Summer lovin’

I love the first of Summer.  The days are warm, perfect for being outside or for doing projects inside.  And the cool nights mean that I can start early and work late if necessary.  This past weekend I decided to tackle 3 projects.

The largest by far was the kitchen fixture remodel.  Since a lot of this required wood working (which I tend to avoid because of allergies to pine and fir), I left the bulk of this project in the capable hands of my husband and daughter.  While they were cutting and sanding away in the garage, I tackled two other projects; makeup organizers and staining my dull fireplaces.

The day went thus;

The first thing we had to do was remove the modeling around the light box.  Originally, there was frosted plastic in the wood frame which covered halogen lighting. Very 60s, 70s.


Once the frame was removed, the lights had to come out and then the recess needed to be mudded and finished.  I guess the house’s original owners never thought the area would be viewed.


We put in some temporary lighting so we could see better as we worked.  While the mud dried (the first coat), my husband and daughter began construction of the lighting box.  We decided on a box design so that we could more easily access the wiring and space the new lights where we wanted them instead of having to work around the odd spacing of the three light junctions already in the ceiling.  Since the junctions weren’t centered, this gave us more flexibility with the design.  The existing frame was walnut so we purchased one sided walnut plywood and built a box in the shape of the recess.


Once the box was constructed and stained, the lighting pattern needed to be laid out.  I liked the idea of 4 diamonds interconnected so were measured the box, laid out the pattern, and drilled our holes.  Next we punched holes into the mason lids that would secure our “lamp glass”, the lights, and the hardware.  Next came the installation of the wiring channel, the lamp base, and the lids.


Once the ceiling casing had cured, it was time to install the box.  We hinged it on one side in order to provide us with easy access to the wiring.  Next we ran the wiring to each light lid, and attached the wiring.  Once this was done, we lifted the box up against the ceiling and secured the unhinged side with clasps.

Then we screwed in the bulbs and covered each lamp with a “lamp globe.  The last touch was to replace the old tri-partition frame with a “new” open frame and voila, my new mason jar kitchen lights are up and functioning.


Like I mentioned before, I am not really useful when it comes to working with wood.  At least not if I want to be fully functional the next day.

With my husband and daughter busy in the garage, the ceiling drying, and me with time on my hands, I decided to give the 2 fireplaces and the brick wall in our game room, a fresh look. The brick is already old, reused stone.  But it looked dingy and dusty.  And to be honest, I didn’t like it. To give it a facelift, I applied two coats of concrete sealant which brought out the coloring and got rid of the dusty look I abhorred. I had to be careful NOT to apply the sealant to the grout as it would have altered the color of the cement.

The brick game room wall section:

  Before with just a few bricks done to see if I’d like the change.

  Half way there.

Much cleaner looking.

Next to get the treatment was the family room fireplace.

  BEFORE.  It looks so dusty and dingy and in my mind, was an eye sore in my otherwise lovely family room.  The candles are going because I couldn’t stand the musty smell of the mud drying in the kitchen.

  AFTER.  Definitely an improvement and no longer an embarrassment.

The yellow sandstone fireplace in the living/music room got the same treatment.

And still, I had some time on my hands.  My husband had just hung the mirror he built for my daughter in her room so I decided to help out and create a wall vanity area for her so she could do her makeup in her room.   I had tons of mismatched glass jars lying around so this is what I made.


All this project took was some scrap 1×4 painted white, some metal adjustable clamps which I screwed into the wood, and some jars.  My daughter loves the convenience of having all her make up in one area and her little brother isn’t pounding on the door, urging her to hurry up.

Next weekend, I think I’ll tackle the dining room accent lighting.  It looks just as bad as the kitchen did and would fabulous with mason jar lighting.  Or maybe teacups?????  Stay tuned.


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