The Grand Gigantic Curtain Experiment.

Ya know, sometimes things don't always go as planned.  As you have it in your head.  Sometimes it takes a little extra to get where you wanted to be.  Or, you get kinda close.  Or, sometimes you might not get there at all.

Take for instance this jumbo curtain I had in mind for our master bedroom.

It's not quite there yet but it's kinda close.

I purchased, oh gosh in September 2014 yeesch I'm pathetic, a large piece of white theatrical gauze, a remnant at 9'-10" x 15'-0" to be exact.  Seamless.  Large and in charge.  Only fifty bucks!

Wad o' fabric.
And the perfect dimensions for this one spot in our master bedroom for a floor to ceiling curtain.

Beeeefore.  Yup, there's the headboard, yay!
It's smart to incorporate your home's architecture as much as you can, use it to your advantage, especially strange bump-out's, weird spots, odd corners.  If you integrate those elements by painting, decorating, etc. rather than ignore or attempt to hide the quirk, it will magically fit in and work with everything else.

Not that this particular area in our bedroom is weird; it provided an opportunity.  One I wanted to take advantage of.

So, but, put it off, put it off, dug out the fabric probably six or seven times only to set it down to go do something else.  For some bizarre reason I have to be in Sewing Mood and no sooner otherwise errors abound.  But I planned and schemed in my head in the mean time.

At one point I purchased half inch diameter cooper pipe, two five foot long pieces and these little copper plated bell hangars for the curtain rod aspect.  It all sat and collected dust.  At another point, filler fabric was acquired as 9'-10" was a tiny bit short in height.

A copper plated steel bell hanger.
Finally the itch to stitch burgeoned and I set to a-workin'.

First I installed the bell gizmos and the pipe.  The pipe pieces needed to be trimmed; no biggie:  grinder.  Yeah baby.  Power tools, mmmmmmm.....

Spiffy new copper curtain rod.  Woo hoo!  Mike said, hey uh, maybe paint the copper?  I said uh, I bought it for the copper.
Anywhoooo, the bells and pipe went up without too much of a fight.  After those were up, I measured from the top of the pipe to the floor to figure out my filler fabric.  9'-10.5".  Mmk, cool.  I'll make the strips, the top pocket sleeves, at 1.25" finished height.

Next I cut the fifteen foot length in half, stitched up the sides.  Unfurled and cut the filler fabric.  That's when I noticed how white white my filler fabric was in comparison to the white-ish of the gauze.

Hmph, mmk.  It's clearly a synthetic this filler fabric, won't take regular dye.  Ah ha, Mike drinks coffee!  Hey, my prop days revisit!

Ran a full pot of water through his recently brewed grounds, let it cool, dumped it in the sink, dropped the fabric strips in there, swish swish and a few seconds later I had the perfect off-whiteish.

As those air dried, I had this whack-a-doo notion to put a metal zipper at the top, zip the two panels together.  A nutty impulse.  I know, it seems odd but I thought hey, what the hell, try it.  Who knows, it could be super neat.  Or, who knows, maybe I have a few screws loose.  Zipper* was purchased.

Tie backs, yeah, I figured might be a good idea.  Originally I was thinking something along these lines but eh, obviously seen it no need to do it.  I happened to randomly see these spiffy cabinet pulls* in a Menards flier and knew I had to get them.  So I did.

A minor bump in the road:  figure out how to get the lions on the wall 'cuz ya know, they're meant for a drawer or door.  Thankfully I found this online and this, the latter of which was my solution though using my spiffy grinder again.  Sweet!  I picked up these metal clips* as well but had no clue on the tie back itself.

Roar!  Awesome, right?!?!
All righty, it was time to really roll.

Assembled the pocket sleeves, attached them to the gauze, stitched on the zipper halves to each side, popped upstairs to ugh, um, errrr, grrrr, yeah, these sleeves came out much too tight.  Opening and closing the curtains, yeah, not gonna happen.

The zipper.  Which was actually quite cool if I do say so myself. 

