I finally have something to show you!
My apologies for not being speedier, but, if you will remember from my last post, I had discovered that the screws for the IKEA table legs were too long for the counter top (the former being about 1" long, and the latter being about 3/4" thick) so Spouse could not install the counter top.
And I have to tell you that it is REALLY annoying when the only thing that stands between you and Complete And Total Fulfillment is a miserable 1/4" of metal.
The next day was a Monday, and I picked up some shorter screws after Stinkerbell's karate class, but, again, I was foiled in my attempt to reach Crafter's Nirvana because Spouse had to work late and was too tired to move.
Tuesday night arrived, and I think Spouse could tell I was more than a little desperate - my left eye was starting to twitch, and he knows that means I'm at the breaking point. So we went up there and we did it!
Installed the counter top, I mean.
It is a thing of beauty, so I couldn't wait for the morrow so I could get good pictures, but the stupid sun wasn't in the mood to cooperate. I did take some pictures by the glare of the uncovered light bulbs that dangle from the ceiling, but they looked dreadful. After all this wait, I wanted GREAT pictures! Or semi-great, at the very least.
And without further ado, allow me to present the next step in Phase 1 of fixing up the attic. Commentary accompanies the pictures.
As you recall, this was the western side of the column before I started the project:
The following pictures show the latest series of improvements to this particular architectural element. The first photo is taken from approximately the same angle as above.
Following are pictures of sections of the column (I couldn't stand back far enough to take a photo of the thing head-on and get everything).
Now, believe it or not, the hanging items are ALL level. I know they're level because I used a level when I was installing them. What is clearly NOT level is the ceiling/entrance into the top three feet of the house. I suspect the previous owners are responsible for this sorry state of affairs. Some people should never be allowed to do home improvement projects. As to how I am going to camouflage this, well, I'm thinking of buying some cheap ivy vines and wrapping them around the top of the column. Otherwise, I have no idea how to fix the problem.
A few things worth noting here.
- The IKEA Stripa shelf is a little pricey for something so narrow, but it's that very narrowness that makes it perfect. And perfection rarely comes as cheap as $7.99, so I'm not complaining! Unfortunately, for me, the bloomin' wall behind the shelf is bowed, so there is a gap between the wall and either end of my Stripa shelf. Which means I can't get the thing screwed in completely. This makes it tilt downward and makes me nervous that it will come off the wall, although Spouse was up there last night yanking on it to test its sturdiness, and he says it's okay. However, knowing me to be a Nervous Nellie, he has suggested I get two small L-brackets and attach one underneath the shelf at either end. This sounds good to me.
- The punches are all hanging from a curtain rod. Wish I could take credit for that clever little idea, but I saw it in a number of spots at Flickr Craft Rooms. I'm concerned about how well the middle of the rod is going to stand up to the weight of all that metal - a support may be needed. We shall see....
Here is the first of the ink pad storage units I finally broke down and purchased from some guy on eBay. The price is reasonable - until you add in the postage. However, given the ink storage nightmare I have been experiencing for the last seven years, I just couldn't take it anymore. Although I spent a little over 20% of my budget on these items, I am IN LOVE. They were totally worth the expense! Well-built, easy to hang, and built precisely for ink pad storage, so every type of pad I have fits inside each little slot. For the anally retentive, (like me) this is Extremely Satisfying.
Although you can't see it very well, to the left of the IPSU are two IKEA Spontan magnetic strips with magnets. These suckers are 99 cents apiece! Can you believe it?! However, they only come in black. But this is not a problem, as I spray painted mine with white enamel paint, and they turned out stunning! I needed to have a place to hang cards to dry before the next step in the process, and I thought these were a perfect answer. The cards hanging here are old things I've made - I just put them up there as an example. Of special note:
- See that top hat with a "6"? I think I made a post a long time ago about that card. That was Gigi's birthday party invitation this year. I couldn't find a hat template anywhere on the web, so I ended up making my own hat template. (I'm going to take a picture of that invitation and post it here tomorrow, I think.)
And finally, the last image:
See that black card to the left? That was my first published card - thank you, Stampington & Company. (Just a piece of trivia!)
That big black thing is a scrapbook paper storage bin. I LOVE IT! One of the best storage purchases I ever made. I don't know which company makes it, but I'll try to find out if there's any interest. This thing is great because it has a see-through lid that lifts up to reveal hanging file folders - all plenty large to accommodate 12 x 12 paper. The file folders have little name tag thingies at the top, so you can identify each one's contents. If I were a normal person who is not in the throes of scrap and stamp addiction, this baby would probably hold all of my paper. As I am an addict, I use this to store all my scraps - each folder has it's own color, and there are a few folders for "specialty" scraps.
It is not going to remain black for long. I am going to paint the body white with Krylon's Fusion spray paint. (But I'm going to paint the back first just to make sure it lives up to its claims!)
As you can see, there is still no baseboard or crown molding or framing around the window (see top photo). I believe that's all slated for Phase II.
And moving right along, here is a photo of the north wall before I started the project:
And here it is now:
Obviously, the closet doors and its trim haven't been painted yet, but that's next on the list. Of special note here:
- The sponged wall was done by me. If you recall, Spouse did the west wall. When I first sponged the north wall, I laid it on a bit thick - it was much more...dramatic, shall we say?... than Spouse's wall. I liked his wall better, so I went back over my wall with a bit of white and got mine down to match his. I am especially pleased with the corner and where the gable meets the north wall - it's really hard to sponge into these angles.
- Lookit the shelf! Lookit the shelf! That's the same one as in the original photo - I got it at a yard sale for like a dollar or something. I took it out back to paint it, and noticed on the back panel there was a sticker identifying it as a "Franklin Mint Doll Display Case." Aaaah... this would explain why the interior side was covered in a sort-of fuzzy, felt-like material. After painting the unit white, I was going to cover the back panel with some paper and reattach it, but I decided I like it better open.
- Check out the IKEA Rajtan jars on the bottom shelf. These are another bargain and are really cool (there are four altogether - they come in a set). Not sure if the're going to stay here, though. Right now they hold some Marcella 3-D flowers.
And, finally, here is the much-spoken-of counter top. It replaces that horrible plastic table that wouldn't allow me to stamp a decent image because it would always buckle. (Sorry about the glare from the window.)
The countertop came from Lowe's, and those are IKEA Vika Curry legs. These legs are going to be repositioned so the two outer ones are about one inch in from either end. This way, I will be able to fit both the white drawer unit and the black drawer unit above beneath the table. Believe it or not, the middle leg is far back enough that it doesn't cramp my legs or come anywhere near my knees. The stool is from Goodwill (needs a coat of paint) and is for Gigi to sit on when we craft together. If the Fusion paint works on the paper storage bin, I'm going to paint the black drawer unit above, too. I'm considering getting a piece of glass cut to fit the top of the counter (if it's not cost-prohibitive).
Lastly, here is a photo of the west wall. (Note that my sewing machine is finally out and able to be used!)
And here's a detail of my little mini-drawer units:
See the clear labels in the upper right corner of each drawer? I love being able to use clear tape in my label maker. All the drawer units in the first set of cubbies are now labeled with the clear tape. The labels for the rest of the drawer units have been printed - they just need to be applied. (You can see the old white labels on the drawers in the middle set of cubbies in the photo before this one.)
And there's where we are for now. More to come in the following weeks!
Any suggestions or ideas are always welcome, so please let me know what you think!!