Held Up by Chores

Saturday morning I always strip the bed, wash the sheets, and remake the bed.

I like the bed made with freshly laundered, odor-free bedding.

I like the bed made with freshly laundered, odor-free bedding.

Yesterday I added to my list cleaning the bathroom floor (I hate this job) with a broom, a mop, and a steam mop.

Our garden hose is stored like a snake on the ground.  It's always in the way.

Our garden hose is stored like a snake on the ground. It’s always in the way.

Not wanting to waste a Saturday without starting something creative I began working on two projects simultaneously: the castle dollhouse and a hose holder for Charlie.

The castle sits on a grassy base on which has been painted a watery mote and needs  a finished edge.

The castle sits on a grassy base on which has been painted a watery mote and needs a finished edge.

The base of the castle needs a new edging as the original one had splintered off.

Screen door bead is a small and neat trim.

Screen door bead is a small and neat trim.

I started by mitering some screen door bead then painting it green (Bunker Hill) on all sides. This will go on the base of the castle.

Graduated wood squares cut from various widths of lumber.

Graduated wood squares cut from various widths of lumber.

I also cut 3 squares of 1 by lumber to stack up on the top of the hose holder. (I found a finial among our stuff.)

I plan to put the white painted end into the ground.

I plan to put the white painted end into the ground.

Charlie found me a long pressure-treated 4 by 4 which had been a gate post in our long-ago fence.

I tied these two projects together because everything is getting painted the same color.

I tied these two projects together because everything is getting painted the same color.

I painted everything Bunker Hill green.

Bunker Hill green is my go-to garden paint.

Bunker Hill green is my go-to garden paint.

With tickets for the “Music of Led Zeppelin” concert at the Baltimore Symphony along with a block party that’s all I accomplished.

Productive weekend?

The New Masthead

For years I’ve been updating the header on Let’s Face the Music with similar shots of the house as it has evolved.

The original header for the blog before any construction was started.

The original header for the blog before any construction was started.

The Glade

The Glade

The first photos were from March, 2011, when Let’s Face the Music began.

The Glade - Header Fall, 2014

The Glade – Header Fall, 2014

The view from the east end of the street.

The view from the east end of the street.

A  more recent header shows the east side of The Glade with the new additions.  From the front the house hasn’t changed much.  The major changes have mostly affected the back per our agreement with the historical commission.

The Glade in 1993.

The Glade in 1993.

The mailbox hasn't moved so is a point of reference for before and after photos.

The mailbox hasn’t moved and therefore is a point of reference for before and after photos.

Recently I found a 1993 photo of The Glade online.

The Glade in summer of 1997.

The Glade in summer of 1997.

The front of The Glade in February, 2015.

The front of The Glade in February, 2015.

I didn’t move in until 1997. The tree on the right in the 2015 photo is the same one in the middle of the 1997 photo.  The pictures were taken at slightly different angles. The smaller diameter tree, a dogwood, is also still there but unfortunately seems to be dying.

The Glade -- 1993 and 2015.

The Glade — 1993 and 2015.

The newest header is a combination of the earliest photo I have of The Glade (1993) and a recent shot from almost the same angle.  By the time we purchased the house in 1997, the large bushes near the corners of the house had already been removed. Over the years most of the fence posts had rotted away so we removed it also.

Do you have photos of your house before you lived there?

Casing the Joint — Conservatory First

When our pal came over to begin trimming the openings and doors that had recently been installed the first thing I had him do was trim the toe kick on the kitchen island.

The dining room opening (from the conservatory side) may one day get French doors but for now is being cased.

The dining room opening (from the conservatory side) may one day get French doors but for now is being cased.

Then he and I went to work deciding exactly how the large opening between the conservatory and dining room should be cased.  One by six lumber was cut to size to create a jamb in the unfinished opening.

The frame was tacked together in the yard and carried into the house.

The frame was tacked together in the yard and carried into the house.

Before installing, the jamb was ripped down to the exact width on a table saw using a fence set to the measurement.

Pre-primed and painted lumber was ripped to the width of the opening.

Pre-primed and painted lumber was ripped to the width of the opening.

Then the 3 pieces were nailed together outside and brought to the doorway as a unit and nailed in place.

Corner detail of the jamb.

Corner detail of the jamb.

We worked on the conservatory side because the paneling on the dining room side needed a special cutting tool.

The lumber stopped flush with the top of the opening.

The lumber stopped flush with the top of the opening inside the jamb.

One by four lumber was used along each side of the opening.

Notice that the top of the closets on the perpendicular wall had also been trimmed to see if we should carry that line around the room.  We decided not to.

Notice that the top of the closets on the perpendicular wall had also been trimmed to see if we should carry that line around the room. We decided not to.

Across the top we used 1 by 6 lumber.

This is how the corner -- before caulk and trim -- comes together.

This is how the corner — before caulk and trim — comes together.

On top of the 1 by 6 and overhanging it about 3/4 inch on each side was a 1 by 2 (which we had specially ripped) lying flat.

