Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mid-project Report

Let me just say: home decorating shows that transform a room in just a couple days are very likely pure fiction. Needless to add, my Memorial Day weekend room re-do project has hit a few speed bumps and I am now an entire day behind schedule. Along with way too many trips back to Home Depot, I made the unpleasant discovery that buglight yellow paint requires specialty primer.

The ceiling is done and, despite the funny look the paint guy gave me when I requested semi-gloss, I am quite pleased with it. I put the ceiling fan back together and the way the light and fan shadows reflect is vastly cool. I have also completed the priming, so the walls are currently the color of instant lemon pudding. I will forge ahead with 2 coats of the final paint color tomorrow. Then the trim. Then scrub the floor and put everything back....

Despite being behind on the main painting job, I have managed to finish a bit of artsy stuff with an old cabinet. This old cast off cabinet is destined to be my nightstand. As always, I free-handed the pattern in pencil, burned the design, then painted using artist acrylics and mat media. I have the first coat of varnish on and will finish up with a few more coats tonight. I know I have done a bunch of snakey pieces already, but they make me happy. So there. The bright colors should be just right with the bright yellow walls.

I also whipped out a custom light switch cover. Now if I can just get the walls painted I can install it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big project

The spring zipped by faster than a speeding train and my promise of home improvement during Memorial Day Weekend is at hand. Time to paint the bedroom. I took today off to give the project a full 4-day weekend. Wednesday night I moved the wall o' books and disassembled all five bookcases. Thursday night I pushed and prodded all the remaining furniture out of the room and into whatever space I could park it. The queen size mattress only made it as far as the hallway outside the door. I ask you, why would anyone manufacture a queen-sized mattress without giving it handles?! (Not as bad as the 100 lb marshmallow of a futon I helped Laura move, though.) I even took apart the iron bed frame and stowed the pieces in the front hall.

So far today I have shop-vac'd as much cat hair as possible out of the room, taken down the curtains and rod, removed the ceiling fan blades and glass shade, and visited Home Depot for paint and supplies. Unable to avoid it any longer I then tackled the worst job of the whole project: scrubbing the walls and ceiling with TSP water. The ceiling is particularly bad, leaving the scrubber (me) an overheated slimy mess. Double uck. I had to be mighty stern with myself to complete the job right. Given how long it takes for me to get around to things, this paint job will have to last a very long time, so I better do it right.

Spackling is next, then taping, but (I tell myself) I will need to wait until the walls are thoroughly dry. Time for a break. I think I will go knit for a bit. The purple hoody is coming along nicely. Perhaps a short nap...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Purple Swatch

And oh-so-soft! The slight waffle pattern is the Boxcar Willy stitch pattern. I like how it feels, so I plan to do the whole hoody in it.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

More Purple

It's a good year for the lilac:

The mock orange and the Scottish broom should be blooming soon. Then my favorites - the lavender.


What do you see when you look at this basket of freshly spun wool? I see a deep purple hoody with roomy pockets to fill with pretty pebbles and other interesting things. The wool is extra fine merino raised here in Nevada. Oddly in an un-sheeplike manner, the fleece is white on the outside turning light gray on the inside (bit closest to the skin). Washed, carded, and spun it just looks kinda grubby. No problem - I planned to dye it anyway. I spun it up fairly lofty, but will need to hold 2 strands together to get the thick, squishy, warm fabric I want. For extra depth of color, I split the 3 lbs of yarn and dyed them two different shades of purple. Laura will be impressed to hear that I actually calculated weight of goods and measured out the dye for desired depth of shade. The first half was dyed with Landscape Dyes "Sarsaparilla", resulting in a deep lilac blue-purple. The second half was put in the same amount of "Sarsaparilla", but I added an additional 10% or so Landscape Dyes "Gravillea", resulting in an amazing intense royal purple. Unfortunately the pictures do not do the colors justice. I can't wait for it all to dry so I can see how the colors will look knitted up together!