Tag Archives: craigslist

Working for the Weekend

Most of you guys know, but both JT and I are full-time workers.  Really most people are full-time workers but there are a lot of bloggers out there who are not 8-to-5 office types so I thought I would say it.  We’re 8-to-5 office types.  And lately for both of us the office stuff has been a little hectic.  So after an 8-to-5 or 7-to-5 or 7-to-7, neither of us really want to come home and do a lot of little stuff around the house.  So we don’t 

But when the weekend rolls around, there’s so many free hours to work on all those little (and big) projects that go unnoticed during the week.  And small steps keep getting made.  I’m sorry if these little things are a little boring or tedious, but for us, it’s all we got right now.  At some point, I’d like to have some amazing *ta-da* before and after pictures.  But right now we’re kind of in the middle of everything and just taking baby steps to get on through.

So here’s this last weekend’s progress.

Wait, that doesn’t look like progress, that looks like laziness.  We actually took the dogs to Francis Park (a gem in South City) and ran them around so they were pretty bushed.  It wore us down too but when there’s nice weather and some sunshine, you gotta get out. (And projects gotta wait.  Them’s the breaks).  But for those of you with very discerning eyes, you may notice that I did paint the vent cover on the back wall that was driving me bananas.  Small thing, but it helps it blend away more now that it matches the wall color.  (It would be even more hidden but I took down the peperonia plant to water it and left it on the windowsill to get a little sun for the day.)

The other little thing I did was some spray paint fun.  We have had this nice large ice bucket for some time. (I think I got it as a college graduation present from my aunt and uncle?  Like I said, long time.)  In our first apartment, the baby blue made sense.  Now I wanted to make in our more sapphire/teal blue to give the kitchen a little color (and a little more storage.)

That before picture of the kitchen make me shudder and that was only a few weeks ago.  It feels so much different in there now!  I started out with the same spray paint I used on my “T” collection a little bit ago here.  But it ran out and a spray paint hunt ensued.  I visited Home Depot AND Lowe’s and neither had an exact match.  So I ended up having to start over with a Valspar can I got at Lowe’s.  The color had more blue and a little less green than the previous can, so I had to re-coat and re-coat.  And my little Rustoleum attachment spray handle didn’t work on the Valspar can either.  Boo.  I ended up Smurfing myself a little by getting some blue back-spray on my hand.  But it was worth it (although this next picture is a little underwhelming – the color is so much nicer in real life . . . .)

Now we have a nice out-of-the-way place for all our oils and vinegars that we buy in bulk.  JT and I cook a lot and from scratch too so our kitchen gets pretty heavy use.  I’m thinking on the upcoming IKEA trip (how many times can I mention this trip before it happens?  I think I’m up to 6.) I will get a little plant stand on wheels to put under the bucket and make it a little more useful so it can just roll out from under the buffet.    I also did my “I hate cords” trick and taped the microwave cord and it’s extension cord to the back of the buffet.  Cords be-gone!

We also had a visitor who bought one of our Craigslist items.  One down, one to go.  Now we’re left with this . . .

Just a little microwave cart waiting for a new home.  I moved Little Walter (the tree) over to this spot — he’s sick!!!  I had purchased and photographed him a few weeks before I got around to posting about him and now he’s not doing so good!  I’m hoping by moving him away from the exterior wall, he will stay a little warmer and spruce back up. I also watered him a little more but I have anxiety about over-watering and thus drowning my plants.  I set him up on the milk crate for now because a) I kind of like the height and am using it as a placeholder and b) I’m kind of nervous Shenanigan will lift his little stubby leg on Little Walter so I wanted to get him used to having a big plant near his level. 

 Any other ideas on what to do for poor Little Walter?  I was holding off on re-potting him until after the IKEA trip (#7!!) but I may have to bite the bullet and do it now. 

Have a great week everyone — it’s 8:08 now and I have some office craziness to attend to!

Harmony Marquis

Just last week we rescued this Harmony Marquis from the Tower Grove area. I made CT wait in the car with it running, because I was certain the dude selling it was an ax murderer.

Anyway- didn’t get murdered. I did however pick up a great old guitar with a few issues. Chiefly among them- the electronics made a horrible noise when plugged in, and the neck was pitched so far forward it was impossible to play.

Step one: rip off the strings, and start some general cleaning. I generally only ever use warm water and a soft rag. When it comes to old guitars, removing dirt and sweat grime is absolutely necessary, as it can break down the wood. What you don’t want to do is use any harsh chemicals that can Johnny Marr the surface, and take away that amazing, aged patina.

