Sunday, February 28, 2010

East Bedroom - Repair Walls

Now we begin the last bedroom upstairs in our 1893 Queen Anne Victorian.   This is the East bedroom. 

We've been working on the house since April 2007.  I pulled the wallpaper off this East Bedroom in June 2007. 

Like a wild animal, I let the room get away from me, filling it with moving boxes, furniture and odds and ends.  Mostly "odds".  The room became a jungle known as Junk Room #2.

Today, the junk is gone and we got down to the nitty gritty of repairing the walls. 

I began by brushing and vacuuming the sandy surface of the plaster walls.  Below the windows you can see the quarter sized holes where Jon blew in insulation.  The room was so warm today we had to open up the window--even though it was snowing outside. 

Considering how much it was snowing outside it was a bright day.  I appreciated the outside light pouring-in as these Wisconsin winters can be so gloomy.  Tomorrow is March 1, and the forecast is for milder weather.
This is the north wall of the East bedroom.  There is a half chimney at the left top.  The chimney is no longer in use, but at one time a stove provided heat to the upstairs in this spot. 

At this point our old house is very well insulated.  We heat with a wood burning furnace and our upstairs is always very comfortable in the winter months. 

When the wood fire goes out towards the wee hours of the morning, the gas furnace turns on automatically for an hour or so, until Jon gets up and gets the wood burning furnace going again.  Our gas bill last month for our 3000 sq. ft. house was $36. 

Blowing insulation into the old house not only keeps the house cooler in the summer, and very comfortable in the winter, but dampens the outside noises.  The snowmobilers just half a block from our house are busy riding during the winter months, but we can't hear them unless we go outside. 

The upstairs walls/ceilings are 8 ft., whereas downstairs they are 10.5ft.

In the summer of 2007 Jon brought water to our old house, then repaired and painted the standing seam steel roof (circa 1950).  The roof system saved this old house as it sat vacant for almost 40 years.  Third order of business was blowing insulation--saved lots and lots of heating dollars. 
The combination pink/green has a certain appeal.  Nonetheless, we move forward.
These two photos: (top) is a short closet door, and below is the door to the hall.  The original doors, hardware, and woodwork are in beautiful shape.  The floors have been painted for a long time--although it appears there is only one coat of paint. 

The doors upstairs have locks and keys.

Here's my dear friend Pam, applying a coat of Durabond over the blue web tape to repair cracks. 

Jon applying Durabond coat, embedding it into the web tape to repair wall cracks. 

Moderate to tiny cracks are covered with blue web tape, followed by a thin coat of Durabond, just enough to embed the tape.   We'll let the coat dry thoroughly.  Because we are mostly weekend warriors, I'll wait until next weekend to start (first coat) of skim coat.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Finishng Touches on Toile Lamp Shade

I finished trimming the vintage lamp Saturday.
You know, half the fun is finding a really cool vintage shade to cover.  I covered this one a couple weeks ago, and finished the trim work last Saturday night.
Can you see the two layers of fringe added to the bottom?  Do you think two layers are too much? 

I took the shade with me to Hancock Fabric on Saturday to find some trim.  Everyone was so helpful at the store.  I asked questions, and several opinions later--a couple gals told me to "go for it" with two layers of fringe.

The braid trim at the top, around the circles, and on the vertical struts was a wider but lacey design--that's not to say the trim was flat because it was patterned with rosettes between scroll-like chains.  That braid trim design made it possibe to curve around the circles.   I applied the trim with a cool temp glue gun, and got through the entire process without burning up my finger tips. 
Eventually this toile lamp will be in the East Bedroom (formerly Junk Room #2).  There is a toile bedspread, and I made matching drapes and shams out of the toile fabric. 

Junk Room #2 is now cleaned out.  You should have been here. We boxed up all kinds of things for Betty's spring yard sale.  I can't believe I finally parted with so much stuff.  My mother in law Betty has some wonderful yard sales--she has quite a following.  Her friends are going to love this sale.

I'm curious.  Do you go to lots of yard sales, auctions, or thrift shops?  Care to share your stories about the neat stuff you've found?  Anyone watching "American Pickers" tv program?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bedside Lamp - North Bedroom

The North Bedroom is almost done.  We're bringing in a bookcase and will unpack some books that have been stored during this whole house restoration.  Unpacking the books will do much to dissolve the junk room. 

The bedside table is an Eastlake table, polished and re-glued.  It certainly doesn't sit level, and I'll have to make some adjustments with felt on one leg. 