Oh.  And look.  Somehow I have a two and half inch gap at the bottom.  Huh.  I don't get it.  Arrrggg!  Rats.

Well, maybe I can make this work as-is, I delusionally weighed.

With the zipper zipped and the fabric tied back, it was starting to look too......    "pretty."  

Attempt 1 to salvage as-is.  The zipper was getting yanked too.  Sad face.
Pretty isn't necessarily my thing in that I prefer fun, edgy, modern, clean, sharp, weird, unusual, unpredictable, unique.  I like things that make me think.  My taste and style are kinda all over the map, hard to nail down into specific terms at times, but I do know "pretty," per se, is not invited to my party.

I unzipped the zipper, tied the fabric back.  Ehhh, nope, still too pretty.  And now the zipper disappears.

Combo of attempts 2-3.
Scrunch the fabric all the way over so the panels hang straight down.  Much better.  But that kinda renders the tie backs, the lion heads, the zipper all useless.  Humph.  Well.  I'll figure a kooky tie back of sorts and let it dangle there unused.

Attempt 4.
But I'm standing there staring, thinking, head-tilting, knowing curtains that are unable to move and are too short, yup, ain't gonna fly.  Ah siiiiigh.

I took a brief time out to goof with my silly omnipresent assistant.

Part of my overall dissatisfaction stems from those blah eh black out curtains.

There will be many o' time when design and practicality clash.  Such as this moment.  I've got those not-hugely-attractive black out curtains in the windows because I am a vampire and like it dark dark dark dark dark until I tumble out of bed.  Then it's let-the-sun-pour-in time.

It is a constant predicament for designers, and regular folk as well -- how to combine practical, functional living's desires and needs with a designed environment.  A major reason why designers exist really.  It can obviously be tricky but definitely doable.

But the black out curtains have to stay.  Granted it doesn't make for the entire look I want but so it is. This is a design battle I won't win.  It'll be great when we go to sell and I take the black outs down for showings!  Heh, whatev's.

Ok.  So a few days later the curtains came down and I spent forever, no joke, like an hour+ per panel, seam ripping.  A least favorite task of mine, seam ripping; I like to stitch things as I like to wire things:  permanently.  Hence over an hour per.

An entire redo of the whole process ensued:  cut filler fabric, coffee dip it, dry, stitch, and I was set.  And set I was.

Yay!  Perfect perfect!  Or darn close enough.  No, I didn't put a pocket or hem the bottom as I didn't want either to cause the fabric to bunch or lay weirdly.  The gauze is as gauze is, lightweight.
Somehow my math was uber spot on this time!  Utter craziness.  And the curtains move freely now too!  Yay!

All that's left is some type of funky tie back and maybe tweaks to the whole shebang.

Was it all worth it?  Yeah, I think so.

But a coupla' great tips:

Looking for large pieces of seamless fabric at not outrageous prices?  Try theatrical fabric suppliers, especially their remnant section.  Our handy one in town is Chicago Canvas and Supply who will also ship everywhere.  The largest is Rosebrand but maybe there's one local to you.  An excellent resource for excellent fabrics.  Typically you can get swatch books for free or a nominal fee to check out the fabrics before purchasing a big wad.

Swatch book from Chicago Canvas.
And surprises.  Surprises are always good.  By that I mean add something that's not typically your style, or necessarily "fits" with everything else in the room.  My case in point, the lion head pulls.  It brings a different dimension, visual interest, texture, variety, and keeps the eye moving about the room.  The lion head pulls are not my style normally but in this setting they are interesting, quirky, metallic adding shine, bring a wee bit of pattern, and are fun.

And hey, if it's not fun, it's not worth doing!

Have a great holiday y'all and c'mon back as the kitchen backsplash is next!

*The zipper is a Joann Fabrics affiliate link.  The lion head pulls and trigger snaps are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab above for more info.


Updates and Stuff and To-Do's

As things roll along, it's time for updates!

Yeah.  So.  Hey, what's up?  Heh.

Projects are in the works but I seem to be lolly-gagging so things are taking longer than I planned.  Sorry 'bout that.  I best not be getting the cold Mike thinks he might be getting.  Or there will be real trouble around here, dammit.

