Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category
It’s been raining all late afternoons for the last three days. Yey! And, just like that, the landscape view dramatically change from brown to green. Our small garden is rejoicing. The kids, too. Because they’re free from watering the plants. You see, to conserve water (our water system runs through electricity), they need to manually extract water from our water pump. The three kids have schedules on who’s gonna water the plants, clean the car, and the garage. It should be an easy task. But, to kids, it’s a burden. You know how kids hated chores.
So, when the rain started to fall, they’re rejoicing. And, they’re the ones who suggested we collect rainwater. Actually we’ve been collecting rainwater, but due to shortage of rain barrels, water we collected usually runs out even before the next rain comes. So, the husband was quick to buy two more barrels.
Why collect rainwater?
As I have said, we’re always on the lookout for ways to save energy (electricity consumption), rainwater will help water the plants, clean car, clean garage and others. Me and the husband dreams that one day, we can provide a water system using rainwater. That’s a little expensive to install for now. Who knows? Doing so would enable us to provide free water to run the water closet, and maybe additional faucet on the counter top sink for washing dishes. Some day. Some date.
Proper collection of rainwater.
For now, we are using those blue barrels that are commercially available. It’s made from plastic so that it will be rust-free. The husband have placed the barrels near a downspout that is closer to the garage area. Some barrels have spout at the bottom where you can connect garden hose in it. If you can not find one with a spout, it’s easy to DIY. All you have to do is buy a plastic faucet on the home depot (less than $2 each), create a small hole on the barrel, place in the faucet, and seal with a sealant. Easy.
It’s a must to properly store the rainwater. Barrels should have covers so as not to be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure that the area where the barrels are located are solid and flat enough so as not to tip-over as the heavy barrel may cause accident especially if kids are playing nearby.
Collecting rainwater is one great way to help reduce the amount of carbon footprint which is harming our environment. Using rainwater as an alternative use to commercial water will greatly reduce our water bills.
For some people, DIY comes naturally. They are a dab hand with a hammer, they can tell which drill bit to use at a glance and they have no trouble knowing what finish you need on your paintwork. However, not all of us are quite so blessed. Maybe you avoid the perils of a stepladder or you let issues around the house linger on for years while you put them off. However, if you know the mistakes to look out for in the first place, you shouldn’t need to worry about putting them right further down the line, ultimately meaning less time spent on DIY tasks for you.
Putting up a shelf
Putting up shelving is supposed to be one of the most straightforward DIY tasks out there. However, a lot of people skip a vital step: checking their spirit level. If the shelf doesn’t sit straight, it won’t function properly. If there is lots more weight distributed onto one bracket, the shelf could collapse. It only takes a couple of seconds, so make sure you use a spirit level to check that your shelf is perfectly horizontal, and only use sturdy brackets to avoid watching helplessly as your book collection is tipped onto the floor.
Lots of people like to get beautiful bespoke tiling applied in their bathrooms and kitchens. This might look great, but it’s not always practical. At some point, you might find that something in your bathroom springs a leak or one of the pipes needs to be looked at. If it’s hidden behind a fully tiled wall, it’ll be very hard for the plumber to access. It’s best to create a ‘secret panel’ which can be removed for easy access to the pipework. The same tile pattern can be applied to this so that it matches the rest of the wall without disturbing the plumber’s task.
Scrimping on supplies
While you might not be a DIY demon, it’s better to invest in the proper equipment from the start. This way, you don’t end up picking bristles out of your newly painted walls, and don’t feel tempted to cut corners to save money. A roll of masking tape costs barely anything, and will make a huge difference to your paintwork. Don’t trust your hand to be steady enough to paint crisp, straight lines when a strip of masking tape can do the job perfectly.
By taking just a couple of extra minutes to plan ahead, you can avoid lots of costly repair work and maintenance further down the line by getting your DIY project right the first time.
Over the past few years, the use of Italian decorative plaster has become increasingly popular. It is used in homes, hotels and office buildings across the world, and it is incredibly versatile as to where it can be used
to create interesting, and eye catching dramatic wall and ceiling designs. It looks amazing, feels amazing, and has a global appeal – not only in Italy!
What Is Italian Lime Plaster?
Italian lime plaster generally contains a thin layer of slaked type lime putty, which in turn is then mixed with quartz, or in some cases marble, or kaolin. After this process has been completed, it is then coloured with a pigment. It can then be applied in many different ways to produce a room with character and class. This technique can be used for room treatments, and it closely resembles rooms in Italy that have a vintage charm about them.
Old Is Now the New
Italian lime plaster is most commonly used in northern Italy, and has been used for thousands of years. Lime plaster is one of the world’s oldest building materials. It dates back over 9,500 years, and it originated with the Romans. They began to mix and create lime plaster with fine marble dust to create a delicate application over rough types of sand aggregate. This is strikingly similar to the technique commonly used in modern decorating styles, and it is especially famous in parts of Italy and Europe.
