Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Toilet renovation - for now

I've been writing and writing about how I will show a finished toilet renovation soon. That is finally happening now. But the post is not going to be the post I wanted it to be. I had really planned to paint the radiators in the toilet and I still haven't done that. I have an excellent excuse though, I noticed I cannot close the other radiator so it's constantly hot. I doubt it's wise to paint a hot radiator. I need to ask someone to come and check the valve, since it's somehow stuck. That is why I haven't painted the other radiator either. But I did paint the metal sheets that cover the holes to the piping. Since I doubt I will truly finish the toilet anytime soon I will post this post of the toilet renovation now before I forget the whole subject.

Also I realized that I did not take any proper before pictures of the toilet. Well I had planned to only change the silicone so I did not know to take pictures of the whole toilet. This is the best I can show. It's from the phase when I had started to remove all the accessories from the toilet.

I was hoping I would need to paint only once since the original wall colour was sort of white, but it still required two layers. I removed the toilet lamp too and used a table lamp so I could see at least something.

I did also paint the towel rack and then finally just few days ago the metal sheets. The toilet does look very fresh and white, but now the radiators and the door frame are really shouting to be painted. That might happen some day. Maybe.

That radiator on the top of the toilet seat is the one I cannot close and I'm pretty sure it has never been white, but I'd like to paint that too. And I was thinking of painting the screws which I attached the metal sheets to the wall with but I don't know if I'm up to it.

So there it is, the finished toilet renovation - for now.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Always surprising plants

I'm a bit dissappointed. I bought the Common Solomon's seal plant last fall for the flower bed. According to the information I collected through the internet the plant should get over one meter (three feet) tall.

Take a look, you think they are one meter tall?

More like 15 cm (6 in) tall. Pathetic! What do you think, have I got a wrong plant or will they grow taller when the plant gets older? I might need to check from the nursery that sent the plant.

But other plants on the flower bed are luckily looking very nice. Tulips are in full bloom and the Christmas rose has a cool green flower in front of the ferns.

I cut few tulips to place in a vase in the living room. I have planted tulips under bushes in the backyard and the tulips are getting covered by the leaves of the bushes. Thought it would be better to cut them so they can be admired.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Decorating the cubicle

It is not completely rare for people to decorate their work place, even if they work outside of home. I work as  a mechanical designer and most of my colleques are men and even they decorate their work places to please their eye. I know many who have taken souvenirs to work or have posters and funny quotes on the walls.

I know that making a cross stitch to decorate the cubicle is maybe a bit more than the standard. But that is what I did. I read a craft blog Hupsistarallaa over the weekend, like I already told in the previous post, and since she had done a funny cross stitch I got the urge of making one myself too. I thought of those traditional cross stitch pictures with pretty quotes like for example "home sweet home". Then it hit me that I want a "cubicle sweet cubicle" cross stitch. I thought my idea was some what genuine but according to google there are plenty of cross stitches with that quote. Well anyway it does not matter if it's old or new thing, at least it's new to me.

I made a pattern using some old cross stitch alphabets I've copied from some book long ago. I tried to find the middle of both words and started to stitch. If you look closely you'll notice that I made a mistake with the word sweet and it actually did not end up in the middle, but it does not matter.

Cross stitching is so simple that I'm not going to write it out here, plenty of informatition has been written to other web sites all ready, like to this. I used Aida fabric (fabric weaved so it has distinctive squares and holes) and some embroidery yarn I had at home.I was first planning to use blue and green, but ended up using only blue.

When I was done I cut the fabric to the size of the frame I found from home and placed the cross stitch inside the frame.

I like it a lot, it's so much fun and I liked making it, it was fairly quick, it took me to make only two nights in front of the television.

Here is the cross stitch in it's proper environment. You can also see here a glimpse of my work space also known as the cubicle. I did clean most of the folders and books away for taking this picture. I keep my table quite neat most of the time, but not this neat.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Superduper random

I know, I know, I said I will finish the toilet renovation soon. I'm a bit disappointed to myself because I've not got it done. But on the other hand the toilet is very usable even without painted radiators and a few metal covers. So it's not a big deal. I will finish it in the near future. I promise... at least to myself.

