Saturday, March 26, 2016

Warming up the white.

Back in the days of big permed hair and stirrup pants, nearly every room
 in our previous house sported either a stenciled border, stripes, or a faux painted finish.

After spending 30 plus hours on a ladder stenciling faux wallpaper
in our former dining room (almost 30 years ago!), I swore I'd never stencil another wall.

Famous last words.

As you know, I haven't been happy with the sterile whitish walls in our kitchen,
so when I came across this Laura Ashley wallpaper.....

......I was inspired to find a stencil in a similar pattern.

With my indecisive nature, I was afraid to buy wallpaper online
for fear I wouldn't like it once it was up on the wall, so faux stenciled wallpaper
seemed like the way to go.  I've read a few tutorials on rolling the pattern on
with latex wall paint which seemed so much easier than the painstaking
method of applying the paint with a stencil brush. 


It was not quick and easy.  It was a big sticky mess.

Perhaps if I'd actually followed the tutorials I'd have been
more successful, but as usual, I jumped right in with 
the supplies I had on hand.

I started willy-nilly on this wall with no real plan in mind.
Had I not been delirious with a fever at the time, I would have started
in a more inconspicuous spot, but that's all water under the bridge now.

The latex paint bled through in multiple places and in some areas
the paint barely showed up at all.  The stencil is small (11 x 15) so there was
plenty of down time between each panel to nap with my head on the table
 while I waited for the latex paint to dry.  Zzzzzzzzzz.

Fortunately, the design matched up when I got to this side of the room.

The stencil did not bend into the corners, so I had to cut 3 different stencils
to fill the gaps and then hand paint the rest- into the corners, around the window,
 up against the ceiling, and on top of the baseboard heater.  Very time consuming!
(As you can see, I needed plenty of caffeine to get me through the process.) 

 I was convinced I'd be sanding down the wall and repainting it white again,
so I just grabbed a round artist brush and haphazardly slapped on the design.
I was getting weak and my care factor at this point was close to zero. 
I was on day 3 and I just wanted to be done!

When I finished, I took a deep breath, stepped into the dining room to critique my work,
 and the F word  came to mind.


Maybe it was the fever, but to me it looked like faded old farmhouse wallpaper.

It's hard to get a good photo against the big window, but I think you get the picture.
I had originally planned to stencil the wall to the right also, but there are way too many
corners and angles to contend with, so I'll be content with one accent wall.

If you're considering stenciling a wall, here are a few tips I learned along the way.

Number 1
Use spray adhesive on the back of your stencil.
I didn't and I'm pretty sure that contributed to the paint bleeding through.

Number 2
Use a foam roller.
I used a small fuzzy wall roller on the first half of the wall,
and the coverage was splotchy.  I switched to a foam roller for the second
half and the paint went on much more smoothly.

The stencil I used can be found here.

I could spend countless hours touching up all the boo boos on my stenciled wall,
but it's a very subtle design and the imperfections are hardly noticeable.........
unless you're looking at a photo of the wall.  :o)

Thanks for visiting and Happy Easter!

*I'm joining the parties at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Thoughts from Alice Sundays at Home
The Essence of Home Share Your Style

Sunday, March 6, 2016

x's and o's.

Somebody in our house was famous for crossing the days off his calendar 
with big fat x's at the end of a work day........before retirement, that is.
  I do believe the x's have now been replaced with smiley faces.  :o)

By the time I get home from work, throw some food on the table,
and clean the kitchen, I'm about ready to drop.  Since I've been working more
than I usually do, I'm pushing myself to do something productive at home and
crank out one or two of these each evening......

I did it.
I finally learned how to crochet!

The owner of the yarn shop where I joined a knitting group
volunteered to teach us how to crochet a granny square.

I was the only one who did not go home with a finished square that night.
"If everybody's done with the first color, pass your yarn to the right."
Wait for me!! Did I mention I'm a slow learner?  
I was feeling a bit like a failure until the graduates confessed that they've all crocheted before.

I was not about to be thwarted by a simple granny square, so I watched
Youtube videos and eventually produced my first square to bring along with me
 to what I now refer to as Tuesday night group therapy.

Ta da!

That little square above got my crochet juices flowing
and prompted me to try my hand at a full-blown granny square afghan.

Since it's highly likely my blogging days will be over long before I finish
said afghan, Norwegian blogger Solveig of the blog Solstrikke
was kind enough to let me post a photo of her beautiful
Flowers in the Snow Afghan.


I chose this pattern after viewing her easy to follow tutorial here.
She made it look so easy, and it is!  I haven't reached the part where the flowers
are joined together, but her instructions and accompanying photos
clearly explain the process.  Thank you Solveig!

If you've never tried your hand at crochet, there are so many videos
available at Youtube University, that anybody can learn.
I'm currently working on my doctorate.

Tools of the trade.

 So many pretty colors to choose from!

While many of you are already cleaning out your flower beds and planting flowers,
we've still got a foot of snow covering our gardens.  The only flowers I'm planting
are those on my March calendar, and the yarn flowers covering my coffee table.

  By my calculations........

365 divided by three or four circles a week minus days I do nothing at all =
My afghan should be finished around April of 2025.

So do tell, what's on your calendar?

Thanks for visiting and I hope you find time to do something you love today.
*I'm joining the parties at:
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
The Wicker House Create - Share - Inspire
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