Good Idea. Sort Of.

If you’d like to see how I went about wrapping our computer cables, read on!

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In case you want to cover your cables for decorative purposes (as opposed to for prophylactic purposes– more on that later), here is a quick tutorial. If you went to camp or grew up in the 70s, chances are you already have mad macramé skilz, but if not, never fear!
This little project is super-easy. Time-consuming, but easy.

So fire up the latest season of House of Cards, and settle in to keep your fingers busy.

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I used some hand-dyed (is there any other kind?) hemp twine I picked up a few years back in the Hippie Hemp Capital of the Universe: Nelson, B.C.
The twine is soft and a good weight for wrapping the computer cable, but it could look pretty with silk cord or really fuzzy wool.  Ooh! What about ombré wool?!

I began by wrapping the twine around clothespins, in order to keep it corralled and to form a kind of shuttle that allowed me to unroll a manageable length at a time. I learned this via trial and error– for my iPad cable, I was wrestling with a messy ball of twine that had me saying the sorts of things I wouldn’t say in front of my grandmother. Ahem.

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Ready? Start at the “small” end of the charger (so that you can weave the tail of twine into your wrapping and keep it clean-looking), and tie a knot around the cable. When you start wrapping, you will wrap around the tail of twine as well as the cable, so that the tail gets hidden neatly away. Follow the instructions on the images below. It’s important to keep the twine going in the same direction as you wrap, or you will not get the spiral “spine” feature on your wrapped cable.

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That’s it– keep wrapping until your cord is covered.
When you get to the end, cut the twine and wrap a piece of pretty washi tape around it to keep it neat and to prevent it from unravelling.

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Easy, right?
Pretty, right?

Effective…..? WRONG.
Exhibit A:

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Le sigh.

 

 

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Inspired by…

… a vintage metal desk.
Wouldn’t these pretties make for a lovely home office?
Or office-office, for that matter?

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Vintage Lucite Letter
Pale pink, gilded bergere chair
Desk lamp (pitter-pat goes my heart! And it’s on sale.…)
Silk rug (gasp!)
Vintage metal desk

 

Work it!

Remember the Office Inspiration post? Well, here are (most of) the details from the (very nearly) finished office.

I needed to update all the storage & organization bits in the room, but did not want to invest in all new boxes, files and bins.  I decided the solution was to give our existing ones a facelift with the help of some fabric and some paint.

I wanted gold accents, so I had to find a way to take the trim on our Ikea storage boxes & magazine files from silver to gold. Removing the hardware and painting, then replacing it was not an option; the boxes would not have survived the surgery.

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Some of the boxes were black, so I sprayed the silver trim gold & then went in with an artist’s brush and some white paint to cover the black/gold-overspray. I do not recommend this if you are in a hurry. It took FOREVER! Lesson learned: spray prime entire surface first, then do gold spray on hardware, then paint. I rushed right in with the gold paint and then the white paint = I needed about 6 coats of fiddly, artist-brush painting to cover the dark lids. Sigh. Learn from my haste, Interwebz.

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For boxes whose lids got a paint job, I covered the bases in one of two fabrics. I just cut a strip of fabric a couple of inches wider than the height of the box and long enough to wrap all the way around. I used a combination of spray adhesive and glue-gun action to adhere the fabric to the boxes. Then I re-attached the newly-gold outer label hardware and ta-da!

Some of the boxes were already white, so I just sprayed the label hardware gold and covered the lids in fabric. Using spray adhesive and hot glue, I pretty much just wrapped the lids like they were presents.
That will never be opened.
Because they are glued shut.

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I found some cute file folders at Target in the $1 bins (woot!)– they are a natural colour and have metallic designs on them, so they look cute with the new accents in the room.  Now to find the time to reorganize our file drawers. (The entire contents of our filing system may have fallen down the stairs in a moving incident during the floor refinishing bonanza…. We may have just shoved the files back in the drawers any old which way because we were tired and highly cranky….)

