Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Remember in this post when I told you that we would have to juggle some plumbing around in order to install the kitchen sink cabinet?
Well, here's a picture to refresh your memory.
Well, here's a picture to refresh your memory.
We knew the pipe jutting out to the left would need to come off, and then because we didn't want a huge hole in the bottom of our cabinet (to fit around the pipes as they were), we decided to just slice everything off.
We started by shutting off the water (duh) and placing a towel around the bottom of the pipes. Didn't want water to spill out all over our new Hardibacker cement board!
Then I used a ratcheting copper pipe cutting thing (Google tells me it's actually called a 2 in 1 Close Quarters Ratcheting Pipe Cutter) to cut the pipes. This tool cut through those pipes like a hot knife through butta.
This took literally two minutes. Awesome!! The next part was a little bit harder.
We had to cut holes in our kitchen sink cabinet for the drain pipe, the hot and hold water pipes and the disposal wiring. Wiring and drain pipe out the back, hot and cold water up from below. We measured (and then measured again, and then measured again...) and created three small boxes. Then it was multi-tool and jigsaw all the way.
Funny thing happened when we started on the hole for the hot and cold water pipes (bottom of the cabinet). It uhhh....it kept catching on fire.
You heard me.
Ok ok, there were no flames, but there was lots of smoke! Just like rubbing two sticks together, our jigsaw blade was so dull it was burning the wood instead of cutting through it. We decided it was time to change saws/blades when we stopped sawing and the cabinet kept smokin'. We covered the burning area with the towel (now damp) that we had used to catch the pipe water. Crazy!
Here is the burned area.
We busted out Ed's brand new jigsaw (birthday present!) and it was smooth sailing from then on.
Haha. Sike! The first try did not fit...this is the second try. We needed to make the bottom hole a couple inches bigger. But two tries isn't so bad.
Sooooo.... you may notice in the picture above that we still had raw open pipes and could therefore, not turn our water back on. That's where these babies come in.
Push connect compression fittings!
I see no reason why anyone would ever sweat fit copper pipes ever again. A monkey could use these. All you do is push them onto the end of the pipe.
We turned the water on and no drips, no leaks.
Much cleaner, n'est-ce pas?
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Wanna see something that will never get old?
Soft close cabinet doors and drawers!!! EEEEeeeeEEEEEeeee!!!!! High!!!
Ready. Set.... D'oh!
Dining room floor permanently damaged. I started crying.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Materials for my rag rug. A pile of old white t-shirts.
Like those plastic covered chairs they're resting on? Courtesy of the previous homeowners. Ugly. But it's something to sit on for now...
Cutting station: kitchen cabinet box on the floor + a pair of scissors.
I cut the strips at about 1/2". Definitely no measuring happening for this project.
I stopped after two t-shirts. I wanted to get started!! Also, if this project didn't work out, I would have to find something else to do with a mountain of t-shirts strips...
The tool! I cut a coat hanger, bent it around and fastened it with duct tape. It's been working so far! If I were to make another tool, I would make it shorter. This one is about 5" or 6" which makes it difficult to "sew" when the t-shirt strip gets short.
This is where the tool comes in. Once you have hand knotted the first row (only five knots in this case) you thread one strip through the eye of your tool and start looping and knotting around the other strip and through the knots you have already made. Clear as mud? And then around and around you go!
It's definitely a messy first attempt. I wasn't quite sure how to round the corners and still have it look even. I was also too impatient (shocking) to stop and watch the tutorial videos again.
Peanut offering assistance....or napping.
Around this point things got a little interesting. My rug started taking a on a new form.
It is now a rag bowl.
Maybe I'll continue with this and create one of these?
Or maybe a new hat for this man.
Seriously though, I guess I just started making the outter ring knots too tight. Also, the Etsy rugs that inspired this project seem really heavy duty and thick. Mine seems more like a pot holder. For the next rug I may try looping around upholstery piping cord instead of another t-shirt strip to give it some bulk and structure.
Have you made a rag rug? Any tips for me?
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Ok ok I guess Sunday is really the day of rest...or is it Saturday? Anyway, Ed and I came home from work last night and for the third day in a row went straight into the kitchen to get to work. I asked Ed to help me with the upper corner cabinet carousel installation since the lower corner cabinet was such a pain.
So we put together the carousel. Definitely easier with two people. Then...I wandered downstairs and started making dinner (veggie fried rice)...and Ed wandered into the laundry room to put a load in....and we never went back in the kitchen. Clearly we both needed to take a day off.
So let's talk about something else! What you ask?
That's right. Rag rugs!
I was sifting through home decor stuff on Etsy the other day and came across these rugs made by EmmeliWorks in Boise, Idaho. Pretty! Hers are a little different than the original because she makes them from old t-shirts and other clothing instead of sheets. I've been trying to find something durable and soft for the hallway bathroom and something like this might just be the answer. Of course, I can't just buy one from EmmeliWorks...I have to figure out how to make one myself (even if it means I never have a rag rug cause I never get around to actually making it).
EmmeliWorks calls them "Toothbrush rugs." So I started by looking up how to make a toothbrush rug.
And that's when I found this special, special video.
What can I say. Dude loves his toothbrush rugs.
By the looks of it, we'll see him someday on Hoarders: Burried Alive.
Thankfully I found some other very helpful tutorials on YouTube and now I can't wait to get started on my own rug. The term toothbrush rug comes from the tool that is used to stitch the rug. People would take an old toothbrush, cut off the brush and shave the end down to a point, then thread a piece of rag through the hole in the other end - basically making a huge plastic needle. Most toothbrushes don't have a hole in the end these days, but the tutorials said you can make a tool out of pretty much anything. I plan on making one out of a coat hanger and some duct tape.
