Wednesday, December 31, 2008
When my sister Pam and her son Paul Ashley visited us June 2008, I asked my sister to make valances and drapes (she's a theater costume designer on the east coast). Pam, Mom (Lorraine), and I shopped for the perfect red/gold striped fabric. I didn't see the fabric I liked. But suddenly we found three ready made valances with the perfect fabric. After purchasing the valances (under $10 each on sale), we returned to the fabric store and found stunning tassel braid to match. I didn't get any bargain on the tassel braid--yikes $17.95 a yard. Three yards needed for each valance, and three windows. About $55 a window for tassels. Oh, but WOW. I got the look I wanted.
On the table is a shimmering green silk fabric. Pam built the most beautiful drapes and large poofy valance for the upstairs master bedroom. Six months later we are finally working on the plaster repair in the 16 x 16 master bedroom. Today, I'm ready to paint the walls a dark olive. You know, dark olive could be disaster. If so, the room will be painted "Aged Photo" a coffee w/cream color. Same color we painted the kitchen.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
There is something magical about the red dining room. Its the color. It always photographs like a tomato red, but in real life it is a more faded red. The formula is something terrific because it only took two coats. First coat would have made most people happy enough, but the second coat made it perfect.
The dining room carpet has the same shade of red, along with gold. I saw this Tiffany style lamp and went back to the store twice to look it over. The second time I took Jon along and he bought it for me. He's a great husband.
The finished dresser will go into the new bathroom upstairs 10.5 x 15' room. There is a 1903 Kohler (restored) clawfoot tub, and new pedestal sink. I'm putting our underwear in this dresser and other bathroom supplies. The name of the game having an old Victorian house is making storage space where there is NONE.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Here's a look at the process of skim coat plaster repairs. The walls downstairs are 10.5 ft. Scaffolds were used during the rennovation. Constant vacuuming required to keep up with the dust. Otherwise we'd being blowing dust around all the finished painted walls in the other rooms.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Our moto: "You can save a lot of money doing the work yourself."
We had a plaster contractor from Appleton look at the walls and ceilings in the house (3,000 sq. ft). He wanted $26,000 to put 1/4 drywall over the ceilings and walls. Another plaster contractor looked at the house and said, "The walls are in fine shape--repair the cracks and skim coat". Having the second opinion saved us $25,000.
It hasn't been easy, but my husband tackled each room. If you stick with it, it takes about a month's work per room. My husband put up new drywall ceilings. Each crack was repaired with Durabond plaster and flexible web tape. Sanded, then ready for skim coat plaster. Then sanded, then second layer of skim coat plaster. Then sanded, and evaluated for areas requiring more plaster, then sanded.
After the plastering was complete and the woodwork washed and taped, Zinzer 1-2-3 latex primer over the ceiling and walls. Two coats worked best. First coat really sopped up the paint, and of course second coat much less.
Two topcoats of latex. The kitchen is Valspar "Aged Photo" Tan, the dining room "Flaming Sunset" Red, "Bewitch" in the library, and "Barely Brown" in the Office/Music Room. A custom mix of "Barely Brown" and Brunnette" is the living room color.
We topped off each room with a double molding my husband picked out. The molding was the last thing installed in each room.
Baking Bread on the old cookstove January 2008. It doesn't great much better than the smell of fresh baked bread.
This is a South Bend Malleable Wood Cook Stove, c 1915. If this old stove could talk, eh?
In the fall and winter 2007 we used the old cook stove to keep warm and to heat up our lunch while working on the old house.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
A Snowy February and March 2007 turned into an early spring. April 16, 2007 we closed on the house. A week later the previous owner's adult grandchildren had an auction. The day was sunny and quite warm. We agreed not to enter the house until after the family auction.
We were upset at the auction when the auctioneer sold our two screen doors. Many things weren't quite right at the sale. The carpetbaggers were busy!!
2007 was probably the hardest for my husband. He worked long days with a full time job, mowing two huge lawns.
First project at the old house was getting water to the property. My husband used two 6 ton jacks to remove the sand point from the well. It moved 6 inches an hour. Like pulling a cork from a wine bottle. The damaged sandpoint was replaced, and new pump added. He hauled out the 80 gallon hot water heater, and installed a new 40 gallon unit.
The next project mid June 2007 was repairing and repainting the steel roof. We found paperwork in the house telling us the steel roof was installed new in the mide 1950s. Also with the same paperwork was a letter addressed to previous owner congratulating him on becoming President of our community.