Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Time for tidy - dining room

Last week's dining table and bench got covered in heaps of paper - no place to put down a plate, no place to sit. 
Paper is - perhaps - my worst enemy clutterwise.  It has a tendency to pile up like the speed of lightning. 
There are magazines (I indulge myself to an interior design magazine now and then),
commersial mail (although we have a no commersials-sticker on our mailbox),
a few paper bills (most of my bills comes electronically),
and other mail /documents that need handling of some sort. 
It all piles up. 
Last week the table top was full of it. 
As well as the dining room bench. 
I've removed the paper (most of it to my bedroom).

I needed somewhere to keep small stuff like receipts and coins and stuff that pile up so I found these two white paper bags for coralling.

Before decluttering: Not possible to sit down on the dining room bench.

After: Not a piece of paper or clutter in sight:)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time for tidy - kitchen

The kitchen looked awful after last week's neglect. 
The tower of furniture, laundry and kitchen utensils was removed except for the stool which is used to reach things on the top shelves.
The counter was cleared for clutter and the decoration changed somewhat.
The white dotted blue lunch box with handles is from my childhood home and contains happy memories of sandwiches with sweaty salami brought on expeditions with my family.  

Noticed the rubber gloves matched the blue in the box so they were allowed to stay. 

My old school apron hanging from the rail. 

Before: Things and stuff all over the place! Amazing how little time it takes to clutter up a place. 
After: Not empty - but soo much better. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Time for tidy - living room

 I knew I had quite a lot of work ahead of me after last weeks messy behavior, when  I started tidying the living room on Thursday afternoon. Did just a little but enough to make it nice to come home for weekend. The bulk of the cleaning and tidying was done during the weekend. 
Feels so good to be back on track again:)

The mountain of clutter has been removed, most of it upstairs to my bedroom, which as a result is packed. A couple of smaller pieces of furniture has been removed to the garage. I have not yet decided whether they will be allowed indoor again.

It is so nice to relax in a tidy room.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Last week was hectic, more than anticipated. This week is more hectic - as anticipated. 
Vacation is over, my daughter's back to school again, I'm back to work.
This is the result:
From the hall through the living room to the kitchen. 
And up the stairs.
And beyond.
More clutter than EVER.

                                 An abundance of shoes in the entrance hall
A mountain is rising in the living room
                                                               A tower is rising in the kitchen

Abandoned painting equipment on the landing


Monday, August 22, 2011

Bright colors

Sitting at the breakfast table, it's a grey and dull day outside. But looking around I realize there are quite a few spots of bright color in here.

 Pillows on the dining room bench. 

Weed in a bowl. 

Plastics on the table. 

Some of the food. 

My daughter's Silly bandz.  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Me - the electrician

I've put up my first ceiling lamp. I have. My very first.
And about time it was too.
We bought the lamp in the big white box for my daughter's room about a year ago and it's just silly that I didn't put it up sooner.

I am really challenged on this area, and it was a long and winding process but this is how I did it, step by step.

Step 1: Turn off the power.
In our five year old electrical board there is no switch labeled Main fuse!
Instead I had to turn off the switch labeled Overload protection.
To me this was not at all obvious; I thought the purpose of the Main fuse was just a collective on/off switch of the entire power system. Instead it's a safety not to overload the electrical system - hence the label.
In the end, though,  I just closed the fuse for this particular room.

Step 2: Dismantle the existing ceiling lamp.
I thought that would be easy - but nooo. I just didn't have a clue as how to pull out the wires from the thingys they were attached to. Turned out there were these tiny small screws behind the light bulb that had to come loose in order to pull out the wires.
I used a really small screw driver to unscrew the tiny screws holding the wires to the electrical system.

Step 3: Put up the fastening device for the new lamp.
There was a metal thingy to put up in the socket in the ceiling and then fasten the lamp itself to this.

But as the metal thingy was too small to fit in the socket I used a plastic disc that I cut additional holes in for the screws and the flex, fastened this to the socket and then screwed the metal thingy to the plastic disc, put on washers and nuts to ensure that the metal thingy would keep in place even when carrying the weight of the lamp.

Step 5: Put up the lamp itself
The lamp came with a surprisingly long flex (usually the flexes are a bit too short) and I had to cut it to size. I saved as much as possible of the flex and lay it round and round in the lamp cup. I used a sharp knife to cut through the plastic layer of the flex making sure I didn't cut into the wires. A bit fiddly work but I managed in the end. 

