04 April 2010

Another weekend project

I asked if I could use her cordless drill and she said yes. I had high hopes of completing a little project on my own. I wanted to convert an unadorned vestibule in our home into a photo gallery. I had found some ledges on sale at Target and had plans to use these ledges as the basis of the photo gallery look I was seeking.

The plan seemed easy enough. Theoretically. Still, I was a little apprehensive. After all, I was about to drill some holes in our walls.

I got my supplies together: eyeglasses, snowman pencil, measuring tape, level, manual screwdriver and drill. When Cristy saw the snowman pencil she knew I was serious. She decided to evacuate to a place of relative safety where she would not have to observe my palpable nervousness.

I marked, measured, drilled and successfully hung the first ledge. I replicated the process exactly and hung the second. My confidence soared. Feeling that drill move the anchor into the dry wall was incredible. It felt secure. Why had I been so nervous? I would have this project knocked out in 10 minutes, tops.

Then there was a tiny bump in the road. The fittings for the third shelf didn’t match up with the anchors I had installed. Hmmm. I had done everything exactly like the previous two. I kept hoping for a miracle, trying to get the ledge to fit, badly marring the paint in the process. I was sweating.

I stepped out onto the back porch to admit my power tool deficiencies and solicit advice for proceeding. The first thing she said was: Isn’t hanging shelves fun?

No. It isn’t. I hate the bastards who invented shelves.

Plan B – install two new anchors a half inch over from the previous two. I measured the openings on the rear of the ledge again and verified that the measurement was not identical to the first two ledges. I needed to modify the distance between the anchors.

I don’t know whether it was my escalating panic or just a case of bad luck, but Plan B failed too. On to Plan C – half inch over in the other direction. Triple measure, mark, triple measure. Success.

Five more went up quickly after the setback. The gallery is far from complete, but the visual anchor is in place and the second round of photos will probably go up next weekend.

I need some recovery time.


  1. This same phenomenon seems to happen to me every time I undertake a home improvement project. If a project calls for one step to be repeated ten times, I seem to manage it without incident nine of the ten, but mess up royally on one. And even my attempts to fix it seem to meet with the same shortcomings.

    I'm sorry your efforts met with some frustration, but I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

    P.S. Loved the image of the snowman pencil and this line: "When Cristy saw the snowman pencil she knew I was serious." :)

  2. Oh you are soooo good. Guess how I hang photos--even on a heavy frame? I nail. I have no patience for anything else. How stupid. I bet your photo gallery looks lovely and will be even more so when you finish it up. Happy Easter!

  3. I don't have shelves on my walls. The last time I drove a nail into a piece of furniture I smashed a ground tile, I'm really useless at these kind of things. I'm happy that your project is on its way. Thanks for the fun! :D

  4. You are brave! Whenever I undertake a DIY project something ALWAYS goes wrong. So now I beg, plead or pay someone else to do it! LOL!

  5. I hate the bastards who invented shelves.- love that line! No matter how many times it took you, you did it and succeeded so you rock!

  6. Good work there! Something always goes wrong in these things. At least you didn't have to go to Home Depot fifteen times before you were done.

  7. Ugh! This sounds like all of last week for me, when I was hanging this whole closet organization system thingy in my closet! Did it though. Feels good, right?

  8. shelves look great... only way of learning is by your mishaps. see? powertools can be your friend... LY