Monday, January 15, 2007


Ms Fix-It

I went on a home-improvement tear this weekend.

First, I decided our kitchen chairs were long overdue to be reupholstered. I've never actually reupholstered furniture before, but that didn't stop me.

I got some fabric at Bouclair. I remembered to choose a fabric without a complicated pattern (too hard to centre) but with a nice, thick weave that won't easily pull or fray. In the end, this navy denim was on sale and I got more than enough for the whole project for $13.

I also picked up one of those fancy front-end staple guns at Home Depot. It was much easier to use than the rusty clunker we inherited from god-knows-where.

In one of my home improvement books, I found basic instructions for reupholstering a dining room chair. I had a little bit of trouble making neat corners, but the denim was fairly forgiving and in the end it was close enough.

I'm happy with the finished project.

It only took me about an hour and a half to do all four chairs, and the navy is nice in my yellow-and-white-with-blue-accents kitchen.

After that, I decided I needed to fix Simon's dresser. I bought it second-hand at a garage sale long before I was even pregnant, in anticipation of the need for a kid's dresser some day. Tristan used it when he was a baby, and Simon inherited it when he was born.

Its shallow drawers are perfect for small baby clothes, but over the years, the sides have bowed out just enough that the drawers in the middle were falling off the runners. Every time you pull open a drawer, it slips off the runner and tips into the drawer under it. Rather than buy a new dresser, I've been puzzling idly for months on a way to increase the width of the runners by half a centimeter or so, so we could get another couple of years out of it. (As if six years out of a $25 dresser isn't enough!)

I went to Home Depot, and they recommended a little strip of wood that is ordinarily used in laying hardwood floors, called a 'slip tongue' (snicker). It fit perfectly! I tried two different iterations, one to thicken the drawer runner and one to make a wider shelf to sit on the runner. To my great surprise, they both worked. A little bit of glue, a couple of C-clamps, and we're good to go.

I also bought two under-bed storage boxes from Ikea, and put up some metal bars over the boys' work table, so they can display their artwork on a rotating basis with magnets instead of masking tape.

What, you might be wondering, was the inspiration for this flurry of activity? Remember how inspired I was feeling by that single lost pound last week? Yah. I found it again. All that hard work last week, and I'm back up a pound. Gah. So if I can't get my weight under control, I'm damn well going to wrest the rest of my life from the chaos.

I even bought a plant. Poor thing doesn't stand a chance.