When I was to connect the wires in the connecting box (in Norwegian sukkerbit), I didn't remember which wire had gone into which hole/letter. Apparently it doesn't matter much which go where, but I put the wire with the black trace in the letter   L and the plain wire in the letter N. The yellow/green wire is for earthing (in Norwegian jording) and is not attached to the electrical system when not in use.

Det electrical conductors from the electrical system are color coded: The black or brown, or as in my case grey, connect to the letter L (leading electricity in to the lamp),  the blue wire connect to the letter N in the connecting box (leading electricity out of the lamp).

It was a bit tricky to work with my arms above my head and fit the wires in the connection box and tighten them while holding on to the lamp.
Turned out I had misplaced the original screws for fastening the lamp to the metal thingy so I had to find alternative screws, they were a bit longer but did the job. (Turned out I had used the missing screws to fasten the metal thingy to the plastic thingy earlier in the process:)
Finally I put in a light bulb.

Then all the electrical work was done, I just had to let loose all the butterflies and turn on the switch and it was finished!

There were more obstacles than I had anticipated in doing this, took a bit longer and required a couple of trips to the store for additional supplies, but once I figured out the how-tos, it wasn't really complicated. 
(Not like writing this post about it afterwards, 
which has been both difficult and time consuming :)

This is how I did it, to the best of my ability and with some help from internet, and so far so good.
Soon ready for the next electrical job.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Black challenge

The beautiful blog Sukkertøy for øyet / Eye candy has got a black challenge.  

So, I looked around in our house. 
We have our wall  painted  blackboard - that is certainly black.
Love the graphic pattern in the black&white tray. 
The whiteness in the white tray is stunning!

Our 60s retro dining room chairs are also black - love them.

I prefer black in small dosages as accessories to large dosages of white - just to ground the lightness a bit.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Zinc gutters

Just a tiny detail on our house; the gutters are made of zinc and look really cool. 

Particularly nice since one of the gutters come down just in front of the front door!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Rummaging the attic

The other day my daughter and I assisted my mother in checking out the attic at her house. 
It is my childhood home and of course there's a lot there that brings back fond memories from 
a happy childhood. 

Just climbing the ladder, poking my head through the small opening through the ceiling to the attic, the short thrill when opening the hatch just above my head not knowing if anything would come  falling down on me, the smell of old cartoons and school books that are kept there,  - it brought me right back 
to way back when. 

My daughter followed enthusiastically, she has a strong nostalgic string in her as well, and is interested in everything I had when I was little. 
We found this bright red hand bag that I'm not sure wether was mine or one of my sisters'.  
My daughter fell completely in love with it 
and she was allowed to take it home with her. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer joy

We're enjoying last bits of summer and vacation. House cleaning and house sorting isn't a priority. 
We're off to the beach!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lamps in waiting

As I tried out different arrangements for the still lifes the other day I brought out more lamps from my collection of lamps in waiting.
I have bought several lamps both new and from second hand shops during the last couple of years.
None of them have been put to use yet.

The old ones need rewiring or different fabric or maybe a lick of paint.

The new ones  just have to be connected to the electrical system - which for me is a major obstacle as I have never done that before.

The excisting lighting in the house is either plain and boring
(as the one in the picture to the left. Each room except the living room, has one of these put up in the middle of the ceiling.) 
or just non-excisting
(as in the bathroom above the mirror and in the kitchen under the kitchen cupboards). 

So, I'll pull myself together and collect all the crafting and DIY skills I can muster, and get these lamps up and running.
They cannot stay in storage for much longer - that's for sure! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Pastels on the table

Found some pastel colored items and put them together in a still life. 

Blue bowl and pink mug from ikea, vintage yellow vase from don't-know-where 
sometimes back in the eighties.  

The orange desk lamp (Pixar Anglepoise ) is a favorite find from the charity shop. 
Bought it a year or two ago, but still haven't started using it - it's waiting for 
the right electrical connector. 
Silly, I know! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baking Friday

The rain came back yesterday evening and gave us this beautiful rainbow. 
It was still raining today which made us change our plans of gardening and going to the beach. 

Instead we stayed at home and my daughter baked yummi muffins.