Cabin fever

Do you know what drives me right up the walls? Or sorry, do you know what hinders me from driving myself up the walls because of frustration and cabin fever??

How about awakening my inner organization-fascist (the organizing spares NO ONE!) with a vengeance and having me getting into making shit happen, just to have my back post a letter that says "Fuck you" and then personally delivering it to my door and then slapping me in the face with said letter and a surprisingly rough glove at the same time.

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I’m SO CLOSE to getting shit together in the bedroom! So close! And it does look like chaos, and it will continue doing so because its a basement, but it’ll at least be an organized basement.

The letter arrived in a timely fashion just as I had gotten that famous thumb out of my ass and actually started the little ol' project we have in the house called "Rearrange the entire basement". It's a sequence of events that need to happen to get some order down here in the shadow dwellings. Everyone who has had a home where anything had to be done, you know the drill.

For us to be able to get some order in the garage and a sewing table for me in the basement, we needed to move the huge table from the garage but before we get the table into the house we need to move the hutch in the... in-suite* (and I mean that in English, not French) craft room, but in order to move the hutch we need to move the cabinet but to move the cabinet we need to move the hanging clothes in the bigger room and in order to move the hanging clothes I needed to move a shelf in the bedroom and to move that shelf in the bedroom I needed to shuffle all my clothes to a new shelf and to do that I needed to dye the shelves and to do that I needed to be outside for hours and hours and to be outside for hours and hours it needed to be at least humanly friendly to be so, and it wasn't. For many reasons.

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Oh look there’s me, in a glorious time of my life where I could actually do anything at all.

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But! When the shelves were finally dyed, I couldn't place them until I painted the pipes and to paint the pipes I needed to clear the space out and to clear the space out, I needed to put things everywhere in the rest of the cellar, which just makes everything go round and round.

But, finally, the day came! I cleaned the old (and new, bah) cobwebs out, took things off of the walls, we bought paint and I painted the pipes AND the wall to eliminate the terrible foresty green mess. I do like green, most often, but here, this way and in this shade.. no.

I had already dyed the shelves and they'd had time to dry so I put them into place and mounted the clothes hanger and sorted my clothes and was just about to move the clothes from the room that needed to go in bedroom order to make room for the cabinet... and my back went out.

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Gold and beige instead of forest green, white, black, rust and more green. Live that extra life, guurl! I know there’s like three people who has parts of my interior taste as their rolemodel, but I don’ know if this is the end of that era…

Right out the window it flew, like a scared bird having seen way too much when accidentally flying into a human bedroom. A had to cook and bring the food to me personally like a man-servant that night because I couldn't stand up in any orderly fashion. While I do appreciate the gesture, or rather, having him keep me alive when I'm not able to do so myself, having a man-servant isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

And here we are, three days later. That dang bird hasn't returned yet and my cheek is still chafed from the rough glove. I'm still waiting for a nicer letter of explanation because I've ever been broken up by someone just leaving before and I need a reason, dangit.

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So my craft/sewing room has a toilet and a washing machine in it? So? Are you implying, like our friend’s five year old son did, that our house is weird?

The best place for me to hang out is, fortunately, or unfortunately, in my computer chair in front of my computer. In the basement. Staring at everything that needs to be done. It's mocking me. Mocking!

The only lesson I can gather from this sudden and quite unexpected back crisis is that the Universe is trying to punish me for whining so much about not doing "anything". Okay, that and that I should probably get a gym card. I get it, Universe. THIS is what it feels like doing nothing, and not the hours I actually spend every day doing things like laundry, dishes, or projects. I get it now. Can we just get this over with? Can we just unite in the fact that my whining is a... quite accomplishment-driven angst over being a waste of flesh and not really me whining about the changeable fact that I'm not doing more with my life seeing as I know I should take this time to heal mentally and physically from an impending burnout? Please?

Although, yesterday wasn't completely wasted. I did spend seven hours writing the blog post about digital and physical planners. Yeah I know, I'm not proud. It's like my mind went into some slow zen-state of wasting time to heal my back while not toppling over with boredom and/or cabin fever.

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So the electrician has to access the walls of the garage so we had to bring the table in even though I’m not at all done with anything. It’s not scary at all having a huge slab of table just resting there, ready to tip over at any second, crushing you under its laminated weight of death.

