Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Making Progress Slowly

I thought it was about time I showed you how I've been getting on with decorating my Room of Requirement or craft room. I've been working on it every day for well over a month now. Because of the extreme fatigue of Long Covid, I can only do a small amount of painting a day and that then wipes me out for the rest of the day, making everything else that much harder. Gradually, bit by bit, it's looking better though.

This is what the room looked like when we'd cleared most of the furniture ... 

It's a big, rectangular room, right across the width of my Victorian terraced house. The fireplace is on one of the shorter walls and this shows the other side of the room.

As you can see, it was painted red with the woodwork in a buttery cream. I wanted to paint it white to bring in the light as there's only one, not very big window. But first I had to deal with the holes in the very old walls. This bit was a particular favourite ...

Before I filled this one, you could see through to the bricks. Once all that was done, I could start painting. As soon as I started on the ceiling, the original cream paint suddenly looked yellow. It's as if a heavy smoker had lived there for years - remember when all ceilings turned that colour?

Painting the ceiling was particularly horrible as I had to do one coat on the whole thing at a time and it was very hard work. I had to keep sitting down to get my breath back and then couldn't really do anything for the rest of the day. I got it done though.

The walls were more manageable as I could do one coat on one wall per day. Mind you, as you can imagine, it took a lot of coats to cover that red. This is what it looked like after the first coat on the long, window wall.

Despite using a good quality paint from Brewers, it took four coats and weeks of painting to get the walls done. The room looked bigger and brighter though.

After all that white, I was glad to move on to a bit of colour. I decided on a bright pastel blue for the skirting boards and door and, again, I split the painting up into small manageable sections. First I tackled the skirting boards, one coat on one side of the room per day. Several weeks later, they were done.

It was at this point that I realised how much my work influences everything. When I was looking at the paint chart for the sort of blue I wanted, I had in mind something like the Stylecraft Special Aster, one of my favourite shades. Remembering this, I went and found a ball of Aster to compare it ...

... who needs paint charts when you have yarn? 

Next was the door frame ...

... and, finally, the door.

This old door is seriously warped and, in all the time we've lived here, has never closed properly. It had long since lost its handle and we just shut it by pushing it until it stuck. It dawned on me that it might be time to do something about this so my builder, Paul, planed down the top and fitted a new handle. It's still warped but at least it shuts now (if you pull it hard) and the old push lock still works. 

These little locks are on lots of the doors and I'm rather fond of them. I need to touch up that black metal paint though.

The window and radiator are going to be painted to match the walls and, at the moment, I'm working on the window. This, like all the windows at the front of the house is on its last legs, being held together with nails and over a century's worth of paint. I'm hoping they'll last a few more years, by which time I might be able to afford new ones. Custom made wooden sash windows don't come cheap. 

I can't say I'm enjoying painting this window. Apart from anything else, I find the noise from the traffic below makes my head hurt. It's not a particularly busy road and I'm at the top of a three storey house but I think my Covid brain finds it hard to block out unnecessary sounds. It'll be better once I'm on to the frame and can mostly keep the window closed.

Meanwhile I've been having a major sort of all my craft stuff which, as you can imagine, is a huge task. Just sorting the yarn is taking ages and then there's all my Mum's quilting fabric ... My daughter came for the weekend recently and she and my son helped me with all the things I couldn't get at or which were too heavy for me. It's a lot easier sorting stuff when you don't have to actually move it around the house. Carrying things makes me breathless and so does walking upstairs.

I'm gradually assembling piles of craft stuff and books - mostly on the middle floor - with post-it labels on top with the name of the craft. The plan is that it will be easier to choose storage furniture once I know exactly what I need to store. The trick with major sorting like this is just to concentrate on 'Keep, Not Keep?' to start with (Rose has threatened to have this tattooed on the back of my hand to remind me) and I've found it surprisingly easy to get rid of things.

I've been keeping a tally and, so far, I have given away 158 craft books and 28 bags of mixed yarn and other craft stuff. Most of the books have gone to my local craft swap shop Orinoco, although Rose is selling some on ebay with all the proceeds going directly to the UK charity Blood Cancer. She started doing this with some of Mum's better quilt books that we didn't want. You can raise more money with harder to find books that way and it also means that they go to people who really want them. So far, we've raised over £100 like this* and books have gone to quilters from Poole to Orkney and lots of places in between. There are no ebay fees to pay if the money goes directly to charity.

It's probably just as well that I'm not well enough to do the walking that I was managing earlier in the year as all this doesn't leave me much time for anything else. I have a queue of patterns waiting to be written up and lots of designs that are stalled. it doesn't help that, every time I want a pair of needles, I have to find them in a sorted pile.

It looks like I'm finally going to be able to publish my Christmas Wreath pattern this year though.

I knitted this just for myself two years ago, not intending to turn it into a pattern but then people kept asking for it ... I've had to do a certain amount of reverse engineering to work out how I knitted some of the things but I've managed to write up draft patterns without re-knitting the whole thing which was more than I could face. There will be six patterns in all: the first one deals with covering the wreath and each of the other five patterns will have instructions for two sets of decorations. It should be ready by the end of next month.

This has also been ready to write up for weeks and weeks too ...

This is my mosaic crochet blanket and I'm very excited about it. It's going to be a long pattern though with lots and lots of photos (and a chart once I've worked out whether it's going to be useful or not). I enjoyed making it so much that I've started on a smaller one, using up the left over colours from this one. I've adapted the original pattern to make smaller stars with a sort of Art Deco feel to them - I think that must be those framing lines.

There's always another exciting project to start isn't there?

* Rose has just added up how much we've raised so far and it's actually £183.28.


  1. Wow! Slowly but stubborn, you managed to paint the whole room. It really looked a lot better. Good luck with the rest of the work!

  2. Your determination is admirable. Your room is improving by leaps and bounds.
    And I am madly in love with your blue door! Not to mention the Christmas wreath.

  3. Barbara, I especially like the old black door handle on your blue door. I am sorry you are feeling so tired after exerting yourself with such a huge project. The room's color is great and the accents perfect. Can't wait to see it put together with all your craft items. Don't over do!!!

  4. Thank-you all. I think I might have finished all the painting in another couple of weeks. I'm hoping to at least have some furniture in there by the end of the year.