Cleaning the neck is a delicate matter- as it collects the most sweat and grime. Solution is spit. Saliva actually the safest and most effective way to clean a fretboard. Cheapest cleaner in town. Once cleaned and dried, I rubbed in a thin coat of fretboard oil.

To fix the neck pitch, I unscrewed it to install a shim. A shim can be anything- credit card, pick, etc. In fact, the Fender guitar factory used to shim most of it’s guitar necks with guitar picks. I like to use a tone wood (in this case, basswood).

Simply drop the shim into the neck pocket like so, and screw the neck back on. This should pitch the neck angle backward, bringing the strings closer to the neck. Good way to test this is to quickly string up one string to see how it plays.

Harmony guitars were cheaply mass produced, with all of the electronics wired to the pickguard. When I tested the wiring away from the body, everything looked and sounded the way it should. Contact cleaner cleared up all crackles and noises.

When I placed the pickguard back on and plugged it in however, I got the same horrible noises. Upon further inspection, it looked as if the input cable was hitting the inside of the body cavity (impact scar pictured), effectively dispersing the current into the wood. Solution- I made the hole bigger, allowing for the cable to input without hitting the wood. It Johnny Marred up the inside surface a bit, but no one sees the inside anyway.

Here it is now, sounds great and plays easy. Before you would have sworn it was one of Jandek’s guitars (perhaps it was). Now it’s ready for the house, if I may make another obscure reference.

Up for auction on Ebay this week!! Click here

The Kitchen inches forward . . .

Monday again.  Yoinks.  Last weekend didn’t seem nearly as productive as I wanted (but is it ever really . . .) but we did get a few little things done, mainly in the kitchen department.

A new microwave!  Retro style!  Thanks to an Amazon gift card and selling the old bulky black one on Craigslist (finally something sold!)  this one was a break-even change.  The new microwave is just a few inches smaller than the old one but it is so much “lighter” visually.  The white color and the smaller size really help it feel more at home on the buffet.  And I couldn’t resist the retro styling. Although it does have some new annoying beeps.  Oh well.

Also, you may notice in the photo above, JT installed a cafe curtain rod for me on the back door.  Fabric has been purchased for said cafe curtain rod . . . we’ll see how much I have to fight with my sewing machine before these curtains get produced.

Another item we tackled this weekend was the big cutting board sitting on the island cart.  It had gotten really junked up and we hadn’t used it for a while.  I took it down to JT’s basement lair where he power sanded it for me and then I treated it with 3 coats of Howard’s Butcher Block Conditioner.  It’s food-safe and gave a nice luster back to the ol’ cutting board (an IKEA grab.)

Peeking out from behind the teapot on the buffet you may just be able to see a 45 record.   It’s one of JT’s favorites, Carl Perkins and it’s got the Sun label on it.  JT received it as a gift from his brother and sister-in-law. (They give good gifts — remember the Eames rocker?) We had it in the music room for a while but the black vinyl record wasn’t quite “popping” against the black background.

One piece of white canvas and some painters tape later, it has moved into the kitchen as a cheery little rock n’ roll memento.  (We all went on a family trip to Memphis a few years ago and JT really enjoyed Sun Records.  In fact I think he almost had a stroke when the tour guide started playing the piano that Jerry Lee Lewis used and he could touch the guitar used by Scotty Moore.)  The nice thing is that this is a totally reversible operation — all I would have to do is remove the tape and fabric and we’re back to a black background.  The song featured is “Dixie Fried” which I thought had appropriate kitchen connotations.

The record actually does play and we have an MP3 recording of it from our vinyl ripper that JT did before it was framed up.  I’ll have to scout around and see if I can add it to this post.  I definitely will cue up some Carl and maybe a little of his friend Elvis to get me in the mood as I work on the new curtains.

Update: I found the “Dixie Fried” MP3 file from our vinyl above.  You can listen to it here: 02 Dixie Fried.  Enjoy!

Changing it up, one piece at a time

Weekends have been good over here at Living Analog — things keep moving around and I keep checking items of my January to do list to get me closer to my big project goals — living room, bedroom and kitchen. 

This weekend I hit the kitchen.  By just rearranging a few pieces we already had, it made a big impact and set in action a chain of events that will (hopefully) lead to getting the kitchen to a happy place.

The wood buffet used to be in the dining room.  I was sick of all the clutter (and mess) of the open shelves in the kitchen and decided it was time to do something about it. 

Now a lot of special use items like the ice tea maker, griddle and food processor can sit down in the big drawer of the buffet.  The top drawers are deep enough for our ramekins and other cooking utensils.  The wood contrasts nicely off the white tile and adds an element of warmth to the kitchen.  It’s not a huge change but it’s enough to make a difference and get me started with the kitchen.

