I love to step back and look at something at home I took from idea (often my wife’s) to finished project. DIY-ers like me get paid in “ooohs” and “ahhhs” at our home-style art. Then we carry on until the next idea ends up on a Post-it note above my wallet car keys.
Most of my projects are things I’ve done before or similar enough that I can research it online, ask someone at the store or just figure it out. During the project there is usually something about it that reminds me to keep my day job, but that’s part of the fun. The project is something different and a welcome break from the norm.
These projects are most often DIY. Me, working alone with an occasional helping hand to hold something. It’s the Dad thing to do in a house full of women who love chick flix. But my daughters Tiera and Annika have a spark of creative arts and crafting that spills into DIY TV shows and online DIY series. Over the last two months this spark caught flame with two major projects.
Not surprisingly, the idea came from Mom but the girls really got into painting the main upstairs area in our home of almost a year. They have two months off from university classes and owned it. I gave some advice, but kept busy with work. I almost let them have their fun and have that “get-r-done” feeling, but then I realized this was more than a DIY painting project. It was a DIY 2G project to do with them, 2gether.
Of course, when that project was done, we took a victory lap with all the ooohs and ahhhs required to ease the aches and pains of painting. Then cam the next project on the list that was absolutely required to complete the painting project. The main living area just is not complete unless the kitchen backsplash is in harmony with the paint, curtains, pictures, furniture, and… the granite counter top (don’t ask).
It turns out, removing and replacing kitchen backsplash tile is nowhere on my DIY resume. It was about to be added to my DIY 2G resume ready or not. This project caught the attention of Annika who has watched full seasons of home remodeling shows and several how to YouTube videos, so we’re all set!
We’re now half-way through our test site by the laundry room. We have learned which tile removing techniques preserve the underlying drywall and those that leave large, gaping holes that reveal studs and wide gaps. Annika reminds me it’s not how it looked in the how-to videos, and I reassure her with my DIY resume with drywall repair.
We replaced all but a two inch strip of drywall along the top edge, under the cabinet. Annika is learning about “measure twice, cut once” with drywall. She’s also having her hand at cutting holes for the outlets. Then how to fill in gaps with scraps when the outlet holes a bit too big on one side. She is also discovering the joy and freedom that comes from trying something new with permission break things, as long as you repair it on the way to the goal.
I sometimes get caught up thinking the goal is the painted walls and the color coordinated backsplash. Maybe it’s the Post-its. And to my great joy, I’m reminded of a Father’s goal of making memories with my daughters so we can step back to admire our collective artistry. But I’m ahead of myself.
We still have to figure out how to measure, cut, mix and spread adhesive, install tile, apply grout, etc. Cool. Then we do it all over again on the main wall. We’re not very fast, and yet it’s looking great. Yes, Mom has to approve of the final product.
But the best part for me is the stories I get to tell about our Father-Daugher DIY 2G projects every time someone new visits and sees our work. Well, and the new tools that go with it.