So here I am, eating cheeseballs in front of my computer, feeling a little forlorn while getting tipped by youtube to watch videos about people playing the Untitled Duck Game. It's a lovely game, that's for sure. I do love ducks.

Ellet, the window-maker

You know that feeling when you've made a mistake and you're just realising?

Okay so maybe it wasn't the absolute smartest idea I've ever had to put two big ol' gaping holes into the cottage little over a week before absolute everyday-chaos were to ensue in our regular dwelling, but hey, life's short and let's chance the stability of a 130-year-old house just to live a little! We DID of course cover the holes but it just doesn't feel right to not have windows in spite of the need to renovate them, especially as the season's turning.

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Again, the light…

Then again, it didn't matter that it dragged out for an extra two weeks because I realised after disassembling the windows, that this particular putty has to dry for FOUR WEEKS before I can paint them. I'd read everywhere that you just have to wait a few days before painting the windows, but this threw our entire schedule off. We had to go to the cottage and put up better protections over the frames because we counted on it taking like two weeks, not seven... Ahem. Very well, no harm no foul.

The expert's advice was to start off with windows that aren't as visible to like, visitors and general stragglers so I, of course, did the only reasonable thing and started off with both front-facing windows. Like a pro. Or you know, like a total newbie about to mess up the windows people will see first. Hurr-hurr.

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To be honest, I chose those two windows because they need it the most and... last year really. One of the windows has just three millimeters of wood to putty outside of the glass, and... Entropy doesn't care that you're running out of time or the right season for redoing windows because you've been allergy-sick for eight weeks during the summer when you initially intended to start working on them. Entropy also doesn't give a flying fuck about winter rapidly approaching nor what the neighbours are saying now that windows are missing on that old cottage along the road. When that entropy has just millimeters of wood to pulverize before actual window panes are falling right out of their frames, even this newbie to window-renovations has to take her chances and take those windows home for six weeks instead of waiting for warmer times next year.

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When we checked in on the cottage yesterday, the old owner puttered by on a charming tractor from the 1940s and waved, probably wondering where to we've gone off with the windows. Sold them? Slowly picking the entire cottage apart and selling it off in pieces? To be fair, it's probably more worth in pieces than as a whole to the general public but fortunately, I'm not the general public so I don't care that the National Land Survey institution values it as exactly 0 Swedish crowns or dollars or pounds or dragon dungeon dinar. Zero.

For me, *clutches necklace*, it's worth so much more than that!

Anyways, back to the windows.

Have you ever wondered what the demise of wood looks like? Like in detail? It can look like this. It's soft, fluffy and grey like a pleasantly plump chinchilla butt, but the delightful sensation of petting it is clouded with the notion that it's your house crumbling under your trembling fingers.

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Here you can also see the devilish little white specks that will walk along with us in life from now on.

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When scraping down this window, I found that it’s been blue earlier in its life. It’s details like that that really add to the character of the building for me, along with the window coming from another house some time ago. I suspect this one does because it’s the only blue one I’ve found.

Now it's your job to scrape all that fuzz off along with minuscule bits of white paint that spreads onto EVERYTHING, and by everything, I mean that you find them in your bed, having them randomly popping into your eyes for a little rummaging around blinding you, they're hanging around in rooms you haven't even entered since you started scraping the paint and you feel them between your buttcheeks while showering. Oh, and don't forget to take a shower before going out after doing ever so little of scraping, because even if you dust all the paint specks off that you can see, those people that you think are staring at your tits are in fact just trying to figure out why your entire chest is spattered with 2x2 millimeter bits of something stark white. Has she been eating sugared donuts in bed? Is she filthy rich and rolls around in marble all day? Is it bio-degradable "glitter"?

No, I'm sure she just spent three hours painstakingly scraping old windows until she couldn't feel her hands anymore, I'm sure that's it. Said no one.

But, when you've spent hours and hours... and hours of scraping, the soft grey fuzz has been replaced by the underlying hard, firm wood with life still going for it. Old windows are as a rule made from the best, densest pieces of wood because they have to be absolutely top-notch to survive seasons and weathers for generations to come in all their daintiness. And after looking so rough, scraping them down and slathering them gently in a mix of linseed oil and turpentine still makes them glow a little. It's all going in the right direction, though one of the kids skeptically did raise the question of why it smells so weird in the basement. Hey, a little linseed oil poisoning has never hurt anyone!

