Sunday, July 19, 2009

DIY Update 1

It's 2:42 p.m. on Sunday and here's what I've done thus far:

  • Turn upper kitchen cabinets into seasonal/tool/rarely-used-item storage. I've cleaned them inside and out. Progress.
  • Clean out fridge. I took milk out of it, poured some in a glass, then put the carton back in. Does that count?
Genkan (entryway)Better shoe storage for genkan (entryway). Check. I switched out one of my poorly utilized jewelry shelves and turned it into a shoe rack. My entryway is so clear and ready for sweeping!
  • Find alternative to coat tree (no room) and coat hooks (concrete walls). I tried taking a page from my fellow ALT/ABIL 1 resident, Paulette's, book and put up a curtain rod up against the wall. She hangs her umbrellas from it. I thought, me too! and snagged a free rod from another ALT who had extras. No dice. Overall, fail.
  • Find a litter box solution that I like (poor Kuma, all these transitions). Cleaned out an old paper tray and am waiting for it to dry. I'll line it with a plastic sack, compost that I'm drying out, and have easily disposed of* litter.
  • Fold my stupid clothes. Halfway done. Next I have to collect the rest from everywhere in my apartment and fold those, too.
  • Vacuum, because Kuma is effectively destroying that old phone book into tiny bits. Check, though this might turn into an every-other-day kind of activity. How can something so furry be so voracious? Poor old phone book.
Living Room/GeneralPaint kotatsu top and chairs (sanded and primed on Thursday)
  • Plant basil cutting. Those roots are ridiculong. Nope.
  • Put most of that little junk in those cute containers I bought in March for that purpose. Nope
  • Recycle plastic bottles I've had since coming here. I will be eco-friendly! Nope
  • Find more concrete blocks for stairs to the back porch. A two-foot drop is just too much. Yep.
Yesterday I continued spray-painting the kotatsu cover and a chair. They're not turning out as magically as I thought, likely because Japan is a dusty, dusty country and I can't paint in a controlled environment. I'll probably lacquer the chair for some extra oo
mph and to cover up the rough patches. The kotatsu will need five million layers of white paint.

During the afternoon Kim and I went thrift store hunting. A new desk has become a near obsession, and I wanted to see if there was anything that would fit both my budget and tastes. I didn't find a desk that thrilled me beyond words, but I did find a magnificently gauche deep fuchsia bar chair that I will go back and get on Tuesday. Hello, piece of kitsch. I also found the following light fixtures:

I can't afford them right now, and am not sure if I have the skillz to switch them out for my awful light fixtures, but I am committing the sin of covetousness.

Due to the poor decision of drinking Coke at a late hour last night I was still awake at 1:30 in the morning. A fluorescent light bulb popped on—it was the perfect time to go liberate some items from the metal/plastic junk yard around the corner! After circling the block once because I was walking in front of a couple of dudes on their way from the convenience store, I snuck in. With night as my disguise I found a new laundry basket (not for laundry, but to protect my garden from the rabbit), enough brick and concrete to make a new step, and new desk materials.

Desk materials? Why, yes. I will make a desk from already-owned metal shelving, an old weird plastic door, and a heavy wooden step or shelf thingy. I'll put up pictures when I start working with it. Apartment Therapy blinded me to the hideousness of most DIY projects, but then I revisited Craftster, searched for "diy desk" and the like, and realized how foolish I am. The desks on there were often hideous, collages and shellacs and Modge Podge creations that just scream I HAVE NO TASTE!!! Some rare finds were well done, but not to my personal taste. I don't go for folksy or shabby chic. I anticipate that my wood/plastic/metal desk will turn out exactly like that—as a complete eyesore.

The one upside to "shopping" from the junk pile is that if it doesn't work out, I can always just put it back. At 1:30 a.m. while I'm high on caffeine and Hot Tamales.

*I will drop the litter in grassy areas in effort to replenish Earth's fast-disappearing topsoil. Geurilla composting! Then I will dispose of the plastic bags separately. I feel like my Environmental Science 101 professor would be proud of me.

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