Monday, March 26, 2012

Random Happiness and Dangerous Information

Bats on car
After some initial skepticism, I have come to like the new bat decals on my car. I just needed time to adjust, I suppose.

Roof happiness
My homeowners claim for hail damage was accepted.  Insurance will cover the cost of replacing my roof.  Yay!  I'm just waiting for the $$$ to land in my account, then it's off with the old roof and on with the new!

Funny photo of "Ed" and me
I’m usually not one to post photographs of myself, but I rediscovered a funny one while sorting photos.  I think it’s hilarious because it looks totally fake.  It looks like someone badly Photoshopped an extreme closeup of my head onto a photo of Edward Scissorhands' doppelganger walking past the Hotel Monteleone.

Purple toaster
I went to Target for a new toaster.  Based on the display models, I chose a silver one.  When I went to get one from the shelf, I saw that it was also available in purple.  Squee!  Purple toaster came home to live with me.  Purple toaster makes me inordinately happy.  I'm going to eat toast EVERY DAY!  :D
it's even shinier and more fabulous in person

Dangerous information
A bit of background on this one... I have bad feet (not bad as in they sneak off at night to rob liquor stores, but bad as in it's hard to find shoes that even come close to fitting them).  Most shoes hurt my feet, though not all in the same way; I dealt with this by rotating among them - pinchy shoes today, squeezy shoes tomorrow, chafy shoes the next day, and so forth.  In fact, I used to choose my outfits based on what shoes I could tolerate that day.

What changed?  I took a job that allows me to wear New Rock boots every day if I want to.  For me,  New Rocks = comfort.  My interest in them was originally piqued by the looks (Buckles! Shiny metal bits!), but it was the comfort that won my admiration.  New Rocks are the exceptionally rare footwear that don’t make my feet hurt... and I love them for it. :)

A few days ago, I discovered that New Rock World offers custom boots. :o CUSTOM NEW ROCKS.  Choose the colors, the type of sole, the buckle style... everything.  This is dangerous information.  I can picture my feet blissfully cuddled in purple-and-black New Rocks... the temptation to buy is strong!  The cost is 280 Euros/$375 US, which is roughly 30% more than the already pricey cost of standard New Rocks.  I'm typically very frugal, but love makes one do crazy things. ;)

Anyone else ever find something that was so perfect for you that money almost didn't matter?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Lilac Home for Clothes

Here we have the third and final installment of the impromptu "purple home" series, in which my clothes (and footwear) come to live in more colorful surroundings.

Somewhat out of scale with the rest of my small house, my bedroom closet is huge, about 6' x 8'. I'd given all the closets a fresh coat of white paint before moving in, but I felt it was time for this one to have a bit of color (and for me, color usually means purple). To keep the space bright enough -- choosing black clothes in a dark space is seriously annoying -- I chose a pale purple (Behr's "Rhapsody Lilac").

But as with most projects in my house, repairs were needed first. In the closet are two holes for access to plumbing and ductwork. To prevent the wallboard cutouts from falling back into the holes, a thin frame had been added. But this didn't keep the larger panel from falling out into the closet. It kept spontaneously leaping out of the hole, including once in the middle of the night with a surprisingly loud crash that scared the bejeezus out of me.

To prevent further nighttime scares, I made a sturdier panel that would stay in place. I cut a piece of plywood a few inches larger than the wallboard and glued the two together with construction adhesive, making sure to match the sides properly so the wallboard would fit back into the crookedly cut cleverly angled hole.

I was surprised to discover the adhesive was lavender
wallboard glued to plywood
I fit the wallboard back into the hole and screwed the plywood into the studs framing the opening. No more jumping panel falling on my New Rocks or frightening me in the middle of the night! The ductwork can still be accessed by simply removing the screws.

On to the painting at last! Painted the same color as the walls, the panel is almost invisible.
it's not really a two-tone paint job - the overhead light skewed the color of the photo
And my clothes, shoes and boots returned to live happily ever after in their lilac home.
this photo is a better representation of the wall color
Well, not everyone returned... I purged 51 pieces from my wardrobe. :o This left me with a long expanse of empty closet bar. The obvious solution is to go shopping! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Purple Home for Tools

Pegboards are super useful. With a myriad of hooks available, you can customize your board to your precise needs. They're also easy to hang. On drywall:
  1. Find the wall studs.
  2. Using wood screws and making sure to drive the screws into the studs, hang two horizontal strips of wood on the wall. Space them so one will be near the top of your pegboard and the other near the bottom. I used 1" x 2" strips about 3' apart for my 4' board. If you have a large pegboard or you plan to hang heavy things on it, you may want to add more horizontal and/or vertical strips of wood.
  3. Using wood screws with heads larger than the pegboard holes, attach the pegboard to the wood strips.
DIY Network offers a good step-by-step tutorial

red lines show the approximate location of the 1" x 2" mounting strips
Useful, easy to hang... but not much to look at. Pegboards are often associated with garages and workshops, where aesthetics aren't top priority. But there's no reason you can't use pegboards in living spaces. Paint the board the same color as the wall and it becomes almost invisible. Or make it more of a feature by painting in a coordinating color.

Spray paint works well for pegboards. A roller with latex paint will also work if you load the roller lightly and use very little pressure so that paint doesn't drip through the holes. I used a spray primer and then gently rolled on purple latex paint for a nice, even finish.

My tools and supplies now have a purple home near the ponies' new lilac abode. :)

Anyone else using pegboard in your home?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Lilac Home for Ponies

I've been looking for a home for my collection of My Little Pony toys.  A couple weeks ago, I came across a shelf at the Humane Society thrift store.  It had an interesting shape and was just the right size, but it was in bad condition.  The laminate was peeling badly in several places and there was a chunk of wood missing.  Priced at $15, it was triple what this frugal goth would normally be willing to pay for a shelf in such bad shape.  Only the knowledge that my money would be helping homeless pets convinced me to spend the $15.

