Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nothing you really want to know.

I've been incredibly busy lately because I got a bee in my bonnet to redecorate my foyer and entry hall, and then to turn a spare room into a media room/den. I could pay to have it all done and just stand back and sip champagne while directing traffic, but I have neither the money nor the patience with incompetency to do that. If someone is going to be incompetent and screw things up royally, I can do that for free. Besides, I then have money left over to buy better champagne, which I will need because after I screw it all up, I will drink myself into oblivion. At that point, good champagne is a definite plus.

First, for anyone who has actually read my blog from the beginning (Mom, I know that's you), I decided NOT to do the hand-painting, stenciling creation I have been lusting for, despite my legendary, intrepid stupidity at DIY projects. Instead, I decided to divide the stupid in half and then times it by 2 to arrive at the same "what-the-hell-am-I-doing?" place. I arranged to have someone else come in and hang my wallpaper, but I did the crown moulding, wainscoating and chair rail in the entry and hallway. This part of the "stupid" was entirely intentional and well-planned-out in advance, so there's no one to blame but myself.

The media room/den was the "impulse".

You have to understand our family to have an appreciation of how decisions are made around here. I am aware that most families make big decisions over a period of days or weeks, maybe even months, carefully budgeting and assessing the cost/benefit ratio of one decision over another. Not here. In our home, things are done in a much more spectacularly spontaneous way. The other day our daughter announced that her TV no longer received most of the channels and we learned that the analog set she had was rapidly becoming outdated as the signals were being switched to digital through government edict. So we needed a new TV. And of course you can now see where this is going. If we're going to have to buy a new TV, then we might as well convert a spare room into a media room and "do it right."

But "doing it right", in this home, is always a nailbiter.

Off we went to buy the TV. And sound system. Of course we needed a new sofa and chair. Make that queen sleeper sofa, so that the room could accommodate guests. Tables...lamps...CHECK.

Then what to do with the walls? It had been a not-particularly-interesting bedroom for its entire life and needed a make over. Now was as good a time as any. Furniture was on order and time was of the essence. Somehow I ran across a YouTube video detailing how to upholster walls and how great that was for media rooms because of the enhanced sound quality and how it was SO EASY!  Direct quote, "Upholstering walls, in general, is SO much easier than you would think. I mean, it's MUCH less messy than wallpaper."

Right. After watching that video, I had visions of me, being this:

In reality, this experience has reduced me to this:

I am currently at the "What-the-hell-am-I-doing-again?" stage. This is a stage in every DIY project that is so inescapably inevitable for me that DIY should really stand for "Damn. It. YIKES!"

So wish me luck. To keep you entertained, and because I am so miserable that I am wantonly indulging my vicious streak, here is a video of one more PSY Gangnam style redo. This one, however, is brilliant. Almost as good as the horse.




    Cool. They don't have to include more gangnam style though. I checked the stylebook and it's not required. :)

  2. DIY really stands for "Don't injure yourself". Even in college, when I worked in construction, the only thing I could operate were the wheelbarrow and the idiot stick (a stick with an idiot on one end and a shovel on the other). No power tools. No sharp objects. I've adhered to that over the years and managed to keep both eyes, all toes and nine fingers intact. Good luck on the remodeling.

  3. I've never attempted much DIY except for painting walls, but once I did decide to remove wallpaper from a kitchen and it was hell for three weeks. The wallpaper had a shitty layer of paint over it but was peeling along the edges (the reason I decided to rip it all down and paint the bare walls).

    But UNDER the wallpaper was another layer of horrid lumpy paint, which turned out to have ANOTHER layer of wallpaper under it. By this time the walls looked like Baghdad.

    It literally took me three weeks of working on it for several hours a day to get down to a smooth, bare wall. It was neither easy nor fun and I said very awful, hateful things about the previous homeowners the entire time. Also, I drank a lot. It helped.

    Good luck with your projects! Looking forward to updates and pics.

    1. Any proper DIY project takes longer and is more difficult than you thought it would be. Usually there's at least one unplanned trip to the hardware store, because you forgot something, didn't have enough, bought the wrong one, forgot to measure twice, or dropped the screw and it bounced God only knows where. If there are any stairs or ladders involved, experience in mountain climbing is a plus.

