Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tour of the Downstairs

The dining room I insist is a faded barn red. Nonetheless it consistently photographs as tomato red. It's really prettier than tomato red, honestly.

Above the tall jelly cabinet is one of my still life paintings. I think I painted that back in 1990. I only have a handful of paintings from the hundreds I painted since the mid 70s.

Gee, wish I'd cleared out a bit of this and that before taking these photos.

Etched glass door in the dining room leads to side front porch.

Today I was clearing the hutch out--getting ready to move it out of the dining room. I have a dark cherry finish electric fireplace being delivered Wednesday this week. I'll audition it in the dining room, and if I don't get the right look, my next choice is to put it in the library (now the downstairs bedroom).

To the right is the beautiful Tiffany style lamp Jon bought me for Christmas.

I like the lighting in the dining room, it is just right.

The center table is great for food prep and in-the-kitchen eating. The kitchen is small 15',3" x 13',8". We are very happy with the light fixture. It is so difficult to get a good photo of it. You'd have to see it in person to see the amber colored leaf design.

The color of the kitchen walls is "Aged Photo" by Valspar.

I was at a backyard sale last summer and bought two commodes (one of them shown here). Paid $65 each. Lucky, lucky. This sits in the kitchen and holds portrait of the Thomas Quien family around 1910. They were the second owners of our house, purchasing it in 1915. We are the third owners.

I have a real passion for green pottery. Always looking for a new piece. To the right is the built-in french door refrigerator. I sure appreciate having the refrigerator sitting inside the old closet. It is a perfect way to get the refrigerator out of the traffic lane of a small kitchen.

Through this east door is the downstairs bathroom, still unremodeled. There is plaster falling off the walls. I pitty the poor person sitting on the john when the plaster falls. I know its going to happen sooner or later.

The blue Mexican pottery (top of upper cabinets) I purchased in 1966 when I was studying at the University of Guadalajara. I liked it 40 years ago, and I still love it. The blue and white pottery on the countertop I purchased last summer at an auction--got it for one dollar.

To the right is the south wall door going to the summer kitchen. The east entrance to the house is just off of the summer kitchen.

Even though I am a painter, I like collecting other people's work. Above the stove is a beautiful painting I bought a couple of years ago. It has a heavy sealer on it and wipes down well. We simply haven't gotten around to putting in a range hood. Can't decide what we want. Maybe someday it will happen, but I'm not bothered by it.
See the blackboard on the wall? I made out of some pieces of lumber, a bunch of nails, and some blackboard paint--1990. Still use it daily. I didn't repaint it when we move into the old Victorian. I like the green paint just as it is.
My to-do list on the blackboard says: 1. Sand high boy, paint black. 2. Finish laundry. 3. Remove paint from bathroom windows, reglaze. 4. Put away Christmas things. I finished 2. & 4. I'll do 1. and 3. sometime this week.
We had some really good coffee this morning--Chocolate Velvet. Jon's favorite is Highlander Grog. In the center basket on the table are Yukon Gold potatoes, and Sweet potatoes.
Mom, if you are reading my blog right now, I just want to tell you I love you. Also, I want to tell you I miss you. And third, I can't wait until you come visit us in May so I can put you to work! Ha. Ha. We have to go buy some fabric for two bedrooms upstairs, and pick out paint color for upstairs bathroom and pick out tub and sink fixtures.

This is the East Bay in the living Room.

The spandrel is pretty in the evening or daytime.

I'm sitting on the sofa in the living room taking this photo of the downstairs bedroom. You can see there is a double wide pocket door. Works real well too. Most of the time we keep this room closed during the winter now that we finished the Master Bedroom upstairs. We intend to keep this bedroom downstairs and much later we'll make a library out of it. The color on the walls is Bewitch by Valspar. It reminds me of a cool grayish blue-green lake color.

There is no insulation under this north downstairs bedroom. Just 18" crawl space. Jon blew insulation into the north and east walls (exterior walls). Jon said he will do more insulation in the crawl space. Nothing like climbing on your belly like a reptile installing insulation.
My mother Lorraine picked out the light fixture for this room.

I've got a lot of work to do on these windows and baseboards. The woodwork is Faux Bois and is in need of touching up painting. Lots of chips. We carpeted the music room, this downstairs bedroom, and the living room. The look isn't Victorian, but the look is comfortable for us and daily maintenance. My goodness I have trouble just keeping up with hard floors in the dining room, kitchen, and bathrooms.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Working on the Master Bedroom Upstairs

My sister Pam made the most beautiful drapes for our upstairs Master Bedroom. Thanks Pam for each and every hour you worked so hard on these drapes. They puddled and hold their shape thanks to your genius idea to add cotton piping at the bottom.

