Monday, February 14, 2011

Flowers grow in Gilbertsville

Just after arriving at the house Friday evening, after hurriedly unloading the truck and punching up the thermostat (to a balmy 50 degrees!) Patrick was on the road to Old Forge for a gig. I installed Diesel on the bed, changed into work clothes, and revved up the space heaters.

Tonight I was going to get back to my wall project.

A large expanse of wall in the Great Room was covered with careful white colored-pencil etchings, like a giant paint-by-number. It had sat, neglected, for long enough. Time to start filling in those etchings with a paint brush. (Read the story of this project: part 1, part 2.)

These were my first few tentative petals. (The colors look a lot better together in real life, take my word for it.) For four long hours, I filled my solo Friday evening with painting leaves and petals on the wall of my favorite room. Arm cramps aside, it was deeply calming, enjoyable, rewarding work. (More pictures at the end of this post!)


Saturday morning, a dump run was in order. We are sorry, dear planet earth, for the garbage we are creating. If we could've bought the house without the wall-to-wall carpeting in nearly every room, we would've. Not all of it is going to the dump; some will hopefully go home with a yard sale attendee or two this summer. Some, though, was cruddy beyond salvation.

As Patrick roared away in the truck, I made tea and settled into small projects. I painted more petals.

I spent a lot of time watching it snow. (Turns out, in the hills between Gilbertsville and the county dump, Patrick was stuck in near-whiteout conditions. The 50-mile round trip took him three hours!)

This weekend, we brought our guest-room bed from Binghamton, and set it up in the guest room in Gilbertsville. We've disparaged the color, but I kind of like it with the curtains. Does that make me crazy?

It was very exciting to sleep on a real mattress in the new house. Sleeping on an air mattress was getting old. I mean, it's only been sixteen straight weekends in a row.

Then Patrick came home. We knocked off a little light demo, just for fun. Nothing like a little demo to break up the monotony of painting. This is the "after" picture of our upstairs kitchen. (Reference: the before picture.)

Backstory: The house was built in 1850, and divided into two apartments somewhere around 1992. Since the closing in November, we've re-opened a stairwell, converted a hot water heater, and torn out part of this now-superfluous second kitchen. There used to be a stove, a tile backsplash, and a bunch of cabinets in this space. The kitchen sink on the opposite wall will be staying, for this is going to become our laundry room. And a sink is a nice thing to have in a laundry room, yes? Yes.

So that was Saturday. Afterward, we drove to Syracuse for Patrick's second gig of the weekend. The drive up was my favorite part. The sun was blushing the sky pink, and the snow gold. We drove snow-sugared roads through farm after farm after farm. The big open fields, and the big open sky, haven't changed much in 150 years. I watched the little picturesque towns and slate-stoned cemeteries and gingerbread-trimmed houses whisk by, and I began to grow very eager for a sunny Saturday morning and a day to spend adventuring. Sounds like we have some exploring to do.


I spent most of Sunday painting ceilings, in one form or another. You can see my painted-up-to ceiling line in the photo below.

Then I got back to the petals.

Not bad, right? The dahlias (white-and-yellow flowers) look pretty much exactly like they do on the wallpaper I'm copying.

Right? The colors are reading really cold in the pictures I took; in real-life they're a lot more like the wallpaper.

I tested the colors I'd brought in the middle of the wall. That area will someday be covered up, probably by a fireplace and some built-in-bookcases. For paint, I'm using acrylic craft paint (Ceramcoat) for some colors, and basic latex interior paint (Glidden) for others. I'm really happy with the gray, yellow, and white I chose-- those are definite keepers. The green and the blue, however, need a little, er, tweaking. I'm going to try mixing in a touch of orange paint next weekend, hoping to make them a little less vibrant.

The colors need to work together on a happy, muted-but-playful team.

I have a feeling my week is going to include some paint color sleuthing. Just a feeling.

It feels great to have begun this project, and really great that aspects of it are working. It's going to be a big job, that's for sure. I'm not totally sure I'll be painting all four walls this way-- that remains to be seen. For now, the goal is to finish this one wall, and then decide.


Becky said...

Wow! I understand your color concerns but it's still wow!

Glad y'all got a bed up there. I spent one night on an air mattress and would just sleep standing rather than do it for 16 weekends!

Lisa-Marie said...

Your wall is looking beautiful Kristina!

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