Pearly Gate - Achievement unlocked!

This close our series of post on how we built a custom door for our bedroom - a story of cuddles, drilling and some fingers glued.

18 days ago

Latest Post There was no sign, so I made one. by Mario Esposito public

Just a few years ago when we decided that we wanted to have an off-grid life for better wellness and overall health we knew that we had to be prepared for it. Not just mentally but also skillset wise.

We have always been more active than the average couple when it comes to DIY projects however, before purchasing our property in Hawaii we knew that would have given a new life to our skillset.

Back in Seattle we bought heavy duty tools that otherwise we wouldn’t have ever thought needing and start aiming for projects that otherwise would have been a lot easier to hire a contractor for them.

Doing those by ourselves not only trained us for what we knew at some point we would have faced and in lesser optimal situations but in addition increased the value of our first property.

My husband is an unorthodox character but when it move the right energy in the right place is an example to be followed by anyone.

Everything he has been preaching to the family about “what if the zombie arrives and we are not ready” looked ridiculous when at dinner he was opening, once again, the subject. And then just two years later COVID-19 made us look stupid in retrospective.

So now when he says “we need to learn how to do this…” I don’t put it in the back burner, I try to win over my inner laziness, I strive to do better. The day we purchased our land in Hawaii, I was SUPER excited to the idea. Not just for the glamour of such a emblazoned place but rather because it was going to be our canvas of all we had been learning while leaving in the "wets" of Washington.

And just like in the WA state we tried to hire people for getting some additional stuff done and just like many others, quotes arrived, astronomically late after a zillion of pings and where so outlandish that we looked at each other and said “fuck it, we do it by ourselves!”

I was a tad scared when a tiny shed became a lab for makers plus greenhouse with water, power and wi-fi. And yet, as soon we start building I was feeling like Madonna in 80s throwing her panties to the crowd. Wild and driven!

We built an amazing structure in 10 days with 5% of what was asked for 80% smaller structure. I felt really good about the ability to get there, in harmony and successfully.

So when Mario said “how about a door for the bedroom?” I figured “suuuure. What’s the big deal?!” — I should never underestimate the fact that Italians have the most sophisticated architecture since the Romans time. In part one of this article I told all about how it began.

Today, I am taking you at the finished work and what I learned in the process of this incredibly crafty and multi skill project.

Here is the final work.

What’s new from last time

We are really pleased with the outcome and in particularly we are pleased by the way we got to accomplish this project. In many of the tasks that we give to ourselves. Let me rephrase that… Mario tells me what to do while he does things that I am not as good at. Strangely my tasks are also the ones that require the hand of saint!

While we each work on our part of a project we chit-chat, laugh and help one another but it is uncommon to work on the same thing at same time in a distance of a few inches from one another.

In this project there was so much craft to get to a look of “lived” submarine / medieval steam punky, that we were often in so close proximity that we were able to steal a kiss from one another from time to time.

Admiring each other creativity, and the aftermath of making fun of each other’s mistake. Like when Mario painted his index without feeling the paint because he had mistaken the bottle of Izzy lemon for water when in reality was Vodka that I had moved there while I was recycling the glass bottle for a small plant project. Or when in the process of lifting the door, I… well let’s not talk about my mistakes...


What we wanted was a door that resemble a submarine door where a gigantic Kraken has been locked in. His tentacles sticking out, his squid ink leaking from the edges and orifice of the door. Given the romantic venue where the door shuts on, the analogy and snarky thinking is uncanny at the best. And while achieving all this we want to keep the theme of the rest of the house where wood features are prevalent and feel very Hawaiian in nature.


Not a typical door that has a peep hole that big but hey it’s a submarine themed.

To give the porthole some interesting, marine theme, yup sand, shells all from the closest beach. Between the layered tentacles, the porthole filled with beach stuff. It's very original!

this is before we added the handle to make it slide

Right after we put the door on the rail we figured that we had forgotten to create pockets to move it left/right with just a finger. So we fixed it! The door is super heavy but I enjoyed the show of muscle man while he was taking it up and down on his own! I have my own 300 movie #guiltypleasure

the imperfection around the hatch handle are intentionally warmed/deformed

In the back of the door we distributed the same nails we used in the front like you normally see them on ferries.

Over the metal bars that hold the planks together we welded steampunk looking parts. And then I accentuated the parts using a goldish color.

Here a closer look to one of them.

At the bottom of the door Mario cut a straight light to force the door to stay aligned as it slides (the nerd said "as it scrolls like a document view" toldja he's a creative nerd!). Winds here at times can be really strong so this feature is also a safety one.

My own crafty stand in Molokai

This project has given me the confidence to open a stand where I can sell some creative items to tourists. Things built with love and lots of ingenuity. I know just the hot Italian guy for one of those two pieces. He’s an engineer and a nerd but incredibly creative, I don’t even know how it is possible…

Let me give you an example: We calculated the weight of the door in a such a way that it would softly tilt to open and stay so after reached the full trail end. However, to hold the door shut we needed to have a magnet or some type of holder by the frame of the door. Any standard option for a door this custom would have been a punch in the eye or to put in in the words of my mom “I wouldn’t put that in my home”.

To add additional complexity to the problem to solve, the space between the frame and the side of the door is about 1 and 1/2 in that means whatever we would have used from the hardware store would have also become a hazard for when walking through the door.

Hey Hey the fact that I have broken my toes at the corner of the bed and trip over the air it doesn’t mean that I would have been the first victim of such hypothetical hazard. However, statistically speaking the family would be right that child proof would have been required…

So I turned to the nerdy creative engineer and after rubbing…tsk tsk his belly, the genie came out with a solution that was as brilliant as the door’s design. Too bad that he couldn’t take the win and stay quiet, no he had to brag about it for a couple of hours. I am confident that the mango in front of the house is fully aware of his proposal!

We love Nemo animation so the angel fish was the one that was going to be part of the feature that was locking the door. An uneven, fish shaped from a piece of kiawe was born. After that we shaped a fish with Pixelmator and lasered it over the surface of the wood block. With our trusty AtomStack laser machine.

We used the laser to then trace the line with a dremel pen, spread some bee wax over to protect the wood from time and attached at the door's frame with a distancer so to create a suspended feeling and mate the door magnet.

At the end of the project we realized that we still had about two hours before sunset so we walked to beach. When we got there he said "hey, how about we build..."

As his mom used to say when he was younger "where's the switch to turn his brain off?!" – that's the story of the door of our bedroom - we are adding another story to the house, the floor downstair will need three doors, if you have suggestions, fire away on our Instagram or elsewhere that you like.


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As I mentioned above, never underestimate what hubby says. Don't tell him I said so or I will have to kick him out to talk to the mango tree!

❤️ And for all that we're grateful and very appreciative of your attention, love and sweet comments we receive. xoxo ️️️❤️ In the meantime, Have a bLife!

One more thing: Where are the bots?

Lots and lots of people have been asking what happened to the bots? We have been negotiating with a streaming company and contractual obligations limits our comms in that regard until - at some point that even got agitated that we vaguely said who they were... the process is lengthy and (legally) thorny. Hopefully we will reach an agreement and if we don't, well you will be the first to know :-)

Published 18 days ago