19 June 2011

Man, as I wait to hear about this new workspace, I thought my room downstairs needed a little TLC. One of the walls, where the sofa sits, I thought would look nice with some wallpaper. But instead of getting someone in, I decided to do it myself. I like the meditation of DIY. And weirdly the stress that accompanies it is similar to gigs when you feel they are about to go shit…
When I need to do anything here, I have to get translations (yes I will learn it soon) so the word for wallpaper is tapete (ta-pay-ti) and I wanted something old and smokey. After looking night after night, I found the best wallpaper shop in Berlin. It’s small but it has the most incredible amount of wall paper I have ever seen. We spent a morning last week, browsing through those big portfolios full of bits of tapete… the man who worked there was sweet and helped me find what I didn’t know I was looking for.
The next day, I had my wallpaper. 2 rolls. I bought a wallpaper paste brush and a bucket and some paste powder from Obi… it’s Home Base… and, armed with a how to wallpaper a wall web page and drawing on memories of my granda wallpapering his bedroom and showing me how to do it when I was 6, I cleared the area and set about covering that wall. I remember my granda having a wallpapering table. I thought the size of the wall didn’t warrant a big table… and the concrete floor was flat enough and easy to clean afterwards so I measured the walls and started cutting the paper so the intricate pattern would line up. Then I went upstairs and looked at the paste packet. I got on google translate and typed it all in and am glad I did. There were lots of little hints and tips… I ended up using the electric whisk to get the lumps out. Then I pasted all the paper and folded it in on itself and left the lot for 10 minutes to soak. I made a plum line and set to puting that first piece on straight… it took about 2 minutes. The second piece was harder and took about 10 minutes… The 3rd was the hardest I had to cut around a power outlet and an aluminium tube… The stress levels were reaching red. The edges were drying very fast and so curling away from the wall. I had to resort to getting my fingers covered in paste and applying it gingerly to the outermost edge all the way down each strip, i’m sure I saw my mum or my granda doing this but it could have been hallucination . Sweat was now trickling down my face, down my neck down my back. Then Nora shouted that it was time to go and collect Clay!!! But I was locked… I couldn’t stop as it all had to be done in the oner. The paste was on the paper and I was trapped… sweating like a gorilla, Nora calling every couple of minutes wasn’t helping…
I finished and made it to Clay’s kinderlader with a minute to spare…
Amazingly the wall looks great…
Songwriting is approaching. I always get nesty before a gusher… doesn’t sound too appealling but can I assure you it’s very sticky.
(yes you’ve just read about me wallpapering)

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12 Responses to “Wallpaper”

  1. Jane says:

    Fran, my mom gets this fantastic wallpaper stuff that doesn’t require paste. It’s awesome. All you do is get it wet and stick it on….it’s like postal stamps for your wall! She doesn’t seem to have difficulty with it.
    But this is probably useless information to you now. Sorrryyyy….

  2. Jay Parker says:

    Nice story, Fran πŸ™‚ I was going to do some wallpapering too, but now I’ll think twice before I start :))))

  3. Wade says:

    Don’t call the wallpaper “dickhead”.

  4. jocelyn says:

    fran you just read my mind at the end…and you answered my question jaja… hey i hope very soon we can listen to some new songs with travis or just yourself..take care fran! i hope you can come to mexico very soon we miss you! =D

  5. christine says:

    it would be cool to see the design you picked out. i always get inspired to do projects, but the prep is so uninteresting that i lost interest.. or i don’t prep proprly and it turns out crap.. haha.

  6. Gudrun says:

    I picture you buying bucket( KΓΌbel) and paste powder ( Tapetenkleber) at OBI, LOL! You made made day!

  7. Kirstin says:

    Hey Fran are you planning on writing songs for a new solo album, a new Travis album, or both?

    Wallpaper always sounding like a bitch. Glad to hear that the end result turned out nice. I’ll take painting any day!

  8. Ayari says:

    I can’t stop laughing… I can see that picture!

  9. Sue says:

    Err…. can we see the proof? πŸ™‚

  10. i was laughing so hard when i read the last sentence!
    sooo…are you going to write a nice song about wallpapering? and shoot a video at OBI! haha that would be epic!

  11. aubrey says:

    the first thing i thought of when i saw this was that episode of “i love lucy” where they try to wallpaper. i worried quite a bit that i would read on and hear about how you botched up the job and wallpapered clay into the wall by accident…etc. if you dont know what im talking about, its definitely something you should look into watching lol but i am SO glad to have read on and heard that you did a fantastic job wallpapering! πŸ™‚ congrats on work well done!

  12. nika says:

    let’s have a look at that wall! πŸ™‚

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