10 Tasks in 10 Days Challenge: 1st Update

 Cha Cha at Sit, Relax and Read is challenging us to complete 10 tasks in 10 days. I made a list of 21 things I wanted to get done and am whittling that list to a goal for 10 of them to be done in 10 days. On  Friday, June 24th,  I posted my list at Cha Cha’s link party and shared The Glade’s list with the blogging world. The projects in blue have been started; the projects in green are complete and the projects with a strikethrough we decided to tackle at another time. Here we go:

  1. Scrape, prime and paint cottage trim 
Scrape and paint cottage trim

 There’s lots of it!

Cottage trim needs scraping and painting

What a difference! Can’t wait to finish.


     2.  Paint cottage exterior accents

Paint the blue same color as house shutters

 Found the right paint and let ‘er have it! New color on top.


    3.  Paint cottage interior

Everything Mud Green becomes Siamese Eyes blue. This is a big job!

     4.  Replace the cottage lighting fixture with a ceiling fan.

Lighting Fixture in Cottage which Gotta Go

      5.  Dye cottage curtains and hang

These curtains for a starter as well as others for the large window.

     6.  Paint Cottage bed

Paint this bed!

   Fait accompli!


   7.  Paint trim in pink bedroom

Paint trim Queen’s Lace white

    8.  Declutter Treetops room

Sorry to say it doesn't look this good right now.

 It looks like this .  .  .

It look like this! Unclutter me.

      9.  Paint bookshelf in pink bedroom

This bookshelf has been many colors. Needs a new one!

     10.  Paint file cabinet in pink bedroom

Here is faux bois at its tackiest. Nothing a little paint won't cure.

    11.  Select, clean and paint shutters for pink bedroom

I need 2 good ones from this pile of old shutters. Then I'll paint them to match the ones in the Treetops Room (see photo above).

    12.  Paint tile top console

This piece was built by Charlie's dad. We're going to make it useful again!

    13. Declutter cottage

Arrange this clutter

    14.  Make attic door close

We're old hands at this by now. Get the Surform!

    Still needs to be painted but it closes.


15.  Fix front door knob

This door knob does not turn so no one enters by the front door. Soooo sad.

     16.  Paint heart chair

Paint me, pleeeease!

    And paint her we did!


17.  Repair outdoor marble bench that was disassembled when men felled big tree is west side yard.

The components are here, just need a location (and a brawny helper). Oh, Chaaaaarlie!!

 It was incredibly heavy and teaming with snakes but Charlie braved the wildlife and wrestled it out.


     18.  Paint round table with 3 shelves

Paint 3-tier round table

     19.  Paint coffee table with large stencil

Paint the coffee table

     20.  Paint desk

Paint the desk

     21.  Stain Wee Little House

New stain necessary

Oh, yes.  Stained!


Halfway through we’ve finished 6.  The pace is grueling. If only we can keep up the momentum.

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Ten Tasks


This Finish Leaves a Stain

Our Wee Little House (shed) needs to be restained. It’s losing it’s finish.

Notice how the stain has worn of the bottom.

 But before we begin staining we have to fill the holes made by carpenter bees. 

Holes to be filled.

 Wood filler is smeared in the holes.

Carpenter bee damage patched with wood filler.

 Then the wood filler needs to be sanded to create a smooth surface.

Sanded wood filler

Our plan is to give it one coat of Behr’s Drift Grey Semi-transparent stain.

Partially stained with an excellent match - can hardly tell what's been done and what hasn't.

 After the stain is dry we’re hanging some ladder hooks on the back of the shed to hang our large, aluminum extension ladder.

Ladder hooks on the back of the shed hold the 2-story extension ladder,

Finally I’ve touched up the trim with some white paint.

Shed Window Trim - Before

 And touched up.

The trim is primed and painted on the window.

Painting the door is an entire project in itself but that’s on the not to distant agenda also.

The shed door needs some attention.

 Here’s the Wee Little House with her new coat. 