I keep starting projects at oh, say four, four thirty in the afternoon too which heh, ya know, doesn't help either.


Mike chatted with the neighbor to the east one evening recently.  Super nice guy but he appears to be a wee stubborn.  And he's seeming kinda mad at us lately which makes us all sad face.

He's adamant that the water is coming from our backyard into his basement.  Which, I'm sorry, is just not physically possible.

He took Mike around to the east side of his house and showed him a drain in his sidewalk/gangway area, suggested we do that.  Or something.  I'm not sure, I wasn't invited to this discussion.

He said to Mike, "no camera snaking, that's expensive."  Henceforth, as such, Mike got the feeling that by his offer to help us in order to help himself, he is offering labor and/or moral support, not a share of funds.  Or something.  Mike was left unsure.

End result was that the neighbor wants the guy who has been doing work around their house of late come by and poke around.  Thing is, which Mike and I both acknowledge, is that he's likely not terribly versed in this particular area of expertise.  The guy's one suggestion, pitching our gangway toward the front (aka pouring loads of concrete), has not met my approval for a myriad of reasons.

But it's fine if he swings by.  I'm not big into wasting people's time, but, it's a step I guess we have to take.

Long and short of it is that Mike and I determined we should get the sewer snaked with or without the neighbor's help.  Too many things point to a crack in a pipe.  Believe me, not that we want it to be true, but all other plausible scenarios don't seem to add up in the same manner.

I mean, our sewer pipes are likely 125 years old.

So that's that.  For now.  And uh no, we have not won the lottery yet either.

I read a thing about not raking leaves and how that's good so I grabbed several bags worth of leaves from out front and dumped them all over the back yard, hoping to help amend the soil in however a small way that might be.  I dumped a bunch on top of the fancy schmancy plants too.

Yay leaves!  Finn says, "hey I chased those birds away good, didn't I?"  Boy, next spring, that "walkway"...
I sprinkled some grass seed down before the leaves as well.  Not much, just a bit.  More roots drinking water in the back seems a smart temporary idea.  Unless the birds have eaten all the seeds.

Pete the Sweeper, (ugh that post kills me knowing now what unexpectedly came two days later) who I think has been avoiding me since the block party, popped by all incredulously excited that I appeared to be cleaning up leaves.  He was surely disappointed that I allowed the city street sweeper machine to finish the job for me.  As evidenced by him sweeping crud into our curb gutter today.

Speaking of reading, I read this little ditty about dogs and touch versus verbal praise.  While it's a bit science-y, I thought it all intriguing.  Anything to help me learn about how dogs, especially Finn, tick.  And how Hailey ticked.  And how to improve their lives.

Poor Finn though.  Heavy sigh.  Riddled with so many issues, it's hard.  People are afraid to rescue for that very reason, and I understand.  But that only increases the need.  What's that phrase, if it's not hard, it's not worth it?

We're trying.  Ya know, at times it feels like when Mike and I try to take him a step forward, he takes two backwards.  We're trying.

Well, anyway.

Haven't finished the basement quite yet.  Sometimes just getting a project completely wrapped up is the hardest part, heh.  Right?

Mike liked the light fixture for the garage exterior sooooo much that he tasked me to find another for over the house back door.  Tricky prospect as Menards' inventory count online is typically correct 0.01% of the time and this fixture was on clearance with counts at stores of one, or two, or none.

Luckily for me, another Menards nearby actually for real had one very last one which quickly became ours.  And it is now proudly over our back door, thanks to Mike's assistance one balmy 70+ degree November day.  Yay!  It looks fabulous lit at night but that makes for terrible photos; you'll have to trust me.

Yes, I need to paint the black around the door again.  Just did it last summer though, heh.  And yes, we are totally desperately in need of some kind of not-unattractive awning over the door.
But ever since I installed the one on the garage, the fuse to the garage has been shorting out.  But also since that time too, the yard has been exceptionally wet.  Along with our pooling water issues is the matter of the yard never ever ever drying out.  It's eternally damp.  It's on the north side, hidden in shadow by the house so it only gets partial sun all of two months per year.

