The Done's and Don't-Ask's of DIY

Last year at this time, I'd shared with you all a list of DIY and craft projects I planned to accomplish during 2007... You know the ones: the Projects that Guilt.

But as any homeowner knows, intentions are NOT accomplishments when it comes to home improvement projects. If we could fix homes based on intentions, why, my garage roof wouldn't leak... Everyone's toilet would match their tub... And Ty Pennington would be out of a job.

But because I try to be an honest gal-- and because I must also secretly believe that salt + open wound = comfy-- well, I thought we'd just take a look back and see what actually got accomplished on that list from last year.

The first project cited was "The Plate Rail." You'll see here that I'd had plans to exchange this jumble of shelves in the kitchen for one long plate rail to display my Victorian transferware plates and other kitchenalia.

And phew! Plate rails, I have covered! Because what started as a new plate rail grouping in the kitchen...

Seems to have spread into the livingroom....

And then, the entryway...

It's like some piney organizational plague, isn't it? Some Martha-Stewart-Bob-Villa-bred communicable disease which swept the place.

So yes, it's safe to say, my plates have been thoroughly... er... railed in 2007. Check! Now let's move on...

To the Floor Border in my kitchen. This area had originally borne a black rubber bumper which, in spite of glue strong enough to attach tiles to the Space Shuttle, tended to peel itself away at random and stick lecherously to my leg as I did dishes. It was the Dirty Old Man of interior details.

It had to go.

I had already removed the offending border and planned to sand away the remaining glue and stain the wood underneath as one of my 2007 projects. So here is the Before picture....

And here is now:

Um, yeah.


In January of 2007, I'd also planned to address The Fall of the House of Usher style cracks in my dining room. These cracks were a result of my 100 year old front porch on the outer wall thinking that, after a century of being in one spot, it might be really nice to relocate a few feet to the right. Just for the change, you know, mix it up a little.

The porch got fixed and I spent weeks doing it up in full Victorian painted lady style. It's just beautiful! And the cracks?

Um, not so much. But being a fan of Edgar Allen Poe, I'm starting to think the cracks give it a certain air of mystery, don't you think? A sort of atmospheric, lived-in period feel and...

You're not buying it, are you?

(Sigh.) Just my luck to have bright readers.

FINE. So craft projects-- I'd had a couple of craft projects I'd planned to do in 2007. Like fix the painted flowers on this globe shade and...


So WHAT was I DOING in 2007, anyway?!

Ah! THIS MIRROR! I did this mirror!

Originally, it was an inexpensive purchase from Junk for Joy in Jeannette, PA. And NOW...

Here it is-- a nice piece in my entryway. My entryway which is now aqua blue, I should mention, because that room got a bright new lick of paint. In actuality, 2007 was filled with a lot of wonderful projects and rewarding times-- like three cottage decorating swaps, some trash-t0-treasure chair reupholstery, two thrift giveaway gift baskets, and a mongo-big wrought iron garden trellis that took some serious Girl Power to get into place.

But even a public and apparently misguided blog post about future DIY plans sometimes isn't enough for us to get everything done on our lists. And you know what?

The house will still be there tomorrow. So for the new year, maybe a little prioritization, some determination and a lot of forgiveness are all we really need.

How about you all? What's on your list of things to do? Has anything hung on that list for WAY longer than you'd like?

Here's wishing you the best of each in 2008.


Rosemary said...

Yes Jenn,
Your house will still be there tomorrow.
Just be glad for what you got done!
That mirror looks amazing.
Take your time. Enjoy!!
My projects aren't done yet either.
We have been talking about doing a built in BBQ for 2 years now. Maybe this will be the year??
By the way, cracks add charm.

ThriftShopRomantic said...

"Cracks add charm..." Ha, Rosemary, I think that will be my new slogan. :) Sounds along the lines of the ol' realtor's phrase, "A Unique Fixer-Upper Opportunity".

Best of luck to you with your barbecue pit!


Claire said...

At the mention of Ty,I have decided to confess my deep love of Extreme Make over home edition :)

My house, well the folks house is full of cracks due to coal mines that riddle this area.

The mirror gorgeous!

Hmm I have lots of project, number 1 is to finish my cousins wedding book before their 2nd anniversary,whoops! :)

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Your love of Extreme Makeover Edition... or Mr. Pennington himself, Claire? :)

Hmm...aybe you can turn the wedding book into a wedding/anniversary thingumabob-- "Your first two years of marriage: a retrospective" :)

Suddenly missing Phil and JJ from House Invaders...

Retromodgirl said...

The items on your plate rails are wonderful, is that jadeite?

Also, you did a wonderful transformation on the mirror. How did you redo the worn frame?

Rose Mary said...

The mirror came out beautiful, Jenn! And I love all you plates~wherever you decide to keep them!

I hesitate to list any projects I want to get done. I promised to post a picture of a craft cabinet (on my blog) that my dh made for me. It was supposed to be finished by the end of that week. I'm still waiting for the top to be put on it, and that was a couple of months ago, LOL. Like you say, all these projects will still be here and waiting~whenever we get to them!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Retromodgirl- thank you, and yep, they are jadeite. Just bits and pieces I've accumulated through thrifts and antique malls over time.

The mirror was done with a combination of several different shades of gold acrylic paint, toned down by dabbing on a layer of Special Walnut Minwax stain. Then a layer of clear polyurethane.

Rose Mary- ah, well, you and your husband have quite a bit going on, I'm not surprised there isn't a lot of time to get around to the cabinet. Guess these things just make us appreciate them more when they're actually done!

Ms. A said...

Dearie you get lots of points. I look at your pictures and rather than seeing what you didn't accomplish, I see that you did well with the racks -- and you keep your house really clean (my latest task... err... so I zeroed in on that).

I have many cracks like yours -- in one room I painted other faux cracks. And it helped!

I am soooo glad to see that there are others who don't get to everything that needs to be done. Continue to be honest, please.

Mitzi said...

Hi, I stopped by your blog after you posted on mine - I love it! I added you to my link list. I love your house, you have a really unique style. I really liked your articles too, I'll be back often!

ThriftShopRomantic said...

Ms. A- I appreciate your Glass Half Full thinking! My house is only really clean in the direction of the pictures-- it's just clever photography, I think.

And now that Christmas has passed, I know I will be sweeping up pine needles until possibly August! :)

Mitzi- Thank you for visiting and for the link! And I'm adding a link for you as well. I'm always happy to discover fellow thrifters!!

oceangurl said...

Your plate rails look lovely and your collection of plates are so pretty! I love the images on them, you have a good "eye!" I have alot of unfinished projects, just got my bathroom remodeled (after 2 yrs, and the sad part is my husband is a carpenter) by my husband, He put all stained wood around the garden tub and redid the small shower and trim around the mirrors, it looks like a tiki hut and then I decorated it with all safari themed things, two beautiful ceramic (old) zebras, in vivid black and white, and a buddah sitting with praying hands, three beautiful area rugs, two of leopards , one with lion, hand hooked and many other pretty items, I even put a black fuzzy sling chair in there because it feels like your on vacation, in case I want to read, hubby said, "chair in bathroom" I said, "me eccentric?" Oh lol, Ciao! and keep working on your projects! Oceangurl!