Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Picture this

We've been finishing up the trim (headers, mouldings, picture rail) for the study, and we've now got it all installed. The picture rail was an opportunistic addition to the room - we got it from friends J&R who put some in their house - but received much more than they ordered. So they sold it to us for a song. We've still got some left - so maybe we'll re-re-sell it. As Jason says, it really makes the wallpaper border work (I'm paraphrasing; I'm too pressed for time to dig around & find that comment!)

One end of the room, pre-picture rail:

And post picture-rail:
And the other end, picture rail in concert with other trim:

I had another photo of that whole end of the room, but the window looked FILTHY! Time from spring cleaning - ick. Wait - forget it - we still have to strip & reglaze those windows. We can put off cleaning again!

And, I managed to install it all: a) only hitting my thumb with the hammer once, and b) not messing up my mani-pedi from the spa weekend that just occurred. Yay!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Amen, sister

This essay almost makes me wish our house was in even worse condition when we bought it! Maybe next time...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tsk, tsk, Mr. Weston

When Mr. Weston (now deceased) or the heir to his paneling empire installed paneling in our study in 1966, they decided it made sense to notch the 5/4 old-growth fir headers to tuck the paneling underneath. Yessiree, they did. Brilliant! Except - now we have to deal with that mess.

New fir headers are expensive and the wood just doesn't look right, so we like to rescue the old trim whenever there's the faintest of heartbeats. In this case, the notching (I guess if you consider mauling the top of the trim randomly with a gouge 'notching') along the top edge we could ignore - no one will ever see it unless they're up on a ladder. We're cool with that.

The notching on the ends of each header need to be dealt with - you'll see it for sure, though it will only really be visible a teeny bit on the end grain and peeking out from abutting the vertical moulding. So, Ken cleaned up the end notches by rabbeting them to a nice, square cutout. Then we resawed a piece of fir we had left over from a previous plinth block project. And now, they're gluing in the basement - soon we sand them flush and stain the whole schmear. They won't be perfect but they'll be good enough - you'll only see little parts of this around the other trim. (note: this is the back you're seeing in the photo - the front is perfectly fine-looking).

That's about all we did this weekend - the sun was out and the garden was calling. We finally managed to clear out all the leaves from the yard before they come by with the city's leaf sweeper-vac machine - ha!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Stuck up

The Bradbury & Bradbury wallpaper border is up! We hired a seasoned wallpaper expert for this small job - and we're so glad we did. He took all of 5 hours to accomplish the whole feat. Watching it happen, I saw about 10 different instances where I would have a) ripped the paper, b) gotten glue all over myself, c) gotten glue all over the paper, d) hung the paper totally cockeyed, or e) all of the above.

First he put a primer/sealer on the area that would get wallpaper. Actually, first he penciled in a reference line all around the room.

Then he went to lunch while the primer dried, after setting up his work area for the afternoon. As I admired the orderly setup, I realized that not only would I have frigged up the paper, we would have had to buy way too many supplies to make it cost-effective to hang the paper ourselves.

After lunch, he took just a couple of hours to hang & futz with the paper, plus there was a little time for cleanup and setup. I got to help - I held the end of the paper on a long run, so it wouldn't drag all down the wall and floor.

And that was it! It was totally worth it to hire someone who had all the materials and knew what they were doing. I bet it would have taken me about 3 days, and I would have made a lot of mistakes, too. This paperhanger was referred by the local historic home contractor - which was a good reference, and he was punctual and didn't diddle around. Also, he came over on the weekend to pick up the paper to trim at his house (to avoid hauling around a trimming board), and he took the instructions from Bradbury to read carefully. Clearly, he followed them - the paper is all centered properly on the walls, and the steps seem to match what I think I read in the instructions.

Thrilled. Now we need to install picture rail under the border (that's why it's OK that the primer went outside the line). And I need to finish those pesky window headers. What a great feeling to have something done - like totally done!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


That's ONIONS, backwards. There used to be a little farm stand just off the highway when I would drive to my hometown, and for some reason, the ONIONS sign was backwards when you drove toward town; it read right when you drove out of town. It took me a little while to figure it out, but it was actually backwards and upside down - they had flipped the sign over the wrong way when painting side 2.

So, every time I think of onions, SNOINO pops into my head. Weird how things stick in the ol' brain, eh?

Yesterday, it was raining a bit, but damned if we weren't going to get the bunching snoino - I mean - onions in the garden. So Eddy & I raked the leaves out and turned over one end of the garden. We'll get to the rest of it later. It was excellent to work outdoors in the yard, even in the rain. We're waiting for all the shrubs we put in to leaf out - though they look like they're all in bud, so I guess they made it through winter.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Huge progress

...not! We haven't done much this week, since we've been on self-imposed hiatus. The study's not quite done, but it's done enough to take a break! We're still doing little things though - when we feel like it.

This week, our giant accomplishment was that Ken drilled a hole in the middle of this old, blank coverplate so we could put it over the cable hookup in the study. We don't have a TV or cable back there, but maybe it's a selling point to have an extra hookup? Who knows. Assuming it still works - I got a lot of Peel-Away in the little connector part! Paint stripper never hurt anything, did it?

Anyways, they didn't have cable back in the 1930s or whenever the antique brass coverplates that came with the house were made - but luckily there was a blank behind a radiator that we don't need anymore.

This weekend we'll finish up the last touch-up on the ceiling, because Wallpaper Guy is coming on Monday!