The power coming out of the house and snaking into the ground for the garage.
So I'm not sure if it's the light fixture or if the line to the garage is damp because, see, it's easy to assume Captain Ineptitude ran plain old conduit underground to the garage and who knows how well that holds up.

Scary prospect if the pipe carrying the line is degraded?  Deck.  Yep, the deck now hovers over approximately nine feet of line.

That lil' nubby thing next to the post against the garage, that's the power snaking up and in.
Sooooo, heh...trying to figure it out.  It's terribly frustrating.  Especially when you pull up in the alley, or you're running late to leave, hit the button and....nothin'.  #Firstworldproblems, I know.

I'll start by redoing the light fixture wiring and go from there.  Heavy sigh, please don't be the conduit!

Mike has a-ok'ed the replacement of both the front door and the back door.  Super yay!  Since they were either found in an alley and reused or fell off a truck or who knows what, they're in such pathetic beat up condition.  And, I'd really like the back door to have a window of some sort to bring light into the cave, er um, back stair.

Now to figure out how to do this on a budget.  Without ripping everything out.  Yikes.  ReBuilding Exchange is having a buy one get one free door sale so I may swing by there, test those waters.

I saw Twitchy just before Halloween!  Heh, with a clock selling on Etsy, a coworker of Mike's asked me to create a similar one for him.  I swung by Twitchy's to track down more mahogany pieces as Mike used the ones I had for the plant edging.

Amazingly, despite a year and a half passing and being all bundled up with a hat, coat, gloves, scarf maybe, he remembered me instantly.  I showed him photos of the pantry floor which he thought was neat, a hint of beaming pride for his pallet wood pieces all growns up and doing good in the world.  He mentioned something or other, handed me a caramel apple and said he had to run.  It was pretty cool.

Another topic jump....Mike and I agreed, the macrame-ish plant hangars are borderline too much, too busy, so they gotta move.  Also too because this year Mike wants the Christmas tree in that particular corner, by the window.

Buh bye.  :(
He has a thing for Christmas trees having to be in windows.  I have no idea where to put the plants, what to do.  Maybe the dining room?  That's not enough light I suspect.  If only giganto-Finnster would let them alone on the window sill....

Mmm hmm.
Backsplash tile was chosen, ordered, and delivered!  Way exciting, right?!  Way easy, weirdly not taking months of searching, and it was a Mike pick (from my pre-edited culled list of course).  Way exciting!

Well, except that of the eighteen sheets, nine were chipped.  Rats.  Slowin' my roll here.  So nine will go back.  I already ordered ten more.  Eight of the nine chipped ones came from one box so my fingers are crossed that it was merely that particular box.

At least Home Depot has a stellar order online/return in-store policy, very unlike Menards.  Plus I can use eBates* and get cash back on my order which is sweet.  What's even awesomer about that eBates whoo-ha, fyi?  You can shop online, pay, pick up in-store, and get cash back then too.  Granted, it's not a ton of cash back but it's better than no cash back, amiright?

Anyway, absolutely zero idea how I'm gonna accomplish the installation task.  It's a mosaic and it's also dimensional, so uh, yeah.  I do have that itty tile saw but uh, yeah.  That I've never used, uh.  Yeah.

But we have a funky plan for the grout!  That will definitely be worth tuning in for.  I hope to have all my fingers then too.

Maybe after I get the backsplash up and it's a roaring success, I'll have the confidence to start up with the first floor bath.

Steel weld epoxy?  Yep, yessirry, still holding!  Sweet!  Heh, I feel like I have to throw that in somewhere.

My folks have been living it up on the high seas and my mom started a new blog about it.  She's incorporating her artistic skills which adds an unexpected neat twist.  Check that out here.

Lastly, but certainly not least by any means, a reader named Dominic commented on our wood block headboard back in August, inquiring at first what kind of wood I had used.  He then said he and his girlfriend were so inspired they decided to make their own version.