Venetian Plastering Effects
One of the familiar and common phrases used when discussing Italian originating plasters is the word Venetian. It is used nearly all the time to refer to techniques of different decorative plaster work. In America specifically, Venetian plasters not only refer to slaked lime, but also to lime plaster that has been transformed with Acrylic Polymers. Most types of plaster have a long life span, but a number of Venetian plasters that are sold mainly in home improvement stores or DIY shops hold little or no resemblance to original Italian plaster work, made with synthetic materials to replicate the true materials that are traditionally used. No American company makes Venetian lime plaster like the Italians. Regardless of what type of Italian plaster you choose, you can still use it to create amazing and beautifully stylish effects if the work is done correctly. It is important to talk to a person who knows what they are doing when it comes to plaster work, so that you can make sure it is carried out in the correct way, for example John Anthony Plastering is a company in the UK that specializes in decorative plastering (see http://www.johnanthonyplastering.co.uk). Even when you are looking for different types of plaster to use in your home or building, it is good to talk to the experts so that they can tell you what would work and what wouldn’t work.
While the husband is busy reading about lateral spring plungers, I get myself busy prepping our small kitchen window. The husband (always my critic^_^) disapproves my idea of placing curtain on that kitchen window. Saying, curtain will somehow make the area darker and feel smaller. I should let the natural light comes in, he says. It’ll make the room larger and airy, too.
Okay. You got a point there. I said. But, as always is the stubborn wife, I came home one day with a small curtain and surprised him when he came home one night and saw the window treatment.
What did he say? Just a half smile^_^.
99 pesos? Flimsy fabric?
I choose a sheer fabric because I want fresh air to come through the small window. And, I picked the safest color and design -white with touches of gold stripes to match the hardware and the tile borders- too bold a design will be too heavy on the eyes. Then, I found two unused curtain holders and used both to gather the ends and hang right into the curtain rods. This way, the fabric would not totally block the air, the light and the view coming from the outside.
So there it is. Small window treatment for my small kitchen.
How I wished my kitchen counter stays clean and clutter free forever. Kids’ vacation are coming. The place will be busier more than ever…
(#Wishlist2013: Kitchen Island! Come to me this 2013. Pretty please. )
Last weekend, I got this idea of reclaiming a portion of our room and turned it into a mini office cum laptop table. Or. maybe I got the energy while eating these duo of succulent fruit and a creamy dessert.
It gets me going. Going.
Because of the additional cabinet storage in the room, it is almost impossible to add a working table. I hate working in the bed. I don’t do online work with the laptop in my lap while my back is resting on the bed. If that will be the case, I will be sleeping in no time.
So, to be near the husband when I work at nights, I moved my laptop in this area beside the bed. That’s double purpose. Be near with the husband when working and save on electricity. Working in another room (the desktop computer is in the family room) makes me use additional light and electric fan.
So there. My new workplace is set up. I just added some books and other stuff to prep up the space…
The two hard bound books were Reader’s Digest compilation stories. It’s a gift from my dad some years back.
Have anyone notice those two brown stuff which I have used as book-ends. They are wire insulators -electricity stuff courtesy of the husband. Yes, they have great uses -can be a candle holder or a vase.
I also add the blue porcelain dessert plain and a small jar for some vintage cook effect For a more personal touch, I add in a near empty bottle of Calvin Klein perfume. I remove the lid and place in a small faux rosette, which is actually an earring gift holder.
The scent of the perfume is wafted all throughout the room especially at night when the AC is on. Romantic? Hmmm.
Last peek of my small work space.
The husband is loving the place. He can peek in to what I am working into. And, I can ask some post ideas from him.
The cons? I can hear his loud snoring sound at night, I can hardly finish a task
Before I get to buy davidoff cigars as a gift for my friend’s husband’s birthday, I had the free time today to put on few pieces of decor stuff on the newly constructed “faux fireplace” in our room.
I had to have more space for me to put on my candles, in different colors and that porcelain jar in the right corner. I’m sure the husband will ever forgive me for “relocating” our wedding photo.
In lieu of our photo, I did placed in a cross stitch which I sewed years ago. I particularly loved that project which shows a lover sitting near a bonfire and their silhouettes make a great impact against the moonlight and the snow-capped peak from afar. It’s just so romantic. It’s one of my favorite DIY’s.
For now, I’m happy with how the “mantle” turned out. But hey! It’s Christmas…I was hoping I could add in a little christmassy there…Perhaps, next week?
A visitor/relative told me when she came to the house one day: You have so many stuff in your house. Why not let go of others? Also, why do you keep rearranging your furniture so often. Every time I came to your house, it seems like a different place.”
