Monday, 30 May 2011

Finally - painting

Weather has been bit difficult lately. Sun has shined, it has rained, it has looked like it's going to rain, yet it didn't, it's been really windy.

On saturday all the forecasts said that it will not rain until sunday evening. I was bit sceptical because it looked like it's going to rain any minute. But I trusted the forecast and we started to paint. After a while even sun came out for an hour or so.

We painted two layers, the first layer was soooooo slow to brush on. It felt like the paint just wouldn't spread. I was very tired after the first layer and was even thinking that we coud postpone the painting of the second layer to sunday.

I'm glad we didn't though, the second layer was so easy to put on, it just went like a breeze. Now the pergola is so white that it's blinding me. Yay, I love it!

Oh, and on sunday it did start to rain.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Prepainting work

I like painting, a lot, but what I don't like is the work required before the actual painting can start. Oh and I also don't like to wait for the paint to dry.

I have on my to-do list to paint the pergola on our terrace. To do that I started with scraping out the old loose paint.

The scraping took like one whole day, a very sunny day. Remember that song by Baz Luhrman: Everybody'd free? Well you should really do what the song recommends, or this will happen.

Wear sunscreen!

Well anyway this is what the pergola area looked after the scraping. Then A and I lightly sanded everything, that took one evening.

In some parts the wood was bit moldy on the surface and there was dust left from the sanding so I desided to wash all the wood.

With sponge and a bucket full of water and mild detergent I wiped all surfaces clean.

There was guite a difference on the wood before and after the wash, just see for yourself. The upper part has been cleaned and the lower part is not.

Now after the wash the pergola is ready for it's first coat of paint. (I bet two is needed)

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Hybrid cure, backyard week(s)

The main focus on the week eight of the hybrid cure for me is to make the terrace ready for summer. But the real eight step home cure described in here is all about the final party in your well maintained and cleaned apartment. So I was thinking that maybe I should do something indoors too. Alana posted her own eithth week to do list, here is almost the same list, with a few twists.

Vacuum the entire apartment and clean all the windows inside and out
Sand and paint pergola
Wash terrace carpets
Powerwash terrace boards (clean windows after this, don't make the same mistake you made last year)

The "conservatory" before

Do a final purge for clutter and empty the outbox
Take serger to the maintenance!

Buy/get fresh flowers
Add lighting to terrace
Repot tomatoes

The terrace before

Cook and eat at home

I don't think it's very probable that I get all this done this week. The sanding and painting on the terrace will eat up quite big portion of my time. So it might be, that in order to do this all, I'll need to have two weeks lasting final cure. 

Monday, 23 May 2011


I have orange in the livingroom! Yippee! See that rim on the lamp, it's just a ribbon that I pinned on, I can remove it anytime I want. So easy. But that is not the only orange in the livingroom. I also made pillow cases for the sofa pillows.

I ordered fabric from Kalla. There were other very good fabrics that I thought of getting, but I ordered from her, because I could get two cool patterns from her shop and those are from Japan. I love Japan. And I want to support their busineses in this difficult time.

Like I said I made pillow cases from the fabrics. In the following I will show how I sew a pillow case.

I start ofcourse by measuring the pillow the case will be put on. Then I add two to four centimeters (about one inch) of seam allowance and cut my fabrics. Then I zigzag all of the edges.

After zigzaging I sew the zipper on. I mostly use zippers in my pillows, sometimes buttons, but mostly zippers. I place the zipper about on the middle of the egde with the right side of the zipper and fabric facing each other and pin it on. 

At this point I change the regular foot of the sewing machine to a zipper foot. This allows you to place the seam much closer to the zipper than with the regular foot.

Then the same is done to the other part of the pillow case too. After that you should have what looks something like this.

Place the fabrics so that the right sides are facing eatch other and pin it. You might want to open up the zipper a bit so it's easier so sew and to turn the pillow around when it's done. After you have sewn the sides together clip out a piece of the corner so the corners are easier to turn. If your seam allowance is very small this is not necessary.

Then just turn your pillow right side out and put it on a pillow and you are done.

I love the frogs, those are fun and happy in the livingroom. Love the tatami fabric too that I got. Here is how our sofa looks like with the new colour addition.

