Monday, January 10, 2011

Product Review - Laser Level

When Red and I installed my new kitchen shelving this past September, ( ) I purchased a Ryobi laser level.  It was a small hand held model, self levelling, that could be mounted on a tripod or adhered with a suction cup to a vertical surface, and it sold for $49.  It worked like a champ -- I was very pleased.

I was pleased, that is, until I took it out for my living room cedar picket project.  The suction portion worked, but the red laser was a no go.  We tried new batteries, but alas, dead.  A trip to Home Depot got me a speedy refund, and I purchased a different type of lasel level:

This one is by Johnson, and it came with it's own hard cover carrying case, tripod, batteries and -- you'll be jealous -- red tinted glasses.  It's a manual (you have to level it) rotary level, so it will give you a single dot or a solid line -- horizontal or vertical.  It sells for $69.00.  So far, so good.  It worked well for the project, and although it felt a little cheap when it rotated, it did the job nicely. 

I liked the Ryobi model better, but obviously it needed to work for a longer period of time than it did.  I guess the real test will come when I pull it out for the next project...!


Many weeks ago while shopping for fabric for an unrelated project, I found this fabric remnant:

The flowers are almost beaded -- they are tactile.  There was only about 2 yards of it left on the bolt, and while I didn't have a project in mind for it, I "had" to have it.  Here is a close up:

I've been thinking of a design to paint on my dining room wall for a while... but hadn't been brave enough to try my hand at anything.  But this crysanthemum just calls to me!  Here is what is happening... I bought some poster  board, and cut a row of eyelets in it.  I tack one end in the middle, and tape the other end down, and then dab my finger in paint, dab it into each eyelet, and then move the strip to a new location.

Sort of makes you feel like your eyes are out of focus, doesn't it?  I hope that when I get it all filled in that it looks softer.  It looks sort of sharp and spikey to me right now -- I think I should have made the eyelets larger... 

I have placed it off center on the wall, and if I like it when it's done, I think I'll do 1-2 smaller ones somewhere nearby.  (This one is probably 4 feet in diameter.)  I paint a few spokes, and then I have to let it dry overnight so I don't smear it.   The good news is, if I hate it when it's done, I'm only out my time and $4.99 in paint. And I have more of the Martha Stewart clove shade of paint left, and I can just paint over it!

The paint I am using is an iridescent gold, which plays off the chandelier that was in the dining room when I bought the house.  (I think it's original -- how cool is that?)

Little Cabin in the Woods

Saturday was a big day:  I got to use my new compressor and nail gun that Santa brought me.  Red and I loaded up and went to Lowe's where I bought 26 cedar fence pickets.  We trimmed them to fit, and nailed them up on my TV wall.  I have to say I'd heartily recommend this make over!  It was inexpensive, and at least for a few days my living room smells like aromatic cedar! 

Here is a progression of photos...

First, here is a corner of what the wall currently looked like.  Things to note... (1)  very white wall, with lovely paint testing patches.  (2)  A very stark, rather large TV stuck in the middle of the wall.  (3)  An embarrassingly feeble attempt to temporarily blend the TV electricals cords into oblivion.  (4) Part of the bench below, sans cushions.

So first the TV had to come down.  I loathe having to move the TV; I'm always afraid that I am going to drop it, rendering myself without HGTV.

Next, we held up a few boards to see what it would look like, and as I'd feared, the white wall was going to show through between the pickets.  A trip to my newly organized shop quickly produced a can of reject paint from a past project.  (It was rejected because to me it looked like baby poop brown --it's been a while, but I guess soon enough I'll be reminded -- and no, it's not my baby!)  Regardless of my previous judgment of the color, it was perfect for this project!  The paint job didn't have to be stellar, just enough to soften the white:

Lovely, no?  No.   But stay with me.

Then the pickets went up!  And the TV came back, the bench came back... and

We still have to place one more picket above the alarm system key pad, and I think we'll put a piece of trim along the ceiling to hide the ends.    The nail gun made this project supremely fast and easy (and fun!)  Between this and the new paint, my living room is all warm and cozy.  Red summed it all up:  "She finally has the cabin she's always wanted."  It's true!  I just love it!  I think he's afraid that I'll do the entire house in cedar pickets...