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When working and the brain needs company, choose a good one. Like Rachel Maksy, a funny cosplayer-vintagey dog-loving creature on youtube. I highly recommend.

I'm not gonna get started on putting the glass sheets back into their frames onto putty though, because that may be the most frightening piece of DIY I've ever put my shivering fingers on. Okay, so I will get started on it. It's like, no I'll just put this putty all around the edge right, and then quite firmly press a sliver of thin (much thinner than modern glass), hand-blown glass evenly into the putty without breaking it. THEN, I'll just use this tong and hammer to shove little pins into the frame to hold the glass in place, without breaking the glass or shearing off shards or accidentally dropping the tools onto the glass surface. NO WORRIES RIGHT.

If I hadn't showered off all those bits of scraped paint I would have sweated them off in the process, that's for sure. Thus far, I've paned and puttied two out of four window sashes, pray for me and the rest.

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This is what it can look like when you’re struggling with a really uneven surface of wood so you can’t use the putty knife, no distinct lines to level the putty with and three millimeters of space to put it in.

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In my defense from the previous picture, this was my absolute first try of puttying a window. Having clear lines to follow and a deeper well to put it makes allllll the difference for this amateur.

I was planning on writing this post when the windows were finished and all fancy and stuff so I could flaunt them, but when I threw my entire schedule off I decided to talk about it anyways. It's been a process, that's for sure. There are six large outer windows and five small ones still in need of help, and then the inner windows to par. Hopefully, I can show you guys the result of the two in progress around Halloween!

It's like A says now and then after we moved into our house, "Having a house to plan around gives you an entirely new perspective on time." With my physical limitations and being realistic around life and its turns, if I really get into it maybe I'll have gotten through half the windows by next summer. Maybe. With all the things that need to be fixed in the cottage and at home, and in my personal life, and with school, and holidays and with friends, I don't have to worry about going idle.

Imagine that I, just over a year ago, lived as a single in a tiny studio apartment downtown and having fixed that place already, I had absolutely nothing that demanded my attention except for my day job and blogging when I felt like it. I remember feeling a little lost.

When one's hands work, the mind can rest. It's the best kind of busy.

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I'm ready for autumn

I remember writing a similar post two or three years ago, about stumbling out of the tattoo studio I worked at and getting hit in the face by Mr. Moist, aka summer in late August.

He's here again my fellow internetters, oh, he's here again.

That time of the year when you find spiders in the basement surprisingly often, like, almost every night just before bedtime, and of course just by your bed. It's that time of year when you try to take an evening walk but have to admit defeat before even leaving your own street because you've already almost stepped on 25 snails that have taken the chance to relocate when everything's terribly wet and moist - just like they like it.

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Everything feels weirdly cool to the touch, because everything's a little moister than what it should be. Clothes feel clingy, sweat breaks long before my body temperature usually requires it, and the misty sunlight fries everything in sight without lifting the heavy feeling.

I mean, I guess it's fine because we have a bajillion tomatoes and chilies in the garden that need to ripen but I as an individual does not appreciate it. I never really appreciate 27C/80F, but even less so now. The moisture content in what used to be called "the air" lays like a heavy blanket atop my breathing organs and it even makes everything smell differently. You know when you walk through your house and all of a sudden it smells like.. building materials? That you haven't smelled before? So you instinctively assume you have water damage and that's gonna suck so bad to clean up because gawddangit you're just finished with the dang carpenters? And then realise it's just September soon and that's how life works?

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BUT, my friends, the wet blanket of hopelessness will eventually lift and it will leave us with my favourite season - autumn. So I'm making all the preparations for it! Curtains are changed and the dining room and the fireplace is kitted with autumny colours and fake flowers because I am a thousand years old. Autumn scented candles have been picked and put on display and I've colour-coordinated some others, which I may say is easy, because my entire house is well adapted for the autumn life.

I've put hours into boiling purees and making apple sauce and have frozen and preserved berries and fruits for later (ya know, I'm AM a newbie at preserving so some of it goes into the freezer in case of failure). I've made pumpkin puree and picked plums off of our neighbour's trees and sorted out convincingly summery clothes, all of which I wanted to throw into the laundry bins because of their apparent wetness, but then I again realised it's September and that's just how life works some years.