I also re-jigged the magnetic bulletin board I made a few years back, covering the board with fabric and painting the frame Blackberry Punch (after trying three different versions of gold…). I sprayed the little clothespin magnets gold, too. I sprayed a woven box and a few Ikea tea-light holders gold to keep storage looking pretty and to keep pens, pencils, letter-opener, etc. accessible.

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I invested in new frames for the gallery wall because I wanted white ones and the images in the frames all came out of mis-matched, random frames. I did paint the one on the lower right side, next to the M. I love the way the white frames look so crisp against the dark wall. It makes me happy every time I see it!

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I took a West Elm dip-dye curtain (that I snagged from the sale section for $14!) and, since I wanted a horizontal, rather than a vertical dip, I cut the curtain in half and, using some inexpensive white muslin ($3 a yard), made two curtains with simple rod pockets at the top.

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Finally, I decided to embrace the whole, “colour code your books” trend. This is the cheapest update you can think of: it’s free! You do need to invest some time, but it took me less time than I thought it would. I’m still a bit on the fence about it– sure, it looks great, but I’m not sure I can FIND my books…. My previous system was a “by topic” system, so I could easily find any book at a glance. Now, I have to know what colour the book’s spine is… I’m pretty visual, but I’m still not convinced that this is the most sensible way to file stuff.

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Once my Serena and Lily round rattan rug arrives and I find the perfect ceiling light fixture, the room will be done! Yay!

Nailed It!

True confessions: power tools kinda scare me.

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Which pains me because it goes against the very grain of my feminist core.

But I designed and M built our office desk/Ikea hack/faux built-in about 6 years ago when I INSISTED that there was NO WAY LHR and GraphicDefiner were going to be our Christmas guests with our office in a state of unfinished horror.  We got the built-ins done and the floor and paint done and then we never got around to building the drawer fronts– they had to be custom-built because we hacked Home Depot kitchen cabinets to make the desk and, thus, standard drawer fronts would not fit.  We were out of steam and out of time.
And so they stayed frontless.
For YEARS, people. YEARS.

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To say that these frontless drawers have been a bone of contention would be to understate the matter.
A lot.

So, when we got our new floors and I fell hard for Blackberry Punch and the office stopped being Vomit Brown and totally uninspiring, I was fired up to get some drawer fronts made, come hell or high water.

Which drove me to do it myself.
Which meant overcoming my fear of power tools in order to use both the chop saw and the air-compressor-powered nail gun.
Baby, there is NO TURNING BACK! While I may not be Ana yet, I am HOOKED!
What took me so long???
I want to quit my job and BUILD STUFF.

Here’s how I did it. (With M’s help to get me over my terror of Big Noisy Power Tools.)
We wanted Shaker-style fronts, so that made it pretty easy.

First, I laid in some supplies:
5/8 inch MDF, cut to size for each drawer front
1/4 inch x 3 inch poplar trim (we chose it because the grain is subtle and it is easily painted out)
Ikea drawer pulls in appropriate lengths
No More Nails adhesive (I had planned to just use this, but M insisted we also nail the trim pieces on, for increased durability. Good idea.)
Pencil for marking measurements
Measuring tape
Sandpaper for sanding the edges of the trim
Wood filler
Primer, paint, spray paint

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Here’s what I did. I started by measuring the horizontal pieces of trim and marking them. I also marked each one with a “B” to indicate which side of my measurement line the chop saw blade should be on; if you don’t do this, you run the risk of losing the width of the blade from your cut, making your trim piece too short.

Next, I dry fit the horizontal pieces and measured for the vertical ones.

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Next, I glued the pieces in place, starting with the bottom horizontal piece, then the vertical ones, then the top horizontal one.  It’s important to schmear the glue so that it does not cause the trim to sit a bit high on the drawer fronts. Next, get out that nail gun and close your eyes and pop a few nails in at the corners and in the middle of each long piece of trim. Fill the dents where the nails went in and sand them.

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Some primer and some paint, a little bit of Antique Brass spray paint to jeuje up the Ikea drawer pulls and, voilà!

