Monday, June 18, 2012

Sometimes We Make Things

Perhaps I should start by stating I am alive and still in Georgia. I sort of fell off the face of blog world for awhile. Between my last semester of grad school and writing my thesis (no matter what, that always sounds pretentious) and my own teaching load, it didn't seem ethical to spend time blogging. My strong sense of integrity, of course, did not keep my from watching The Bachelor, but it did cause me to develop a real aversion to any reading or writing outside of school.

But now, I'm done with school. The end. Finished. Finito. And I'm basking in my last few weeks off before I have to start teaching again. About a year ago, I started keeping a list of all the projects I wanted to get done once school was over. This list included strange things, like "can green beans," and "convince Andrew to let me get a Vitamix." But some of the main and more important projects involved completing at least one of the three unfinished rooms in our home. And, so, lately, I've been working on our office. It's one of the rooms we spend the most time in, and it is the first room people see when they enter our home. So I probably should have given it more attention from the beginning.

About six months ago, I fell in love with this bookcase from World Market:

Campaign Bookshelf

Our office desks are from World Market and a similar style, and I thought two of these cases would fit well in our workspace. Andrew took one look at the expensive, unfinished wood and concluded it would be easier and cheaper to build a similar bookcase on our own. While neither of those things proved to be true, we decided to make our own bookcase as a sort of bonding, just-like-J.C. activity. So we got some wood and Andrew built the frame.



Also, everyone's garage looks like this, right? No room for cars. Just tires.

side pieces

Then I had the really important job of "distressing" the wood, which required me to nail holes in the wood, or bang it with a hammer, or drag a screw driver over Andrew's meticulous framework. I am gifted in forms of destruction.

nail holes


While it doesn't look that great on the unfinished wood, the scratches and grooves allow the stain to sink in and highlight texture and vary the coloring of the stain. So stain it we did.


And suddenly, the damage looked rather trendy.

nail holes stain

scratches stain

Ok, so that one sort of looks more like claw marks, but for the most part, it really did look authentic.

Then we coated the stain in polyurethane.


Supported it with some steel beams, and Voila! A bookcase, complete with moveable shelves.

finished 2

Now the books have a place to live, instead of being stacked around the office floor in dangerous heaps.

children's books

more poetry

The unfortunate part about this story is that I am now caught up in real time. Meaning, while it is true that Andrew and I had this discussion about building a bookcase six months ago, it is also true that we just moved the bookcase inside yesterday. In other words, it took us six months to finish the project.  And the more unfortunate part is that we are supposed to have two bookcases. So according to our most recent timetable building experience, it might be wise to give up on finishing the office anytime soon and move on to other items on the list.

So here's hoping green beans are in season.


Carmen said...

Yay! You're back! I heard a bit about your extremely busy last few months from Aunt Kathy and Uncle Steve, so I decided not to resent your blog-writing hiatus or worry about your safety. But I'm still glad to know for SURE that you still live.

Absolutely lovely bookcase. I would never look at it and ask the dreaded DIY question: "oh, did you make that?" Good work!

SarahJohnson27 said...

Get out of town!!'

Karyn said...

Yeah, I was skeptical when I saw the "before" pics of your distressing efforts, but it looks great! Even Joel loves it. And he's a snob. Glad you're back in blog land!

Ashley said...

It's good to have you back.:) I missed Lyndsey posts.

lyndsey said...

Thanks, guys :)

Noel said...

I would like 3 of those bookcases please!!! Are they easy to make? Andrew needs a blog too, I need him to record a play by play on tools and wood used so Noel can build me some. I'll even move our car out of the garage and put some tires in there! :)

lyndsey said...

Linda -- I think they were easy to make...but then again, I wasn't the one measuring and cutting, just artfully damaging. I'm sure Noel could make it happen, no problem. Maybe he would even build you three!