Gettin’ My Guest On….

I am so, so, so overdue on doing a tutorial for you guys….  I just haven’t decided what I’m going to do next.  I have a few that I’ve shot the photos for, but none of them are quite ready right now, so… soon.  I’ll work on it.

I *have* been working on my guest room a little bit here and there, trying to get all of the elements ready for go time.  The last few days I’ve been spackling, a total blast and a half.  Ya’ll– this poor house.  It seems like nobody has loved it in a long, long time.  Here I am, prepping for paint, and I try to remove the switchplates…  I managed to pop the perimeter of the plate off, but the sockets themselves are sooo thickly and sloppily painted to the switchplates, that I had to stop prying because I was afraid the socket itself was going to break free of the drywall before the old paint gave way.  Gross.  I guess I’ll just paint around those.

Anyway, as I’m spackling, I’m not only doing the fresh holes of the previous renter (which are eeeeeverywhere, like over the doors and below windows and stuff), but I’m getting the old unspackled holes that have had paint slopped over them.  So, so, so many holes.  A staggering amount of holes.  Thankfully, I have a good filler, so much so that I’ve decided to do a review of it, to put off some good product vibes after my chalkboard paint tear-down.

Spackling is so easy, I just don’t *get* why you wouldn’t do it.  If you’re going to spend forty-five bucks for a good can of paint (and you should, it will save you time and coats and look better in the end), you might as well not kill it with pock-marked drywall.  I actually sort of love that step, its like frosting… or concealer for under your makeup.  It just makes sense, and in the end you have such a nice finished product.  I know that over the years I will be hanging many o’ picture, and I would just love to start fresh on where the holes go, you dig?  I think that’s fair.  If I’m doing the work, then I’m choosing to have pretty painted walls with pictures where I want them to go, thank you.

"Sunny South," Before

“Sunny South,” Before

And speaking of paint and hanging pictures, I’ve revived a family piece that had long lost its luster for me…  Do you know how sometimes you have something for so many years that you just stop seeing it, stop respecting it for what it is?  In your mind, it becomes not cool, kitschy, vintage, or even antique but straight-up old.  

This amazing framed print, called “Sunny South,” belonged to my great-grandmother, and dates back to the twenties or thirties.  It has literally been around all my life.  All my Dad’s life.  To say that I’d stopped looking at it some time ago is a real understatement.  But that also puts it into the category of can’t-possibly-get-rid-of-it, making it destined for the guest room.  And that’s actually great, the cypress trees and skyline make me think of Cannes or the South of France somehow, like I’ve been and could remotely know what I’m talking about.  For whatever reason, the idea of it works for me in there, but overall it still seemed really sad.

I got to looking at it really closely, and it was in poor shape.  The print had mold on it growing in the space between it and the glass, and the glass, ew, it was beyond grotesque.  The frame on the right edge had a damage spot that had been ‘repaired’ and the gold paint had been terribly touched up (and with a shade of gold nowhere close to the color on the frame).  I know I had not done this repair.  I asked my Mother, she had not done it.  In my mind, damage (especially with a poor fix-up) is the green light for doing whatever upcycling or tweaking I want to forge ahead with, but in this instance I was a little bit afraid to, because of the family provenance.  I phoned her to make sure it would be okay.  She laughed at me.

“Amber, you do know it didn’t belong to my family, right?”  I said yeah, but as the primary decorator for their home, she had become the previous registrar of the item, and I didn’t want to be angry over time invested when she saw that I’d “ruined” it or whatever.  She laughed again.

"Sunny South," After

“Sunny South,” After

“What if you had just bought it at a thrift store?” she asked.

“Um, I would take it apart, clean it up, and spray paint the frame,” I said.

“Then do that, I’m sure it will look great,” she said, adding, “It is yours.  You should do what you want to it.  Its funny and nice that you asked, though.”

“Well, I didn’t want you to come for a visit, see it on the wall and think, “Oh dear heavens, what has she *done?!*”

So dear heavens, this is what I have done, exactly what I said I would.  Looks pretty great, no?   Its amazing how wiping off 90 years of grime can really freshen something up.  Its like I brightened it in photoshop, although I promise I absolutely did not.  I am not clever enough for such picture chicanery.   The name really fits it all of a sudden!  Oh– Sunny South!   Almost as if you pulled a Mary Poppins move and stepped into the scene, climbed those seven steps and went around the corner to the left, you would encounter the melodious harmonies of a barbershop quartet, and a nanny in a sunhat, pushing a white-linen clad baby in a pram….

I’m bringing sexy back!

The frame looks remarkable with the fresh coral color, and the details like the plaster flowers and curved corners really pop now.  Its going to look great on a freshly painted wall.  I would like to think that Great-Gramma Anne would approve, and would be happy it was still in use.  Alas, she better be, as I cannot be too troubled over the decorating whims of the dearly departed.  So many opinions and dark colors!

Re-Made Guest Book

Re-Made Guest Book

I’ve also done some fun collage stuff, I always love collage, there is something about scissor work and little snippets of paper.  You can ask my Mom, when I was a toddler I would use those animal cracker boxes that looked like train cars (with the straps?) as a little purse, toting around all of my treasures.  Whenever she would finally get her hands on one to pitch it– usually worn and tired, with a broken end to the strap– they were always filled with snippets of paper.  Fortune cookie fortunes and bazooka wrappers, coupons, any little colorful bit I liked.  I’m still very much into that stuff!

One Dollar Journal, Before

One Dollar Journal, Before

So I’ve spent a little time making some collage art for the walls, and when I spotted these wee paper journals at AC Moore, I knew I could make a quick guest book with the leftover paper bits.  It was only a dollar, and that’s with the pen!  I managed to get it done before Miss Brecca’s visit, so she was the first to kindly sign my little log– although I did manage to go through and mark other visitors in my own hand on the previous pages, just so I keep a better record of everyone who has stayed with us in this house.  I think it turned out pretty well, and having it placed on the nightstand totally did the trick and prompted her to sign it without my asking.  That’s perfect!

Quick, if you have time, please read my last guest room post and vote on which way to elongate my old curtain panels–  I’ll be working on them this weekend, so there is still a day or so to submit your ideas on what would look best in there!  I appreciate your opinions….






Apr 04, 2013 | Category: Home Journaling | Comments: none | Tags: , , , , ,


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