I now need to go and kiss all my frogs.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Closet decluttering and shoe hideout

First I must say that I'm very very proud of my clothes closet, it is mainly because all the clothes I have fit to my closet and it's very well organized. But what makes me most proud is that even my jackets (including winter ones) that are not in active use at the moment and my gowns all fit there. I even have some shoes there.

What is not kept in the closet is the jackets I use at the moment, some shoes and the semidirty clothes ( I mean clothes that I've used once or twice and that I will use again) Here you see what my clothes closet looks like. I combined two pictures because the closet has sliding doors so when the other side is open the other is closed.

1) shoes, mainly winter ones 2) wool coat or trench coat, depending on the season 3) shirts, long sleeved, three shelves 4) shirts, short sleeved 5) trousers, shorts 6) underwear, swimwear 7) gown, a big hem one 8) long black gown and a polkadot gown 9) stockings, leggins, a box of summer shoes in the back 10) few dresses, skirts and blouses 11) wool socks 12) renovating and painting clothes 13) belts and shoe bags.

The clothes closet organizing is something I think I've always been good at. I remember that even when I was a teenager I had my clean clothes folded neatly into the closet when everyone else I knew just seemed to use the bedroom floor as a closet. I think this is a weird detail in my personality because I'm not actully interested in clothes at all. I rarely shop for clothes and I usually like very plain ones. I normally wear jeans, a top or a shirt and a gardigan of some sort. Occasionally I wear tunics. I hardly ever wear skirts or dresses. I often use funky earings and fun coloured socks to chear up my look.

But eventhough I like my closet it does not mean that it couldn't be better. I know there were things I don't use anymore and the fact that I just have room for them is no excuse to keep them. So I removed everything except the boxes from the top from my closet and wiped all the shelves. Some people try on all their clothes when they deside what to keep and what to toss, I don't do that, I usually remember how I feel about the garment and remember if I have used the garment in a long time or not. This time I found only a small pile to donate.

I was hoping there could be more to donate but there were also garments that went straight to trash so some decluttering got done. Here is what my closet looks after the decluttering and cleaning.

Then to the shoes, I usually wear the same pair for months but occasionally I do need different shoes, like for jogging or for rainy days or for parties. It's amazing how many different shoes one needs. And the worst thing is that some of the shoes hardly ever get to be worn, but yet they are needed (okey a minimalist would disagree).

I have a super secret shoe stash, can you locate it from this picture? The picture is from our entry closet. No and the shoes on the picture are not mine, none of them.

Here it is! A helps me to take this pic. I'm quite sure you could not figure out where my shoe stash is.

There are my high heels, some summer shoes, a pair of sneakers and boots. I love that this is all hidden, all these shoes are used pretty rarely or if often I swop things there seasonally. Now my boots that I wear on spring and fall went back to their proper home (all cleaned and polished ofcourse).

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Closet improvement

I found a chipwood shelf from... um... trash.

It's a great find because I had been thinking about improving my clothes closet in the bedroom. Previously the bottom of my clothes closet looked like this.

There in front are my pyjamas, on the left in the back are middle layer wear, like long johns and shirts, in the fabric baskets are my socks. The middle layer wear tries to collapse in the sock basket and the pyjamas sometimes try to move forward and then I cannot close the sliding door properly. And you see that there is a lot of wasted space.

When we assembled the cabinet, we noticed that we did not have as much shelves as we needed, I desided to leave this place without one. I also thought that it will be quite difficult to reach the bottom shelf if there is a shelf right on top of it.

Now that I found the particle board shelf from the trash I figured I could put there a half of a shelf. I took few measurements and draw lines where to saw.

After a few cuts to the shelf I needed to make new holes for the support pieces.

It allready had holes in the back but I drilled new ones to the middle.

And there it is, my small shelf. I think it makes all the difference. Everything fit better, and everything is within easy reach.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Hybrid cure, bedroom

Look, an additional weekday post! I saw what Alana and scb had planned and really wanted to post my own plan and even got so excited that I cleaned the bedroom, under the bed and everything. Here is listed my hybrid cure plan. From the book again. My comments are in Italic after the task.

