Friday, June 14, 2024

New Joinery Chairs

They've actually been finished for a couple of weeks but we were never able to make it into the workshop to pick them up during their business hours.

We bought four side chairs to match the two armchairs that came with the dining room table. We had them use the fabric that we used for our living room morris chairs. Now we just need to recover the seats on the original two armchairs to match. 

It will take a while for the cherry wood to darken so they'll look lighter than the rest of the furniture for a while.

This was definitely a splurge. The Joinery makes beautiful furniture but it is more expensive than we are typically willing to pay. I definitely prefer to buy used whenever I am lucky enough to find it but I looked for a set of four matching cherry chairs for more than a year before I finally broke down and ordered these.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Still Playing With Stencils

While the starter edition of the Linearity Curve program is severely limited, it remains my best tool for removing backgrounds and cleaning up blemishes from bad scans. I'm finding it quite enjoyable to play around with the program while watching TV with my husband. When I'm ready to create the cut files, I plan to subscribe for a month so I can export SVG files again.

I'm hoping that once we've finished emptying out our storage, I'll be able to pull out my Cricut and start experimenting with cutting out one of the designs. By then, hopefully, I'll have decided which one to tackle first. LOL

Here are the latest options I'm considering.

I actually edited this one because I thought it would look better with more petals.
Excelsior Fresco Stencils catalog, 1924
Excelsior Fresco Stencils catalog
Blue Label catalog, 1900
Excelsior Fresco Stencils catalog
Devoe Art Stencils, c. 1910
I tried to make the ties look a little better, but they still need some work.

Blue Label catalog

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Living Room Stencil?

I've been playing with my stencil files again. I don't know for sure if I can cut them out with my Cricut, but if I can't, I suspect I have at least one friend with a laser cutter. (I'm hoping, anyway.)

I've spent like four days playing with images trying to come up with a stencil that I like but I don't really know what I want and I keep changing my mind. The downstairs rooms are more difficult to choose colors because we can't use light paint colors because they will get lost in the wall paint color.

I think I maybe have settled on this first one but this one will be a lot more difficult to fudge corners and add extra bits to fill space.

Sherwin Williams 41 from their 1910 catalog

I also prepped the files for this stencil, but I'm worried with all that orange it won't look good over the green wall paint. It does have the advantage of being stencil-able in one pass.

Blue Label 1559 from the 1900 catalog
This third option was the one I picked to do several years ago but now I've mostly abandoned it because I'm not convinced it will look good over the green paint.
Alabastine 305 from their 1920 catalog
I am experimenting with adding a large painted field below the flower but that may not work well because the stencil area is so large. 
One of the main reasons for this post is because I wanted to mention a new-to-me program I found that is super helpful for making stencils. I was trying to use my Cricut Design Space software and it was super frustrating because it just wouldn't do what I wanted it to. It's possible it would work better if I paid them the $15/month subscription, but I only use it a few times a year and have no use for any of their art files.

Anyway, when I clicked on one of my svg files it came up with Curve software. What? I don't even remember downloading that, but I must have. Anyway, its long name is Linearity Curve Graphic Design and the starter version (which is what I've been using) is available for free. I just uploaded my stencil clip art file, asked it to trace it, and it was super easy to remove the background and make changes. I have only used it for a few hours and I'm already a fan.

Update later: I spoke too soon on the free Curve program. I made the HUGE mistake of letting it update and now it's practically worthless unless you pay them. Sigh.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Small Victories

It's probably been at least six months since this table was last cleared. I'm finally getting my act together and cleaning again.

Back in February, I ordered four side chairs that match these arm chairs. Joinery already sent me photos of the wood pieces a couple weeks ago, so I'm hoping any day now.

We finished assembling three more racks. Three more to go.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Moving Out of Storage

Despite my best intentions to get out before we got the inevitable rent increase, we procrastinated. Oh well, we'll pay one month of the higher rent.

