Stairway to…?

This post is mostly going to be a pic dump showing the progress/process of painting a client’s staircase.  It was a fun project, and a little different from the way I normally work. Instead of charging by the hour, I was asked to provide a quote for the materials and labour. Which I did, and they were happy with my quote! 🙂

Technically my client was the landlord, rather than the home’s resident, though I’ve worked with the resident before to mow her lawn and do some other bits and bobs. She and I had already figured out how she wanted the staircase to look, and the landlord was happy to let us be creative.

20181010_110901The first thing I had to do was fill the gaps in the wood. The workmen that put the new stairs in used the original banister rails, and they weren’t quite compatible.20181010_110924There were also some MDF pieces, that weren’t quite flush with the pine steps. More filler to the rescue! We would definitely need to use paint here.20181010_110938Then we started masking off the parts that we didn’t want to paint. The majority of the step would be stained later.20181010_124822I used both ‘Frogtape’ masking tape and masking film to prevent as much splatter-related mistakes as possible before I started applying the white paint.20181010_14084320181010_14084920181010_15390920181010_15392220181011_115610When the white parts were all done, I started adding the violet details! Once again I masked off as best as I could.20181012_10282020181012_102826Then took the frogtape off again afterwards to make sure it looked right.20181012_10331820181012_103321Sometimes there was a little bit of ‘bleeding’ despite my best efforts. Where I could I cleaned up these edge afterward with white paint and a small brush.20181012_112312Before we could start staining the new wood, I would have to clean up the dirty paw prints and spills. Some sandpaper took of the surface dirt without having to get the wood wet.20181012_11423520181012_11424120181012_11461220181012_114616After they were dirt free again, then I applied the woodstain. A nice warm yellow tone to compliment the violet.20181012_17343620181017_104258[1]After a couple of coats of varnish to keep the wood looking nice and make future cleanup easier, it was time for final touch-ups and the tile-effect stickers on the risers. They were easier to keep bubble-free than I expected!20181017_114756[1]20181017_114802[1]I was pretty pleased with the finished staircase, and the resident was overjoyed! 🙂

Technically there are still some carpet pads to put on there, and the resident would also like to put mirrored mosaic tiles on the violet not-quite-triangles, but the work I was commissioned for is all done. 🙂

I really enjoyed doing this. Hopefully I’ll have more DIY, painting and creative projects to keep me occupied as the gardening work drops off.

Would you like to see more posts like this? Please let me know what you think in the comments.

Have a great day 🙂


Editors wanted!

It never occurred to me that I’d need to ask this, but could you please help me edit my work? When I decided to make my progress on Hermes925 publically available, I assumed that I would be leaving myself open to criticism, and in some cases verbal abuse. I never imagined that I would receive almost no feedback at all.

I know people like it. I get ‘likes’ on both WordPress and Facebook whenever I post something new, what I’m not getting much of, is criticism. Constructive or otherwise. I kind of expected a battle. I thought people would be eager to poke holes in my work and force me decide whether I was going to defend and explain my reasons for leaving it as it is, or give into peer pressure and make acceptable alterations. I’ve received no such conflict.

I have had a couple of people suggest that I get an editor to clean up my sentences, and propose that I ask my audience to read through what I’ve done and send me any corrections they feel are necessary. So this is me asking. Please tell me what you think needs fixing in the Hermes925 narrative so far. Or any other any other part of the website for that matter.

I’m begging, not for money this time, but for feedback. In particular I want to know which sentences need work, which word choices don’t make sense or any other editorial mistakes that you’ve notices and the way that you would fix it. Bear in mind please that It’s supposed to be Jaime’s personal journal, he’s talking to a fictional audience occasionally, but mostly he’s just talking to himself. Therefore I’m going for colloquial, ‘no-one else is going to read this’ English.

It’s also based in the future, so I want to throw in some slang and cultural references that haven’t happened yet, but still make it clear from the context what he’s talking about. I think I haven’t done this enough for fear it would confuse the reader, so I’m open to suggestions on futuristic curse-words, idioms and events I can throw in.

Be brutal. Tear my sentences to pieces. Over analyse every word! That’s why I’m doing this. I’ve seen many published books, self-published and otherwise, go to print with spelling mistakes, grammar errors and clumsy sentences. I don’t want Hermes925 to be one of them. We’re beta testing the story online so that we can eliminate the bugs and correct any other mistakes, before I even take it to a publisher.

