Drying Burnished Hydrangeas

Blue hydrangeas

Blue hydrangeas

The same blue hydrangea as it changes color at the end of summer.

The same blue hydrangea as it changes color at the end of summer.

I wrote a post 4 years ago about Nikko blue hydrangeas in the yard that change color in autumn.

I would normally out a vase of flowers on the dining room table but for now it is wallpaper central.

I would normally out a vase of flowers on the dining room table but for now it is wallpaper central.

Even though the interior of the house is still “under construction” I decided I needed a little pretty to soothe my sensibility.

The hydrangea bushes are about 3- feet in diameter.

The hydrangea bushes are about 3- feet in diameter.

In the early morning I scanned the 3 (we’ll have more next year) bushes for burnished blossoms.

I love the mottled look of a fall hydrangea as much as the bright blue of the hydrangea in spring.

I love the mottled look of a fall hydrangea as much as the bright blue of the hydrangea in spring.

I cut about 8 or 9 flowering stems.

Love the pale green petals.

Love the pale green petals.

I tied the stems together in 2 bunches with bits of old pantyhose. (Charlie cuts them up to gently hold tomato branches to the trellis.)

I know these will be in the way here in front of the sink but soon they'll be ready for a vase.

I know these will be in the way here in front of the sink but soon they’ll be ready for a vase.

Running out of time before leaving for work, I hung them over my sink to dry. Hanging them upside down keeps the flower heads from drooping.

A single hydrangea blossom

A single hydrangea blossom

Use them one at a time or in bunches.

Use them one at a time or in bunches.

When dried, hydrangeas hang onto the color at the stage in which you pick them so these will be pale green and burnished claret.

I've even used a spring in a cloche.

I’ve even used a sprig in a cloche.

Just something pretty.

How do you soothe your sensibilities? Cleaning? Cooking? Reading? Writing? Music?

Impulse Purchase; Suggested Purchase

I was looking through my “Bedrooms” Pinterest board when I noticed a wireless remote for lamps that I had pinned 2 years ago.

One for my lamp and 2 for ??

One for my lamp and 2 for ??

I clicked onto Amazon and thought a wireless remote would work well in the bedroom for the lamps.

Each lamp has two bulbs each of which work on pull chains.

Each lamp has two bulbs each of which works on a pull chain.

Our bedroom lamps are vintage and work on pull chains which are a little touchy.

Limoges lamp in the master bedroom needs remote control.

Limoges lamp in the master bedroom needs remote control.

Charlie’s is controlled by the switch near the door but mine is plugged into a surge protector strip on the floor.  I have to lean over to turn it on and off.  Not convenient when I’m ready to fall asleep. So I bought a set of 3 for $15.

This furnace was installed in 2009, before the renovation began (2013) but with it in mind.

This furnace was installed in 2009, before the renovation began (2013) but with it in mind.

While I was on Amazon I remembered that the furnace in our basement had recently been cleaned and serviced and that the technician told Charlie we should get a dehumidifier for the basement to prolong the life of the furnace.

Frigidaire dehumidifier FAD504DWD

Frigidaire dehumidifier FAD504DWD

After doing a quick check of recommendations at ConsumersReport.org (which I access through my public library card) I purchased a 50 pint Frigidaire dehumidifier for $188.

Sump pump in corner of basement keeps it dry. I don't have a photo of the new pump which replaced this relic last year.

Sump pump in corner of basement keeps it dry. I don’t have a photo of the new pump which replaced this relic last year.

I was looking for a dehumidifier that would run continuously if a hose were run into a drain.  We don’t have a drain in the cellar but there is a well with a sump pump that will serve the same purpose.

In addition to furniture and tool storage, The Cottage holds future projects like the French garden chairs.

In addition to furniture and tool storage, The Cottage holds future projects like the French garden chairs.

We used to have a dehumidifier in the Cottage so if this one works well we might purchase another for out there after we get it cleaned up.

Do you follow through on recommendations made by plumbers, electricians, technicians, etc?

 

Baseboard – Oh, Wow!

No baseboard yet.

No baseboard yet.

The windows were cased and then the carpenters started on the baseboard.

A spacer under the baseboard allows for future flooring.

A spacer under the baseboard allows for future flooring.

I didn’t think baseboard could be applied before the floor was laid.

Our baseboard is ogee on top of a 1 by 4.

Our baseboard is ogee on top of a 1 by 4.

I have been assured that the trim carpenters left sufficient room for the flooring to go under the baseboard as long as I choose to use hardwood and shoe molding.  And I do.

Everything is finished in the conservatory except a new floor and painted trim.

Everything is finished in the conservatory except a new floor and painted trim.

Even though the nail holes in the trim have not been filled and the trim is not yet painted (only primed), the “finished” feeling of the room is amazing.

Trimalicious!

Trimalicious!

There’s still lots of uninstalled trim in the living room for the master bedroom and the dining room (and the closets).

Now the entire conservatory is trimmed.

Now the entire conservatory is trimmed. (I have to move the furniture back into place.)

Little by little, though, the pile is diminishing.

Trim cutting HQ in the backyard.

Trim cutting HQ in the backyard.

Do have a pile of something you’re longing to use up? Or simply kick to the curb?

Question for You

Front porch door

Front porch door

Now that the front door is painted I have to make a decision about painting the side porch door.