I love this fabric, a shimmering green crushed poly that feels like silk. The tiny stems and leaves are fragile, delicate, and the mossy green walls are tranquil. My husband loves the room and says it is soothing and restful.

I appeal to my sister Pam who is probably looking at these photos and wondering what I'm thinking using the 'make-do' tie-ups on the valance. Sorry Pam, I didn't get to the cinching on the back side of the valance to make the appropriate gathers. I still have your drawings and instructions, and someday when I am not repairing plaster walls I will stop a moment to finish the drapes. On second thought, Pam, could you come back again this summer and finish the hand sewing on the valance?

Thank you Maude for the great instructions 'how to make a cover and liner for a lamp shade'. Here it is, my first covered shade. I thought it turned out good for my first one. I used the same materials as the drapes. This was going to be my practice lamp shade--because I paid only $2.99 for the shade at Goodwill, ripping off all the old fabric and covering it with new. I'll be covering more lamp shades. You wrote a wonderful book; so glad I bought it.

Here you can see the painted floors. They are wide pine with only one coat of paint on them. Pretty easy to refinish considering the age of this house 116 years. Three old old area rugs were left upstairs when we purchased the house. For the time being, they'll do just fine, though they are very bare and worn in areas.

Wall Sconces - Another Goodwill find $2.99 each. The shades I purchased at Menards. From a decorating point of view I didn't have the foggest idea how high to place them. So we just laid on the bed pretending to be reading and reaching up to turn off the switch and that's how we decided where to put them.

The hassack at the window was a collaboration between my husband and me. He made the furniture base and I did the upholstery work. This is our little dog's favorite place to sit and look out the window.

Next, we have to order the crown molding and install it. We're using an MDF molding because it comes in so many stunning profiles, is pre-primed, and is inexpensive.

The wall paint color is "Mossy" by Valspar, and the trim, ceiling, doors are "Off White" semi-gloss. We'll do something with the floors in the future (wide pine planks), but it won't be happening in 2009. Come May, I'll be back up on the bucket truck painting the second coat on exterior of the house.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Before & After Upstairs Master Bedroom

Today I finished the last coat of plaster (skim coat) followed by latex primer on ceilngs and walls. Then rolled on first coat of Off White by Valspar (eggshell finish) on ceilings, and first coat of semi gloss Off White on the woodwork. Second coat tomorrow morning on the ceiling, and finally--what I've been waiting for Dark Olive on the walls.
This is a huge room 16 x 16 so I think it can handle the deep color. The rich warm brown I used on the living room downstairs turned out beautiul, so I'm taking a chance on a dark olive. It is an eggshell finish; the color is Mossy by Valspar. Paint for this project: 2 gallons of Zinzer 123 ($36); 2 gallon of Eggshell Off White ($38); 1 gallon of Semi-gloss Off White ($19).
My sister Pam built beautiful poofy double valance and drapery panels out of a shimmering sage green crushed poly that looks like silk. I have enough material left over perhaps for a quilt cover, some pillows, and a couple lamp shades. The material (bolt) was $136. Pull backs for the draperies - $0 a gift from Pam, and $15.00 rod (on sale).

I tried out the new dark olive wall color this evening, right before the light was fading. Jon and I both like the color--although it is a seriously dark, but fascinating deep olive.

Then we'll hang an oiled bronze light fixture. I have plug in sconces I purchased for $6 at Goodwill, and will spray them bronze. I'll find some small shades and cover with material.

I purchased a second Tiffany style lamp for the room, but to tell you the truth the Tiffany style lamp looks so good right where is it now--in the music/office room downstairs.

We are looking forward to getting the room fixed up. I still have to paint the floors, and use a stencil border I picked up.

We've been working on our whole house restoration now for 21 months. I've been upstairs working on the master bedroom 16 x 16--repairing cracks in the walls. Just on and off work since we stopped working on exterior scraping, priming, and painting in the bucket truck November 1 because it was too cold to continue.

In November, Jon installed a wood burning furnace next to last year's new gas furnace. Our first gas bill we received in December 2008 was $26.97. Yippee! Jon spent the remainder of the month of November sawing logs and splitting them for heating season 2009.