Please note how imperfect this is. I did it by hand, of course, perched precariously on my counters--or on a ladder. There was no way it could be perfect. And you know what? It doesn't matter, anyway.
This is where you see it.
When I started painting my kitchen cabinets and window trim, I hadn't intended to paint the soffit. I'd wanted to, but my daughter put up such a fuss that I thought I'd let the old stencil be.
But that was before I painted the cabinets.
Awful! Dingy! Too 1990's! (Though, I did it in 2000 while I was pregnant with my daughter. I'd ripped off an old strip of wall paper that had been up there--and without priming--stenciled right onto the plaster. There was no way to clean up all that yellowing.)
If the white cabinets sang, the soffit was like a relative who stands next to you in Church singing cheerily off-key. (I have one. She's charming. Just not singing.) So, one day while my daughter was at school, I slapped a coat of primer all over those grapes and vines.
And then I painted it white, like the cabinets, just in time for Thanksgiving.
My mom mentioned they looked "cold." A bit stark. "But knowing you," she said pointing upwards, "you'll do something with that space." I pointed to the photocopy on the fridge.
I had seen a stencil on a soffitt a few years ago, somewhere. It was a trellis or a bella porte design or something. It might have been in yellow. I think it was over an island, maybe. I spent a few evenings on-line trying to find it again but I couldn't.
So, I started looking at stencils on-line. I found quite a few contenders from Royal Design Studio. But I decided to go with one I had found as a free download many months ago.
I played around with scale to get the best representation of the design to fit the space I had. I ran it off the computer, taped it to a file folder and began to cut it out with my eXacto knife.
I wasn't going to make it.
My hand was already cramping and cringing. I couldn't see how I was going to do such delicate work with my head pressed up against the ceiling. This is not the Sistine chapel, I am not Michelangelo and the Pope isn't paying me, either.
And I was beginning to realise something else, too. To get it the way I wanted (black lines against a white ground), either I was going to have to paint the soffit black and pounce/stencil the white paint into the spaces (which is nearly impossible without stencil paint which I can't get locally) or use the stencil to draw the design onto the soffitt
and go back and fill in the lines with black paint.
Which, obviously, is what I did.
So, today, I cleaned up all those graphite smears and touched up the obvious splotches. I didn't tidy up the lines.
I love it. I think.
Does it look a bit like embroidery to you?
Linking up to The 147th Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch. Welcome to all visiting from the party!