I used cardboard to fill the large gap and wood filler to patch the smaller areas.

A coat of primer and two coats of lilac spray paint helped hide the damage.

As pastel ponies don't exactly match my home decor, I put the shelf in my workroom - a tiny ex-bedroom where I keep my tools, craft supplies and work table. 

The ponies fit perfectly in their new home! :)

Do you relegate your collectables to an out-of-the-way spot, or do you integrate them into your decor?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bats on My Car

In October 2010, I put vinyl decals of black and purple bats on my car.  They lasted about a year before the purple faded to light blue and I wanted to replace them.  I wasn't sure what to expect when trying to peel them off.  They were brittle in the near-freezing garage and snapped into small pieces.  Easy solution - I put my car in the sun to warm up the decals, and they peeled right off! :-)  No damage!

My car was then batless for a while.  Because of the winter snow, the only thing stuck to the car was road grime.  This weekend was gloriously spring-like, finally giving me a chance to wash and re-bat my car.

They're not the same purple and black decals.  They're a set of bats in various shapes, all I could find this past October.  I'm not sure I like the new bats.  I think maybe they're too random.  Or maybe there are too many.  Maybe I just need to get used to them.  Or maybe no bats will ever be as good as the first bats.  What do you think?

original bats - different sizes but all the same shape
new bats - different sizes and shapes
new bats

One Lovely Blog Award

A million thanks to the lovely ladies of Coffin Kitsch and Le Professeur Gothique for presenting me with the One Lovely Blog Award.  I'm truly honored to receive this award not just once, but twice.

I was an internet hermit for a long time.  I'd given up on forums and blogs because too many of them were negative, full of rants and arguments.  When I started GIY, I hoped to give something that a few people might find helpful.  I didn't expect to get anything in return.  To my surprise, there is this wonderful blogger community, from which I get far more than I could ever give.  I feel connected for the first time in years.  Every comment I've received has been positive, and the support really means a lot to me.  Feeling that people are interested in what I have to say is a great boost to my less-than-ideal self-esteem.

The rules of this award are to present it to fifteen bloggers and list seven random things about yourself.  I feel like a cheat, but the blogs I would choose are the same ones listed on Coffin Kitsch and/or Le Professeur Gothique.  At the risk of starting some sort of infinite loop, I will refer back to their lists.

Now for seven random things about myself:
1. I have seen the movie "Clue" about 100 times.
2. My favorite food is pepperoni pizza, but I don't like cheese on anything else.
3. My heliophobia has nothing to do with being goth.  When I was 18, I got a terrible sunburn, then came down with mono and a raging fever while living in an non-air conditioned dorm in summer in Georgia. It was like being on fire inside and out for days.  Now when I'm in the sun, I feel like it's burning me.
4. I love Coke Zero.
5. My favorite number is 12.
6. Bane is my real name.
7. I'm extremely uncomfortable speaking to groups and will avoid it whenever possible.  During my senior year of high school, I let my grades slip so that I would graduate third in my class and avoid having to give a valedictorian or salutatorian speech.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Overhead Expenses

There are many overhead expenses with homeownership, some more literal than others.  Saturday before last, it was very windy here.  When I went outside the following day, I saw a shingle on the ground.  Then I saw another shingle.  And another.  And another…  My roof had suddenly developed wind-pattern baldness.

Hear that whimpering?  That’s my savings account preparing to take a hit.  It's possible that my homeowners insurance will cover a new roof (minus my $1,000 deductible, of course).  Or they may deny the claim, and I'll be forking over thousands of dollars.  If it’s the latter scenario, home improvement activities may have to cease for a while.

I have no idea what I’ll do with myself if I can’t work on the house!  Lots of sewing, I guess.  I have a sizable stockpile of fabric on hand. :)

And in tangentially related news, March means weather insanity in Denver.  At 4:00 p.m. today, it was 72 degrees.  Tomorrow night's forecast says 2-4 inches of snow.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Theme Post: Gray

The March one-day theme on Sophistique Noir is gray.  This is an easy one for me because I am a big fan of gray in both apparel and home decor.  When it comes to my clothing and possessions, if it's not black or purple, it's probably gray (or gray's shiny counterpart, silver). :-)

In home decor, I think gray is sort of the "forgotten neutral."  People wanting a neutral color for their home often think of beige and its many aliases (bisque, ecru, almond, sand, cream, buff, oatmeal, khaki... ).  But gray is a neutral also.  I think a cool gray makes a lovely backdrop for the jewel tones that goths are fond of - ruby red, sapphire blue, emerald green, amethyst purple.  Gray is also a great partner for that most goth of colors, black.  While black and white can be too much of a contrast for large-scale decorating, a black and gray combo provides interest without being too "loud."
black and gray damask wallpaper is a bit easier on the eyes, I think
Black walls can create the ultimate in dark elegance, but let's face it - they're usually not very practical in rooms that you actually use.  Even the gothiest goth needs adequate light to successfully apply complicated makeup.  ;) Gray walls can provide elegance without turning your room into a cave.  An excellent example of this can be found in - of all places - a brochure from Home Depot.  "Boudoir Goth" is from Behr's 2011 Color Trends brochure.

Gray can provide elegance even for rooms that must have light-colored walls.  Damasks are a nice option.

In my own home, I have used gray paint on several pieces of furniture.
chest of drawers


I have also used gray paint on textured wallpaper to revamp a set of canisters.