What Do You Think About Denim?

I painted the conservatory ceiling Valspar’s “Hydrangea” which I love.

The conservatory is painted in Benjamin Moore's "Tea Light" on the walls and Valspar's "Hydrangea" on the ceiling.

The conservatory is painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Tea Light” on the walls and Valspar’s “Hydrangea” on the ceiling.

Originally I was thinking of painting it with Ralph Lauren’s denim technique.  I was pretty sure going over the ceiling at least 5 times (primer, 2 base coats, 1 glaze coat, one combing technique) would be way too labor intensive on a ceiling.

I never tired of the blue wallpaper above the paneling in the dining room.

I never tired of the blue wallpaper above the paneling in the dining room.

Meanwhile, in the dining room I’ve been waiting to find either wallpaper or fabric to finish the wall area above the judge’s rail height paneling.

The paneling will remain white but the area above definitely needs some color.

The paneling will remain white but the area above definitely needs some color.

The paneling is now white instead of limed woodtone but I still like the idea of blue up there.

I love this freeform splash of color!

I love this freeform splash of color!

I really wanted the Watercolor “Blue Drops” wallpaper which I could have for a small fortune. Maybe someday (when it’s discontinued).

PB Denim Wall

PB Denim Wall. (I prefer it without the map.)

Now I’m turning my thoughts to having some denim.

This area can be seen from the dining room.

This area can be seen from the dining room.

It would bridge the color gap between the “Tea Light” green conservatory and the “Waterbury Cream” kitchen.

The blue chairs in the living room are staying.

The blue chairs in the living room are staying.

It should also tie into the blue kitchen curtains, the blue of the conservatory ceiling, and the blue chairs in the living room.

I have some of our old wallpaper but I don't think it's the answer.

I have some of our old wallpaper but I don’t think it’s the answer.

I went to Home Depot this morning to get swatches of the denim palette because there are lots of choices.

Ralph Lauren "Blueprint" glaze over "Andover Blue" base.

Ralph Lauren “Blueprint” glaze over “Andover Blue” base.

Naturally there were no swatches available. After looking at the Ralph Lauren website I’m think I’m choosing between “Westport Blue” or “Blueprint” for the glaze.

The dining room ceiling is "Revere Pewter" by Benjamin Moore.

The dining room ceiling is “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore.

The glaze can be painted over any color. My ceiling in the dining room is “Revere Pewter” and the adjacent living room walls are the same so perhaps something in this family (which includes “Edgecomb Gray”) should be the undercolor.

I'm pretty sure Charlie likes denim judging by his wardrobe.

I’m pretty sure Charlie likes denim judging by his wardrobe.

So what do you think of denim, pardner?

What’s your favorite color combination?

The Plan for Tomorrow

Here’s what I’m hoping will happen tomorrow.

Our friend who knows everything drew up some rough plans to help us evaluate our trim needs especially around the large openings.

Our friend who knows everything drew up some rough plans to help us evaluate our trim needs especially around the large openings.

The trim that is blocking our use of the living room will begin to be used.

The 5-foot opening bewtween the dining room and conservatory gets trimmed on both sides.

The 5-foot opening bewtween the dining room and conservatory gets trimmed on both sides.

The first areas that need to be figured are the large arches between 1.) the dining room and conservatory and

The opening between the master bedroom and hall across from the new closet also gets special casing.

The opening between the master bedroom and hall across from the new closet also gets special casing.

2.) the master bedroom and hallway.

Lumber in the living room.

Lumber in the living room.

We purchased 1 by 6, 1 by 4, cove molding, screen door bead, and 1 by 2 for these two openings.

The dining room opening (from the conservatory side) may one day get French doors.

The dining room opening (from the conservatory side) may one day get French doors.

I got my inspiration here.

I hope it looks better than my mock-up.

I hope it looks better than my mock-up.

We’re challenging our carpenter friend to  make it work.  My challenge is to paint it. Can’t wait to show you the before and after.

Do you have great inspiration? How do you implement?

Good and Not So Good

The title of this post is the answer to the question: How are the olive trees doing?

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One Koroneiki (Greek) and two Arbequina (Spanish) varieties to grow in Maryland (Zone 7 near the coast). This is how they looked when we first purchased them.

