Saturday, April 28, 2007

Spring/Summer Projects.

Since Em's gonna be spending 4 days/week working through July, I decided to make some work for myself in the "home improvement" area for the same period of time combining cheapskating, environmentalism, and fun (my three current favorites). Spring cleaning is definitely getting that "need to break a few eggs to make an omelet" look as I start project after project around here. Like a butterfly, I'm jumping from one to the other, but eventually it'll all come together, I think. Speaking of butterflies, we have some bushes in bloom that have attracted bees and butterflies like crazy. No. 1 enjoyed the butterflies landing on her when she sat outside until the bees started to land on her, as well. :-) Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Continuing in the garden news department, the Egyptian Walking Onions Diane sent me last year are doing something again this year. I have no idea when to pick these things or what to do with them outside of watch them grow. You might notice in the pic that last year's mint is coming back as well as weeds & grasses, so I need to get out there a period of time each day to engage in garden management tasks. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Speaking of gardening, as part of my Spring/Summer make-work project, I'm adding to our inside plant collection. Left alone, Em would be happy to have a home overrun with pothos (pronounced POH THOSE). I intend to mix it up a bit and have been combining that thought with cheapskating to get a few new starts going. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket This part of the projects started when I found a sprig of that purple striped leaf plant laying on the street during one of our walks. It probably broke off while moving the plant somewhere, but I knew from experience that it would grow roots and develop a new plant, so brought it home and stuck it in a beer can full of water. Then, I saw a Grape Ivy on sale at Kroger outside the store, pinched off a 1/2" piece and put it in my pocket. <-- I STOLE it! I'd feel guilty about the theft except that I know that these plants NEED to be pinched off to keep their fullness. THEN, I went outside to seek out that ivy I'd worried might be poisonous last year. It's something that many folks grow indoors but grows wild outside here. I found it in my backyard & pinched off a stem of it, as well. THEN, I saw the long trail without leaves on a pothos & couldn't resist the prune. Next step in this department will be moving our dying rubber trees to a location in the backyard. Rubber trees grow outside here and these guys REALLY need a change. Spring cleaning with Herbie has been moving along at a snail's place because it's boring. Vacuuming the corners of the walls is necessary to get rid of the brown recluses, but we've been entertaining the thought of getting the walls painted for a while now. So, combining cheapskating, environmentalism, and fun, I've begun a series of experiments using milk paint. I chose a wall that was small and self-contained (albeit smack dab in the center where everyone can see it), mixed up some old powdered milk with water and slapped it on the wall with a rag. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket There are several things wrong with this "paint". I'm not sure if it's because the dry milk is so old or not, but it has an odor that's slightly offensive to me. I'm thinking of adding vanilla to mask that odor, so I'll wait to see if that helps. 2nd: It has a yellowish cast to it (as perhaps you can tell by the photo) and we're really into more of an off-white wall color. We don't do other colors, so I've moved on to pigment considerations and more milk paint "recipes". I tried washing that stuff off the wall today, BTW, using earth's enemy Tide and it didn't come off. So, I need to overlay it with a pigment of milk paint more acceptable to our tastes. I'm thinking that I can add small portions of off-white paint to the mix and have a gallon of touch-up paint left by the builder. That'll be part of today's experiments in "How to make a house look like EVERYBODY lives there". 'snew with y'all?

12 comments:

Oldnovice said...

Used a sponge brush that had been left behind by the builder for the touch-up paint, a little bit of everything mentioned (voiding the Scientific Method), ending up with something that resembled oatmeal, of the same color as oatmeal. It still wasn’t as light as the rest of the walls, so can’t be used for “here and there” corrections (my original hope). OTOH, the coverage was quite good, so the problem I have isn’t with the free paint but the aesthetics of the free paint. I haven’t yet decided whether this will be the end of the experiment or whether I’ll go further. I have a LOT of dried milk, though. Maybe early next week we can pick up some white pigment.

Another thing I noticed was: There’s work involved in this. Heh.










Used a sponge brush that had been left behind by the builder for the touch-up paint, a little bit of everything mentioned (voiding the Scientific Method), ending up with something that resembled oatmeal, of the same color as oatmeal. It still wasn’t as light as the rest of the walls, so can’t be used for “here and there” corrections (my original hope). OTOH, the coverage was quite good, so the problem I have isn’t with the free paint but the aesthetics of the free paint. I haven’t yet decided whether this will be the end of the experiment or whether I’ll go further. I have a LOT of dried milk, though. Maybe early next week we can pick up some white pigment.

Another thing I noticed was: There’s work involved in this. Heh.










Used a sponge brush that had been left behind by the builder for the touch-up paint, a little bit of everything mentioned (voiding the Scientific Method), ending up with something that resembled oatmeal, of the same color as oatmeal. It still wasn’t as light as the rest of the walls, so can’t be used for “here and there” corrections (my original hope). OTOH, the coverage was quite good, so the problem I have isn’t with the free paint but the aesthetics of the free paint. I haven’t yet decided whether this will be the end of the experiment or whether I’ll go further. I have a LOT of dried milk, though. Maybe early next week we can pick up some white pigment.

