Thursday, April 19, 2012

Home Improvement: Pantry, Part 1

Brace yourselves for a whole bunch of really exciting photos of 5 square feet of floor!

This is our pantry. Ugh, I know. So uncharacteristically unorganized.

I'm going to redo the whole thing, and I had to start with the biggest offender, the floor. This gross white tile floor is on the list of head-scratchers (along with the orange ceiling in the basement) in this house. Why wasn't the floor replaced along with the rest of the floor in the kitchen? Was that just too much effort?

I started with taking off the baseboards. I intended to reuse them, but they turned out to be really gross too. Also, they're too short - there was originally a bi-fold door here, so there was a gap in the molding and rails on the floor and ceiling. I used a razor blade to cut through the caulk at the top of the baseboards, and hammered a chisel in to pry them away from the wall.

Hidden behind one was this matchbook cover for Sears driving school. I wasn't that surprised to find it, since it seems like whoever built this house just put all their trash in the walls.

Home improvement always involves an unexpected element, and in this case it was that the tile had been installed over 2 layers of linoleum... which turned out to be awesome! Once I chiseled under the first tile, I was able to peel the whole thing off the floor in sheets.

I only bruised my hand once! Also I was dumb and didn't wear gloves - were you aware that ceramic tile shatters into tiny little slivers that will slice your hands to shreds? Neither was I.

The floor then was covered in tile adhesive [If you are laying tile on a floor to be walked on, you must put down a foundation first. But no one will be walking in here, so it's ok.] I set some tiles I got at Home Depot, which are all displayed high up in the most inconvenient place ever. I ended up climbing up some pallets to get them, which I believe is frowned upon, but had I looked for an employee I'm sure the entire process would have taken 3 times as long.

I only had to make 2 cuts because miraculously the pantry was a little over 24" wide.

After a few days of drying, I put in some grout, and ta da! Done. I feel like this project went way too easily. Something bad is going to happen. Oh wait.

Remember those baseboards I took off? They are 3" high. Guess how high baseboards are now (post-1985)? 3 1/4". Yep. Guess I have an excuse to buy that table saw I've been wanting.

Next, I'm going to paint the pantry and add solid shelving. I seriously hate those wire shelves, stuff always falls through or tips over. The problem is that there are SO MANY options! I'm thinking a few slide-out shelves will be good, so we can access items towards the back. I still haven't figured out what to do with the trash cans - they are in the way but there doesn't seem to be another place to put them.

What is in your dream pantry? What haven't I thought of?

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Finished: Hermione's Everyday Socks

More socks! I feel like I keep knitting socks, but I don't actually gain any, because for every new pair an old pair gets discontinued. I do have small feet, but my old socks have shrunk so much they could fit toddlers' feet. These have been my traveling project for the last 6 months, and have been exciting places such as a National's baseball game, Nova Scotia, and the outlet mall.

Pattern: Hermione's Everyday Socks (free, and super-easy)
Needles: size 1 DPNs
Yarn: Paton's Kroy Socks FX from Joann's (I am an equal-opportunity yarn buyer)

It's only after looking at this picture that I'm realizing how different in color these socks are. Oh well, I doubt anyone will notice.

Help me out here. I've been in a reading slump since the beginning of the year. The problem is that I've read every book. Yep, all of them. Tell me what to read! Here are the books I've read 400 times each:
  • Teenager living in a dystopian society gets thrown into a situation where she has to be plucky to survive
  • Slightly abrasive-yet-loveable detective solves a murder
  • Single woman living in the middle ages/colonial America/World War I breaks gender barriers
  • Someone eats locally/hikes a trail/travels to exotic locations for a year
  • Comedian/TV personality shares humorous anecdotes about their life
I'm generally not interested in vampires, werewolves, lands populated by creatures other than humans, and space, but hey, if an awesome book exists out there with those themes, recommend it. But for the love of God do not tell me to read Twilight.
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