darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
You might remember the great bedroom remodel by means of which I transitioned from working into retirement beginning around this time last year. Once the big work was done, I had a punch list of little finishing details to take care of, and I kept doing them and thinking okay, now the remodel's done.

Starry starry ceiling. )
darkemeralds: (catastrophe)
Late last night I was up on my stepladder, sticking glowy-stars to my bedroom ceiling, when my brand-new Nest Protect smoke and CO detector first flashed yellow, then turned red and started shrieking at me.

"Emergency, emergency," it said (yes, it talks). "There is smoke in the room."

The Next Protect smoke detector


Spoiler: there wasn't. )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
My bedroom door has been on sawhorses out on the porch for several days, and I did toy with the idea of just leaving it off.

But no. Despite my having absolutely no need of behind-bedroom-door privacy, there's still something about a separate room, with a separate temperature. And besides, I'd already bought new door hardware.

Portal )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
I'm slowly getting caught up with everyone on my reading lists--hello, everyone!--and it's been lovely, reading what people have been thinking and doing in the last couple of months, and having some online conversations again. I'm about a third of the way through my backlog and am committed to catching up and returning to daily reading, commenting and posting this week.

The punch list on my bedroom project still has about eight items on it. I finished one of them today.

Sliding Doors )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
The bedroom remodel is substantially complete--which is to say, things that belong in the bedroom have all been moved back into the bedroom, and I've restored the kitchen and living room to order.

Before:
DarkEm's bedroom before work began, showing the ruined wood floor, messy paint work, torn up carpet, and a general incoherent mess

After )

I return to my online life tomorrow, and will start getting caught up with everyone. But now, Penny Dreadful, then sleep.
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
Both of my sisters came over yesterday and helped me assemble furniture. This may count as an even greater act of generosity than helping someone move house.

Both of them were calm, thorough, and patient, and even if I could have physically managed those giant wardrobes alone (I couldn't have), the task would have defeated me mentally without their help.

We got about 80% of the way there. )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
The four hour delivery window stretched into a day and a half, but IKEA's trucking contractor did finally show up this evening, and a couple of cheery fellows brought 445 kg of flatpack furniture and hardware right into the bedroom for me.

Allen wrenches at the ready! )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
The electrician is here with his assistant, installing outlets, switches, and light fixtures. Furniture delivery is scheduled for tonight. My sister is coming over tomorrow to help me start assembling it.

I should be able to move my bed back in by Monday. After that, it's a gradual process of cleanup, garage sale, fiddling, reorganizing, slipcovering, probably four more trips to IKEA for bits and parts, and the slow return to normal*.

Roberto the Electrician installs a huge black IKEA pendant lamp in the black ceiling of DarkEm's newly remodeled bedroom

* Normal includes resuming my online life, finishing Restraint edits, and hopefully getting tired of 2048.

Floored

Apr. 13th, 2014 03:11 pm
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
My good friend [personal profile] roseambr and Mr Roseambr sacrificed a gorgeous spring day yesterday to share their expertise, their power tools and their knees and backs in installing my new laminate floor. Their precision and attention to detail have resulted in a gorgeous installation.

DarkEm's new black laminate bedroom floor in the afternoon light, with a white fur rug and some purple and magenta fabric samples

It's a curious thing, moving from design to execution. I'm much happier thinking up possibilities than pinning them down. Though I'm extremely satisfied with the results of all my planning, I'm aware of an antsy, anxious feeling today as the plan manifests, and all alternative possibilities drop away. I don't just have the cool idea of a black floor--I've now actually got a black floor--more or less forever. It's no longer possible to rearrange the furniture: everything now has to go where I drew it on the floorplan.

So though there's quite a bit more physical work to do, the really fun part is done, and soon I'll be back to my regularly-scheduled retirement. I'm gonna need a new project!

Reassembly

Apr. 11th, 2014 06:20 pm
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
I can't decide whether the best invention ever right now is kneepads, utility knives, audiobooks or ibuprofen. All of these have played major roles in my life the last few days.

