Friday, 30 September 2011

Closet cure, final

That was the jumping off point, if you remember. The cabinet was useless, the stuff in it was better stored somewhere else. And it could have fit lot more than it did.

We had some discussion, A and I, about what we would store there. I wanted to store the whole rockband game in a same place. I also wanted the clothes to be stored somewhere else. A had some very good ideas too. He remembered that our tools cabinet is very full, first he suggested that we could move the tools that are in the entry tambour into the office cabinet, although not totally bad idea, but the tools are often a bit dirty and they would make the whole room dirty. Then we desided to move the camping and sailing things that are in the entry tambour to the office and that way get more space for the tools.

We also discussed wether we should have shelves or wire baskets in a separate rack in the cabinet or perhaps have only half of the cabinet with shelves and rest an open space. We desided to go with regular shelves on the whole cabinet.

The shelves are only supported from the ends and we are avare that those will most likely bend a little over time, but that's fine. After installing the shelves was only left to fill the cabinet with stuff.

The motorbike clothes, which started the whole project and which we needed to find a place for the winter, are on the white basket on the first shelf. Then on the second shelf is the rockband, the whole rockband. On the third shelf is the sailing and camping gear. And that IS a yellow Ikea bag, it was accidentally stolen, I swear, cross my heart. On the fourth is paper and packing material. On fifth on the suitcase are old toys and on the side university student union caps and overalls. I have actually no idea what's on the top shelf, some A's papers, but that's all I know, I didn't do any organizing there, but for some reason I opened the doors and took pictures about those too.

Now we have some empty space under the guest bed, where the rockband used to be and in the entry tambour. I might need to do a suffix of the closet cure from those.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The walls are up

I cannot even describe how excited I'm about this I'm a Giat challenge. It's so marvellous that I cannot contain myself, I spent almost whole weekend and monday evening on this project. On saturday I had to go to theater which was a drag... Heh, no it wasn't, theater was the best. None the less I was super delighted to continue the building on sunday.

I started, like all buildings need to be started, on the foundation. My tearoom stands now on pilars, it means dampnes wont bother it at all. Yay! Then I added flooring on top. I used the fire starter sticks, those are very versatile like I said.

It's very modern to build houses from elements, so I made a wall element.

The doors and some parts of the wall will be shoji screens. I made my own screens from thin mulberry paper and matches.

Even though the tearoom is not even nearly finished I'd so like to move in allready. The house is amazing. I need to visit the craft store again to buy more wood supplies, since I've run out, before I can continue on the construction site.

~ ~ ~

This post belongs to the series of posts for the I'm a Giant challenge by Emily Henderson. All my posts about the challenge can be found behing this link.

Monday, 26 September 2011

I am going to build a dollhouse

Not sure you are familiar with Emily Henderson's blog, if not check it out. She has just introduced a I'm a Giant Challenge. And I'm going participate. I really am. The plan is to build or buy a dollhouse and decorate it. Yiihaa! I know, it sounds so odd, for an adult I mean. I have no need for a dollhouse, I don't have children playing with a dollhouse, and to tell you the truth I allready have a playmobil dollhouse packed away in the storage room waiting for something... I don't even know what. But I just want to do this.

Since I've long time ago lost my ability to play with dolls, I need to approach this dollhouse building bit differently. I have always thought the model houses the architects make from their designs are magnificient and would be a great decorational item in any home. So my approach will be more architectural, also it will be a remembrance of the trip we did to Japan on November 2010. I am truly in love with the traditional Japanise style, I love it's simplisity and the use of natural materials. If I could totally do what ever I want in our home I would change the flooring of one room to tatami and have shoji screens everywhere. But you know, in this small scale home I can do that!

For this plan I will not be able to find a ready made dollhouse, and I don't even want to find one. I want to make it, from scratch. It will resemble a tearoom or a shrine or something of that kind. I'm so excited!

I have some material onhand allready, atleast these I'm planning to use in my desing.

I have no idea who would actually use those as fire started sticks, those are so neat and uniform and work great in all types of crafts, we don't even have a fireplace and we've used them alot.

This dude will also be present in the final house.

Isn't he quite something? I cannot wait to get started!

~ ~ ~

This the first post to the series of posts for the I'm a Giant challenge by Emily Henderson. All my posts about the challenge can be found behing this link.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Closet cure, jump off

My closet cure has been on stand from the start. It's really not moved anywhere, I emptied the stuff from closet floor to the guest bed in the office. And those are still there. What started this whole project is that we need to create a place where we can store motor cycling clothes for the winter.

This was where I started.

What I was planning to do was to move all the clothes to the right and then add shelves to the left to store all the stuff that is now on the closet floor. But I've started to doubt my plan, that is mainly because I'm not at all happy about the stuff we are keeping there.