The sleigh bed was delivered last Tuesday.  The crocheted bedspread needs to go to the dry cleaners, so I put a toile bedspread instead.  Look at the spread closely--I bought it at a thirftshop for $25, and then by accident I found a bolt of a fabric that is quite a close look alike.  I made pillow shams shown here, and this weekend sewed four window panels and valances.   Eventually the toile items will be in the East bedroom (a.k.a. Junk Room#2).

I have some prints to put on the walls, but I'll put them up last, after the bookcase is in place.  I think you'll laugh when you see the art work . . . it will be a surprise!!

We purchased this rocker locally from The Trading Post. 

Here's a close up of the green Tiffany style lamp.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Day I Met . . .

I attended the Chicago Flower Show at Navy Pier a number of years ago.  The man himself was there, and it was a real joy to hear him talk about "TOH" and his own show filmed at his home workshop.  He spoke for about an hour in the auditorium, where he had us in the palm of his hand, telling stories that made us laugh.  A genuinely wonderful human being.

Afterwards we waited in the main hall for autographs.  Much to my surprise, a couple people brought out a small table and chair where I was standing waiting.  I thought wow, if I don't move maybe I'll be first in line.  Yes!  He came out and sat down, and immediately I noticed "one on one" how shy he seemed.  While he signed my book, mostly he kept his head low. 

Respecting his space, I lean in just enough to say, thank you for giving us such a wonderful education in woodworking over the years.  He did not look up, but I could see he smiled.  He did not speak to me, but like Santa Claus went straight to his work,  handing me my book, and then accepting the next person's book.  I quietly stepped out of line, and snapped a couple photos.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Very Dark Blue Bedroom

The dark smokey blue drapes were hung today.  Jon helped me hang the window hardware on the remaining two windows.  Sorry, to say I've given up painting (faux bois finish) on the floor as I've developed bursitis in my right knee.  Any kneeling on it--feels like a red hot poker.  How I hate to go to the doctor, but now I have no choice.
While icing my knee this afternoon, I started hand sewing an 8-panel lamp shade.  Here's a photo of the shade. The fabric is a linen with black toile pattern--actually I'm putting it in the next bedroom project--the east bedroom.  I bought enough of the linen w/black toile material to make the drapes, valances, and cover the two lamp shades. 

Regarding the lampshade, you'll have to use your imagination, and think what it will look like with the braid trim and long fringe.  I picked up the lamp base for $25 at a second hand shop and added missing crystals.

This old vintage lamp shade I bought as a pair in a thrift shop, the material was literally falling off of them, priced $12 each.  I removed the old material, sanded the struts with steel wool, and spray painted a dark bronze. 

With a rotary cutter, I cut polyester fabric into 1 inch strips and wrapped all of the struts taking stitches along the way to hold the fabric in position.  When my fingers get tired during wrapping I use clothespins to hold fabric snug. 

Here's a detail of the wrapped frame of the old vintage shade before I started sewing on the fabric.  I've mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again--if you'd like to learn how simple it is to cover your own vintage lamp shades, Maude has written a wonderful "how to book".

I moved to Wisconsin in 1983 and bought Myrtle & Irving Boe's house.  When I made an offer on the house, I also asked Mrytle if she wanted to sell her walnut bedroom suite.  Myrtle told me those were the first pieces of furniture she and Irving bought as a couple when they were married in 1930.  I paid her what she was asking: $125 for the dresser, full size bed, and dressing table and mirror complete.  What a bargain!

My friend Kathy Bonnell gave me a house warming gift--this beautiful gold brocade channel back wing chair.  The chair & fabric are in fabulous shape, it's a comfortable chair, and a nice contrast to the deep dark walls.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sneak Peek - Finished Drapes

Here's a peek of the hand-sewn tiebacks for the North Bedroom.  The 1930's walnut desk and matching dresser are in place, the bookcase will be set this weekend.  The sleigh bed and mattresses arrive next Tuesday afternoon.  I'll be posting more photos Tuesday evening after I dress the bed.  This is the playing "dress up" part I like best.  Like all projects, they have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  Restoring this room took about 2 months.  I think that's a good pace considering we both work full time.

We first saw our old house from a distance in 2001--we used to drive by the house on our way to get groceries in Stevens Point every other weekend, and we'd sit in the driveway for 15-20 minutes just to admire it and wonder, "wouldn't it be great if someday we could fix up this old house?"  We repeated that viewing and pondering over and over again for six more years until 2007. 

Our house sat vaccant for 37 years until we had the great opportunity to buy it.  By the time we were the third owners there was no water, the electricity coming into the house looked like 2 kite strings, the dining room ceiling was partially on the floor, and the porches were falling down.  BUT nearly everything in the house (woodwork, hardware, floor plan, windows) remained the same since it was built in 1893.