Monday, August 31, 2015

More Than I Bargained For

I took on a job when my partner was not available, thinking I could well handle it myself. The work seemed straightforward enough and I gave my price. After accepting the price, the customer then sent me the colour selections. It was only painting and I thought I would whip through it in no time at all. However, the colours were inherently difficult to work with. There were four of them, mixed and matched throughout the 4 bedrooms. The navy blue feature wall colour was almost black and left zero room for error on all edges. This takes extreme care and more than few tricks of the trade and some very expensive 'paint blocking tape'.

The result was very dramatic and 'cut-ins' were flawless.

But, the other three colours were extremely transparent. Light yellows, light pinks, and light mauves are the worst and it is these three that I struggled with. Since switching to Benjamin Moore Aura paints a few years back, I have only one time had a pink that required multiple coats. 99% of the time, trimming once and rolling twice is the order of the day. Here, I was trimming three times and rolling as many as four times. Needless to say, more time and more paint equals a higher price.  I have tried, over the years, to never go over a quote.

I put in some very long days, and was able to because the whole family was out of town on a vacation. It was during the hottest days which did not help. When all was said and done, I stuck to the original price and swallowed the extra costs.
I guess that I am nearing the end of my career and I would like to go out on a good note.

Friday, August 28, 2015


The couple who own this townhouse are very careful with their money and as a result, have difficulty making up their mind. Their home is elegant and minimalist, so this pattern was suitable for them, dressing up a few walls without making too bold of a statement. It started with this small wall in the front entry. They loved it so much they went out and got some more and I continued on to the powder room just to the left of the first photo.

They had never had wallpaper before and were very pleased by the decorative effect that it can have. "We will call you back because we think one wall in the Master Bedroom would look good with wallpaper too."
Two weeks later I get a call and they tell me they are ready to take the plunge. Much to my surprise, I see that the same paper has been purchased. Actually, it goes really well in all three areas and I guess you could say that it carries a theme throughout the house. They were impressed how I was able to line up the geometric design perfectly to the ceiling, the walls, and the baseboards. I took the credit, but actually, it was one of those rare homes where the framing was plumb and square from top to bottom. I just had to start right and the rest fell into place.
This is a very inexpensive product from Home Depot but is tops in my books as far as appearance and workability are concerned.
The bonus for me on this job was the fact that the lady of the house teaches photography in a High School so we had a lot to talk about. She also showed me her interesting collection of antique cameras as well as his collection of rare memorabilia concerning the  Saskatchewan Roughrider football club.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vacation Stroll

We like to go for a walk, early morning or early evening, once a day, when we are spending time at our vacation spot on Osoyoos Lake. Our favourite route is north to the spit of land we can see from our balcony. It is a quiet country lane with vacation homes, beaches, docks, lovely trees and friendly people.
Above, busylizzy is standing so that our cabin is directly behind her head. Our walk extends further north, almost to the border and then back home along the orchard roads that parallel the highway. It is about 4 kilometers, much more when it is hot.

This is one of our favourite spots on the walk. The cabin is immaculate, though it is easy to see it has been there for many, many years. Everything is freshly painted, the yard and flower beds are manicured, and the nice little touches are the tiny lights in the trees at dusk, along with a candle holder chandelier hanging in the tree above the picnic table. The view, behind the camera, is full on lake, beach, and desert mountains. We cannot help but stop, and soak it in, every time we walk past.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Credit, No Blame

This is the second home hair dressing business I have been called to this year. This was a beautiful set-up, clean and efficient. The retro wallpaper was pre-pasted, and, typical of pre-pasted, it presented challenges.

When I was done, the owner seemed quite pleased and asked if I would not want to leave my business cards on her counter and tap into the many people who come here and would see the 'great job' I did. I declined and she was bewildered. I told her that although she cold not see the inferior quality of the paper, there would be those who would and they would say "Who hung your paper?" The seams were not lying down flush, no matter what I did as well as the edge of paper not having enough colour to hide the seam. Even a coloured water soluble pen did not help.
This is one I will not get residual business from, nor will my reputation be ruined by it. Just don't get too close, keep the lights low, and it will be just fine.