I've felt a bit uninspired to do much anything actually. That is why I will now post few random things from the past  three to four days. Enjoy.

I painted my nails, which is really weird for me, I don't know what got to me. Of course by the next day I had scratched most of the nail polish away. I hate nailpolish, I don't like the smell and the nails feel thick and heavy. And of course once I had painted the nails I immediately had to do something, don't remember what anymore, and ruined the polish on few of the nails from the right hand. Obviously I don't have any nail polish anymore.

Started a cross stitch on Sunday evening. I'll show you more later, it's almost finished. I spent almost the whole weekend reading this blog called Hupsistarallaa (in Finnish) and just had to start some craft.

Here is a weird thing, a tiny piece of some composted material that kept moving up and down eventhough it seemed that nothing was moving it. It was really odd. Check the video, it's almost as interesting as watching grass grow.

Here is also some grass growing (and weeds).

Hope I have something wiser to post by Friday.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Colourful canvas

Long time ago I bought a fabric from Ikea in purpose of making a canvas picture in the livingroom. Apparently Ikea does not sell the fabric anymore. But it was designed by the same designers who designed this similar fabric.

I had bought the fabric with the idea of painting the livingroom walls white or whiteish and thought that the fabric would look good in such a fresh and light room. Well I haven't painted the walls yet and I'm not sure when I will get the inspiration to do that. But I was annoyed that I had bought that fabric and just kept it in a closet where I couldn't see it. So even though the walls are not painted I desided to go ahead with putting up the fabric.

That is what we had in the living room, a board of chipwood covered in white wallpaper. I took it off the wall, placed the fabric on the floor and placed the chipwood board on top.

I did remove some of the extra fabric. I have now some fabric to make for example a pillow from. Then just used a stapler to attach the fabric. I did not remove the wallpaper since when I get tired of the new fabric (and I will get) I can easily take it off and again I will have a white wallpapered board to decorate with.

So there it is, and it's not actually looking too bad with the brown wall. I'm pretty happy with it.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Silicone again

Sorry no post about finished toilet renovation. I had planned to paint the radiators and the metal covers from the toilet, but on Thursday morning I realized I did not have any paint for metal and Thursday was a holiday here because of the Ascension day, so all stores were closed. I think I had kind of realized that, because I remember thinking that I should go to a hardware store on Wednesday, but then didn't feel like going.

That is why I will bore you with another silicone post. I had some silicone left in the tube and also we had the ugliest silicone joint in the bathroom between the toilet seat and the floor.

Yuck!! We had the bathroom toilet seat changed some time ago because it leaked and the guy who put a new seat there did a horrible job with the silicone. First of all it seems that he had not wiped the floor after he had installed the toilet seat but left all the gunk there. Then he also used clear silicone so all the gunk he left under it can be seen. Horrible!

I removed all the silicone using the carpet knife again. Looking at the silicone from so close and it beeing around the toilet seat made me feel sick. Then I also got a small cut to my finger from the carpet knife and I imagined getting a horible sepsis from the ickyness in the knife and dropping dead in no time.

I'm still alive, luckily with no sepsis.

Then I taped the edges and borrowed A and his thumb to press and even the silicone. I felt that my fingers were just too small for this place.

Ah, so much better. Now it feels clean.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

New silicone in the toilet

I didn't meant to do much any renovation in the toilet, my first plan was just to change the silicone in the joints around the wash basin and between the tiles and walls. But I ended up ripping all the accessories off the walls and painting the whole room. I've done all that, but I haven't yet placed things back in the toilet and there are still the radiator and few metal covers that could need some painting.

The original silicone was in some places gone all yellow, it looked discusting. Also in some areas the silicone was not neatly placed.