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So yeah I accidentally broke off the more yellowy pumpkin when digging around, so it had to come in prematurely. Ahem. But at least we finally got an orange one!

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I've googled recipes for fall and baked an autumn spice cake (SO GOOD!) and eaten warm plum compote with ice cream. We've invited way too many people for the traditional crayfish celebrations and it's gonna be great!

We've planned loosely for the Swedish version of Thanksgiving because we have one! It's the 13th of October this year and is apparently for giving thanks to God for this year's harvest. Being the heathen that I am, I'm opting for nature and the universe and maybe the trolls that keep stealing our socks, leaving the monotheistic deity-bit to my partner.

Hopefully, we'll be able to have a Halloween party as well, we'll see. The autumn plans drifts over into Christmas, having to prepare things here and there for that glorious time of the year as well. Christmas cards are to be made, wreaths decorated, glögg has to be mixed six weeks in advance.

The house is ready. The garden is almost ready. I'm ready.

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In case anyone of you wonder where I spend most of my down time, it’s right in that corner. Love my corner, inspite of looming ancestry in the shape of oversized Polish clocks. It’s the only place in this entire house it fits, haha!

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A DIY wooden chandelier

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I was gonna say “”It’s been a long time coming” but it really hasn’t. Actually, I think I’ve set some kind of personal record, because apart from hanging a few pictures, the dining room is done and we’ve only lived here for five months!

In serious people’s schedules that actually plan and check off everything when redoing at home, I’m sure it’s ages. But for a procrastinator that wants to do stuff, even the fun stuff, only when I feel like it, it’s pretty dang hasty.

The almost-last hurdle was the lighting arrangement over the dining table. Around the time we moved in, I was tumbling through Pinterest and everywhere I could see these wonderful hanging… things, that one can decorate after taste or season, most often made by artists of course. But, since I sometimes have no boundaries, I wanted one for myself.

A week later, in the house, I found a piece of wood that exactly matched what I’d envisioned for my own over-table while clearing out. It was fate! (let’s keep the illusion going, right). So, I had the piece of wood. And of course, chains to hang it. But I wanted lighting too, and how do you get lighting up above a table? The electrical cords have to be seriously long or I’d have to fasten a extension cord in the ceiling. I wanted to be able to light it and shut it off easily, because everyday life should be as easy as possible.

So I put things off, not knowing how I should go about the whole thing. There was so much other things to do that I knew how to do, so I did all that instead.

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Then came the electrician. When walking around pointing to things we wanted done and reviewing our options, I said I wanted a regular wall socket in the ceiling, because that was the obvious solution to my problems! Could that be done? Yeah sure, he said, we’ll find a solution for it. And a few weeks into the whole mess, we did.

After getting the socket installed, I excitedly drilled four holes into the wooden board and threaded the chains through them, and installed two hooks in the ceiling. I raided another room for the string of lights, and up it all went!

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It’s not picture perfect but who cares!

Now. Do you know what happens if you hang one piece of wood in four chains and the chains pull differently? Things get real crooked, real fast. Things got so crooked I thought I’d have to take everything down, spackle the holes in the ceiling and just tell my household I’d changed my mind to cover up the failure. But I endured, and after a grueling ten minutes of walking round and round and tweaking each side a litte at a time, things were aligned.

Right now it’s a little scarce with the decorations, but I have plans for the coming season changes. Fun!

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The new socket is connected to the ceiling light socket so I can light both with the the wall flip switch. I’ve disconnected my old beloved inherited hand blown glass lamp because I don’t like the kind of ambiance ceiling lights make. It’s just gonna hang there like a jewel, in it’s 100 year old prettiness.

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How to dye leather in 13 terrifying steps (hint, 10 are the same)

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We now have a fabulous dining room.

The realization that I CAN COLOUR LEATHER

Now, you have to put yourself into my position, and I bet you know what that position is. Yes. More colour and DIY’s for erryone!

So, imagine my excitement when I realized that there was actually a way of changing colour on the jarring white leather dining room chairs that were in my general possession.  A cold March afternoon I got searching for solutions, and I found a website selling stuff to make old colours of leather go bye-bye!