As you recall we bought 3 small olive trees in Florida about his time of year back in 2013.

One Koroneiki (Greek) in the middle is doing better than the two Arbequina (Spanish) varieties.

One Koroneiki (Greek) in the middle is doing better than the two Arbequina (Spanish) varieties. (April, 2015)

Each year we’ve brought them in for the winter. Inside they lose leaves and get spindly.

I pruned them mercilessly this year.

I pruned them mercilessly this year.

This year I decided I’d like them to have a less sprawling look; more of a topiary style. The advice from the grower was: Prune the lower branches and shape your tree. Olive trees bear their fruit on one year old wood. To promote this growth, prune your trees in spring. You can pinch the branches of new trees or prune back branches of established trees. Olive trees won’t bear fruit twice on the same wood, so remove bearing shoots from the previous year each spring. Don’t prune your tree in the first two years.

2013

2013

That worked great with the Greek Koroneiki olive tree.

The Koroneiki Greek olive tree in its new pot.

The Koroneiki Greek olive tree in its new pot. 2015

It has been transplanted and is doing well.

Olive trees need lots of sun.

Olive trees need lots of sun.

The other two Spanish Arbequina olive trees, however, are leafing out a bit but have taken the transition from Florida to Maryland very hard.

I'm giving the Spanish olive trees more time.

I’m giving the Spanish olive trees more time.

I’m hoping these few leaves on each of the newly transplanted trees will help them to grow with vigor.

I'm not expecting olives this year but I think the tree will eventually get the lollipop shape I desire.

I’m not expecting olives this year but I think the tree will eventually get the lollipop shape I desire.

I’m going to let them get accustomed to their new pots and fertilize them to promote wood growth.

This tree suffered the most but is actually leafing out along the (only living?) branch.

This tree suffered the most but is actually leafing out along the (only living?) branch.

No fertilizing after October.

When do you give up on plants that are not growing well?

Easy for You

Our carpenter friend was helping me on Monday get some spray painting done.

The 2 cabinets that make up the linen closet need to be painted and positioned correctly. (Or vice versa.)

The 2 cabinets that make up the linen closet need to be painted and positioned correctly. (Or vice versa.)

Just before he was getting ready to leave he asked me if I wanted him to do anything.

A mocked-up version of what we're going for.

A mocked-up version of what we’re going for.

I wanted the top of the linen closet hung on the wall so I could remove the bottom and paint it (now that I know how to use the paint sprayer).

The kitchen cabinets are trimmed on the top with scribe molding, 1 by 6s, and crown molding (of which I have an extra piece).

The kitchen cabinets are trimmed on the top with scribe molding, 1 by 6s, and crown molding (of which I have an extra piece).

I explained that that I have a piece of crown molding left over from the kitchen and would like to use it to bring the height of the cabinet up to ceiling height.

The niche at the end of the hall in the maser suite before it was drywalled and painted.

The niche at the end of the hall in the maser suite before it was drywalled and painted.

Being a blogger I also have a photograph of the wall before it was drywalled and painted so he could see exactly where the studs are.

After getting the closet started in the up position each man wedged a carefully-cut 2 by 4 on each side.

After getting the closet started in the up position each man wedged a carefully-cut 2 by 4 on each side.

Two by fours support the cabinet until it could be screwed into the studs with 3-inch screws.

Two by fours support the cabinet until it could be screwed into the studs with 3-inch screws.

It took both friend and Charlie to hoist this extremely heavy cabinet up onto two 18-inch long 2 by 4s so it could be screwed into the wall studs. (Eighteen inches is the amount of space I wanted to leave between the top of the bottom cabinet and the bottom of the top cabinet.)

It never hurts to recheck the measurement. This placement was both level and measured the same on each side.

It never hurts to recheck the measurement. This placement was both level and measured the same on each side.

It fit perfectly.

 I couldn't wait to stash some towels in the linen closet.

I couldn’t wait to stash some towels in the linen closet.

Next step for me:  Mix the paint for the bottom section and paint it along with the lumber for the bedroom bookshelves.

Next step for the men: Trim out the top of the cabinet.

Do you enjoy inside or outdoor work better?

