OCDIY: Fail, Fail, Succeed

I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable DIY-er. Because of my OCD, I have a constant inner to-do list, largely comprised of ways to improve my surroundings or routines. I’m also a big researcher. I used to read how-to books and home magazines when I was a kid, and I was constantly scrubbing, polishing, rearranging, painting over, folding, trimming, on a babydoll-and-Barbie scale. I’ve been keeping and improving a home since I can remember. From this, I have learned two major lessons:

  • No one has perfect projects every time
  • Don’t be afraid to tackle big jobs

In the blog world, especially since the popularity explosion of Pinterest, we are constantly inundated with images of other peoples’ amazing DIY successes. It can be really intimidating, maybe even discouraging, to see all this perfection. I promise you, even Martha Stewart has a flop every once in a while. I’m no Martha, but my record over the past month is about 2 to 1 failure to success. As a “girl” the pressure to be pretty and perfect all the time is an undercurrent to everything we do. Some of us may have even been given the message that girls don’t do certain tasks, that we were not capable, strong, or technically minded enough. Today’s girls are hopefully being given a different message, but the fear of failure, of making mistakes, of messing up something “important” is very real for them. And for us. I think the internet is a much friendlier place when folks share their bloopers every once in a while. Here’s a couple of mine.

I love Make Your Own cleaners. I was emailed this recipe for an MYO Enzyme Cleaner, using citrus peels and yeast.  My kids went through a major orange eating phase this winter, so I kept the peels in my freezer until I had a huge bagful. I followed the recipe, which involved letting this concoction ferment, shaking it daily, for 30 days. I don’t know what I did wrong, but I just ended up with a nasty substance that smells like a moldy sippy cup. It certainly is not cleaning anything. If anyone has successfully done this, I’d love to hear how! Status: Fail.

I have had this painted purse tutorial pinned for months. When I found a high quality, but slightly worn, woven purse at the thrift store, I was really inspired. I could not wait to create a fresh, springtime look for my next post. I even decided to give it as a monogrammed gift. The crisp, white paint updated the overall look, and was really pretty with the caramel leather corners. I managed to line up the monogram stencil perfectly. I was so pleased with it! In an effort to create a “cottage-y, shabby chic” look, and to protect the finish, I applied an antiquing glaze. And ruined the whole thing. My pretty, springtime gift was now a weird, kinda yellow pseudo basket thing. I didn’t even take a picture. I just threw it away…so frustrating. Status: Fail.

There are some really great purse makeover tutorials out there. But mine was NOT one of them. Here are some of my favorites:

Top to bottom

Also, you can check my “Purses” board on Pinterest, for even more patterns and tutorials.

Now for the success! Here is my beautiful new kitchen floor! In my next post I will share some before shots, and the basic how-to’s. I’ll be doing an ongoing series about my personal home, and our efforts to remodel on a budget, learning as we go.

In the meantime, you can read about my dysfunctional relationship. With my house.

Until next time, namaste!


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