Drill Designed for Displays

The window display depth at our Polk Street location is 17 inches.  I am, well, let's just say, greater than 17 inches. Not only is it difficult to maneuver in such a small space, installing shelving there is quite awkward.  My elbow is smack up against the glass holding the drill, trying to sink in screws, and my wrist aches holding a bulky, big battery  (and we've already established I am far from dainty).

The Black & Decker 12-volt lithium-ion drill (Sku 2302032) was recommended by our resident tool expert, and the results are impressive.  This little number is powerful, lightweight, and holds a charge. It has a soft grip and a small light, too. 

UPDATE:  Black & Decker has discontinued this drill and replaced it with Sku 2308286.  Hopefully the new model works just as well.

A Primer on Primer or a Preparatory on a Preparatory

What's nice about working at a hardware store, if you don't know something someone you work with does.  Everyone, and I mean every single person I work with, recommends that you prime before you paint. Everything.  Every time.

So when someone asks, "Is priming really necessary?"  the real question is: "Is making it look good really necessary?" Because if it's not, you should skip the primer.  And if you're going to skip the primer, you might as well skip the patching and the sanding, and the washing, and the taping.  Just buy a cheap brush and a cheap roller, slap up some paint, and hope for the best.  Odds are it'll look perfectly awful.

It's November. I'm behind schedule, and I need levels (as in something to put products on at different elevations) for a window display. I decide to create cake stands with plywood rounds and sofa legs (I'll call them sofa buns, since I'm making cake stands) and paint them white. It's next to impossible to find a place to spray paint in San Francisco, but a parking spot next to the store opens up, and I lay claim to it with slabs of cardboard and my cake stand assemblies.

And, no, I did not put money in the meter. 

Pressed for time, I spray the cake stands with plain white spray paint.  Did you catch that?  I skipped the primer.  I figured it would be fine for the stands to be imperfect, perhaps rustic, as the theme of the display was sort of a white-country-cottage Christmas. 

After the second coat of plain ol' spray paint, it was apparent I was nowhere near obtaining a shabby chic finish.  Shabby for sure.  Chic, not so much.

So I used another can.

Three cans and three coats later, the wind picks up.  Leaves, dirt, and I don't even want to know what other nasty trash that flies up off the city streets are now adhered to the wet cake stand surfaces.  Defeated, I haul the cake stands inside. The next day, lo and behold, miracle of miracles, another parking spot opens up.  The cake stands have been lightly sanded, wiped down, and are now ready for (yep, you guessed it) PRIMER! That's right, I primed them. In a parking spot. And I still did not put money in the meter.

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Take the time to prime

Housewares and Hardware at Home

Table toppings from Cole Hardware (plus some stuff I snipped out of my neighbor's yard in broad daylight).

Wander through our stores and discover a wide selection of both unique and basic housewares to set a tempting table.  Wood and slate trays, wine glasses, plates, silverware, napkins, place mats-it's all here.

Create with copper: copper coupling napkin rings and copper cap tealight holders.


Grab some sand, stick in skewers, pop in pebbles, and wrap with raffia for a rustic harvest centerpiece.

Anti-static, Anti-stench, and that's not all

I've acquired three old trunks that I use as props in the window displays; one from Goodwill, one a street find, and the other was discarded at a band rehearsal room (ages ago when I thought I could play guitar, and it's now apparent I can't). Even though I gathered each trunk from a different location, they all have the same musty, distinct stink.

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