What I’m on: July 2016

Making: Currently, nothing. I just finished the moulding in the dining room, my hands are feeling restless and my anxiety is rising. I should take up whittling and carve my own egg and dart.

Cooking: Chocolate chip cookies. You guys, the recipe on the back of the milk chocolate Ghirardelli chocolate chips is so good. I use this ungodly expensive organic local butter (it’s like $8 and super high fat) but they are delicious.

Drinking: As much cheap pinot grigio that I can get my greedy little hands on, per the ush. I wish that I could pretend that I was classy, but, I’m not. I like my $4 bottles of wine. When my husband brought home a $6 bottle once, I almost slapped it out of his hands on principle.

Reading: I just finished The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, it has a lot more of a religious theme than I usually read, but it was a very interesting take on the traditional love story.

Wanting: Art for the dining room! I saw this piece from Minted and I loved the colors used.

Enjoying: Sitting poolside with a book. Ya’ll. I can sit down on a bench and read while my daughter continues her never ending search for another family to join while enjoying the wading pool. It’s awesome and life is much improved.

Listening: Bishop Briggs – I am looking forward to a full album. It’s so soulful, but bangs.

Needing: These plates and cutlery from CB2 to fulfill all my dining room dreams of a perfectly set table and food that is bountiful and cooks itself.

Wearing: As little clothing as is societally acceptable, tbh. We’ve had a heat wave in MN (high 90s) and it has been HOT for us. I don’t have a/c in my house and had to scramble to install the two little window units that we haven’t used in a couple of years. I was sweating BEHIND MY KNEES.

Watching: I just finished season 1 of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Musicals aren’t really my thing, but the songs are ridiculous enough that it works.

Bookmarking: This post by Mary at ilikeitlovely – I did not know you could paint upholstery with chalk paint (in fact, I’ve never actually used chalk paint. The $30 paint brushes kind of offend my sensibilities.) The pink chairs in my living room are looking a little worse for wear and there is no money for re-upholstering them right now. So I think I might give them a coat of paint and wax and see how that works out. I need another project, anyways.

Feeling: Like this summer is going by so quickly. I am enjoying it so thoroughly, and I think this has been the best summer so far with the kids (fewer tears and petty squabbles than ever before!), but I am sad that it’s almost over and then back to the school grind.


I had a little birdie, her name was Enza…

"farrow ball down pipe" "panel moulding" "panel molding"

I opened up the window,



I had that nursery rhyme stuck in my head when I was in a feverish state. Which, FYI, is a sub-par way to spend a week long staycation.

None the less, I was surprisingly productive.

In the month of July, I take a week off of work in observance of my birthday. That probably makes it seem like I make a huge deal of my birthday, but, I actually don’t even expect presents, or endless admiration of my existence or anything of the such. My twin sister and I usually high five and call it good.

It’s just a good reason for me to chill and enjoy some good weather in MN. I usually work on some projects around the house, too – last year I worked on building a pantry.

I clearly don’t know how to vacation or birthday. Next year, someone save me from myself.

Side note: Since we turned 30 this year (I’ve been told numerous times that this is a big deal), we went out clubbing on a whim (after I had spent 6 hours painting moulding.) It was a lot of fun. The recovery was less fun.

The only photographic evidence that this event occurred.

What moulding, you may ask? Ok. So you’re probably not asking. But I’m going to tell you regardless. I’m pretty self-centric like that.

As I was putting up the casing and header in the dining room, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself and ability to cut 45 degree angles and decided to add a little something to the walls.

I went to my local lumberyard to look at what was available. I originally wanted 3/4″ half round – but they didn’t have any available. So I went with 3/4″ x 1/4″ screen, since it was narrow and had an eased edge.

It ended up taking time, but was one of my easiest projects I’ve done, and pretty inexpensive. Way, way less time consuming and physically exhausting than mudding and sanding plaster walls. That shit is just brutal. Oh, wait. I already did that in the dining room. These walls had better appreciate my efforts.

I almost forgot the room used to look like this:043

And that was after a lot of work.

In case anyone cares:

Here are the things that I had to work with when planning the placement of the moulding:

  • 4 walls – 3 windows and 2 large openings to other rooms
  • None of the windows/headers are the same height (besides the two matching windows)
  • None of the spaces are the same width for equal spacing of the panels

Simple rectangles seemed the easiest. I decided to use the spacing of 3″ from walls/baseboards/casing and 6″ (5 1/4″ actual) between the screen moulding. With this, the areas that were largest would get 3 rectangles and the smaller areas would get 1 or 2, dependent on the width of the area. The height was just eyeballing it and shrugging, marked it off and then used the level around the room. It made the maths fairly easy. Space -6″= outer rectangle width (-12″= middle rectangle width, – 12″= inner rectangle width.)

The greatest gift I gave myself with starting this project, was renting this lazer level from Home Depot for 4 hours. I used it to make the painting line in Ry’s room for the One Room Challenge.IMG_1492

It’s super frustrating to get it absolutely level, but once you do, it’s quick to mark out all the lines. It took me about 3 hours in total – but I got 5 absolutely level lines all around the room. I just went around with a marker and short level and traced them.

From there, it was mathing out the width and then cuts, cuts and more cuts. Then even more.

I purchased 53 8′ pine screen moulding pieces and it was 152 cuts that made it up on the walls. That’s not including the maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaany miss-cuts that I made.IMG_1493

I got a ton of splinters, to boot.

Like, I know that an inanimate object like a thermostat just hanging there shouldn’t illicit feelings of contempt and rage in a person, but I am perhaps mentally unhappy, and it did. I am SO happy that I finally moved it to the stairwell in the basement, hidden, where things of shame should go.

