Posts Tagged With: unemployment. projects


So I mentioned a few posts ago that I started work on the camper. We made the list last fall but work didn’t begin in earnest until February when I started painting.  As I previously mentioned, I used an oil-based paint and we’ve only camped once but so far it is holding up well.

I did use a bonding primer which has a chalky finish so the oil-based paint grabbed the surface which is just a contact paper of sorts adhered to plywood or particle board. I researched the paint & primer early, bought the primer and  put a coat on the cabinet doors. Because I didn’t know what color, the primed doors sat in the garage almost two months. I needed to chose a color.

In order to chose a color, I had to choose the fabric for the curtains and cushion covers. I shopped for fabric locally at JoAnn’s and a few upholstery shops the variety wasn’t great and it ranged from $15 – $60 a yard. I needed 12 yards.

Enter From the day I started my camper Pinterest board I was picturing strips for the curtains and a pattern (maybe polka dots) on the cushions. will send an 8 x 9” sample which is big enough to get a good idea of the quality of the fabric as well as what the pattern looks like.  The quality is really nice – I actually have done another project with another order from Fabric order from them (details still coming) and was just as happy with that fabric.

My fabric $8.89/yard. Great, right!

Anyway, once I had the curtain fabric I could move on with the paint. I chose the smallest color from the fabric and got to work. February is generally a really nice month to do outside projects in North Carolina, low humidity, warm enough to work…so I got started.



When I finally got to work on this project it really didn’t take that long. I spread it out over about three months just because I couldn’t decide on a color but it could all be done in about 4 days and that includes time for completely drying and as many coats as needed.


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It turned out to be therapy!

Where was I? Describing how I kept busy when I lost my job last year.

Putting the whole thing together…well it didn’t take long. I spent about $4 on a couple of long bolts, washers and nuts so I could bolt the counter top to the shelf–that way I could put as much weight as needed on the desk top but it wouldn’t flip forward.

You can see the bolt in the middle of the desk. I actually used two.

Then I measured the space between the desk and the shelf on the ceiling to cut my luvered doors. I measured once, twice, no, I’m pretty sure it was three times because I really wasn’t gonna get a second chance on this. I also traced the contour of the back of the counter top so, in theory, it would fit tight.

I’d used a jigsaw before but I wasn’t sure I was using it right so I took a few minutes and watched a youtube video, or did I watch five?  There were plenty and they were really helpful. For the most part I was doing it right, but don’t ya just  love what you can learn on youtube?

I just got a cool tool to fix my squeaky floors and I found out about it on youtube. Of course there will be a blog entry on that tool. Suffice to say we’re sleeping better with the floors fixed, heck, the kids could probably sneak out of the house now, before: not a chance. Hmm, in retrospect that may have not been the best fix.

I digress!

Trimming the doors was a snap. Well, the third and fourth time, anyway. The 1st and 2nd time, I was able to hide the not-as-good-as-it-could-have-been times. I took a few pictures to show my cutting, but I decided we don’t know each other well enough for me to reveal all my mistakes.

The four doors for $5 did leave a little to be desired in the way of condition. I had to remove the rusty hardware and one end had rotted, but since I didn’t need the entire thing, I cut off what I didn’t need. Then I sanded & painted the doors.

Once it was all trimmed up, I put the put it together, attached the doors to the shelf at the ceiling and the counter tops. It all supported itself so I ended up with much sturdier construction than had anticipated.

The doors rested on the counter/desk top and supported the shelves above it.

Next I needed to build a ledge for the shelves to rest on. I decided on a one by two and a little piece of square trim like this:

After that was sanded and painted I attached it to the doors and then laid the shelves on it.

It turned out like this:

So just to recap. The two computers were back to back and they took up about half the room, plus if the work areas were messy, you could see it from the other rooms.

Now, I have a lot more of our computer room for other things and they mess of the computers is kind of hid because they are tucked away against the wall.  The best thing about the entire project is my otherwise skeptical husband doesn’t cringe when I say I am going to build something.

Categories: Tools, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Cheaper Than Therapy

I am not really sad to see 2011 end. As years go, it wasn’t that great.

Jan. 3 marks one year of when everything turned upside down. I went to work, knowing people were being laid-off that day, not really expecting it would be in my area. As it turned out, it was me and my boss. Wow! I had worked there almost 9 years. I hadn’t held a job that long – ever.  As it turned out, it wasn’t unemployment or even the new employment that I had trouble adjusting to.

I had the most trouble adjusting to the change in routine and schedule.

So, what did I do? Built something, of course.

That’s where I am going with this. I started my blog to be able to link to other blogs that show the cool stuff people build. I haven’t actually done that yet. Linked to other blogs. But I think it’s time to show how I worked through the funk of being unemployed.

It started with a box. I got the plans on, made a few adjustments to fit my space,  turned it on it’s side and built this shelf:

The shelf was built before I was laid off…but then I read this post by Missy at My Cottage Charm: and knew there was more work to do!

I showed it to my husband who didn’t believe I could build it but said, “Sure, you can make it, when you get a job.”


Get a job?

If I had a job, I wouldn’t have time to build anything! By this time we were at about the 2nd week of January and I was visiting my vacation home — in the lovely state of Denial!

So, we negotiated that if I could keep it under $25 I could build it.

I had an idea of using louvered doors to make the sides. After wasting my time on Craig’s List — I have already talked about this, after they finally contact you back and get the particulars, either the item is gone or it’s really not what you wanted. I ended up at my friendly, local Habitat Re-Use Store.

I found just the doors I was looking for:

and it was only:

at the Habitat Re Use Store. I also bought desk tops:

2 blue laminate desk tops for $5 each. This one had a little chip on the corner, but that was OK because it had to be trimmed to fit in the space anyway.

I already had two bookshelves that I would use as the base for each shelf, so now it was time to put it together.

I had two matching bookshelves that I actually got for free several years ago. This was gonna be a great use for them!

I will put that in my Next Post!

Categories: Tools, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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