glass. Really great. And now I'm getting back to work.

Sign that you watch too much HGTV.

I bought an orchid. And I staged it. Sigh.

Is she really still talking about that bathroom?

So I was out shopping yesterday and just happened to wander into the shower curtain section and found what I thought would be a perfect match for my bathroom. And I bought it. And hung it up. And now I don't think I want to put up wallpaper.

I also bought a yellow rug. Which virtually disappears into the floor and somehow makes it not so ugly. I bought a new cup and new toothbrush holder. Later I'll rehang the artwork I had in there. And then I will call this room done. And you will never have to hear about it again.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Wallpaper help?

I've taken a break from the house this week. As you may have noticed. I did a big photo job during the week, and I caught up on some scrapbooking this weekend (I'm on the design team for Hambly Screen Prints).

In addition to a giant editing job I have coming up, I'm ready to get back to the house. The big project will be wallpapering the bathroom. I did this once before, in the condo where I lived before we bought this house. It wasn't terribly hard, just time-consuming. One error I made was to mark a plumb line with chalk. I ended up getting some chalk smear on the paper. This time I think I'll just use a level and draw the line on the wall. Remember, I'm only papering the upper half of the room, which is at most only four feet tall.

My paper is prepasted, so it should be easy, right? I already have a smoothing tool, and a large putty knife to use as a straight edge for trimming. I even have a friend who's willing to help. Am I forgetting anything? Let me know if you have any tips for making this job go quickly. I always appreciate your advice!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Not outside.

Gah. It's snowing. Real, actual snow. In March. In Memphis. So no outside work right now. I'm thinking about what's next for the house. There's that wallpaper I still haven't put up (my excuse is that I had a big photo job this week and have devoted most of my time to that). I'm thinking about painting and reorganizing the playroom closet. I need to reorganize the hall closets. I need to do various paint touch-ups around the house.

Since we have no major plans this weekend, I may just try to take on a bunch of little things. Or maybe I'll just make a big list of little things.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Still outside.

When nature hands you a weekend with two glorious 73 degree days, you are crazy if you spend it inside putting up wallpaper. Instead, you should go outside and spend hour upon hour of raking those leaves that don't stop falling until February. Never mind that you are the only house on the block with leaves. You'll catch up in March.

You can even get the kids to help (barely).

And after all your hard work, your yard will be beautiful and your daughter will count upwards of 45 bags of leaves. When Monday comes, along with the rain, then you can stay inside and scrape old paint off your windows.