Saturday, January 26, 2008

Progress on Room Transformation

It's been a week of manual labor for me. At least four to six hours a day has been spent, up and down my small ladder, sanding, taping, painting and , finally yesterday, doing electrical work. I've done all but the installation of lights many times before. Of course Angelica helped and we had to wear our face masks for this.

First I had to sand down and do small patches of remudding after the friendly mudder/drum maker, Rick, was here.

Once the sanding and wall preparation was done, it was time to add color. Remember the theme of this transformation is bedroom to office/pretty to handsome/cool to warm.

My photographer takes a lot of self-portraits.

She also creates somewhat magical photos by jumping as she snaps the picture.

The final product is a combination of calming putty and warm, inspiring terra-cotta.

The next step was to trade out the pretty light fixtures for the handsome ones. I've never done this before, but I've seen many a light fixture go in and it really looks easy. Once the breaker was turned off, I was ready to go.

It turns out, once again, that a job is never as easy as it looks. I had to first take my lights out of the package and read the simple directions. On that score, the tiny illustrations showing hex nuts, cupped washer, and wacha plateada (oops, that's the Spanish side) were not that helpful so I released one of the "pretties" to see how it was installed. This proved to be much more instructive. I disconnected the old and began to figure out how to put in the new. Something that has irked me in the past is crooked installations, so I worked using a level to insure that the final placement would be square with the world. All was going well until I discovered that the threaded pieces that held the light fixture to the wall were too long. If I used them as is, the light fixture would hang !/2 inch away from the wall. Luckily I had my engineering consultant to call--my husband, Mike-- to get a solution for this problem. An easy fix if you have a vise grip and a hacksaw.

As it turns out, our remodel from 15 years ago, had a few "remuddle" pieces to it, like the outlet boxes being installed crooked, catywampus, etc. That earlier work meant a lot more adjusting and refiguring to install new lights. What should have been a one hour job ended up taking me 4 hours! Who knew how many tools, how many consultations, and how many new skills I'd have to learn to do the job?
My tool layout.
And the final transformation of pretty

to handsome.

Now all that was left to do was flip on the breaker, turn on the switch and see if the lights came on.
Viola, success.

Tomorrow the new carpet goes down and I dream of getting back to a different kind of painting--creating art next week.

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