I’m a natural-born skeptic. I question all premises that seem too good to be true.
I was backing up and the truck came around the corner from behind the hedge.
I was backing out of my parking space at work when the farm truck came around the blind corner.
This was not a small dent.
A friend was going to put this up on a lift to see if the dent could be popped out easily.
I had another repair for the list. I wasn’t worried about it because 1.) my friend said she could fix it and 2.) if she couldn’t it was covered under insurance at work.
Two days later the dent was gone. Other remnants of the incident like scrapes on the bumper remain but the volleyball-size indentation was no longer there.
The car has not been out of my possession and I didn’t have it fixed. How did that happen?
I used to organize the house
to-do list in one long list that I added to as I thought of something new. Here’s the updated room by room view at the end of 2015. Lots done in the ensuing year.
The living room in 2017.
Living room in 2017.
Caffe bar kitchen peninsula
Coffee bar in the kitchen
Counter in the pantry
Paint wall and ceiling
Hang lighting fixture
Organize pantry food and tools
A new floor was installed last year in the conservatory.
The floor has made a big difference.
Paint floor or lay flooring
Move file safe into closet
Get doors for closet and bathroom
Doors in the conservatory.
Conservatory bathroom is tiled.
Shower glass in the conservatory bathroom.
Our powder room is currently styled the bibliotheque but is in for a continental change.
The stairs and landing to the powder room.
After the renovation we should be able to free up some room in the laundry.
La buanderie means either laundry room or utility room in a house
Hang closet door
Add hanging pole to closet Add baseboard trim
Add chair rail trim
Paint and install inside shutters
Paint and install old kitchen cabinet above dryer
Tear out closets Erect bookshelves
Shelves to be finished.
Paint walls Blue master bedroom Paint trim
Lay rug Make bed rustic
Refinish tall dresser
French doors open from a private second-floor terrace into the master bedroom.
The master bedroom French doors lead to a private deck.
A tiny but useful room: The Diva Room
Add shutters or curtains
Clear out boxes
Refit closet after ductwork
The Treetops Room viewed from the doorway.
Clear out boxes
Move large painting to living room
Paint lamp and refinish shade Paint door
Front painted Sandy Hook Gray.
Choose outdoor lights/sconces
Choose blue stone or paving Make planters
The westside porch.
Choose outdoor lights/sconces
Choose bluestone or paving Make planter for front edge
Make wood box
Bench or chair
The back stairs to the conservatory.
The planters are at the entrance to the potager on either side of the iron gate.
Make a plan for foundation plants
The shed is both charming and useful.
Wee Little House
Clear work bench
Organize garden items
The Cottage has a permanent tenant.
Glade Cottage in Spring
Clear up unfinished projects
Move paint to house
New water heater
Install kitchen sink Cottage kitchen
Move tools to shed
Move and repair drafting table
Clean up old lumber and flooring
Dust and wipe clean
The longest night is over for another year. Did you survive?
Although it seems like we accomplished little last month when I checked back some things did get done.
Our security lights are now well-positioned.
The first item checked off the list was to reset the
security light that shines on the driveway. Now when anything or anybody moves in the area to the west of the house 2 bright lights come on for 5 minutes. It has made a wonderful difference to coming home after dark.
The little shelf is meant to be decorative as opposed to functional.
I also hung a
glass shelf on the wall behind the toilet in the master bathroom. I’m not sure if it is as solidly hung as it should be but it hasn’t fallen yet.
forced some quince branches to blossom early to give us some spring color in the living room.
Rattan bench for the conservatory.
There was also some rearranging of furniture when I bought a
rattan bench for the conservatory and sold my drafting table on Craigslist.
Grey wicker chair.
And I bought a
new chair, some pillows, and a tray at my favorite model home furniture resale store.
At last the runner is finished.
The most time consuming project in February was sewing and installing a
runner for the steps that go from the first to the second floor.
Charlie posed with the statue of George M. Cohan in Times Square, aka Father Duffy Square.
At the end of the month we hurried up with a
3-day road trip to New York City and a quick paint project.
The exterior stairs and porch to the conservatory have been cleaned and painted.
That’s at least 9 items that kept us busy. Looking back over the list it seems our focus was on staircases.
Looking back what have you accomplished?
The stairs from our first floor to the second floor are
Our narrow stairs.
I couldn’t find a long runner narrow enough to use on the steps so I bought
10 small rugs from Ikea. I’ve been working on this project for about 2 years.
The rug was easy to cut with Fiskars Easy Action Bent Scissors.
I cut the fringe off by cutting at right angles to the stripes. Look ahead of the scissors’ blades and make long cuts.
Then I sewed them together with a flat-felled seam.
My plan was to use my grandmother’s sewing machine but ended up using my own. I couldn’t adjust the tension correctly on the older machine.
Traditional 5/8″ seam to start.
