Pandemic Projects 2020

Hey... long time, no blog! How's everybody been? Hopefully you're all safe and no one's gotten into any COVID-19 trouble. Here in Illinois, it was announced that our Stay-At-Home order has been extended through the end of May, so what better time than do try to tackle some projects?

I've been working full time, making masks in my free time, and planning extra projects for however long we end up being under stay-at-home orders. In between all of that I actually have accomplished some tasks, and have started others that I'm still working on. I've been pretty good about documenting everything over on Instagram, but this poor little blog has been neglected on and off for years, so let's see what I can round up, and hopefully with all the extra time we all have on our hands, I'll be able to write more detailed posts for these!

Pantry Closet Shelving
You guys, I cannot even begin to explain how happy I am that I finally spent the money on this project. We've been living here for 5 years, and I've always hated this useless space, but now it's fully functional!

I may cover the wooden shelving with some laminate contact paper to make them easier to clean in case of spills or anything, but right now, it's working beautifully. All of the shelves are adjustable, and we can finally fit more than a single can in here! 
Once I write up a full post with item source links, photos, and video, I'll link it here for sure! It was only about an hour long project and about $125 start to finish. Some day I may also add in some extra can shelves on the right, since there are existing "brackets" for them.

Bluetooth Radio Conversion
This one is a project I've only just begun. I have three 1940s-1960s radios that no longer work, and quite frankly, would be a fire hazard even if they did. I'm planning on converting them into their own standalone rechargeable Bluetooth speaker units that could be left plugged in for that vintage look, or be unplugged and fully charged to be used in the backyard or anywhere else!
So far, I've taken a peek at the insides of two of them, and decided exactly what all I want them to be capable of doing; I'd love to be able to keep the original knobs functional somehow if at all possible, and if I could get them to light up like they used to, that'd be incredible! Worse comes to worst, they'll be able to be used as a case for any existing Bluetooth speaker and/or our Amazon Echo/Dots.

Painting the main floor
Oof, this has been a project I've wanted to do for about a year, but the landlords/handyman just kept forgetting to give me the supplies I needed. I finally said to hell with it, and with my tax return, I got a 5 gallon bucket of Behr Ultra Vibrant White. I plan on repainting the living room, dining room, and stairwell with this, and if I have enough, I'll do the bottom half of the bathroom & the white cabinet we have in there (it desperately needs a new coat). So far I have the stairwell half done, so we're getting there, slowly but surely. One wall at a time, when I have time.

Carl's Room
Last year, I started slowly moving things around in Carl's room. I want it to be a multi-functional room, including being a TV room, a workout/yoga room, a plant space, and my personal dressing room. So far, I've moved the geckos downstairs, wall mounted the 32" TV, and moved all of my workout gear into the room (except for clothes, I need a couple more sets of those).
Now I just need to get the new Klippan couch cover (ordered from Etsy, faux leather, so super easy to clean up from his slobber and dirt), couch legs (also Etsy, to make it feel a little more mid century rather than IKEA mod), and possibly clean and bring in a darker rug, and it'll be good to go. From there on out I'll just be struggling to keep the plants alive, keep a workout routine, and keep the closet organized (eek!).

Sewing Projects
As I said before, I've been making masks with basically every spare minute of my time this month. It's exhausting to say the least, but at the end of this week, I'll be done with all outstanding orders, and I'll be able to close up shop. I have a few pillow covers I'd like to make, and I have a mid century Yugoslavian rocking chair that needs new cushion covers. A few rectangles and squares are gonna feel like a cake walk compared to these masks, so hopefully I don't resent my machine for the rest of the year, and I'll actually be able to get these knocked out one weekend. Maybe I'll even make a window bench seat for the Lane chest in Carl's room, if I'm feeling overzealous.

Jennah chair
I hate to admit it, but I still haven't finished this single lady (oops). I got really frustrated when every stripper I tried didn't work with the paint, and I realized I'd most likely have to carefully sand through it to get to the bare wood. That makes me incredibly nervous (I don't want to burn through any veneer that may be present), and it's kept me from continuing any kind of progress. It's still sitting in the basement, new upholstery done, and over half the frame is still Barney purple, complete with the name "Jennah" in stickers along the back.
Now that the Bassett Gala desk is all wrapped up, though, I'd love to have this finished to go along with it. It's already hiding in plain sight, covered by garbage bags, in the very spot I'd like to use it, so what's holding me back? Hours of sanding and scraping, that's what. Also lack of motivation mixed with a little bit of resentment (lol).

Random tasks
I would like to eventually swap all of our lights out for LED daylight bulbs, which could easily get to be pretty pricey, but the lighting will be better AND more efficient. Over time I'll save more than I spent on the bulbs, and I won't have the nasty yellow glow all the time. It's great for bedside tables, and coming naturally from candles, but I'd love to have that bright daylight tone through our house. Having only East/West facing windows can really make it seem darker than it is outside.

I'm also in the process of upgrading some of our audio units. I blew out one of my turntable speakers pretty quickly when I was having to swap them between the turntable and our living room Echo Dot, so I'd like to replace those with this nice pair of Bose units at some point. I replaced the Echo Dot with the newer full sized Echo model, so I no longer have to swap the speakers out, and they can remain plugged into the turntable. The old living room Dot is now in Carl's room, and will be great for working out on the new stationary bike we have. Unfortunately, the Dot's built in speakers are fairly sad, and simply cannot handle bass, so it'll probably end up being plugged back into the half blow-out speakers, or connected to a Bluetooth unit (especially if I get those vintage radios up and running).
I need to drag the old surround sound unit up into Carl's room as well, since it decided it will only work with that TV for some reason. The trouble with it is that even with a replacement remote, I can't control the speaker volume, so I may find that it's simply too loud for such a small space. I guess we'll find out once I find the motivation to crawl under the Brasilia and unplug it.

Spring cleaning has not been happening in full swing, since our house is not under quarantine, and we're both still working. But let me tell you, I saw underneath our fridge the other day when I was trying to save Carl from eating a grape that fell and rolled under there and OH. MY. GOD. does it need to be scrubbed. I shudder even thinking about it. We definitely need to pull that fridge out and clean its little corner because damn. It's nasty.
We also need to clean out the stove hood vent, the lint tube (?) that leads from the dryer to the outside of the house, and get back into the routine of swapping out our air filter every three months. Allergy season is upon us, and it waits for no man or filter. It just makes you feel like you're dying, and let's not panic ourselves thinking it's COVID when it's really just a bunch of dust and animal hair and pollen.

Stay safe & healthy, friends! Remember your masks and wash your hands,
Lex 💚


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