Clean the bedroom and related storage. Bedroom is cleaned, yippee! Storage is next on the list
Buy an air filter for your bedroom. I doubt I need one here in the suburb, but if someone would lone me one I could try one out
Buy new sheets, pad, or mattress as needed. Not needed

You've seen this picture before, in here

Declutter the bedroom. I will declutter my clothes and insides of my bedside table
Arrange the bed against the best wall. The place I happen to have it, is the best according to the book


Make sure your bedroom inspires you. It does! Only thing that doesn't is the pile of clothes A has on top of the small table there
That clothes pile is usually much bigger

Look into ways to improve your sleep. I usually sleep really well, unless A snores, then I have to wear earplugs and I don't like them


I allready told that I got real excited and wanted to clean the bedroom straight away. I started with cleaning the under the bed. I thought that it would look whole lot worse than it did, but afterwards I heard from A that he had vacuumed under bed not many vacuuming cycles ago. But anyhow I removed the underbed boxes and vacuumed the place. Then I mopped the floor. I also wiped the boxes clean.

There is not much space in the bedroom, so after I had cleaned under the bed I moved the boxes back and vacuumed and mopped the rest of the room. Then I wiped the dust off the furniture. Love the smell again in the bedroom, the mopping of the floors really makes wonders.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Toilet decluttering

This post will go to intimate areas, beware. I wasn't sure if I'm going to show you the pictures I took about the decluttering I did in the toilet, because well the toilet contains so much hygiene and personal products, but then I thought, heck, half of the population is familiar with the products allready and the other half probably knows about these product through their better half. So there is nothing new, everyone has these, so why wouldn't I show them.

The cabinet under the sink

The cabinet under the sink in mentally diveded in half, the left hand side is A's and the right hand side is mine. In the white box on the bottom is hair dryer and curler. I use them very rarely, once in half a year I would say, it's just often enough to make those useful to have. On the top shelf I have the blue box for the extra make up. There are things I use when I like to look real festive. On the shelf are also intimate hygiene products and hair products are behind the blue box. I use the hair products maybe as often as I use the hair dryer. The ziplock bag holds my travel hygiene things, previously when the flight traveling regulations were not as strickt I used to have those in a canvas bag, but now I like to have those in plastic all the time so I can just grab those and go.

Intimate hygiene before

That brush is actully a baby hair brush (my little sister's), I thought I could use it for my face, to dry brush the skin to better the blood circulation, but I have not done that once. So there is no need to store that in the cabinet. I bought an epilator years ago and had not used the hair removal wax since then, so to trash it went. And the shaver, still unopened, for two years, for donation it went. I had also tree packets of tampons and few sanitary pads, that I don't use because five years ago I bought the Mooncup. I desided to keep few tampons and sanitary pads still because there has been times when some friend of mine has asked if I have any to give, because she's out. Do sanitary pads have a best before date? I hope they are still good.

Intimate hygiene after plus the travel kit

Extra make up before

I rarely use make up and about a year ago I threw a bunch of make up to trash because they had gone bad. I only left things that I knew I will use. I have a small bag of make up that I use quite often, meaning once a month or so.

My 'often' used make up, you think I need a new eye lash comb?
I even changed my foundation into powdered type, I used to have a lotion type but it always turned rancid before I had used even half of the tube.

Back to the blue box. This time I threw out the moist towelettes, that weren't so moist anymore, also the cheap blush brush and an eye lash brush which I never used. I had in the box fake eye lashes that I have used once in a costume party, that was many years ago, but I desided to keep them, those are fun.

Extra make up after

Not a big decluttering this time, but I'm glad I did it, I love getting rid of stuff.

Here is the after of the cabinet. I wish I could go through A's stuff, but he will not let me, he knows he will have nothing much left when I'm finished.

Under the toilet sink, after

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Flower bed, spring edition

Remember my flower bench bed pondering on the other day? Well the making of the flower bench bed has taken a small step forward. I bought some plants for it, not nearly as many varieties as I would have needed but some atleast.

Empty flower bench

Here you see the place I have. On the right is west and on the left is east. South then is right in front. The place is shady. On the morning our own home casts a shade on the spot and on the day the cedar trees you see only the bottom of in the picture shade the place. Only in the evenings the sun shines there. This place used to have grass or actually moss, but I dig it out and turned into a flower bench bed.

My plan about the place is not yet fully wrapped up. But here is the general plan.

