Mad Like Alyce

egronomic corner desk featureWith all of the nerve issues and hand/arm surgeries in the past few years, it is incredibly important that I have an ergonomic desk setup. When I moved last summer, I sold my old oversized desk (it was HUGE), and have been just working off of the couch for the last 6-7 months. I had an idea of what I wanted, but there just are not a lot of out-of-the-box solutions that are both ergonomic and affordable. I also didn’t want something large or bulky in our small apartment… and of course my default solution is to build it myself!

Even though I knew what I wanted to do, I just hadn’t been getting around to it until last weekend… when I left my job. While there are absolutely the uncertainties of not having active employment, please don’t worry! I have this UNSINKABLE SENSE OF OPTIMISM and my first thought was… “It’s finally time to build my home office!” I am a realist, and I know the situation is not ideal. Regardless, I am so pleased with how it turned out!

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Ergonomic Corner Desk DIY

Note: All measurements can be adjusted as necessary for your own requirements for space and ergonomics.

You will need:

  • 2  12 in x 31 in shelf boards
  • 1  7 in x 24 in shelf board
  • 1 piece of .5 inch thick 1in trim board, at least 62 inches long
  • 4 large decorative shelf brackets
  • 2 small decorative shelf brackets
  • 2 corner shelves
  • Shelf bracket hardware
  • 1 inch screws for all all screws going into the wall.
  • 1/2 inch screws for all screws going into your shelving (particle board)
  • White adhesive tub caulking (if needed)
  • White electrical tape or shelf finishing tape
  • Stud finder
  • Measuring tape
  • Level
  • Drill and drill bit
  • Hand saw

Other Decor Pictured:

What about that weird keyboard?!?!?! I absolutely love this keyboard, and it was worth the cost. It is called the Kinesis Freestyle 2, and they have it for both Mac and PC.

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Instructions:

1. First step in getting your desk set up to be ergonomic is to get the chair you plan to use, since this is your base. Now, for this whole project I wanted to keep cost in mind, so I went with an upholstered stacking chair from Target in a dark grey. Once you have your chair, adjust so you can sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor. Measure from the floor to just above the top of your thigh. Using your phone to take a picture helps so you can ensure you are getting a good measurement and not twisting to see.

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Here you can see that the top of my thigh is just under 24 inches from the floor. Now this is important because to have an ergonomic arm position, you want your arms to be in “gentle waterfall.” This is 90 degrees at the elbow, with a slight downward angle, just enough so that if a drop of water was placed in your elbow, it would run down your arm and off your fingertips. Often, to achieve this height, once you take into account the thickness of the shelf as well as the keyboard, you will want the desk to be just slightly over your legs.

2. Decide what height you want to place the top of the shelf at and measure upwards from the floor and mark. I did 25 inches to start with. Once you have two marks on the wall, use a yardstick or your 1 inch trim as a straight edge and place your level on top to ensure you have it 100% level across. Use a pencil and draw a line across the straight edge. Don’t worry, this line will be covered later.

3. Slide your chair into position where you plan to sit. Hold the shelf board up to the wall against the line and make sure that your legs fit comfortably underneath, as well as it is a good place for your arms, as close to 90 degrees as possible. Adjust if necessary. I ended up raising my height up half an inch to 25.5 inches.

4. Now, you need to find your studs. If you don’t have a stud finder, I recommend making the investment. I use mine all of the time now! You can usually get a decent one for around $10. Follow the instructions for your studfinder and mark along your height line where each stud is where your desk will be. For each wall, decide which two studs you will use for the brackets.

If you discover that you don’t have two studs placed where you need them for a particular shelf, make sure you use at least one stud for a bracket, and then place the other bracket as best you can. Just keep in mind that this desk may not be the most sturdy thing in the world when using.

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5. Now to put up the 1 inch trim as the back support! The idea here is to have support the full length of each shelf, with room for each bracket. Measure out the pieces you need to fill in the gaps between the brackets and ends of the shelf and cut accordingly.

