Last weekend a friend called and asked what we were up to.
My reply, "Building a bed."
Really? Can you do that?
"Sure. Why not?"
I feel like I always get a similar response to people when we're working on a project. Especially the guys that work at the hardware store. Why do they always assume I don't know what I'm doing? It is so frustrating. And annoying. I'll be looking at nail guns or sorting through pieces of lumber and they'll come up and ask me what I need. I'll say something like, "I'm building a bed" or "I'm making a wood counter top for my kitchen island" or "I'm creating a bathroom vanity out of a dresser," and they start explaining to me why I can't do whatever it is I want to do.
I've got new for you people : Yes, I can and will.
I don't mean to sound "know-it-all-y," and I do know that there are things that I actually can not do (at this point in time... until I google it and figure it out, that is).
Oh, and when I say "I" I really mean "we" - as you can see Mike has really expanded my repertoire of skills.
I feel like this mind-set is what sets people apart from others- in everything, not just furniture building and home improvement projects, of course.
I also used to run into this problem a lot when I was a wedding planner - I would have a vision for something, like how the reception space should be set up. The event space coordinator would say things like, "We usually do it this way" or "Um... well, we have never done it that way" and they would get this really nervous look on their face like, "You're going to take me out of my comfort zone and make me actually think today, aren't you?" Yes. Yes, I am.
Even when I worked at my 'real' job at an advertising agency before leaving to start my own business, when I would go to my supervisors and suggest implementing a creative new system would making things more efficient and easier, I would be met with a, "Well we've always done it this way- maybe we should just keep doing it the same way we've always done it" response that sent my mind spinning into an Office Space type of moment.
I just wanted to stand and up and shout at them, "You are crazy." But then I would've been the one that looked crazy. All is well in the end, because when I told them I was going to quit to start my own business, they, of course, looked at me like I was crazy. The lesson : You can't help the vision-less. There are those of us that have it. And those of that don't. Feel bad for them. Don't yell at them and tell them they are crazy.
Clearly I was in desperate need of a more creative outlet if I was spending my days thinking of new fancy excel sheets to make my day more exciting.
Actually, I love spreadsheets. In fact, I spend a lot of time maintaining my spreadsheets for my business, parties, projects, our home and our savings. I just want to be clear- I'm not insulting spreadsheets or those of you who work with them all day long. Creativity comes in many ways.
Maybe someday I'll share all of the spreadsheets that I've designed? They make me smile. What could I categorize them under? My Life? Home?
It seems that this post has gotten a little off-topic. Or has it? The moral of the story is to open yourself to do something you think you can't do.
Push yourself. You might end up with something beautiful. Be it spreadsheet or bed.
This bed was inspired by the Sommerset Bed from Pottery Barn that is no longer available (in a Queen size). So, I did a little research and found plans for building this bed at my new favorite site, Anna White. If this post hasn't been enough inspiration for you to push your carpentry limits, her easy to follow projects will.
We built the headboard first, and plan to build the base/frame later this month. I used the following combination to achieve the finish (I'm including this so when we go back to make the bed base I won't forget) :
1st : Sand, Sand & Sand
2nd : Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner (Minwax)
3rd : Stain mixed in equal parts : Special Walnut, Provencal & Golden Pecan (Mixwax), brushed on and left on
4th : Special Walnut & Weathered Oak (Minwax), brushed on, then wiped off
5th : Light sand & buff
6th : Danish Oil rubbed on.
7th : Light sand & buff.