Sunday, July 12, 2009

Next Project - North Upstairs Bedroom, 17 x 13

At the right top is a circle to a half chimney (place for the wood stove used to heat this room a long, long time ago).
Northeast corner. The walls have a fair amount of cracks to be repaired with durabond, web tape, and our standard two skim coats of plaster with sanding in between coats. Primed with Zinzer 1-2-3, and finally two coats of color. The end result is a wall finish that feels like b-u-t-t-e-r.

COLOR - Lots of room for something dramatic. I feel comfortable re-using the divine red from the dining room. Or, I could go very neutral with painting wide dark cream stripes, alternating eggshell/semi-gloss finish. I have a great black/cream toile thick comforter that would look good. Then again, there's something exciting about painting a dark blue and crisp white trim. Lots of possibilities--I just haven't decided.

The bedroom is 17 ft. long and 13ft. wide and features a north facing 3-window bay.

Front Porch Chairs

We catch some quiet time evenings on the front porch rockers. Nice place to rock, and talk about this and that. I like rocking with Jon and I never get tired of him sharing his thoughts about the house restoration, things that are bugging him, and now and then a good joke.

It is great therapy to rock and talk about things that bother us. Good to let it all out, and get a good night's sleep. Jon is a wonderful person and much like his father, gregarious and fun. We are a happy couple.

The East Porch Rocker

A good $30 rocking chair. I bought it auction.

I like to attend auctions since we started working on this old house. You meet a lot of interesting people at auctions. I lgo with my friend Kathy--she really knows her antiques and I always learn new things from her.

I find some auctioneers are dispictable and play little cheating tricks--I try to steer clear of their sales. A few auctioneers are squeaky clean honest and I try to make time to attend their sales and show my appreciation for the way they operate.

Sometimes I stay too long on a bid, and bring an item home . . . later reflecting while I'm driving home--euphoric about a great item I bought, or scolding myself about some crazy thing I drug home.

Porch Chairs

Nothing better in the cool of the evening to sit a spell on the east porch. I know. It's just a skinner little porch off the east entrance--but it happens to be the entrance we use the most.

This Summer - Finishing Painting House Exterior

July 2009
February 2007

The last two summers I've been scraping and painting on the house exterior. There are some areas in the south gable that are beyond the reach of our bucket truck. We'll have to ask our neighbor about using his Condor.
I'd like your feedback about the brown gable color.
I sure have been scratching my head about the brown. Still not sure I love it, but I think I can live with it.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Finding Original Owner of our Victorian House - John Olson Wrolstad

John Olson Wrolstad built our Queen Ann Victorian in 1893. He was born in Norway in 1839, and came to the U.S. with his parents during the 1850s. He and his father Ole Olson Wrolstad prospered in the lumber business. Here is a photo of the crew at their Northland business.
John was a Civil War veteran. His letters to his mother during the war are published in several books.

I'd been searching a long time, but yesterday I found the gravesites of John, his wife Mathea, and his parents Ole and Maren at the North New Hope Cemetery, northwest of Nelsonville, WI. I spent some time at the cemetery photographing the gravestones, paying my respects and giving thanks to them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mom Takes a Break from Exterior Painting

Mom likes to paint the column colors and the bird medallion details. At either side of the front porch and side porch doors are little bird medallions. Mom paints them like she was painting a cameo. She always does a great job and never complains. Here she is taking a deserved break.

Restored Portico - West Entrance to Summer Kitchen

The west side of the house features a decorative covered entrance. Again, everything shown here are original pieces with minor repairs. However, the horizontal 2 piece railings are newly fabricated to match original design and the entire floor structure is new material.

East Porch - Rebuilding Rail

At the left are two pieces of art, made by our friend Don Hale from Illinois. I attend Spoon River Drive every October and always buy an art piece (rusty old shovel decked out with fancy hair with washer or bolts for eyes). The first piece I bought was Chief Wild Hair, shown at the right. Second piece was Princess Mennie-Paws. I asked Don to make a child for them, and the third year he made Brussel Sprout. Brussel was so little and cute; but I gave him up to go live over at my daughter in laws house. Last fall I brought home the shovel personality on the left. I still haven't fixed on a name for him yet. Any ideas what to call him? I liked his hair (pitch fork).


My husband Jon rebuilt the porch railings for all the porches. This is the restored east entrance. The original spindles were meticulously hand-scraped and sanded. The decayed rails were replaced by new wood, cut (by shaper machine and special knives), a two-piece rail, then additional straight wood cuts for smaller vertical pieces prepared by Jon and assembled by him to appear the same as they were 116 years ago.

Tomorrow, I'll be painting the lattice work that hides the open area under the porch (left). Jon built vertical stiles in a frame instead of the traditional diamond criss-cross lattice. The lattic is primed but need two coats of trim color. Seems like painting trim takes a back seat to every other project that pops up.