After eyeballing the entire website that was enlightening me of this magical interior decorating-unicorn I was sweating with excitement and fell all over myself out of the couch, tumbled down the stairs to the basement like an avalanche of unsure outcomes and taking risks with someone else’s possessions and after a few hasty steps over the original 1970’s snotty green patterned vinyl flooring, I flew into the cave we call an office space. I informed my partner that EITHER WE’RE GOING FAB or… he’s paying for six new comfortable dining chairs after I sort of really ruin the ones we have. Are you in?!

He, in his usual, almost uncannily positive enabler-form, gave me a thumbs up and patted me on the butt.

No misgivings? No hesitancy? Well that was far too easy! It’s like he trusts me to succeed in my endeavors? What does this mean? In my mind, all the possible dreamy DIY scenarios popped right up from Fantasy Box nr. 3 and tried to squeeze themselves into my rational, sane, held-back-horizon and oh no, this is gonna end badly.

Once I regained my bearings and had managed to return to the couch, I hovered my clickety-click over the ”Order”-button on earlier mentioned unicorn-website. Am I doing it? I am doing it. I’m gonna go out on a limb and maybe trash six perfectly functioning chairs because I can’t stand them in the deathly depressing shade of whatever terror society calls ”white”. Destroyed and brown is better than white and pristine, AMIRIGHT? Okay, so you don’t have to agree with me, but here’s how I did it anyway! Click and off the order went!

First of all, for anyone of you out there that would like to try this yourselves. The colour dubbed ”Dark Dark Brown”, wasn’t brown at all. It was a dark, dark purple. Totally in order, said the company because according to them, people usually prefer a lot of redness in their dark brown leather goods. Madness. I didn’t, and was offered to send the bottle back (even though I’d used it a little to sample) and get a new, cooler, less red one called ”Dark Brown” sent to me instead. And might I say, Dark Brown is well, dark brown. DIY saved!

Prep work

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Starting off with white chairs that didn’t mesh with the moody, sultry dining room at all.

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The magic! Okay, so I realized afterwards that I didn’t need the Ultra Clean nor the Protection Cream, but I’m sure I can use them later on for something else.

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Leather supplies, an old broken sock cut into three for the cleaning steps (the cloth bled pink so I didn’t use that one), a work space consisting of the floor with some cardboard, as usual…, and a packet of gloves because once you drop one of those boxes on the floor at a tattoo shop, it’s either the garbage or it’s going home with you to serve it’s lifetime with dyeing hair or cleaning stuff, and not being around people’s freshly made tattoos.

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The first phase of cleaning was SO SATISFYING.

Scrubbing six chairs with two cleaning agents wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had, but hey. I felt safe, it was going well, the white colour rubbed off on my cleaning sock as they mentioned on the website. Things were going well. Maybe I’m not gonna mess this up?! There are different kinds of leather and different types of faux leather, all which can be dyed this way, but they have different cleaning needs. I wasn’t too sure so I chanced it a little, *ahem*, but it turned out right!

The dyeing

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The first layer went on… like this. Oh shit. I’ve ruined the chair. This is NEVER GONNA work! Cue me, sipping coffee, staring at the horrible chair. An electrician peeped in to tell me something, looked at the chair, didn’t mention it and kept on working. Yeah. I’m screwed. Now we have to sell five perfectly fine chairs with an sixth ugly cousin added for free. Dangit! But the website did say not to try and make the first layer even, so yeah no that’s not gonna happen even if I did try so…

Now it’s too late, might as well continue, right?

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Layer three and two. Oh, okay… So there’s hope right?

Now, I am gonna add that the company recommends using a sponge for the first and second layer, and then airbrushing the colour on until satisfied. I do not have an airbrush-thingie, so.. I sponged it all the way. In hindsight, I’d say that if you are gonna dye large areas of leather, get an airbrush. Just do it.

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Here we’re into layers four and five I think. Three? I’m not sure. There were soo many layers.

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Neeeveereeending stoooory, aah aah aahh aaaaaah.

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Layers seven? Eight? Even the owl I caught peeping was doubting that this would ever be finished.

