Friday, April 07, 2006

Looking Up

When I was a little girl we used to go visit my Grandma on her farm (my Grandfather died before I was born) for the weekend. She lived just far enough away that we would sometimes stay at her house instead of driving all the way there & home in one day. I was always pretty happy when the decision was made to stay the night. I thought this old house was very cool.

The house was built by my Grandparents when they were first married. It was a typical early 1900's MN farm house. It's funny the things that made an impression on me as a child. I can remember many of the features of that house in great detail. I remember the old wood burning stove, the flour bin, the wall sink, a separate faucet for drinking water and the potato masher (who knows why) in the kitchen. I remember my uncles playing cards, smoking and laughing at the big kitchen table. I remember home made bread rising on the countertops and my Grandma's overalls & barn boots by the back door.

There was a big, built in buffet in the formal dining room. My mom tells me there was a mural painted on the wall in the room done by a traveling door-to-door artist my Grandma hired during the Depression, but I can't remember it. I do remember the front porch where my Grandma kept a box of old toys that I was allowed to play with - even though I was much more interested by the kitties & baby pigs in the barn.

Then there was upstairs. I grew up in a one story house, so this was living large to me. There was a huge old fashioned bathroom with white tiles (it was originally a nursery until indoor plumbing was added). I had never seen a bathroom so big. There was a bedroom that had my uncle's train collection all set up (I was not allowed to touch this). And then there was my favorite room in the entire house. The bedroom that I got to sleep in.

The bedroom had three old metal beds. To this day I am very partial to those metal beds. And when you laid down on the metal beds you saw the flowers my Grandmother had hand painted in a string across the top of the room. She did these free hand. I remember laying on that bed and looking up at those flowers and wishing I had a room like that.

Fast forward a lot of years and you understand my compulsion to have flowers around the top of my bedroom walls. Sadly, I don't have the artistic talent my Grandma had to paint free hand. But, I do have the knack for stenciling. In my last house I found a simple rose pattern that I liked.

The bedroom in my current house is a bit of a mess. The previous owner did a really bad drywall job on it and then sponge painted it yellow/gold. I haven't been able to decide what color paint I want to use up there and had put off doing anything.

However, the room finally got to me. So, I decided I would at least work on the two end walls. I spent a weekend patching screw holds & seams in the drywall and then repainting those walls white. I had also decided this is where the stenciling would go.

For the life of me, I could not find my old rose pattern. So, I picked up another pattern that I thought had an Old World appeal to it (these are not Arts & Crafts designs). Magnolias. I started painting.

I probably should have read the description a little better before choosing this design. Turns out it was an 11 layer stencil that needed to be hand shaded. It took me 3 days and all of my artistic talent to finish the design.

I think it turned out well. Although, it's much more elaborate than what I had in mind. The colors are also a bit brighter than my usual pastels.

We'll see....I think it will grow on me.


Anonymous said...

It looks beautiful. Well done. I hope you think of your grandmother everytime you see your handywork.

Greg said...

Very nice. I loved the visual I got from you describing your Grandma's house. I plan on doing a Victorian stencil in the parlors....when ever I get to them.

Poppy said...

You did a magnificent job on your stenciling. Just lovely!

StuccoHouse said...

Thanks for the compliments! The colors faded as they dried and the pattern has grown on me, so I am liking the end result. I have two more bedrooms to do.....

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