Finally stained.

How’s she look? Do you have an outbuilding or even a fence that needs some brush love? No time like the present. Sad but true.

Sit in the Heart Seat

I bought this chair more than a dozen years ago for $15 at an auction of the Laurel Hardware store in Laurel, Maryland.

Heart Chair - Before

 It’s kind of quirky and if I were a carpenter I’d build a few more primarily because I like an Adirondack frame due to its comfort and I like the heart built into this chair.

Heart Chair

 This particular chair is held together with bolts and screws that require a square head screw driver. Of course I can’t usually find that screwdriver.

Rear View

When I tried to tighten the nut on the bolts (which were rusted) the second one snapped off in the wrench so I’m not going to try to tighten any more.  There’s a ton of rusted hardware on this chair which I’ll replace one by one if I find a can of nuts and bolts in my stash.

After the bolt-tightening fiasco I lightly wire-brushed the chair with a coarse metal-bristle brush to take off the loose paint. Then I sanded the chair with my electric hand sander.  Frankly, the sanding didn’t do much except smooth out some of the splinters.

Then I primed the chair with Kilz primer.  In the past paint has not wanted to stick to this chair so I thought primer might be in order.

Priming with Kilz

I gave one sloppy coat to the entire chair.

I sat the chair on styrofoam pontoons which allowed me to rock the chair in different directions to get all sides painted.

 I was unsure of what color to paint the chair but then I had the bright idea of “verdigris”. Here’s my inspiration for that very color.

This outdoor fixture is my verdigris inspiration.

 It does occur to me that the original chippy color was very close to verdigris but my aim is to mix something with the exterior paints I have on hand that is similar and then let it weather on its own. Before applying the newly concocted color I sprayed the hard-to-reach area between the slats with an almost empty can of sage green spray paint.

I sprayed between the slats.

 Finally I painted the chair with the newly made color which I’ll call Glade Verdigris.

Glade Verdigris

Then I tried to get fancy and drybrush some of the colors on the back of the chair that I had used to tint the Glade Verdigris. So just for fun I added Valspar Pond Moss and Benjamin Moore Templeton Grey.

Drybrushing from the front - gives just a little dimension

  And from the side you can see more clearly the different colors.

Pond Moss (light color) and Templeton Grey (dark color) on Glade Verdigris (base color)

 Before painting it looked like this and was splintery to sit on.

Heart Chair - Before

 Now here it is.

Heart Chair - After

 I hope this treatment lasts more than one season. Oo, oo, I have some pillows to make it more comfy.  A glass of lemonade, if you please. 

Heart Chair in situ

 Won’t you join me? You take the ♥ seat. No, I insist.

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Domestically Speaking

Bamboozling: How to Build a Bamboo Trellis

We showed you our garden support system made wholly of bamboo trellises that we fashion from bamboo and jute twine.

Garden after the rain with trellises in place

 Perhaps a tutorial is in  order.  When I first started making these trellises I got the idea from a story many years ago in Martha Stewart Living magazine.  Who else but Martha would have something like this?

Bamboo Factory

 First we get out bamboo from a neighbor who is happy to have the dead wood from his bamboo forest thinned each year. 

Cut the poles to length with a saw or secatur

 Then we cut six (or eight) poles per trellis to approximately the same length (somewhere betwen 8 and 12 feet depending on the poles we have). Accurate measuring is not necessary.

Supplies in front - Must have a ladder!

 Tie pairs or triads together by winding twine around them. 

Tying the joint with twine

 We used to be much more precise but have realized over the past few years that lots of twine and fancy lashing just aren’t necessary.  

Tying top crossbar onto frame

 Stick the untied ends of the bamboo in the dirt and lash crossbars across the top and bottoms.

Tie crossbars at the base for stability

 It’s not necessary for the bamboo poles to be uniform in diameter or even totally straight.

All these poles were utilised, even the crooked one.

