Wednesday, May 22, 2013

i made this: pull cords for closet lights; alternate title: rambling about beads n shit

pos bought our house in 1998 (i was in college, eight years before we started dating).  it's cute and well-maintained and has a lot of great features, and we can't wait to move.  i was kind of planning to not bitch in blog experiment 2.0, unless it is truly warranted, and it's seriously a FIRST-WORLD PROBLEM to say whhhhaaaa, i wish i had a patio, booooo, i want a bigger kitchen, so i will not indulge my inner brat.  i will, however, brag a little if i make something crafty and cool to improve my house.

i have stopped trolling music blogs for mp3s, now that spotify exists, and also, i am sad to report, i think i don't really care that much anymore.  oh, a solo artist i have never heard of recorded a cover of a semi-offense hip-hop song?  zzzzz.  (unless, of course, it is "my neck my back" by elle king - so rad).  my reading tastes have started swaying more towards indie rock girls who craft and home-owner blogs, people who show how to change the appearance of your fireplace, or "lifehacks" for improving your kitchen storage.  

i saw this example of a super easy little crafty project that spoke to me as: it's easy; it's cheap; it's something i can take with me when we do indeed move (whenever that may be.  are you interested in a three-bedroom chicago bungalow in the garfield ridge neighborhood?).  

i am a lucky lady for many reasons; one of them is because my husband keeps all of his clothes in the basement, both in the laundry room and in what we affectionately call "the gimp room," named as such because it is a creepy little square drywalled off in the southwest corner of the basement and, at one time, had a crappy plywood half-door, presumably for the previous homeowner's dogs but, in our minds for amusement, the room is meant for, um, other pets.  the gimp room is over-run with sterilite bins containing clothes i wore 10 years ago and still, for whatever fucking reason, want to keep, as well as every single baby item we ever purchased or had gifted to us, just in case.  i mean, it will pay off, obviously, if i have a second daughter someday, but for now it is a maze of plastic bins stuffed with pink corduroys and hello kitty sleepwear.  (and i say this meaning both the clothes i wore 10 years ago and naomi's clothing).  

all of pos' clothes in the basement mean that i get all of the closets upstairs. naomi's clothes obviously occupy the closet in her room (along with the spare bathroom items like biore strips and razor refills, as well as the costco hauls of toilet paper and a hanging closet organizer containing our kitchen and bathroom towels).  the closet in the "front hall" (two square feet of space) holds our coats, winter accessories, and rain boots, as well as: all of the gifts i purchase through the year in advance of christmas or birthdays because i love a deal, you never know when you will need a quick present, and because i have hoarding tendencies; a blue duffel bag full of things from my sister's apartment that i am not ready to either open and deal with OR write about here; and a stacked organizer of crafting materials (see my remarks re: gifts in closet).  BUT this means i get the closet in our bedroom (which holds pants, suits i need for work, and dresses) and the closet in the guest room/tv room/play room (which holds tops).  also, there are shoes, like, everywhere.  

they are simple closets - a door, two shelves spanning the tops, room on the floor for a shelving unit to hold our sheets in one and a firesafe lockbox in the other.  there are plain lightbulbs that screw into the fixtures on the ceiling with short ball chains to turn them on or off.  tied to the ball chain in the bedroom was a white string with a weird heavy pull at the bottom; in the guest room, it was a mustard-yellow piece of yarn.  both, i firmly believe, were tied there well before i was born.

my craft materials hoarding is not a new thing; to make my new light pulls, i dug out an old jar full of beads that i have had forever.  my mom used to take my sister and i to auctions - classy yard sales, really - and we once made off with a pile of old jewelry and loose beads, enough to last us for decades, apparently.  my sister and i made jewelry all the time when we were younger, and i was never terribly discerning about what materials i was using - when my friend stephanie's beaded car seat cover (remember those?  were they meant to "massage" you?) broke, we used those giant wood beads to make necklaces, and i would string random things on a chain and wear it - a whistle, plastic charms from the 80s, a tiny bottle of perfume.  i used to love buying polished rocks at national park gift shops (random hobby) and i wrapped one of my favorites in wire and strung a cord through it to wear it. one kid in my class remarked that i would wear anything as a necklace, and i agreed, and he brought me in a small square of wood with a hold drilled into it, strung on a length of sewing thread, meant to be a good-natured joke, and i wore it, thinking it was funny and sweet that this kid would carefully drill a hole into a chip for me.

i hadn't paid any attention to the jar full 'o beads in a good 15 years when i pulled it out and started sorting through them.  for some reason there were a lot of asian-influenced beads and pendants, fake pearls, and some really bright and beautiful glass beads in all sorts of shapes. i kind of regretted not doing anything with them for years.


the first pull i made is mostly the colorful glass, with some beads from a necklace i distinctly remember buying at urban outfitters in 1992, the end a beautiful art deco clear glass flower, like a barely-opened angel trumpet.  it's hanging in the tv room closet.

the second one i made is in my bedroom.  i found a long string of small polished tiger's eye chips with holes drilled in, obviously another gift shop purchase, but i am pretty sure they were my sister's - extras left over from one of her projects.  she loved tiger's eye, and they remind me of her.  well, pretty much everything reminds me of her.  i added some small fake (probably, i guess) pearls to the top and the bottom, added a pretty mod-shaped orange bead, and capped the end with a white plastic elephant.  i think it looks pretty sweet.

i made them two weeks ago and i am always happy to see them when i go into the closets.  i want to make one for the front hall closet; the light in naomi's closet is broken, but i could make one for her after that is fixed.  they are coming with me when we sell the house and leave.  unless, of course, i can add another thousand to the cost.  then we'll see.  

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