Privilege Blog

What I Did To My Doors In The Pandemic, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:45am

There are those who have made their houses more beautiful in the pandemic. Before we begin today’s exegesis, let me direct you to Northern California Style. I get happily lost in Kim’s aesthetic; it soothes me and delights me on sight. Her blog is here.

Now, back to Mrs. Serious AKA me. I need to show you two tiny projects. They gave me joy in the process. Which is by way of saying, they’re infinitely more personal than presentable.

My sister gave me a doorstop for Christmas, as I had asked. It was beautiful; marble with leather strap. Then I painted it. Why, you may wonder? Because it’s in the Feng Shui quadrant that prefers wavy to square. I googled “paint on marble,” found chalk paint recommended, ordered a tiny can from a local store, and Bob’s-your-homemade-useful-magic-domestic-objet.

In fact my sister got me TWO doorstops, but the other goes by the back door, which is in the quadrant that loves a rectangle. I painted it too.

But I turn the painted side out, as I don’t find it pretty. Also the rectangle reminds me of a door to let in the vibes, so best to face the world. I am going total Old Hippie.

Pretty side. Marble with gray flecks on dark gray slate.

Also heavy and tall enough to hold open a door to a patio that’s one step down. So little, such an impact.

Then, and I’m really trusting you with my lack of skills here, I wanted some shades for the room in which I write, in its incarnation as sofa bed space for adult children. I looked into the Shade Store, and Home Depot, and I couldn’t find anything I likde that didn’t cost $500 and I didn’t like spending $500 for something that would be used maybe two or three times a year.

So, I made something up.

That’s my new shade. In case you couldn’t tell, I do not sew, but I can glue.

So I went to Joanne’s Fabrics, where I bought a length of unbleached muslin, some of that tape you can iron to stick fabric to itself (essentially glue) some Crazy Glue (actual glue), and a couple of leather thongs. Thongs? Strips? I don’t even know what they’re called.

In the end, the glue served largely to attach my fingers to each other, not usually a goal. In the end, the shades look truly silly unrolled. But nobody who will use them cares. Rolled up, for me, they add a rough touch of craft to my writing/exercise space which I like.

My favorite part of these two projects, however, isn’t how they look. It’s that they taught me about myself and cheer me with the lessons.

How so? For one, I had no desire to follow instructions. 80% of the fun for me is solving the conundrum of how to do things.  This was good to understand. For another, I amused myself enormously with my lack of perfectionism. The flaws in these results, and remembering the joy of figuring something out well enough, make me laugh every time I see them, essentially growing my fondness for my impulsive, generative self.

This is quite different from pride. As you can imagine.

All of which is to say perfect is relative. AKA, Amateurism with a capital A.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.


Links may generate commissions

25 Responses

  1. I love the simple materials for your window treatments. Girl,you can tie a knot. I laughed about your sticky fingers as I guess I have had just a drop of Crazy Glue on my hands once too often.
    What if we were all Boxcar Children again?


    1. Luci, I can tie a knot! Another skill I failed to recognize, thank you! Must have been the training at the Wianno Yacht Club when I was 11, right? I loved the Boxcar Children, thank you for reminding me.

  2. Love what you did. Clearly I need to know more about feng shui quadrants (I know only a few basics). I too take inordinate pleasure in doing simple things around the home that are useful and look nice, so you’re not alone.

    1. MJ, Thank you! The fun thing about Feng Shui quadrants is that they impose just enough constraints that I’m willing to give something a try, if that makes sense. I am honored to have your company in these simple things.

  3. As I love making impromptu DIY little project,very incompetent,I have only an attitude-from my point of view, it’s charming and you seem like a pro. Like the waves on the marble
    Yes, a princess is princeza :)

    1. I imagine your attitude is exquisitely charming. No pro. Can paint squiggles;) Thank you, from the Princess of Good Enough.

  4. How cool is that? I love the marble doorsteps, and the very feng shui symbols painted on. Did you use a stencil/guide, or did you put on your beret, and eye it from arm’s length, and just went ahead and painted, Picasso style?
    I had to laugh when you mentioned the Crazy Glue and your sticky fingers. It brought back memories of my (much) younger sister watching my mother apply mascara, and then deciding to imitate her (in secret) using Crazy Clue, so she well and truly stuck her eyelids together for a few days. Fortunately, if you wait for the skin to shed naturally, which it does in about a week or so, no major harm done! PS My 65 yo sister has now learned how to apply mascara properly.

