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Falling UP The Rabbit Hole

October 5, 2014

I live in a weird house.  We have a tower and a gargoyle.  And we don't live in Europe.

(Our gargoyle:  Elmer) 

The tower was once just an attic-y storage space.  You have to climb a 10+ foot ladder through a hole in the floor to enter it.  But it has windows.  Big, tall windows with the best views in the whole house. So I made it my office.

I recently decided that I desperately needed to remodel my office.  Coming out of some other remodeling projects, I should have known that things always take longer than anticipated, but I foolishly convinced myself that I could do it in a week. 


And I did do it in a week.  Times four.  Or maybe it was five.  After the 1000th trip up a tall ladder (which is perched over another set of spiraling stone steps--just to add a little more precariousness to the climb) I lost all sense of time.

You see, I wanted an Alice in Wonderland effect in my office.  The room is an octagonal with very high ceiling and windows.  It just screamed for a black and white checkerboard floor to give it a magical feel.  I am a big fan of checkerboard floors, so I answered the call and only then did I discover the truth about Wonderland: 


You frequently find yourself WONDERing

"How did I LAND myself into such a project!?!"

I did learn a couple of things that I thought would be good to share with others who might be contemplating painting a checkerboard floor.  Read carefully if painting the floor of a tall tower.  It may save your life.

Lesson No.1


Don't even attempt to measure and paint squares by merely relying on a ruler and laying down painter's tape.  At least not in an octagonal room.  It is a sure way to go mad.  

I finally came up with a painfully-slow method of laying down a row of tiles and taping around them.  Once the paint for the rows dried, I taped off another row on either side and repeated the process.  This is why it took FOREVER to finish.  But at least my squares were lined up and consistent in size, so it was worth the trouble.


Lesson No.2


If your room is in a tower -- with a BIG hole in the floor -- please be aware that your eyes may have trouble readjusting from the stark reality of black and white squares when you stand up.  So for goodness sake, DON'T stand up fast near the hole in the floor!  (I had some near-death experiences due to unexpected little moments of vertigo upon rising quickly.)


Note the hole in the right bottom corner -- which sometimes appeared to be

just another black square to my unfocused eyes. 

I nearly stepped through it more than once.



Lesson No. 3


You might find yourself really LIKING the bright yellow painter's tape.  



The yellow tape added such a cheery bit of colorful punch to the project that I almost hated to pull it off.  I was somewhat tempted to paint some yellow accents onto the floor, but once I finally finished . . .   I was FINISHED.


So the office is officially done.  Sort of.  I still have about 1000 more trips up and down my squeaky ladder to cart up all my office paraphernalia, files, books, etc.  At least I am getting a daily workout.

My tower office truly is my Wonderland an I'm just hoping that the floors will imbue me with the power to write like Lewis Carroll. Meanwhile, my husband references a different character when I have stayed up there for too long. Around dinner time he begins calling out "Rapunzel!  It's time to come down from your tower!" 


So, unlike Alice, I have to climb UP through the rabbit hole rather than fall DOWN through it to visit my Wonderland. But it's worth the climb and I'm happy to report that I haven't fallen down it so far and I plan to keep it that way.


Yup. Just another project where my 'inner child' got out again!



(Is it just me or am I seeing a checkerboard fence pattern in this picture of my slightly younger self???)


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