Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Me and Ladders and Sawhorses...

Off to a very good start this A.M.

So far I've managed to display my genius to the trim person who showed up... Here's how it went:

Carpenter: "I may have to leave again to go get my other ladder... I knew I forgot something." 

ME: "Oh that's ok! We have one -- you mean this kind, right? (I use my hands to make an upside down "V") 

CARPENTER: "Um... y-e-s..." ME: "Well I mean this kind (hands make the upside down "V" again) not this kind (arm goes straight out and up)" CARPENTER: blank stare... 

ME: "You know, those... I don't know... those... straight kind... the big kind you don't fold..." 

CARPENTER: (Looking like he's trying not to laugh) "Oh you mean an extension ladder. No, just the regular kind." (and I could have SWORN I almost saw his hands start to make the upside down "V" like I did). ;)

Then, about 3 minutes later, as he's setting up his saw horses.... 

ME: "Oh wow, that's cool... (pointing at the metal part where the legs join what looks like a big oversized loaf pan)... "kind of like an inverted trough! Did you make that? That's so neat!" 

CARPENTER: "Ummmm... no, they sell these at Lowes. They're called saw horses." 

ME: "Oh, and so you added your own wood to the top, though, right?" 

CARPENTER: (now, truly not knowing what to do with anything I'm saying) "Yes... makes it a lot easier to use them if you add the 2 x 4s to the top..." 

ME: "Well, thanks...I guess you can tell that it doesn't take much to amaze me... I think I'll go inside now, if you need anything."

See... What makes perfect sense to me seems to be totally nonsensical to everyone else. (Reminded now of what my husband said to me last week... "We aren't being mean, we're just trying to make sense of the silliness that comes out of your mouth.")


But again, I think if I just keep those chocolate chip cookies coming, they'll be willing to put up with whatever comes out of my mouth, right? 
But I will try to just let them go about their work and keep my questions to a minimum... like "Can I get you guys any more water or cookies?" :)

Have a great Wednesday, everyone... I'm gonna go head over to the office and get out of this poor carpenter's way. :)


Monday, March 28, 2011

And The Fun Continues... Update From "Ruth's Reno-World"

As you can see, with plywood sub-flooring in place and the bare dirt below the house now covered again,
 my focus shifts primarily to paint colors now...

I could write a book...

Haha!  Let's just say it ain't as easy as I thought!

I've been hither, thither and yon searching out paint color
inspiration and I landed where I began...

Restoration Hardware.

Oh how I love their color schemes and with then grouped into
collections, it makes it almost fool proof to get a perfect scheme.

After seeing how the colors turned out in these pics 
(it's been raining and no sun all day, but I took them anyway)
I almost hesitate to post these but I just had to show you!

The dominant color in the two rooms will be
Slate and the accent will be the next shade lighter, Graphite.
The Graphite seems to want to come out looking a bit too purpley 
and the Slate a bit too brown, but hopefully you get the idea.

As you can see, we managed to get the plaster down and reveal the 
beadboard.  And there were NO bad surprises waiting for is under the 
plaster, either!!!   Yippee!
Some of the boards need to be secured up tight again, but other than that,
there were no "issues" to face.

Crown moulding was installed to unify what were two rooms into one...
and tomorrow the ceilings get a good coat of Kilz primer before moving on
to the "glamour" portion of her make-over:  
paint color!!

And speaking of that...

What a diva this old gal (the house) has been to work with!!

I approached the project with what I thought was a very elegant color palette
inspired by a vintage player piano roll and it's box... 
mellowed/aged tan and soft black...

{In the photo above, the vintage player piano roll and the black box, arranged on top of 
a sampling of the wood flooring that will be going down...}

Well she would have NONE of THAT!

What looked classic and elegant in theory was flatly rejected
by these walls!  YUCK!

You can see where I tried out the soft black below the chair rail in what will
be the dining room...

Well, can't hurt to try anyway...    :)

So, it was on to plan B....

And that seems to be the winner.

