10.30.2014

One Room Challenge - Week 5 - in which the heroine addresses a crisis of confidence



Creating a good work of art takes time.
It demands patience.
It can't be rushed.
There will be days, months, years even, when you look at your canvas and think all the time you've spent on it has been for nothing.
But that's just exactly when you have to keep on going.
Because the day will arrive when you realize that all those insignificant little dots were adding up to something extraordinary.

                                                                                                                                                    Lisa Borgnes Giramonti


While I certainly do not count myself as an artist per se, I do consider any room that I design a canvas of sorts.  For that matter, I consider life to be a canvas of sorts, but that is a dissertation for another day. As with many artists, I fall victim to self-doubt throughout the ebb and flow of my creative process.  This round of The One Room Challenge™ is no exception.   Here in week 5 I have to remind myself to just keep on going because it feels as though no significant progress has been made even though I have been working all week in this 5 x 11 box of a room.


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If you have no earthly idea what I am talking about then get out from under your rock and read about it here.  If you are visiting for the first time, what took you so damn long?  I am re-doing my bathroom in 6 weeks as part of The One Room Challengelinking event. For a recap of weeks 1 – 4 click on the links below:


Whenever I find myself with a crisis of confidence or in a creative stale mate, I seek inspiration from kindred spirit animals.  Lisa Borgnes Giramonti is one such animal.  Although we have never spoken or even ever exchanged so much as an email, I am wildly inspired by her. I feel her, deeply.  I react viscerally to her writing, her love of literature, and her profound appreciation for detail in the art of living.  The art of living is something about which I feel quite passionate.  While I concede that we are not solving humanity's problems with good design or the One Room Challenge, specifically, the importance of art in life, which as it turns out, is nothing more than committing to something and following through wholeheartedly with your best work or intention, is as vitally important as breathing.

Committing to a challenge to re-do a room from start to finish in 6 weeks may seem easy.  It may even seem frivolous.  Let me assure you, that it is not.  When you add to that - public accountability in the social media arena, it is a downright terrifyingly defining call-to-action. Even when armed with a team of professionals ready to do your bidding, delays happen.  And I don’t have a team of professionals on hand… The deadline is precisely what makes participating in this so exciting and nerve-wracking and marriage-wrecking all wrapped into one. Even though art cannot be rushed, deadlines keep us accountable. As Ira Glass advocates, all of us who do creative work get into it because we have decent taste, or at least we think we do, and we realize that we must do a lot of work, even if it isn't that great, in order to create something extraordinarily special.  We must set deadlines for ourselves to turn out the work. Each and every time I agree to do the ORC, I know I am chasing that elusive 'special greatness' or in the parlance of connoisseurs, my master piece.  But, as Ira points out, most quit too soon. Most give up in the mediocre stages of creation, and this is what I must remind myself in the midst of each round - especially in week 5 with disparate patches of dry wall dots.  I know I am not great.  I know that my reach does not always match my vision.  But one thing I have learned from being a perfectionist, is that it is far better to try and fail with your whole heart, then to have never failed at all because you didn't try, or worse, because you only tried half-heartedly.

This ORC thing is mind boggling to my mister.  It is down right confounding to my non-design amigos.  It seems easy to my fellow arm-chair decorating enthusiasts who peruse Pinterest and tear inspiration sheets from shelter mags.  I know this first hand because I was one during the first handful of rounds. It is an entirely different thing altogether to design a room and take it from concept through to full installation – let alone do it in 6 weeks, in the public arena, on any kind of reasonable budget.  

My friend Linda from Calling it Home started this brilliant ORC a few years ago and it has since become a major phenomenon, rightfully so, trademarked, with mega watt participants, mondo reno budgets, sponsors, and editorial worthy results.  But at its core the ORC has always been about motivating and inspiring creative people to do more of their own work.  As a result, legions of creatives have rallied to the call and have done an extraordinary thing.  They have created. And continue to create their own work and put it out there, which in turn, inspires others to create.  While I stress about whether or not I will finish, or while I experience crazy pangs of anxiety about falling short, or whether or not my vision will live up to expectation, I remind myself of both the smallness and bigness of the task at hand. I am creating for creation sake, with my whole heart, so that one day, after many, many creations, I can realize that special thing.  But it is also just a damn room.

