The Painted Cross

An iron cross has hung on the Cottage for many years.

An iron cross hung on the Cottage near the front door.

Sug spruced up the paint when she painted the side panels on either side of her front door.

The cross didn’t look right on the shutters.

When we hung shutters on the door panels the cross needed to be moved.

The cross is easy to spray paint.

Sug hung it above the door but the white cross on pale grey was hardly visible so she asked me to repaint it.

Navy blue spray paint needs a few coats to bring out the true color.

I used navy spray paint misted with hammered charcoal metallic to give it a little interest.

The Cross at the Cottage.

Now it hangs more visibly above the door.

Are you changing the color of something?



List, 2017: November Plans

November is a cold month here in Maryland so I’m planning indoor projects.


Much, but not all, of the dirt was removed when we cleaned the rug in spring.

Clean and store for the winter the rug from the master suite deck.

WE should have enough trim on hand to finish the laundry room.

Install interior trim and clear up pile in hallway.


The center cushion of the windowseat has never been upholstered like the other two but I have the fabric.

Work on sewing projects.


I have a cabinet full of party games.

Let’s have a game night in November.


No tickets or events on the schedule for November.

Exterior Outsourcing

Someone might just need this chandelier over their Thanksgiving table.

Relist some large items on Craigslist like saddle, chandelier, Christmas items.


I’ve been back at the gym for a month riding the recumbent bike.

The gym has all sorts of equipment including weights.

Now it’s time to up the game to include some weight lifting.

When do you put up holiday decorations?

List, 2017: October Progress

At the beginning of the month I had made rigorous but reasonable plans for projects I wanted to accomplish.  I’ve been posting updates regularly but here is the summary.


We refinished our king-sized bed frame for the master bedroom.

We started by cutting down the footboard.
The new finish is charcoal grey with a darker drybrush finish.

We cut off the sleigh end on the footboard then painted it.

We’re still working on baseboard trim.

While the bed was pulled away from the wall we installed baseboard trim.


While we were concentrating on projects in the master suite I stained the doors to the closet much like the ones in the conservatory.


Charlie and I have both started working with our Christmas choir.  There are only 8 Sundays left until Christmas eve. Yee ha.


We had no guests at the house. We stayed totally focused on DIY projects.


Charlie, Sug, and I took a day trip to the Statue of Liberty.  It’s as grand as I remember.  My traveling companions were very excited to see this welcoming icon up close.

Lady Liberty

Our tickets were for the crown. We climbed the 146-step spiral staircase. Miss Liberty is fantastic.

Exterior Outsourcing

I listed some old Halloween costumes on Craigslist but was not successful off-loading them.  Maybe next time.

Hoods and leggings are crucial for cool Halloween nights.

It was fun to revisit old photos of our son when he was a little boy.

I cleaned up the old computer.

Time to get rid of this old computer.

It’s been plugged in for years without being used or hardly used.  We have a new set-up now so it is time for this relic to go.

We’re scheduled with Sug’s contractor to install window trim on 3 interior windows in the house.

The master closet window needs a sill and casing then I can hang a curtain.

Two round windows and the window in the master closet are trickier than we think we can manage ourselves.


I’m back at the gym on a regular basis riding the recumbent bike.

I have advanced to level 9.

Maybe next month I’ll add weights.

What’s your plan for November?


Master Closet Doors

The closet doors in the master suite are Shaker-style solid pine.

The master closet doors are solid pine.

They needed to be stained like the ones in the conservatory.

The doors are heavy.

We unhinged them and laid them on sawhorses on our master suite deck which was covered with drop cloths.

Charlie brought me a cappuccino while I was staining the door.

I lightly sanded any marks off the doors which might show through the stain. After applying pre-stain conditioner to the wood I used a small sponge brush to apply the stain and wiped it off with a clean cotton rag.

Sug helped me rehang the doors.

We let the doors dry for about an hour then rehung them.

The door on the left is open, closet doors center, bathroom door on the right.

The new door color goes with (but doesn’t match exactly) the painted doors to the hall and bathroom.

What cozy element do you add to your bedroom décor in the fall?

Door Shutters

I decided back here not to use the old door shutters on our front door.

Our old front door was decorated with non-functional shutters.
The shutters are leaning against the front door. There is not enough room for them.

They just didn’t fit.

How can this little Cottage look any cuter?

However we found another place to use them.

These long shutters sprayed up very quickly.

Sug primed the shutters. I spray painted them the Cottage trim color.

The shutters are held in by two large screws: one top and one bottom.

Then we hung them on the panels of the same color on either side of the Cottage door.

Compare the left side of the door to the right.

On this door they look great.

We’re surprised how much we like the shutters near the Cottage door.

Just the subtle adornment the Cottage was missing.

Our neighbor’s goat tried to butt both Sug and Charlie.

While we were working on this project the neighbor’s goat came to visit — twice.  We must have great weeds because he came to munch.

How do you decide when to stop adding details?

Finishing the Bed Makeover

We’ve been working on our French sleigh bed frame for 3 consecutive Saturdays.

Construction work was completed the first day.

Day 1: We cut down the sleigh bed, sanded it, and wiped it down with mineral spirits.

I primed with a small fuzzy roller.

Day 2: I gave the bed two coats of tinted primer.

The custom grey paint was paint on with a brush and roller.

Day 3: The entire bed was given a base coat of a dark grey paint mixed from two grey paints I had in my stash — one warm and one cool.

The dark grey wash was ragged on and dry brushed off.

I added some black paint to the base paint and thinned it with water so I could wipe it on with a rag and dry brush off with a 4-inch brush.

The baseboard behind the headboard has been installed.

Meanwhile Charlie cut and attached trim to the long bedroom wall with Sug’s help.

The finish needs to cure before I wax it.

Sug and I put the heavy bed together in the bedroom.  I’ll show that transformation soon.

Have you planned a risky project? Or dangerous outing?

One Focus

Last Saturday we had diverse goals which we completed.  This week all eyes are on the master bedroom and bed.

I primed with a small fuzzy roller.

I’m planning to get the bed frame we cut down and primed totally finished.  All painting done and dry.

I’m planning to wax the painted bed either with BriWax either in clear or golden oak finish.

Meanwhile I’m hoping Charlie will cut and apply trim to the long bedroom wall so when we assemble the bed and push it into place we won’t have to pull it out for a long time.

The master bedroom still needs baseboard trim.

So far October has been a beautiful month to work on monster projects.

Do you decorate for Halloween?