Archive for August 23rd, 2008

My valance is out of balance

Posted on August 23, 2008. Filed under: HowTo, Musings, Philosophy |

I’m suffering from droopy drapes. I don’t like to make things with my hands. I’m not that sort of person. But, for some reason, I like to watch the home improvement programs on television. I’m fascinated as rooms are transformed from scary to nice. I’ve watched so many of these shows, I thought I’d tackle a project after all. My home came with vertical blinds at the one large sliding glass window that leads into the back yard. The blinds are just “OK”, off-white textured fabric over vinyl, but the top of the door/window is rather unattractive, and the hardware is unsightly.

Lest you think I’ve suddenly gone completely out of character and turned into a decorating blogger, let me assure you I have a reason for posting this, other than talking about what I “really” do in my spare time. I know this is a stretch, but: A “Valance” is a metaphor for life! There, you have it. (You may, of course, substitute any other term for “Valance”:  “Desk Chair”; “Linoleum”; “Cocker Spaniel”; “My Best Friend”.—it’s all the same.)

These aforementioned sliding glass doors were custom made for this home by the prior owner, therefore are not a standard size, so any window treatments I get for them must be custom made, at the cost of many dollars. So, I’ve put up with the boring (albeit custom) vertical blinds and their header for eight years now. Really, the attraction of that side of the house is the stunning mountain views outside it, so I wasn’t too bothered. Lately, though, (darn those home improvement programs!) I’ve noticed much more updated “wall windows” springing upon the scene, such as “French Doors” and “Energy Efficient Panels”.

My “sliders” apparently are hopelessly out of fashion, besides looking uggo. So, here is what I did: I always liked the look of natural grass or rattan shades, so I thought I could perhaps duplicate that look in a valance. Should I go to a fabric store? Probably not. A crafts store? Maybe. An import store…? Oh, look, I’ve found something. I’ll only admit to YOU (not to people who might actually see them) that I purchased two woven grass table runners. I really liked the look of them at the time, the width was perfect to cover up the yukky window tops, and I figured no one would know they were table runners once they were up.

You may start to see where this is going. 😕 OK, so how to get them up there? Easy! Velcro ’em right onto the existing skinny little vinyl/fabric valance! After all, the runners were very light. Completed it—they looked great! Went to bed feeling good about a job well done, and saved XXX dollars! Got up the next morning—table runners on the floor, along with both halves of the Velcro.

You see why I don’t do these sorts of things? I’d seen similar projects on the TV, but none quite like mine. Also, there was another issue I’d pretended not to see the day before as I’d put them up and wanted it to be over. They’d looked great, I’d got them up straight, but…you could see light coming in the bottom half, which looked funny as the top half was against the existing valance.

Solution to light problem: a liner! I chose black contact paper. Makes sense? No? (Again, you can see where this is going.) Solution to the unstuck Velcro problem: staples!

Well I won’t annoy you with more details; suffice to say I did get the thing hung up again, and it stayed put, and there was no more light filtering through. Yay! …This was in the winter. It was chilly then.

It’s summer now, and the very hot sun shines directly on that window from sunrise through approximately 11 a.m. The black contact paper didn’t seem to like the intense sun very much. It started separating itself from the grass table runners. I think it wanted to get out of the sun and hide in the garage. So, now, the valance has droopy bits. If they were evenly spaced, I’d swear to all who might question it that I was in fact going for the “scalloped effect”. There’s no way that will fly, however. It’s disheartening to see, and no, I’m not going to put up a photo; trust me; you don’t want to see this.

Now, I’m debating whether to try a “last resort” attempt to mount the pesky little runners to a thin board or something, in effect making a cornice board. I’d have to have the wood cut at my local home store as I don’t (oddly enough) own a table saw. Or, and I’m increasingly leaning in this direction, I’m tempted to scratch the whole project, admit defeat, and buy some premanufactured fabric valances, and install the necessary hardware. I do have a cordless electric screwdriver, yahoo!

It’s just, there are so many styles out there, and I like a nice tailored look, and I’m not sure what to do. I’m feeling a bit like that in life at the moment, too. Part of my life is a little droopy, and starting to wilt, while other aspects look forward to something new and different. (These relate to jobs, groups I belong to, etc., but nothing dramatic, just a couple new crossroads.)

It may be a little weird to relate my life to window coverings, but philosophers tell us the inner reflects the outer and the other way around. It does seem that perhaps…if I get my Valance in Balance, my Stress will be Less! 🙂

images from JCPenney

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