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6. Pre-drill a hold through each side of the trim, then place against the line you had previously marked for your shelf height. Place the level on top of the trim to make sure it is 100% level, then screw directly into the wall. Once this piece is in place, you can use a longer piece of trip or your straight edge and place it on top along with the level to ensure it stays level.

7. Using the straight edge as a guide, snug the bracket right up to the straight edge, making sure that you keep it level, and screw into the wall. Follow this with the next piece of trim and bracket until you have the supports in place for both walls.

desk5You may notice that this picture shows two different kind of brackets… I tried to cheap out thinking you wouldn’t see the interior brackets… but you absolutely can. I ended up returning these and springing for two more decorative ones.

8. Now to add the “desktop!” Place your shelves on top of the brackets, and using a pencil, mark each hole in the bracket where you will be screwing it into the shelf. Pre-drill a hole (very shallow, you don’t want to accidentally punch through your desktop!) for each hole you marked. Place shelves back in place and gently screw onto the brackets using 1/4 inch screws.

9. Now for the second shelf. This is to hold my laptop screen so that it is in an ergonomic position for my neck and shoulders. You ideally want the top of your screen to be at eye height. I literally held up my laptop to where the top of the screen was in the right position and marked below it with a pencil, then using a level and straight edge, make a clean line.

desk6See the very faint pencil line? It’s there, I promise!

10. Again looking to use studs if at all possible, screw your brackets in just below the line, and follow step 8 again to attach this shelf.

11. To keep the connecting edges of the board level with one another, use a shelf bracket to connect the two shelves together from below on the inside corner.

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12. Not all walls are true and straight, which was absolutely the case with my apartment. This left me with some strange gaps along one wall. To remedy this visually, I purchased adhesive tub caulk and pressed it along the shelf. I DID NOT adhere the top part to the wall to reduce the damage to the wall. The holes will give me plenty to Spackle when we move out. This gave a much smoother look to the corner… unfortunately I didn’t have quite enough to do the whole desk, so I only did the portion that looked the worst since my second shelf was pretty flush to the wall.

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13. For my shelf boards, I noticed it was cheaper to get a shoe holder kit than it was to purchase two separate shelf boards. Because of this, the edges were not finished. I used electrical tape and just a hint of hot glue to “finish” the edges of the desk.

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14. Finally, use your level and follow the instructions for your two corner shelves. Then you can decorate!

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15. Don’t forget lighting! I hung an IKEA Knappa Pendant Light above the desk, and ran the cord down the wall behind the window curtains.

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I’m also not the only one who loves the new desk, Mystic has found her new favorite hidey-space!

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Hello!

Hi! I'm Alyce.
Welcome to my journey towards living a happier and healthier life while living with PTSD and chronic pain... and never letting it keep me from my passion for Halloween, cooking, and way too many DIY projects... all at the same time!

