Sunday, January 30, 2011

The New Old Shelf

Way back (all 17 days and six posts ago) I mentioned a little to-do list of mine. Two of the projects were figuring out a headboard and finding a new home for some old shelves. After doing some internet inspiration searching I came up with some great ideas. My favorite was this gem from Sketch of a Season via Lovely Undergrad.

This is a perfect solution to a small space, even without a headboard. I took this idea and ran with it, making a few alterations. If you don't remember my space situation, here is a quick reminder from a link party I participated in showcasing our real messes.

The wall my bed is on just fits the width of the bed, ok so it's maybe an inch short. That little plant stand isn't working out too well since it is constantly getting knocked over my the dog or myself in the middle of the night and can't fit much more than that teacup and saucer!

With an idea fresh in my mind, I gathered all my tools I'd need. Yes, that includes the remote (great Criminal Minds marathon on)! As evidenced in the above photo, you can clearly see that I set out to hang two shelves. Leave it to me to completely destroy two of the four wall anchors I had. Why did I only have four? Well my father (convinced he knew better than any expert) always said they didn't do anything. The four anchors I had were from these two shelves when he originally hung them without said anchors.

I figured, I'm a big girl now and I can hang a floating shelf...properly. I think I did it correctly! Pre-drill holes in wall, push anchor in and eventually hammer it in tightly, put the screws in and hang the shelf. Well, its up and level!

This is a closeup of the shelf, which I covered in a wood-printed contact paper. I am pretty proud of how the shelves turned out, though I'm not sure if I should have made the grain horizontal.
So here is the final result for the night. Although my original idea featured both shelves alongside each other, now I have so many more ideas! Possibly the second shelf hung above the current shelf and a vertical wooden art piece on the open right side?
 This is just a motivational photo for me, to get my tush into gear with sanding and painting all my old nail holes.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Is There Anybody Out There (reading this)?

I am quite new to this blogging world, I haven't even hit two pages of posts yet! Not that I thought I'd have a huge following less than a month in, but I do wonder if I'm doing ok. I wonder if I talk (type) too much or if my blog is too boring. Oh my, am I doing something wrong?

A review should be just what I need, but I didn't want to go venturing out into blog-land asking strangers for a review without any previous blog-ship. It seems a little like walking up to a stranger and asking if they like you're outfit to me.

When I stumbled upon The Evolution of a Blog over at {Twenty}Something (one of the first blogs I found and followed), I found myself nodding in agreement with so many of the thoughts on her list. Then I saw the part about the blog-link party over at Beauty in the Attempt, it was a sign from blog-land. Go ahead, go ask that stranger!

So here's my chance to join in with some Bold and Beautiful blogs!

Friday, January 28, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

The past 48 hours have been a little...well, sucky. Not only did my town get another 18" of snow (on top of the prior 30"+ that wasn't fully cleaned up) but I woke up Wednesday morning with a sore throat and aches. I sucked it up (drank copious amounts of TheraFlu) and went to work and regretted it. By the time I woke up Thursday my aches and soreness had more than doubled. I felt like such a baby! So I made a doctor's appointment expecting to hear "You should've gotten a flu shot, here's some antibiotics" but what I heard was much more serious. COPD. What? As in chronic bronchitis and emphysema? Yuppers. Thanks, ma for never taking the doctors in offices nor in hospitals seriously and dismissing their claims that your smoking habit was the cause of my health problems.

While I'm still learning about COPD (and not so eagerly awaiting my own personal nebulizer) I do know that I need to get the smoke out of my apartment. With the little bit of energy I had this morning (thanks to several medications from the doc) I decided that my walls needed to be washed. Smoke clings to everything, so I should get to it.

I started off with a small wall next to the entrance, a very small wall at only 26" wide. So it was me, a rag and an OxyClean mix ready to take to the wall! This little wall packed a big surprise...

So it turns out that I can't remember the last time I washed the walls top to bottom. Living with two dogs I've wiped down the lower halves of the walls and where paw prints would wind up. I guess living with a smoker I should've thought about it a bit more.

I skip around a lot in terms of projects so the next wall I started was near where I spend a lot of time, in the computer room. Are you sensing a tree branch growing out of this post now? This is what I saw after I took the frames off the wall and started cleaning. Eek! Can you count the number of paints by the baseboard? The wires! Ugh! I only have three wires, but look at it! That big grey bundle on the left? Doesn't attach to anything but I'm no electrician so I'm leaving it alone.

