Sunday, August 3, 2008

12 Step Program

Mr. Monkeygirl and I are embarking on a 12 step program.  No, we do not suffer from any type of addiction that would make for great rumors!  We are getting ready to tackle our latest DIY project.  We have attempted some projects in the past with some pretty good results.  Anyone who visited our house after we first moved in couldn't possible forget the family room with the faux wood beams on the ceiling, the faux brick fireplace completely surrounded by lava rock, smokey glass mirrors and dark wood paneling.  Top this all off with lovely pinky-rose carpeting.  It was a living tribute to the early seventies!  It took a huge amount of work, but we were able to change the room around completely with ceramic tile on the fireplace, Pergo on the floors and a bold color choice for the walls - Campfire by Behr.

A few months ago we decided that the office needed a renovation.  Both Mr. Monkeygirl and I shared the office, plus Skaterboy camped out there often.  It wasn't working for us to share the space.  I am a scrapbooker and I have a lot of supplies and didn't have anywhere to put them (or work on my projects) without having to move all kinds of things around.  Add in Mr. Monkeygirl's stuff plus a gaggle of Skaterboy's friends camped out in the room most of the time and you can quickly see why we had issues.

After some persuasive arguments on my part, I was able to convince Mr. Monkeygirl that we should convert the spare bedroom (nobody ever uses it anyway) into one office and convert the remaining room into a craft room for me. Somehow, Mr. M was able to persuade me that his office should be finished first and then he would work on my room. In a complete moment of weakness, I let him have his way.  His was the easy one and we quickly had the room finished. That was months ago and we still haven't made any progress on my office/craft room.

That was until today.  While the forecast called for a warm sunny day, I woke up to gloom and doom and storms rolling through the area this morning.  Since I had planned to do something outside today, this unexpected rain gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get started on my room.  You see, Mr. Monkeygirl had been bringing home boxes for me for weeks and I never did anything with them. Until today.