Must I always explain: I collect different stuff for the house. Be it vases, scented candles, candle holders, decorative plates, teapots -those were my favorites. It’s everywhere in the house. I had a hutch which holds the rest of the lot. It delights my spirit seeing the things I collected. Be it bargain buy or vintage finds. I do not measure the things I fancy with its price tag.
More importantly, I try to decorate our house according to what I believe would suit my taste and style. I never try to decorate to please others (although it is presumed). The reason why I kept rearranging our furniture or my stuff is because as I do have lots of knickknacks, I wanted those stuff to shine (even if for a limited season only), and at the same time freeing some space into the house for some other stuff. I call it “decoration cycle”.
So, one idle weekend, I pulled out the blue rug out of this section of our house, I moved out the seats onto their new places, and when there was nothing left left except for the huge frame, I decided that this table will make a good company on that end section of our living room.
There’s nothing new on that table. Just few of my old collected stuff…bargain finds, actually.
But, they truly were my favorites. Especially these trio…
Rooster on a plate, and tiger prints on the edges of a dessert plate were very cheap finds but the happiness it gives on me were beyond precious.
Perhaps, I can not please people coming or visiting my humble home. They may find the decors intimidating or uninteresting. No worries on me.Fact is, we have different taste and style ideas. And, so long as I am happy with what I am seeing – I am keeping my stuff. I will keep on rearranging my stuff in the house
Vinegar is an indispensable item in the household. Aside from that it is a useful condiment to every meal, vinegar is also an effective material in cleaning the home. Its chemical contents can easily get rid of the toughest stains in the household, and it only takes some creative use of vinegar to make your home flawless and clean as ever.
Windows and Mirrors
Having super shiny and clean mirrors and windows is always suggestive of the overall tidiness of the home. Mix generous amounts of vinegar with water in a spray bottle and use the solution to wipe mirrors and windows.
Faucets and sink surfaces
This part of the home always accumulate scums and grimes easily, but these ickies can easily be vanished by vinegar. Just use great amounts of vinegar to srub off these build-up from faucet and sink surfaces.
Door Knobs and Toilets
Vinegar is also an effective disinfectant. Use it to clean items in the home that receive a lot touching, such as door knobs and toilets. These parts of the home, when not disinfected regularly, can become the breeding ground for germs and bacteria which could cause sickness in the family.
Being a stay-at-home mom is never an easy job. So okay. You get to personally take care of your kids, your home, and should I mention you do not need to hire a nanny, or a house help. This could mean a lot of savings.
But, I believed mothers out there who share the same “sentiments” as I do will have to agree on me. Stay-at-home-moms have huge tasks under their belt. Sometimes, too intimidating. When all along, taking care of kids and keeping the monthly budget on check were the most challenging. I guess, not. There’s more than those.
What if there are problems that suddenly arises? Like home appliances suddenly stopped working, light bulb in the kids’ room may have burnt out and it needs replacing sooner, or that there’s leakage in the plumbing pipes under the sink. Would you freak out when you get to experience any of these home-related problems?
Would you rather run and dial your husband’s office number when you know he can’t probably get back home until dinner? Would you wait up for him when you know water’s flooding your kitchen floors? Screaming until your throat swell will not solve the problem.
Plumbing problems might be too daunting a task for most moms. But, when we know few small things to do on such freaky occasions, dilemma could be abated.
Locate the leak.
Knowing where the leak source is. Whether the leak is a small one, it is always a better idea to prevent a major damage from happening. Do not just ignore a small leaking pipe. Rust rots the steel faster than you can imagine. When the rust breaks off, the leak will appear to be bigger than you think. And, so from a small start, treat the problem big. Mark with a permanent marker every pipe that shows signs of leakage.
Turn off the main water system.
After locating the leakage, the next best thing one can do is to shut off the main water line. It is usually located near the water meter. Remember that by shutting the main line, water running all throughout the house will stop. Meanwhile, address the leak by first cleaning off the area where the leak was. Make sure that all dirt and dust particles are removed for better adhesion if epoxy putty is to be applied. Sealants such as epoxy putty surely does the job in treating minor pipe leaks. Afterwards, let the sealant dry before turning on the main water line.
Do you think stay at home moms can do this easy-does-it home plumbing repair. I bet they can. Because I did it myself!
This is a sponsored post for Rotorooter, however, all the points and views are my own.
I had always been fascinated in doing DIY projects using twigs and dried wild flowers I had found in the yard. When the dry season of the Northeast mons0on sets in this November, dry lands would mean more twigs for me to collect. I am planning on collecting dried flowers, too as I have found too cute wine bottles in my aunt’s yard recently. I thought of filling them up with dried flowers bathe in oil essences. I just love the scent of vanilla and lavender oils. Potpourri’s are a sight to behold as a decor plus its soothing scents can be quite calming.
Here’s one of my favorite dried plants that I have turned into a very cheap DIY project. Take a peek at how it looked.