Friday, January 29, 2016

A Little Adventure, A Little Good Luck

It's always about this time of year that the hubs and I start to experience cabin fever. Our normal weekend get away destination, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, is mostly under snow, having roads closed due to mud slides, or subject to seasonal road closures. This doesn't leave many options for close distance and inexpensive mini trips, so we start to get a little cranky.

Last weekend, we decided to try a new area a little closer to the coast. Sure there'd be rain, but that's not a game ender. There's less snow near the coast! We often like to find a secluded camp spot to spend an afternoon reading, listing to spooky podcasts, daydreaming and taking little naps. Olympic National Forest turned out to be a wonderful little adventure. We will definitely visit the area again, as it was wild, woody, and very beautiful!

One of our favorite things is getting to see all of the interesting sights along the way. My favorite this time was this little A frame cabin. Can you imagine that folks actually lived in this place at one time? Kind of reminds me of the bunk house Russ and I lived in when we were newly married! The mossy pallet front step, old tires and range couldn't be more perfect! One day I will recreate this scene in miniature and call it Appalachian Oasis.

After a really lovely weekend, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work on Alki Point. When I last posted, I was waiting for the spackle to dry so I could see if that solved my "heavy roof texture" problem. As luck (the good kind finally) would have it, it worked out perfectly! I painted several coats of black on the roof surface and the skylight frames and I am pleased with how they turned out.

I measured, cut and sanded the interior frames, then set to work gluing and painting them.

I wanted the windows to be pretty sturdy, so rather than using the stuff that came with the kit, I ordered a Lexan sheet from Amazon. I traced the frames and used the special plastic cutting tool to cut the out. I taped my stainless steel ruler to the surface to make sure it did not slip while I scored it.

I glued the lexan to the frames, then the frames to the roof, then added the mullions last so that they would line up with the ones that were already a part of the roof.

I had a challenge when I added the caulk to the seems. The tube arrived with no cap, and that didn't worry me. I could cope with that. The problem arose when squeezing the tube to apply the caulk to the seems. The end of the caulk tube was apparently not sealed well, so all of the caulk was coming out of the end of the tube making a giant mess! There's always a challenge with minis, right? We are nothing if not resilient, so I cut off the bad end and used several layers of packaging tape to re-seal the end. Ta-Da!

Now, here's where it's handy to have a husband with a garage full of crap useful stuff. "Honey", I said, "I need finish rings for my can lights and the grommets I have are too small. Do you have anything that might work?" Literally, four minutes later he comes in with these:

Perfect, just like him! And he even took and sent photos to me so that I could share them with you! Also, he had a hole gauge, so I knew instantly the diameter drill bit I needed to make the holes for the light sockets.

Probably most of you already know a lot of this stuff. Like I have said before, I am usually late to the party. For those mini friends who, like me, find themselves a little behind the mini knowledge curve (and get really excited making new discoveries), I may redundantly state what to most might be the obvious. Nevertheless, I hope the information helps someone!

I wanted recessed LED lighting, but wanted to find a solution where they did not cost over $10 each. Enter eBay, and mini LED lighting from Hong Kong. $11.99 for 10 bulbs, 10 sockets with wires, and 10 clips (which I did not use on this project but may in future ones), free shipping and I had them in less than two weeks. One negative... I ordered WARM, and I got 5 warm and 5 cool. To make them warm if they are cool, you can add some orange or yellow Gallery Glass paint to the tip.

Here's what they look like in the ceiling with the rings. I'll get the "all lit up" photos once I connect all of the wiring and tidy that up.

Speaking of tidying up... I need to make rooftop vents and run conduit to conceal the wires on the roof. That will be the next To Do, then I can finally get back to The Siding Experiment!

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and that you all do something really nice for yourself! You deserve it!