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04 November 2007
  (Mis)Adventures in DIY
It's been another lovely afternoon...LOL.

We had nothing to do today. All the shopping was done, we had Betty's gift, no festivals or shows this weekend.

So after James made biscuits for breakfast and then loaded up the dishwasher, we first put up the little ceiling fan in the kitchen and the new faux-Tiffany light fixture in the dining room. This took us till three (four hours total), and we are exhausted.

We'd bought the 36 inch six-blade ceiling fan a few months ago because it gets a bit close in winter and on warm days when James is cooking even with the exhaust fan on. We made two sacrifices when we bought this house: one, there's no front window for the Christmas tree, and two, the kitchen is small. James loves to cook and we could never have a professional stove or a farmhouse sink because they just wouldn't fit. It's probably about 10x14, with half reserved for the appliances and sink and counters. The part under the window is supposed to be a breakfast nook, but we have the convection microwave there on a baker's rack, with the old microwave underneath (although we can't use both together; it blows the circuit) and also our breadmaker, stock pot, and crock pot.

We knew this going in. Okay, you can't tell the lights without a scorecard, so here goes. Originally there was a large round light fixture in the dining room, a small dropped light fixture in the breakfast nook, and a small round light fixture over the prep/appliance area. I told the builder to put the dropped light fixture in the dining room, and then to swap the two round light fixtures: put the large round one over the prep area, where you need it, and the small one over the "breakfast nook," where we just needed light for taking food out of the convection microwave.

Well, they put the dropped light fixture in the dining room, but the large light went in the "nook" and the small one stayed where it was.

Never mind.

The ceiling fan went pretty well except for James' tendency to drop the screws. He has large guy fingers and these things are made for small children. :-).

The Tiffany light was another matter. There were two wires, the one for the power, and the one for the ground. The latter was simple, thin copper wire twisted together, like in a television antenna attachment, and it broke just rubbing against the mount for the lamp. We spliced it together and James screwed it on yet a third time, since the first time he tried to get the wires back in the little space under the "cap" that goes over the fixture hole in the ceiling, the wires pulled out of the wire nuts. But then the ground wire and the power wire were not on the same side, and when James tried to screw the mount up, the thin ground wire would twist. So he had to take it down again, get the wires on both sides, and put it up again. Then the screw ring that fastened the cap up kept cross-threading because it was so narrow.

During all this time, since the fixture was not fastened to anything but the power cord yet, I was standing on a chair next to James holding the light up. It wasn't terribly heavy, but it wasn't light, either, and I have arthritis in my neck and also in my shoulder since the thyroid surgery. I was in quite a bit of pain and so was he, having worked overhead for over three hours, when that stupid ring finally went on properly and the light was up and hanging from its chain properly and not the power cord.

James then put the larger round fixture in place of the small fixture. We just have to get some better light bulbs than were originally in there, and some small bulbs for the ceiling fan and the Tiffany light.

Now that I look at the latter, though, it was worth it. It looks like it was made for that room, with an antiqued copper finish, almost black, and the delicate colored lamp covers, rather than the clumsy top-shaped fixture that was dangling there before. The red bits of glass match the chair cushions and the apple detailing and the soft ivory panels of most of the lamp cover and the yellow oval highlights give it all an autumn cast.

In order below: the "breakfast nook" fan, the dining room with new light, the light without using a flash, and then with a flash.

the little fan in the kitchen

the new light in the dining room

the lights not under flash

the lights under flash

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