  4. Yes to everything above, everyone! Honestly, hubby and I have completely remodeled (full kitchens, wiring, heating and air, walls, flooring, roofs, bathrooms, fireplaces, landscaping...) two other homes, so, while not a pro, I'm fully aware before I begin of what horrors await. In fact, we lived here for nearly 8 years before I agreed to redo the kitchen and bath...and now this. I just couldn't bear it. I know how deep is the abyss. But what the hell. It's the best excuse in the world to drink. Other than Obama being president, but that's wearing thin.

    As for not injuring myself, I'm a DISASTER around sharp objects. The tips of my fingers RIGHT NOW are screaming as I type because I poked them until they were bleeding yesterday with sewing needles WAAAAAAAAY more often than anyone but a 'tard could manage.

    I once asked my daughter if she wanted to come help me in the kitchen and learn to cook one of her favorite dishes, beef bourguignon, and her reply was, "Mom, someday you're going to die in that kitchen and I don't want to be there when it happens."

    Smart ass.

    1. So, Buttercup, you have done remodelling before, you KNOW what awaits, yet you still proceed? How long have you had these masochistic tendencies? Have you consulted a mental health professional for help?
      You AGREED to redo the kitchen and bath? It wasn't your idea? You're still married?

    2. HAHAHA! My masochistic streak runs deep and right alongside my sadistic streak, so it's the ol' misery loves company. Here, I'll help you...

      I went to a doc about it. He said I was nuts, but my kitchen looked FABULOUS!

      Yes, I'm still married. It's been 23 years. I don't think there is anyone else on the planet who would put up with me. Gonna keep him.

    3. HAHAHA! My masochistic streak runs deep and right alongside my sadistic streak, so it's the ol' misery loves company.

      Hmmmm. So you'll be encouraging Rachel to go for the inexpensive, unique, fixer-upper opportunity?

    4. If I would closer and could help once I had her up to her eyeballs in caulk and paint and sawdust, I would. But to encourage her from California when she will be in Texas is just cruel.

    5. Well, you did claim a sadistic streak. I didn't think it could be that broad. :)

  5. I Lol'ed at "I know how deep is the abyss." HAHA! Indeed. And it applies to both DIY and President 18-Hole.

    Your daughter sounds kind of awesome, by the way. My husband has said similar things to me about my kitchen adventures and he will not even enter if I have a knife in my hands.

    Oh and as for your sewing finger-pricks, that always happens to me too, and my sister would always say, "Use thimbles, dumbass", but I CAN'T! I hate thimbles because I can't fuckin' feel anything! Even if it's just on my thumb, I absolutely hate it. No way could I wear one on any other finger, ever.

    1. Thimbles! I hate them! One, they won't stay on. Two, if they DO stay on, they make me even clumsier. Three, I instinctively begin to use ANY OTHER finger because the one with the thimble feels so weird that I start holding it out like it's broken.

      Everyone in the house starts acting like that DHS Active Shooter Video when I'm in the middle of a "project" and hides under tables and chairs.

      They're not funny.

      Today is going to be a big day. Huge push to get most of the room done. Hubby's good friend and SUPER DUPER contractor guy came up from the Bay Area to help. He's going to rebuild a closet in the room to be the media storage area for DVD's, equipment, etc. and then help me upholster the walls, hang the TV. And the furniture is arriving today, which is going to be VERY interesting since it "arrived" last week but they couldn't get the sofa through the door into the room. FUN times! So then we thought it could get through the window but the window sash broke. Just fucking swell. So they rescheduled the furniture for today, the window is out, the sash parts ordered, and we will attempt to get the damn thing through the window today. If it won't fit, then I have to start all over with the furniture selection. Just swell.

      Wish me luck.

  6. Need more info on wainscotting and various moldings: did oyu install them anew? and/or sanded/painted/painted again? is it that bad you can't even show us the pic?

    I don't' believe it. Double dog dare you!

    1. OOOOHH! The gauntlet has been thrown!

      I will post pictures shortly. Just for you, dear Creaky. And be nice. I've seen the lovely things you can do.