April 6, 2019:


The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired


Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Bedroom Curtains Going Up - Sort Of...

Hola everyone!

It's not that I'm less ambitious when it comes to getting settled into this new old house, it's that I'm spending a lot of time doing yard work (moving here was supposed to cut down that time, ha!) and watching home improvement programs on Hulu Plus, LOL! 

But on Monday I opened up my IKEA curtains, washed the "drapes" and ironed everything.  I won't go into all of the gory details, but suffice to say that the double curtain rods I ordered from IKEA are gigantic long, and using the two smaller rods from each of the doubles and using the two halves of each of those rods on the windows, I managed to do a fairly good "cosmetic" job of hanging my new curtains up in the mistress bedroom, hooray!

BEFORE on the window facing you; IN PROGRESS on the window to the right.
Short Explanation:  My favorite bedspread is a true white and black toile; the curtains I ordered at the same time, but from a different vendor and in a different toile pattern, are an antique white and black.  In my former mistress bedroom, because they were sufficient distance apart, the color differences in the "whites" weren't so noticeable; but in this smaller bedroom and with the only decent Feng Shui placement of the bed being so close to the one window, the color differential is quite noticeable. 

So that is why I decided I needed new curtains.  The antique white and black toile panels will be rehung in the guest room soon.

The Bad News:  I was not able to get but one screw out of the brackets that were holding up the window blinds.  I tried and tried, but I do not have much hand strength anymore nor the proper ladder here to get a good height up; and I could not figure out for the life of me how to get the battery part out of my allegedly high torque battery-operated screw driver.  Not to mention that trying to figure out all the parts of the IKEA rods and brackets just made me dizzy.

So, I took down the former rods in my bedroom but left the rod holders up, since there are grooves for a front rod and a back rod; then I unwrapped one of the smaller diameter IKEA rods, took it apart so it was two halves, and lo and behold, they are a very good length to fit across the existing rod holders.  So I proceeded with installation after pulling out the unfortunate blinds. 

Fortunately, the curtains are voluminous enough, and the rods are held out far enough from the wall by the existing curtain rod holders, that the unremoved blinds brackets do not "show" (very much) underneath the all-white and not-very-thick curtains.

Pictures (not very good ones) -- first one above, shows a small peek of the dark brown wide-slat blinds underneath the toile panels, and the contrast of blinds removed and white under-curtain sheer voile panels installed on the window to the right!  You can also see that because of the placement of the rod holders, the curtains do not cover the windows fully, nor did the blinds - ever.  I felt like I was playing peek-a-boo constantly with the outside world when I'd get dressed or undressed! It made me feel decidely uncomfortable and I'd usually change in the bathroom or the guest room -- inconvenient!

Photo 2 above, a closer look at those unfortunate blinds.  They were not cut down to size for the windows length-wise, so they banged and flapped if there was a breeze when the windows are open and I've always had a problem with getting blinds raised up and down perfectly even, LOL!  Does that mean I'm a crooked little woman???  The dark brown color, while it sort of made sense as coordinating with the dark wood trim in the room, just did not ring my chimes, and they were certainly dust and dirt collectors, yech!  As I mentioned above, they were ill-fitting, too, not covering the entire window from end to end.  Not what I wanted for a bedroom, where privacy away from prying eyes is a must in my book.

Picture 3 above, shows the voile sheers going up -- these are the first layer, closest to the window.  I ordered two pair of sheers for each window.  The total measurement from one end of woodwork to the other end of woodwork for each window is 72" and each of the IKEA panels is 57" wide and about 98" long.  I figured four of these panels (two pair of sheers) for each of the windows would be nice and full.  I was wrong.   But these curtains do iron beautifully and also hang beautifully, and I love the puddled effect on the floor (more about that later).  The photo above shows 3 of the 4 panels installed.

Photo 4 above, shows the puddled curtains on my beautiful (but scratched up by the moving sellers, damn!) natural hardwood floor.  I was able to pull the curtain at the right end of the photo over on the rod sufficiently to cover the wood window frame and it "stays" because of the puddling on the floor sort of acting as an anchor.  I wasn't able to do that with the former curtain panels I'd put up, as they were 84" long and were far short of the floor because the curtain rod holders are up high.

Photo 5 above, you can see one of the thick gold wood rods I removed, and underneath it, the much sleeker white IKEA rod (one half of an IKEA rod, actually), waiting to go up.  Also showing, an assortment of screwdrivers I used to try and remove the blinds brackets (EPIC FAIL), the sheer voile panels waiting to be ironed for the window behind the headboard, and the laundered and dried "drapery" panels that will form the second layer of window coverings.

Photo 6 above, the brown clunky blinds I am banishing!  And another shot of my lovely bedroom floor.  Nicole Curtis would be proud of these floors, my sellers did a great job in having them restored to their former beauty, but then they scratched and scuffed and scored them up quite a bit while moving, alas.  As I did not get down on my hands and knees to inspect the wood floors during my final walk-through the day before closing, and saw only a few scuffs in the available light (not very bright), I figured the scuffs I saw would buff out by hand easily enough, so I didn't mention it.  Note to self:  There is no such thing as "buff out by hand easily enough" when it comes to hardwood floors. 

Photo 7 above, the "cosmetic" finished product!  I am so pleased with this look!  Success!  The curtains are doing the job they were intended to do, which is cover the ENTIRE window span from beyond the outer window trim to the inner corner where the windows meet; because of the style of Vivan's drapery header, I was able to pull the curtains "over" the rod brackets (was not able to do that with the rod-pocket top curtaind I'd had up in the before photos) and continue them on the curtain rod, so now the curtains extend past the rod brackets!  Should mention that these curtain/drape panels can also be used as a conventional rod-pocket top, or with clip on rings, so lots of options.  Personally, not only did the pleating tape option give me the flexibility I needed to arrange the curtains "just so" on the rods, I also love the look of the "pleats."

I just love how the western sunlight in this late afternoon photo shows the sillouette of the ornamental tree that anchors this corner of the house outside my mistress bedroom. 

Final photo, photo 8 above, shows the west-facing window and north-facing window that overlooks my neighbor's driveway.  Not a view I want to see and a reminder of how close together the homes are in this more "urban" area than where I used to live.

The curtains need more fullness, and I want a lush, full look in this bedroom that I intend to decorate to my heart's content.  So, I ordered two more pair of IKEA Vivan curtains -- one pair will be added to each window, and two more pair of Teresia voile sheers, ditto.

I had also ordered window blinds to provide an additional layer of privacy on my bedroom windows --  the Schottis blinds:

They are really inexpensive, and really cool!  They can be cut to size with a scissors or blade and stick up on the window frame with a long strip of adhesive.  They can be raised or lowered with the use of two clips (provided) on either side of the blind.  A Velcro strip is also provided that can be cut in parts and placed along the bottom of the shade and the window sill to secure the shade, if desired.  They are a combination of paper products and polyester fabric and I would have loved to have installed them on my windows (two on each window) to provide more light filtering and thorough privacy corner-to-end of window coverage, but because I was not able to remove the metal brackets that held up the ugly brown vinyl blinds, I did not have space to "paste" up the Schottis blinds.  So they will have to wait. 

Progress.  Painfully slow, but progress!

1 comment:

  1. I love the new curtains, Jan! It pairs up well with your bedspread and pillow cases. I can tell that you definitely planned that look. Hahaha! Buying the blinds was such a good move. It's never bad to have too much privacy, right? Anyway, I hope you're enjoying the new look of your bedroom. All the best to you! :)

    Shirley Todd @ Arjay’s Window Fashions