Spray Painting the Trim

Over a year ago I bought a paint sprayer and compressor.

I simple hand-held paint sprayer.

I simple hand-held paint sprayer.

Yesterday I finally used it.

The lumber from the living room has been moved into the east side yard.

The lumber from the living room has been moved into the east side yard.

Its first task was to coat the primed soon-to-be trim in “Mosaic White” semi-gloss.

These super long and low saw horses were perfect for spray painting.

These super long and low saw horses were perfect for spray painting.

Our carpenter friend built me a new pair of saw horses expressly for laying out the lumber and painting it.

After thinning the paint the spray painter gave a nice, even coat of paint.

After thinning the paint the spray painter gave a nice, even coat of paint.

We thinned the paint and checked the coverage on one of the new horses.

The painting went quickly.

The painting went quickly.

The weather was perfect — dry, warm, and breezy  — for fast drying paint.

We piled the newly painted wood with spacers between layers and covered the pile with tarps.

We piled the newly painted wood with spacers between layers and covered the pile with tarps.

He also made an outside storage tray for the 16-foot long lumber after it had been painted.

Lest you think I didn't get in on the action -- check out my protective gear.

Lest you think I didn’t get in on the action — check out my protective gear.

While we didn’t finish everything we definitely made a dent in the pile in the living room.

Do you don crazy get-ups for special jobs?

Hardiebackering the Shower Controls

We have two different control handle configurations on our new showers and both need to have Hardie backer applied to the walls.

The master bathroom has two different control valves in the shower.

The master bathroom has two different control valves in the shower.

The master shower has a double control for the shower head and the spray with a triangular plastic piece covering the pipes.

The shower control valve in the conservatory is a one-piece unit.

The shower control valve in the conservatory is a one-piece unit.

The conservatory shower has a more typical round black plastic covering.

All the screws and valves were left uncovered.

All the screws and valves were left uncovered in the master shower.

Charlie asked our contractor how to deal with the Hardie backer in these two instances.

The conservatory shower has a simpler control.

The conservatory shower has a simpler control.

He said the black plastic pieces are just place holders for the actual mechanism so remove them and cut holes to accommodate what remains.

We returned the plastic keeper to protect the valve until the tiling is finished.

We returned the plastic keeper to protect the valve until the tiling is finished.

I hope this will work.

What are you looking forward to this summer?

A Few Insignificant Items

Yesterday I didn’t get much accomplished but I meant to.

Lumber in the living room.

Lumber in the living room.

I was going to start by painting some of the tons of uninstalled trim we’ve been storing in the living room.

I usually paint trim outside BEFORE putting it in.

I usually paint trim outside BEFORE putting it in.

The pieces I wanted to start with were at the bottom of the pile so I moved a few pieces and decided it wasn’t a job for me.

An olive tree is in the yellow pot to the right of the irises at the entrance to the potager.

An olive tree is in the yellow pot to the right of the irises at the entrance to the potager.

Then I went outside to move the newly planted olive trees in place.

This vase is over 2 feet tall.

This vase is over 2 feet tall.

I painted and glazed this tall vase to match the olive tree planters.

I painted and glazed this tall vase to match the olive tree planters.

After moving two of them and almost unpotting them in the process, I decided to wait for some help.  I wrenched both my leg and arm trying to move these extremely heavy pots.

Last winter we failed to put our lawn furniture away so it's very dingy.

Last winter we failed to put our lawn furniture away so it’s very dingy.

I also washed down 2 lawn chairs that I’m using on the side porch temporarily.

I'd like to put the planters up on the porch but these olive trees need sun.

I’d like to put the planters up on the porch but these olive trees need sun.

I rearranged the porch a bit but it doesn’t look great.  It is, however, more functional with comfortable chairs and a place to drop something while opening the door.

This pile of wood is now in the living room.

This pile of wood is now in the living room.

Charlie and I cleaned the vintage wood we’re planning to use in the conservatory bathroom. We also piled it in the living room to acclimate it for when we can finally build our vanity.

I love the yellow ochre in the garden.

I love the yellow ochre in the garden.

Not much but a few items to tick off the list.

Are you using your 3-day weekend for rest or restoration?