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Turns out, pizza boxes are the perfect tool for supporting drawer pulls while you are spray painting them!

It only took six years.

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More office makeover to come. Stay tuned! 

Bette Davis Eyes

I have been wanting to show you our new office for a while now, but we still have a teensy-tiny way to go before we are finished.

So, in the mean time, I thought I’d just tease you a bit with a few previews.

First, I found this humungous, oh-so-pretty basket at Homesense. And I said to myself, “Self,” [I said] “You need to have that as your recycling basket for the office.”

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And, just like that, a makeover was born.
Like Venus rising from the ocean, the vision came, fully-formed, to mind.
Nearly-black navy walls;

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crisp white trim;  dip-dye,  some ikat & some pom poms,

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…maybe a chevron or two, antique gold & natural rattan accents…..I could not wait to get this room jeujed up!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Darkness & Light

Renovation chaos continues at Delovely HQ– it took me a looong time to find my tablet and stylus in order to do this post and I don’t even want to imagine what will happen the next time I need to find something to wear that is not one of two pairs of (grubby) shorts and one of two (equally grubby) t-shirts….

One of the things we are discovering (#late_to_the_party) is that one renovation project leads to another and, thanks to a profound difference in working styles (I’m more “start one room and finish it before moving to the next,” and he’s more “do all the similar projects at once, even if they are in different rooms”), every single room in our house is both filthy and full of stuff that Does Not Belong There. Think a headboard for my mum in the living room, paint supplies in the dressing room, ALL MY CLOTHES in the basement, all my shoes in storage bins, etc.

What keeps me going is the fact that I may be within striking distance (*spits superstitiously for fear of angering the renovation gods*) of finishing the decor in the office. Which was not on the initial reno list beyond a little project to make desk drawers. Which quickly escalated into new paint, new curtains, new flooring, etc.

Here is the inspiration for the office make-over. I’m hoping I’ll be able to reveal the finished product to you before, oh, say, Christmas….

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1.  Dip-dye curtains, scooped up from the West Elm sale room ($15 each! Woot!)

2. The colour that has captured my heart– Blackberry Punch, by Benjamin Moore. Looks sooo sharp against the creamy white built-ins in our office.

3. Some crisp and preppy fabric that is not too feminine, since our office is shared space and I must refrain from making it too girly.

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4. An area rug to protect our new hardwood floors from the ravages of our office chair’s wheels.

5. A cute print or two to lighten the mood. (I love this one in spite of its punctuation error.)

6. Jumping on the brass hardware/gold accents bandwagon.

 

Button Up!

Ever since I was about 12 years old, I have had a thing for fabric-covered buttons. I still love them. When I was doing my desk space make-over, I wanted some way to carry the fabric into the accessories. I had some magnets (from the dollar store!) hanging around and some coverable buttons left over from an earlier project, and since I knew the buttons would be crazy-pretty covered in the Lily Ashbury fabric, I just fiddled around until I had something I liked.

Here is a wee how-to, in case you want to make your own.

I had so much fun that I made 40 sets of 3 to sell next weekend at my annual little booth at our school fundraiser!

You Say You Want A Revolution?

Well, you know, we’d all love to change the world.

And it seems that, just maybe, we can, dear Interwebs.

One of my colleagues, a creative and crafty type who shares my love of all things vintage, furry friends and just all-around general prettiness, found herself inspired by my desk space decor. (Yay!) Out she went and, basing her palette around a pretty stripe she had at home and some fancily-wrapped prezzies from her mum, she transformed her dark and dingy spot into a cheerful slice of brightness.
It looks lovely, doesn’t it?

She chose the same file holder from Ikea that I used; it’s called Kvissle and I love that the drawers pull out so that I can actually see what I’ve shoved onto each shelf. She also couldn’t resist the darling little bum for hanging her keys — it makes me smile every time I think of those two jaunty little bums in our office!

With results like these, can world domination be far behind?! 😉