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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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April 23, 2012

January's Roombox

I wasn't going to blog about my progress on this project since January reads my blog and I thought she might rather not see it until it's completed.  So, January - this is a SPOILER ALERT!!!  Quit reading if you don't want to see pictures. :)

This is a Houseworks roombox kit which I put together about a month or so ago.  Only had one real issue with the kit which was the instructions tell you to glue the two sides and back to the outside of the floor, which is fine.  But I got that done and then wished I hadn't because the last thing they have you do is glue the top piece inside the standing walls and back, and whether you glue the edges of the top piece (which I did) or glue a bead around the top of the walls and back, you have to slide that top piece into position - not good.  What I should have done was glue one side piece and the back to the base piece, glue the top onto the edges of those, then glue the other side piece to the outside edges of the base, back and top pieces. 

Before running into that problem, I had put the petitpoint rug, two finished bookcases, and other major pieces into the box to see how it was going to work.  It was all right, but I figured it would look better if I extended the depth by an inch - there would be more floor showing around the rug.  Fortunately, the sides were 1/8" think MDF and the floor and ceiling were 1/4" thick MDF so I just bought strip wood in those thicknesses, cut them to size and glued them on.

So, here in pictures, is where I am this morning and some of the steps getting here:

This first one is after I made the decision to deviate from what January had told me she would like.  She wanted not only the bookcases stained, but all the woodwork and once I finished the bookcases, I  just couldn't bring myself to do all the wainscoting and baseboard (and possibly crown molding) in that very dark stain.  I did stain some of the wainscoting to see how it would look and in addition to being dark it had the usual problem of not taking the stain well.  So, after much agonizing over colors I chose this one.  The piece on the left side is where I had painted a scrap with the color and then used an antiquing glaze over it.  I decided I liked it without the glaze better and will just use a regular satin varnish on everything.

After all my deliberations, it was time to get to work.  First, install the floor (Houseworks red oak stained with the bookcase stain).  On the left, it is in and weighted down with many books.  I managed to think ahead and lay a piece of waxed paper down over the flooring before I put the books in, just in case some glue oozed out.  You can also see on the side and top the extension pieces I added.  On the right is the finished floor which turned out fine - no glue smears, bubbles or bulges. 

Next I glued in the sidewalls' baseboard pieces.  Don't remember why I decided to do that - maybe just cause I wanted to!  Then, I primed the walls down to a little below where the wainscoting will go and also primed the ceiling.  On the right, the ceiling paper has been installed and glory be, it didn't bubble!  I've had that happen sometimes.  I used actual wallpaper paste and had a little trouble getting the paper in, mainly because as soon as it hit the surface, it grabbed and wanted to stay put.  So I decided before I paper the walls I would sand them lightly and then put a thin coat of ModPodge on them to hopefully give me a slightly slicker surface.

I'm basically enjoying this project although it's been kind of nerve-wracking.  Back when I was doing this type of thing with some regularity, I learned all sorts of tricks and construction became relatively simple.  But it's been so long that I find I'm a lot more nervous about it now.  Not having a really good workspace doesn't help either, but I think some of the worst is over.  I'm ready to paper the walls now - am going to do that before I install the wainscot.  I think the only other really difficult part may be when it's time to attach the grooved molding around the front edges that allow an acrylic front to slide in and out.  I've done dry runs already and it does go together, but somehow I just see "danger" signs when I contemplate it, so I've already told myself if it doesn't work, I won't panic - I'll take it to a framer or something and have them make something that will work.

More to come...


Christopher said...

Looks like it is really taking shape... kudos!

elly in amsterdam said...

It is going to be great, Mary Lynne !

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