Archive for the ‘Apartment’ Category

PTAC Improvement Part Finished.

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021

Okay! I did it! It is extremely good considering I had no idea what I was doing.

I spray-painted the PTAC casing with spray paint meant for plastic but it never looked crispy-white, there was still a whole lotta beige. So I sponged Ye Olde White Rust-oleum Enamel Paint all over which made it a bit shiny but that’s okay, at least now it’s white. I have a major bone to pick with the design department at GE. I wanted to buy white silicone. White. Here’s what the white silicone looks like:

And here is what the clear silicone looks like:

The only difference is a teeny-tiny word in the corner. That’s it.

Yeah. Which is how I ended up with several tubes of clear. It’s fine, I used it for the base layer to lock in the foam and then used the white for the final visible layer. That way I’m sure there’s no air leaks all around.

Fun fact: I don’t think you’re supposed to put the silicone on after you’ve put the plastic faceplate on because now I have rendered it impossible to open but ehhh, it looks smooth and if anyone needs access I can slice the silicone neatly along the edge and patch it when it goes back. I have no regrets.

Is it glorious? No. But it doesn’t punch you in the face with its ugliness as you enter the room. Your brain doesn’t even acknowledge its existence which is really what I was going for. Quick reminder of the before:

VERY noticeable. VERY hooogly. Now, vastly improved. I’m quite pleased with myself. Pat on the back to me.

Home improvements! A thing that I do! Part 1.

Friday, June 11th, 2021

A few years back I had the PTAC replaced in my bedroom. A PTAC, in case you don’t know, is a heating and cooling unit that hangs out under a window. Hotels have them.

Unfortunately, they do not come in a variety of flavors and colors. They’re all pretty much the same.

Beige, beige, dirty eggshell, beige and, for a change, beige. I wasn’t in my apartment when the people installed mine so when I got home I was appalled by the workmanship. I’ve never seen a more “Here’s your stupid appliance now shut the hell up” job in my life.

I mean, look at how they slathered the silicone. Did they use a spoon? It’s an actual tragedy.

Anyway, after angrily staring at this for years, I decided to finally do something about it. I chose to pull off the silicone and reapply it with care and also to paint the plastic housing so it’s white and matches the wall. I started with the left-hand corner.

I learned that the installers stuffed this foam filler in the space so when I go to the hardware store I need to buy something similar.

And then I realized I needed to pull the front of the PTAC off to remove all the silicone.

Do I know how to put it back? No, I very much do not. But I’ll figure it out, and in the meantime I can clean off all the dusty crusty whatnot that’s been there for I don’t know how long. I’ll keep everyone posted on how this goes. Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers.

My dream tile.

Monday, December 21st, 2020

I collect art nouveau tiles. I’ve talked about my Wall O’ Tiles previously. I periodically buy new tiles and swap them out with tiles I don’t totally love. I usually spend somewhere between $25.00 – $65.00. I’ve found some real treasures but there have always been a few I knew I could never have. The primary one is a flower that shows up in every “check out these baller tiles” collage.

One day I was hanging out on eBay looking at tiles when… there it was. For sale. With 14 people bidding on it. So I decided that’s it, I’m going to bid on it, and I did some aggressive soul-searching on what I was willing to spend on it. I went with $350.00 and walked away. I would let the eBay gods decide if I won or not. I cannot convey to you how psyched I was to get the “You’ve won!” email. The bidding ended at $306.00.

I own it, guys. I own the dream tile. I also found a the same tile with a different glaze and it was like $55.00 because you totally can’t see those sweet little flowers in the background. I wanted to have the lesser version to show why the great version is so great.

Kitchen progress! (Season 4, Episode 12,000)

Friday, September 21st, 2018

Good stuff. I’ve repainted the entire countertop and now I’m ever-so-carefully painting around each and every freakin’ rock on the backsplash edge. I would like all the awards when I finish this. I want an EGOT for this.