What does all this rambling esoteric mumbo jumbo mean?  It means that I need to simply get on with it, and leave the doubt behind. I will do what I set out do.  Create a room.  It may be great or it may not. I hope it happens within the allotted amount of time. At the outset in Week 1, I said this would be a simple refresh project.  Slap some paint on the walls, switch out some hardware, and fancy up a shower curtain.  Best laid plans of mice and men…

But like with many projects, scope creep has happened.  Things have evolved from the original plan... 



to this..



Instead of a simple vanity light swap, I got blinded by the light of gold petal sconces and a vintage glamazon 70s brass chrome paramour that I have been quietly stalking for no less than 2 years.  No exaggeration. 

Last week I left off hoping that we could run the electricity without incident over the weekend and I am happy to report that our marriage survived the task at hand.  The kharmic explosion of the combo fan/light, while in my best interests for a new-to-me brass light, left a huge gaping square hole in the ceiling.  We got the electrical sorted out and in the practical interest of ease, we elected to wait to put the fixtures up until after painting, given the size and shape of the fixtures. Fingers crossed our electrical wizardry is correct.

Moving electricity from an overhead vanity to sconces and replacing a torched overhead fan/light combo has resulted in the neverending  patch work story. Which leads to lots of waiting for said patches to dry.  And lots of sanding.  And lots of cleaning.  And more patching and more waiting.  And more sanding.  Rinse and repeat.  While I was up on my ladder patching holes, I came face to face with the slap shod drywall work I did 8 years ago.  It was lumpy bumpy at best.  I rushed the paint job 8 years ago and I am rectifying those mistakes this go round.  That of course means more sanding and patching.  But I have made progress, or at least more of a mess.  Case in point:


in which I thought I was done with a few simple patches


in which I realized that the walls looked like the back of my thighs


oh look, a tiny hole patch...


oh wait, many more patchy patches.  at least I have sconce wiring, right?


All of this to say that I am almost exactly where I was last year when faced with the reality of going into week 5 without paint on the walls.  My right arm has once again fallen off from fatigue and landed somewhere in Australia. Which means nothing gets installed until paint is dry.  Which really means I have no idea if my vision is any good in reality. What if I hate the paint? Hence that inevitable moment of self-doubt - that creative process of a hamster wheel that runs the gamut of euphoric best idea ever, humbling self-doubt, down to the crippling realization of minimal progress, intoxicating hope of survival, and back up to euphoric amazingness of concept realized.  Let’s hope I can claw my hamster butt up from feeling that my efforts have been futile through hopes of survival and back to euphoric amazingness.

Because current reality looks a lot like this:

Finish sanding walls to glossy smoothness
Prime ceiling and walls
Paint ceiling
Paint walls and trim
Paint beadboard
Install overhead light
Install sconces
Install towel rod
Install shower rod
Install faucet
Finish trim on curtain
Hang art
Accessorize
Shoot room

Shiver me patchy freakin timbers.

But I cannot leave you in an esoteric pit of despair.  On the upside, I received my JennyAndrews-Anderson painting and it is simply brilliance in art form.  A true artist.  And at 3pm today, brass sexiness arrived at my door in the form of my faucet which I ordered only 2 days ago.  Bam.  Love me some Amazon Prime.



By next week, I will have rushed to get a finished product to show you on time.  It is my hope that in the end, all of my insignificant-seeming little patch dots add up to something quite extraordinary. While I am hoping for a glamorous loo worthy of Mame Dennis or, to put a finer point on it, a masterpiece of a bathroom, I will be exceedingly satisfied that I have given this room my whole heart.  I will charge ahead inspired with a breath-of -life vitality for having produced another creation from start to finish.

Now, speaking of inspiration, go check out the other linking participants. And speaking of art in life, check out the final reveals of the 20 ORC participants next Wednesday.  True artistry indeed.


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Be sure to tune in next Thursday for my cliff-hanger…




All designs, layouts, and photos by Emily Vanderputten unless otherwise noted

kisses,  mrs. V

33 comments:

Decor To Adore said...