And holy crap, it blew our minds.

Photo credit to Dominic
I mean.  Mike and I about passed out.  We're awaiting photos of it installed with all the pieces and parts, with bated breath mind you, but wow.  Utterly gorgeous, right?!

Photo credit to Dominic
Mike said with a bright happy smiley face that he liked Dominic's better.  Ouch.  I don't blame him for saying that as holy cats and dogs, it's jaw-droppingly stunning, but yeah, owie.  He did give me a conciliatory hug, patted me on the head, and said, "but I love ours."  Heh, jerk.

But in all seriousness, I am thrilled and terribly humbled that I, me, I, created something that inspired someone to do such fantastic work.  I get a little verklempt, heh.

So that's it for now my dears.  Back atcha' real soon!

*The eBates link is a referral link.  We both get a cash bonus if you sign up through the link then use it.  It's free and it's awesome.  Get cash back for shopping online?  Free?  Yes.  You should use it.  I've promoted it here of my own free will, fyi, because it works, it's 100% free, and it's great.


I. Am Crazy. (Aka: Kitchen Wallpaper) + A Design Lesson + #Motivation.


Look, I know my taste is not for everyone so, hey, what can I say, just bear with me.  Mike's taste, yeah, doesn't always align with mine but seeing as he knows I'm a crazy person, and it's best to let crazy people do their whack-a-doodly-do crazy things, he just lets me run free most times.

Obligatory before.  Wow.  So boring!  How did we live with that for so long?!
Case in point:  the wallpaper I picked for the kitchen.  The York Risky Business Curves Ahead* in black and white.

Obligatory before 2.  Yawn!
I received the semi-elusive Mike Approval for it.  I did.  I swear.  You might be thinking he's crazy now too.  And, well, aren't we all just a little bit crazy?

So I ordered only one double roll.  Not from Menards though as an interweb search turned up a price about thirty bucks less with free shipping.  Cha-ching!

Based on my math (I know, I know) and a weird inkling I had, I knew I could easily swing the door/window wall and then most likely above the cabinets, should I decide to go that far.

Not gonna lie.  It took some bolstering to get me going.  I mean, I put up that wall mural in the hall bedroom but, c'mon, wallpaper, matching patterns, cutting it just right, corners, moulding...that had me a wee intimidated.  Further wigging out came courtesy of reading up a bit online.  And truthfully, the pattern was larger than I expected too.  Ahem, heh, huge.

Pattern repeat is a whopping 25.5".
But then I thought, don't be silly, don't let The Fears undermine you, you can totally do this.

Ok, all right, ok.  Crazy person side wins again.

I dashed out to procure some adhesive primer as that step was strongly recommended.  If I'm gonna do it right, I gotta do it right.

Cleaned the wall with that TSP substitute* which is truly great stuff.  So easy to use and really cuts through grease and grime without being messy soapy and bubbly.

Lookie, a bag of TSP Substitute!
Next was the primer.  I grabbed one that's more general purpose primer as I knew I would not go through a whole gallon of straight up wallpaper primer* ever, hoping maybe this stuff will prove useful for something else later.  We shall see as I have a ton of it leftover.

Followed the instructions on the bottle there:  let the first coat dry thirty mins to an hour, applied a second coat, let dry and it was time to roll.  Ah ha, I said roll.  Wallpaper pun.  Ha ha.

Given all the openings and moulding and small spaces and weirdness, I took some time to plan the layout procedure.  Measuring above the doorway revealed that had I started in that corner, there would be a big seam smack between the doorway and the window opening.  Nope, not appealing.

I opted to center the first piece on that wall segment instead, drawing plumb vertical lines as guides as duh of course the moulding wasn't true.

Window trim.  Level schmevel, square schmare.
I mean, there was just no avoiding lots of tricky cuts and crap and stuff but a major seam was easy to manipulate location-wise.

One plumb line over doorway.  And look at that.  The original baby poop brown paint color before they opted for dog vomit yellow.  Omg, that's horrifying.
End of day one, the first piece is up plus a piece over the doorway.  Deep breath.  Sigh of relief.  I about pass out from excitement at how it looks.   Hol.e.crap.

