Throughout the beginning of December Dal and I went back and forth about whether we could afford to give each other presents this year. It's not like we are destitute, but there are certainly other more important things we could have been spending our money on. My brilliant idea was to take our plain, holey and dirty detached room and single-handedly turn it into the man cave we were "one day" going to do. So as we went back and forth about gifts and time went on, I started to panic a little. Finally we decided that yes we could afford Christmas.
Two weeks until Christmas. I walk out to the back room and discover a lovely person in the past had painted OVER wallpaper*. That was the easy part. Other hiccups included the large holes in the walls that had been filled in by a person oblivious to the fact that there was painted over wallpaper, hence forever STICKING the wallpaper around the hole to the drywall. Electric outlets had been left on during the last painting, so the outlets were not only screwed to the wall, but also permanently stuck there by paint. I managed to crack two when I pried them off with a screwdriver. No great loss.
So, I got stuck into it. I spent LQ's nap times spraying small amounts on exposed parts of the wallpaper and then picking small strands of wallpaper off. I soon realised that at the rate I was going, I wouldn't get the room finished until the following Christmas. I enlisted the help of my sisters-in-law. Both looking after LQ for a few days while I really got stuck into the grimeyness of that room. One of those blessed sisters even helped with the wallpaper peeling. I got sick the following day, but dragged my sorry butt out to that room, determined to finish on time. I got discouraged but carried on. And three days before Christmas, I finished.
This was an old rusty lamp without a shade that I reused in the room (see below - I spray painted it white)
Now before you say that it is too feminine.... Dal's favourite colour is purple. So there's only so much you can do with purple without it looking feminine! The pillows will probably be delegated to another room soon and the chair that is in there isn't actually the chair that we will be using in there. The correct chair is a nice deep manly red leather rocker/recliner that we got for $50 off craigslist (hooray for craigslist!!). I got all but one of those picture frames for free. The shelving I found in the storage room that I just painted white. The tv we already had. So all in all it was a pretty inexpensive project. If anything, it makes me happy that I created something like that. Now I've just got to convince LQ that it really ISN'T normal to have toasted cheese sandwiches and lollies for dinner every night.
As an aside (because I feel like i haven't written enough words on this post), once I was finished I didn't quite know what to do with myself. I had thrown myself in to that room and then I had nothing. So I gave myself a few sewing projects to finish before Christmas (3 days, remember) - create a Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland inspired dress for my 2 year old niece, finish quiet book pages for my nephew, sew a small ribbon tag cube for other nephew and sew some candy bags.
* Just so you know why painting over wallpaper is BAD, BAD, BAD!!!! Wallpaper should be easy to peel off. A special solution is sprayed or wiped over the wallpaper and because of the porous nature of the wallpaper it sucks that solution right up and then you can grab big sheets of the stuff and pull it right off. IF you paint over wallpaper, then you screw up that porous part of the wallpaper and poor schlepps like me come along and have to score the painted wallpaper and pick the shreds of wallpaper off with their fingernails or if you aren't as poor as me a fun scraper tool. I googled "removing painted over wallpaper" and all I got was that there is a special place in heaven for people who have the job of removing painted over wallpaper. It wasn't really helpful.