Climbing Wall

One of our favorite activities to do together is indoor rock climbing at a nearby gym. As we’ve gotten more and more involved in the activity in the past couple years, we decided we really wanted to be able to climb more often than traveling to the gym would allow. We decided to draw up plans for building our own rock climbing wall in the spare bedroom.

I’ve already created a scale model of our house in Google SketchUp, which really helps when planning home improvement projects.


“Building” the wall in SketchUp helped us plan the project and calculate the expense.


Here is where the wall is going to go.


We removed the baseboard and began pulling back the carpet.


I constructed the angled wall and then bolted it to the ceiling and floor. (I had to add support beams in the attic between the ceiling joists as they run parallel to the wall.)


Then, I framed in the side wall and added support for middle of the angled section.


Once the 3/4″ plywood was cut, I drilled a staggered grid of holes and hammered t-nuts into the back of them. This is what the climbing holds will bolt into once the wall is complete.


The plywood is going up and I’m using a couple of climbing holds to help move the boards into place before attaching them to the frame.


3 of the 4 walls are done.


Construction completed.


Then we sanded the outside corner so it wouldn’t be sharp.


And added some paint.


Kristine is sorting out our climbing holds so it will be easier to design our routes.


Installing the first holds.


Testing out the first route.


Placing route tape to designate what holds can be used for each route.


We added a marker board to rate the difficulty of each route and keep track of which ones we’ve completed.


Several routes installed, and even a hammock to really give the room an outdoorsy feel.


The wall is complete with 83 holds, 20 routes, and a crash pad.

Chalkboard Wall

One of the ways Kristine and I like to relax is to draw on our chalkboard wall as we listen to music. My brothers are working on recording a new album, so we used one of their songs as our inspiration. Part of that song accompanies this video. Kristine and I both have our own styles of thinking visually as we create abstract shapes and patterns as a way of processing our thoughts. This is the first time we’ve done this together and merged our two styles into the same image. The song was written and performed by Seth Gilbertson and produced by Steve Gilbertson.

Wallpaper Illusion

I’ve had this idea for a while, but wasn’t sure how best to implement it. I wanted to create a desktop background that matched up with a design on the wall so it gave somewhat of a “window” effect, but I definitely didn’t want to paint the wall or do anything else permanent. My solution was static-cling material used for temporary wall decals. The on-screen part was created in Adobe Illustrator. (Sorry for the poor photo quality – the lighting in our office is kind of low.)

The graphic is designed to match the wall at our eye level when seated at the desk. While it doesn’t show this in the photos, the color of the background and lines match the wall and decals almost perfectly. It actually takes a lot of tweaking to get on-screen white to match the color that “white” really is when it’s lit by a few incandescent bulbs in a green room. Yay for tons of courses in color management and theory – they finally made themselves useful.

Obviously the graphic won’t line up at every angle, but the effect works surprisingly well even when you first walk into the room. (Hey, it got Kristine to say, “Whoa, that’s cool!” when she first saw it. And that, right there, made this project a success.)