Simple and almost finished.

Simple and almost finished.

Under the 1 by 2 was a piece of cove molding.  The tiny returns were attached with caulk to keep them from splitting. After the dining room side is also trimmed we have some trim pieces planned to hide the seams.

As you can see, I'm a tremendous help. (I was sitting on the sofa ohing and ahing how nice it looked.)

As you can see, I’m a tremendous help. (I was sitting on the sofa ohing and ahing how nice it looked.)

In the mean time we also finished trimming the closet and bathroom doors in the conservatory.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

Before the renovation began -- January, 3013.

Before the renovation began — January, 3013.

After the porch was demolished and the ground was graded.

After the porch was demolished and the ground was graded.

The green lines mark the interior wall plans.

The green lines mark the interior wall plans.

October, 2013.

October, 2013.

We thought this looked good back in February.

We thought this looked good back in February (2015).

Progress.

Progress.

After.

After.

I mused out loud who first thought of adding trim (since it makes such a difference).

Tra la la!

Tra la la!

Our carpenter said: “the Romans”.  He could be right.

What is the last museum you visited?

Waterproofing the Shower Pans

A year ago we had Schluter shower pans installed in both the conservatory and master bathrooms.

Conservatory bathroom is ready for waterproofing and tiling.

Conservatory bathroom is ready for waterproofing and tiling.

The plan is to have curbless showers so the subfloor was built up to meet the level of the shower pans. (Our bathroom progress is here.)

The waterproof membrane is like non-woven paper.

The waterproof membrane is like non-woven paper.

Yesterday the team of 2 came back to waterproof these pans with Kerdi by Schluter.

Pre-mixed thinset is used to hold the waterproofing in place.

Pre-mixed thinset is used to hold the waterproofing in place.

First they put down thin set as the adhesive for the Kerdi which is flexible like paper.

Thin set is troweled wherever the Kerdi is going to be applied.

Thin set is troweled wherever the Kerdi is going to be applied.

It went up the wall about 10 inches.

Because the shower pans are beveled toward the drain the edges sat slightly above the floor.

Because the shower pans are beveled toward the drain the edges sat slightly above the floor and needed to be leveled.

Any difference in height between the shower and bathroom floor was leveled with extra thinset.

The difference in levels (most noticed on the right side of the photo) has been leveled out.

The difference in levels (most noticed on the right side of the photo) has been leveled out.

The waterproofing came out into the room about 2 feet since we’re not planning to have curbs on the shower.

I fairly sure the bench in the shower is supposed to be waterproofed.

I’m fairly sure the bench in the shower is supposed to be waterproofed.

A different kind of membrane was supposed to be used to go up and over the seat. When I got home from work the seats had not been finished.  I’ll be contacting the installer because he also has our drains which are not supposed to be installed until the tiling begins.

The conservatory bathroom is much smaller than the master bath.

The conservatory bathroom is much smaller than the master bath.

This must set for at least 24-hours and even then we shouldn’t walk on it since any small hole could ultimately cause a leak.

The master shower waterproofing comes out onto the floor of the bathroom.

The master shower waterproofing comes out onto the floor of the bathroom.

I asked the installer to give us a proposal for the tiling itemized by floor and walls. (We’ve purchased the tile.)

Next step: floor tile.

Have you tiled a room? If so, what is something one should absolutely not forget?

The Dog Days To-Do List

My to-do lists for May and June went so well (she moaned facetiously) that I didn’t bother making a list for July.

This project on my June list -- face the kitchen island toe kick -- was finally completed in July.

This project on my June list — face the kitchen island toe kick — was finally completed in July.

Even though we didn’t go on vacation I feel a renewed sense of “git ‘er done” so here goes a list for August. Maybe because we made some progress last weekend.

Charlie and I have been invited to join my boss at his lake house in the mountains.  Maybe next year.

Charlie and I have been invited to join my boss and his family at his lake house in the mountains. Maybe next year.

August in Maryland is usually hot and steamy but I have a bit more freedom than usual because the choir (of which I’m the director) has the month off and my boss is at his summer house in another state.

Decluttering the Cottage is an on-going shore.

Decluttering Glade Cottage is an on-going chore.

Here is my project list for August.

  1. Let me address my main chore as a choir director in August — I listen to Christmas music.  I’d love to say it keeps me cool and it does but not so much in the body temperature realm. I listen and choose music for 2 programs to be held toward the end of December.
  2. Attend Led Zeppelin concert at the Baltimore Symphony. Pure fun with a block party thrown in.
  3. Finish wallpapering the dining room.

    I've begun to hang the wallpaper.

    I’ve begun to hang the wallpaper.

  4. Paint the dining room paneling.

    The paneling in the dining room is being transformed from woodtone to bright white.

    The paneling in the dining room is being transformed from woodtone to bright white.

  5. Trim the opening between the dining room and conservatory.

    We've started the process.

    We’ve started the process.