The walls will be done in Restoration Hardware's Slate -- a fabulous color
that can appear anywhere from grey to brown-ish grey... our local store is
done entirely in it (mouldings, everything!) and it is possibly one of the most
elegant spaces I've ever seen.

Being slightly too afraid to do our walls AND ceilings in it, I've opted to use
their next shade lighter, Graphite, for the ceilings.

Again, in the pic above Graphite is coming out purpley... not so in real life.

Slate is going to be the color that FINALLY works well with a big stained glass
window we have in what will become the family room...

As long as we've had this house, I've kept that feature covered (yes, I've hidden this giant
stained glass window) under a "faux" window treatment.

Though it's a pretty feature, it has so much pink glass in it and that is NOT
our thing here... So, in lieu of taking it completely out and having a glass person
replace all the pink glass with amber (my choice if I were doing it), I've chosen to just
"delete" it from the room by covering it.

Now, with this new paint color, I think I will finally be ready to incorporate that
element into play.   The pink glass still does nothing at all for me, but until we
can have it taken out and replaced with a better color, at least the new wall color will
soften the blow, so to speak.

Anyway, that's about all.  We're all still walking around with dusty/powder coated
feet.  I'm not even attempting to do any real clean-up until this is all done.

But we're on track to get the walls and ceilings painted by this weekend, mouldings
put back in place where they've been taken off temporarily, and next week....


I think, maybe,

just maybe...

I see a glimmer of a light at the end of this dusty tunnel!

I'll keep you posted as we go.... for SURE when the paint is done!!

Can't wait to show you!!  :)

Take care and I'll be back with some shop news.  :)


So Far On This Rainy Monday Morning...(Conversations With My Lord This Morning...)

SO FAR THIS MONDAY, VERSION #1:   Well great, Lord... I forgot to buy coffee yesterday so hubby & daughter left the house w/o travel mugs today,  and yep... it's raining... so now there isn't any good light to judge paint samples on this last day to do so & the crown moulding pieces on the porch that are supposed to be installed in the dining room got a little wet overnight in the rain,  and Lord You know how I'm sooo tired... realllly tired, and there are mega-amounts of work in the office to catch up on, have to make another 1-hr round-trip drive to finish buying paint (painters come tomorrow), Oh dear sweet Lord, for some reason everything looks slightly overwhelming from where I stand ... like none of it will ever really get done (work, orders, new items to post on site, house reno, laundry, etc...). HOW LONG will I be living in the reality of "two steps forward, five steps backward... :/

But... there is ANOTHER way to see this, I do believe...

So I think I'll start this over again...

SO FAR THIS MONDAY, VERSION #2: Rained/thundered all night... I love how everything looks outside on a rainy morning (and it's a tad cooler!) &
thank you, Lord, only about a foot of the crown moulding got a little damp - surely that won't be a big deal,
and though the light isn't great for properly judging which colors to buy later today, it is such a blessing in disguise (the way You seem to wrap a lot of our blessings... in disguise...) to be able to have the opportunity to get out away from work, etc. and actuallyhave to go to my favorite place -- Hyde Park and in particular Restoration Hardware... it's as though You have simply arranged things so that I am "forced" to take a break and get out of here for a while.  Thank you, Lord... only You would have thought of this!!  :)

Yes, I did forget to buy coffee yesterday, but thankfully both hubby & daughter have a Starbucks in their path to work & school, & the whole reason I forgot to pick up the coffee is because I was at church from morning until about 5pm doing things for my 4th grade class planning (so my "world" was a little off kilter because of getting home so late) -- but oh what an incredible class we had yesterday & what a privilege it is to be with those kiddos.... 

Yes, I'm def feeling overwhelmed, Lord. But if the past is any indication, I know that "this too shall pass" and I am truly thankful that with regard to the biz, though I am so far behind I barely know where to start, thank you for the wonderful business You are bringing my way. I'll do my best to be a good steward of it today. 

And though the house is torn apart and seems unfamiliar and not very "home-like" at this moment, thank you that You are allowing so many new changes to come about when really all we needed to do was put some new flooring down. What a blessing. 

