Monday, February 07, 2011

A Dab Here

Pillow alcove and instrument collection. The window seat is lovely in the summer when you can open the skylight and lean your head back on the roof.

My desk and hobby paraphernalia. Before you wonder, the jars contain paint thinner and water, not urine.

The Giant Shelf. The vacuum cleaner box contains my landlord's non-functioning drag-behind model. The box is to the one Boy and I bought a few months ago which is an absolute powerhouse. And yes, Boy has more audio equipment than I can fathom a use for.

Room 3 of 7 (plus the stairwell) is now painted. The study was the first carpeted room, which added a bit of challenge, as well as the first one that had its ceiling refreshed. (As the room is mostly ceiling it seemed like a good idea.) The study also contains 2 of the 4 light fixtures I've replaced in this house, evidenced by the fact that you can't see a bare lightbulb on the ceiling or a broken fixture in the stairwell.

I listened to a recording of Pride and Prejudice, read for LibriVox by Karen Savage, for this room. As I stood on desks and chairs, covered my tattered jeans in paint, and bent myself into rather strange angles to reach all the nooks and crannies in this room I wondered just how quickly Mrs. Bennett would faint at the sight of me. Lydia and Kitty would certainly point and laugh, Mary and Jane would quietly disapprove, and Lady Catherine would slap me for disgracing myself, but I think Lizzie would probably give me a clandestine thumbs-up.

The ceiling in this room is only about 7' high so I only needed a desk chair to reach everywhere. The room is mostly edges and corners so I spent quite a long time staring cross-eyed at my flat artist's brush trying to smooth the ragged lines left by the masking tape. I had to patch about twenty holes in the ceiling before painting, and a few unfortunately need another coat of emulsion. Never trust spackle manufacturers' claims that their product does not drink paint!


Bathroom door and card catalogue. 'Cos, you know, we need to index things in here. I know it's a bit blurry but it's dismal out and the flash screws up the colour.

New taps I installed before my family got here for graduation. I think it's a hospitable gesture to ensure your guests can turn the water both on And off.

Our Floor-Soak Plus shower door, along with the airing cupboard doors I took a few liberties with. I selected the wall colour from the design on the tiles. I couldn't not, really. Thankfully it was featured in the Wickes "Landlord Chic" line, so I was able to get a good price on a water-durable formula.

The bathroom, paint job 2. I didn't really mean to paint this one as soon or as quickly as I did--I sorta launched into it at about 11pm the day we went to the hardware store and was mostly done about a day and a half later. The shade of yellow you see is actually indistinguishable from worn-out white under incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting, and unfortunately, England's natural lighting tends to leave something to be desired, so it took another week of tweaking at different times of day to get all the holidays filled.

The soundtrack to this room was Jane Eyre, also courtesy of a team of LibriVox volunteers, so I think I got more annoyed at the cracks in the walls than I probably should have. I nearly painted the doorframe yellow while yelling "come on Charlotte, don't be ridiculous--no sane 19th century waif would think God wanted her to volunteer in India!" Still, my fury with the book did keep me motivated.


The kitchen is down a few steps from the dining room, something I've never quite understood. Next door's kitchen is the same. The pantry is behind the kitchen door, too, so you have to waste time and effort waving both doors around in order to get anything out of there. I've considered taking the kitchen door off, but where would I store it? (If I ever find a place, I'm putting our crappy mattress in there too and getting a new one.)

Dining room seek-and-find! Do you see: 1 fedora? 2 computers? 3 glasses cases? 4 marine animals? The number 5? (Why do we keep our fiction library in the dining room, you ask? The bookshelves in the living room are for non-fiction, serials, and CDs, of course.)

The same room, the same paint, but without flash. This colour is very fun for that--it's completely dependant on the lighting. Sometimes it's red, sometimes it's orange, sometimes it's almost pink. Heart. We nicked the lanterns from my sister's wedding.

This was the first room I decided to paint, mostly because I kinda messed it up and needed to fix it. Some owner of the house many moons ago put an ugly-as-sin paper border up at chair-rail level, and some later, lazier owner elected to, rather than remove it, paint an attractive puke green over it. Later still someone painted over that with a sherbet pink, which was then covered with four or five coats of everyone's favourite Chunky White. This all happened, of course, years after someone hung the Decorative Lumps wallpaper that eventually became a structural element of the house. I couldn't do much about the lumpy walls, but the peeling, glaringly moronic painted border was downright nauseating. What can I say? I'm impulsive. I picked at it. Quite a bit. By the end of an hour I had a razor blade, a sponge and a bowl of water out and was carefully removing the ghastly thing from the entire room...which of course left me suddenly needing to paint. Whoops.

Charlaine Harris kept me company on this room with several Sookie Stackhouse novels, read by Johanna Parker. The whole scrubbing, patching, and painting process took about a week, and I typically listened through one book a day. If it weren't for all the gratuitous sex scenes the stories would belong firmly in the Early Teen section of the library--the characters are so simple and stupid it almost hurts. Every chapter includes at least two highly-detailed paragraphs of how Sookie gets dressed or what she's wearing, down to the last yellow ball earring. Still, Parker has an amazingly comforting southern accent (and does all the voices really well--when she reads phrases like 'Suddenly, out of the dark I heard,"I knew you'd be here, silly girl." It was exactly the voice I was dreading.' you can easily tell which character it is long before they're identified), and Harris always includes references to local food, customs, history, and behaviours that get me all nostalgic. That's not fair, Sookie, I can't get pickled okra here!

Gross words: Formula. Premium. Deluxe. Nugget.

1 comment:

Kim said...

This post was most excellent. I loved the photos of the rooms I haven't seen (since I've only really seen the kitchen) -- that blue room is wonderful!!! And the bathroom! Gorgeous!

I liked your comments on the books on tape too. :)

Really loved this post!