{House} It’s Getting Hot in Here

So hot!

So open the window.

It is getting so hot,

Please open the window!  Oh!

Obnoxious title and opening courtesy of this song, and the infamous NYC apartment super-hot radiators.  This apartment runs very warm, and I’ve had to open the window a few times, because it had gotten too hot for me.

The radiators in my last apartment weren’t that hot, but then again, only one of them was on.  My current apartment has two radiators: this one under the living room window, and another under the kitchen window (which is currently turned off).

Whenever the heat would turn on, there would be a loud hissing noise for minutes on end, as the cold–and then hot–air escaped thru the radiator valve.  The valve is meant to allow the cold air in the radiator to escape as the hot air comes in, but the hot air should not be escaping.  Knowing this apartment, it was obvious that the valve needed to be replaced, and I finally had enough to venture behind the radiator cover.

First up was to turn the radiator off.  There’s a door at the bottom and I reached my hand in to turn the knob.  (Yup, there’s a lot of gross stuff down there.  I prefer to remain oblivious to it.)

Then, like everything else in this apartment, I had to cut the paint so I could remove the cover.

It still seemed stuck, so I used the back of a hammer to lift and pull the cover away.

Yikes–that’s rough!

But I found 50 cents!  Only need 975816423 more quarters before my mortgage will be paid off 🙂  (I’m not sure what the farthest right circle is; if it’s a coin, it’s hard to tell!)

Here’s the close up of the valve.  Completely useless.

I went to a local hardware store, where the guy pointed me in the right direction to a new valve.  $35 later, and I had a shiny new one!

It was very easy to unscrew and replace the old valve.

Finally, the radiator is much quieter!  And hopefully my apartment will be slightly less warm.

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{Home} Airing My Dirty Laundry

In my first and second apartments, I had space in the closet for a laundry basket to use for dirty clothes.  But there wasn’t space in the closet in my last apartment, so dirty clothes ended up in a laundry bag under my dresser.  I wanted something more adult for this apartment, since it’s one large room and my dirty laundry will literally be seen by everyone.

Most of the laundry hampers I saw did not interest me at all, so I was excited to see this West Elm hamper listed on Craigslist.

laundry hamper west elm twig

Even though the woven vines conceal a lot, I wanted an additional bag on the inside to cover everything and make doing laundry in my building’s basement easier.  Off I went to Bed Bath and Beyond with a 20% coupon, and I came away with this hamper.

It’s a perfect fit!

I bought a can of gold spray paint to turn it gold, but I’m still liking the dark brown.  I can always glitz it up later if I change my mind!

{House} Hannah Loses Another Battle

For a friend: TLDR, don’t paint the doorknobs!

I alluded to the fact that the doorknobs in my apartment were painted with the walls and doors, and I decided to tackle them before I paint my apartment.  There are only four doors (three closets and one bathroom), so I thought this would be quick and simple.  Especially since this post made it seem so easy!  And it’s chemical-free, which is always a plus in my book.

Literally every part of it is painted.  The doorknob and plate…

…the latch…

…the strike plate…

…and the cute interior knob!

Because there’s so much paint all over them, the doors don’t close and latch.

Only one knob out of the bunch is unpainted–the inside of the bathroom.  It’s such a cool silver, I wanted the rest of the knobs to match!

I started with chipping away at the paint around the screws on the interior knob.  It was quite easy to remove the three screws on the inside!

Then I attacked the latch, and removed that plate.  It required some prying to get it free from the door.

But then I got stuck on the front.  I was able to remove the bottom screw, but the top screw wouldn’t budge.

I moved on to the screws on the knob itself.

Again, chipping away the paint was easy, but these screws wouldn’t move either!

So I’ve tried to remove one knob and failed.  Maybe I’ll settle for using a chemical stripper after all.

{Hannah} Darn It!

A few years ago, I was at a consignment shop and fell in love with a Diane von Furstenberg wool wrap dress.  As I was admiring it, I noticed a few small holes throughout the dress.  Not wanting to leave it behind, I negotiated an extra 10% discount, figuring I could try my hand at mending the holes.  And I did!

Fast forward a few years, and I regularly buy wool items with holes in them, knowing that darning small holes is fairly easy and unnoticeable.

I recently bought a sweater dress from Goodwill, and didn’t notice a hole in the sleeve until I got home.  The previous owner had repaired it with some scotch tape!  That’s not good enough for me, so I broke out a needle and thread and got to darning the hole.

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There are a lot of darning techniques, and everyone seems to put their own spin on it.  Most tutorials say to work from the inside of the garment, but I prefer the outside, so I can make sure it’s coming together well.

I start with a knot on the thread on the inside, and push the needle through to the outside.  Make sure the needle isn’t so close to the hole that it could get pulled into the hole.  Then I start pushing the needle through the knit weave, working my way across the hole.

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Back and forth, back and forth.  Once I’ve been across the whole hole in one direction, it’s time to go back in the perpendicular direction.

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Back and forth, back and forth, making sure to weave above and below the threads just added.

I make sure it’s tight enough to hold, but not so tight that it puts a pucker in the fabric.  I end with the thread next to the beginning end, and tie the two together a few times.

And then it’s done!

darn hole wool sew fix diy mend sweater dress

Depending on the hole size and location, some are easier to mend than others.  This hole was more of a long snag, and it still is visible if you’re looking for it.  The hole is located on the upper arm, which means it won’t be very apparent from most angles.  I bet no one would’ve even noticed if I hadn’t just shared this publicly!

PS. This dress also had some button accenting the end of the sleeves, which I removed with a small pair of scissors.  Who says that when you buy something it has to stay that way forever (I’m sensing a trend)?!

{House} Cord to Nowhere

Just like the phone cord ran up the wall (which–BTW–the phone works in its new home!), there was a mysterious cord running up the wall to nowhere in the dressing room.

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It went up one side, around the ceiling, and down the other side–both ends of which were cut!

This is the other box I referenced in my first house project.

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(I’m still not sure how to remove that box, as there was no obvious way for me to open it.)

Just like the phone cord, I cut the paint around the cord with a knife, and then pulled out the staples with pliers.  I guess I didn’t get cut the paint well enough (plus there was more paint on this cord than the phone cord) which resulted in more damage to the ceiling and wall than expected.

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Nothing that can’t be easily fixed before I paint!