Thank you, Lord, for this gorgeous rainy Monday. So full of challenges and yet so full of Your obvious hand of blessings. 

I hear Him saying "Now off you go -- it's 10 o'clock -- we're wasting daylight, girl!"

Yes, I'll choose SO FAR THIS MONDAY MORNING #2...

And off I go... :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It's A Consensus - Beadboard Wins Out AND More Hidden Treasure Is Found.

It was an overwhelming landslide vote -- 
EVERYONE voted that we rip out the rest of the plaster
and reveal the antique beadboard ceilings that were
discovered under heavy plaster.

Keep in mind, we have only about a 4-6" swath of beadboard
currently revealed (where the wall came out) and THAT sampling looks great.

The concern is that we will get into tearing out the rest of the plaster ceilings 
only to find that there was a really good reason why they covered over the 
wooden ceilings -- like maybe there is a huge amount of damaged or, worse still,
MISSING sections under there.

But to NOT at least have a look while we already have a big mess and things are torn up,
seems crazy.

So... the big ceiling rip-out day is upon us and by evening time,
we'll know whether our curiosity will be kind to us or not.  :)

There have been some neat discoveries, that's for sure.

1.)  Of course the beadboard ceilings and walls were uncovered.
Very neat "find" and may prove to be one of the most serendipitous finds yet.

2.)  Also discovered just on top of the beadboard on the walls was some 
very beautiful antique wall paper.  As I understand it, these homes were built
originally with wooden walls/ceilings.  

Then, as desired, the Mrs. of the house would apply wall paper directly
onto the wood walls.  Then over that, was the lathe & plaster. 

We only knew about the plaster -- as that is what we have in all rooms here at home.
So it was so neat to discover all that pretty wallpaper under there!

3.)  The old, damaged floor boards that have been ripped out 
had some of those really old, obviously hand-made nails --- they have such a 
distinct look!
I discovered that I do NOT like the sight of seeing the earth just below my feet
as I peer through what was our family/dining rooms just days before.    :)

So... by the end of this day, the beadboard ceilings will either be a fabulous
addition to Harsham House, or we will be wringing our hands in regret
for having ripped out perfectly fine plaster ceilings.  Either way,
it won't be the end of the world and if the beadboard is just too far gone,
 I already have tin picked out and ready to order to cover it all back up again.   :)

There really is no reason not to at least take a peek at what lies

Be back to let you know what we find!  :)


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hidden Treasure...

This'll be short & sweet, but I just wanted to share what was revealed to be beneath
about an inch of plaster on our ceilings after a wall was removed...

{Taken with my cell phone, so please excuse the poor photo quality}

There are original beadboard ceilings under all that crazy plaster!

Ditto for the walls!  Beadboard there, too!

So we now need to decide (like in the next few hours) whether we want to see
what's behind "door #2" so to speak and have ALL the rest of he plaster knocked off
and have beadboard ceilings...
take the the "safe route" and just try our best to repair the 6" wide swath of
plaster and try and make it blend in with the rest of the ceiling...

What to do?!

There are no guarantees that the beadboard is in good shape beneath all that 
plaster and it covers THREE rooms.

It's pretty much of a gamble... But the reward for bravery could be that
we get to enjoy antique beadboard ceilings instead of funky, chunky plaster ceilings
with an odd "circular swirl" design all over them.  

By the way, removing the plaster off all the walls is NOT an option.
I love the plaster walls (they are not done in a weird, thick design like the ceiling)
and I really don't think I'd care for the wall and the ceiling to be all wooden.

So, what would you do??

Well... I'm off again, but I just had to share the discovery with you.  :)


From Showhouse To Demo'd House In Just A Few Short Hours...

Been wondering what I've been up to??

Well... there is a big project underway at Harsham House 
and I'm preparing a proper blog post about it,
but by way of a "teaser", here is a just a peek...

In the words of Arnold S.,
"I'll be back...."

Right now I hear bang/crash going on inside my home, so if you
will excuse me... 



Tuesday, March 1, 2011