Costume & Makeup Tutorials

Instagram

  • Bahahahaha too funny not to share! #followyourdreams #freddykrueger
  • When I first saw @miss_stryx post her challenge, it really shook me. What AM I most afraid of? My first thought... was everything. Which made me realize that honestly, my biggest fear is losing control of my PTSD. I was diagnosed with PTSD 9 years ago, but it  took a good few years before I really understood what that even meant and how it impacted how I felt each day. It took even more years of counseling and amazing support from my friends and family before I was able to really get control of it. I'm happy to say that I'm now at a place where I live with PTSD but it doesn't control me. That being said, I'm always terrified of what might happen if it would spiral away from me again.
My second greatest fear is something that has plagued me from my childhood, but became an outright phobia and trigger once I developed PTSD. That is a fear of needles.  Shots, giving blood, and especially IVs.  Then it hit me... what is the perfect combination of both of these  fears? A lobotomy. A very controversial treatment used in the past on people with mental illness, involving a huge needle. 
From that terrifying vision came an awesome collaboration with some really great friends, and filmed and edited by the INSANELY talented @jibclimmer to complete my first ever horror short film. I'm so thankful to have so many talented and wonderful people that were willing and excited about making this vision a reality. I hope this isn't too dark for you guys, but I totally understand if it is! The idea actually terrified me and I put myself in the very center of it! Ultimately, filming this was actually not scary at all, as I have such incredible friends, and I was in a safe space the entire time. This particular version of the film is not the final version, since we were limited to 60 seconds on Instagram. Very soon we hope to have the entire short film up and posted and I will make sure to let you all know when that is live on YouTube! It is with great pleasure that I present to you my entry for round 1 of the #StrykingFEAR contest.
  • What would you do if you foresaw the telling of your own death? Here are some stills of my round 2 entry for the #StrykingFEAR contest. To see  the backstory on my Undead fortune-teller,  check out my last post for a quick short film introduction. The 2 part tutorial video should hopefully be up on the blog shortly!
  • For round 2 of the #StrykingFEAR contest, the character I was initially least excited about was the fortune teller. Why? Because fortune tellers are usually great beauty makeups. While I love doing horror looks, I really can't say I'm great shakes at beauty makeup. And then it hit me... what a great opportunity to do something outside my comfort zone AND something familiar with a two part makeup? I borrowed a crystal ball from a friend, ordered tarot cards, and learned a little bit on how to do a reading and pulled together an ending to this fortune teller's story… or should I say beginning?
  • When your sling gives you a full blown chronic pain flareup. Laying on the floor with my legs up to help take pressure off my lower back, and mystic seems pretty concerned. Good thing I have episode three of the @girlinspacepodcast to listen to!If you haven't started listening to this audio drama, you need to check it out ASAP! #chronicpain #chronicfatigue #lifeinasling #girlinspace #findme
  • Good things happen when you leave the apartment for the first time in a week! These must've gotten dropped off when I was taking a nap, I opened my front door to find this gorgeous Halloween bouquet on my doormat from @bkbecker! I just can't get over those adorable bats!!! #ihavethebestfriends #halloween
  • Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”
She was fascinated by the texture of the woman's back, her bare shoulder, and the lower part of her neck. The skin was finer than watered silk. But farther up on her neck... Rosie didn't know what those grey Shadows lurking just below her hairline could be, and didn't think she wanted to know. Bites were her first wild thought, but they weren't bites. Rosie knew bites. Was it leprosy? Something worse? Something contagious? 
Products used in this look are: 
Woochie cream makeup in Dead Guy Grey, @mehronmakeup aqua color in white and gray, Light green cream makeup from the zombie color set from Woochie, Eyeshadows from the @tartecosmetics artist palette.
Gold aqua color from the Mehron brilliant palette, @bennyemakeup bruise wheel.
Full tutorial on the blog!
  • One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Check out the full tutorial, now up on the blog, link in bio!
  • Here is my entry for round 3 of the #StrykingFEAR contest. Inspired by the recent excitement around the movie IT, I wanted to create a character from another of my favorite Stephen King novels, Rose Madder. The book is set in the late 80s or early nineties but I would imagine that it would be produced in the style of many of his older movies from the 70s and 80s such as The Shining, Carrie, or Salem's Lot.
This novel is unique to me because it includes elements of Greek mythology which is a different angle for Stephen King, and also because it covers the topic of domestic abuse, and with October also being domestic abuse awareness month I felt that it was very timely. In the book, Rose Madder is an “almost goddess” that saves the main character, Rosie, by showing her how to empower herself and escape from her abusive husband. 
One of the reasons I love Stephen King novels is because he illustrates just enough of the character for your imagination to kick in and fill in the horrifying details that make it real and terrifying for each individual. Because this has never before been made into a motion picture I was really excited to be able to make my own spin on how Rose Madder would appear.
Rose Madder has an ethereal beauty and raw feminine power, however, something is off... something not quite human. The shadows under her skin would be perhaps leprosy, perhaps something worse, and her eyes are rabid with madness. “Don't look at her face! That is not for the likes of you.”

@madlikealyce

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