"In which the walls look like the backs of my thighs." Hoooheeeehahaha! Thank you SO much! I needed a bit of laughter right now. I have faith in you that it WILL all come together and that FAUCET! Truly swoonworthy. Love MFAMB.

Mallory said...

Going to be so amazing....now I want the brass faucet!! And that art is stunning...I am off to stalk her now :) Good luck this week, cheers to the next 5 days holed up in out bathrooms...sigh

Beth of designPOST Interiors said...

Reality is not pretty around here right now either but at least you have a MFAMB to hide any imperfections!

epinteriordesigns.com said...

Girl, you crack me up but yet I can so relate to so much of your update!! I am really digging the sexy faucet! You'll have to share the spec! You CAN do It!!

Albertina M. Cisneros said...

I love your new plan...that mirror and those sconces are fabulous. So many mixed feelings at this point right? especially if you expanded the scope. But like you say it's just a room. And the important thing like you say as well is that you are creating and this is what we all love to see and do. I'm really excited about your project. I hope you finish by next week, and if not do a week 7!! We will all be rooting for ya! Dying to see the reveal!

Ange said...

The new mirror, simply fabulous! The walls being free of wall cellulite, awesome! You can do it! Peeing in a gorgeous room, priceless!

kate@willowinteriors said...

Okay not only will your bathroom be extraordinary, but you absolutely crack me up! Every time!
I hear you on the painting nonsense...I held off doing the goddamn ceiling, hoping I wouldn't have to... Guess what I was doing this week?
Love the faucet and I know I'm going to love this room. ;)

Beth C. said...

Dear Mrs. V,
Don't fret, you do have design greatness in you. I have loved each of your ORC designs and have been in awe of your fearless genius. So much so, that I have tried (IN VAIN) to subscribe via email to your blog no less than four times. I even get the confirmation email, to which I dutifully reply. No go.

While I'm at it, I must comment on how difficult it is to read the tiny font (yes, I double click to enlarge, but alas, still squishy) and the pale pink font on a white background makes me go nearly blind. Yet I forge on because your words delight. Your blog is a breath of fresh air, but it truly is an eye strain. I congratulate myself each time I make it to the end.

I use an iPad. Don't know if that makes a difference. Maybe once you are through with week six, and you have recovered, and we have been appropriately awed by another triumph you would turn your attention to these pesky issues. Best, Beth C.

Dana Casey said...

that is one sexy faucet! sending encouragement to keep up the good work. your updated plan is great too. dana

House of Pemberley said...

I have absolutely zero doubt that you will finish, with astounding results. You. Are. That. Good.

Erin | Holtwood Hipster said...

Can I just tell you how much I appreciated (and related) to this post! I seem like a total lunatic to those around me (who, let's face it, scratch their heads in confusion about all the ORC business, but then somehow are more than willing to get sucked into my little projects each week!). The truth is - I love the challenge, the buzz of activity it creates in the house, the camaraderie and the fact that for better or worse, I have a finished room at the end of 6 weeks. So thank you for the timely and well worded post... and that scope creep you mentioned... it was all for the best. That combo is pretty spectacular.

Christine Dovey said...

I can't tell you how much I LOVED reading your words and how much they gave me a bit of solace, seeing as my bathroom is sort of falling apart. In any case...I really, really appreciated your words and know you are going to have one amazing bathroom when you are finished with it. That faucet is ridiculous and I can't wait to see that gorge shower curtain up...and the mirror...and the sconces. Good, good, good.

xx

The Pink Pagoda said...

We all have faith in you and are sending all of our encouragement! It's going to look amazing and is going to be so worth it in the end, Chez! :)

Carrie @ Cosy Carolina Interiors said...

So well said! The art of living, I like that idea. I also think your updated plan is even better than the first fantastic vision. And that faucet is holy moly.

Kim@The Green Room Interiors said...

If it makes you feel any better I haven't even begun to look at faucets. What is it with you and wall prep? Looking forward to having my mind blown on reveal day next week!

LIV Vintage said...