To flat-fell a seam you sew a traditional seam right side together.
Cut away one seam allowance.
Then trim the one of the seam allowances to about 1/4 inch.
The stitching is a bit uneven because the fabric was so thick.
Pull the seam flat and topstitch catching the short allowance inside the longer one. If you choose, you can topstitch again about 1/4-inch from the first topstitching.
The runner was loosely laid on the steps at first.
Finally, with my new pneumatic stapler I started at top of the steps and just put staples in the middle all the way down the staircase.
The runner is strategically stapled to the stairs with 1-inch long staples.
After I was sure one of the seams didn’t land in the middle of a tread I added more staples on all the steps in the black area of the runner.
Tacked all the way up.
I’m hoping this wears well.
Looking from the landing at the top of the stairs.
I might have to add a few more staples from time to time.
Check off #5 of my
101 in 1001.
Have you sewn something together recently?
Our offsite project (Day 2 is here, Days 3, 4, 5 are here.) is finally finished.
Painted, carpeted, and furnished.
There will be a postlude but for now we are finished.
Even the door got a new coat of paint.
Charlie sealed the seams with caulk.
We painted the walls and woodwork.
The room’s occupant preferred wall-to-wall carpet.
We changed out the old carpet.
We rearranged some of the furniture — this chair used to be across the room.
We pared down the contents of the living room including removing a lot of chains.
There were chains holding a hanging lamp, chains holding a glass globe filled with fake flowers, and chains connecting some wall decoration.
The rattan chair was brought in from the porch.
We’ve been set free from the chains.
The vintage sofa
The new pale blue Ektorp sofa from Ikea
We replaced the vintage sofa with a new pale blue one from Ikea. The old sofa had a matching chair which we had hauled away with the old sofa.
Before the renovation.
The wall behind the sofa needs some art work but I think the resident might return the mirror to this space.
The work team is happy that the room has been lightened and simplified. The resident is delighted with her newly freshened living room.
The new double curtains rods have been ordered from Home Depot.
The only items remaining on the to-do list are rehanging the curtains on new rods and returning the artwork to the walls which we will do when the resident has all the pieces together and gives us a call.
Is there a piece of furniture in your house you would like to get rid of but can’t bring yourself to do so?
Our offsite project (Day 2 is here) is in full swing but the resident of the room decided my choices were not her choices.
A review of my suggestions.
On Day 3 Charlie and my friend pulled up the remaining wall-to-wall carpet and tack strips in the living room.
The edges of the floor were is very good shape. The stained area would have been covered by an area rug.
The original plan was to clean, wax, and buff the entire floor then to lay an area rug. Unfortunately the room resident had her heart set on wall-to-wall carpet. (I write that with a scowl on my face.)
The selected color, “Oyster,” is the uppermost swatch on the right.
Instead, on Day 4, my friend and I along with the room’s resident met with a representative from Empire Today who presented us with wall-to-wall carpet selections. The first choice mentioned by the resident was “mauve” which apparently is no longer in anyone’s color palette.
After choosing the color “Oyster” from the “Making Waves” collection we asked for installation the next day. The carpet was laid wall-to-wall in the living room, up the stairs to the second floor, and in the second floor hall.
After — Much simpler now.
When my friend and I arrived late in the day the carpet was finished and gave the room a calming look in contrast to the original variegated, sculpted carpet.
The stairs to the second floor — BEFORE.
The stairs are safer now that the carpet is fitted.
Stay tuned for Day 6 and the Finale.
Do you decorate with your favorite color?
I always have lists of projects both written and stored in my brain. (
101 in 1001, Clean Sweep, Master List.)
The Cottage interior last June.
Every so often we actually finish something. Sometimes it’s something we didn’t even hope to accomplish.
The Cottage sees regular improvements now.
The biggest change last year was
The Cottage. It went from a storage bin to permanent living quarters. We had hoped to sort it out but never expected to make such progress.
The shower glass provides a lot of reflection in the master bathroom.
Early in the year we had
shower glass installed in both the master bathroom and the conservatory bathroom.
Shower glass in the conservatory bathroom.
Both showers are curbless.
We upgraded our mailbox.
We also switched out
our rural mailbox with a totally upgraded version that was a gift from my sister.
All the floors are installed.
While we were on a trip to the
Grand Canyon, our son oversaw the installation of red oak floors in the last two unfloored sections of the house: the master suite hallway and the conservatory.
The rustic vanity.
Charlie and I actually worked together to finish the
rustic vanity in the conservatory bathroom.
We also made shelves in the conservatory bathroom.
We even built
rustic shelves to cover an access alcove behind the shower. We were on a roll.
The conservatory bathroom door was painted “Secret” by Benjamin Moore.
My last project of the year was to paint the interior doors grey. (
Door 1, Door 2, Doors 3 and 4.) I painted them solo and am very happy with the change.
What’s your number one project planned for 2017?