The devil is in the details.

Whew, it’s been quiet around here, hasn’t it?  Which is surprising, because I’ve actually finished quite a few detail-type projects in the baby’s room.  The reason you’ve heard nothing but crickets is because — gasp! — all projects have gone pretty smoothly.  And you know what they say: if you don’t have anything entertaining to say, don’t say anything at all.

Or something like that.

Anyway.  I didn’t screw anything up.  I haven’t had any memorable episodes of FDBF.  All in all, it’s been a successful, if not necessarily notable, four weeks in the nursery.  And I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how to write a success story.

Which is not to say that nothing notable has happened in the last four weeks.  For instance, I mounted a sea monster.

125 mounting minne Continue Reading

The Great Millwork Saga of 2015


if I WERE going to replace [the trim], now would be the time.  Because then I wouldn’t have to paint around it all.  I could just take it off, paint the walls WITH 75% FEWER EDGES to deal with, and put new stuff back on.  It’s kind of genius…[T]hink of all the time I’ll save!”

This nursery is cursed.  First there was The Popcorn Ceiling Adventure.  Then the Drywall Repair Disaster.  And the Epic Floor Sanding Fail, which was followed immediately by The Yellow Rug Crisis.  Then came the DIY Chandelier Train Wreck (oh, I haven’t told you about that one yet.  Because it’s not done even though I’ve been futzing with it for 3 months now).  And today I give you another shining example:  The Great Millwork Saga of 2015.

new window casing and baseboards Continue Reading

The Art of Misdirection

Six weeks.  That’s how long it took me to refinish the floors.

refinished floors before and after

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s procrastinating.  I’m particularly proud of this example, in which it took me 6 weeks to complete a project that should have taken 3 days.  Maybe 4 days.  Semantics aside, that means I worked on this floor for about one day (an 8-hour day, not a real 24-hour day) every two weeks (336 possible hours).

original hardwood floors

You know, sometimes I think if it weren’t for this blog, I’d never get anything done around here.

refinished hardwood floor

Welp, the good news is, it’s done now.  And since I didn’t physically spend much time working on the nursery in the past 6 weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate the finer points of nursery decor.  Translation:  I experienced a minor existential crisis over a rug.Continue Reading

Floor Refinishing: Lesson 1

You know, I almost didn’t write this post.  Because the floor’s not done yet.  And I thought about slacking and just not posting anything until the floor was done and I had a completed project to tell you about.  But then I thought:  No.  You guys need to know about what I’ve been through in the last two weeks.  You have a right to know.  The good citizens of the world deserve to know the TRUTH…

…about the square buff sander.

refinishing hardwood floors

What a piece of shit.Continue Reading

T-minus 79 Days

Damn, that doesn’t sound very long, does it?  Luckily I’ve made remarkable progress on the nursery over the past two weeks.  To be specific:  It is REMARKABLE how LITTLE progress I have made, given the time allotted.

Although I was off to a pretty good start when I came home one day to discover that Chris had pulled up the carpet.

pulling up carpet and refinishing floors

And he was all like, “Ok boss, what’s the next step?”  And I was all like, “This.”

patching an old floor grate

“This” used to be the heat register for this room, until we re-routed things in order to remodel the kitchen.  Now the heat register is on the other end of this room, in the wall, where heat registers belong.  And “this” is a boarded-up hole in the floor with an ugly grate over it.  Now would seem like the time to patch up the floor and seal it up for good, right?

And there was Chris, all but volunteering to do it for me.  So maybe I could come home one day and find the floor completely ready for sanding and refinishing, possibly without having to lift a finger.

But I told him, “No, let me do it.  There might be a hardwood-floor-patching tutorial for the blog in there somewhere.  I’ll work on it tomorrow.”

And “tomorrow” came, and I started thinking about how much extra work it would be to patch in the hardwood floor.  First I’d have to patch in the subfloor to get everything to the right level, and given that our house was built before the days of standard-sized dimensional lumber, that seemed like a precise (and therefore insurmountable) task.  So I decided to give myself some time to figure that out, and to start working on it tomorrow.

So “tomorrow” came, and I still hadn’t figured out the subfloor patching dilemma.  And then I thought of another dilemma: once I got the subfloor up to the right level, I’d have to find wood flooring that actually matched the dimensions of the wood floors we have.  Again I ran into the They-Don’t-Make-That-Stuff-Like-They-Used-To problem.  So I would have to either find somewhere else in the house to poach from (there aren’t any) or spend half a lifetime sifting through the “floors and millwork” section at a salvage yard, hoping to find enough bits and pieces of old floor that matched mine.  Or, third option: Buy a bunch of oak and make my own custom planks.

Um, no.

I decided to think about it for a little while longer, and start working on it tomorrow.

And “tomorrow” came, and I still hadn’t figured out the wood floor patching dilemma.  And continuing to think about it seemed like an awful lot of work.  So I decided to give myself tomorrow off from thinking about it and start working on it the day after tomorrow.  Because sometimes if you ignore things long enough, they go away.  Like that time I spent 3 weeks talking about ripping up the carpet in the nursery, and then one day, I came home and it was magically done.

Which is how this post started.  And now that we’ve come full circle, allow me to show you how I fixed the hole in the hardwood floor:

painted floor grate

Now the floor is completely ready for sanding and refinishing, and the only finger I had to lift was the one that pushed the trigger on the spray paint can.

And it only took me a week to do it.  Now all that’s left to do in the nursery is this:

  • Sand and refinish the floors
  • Customize and install new casings and baseboards
  • Reglaze the windows
  • Strip and repaint the doors
  • Make a chandelier
  • Reupholster a chair and ottoman
  • Make curtains
  • Make a dresser/changing table
  • Decorate

The next 79 days should be a breeze.



The Stump Garden

So there’s this garden in our back yard.  The Stump Garden.  A creative name, with a really long story behind it.  See, there are these two massive stumps in the garden.

building a retaining wall for a backyard garden

The end.  See how I don’t always make things more complicated?

Anyway.  The Stump Garden is currently driving me nuts.  But probably not for the reasons you’d expect.  Continue Reading

Can of Paint!

When we last chatted, I had set a goal for myself: fix the drywall and get the painting done so I would have some visible progress to show you this time.  So I buckled down for a couple of days and got the drywall done, leaving me nearly a week to put on 2 coats of paint.  That’s maybe 5 hours worth of work.  Out of 168 possible hours.

I got it half done.

Super Troopers almost made it

But that’s okay!  Because from where you guys are sitting, on the other side of the screen, one coat of paint looks almost exactly like two, so I can show you the “after” pictures before the project is actually done!

nursery paint before and after

Ahh, the magic of the internet.Continue Reading

Can of Worms.

Two weeks ago, after re-drywalling and painting the ceiling,  I had every intention of just opening a can of paint for the walls.  But then I was like, “You know?  I really hate the trim in here.”

ugly baseboard

ugly window casing

But then Logical Me kicked in (you know, her voice sounds a lot like Chris’s, only more mocking) and was all like, “Don’t even.  You don’t have time for this shit.”Continue Reading