{House} A Stripe Above the Rest

It was time to tackle the most challenge step yet in my striping adventure: making a level top stripe across the other three walls. I couldn’t use the ceiling, since that’s not level, which meant I had to use the level to make my new lines.

I started with the line over the door, since that would be the most visible from the interior of the apartment.  It took a few tries to get a tape line that was pretty level and looked ok with the door and ceiling.

Then I moved to the wall on the right.  I had to use the level three times across the wall, but I came out with a tape line that looks pretty good!

The last step was to join the two tape lines together.  I was so nervous that I would’ve gotten so far off and have to start over.

I didn’t use the level much here–just took a long piece of tape and joined the two tape lines.

In the end, I was only off by about 1/16 of an inch!  Good enough for me!  Now to work on the rest of the stripes on the right wall.  Should be quicker since I can measure down from the top line.

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{House} Not So Merry Christmas

Santa didn’t bring me a laser level (like a Facebook follower suggested), which meant that I was on my own to map out the stripes the old fashioned way. After my last attempt, I decided to start over by marking out a middle stripe and measuring out from it.

I found the midpoint on the wall, and measured 8 3/4 inches down a few times, until I had reached the top of the middle stripe. Then, I used the level to draw a level line on the wall, and then ripped some large pieces of tape and applied them at the line.

Then, I measured below the line for the bottom of the stripe.  I marked the measurement in a few places, and drew a level line.  I ended up not going with the line so much as making sure the tape was exactly 8 3/4 inches below the top tape.

Once I was satisfied with those lines, I started working my way down the wall: measuring, marking, leveling, taping, and measuring again.

Finally, it was time to work my way up, which required me to stand on a stool and reach as much as I could to finish off the top stripe.

But it’s done! Well, the one wall is done. I still have to work across the top of the door, and then down the other long wall.

{House} A Swing and a Stripe

The next step in my stripe saga was to actually mark and tape them on the wall. One of my favorite blogs had just done a similar thing, so I felt ready to tackle the challenge myself.

I grabbed some wide painters tape and an artists pencil, and got to work.

The stripes are each 8 3/4 inches wide, and I made a few marks at that interval down the wall. I needed to do it four times on the first wall, since my level is only two feet long, and the wall is about five feet wide.

Then, I used the level to make a level line joining two marks to each other.

That wasn’t as simple as it sounds. Turns out, the marks aren’t even close to level!

After checking that I had in fact measured correctly, I took a level to the ceiling, and discovered that across those five feet, the height changes by half an inch!

I pressed on and taped the top stripe anyway, before I realized it didn’t look good and took it down. I’m thinking I’ll need to approach this differently, like starting in the middle of the wall and working out.

{Hannah} Grand Cayman

Last week I escaped the first New York snowfall by heading to Grand Cayman! I stayed at Major Rod’s Hostel, which was pretty nice, located near the beach and town, but also introduced me to a friend to explore the island with!

The weather on Saturday when I arrived was overcast with storms in the forecast. That didn’t stop us from taking a walk along Seven Mile Beach though!

We got caught in the rain, but sought refuge in the stairwell of a condo building. We ate dinner at Da Fish Shack, which was right on the ocean.

My plans for Sunday included seeing the sights on the east part of the island. We started off at Pedro St. James, where we learned some of the history of the island, and then made our way to Mastic Trail for a little hike. Little did we know that the bottom part of the trail was flooded, and we had to remove our shoes to wade into the water!

We made a quick stop at the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park, before hitching a ride to a highly recommended restaurant, Tukka, on the East End.

Due to the windy weather, my snorkel adventure for Monday was postponed, and my buddy couldn’t go diving either, so we headed to the West Bay to go to Hell. There are quite a few stories as to how Hell got its name, but it’s named after these rock formations.

After visiting Hell, we went to the Turtle Centre. It was interesting to learn more about green turtles, but it was definitely more “farm” than “nature center”. We took a bus to the National Gallery, only to find that they had closed for the afternoon for a staff holiday party. Instead, we wandered through a mall, climbed the stairs of the Observation Tower, and used a coupon from a guide book for lunch.

Tuesday was much nicer than Monday, and my snorkel excursion (and my buddy’s dive trip) was a go! After a quick bus ride to the dock, the boat brought us to Stingray City Sandbar, where we were able to swim and touch stingrays! They still have their stingers, but are around people so often that they’re harmless.

We stopped at two more locations to snorkel before heading back to the dock. I asked to be dropped off at the beach instead of the office where we started, and enjoyed a few hours in the sun. I took a leisurely stroll down the beach, before running into my buddy in the middle of the street! We walked back up the beach and watched the sun set, before finding a nice restaurant on the beach for my farewell dinner.

Wednesday morning I wandered around George Town, stopping at the National Museum, before heading to a distillery tour. I ate lunch (and grabbed food for dinner on the plane) at the vegan restaurant Bread and Chocolate. Then it was back to the hostel to pack and hang out one last time with the folks there.

All in all, it was a pretty good trip!

Back to the cold and snow and daily rise-and-grind.

Happy First House-iversary!

A year ago today, I was getting ready for the final walk through of my apartment, and then going to the building lawyer’s office to sign the paperwork to officially purchase my apartment!  It’s so crazy to think of how far I’ve come in just one year of home ownership!

First Thing I Did: Painting My Front Door

Best Accomplishment: The Closet (Shelves, Double Hanging Rod)

Best Looking: Me in my Green Coat!

Biggest Fail: The Painted Doorknobs

Most Improved: The Walls of My Apartment (Entry Way, Living Room, Dressing Room)

Terrific Trip: European Adventure

Biggest Transformation: The Dresser

I’ve done so many more projects, and I’ve even forgotten what I’ve done! What was your favorite project so far? Can’t wait to see what happens in year two! 🙂