End o' day one.  Crazy!  Yay fall, it's dark at like 2 pm.  Oh ok fine, it was more like 7 pm here.
Mike comes home, doesn't see it, doesn't see it, finally sees it.  His eyes glimmer, several blinks, falters backward a little, "OOoh," he emits.  He steps into my office and lets out this strange unheard-before cross between a giggle and guffaw chuckle.  He steps back into the kitchen, pauses, quietly says, "huh, ok.  I like it.  You may proceed," then walks away.

Later he's in there and blurts, "this is going to take some getting used to."  Yikes.

Ok.  Next day, time to wrap it up.  Wrap?  Too much of a pun stretch?  Yeah, ok.

The corner proved a major conundrum.  Which led to bigger conundrums.

Partial shot of the corner.
Do I do the over window over cabinet tiny two inch sliver then under cabinet area all as one piece?  Am I that crazy?  If not, where do I place seams?  How would I then line the pattern up?  Am I going to limit this to one wall?  Or am I going to go across the top of the cabinets?  If the latter, do I turn the corner and wrap or whadda-I do?

Lots of pacing.  Looking.  Pacing.  Plotting.  Thinking.  Visualizing.  Thinking.  Pacing.

F' it.  All in, baby.  (Pardon my almost French.)

Then I opt to do the issue-laden corner all in one sheet.   No seams.  Yes, I went Full Crazy Person.

I cover the cabinet in plastic wrap and go for it.  Won't lie, it was tricky, it was messy, some goofs were made, it took nearly a half hour, but somehow I got it.  Pat myself on the back, butt wiggle dance, and it was time to move along.

As I was inching towards the finish line, I started questioning my math and my inkling.  Rightfully so too.

Aw crapola.  I was 28.5" short.  (Fyi, the roll is 27" wide.)  Ack!!  Omg, do I buy whole entire double roll for one 28.5" x 24" stinkin' piece?!?!

Finn, workin' hard.
Make sure your helpful assistant stays calm and collected in panic moment such as this.

Thankfully, the crazy penny pincher that I am, I had saved every trim off.  And who the heck knows how, but by piecing two larger trim chunks together, I managed to squeak out another 27"+, just over a full width panel.

Ha!  Yeah.

Last remaining bit.
Last was a mere crooked ± half inch (flipper, not me -- I drew a new vertical plumb line after wrapping the corner).

Heh.  I mean, this was getting ridiculous.  Right?  I dug through all my scraps again and connecting yet two more pieces, squeezed out that last tiny little smidgey bit.

INsane.  Crazy.  I was shaking my head at myself for hours afterwards.  But I got it!  Pathetic as all get out, but I got it!  Holy crap.  Craziest (aside from me)?  You can't even tell.  Wheeeewwwwwwwie!!

And oh man, it's insane, the whole thing, it's insane!  It's big.  It's loud.  It's a lot.  It's fun.  It's busy.  It's awesome.  It's modern and 70's rolled into one.  It's nuts and I LOVE it.  Pete the Rock Star Realtor might be crying right now but I love it.  Love.  LOVE!  (Don't worry Pete, the directions claim it's easy to remove, just in case.)

Mike came home, peered around..."I see someone was busy today."  Nothin'.   

An hour goes by and he finally says, "I think it makes me dizzy, heh.  But I like it.  Definitely something to get used to."  So ok, at least we're on the right track!  Heh.

Gosh the granite has really yellowed.  Sheesh.
Now to kinda hurry up and get some sort of backsplash going and repaint the opposite wall (again) so my seemingly wayward plan makes more sense to Mike.

Yes, I painted the backsplash area blue to see what blue tile might be like, tie in with the living room.
But here's a design lesson for you:  sure, sometimes having a detailed design all mapped out is super great.  You have a plan, you know the plan, you can stick with the plan to the end.  Like our library.  I had a complete vision, stuck with it, and now it's as I pictured.  Score.

