A very special episode

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Gentle Reader, you have accompanied me on my ongoing voyage of change and self-transformation; heck, you guys even were part of the first meal I prepared at my new digs for The Kid and me.

Well this week, there is no food. There is no quick pasta toss, no cookie recipe from my mom, no experimental culinary adventures, no update on an old family dish.

Because today I am having craft night. And dragging you along.

Some of the furnishings and accessories in my flat (British for apartment; The Kid thinks it sounds pretentious, but for the rent I’m paying, I get to call it what I want) were bought ready to use. Some of them were re-purposed if it suited me or rebuilt, if they were not in great condition, but I loved it.

My friend Stace has been my collaborator and master craftsman. I met him and his wife Val a couple years ago while out walking my behemoth of a canine, Crowley. They have become very dear friends on whom I probably rely too much. I only hope I give them a fraction of what they bring to my life.

I bought a coat rack that I adore at a consignment store in my town. It’s in the living/dining room for coats. But I needed something in my bedroom to hang a robe, a sweater, and whatever else needs hanging.

And, I hate towel racks. When you’re visiting someone, the towels always look kind of tired, sad, and not really clean. I also need something in there to hang my robe on while I shower. I like hooks for the bathroom.

So, I had a thought.

What if I got a board, attached some old doorknobs and used that?

Of course, that would require someone who could saw a board and drill a hole without earning the nickname, “Stumpy”.

I put out a call to Stace.

He said sure we could do that (truthfully, there’s nothing I’ve asked him yet that he hasn’t said, “sure” to).

I now needed the knobs. I wanted a combination of crystal and those dark oil-rubbed bronze ones. I figured they’d be everywhere. I tried Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, but no dice. Other places I looked were ridiculously expensive. I finally found five on Amazon and I ordered five from a hardware chain.

Stace had the planks and took the knobs home to work on it.

He brought them back and hung one in my bedroom and one in the bathroom, with drills, tools, levels, and a pencil he likes to keep behind his ear — unlike my procedure for hanging things which involve winging it with an almost straight result after six or seven tries and six or seven corresponding nail holes.

The wood to which the knobs were attached was, at this point raw and unfinished. At first I was so delighted to have them up I was planning on leaving them as was.

But honestly Gentle Reader, when have I ever left well enough alone?

I decided to paint the bathroom one the periwinkle shade of the bathroom and paint the bedroom one a salmon color. Then I would use a crackle medium and paint the whole thing white. The crackle glaze would make the top coat crack like aged wood, exposing the under color.

I felt it would fit with the whole “we cleaned out Grandma’s attic and had a yard sale” kind of vibe with which I decorated the rest of my place.

The Kid was supposed to come over for a craft night this evening and we’d work together. But my child had something suddenly come up and couldn’t make it, so I was on my own.

It’s a little time-consuming because you have to wait for an hour between coats. The waiting is always the toughest part of anything for me, but it is actually very easy.

There was only one glitch. When Stace hung them originally, he screwed them into the studs with very long nails. That meant each one had the holes in unique spots.

Yeah, I forgot that when I started painting.

With a 50/50 chance of getting the right color on the right board, I threw snake eyes. So, the bathroom one was painted the salmon and the bedroom came out periwinkle.

It turned out to be a happy accident. If the bathroom had been the purple shade, it just would have been a lot, because the walls are that color. And I have that shade in my bedroom so it worked there. The salmon in the bathroom turned out to be the pop of color it needed.

My only advice: if you do this and have very specific color schemes in specific rooms, maybe do one at a time.

Or maybe not — you do you, just like I pretty much always do me.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

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