  6. Paint linen closet.

    The green cabinet will become the grey-tone

    The green cabinet will become the grey-tone “Secret”.

  7. Paint trim.

    Newly painted wood trim with spacers between layers.

    Newly painted wood trim with spacers between layers.

  8. Finish installing trim.

    We have started the trim installation but there's lots more to do.

    We have started the trim installation but there’s lots more to do.

  9. Tile conservatory bathroom.
  10. Purchase tile for master bathroom.
  11. Tile master bathroom.
  12. Tidy up front of potager.

    The front of the potager should be enticing instead it screams

    The front of the potager should be inviting instead it screams “keep out”.

  13. Set up the last piece of potager fence.
  14. Have someone pick up and take away the foosball table. (I thought this was all arranged.)

    The foosball table is still in the dining room just under the area I want to paper.

    The foosball table is still in the dining room awaiting pick-up

  15. Make a design on paper for the conservatory vanity which we plan to build.

    The lumber has been outside weathering.

    The lumber we plan to use to build a rustic vanity has been outside weathering.

I should have stopped at #10.  We’ll see how it goes.

What’s on your list? Is there a “must do”?

Tidying Up the Garden

Our neighbor had a large tree taken down and the stump ground down to a shredded mulch consistency.

In July the potager becomes weedy and overgrown.

In July the potager becomes weedy and overgrown.

Our garden has been kind messy this year.

Charlie did some diligent weeding to get the July garden ready for additional planting.

Charlie did some diligent weeding to get the July garden ready for additional planting.

Charlie pulled the weeds in both the squares and the paths and did a pretty good job.

Basil on the left and weeds on the right.

Basil on the left and weeds on the right.

What makes it really look good is to get rid of all the grassy patches on the paths.

A large pile of mulch from a newly downed tree in the yard across the street.

A large pile of mulch from a newly downed tree in the yard across the street.

In order to do this we like to have some sort of wood chips or mulch but we don’t like to pay for them.

Load after load of free mulch was wheeled to our yard.

Load after load of free mulch was wheeled to our yard.

Our neighbor said we could have as much of the mulch (and there’s lots) as we wanted which Charlie is bringing across the street a wheelbarrow-ful at a time.

Newspaper and cardboard are laid directly on the weeds to inhibit their growth.

Newspaper and cardboard are laid directly on the weeds to inhibit their growth.

After laying either layers of newspaper or a sheet of corrugated cardboard Charlie covers the paper with about 2 inches of mulch.

Charlie rakes mulch onto the paper.

Charlie rakes mulch onto the paper.

The paper keeps the weeds at bay and the mulch just looks really nice.

After the aisles are mulched I even saunter into the garden to pick a few vegetables.

After the aisles are mulched I even saunter into the garden to pick a few vegetables.

Mulching the paths between the cultivated squares is not simply cosmetic; it makes the chore of harvesting much easier.

I hope Charlie considers mulching the area in front of the garden fence, too.

I hope Charlie considers mulching the area in front of the garden fence, too.

The entrance to the potager has also become weedy this year. Maybe Charlie will notice how awful it looks against his beautifully manicured garden.

What’s your favorite free (or low cost) project?

Last Detail

The new kitchen has been all but finished for over a year now.

The island finished except for the toe kick.

The island finished except for the toe kick.

Almost everything in it is new except the kitchen island which we designed and made ourselves.

The back of the island is the part we made.

The back of the island is the part we made.

You can see how we did it here and here and here.

The island looked unfinished with the bare wood base.

The island looked unfinished with the bare wood base.

The vintage breakfront base was mounted on a 2 by 4 frame.  The frame needed to be faced with a piece of matching luan.

The bottom piece is stained luan, the center piece was not used, the top piece is polurethaned shoe molding.

The bottom piece is stained luan, the center piece was not used, the top piece is polurethaned shoe molding.

I had an extra piece of luan left over from the grey cabinets which I turned over and stained on the back to go with the island.  I also polyurethaned  a piece of oak shoe molding.

Pre-stain prepares the raw wood.

Pre-stain prepares the raw wood.  The stain color is English chestnut.

I gave the raw wood a coat of pre-stain wood conditioner and 2 coats of stain.

The shoes molding matches the floor.

The shoes molding matches the floor.

Our carpenter friend carefully ripped and beveled the facing and attached it to the front and two sides of the island.

The toe-kick is faced and trimmed.

The toe-kick is faced and trimmed.

He also installed the shoe molding.

We had saved the feet from the breakfront and decided to reinstall them.

We had saved the feet from the breakfront and decided to reinstall them.

It looked finished.  But I had one more idea which was to use the original feet of the breakfront on the two front corners.

We use the cabinet in the island to store our daily dishes.

We use the cabinet in the island to store our daily dishes.

The carpenter cut them down to size and we slid them under the corners.  We decided not to attach them because they were well-fit by friction and could be removed if we want to do a through cleaning.

Kitchen island project -- finished.

Kitchen island project — finished.

The final detail that finishes the kitchen.

Have you used the things you’ve been saving?