Monday, January 17, 2011

wallpaper woes...

I'd been so excited to post today to show you my not-so-new but newly painted, trimmed, and wallpapered little library. Ever have one of those days where everything you touch turns to ashes? Well, welcome to my world:)

I have a good book waiting for consolation (the one I'm reading and the one I'm writing;). Now if I could just get my wallpaper to stick! We've been revamping this room for a month or so and I've taken some before, after, and happily ever after pics to show you where I'll be writing. The happily ever after part is eluding me at present but my Randy who is a sticktuit-kind-of-guy (no pun intended) is coming home later to wrestle the wallpaper into submission.

I love wallpaper. My whole life has been one pattern after another in houses old and new. NEVER have I finished papering only to return an hour later to have it peeling like a banana... Blame it on the damp northwest woods. All my Kentucky wallpaper sticks!!

Notice the Kentucky-ish border - I just love it. It might not be your cup of tea but it's surely me. At this point in the photo it was sticking. No more. My lovely colonial chair rail is now very lonely and my colonial paint in cranberry and cream (which shows up gray in this photo) is a bit drab. But there will be a happily ever after photo for you shortly, or so I hope.

Ten years ago I might have stomped my foot and cried at the mess. Today I just went into the kitchen and made soup and bread and counted my blessings. Wallpaper is such a small thing, after all. As I get older I'm more mindful of how the Lord blesses me amidst the mess of things and that peeling wallpaper is truly a laughing matter. Hope you're having a day where everything sticks:)


  1. I have two words for you, Laura. Staple gun. Or is that one word? Anyway -- while I love wallpaper and adore yours -- I'll stick to painting. Or maybe a collage or two. But wallpaper? Shudder. I'd be pasted to the wall while the paper rolled off so you're a step ahead of me. Glad you have a sense of humour about it.

    Oh and the other thing I love are words. You can get these uber cool stick 'em on calligraphy words and quotes and they never fail to stick forever and ever and are easy peasy to peel off when you're bored with them. Some sort of static charge or something. Not as pretty as your wallpaper mabye, but less frustrating. :-)

  2. YAY, KAV! I've missed you:) Your calligraphy sounds so pretty. I think I remember you saying you have that in your bedroom or writing nook. If so, it's a lovely thought and I think that might well be the way of things in future. I'd blame Wal-Mart for these borders but the inexpensive ones have always worked in the past. SUPER-glue might work for me:)

    I hope you are reading some good books and are cozy up there. I think of you often.

  3. Laura, Did you use wallpaper primer first? Also, it is a good idea to use a light coat of wallpaper paste even if it is pre-pasted. Since you have done a lot of wallpaper, as have I, I am wondering if it is the wallpaper's issue. Semi-gloss paint under that paper and no primer? When we moved to humid Virginia my FIL ended up heavily pasting the kitchen paper and I had to do the same for a border to get them to stay. Blessings!

  4. Carrie, I didn't use primer but YES, Randy brought home a big bucket of adhesive:) So now we're all set (only I've run out of border... Here's to home improvement projects. I know you are in the midst of a HUGE one yourself! Stay tuned for a happily ever after pic:)

  5. Oh, Laura, I'm so sorry! That's so frustrating. You're right, though. It's probably the humidity. How long since you painted? I've been known to go to the hardware store and get wallpaper paste and put it on pre-pasted borders. Seems like the paste on some borders is minimal.

    I'm with you - ten years ago, I would be devastated. Now I tend to take things like that in stride, and pick my battles. I guess age IS a blessing, sometimes! ;)

    Oh, when I walked into the church yesterday, a lady rushed over to tell me about a women's conference we're having at our church in
    August. My first question? "It's not the first weekend, is it? I have a previous engagement on August 6, in Winchester, KY!"

    Blessings to you, my friend!

  6. Regina,
    Oh you've made my day - or my August 6th, anyway!! I hate for you to miss your conference and hope there's no conflict. I'm such a fan of women's/church conferences. Some of the best times of my life have been at those events.

    Anyway, about 8/6...I'm so excited:) Just yesterday I ordered my POCKET HOOPS:) Yup, those poofy 18th-century things that hold your petticoats out:) These are pink and white striped. Stays are next...

    Like you, wallpaper woes are so small when I think of everyone's struggles. Blessed am I. And Randy must have read your mind - he came home with a bucket of adhesive and we've been happily smearing it on ever since:) Bless you for commiserating!

    Yes, wallpaper

  7. Once again my fingers are flying way ahead of my brain. Excuse those typos, folks:)

  8. I'm sorry about the disappointments, Laura, but I feel certain your knight of tenacious bent will rescue you from your wallpaper woes. I look forward to the happily-ever-after pictures.

  9. Well said, Keli:) He really did save the day. He's a fine knight - love that:) We just finished another episode of Robin Hood so that's very fitting. I hope to post some happily ever after pics soon. BTW, I know you've been on a happily ever after high yourself! Going over now to share in your celebration once again...

  10. One of my friends used to redecorate often, but she had a hard time making decisions. So in order to decide which wallpaper border she liked best, she'd tape a few pieces to the wall of whatever room and "live with it" like that for a while. At least her habit made for a good conversation starter! . . . I think it's important to make our special places welcoming. I know God has always provided lovely living spaces for me no matter what my budget. I love the wall border you've chosen, Laura! Very charming.

  11. Oh no! I think you and I must have had the same day yesterday ;) I was all inspired to make some curtains for audrey's room (we're redoing it to be more big girl) and when I took the curtain holder out of the window (its the sort that's attached to the blinds) I managed to break it! No matter, I thought, I had a springed rod. Yet...after I made the curtain and went to put it in the window, I broke the wand for the blinds! So I managed to break more than I made!
    Here's hoping today is a better one for the both of us ;) if moisture is a problem with the paper, you should consider stenciling. You can order so many online, or go to a craft store and get some. They really are easy, and if you have the patience to paper you have the patience to stencil :)
    I've done three rooms in my house (so far!) you can see it here:
    And no, I am not a detailed and exact sort of person!