I've allready desided to donate all the pillows that are in the vacuum bag. There is also the Rockband game drum set. Rest of the rockband game gear is in a under bed box in the office and other game stuff are in the livingroom. I do not like that the drum set is not with the others. Then there are gift wrapping paper rolls, those are not even near other gift wrapping stuff and I find that irritating. The box on the floor contains folders and magazine holders, those take up lot of space. The clothes in closet are A's, and to tell you the truth, I'm more than slightly annoyed by those. Not because they are there, but because he has clothes in the bedroom closet, in the corridoor closet, which is the same size as the office closet and in the entry tambour closet which is about half size. I have clothes only in the bedroom. Don't take me wrong, I'm not jealous that he has more clothes. I love that all my clothes fit very well in my closet. But I'm irritated that it's very difficult to make room for anything else.

So any ideas on what I should do?
  • Should I store the whole rockband game in the closet and put something else to the freed space?
  • Where do you store gift wrapping paper?
  • Should I try to remove all the clothes from the closet and totally renew the insides of the closet?
  • Any other suggestions? I'm open to all ideas.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

New winter jacket

I have a new winter jacket! Jihaa! A new down jacket that will be warm and that will actually keep the wind out. I started to look for one after last year's holidays, all stuff were on sale then and the winter had just turned very cold. I could not find a single down jacket that was my size or good quality. So I felt cold the whole winter in my old woolen coat. In that coat in the pictures above.

I desided cold is no option next winter and went to look for a down jacket in the middle of September. And I found one, just a perfect one, it's warm and my size and it's nothing fancy, it's a regular knee long black down jacket. I had planned a long time ago that I will alter my woolen coat from two row button one to a zipper one, but since I previously only had one winter coat I was afraid to start the alteration, I was afraid I'm going to totally mess it up. Now I had the courage to finally cut the coat up.

This was the coat before. There was nothing really wrong with it, I had just got bored of it. And I think it made me look fatter, since it had two rows of buttons.

I'm sorry, I'm still not feeling that comfortable showing my face in here, you'll have to settle for these cartoon faces of mine.

The coat needed to be cut upen from the front and I removed some fabric. Then I sewed the zipper on. I had to sew the zipper partly by hand since the fabric is thick and in some parts it's layered on top of each other and it did not fit under the sewing machine foot.

I also knitted welts (that word might be all wrong, please correct me if it's not the right term) to the sleeves. I had always hated that the sleeves of the coat were so large that wind could just blow straight in. After some hand sewing again and ironing the coat was all done.

I'm really pleased with it. It totally simplified it's look, I think it's more me now. I now have two new jackets, this light winter coat and the down jacket. Wohoo!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Second phase compost heap

I was going to join scb's closet cure and I have actually started on the office closet, but so far I've only removed stuff from the closet and now I'm a bit baffled on what I will actually even store there. So it's a work in process, I'll show you something about it later. Today's post  is something else totally.

I've been composting the garden waste for only one year now. I started out last fall and bought a frame from the store. It seemed then to be really difficult to find a frame that would look both good and be cheap. I was real suprised that even the flimsiest ones were real expensive, I mean from 40 euro (54 USD) and up. But I did buy one anyway, quess I was bit lazy back then.

We have an oak tree in our backyard and the leaves don't compost very easily so I needed a second phase compost frame for the last year's compost material. This year I did not want to buy one, instead I bought timber. I had the wood precut to right lenght, since we still only own a hand saw.

I wanted a frame that can be easily put together and collapsed, then it's whole lot easier to work with the compost material inside the frame. The wood was allready pretreated to hold up against decomposting. I also liked the colour of the wood, it will blend more easily to the background.

I marked where I needed to saw and marked the depth on the saw itself, that way I did not have to measure and draw markings on all pieces.

Then I used a chisel to create a groove to the wood. From some pieces the whole back part chiped off, which was a bit difficult, and I did glue some back, but it's not that big deal.

Once they were all done and my arm was aching from the sawing I just piled them on top of each other.

It was a bit difficult to pile it straight, but that was only because the ground itself wasn't leveled, also the frame I bought a year ago is not very straight so it's no point making the new frame any more straight.

Then I moved the old compost material to the new smaller frame and turned the compost at the same time. That was a full workout.

Friday, 16 September 2011

The week of the mushroom - Darning tool

I'm aware people don't darn their clothes that much anymore, I too don't do that very often, but if I do I allways use this mushroom shaped tool for that.

I got this tool from my great aunt who passed away few years ago. It wasn't painted back then, it was just wood, with some pen scetches on it, like some child had doodled something on it. It wasn't very pretty.

So since it's quite obviously mushroom shaped I painted it to look even more like a mushroom. I painted the top red and the foot and the underside white and added white spots on top. Now it's a fly agaric looking darning tool. I think it's so cute and handy too.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The week of the mushroom - Chanterelle

I know very little about mushrooms, no, actually I know hardly anything about mushrooms. I know the champignon, that does not grow wild here. Then I know the fly agaric, a poisonous musroom, that does grow wild here and then I know the chanterelle, that also grows wild and is delicious.

