Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Hallway Reboot

Our weekend started out with a trip to Cupcake Cottage. Aren't these pretty little things? From left to right, you're looking at traditional vanilla, German chocolate (babycake and regular sizes), amaretto (the orange one top right) and red velvet.

The babycake was mine, as was the amaretto. Sufficiently fueled by sugar and the shot of liqueur from the cupcake, I headed out for the last few items that I needed to finish the hallway project (Parnell having finished the painting for me the night before) - started at Goodwill on Camp Bowie, then drove around the corner to Camp Bowie Mercantile, hit Jo Ann for chalkboard paint and finished at Lowe's (lumber, screws and picture hangers). My last "stop" was my own overflowing craft closet, where I found a bunch of useful items. Here are the results:

This is the wall between our bedroom and the boys' bathroom. Except this isn't the greatest picture, because the weekly menu calendar (hanging trom the adorable wooden spoon at bottom) reflected too much flash . . . . So let's try again, minus reflective surfaces:

Better. Pine rack: $5, Goodwill. Nesting doll pillow that I needed like a hole in the head, but (1) it's a nesting doll!, (2) I collect nesting dolls! and (3) it's an aqua blue and chocolate brown nesting doll!: $12, Mercantile. The peg rack at the bottom is actually a quilt rack. It was half off at the Mercantile, and it attracted my attention because it was unfinished, the correct depth for picture molding and I thought that it might be possible to hang cool stuff from the bottom (under the knobs). The kids' award ribbons, maybe? Yeah, epic fail. Oh, well - it has pegs. That's enough utility, I guess. Here's a close-up of the top shelf:

Yes, I realize that I lined the photos up like cell phone bars. And, yes, that's a jar of paintbrushes. Why? Why not. When I shopped the craft closet, I found literally hundreds of them, left over from an event that I threw a couple of years ago. They were the right colors, I had a really cute canning jar, and the price was right at "free." Plus, they have personal meaning, since I like to paint. Speaking of which, I also found three square canvases in the craft closet - originally from Pottery Barn Kids, I think, had Connor's initials on them, but in baby pastels, so I had gessoed over them and set them aside for a future project. I painted them to match the hall, took a couple of photos that had been displayed on the old hallway bulletin board and decoupaged them. I applied scraps of fabric to the photo of Connor and his friend Christian, because the pattern reminded me of atoms, and for the longest time we could not go to the Science and History Museum without running into Christian's family.

The buttons were yet another craft closet score. I used those to decorate a photo of Parker and his friend Avery, because they are both cute as buttons. Even if PJ's head looks ginormous in this photo.

Next is the wall outside of Connor's room, which was going to be one giant chalkboard (painted with Hudson Paint's "Rayogram Gray"), but - quite frankly - it was a bit of a bear painting the wall adjacent to this one, the brown ended up wrapping around the corner, and I decided that I did not want to mess with creating a clean seam between two colors. However, I compromised by making two chalkboards for the lower part of the wall - one for each boy.

Picture molding one this wall is made from 36-inch long square dowels painted the color of the wall and screwed in. I then faced them with vintage yardsticks. The yardstick project was easier said than done. In painting this wall, we came to terms with the fact that it has some serious problems with uneven plaster. No matter how hard we tried, we could not fully conceal the three big patches that are a different texture than the rest of the wall. I suppose that we could have retextured first, but it seemed easier to just position the art to cover the wall defects. Yeah, it seemed easier - because the frames had to be placed just so, it was necessary to put the lower molding right along a horizontal stud. Took Parnell several experiments with different hardware to get that one done. But I do like the results . . . .

Empty picture frame (made from ceiling tile) won't be empty for long. When I can remember to buy tile grout, I have a really neat handmade ceramic tile, colored in shades of tan and blue, that says "Purple Power" (yes, I said tan and blue - all of this particular artist's tiles are the same color regardless of what they say), and I want to glue that to the frame and then add a photo of Parker and his friend Lauren wearing their TCU purple.

I've gotten pretty good at spacing and mounting art on picture molding, haven't I? I can do all things through painter's tape, which strengthens me - and by "strengthens me" I really mean "allows me to mark exactly where the top of a frame should go, or the corner of one, or the hanger for one, so we know exactly where to drill or hammer."

Chalkboard #1 (Connor's): frame, $1, Goodwill; piece of maple, cut to fit, $2.88, Lowe's. The chalkboard paint is by Plaid, and while it isn't exactly the same shade of brown as the walls, by the time you cure it with chalk - pretty darned close.

Parker's chalkboard doesn't have a frame. It's mounted low on the wall, to cover up another wall imperfection.

Here's a closeup of some of the picture molding on this wall. Most of the yardsticks that I bought (yes, I still have some to use on a future project) bear advertisements for businesses on Camp Bowie or Vickery. The greenish-blue one isn't related to Fort Worth at all, but I really liked the color. Only problem is that it's a folding ruler, so it took an act of Congress to get it glued into place. (Shims were involved.)

Next wall was the most difficult, because it's basically the door to our air conditioner with just an inch or so of wall on either side - but because of molding placement you are talking about painting in teeny tiny crevasses with a detail brush, up one side and down the other. I like the way it turned out, though. We put three coats of magnetic paint on the door first, and - surprise! - it really turned the door into a magnet board. You can't tell in this picture, but the art in the bottom left is on a clipboard hanging suspended from the key that turns and opens the A/C closet. The ribbon helps camouflage the door as a door, I think. Oh, and the clipboard's decoupaged.

One final item - a total improvisation: I had purchased an old rolling pin and these brackets, intending to mount the rolling pin on the side of the kitchen cabinet (to serve as a dishtowel rod), by the window and over the sink, but discovered to my disappointment that the cabinet wasn't deep enough. So now I have a bracketed rolling pin in my hallway. Which I love. This picture doesn't do it justice, but "strange rolling pin installation" definitely is one of my favorites.

Now on to finish the boys' bathroom!

1 comment:

Manic Momma said...

Oh, and the strange sock creation hanging from the rolling pin installation is a one-eyed meerkat puppet that Parker made at zoo camp. I think it had two eyes at one time.