 After the basic shape is erect, string the entire form with 6-8 verticle twine climbers.  Tie at the bottom and go over the top bar and tie on the oppposite side.

Stringing the trellis for maximum vine climbing

 This basic A-shape trellis is great for cucumbers, pole beans or any vining vegetable (or flower, if you’re into that sort of thing. I am, but Charlie is certainly not going to waste time or energy on trellising flowers.)

Do you think our garden is high strung?

 Hmmm .  .  .

Who are you calling high strung?

 What’s your totally frugal but extravagant secret?  C’mon, let us in on it, we won’t tell.

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What Should I Do with This?

I cleaned up our Wee Little House and found something I didn’t know we had. 

Burlap Coffee Sack approximately 18" by 36"

  It’s got a woven turquoise line in it and turquoise stenciled writing on one side. The other side has only the line.

Flip side of Burlap Coffee Sack

 I know this will work great in the Cottage with the new color scheme.

Cottage Color Palette

 Question is: What can I do with it?

I’m disinclined to make pillow covers but that is not totally out of the question.  Maybe blinds or shades for the windows.  I’m totally open to suggestions.  What would you make with this burlap coffee sack? Thanks for your help.

Sidebar: It just struck me how we came to have this.  My son used to be a coffee roaster and he would transport these giant sacks of coffee in his truck.  I guess he got to keep one (of the sacks, not the coffee).


Every so often I come across something that painting won’t improve.  Shocking! I know.  I’m the original “Hey, let’s paint it” girl. 

When I cleaned the shed, I discovered this little cabinet that I had brought to The Glade from my first house.  It’s been hanging here in the Wee Little House (our shed) since 1997.

Old cabinet hanging in shed for 14 years

 The cabinet was in the basement in my previous house when I moved in in 1984. I had never noticed it the 13 years I lived there until I moved out and decided to take it with me. 

Old Cabinet

 It’s well-made and I would guess at least 50, maybe 70+, years old.  When I look around at antique stores and flea markets, a little cabinet like this (if you can find one) costs $100-$150.  No kidding.

 It has a stenciled number both on the top

Stenciled number on top of cabinet -13472

 and inside the back. The same number.

Number inside - 13472

 There’s a lock on it that needs a key (I bet Bill could help me with that). I replaced the old ceramic knob with a little metal frog from Restoration Hardware.

Lock below Frog handle

 Wire mesh screen held on with little tacks covers the front.

Cabinet with door open

 I like this little cabinet and I found a great place for it:  in Glade Cottage right inside the door.  When the main house is fully renovated I might even find a place for it in there.

Cabinet with mesh screen door hanging just inside the door at Glade Cottage

Have you been saving something for years and years?  Is it time to pull it out and use it? What are you waiting for?

She’s Pathological

We acquired (for free) a large pile of chips which Charlie used to tidy the paths in his garden and make a megapath through my perennial garden. Well we still have plenty (lots and lots) of chips.

Chips in front of Cottage

While Charlie was weeding the east side yard of vines, sticker bushes and invasive weeds I saw a place where we could use some more of those free chips.

Kind of a mess: leaves, brambles, vines

Why not a chip path to the hose spigot? 

Here's where we attach the hose to the house.

It’s hidden on the side of the house and so gets wet and weedy and not a nice place to visit but if you want to use the hose, then visit you must.

Charlie had cleared the path this much.

Partially cleared pathway

 And he wanted to do a “propah job” but I said,  “Chip path methodology will take care of the weeds and unevenness.” (Charlie does NOT like when I use a $20 word when a 10 cent term will suffice.) The hour was late and rather than argue to actually do more work, Charlie succumbed to my suggestion.

He laid down newspaper

Newspaper is the base for a chip path to discourage weeds

 and dumped chips on it.

Chipping the path

Seriously, what could be nicer than that?

A nice path organizes the whole area, gives it structure.

 Be sure to peruse the before and after.  What an improvement!  Thanks, Babe.  Have you made a small but mighty improvement?  Love to hear about it.