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Done door

28 Jul

Well, I finished the kitchen door. Yay! Or yay. It looks MUCH better than it did, and when I have the top two panes of plexiglass replaced with glass-glass, it will look even better (I couldn’t scrape my overpainting off the plexiglass without scratching it all up, so I figured I’d just wait until the glass guys come — next week — and put in real glass).

The Yellow Magnolia color was yellower in person than on the chip, so I added some gray-green paint that I had hanging around and that made it more of what I was looking for (which, apparently, was something very close to the color of my bedroom doors).

I polished up the doorknobs, and found some brass doorplates on ebay, and the door looks tons better. The mortise lock is not properly attached — I think it was previously held in place by paint. So I’m going to try to find longer screws for it.

The best thing about this is that I get to cross it off my list of things to do this summer — and there are only a few little tiny things left to be done by moi. The rest (electrical, stripey hallway papering, exterior canopy repair and painting) are things beyond my skill level and that I’m waiting for pros to do. All I have left are a few tiny painting projects, and then I’ll be done for the summer. Woo freakin hoo!

The door:

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Door progress

25 Jul

I got a random orbital sander (an el cheap-o number from Harbor Freight Tools) and sanded the door down. Then gave it a good coat of grey primer (had it hanging around). I decided to use a golden marigold or some such color (don’t remember the precise name) from the MS collection at HD. I put one coat on just now — I got exterior semi-gloss enamel. I was wishing for a chartreuse and the color (at one wet coat) is yellower than I wanted. I’ll see after a couple of coats and when it’s dry, but I may have to add some green to it (I have plenty to choose from) and make a custom color.

It looks better than it did.

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More on door (or more off door)

22 Jul

I finished using the heat gun on the exterior of the door today and started the interior, but need to just sand both sides now. I’m going to have to pick up a new small sander (with dust bag) and do the sanding this week. Hope to be able to get the glass changed one day this week, too.

I also polished (and boiled) the lovely brass doorknobs. I got these at a flea market several years ago and had never given them a proper polish, so now they’re lovely and shiny. Will lacquer them up before re-install. The rosettes are toast, though, so I’ll see what I can find online to replace those.

I’m thinking a chartreuse color for the door.

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Dying in the heat

21 Jul

Back in December, I had Kim of Kim’s Upholstery make a new cushion for Skunkie’s kitchen couch (not to be confused with any of her other couches), as she (Skunkie, not Kim) had shredded the original one with her fangie finger nails of doom.

We couldn’t find a good match for the orange of the couch and I made a rushed decision on fabric and material, and went with green velvet and foam. Kim very kindly went straight to work, as I wanted a cushion in place for the Holiday Home Tour that my house was on (proceeds benefitted the Springfield Preservation Trust). Before it was made, I regretted my choice and wanted to switch to black and white striped fabric and a down cushion. Alas, it was too late. So Skunkie and I lived with the green cushion, but I kept meaning to dye it deep purple. I got the dye months ago and finally got around to do it today in the heat wave.

I used one package of RIT purple powder and one package of RIT navy blue powder and (mostly) followed the instructions. The fabric may have shrunk a smidgen, but I like the color much better now (and Skunkie seems to approve, too).

I washed the cover first (it’s a cotton-based velvet), then filled up the washing machine with water (supposed to be hot, but my machine is funky and it was tepid), put the dye in a container with hot water, salt, and washing detergent and mixed it all around. Let it sit for about an hour, then ran the machine et voila. It’s not as deep a purple as I was expecting, but it’s better than that green.

De-branding campaign

20 Jul

I’ve long been opposed to displaying the brand names of companies on my person unless they’ve paid me to be their spokesmodel (and so far none has). And for a while now, I’ve been removing the labels from everything store-bought in my bathroom (but have had to write “s” and “c” on shampoo and conditioner bottles, respectively) so as to calm the visual space and not to be faced with advertising in the privacy of my own loo.

My current campaign is to remove advertising/brand names from other household wares — starting with appliances. My first attempt was a great success — I removed the brand name from the outside of my fridge (the name belonged to a giant company that paid no taxes last year…). It was rather poorly attached with removable glue and a little adhesive pad and came right off with no marking of the fridge. Huzzah!

Though if that giant tax evading multi-national would like to pay me to display their logo, I would consider re-attaching it. (Jack Welch, if you’re reading this, as I’m sure you are, call me).

Tomorrow, I move on to the cooking machines…


7 May

The cats have been taking turns sitting in a box. Nothing but non-stop excitement around here!

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How to save a Boston Cream Pie tottering on the edge of disaster.

30 Jan

A Boston Cream Pie has three components — the cake part, the custard part, and the chocolate glaze part. I decided to make one for the first time with very little time to spare to bring to a dinner party last night. Something went wrong with each component, and YET, I managed to salvage a rather tasty dessert. Perhaps not much to look at, but easy on the gullet.

First mishap: The sponge/cake part. It needed to be baked in a 9″ springform pan. Okay. But mine leaked. So half of the sponge wound up on the bottom of the oven. See photo below: I figured I’d make a trifle or something, and that all wasn’t lost, so I went on to the next component while what survived of the cake cooled. In the end, I was able to slice what remained in half and made two thin layers of cake.

Second mishap: The custard/scrambled egg part. It curdled. I know that an ice cube will rescue curdled hollandaise sauce, but I didn’t have one, so I poured a bunch of heavy cream (cold, from the fridge) in and transferred it out of the saucepan. So far, so good. It uncurdled, but it was really, really hot. So I put it in the freezer. (See photo)

Third mishap: The chocolate glaze part. It was bitter and there wasn’t enough to cover the cake (judging by the looks of it). So I added a bunch of confectioners sugar and shortening to make it into a better glaze (a very good decision).

So, in the end, I managed to make a huge mess of the kitchen, a big pile of dishes in the sink, and a kind of ugly looking cake, but it was a hit at the party. The end.