Ring My Bell

Just kidding! Actually I want you to paint my bell, I mean suggest a paint color for it.

Here it is before we dropped replaced the Dutch door.

Black bell by old door

 I took the black bell down so I could paint the trim. When I replace it it will go back in the same place but the door now looks like this.

Naked without the bell

I’d like YOU to suggest a color for the bell. 

What color do you choose?

Should it remain black (just repainted and spiffed up a bit)?  Or should it be a color like green or blue or red? Maybe it should be a metallic like hammered bronze or gun-metal?  What say ye?


Glade Cottage: Color Palette

The Glade has a color palette which I try to stick with as much as possible. Glade Cottage has its own color palette unlike the one of the main house in a couple ways.

First, because of the compact size of the cottage, the palette is limited.

Cottage Color Palette

 The walls are Siamese Eyes by Martha Stewart and  Templeton Grey by Benjamin Moore, the colors of the sky and sea.  Accents colors are more of a sandy color with some black, white and bold color splashes.

Second, while I use true blues in the house, the cottage blues have a bit of green in them, slightly aqua.

Below is a picture of the floating wall before we painted it and rearranged the furniture.

Front of floating wall - Before

 Below is a shot of the floating wall in Templeton Grey with the mate to the twin bed I reconditioned here. This bed is on my to do list, too. And the round, 3-tier table needs some love also. The standing lamp was shiny brass but I satin-nickeled it. (Can “satin nickel” be used as a verb???)

Templeton Grey on Floating Wall - After

I was hoping the tropical prints above the bed would be sort of beachy but they’re not bold enough, the color is wrong and they seem a little skimpy so I’m searching for something to replace them.

And here’s just a teaser of the main color, Siamese Eyes.

Siamese Eyes by Martha Stewart

 How’s your color scheming?

A Clearer Clearing

The woods have been encroaching on the Wee Little House (our shed) for many years now.


 Here’s another angle. (Wee Little House is out of the picture to the left.)


Charlie started to clear the offensive plants: tulip poplar, weeping cherry, honeysuckle, Japanese maple. He retained every dogwood seedling.

Wee Little House after clearing

 Hey, look, there’s a pink rhododendron (right behind the stump of a dead Japanese maple). Little by little things progress around here.

How about this next?

 How’s your yard coming along since EVERYTHING started to grow? I’m good at clearing thing clutter; Charlie’s good at yard clutter. But clutter, nevertheless, is our nemesis. Got a nemesis?

Lettered Headboard Tutorial

I love the look of lettering on walls and furniture (see my kitchen wallpaper below) but I just don’t have the moolah to spend on such things, so I try to come up with my own quaint techniques.

Sample of Kitchen Wallpaer

While I was changing the color of the little bedroom (formerly yellow, now pink) I was ready to update the headboard of this old bed. 

Bed Before

The twin to this one is out in the cottage. I have a matched set because my sister and I shared a room when we were very young and had matching beds.

Over the years the finish has worn off in places and the structural members have changed but I still have the matching headboards and footboards.  (Why, oh why, can’t I get rid of anything?)

Headboard and footboard

  Alas, I don’t have a room where both will fit together so I decided to do them over one at a time and each differently.  Here is my initial effort for the pink bedroom.

First I sanded the finish just to rough it up and wiped it down with mineral spirits to remove the dust and any grime I missed.

Sanding the finish

 Then I primed the bed with Kilz (because the can was open from priming the door to the cottage).

Headboard and footboard primed

 The next part was little tricky because I had recived a free pint of Benjamin Moore paint from the seminar I attended here. I wanted “Mourning Dove” by Martha Stewart but the Benjamin Moore dealer would only mix their own color so I picked “Meditation” which was close but not eaxactly what I wanted. I went to work adding some leftover-from-other-projects greens, some white and some dark blue to “Meditation” and came up with a near  match to “Mourning Dove”.

Paint tester on Mourning Dove swatch

 The real trick to mixing is to make sure you mix enough for the entire project. Then I gave the bed a couple coats of Jo’s “Mourning Dove” (which looks tan in the photo but is more grey with a very slight green cast) applied mostly with a foam roller.

Bed with primer and “Mourning Dove”

Finished with “Mourning Dove”.

Footboard in "Mourning Dove"

 Then I began to cut the stencil from an old office folder for the wording to be applied to the headboard.


 I knew I wanted the lettering in silver and I had two options: satin nickel or silver.

Silver on the left, Satin Nickel on the right

 I did a test swatch using each paint with the stencil onto a swatch of “Mourning Dove.” (Note: If you test the stencil before it is fully cut out, use it upside down [meaning wrong side taking the paint] so you don’t obliterate the markings for the rest of the cuts. Guess how I found this out?) Here are the results.

