A Form of Meditation-Cleaning the Office and building a New Desk

Posted in DIY Projects, My Home

A meditation session is due.

I know I need to meditate-my way.


As of today, I still haven’t written down my goals for this year although, in a nutshell I kind of know where I want to go-I just need to be more specific and writing them down makes them real.

But, in the mean time, I still consider myself in catch up mode and I have made SOME progress and I hope to finally be on top of things soon.  Things are slow going, though, as I also have to deal with my old dogs.  My 14 year old Bernese is not doing well and I realize that any day now will be “that day” when I can longer convince myself that it’s just a “bad day”.  I’ll have to say goodbye and even though I know that as heart wrenching these decisions can be, sometimes they are for the best.  Knowing that doesn’t make it easier…and you never get used to it 🙁

That being said, I remember a while back I had decided to give meditation courses a try.  I figured I needed to do something about my racing mind and to learn how to “be still” but after a couple of painful attempts to sit still for more than an hour and “not think” I knew that this kind of meditation wasn’t going to work for me.  I needed to find another way to quiet my racing mind.   As I talked to my meditation teacher I asked him if sitting still was the only way to meditate.  Could I find my own way to “meditate”?  He answered “of course” and I knew the method that would work for me-cleaning and organizing (one doesn’t go without the other)!

So when I find my head is too full and I’m having a hard time concentrating, I put my house in order.  And when I say “in order” that means I pick a room that’s been neglected and I clean it.

But wait, I don’t just dust, wash the floors, windows, etc.  I go through everything and I change things around, re evaluate its function, paint, improve, etc.  That’s my meditation 🙂

So this week, I chose the office/guest bedroom.

A few years ago I created this space thinking that it would be the perfect place for both.  I built a hide-a-bed for guests and had a desk, file cabinet, desk for Marcel, sewing supplies, bookcases, etc.

It didn’t last long.  I don’t like working upstairs because I feel cut off from the rest of the house but, at the time, most of my work was done on site so I let it be.  When I decided to concentrate on my online shops and website I moved my office downstairs and took over part of my very big living room (that’s to come later on)!

The room upstairs became more of a staging/storage/sewing/Marcel’s computer/guest room.  In two words-a mess!

So after careful thought (because I don’t want to do this every year) I decided to start with Marcel’s desk-that little area he can call his own and go download music when he needs his alone time.

His actual desk was something I hastily made with an IKEA drawer unit on one side and legs on the other side.

It was alright until you got a few splinters when cleaning the barn wood top.  Not practical.

So I decided to start from scratch.

With what I had on hand.

These three things: table legs, an unfinished project from a couple years back, a large piece of glass that used to go on a desk, and some of the barn wood from the previous desk top.

When we remodeled our washroom, we found old newspaper underneath the floorboards dating from 1928-1929-the year my house was built!

I collected those pieces and thought of building a coffee table with the glass I had on hand but the size left me wary about being able to sell it (too long in my opinion) so I put it aside hoping that one day I could use it.

That day came.

So I hauled it out of the shed and inspected the collage I made about 3-4 years ago (I forget) and besides one area where the delicate paper unglued, it was in pretty good condition.

Next, I measure the thickness of the glass and found that the existing barn wood was perfect-with the plywood base and the glass, the wood would be flush therefore an equal surface 😀  I then proceeded to glue and nail moldings to the underside of the plywood base.

The nailed and glued moldings underneath the top-where the barn wood will be attached.

The barn wood will be 1/4″  (sorry folks, I went to school with the Old English System and I still work and think in inches and feet) thicker than the plywood base but once the glass is set in, the whole surface will be flush.  I think the equivalent is .5-.6 cm

The frame of the desk top is attached to the moldings underneath.

When the top was made, I screwed in a support on the wall where the top of the desk would rest and at the same time eliminating the need for back legs.

The next step was making sure that the legs which would in the front and the back support were level and, trust me, with old homes don’t take it for granted that your floors are level.  Chances are they aren’t…and it’s better to take your time and make sure that things are straight (or look straight).

The legs I used (and use in most of my furniture projects) I buy from  Woodturners  Incorporated https://www.woodturners.net/ (a Canadian company) and have been since I started building furniture.  The service is great and there’s a big variety of furniture legs that are great for any project.  If I come across some used ones, I will gladly use them but when I want something specific I get them new.  The ones in this project were table legs that were bought new and used in a previous project.  One was shorter than the other so I had to glue a piece of wood on the top and sand it down.  Since the legs have been painted, the piece added on doesn’t really show unless you know (that would be me).

At the same time, I decided to paint the walls.  This room is also my staging and picture room and going with neutral coloured walls just made more sense than the green that was there before.  If I’m going to clean a room, might as well go all the way and also paint the walls.  To me it just makes the room feel cleaner.

A new beginning.

Wipe out the old and slap on the new.

A breath of fresh air!

How therapeutic.

Better than sitting on a mat and trying to sit still.

So I chose Weathered White from Behr Paints just because I liked the name and it turned our great.  So great that I will be using this colour in the upstairs hallway (eventually…)

Once the desk was in its place I had no choice and applied Modge Podge to the aged newspaper.  Time had made it very fragile and faded.  If I wanted this to last, I had to seal it to stop it from disintegrating.

Look at the price of groceries back then!!


A piece of history!

I have been able to salvage bigger pieces of newspaper but never a whole page but the big pieces I saved, I framed them.  The frame over the desk has the name of the newspaper, the headlines, and the date.  A great conversation piece.

So this is as far as I have gotten-the desk area.  I remember a time when I used to paint a room in a matter of hours.  Unfortunately I can’t do that anymore even though I am at home more than I used to.  Thing is, I work from home and with the online shops my days are not necessarily from 8-4 so this room will be done when it is done but rest assured I’ll keep you all to date with the progress!







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