I echo so many of your musings !!!
You have a fabulous plan and I cannot wait to see it in its final glory !!!
I am off to paint my dots.....

Vanessa@decor happy said...

What a beautifully written post! I'm sure it will look fab as you have that fabric, the faucet, those sconces...

tara martel said...

lovey love....that hardware is amaze and those sconces are going to be fantastic. Really really cannot wait for your reveal next week!

Tracy Laverty said...

Wonderfully written post. You will finish with amazing results. I'm sure. I think everyone in the ORC feels a bit stressed at this point. However, I'm grateful for a deadline because it forces me to get my work done (or at least mostly done). I can't wait for your reveal!

stephanie at Stephanie Kraus Designs said...

All I have to say is that faucet is amazing!! enough said!!

SHERRY HART said...

Alrighty then....I so agree with that little rant. I never know if my vision is on point or a little of "what was I thinking".....It is such a crap shoot and I just pray and hope it is acceptable amongst the other 19 talented babes in the group. We all have different taste so I narrow it down to good design weather it is my taste or not you know what I mean? It is so humbling to throw it out there...especially since we all have different budgets. But dang we have seen spectacular rooms done with Ikea and no money so it's hard to blame it on no funds....Let's just see how it all plays out:)

Tiffany said...

I'm rooting for you and I really think you'll pull it off but even if you don't I'll be stalking your blog for the reveal;). And P.S. so well written. Like you could see right into my brain!

aquahaus said...

OMG. You're so sweet. Dude, nothing like the ORC to make you philosophize. Is that a word? But seriously, you have skillz, and I have no doubt that you will kill this. Paint be damned.

Katie {Miss Dixie} said...

I'm loving your first quote. Relating to design aspects, but also a much bigger picture as well. And I feel I am chasing that dream, that something amazing is going to happen in the midst of the chaos these 6 weeks. I know you will pull this room off with a bang and can't wait to see it. Stealing those faucets for the next house project!!

Naomi@DesignManifest said...

Girl I joking you in bumpy wall misery. But I know this gonna look so good. That faucet handle is looking sexxxxxy. And Jenny's paintings look great anywhere but somehow seem perfectly fitting for a loo. Good luck!

Kate Collins said...

I feeel ya! Yesterday, I dropped some fabrics off at my dry cleaners to make two pillows for the ORC. She called me today and said, "you better come in" I pack up both my kids and get down to the cleaners, only to have her say, "are you sure you want to use this fabric? It's really not nice. And you want orange pom pom trim with pink? These colors don't go" Yep. Was already questioning my choices here but thanks for the reassurance. Ha! Well, let me tell you - yours is going to be gorgeous! You know how I feel about those sconces that I think about daily. And your mirror and shower curtain - perfection!

Summer Hogan said...

Man I feel ya! It's crunch time! Loving that faucet :)

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

A wonderful post and bearing of soul. I have faith that your end result will be as fabulous as all of your best rooms where creativity explodes! The faucet and your plan are great. Best of luck dear one for a productive and mistake-free last week. Xo Nancy

Krystine @ www.KrystineEdwards.com said...

Girl story of everyone's life right now! Changes rock and you will make it happen, I know it!

C a i t l i n said...

For many reasons, I just love this post. You have put into words many of my thoughts and emotions about design/ art and life, all much more eloquently than I ever could. I can tell from all those patches that those walls have been a serious cluster&*#$. Remind yourself how a good paint job is all about the prep and remember to breath, sister. If it makes you feel any better I am also finding myself in serious "I am screwed" mode too this week.

Debbie@Vintage Scout Interiors said...

I get you girl! Thanks for that little push to keep going. I'm not doing ORC, but working on a project feeling the same way. And your batn is going to be amazing. I can't stand how much I love that Mrs. Robinson print.
PS: I put one of Jenny's paintings in a client's living room here in Oakwood- I love her stuff

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

Very well said my friend, per usual. You just keep your eyes looking forward and keep on doing what you do. It will be fab and smooth - you will have very smooth walls. And hot damn, those faucet handles.

Jessie Miller said...

Preach on sister!!!!!


I adore that faucet and CAN'T WAIT FOR THE REVEAL. I know you will rock it!