Silver on top, Satin Nickel on bottom

 It turned out that in certain light you couldn’t even see the satin nickel because the color tone was so close to the base color (Mourning Dove). I did use Satin Nickel to add a little zing to the knobs.

Satin Nickel with Mourning Dove

 Finally I had the entire stencil cut (which was a bear).

Fully cut stencil

 I taped it to the head of the bed and masked off everthing else with blue painters tape. The tiny pieces inside the letters d, a, o and f were held down with a tiny piece of double-stick tape.

Stencil ready for spray paint

  I sprayed silver on the stencil twice and a light dusting of satin nickel.

Stencil with spray paint

Here’s the result. 

Stenciled headboard

 A quick look at the bed in place in the pink bedroom. Remember the satin nickel on the knobs? Full reveal after a few more projects are complete.

Stenciled Bed

 and maybe one more shot .  .  .

Full effect . . . Subtle

 Sidebar:  I’ll show you the stencil preparation procedure in a future post.

This is a tiny room but very handy when the house is filled with guests. And don’t get attached to the picture on the wall because I forgot I have wall sconce lamps for this room. Decorating, for me, is never a “done deal”.  I think I inherited that from my mother.  What have you moved around and tweaked lately? Is change good or just constant?

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Furniture Feature Fridays

Domestically Speaking



Security Detail: Garden

Our plants don’t stand up for themselves. And they are attacked by vicious predators, so our solution is to put the helpless plants in cages.

Tomato Cage

 The tomatoes are in 4-foot tall fencing that has been fashioned into round towers.  It’s vital to put these in place well before they’re needed.  Once the plants begin to branch out damge can be done by forcing the extensions through the openings. You can see below the cages on the newly planted seedlings.

Caged Tomatoes

 Charlie has surrounded or covered in some way with chicken wire or wire fencing the squares that are planted with cucumbers and basil. The birds and bunnies will just snap off the plant if he doesn’t.

Basil surrounded by wire fence

A close-up of the fence.

Practical, not pretty

 A few years ago I found this lovely garden-enclosure fence in someone’s back yard and have been using it as my inspiration for a long time. I would estimate it to be about 8 feet tall and 25 feet wide and wrapping around four sides. I’d love to see the gate!

Rustic Garden Fence

 Here’s a corner detail .  .  .

Garden Fence

 And the center medallion .  .  .

Center Medallion

 I don’t know if we’ll ever have it because 1) it takes us forever to do anything and 2) there are way more important projects than a one-of-a-kind garden fence. But seriously, don’t you love it?

I’m linked to

Hang On

We bought it here. We sanded and primed here. We salvaged and polished here and here.

The remaining steps to hanging a door are all that’s left.

First, you have to make the little bugger unwieldy beast fit.  This one was very close but about half an inch had to come off the bottom.

Trim bottom of door with circular saw

There are three hinges and each needs a notched out space on both the edge of the door and the door frame so it will be flush with the surface.

Cut out for hinge

This can be accomplished either by a router or a hammer and chisel.  Charlie chose hammer and chisel since most of the notches were already made and only needed to be doctored a bit because this door would open to the outside (most front doors open in).

Screw in the hinge

Next we screwed in the hinges to the door and the frame after making pilot holes with a nail. One caution: if you’re using a screwdriver drill attachment, make pilot holes because the door wood is very hard and just letting the drill screw in the screws often messes up the top of the screw making it nearly impossible to remove that screw. Note above the part of the hinge that goes onto the door. The matching section gets screwed into the door frame.

Then we matched up the male and female edges and dropped (hammered) the pins in. And the door was too big to fit into the opening side to side.

Door does not quite close
Almost closes but doesn’t

We checked it with a level and discovered the hinges attached to the frame were slightly out of plumb.  So Charlie removed the door again and set the top hinge a little deeper into the frame. This is a very precise operation.

Almost but not quite closed

Still the door wouldn’t close all the way so we had to make a few dozens of passes with the Surform both to the door and jamb on the latch side to detail the fit.

Charlie using the Surform to plane the door

Finally the door closed all the way.

Closed at last

Then we gave it a fresh coat of paint both inside and outside, screwed on the door handle and lock set, and replaced the weatherstrip along the bottom edge. Here’s the door we removed.


May I present Morgan* the Cottage Door.


We learned how to hang an exterior door in an existing jamb and saved a ton of moolah over buying a new door. The cost breakdown is:

Door and lock set                             $35.00

Keys for the door                             $13.00

Brasso                                                    $ 6.00

Hinges and screws                                 -0-

Paint (from our stash)                         -0-

Total                                                      $54.00

*Morgan is stamped into the top of the door and the number 73.  A similar door retails for approximately $1000. Yikes!!

How did we do?

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