Sometimes though?  It's ok and good to let things evolve, change, morph, take you in directions you hadn't thought about.  That's what's going on in our kitchen right now.  And it's a good thing.

Here's the part I'm confused about though.  The wall with the window and door opening, yeah, that totaled twenty six square feet.  I measured, drew it up in AutoCAD, ran an area measurement, likely rounded up to the even foot.  And then, so, over the cabinets I rounded up to twenty five square feet.

See?  Measured.  Oh, my sole injury on this job:  stabbing my hand with my Xacto knife, yup.  It's never a completed project until I injure myself somehow, heh.
That adds up to fifty one, amiright?  So the roll says it's 60.75 square feet.

I had practically no waste whatsoever, which I tell ya, is probably The most flabbergasting wallpaper--anomaly-impossibility Ever but it's true.  I should go buy a lottery ticket actually.

Pile of trims. 
But I kid you not.  That is all the waste I had.  Seriously.  No sh*ttin' around here.

That hardly looks like nearly ten square feet to me.  Or?  Maybe it is and my idea of nearly ten square feet is skewed, which would be sad commentary on a designer person like me.

So.  But.  It is what it is I guess.  All that matters is that I managed to eke it all out of one double roll. And eke is um, putting it stunningly mildly.

My mom used to always say to me that no one knows how to stretch a dollar like I do.  Looks like that still holds true.

But anywhooooo.  Here's the thing.  Heh, holy crap I love that wallpaper so.  Omg.  Heh.

No but really.  Go big or go home, right?  Ok I am home but you see my point.  You only live once, you may as well enjoy the daylights out of it.  Right?  Right.

View from the living room.  Yes, the icky rug is still in the kitchen.  Sigh, my sweet pea Hailey.  Missing her is heavily on my heart and mind more so lately.
So go ahead, take a leap my friends.  What's the worst that could happen?  You have to redo it?  Big deal.  Take a chance.  Go grab the bull by the horns and get busy!

What's next?!  Gosh, I dunno!  Maybe I should hit up the main floor bath since it's right next to the kitchen...omg, yikes!

*The wallpaper, TSP Substitute and wallpaper primer are Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab above for more info.


Let's Make...A Wall Organizer!

Ah, the kitchen quest.  Bits n' pieces, bits n' pieces.  Progress may be slow but it's progress nonetheless.

So in that quest to hoist the kitchen to its maximum of tolerable-ish enough order, a small step in keeping it clutter-free as visual clutter clogs my brain, it was time to partially address the dumping ground that is the cart I strongly dislike.

Stuff and gack and junk and crap and whatev's piles up here nonstop.  Everything ends up right smack here.  And it makes me nuts.

Grrr.  Clutter.  This is relatively tame too.
Yeah, ya know, I haven't completely solidified exactly what the master plan is for this wall opposite the cabinets quite yet but something junk containment was eminently pressing.

Somehow I came across this and thought, huh, superbly stellar idea!! and I have the perfect spot for it too!  For a while I had been secretly kicking around the idea of painting the wall at the top of the back stairs, next to the pantry, as chalkboard.  But, heh, I've maxed out on chalkboard in this house.

Hey hey, finished wall organizer!  Woo hooooo!
So when I saw that wall organizer a bulb blazoned on, bingo!  Sold!  Tackles multiple issues all in one neat and tidy, modern looking, compact thingie.  Plus, yellow.  I was totally suckered by the yellow.  My fave.

What I used:
Pretty simple and affordable list there.  All told, about twenty bucks-ish as I had the cork remnant, cup hooks, and the yellow paint.

After studying the example wall organizer, I knew I needed to veer a bit, i.e. sturdier materials and shooting for a stronger build as, well, Mike is not a delicate flower when it comes to stuff.  He's tough on things plus, given its intended location, it has the potential to be whacked, bumped, knocked into.

Plus um, power tools.  Must always use power tools.   Duh.

Hey, wood!
I began by cutting the piece of birch plywood in half, the idea being half would be the wall organizer itself, the other half used to make the boxes.  Ah ha!  Clever, eh?

