Wall of Sunflowers

We’re on our way to having a wall of sunflowers on the west façade of the house.

At the end of April the sunflowers had sprouted and the whole area had been weeded.

When they first started to come up I was excited because last year out of 100 seeds I got 6 wimpy plants.

In less than a month the sunflowers have made a lot of progress.

This year however Charlie did the planting: Sunflower Lemon Queen and Sunflower Italian White.

The rows are 3 deep in 2 different varieties.

He turned over the soil and enriched it with compost.

Each plant has its own personality: short, tall, spindly, healthy.

I can’t wait until they start to bloom which I believe might be the middle of June.

How’s your green thumb?

Integrated into the Door

When the new front door to the Cottage was installed I left out a detail.

The shade is between two pieces of glass.

The new door has a louvered shade built between the two panes of glass.

At the top the slider opens and closes the louvers; at the bottom it raises and lowers the entire shade.

The shade is controlled by a slider on the inside of the door.  There are no rods or strings.

The slider is on the right hand side.

If the shade needs to be removed the glass can be unscrewed.

The new door.

The new door has made the Cottage more insulated and quieter.

The house is reflected in the glass.

The muntins and mullions are also between the glass.

Have you installed replacement windows?

New Hangers

The new master closet is ready to have clothes hanging on the rods.

The new hangers fit Charlie’s shirts well.

After a little research I decided to get Proman Kascade Hangers.  I ordered one hundred.

My side is a bit more colorful.

Our clothes used to hang on plastic and wire hangers.

Destined for the trash heap.

I’m getting rid of the old wire hangers but I’m hanging on to the plastic and odd wooden ones for the remaining closets in the house.

Our suitcases fit neatly above the hanging sections of the closet.

And the horizontal closet boxes that we topped the towers with are perfect for storing our suitcases out of the way but handy.

Do you have a closet that needs an overhaul?

Spring Goals

I have 2 main goals this spring:

The master bedroom still needs baseboard trim.

one indoors and one outside.

Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.

I have a hallway full of wood trim which needs to be cut and installed.

The bedroom hall needs trim also.

I know there’s not enough to finish everything but I’m not going to place the final order until I know exactly what I need. I plan to work on this during the week.

Some of the shutters have already been scraped.

I also want to clean, paint, and hang the shutters we took off the house 3 years ago when we started the renovation.

I hope we can match the right shutters to the corresponding windows.

I’m going to start the shutters on Memorial Day weekend.

What are your plans for the long weekend?

Finishing Up on the Closet Boxes

When last we left the progress on the closet most of the boxes/towers were finished except the ones on the very top.

We made 2 towers and a sort section tops with a stock cabinet left over from the kitchen renovation.
The closet is built floor to ceiling.

Yesterday we built the remaining boxes and installed them in the gap on the top of the towers.

The final box on the left side of the closet slid in with a snug fit.

Like the other boxes they are made from 3/4-inch plywood, 21 inches deep, and backed with luan.

The long box on the right-hand side of the closet was more difficult to install due to the attic access on the ceiling.

We made long skinny boxes which sit on top of the tall towers.

The right-hand side of the closet is finished.

At the end of the run we made shorter cabinets that coincide with the towers near the window on each side.

The closet space before we started to outfit it.
Next step: Trim!

The closet is now usable but still needs finishing:

  • Connect the boxes together.
  • Trim the baseboard around the room.
  • Trim the window and inside of the door.
  • Make face frames for the boxes.
  • Add drawers to the area under the closed cabinet.
  • Hang curtains.
  • Stain the doors.
  • Touch up the paint.

Do your projects seem to go on forever?


Step 1a: Removing the Tile

I have started my tile project in the pink bathroom.

Crack in the pink bathroom tile.
The tiles I removed.

It was going very slowly until Charlie took over.

The Dremel tool cuts through grout with minimal scraping.

Instead of using the grout saw he pulled out our Dremel tool.

Once Charlie figured out a method he was rolling.

All afternoon I received photo updates.

We’re retaining the old ceramic fixtures but removing the Laura Ashley wallpaper.

Now that the easy tiles are removed, onto the more important bull-nosed variety.

Do you favor hand tools or power tools?

A New Cottage Door

When I first moved into The Glade in 1997 we used The Cottage as an office.  At the time we called it The Little House.

The Dutch door on the Cottage always sagged in the doorway.

It had a Dutch door.

The $35 refurbished door that Charlie and I hung in 2011.

After awhile the Dutch door became structurally unsound so we replaced it with a $35 door from Second Chance Warehouse, a Baltimore salvage center.

The old-fashioned screen door on the Cottage.

Now the Cottage is getting a better treatment.

The old doors have been removed and new ones are ready for hanging.

In order to keep the Cottage filled with light we decided to replace the nine-light front door with one almost exactly the same except the new one is more energy efficient.

Squaring up the new door.

The main door which erroneously opens “out” has been replaced on the interior and opens “in” like most residential doors.

The new Cottage door.

We’re expecting the screen door which was on the inside to be replaced with an exterior storm door.

Glade Cottage before the new windows and doors.
New windows and doors on the Cottage have made it more energy efficient.

The Cottage will soon be ready for a new coat of paint.

Cast offs.

Who needs a door?

What color is your front door?