  12. Heather, I love your rooms!! I wish I had your gift of art as it shows in every spot! And I also love stenciling. I stenciled the prettiest vine and leaf pattern in my bathroom a couple of years ago and it is so pretty. I like stenciling furniture, too. And I LOVE the fact that colonials stenciled their floors:) Some of the patterns were so charming and even better than rugs.

    Here's hoping the room re-do goes better today! We do that, too, at different stages with the boys. I can just imagine your reaction when 2 things imploded! Grrr. We were quite a pair yesterday...

    I thought of you the other day when the mailman delivered a box of back issues of Early American Life. I can't tell you the pleasure those magazines have given me:) And they are so perfect for research. Some of my best details for book 1/The Ballantyne Legacy spring from them. So you've blessed me so much!

  13. Renee Ann, I can totally understand your friend as there are so many wallpaper patterns to choose from! But her methods make me smile - a good conversation starter, indeed:) Love what you said about God providing lovely places for you no matter what your budget. That has certainly been the case for me. And it is so important to make our homes welcoming.

    One of my friends just said she has to have "order and beauty" in her home. I think this writing nook will be such a special spot. After waiting nearly half a century for a room of my own, I'm going to enjoy every minute:) So glad you like my border - it doesn't show up as well in this photo but is so pretty in person. Bless you today, Renee Ann.

  14. Laura, that wallpaper is like a warm, country hug :) But I'm so sorry it won't stay up! I'm well acquainted with those touch-and-turn-to-ashes days myself and it isn't fun at all, especially when you're trying to make something look nice in a special space- like your library! I have to say that I'm very blessed and impressed by the way you handled it- I probably would have stomped and cried, LOL! The last paragraph of your post reminded me of something you might read in a Daily Bread devotional. Thank you for encouraging us and setting a godly example :)

    Praying Randy will come out the victor so his princess will get her happily ever after! ;)


  15. Oh Amanda, Love that "warm, country hug" comment as that is exactly what I'm hoping for:) You hit it just right! I'll post a room shot when I get moved in, Lord willing, soon.

    Randy truly did save the day. He cut the troublesome paper off and we were able to save some of our work by repasting it. So now we only have the north and south walls to redo. So he really is my hero once again:)

    Thanks so much for your lovely words. The Lord has really been convicting me about my reactions to things. So much of what I fret about is not God-pleasing. I'm learning to just let the drama of life roll off and give it to Him. It's taken a long time for that to happen. Your "touch-and-turn-to-ashes" wording belongs in a novel. Simply beautiful:) But praying you're not having one of those days today!

  16. I love the wallpaper, Laura. It's very pretty, and seems to be very you. I hope you are able to get it to stay up.

    I must admit, I laughed about how ten years ago you would have cried and stomped your feet. I must admit I would too. Especially the crying part. It always seems to be the small things that frustrate me the most.

    It is always nice to have a good book (or two) waiting! I ordered A Billion Reasons Why by Kristin Billerbeck from amazon over the weekend. I also did the free trial of amazon prime, so it would ship quickly. Turns out it's shipping from here in Lexington, so I'm really hoping I'll receive it this afternoon.

    Hope you have a wonderful day! It's rainy and dreary here, supposed to have more snow later this week. I'm to the point where I can't wait for spring.

  17. Oh I am so glad! That's awesome :D hehe, I wonder if I'll be able to pick out the research? I got a subscription about the same time you did!
    I really think that sometimes God whispers to us to do things that seem so small and mundane to us, but end up being really important to someone else. I'm so happy to be a part of that!~

  18. Lovely wallpaper! I'm sure it will all work out in the end.

    I had to laugh at a couple of your comments, though (I have never laid wallpaper, I have done equally as frustrating things) I know how frustrating a time consuming project that doesn't want to work out can be!

    I love the colors you've chosen for your walls, looks like a charming place to write. :)

  19. Michelle, Glad my foot stomping and crying resonated with you:) I am often moved to tears by the little annoying things, like you said. The big things often find me calm. Odd, huh?

    A good book does help. Right now I'm halfway through Here Burns My Candle and about to have a "come apart" as I've fallen in love with the tailor and he is so NOT heroic! He has a gimp foot and sews for a living but I keep hoping above hope Elisabeth falls for him, too.

    I chuckled about your book arriving from Lexington to Lexington. I get quite a few of those with that address:) Amazon must have a major hub there or something!

    K. Billerbeck is such a great author name. I think she's a Revell author? I think she sat down the table from me at an author dinner a couple of months ago? Oh my, my age is showing...

    So glad you like the look of the wallpaper. Hoping this is a great day for you in myriad ways, my KY friend.

  20. Heather, YES, I think so, too. Often the little things delight us even more than the big things. Love that word - delight. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses - Psalm 37:4. You'll never know the joy I get from those beautiful magazines!

  21. Casey, YAY! I remember that you had one of those days not so long ago. Though from the look of your lovely jewelry I don't think you have many!

    I do love the paint colors. I wanted those warm, rich colonial colors and found them. I think when my little woodstove is moved in and my desk it will be quite charming - and inspirational. Bless you today!

  22. Hmm, wood heat, nothing better. :) I imagine it will be just about perfect for coming up with great stories. :)

    Yes, sigh, I have those days, more often than I should, just another lesson on turning it over to God right?? Thanks, glad you enjoy the jewelry. :)