This is part of an ongoing series where we learn about, implement and share projects that improve the energy efficiencies of our homes.
Heidi-Vanna insulates with style
We are learning a lot about energy efficiency these days and we really like it. (Nerd love, Seattle style). We’re planning multiple, simple upgrades to our homes which are highly effective, low-cost, and in most cases, easy. Continue reading →
Sometimes things turn out better than you thought –
I was beginning to wonder what the heck I was going to do with the $60 worth of street signs I had piled in the basement. Turns out they don’t work so well for magnetic boards – since they aren’t magnetic. “What now?” we asked ourselves, (I wasn’t the only one with a basement stash of them). We decided to experiment by making a street-sign-collage-clad door for access to my attic. The location is basically out of sight in the house – you know – just in case it didn’t work out so well… Continue reading →
The truth about me is, I hate taping before painting (aka “masking off”). I find it tedious and my paint always always always bleeds under the tape – therefore – tedious and useless! However, I love a good straight paint line, so what’s a girl to do? I cannot pull off the free-handing that the pros show so beautifully online. I’ve tried the funky tools for cutting in the walls to ceiling joint (messy, ineffectual), painting up against a straight edge (bleeds), tiny paint brushes (the worst!) and patience (sigh). I’ve given this a lot of thought, probably way too much if I’m honest – but I think I’ve found something that works for me, and just might work for you too. It’s my favorite strategy of drawing on the walls…
Here’s my latest painting technique for the (nearly) perfect straight line, plus a few tips at the end:
No coffee until I’m finished painting ( I know! Sorry!)
I gathered these tools:
Lots of good light – I used shop lights, flashlights and a headlamp. The headlamp plus shop lights was the most useful.
Water-based paint and stir sticks
Good ladders, because a trip to the ER is no fun!
Drop cloths (old sheets are great, double up if you need to)
I’m on a kick to make my home more energy efficient. Yeah! First project – a better attic access door. Boring! Thank goodness I have 2 willing girlfriends to help me… and I must say it’s turning out to be anything but boring!
So we sketched out our plan, knocked a bigger hole in the wall (after verifying it was not structural), built a plywood door panel, applied insulation to the back of it and then…
I’m looking for backsplash ideas. After 7 years of living with an a-l-l-l-most finished kitchen, I think it’s time to finish it up…
I have an area in the kitchen that can stand alone and be different from the rest of the design, so my thoughts turned to mosaics – specifically those that re-use broken pottery or dishes (keeping up my Seattle eco cred). It’s a design idea that can easily turn tacky so I wanted to do a bit of research – see if I could find a few good examples. We found a great project at Bradner Gardens Park, Seattle, located inside the public restrooms! Here are a few photos of these super creative mosaics in the women’s side – I think the boy’s side has spiders…
Kudos to the artists Joyce Moty, Liz Cross and Gyda Fossland!
My son needed a science project using yeast, so he decided to brew up some root beer. After some trial and error, we are also brewing up a big batch of it to give to friends for the holidays. We designed a label which reflects the style of teenage boys. Continue reading →
I have a small living room, “charming and cozy” in real estate lingo. My smart architect friend, Kevin Richards of Richartz Studios, suggested I hang a mirror opposite a window to reflect views from our garden into the space – making the room appear larger. This appealed to me, as I like big mirrors, so off to IKEA I went with Heidi and Mary Jean (and our styrofoam for recycling!). Here’s what we came home with, the Songe mirror, 3′ X 4′ – unfortunately the wrong color….
But that’s OK because I have my favorite little jar of paint and some cheerful helpers –
– and we got it done in no time flat! No prep, not even a quick sanding…because sometimes we girls are impatient…
Done – one of our easiest projects yet, and it really does open up the space with reflected light and green, thanks Kevin!
I’m wondering if this magical paint trick will work on my paint encrusted door hinges – or if it will chip off with use – maybe we’ll give it a try next week…