Holiday Spirit

Christmas never feels right until the tree is up and decorated. 4 years ago I bought a fake tree at Target on super sale – apparently no one wanted it. But I knew it was perfect the first time I saw it – it’s got pinecones and little red berries on twigs, and fake snow – it’s awesome! It’s tall and narrow, and sort of hard to decorate since the branches are all munched close together. But it’s my tree and I love it.

Painting While Intoxicated – Part 1

I should point out that I rarely get drunk. But a couple times a year I come home from work on a Friday night and decide it’s time to get hammered. A couple of White Russians later and I’m feeling GOOD! Which is around the time I decide a “Goth Dance Party” in the girl cave is long overdue. I dig out my club clothes, crank the Industrial music, turn on the LED Christmas lights, and dance like no one’s watching.

Girl Cave Ceiling – Part 1

At the end of October I started painting the girl cave ceiling, but didn’t get very far due to vertigo issues I’ve suffered from since May. I’m painting it Benjamin Moore Galaxy – a beautiful, rich, dark purple. I think it will look so cool once it’s painted and covered with tiny LED lights. I know it’s not typical to paint a ceiling, let alone paint it dark, but my girl cave is, well, my GIRL CAVE. And my art studio. And I can decorate it however I please 🙂

Painting the Girl Cave Built-In

After painting the Girl Cave walls Violet Mist, I decided to paint the built-in cupboard Amethyst Shadow, which is from the same color family. I decided on high-gloss paint because I love the look of shiny furniture! After 2 coats of BIN primer and 3 coats of Amethyst Shadow, it was done and looking fantastic! It took 2 weeks to fully cure before I could put anything on it. For the hinges & hardware I used Krylon Fusion Mystic Prism Effect spray paint.

Tilghman Island, MD 2012

Back in June 2012, a few weeks after getting married *happy squeak*, Jim & I flew down to MD to visit his Auntie Alice and her husband Ben. We stayed for a long weekend with them at their gorgeous home on Tilghman Island, MD. Auntie’s son Jeffrey was also there – he had been hit by a car in the city while walking [poor guy!], and was recovering from emergency knee surgery.

Mis-Adventures in Dogsitting

I started dogsitting/housesitting in 1999 to supplement my income. I was working full time, but the money wasn’t great, so I collaborated with a woman I used to babysit for and together we started a dogsitting business. After a year, she dropped out, but I continued for 11 more years! It was a fun way to earn extra money.

Fire Alarms: Do Not Paint…

The fire alarms in our condo are hard-wired to the walls. Over the years they’ve become very ugly and yellowed. Particularly the 3 upstairs alarms – one in each bedroom, and one in the hallway about 15 feet up. They all say “Do Not Paint” on them. So last weekend I finally got the last of them painted. You saw that coming, right? I made sure not to paint over the green light. Or the red light. Or the slots where the smoke and fire get in.

Amsterdam 2011 – Part 2

One of my most favorite things in Amsterdam was Westerkerk Church & Bell Tower. It was a block from our hotel and we could hear it ringing every quarter hour. And also, as my brother pointed out AFTER I got lost for 7 hours in the city, you can pretty much see the tower from anywhere. Wish I’d thought of that… *grumble*! The tower is very beautiful & distinctive.

Painting the Girl Cave Walls

When I first considered moving into the condo, back in January 2012, I convinced my husband to let me turn the 2nd bedroom into a GIRL CAVE. Thankfully, he agreed 🙂 I mean, a girl has to have somewhere to hang her dragon stuff, her knife collection, her disco balls, and set up her art studio, right? After spending many hours in the cave over the following 18 months, I finally decided on a color scheme for the walls!

Hardwood Floors

In January 2012 we hired a contractor to install hardwood flooring on our 2nd floor and down the stairs. We already had hardwood floors on the 1st floor. This is one of the few projects we have hired out.

Regrouting Bathroom Tile

Last year, before I knew much about DIY stuff, I decided to regrout a small portion of the master bathroom tile with… *gasp*… Spackle. I realized my mistake right after doing it… it looked horrible and I could tell it wasn’t going to last. Last week I went to Home Depot and bought some sanded grout in “Natural Grey”. I was hoping it would be a close match to the current grout, but it’s a lot darker. It still looks better than Spackle!

Girl Cave Drywall Crack – Part 3

After 2 applications of joint tape, 3 coats of joint compound, and a whole lot of sanding, the repair to the drywall tape crack is finally done! I touched up the wall paint around the repair site and it’s looking amazing! Next up will be painting the ceiling and hanging tiny LED star lights to look like the night sky. The project cost about $20 and took about 3 weeks to complete.

Girl Cave Drywall Crack – Part 2

Last week I was in need of drywall tape. I never made it to Home Depot myself, so hubby got me some last week! I applied it along the edge of the ceiling, along the crack, then spread joint compound over it. After letting the compound dry for a few days, I sanded it down smooth. Then I applied another layer of joint compound. Once that’s dry, I’ll sand it down and will probably have to apply a 3rd touch-up coat since I can still see a bit of the tape.

Girl Cave Drywall Crack – Part 1

There is a crack in the drywall at the peak of the 15′ girl cave ceiling. It’s not actually a crack, it’s just the drywall tape separating from the ceiling. My first attempt at repairing it involved a drywall patch kit. The adhesive patches stuck to the ceiling for about 30 minutes before cascading to the floor. I definitely need drywall tape! After work I’m heading to Home Depot to pick some up, then it’ll be back up the ladder for me!

A DIY Milestone: Joint Compound!

Yesterday I bought my first tub of joint compound. I feel like this is one huge step in my ability to fix things myself! I don’t know why I equate owning joint compound with DIY success… but I do. I’m going to use it to patch a crack where the drywall tape has separated from the ceiling in my girl cave. I also bought a patch kit, a joint knife, and a fine grit sanding block to use between layers of compound. Wish me luck!

Welcome to My Website!

This is my first post, on my very own website! I will be documenting my home improvement projects on our beautiful, sunny condo at the edge of the Ipswich River. Currently, the only power tool I own is a drill, and I’ve never built anything from scratch. But, I have to start somewhere, and I’ve already learned so much by getting my hands dirty over the last few months. Thanks for joining me on my DIY journey!