Friday, January 25, 2013

Update -- Things WERE done last year...

I wanted to show you my beautiful new contact-paper-covered shelves in the bathroom. But contact paper is a bitch. It’s a bitch to cut and a bitch and a half to apply. So I’m not done applying it. I’m planning on tackling it tonight. 

In the meantime, I thought I’d share this neato link to design*sponge where my home-blogging hero, Danielof Manhattan-Nest is sharing cleaning tips. Cheap, mostly green cleaning tips. The man is a legend.

Also, I realized that sometime last year, I made a list of everything that was wonky in our apartment, kind of like the list I made this year for Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. So I thought I’d share it with you and tell you what has (and hasn’t) been done to make my little world a better place in the past year. Or you can just go read Daniel’s post. That’s ok too.

This list probably tells you more about me than I want you to know, honestly. My husband teases me about my "lists". And "spreadsheets". And "flowcharts". Basically, if there's a way to organize information, I'm all over it.

Major Issue 1.1:
The house is too cluttered and thus cannot be dusted/vacuumed easily nor as often as it should be.
Root Causes of Issue 1.1:
1.       We leave dirty clothes around the house. Sometimes, we leave clean clothes around the house. –This still happens. Less with clean clothes now.
2.       We do not go through paper often enough. –This is probably my biggest tidying failing right here. I have GOT to go thru mail.
3.       We do not pick up paper as soon as it falls on the ground. – We DID stop that! (Because, as I said, “Damnit husband, we’re supposed to be grown-ups.” He responded that it was mostly me leaving this shit around, but regardless, there’s less now).
4.       The couch is sloppy. –FIXED! My parents lovingly donated their cast-off couches when they got new ones. Score!
5.       My desk and desk chair have become a repository of “stuff”. – Ongoing battle
Major Issue 1.2:
Not everything has a place that is it supposed to be, creating the look of excess clutter.
Root Causes of Issue 1.2:
1.       I leave too many makeup products on the counter. –Sort of fixed? I got 2 makeup bags and loaded all my most-used products into them so that I can easily transfer the whole mess tidily into a drawer.
2.       We have too many knick knacks stored on shelves with a stated purpose. –Probably still true. Getting better.
3.       We have too few devoted knick-knack shelves –I recant this. I am renouncing “knick-knack shelves”.
4.       I leave my shoes around. –Still true.
5.       There isn’t a set place for my purse/work bag/gym bag to go. –Ahem, still true. I have GOT to set up a landing strip.
6.       The floor pillows currently look like clutter. – FIXED! They are stored away for the rare occasion that we need floor pillows.
Major Issue 1.3:
The storage space that we do have is not being used to its fullest potential, thereby creating a more chaotic look than necessary.
Root Cause of Issue 1.3:    
1.       The amp/rockband equipment clutter up the living room. –This was fixed, then I bought a new set for the hubs for Christmas. But I do have a plan.
2.       The storage area in the office closet has not been reorganized since we moved in. –This is still true. Out of sight, out of mind, I should probably toss most of it, honestly. But I’m a craft hoarder.
3.       We have things in the kitchen cabinets that do not belong there. –Fixed!
4.       The linen closet has become a complete shambles. –Fixed! (Or it was. I TELL the hubs what the system is, and he nods, and then the system disappears. Maybe I need to label the shelves…)
5.       The storage area under the left bathroom sink is untidy. –FIXED! Pinterest to the rescue on that one. Tossed a tension rod in a cabinet and hung all the cleaning supply bottles on it. Magic!
6.       My makeup drawer is a mess. –Better, due to the aforementioned cosmetic bags. Still, not great.

So.... I've handled 7 of 17 things. In a year and a half. Le sigh. Well, thankfully, this blog is more expositional than inspirational (Or it's intended to be. Bless you if you're even less organized, you have a special place in my heart. Next to the cookies). Anyway. I never claimed to be perfect. But if I could just get things to look "perfect", just for a minute, that'd be fine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Excuses (and some progress)

I have 4 reasons (excuses) why I haven’t updated my blog this week. 

