Category Archives: home decor

Spicing Up My Life- Installing Tiny Spice Shelves

As part of my ongoing endeavor to assemble every last still-boxed Ikea project in my home, I give you Bekväm- cute , tiny, wooden spice shelves with their own little jars.

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Just a little Ikea…

These little Swedish jewels are a snap to assemble. Assuming you read the directions and insert all the pieces in the correct order.

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Awesome hex driver

Partway through this project I thought I would be SO SMART and use my drill with a square bit to drive in these screws. In reality, they are a hex screw which requires a hex driver bit in a size I cannot currently locate (but know that I own. This is a good lesson to all of us to RETURN OUR TOOLS TO THEIR PROPER STORAGE LOCATIONS when we are finished with their services.)

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My drill with incorrect size and shape of driver bit. It seemed like such a great idea.

So when I realized that I had forgotten to insert the little rail prior to attaching the sides, I had to back out the screws– one of which I stripped using the wrong driver bit. Fortunately, the screws on the other side were still intact and I was able to back them out, insert rail and screw them back in (with awesome Ikea hex driver).

Installation (leveling, marking, screws) was similar to the rails, only this guy is only 16 inches and I was able to use wood screws in studs instead of anchors.

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Assembled and installed near stove.

And here is the entire ensemble in the Stove Cove.


Omni-functional stove area.

That concludes my Ikea Production for last weekend. I only have a few more Ikea objects left uninstalled/unassembled in the house. I’m hoping to wrap those up this month.

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Scentsy and Sensibility

Scentsy Diffusers

I enjoy a nice smell. So for many years I have relied on Ye Olde Scented Candle for this purpose, strategically placed about my home in various smell-zones. Lighting candles in the home requires a bit of vigilance, lest you burn down your home in an attempt to make it olfactorially resemble, say, the woods in October.

So a few years ago I decided to try Scentsy, a system of non-live-flame scent-producing appliances. I felt as though it would be easier to maintain my odor-aesthetic with a less dangerous interface. So I contacted my local associate (who lives conveniently less than a mile from me) and threw a Scentsy party (so that I could furnish my home in Lilac Spring by relying on the purchases of my friends whom I love.)

I bought several wall plug-ins and a stand-alone mini-lamp style warmer. These items operate using small bulbs of specific wattage. Then you place the scented wax squares in the ceramic holders and your home explodes in Sierra Nevada Sunshine. In theory. In practice, I cannot remember to turn these things off, so the bulbs are on all the time. Is it safe? Sure, the bulbs are between 15-25 watts, no danger. But as it turns out, LIGHT BULBS DO NOT LAST FOREVER. And neither does the scent. I found myself having to replace the wax in less than a week, which in itself is a practice in Zen patience– turn off the warmer, wait EXACTLY 25 MINUTES until the wax is firm enough to remove from the tray without producing an oily/waxy globular mess, yet soft enough to eject with out a prybar (or in my case a butter knife.)

Wall warmer

Lamp Warmer

So I had two issues– I had to continually purchase bulbs (be advised- the wall warmer bulbs resemble night-light type bulbs but are 15 watts and not 4 or 7– placing a lower wattage bulb in these will not work. I tried and thought my warmer was broken). The lamp style warmer uses a GU10 style halogen bulb, not cheap. I and was constantly performing Wax Management.

So when I was at the state fair recently, my friend wanted to visit the Scentsy booth to purchase some wax squares for her warmers (she is a life-long PRO at Scentsy, and has NONE of my issues). When I told the Scentsy lady that I had given up on my Scentsys due to above personal shortcomings and that I had returned to burning candles, she looked at me aghast — as if I had been using my candles for human sacrifice rituals rather than my innocent aromatic purposes. And then she went on to advise me that Scentsy has a new product, the Diffuser, which appears to be a hybrid of a traditional passive diffuser and a vaporizer. This product operates with (wait for it) LEDs!!!! No bulbs to burn out, no heating elements to be concerned about. It merely requires adding water and essential oil, and will intelligently turn itself off when all of the water had been dispensed as vapor.

Genius! In theory, of course. For now I am sticking with my copious candles (and clearly frowned upon method) of stinking up the joint with good ol’ fire.

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