 After realizing the cable clips I bought a few days ago were too small to fit the wires coming from my computer, I looked through my well sorted nail and jimma-me-bobbers box and found two of these beauties from when I had cheap blinds. So I pre-drilled two holes with my lil' Dremmel and hand screwed these behind the desk where they now hold up that giant mess of wires.
 Now, this is all that can be seen. If only the board behind my desk came down about 3.5" more they'd be invisible. Then again they'd be pretty hard to reach, considering my desk isn't of the finest craftsmanship.

So this is it now...cleaned up in all ways and missing its drawers! I couldn't get the file drawer back in and decided while it was out that I needed to sort through that. Another post...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wire Clutter!

Since I removed the misused armoir from my bedroom and from the apartment altogether, my goal was to move my tv stand to the center of the wall. (You can see how off center it truly is here.) When pondering procrastinating this project, I came up with two issues. Funny how that happens right? As one might expect, both issues are cord related. This is currently what I've got going on underneath the tv stand.

 What a mess! When I sit or lay down to watch tv, more often than not this is what I focus on. Since my tv stand is on legs (to create a more open and airy feel I read) it's always visible.

 That's not just dust! It's also remnants of my indoor spray painting endeavors and those little rocks aren't cat litter but an eco-friendly carpet cleaner which I'm still finding pieces of several months later. Either way it's a big reminder I need to move my tv stand and clean under it more often. Much easier said than done!

I love the service I get from Verizon, really. I just wish this didn't stick out so much now. The aforementioned behemoth armoir camouflaged this box quite well from most angles. Unfortunately there is no way to move this so I'm at a loss for what I can do now that this corner will be open. This sits 41" high and needs to be easily accessible in case anything goes wrong. Any suggestions on what I can put here to camouflage it and not draw attention to it?

A folding room divider popped into my head, but I'd have to have a pair. One for each side of the tv stand, got to have that symmetry! My fancy (re: overflowing) laundry hamper is stuck on the other side of the tv stand. I do have access to one (two or three doors wide) divider, but I feel one might just draw all the attention to that and be out of place since the tv stand is quite low (22.5" top to bottom though 5.5" are all legs). I can't exactly run out and buy two new room dividers now either, remember I mentioned that in my Sunday Searching?

To keep it short, I BOUGHT A CAR! A used car, but nonetheless, a car is a car. A major purchase. It seriously drained my savings, which now must be refilled so I can focus on a future place of my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Link Party!

My first ever, and boy is it a doozy! The beautiful and talented Emily over at Decor Chick! came up with this great idea for a party. Sure, staged home photos look better than messy ones. That is part of what keeps us all going, I think. The desire to continually re-do things. That is what my blog, and plenty of others are all about. Trying to achieve a functional and calming space, but sometimes it's much more calming to just say "screw it" and let it the mess go a little longer. I will warn you, and protect myself a bit, by saying I'm in the middle of re-doing my two rooms so it is a tiny bit messier than normal. Now, did anyone else participating have the urge to clean up before snapping away?

Without further adieu, here's my mess!

 This is my bedroom- a million spackled nail holes in all it's glory! I'll spare the decorative plans, this party is about the mess! An overflowing hamper on the left, pile of clean clothes on the right, coat and sweater draped over the side of a chair = the party has officially started!

 My tiny closet, this is actually pretty neat right now. Mainly because this is where my "nice" clothes live. The fact that I have clean laundry from days past still not put away helps a lot too!

 Ah, the pile. Cardboard that is used when painting, a headboard that I haven't brought into storage yet, a lamp I haven't assembled yet- having fun? I am!

 This is typically how my bed looks every morning when I leave for work. I have to put the dog pillows this way so the little one doesn't burrow, a la Burger but much much messier. I have come home to find the entire flat sheet, comforter and blanket on the floor aside from one resilient little corner. How do I combat this aside from pillows? Throwing a cheap king sized comforter over a full sized bed. By the way, that pink pile on the corner? That's him under there!

That's all clean clothes piles on the chair, aside from my disgustingly dingy cardigan I wear for work. Anyone know how to get the end of the sleeves looking close to the rest of the shirt?! Oh and that's my pillow (the one I haven't allowed the dogs to steal based on doctor's orders!) piled on top. You can't even see my desk here, oh dear.

 This is the closet in the computer room, which stores everything from my excess to tools and cleaners. The monstrous deep cleaner lives in here too. When company comes over, the other vacuum lives here too but for the most part that roams the bedroom.

 Yikes! The mess of clean clothes from the bedroom is even captured in here! Bins full of stuff I don't know where to put, Christmas gifts still not used and literal garbage. I swear, the discolorations in the rug are not from my pups! The rug was gifted and the lovely brown carpet underneath hasn't been replaced in at least 30 years.

 Normally, this is the cleanest spot in the house. No exception today, yay!