  1. I’ve been sick.
  2. We had a funeral on Friday.
  3. I drove 450 miles yesterday. In mostly LA traffic (if you have never had the pleasure, it means I literally drove at 30mph on a freeway for 70 miles). I felt like doing nothing when I got home. So we tried out the Italian place across the street. They’re “known” for their pizza. Don’t know why, it ain’t that great- the cheese is especially lackluster. Now, I didn’t mind, as I was on my second glass of wine in 30 minutes when the food got there, so anything was just fine. But the hubs, he was not impressed. And it wasn’t particularly cheap. Or fast. Now, you can almost never have something that is great value, fast AND well made… but you can usually get 2 out of 3. This hit 0 out of 3.
  4.  I don’t think apartment therapy realized just how many cabinets I’m in possession of when it suggested emptying them and cleaning them out. My kitchen is small, but it is ALL cabinets. I have 14 cabinet doors in my kitchen. 14. But I’m working on it! So far, I’ve gotten thru… 4. Ok, so I *may* need to work a little bit faster. But I’ve got myself a catch-up list (of, a-hem, 42 items totaling and estimated 16 hours and 12 minutes of work) , so hopefully later this week you will be inundated with content.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January "Cure", my @ss

Getting your shit together is HARD. I myself managed to get a massive ear infection that wiped out my energy almost completely. I did manage to clean the fridge inside and out AND do the top pantry cabinet, so that was a good accomplishment (I’ll share photos later. Probably.).

But, um…. I seem to be behind on this January Cure situation.  Mostly because I had a January Illness (hello, irony, party of 1- actually, it's January. It's not remotely ironic that I got sick. I almost ALWAYS catch something in January). I made a list of all the shit I’m behind on. 

Catch-Up Projects:
Day 3: floors
-mop kitchen
-mop bathroom
-deep clean living room rug

Day 7: invites
-create an invite and invite people over for February

Day 8: kitchen
- clean oven
-clean stove
-clean & organize drawers
- clean food storage shelves & organize (1/2 done)
-clean sink
-clean flatware/glassware shelves

Day 9: landing strip
- purchase coat hanger (or hooks & mount to back of changing table)
-purchase recycle mail bin
-mount coat hanger
-get tall side table (or move filing cabinet next to door.. or hang a shelf?)
- make a landing strip (it’s a place to put your KEYS DOWN, not the other kind of landing strip)

Day 10: work on your project
-clean the windows
-decide on a paper and/or give up and hang curtains

I think I need to extend the January Cure by 2 days to account for January Illness. Also, I really don’t want to invite people over in February. It’s a short month, and my birthday’s right in the middle of it. Which also, while we’re on it, I don’t really want to celebrate my birthday anymore. The last 2 birthdays were pretty sad and while maybe I can con my friends into throwing me a party this year (because I threw parties for 2 of them), if I have to plan my own birthday, it’s going to involve a book, a blanket, and liberal administration of vodka sodas. Oh, and a guest list of 1.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

More on Creepy Windows

Day 7 of Apartment Therapy’s January Cure is kind of a blogging non-starter. I need to invite some friends over for February so they can see my apartment in all its post-Cure glory.

But the creepy windows are still vexing me. I showed the hubs all the different samples I showed you here, but it turns out…. I kind of hate the ones he likes.  He thinks we shouldn’t put up white because the walls are tar-stain white (my name for the color. It’s probably officially called “cheapest we could make off-white”) and it will underscore the problem.

 Of course, my beautiful, wonderful, adorable friend Fio offered to come over for a “painting party”, so it’s entirely possible that the wall color won’t be an issue. How do I have awesome enough friends to volunteer to come over and help paint my apartment? Honestly, luckiest girl in the world right here.

ANYWAY, the other issue is that I went and measured the windows, and they are MUCH larger than the 24x36” that most of these rolls come in. They are in fact 23.5 x 47 inches. And I know I could line up the paper, but then there would be a seam. In a window. Super obvious, and the kind of thing likely to send me to the nuthouse eventually (well, sooner than is already expected).

This morning, while agonizing over this, I remembered that the amazing Daniel over at Manhattan Nest had a similar problem with creepy glass doors in his last apartment and covered his glass with sheer white fabric. Which is totally cheaper. And he made a tutorial. Because he is a damn DIY superhero. 

