|Shelves that are green on top and on the outside, |
purple on the undersides.
Up above the shelves is a green bike wheel
I'm making into a chandelier, because I can.
When we moved from our former home to this new (to us) home this past summer, we left behind a set of floor-to-ceiling, built-in bookshelves. We also managed to re-home quite a few of our books, but not all of them. Because of that, many of our books and book-like belongings have been been biding their time, tucked away in printer paper boxes on the floor, or stashed in printer paper boxes in my office at work, waiting for the day that they can stand up properly and flex their spines out in the open.
The thing is, wood seems to be freaky expensive. I've toured our Habitat Restore -- there's not really any good shelving lumber there. New lumber from the hardware store is pricey enough that I've convinced myself it's an environmental imperative to avoid using it if I can. So I've been scouting around for scrap lumber, but it's not exactly been easy to find.
Two wrongs don't make a right, but sometimes two problems make a solution. The people who owned this house had apparently built a dog house at one time, and when they moved out, they tossed the pieces of that dog house amid a big pile of other random unfinished projects in the basement. After we moved in, we donated a bunch of railings and poles to a scrap metal collector, we cleaned out piles of sand and bricks, and I'm still not sure what to do with all the cinder blocks we were gifted. (Some of them are part of shelves I "built" -- really, piled up -- in the basement, but we're wealthy beyond our needs when it comes to cinder blocks). And I laid the pieces of the dog house -- heavy 4'x4' pieces of grooved plywood -- off to one side, awaiting inspiration.
Eventually, I realized that if Literature Professors can deconstruct a text, I can deconstruct a dog house. I used the grooves as guides and sawed the pieces into usable widths. For the cost of about $7 in L-brackets and screws, I had a set of shelves that were fairly sturdy but really badly ugly from weather and outdoor use. Oh, and also kind of ugly because I used more of a "measure-once-bang-it-together" approach than a more professional carpenter would have.
When it comes to home projects, I tend to be a "Sin Boldly" type, figuring that gawdy paint makes construction quirks seem "arty" rather than "inept". So I grabbed some paint from a previous project or two. I like how the green and purple contrast, with the purple in the shadows. There's a single board on the back toward one side to provide side-to-side stability, and I have that purple, too. The shelf just barely fits in that corner of the room-- in fact, in order to make it fit, I had to lift it back out, use the jigsaw to cut a notch out of the bottom for the radiator pipe, and then lift it back in.
I've started hauling financial stuff back from my math office, and that means the poetry books aren't far behind. My green-and-purple shelves, here in my Command Center. I'm so happy. It's a good kind of shelf-ish feeling, really.