I had planned to rent a trailer and move the racks whole and possibly rent some help to move them back into the basement, but we finally decided to just take them apart and throw them in the back of our Ford F-150. It was possibly more time consuming, but much cheaper that way.

This past weekend we finally got started. On our first trip, we managed to get about a third of what was in storage and all of the racks that we'll be setting up with the new space plan. We're slowly putting them back together this week. (The rest of the racks will be taken apart and probably put up in the attic.)

The pantry tubs were all stacked up in Jeff's closet
so it's nice to have this rack set up again.

My hope is to do a load every weekend until we're out.

Friday, May 17, 2024

$2500 Drippy Faucet

Last fall, our kitchen faucet developed a slow, nagging drip. At first, if you tightened the handles really hard, it would stop. But over time, the drips grew more frequent and more pronounced. So, when we decided to move some plumbing lines in the basement this February, I saw the perfect opportunity to have the plumber fix the faucet too. I provided her with the make and model, and she ordered the replacement cartridges in advance—$40 for parts plus her hourly rate for both projects.

When she arrived and dismantled the faucet, we hit our first snag: the cartridges wouldn’t fit. It turned out the schematics on the manufacturer's website didn’t match our model. After more digging, we discovered that Newport Brass had updated the internal components. We found what we thought were the old schematics and ordered another set of cartridges for $80, and we scheduled a second plumber visit. Unfortunately, these didn’t fix it either.

Frustrated, I reached out to Newport Brass but received no response. Further research revealed I'd need about $500 worth of parts from several different suppliers, as no single repair kit was available for this model. Reluctantly, I decided to replace the entire faucet instead and ordered a Fairfield Bridge Faucet from Perigold for $1,489 in March.

Another appointment with the plumber was set, but delivery delays led to rescheduling—twice. The faucet finally arrived last Sunday, and thanks to a cancellation, the plumber was available Tuesday.

But the saga wasn’t over. We discovered the new faucet wouldn’t fit the existing holes in our soapstone counter, they'd changed the size of the posts.

After the plumber left, I scrambled to find someone to redrill the holes, eventually getting help from the original installers, Portland MarbleWorks, who charged $180.

With no functioning kitchen faucet, we seized the opportunity to dine out for a couple of days. By Thursday morning, the plumber squeezed us in early, and at last, we have a functioning, drip-free faucet. The final cost for this visit and the previous quick visits totaled $360. (The plumber nicely added all the time together in one bill, rather than charging her minimum each visit.)

So, was it worth nearly $2,500 to fix a drippy faucet? It pained me to see gallons of water wasted every day, but $2,500 could have paid for quite a few water bills. But, I'm fully expecting it will be worth it in the long run.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

So Close!

Back in February, inspired by our new-to-us media cabinet, I ordered three cherry bookcases from Mission Craft Furniture—the same folks who crafted our lovely bedroom set

They estimated a completion time of 4 to 6 weeks. However, after 8 weeks without any updates, I reached out to them, only to be told, "Just one more week!" 

Yet, another four weeks drifted by with no bookcases in sight. Finally, I laid down an ultimatum: finish the bookcases within a few days or cancel my order and refund my deposit. That got them moving!

This evening, the long-awaited bookshelves were delivered. However, the celebration was short-lived. The shelves clearly hadn’t been installed in the frames back at the shop because when we set them up ourselves we realized the shelves didn't look level. We measured and discovered the shelf pin holes were misdrilled, being about a quarter-inch off from one side to the other. Oops!

Regrettably, they had to take the bookcases back to the workshop. It's unclear how they'll rectify this error, but it's certainly not going to please the owner. As for when we'll finally get our bookcases, that remains to be seen. I'll keep you all updated as soon as I have more information.

Update on Thursday evening: They're back. I guess the owner was pretty embarrassed and he made it a priority to fix these. 

We need to unpack boxes of books to make room for the third bookshelf to go in its spot.