Baby Steps

That is undoubtedly the best description of what this project is. There are very few parts of it that involve something big. Instead, it’s an endless string of jobs, most of which take somewhere between 5 and 30 minutes or so each – sand this board, prime that shelf, paint the back of the next door, patch the new holes… one niggle of progress after the next, not a one of which seems to look big in and of itself, but each of which contributes something very necessary to the whole. I’ve been talking with a friend this week. She’s going through some really tough times – wishing to delete certain days and experiences from her life. I’m thinking that life is a lot like this project, though. Each little thing that happens to us in some way creates the whole and contributes to the final project, and we aren’t complete the way we were meant to be until we’ve experienced it all – each little baby step through life.

So, anyway… The project creeps onward, feeling depressingly eternal at some moments, and at others sharing a flicker of future wonder. In the last few days, two big things have happened. First, the other two little shelves are now in place.

Although they won’t be ready to load until the paint has cured for two weeks, I couldn’t resist showing them off briefly. Part of what I’ve done is list 18 new items for sale on Amazon and in my online doll store, so I thought I’d brag about my baby step toward decluttering and getting out of debt at the same time I showed off the first truly completed part of the nook project. Yes… the shelves are entirely done without even the tiniest thing left to do. Yippee!!!

The other big improvement is that the right-hand vertical facepiece is mounted.

I still have to fill holes and touch up the paint, but this evening, DH mounted the “just for looks” hinges (after I realized that it might look quite silly to have hinges on all the doors, but not the two matching fixed panels), and permanently attached the board with a combination of screws and nails – enough to keep me busy patching for a fair bit.

Meanwhile, I’ve been painting and painting and painting… Thought perhaps you would like seeing my indoor painting facility. It’s pretty limited as to space, but the lighting is good, and it’s convenient – unless you find yourself out of clean socks…

Me and my math… I had to do the tally… I will be painting one or another side of a door 66 times before I’m done with primer and two color coats on each of them, which could explain why I feel like I’m always painting a door. The first one was fun. I suspect the last one may well be, too. As for the others… well…

I’ve also finished painting the three sides of the upper laundry room cupboard, clear coated my Piazza di Bucato sign, painted another section of wall, and spent far too much time on the phone and internet ironing out problems and trying to round up the hardware we need for this project. This has turned into a nightmare – not something I readily say about shopping, believe me! By the time we are done, we will have lighting fixtures, hinges, cabinet latches, bin pulls, two sizes of knobs, switchplate covers, outlet covers, drawer slides, label holders, and doorknob sets incorporated into the nook and immediate surroundings. It’s only my opinion, but I think it would be nice if they matched in finish, coordinated in style, fit the feel of the house, didn’t cause immediate bankruptcy, and actually appealed to me. For some reason or other, I never really thought this would be much of a problem. I was wrong. There doesn’t appear to be a manufacturer – or for that matter, a retailer, who thinks the same way I do. Absolutely no one seems able to fill all of my requirements – and one of my longings apparently isn’t available anywhere at all. Our house is a Victorian era Italianate. This translates into strong, but extremely simple architecture, which to my mind is begging for curves and movement in its adornments. I love Eastlake styled hardware. I enjoy the wonderful florals from the Victorian era. I would happily settle for either. However, I made a slight tactical error and worked myself into a corner. The doors we are using on the cupboard have an edge on the frame which is just 1.125″ wide. These cupboards need latches. The only logical style of latch is the traditional cabinet latch which works by turning a knob to pull back the latch, which is engaged in a catch on the wall. No problem; I’ve seen some absolutely delightful cabinet latches, and I might well be able to match the ones that have been part of the house for the last 150 years or so… Ummm… except that in hours of searching, I’ve found only one style of cabinet latch that has a footprint small enough to fit the door frame. Guess what… It’s totally and painfully plain – agonizingly Arts & Crafts. Don’t get me wrong – I have absolutely nothing against Arts & Crafts. It’s just not what I want – at all. If the latches were going to be hidden away, it wouldn’t be such a problem. But that’s not the situation at all. There are going to be six of these latches, they are going to be out on the front of the finished cupboard, and this cupboard can’t help but be a primary focus in to the room. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t see them combined with Eastlake hardware, and it’s really making me unhappy. I have a home with bold, clean lines just begging to show off some special jewelry, and what are my options? Egg knob cabinet latches with smooth cases – period. The more I know I can’t have it, but more I want the Eastlake. The more I know I’m stuck with plain, the less I like it – to the point that now I’m having a tough time making myself order anything. Add to this annoyance the fact that I’m going to have to order from 4-5 different places, praying all the time that one company’s “Antique Brass” comes somewhere close to matching the next one’s, and you will find me totally quagmired in regards to purchasing anything. I suppose it had to happen someday… sigh…

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