Thursday, January 29, 2009

A frivolous invention

One can live forever with no toilet-paper holder, but we are striving to be a civilized household. Though we deemed “heat system” and “ceilings” more urgent projects, we still gave toilet-paper holder a place on our big list of things to do. (This is notwithstanding John’s claim that the back of the toilet made a fine toilet-paper holder.)

I got an idea a couple weeks ago to use the last of the four wooden drawer pulls to fashion the TPH. (The other three found various spots as part of our trim.) I liked how well the dark wood of the drawer pull matched our sink cabinet, and it seemed that if we cut the pull in half, it would make two arms perfect for holding the plastic springy thing that goes inside the roll.

And it did. The cutting was a death-defying double-operator miter-saw trick, and we made it through sans injury. Then John skillfully drilled depressions (not holes) into the ends of these arms, into which the springy thing would fit. Then we cut a scrap of oak trim to be the “plate,” sanded it, and forstenered two holes in for screws.

We glued the arms onto the plate, and we put two drywall anchor screws into the bathroom wall.

Glue dried, plate went onto wall, roll went onto springy thing, and voila! Civilization.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Working at it

There will come a time, hopefully in the next couple of months, when we will be "done."

(We will never be done.)

But we must be. At some point, there needs to be a "done." We need to be able to say, "hey, we finished fixing up this house and now let's get on with the next big round of modifications: the converting the attic to a bedroom, the kitchen remodel, the tearing off the back porch and laying down a deck, chickens, an outdoor shower, an earth oven..."

Oh so close now. We've been steadily tying up the loose ends and we're making progress. Each week it seems like we cross another thing off the list. Lately, we've been way into molding. We've finally made, painted, and installed baseboards where they had been missing.

We did all sorts of crazy work around the attic hatch above the staircase: plywood, doorstop, cove, quarter round, small pieces glued perpendicular to long ones, a time capsule hidden behind a square of plywood with an old wooden drawer handle mounted to it...we spared no technique for that area! Oh yeah, then we painted the stairwell and all its new trim.

in progress:

the front portion, completed:

the plans that we dated and tucked away as a time capsule:

Also recently crossed off the list: the screen door. It's an old, dry, wooden thing which has had a nasty sag to it since we bought the house. It wasn't doing much for the overall appearance of the front of the house. We installed a couple of steel brackets and glued a few small wood triangles in support of the cross members and now it sits level (pretty much).

We've been trimming around the oak posts! Ended up using a 1/2"x3 red oak arrangement and we think it looks pretty sharp. This is about the time when we discovered the beauty of wood glue

Did some insulating around the chimney (wow, there were some large gaps where a bunch of our heat was escaping) and finally finished insulating the attic.

Oh yeah, and we made a 3-sided wood box to hide the plumbing under the bathroom sink!

We've even ordered a ceiling lamp for the kitchen!

Basically, in our quest to be "done," here's what's left:

- fabricate an "official" toilet paper holder (we started this last night!)
- Choose and install light fixtures in the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and studio
- Sand and paint the front porch
- Put some sort of newel-items on the porch railings
- Finish painting the eaves
- Paint the house (outside)

And then, then we'll be done.


- John