Kitchen progress.

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

Good stuff regarding my countertop: I painted over the dark parts of the ripples, most of the background and two of the five fish. I have some photographic proof.

You’ll notice I made the fishies more fancy-like. I figured since I have to redo them I might as well upgrade them a smidge. The improvements that have been made are a stronger outline, larger eyes and graded dots on the top that create a sense of roundness and depth. Here’s a shot of the old style so you can compare.

So now begins the profoundly tedious process of painting around all those dark lines and around the edges of the rocks up against the wall. It’s nice though because it’s mindless so I can listen to podcasts and just zone out a bit. It’ll get done. I have faith.

Back from the dead, it’s… KITCHEN!!! (ominous chord of music, women screaming in the distance)

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

Uh God. Yeah, so. The kitchen. Remember that? Well, the good news is I tiled the entire backsplash, all of it. Every square inch. Very proud. Pictures later. Now bad news. The countertop, which I poured several years ago, has yellowed considerably. I used a resin that swore up and down it did not turn yellow over time and granted, it happened pretty slowly but it indeed happened and it looks tolerable because it’s supposed to be water, but it’s definitely not the color I wanted. Ignore the cloudiness, that was intentional because the resin has clear glitter mixed into it. Here’s what it looked like freshly painted:

And here’s what it looks like now.

I found the original paints and put some dots to show you how far it’s gone.

Luckily I am the owner and creator of this kitchen so I can deal with this myself. Again, it looks fine because it’s supposed to be water but I want it how I want it and I’m going to get it to how I want it come hell or high water. So Cricket graciously took out my sink:

And my stove:

I bought a fancy sander that oscillates and I am sanding down the resin considerably until it’s pretty thin.

Once it’s the thickness and smoothness I need, I’m going to repaint all the elements which is simple because I can see exactly what I’m supposed to do through the resin. I’ll just paint them on top, no stencils required. After that the scary part happens. I won’t pour resin again, so I can either:

1 – Roll on several coats of a sealant which will leave a very slightly nubbly texture that I’m fine with, or

2 – Spray on several coats of a sealant which will leave a very slightly nubbly texture that I’m fine with.

Most people use resin because they want a glass-like smooth finish that’s easy to clean but that’s not necessary for my project. I can wash food smears off of a slightly nubbly texture just fine. That’s what a “leather finish granite countertop” is. It’s very slightly textured. I’ll conduct a variety of tests and leave them in the sunlight for a portion of the summer to see what happens.

I’m also going to swap out my incandescent kitchen lights for non-UV LED lights. That will probably help as well. Wish me luck.



Here’s a video that shows how resins yellow over time. Be careful which ones you use, regardless of what they say.

And here’s what I’ve bought to test out on my sample board:


My apartment.

Monday, January 8th, 2018

I got it! I got an apartment! The one with the floorplan! (quick recap of floorplan):


It’s mine, all mine! (Insert maniacal laughter here.) However, as with anything, I am learning that I am an adult and being an adult is unbelievably frustrating. Like, I sure would like a different countertop in my kitchen. I have gray Formica. But I do not, at this time, have $8000 to get a granite/Corian/Silestone countertop, which is how much it would cost. It looks like I will have to learn to love my Formica. And I would like to fix my ceiling in my bathroom. It’s ugly and you can see the screws and the plywood, etc. But I cannot fix it because that is the access to the plumbing for the apartment upstairs and if the apartment upstairs floods, plumbers¬†will come into my apartment and rip out all my tiling or whatever to get at the pipes and fix the leak, potentially leading to costly damages. It’s crucial to prioritize professional water line installation seattle wa to prevent such issues. And if you have plumbing issues like backed-up water from dishwasher, make sure to contact a plumber. If you need to hire professional floor cleaners, you may click here to learn more.