Once all the screen was all nailed up with my brad nailer, the holes got spackled, sanded and primed. Then 3 (!) coats of Farrow and Ball Down Pipe in the Estate Emulsion. I had claw hands and had to go over the whole walls with the last coat, because this gallon is a slightly different color than the last one, and it’s still a little splotchy. Thanks for nothing, super expensive paint.

It took FOR.EV.ER to paint.

The radiator still needs to be painted, too, it got a coat of gray spay paint primer (thus the newspaper on the floor.) But I’m giving that remaining paint the major side eye. And that whole radiator sitch, in general. IMG_1502

It’s very subtle, but I like it.IMG_1521 IMG_1513 IMG_1505 IMG_1533 IMG_1536 IMG_1541

Still on the list is building a new credenza, scrubbing the floor, art etc. I am thinking about putting crown moulding up, too, but haven’t decided on a profile yet.

I like the idea of a rug in here, but it would be ruint in nanoseconds.

Also, maybe my light fixture will arrive someday? I ordered it 8 weeks ago, and I’m starting to be concerned that I only ordered it in a very realistic delusional state not based in reality. The lead time was 5-6 weeks, and last I heard, it was supposed to have shipped out over a week ago (did not happen.) It’s been kind of frustrating and disappointing with the lack of communication.

I ain’t mad at those walls tho.



I’m not a complete liar, after all

It was over two years ago when I got the bright idea to widen the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. I had just ordered (some) custom cabinets, jacked up the house and had several supports put in the basement, new appliances, electrical upgrades and installation of walnut flooring in the kitchen.

No concern was given to the vent pipe (the sink was on the other side of that dining room wall) or the fact that it was a load bearing wall. Or… matching the existing moulding in the house.

When the carpenter who was installing the cabinets offered to open up the wall – for a reasonable price – I jumped all over it.

Turns out that I should not have done that, it ended up being a super stressful experience with lots of lasting issues that give me night terrors and a severe case of avoidance to the point that I don’t even want to finish the kitchen (like… dry walling the ceiling.)

That project started after I had ordered the cabinets, there was a 3+ month turnaround time, so I figured I would install a temporary ikea sink cabinet until I ordered the matching custom cabinet.

Major LOLZ.

I ran out of large chunks of money to order the rest of the cabinets.

I guess I should rephrase – I decided to scrape together money and use it to make other areas of my house prettier. Because I don’t actually want to deal with the problems in the kitchen, just pretty stuff. Priorities.

Plus, I’ll never actually have large chunks of money.


That’s not the point right at this moment.

The point is: after the drywall went up – the moulding did not.

It became quickly apparent that I was not going to be able to locate stock pieces that matched the crown and decorative egg and dart. The crown is no longer beefy and solid, and the egg and dart profile is no longer manufactured – anywhere.

I gave up on it.

It looked like this: IMG_1473Sad little misplaced thermostat.

Until I proclaimed my intention to work on the dining room and put the trim back, and by the grace of god, I have wonderful and supportive readers that I don’t want to be a liar to.

One thing I did find readily available at the lumber yard was the casing. Hooray! I purchased, brought it home, and realized that it was 1/4″ less wide than the existing. Fuckkkkk. Oh, well. I used it.

Ok. So.

This likely won’t make any sense to anyone outside of my own brain.

The existing crown is solid, and rests on the top of the 1×6 – projecting 3/4″ underneath for the egg and dart, and a total height of 7″.IMG_1486

Current crown matching the profile projects 3/4″ less, which if placed on top of a 1×6 would not allow the space for any decorative egg and dart.IMG_1489IMG_1491





My solution was to use a 1×8″ board (7 1/2″ actual), and have the crown flush with the top of the board – which would then project 3/4″ underneath.

The whole height is now 1/2″ taller, but, shit. We do what we can. I didn’t feel like ripping it down 1/2″. What.

I hope it doesn’t haunt me in the afterworld.

It was around the time that I had made all my cuts and had it all put together, but not on the wall, that my stupid pneumatic nailer quit on me. What the hell, driver?! Why aren’t you retracting and loading a new nail?!

I ran to my local ace for a metric allen wrench to try to open it up, but 3 of the 6 screws would. not. budge. And, tbh, I have no idea what I would have done with if, even if I did get it open.

A curse filled trip to Home Depot and I have a new one, and the (door? opening?) header is up! And casing!IMG_1478 IMG_1487

That sad little thermostat got moved!

I am still on the search for a comparable egg and dart moulding. I have been to two lumber yards, ordered some from home depot (only to be returned), and have two on order from online to see if they will work.

Since I’m having such a blast cutting those 45 degree angles, I’ve decided to try my hand at some wall moulding? ALL THE MOULDING!

Now, to spackle a thousand nail holes and purchase another $99 gallon of paint – because of course I just barely ran out.

In other news. I am taking a ridiculously long time making simple decisions and stalling on ordering anything else. Do I want an all black modernica planter? A black and wood one? White and black? Do I want to have a ceiling medallion, or no ceiling medallion with the new light fixture? Like, seriously. Not real problems.

I have a week off coming up, it’s become my annual staycation the week of my birthday, and I’m hoping to get some decisions made and some progress. Hopefully the new light fixture will be part of that! It’s been almost 6 weeks since I’ve ordered, but unsure when it will ship.

One last thing, I used to have an Instagram widget and then it broke or something and I have not been able to find another one to put in my sidebar. I am not code savvy. What have other people used to help? Please, save me.