In our own spin on a 12 step program, we have developed 12 steps that we need to complete in order to call this project completed.
  1. Pack the remaining junk and move the furniture.  This room was wall-to-wall furniture at one point in time.  We had 3 desks, 2 filing cabinets, 2 tall bookcases and a rolling craft cart in the room.  Over the last few months we have been able to rid the room of some excess furniture.  One desk was literally falling apart so we disassembled it and chucked it in the trash.  The desk that belonged to Skaterboy didn't make it back into his room after his renovation project, so it ended up in my space.  This desk was nice but didn't have much space for crafting, so it was donated to the church garage sale earlier this summer.
  2. Demolition!  The original owner's of this house loved the '70's.  This room has a drop ceiling and fluorescent lighting.  Top that off with a wall covered with cork and mirror tiles (more smokey glass but this time without the 'veins' of gold) and brown shag carpeting in the closet.  All of this needs to go to make way for my dream room.  Of course, this won't be easy because the favored method for installing anything in this house was Liquid Nails.  I have to admit that it does make things stick but it makes removing anything a tad bit difficult.
  3. Repair walls/ceiling.  Did I mention that the original owner must have owned stock in Liquid Nails?  We will definitely have to repair or replace a portion of the walls after we remove the cork and mirrors.  Who knows what the ceiling will look like after we disassemble the drop ceilings?  Let's hope they didn't use Liquid Nails to hang the ceiling grid.  Hopefully, we will only have to fill in the holes from the hooks in the ceiling.  Keep your fingers crossed.
  4. Paint!  The ceiling, the walls, the inside of the closet, the trim - it all needs to be painted.  I haven't exactly picked out the final paint color yet but I'm leaning toward a bright, sunny color.  I have been inspired by my dinnerware for other color schemes in my house, so I doubt this room will be any different.  Stay tuned for the final decisions!
  5. Install Lighting.  My dream room includes plenty of direct lighting over my work surface.  I had my eye on some really neat pendent lighting but Mr. Monkeygirl warned me that none of our rooms have ceiling lighting that is controlled by the light switches.  Plus, given some of the weird switches that we found in this house, we weren't really sure how the current lights were run in the drop ceiling.  A quick recon mission revealed that they actually wired the lights correctly, so I can get the lighting that I want!
  6. Refinish Hardwood Floors.  We are blessed to own a home that has hardwood floors in every bedroom.  The floor in the office has seen better days and needs to be revived before we can call it completed.  Teenage boys are really rough on the floors so this room is one of the worst for wear.  Mr. M found some miracle product that he used on his office floor that did an awesome job of bringing back his floors without having to resort to sanding them done and starting over from scratch.  Hopefully, it will work in my room as well.
  7. Assemble Cubes.  No, I'm not trying to recreate Dilbert in my office!  I found these great storage cubes at my local Michael's that fit my needs exactly. Even better, Michael's was running a 50% off one item coupon sale around Mother's Day.  I gathered all the coupons I could find and repeatedly hit my local store buying one cube at a time.  Mr. M bought the remaining cubes for me for Mother's Day and I have been patiently waiting to use them ever since.  The cubes will be used as the base for my new work space.
  8. Install Countertop.  No matter how much you have, you never seem to have enough space to scrapbook.  I plan on solving that by installing a countertop that runs all the way across the back wall of my space.  Plus, I plan on turning the corner and running the countertop up to the edge of the closet.  That should give me about 12 + feet of space to work!  The shorter span is slated to be the 'electronics' area.  I should have plenty of room for my laptop, a printer and my Wacom Graphics tablet.  If you don't know, a graphics tablet is a very cool way to edit your photos with a pen instead of a mouse.  It is the coolest thing but it is a little difficult to use in your lap.
  9. Install Closet Organizers.  I know that I should have plenty of room with my cubes but if you know me at all, you know that I have a lot of scrapbooking supplies. (I even 'had' to buy a bigger car to go to Crop Camp!)  I know that there will be some things that just won't fit into the cubes or that I don't want to have at my side at all times.  The closet organizer will help me keep things organized so that I can find them when I need them.
  10. Unpack.  This seems kind of silly, but it will probably be one of the hardest parts of the project.  Did I mention that I have a lot of stuff?  I have things stashed in various places in the house depending on the frequency of use. I'm sure that I will get in my step count for the day when I decide to unpack since a majority of my belongings are stored in the basement right now.
  11. Organize.  One of the biggest perks of this project is that I will be able to get everything out of boxes and bags.  I made a major effort last fall to organize my supplies and it helped immensely.  I found things I forgot I had and was able to get rid of things that I will never, ever use.  The bonus, my scrapbooking totes now weigh about half of what they used to.  My ultimate goal, to only bring things to a crop that I will be using that day.  Oh, and to try to limit the stuff I bring to one trip from the car!
  12. Create!  I can't wait to decorate the space and start working on some projects that I have started but never finished (like the baby album for my newest nephew).  It will also be really nice to make a piece of jewelry and be able to see the exact colors of the beads that I'm using!  
So the challenge is on.  Mr Monkeygirl is going on a guy's trip to a NASCAR race next month.  I gave him my "permission" to go - IF he finished my space before he leaves.  For avid DIY'ers, this is a ridiculous amount of time, but we aren't rabid fans of DIY and we try to find every reason to procrastinate.  We have a deadline, we are working towards a common goal - to get what we want (I want my space, he wants me to stop whining about it).

Step one is almost complete.  So I have one thing to say to all my brain sharing friends - RENEGADE?


NV said...

YAY! Wait til the season wraps up and I am SOOOOO there. Can't wait to see the finished product.

NV said...

YAY! Wait til the season wraps up and I am SOOOOO there. Can't wait to see the finished product.

Dawn said...

So - I have to know. What is the miracle product you use on your hardwood? I am desperately trying to avoid sanding and refinishing mine!

Gene said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! (Chirping Monkeys? Didn't I see them open for the Police at Foxboro Stadium back in the 80s? :-) I came across your blog from This D*mn House, which I see on the RSS feed.

Vicki said...

Hello Chirping Monkeys! Congrats on starting your blog and getting your own craft room. Oh, and on riding on a chartered plane. Score!

MonkeyGirl said...

Dawn - He used Minwax Hardwood Floor Reviver. It isn't perfect but it was a lot faster and cheaper than the alternative!

Gene - Dude! I so remember you from the front row! The Chirping Monkeys actually opened for A Flock of Seagulls and Adam Ant. I had the most awesome Flock of Seagull do when I was in college!

Vicki - Thanks! I hope this is my incentive to get moving on my pictures! Oh, and the charter plane was the coolest!

NV - This might be a good project for the Wednesday Warrior!

Ty'sMommy said...

Oh, I am so jealous! I have a "Sewing room" which is not only where I sew, but store all my craft supplies, tools, and its the household crap, er, I mean COAT closet. So a countertop is out of the question....but man, how nice it would be for my scrapbooking! Good luck!

MonkeyGirl said...

ty'smommy - I have waited a really long time for this so I'm excited that it may finally happen. We will have to see if the countertop ever materializes!