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But then! After sponging on ten, yes, ten layers, they all looked like this! The dye itself is a little sticky, so I wouldn’t recommend doing it over the span of a couple of days like I did, because dust and lint gets stuck on the surface and.. yeah, well, it’s in there forever now. Summary: Get a fricking airbrush and just sweep over it all, man.

Altough, I’m always more keen to approve of a little faulty things made by me, so I don’t mind it that much. The imperfections and all that. They’re fine even though I may have wanted it perfect.

After the dye layers, you need to put on a leather finish, that are available in shiny as fuck, satin softness and matte dusty desert. I chose the satin variety.

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So, being without an airbrush, I brushed the finish on. I tried getting it a little thicker on there with the brush and I did three layers to really make it solid and be able to hold hopefully for years and years to come. I tried making it all even and I checked before it dried if it looked okay, which it did. But as you can see, the finish is really uneven, and it’s apparent in most lights. So I would reallllly recommend using an airbrush for ALL OF IT. But hey, done is done, and I’m pleased anyways. And, I’ve learned a whole lot on dyeing/painting leather!

Would totally do again with the lessons in mind. I give myself a… 4/5, one point extra for bravery.

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Now I have a much nicer view into the dining room from the sofa! Yay!

Going full Goldmember

It’s been quiet for a little while on my little space in... the web space. I could claim that I’ve been doing anything much but I’ve mostly just painted stuff, anything I could get my hands on in the shade of silver or white, really. Oh, and I’ve been spending wayyy too much time with electricians because we’re SAVING US FROM TERRIBLE DEATHS AND FIRES, shortly speaking.

We can just condense the last few weeks experience into a sigh of relief and an older man saying “Oh damn, I have to tell the owner about this” while stomping down the stairs. DON’T YOU COME DOWN THE STAIRS AND TELL ME ABOUT ANOTHER FIRE HAZARD, SHERYL. Okay, so it was less of a fire hazard and more of a “You’re fucking lucky to be alive” kind of situation this time, very well then. And also, my little statement in the last post about not actually touching electrical things because they’re not for us DIA’ers still holds true, because if an actual electrician tells you to hold something or to shove cables into a little pipe in the wall, it’s okay to do it.

But hey, it’s nice having a house, that’s bleeding money and could be considered fatal at times. It is. I mean. It is. Yeah. It is.

Moving on.

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Speaking of DIA’ers, I’m coming to you with half of what I’ve actually been doing on my off-electrician time since we spoke last. I don’t know about you, but at least I am a person that wants to banish pretty much everything in silver from my life, and replace it with gold. That’s right. The last few weeks, I’ve gone full Goldmember, and I’m not even done yet.

You know how it goes; I got a hold of that bottle of golden paint and just sort of swiped random things throughout the house and made them sparkle in the dazzle of sunlight. At least that rough concrete-dust-soot corner in the horror room now shines bright like the sun. Gold has never hurt anyone, right!

It all started with a lamp that my partner brought with him into our mutual home. He did wish it was gold instead of the shiny silver hue that it had, and the expression on his face when I told him that there’s actually a golden version of it… It’s just not available at our little Ikea, because almost nothing is. When we visited an Ikea in a larger town an hour away, we stared at like 24 of them. Lined up, almost just to spite him. “I can paint it, but it won’t look like that”, I said and pointed at the chromey shiney deliciousness of the golden lamps. He hissed “Do it, we already have it!” and started looking at something that didn’t offend him instead.

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The main offender 

Yes, I changed the white lamp shade to a beige one (huge surprise!), and I am gonna paint the rest of the cord. I just need the useless months before I get my hand out of my ass and do it. You know the drill.

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Then there were those baroquey candle holders that I bought for a surprising low sum ten years ago. I’ve always liked them, but also kind of thought they needed some sprucing up. Oh! Look! I have some leftover golden paint on my brush, whoops, just so happened to swipe it across my candle holders!

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 Look at that enhancement! It’s fit for a porn site ad, but without making outrageous claims!

And then, my friends, then there were the silvery huge candle sticks that my partner brought with him. I’m so fortunate that he wants to banish all the damn silver he brought into my life, geesh. With these, I tried something new. Something different. Something in a spray can. Yes. I dared sacrifice my partner’s candle holders to take my goldspray-virginity. Just for him. *cough*And hey, it’s not perfect, there’s bits of silver peeping through and I sort of sprayed dust into place (no one told me I had to dust off the tops between sprayings, how could I possibly know that a room made of crumbling plaster would dust my stuff!), but if you don’t look very closely, or squint a lot, they almost look like they ARE perfect! Good enough for this DIA’er!

