Friday, December 14, 2007


Kick Start My Heart

And Shrink Wrap my Crap.

My studio is incredibly cold. I think it's the old back porch of this house, or perhaps some drunken add-on. It's hard to tell with this strange old house.

It's about 12'x22', with a good-sized window on one (cedar-shake covered) wall, a smaller window on the door to the outside which is on the short wall opposite the one with the shakes, and then there's a huge long stretch of windows on the long wall at the very back of the house. The long stretch of windows has one smallish pane, maybe 2.5' wide, a large pane, and then the third one consists of two panes of glass, one of which slides open, like in a display cabinet, with no insulation at all. The wind just blows in between the overlap of the two panes and it's colder than fuck. Even with my trusty little heater going at my feet (and the room is also on the central heat system with at least one heat vent in the floor) it's cold, cold, cold. (You can see the small window and the big one, plus the window in the cedar wall and the one in the door, in this post.

Today I put up some of that "trailer-trash double-glazing" stuff. You put double-sided tape around the windows, attach the plastic to the tape and then use a hair dryer to shrink it tight.

Immediately the room became inhabitable again. I've still got the heater going but it's more of a luxury than a necessity. The wind was completely blocked and the cold coming off the windows was cut by about 90%.

Shrink wrap my crap, indeed. I am pleased. There was also enough wrap in this package for both windows in the "guest room", which is about to become my daughter's "big girl room" (we've been sharing a room for years but she wants her own now) and for the smaller window in the studio. I think there's even enough for the window in the master bedroom (which will soon be mine alone).

I suspect that the $17 cost of the kit will be reflected in the first month's cost of savings in the heating bill.

I approve.

The random number generator has chosen #7 for the next warshcloth prize. Marsha is today's weiner winner. There are choices -- after I hear from her I'll tell you what she's won (it's either a book or yarn -- how surprising!)

And now ... off to work.

My brother did that thing with the windows and was able to shut off the heat for part of the winter. But, he is insane and has boiling lava for blood because he is really an alien that my parents adopted out of pity and no relation to me whatsoever. I'm not sure that he is a good example, I suppose...

Anyway, yay for a warm studio!!!!
Been there. Done that. $17 is well worth the price of admission.

But, her highness wants her own room? How do you feel about your little girl growing up?
We have a lovely [supposedly] four-season porch over the tuck-under garage on our Minneapolis house. If you visualize the room as a cube with the usual six faces, only one of those faces is attached to a heated area, i.e., the main part of the house. And three sides of the room are windows. The room was completely uninhabitable in the winter, which was a shame because that's the season when it would be so nice to be in a room with so much light. $17 or so later, with the windows all shrink wrapped -- which was kinda fun, too, especially the hair dryer part -- the room became one of the warmest in the house.

We have since replaced all the original windows with modern double-glazed ones plus combination storms, so the shrink wrap is no longer necessary. But really, that stuff is amazing and wonderful.
Wow, if the shrinky dink version works that well I might give it a shot - good to know . I live in an old 1930's summerhouse - which means there are no "real" walls (you pound in a long nail anywhere but a beam and the point will show outside) and no insulation. I tried the peel-and-stick-with-soapy-water kind a few years ago and it didn't work for squat!
I'm gonna come visit you one day soon, ok?
I've never heard of that, but it's a great idea. Unfortunately, there's no leakage in my studio - there's just no heat. We live in a 1940's house with excellent insulation and one of those little cast iron grates in the floor (it goes through the wall, so there's one in the front room and one in the hall) which heats the house up perfectly. But my studio was an add-on built by the landlord's brother - "the carpenter". It's a lovely room, but this guy couldn't hammer in a nail to save his soul. It doesn't have any way to get heat, since we don't have central heat/air. Being in the back of the house and stretching into the backyard, it's lovely to look at but cold as hell during winter and blistering hot in the summer. I've yet to work in it - I can't take either extreme. Maybe I can use it in the spring. Until then, it's more of a storeroom than anything else. Sigh.
I didn't know about the shrink wrap part of plastic over windows. Thanks!

Although, right now I live in a dilapidated apartment the one thing that is provided is plenty of heat. Too much in fact. I have to keep the window open a crack or it becomes a sauna -- all dry and hot hot hot. So it's an open window plus a humidifier for me.

I am SOO jealous of your studio!!

Wow, missy moo is old enough to want her own room!
Gotta love the shrink wrap window treatment. You can't beat it for the price.
Um, does your husband live in the doghouse, or did you mean "mine" in the sense of "what's his is mine, and what's mine is mine"?
What a great idea! Any really, anything that let's you play around with shrink wrap and a hairdryer has to be a good thing. What does Missy Moo want her big-girl room to look like? Does she have plans?
let's get together soooon.
I've got some washcloths from birkelands that someone (the name is on t he bag) from Langley dropped off to Pearl.

Fuck. I had no idea this was trailer trash. I still have some of mine up from last year. I was testing whether it helped with the A/C bills, too, so shut up. I guess the fact that I bought it at the Southern Saks [WalMart] might have been my first clue if I hadn't been distracted by all my drinking bud lite from the can and trying to shoot mistletoe out of the trees with a shotgun. So now I just need to find out what state agency I go to in order to get my bottles of wine converted to boxes. But I'll be drinking it in shrink wrapped warmth, thank y'all very much.
I am deeply impressed with your handy-man abilities, no way was the plastic stuff so easy to use when I tried it!
$17? Looks like you got the deal of the century. It is a great studio!
The phrase "shrink wrap my crap" is now stuck in my head. Thanks.

Hey, the word verification for this comment is fuckkhj.

Which, I believe, stands for "fuck kookie Hitler jokers."
The only thing that ever gets cold for me is my feet. I once spent a winter in the mountains of Montana, where wood stoves provided my heat. I was snug as a bug in a rug...except for my feet. So I would sit and knit with my feet on a heating pad. It worked wonders.
Shrink wrapped crap - I'll keep this in mind when I clean the litter box. The trash men will be so happy not to get cat bombs anymore.
There is one room in my house (my home office, natch) in which we did not choose the nice windows when we built. The room was a late decision, and the windows were already ordered. So we bought some crappy windows at the lumberyard (the builder said they would be "just as good" ha!) but they are crap. The last two or three winters I've been shrink-wrapping them. It DOES work wonders! There is definitely that trailer trash feel, though, but who cares!
Yes, plastic wrap for the windows! I used that last year when I lived in Ohio, land of the perpetually frozen feet.
I did wonder if I could knit an equivalent, but decided that while wool was insulating and lovely, I'd rather save my energy for sweaters, blankets and hats.

A question: what will your family do to celebrate this holiday season?
I remember when my friends did that, and I thought, "Oh, good *luck*," and lo and behold, yep, it worked great for stopping drafts and keeping the room warmer. Shows what *I* know.

On Mario Party 8 for the Wii, there's a character named Peach, who proclaims "I'm the winner!" at just about every opportunity. We mock her with "I'm a weiner!" because we are very, very mature. And we hate losing.
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