Another thing I noticed was: There’s work involved in this. Heh.
Used a sponge brush that had been left behind by the builder for the touch-up paint, a little bit of everything mentioned (voiding the Scientific Method), ending up with something that resembled oatmeal, of the same color as oatmeal. It still wasn’t as light as the rest of the walls, so can’t be used for “here and there” corrections (my original hope). OTOH, the coverage was quite good, so the problem I have isn’t with the free paint but the aesthetics of the free paint. I haven’t yet decided whether this will be the end of the experiment or whether I’ll go further. I have a LOT of dried milk, though. Maybe early next week we can pick up some white pigment. I bought dry water-based pigment when the kids were little to make a form of tempura paint for their creative endeavors. I need lots of that to make this work, I think.

Another thing I noticed was: There’s work involved in this. Heh.

Oldnovice said...

Heh. Same repetition happens when I copy/paste stuff about calendar items to Email to Em. First paste does nothing and then all the pastes show.

Diane said...

Repeating yourself is the first sign of senility, ya know.

/duck

Oldnovice said...

Yeah, well...hey, what do I do with those Egyptian Walking Onions? Should I pick them at some point in time? If so, when?

Diane said...

Sorry, was in a hurry later so didn't do but a smart remark and head out.

The EOs you can pick just about any time. I use them for onion greens, for tossing in soups, salads, and just about anything and everything. Some folks like to use the bulbs, too, but they are small and fussy so I don't bother. But I hear tell they use them for boiled in peas/potatoes, and even for pickling.

Sounds like you and I have been doing much of the same stuff. I'll try to take some pics and post an update myself sometime within the next week. I've been so lazy for so long, I need to get off my butt.

Cool on the paint, btw! I was just reading about whitewash the other day and wondered if there was something around here to experiment on.

Diane said...

Oh, yeah.

588-2300.

*snicker*

No. 2 said...

Well, I don't have much to add on the gardening/painting conversations. Although, I don't like the idea of using a milk product as a paint. I would assume that it would produce a not-so-lovely odor. I guess its just because when I think of "milk", I think of "spoiling".

Just finished my weekend of work. Now I get to freak out about my finals and go to the dentist today. Should be an interesting day. I'm hoping to get some time later to make it to the gym.

That's all for now!

Oldnovice said...

Although, I don't like the idea of using a milk product as a paint. I would assume that it would produce a not-so-lovely odor. I guess its just because when I think of "milk", I think of "spoiling".

I've decided not to use it for several reasons not important enough to mention. There's a sale on paint this week at Lowe's and we're gonna get some to spruce up 3-4 rooms. I think that'll be it for this year, paint-wise. The experimental wall will remain the experimental wall, as that room isn't on the list.

Were going to a concert tonight, but changed our minds and will stay home and watch TV instead.

Have a new dishwasher being installed tomorrow, and thinking about buying the cheap GE micro-hood this week, as well. I'd looked at some patio furniture on Craig's List, but Em nixed that purchase. The stuff might have been halfway between you and I, Diane, as Em showed me where it was on the map. Nice town, though...definitely one from which I'd enjoy whatever it was they were offering as castoffs.

Oldnovice said...

Plans change around here with the wind, and the wind knocked down fences here last night. Our neighbor's fence is now laying flat on the ground, and it took a section of ours with it.

This probably means that the money we'd planned on using for paint and a microwave will go towards fence stuff.

Forecast says something about MORE storms today sometime. PFFT!

Put my plant starts out on the patio for a little outdoor air this morning. The weather's nice enough that we don't need heat or air conditioning, so we have some windows open lately during the day. I'm thinking of ways to keep us cool enough without turning on the air this summer. Might need to devise stillsuits. :-)

The fences weren't the only things affected by last night's storm. My Rosemary plant got flattened. I was just out there asking it to keep a stiff upper lip, but it needs more than I can offer inbetween storms. No. 1's cat made it through the night outside somehow. I'm gonna miss her and Ekans when No. 1 moves.

Speaking of No. 1 moving, I now have 3 "charity" piles in my office. Leukemia people come next Tuesday for used clothing and other stuff, we'll haul the food & sundries to the mission this week or next, and No. 1 will take the food I've purchased this week just for her sometime before No. 2 gets here (I THINK). It'll be great to get some floorspace back.

Diane said...

Dang. Sorry to hear about the fence. That rosemary will root if you stick it in the dirt where it broke off (or you cut it off where it's bent).

(So no one got the 588-2300 thing? *pout*)

th3yungin said...

We all should have gotten it, since we are all from Ch town...

Oldnovice said...

Empire?