For those of you who object to working for free, tell me what you want in return. Maybe I can write you an article, or help you with your own project, or just give you credit on an acknowledgements page. Even if you don’t think I could offer you anything you’d want, let’s talk it over anyway. I’m sure we can figure something out. My contact info is listed under Contact Me.

Click through the tabs, menus and links on my page. Almost everything can be commented on. Please do so. If you’d rather not express yourself publicly then contact me privately via text, email or Facebook.

I look forward to hearing from you. I really mean it. Please.

Have a great day. 🙂

The Mysterious Batman Pillow

What doesn’t kill me…

Today’s article will be a bit of a confusing mish-mash I think. I know the points I want to make, but I have no clear idea what order to put them in, if they fit together at all, or indeed if they actually belong in the same article!

A letter arrived recently reminding rather urgent from a credit card company, informing me I’m being sued for the debt. I’m not for a moment claiming that I don’t owe them, my ex (who needs help also), and I earned those debts fair and square, mostly during a trip to San Francisco we took together. I don’t regret a moment of it, but I simply can’t afford to pay them back. At least not yet. The last time I got a letter like this it led to my wages getting garnished. No doubt this one will too. If this trend continues, and all of my debts garnish me, it will become increasingly difficult to pay my rent, for car maintenance (which I fear is soon needed), and the oh-so essential internet. Oh, yeah, and I’d like to continuing eating too.


My parents already offered to pay for a flight back to the UK, and allow me to live with them or my Grandparents, until I get my head above water. It’s a tempting thought. I could run away from my debts and responsibilities, be surrounded by people who love me, and I’d  still be able to write too. I’d insist on it. It doesn’t feel right though, and I’d worry I’d resent myself for quitting. Even if I continue writing, and I worry that I wouldn’t with the distractions of life among my family, I will be admitting I couldn’t manage on my own. Perhaps I’m being foolish, buts there it is.

Obviously I can’t have that, so I have no choice to make this unpaid hobby into a true source of income. I’d only need enough to replace the loss in wages from my day job, and stay on top of my expenses. I’m not begging though, I did that already. I have a plan! Obviously I’m going to keep writing, but I’m going to look into affiliate marketing and ads. I’m also going to launch a Youtube channel, I know that there are youtubers who have done very well for themselves.

If anyone has any tips on editing, recording or generally providing a watchable and enjoyable experience, they would be happily received. As was the mysterious Batman pillow! Which I’ve just learned, is from my Sister! Thank you. It’s awesome!

I’m also going to open another bank account, which I was planning on doing anyway, I like my online Santander account, but I can’t deposit cash into it. If I can deal in cash for any writing commissions, and still use the money to pay online bills, it would be a huge help. So if there’s something you want written, you like my style, and you are willing to pay, please message me on Facebook, or e-mail me. Please don’t try to call or text, my phone has taken to crashing whenever it chooses, so I’ve haven’t bothered to charge it. I’m probably going to cancel it. That will save me some money too.

My prized possession

One of the suggestions made by books on entrepreneurship that I read during my time with Monica, is to contact the leaders in your field, the people you aspire to work with. Instead of trying to become great to be worthy of your notice, have the balls to make yourself known to them, and allow their influence to facilitate your ascent. So at the moment I’m also trying to build the nerve to try contacting my favorite author. Neil Gaiman. I’ve met him once, and he signed  a copy of Endless Nights for me. I was too nervous to say anything much beyond a shy “You’re cool!”.

Origami Pega-corn!

I had also considered selling Origami, but I think now that I should just show people how to fold their own on YouTube, and save myself the process of buying the paper and shipping the results to buyers. I will be selling my Warhammer 40k miniatures and my Magic: the Gathering cards. I don’t have the time or money expensive hobbies right now, and I’d rather have the cash. Plus, if I do end up moving back to the UK after all, they’d both be too impractical to take with me. I can always start collecting again, if I feel so inclined, when I’m back on my feet. If you’re interested in buying my miniatures, or my cards, I’d be happy to discuss the details with you. There are some very unique conversions in my collection of Chaos Space Marines, and my Magic cards include every Archenemy set. I might even have to part with my copy of Hero Quest, in fact I’d be a fool not to.

Well, I suppose it ended up coming together after all, and even having a fairly consistent theme. Life continues, and I have a plan to improve it. I’ve got this.