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!


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. )


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.


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: Photograph of DarkEmeralds in profile with the words "Sail On" (Silver Girl)
Earlier today I sent my pal Todd out the door with my grandmother's silverware and instructions to sell it.* He came back an hour and a half later with an envelope full of cash.**

Sail on, silver girl. )
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. )
darkemeralds: Shirtless construction worker. Caption "Home Improvement" (Home Improvement)
I've been so immersed in my bedroom remodeling project for the last couple of weeks that I'm dreaming about it. I can--for the moment--recite IKEA cabinetry dimensions and all the Swedish product names, as well as every measurement of my room.

Don't worry. I won't. )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
I'm taking this bedroom re-do so slowly, it's like watching hair grow. I do a tiny bit every day, some physical and visible, and some preparatory, like shopping online for better deals. None of it has unduly hurt my hands or wasted resources in hasty mistakes. So far I haven't even really spent any money (though that's coming).

And yet there's progress.

Taking my time )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
Demolition is weirdly liberating. In one instant of decision, things I built, installed, painted, cleaned and cared for over the years have become the object of my base destructiveness.

Inserting the thin edge of a pry-bar and yanking two things apart, making nails scream as they come out--it's fun! It's like...anti-caring.

Pull it down )
darkemeralds: Photo of an empty room with caption "Imagine an Empty Room" (Empty Room)
Here's how it went:
  • Ohh! pretty curtain fabric! *buys*
  • Man, that window trim needs painting now
  • If I paint the trim, I really need to paint the walls, which means protecting the carpet
  • Wow, this carpet is disgusting! Hahahah! Utility knife! Slash! Rip! Goodbye old carpet!
  • This floor! What a sad mess!...*shops for new flooring*
  • But I can't do the floor till I solve the wardrobe problem...
And from there it's a total re-do.

Some DIY )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I woke up this morning realizing that I haven't decluttered an area for a couple of weeks. All of my rooms are clear, and almost all the remaining clutter is behind cupboard doors. Project Empty is getting down to the real fossil record of my life now.

Pressed flowers. )

The Project Empty tally now stands at 55 areas cleared and 24 more to go. And I've lost 13 pounds.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
A second pass through the ol' wardrobe has resulted in two more bags of clothing donations and a lot more empty space.

My itty-bitty closet is suddenly big enough again. )

My house is 66% decluttered now, with 52 of 79 areas cleared, and only 27 more to go.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
The world gets startlingly small when the whole of it is suddenly no longer available right behind this screen.

[livejournal.com profile] avventura1234 and [livejournal.com profile] barefoot_gen and I were sitting around talking and drinking tea last night, and at no fewer than six points in the conversation we wanted to look something up on the internet and couldn't. It felt very restraining.

Now that my cable has been restored (by a very nice guy from the neighborhood, in a truck clearly marked Comcast), I feel much more myself.

This and that. )

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