On my friends cabin I picked few chanterelles.

My mom used to fry chanterelles and onion in butter when I was a kid, and it was the best fall time delicacy I could think of. We ate it as is, just forked it straight to our mouths.

There is nothing wrong with the way my mom fries chanterelles, but maybe because I'm not my mom I add cream to the fryed chanterelles to make a stew. You can eat it as a side dish or, if you add more cream, as a sauce with meat or fish. Spice with salt and pepper. Some people add flour too, but I try to avoid flour in general.

It's delicious.

Monday, 12 September 2011

The week of the mushroom - Fall wreath

It's fall now, atleast it's not spring anymore, so it was about time to remove the spring decorations from the wreath by the front door.

I like my plain wreath I made from twigs on early spring and I desided to use the same base still. I removed the old decorations and cleaned up the wreath a bit. I had bought mushroom decorations for this purpose from a craft store earlier. I wired the mushrooms. I just pushed the wire through the bottom and up inside the mushroom. I could have used glue to attach the mushrooms better to the wire, but since they are upright they will stay put just like that.

Then it was just to attach the mushroom to the wreath. I slightly grouped them and put few further apart, just like they would grow in the wild. I'm really liking the end result, such a simple, fun look.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Speaker stands

I've been way too busy relaxing, so I'm showing you a thing I did last year. Which was speaker stands. This was probably the first construction I built on my own and supprisingly it turned out real good.

Earlier we had the speakers that are now in the office in the livingroom. They are tall speakers so we did not need stands for those. Then A bought new speakers for the livingroom which were much smaller and which needed a stand. We could not find a single speaker stand from the shops that were the proper hight and that would look good. So instead of buying hideous and wrong hight ones I promissed to make the stands.

I used chipwood, that was cut to the right size in the lumber yard. We don't own a circular saw so it would have been very difficult to cut them at home. 

The assembling was fairly simple, I used wooden plugs and glue to attach the pieces. Then used clamps, or like in the above photo a pile of books inside a basket, to hold the pieces together while the glue dried.

When I had the speaker stands assembled I painted them. I used a primer and sanded in between the paint layers. The top layer is shiny white furniture paint.

The most difficult part was to attach the door. I used three small hinges and the screws holding the hinges were so small I kept dropping them also while I screwed them on the door was on the way and coudn't keep still. Also the door was too tight. I had had it cut to the same size as the back panel, which clearly was a mistake. It should be a bit smaller so it fits better to the place and also leaves some allowance if the door is not perfectly leveled. But after sanding and painting and more sanding and painting the doors work fine and close up nicely.

You might notice from the above picture that I left a smaller shelf on the bottom of the stand. I was planning to add a concrete weight on the bottom to that shelf for more stability. But when we took these to use we noticed that the stands were really stable on their own so no concrete block was needed. If I would do the stands again I would leave the bottom shelf out and try to fit four shelves with game storage inside.

But otherwise I'm really proud of my speaker stands. They turned out great and now we have a place to store the Xbox and Playstation games.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

I've lost something

I have a long history with computers but it seems I've still not learned the basics, which in my case is data management. 

I've spent hours looking for some pictures from my laptop and still I cannot find them. I searched from the external hard drive, USB stick, even from some CDs. No luck. I do hope I have not deleted them.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Cuttings for new bonsai

We have a Amur Maple in our backyard and it keeps pushing new shoots from the trunk and I don't want it to be bushy so I need to cut off the shoots yearly. Also in our neighbours backyard there is a Plum-leaved Crabapple that needs to be cut down since it's not in a very good shape. 

I asked my neighbour if I could take few cuttings from the crabapple and then cut the maple shoots to cuttings too.

I filled four pots with soil and topped them with sand and pushed the cuttings to the soil. I'm not too confident the crabapple will root, but I'm pretty sure at least some of the mables will. Such a fun test, I think I will take a few cuttings more from the crabapple and check how they root in a glas of water. Hopefully I will have new bonsai material soon.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Tomato soup and other harvests

We've have some tomatos ripened over the summer but now there was a real boom of them. I picked and picked and I would still find ripe tomatos from the bushes.

We are most likely going to the cabin this weekend, so we needed some efficient way to consume huge quantity of tomatoes. And I don't know a better way to do that than to make soup from them.

I didn't bother peeling the tomatoes, because some were the size of a tip of a little finger, so I used a blender and then sieved the soup. Topped it with feta cheese. Good!

Oh and about other harvests. The zucchinies I got from a neighbour got real boost in growth now that's it's been raining almost daily. They are enormous and weirly they don't look similar at all. See the other has stripes and the other looks as they look in stores. And they are from the same plant, I did not know there would be such variety in the same plant. The sparkling wine cork is there for scale. Yay to the harvest time!

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