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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Needful things - completing UFOs that get in the way of costuming

This is a picture of a mirror.  Yep. Pretty straight forward.  But it wasn't really.  Because it isn't just a mirror. It's a mirror on a wall.
A mirror on a wall that didn't have any studs in it!
What am I raving on about?
Well I start a lot of projects and then get waylaid by life and they don't get finished. In particular my 18th century projects get delayed because they are not every day things which MUST happen or all hell breaks loose.
The mirror is also a project that sat and waited.
I bought it at the Salvos thrift shop months ago. It must have originally been an old dressing table mirror as it still has the side fittings on it. I like oval frames so it came home with me.  It's been sitting against my wardrobe for months because I realised it's quite heavy - doh it's a mirror Sandra!  
So I weighed said mirror which was 3 kg. Heavier than the usual things I put on the wall and the last thing I wanted was to have it fall on me or the floor with shattered bits of glass embedded in everything within cooee!
I bought some hangers from the local hardware which were rated for 5 kg but when I read the fine print on the back of the packet (when I got home) I discovered that was only if you were fitting them to a stud in the wall.  Sadly there were no convenient studs (there never are) where I was hanging the mirror so I googled 'hanging heavy mirrors' and discovered either I needed to screw a piece of wood to the wall or I needed to install 'anchor' fittings.  Anchor fittings fan out behind the hole you poke them through in the wall and stop them pulling out and are rated for 10 kg each.  They also necessitated the drilling of a large hole in the wall.  Well two large holes actually, because I figured it was better to spread the weight load across two points and also it's easier to hang things level if you have two hooks.
This meant getting out my tools, measuring the space and remeasuring to make sure I was not about to make a dog's dinner of the job.
I have to report, I have done a damned fine job.  I keep looking at it, just to make sure it's not about to fall.  But it does seem secure. 
For those of you who like to do things yourself, I also made sure I wasn't about to screw anything into a wall where there were live electrical cables.  And just in case the wall was asbestos I had a face mask and wet tissue ready to damp the dust.  But it turns out the walls are plasterboard so that was good.
So TICK that's one job completed.
Project two
While at the hardware I also picked up some outdoor furniture oil. I salvaged an old garden bench from a council cleanup several years ago and stripped back the ninety-nine layers of paint that were on it.  But I decided instead of painting it I would oil it up so I could leave it outside in the weather.  Since this is Queensland we have lots of hot sun and then big storms with rain and hail so I wanted it to be the right oil.  The first one I picked up was clear and I discovered clear was not recommended for direct sunlight which is what we have since we have no patio area.  So I went with one of the coloured oils because they have extra UV filters in them.  I chose Jarrah thinking that would be nice and warm.  Which it is, but it's also a bit um, more strongly red/orange than I thought. So it looks horrible especially where I didn't get ALL the paint off and the puttied bits but at least it will be weather proof and useable. I will not be including a picture of said bench because it looks ghastly!  It did however like it's drink of oil, really soaked it up so I will give it another dose in a couple of days time.
So TICK another item off my list of UFOs.
And because three is a nice number, I will finish off with a touch of the 18th century.  I did make progress with one of my costume items. The pool cue walking stick!  I finally drilled the hole in the end for the brass knob to be attached.  All it needs now is some ribbon and voila it's done.
So that's an ALMOST tick! Photo to come!

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