29 January 2014

Butler's pantry, complete (for now)!

Just between you and me, dear readers... I am well aware that when it comes to producing media-savvy, magazine-worthy content day after day? Every other blogger beats me by a mile. I barely take good photos, I don’t make fancy pinnable graphics, and I absolutely cannot be bothered with publicizing this blog on social media. There is just no way you can make me read an article about “Professional blogger SEO Tips!” when there is so much else to read in this world that I find endlessly more interesting.

But I’m okay with never being a particularly cool kid (especially since it involves so much hard work). This blog is not about being popular, or even particularly helpful. It is about GETTING PROJECTS DONE. It is about celebrating the most minute homemaking victories. And it is about letting YOU know that you don’t need to be like the fancy professional bloggers. Every completed project, no matter how small, is a success!

So in that spirit, I would really like a supportive round of applause for finally, finally moving a picture that’s been leaning against the wall for a year and a half. That’s right, SINCE WE MOVED HERE.

Perhaps you remember, from the apartment tour video, the piles of stuff leaning on the butler’s pantry wall?

(Screenshot from around 7:42 from the apartment tour video.)

That’s right. For all my butler’s pantry sprucing here and here, I never bothered to deal with the other side of the wall. Those items – a hundreds-years-old music print my parents got in Europe and some floating wall shelves – came off the moving truck, landed here, and were promptly ignored for a ridiculously long time. The shelves stayed there for well over a year until I hid them behind our sofa. The art, on the other hand, stayed there until the Sherlock party, when I realized that a functional butler’s pantry doesn’t have art leaning on the wall by your feet.

So it was finally time to bite the bullet and hang up the heavy art. My fear of our plaster walls has been well-documented, so I won’t belabor it here. But suffice to say, I’ve looked into nearly every possible hanging system there is. And I finally selected this heavy-duty picture frame hanger for the job:

I have giant hands, but that hook is giant-er. It came in a multi-pack from Target, and it’s not the sturdiest picture frame hook there is – most reviews said a ridge down the middle of the hook is preferred for reinforcement. (Hey, I said I read about every possible hanging system). But this was cost-effective and seemed sturdy enough for me. I was more worried about the frame damaging the plaster with ill-distributed weight (and NO ANCHORS, UGH) than the hook supporting the frame, really.

Also, these hooks are best used with picture frame wire across the back. Except, this frame didn’t have a place to screw in the eye hooks for the wire. I tried installing them a few times, but only succeeded in damaging the back of the forty-year-old frame with no wire to show for it. Finally, I gave up on the wire and simply went with the sawtooth hanger already nailed in the back of the frame.

It’s difficult to see, but the sawtooth hanger isn’t even nailed all the way in and it’s bent a bit. I’d intended to replace it with the wire, but I finally realized... that picture’s been secure on the wall for the last forty years with just that hanger (well, 38.5 years, if you take into account how long it’s been on my pantry floor). I might as well trust it, I guess?

And just like that, after all the agony of worry and researching hanging systems and the fear of nailing that one stupid nail in the wall: ta-da!

If only you knew how much annoyance (at leaving it on the floor for well over a year) and agony (in researching how to get it OFF the floor, FINALLY) is in that single after shot!

It’s such a tiny space – little more than a hallway – that it’s hard to get a good photo of the photo in the space. Oh, there’s green in the frame and in the print that plays nicely with the floors and countertops, and the ancient print (original medieval goatskin!) is itself fascinating. But the most important thing is that IT IS ON THE WALL. AND NOT ON THE FLOOR. GIMME A HIGH FIVE.

You know, I guess I have a secondary purpose for this blog, besides being a cheerleader for what normal people consider a project: it really is an excellent journal of the evolution of our home. And hopefully, someday, I’ll look back on how hanging every item in this apartment was such a gosh dang trial and laugh!