Monday, October 30, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Black and White

The theme for the October Craft Along with GIY is Black and White. For my project, I added black and white rose print paper to the back of two 6-cube shelf units I bought recently.

This was super easy to accomplish. Each cube in the shelf unit is just under 12" x 12"; conveniently, scrapbook paper is 12" x 12". I simply thumbtacked one sheet of scrapbook paper to the back of each cube. The photo below shows the back side of one of the shelf units.

I put the shelf units in place against the wall and added books, candles and decor.

Between them is a small bookcase. It's too wide for scrapbook paper, plus I needed the back of the bookcase to be sturdy. The solution was to cover the cardboard back panel with adhesive shelf liner. In a stroke of luck, I came across black and white rose print shelf liner in the dollar store. :)

I added a cushion, pet heating pad, and blanket, and it immediately became Indigo's favorite hangout.

To share your Craft Along with GIY project:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your blog post. Link the icon to this page:
2.  Leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Mystery Treat Box Giveaway

As mentioned in a previous post, I have been sewing lots of bags and tissue holders. I am now going to offer them to my readers in Mystery Treat Boxes. :)

Due to absurdly expensive postage costs, I am going to restrict the giveaway to U.S. addresses. I apologize to my readers outside the U.S., but I cannot in good conscience ask for $25+ to cover postage.

Here are the details:
  • Each Mystery Treat Box will be $6, which covers postage.
  • Each box will contain at least 3 handmade items.
  • Items will be some combination of tote bags, zipper bags, and/or pocket pack tissue holders.
In the interest of full disclosure... As I was experimenting with patterns and techniques, not all the items are flawless. There may be a double stitch, or a zipper may not be perfectly centered. None of the flaws will affect use of the item. In truth, I'm probably the only one who would see them. I'm a perfectionist.

How to get a Mystery Treat Box:
  • Email me at BaneofGIY or use the Contact Me form.
  • Tell me which box you would like. Feel free to provide me a ranked list of all boxes you're interested in.

And more details:
  • I will let you know if a box from your list is still available, and give you PayPal instructions.
  • If payment of $6 is not made within 3 days, the box will be offered to the next person.

One Mystery Treat Box is still available.

Golden Owls
black, gold/yellow, orange

Monday, October 23, 2017

New Flooring

My new flooring is done*. :D I replaced the old oak color with dark brown/black (TrafficMaster Allure Ironwood). In the dining room, living room, and entryway, I installed the new flooring in the opposite direction as the old (east-west instead of north-south).

I think this direction looks better. The difference is especially apparent in the entryway.

In the hallway, installation was challenging. I had to work around six doors, and the new flooring had to transition to existing flooring in five rooms.

Four of those transitions were in the center of doorways across from each other. There was no margin for error because even a tiny space between the planks would be obvious. It was a real victory to get them all matched up exactly right. :D

The transition point between bedrooms and hallway is clear. On the left, my bedroom still has the old oak color flooring. On the right, the other bedroom has walnut. In the middle is the hallway with the new brown/black flooring.

The transition between bathroom, hallway, and workroom is visually seamless because all three have the same color flooring.

The fifth transition is with the laundry room (closet, actually). Alas, it did not match up perfectly. I think the flooring in the closet shifted slightly when the old washer and dryer were moved out and the new ones moved in. But the gap is small, and it's only visible when the closet door is open.

*Done except for the kitchen. I am trying to decide if I want to replace the cabinets along with the flooring.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Office Outfit: How About Her Shoes?

I rarely post outfit pictures because (1) they are always blurry, (2) my office outfits are rather boring, and (3) I hate pictures of myself. But today's outfit garnered amusing comments, so I'll share.

It's a very simple outfit - black cardigan, black tights, and October orange velvet skirt.

I feel incredibly awkward trying to pose for pictures. It helps if I can hold something. Conveniently, a dog was nearby. :D

Anyway... on to the story...
I was waiting in the checkout line at Walgreens pharmacy when two men walked by.
Man #1 said (flamboyantly): Ohmygod, I love everything about your outfit, from your hair to your skirt!
Me: Thank you.
Man #2 (pretending to admonish Man #1): How about her shoes? Ohmygod, you're so rude!
Man #1 (in mock seriousness): They're black. Like my soul.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Craft-Along: Black Roses

I finished my Craft Along with GIY project early this month. :) I won't reveal it yet, but here's a sneak peek of the black and white rose print I used.

The theme for October is Black and White. There's still plenty of time to participate! Details on the theme announcement post.

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Flooring in Progress

I'm making good progress installing my new flooring. :)

The old flooring was a light oak color:

The new flooring is a dark brown/black color.