Next was trimming the 1x2 to size to make the framing.  A little measuring, a little math, a little cutting and the pieces were ready to go.  Shockingly, they're pretty accurately cut; helps that I absolutely took my time.

Hey, photo of 1x2 framing!  Sweet!  I put it on face rather than on edge to keep the profile tighter to the wall.
Much like the original, I didn't want to see any fasteners so Gorilla Glue* was key.  Ran a thin thin bead along the 1x2, lined it up, clamped.  Be sure to use something like a bit of rag or felt on the face of the plywood to keep the clamp from damaging the front when tightened down.

After getting the base all assembled, it was time to plan the organizer parts.  Based on the types of items that mound up on that kitchen cart, I drew a tiny sketch and shopped and cut from there.

My original sketchy sketch.
It changed and evolved as I went which eh, ain't no big thang.  I kept laying it out as I went, arranging, rearranging, making decisions.

Using that spiffy mini saw and my uber fantastic miter saw, I trimmed up pieces of the birch plywood to make the boxes.  I ended up with (boxes from left to right) 3.5"w x 3.5"t x 2.75"d, 6"w x 2.5"t x 3.75"d, and 9.5"w x 2.5"t x 3.75"d.  Heh, in case you're wondering.

Lil' cut pieces o' birch ply here, box parts, woo hoo.
With thin thin beads of Gorilla Glue, I stuck them together, clamped with painter's tape until dry.  Don't forget that Gorilla Glue foams way the heck up and out everywhere so less is always more.

Once the boxes were assembled, I trimmed off two pieces poplar 1x4 for shelves, about 10" and 5" long.

Originally I was planning on placing the cup hooks on the face of the birch ply along the bottom but realized hey, they'd be way less snaggy if they were hidden up under the bottom shelf.  Using a itty drill bit, I pilot drilled some holes and screwed those puppies on.

After all my pieces and parts were found and assembled, I laid everything out for one final check on placement and functionality.

Parts arrangin'.
To snazz it up and ok because I was hooked by the yellow on the inspirational organizer, I ripped out my Lemon Curd paint, schmeared on a stripe and painted the wood knobs as well.  Ties in with the Lemon Curd wall in the pantry too.  Ah, see what I did there?  Heh.

Yay, my favorite yellow!
After the paint dried, it was time to mount everything.  I knew if I merely glued everything to the face, something would get blamo'ed, busted off.  Again, stuck with the no-seeing-fasteners thing which, no surprise, made things trickier.

In the end, along with glue, I opted to screw in the boxes and the shelves from behind.  Definitely made my brain squinty-hurt.  Pilot drill the holes from behind first so the on-edge ply doesn't shatter and use tiny thin screws.  Yes, I goofed twice and missed but a dab of paint or a skooch of a box over a smidge, no biggie.

Oopsy-daisy.  A wee hole there.
The mending plates I screwed on from the front, the cork I used spray mount to attach, and the knobs attached through the 1x2 like a normal drawer pull so pilot holes then screwed in from behind.

To get the whole shebang sturdily up on the wall, it was those handy dandy keyhole brackets again to the rescue.

Fancy schmancy keyhole bracket.  Those are the screw heads for the wood knobs, fyi.
Attached those to the back of the organizer and with screw-in anchors plus that nifty tape trick for hanging things on a wall, it was a simple install.

One for the blooper reel...Finn and the organizer.
The hardest part?  Retraining Mike to put his daily piles of stuff all over this instead of cluttering up the kitchen cart.

I did notice that without any prodding at all whatsoever, none, zero, zip zilch, he quietly placed his wallet and his office keys on the lower shelf.  He later pointed out proudly that he had done so despite all his protestations of having to use this darn thing.  I offered copious amounts of praise in return.

Check out them yellows! 
Neat huh?  I'm thrilled with it!

Okey doke, off to see if I can wallpaper the kitchen.  Cough, totally not nervous at all, nope!  I'm sure you'll be posted on that adventure!

*The mending plates, wood knobs, cups hooks, keyhole brackets, and Gorilla Glue are all Amazon affiliate links.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.