I removed the silicone using a carpet knife. A co-worker tipped to use a carpet knife with pulling the knife part as long as possible and holding the knife very close to the surface where the silicone needs to be removed from. That was a very good tip. I have previously used a regular knife and it was real difficult to remove the silicone. With this tip it was surprisingly easy.

While I was removing the silicone I got a close, maybe too close, look of the painted walls and noticed they weren't really white anymore, more like yellow and had scratches and holes. Then I desided to paint all the walls. I will show you more later but it was good to be able to paint the walls also underneath where the silicone went. It makes the edge nicer.

I taped all the areas where I used silicone so the silicone wouldn't go all over the place. Then I squeezed silicone on the joint and went over it with a wet finger. Many times I had squeezed way too much silicone on the joint so I ended up removing lot of the silicone with my finger. I would not like to waste, but on the other hand the silicone wont stay soft in the tube for that long, so it would go to waste anyway.

I removed the tapes immediately, since the silicone dries fairly fast.

In some places I either pressed too hard or my fingers are too smalll so the corner in the silicone joint came a bit too small and in some places the colour from under the silicone can be seen. Like in these tiles which had a dark unfinished edge.

But I think that's ok. The silicone is so, so much better now than it was, so I'm not going to be discouraged by few minor details. I will most likely show you more of the toilet renovation on friday, but we'll see if I get the finishing done.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Changing the belt for a treadle sewing machine

When we moved the sewing machine slash table from the bedroom to the entry we at the same go changed the old belt of the sewing machine to a new one. The old had broke couple months ago and we had bought a new leather belt, but had not yet changed it.

I had been stressing about changing the belt, but in the end it was really easy. First we placed the new belt on it's place, pulled it tight, but not too tight and marked the place. We cut the belt from the mark and then added the clip that came with the belt.

We used a big needle to make the holes for the clip. It was a bit difficult to make the holes large enough but we pushed the needle in a few times and eventually it got larger.

Here is A trying out the treadle sewing machine. I think he got hang of the treadling faster than I did.

The sewing machine wasn't still on the right spot. We moved it under the mirror in the entry. We also thought of moving it in the office, but the office is a bit crowded.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Ladder experiment

Irkku made an excellent suggestion about how to keep the used clothes easily available and on open but still looking somewhat neat. She suggested I could use decorational ladder to hold the clothing. Something like this. That was a super cool idea!

I could have bought ladder like that but I happened to have old ladder at home that were of no use anymore because they were not really sturdy.

You don't have useless old ladder lying around in your house? Seriously? I find it somewhat amusing that we just happened to have ladder around the house with no purpose what so ever, just makes me wonder what other stuff we have that is never used.

The ladder was covered in paint splatters and it had splinters in some places so I scraped the biggest paint splatters away and sanded the whole thing. I used a belt grinder to sand the bigger surfaces and the smallest nooks I sanded by hand. I tried to especially sand well the steps since the clothes will be hung from them and if there is even a tiniest splint it might damage our clothes. I admit I got a little bored of the sanding, there were so many tiny nooks and I just got tired. I might need to continue the sanding later if I get some proper tools, maybe a mouse sander could be convenient. We'll see...

I actually removed the table from the bedroom and placed the ladder there. We were able to move the table in the entry. I think it's a bit crowded there now, but it's there for the time being.

The ladder might look bit more rough than what Irkku originally suggested, but I think the ladder looks great in the bedroom, and if I ever get tired of the old industrial feel I can buy a decorational ladder. And then I will actually know if this ladder thing works for us or not.

Oh and we finally got the table fan we've been thinking of getting since last summer which was a hot summer! The fan is quiet and made fully of metal and reminds of an aircraft engine. Love it!