If you need additional plumbing repair, getting services from a Wills Plumbing plumber in Adelaide would be the best option.¬†These plumbers can also fix a running toilet. So it is best to be able to see the screws for easy access. I feel thwarted in my attempts to make my apartment all pretty-like. But I’ll work it out. And pictures will be forthcoming soon. I’m also thinking of replacing the tile flooring on the bathroom so I plan to visit an anaheim tile store.

Chaaaaaaannnnnnge and an artist I like.

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Hey, how’s everybody doing? Great? That’s nice. Oh, me? I’m in a teeny tiny hell of my own creation. See, I hate change. I hate it. Good or bad, it stresses me out.

I like to spread the pain of change over a period of time so I don’t get slapped by too much at once but alas, that is not how it’s going for me right now. FIRST, my parents sold their house and moved into my apartment building. Yep, that was my idea. I need to be able to keep an eye on their octogenarian selves. They went from a 3,500sq foot house with a garage and everything to a 1,300sq foot apartment. Ooof. So I had to deal with that drama. SECOND, my office is putting all of us in one office building. That meant I had to pack up all my belongings because of course the executives decided to go open-floor-plan and we each get a wee locker for our possessions and that’s it.

Did I mention this all happened the same week?

*breathes into paper bag*

So while I have not actively freaked out I am living on the cusp of freakage and I think it would be beneficial for me (and possibly for you if you’re going through something similar) to look at some soothing animated gifs. Let’s start with this one.


This cat is very popular. Many people rely on him for the soothing.


Other people have modified the cat so he can be soothing in a variety of colors.



Next, the swallow. You keep flying, swallow.


Then some geometric ones.




And finally the work of Carl Burton. He is so talented. He understands atmosphere and mood so durn well.






Here’s Carl Burton’s website if you want to check out his other work.

So very artistic am I.

Monday, December 14th, 2015

I know I’ve been super-lackadaisical with my posting of late and I don’t want anyone to think it is because I have given up on blogging. That is way far from the truth. It’s because I’ve been so busy, all in positive ways. But I think work is slowing a wee bit and now I can blog at the furious pace (like two posts a week, but still) I had become accustomed to.

One thing I’ve been tackling is my kitchen. Ah, my kitchen. The Sisyphean task I took on, what, seventeen years ago or something? It feels like that. But the last of my glass arrived and now I’m in the home stretch (Hallelujah Moses!). I put the white strips of glass over the white paint I laid down. And just to clarify, but white glass, I mean opaque white, semi-transparent white, as well as very pale brown, yellow and blue. I wanted nuances of white, not a flat white. It looks a bit aged which is pretty cool.

kitchen-backsplash8 kitchen-backsplash9 kitchen-backsplash1 kitchen-backsplash2 kitchen-backsplash3

After I finished all of those I tackled the trees. I made trapezoids and rectangles and irregular quadrilaterals out of clear glass with little bubbles in it, rounded all their corners using a grinder and glued them to onto the wall. It took seven hours to do the big trees and two and a half hours to do the small trees. And since I was making up the patterns on the fly I had to stop every two or three pieces and assess how I would proceed. It was a tough process but it would have been infinitely harder if I had planned where every piece was going to go.

kitchen-backsplash4 kitchen-backsplash5

After that I made the orange dots that go in the center of the branches. I can’t take full credit for the delightful blobular branches. I realized afterwards that I had totally ripped off another artist, a great lowbrow one named Jeff Soto. See?

jeffsoto2 jeffsoto1

I don’t feel bad about it, I’m not making any money off of this project and it’s my kitchen anyway. Where was I? I was making the orange dots in the middle of the branches. I bought semi-transparent orange glass and then I traced circles onto it, roughly cut them out and then ground down any edges so they were round coins. Then I painted the backs with gold paint so they would be opaque and have a faint shimmer.

kitchen-backsplash7 kitchen-backsplash6

Then I made the branches a dark red which look like a warm black, very nice, and now all that’s left is for me to do big background squares and I’m done. Done, I tell you! Home stretch!


