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Easy Fixes Around the House

I hadn’t heard of Sugru until recently, but as I looked into it a bit, it seemed like pretty useful stuff to have around the house. It’s a moldable glue that you work with kind of like play dough. It sticks to just about everything and cures overnight, turning into flexible rubber with a strong hold.

I realized after looking at some of its uses that it would be perfect for fixing the toothbrush holder on our sink’s backsplash. We aren’t using the holders for our toothbrushes (I put a couple of glass tumblers in them because they seemed odd when empty), but the right one was loose when we moved in and time has only made it worse. One screw won’t fully tighten because it’s stripped, and the other doesn’t even catch the threads! I’d thought about fixing it with superglue but I didn’t want to do anything that couldn’t be reversed since the sink is an antique. Sugru is removable from nonporous surfaces, so even though I don’t plan on taking it apart, it’s nice to know that I could if I wanted to. I used about half a packet to make a little ball, putting it behind the backplate of the toothbrush holder before reattaching it. Done! It’s even waterproof.

Fixing with Sugru
Bathroom with Antique Marble Sink

Of course, once I already had that packet open, I started thinking about where else I could put it to use in the house. There was a loose sconce in the other bathroom, where the plaster could no longer grip the screw. A little Sugru on the backplate, the same way I used it for the sink’s holder, fixed it right up.

Fixing a Sconce with Sugru
Guillermo del Toro Sconce

(Brandon calls these our Guillermo del Toro sconces. Can’t unsee.)

Guillermo del Toro Sconce

After that, I figured I’d go fix a wobbly lampshade that had been driving me nuts. I’d tried before to fix it with tape, then wire when that didn’t work, and eventually I just resigned myself to straightening it whenever I noticed it had gotten out of whack again (which was often). I mixed up some gray Sugru to match the silver on my lamp’s harp, leveled the shade, and fixed it in place. No more wobble!

Sugru
Sugru for Fixing a Crooked Lampshade
Pink Lamp with Silk Lampshade

If you aren’t familiar with Sugru (I wasn’t before), they have a ton of different ways to use it on their homepage and a bunch of creative uses, too. I know I focused a lot on how you can use it to fix things, but I also put together a collection of my favorite tutorials and project ideas. (Aren’t those magnetic copper vases clever?)

Sugru is being sold nationwide at Target now, so it’s easy to get your hands on some. It’s good stuff to keep on hand for getting handy and for when you’re feeling crafty!

All Tree, All Shade

Clearly I do not know how to prune roses properly because ours, especially the climbing ones, are looking leggy. I’ve been reading up about how to correct them, and it sounds like late winter is the time to do any major reshaping. They are blooming at least, but not in the pretty, profuse way they were when we first moved in.

Climbing Roses

The trellis that they’re growing on fell over a little while back. We tried to right it as much as possible, but it’s not easy with all of the thorns! It’s up, mostly, and tied to the porch for more support.

In other garden news, the boxwoods got a big trimming. Please, please, please fill in, hedges! I’ve read up a lot about them being able to bounce back, even after drastic pruning, but I could never find any information on how long it takes and I do know that in general, they’re slow-growing. Also, the right side is much taller than the left but I’m afraid to trim off the top. I figure I’ll wait to see how they fare after this first attempt at cutting them back.

Pruned Boxwoods

(You can see the leggy climbing roses in the background, along the left side of our porch. And our stroller really complements the color scheme, does it not?)

We’re giving a little attention to the lawn too. There’s a beautiful mature ash tree out front, but it throws more shade than the ladies on Drag Race. (That was contrived and cheesy and for that, I’m sorry. Not sorry enough to delete though.)

Ash Tree

Ash Tree

We got a quote for new sod, which was something like $600, and there’s no guarantee it would take. We could do the labor part ourselves to bring the cost down, but again there’s no guarantee it would actually grow, so we passed on that and overseeded the lawn with shade-tolerant fescue.

Sparse Lawn

It has been about two weeks and we’ve watered every day that the rain didn’t do it for us. I don’t think it’s doing much, but those little spindly blades may turn into something if we’re patient, right? That’s the hope, anyway.

New Blades of Grass

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