There was a problem with the ceiling: old paper and gloss paint patches we couldn't shift. So we bought some lining paper and attempted to apply it. Stevie on a step ladder at one end, me on a cupboard at the other, long stick in hand, as you can imagine it didn't work. I had to rethink. I didn't want to emulsion over the glossy patches because I worried it wouldn't take, and I didn't want to faff about with oil based paint: too stinky. So we just left it the way it was thinking, all the while, that we would have to employ someone to do it for us when we could afford it. Then I saw a picture of an artist's house on Pinterest: she had wallpapered a room in scraps. I didn't like her choice of paper but I liked the idea, thus Stevie went hunting for odd roll ends. He came back with a huge bag load, but they were all a bit shiny and I'm not a huge fan of shine. Silverware, yes, eyes, absolutely, but not wallpaper. I was after more of an old quilt aesthetic.
I mentioned this to my WOW* ladies one Wednesday as we were chatting after a lesson (they are really coming on, by the way, some of their stories are wonderful) and one of them said she had had some old wallpaper sample books for a project, but they'd disappeared: "Go and ask round the design shops and see if they are throwing any away," she said.
So I did.
I was given six books by a very kind young woman in home-ware shop in Gretna. I only needed a few squares so the rest are going to WOW for an art project.
The blind was another problem. The old one was manky: little black dots had eked their way across the surface, and i couldn't get them off. It had been up there for ten years, and had only cost three quid at Ikea, I figured we were due a new one. So, off we went to get a replacement; they had roller blinds, and slatted blinds, and all sorts of other blinds, but no roman blinds. And it was a roman blind I wanted. I looked online, there were loads, but none were the width of our windows. I could get 90cm, 120 cm, or 60cm; all of which were far enough from the 100cm I needed they might as well have been ten metres. So I checked the cost of getting one made, and found we could go on holiday for that much, and we haven't had a holiday since we went to Cornwall for a week in 2007.
Meanwhile, I kept seeing things made of old burlap sacks (again on Pinterest): cushions, chair-covers, table runners. They all looked jolly nice but I had no idea what burlap was or where it could be purchased. So I googled and found out it was hessian, and after a few clicks of my mouse I found a website that specialises in upholstery material. They sold hessian by the metre, not only that they had some that was exactly the width of the window, and it was only £1.62 a metre. I ordered four metres.
|One day one of us will remove the masking tape.|
Today I took the old blind apart with the idea of using the bits of string etc to make a roman blind out of the hessian. I cut the required length and attempted to hem, remembered I couldn't sew a straight line and, thus, there was no way I'd be able to make those neat little rod pockets. And, what's more just trying would make the whole enterprise hateful. So I improvised.
|Detail: I'm particularly thrilled with the purple dotted line, it reminds me of postmen.|
I still have a bit of grouting to do, but can't find the squeezy thing for getting it deep in the crevasses. I need to work out what to do with the bath's side panels (marine ply, not pretty), and order the flooring. So, I'm waiting for more inspiration and pay day.
Now I'm off in search of a musician, so I'll come visiting tomorrow.
*Women of the World: a local charity that helps women who find themselves living here far, far from home.