Browsing Category

Woodwork & Home Improvement

Crafting Parenting Woodwork & Home Improvement

Time for a playroom tour!

It seems like ages ago (actually, it was ages ago) that I showed you a sneak preview of the play room and promised an update when it was finished.  It’s been pretty well finished for a while but somehow it always seems to be a bit messy, and I’ve seen so many lovely play spaces on Pinterest that I wanted mine to be perfect in the photos too.  Finally I spent five minutes tidying up on Saturday and took some photos while I was waiting for Alvin and Carys to eat their waffles so we could get going for the day – it’s not perfect, but it’s as perfect as it’s gonna get! Continue Reading

Woodwork & Home Improvement

Tutorial: How to make knotty pine look like Sheetrock (Plus – my handy tip for cleaning paint off brushes and rollers – effortlessly)


Knotty pine is back!  Or so the New York Times declared in 2001.  Chances are it’s probably out again now.  Either way, it doesn’t fit in our house.

We have a mid-century modern – think clean lines, big windows, and lots of wood – of the Philippine Mahogany variety (aka nice-looking plywood). We think our kitchen was remodeled sometime in the ’80s; our stove broke down not long after we moved in and the repair guy said it was probably 25 years old, and the cabinets are certainly more modern than the rest of the house which was built in 1954.

We have always hated the knotty pine, but more than that I hate spending money on temporary solutions.  I’d rather live with it in the short-term and save the money for the permanent fix.  Two things happened recently to change my perspective for this particular project: we are getting a plan for our garden, which is going to be expensive to execute and will suck away all planned kitchen savings.  And the seal around our facuet broke so it floated freely above the sink, suspended only by the plumbing underneath it. Continue Reading

Woodwork & Home Improvement

The most often-improved room in our house

The most often-improved room in our house is…the laundry room.  Well, it was a laundry room when we moved in.  The home inspection noted some water staining that could indicate sub-floor damage, so one of my first tasks was to tear up the lino (a back-breaking job), inspect the sub-floor (no damage; a sheet of plywood under the lino had acted as a barrier) and re-tile.  Alvin was kind enough to order a new washer and dryer and we had about a week before delivery to pull off the whole project.  (Thanks, Alvin.) Continue Reading

Woodwork & Home Improvement

Want to Win a Pikler Triangle (Climbing Frame)?

Emmi Pikler was a Hungarian Pediatrician who developed a new theory of child development, based on allowing the child to move freely and develop at his or her own pace.  (Magda Gerber, who founded RIE, was Emmi Pikler’s student.)  In practice this means that parents and caregivers don’t put the child into any position they can’t get into by themselves – often a hard thing to do as a parent when you want to make sure your child meets the next official milestone ‘on time.’

Continue Reading



Making Stuff