New skills and a little tour info

As some of you might remember from previous posts, I’ve been doing a little redecorating the last year or so, trying to bring back some of the charm of our old Victorian house.  We’ve redone the roof, the foundation, and everything in between.  We’ve found old bottles, grave markers, and a fax diamond ring.  We discovered that there is no insulation in most of the exterior walls, (excuse me?!?) and that the chimney running through the bedroom is usable if we care to invest a few dollars.

I grew up comfortable with works in progress, but most of the big jobs here are out of my reach, not to mention having been so busy that even painting the walls has fallen to others.  I’ve been able to pick out colors and styles like crazy and have learned the skill of power shopping, and am consistently recognized in the home improvement store as that “that couple that uses two carts”, but I’ve missed the actual doing when it comes to the interior work.

The grand suite has been a sticking point with me.  It’s always been comfortable, but there were a few changes I wanted, and I wanted to make them myself, darn it.  The door was out of my reach, and the new drywall on the leaky ceiling, but I could repaint the stupid thing.  Finally last weekend, I was able to devote a little time, and thanks to some prep work two weeks previous concerning picking out colors and patterns, I announced to Guy early Sunday morning that I needed his help moving the bed because I was going to wallpaper one wall in our room.  (One wall, and only one wall, never the entire room.  That’s all I wanted.  The rest gets a new coat of paint Thanksgiving weekend.)  Knowing that I’ve never wallpapered  anything, he nevertheless helped me move the bed–and then wisely got out of the way.  -grin-  I didn’t want any help.  I get frustrated when people help me before I’ve had a chance to try it on my own first.

My, my, my, I had a good afternoon, let me tell you.  The tiny slip of instructions that came with the rolls was very helpful once I found my bifocals, and the claw foot tube was a much better choice for soaking and folding the paper than that ridiculous tray I had bought.  With the plumb line and level to get me started, (and lucking out by starting in the right direction) the first strip went up in a mess, instigating a reassessment of how to do this and quick run through the house to get a second towel. The second one, though, was easy, and by the fourth paper, I felt like a pro, whipping out that stiff-bristled brush and smoothing lines without squashing out any of the paste.  (big smile)  So now I can add wallpaper to my deck of home improvement skills.  I’m not sure if I’m comfortable papering around lots of windows or doors, but big blank walls?  I can do that!

PS  The picture of the orchids has absolutely no meaning to the above post, but I’ve got a mess of blooms starting, and I can’t wait until they pop.  I’m thinking . . . Feb?  Right when I’m on tour?  sigh  Also, I should have a lot of tour info soon.  The Tour-T’s are also ordered.  We will have about 200 available for holiday shopping, and then more after the first of the year.  I’ll let you know once they are actually in my hand and we know how much to charge for them.  Freebies are being prepped as well.  More on that as I get them.  And finally, because the PALE DEMON mass market is going to be out very soon, you can find fabulous discounts on the hardcover right now.  Happy Hunting!


Filed under Drama Box

32 responses to “New skills and a little tour info

  1. Congratulations on successfully hanging your wallpaper. Not something I’ve ever had any desire to try!

    I wrote about my NaNo adventures in my blog today and gave you a shout-out since your blog has been so helpful. I’m putting the link here just as an FYI. Felt like I should since I mentioned you.

  2. AKR (Trinidad)

    Wow wallpaper … I can safely say that’s not something I’ve ever tried .. but there’s time still … I’ll keep yuh posted … 🙂

    But OMG home improvement to ras’
    Right now we have a project going on here in my new home that started with changing the carpet to getting hardwood … to carpet and hardwood … and painting and yikes … all sorts of madness ….

    SO rooms are being painted, floors are being done …, and lil ole me looking for a corner to sit with my laptop and get my job searches completed …!!!

    Today was definitely a challenge for me … I’m sure at some point I wanted to pull my hair out …!!! Between the paint fumes and the staple gun I thought my head was going to explode … :-/

    BUT … needless to say the place looks Beeeeaaauuutttiiifulll!!!
    The floors are gorgeous ..!!! The newly painted rooms .. so soft and comfy and inviting … *sigh* … Yuh gotta love it ..!!!

    [sorry if I was rambling :-/]

    Have a great day all … ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂

    AKR (Trinidad)

    • AKR (Trinidad)

      Maybe I should have done like CTannStarr and go to a Starbucks …lol except there isn’t one very close to me, sigh ..!!!

