Monday, May 21, 2012

Bits and Bobs

Just when you thought I had altogether abandoned my blog...a bit of a scattered entry of bits & bobs.  

Both children are miraculously sleeping this afternoon, so I thought I would take the chance to update this blog while I can.  Unpacking and setting up a home is much more enjoyable than packing, but it is a lot of work!  We've unpacked and settled enough to reach a level of functionality, but there are still many square pegs to fit into round holes.  Nothing quite fits exactly the same way in a new home, so it always takes a while to figure out a new organizational system.  The embellishments and decor are kind of like the bribe at the end of the boring unpacking work, but...I have skipped ahead to a few fun projects.  
The sassy brassy door handles and knobs in our house are about half-way through their transformations.  I started this project while we were still living at my parents place, but I've encountered a few hiccups along the way.  They started out looking like this:

I then roughed them up with some super-fine sandpaper.  I tried steel wool first, but it just didn't have enough grit.  The super-fine sandpaper was just right, and the paper backed with foam is much easier on the hands.  

I did one coat of spray primer, followed by two coats of silver, and a final clear protective coat.  The key to spray painting is patience.  You need to do very thin coats so that you don't get globby drips.  You also need to keep from handling the painted project until it is totally cured if you can help it.  I picked some of them up to early and it's pretty easy to mar the surface if it hasn't cured.  I don't know if I would do the clear coat if I was to do the project again.  It seems to make the paint more durable, yes, but I noticed that it seemed to make some of the silver paint underneath bubble up a bit.  Perhaps I didn't wait long enough before putting the clear coat on?  

Somewhere in the process, I lost the screws for some of the doorknobs, and it turns out that it's actually quite difficult to find the right screws at the hardware store for doorknobs.  But, in any case, some of the doorknobs are back on the doors and, in my humble opinion, look much nicer than the scratched up brassy versions of themselves.  
Not bad, right?

I found this pretty knob in my parents' shed.

Here you can see in the lower left a bit of the bubbling.  Did everyone grow up with closet knobs like these?

I've been working on my DIY wall art project in a few spare moments.  I decided to try to do my own version of this one in greys and yellows.  We shall see if it even comes close to approximating this beauty, or if it ends up on craft fail!  


I'm pleased to share that the supply at the local thrift stores has been buffeted by my donations in the past few weeks since moving.  I think I wrote in a recent post that toys, books, and craft supplies would be first on the chopping block?  Well, apparently I was overlooking the fact that I had enough clothing to clothe our whole townhouse complex.  The thrift stores where I used to live had such amazingly low prices, it was hard to pass up anything.  Anything.  My sisters graciously came over to help me unpack the first week, and ended up doing a clothing intervention on me.  It's kind of strange how we (or is it just me?) can get so attached to clothing.  I must have filled about four garbage bags full from my closet and the boys closets for donation.  And, rest assured, there were some items that I didn't burden the thrift stores with!  I kind of felt like someone on Hoarders, saying things like:
"But those are the boxer shorts I made in Home Ec in grade eight."
"Those were the pants I was wearing when I met D."
"I know I'll never fit into that bridesmaid dress again, but Mom made it."
"I'll hang on to that for now because (insert made up reason here)"
 The more I turfed things, the easier it became to weed out more stuff that I will never use again, and the clearer it became to me that some of the reasons for hanging onto things just don't justify that item taking up space in my life.  And I have to say that it feel good to have more space once I forget about everything that I weeded out.  End of hoarding confession/pat on back time.

I replaced the bottom panel of my oven since I couldn't get all of the melted aluminium off.  It was about $50, which seemed worth it to me to allow me not to fret about poisoning my family with toxic fumes every time I used the oven.  Apparently, I'm not the only one who has made that mistake, since the new bottom panel has "DO NOT PLACE FOIL ON THIS PAN" embossed in huge letters.   Unless they did that just for me.

Oh, and by the way, last Thursday I met Michael W. Smith.  That's right, Smitty.  I grew up listening to Smitty, so it was quite a fun evening doing something that ten-year-old me would have just fainted to be able to do.  We were given tickets to be VIPs at the concert earlier that day, and to talk with him pre-show about Compassion child sponsorship.  We've actually been sponsoring a boy in Kenya for about ten years, and a girl in Mali through World Vision, so it was really neat to be able to talk to somebody who has visited the Compassion project where our sponsor child is.  (I say that not to brag, but to encourage you to think about sponsoring a child.  If we can do it on a single ((pastor's)) income, I think most people in Canada could swing it financially too.  Just sayin'.) It was a convicting reminder to me to do more than just send money every month.  In fact, I don't even have to remember to do that: it's all done automatically on my credit card, so how often do I really think about it?  It was really moving during the concert to hear the stories first hand from a former sponsored child about the difference the project made in his life.  Not just the money, but the letters from his sponsor family that instilled a sense of self-worth in him.  Time to start writing letters!

That is about all, dear readers.  We are starting to settle in here, and it feels good. We're meeting new neighbours, taking the kids to Strong Start and library time, and feeling more at home in our new church.  These things take time though, and I sure do miss my friends in C-town.  

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