We got an email from some readers recently, proclaiming themselves to be “Our Number 1 fans from Seattle”. You boys will have to battle that title out with some of our other Seattle fans…..
Peter and Joe were headed to Texas for a few days and wanted some advice for places not to be missed. Of course, your Cavender boys had a few suggestions……
Included in the email were a handful of pictures of their Seattle living room. All the usual things that we love ……globes, Pendleton, postcards, vintage books, framed Indians, a velum suitcase absolutely covered in vintage hotel stickers…my head is spinning just writing about it. But our favorite element by far was the fireplace artwork…
Take a gander…
Yeah the suitcase, and books, and even the tractor seat intrigued us, but we really caught us by the throat was the white-on-black art piece. How clever is that?
We asked how they did it…….
I moved into a contemporary condo that is Triple B – Beige Builder Basic. Like most other renters, I am not allowed to make any permanent changes to the décor of my apartment. Although I love the look of chalkboard paint, I cannot repaint any of my walls due to strict tenant guidelines.
I used roofing paper, thumbtacks, sidewalk chalk and hairspray to personalize my fireplace with a temporary chalk art solution.
I cut the paper to size and wrapped my fireplace walls to create a canvas that was both blank and black. Like non-adhesive wallpaper, I tacked the roofing paper above the mantel, taking additional care to secure the corners with extra thumbtacks.
Once I had my writing surface, I chose my content. Joe and I moved to Seattle because he works for NBC and took a new position with the Seattle affiliate. The move happened very quickly – so quickly that we pretty much moved with nothing but clothes. In truth, we own a condo in Minneapolis (where we are from), and with no time to sell it, we decided to rent it furnished. As such, we literally left all decor and furniture behind.
As we drove our loaded Honda to the Puget Sound through Mt. Rushmore, Cody and Yellowstone, we blasted “Go West!” (Both the Village People and Pet Shop Boys version). Hence, the textual choice on our wall.
I chose the words to the song “Go West” as text – with some personal twists on the lyrics. While you could trace ledger lines with a pencil, I chose to write freeform, holding a yardstick as my guide.
As a final step, I sprayed the entire surface down with aerosol hairspray to prevent smudging. You can specifically buy fixative art spray, but as an art student, I always used hairspray as a money-saving substitute. Plus, it’s also good for rooms with poor ventilation. Before using either, spray a test area to make sure there isn’t any discoloration.
Handle with care:
Most roofing paper is asphalt based, so it may scuff your walls. As you hang the paper, be precise so you don’t smudge the surrounding surface. For any accidental marks, soapy water and elbow grease should do the job.
Unlike a traditional chalkboard, tar paper is not forgiving; in other words, you probably won’t be able to erase any mistakes. Write carefully so you don’t have to start over and rehang your paper due to a typo.
This flower is both annual and perennial:
Originally, I intended to replace the black paper and redo the text periodically. I was skeptical about how long the thumbtacks would stick and the chalk would hold up. Two years later, however, the fireplace looks just as it did when the project was completed. While I’ve kept my original installation, some seasonal suggestions would be to display your favorite yuletide lyrics as holiday décor, or incorporate a poem or greeting for a themed party.”
Thanks Peter, for sharing your creative art solution.
Go West, indeed.
Wish I had thought of that……..