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Much like missing a before picture of the now golden lamp, this was the only picture I could find that has the silvery thingies in them, because I really need to start taking pictures of things I don’t like very much as well.

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Next up is a bunch of cords, maybe some pipes and the chrome legs of the dining chairs I coloured… lemme tell you about the chairs a little later.

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How to do DIY yourself! (yes, it's supposed to be read that way)

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If you’re anything like me, you’re a stubborn, home-decorating DIYer with a flair for the fun instead of the fancy. Aka, you persist on focusing on projects that are bordering on or hover just above your general level of knowledge, skill and for the most part, laziness, and just DO IT ANYWAY.

Maybe I should call it ”DIAer”…

Because even if the simple spice rack is built from like eight bits of wood that have just been sawed off right in the middle, they’re still not equally long, straight, nor even. The thing didn’t even fit right but I... made it fit. Hehehe. *whirrs electrical screwdriver and winks* One shelf leans outwards (I have no idea why) so it’s just a matter of time before the salt and pepper grinder starts sliding closer to its sudden doom. But, if that happens, I’ll just nail a little wood strip there and TADA, problem solved and the spice rack is back to fucking PERFECT again.

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Don’t let anyone fool you. The kitchen table is a perfectly suitable spice rack until YOU say otherwise!

So hey! Here’s my guide how YOU can be as awesome as me in doing home projects and get pleased enough by the result that you’re inclined to make tutorials on the internet!  

1. Wander about your own home, stare at sections of it and feel slight feelings of discontentment. Or get angry with messes and stuff that has no homes, that’s the most efficient one.

2. Research what you want instead. Dream big, gurl! Do you want to paint your entire bedroom a forest green and place build storage perfectly adapted to your needs and add copper piping just because it’s pretty? Save that shit in your inspiration folder. The things you do later on may look nothing like it, but NO ONE CAN STEAL YOUR DREAMS! 

3. Make an actual plan of what needs to be done. Measurements of the place of project, its needs, your needs, prep work, materials, how you like it to be, where you can shortcut the shit out of it (this is important for us lazy people). 

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The importance of having a proper place to DIY is just propaganda from the workbench lobby, I swear.

4.  Invest in or gather all that paraphernalia that you need for your project to go through. I would say that good quality tools are a great way to start, but that makes me sound like some kind of professional person and we don’t want that!

5. This is the most important step; Lower your standards. I know, I know, but the rule of not lowering your standards cannot apply to DIY’s because even the most skilled ones that make magical things the general public drops their coffee cups in awe over, are displeased afterwards. Yes, we’re JUST LIKE the awesome ones! We can do it (on our level)!

6. Do it. Make it. Swear over it. Shove that shit together even though it’s not really fitting together anymore and you don’t understand why. If needed, use screws and glue and tape and industrial straps. If being reaaally careful and finicky isn’t really your thing, just wing it when it feels good! It’s all fine! 

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Some say that need is the mother of invention, but
one should not underestimate the importance of laziness.

7. Fasten your stuff properly; you don’t want your projects to meet their doom in loose screws getting detached from the wall. If anything, they’re gonna end their lives by you getting fed up with them. Install that marvel and finish it off, don’t leave half assed projects lying around. What? What’s in the corner? Oh it’s just the drawers I’m supposed to assemble… later. All those framed pictures on the floor? They’re going up… soon. Hm, what? Oh, that’s just boxes of stuff we’re donating.. shortly.

8. Enjoy your work of DIA-art and use the hell out of it! It’s AWESOME! YOU MADE IT! Yeah, so I COULD BUY a spice rack but why would I want to when I could make it myself and get it… well not exactly as I wanted it, but pretty dang close because everything I make myself automatically gets added awesomeness and forgiveness, and also I lowered my standard! 

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9. Post that piece of wonder on the internet. The internet needs more pleasantly passable DIY’s, more tolerable storage solutions, more decent interior home projects of the ”not bad” persuasion.

