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Elfa-sizing and the Nuclear Knitting Proliferation Treaty

We spent this week continuing on the never-ending home improvement binge, in which my wife spends thousands of dollars on (admittedly needed) home improvement, and then says “Hey, we’re nesting!” when I grumble at the (mumbledy mumbledy) expense of it all.

This week it was fixing up the master bathroom closet, which has been built since January, but empty (well, filled with a jerry rigged system of laundry stuff, but nothing permanent, and the Crafty Cat Room, because S has decided that this is the place where she will stockpile her nuclear supply of yarn for her knitting projects. I believe, although I can’t be 100% positive, that she is in a knitting arms race with several people on Ravelry. And the de-proliferation treaties are not going well.

So we went to the Container Store and studied Elfa. Elfa is a very clever storage system by the Container Store, where you screw one standard to the wall very securely, and then hang all of your other standards off of it. It’s clever, because you don’t have to line up all of your standards and hang them on the wall by themselves. As well, the standard you do drill into the wall is secured with very heavy duty stuff that clings to drywall or wood, and therefore doesn’t even have to be screwed into the studs. That’s right, no stud finder for me! Which is good, because we have one, but it never seems to work properly. At least, I’ve drilled several times in places where it told me to drill, but never found any oil (or even any wood.)

We had california closets (who did a great job in our master walkin closet) quote us the master bath, including doors, but it was approximately 1200, and didn’t quite look the way we wanted it. We were able to put the shelves up for approximately $400, and we still have to figure out a door solution, but at least its more to our liking. And we didn’t have the $1200 anyway. We were too busy buying expensive dinners!

Anyway, we managed to hang the master bathroom closet in about an hour or so, and it was pretty sweaty business, but relatively easy. Stephanie than spent a lot of time emptying the thing that held the towels before (an armoire, that will now become the baby’s closet/armoire)

The next day we did the Crafty Cat room (yes our cat is a crafty devil) And now he’ll be living with a sewing machine!

This was actually a much harder proposition, as we had to do some creative problem-solving. The crafty cat room was at one point a long time ago the outside of the house, so it has outside of the house shingles that are not a flat wall, and elfa relies on a flat wall (or at the very least a standard vertical plane, for you gentle geometrists). And the shingle/clapboards are 6″ long and vertical. But Stephanie, who was an architectural student in college, had a great idea– we bought two 1×6 shelves that were the length of the wall, and screwed them into the shingles. Those 1×6’s overlapped the shingles, creating (voila!) a plane that elfa could use. We then screwed the elfa into the 1×6 and the wall, using longer screws, and we had our elfa. And it all worked!

It was also hot and sweaty work, because the crafty cat room does not have its own air conditioning duct and because our drill bit sucked (and the screws stripped out a couple of times) But through the sheer brute and animal force of a manly man, I was able to do it.

We also had to take down the Metro shelf that was there, which meant emptying all of our stuff onto the floor of the other room (former office, soon to be baby’s room) And now MOST of the stuff is up, although somethings have been displaced by the vast amounts of aforementioned radioactive yarn that we have been amassing. The Metro shelf went into the garage where one day it will be set up again, once it has been properly decontaminated of its knitting stature, and it has earned the glorious right to become a clown shelf again.

Watch out Pakistan. We are now a nuclear knitting power.

And here are the pictures to prove it.

The beautifully arranged Master Bath Closet, complete with new hampers
The Yarn of Nuclear proliferation.
Some more of the everpresent stockpiles.
The cleverly hidden 1×6
The sewing machine table that I lovingly (and with great amount of curses) put together back in May or June.

The bathroom, she is tiled

I think that in all the goings on here with lawnmowing and dario fo plays and what not, I may have forgotten to mention the most important news of all– our master bath is tiled!

We started on the master bath in August, and it didn’t get finished until October, but my god– all the tile is in, and we are ready to stall on the last two elements of the bathroom– the glass shower door and the painting. (I’m excluding the fixing up of the closet that we have built. That’s like an entirely different room!

We solved the bedroom to bathroom in a surprisingly elegant fashion– glass sliding doors. We had originally planned to have one humongo door that slid across the whole way, but when the track was bought, Stephanie realized that we could do two sliding doors that slide to one another. The great thing is that it fit in perfectly, and really does look like it’s been there forever. I don’t know why we didn’t think of it before.

As for tile, it looks great, although it came at a price. Our tile guy told us it wouldn’t be much of a problem to replace the hexagonal white tiles with glass tiles, and he quoted us the price to do it. Well, he didn’t quite figure how much work it would be, and his guys were there an extra four days (and still never got it right)
So he started losing money, and started cutting corners, and … well, it stopped being pretty.

An example: the top bullnoses when they were installed were not full tile pieces– they were pieces cut in half and sewn back to back. S went surprisingly ballistic about it– saying that she wanted the full pieces. At first the guy insisted they didn’t make them, that this is how it was done, that when they were grouted you wouldn’t see it– all kinds of excuses– but after a quick call to the Queen of Paint (who turns out, is a Tile Queen as well!) S insisted, he relented, and the guy said he would try to find it. The good thing is we still owed him half the job, so he had a real incentive. Suffice to say, he found the right tile.

The tile work was at first installed relatively sloppily, but having Stephanie as our Tile Bulldog worked out well. I highly recommend having a tile bulldog to go over the stuff with a fine-tooth comb. It’s still not a PRISTINE job, but it’s a lot better than what they were going to leave it as– and to the untrained eye (that would be mine) it looks fantastic!

I liked our tile guy a lot, and I think Stephanie did too, except for the inevitable trying to cut corners aspect. Somewhere around here I have some photos of the quasi-finished project. I’ll post them if people are interested. Or better yet, stop on by!