January 22, 2017

A Room of my Own

My mantra--I've had this magnet on my fridge for some
time! Turns out it fits into my Craft Room decor now!
This is normally the time of year where I talk about how I have failed to post, what I have done, etc. Well, this year is mostly no different. However, quite a bit has happened over the last year, and while I usually gloss over past events and focus on only the current ones, I will not be doing that this time.

Instead, I intend to take some time to catch up on the blog. There are a lot of things I'd like to share, and I hope you will feel it is worth it, dear readers. Along with life/knitting events, one additional thing I intend to continue is The Sock Project. (You will be able to single out those posts as that name will be in the title). But for today, let's start at nearly the beginning: what I did over last Spring Break.

It turns out that Virginia Woolf was right: having a room of one's own truly is amazing and wonderful; and it is all the more glorious when you have waited 28 years for it. We now (finally!) have only 3 of our 6 children living at home, leaving one bedroom free. A guest room, you say? I think not. A craft room it was.

So, last April--after many months of discussing how to do it--my husband and I set out for real to create a special room for me in our home. Oh, I had been using the room for a little while already, but with weird, odd and end furniture. Not to mention that the room had a strange, musty feel, as though it was always dusk in there. Now it was going to really feel like my room.

My new room has been a marvelous getaway in my own home, the place I go after work and waaaaaayyyyyyyy too much intense human interaction. In fact, it sometimes feels like a vacation when I am in here! (Of course, I am in the craft room right now...)

The next few posts will be the story of how we did it, and will hopefully contain a few good DIY tips along the way. Let's get started!

Jolene's mural, done around 2003. She is now 28 years old and has not lived at home for 11 years!
To begin with, the room we used had survived two teenagers. It first belonged to our oldest daughter, Jolene, who is an artist. She is our free spirit, with a BFA in dance and a love of visual art as well. Back about 14 years ago, she painted a mural on one of the bedroom walls. It took her several weeks to complete and meant a lot to her; in fact, it took me quite a while to finally make the decision that it would not truly be MY space if I left it up. So, I took some nice photos of the mural and intend to put them into a special book for Jo. Then I had the daunting task of covering multiple layers of acrylic/latex and some oil paints, along with a healthy dose of teenage angst.

A triple layer of KILZ did the trick and brought the room back to its original very drab self. It also revealed the red "mistakes" that were all over the ceiling and floor moulding, leftovers of the mural and of another wall, which at one time was fire engine red.

Sad, but time to move on!
When my son Alex inherited the room once Jolene left for college, he hated that red wall (mostly because my daughter had painted the outline of a girlfriend on it, and it was just plain creepy). Alex requested that it, along with the non-mural walls be painted white. Now, those white walls were dirty with years of stinky teenage boy.

Covered! Whew. 3 coats of KILZ

The filing cabinet and a couple of the white walls. Also, note the bamboo
shade in the window. Not at all conducive to my 50's theme.

Morning always bring me strength and determination! Anything seems

Notice the coffee cup -- always at the ready!
In the early morning of the day after the KILZ completion, I contemplated. Colors, themes... I realized that my hubby and I had not really done a very complete job of planning the room. We really had a rough sketch for IKEA furniture and a budget, but had not gone much farther than that. I thought about how drab the room was...like an old office space lost in time (except for the red splatter here and there). It even had an old, dead taupe-colored filing cabinet, given to me by my mother-in-law. It was so useful...and so plain.

I decided the room needed energy, and I had only one week off work, so I hit the paint department at
Home Depot. I had recently been doing a little research into the 50's era for another project, and had been charmed anew by the decor and clothes of the time. I decided to use 50's kitchen colors as a jumping off point, as weird as it may sound for a craft room. but I love the robin egg blue and the cherry reds of the time, so I decided to go for it.

More next time! Stay tuned!

Here is a tiny sneak peek:

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