But wait, there’s more! In addition to working on my kitchen and doing my full-time job I was asked to make the photo op for our holiday party. And, like everything I do I went a wee bit overboard. I designed seven mountains composed of patterns containing our company colors (pink, purple and red) plus gold and silver. The three big mountains are on a background covered in snowflakes but the four smaller mountains go in the foreground, giving the photo op some depth. Here’s a rough mock-up I made so people would understand my vision.


The studio we have (that have large format printers) printed out the back part and all the smaller mountains were printed and cut out. All I had to do was prop them up.


But nope. This is when I got really excited, went to Michael’s, bought $300 worth of crafty goodness and started making glittery, three-dimensional bits and pieces. It looked like it took no time at all but it actually took twenty-five hours or so. Crazy how things take a long time if you want them to be tidy and nice. Totally worth it. It turned out excellent. Here is a lovely photo of me installing the photo op in the space.


And here are some people posing with it. I feel very pleased with myself. *Pats self on back*

photo-op2 photo-op3 photo-op4 photo-op5 photo-op6

Now that those projects are completed (or semi-completed) I shall hopefully get back to my usual schedule of getting things done (and blogged) in a reasonable amount of time.

Addendum: I got some decent pictures of the three-dimensional aspects of the mountains.


Loads of creativity around these here parts.

Monday, March 9th, 2015

I have been crafting and painting and working lo these last few weeks in between having a raunchy bout of bronchitis. I horked and sniveled my way through several craft projects of which I am very proud. Remember the nutria project for the wedding I’m going to in New Orleans? In addition to that, I made the bride a parasol that she can carry down the street while a jazz band plays behind her. When I bought the parasol online, I noticed that it had ten distinct sections that I could use for personalized messages.

(Here is a picture of the parasol I bought. The only difference is mine is dark purple, not white.)


First I sewed a festive black and silver sequin fringe around the entire outer edge.

Then I measured the blank areas and made five different stencils that I repeated twice:

1. The initials of the bride and the groom
2. The date of the wedding

3. The letters “NOLA” for New Orleans, Louisiana

4. A fleur-de-lis (a symbol of New Orleans)

5. And “2nd Line,” the name of the parade where a jazz band follows you around and you carry a parasol


Following that came the gluing of the Swarovski crystals. So many crystals, each one glued by hand. I bought a gross of white ones and I think I used about half, meaning there are 500 white crystals on there. That does not include the purple or pink crystals. Or the glittery hearts I ironed on. It’s… got some sparkle. But I think Ness is going to love it. Her wedding colors are purple and burgundy so this fits right in with her theme.

parasol1 parasol2

When I’m lying in bed watching “Vikings” I work on the nutria that will go on my jaunty hat that I intend to wear at the wedding. I’m making him out of needle-felted roving so he will be lightweight. I began that project by making a structure in the vague shape of a semi-aquatic giant rodent out of some scrap illustration boards I had lying around.

nutria1 nutria2

Then the wrapping and stabbing began. I didn’t want to use up all my fancy llama roving so I made the base out of regular wool. I wrapped and stabbed and wrapped and stabbed and then made two pads for the ample rump of the nutria.


Right now I have it completely covered in nice brown llama roving, I’ve stabbed the eyes into place (that seems wrong to type but it is accurate), the ears and snoot are on and all I have left are the legs, tail and teeth. It’s going to be a lovely nutria.


And finally, The Project That Time Forgot, the kitchen backsplash. I painted the trees on. Yay! And then I hated them because they were too thick and the branches looked horsey.

kitchen-before kitchen-corner-before

So after HorkFest 2015 ended and I no longer wanted to lay in bed and gurgle, I returned and carefully thinned down one tree and all the branches. Much better. Very happy now.

kitchen-after kitchen-corner-after

It might not seem like a big difference, but to me it changes everything. It is a vast improvement. Next I need to tile the pebbles at the bottom and then the scary stained glass portion begins. Eeek.