Little Black Book (of Projects)

Disclaimer: I’m currently infected by some kind of plague, and apparently so is my computer. (These things may be unrelated, or they may be part of a devious plot to get my head to explode like a pumpkin with an M80 in it. See? I can still make seasonal references on cold medicine.) This post was written under extreme duress and the influence of drugs, so it’s probably not funny and just barely coherent.

Last week when I mentioned my new “5 Project” rule I confessed that one of the reasons I compulsively start projects is because I’m afraid if I don’t, they’ll get lost in the endless cycle of  “This is a great idea, I’ll get supplies after I go to the grocery store. Where are my keys? Wait. What was I looking for? Where am I driving to right now?” that is my life.

Well, a few months ago I knew some of the bigger ideas I had were going to need to go on hold for a while (a long story for another post) so instead of starting them and then hauling twenty unfinished project around with me wherever I go, I decided to get this:


(Sorry for the nose-blowing tissue that made it into that picture… Jesus. Cameras should be included among the equipment not to be used on NyQuil.)

The point here is that spiral bound graph paper is now my favorite invention ever. I’ve been using in to jot down ideas, save magazine clippings of things I’d like to build, and sketch out more detailed plans for future projects.

Like this headboard for one of my friends…


And a potential desk…


And the nailing plan for those pallets turned filing crates.


I carry this thing with me everywhere so I can do a little planning on my lunch hour or jot down an idea when it comes to me – which is happening at an alarmingly frequent pace, now that I’ve declared a moratorium on new projects.

My “Pipe Dream” bed is the next on to to-do list:


Using 1-1/2″ galvanized pipe, this queen sized frame will cost me about $250. (Did anyone else picture that last sentence being read aloud by the guy who narrates the National Geographic channel? I need a nap.)

But before I can build that bed, I have to check a few more things off the Unfinished Projects list. Here’s how that’s coming:

  1. Finish labeling and filling my 24 new spice jars, and then pack them away until I have a kitchen to put them in. (Also, the label PDF in this post has been updated for any of you who noticed the “Coriander” label still had placeholder text.)
  2. Draw 4 more tiny planets and finish up this frame.
  3. Prime and paint the kitchen.
  4. Poly and re-hang the doors to the master bath.
  5. Finish Doors for master bath vanity.
  6. Finish tile around master bath tub and fireplace.
  7. Finish tile counter in mom’s bathroom.
  8. Finish chandelier makeover for friend’s closet.
  9. Hang door trim in bathrooms.
  10. Assemble the second PB inspired pinboard I cut all of the parts for.

Yeah, I’m going to need to go pick up the pace a little. But not until I sleep for about 16 hours.

5 Responses

  1. We have a notebook too for all our house plans or ideas, etc. that I’ve been carrying around for the last 2 years. It totally comes in handy and is great for attempting to stay on task and not veering into another project. Although, sometimes those drawings and plans just look so damn exciting I can’t help myself 🙂

  2. That black book looks very pretty with your drawings! Sometimes it just feels good to put your plans on paper (or on virtual paper) and then you’re more able to wait just a little longer.

    My blog is pretty much my black book. Pinterest, too 🙂

  3. You haven’t mentioned the Mystery Man for a while and you haven’t shown us any big updates on the house… Have you both hit a wall? I cannot imagine what it must be like to be living with constant construction around you day-in, day-out, all the while you are working at your day jobs too. I guess we all need a break or distraction or two at some point…

  4. I hope you feel better soon! Your drawings are so nice looking in that book you should scan them, post them, and be the next Ana White. Wait never mind then I’d miss all your witty posts about actually building a home…er trying to at least. Now tell MM to go make you some chicken noodle soup.

  5. Feel better. Doped up on NyQuil sounds entertaining, actually. Maybe you’ll have a few more inspiration-slash-hallucination ideas thanks to it. But it’s typical that the to-do list will always get longer. The satisfaction of crossing things off the list is elation; the disappointing feeling of adding three more things in its place can be both exciting and frustrating. But I know the feeling all too well! Get some rest; we’ll be here when you get your energy back!

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I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.