    • AKR, I am in culture shock. The Starbucks in Texas are drive through. I’m standing in the parking lot going, “What the f___??? I have to sit in the parking lot? Seriously?” so I start hunting for the ones that actually have interiors with coffee bar stools and am so lost and clueless down south it aint funny (but kind of is – turns out I’m a native New York heathen that needs a vocabulary adjustment – LOL).

      I’m in sugar and caffeine withdrawal driving Melodious crazy but loving the Tex Mex (new foodie addiction – silly grin).

      I’ve been on the road for days… I almost don’t want to leave her house but Melody took me lake side just before sun set and we were there for hours on a photo shoot (a fave weakness my blogging buddies know how to exploit – silly grin).

      Now I’m composing music and thinking up new author visual mischief. They’re gawking at all the sound and film equipment we’re unpacking from my car. They are staring at a bunch of UPS boxes going, Hmm… she brought mail to mail… a lot of mail to mail (LOL).

      My whacked vacation will be blogged about in spades… Texas is mad beautiful. I’m thinking I can make good use of those visuals as backgrounds for floating titles. 😉

    • We don’t have a Starbucks close to us, either, but after almost a year, I found a place that makes really good lattes within walking distance of my house. Huuraaa!

  3. That is very cool. Wallpaper is mad tricky. You’re brave for tackling it because just the idea makes me want to run and hide. Having removed wallpaper on a few occasions I realize the work involved is amazingly time consuming.

    The chimney running through the bedroom would make a stellar project. Just the thought has me smiling. I love them.

    Tour tees… (very happy sighs and a few deliriously loud squeeees in progress from the virtual dinner party crew over here – LOL). I have Skype up. My New York peeps are plotting a FL run so we can crash together in Miami for your book tour. Some of the Club Chaos Rainers are thinking about a Seattle trip too. My running amok for the last several days across America has them wondering what mischief I’ve been up to on the road because I haven’t really blogged anything… I’m hoarding again (and so are my hosts – LOL). 😉

    Just did an amazing TX photo shoot lakeside. The west is very beautiful at sun set. Melody just talked me into staying at the Botting house until Dec 4th (for a wedding and baby shower and promised to ignore me so I can write, read all the blogs I missed and get back to chatting and NaNoWriMo).

    I have to go lurk on your previous posts and catch up. Enjoy your evening, Kim. I missed you guys during all that road trip drama. 🙂

    • Ahhh, I was careful, TannStarr to pick a pattern that was very easy to match, and a wall that had only three sockets to cut around. Easy peasy. 🙂

      I hear what you’re saying about Texas. I fell in love with the desert in July.

  4. Jade/Third Coast

    I stripped the wallpaper off in my bathroom recently. My house is about 90 years old and the bathroom always had wallpaper. I have kept it up while living here, which is a very long time. However, the older I got, the more I realized how hard it would be to change wallpaper. I only changed it when it started to get dingy or fade and I usually hired someone. But, it isn’t easy to find someone who wants to do just one room and a small one at that.

    I did it myself, once, and was very lucky. I pulled the old stuff off and the wallpaper stripes not only came off in complete pieces, but it came off easily. I marked each strip with a number and a corresponding number on the wall and then cut the new stuff using the old paper as a pattern. I also used my claw foot tub to wet the paper. It still was a chore going around windows, etc.

    This time when I removed the wallpaper, it was awful. Messy, time consuming and lots of elbow grease. Nothing like before and it took forever. After all the paper was off I applied texture and then painted. I know I could have painted over the wallpaper, but I didn’t want the seams showing. I will miss the wallpaper because I really liked putting a pattern on the wall, but maintaining the painted walls will be easier for me.

    I took a piece of original wallpaper that was still on the walls of my closet, framed it and hung it on the wall. People can see the original wallpaper in the house, even the netting they used back then as the backing. I think that is a as close as I will get to putting wallpaper on any walls in this house again.

  5. Victoria Eskey

    Yay!! Congrats on your wallpapering adventures!! And I am super excited to hear about the new t’s!! I did want to day thanks for the “pep-talk” yesterday! I’m running full speed with my story, and did get a little tripped up when my plot had a huge plausibility error, but I fixed it by moving the location and now there is sooo much extra it’s wonderful. And I am definately going to pick up another copy of pale demon. I keep lending mine out, and I need a backup copy

  6. jkh

    My aunt wallpapered most of her tiny house, several times over the decades. The primary reason was to camouflage the irregularities in the walls. And she loved color and patterns. She taught me how to patch holes, tears, etc. (She had a real prize of a husband who damaged things when drunk.) I could do a patch on wallpaper or linoleum, but don’t ask me to wallpaper! I’m just intimidated by the whole idea.