I hope you see the colours ok, click the image to enlarge

Red: Now the areas have tulips, I think I'm either going to take the tulips out after this summer or plant something very low between them.
Aqua: Lilium martagon/ turks cap lily in white
Light green: I'm not sure about this one, my neighbor said that she could divide some hostas from her own garden to me, maybe those then. Anyway I need something not too tall, but not short either.
Orange: I'm looking for the Common Solomon's seal to place here, but I have not yet found the white flowering one.
Blue: The old fashioned bleeding heart in white
Violet: Ferns
Yellow: Christmas rose

I really want to have the Common Solomon's seal on the back in the orange section. Problem is the gardening centers don't seem to carry it. If I do not find it by June I'll plant some annuals there and try searching again next spring. I have not yet looked online shopping sites, I could find it's rhizome and have it shipped here. So the left hand side of the bench bed is still very much a work in progress, but the right side is moving along nicely.

Placing the plants

Those I planted now. In front is one Christmas rose that I planted close to the Christmas rose I allready had. The old fashioned bleeding heart went in the middle of the bench bed infront of the cedar trees. And the ferns went to the right.

Plants in ground

I know it seems like I have very little plants, but I do think the biggest broblem with plants, especially perennials, that they usually grow much larger than you could ever think. And soon they are too close together and you have to dig them up again to divide them again.

But on the contrary what I just said I will add some more plants, I'm thinking of getting some other ferns to go with the ferns I just put there. And possibly I will add one or two Chrismas rose in there later. It's impossible to stop! I want more!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Hybrid cure: Bathroom, Sauna and toilet

Heads up! This is going to be a long post. First I'm going to tell you my plan then I'm going to tell what I allready have accomplished and then what I'm going to write about on friday. Here is the task list from the AT eight step home cure book by Maxwell Gillinham-Ryan. My comments about the tasks are in Italic again. Also to make my japping less boring I'll show you the before pictures in between the text. 

Clean bathrooms and related closets. Will do

Two picture combined, this is our toilet. I like it, it has quite well of storage space
Declutter cabinets and closets. I'll go through my own things only, don't want to step on A's toes.
Arrange your bathroom efficiently. I think it's quite efficient allready, but perhaps there are things that can make it even more efficient.

The toilet seat in the toilet, small stach of extra toilet paper is stored in a glass vase

Upgrade razor and shaving supplies. Will not do, it's not my part
Purchase bath salts and nice soap. We don't have a tub, so no bath salts and I think we allready have nice soap, I could use a new body scrub though
Place a candle in your bathroom. I beat you Maxwell, we allready have candles! two in fact!
Consider scents for your home. I have considered them and I occasionally do enjoy scented candles, but often the scents are way too intence. But we do have scents for sauna, and sometimes we even use them. I like that our home mostly smells like nothing.

Bathroom or half of it. On the left is the door we normally use, the door you see in front goes to the office and it's not used as often. I also think that the bathroom is too big, the space could have been used better.

Plan for the week ahead on Sunday. I'm not busy, I can go with the flow
Wake early and take a bath before work. No bath tub, so quite difficult, and I'm not going to wake up an hour before to heat up the sauna. And to tell you the truth I don't even shower on mornings, I feel way too cold once I get out of the shower.
Optional: consider a media fast for the next week. I watch hardly any television and I spend so much time by the computer at work so I try to avoid it at home (except making my own blog), I don't think I really need the media fast
Optional: straighten your desk at work. Done. I always do that.

Bathroom, the door on the right goes to sauna.

A big part of the Finnish bathing so to say is sauna. Our sauna is very typical 80's style sauna. There are many more modern ones and much more stylish ones, but ours is very good I think, atleats it warms up fast and it's cozy. 

Sauna, taken from the door

We usually keep a linen cloth on the seat and change it regularly. I also have a pillow there so that I can lay down while there. We warm up the sauna about once a week. 

The stove, I'm sitting on the bench taking this photo

What I've allready done:
On monday I cleaned the sauna. I had not done that for a while.

It's easy to brush the sauna clean, but the difficult thing is how to rinse the soapy water out. There is no water inlet in the sauna and the shower head will not reach this far. So I opened the window in the bathroom and brought the gardening hose through it. With that it was easy to rince the walls and seats. Too bad I didn't take a picture, it looked quite funny.

All wet

Also I did organize and clean one cabinet under the sink in the bathroom, I'm not sure I had cleaned it even when we moved in, it was discusting. It is where we keep the spare toilet paper and the sauna scents.


I'm thinking of adding some baskets there to hold the paper rolls, but I'm not sure it will be convenient.

That's it! Maybe I should return in writing everyday, this was horrendously long.
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