It's a good tired )

Board now

Apr. 5th, 2014 08:14 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I've been sleeping in my living room for three weeks.

The moonlighting electrician, who could only squeeze me in on a Saturday, added a week to my little camping trip. Another several days got tacked on by four applications of plaster, each taking a day longer than normal to dry, owing to persistently damp weather and a north wall.

I do not repine, however. )

Drywall

Mar. 31st, 2014 06:44 pm
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
The drywall contractors dropped off 20 sheets of Sheetrock the other day, and it's been lying on my sad, sad bedroom floor, conveniently wrong side up, so last night I magicked some of it up.

A piece of Sheetrock with a large portrait photograph of DarkEmeralds taped to it, and the poem The Jewel by James Wright
That's my one and only professional portrait photo, which I had done for my 40th birthday and have had hidden in the back of a closet ever since. I wrote a little history of my time in this house on the back.

The writing is "The Jewel" by James Wright, my forever-favorite poem:

There is this cave
In the air behind my body
That nobody is going to touch:
A cloister
A silence
Closing around a blossom of fire.
When I stand upright in the wind
My bones turn to dark emeralds.



A couple of vigorous fellows came at 8:30 this morning, and had my drywall installed by 2:00. (One of them looked at my Sheetrock enhancement and asked, "What's that?" and I said, "Just some magic," and he kind of nodded, like, yeah, I've heard of that. Apparently people do this kind of thing all the time. Who knew?)

DarkEm's bedroom with raw drywall installed on walls and ceiling, and an incredibly dirty floor.
(Look at all my light fixtures! \o/)

Taping tomorrow morning, mudding tomorrow afternoon, sanding on Wednesday, and the contractor says I can paint by Saturday.

Winterwood

Mar. 20th, 2014 12:22 am
darkemeralds: Purple patent leather Doc Martens against a multi-colored carpet with the title True Colors (True Colors)
Just a fly-by at the end of a long day of obsessive project-detail-absorption, to share my new wall painting idea.

A few weeks ago I was testing a pastel color-meshing technique. It wasn't quite right, and two things caused me to change direction. First, a couple of people commented that the finish would look better with some metallic silver in it. And second, I'm getting new walls! Color-meshing is great for disguising damaged old walls, and I don't really need to do that now.

Silver metallic paint tends to read as gray, so I started playing with pearl powder. Then I thought, ooh, how about stencils?

I discovered Cutting Edge Stencils and fell in love with one called Birch Forest.

Here's my initial--and, I think, final--experiment.

Winterwood )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
A couple of very focused, very knowledgeable drywall and plaster experts started in on my bedroom this morning at 8:30. It's been a noisy, chaotic, somewhat nerve-wracking day.

Wow. So layers! Much crowbar! Wow. )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
Apologies to everyone in my circles for being a bad online friend over the last several weeks. I'm entering the freaking-out portion of my bedroom project, and my level of absorption--not to say obsession--is extreme. I hope to return to regular communication very soon.

Ready for the onslaught )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
Well, one room's empty. The other one is taking up the slack.

The view from where I'm sitting )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
My sister came by today and used her superpowers to pull out the last of the earthquake-proof closet.

Deconstruction Accomplished )

There are a few things left in the bedroom--including my bed--that still have to come out before flooring can commence. My living room, kitchen, and porch are already heaped high, so the next order of business is a choice: rent a storage pod or just jettison a bunch of stuff.

I'm leaning heavily towards jettisoning. It's a lot simpler.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Since creating my not-really-black Rothko Walls in the living room a couple of years ago, I've been wanting to do a not-really-white version in the bedroom. Today I bought some paint and started experimenting.

Experimental results )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Today I nudged my bedroom project past the point of no return: I completely emptied what's left of the closet. There is no rail, there are no shelves. No hooks, no drawers, no bedside tables, no reading lamps, and no horizontal surfaces left in the room except the bed itself.

I have no clear idea of where I'm going to sleep when that goes. )

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