Thursday, December 23, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010


After Thanksgiving, I always have leftovers on my mind. I enjoy hosting at our house, not only because my wife is an incredible cook, but also because I get the leftovers to myself. The favorites this year have been: turkey dinner II, Who Hash, potato soup, and - of course- the longed for post-Thanksgiving gobbler.

So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving (Well, at least in the spirit of leftovers), I sought to tackle a project using excess materials from our bedroom makeover.

And, as you can see from my basement, there are a lot of them.

I wanted to create a serving tray that we could on top of the ottoman in our livingroom. I recently saw one while at dinner at a friend's house and thought it was a good idea. Full disclosure: I'm a spiller. If you can fill it, I can spill it. So, anything that puts a barrier between my pint glass and the new furniture set gets the green light from me.Prices online for wood serving trays run $30-$100.

First, I found the three best pieces of scrap beadboard for the bottom of the tray. All our scraps were 2 feet in length.

I measured the ottoman and determined that the best size serving tray wuold be 20x26. This would give me the widest space possible without hanging over the furniture.

I then cut the beadboard to fit.

For the side of the tray I used leftover battens from the bedroom wall woodwork.

After cutting the sides, I nailed to the beadboard using finish nails.

Three sides done.

For handles, I wanted to keep it simple. I decided to use rope I found in the basement. I have no clue what it is leftover from, something isn't flailing in the wind somewhere. I then found a drill bit that was about the same width of the rope.

I cut two 3 inch pieces of wood and clamped them together. The plan was to drill right down the seem to make sure the distance would be even on both sides.

And it worked.

I then centered the wooden handle support on the side of the tray. I made sure to put two finish nails through the rope on the handles. The final step clip the excess rope from the bottom of the handle. After this, it's all paint.

Two coats of high-gloss white paint later and we're done. Pretty good for leftovers.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We're Done!!

After lots of thought and hard work, we're finally done with the bedroom! This is my first project blog and I put up the various pictures over the course of a few weeks. In reality, being a true week-end warrior, this project took about four months from start to finish.

Our bed is back! No more sleeping on the floor of the guest bedroom. We installed wall lamps to save on bedside table space and hung art we bought in Stowe, VT.

The corner of our bedroom. Our blinds were on order, so we had to go without for two weeks. Tickets to the Puleo show were going for $10.

The same corner when we bought the house. Off-white!

Our shade finally made it!! We went with white roman blinds made by Bali.

My dresser and the other bedroom corner.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Widget

The Christmas season is hear. That means shopping for gifts, and lots of it.

Over the past few years, I've become more and more of an on-line holiday shopper. This is especially true for those whose gifts I already decided on. And the online buying process can actually be quite fun. Amazon's Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales featured a "lightning buy" section. Essentially, this was a collection of items that went on sale at various intervals in limited quantities.

But really, the purpose it served was to introduce you to all sorts of products you never knew you never needed. Enter Wednesday's Widget.

The Swiss Army SwissChamp XAVT is something I really can't decide if I want to make fun of or play with for hours. I love gadgets, especially ones that can double as both camping an home improvement items. But isn't Swiss Army the pocket knife king? The line "is that a SwissChamp XAVT in your pocket or are you just happy to see me" doesn't really roll off the tongue.

Regardless, the SwissChamp makes Wednesday widget for possessing the perfect combination of absurdity and awesomeness.