Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thank goodness vintage is "in"

Raise your hand if you are the worst DIY-er ever.

Seriously, right here. We can't all be Young House Love. Especially me. And here's why.

It's been one of those weeks. I have an incredibly long to-do list, and I start every day with the best of intentions, and somehow at the end of the day nothing is scratched off and more stuff is added. Exhibit A: I have been preparing the same blog post every day since Monday, but it has still not appeared on this blog. It's not that hard, people- type the words, upload the pictures, click publish. And yet- nothing.

Then on top of that is the standard household to-do list, which I am pretty sure is never completed till you're dead. Even that was a failure. I thought, "Sure, I've got five minutes and we've only got two cabinets in the entire house. I'm just going to install these child-proof latches real quick so my kid doesn't chew on cleaning supplies." Ninety minutes, one destroyed drill bit and many broken latches later, I left it all in a pile on the kitchen floor for the man of the house to deal with when he got home. (This should have been a clear reminder that in my case do-it-yourself is destroy-it-yourself, but I forged on.)

More and more stress resulted in less and less productivity. I finally came to the conclusion yesterday that the main cause of my slump, at least when it comes to my business, is my office. Since November it has basically become the dumping ground for, well, everything. Dirty laundry, clean laundry, bills, papers, an old TV, diapers, a dog, a cat, dog fur, cat fur, the ironing board, trash, junk mail, empty luggage, baby toys, etc. I actually had to relocate my laptop to the living room and my camera gear to my bedroom because there was no room left, and those are the two things that should REALLY be living in the office.

I kept refusing to clean the office because I had so many more important things to accomplish (hi taxes), but we all see where that got me. Dylan was home today (thanks to the fluffy goodness dumped on us during last night's thundersnorm), so I took advantage of the extra help with the kiddo and tackled project Office Excavation.

I was on a roll. I got a lot cleaned. And I threw a lot away. And I vacuumed up allllll the fur. And then I started rearranging. Ooops. And then I decided I needed new furniture. Double ooops. I was about to grab my keys and rush to IKEA (stubbornly ignoring the budgetary warning in my head), but Dylan was still shoveling out the car. Thankfully, I was going nowhere.

So I did the next best thing. I decided I would save money, be creative, and make my own furniture. I marched down to the basement, found an old TV cabinet from Dylan's college apartment and a half-used can of paint, and went to town. For the record, the paint was from a coffee table I DIYed that came out very badly.

It's weird. I am so incredibly meticulous about some things, like washing the dishes. I develop slight anxiety watching someone else wash them, because ohmygosh if he holds the wine glass that way while he rinses it is going to leave a fingerprint. But when it comes to redoing furniture? I get so excited about making something old new again, and I start working really carefully, and then I realize I've bought the wrong paint or the wrong hardware or the drilled the holes in the wrong spot and then about five minutes later I don't care and am just ready for it to be done. I rush to finish and shrug and say, "Oh well, it's not like I bought it somewhere, people can't expect it to be perfect."

Tonight, I just skipped ahead to the end stage. I started painting already ready to be done. Turns out painting in a poorly lit basement is awesome, because it's really hard to see all the imperfections. But two coats later was still REALLY obvious that it wasn't probably a paintable surface, and I didn't really use the right kind of paint, and I really should have removed the cabinet doors and painted them separately. OH WELL. It's not like anyone has to look at it but me. Note, this is not the attitude of a proper DIY-er. I am hoping that the streaky, see-through result gives it a vintage look. (Yes, I know "vintage" and "crap" are different.)

Why is this post so long? Why am I still writing about nothing? Why are there no pictures of anything? I'm so sorry. Can I blame the paint fumes? I feel fairly certain that basements don't count as "well-ventilated areas."

At the end of the day, despite my failed project, I do feel little more sane. I've still got some work to do to get organized, but I am happy to report that I am typing from my cleared-off desk at this very moment. Hooray! And tomorrow I'm lugging Streaky Cabinet up here to join me, so I can look at him every day and remember not to do this any more. I've had big plans to turn an old coffee table into a bench, but I think we'll be scratching that. For now anyway.

Here's hoping the weekend is full of organization, relaxation, and cookies, and that I'll be ready to hit the ground running Monday morning.

Night night.


  1. seriously, I laugh out loud every time! I LOVE this blog!

  2. So enjoyed it even without pictures!!!! And if you need anything else come to my basement.

  3. I think we need to see this cabinet...I'm intrigued. ;)

  4. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! This post is awesome! I agree with the Kauffmans-- we need to see this cabinet! :c) Best of luck the rest of the week! :c)