Archive for June, 2008
Etsy never ceases to amaze me in all the wonderful things you can find there. People are so creative. And the fact that you can buy artwork directly from an artist just makes me happy that there are still ways to interact with people on a small level. These four pieces have been in my favorites for the last week, and seeing as how I’m trying budget myself on acquiring new wall decor…I thought I’d pass along the joy to the rest of you. Sooo cute.
Lately, I’ve been contemplating the state of my backyard. My ideal would be to have a lovely brick patio, but alas that’s not in the budget at the moment. However, during the daydreaming phase, I was on the lookout for ideas and while in Maine I saw something at Jordan Pond that I thought was very interesting. It’s a type of block that has holes in it that you can grow grass in. So basically the surface of the ground is level and solid, but it allows drainage and doesn’t look like a solid slab of brick.
I thought this was a cool product. It’s environmentally friendly and probably a cheaper alternative to traditional brick. What’s even more interesting is that I just happened upon an old post at Charles & Hudson about the same thing. (Can I just say again how much I adore Charles & Hudson? They’re my new favorite home blog.) Only in this instance they’re discussing it as an alternative to paving a driveway. I think that’s a brilliant idea…much better than for a patio most likely (since your patio furniture might get stuck in the holes). Anyways…here’s the pic I took at Jordan Pond.
I’m at the tail end of my kitchen renovation. It feels nice. Although the reason that it’s not 100% complete is because of those final little details that seem so hard to finish. One of my biggest headaches these past two weeks has been hanging a double decker kitchen shelf from Ikea. Who knew something so seemingly simple would be so freaking frustrating?
Well, I’ve learned from experience that you need proper support when trying to hang a shelf. Several years ago, I attempted hanging a different Ikea shelf and in the middle of the night it came tumbling down…along with everything on top of it. Ugh.
So this time, I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. Thus began the hunt for the perfect toggle bolt. Well, I will spare you the humiliating details of my incompetence…and instead just give you a simple DIY’ers how-to checklist for when YOU are hanging shelf [with a toggle bolt].
- Find a shelf. Preferably NOT from Ikea. I know they look pretty, but I’m convinced that they’re designed to make your life hell. However, assuming that you are like me and prefer form over function…then continue down this list.
- Determine what kind of wall you have and if there is a stud available. Screwing the shelf into a stud is ALWAYS preferable to using any other method. Or so they tell me… I never seem to hang anything into a stud.
- However, assuming you bought some fancy Ikea shelf that doesn’t work with the spacing of your studs (like I did), then knowing what type of wall you have will help you determine what kind of wall anchor you will need.
- When you’re marking the holes for drilling into the wall…make sure you use a level to make sure that your shelf will hang level. If possible, have the shelf propped up on top of something so that you’re not trying to hold the shelf whilst also marking the holes. This can be extremely frustrating.
- If you have hollow walls, a molly bolt or toggle bolt is your best option. But if you plan on hanging heavy items on this shelf, go straight for the toggle bolt. (Oh, and BUY A FEW EXTRA!) You’ll lose a couple in the wall trying to get it right…and the last thing you want to do is head back to the hardware store at 8pm on a Tuesday night.
- Also, if there is a small local hardware store nearby…make sure to purchase any wall anchors there. The people that work there are more knowledgeable and can help you pick out the right size anchor as well as any new drill bits you might need to insert that bad boy. If using a toggle bolt, you’re going to need a bigger hole than you think.
- Follow instructions on the package for how to use the toggle bolt, but here’s a tip: Make sure you get the right length bolts. (Or else you’re going to have to go back to the store yet again.) When you’re not sure, err on the side of longer than your first inclination . You can always tighten it.
- Another tip for the toggle bolt: Don’t try to be sly and put the toggle all the way at the end. You’ll need to screw it on a couple of threads so that it doesn’t get messed up behind the wall. Trust me!!
- Next tighten up the bolts…and then you’ve got a nice shelf hanging on the wall.
Hopefully this project won’t take you almost two weeks like mine did. But even though it took me that long, I must say that I’m very happy with the results.
So after almost two months of putting up with a clogged outdoor drain (I was in denial that it needed fixing), I finally dealt with it. Originally when water began backing up three feet into the yard, I called Roto Rooter and had an ugly experience with them. (They never showed up after several repeated phone calls.)
Yesterday’s rain storm here in Philly made me realize that I couldn’t put off dealing with this problem any longer. Part of the wake up call came from having dampness begin to back up in the basement. And really, who wants that right?
So this morning I got up and consulted the oracle that is Angie’s List to find a good local plumber who also does outdoor drain clearing. I called the plumber at 8:30am. Someone came over at 10:45am. And after only 10 minutes I had a free-flowing drain that finally offered me some peace of mind. My only frustration with the whole process is that it cost me $149. For having only spent 10 minutes here, it would seem that service should cost a lot less. Hmmmm. Maybe I could get in the clog cleaning business. It seems to be rather lucrative, albeit somewhat messy.
Anyways…the main point here is Angie’s List rocks. If you haven’t signed up for them yet. You should. It’s come in handy more times than not.