Archive for July 29th, 2013

Do you ever wake up in the morning and think, man, I’m feeling like a craft project? I really never do. And reading about craft projects on a lot of blogs and especially pinterest is frustrating. Because, let’s face it, people are lying when they tell you it was super cheap, super easy, and didn’t take any time. Maybe two out of three might be sometimes possible. But if it is cheap, it wasn’t easy, and it definitely took a long time. Christy is good at being honest about how long something took, and I promise you that her arts and craft skills are in the top 2 percentile of people under the age of 50. Unless you grew up in South Georgia and have a lot of patience, you shouldn’t attempt most internet DIY projects. Especially if the alternative is going to cost a lot of money. Like refinishing furniture. I know you don’t want to pay for it, but really, it’s not worth the heartache. Suck it up and pay the money, and cut corners somewhere else.

I want to be the sort of person with a tastefully decorated house that exudes my own personal style and actually looks “finished.” I also want to be the sort of person who makes up her bed every day and knows where the extra batteries are in her house. The sort of person who doesn’t run out shampoo or paper towels or dog food. The person with the clean car, who didn’t spill coffee on their shirt on the way to work, with the brushed hair, the right make up. The girl with the immaculate office and painted (not chipped) nail polish. If this person actually exists (I have my doubts).

It is hard to look finished, but when you’ve been to a truly finished house, you can tell. My life and my house have not been finished in a long time. Being finished is expensive, and requires nice fabric, well framed artwork, window treatments, throw pillows, the right accent pieces. These things can feel overwhelming, and time consuming. Plus, it is easy to get away without being finished.

For some reason the crafty urge hit me last week, and I really wanted to make window treatments for my living room. This is something I’ve been considering for a long time, but life is expensive. When I found out I was moving to Charleston, I had exactly ten days to wrap up my life in Augusta before I started work. Obviously wrapping up life takes more time than that. I was short on time, short on cash, and short on emotional stability. I had only owned my house for about 18 months, and most of my cash savings had been eaten up in the buying and fixing up process of house purchasing.

My old couch had seen better days and weighed about a bazillion pounds. The junior league took it off my hands. I had to find a renter for my house, and find a place to live in Charleston. I found my apartment through a series of frustrating disappointments, and I was able to negotiate down to a price I thought I could afford. I moved down here with a love seat and two pretty comfy chairs, but no ottoman and no real couch. I said I would get a real couch when I got my feet back under me. When I say things were tight, I mean I couldn’t afford to pay the pet fee and my security deposit all at the same time, so Briscoe had a wait a month to come to Charleston.

Due to a series of unfortunate expensive events (unanticipated expenses for the house in Augusta, having my appendix taken out resulting in unanticipated medical bills, my old trusty car finally dying and having to buy a car) that first year in Charleston was a doozie. I honestly don’t remember a lot about it, but I do remember that my dream of a new couch was not currently on the horizon. I was in survival mode with austerity measures. I didn’t have internet, and I had the most basic cable. At least swimming in the ocean was free.

After my first year, I sold my house in Augusta, I got a big raise, and I had a roommate for about six months. I was able to join a gym and go to yoga more often. I could afford internet and real cable. I felt like I could breath again. The shower pan in my bathroom broke, and my landlord evicted me for three weeks in August and renovated my entire bathroom. Being evicted was worth not paying rent for a month and the end result of a fantastically new bathroom in the place of previously vaguely creepy old bathroom. But still, no couch. And I couldn’t even think of window treatments until I got the couch handled.

Finally, in Spring of 2012, I ordered my couch from Pottery Barn. And I used the interest free option from the pottery barn credit card to pay it off over the course of a year. Since then, I have been thinking about my windows. Plotting and scheming, and returning things to stores that didn’t work like I had hoped.

Two weeks ago, I started trolling fabric stores and craft stores in hopes of being inspired. I found these curtain rods and ring clips at Big Lots that encouraged me. Finally, I remembered about the time I used a drop cloth as a make shift slip cover on that old heavy couch in Augusta, and how great that worked in a pinch. And I decided I would look into making window treatments out of a drop cloth.

Last Thursday, I found this drop cloth at the sherman williams by my house. I took it home, opened it up, and started thinking. The drop cloth had a seam down the middle of it, that made it two 4.5 X 12 panels.


I picked the seam out, which took a long time. I would say this was the most labor intensive part of the project, but I was watching television while I was picking, and it was sort of a soothing mindless exercise. Then I spent a long time trying to figure out how I wanted it to look. Briscoe was highly annoyed by the furniture moving and the overall disruption.


I finally ate dinner at 10 pm (this is another reason I don’t start craft projects, once I get going I can’t stop). By 11, I had a prototype hanging up on some nails, and I decided that was enough for one night.


Sunday, I picked back up on the project, and I worked on the length, and how I wanted the top to look, and I picked out the seam on another drop cloth for the other window. I didn’t actually sew or stitch anything, but I just used the little clips that were attached to the rings.


Oh, and I actually screwed in the hardware for the curtain rods, and hung the rod up properly. This is the finished product. The 9 X 12 drop cloth was $19 for the first one, then there was a sale when I bought the second one – $15. The ring clips were $8 and the rods were $6 a piece from Big Lots. And I probably spent, in total, at least eight hours. Depending on how much you want to bill me out for, the labor was the most expensive part by hundreds of dollars. I’m happier with the one on the left than the one on the right. More tweaking is anticipated.



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