10. And don’t let anyone convince you otherwise!

(11.) And keep the fuck away from plumbing and electricity; we're not made for that.

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The ALL THE THINGS storage!

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So, I live in a small apartment. And I mean small. It's a dainty 28 square meters or 300 square feet. And even though the smallness has its challenges, I really love my little pad with its bed alcove and glazed balcony. I love having everything close by and all the things I feel makes a home, visible. 

Also, having everything in view all the time makes the goldfish-span-of-attention-me actually remember that I have the things and makes me use them more often. Naturally, open storage is my thing. Also naturally, having such a small space to work with, I have to be quite efficient. I wanted to replace my bulky computer table and get rid of a small table on which I had the sewing machine. I gave away the shelf where I had my books so… that was clever…

Even though I had a computer space, I still had nowhere to put my printer or the little speaker for my computer, or my headphones for the nights when I want to listen to really loud music after 10 PM. I had no craft space and nowhere to let the future projects make their presence known and I had nowhere to put the coffee maker. I wanted lighting around my workspace. I wanted a space for charging my electronics without them being in the way on tables or worktops.

And yeah, I had random stuff that had no place and when you’re living small with lots of stuff, shit needs a home. Needless to say, I needed to update my apartment. And boy did I!

May the chaos commence!

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I ordered home delivery, and Ikea's Ivar was delivered! I chose the tallest gables, 220cm's/86 inches just to cram as much efficiency in it as possible. 

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Now, I couldn't have it in its natural scandinavian blonde wood finish, so I stained it a coffee-ish colour instead. It sucked and it smelled, but the result is great!

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The "chaos behind the scenes"-photo is on me! 

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Then I just tried everything out and moved things around until I was quite pleased, and then clicked stuff into place. 

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And, tada! It's messy, I have work spaces, it's lighted, it's a pretty aged brown colour, it swallows masses of things, it has electrical sockets and leaves no cords on the floor to collect dust that make me angry while vaccuuming - essentially everything I need in storage! It serves as handbag hanger that doesn't fit my miniscule hallway and a space for kitchen towels too. 

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Retractable surfaces so I don't need to waste that space when not sitting by the computer/crafting. It's not the prettiest but who cares!

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Charge all the things. 

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Yesssss, precious.

The mighty Christmas wreath

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The creation of this wreath started when my ex-husband and I bought a house with a HUGE 1970's style fireplace in it, and when we neared the Christmas season we naturally needed a wreath that matched it's bricky hugeness. 

I measured and we needed a wreath that was one meter wide! 

One day a little later, my then husband came home and surprised me with a decoration free wreath that my mother in law had put together, so nice! But.. with me being picky, and with it being just a tad too big, I disassembled it, tightened it a little and then put it back together. 

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When it came to decorating it, I rummaged through my collection of stuff and decided on a colour palette of gold, copper and brown! I did test-lay everything on before I fastened it because I do have some sense of self preservation.

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First of all, the lights went on, 80 or 120, I can't remember.

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Then I test-placed all the things. 

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Fastened them with pipe cleaners (sticks so good to the branches) or linen string. 

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Tweet! 

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Then I put it up and it looked like a mini on the huge fireplace, but this was the best fit anyways. The 70's fireplace makers knew what they were doing, that's for sure.

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It fits over a not-quite-as-huge fireplace too!

I made a soft, studded pinboard

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Yeah I mean, I just wanted to. Don’t ask me why.

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Cork and stuffing.

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Random paraphernalia needed to get it all together. Sharp things, stabby things, soft things.

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A piece of foam was cut into the same size as the board.

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And then I gridded where I wanted the studs. Then I drilled holes for the studs.

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Then I just put the fabric over the foam, sort of how I wanted it.

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I didn’t actually know a professional way of doing this so I merely put nails through the holes of the board and through the foam to see where the studs were going,

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Then it was time for the studs, I had to cut a little to get them through the fabric.

I made a row at a time because the fabric wants to move when pressed down into the holes.

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Finally!

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In the corners, there the screws for the wall mounting where supposed to sit, I placed little metal washers so the screws wouldn’t ruin or go through the board with time.

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Then I fastened the fabric on the back, constantly flipping it over to see that it’s was working the way I wanted.

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TADA! I was never really keen on the fabric and some time on the future I’m making a faux leather one.