    Congrats on jumping into it!

  7. Wallpapering, too? I love to admire it but have never had the desire to partake of the task. Good for you to add another feather in your Hollows hard hat of how-to projects.

    New Tour t-shirts — can’t wait until they’re out and up for sale. I’ll be getting me one even if you’re not stopping by a town near me.

    Didn’t get a chance to respond to yesterday’s post but I did enjoy the supportive advice to those of us who jump around our writing projects. My brain doesn’t work right unless it’s flitting about like a butterfly; takes longer to finish things but they do eventually get finished. I’ve torn apart a going nowhere novel and it’s in queue for a revamp.

    • That’s just it, Jeannie. I had no desire at all until I started trying new things on in my head about what to do with my room. Now that I’ve done it, I might do another wall. We’ll see.

      I’m a big believer that there are as many ways to write as people willing to put pen to page. Find what works for you!

  8. Howdy ma’am,

    Will there be a “Handy Hollows How to Guide for Dummies” coming out soon?


  9. Colleen

    I did try my hand at wallpaper in our teeny tiny bathroom and almost ended up divorced! I understand it’s making a comeback as a design tool and I have seen some gorgeous paper but having removed miles and miles of wallpaper over the years, putting more up sounds like torture!!!

    • I hear you, Colleen. We had some very ugly red wallpaper with chickens on it in the front entry way. We found it easier to take the wallboard off and expose the beautiful stairway instead. I thought long and hard about putting more up, but this stuff is supposed to be easy to remove.

  10. I have never Wallpapered but I am sure that it would not go well for me at all.

    Oh I can’t wait to see what the next freebie might be! And I can’t wait to see you again, hopefully in Lansing!

  11. Diva

    We recently sold our home but before we put it on the market we had to re-paint almost every room. I love color but our real estate agent advised us to go with more neutral colors in order to appeal to the most buyers. So I did it, pretty much all by myself since my husband, though I love him dearly, is far too messy. I can safely say that I hope to never touch another paint brush again. 🙂

    Very excited about the tour tees. I’ve not been around long enough to experience a new relase with the rest of you so this is all a first for me. And I’m definitely getting a tee. I hope you manage to make it to Texas for the book tour. I see you came to Houston last year. If you visit a state one year does that mean you skip it the next?

    • Hi Diva. Yep, been there, done that. But I like painting. It gives me a chance to mull things over and Guy leaves me alone. Actually, he really vanishes, and it’s nice to be uninterrupted for an entire day like that.

      I didn’t see TX on the list, but things can change.

  12. Two more weeks and the bups are gone. Thanksgiving is target date.


    Gee, you’re lucky. I discovered wallpapering is grounds for divorce. For my first attempt, I had a tiny print and windows. As I tried to line things up, I cursed up a storm. The TD came in, and for some reason thought I was yelling at him. Not pleasant.

    I recognize a Home Depot Cache pot. It’s very sad, there are a mess of orchids from the other greenhouse that were moved here. That greenhouse is slated for demo at the end of the month and hundreds of plants are going to be destroyed.!/photo.php?fbid=2511886552282&set=a.2049766639573.2120281.1106691725&type=3&theater!/photo.php?fbid=2511883912216&set=a.2049766639573.2120281.1106691725&type=3&theater

    • I’m sorry, Mud. I can’t get your links to work!

      I’m also sorry to hear about the orchids. You think they could have a sale or something. Open it up to the public.

  13. You’re a multi-talented lady!!! Wallpaper wow… I’m nervous about the idea of painting. My husband and I decided to go new for our first house because I’m more handy then he is and thats pretty sad. I’m sure we’ll learn as we go.

    Can’t wait to see the Tour-Ts!

  14. Good Morning Kim!

    Can I get an Amen for power shopping?! When I’m on a mission, just get out of my way. Although, if I have the time, I can browse for hours. Congratulations on your newest project. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You can always look at that wall and say “Hey, I did that!”

    I am still holding out hope you will be coming to the Philly area on your tour, but if not it will be “D.C. or Bust” for me.

  15. MelanieS

    Don’t ask me to wallpaper anything, ever, unless you want it to look like a five year old completed the job. I’ve been playing piano by ear since I was five years old, I can repair most auto problems that don’t need major mechanic tools, and thanks to my techie husband, I can also fix most computer problems.

    Do not ask me to cut or glue in a straight line though. Nope. Not going to happen.

    • See! Everyone has their strong points. Me, I don’t drive in unfamiliar places very well. I know it. I avoid it. But I will try new things with my hands at the drop of a hat.