This is my daughter Anna. She’s taking a picture of herself and some of her favorite things in her room. I think this was to capture the unicorn and fairy sculpture. (Trivia: She bought this at the truck stop in Colorado which doubles as the place where Sam and Mitch have breakfast burritos.) I like that it also includes the "fairy spell" (partly visible under the shelf) I made her when she was younger, to take with her when she visited grandparents and got scared at night. We’re sort of homegrown magic around here, but I was proud of that one, and it’s nice to see she still keeps it. But why I’m using this photo today is that it gives you a shot of Anna’s horrible room wallpaper.
There are three rooms in our house which when we toured it five years ago before purchasing I looked at them and said, "These go right away." Only one of them got changed, and that one took three years to be completely done. (Kitchen.) Anna’s bedroom is one of the other two. Originally it was our bedroom, but eventually we decided it made more sense for her to have the big room, and so we swapped. But the wallpaper is awful. 1980s black square outlines on white. Gag. But to redo the room, the wallpaper had to come down. On two other occasions I’d done a little bit of stripping, but it’s a BIG room.
I declared that this summer we’d get to her room, and for whatever reason, this week was the week it happened. On Wednesday Anna went to her grandparents. Wednesday night I played Sims, drank wine, and went to bed. From Thursday until about an hour ago, I’ve been doing Anna’s room. This is what it looks like now.
(All photos will enlarge when you click through.)
Wherever you see dark purple, imagine those horrible squares, and that’s what the room was. It’s a sight better now.
I did most of this work. Yes, me with the dumb chronic pain and recalcitrant body. Dan helped as much as he could, but they’re switching hospital-wide computer systems this weekend, and so he basically could give me Thursday and part of Friday night. Every drop of paint is mine, and so is the arrangement. Anna picked the color, but mostly she came home yesterday afternoon and saw this.
Anna had a chronic Stuff problem. Actually, I think Stuff is like alcoholism. It never goes away and is only managed. My strategy was to take very nearly everything from the room, then put things back in a manner which encouraged less stuff and more managed stuff. That bare wall to the left of the window in photo 1 will eventually be custom shelves made by Dan’s Dad (painted by us). There will also be an antique steamer trunk beside the white rocker in photo 4 (between the rocker and Butterscotch, but Tom (Dan’s Dad) is repairing the hinges and a tray for the top. Inside it will go all the family treasures my godmother gave to Anna and a few of her own.
But we sorted through the Barbies and put them in severe order and containment. We GUTTED the toys. Lots of garbage went in the discard pile. What was left we sorted so it could actually be found and kept up easily. She got her proper curtains back. We moved her TV. Even the fish got a refit. (See last photo!) The closet is still on the docket, but I think we need the shelves for that. We have plans to paint those white panels on her doors and in those spaces on the shutters between her room and my office with fairy scenes.
Anna was thrilled. THRILLED. I’ve had about a zillion hugs. She told me last night that if she were a sim, her "satisfaction" would be full high for two days. She hates to leave her room. She swears she will pick it up. She loves how neat it is, loves the book and vanity corner, loves her Barbie area, loves the colors.
No, she won’t be able to keep it clean always. Yes, we’ll be picking it up again, probably soon. But it’s got some good organization now, and it doesn’t have any of the damn squares.
Yeah, I buggered up my hand and arm pretty badly to do it. Yes, it’s still a little sore. Yes, they’ll be fine in another day or so.
Yes, my baby girl is worth it.