Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Bits 'n pieces

I got a number of loose ends tied up this weekend. The house was fairly quiet as Matthew's team was in a tournament and Select hockey playoffs, which amounted to seven games over three days. They won the playoffs, and are off to the championships next weekend. Then, thank goodness, the season is over! Although I do have to admit that I'm going to miss the weekend quiet time the hockey games afford me.

On a side note, I found out just last weekend that playoffs and championships are two different things. Who knew! My sister is probably cringing in horror as she reads this...

But back to the house - I finished putting three coats of semi-gloss white trim paint on the back of Cal's door. I was worried that the paint would be too thick and the magnets not strong enough to hold, but I was happily proven wrong. Lucky-for-me, my mom brought Cal a (late) birthday present that had a long strip magnet in it that I whisked away, chopped into pieces, and glued on to the back of the clothes-pins using my hot glue gun. It saved me a trip out searching for strip magnets.

We had some Magformers on the fridge in the basement, so I brought them up and divided them between the boys' rooms. The magnets in these are really strong, and there are three or four per Magformer, so they'll work well for holding up large or heavy papers. The magnet centers are now all ready for storing the assorted detritus of a small boys life. I'm sure they'll never look as tidy again.

The second thing I tackled was a set of antique nursery rhyme prints that I had sitting in a corner of our bedroom. I bought them when we were expecting Matthew and they hung in the nursery until I redid it for Cal last February. They were stuffed in a closet until the reno, whereupon they landed in the corner of our bedroom. And sat for eight months.

Even though the boys have obviously outgrown these whimsical prints, I haven't been able to part with them. But I've never liked the frames; they've always seemed rather insipid to me. I decided that I had nothing to lose, and whipped out my trusty can of black spray paint and gave them a quick coat.

I love how the dark frame contrasts with the bright colours and pulls out the black details. I figured that neither boy would feel that the nursery rhyme theme was sophisticated enough for their room, so I decided to hang them at the bottom of the basement stairs outside the bathroom door.

They really brighten up the landing at the bottom of the stairs. I hope they fare well there - Cal likes to play mini-sticks in this area, so there's a slight danger that a rebounding ball might take one out.  

And the last big chore we tackled this weekend was changing the light in our bedroom. We had the world's ugliest ceiling fan hanging over our bed. It came with the house, and we just never got around to replacing it with something more attractive. We didn't use the fan - I could never go to sleep under a spinning fan. Especially this fan, which creaked and wobbled even at low speed. I had visions of it falling from the ceiling and slicing us to ribbons in our sleep.

To make it even uglier, about a year and a half ago when I was moving our giant Ikea Pax wardrobes around the room I pushed one of them into the light, broke the globe, and knocked the bulb askew. And so it sat for the next 18 months.

I bought a new hanging fixture about six months ago, but we haven't managed to install it yet. We've discussed it many times, planned for it several weekends, but it seems to be the elusive task we never got around to. On the weekend we decided to just do it.

Alan was too quick for me, so I didn't get a before picture, but here's a shot of the (very dusty) disassembled fan. You can imagine how attractive it was hanging above our bed.

And after all this time, the 30 minute job didn't get finished. When we pulled the old light down we were faced with this

Those of you who own old houses probably recognize this - knob and tube wiring and no junction box. It's a recipe for fire. 

So now we need to install a junction box and pull new wire through from the switch to the fixture. But that, my friends, is a job for another day.

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