Oh, home projects. Don’t you just love scanning for ideas, seeing youtube how-to videos that show folks easily filming while doing projects with ease and perfection? Then going out to the home store and buying little bops and bits to follow suit and have your our ideal vision come to reality? Yeah, this isn’t really me either.
Don’t get me wrong, I like a nice house, I like sprucing it up for the holidays or company ect… but when it comes to utility projects like re-hanging a curtain rod I fall squarely into the failure category. I’m not so sure why I find hanging things (like anything, even taping kids pictures to a wall) so challenging. There is always a loose nail, un-even line (despite using a level), crooked thing going on when I’m involved. Apparently in our first house I hung everything towards my eye-level and being 5’5″ apparently that looked weird to everyone else. My husband can attest that at least 60% of the time after I hang something, all it takes is a door closing, a gentle breeze or a fly landing on it before it comes crashing down to shatter. It seems like everyone else has a trick I just don’t know. Maybe y’all can enlighten me.
So we have this open room at the top of our stairs that we use for an office/homework area. It has a little peanut of a balcony off of it with glass doors. In the summer, the heat just pours in through the glass and makes the small upstairs like a sauna (another point, no houses in Chile have air conditioning). So clearly some window coverage is really needed. When we first arrived at the house there was this metal track with medieval looking spikes that somehow fit into curtains through what I can only guess was impalement (I know, I said medieval).
The walls here are all plaster (I think that’s what it is, where there is no dry wall and any hole is basically like chipping away at a rock). I think it is because of all the earthquakes, a rock house more sound…kinda like the 3 little pigs story. Anyway, the owner had been really smart and had the whole house repainted but apparently the painters had been less smart because they never took the original curtains down when sanding/painting ect. When we showed up it was like an epic dust storm. So, those curtains took quick exits to the trash. Just in taking those allergy laden fabrics down, half of the metal rod came out of the wall. I swear it wasn’t my fault of being impatient. After several months of seeing how long the old rod would last, I went out, bought a new rod, piece mailed together some fabric for new curtains, and was ready to fix ‘er up. Sounds pretty simple right?
Ok, So I drilled some holes, hammered in some anchors and tried to get in my screws. All the anchors bent, screws only went in half way…I ended up hammering more holes, tried more, screwed in fresh screws as I kept dropping them standing on a chair to reach the dang holes…yada yada yada. So here is what 30+minutes of hammering, screwing and cursing looks like (yes, it was all for just one side).
Not exactly pinterest worthy huh…Do you like how the original hole (below) is still visible? Sort of a preservationist approach don’t ya think? The top holes add more depth as well I think…
Then I moved on to the other side. Here I was forced to stay in the vicinity of the same height from the other side, but even with valiant efforts, levels and the right tools, unfortunately, I found more of the same…anchors all bent, screws didn’t like the wall, the wall did like me…pity pity pity, curse curse curse, sob. Trying to screw on the rod holder left a nice circle mark around the forlorn holes. Almost a ying-yang kinda thing…. I think that’s when I stopped for break as my kids were yelling at me (rightfully so) to not stand on a swivel chair with a hammer in my hands…
After attempting multiple times, another hour or so (and finding a crap load of glue and caulk), I finally got to this point.
If you look closely you can see the original 3rd set of middle holes which (appropriately) when used, even out the weight of the curtain and rod so it doesn’t crash on you when used…yeah, I skipped that part…the wall was not happy with me and I wasn’t about to break into it more. There is also a nice list up to the right as clearly the rod is not level (but we can blame it on a bad camera shot).
So there’s my project, multiple hours, still shoddy, barely functional. Its been up now without falling for ~2 weeks. 2 weeks is generally a good measure for success for me, if I can stick with something that long, or something holds together for that long, I think I have reached some version of success (set the bar low folks…). The only problem is that now I’m pretty scared to touch the curtains or attempt to pull them closed to block the heat… I’m about 75% certain they will fall on my head. At least I won’t be impaled by sharp hooks this time but it’s still not a good idea…
Not sure I have another good lesson for success after this one, except call a repair person who hopefully has more experience drilling into earthquake resistant walls than me.