In outdoor news, we had a slight change in the weather. Yesterday it was 70F/21C. Today it is snowing. Luckily for my little dogs, the pine tree in my backyard provides a snow-free area.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hair Success

FINALLY! Success with my hair color.

I'm glad that I endured growing out my roots for four months. The stylist bleached that untreated hair and, at my request, used Arctic Fox "Purple Rain" dye. She put black on the rest of my hair. The purple is lovely, and freshening the black made my hair look healthy and shiny. I am so pleased with the result!

I did a quick french braid, and I think it shows off the two colors nicely.

As always, my camera skews blue. The actual color is a true purple.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Enjoying the Silence

The sound of crickets or writing "crickets" implies silence. As in, "Anyone want to volunteer?" *Crickets*

Well, yesterday afternoon, I walked around on my floor and I heard... cricket. An actual cricket outside (apparently fulfilling his duty to indicate silence). And that's all I heard. No more noise from the floor! :D

Even better, fixing the problem turned out to be much easier than anyone expected. The handyman cut out a small piece of the subflooring over the area where the noise seemed to be coming from. Looking down, he could see the piece of 2x4 wood which sits on top of the metal support beam. He pushed down on the 2x4, and we heard the noise. That 2x4 was the culprit!

No one had suspected it because normally that 2x4 would be pressed tightly between the support beam and the floor joists, with the weight of the floor holding it firmly in place. But in this case, there had been a wall in the basement pushing up on the floor joists for many years. Over time, that upward pressure had loosened or bowed the 2x4 a tiny bit.

The solution was to tap in shims between the 2x4 and the beam. Two shims and the noise was gone.

The handyman added adhesive, replaced the cutout piece, and screwed it down. Done!

I had used three tubes of adhesive, three packages of shims, and 87 screws trying to silence the floor. I spent hours spent gluing and shimming and driving screws. I endured months of frustration. If only I had known what the problem was, I could have fixed it in about one minute with two shims.

But you know what... strangely enough, I don't even care. I am just overjoyed that the floor is silent.

I have already begun installing my new flooring. :) Hooray!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Hopes for the Week

I am hoping to resolve two long-term frustrations this week.

Frustration 1: My Floor
I've previously complained about mentioned my extremely annoying LOUD creaking floor. None of the usual remedies have had any noticeable effect. I had a handyman evaluate the situation, and he came to the same conclusion I did - replacing the subflooring is the only thing left to try. So Friday, they'll remove a large section of my living/dining room floor and install new. I fervently hope it will eliminate the noise.

Frustration 2: My Hair
After a series of salon visits which ended in failure, I abandoned the idea of changing my hair from black to purple. In the months since then, I've experimented with bleaches and dyes on my bangs. I've discovered that my natural (undyed) hair bleaches out pretty easily, and Arctic Fox dye gives me a nice purple. This led me to consider trying purple on the new growth, while leaving the previously dyed hair black.

Thanks to Pinterest, I learned that putting color just on the roots is actually a thing. However, apparently it's usually done with white/platinum blonde hair.
There are also many photos of dark roots with bright hair.

But almost none of black hair with brightly colored roots. With few visual references, I don't really know what to expect, but I'm going to the salon Saturday to take the chance.

This rather awkward photo shows how much regrowth I have - about 2.5 inches (a little over 6 cm). This regrowth should end up the same purple as my bangs. (Yikes! So much grey hair above/behind my ears! Thankfully, the grey is hidden when I wear my hair in a single ponytail, which has been my default for weeks.)

So... On Sunday, I will either be enjoying my beautiful new hair while happily installing my new flooring on top of my new, silent subflooring... or I will be hiding under the covers dealing with massive disappointment.

One final note: I will be offering up mystery grab bags of the tissue holders, zip bags, totes, etc. that I have been sewing lately. I'll post details soon. :)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: October 2017

It's October and time for a new craft-along. :)

During October, I will work on a craft project for the monthly theme. Around October 30, I will post my completed project. You can share a link to your project on that post or at any time during the month on this post. I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

To participate:
1.  If you're a blogger, add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your post. Link the icon to this page:

2.  On either this theme announcement post or my completed project post, leave a comment with a link to your project. You can link to your blog, webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it.

Your project can be big or small. It can be in any style, goth or otherwise. The fun is in the crafting! :)

The theme for October is Black and White. As always, you can interpret this broadly.

  • frame a black and white photo
  • paint white bats on black shoes
  • refashion a black and white stripe t-shirt
  • write a story, poem or song
  • share a recipe for Black Forest cake (my favorite!)
  • knit a black and white scarf
  • decoupage a box with black and white paper