The best part? I can get started on this project immediately! I mentioned a different rug project to my mom about a week ago and she showed up with a whole bag of old t-shirts to get me started! I have a lot of cutting to do...better get to it.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Not much time to blog the last couple of days - trying to knock this stuff out! This will be a fast and furious photo post. Here goes.
Monday night we worked some more on cabinet installation. This time we actually installed the cabinets (screwed the cabinets together). Since Ikea has pre-drilled holes, this process was pretty simple.
We used this drill with the recommended 3/16" drill-bit.
You drill through the pre-drilled holes (the "pre-drilled" is only halfway through) and then insert a connector screw on each side. Ikea provides the connector screws.
The scariest part of the wall cabinet installation was cutting and installing the filler piece. If you have any extra space between your cabinets, Ikea gives you a large piece of ...pressed board or whatever the cabinets are made of....and you have to measure out the piece, cut it and screw it to the cabinets.
It's intimidating cutting a piece of finished cabinet that you paid for. If you mess up, you have to buy a new one...and drive all the way to Ikea...again... And this is a piece that everyone who enters your kitchen will see!
We don't have a table saw which would have been ideal for the job so we used this (thanks Joe!).
Just a circular saw and a steady hand.
Oh and...these are our sawhorses.
Again, not ideal...but it worked!
That is a mighty fine filler piece if I do say so myself.
Last night we started putting together and installing the cabinet doors. If it wasn't for the carousel in the corner cabinet, we would have gotten a lot further.
I was inside this cabinet for way too long trying to drill little holes from the provided Ikea paper template. Those crazy Swedes. It was probably best that I started with the most complicated one because the rest seemed like a piece a cake!
Sorry for the lighting in the next picture but the hanging light bulb was even worse.
I know it doesn't seem like we did much, but this stuff takes time. Did I mention Ed also finished the drywall around the window? Little by little...we'll get there, inshallah.
Also...on Monday night I bought a grout sanding tool. It's on!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Look at me! I said "More on that later" in my last post, and I'm actually following-up on it and giving you "more on that later!"
So I have been looking for some chairs for our living room since we moved in. We have a couch for the living room and that's about it. I wanted two chairs that looked nice (not too frumpy lazy-boy man-cave), but were also comfortable enough to lounge around and watch TV in since our living room will be the main TV watching area.
I searched Craigslist high and low since I also wanted to find chairs that could be a fun DIY project. (There are only 1,000,000,000,000 other projects to do around here. Let's throw another on the pile!) The problem with Craigslist in our area though, is that the sellers know what the buyers are looking for and (of course) jack up the prices. Who wants to pay $200 for old chairs that have been sitting in someone's backyard for years and need to be completely refinished/reupholstered? You would probably end up spending at least that much just fixing them up! Since this would be my first attempt at upholstering, the chairs needed to be on the cheaper side.
Enter Apartment Therapy DC. This blog, among other things, publishes a "Washington DC Scavenger" series. In this series, they let readers know about interesting furniture/household items for sale on Craigslist in the DC metro area. Usually I skim these posts since their "great finds" are still over $200 dollars. But then...I saw these!
Simple shape. Look cozy. Don't look too complicated as far as upholstering goes (anything tufted looks too complicated). So I thought, great, they're probably $300 or something. I scrolled down to look at the details...
2 Plaid Arm Chairs - $50
$50??? For both?? SOLD!
This is where my mom comes in - the one with the pick-up truck. No way these chairs were fitting in my Corolla. So after she put together our kitchen all day, we headed out to pick-up my new-to-me chairs.
Let me tell you. There is nothing greater than entering the home of the person you're buying something off of Craigslist from and seeing that it is immaculate. You never know what scuzzy environment your furniture might be living in when all you see is the picture of the item online. The house these chairs were in, was not only in a gated community, it was HUGE and spotless clean. Phew! Clean rich people. Nice.
The chairs looked even better in person and I started wondering if there would be a discussion after we loaded them in the truck about how they meant $50 each, not $50 total. I starting planning my "Welllll I only brought $50 cash soooo....." act. But no questions were asked and mom and I peeled outta there.
Here is one of the chairs - stuffed into the office. The living room is currently stuffed full of other...stuff.
They are very comfortable too. I can already see myself in one watching Food Network (...or Flipping Out) with some tea and a blankie.
Taking mom's suggestion, I inspected the chairs for a label and found that they were made by Century Furniture Industries in Hickory, NC. Unfortunately there are no prices on the website. I think it's an interior design furniture resource. I was bummed to not be able to compare how much their new chairs are going for with how much I paid for mine, however, Oscar de la Renta designed a line for this company!! Probably safe to say they were at least $50 each new. Good enough for me.
So yesterday, my sister and I went looking for upholstery fabric ideas. We hit up G Street Fabrics and Joann Fabrics and saw some really nice stuff. $50 a yard nice. Humph. $25 Craigslist chair covered in $200 worth of fabric? I don't think so. After some sifting though, I found some fabrics that were a little more reasonable.
Here are some fabrics we liked.
Neutral colors - fun pattern.
I will probably hate this in 5 years but...love it now!
Lime zebra! On sale for $9.99! Maybe cause nobody wants it...hmmm.
I have no idea when I will actually get around to this project but I will definitely have fun searching for fabrics until then!