So that's it, the mess of my two rooms. After a busy day I can't wait to go look at everyone elses!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Searching: Goodwill Store

After searching other blogs, scrapbooking sites and good ol' Google I came up with plenty of ideas for storage for my crafts. The problem is they all cost more than I can afford to spend. So I visited a few places (Goodwill, Pier 1 and Christmas Tree Shoppe) for some other ideas.

The nearby Goodwill store had a few bargains which I normally would've scooped up, but they weren't what I was looking for and didn't entirely fit my space. Oh, and I also felt guilty about spending since I promised myself I wouldn't (more on that later in the week).

 Truth is, I have been looking for a comfy throw. I have an old (and slightly ratty) one which my IG has claimed as his own, but I was looking for my own. What I liked about this is the dark brown color. I felt it would help make my dark entertainment center (Target's Manhattan TV stand) feel a bit more on purpose instead of something that was purchased on a whim, which it was. Considering I'm re-painting my dresser white and my desk a gorgeous pale green/yellow I am worried things will look disjointed. This throw was only $9.99, hello steal! I'm pretty sure this would be about $30 at Target.

 This was a simple long piece of gorgeous wood which instantly screamed HEADBOARD MATERIAL! I began dreaming of sanding, staining and hanging. Yet again, this was $9.99. However, I have so many ideas swirling through my head about a possible headboard I can't commit to anything yet.

 Another piece that would be gorgeous as part of a headboard, sitting along the top of a painted piece of wood would look sweet, no? I loved the carved bits and how they echoed the floral motif that seems to be making its way into my bedroom and subconscious. The best part? $6.99!

Then there was this, the lamp that stopped me in my tracks. A gorgeous yellow, I thought this would be the perfect pop against my grey walls. For $7.99 how could one go wrong? There were no chips, scrapes or nicks to be seen. It was just too big for my space and furniture. Oh, and I really have no need for another lamp.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I Can't Get No...

You guessed it, satisfaction. In an effort to lessen the visual clutter in my bedroom, I decided to move my armoir which is currently being used to store scrapbook and craft supplies rather than clothes. The logical place, to me, was in the computer room where I do most of my crafts. So here's the before...

And here's the after...I mean, afters. No matter how I positioned this beast it looked horrible. Replacing it with a space efficient piece is not an option. Unless I can find something for under $10. Pfft. Right!

 On an angle didn't work. You can see how bad it stuck out into the room.
  Flat against the wall didn't work either. It just looked sooo out of place.
And flat against this wall didn't work much better. This was just awkward.

So as it stands right now, it is flat against the wall as it is in the second photo. Once the weather changes for the better, the place is to redo this piece to make it feel more integrated in the room. However, after testing it out I'm not sure it's going to happen. Since I can't afford to replace it with a new piece I have two choices. Make it work or get rid of my crafts (well, not all)! Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So, About That To-Do List?

Here it is, my meek and tiny little list. The list on paper cannot keep up with the list in my head!

So far I have:
  • paint all black picture frames white
  • paint the mirror frame white (more on that later)
  • remove the rack from a beaded curtain (I was 16!)
  • sand, patch & paint marks from three improperly installed floating shelves
  • remove hinges from folding doors in doorway leading from the bedroom to the computer room
  • patch, sand & paint holes from hinges
  • fill, sand & paint crack in corner of doorway
  • paint inside doorway to match bedroom
  • sand & paint patches on wall from old nails
  • re-cover bulletin board
  • find a home for two new-old shelves
  • figure out a headboard
  • paint desk!
  • make desk a focal point, add something overhead- art? collage?
  • paint mdf/particle board dresser, armoir and possibly the tv stand to match
  • remove decorative sunburst bulbs from curtain rods
  • paint existing decorative curtain rods
    • brushed nickel for bedroom
    • black for computer room
No, they're not huge projects by any means...aside from painting the furniture. Yikes.

The Start of a Blog: The To-Do List!

After following several amazing and inspiring blogs for some time, I've decided to share my experiences with DIY projects. First step was to start a (running) to-do list of the things I'd like to accomplish. First I will give you a quick run down of my situation.

Right now I live at home with my mother. Home is a pretty decent sized "two bedroom" apartment. The living room (which was hardly used) was "converted" into my bedroom. By converted, I mean my bedroom furniture was moved right on it and we called it a day.

For years I've had a clutter problem. Not a mess, but clutter. Who doesn't? Well, as anyone who once lived at home knows- clutter is easy to come by when you're stuffing items for every room of your future own place into one room. Well, I sort of have two. The other is the computer/storage/fish tank room.

Since I'm in an apartment there's plenty of things I'd like to do but simply cannot. So this little blog will be my way of sharing what I can do, and possibly seeing what others have done as well.
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