Sunday, September 26, 2021

New Skills and a Bit of Rule Breaking

I'm sure I'm not the only one with pandemic-driven new skills. There's nothing like being stuck at/near home for a year and a half to create motivation to make changes to the home environment. Thus is it that I've acquired painting skills. Not watercolour painting, but home decorating. Thanks to YouTube DIY videos and the fact that for the first time in my life there are no children, dogs, or other impediments, I've learned to scrape, patch, caulk, sand, and paint my way to a more serene place. The sickly yellow that we inherited from the previous owners of our house is finally gone. Yay.

So are the venetian blinds facing the back deck. Because the long windows were more or less flush with the wall (no inset), the blinds we inherited jutted out just enough to allow gaps at the sides which always left me feeling vulnerable at night when the lights were on. Also, since blinds are really meant to stay down even when open, the slats impeded the view of the beautiful mature trees in back of the house. I took down the blinds and began scraping the peeling paint around them only to discover that the underlying material was metal, not wood. It had obviously not been properly primed since the paint came off in sheets. After some research I caulked the windows, primed them with a water-based product meant to create an adhesive surface (2 coats), then painted them in Benjamin Moore's Distant Gray (actually a cool white) in a satin finish (2 more coats). By then I was committed to re-painting all the other wood-framed windows in the same colour. All in all, painting the trim in the room occupied about 80% of the job's time. 

After rolling out the walls in BM's Constellation, I tackled the window issue. I decided on unlined drapes in heavy white cotton twill. I purchased a set of IKEA's Merete curtains, which fortuitously I had noticed on a BP (Before Pandemic) trip to IKEA in Ottawa. I washed and shrank the fabric, cut off the grommets, and hemmed them at both ends so that they would barely skim the floor. Conventional decorating taste dictates that drapes should be hung as close to the ceiling as possible. Conventional approaches were thrown out the window (pardon the pun) when I attempted to drill an anchor into the outer wall to support the curtain rod. The resulting cavity in the wall was rather shocking after all my efforts, but I knew right away that I had the skills to make it disappear. No handyman required. I ended up attaching the rod to the wood trim. Voila. 


Now when the curtains are drawn at night, not only do I have privacy, but also a cocooned atmosphere in a tent-like environment. A total win!

I'm not knitting today after a minor kitchen accident has left me with a clumsy bandaid-covered left forefinger. So, I'm getting a move on with another York Pinafore. Can a girl ever have too many of these? They are my uniform in all seasons. Being low on washi tape, I followed Karen Brown's useful suggestion to use painter's tape to mark my seam allowance. That lady is so resourceful!


If you are a sewer, I hope you will check out her fantastic YouTube channel.

P.S. You can see that for the time being I'm stuck with the hideous bone-coloured outlet covers. Need to do something about that soon.

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