Archive for January, 2011

No one warned me.

Usually someone warns me.

My officemate, my boss, my mother. Someone usually warns me.

Warns me snow is coming.

But not this time! In fact, no one said a peep about the 14″ of snow that was about to be dumped on us. So I showed up to work. I thought about staying home, but how bad could it be? HA!

Today, was a snow day, and I put my extra time to good use hanging a new microwave shelf.

My first attempt at this made use of anchors and screws I already owned from hanging previous shelves, using some L-brackets my mother sent me, and a white Rubbermade shelf I had around the apartment. That was such a flimsy attempt, I wouldn’t even THINK of testing the microwave on it.

First Microwave Shelf, Too Flimsy = FAIL

This time, I went to the Flatiron Home Depot. I told them what I wanted to do, and that I wanted to use my Rubbermade shelf for it. No problem!

I purchased the recommended brackets and anchors. According to the box, the anchors hold 51 lbs. each!

Since I’d already started, I now how to take down the first set of brackets and separate them from the shelf, which took a little while. Especially since the anchors were really in there. In fact, I could only remove three of the four.

You woulda though I was done, but I still hadn’t (really) even started.

In measuring new holes, I held the brackets to the shelf then held the shelf to the wall. Problem was, that took both hands. What good was setting the level, because I couldn’t mark where the new anchors should go.

It was just going to be me for the day, and there wasn’t really anyone I could call over for an extra pair of hands. I decided to measure where the brackets would attach to the shelf, then measure where the brackets would attach to the wall.

Hmm ... See anything wrong with this picture?


My first try had the brackets going in different directions.

My second try had the brackets going in the same direction, but not the one that connected with the wall.

Third time’s the charm! Yup! It was.

I was ready to measure where to attach the brackets to the wall now that they were attached to the shelf! One lesson I had learned from my first failed attempt was to drop the shelf enough to fit the power cord through! Good thing to keep in mind, eh?

Third Times the Charm! Or does this count as the fourth time?

The shelf’s in place, and the microwave fits just right.
My little kitchen after the first phase of its facelift.  Stay tuned!

Yay! Excellent use of my energy and snow day.

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Tonight I was going to try to hang the new microwave shelf. I finally have all the things I need, namely appropriate brackets and anchors, but now I’m exhausted. And as much as I’d like that shelf in place, I also need to rest.

With all this resting and free time … I’m doing a little online shopping … daydreaming of what my apartment could be. Here are my favorite finds:

What a sweet desk with storage.

This desk would look GREAT where my current desk is. By desk I mean the “Shabby Chic” vanity from Target that I use as a desk. Definitely a step up. Too bad it’s sold out, or maybe not. My renovation budget doesn’t really provide for a new desk.

Here’s the desk I was really looking for:

A desk that collapses INTO a wall shelf ... complete with storage. A-MA-ZING!

Not nearly as eye-catching as the one above, but wow! That would be a great space saver for my tiny, East Village apartment.

And, now, that I’ve given myself permission to purchase flowers weekly, this may well be necessary.

This would be perfect ... for the last, remaining blooms when all the others have been removed.

What I have included in my renovation budget, is a little bit for the cleaning system from MUJI.

One stick with different attachments, just wish the broom were angled!

I hate to end my daydreaming on a “cleaning” note, but that’s where my head is these days.

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I might not have been posting, but there sure has been a lot going on. First thing, I realized Apartment Therapy: The Eight-Step Home Cure is more about spring cleaning than about investigating spaces for (re)organization opportunities.

So, I’ve taken this time, before The Cure’s legitimate beginning to undertake all the home projects I want to do.

First up, the bathroom. I took pictures that give you a 360-degree feel of the room and space, but I didn’t take any inside the cabinets. Same with the kitchen.

Now, I’ve started to make some changes, and wish I could show you just how far I’ve come in this little bit of time.

Alas, lesson learned … be thorough with the before pictures.

Cluttered Bathroom.

That photograph is pretty low, and the ceiling’s pretty up there. One more to show you what I’m really working with.

Walking into the bathroom.

It’s amazing what you can do in one-hour when you set your mind to it … oh, and you have everything you need!

First, I took down the painting that hung over the toilet, even though I’m really fond of it.

On my lunch hour, I had purchased floating shelves in the same “Espresso” as the vanity’s cabinet.

Tonight, armed with my drill and Phillips head screwdriver, I installed them.

Something I learned from the packaging – a good way to “mark” where the holes should go. Not sure why I didn’t think of this myself, but it said to push a drill bit through the mounting holes to mark where to drill on the wall.

I tried it, and it works. I measured where I wanted the shelves … held up the mounting, pushed a drill bit through the holes, twisted against the wall to make a mark, did the same through the other hole, and … Voila! Accurate markings.

The best part, everything on the shelves comes from my great aunt’s house, which means everything is my great aunt’s or my great grandmother’s. The silhouettes, for instance, are confirmed as my great grandmother’s. Love them.

Vintage items from my family.

Finally, I’ll admit I didn’t do everything tonight. Actually, last night, I began working under the sink by putting up cup hooks.

Cup hooks for hangable "stuff".

My hair dryer, mirror, and brush all have ‘holes’ or loops by which they can be hung. So hang them, I say!

There’s almost negligible space between the right side of the cabinet and the plumbing. Certainly not enough for an over-priced sliding organizer.

But these items fit perfectly in that space. So I tapped a nail into the cabinet to get each cup hook started, then pushed and twisted the cup hooks into place.

The hook for the brush is askew on purpose. Why must they go up and down when it’s so much easier to hang and remove the brush with an angle to it?

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At the end of last year, I was really hibernating.

from friends, from family, from errands, from clutter, from … well, you name it. I was ‘hibernating’.

Hibernating from just about everything but work.

This year, I’ve returned home with a surprising new commitment to living my life. After months of recoiling from civilization, I’ve come out with a vengeance!

Maybe it was all the snow days that did it.


When I returned, I found I wanted to have dinner with a friend sooner rather than later. And then drinks with another sooner rather than later. Before I knew it, I was attacking things in my life from which I’d been ‘hibernating’ last year.

I was surprised. I hadn’t made New Year’s resolutions, rather I’d been denouncing them, even. But here I was, with several:

1. Get back out into the world. Embrace my friends. Maybe make some new ones.
2. Finish all the unfinished projects in my apartment, especially since it appears I’ll be renewing my lease.

In the coming weeks, you’ll see a lot of photographs about my home DIY projects. Do you ever find you have to tackle something more than once to get it right? I sure do.

So while I’m reconnecting with friends and making new ones, I’m also going to take a first stab at Apartment Therapy’s The Cure. I even bought the book.

Given my track record with personal projects, I’m going to give it a once through before the actual spring cure starts around March.

Snow day at TSP! Time to make some soup!

This year, look forward to food pictures, travel pictures, and before / after project pictures!

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