    1. I am very glad to hear your sister is no longer at risk of eyelid gluing. Yikes! But yes, at a distance, very funny. Thank you for approving of my doorsteps! They are lovely on their own, and nicely padded with felt on the bottom. Not wanting to wreck them, I practiced what I was going to paint a couple of times, using paper but the same brush. Then I just eyeballed it. Sans beret, but I think I might have been making whooshing sounds to encourage fluid strokes. Ha! Seriously too funny.

  5. If I hadn’t watched the Quintessence video featuring HRH Ultimate DIYer Marian McEvoy, I’d not know the “…and Bob’s your uncle.” idiom, so I picked right up on what you were saying! Welcome: we on the DIY side have been waiting for you! You actually walked into a Joann’s store?….oh, there’s no turning back now. Keep it up because I guarantee you there’s no “flow” experience like the ones you’ve described. Best when ample supplies are stored away [so you don’t have to leave home in the middle of inspiration] so: Warning, you’ll soon accumulate “supplies” enough to warrant a dedicated cabinet, so just get [a small] one cleared out right now! xoxoxo

    1. Flo, uhoh:) If YOU love DIY then these may not be my last efforts! Just as long as the projects don’t need small motor muscles or brain cells, I’m in. A supply cabinet? I promise you’ll be the first to know.

  6. I read somewhere recently that a mirror in an entry facing a front door is bad feng shui so, after about 24 years, I replaced it with a collage. I am not really happy with the artwork I chose so will try a few different pieces there until I am satisfied.

    You know about the Japanese term for impermanence and imperfection don’t you – it is wabi sabi so you should be proud of your doorstops.

    P.S. I loved your new jewelry piece last week and your smile !!!

    1. Thank you for the P.S. Mirrors are supposed to be bad in entries. Well, maybe you will make something? And yes, wabi sari, and of course Materfamilies is the queen of that with her beautiful sweater darning.

    1. Thank you. Since I can’t do that artistic darning that Frances at Materfamilias manages, I’ll try this kind of thing.

  7. Nice shades!
    I hate dealing with window treatments. Still have the same blinds up in my house that were there when I moved in and I’m not gonna tell you when that was except that it was in the 1990s.
    I find it very satisfying to be able to put something like that together.

    1. Thank you. And oh yes. The shades in my bedroom are from 1992. I don’t even want to think about it:). This was very satisfying. And amusing. I still giggle at the shades.

  8. I decided to do some sewing this week and made a linen curtain panel and then pulled out a lot of material that had been sitting in my linen cupboard. Now I know how to make pillowcases! So easy, thanks to youtube and I can make the pillowcases of my dreams, not just choose from what is available/on trend. Creativity is restful and absorbing.

  9. It delights me that you are going Old Hippie. For me, I took an old large cutting board, sanded it, stained it, polyurethaned it, secured felt strips on the bottom, and then placed it on the living room coffee table as one large and beautiful coaster. I am delighted with it even though I also have no skills. When I told my son that I had ‘made’ it he was very curious about what that meant and which previously hidden skills I had used. That too delighted me. Keep on grooving.

  10. I love this post — love reading about your process which seems so positive and healthy to me! That natural satisfaction we must all once have had in problem-solving and making. . . and which has too often been scared away.
    And I love the results of the process as well. The doorstops are gorgeous, and I think that combo of Visible Craft and Muslin and Leather works brilliantly at that window framing your garden view.

  11. Love the simple elegance of these projects! And the personality they bring to your space. I recently bought a sewing machine as a creative outlet and am enjoying the learning-failing-learning-some-more process. I hope to bring such personality to my curtains.

  12. This is one of my favorite LPC posts ever! The aging hippie vibe speaks to me, of course. And as for DYI, haven’t we all become masters (mistresses??) of DIY-ing our entire lives by now — especially since oh, I dunno, March 2020? Please keep going, and thanks to this community for all the interesting, compassionate, and inspiring comments (glued eyelashes: wowza!!). xoxo

  13. Love what you’ve done, and I know it all takes some effort, which is admirable right now. I too have learned to embrace “good enough” during these last few years….which is a relief for a perfectionist like me.

    What Materfamilias said…all of it is so astute, as always.

  14. In reply to your suggestion, I am an artist and the art I mentioned, a collage, is one of mine. I mostly do assemblage art and have many pieces on display in my home that have been in group shows in Santa Barbara, near where I live.

    Creativity is healing and gratifying. I have quite a collection of art materials stored in my garage, as well as in my buffet hutch. I did give away lots of materials last year when cleaning up was part of lockdown. And I have more to do.

Comments are closed.