responsibility champion illustration from Hyperbole and a Half blog
Image: Allie Brosh at Hyperbole and a Half. Click it!

So this past weekend in an effort to be a responsible human  I vowed NOT to start any new projects! I was only allowed to FINISH the ones I had already started!!! I even went so far as to go downstairs to the hardware store we live above and bat my eyelashes and perform my best method damsel in distress routine that would have made Lee Strasburg himself give me an Academy Award, all so I could borrow the 6′ ladder for the weekend. Ok, actually they’re really nice and they let me borrow their ladder whenever I want and give me minimal grief for being a small helpless lady, but I just hate asking for help. Believe me, I would own a ladder if I had anywhere to put it once I was done painting the ceiling.

Ah yes, painting the ceiling. The whole reason for this discussion. You see, when I painted my room back in January it was too cold to put on my Oscar-winning performance to borrow the afore mentioned ladder. I painted my entire room with its 10′ ceilings precariously balanced on tiptoe atop a 30″ bar stool…. I’m 5’3… Oh, and I couldn’t tape the ceiling because I’m too short to reach, and I needed the extra six inches of paintbrush to reach the edge.  Sigh.

Anyway, while not entirely awful (surprisingly) my edging left a lot to be desired and I’ve been meaning to go back up there and touch it up for oh what, three months now? Insert Sunday’s productivity whirl-wind, and there I am moving everything out of my room while waiting for the stain to dry on the street table, swinging on a 6′ ladder miraculously gripping a gallon of paint with my raptor hand and simultaneously balancing a precariously perched paintbrush on the  rim. I can only thank the god of Getting Sh*t Done! that I didn’t wind up with Benjamin Moore Owl Gray all over my bedding, floor, and person.

Then OF COURSE in true difficult project fashion, after struggling through this less than fun task, I’m relaxing on the couch rewarding myself with a solid interwebs browsing session and what do I come across?!?!?!

magnetic painbrush holder from leevally.comclose up of magnetic paintbrush holder from

Unbelievable, I couldn’t have dreamed it up better myself. I neeeeeeed this. Correction: I need like 7 of these. Because two or three will invariably get lost in the cabinet of death, so I will of course need to stash one in every drawer in the house for immediate access. Aaaaand at just $3.75 a pop (or $3.35 per, if you buy 3 or more like me) it’s totally affordable to do so!

Now I can finally stop resting my paint brush in entirely inappropriate places and tempting the paint gods and the animal-knocker-over gods!!!! My life is complete! I actually feel more whole and centered knowing that the next time I paint, I won’t be setting down my brush and then  inadvertently tracking said paint drippage all over the house. This will in turn save me minutes upon minutes of clean up time, so I can more quickly get back to the 2 B’s… Browsing & Blogging. I’m so happy there’s actually little tears of joy in my eyeballs. Click here, to order yours today! Happy painting!

P.S. after you order your magnetic paintbrush holder, go to the bathroom, then immediately head over to Hyperbole and a Half  and treat yourself to a good belly laugh session. Cuz that Allie Brosh is so funny you could definitely pee your pants if you hadn’t already gone to the potty like I recommended!

Illustration 1: the incomparable & hilarious Allie Brosh Image 2: Lee Valley Tools Ltd. as linked.


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sewing table before and after sanded and stained

Meet the new and improved landing strip for 2R. It only took two weekends and about a gallon of blood, sweat, and tears. Plus stripper, a sander, stain+poly and a lot of patience and fortitude. A big ThankYou to the ‘Rooms for talking me off many ledges and providing constant support and encouragement! This was my first time attempting such an endeavor and we here in the apartment are very very pleased with the new home base for our keys, mail, and dog treats.

The victim  of my DIYness was an old sewing table minus the sewing machine that we found abandoned on the street and brought home to live in our apartment, because we like surfaces and lack $$$. It moved around the apartment for about a year before I worked up the time/nerve/energy to go ahead and make her over.

sewing table found on the street

free street table
Dewalt power drill (for disassembly)
Varnish stripper (probably didn’t need this step)
Black&Decker Mouse sander (far superior to sanding by hand!)
old sheet and plastic drop cloth (to contain messiness)
Minwax PolyShades in Royal Walnut Satin Finish
2 brushes –  3″ & 1″ (for optimal application)
220 sand paper + 000 fine steel wool (between coats)
1 judgemental cat (not pictured) + 1 pouty doggie

See entire hilarious undertaking here & here.

finished sanded and stained sewing table

I think she’s just beautiful. It was a huge learning affair as this was my first attempt at anything of this magnitude. I’m more of a primer and paint makeover gal. But I just loved the natural wood warmth on this blue wall.

And here she is temporarily dressed up in her usual work gear…

new landing strip by door all dressed up

Though I am having protective new mommy anxiety about putting things on her finished pristine surface… it will pass. I  love having the landing strip back!



Street table update! Spent Saturday morning playing with the bloggity here, see disclaimer above ??. When my eyes started to go googly I closed the magic interwebs portal and put on my furniture refinishing duds. A.k.a. pretty much anything I own, as my clothes are starting to appear a little homeless looking.

But I digress… sanding and staining 2.0 went MUCH better than round 1 last week! It was a balmy 51 degrees outside and the sun was shiny and bright. I sanded her down with my new fancy schmancy Black&Decker Mouse Sander, and after a thorough wipe down which also served to allow my sanding hand to regain natural feeling, I slapped a coat of stain on her. I’m using Minwax PolyShades in Royal Walnut Satin Finish (I don’t know why I capitalized all of that, is stain a proper noun?).

table sanding and staining process

click for bigger version

Has anyone else used this? It’s not the stain I remember from my child labor days youth when I stained trim for the old house. This stuff has the poly finish included so its like a one stop shop. I wasn’t really paying attention when I bought it I guess, as I was most likely in a blackout/project mode trance. My jury is out as to whether the old-fashioned method of stain then seal is actually better, or if this new fangledy stuff is awesome. Shake well and stir for sure and I can definitively say clean up is a sticky mess, but a quick trip to the hardware store for some mineral spirits solved that. And I found the corner protectors I’ve been searching for for my vanity redo for 3 bucks!?!?!?! God bless Queens!


1 comment

Its not you its me…

Apr 1, 2011

in None

Hold up! I’m playing around with the looks of things around here. Sorry Mom, I know you just keep hitting refresh and wondering why everythings-a-changin’! The other twelve of you who’ve stopped by today, hang tight, see you soon! You should probably keep checking back though to see all these new looks, because me learning how to do this shiz is pretty hilarious. Plus, I’ve decided that since I’m not a “brand” I might change the cubies look as often as I paint my walls and rearrange furniture…which is all the time. Cheers!

EDIT: p.s. this new header is actually a pic of the wicker trays I pilfered from the discard pile at work, see here. I fiddled around with it on picnic and the more I look at it, the more it looks like french fries to me… I’m hungry. Oh, and the chickens and cows came from here… they made me giggle, even if they have nothing to do with my blog. Whatevs I do what I want ;-)

Ooh and if you’ve got any comments leave em below!

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