So now I need to
  1. Find a good, cheap white fabric and 
  2. Figure out what color to paint that room so that I can
  3. Convince the hubs that this is, in fact, an excellent idea. Once I convince myself of that.
    Also we need new curtains. 
I think the January Cure might be more expensive than just about any other cure out there.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The War Wages On....

It's Day 6 of Apartment Therapy's January Cure, and the task is deceptively simple: to frame some artwork you’ve been meaning to hang. So I’ll be picking up a couple of frames on my way home from Target (they’ve got some decent ones on sale… or they did on Monday). 

 As I mentioned, ahem, a year and a half ago (I am so special), my dining room/ kitchen is going for a WWII-theme. I was going to do 2 vintage repro propaganda posters but…I kind of bought a WWII-themed Doctor Who poster. Because I had to.  But I still need one more poster. I have an awesome  retro clock, one poster, and a strong need for a second. But which one? I have it narrowed down to 4.

See, Poster I have, Clock I have, Posters to choose from.

Also, I don’t know if they’ll need mats. I’m thinking yes. Then the question is, do I cut the mats myself, or have them cut for me? I do actually have beveled mat-cutter and some experience cutting mats from going to art school for 2 years when I found out that NONE of the community college’s design classes transferred to 4 year school but ALL of the fine arts classes did. So I matted a lot. But that was long ago… and frankly, I was never any good at it. Actually, it got worse when we had to start mounting things onto board for design school. In summation, I think the fact that I have the focus of a goldfish with a head injury works against me. 

Oh, yeah, the point! Anyway, GETTING things matted is expensive but buying mats and cutting them yourself is pretty reasonable. And you know I’m cheap. So…. I’ll probably see if I can pay attention for the 5 minutes it takes to cut a mat. 10 for 2…. It’s adding up quick and I’m already losing interest- not a good sign.

Anyway, do you have a favorite from the above posters?

Curing Creepy Windows (Day 5 of the January Cure)

The task for day 5 was to pick one project off the list and start doing stuff related to that project. I picked 2 (because I ‘m a rebel). 1 is to clean off the damn fridge. Which I did nothing about. At all. I actually put MORE shit on top of the fridge (because I’m a rebel?). The other thing was to start researching window films to cover our den/office/2nd bedroom’s window.

We have what must be the most awkward window in the city.  It looks out onto our neighbor’s gated porch. We are the ONLY apartment in the complex that has this feature. And it’s just creepy. It’s creepy to have the neighbors looking in, it’s creepy to be looking out at them on their porch. There is no party that comes out without a creep factor with this window. 

There are blinds up, but we have cats, so they don’t stay closed. And there WERE curtains up but the guest we had in there for a while accidentally broke the incredibly cheap curtain rod and I haven’t replaced it. Because, I am special. Anyway, this window needs to be semi- permanently obscured, because no one in the history of ever needs this view.

Did you know that window film can get really fucking expensive? I mean, I know that ANYTHING can get marked up into oblivion, but seriously, $80 to cover ONE window? This is like that whole $300 wallpaper situation. It makes me want to scream I KNOW WHAT IT COSTS TO DESIGN AND PRINT THIS SHIT, WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL? And then I remember that the reason I know this is because I’m a designer, so stop being so lazy and design and print it yourself. (That was directed at me, not you. I like you. Probably.) 

But anyway, I found some pre-printed/patterned window films that don’t make me angry and now I just have to choose one (the hubs is being consulted). I kind of want to go for a stained-glass look… except… I know me and I know I’ll get tired of it in like, a nano-second, and then I’ll just leave it there and hate it OR tear it down and not replace it and we’ll be right back here in the “what to do about the window” situation.
Pretty colors... but a good idea?

Which leads us to the translucent varieties. Which are probably better. But I don’t know…. Having a serious Pisces moment. I’ll probably let the hubs tie-break this one. So, once we pick a style, then I just have to measure the windows, buy the film, clean the windows, measure the windows again (measure twice, cut once), cut the film and apply it.

Frankly, if Anthropologie made a painfully expensive version of this stuff, I'd probably buy it.

Maybe I’d better just go clean off the fridge…