The side porch has been painted Sandy Hook Gray. That's me in my paint clothes in the reflection.

The side porch has been painted Sandy Hook Gray. That’s me in my paint clothes in the reflection.

We have painted the shingles Sandy Hook Gray.

A true-to-color photo was difficult to achieve but the paint and stone look great together.

A true-to-color photo was difficult to achieve but the paint and stone look great together.

This color grey complements the variegated shades of the bluestone porch deck very well.

This side of the house gets only the afternoon sun.

This side of the house gets only the afternoon sun.

Now I need to decide what color to paint the side door.

The large porch on the west side of the house is our main entrance.

The large porch on the west side of the house is our main entrance.

This is the entrance by the driveway which we primarily use.

The former kitchen door was painted dark blue except for the window trim.

The former kitchen door was painted dark blue except for the window trim.

Before the renovation our “kitchen” door, which looked exactly like this one, was painted dark blue like the front door.

Conservatory French doors.

Conservatory French doors.

The only other exterior doors are the French doors leading from the conservatory which I have no intention of painting since they are finished in a weatherproof material.  They are white.

The porch needs to be painted.

The porch door needs to be painted.

So what do you think? Blue? White? Grey?

Paint me!

Paint me!

Thanks for your input.

Trimming the Conservatory Windows

Along with painting the front door, Saturday was a productive day in that much of the interior trimming was finished.

None of the windows have been trimmed in this shot of the conservatory French doors sentineled by windows.

None of the windows have been trimmed in this shot of the conservatory French doors sentineled by windows.

We had been waiting for sills and casings on the windows and French doors.

Two experienced men can get a lot of work done in a day.

Two experienced men can get a lot of work done in a day.

Our carpenter friend brought a friend and the two of them knocked it out.

The untrimmed look.

The untrimmed look.

Even though I didn’t help I’ll try to enumerate the steps for the window trim. It’s harder than it looks.

Raw 2 by 4 set in the space under the window.

Raw 2 by 4 set in the space under the window.

First a 2 by 4 is set under the window to support the sill.

The sill is set onto the 2 by 4 and shimmed to level it. The shim is trimmed with a cutoff saw.

The sill is set onto the 2 by 4 and shimmed to level it. The shim is trimmed with a cutoff saw.

The sill boards were both ripped and crosscut to fit the windows. The sill, which in this case was created from preformed sill stock, was installed.

After the sill, the top is trimmed.

After the sill, the top is trimmed.

Then the top casing was nailed to the wall. We’re using “ranch” casing because that’s what was in the rest of the house before the renovation began.

The corners are mitered at the top.

The corners are mitered at the top.

Then the sides are added with mitered cuts at each top corner and a straight cut where the trim meets the sill.

The sill must be cut long enough to over hang the casing. The bottom piece has a special shape.

The sill must be cut long enough to over hang the casing. The bottom piece has a special shape.

Finally an apron is added under the sill to finish.

The window on the left is finished except for the mullion strip between the pair.

The window on the left is finished except for the mullion strip between the pair.

The casings still need to be caulked and puttied and painted.

Wow. Right?

Wow. Right?

We’ll get there.

Do you take your window trim for granted?

Front Door – First Coat

I was hoping things would get done yesterday and I wasn’t disappointed.

The outside of the front door really needs to be painted.

The outside of the front door really needs to be painted.

I thought I could paint the front door.

Grey (on the left) is the new house color.

Grey (on the left) is the new house color, Sandy Hook Gray.

First I wanted to paint the shingles in the porch area being careful not to drip on the bluestone porch deck.

I painted the door with a brush.

I painted the door with a brush.

Painting a first coat on the door was not difficult since it’s the same color it was before the renovation, dark blue.

Before

Before

After

After

I’m liking how the color palette is coming together.

What color is your door?  Are all your doors the same color?

Getting Ready for Another Weekend Work Session

I woke up yesterday morning (at 4:30 a.m.) just itching to get into some project before heading off to work at 8 a.m.

The outside of the front door really needs to be painted.

The outside of the front door really needs to be painted.

I thought I could paint the front door.

The front door used to be reddish.

The front door used to be reddish.

When I moved in 18 years ago it was a maroonish barn red color along with many other accents both inside and outside the house.

I changed the door from red to blue.

I changed the door from red to blue.

I had painted it dark blue which I always liked.

Before painting the door I washed it with soapy vinegar water to get off the old grime.

Before painting the door I washed it with soapy vinegar water to get off the old grime.

Since I wanted to use the original door on the house our contractor sent it out to be fitted into a weatherproof door frame. The process included filling in the hole for the old knob and lock and moving the hinges to the opposite side.

The X-shaped windows are distinctive.

The X-shaped windows are distinctive.

The planing and sanding helped the old color to show through.

See where I started the painting?

See where I started the painting?

Instead of getting right to the door I swept down the cobwebs on the porch and tried some house color (Sandy Hook Gray) on the shingles.

I'm excited about the color change.

I’m excited about the color change.

So the plan for today is to finish the front porch, shingles and door, then move to the side porch.

The color I originally chose for the porch ceiling was too vivid.

I’m planning on Blue Heather (Benjamin Moore) for the porch ceiling.  It’ might have to be cut with some white to make it lighter.

I also bought a can of paint to change the primed white porch ceilings blue.

Got plans?