There are still many, many things to be done before this space is looking ship-shape.  We are putting down warm grey ceramic tile, and I need to do something about the wall color.  There will be window treatments and cafe curtains on the door.  The knife rack is going to be relocated to make space for some artwork and a pot rack is going next to the glass block window.  I’m on the hunt for a smaller microwave — that sucker is ginormous and takes up more room than I’d like.  I also need to sand and paint the door, especially where Shenanigan keeps kicking it.  Maybe we’ll get him a bell instead — that seems a bit more genteel. 

 The big blue bucket you could see in the “before” pic is currently at our “spray booth” (aka the back yard) getting a coat of teal.  It will come back in and sit under the buffet to hold some bigger items live vinegar and vegetable oil and rice.  These pictures are making me realize I need to get in there and corral that cord as well — I hate cords!!!  I’m also not loving the wood bread box on the wood buffet so that might get shifted around too . . . things are always shifting and moving around here (to the point where JT usually has to ask where I’ve put something . . . .sorry hubby).

I’m so excited to finally start implementing all the changes I’ve been dreaming up for the last little while now.  Unfortunately moving things around also tears up the rest of the house as things are temporarily relocated and accessories readjusted.  Case in point — the dining room where the buffet used to sit:

Right now it’s a holding zone for all the things that will go in the future-shelving-unit-with-glass-doors that I’m on the prowl for.  I’ve got a few leads too . . . but until then, it’s life with the repercussions of redecorating.  I currently have these bad boys up on Craigslist here and here.  Craigslist doesn’t seem to be turning things over for me or JT (with guitars) as quickly as it was before.  Has anyone else run into this?  At any rate, a little rearranging does a body (and our kitchen) good.

Missing Pieces

I’m going on an upholstery hunt this weekend for  the new daybeds.  And then (small drumroll) I think I am going to try to sew these cushion covers myself.  Yikes.

As I scour St. Louis for that perfect fabric (you know a bright white one that repels all stains and dog hair.  That exists, right?) I found an inspiration image to use as a starting point.

We already have the same starting canvas – blue front door, hardwood floors, light walls.  Since the daybed also has wood frames, I like the look of this sofa — white cushions  layered with blankets, pillows and SHEEPSKINS! for our living room.  This is Liz’s living room and it was featured here on Apartment Therapy.  Pretty sweet.  I’m digging the rug as well and wondering what Sophie would do to a shag. . . .

But while I’m out and about hunting fabric, I also have my eye out for a few other things.  I showed you guys my shameful kitchen pictures the other day and now I am in the process of rearranging everything.  The metal tall shelf and microwave cart are going bye-bye (or should I say hello craigslist) and I want to move our nice buffet into the kitchen to class it up a bit and give some hidden storage rather than have everything out on shelves like we do now.

So that frees up the wall opposite the dining table and I’m on the prowl for some closed shelving.  Dog hair is our constant companion and I want to put our wine glasses and barware behind glass to keep it cleaner and more usable.  (Right now it needs a good rinse before any wine glasses get used.)

So, if anyone happens to find something like this . . .

Or this . . .

Image from West Elm, http://www.westelm.com

That would be great.  We’re also in the market for a new coffee table.  I’m thinking round to shake things up a little.  I saw the perfect one on an early episode of “Secrets From a Stylist” on HGTV.  Does everyone else watch that show?  I highly recommend it — she uses so much vintage and thrift finds in her rooms.

I’m not 100% sure what episode this was from, but you can watch them online too . . . This table is pretty close to perfect – round with glass so it feels more open.

I was considering this affordable-ish ($300) marble job from cb2 until Brookyn Limestone spilled that it is a little on the short side.  (Design Within Reach has a similar one for three times the price as well . . .)

Obviously the perfect coffee table would be a tulip (as I have obsessed over here and here . . . )

I don’t think one of these lovers is coming my way anytime soon.  Sigh.

I do have one trick up my sleeve – another Ikea trip is on the horizon.  Yes I need therapy.  Yes St. Louis needs an Ikea.  The Strind might be my Swedish coffee table savior.

It’s round, simple and clean and has a bottom shelf for extra magazine and book storage.  Also, for a Benjamin Franklin, it’s not too expensive and should my tulip come along, I could easily bear parting with the Strind to the gods of craigslist.

So that’s Furniture Friday.  Does anyone else obsess about furniture this much?  Maybe we should start a support group.  And meet every Saturday at the nearest antique mall . . .  JT’s guitar eBay auction ends tomorrow so maybe I might have a little extra furniture cash . . . Have a great weekend everyone!