Oh and here is the before. I hope we are unable to cover the ladder up in clothes like we did with the table.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

How ideas form

I've never been a list person. I don't like lists, I do make some, like shopping lists or to-do lists, but those are usually very short and not too detailed. When I need to put my ideas on paper I make a mindmap or a drawing. It's very common for me to make a mindmap from lets say... blogging, like in the picture under I have two mindmaps. Also it's very common for me not to save these mindmaps. I usually throw them away after I've looked them for a few days. That means that I write the same things on the mindmaps again and again. Once in a while I forget some idea or discard it as a dull thing and sometimes I write there things I've not written for a long time, for some reason the old idea might feel fresh to me again.

I have a few notebooks and paper piles around the home. So when ever I get an idea I can instantly write it down or draw it. I don't tend to flip trough the notebooks or papers, I trust that if the idea is good enough I will remember it or it will come to me again. I've sometimes wondered why I even write things down since the paper is never really needed afterwards. I have a theory that because I get so excited about the idea, I need to move on it at that instant and sometimes writing it down is the only thing I can do at that time. Also when I draw or write I can assess the idea and it's practicality. I've been known to study and draw some detail of my idea for ages eventhough I'm not even sure where and when I will use that idea.

Often the ideas come from materials, like in the instance of the heritage, I got lots of material that I liked but had really no use for. It's not either rare for me to go trough my craft stash. When ever I get some material I like, I fiddle it, move it around, clean it, organize it, stare at it for long periods of time. Then if an idea hits me I have to carry it out immediately and when that happens I hate if the lack of some other material slows me down. It does not even matter if I have something else unfinished. When I get inspired I need to work on the new thing, I can allways return to the "old" thing later.

I do collect inspiration from the web too, although I try to avoid collecting too many images or ideas from the internet. I sometimes do that, but the amount can soon turn against me. The mass becomes too big to find anything anymore. I flip through web pages, blogs and so on actively because I enjoy them and collect ideas unconsciously. When ever I do get an idea to realize I change the way I use the internet. If I do not know how to do something I try to find instructions, allmost everytime the case is that someone has done something similar, or similar enough before. I also read discussion forums, where crafty people are sharing their knowlegde. I allways search instructions both in Finnish and in English, I've found that some crafts are more popular in Finland than in the English speaking world and other way around.

I think the weirdest thing about the me is that at times even when I have gazillion ideas written on notebooks I have feelings of total idea black out. This usually happens on evening when there is not much time to really start anything big before bed time or if weather or some other obstacle inhibits me to do something I'd like to do. This usually leads me to wonder around apartment and frustrate about the lack of anything to do. In those times I go to A and ask him what I should do. And he usually has no suitable answer. A is very good if I need his help in some technical issue or if I have a few options on how to do something but I cannot make my mind, but he is not good in brainstorming craft ideas, go figure...

I'm not saying I'm the most innovative person in the world, because I'm totally not and I'm not saying my way to figure what to create is any better than anyone elses, I just wanted to write through how I get those ideas I get. This is my way, I'm interested if your way to create is anywhere similar or very different. Do you keep track of your ideas and how, write them down or save pictures?

Now speaking of material, this is what I've been obsessing lately.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sheets from sheets

The old sheets we inherited some time ago are mostly top sheets, not duvet covers. But we have no use for top sheets, you know those kind of sheets where there is just one flat sheet that is placed under the blanket and then the decorative egde is turned on top of the blanket. I prefer duvet covers, those stay on place way better.

There were two similar top sheets that were in excellent condition and that had very nice lace egde and embroidered letters AV. I wanted to keep these sheets and especially the decorative edge intact. I had two options to make curtains from them or duvet covers and since we don't need new curtains anywhere just now and I think those would also look too old fashioned and too romantic I desided on the duvet covers.

In the pile of sheets were also few sheets with no embroidery or lace. I took two of those to work as the other side of the cover. I cut all four sheets to the right size and sewed the embroidered sheet and the simple sheet together from the edges.

In general I'm not too excited about lace but in bed sheets those seem normal. Also the romantic aspect of the lace is not too overwhelming in sheets. The embroidered letters are now upside down, but who says the right way to look at sheets is from the foot of the bed?

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