Saturday, November 27, 2010

Yawn, I'm back

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving! (Unless you're not American. But then you're missing out - this is the best holiday we have!) I've been keeping up with everybody and it seems like yall all had a good thankful holiday. Go give Andrea a hello, though - she has a lot on her plate right now.

We had some snow earlier this week, then ridiculously cold temps. It was 7 or 8 when I woke up for three mornings in a row - and no, I don't mean 7 am, I mean 7 degrees Fahrenheit! Yuck.

The goats are angry when it snows, and the chickens are confused when it's cold, but Dixie is impervious to everything. I didn't blanket her because she never shivered. That stupid coat may make her too sweaty to compete, but it sure works great for keeping her warm.

Yesterday I built a pair of very handsome sawhorses. I think the wood is fir - it's some re-usable timbers that were part of the junk heap in the backyard. It's too seasoned to nail well, but if I pre-drill the holes it works fine. And they're free, yippie!

I dragged them into the Blue Room. The carpet in there is terrible, so that's going to be my work space for re-doing the doors. I bought new-used doors off of craigslist back when we bought the house, and I haven't gotten around to hanging them yet. But the "walnut" doors in the hall are starting to bug me.

This isn't a very good picture for any purposes, but can you see how the doors are enormous black holes? Hate it!

The current doors are "walnut" hued fake-grained pressboard. The new-used doors are pre-primed heavyweight hollowcore interior doors, with real wood veneers. Much heavier and nicer. I've got replacements for most of the doors in the hallway, but two of them are very small so I'm going to try to refinish them. I'll sand the gloss off, prime, maybe sand again, and paint. I did some test sanding on the door to the Blue Room (it's cracked, so it's coming down no matter what) and it's really hard to sand without roughing up the door so it looks "fuzzy." Anyway, the broken door will be my test piece.

I don't think I showed yall this awesome painting my mom sent for my birthday! It's better than the real Dixie, because in the painting she has a snow-white mane and tail. ;) I really do love this.

I'm thinking about tackling the front room, too. We both thought it was a weird room when we first saw the house. It makes a terrible first impression - it looks very long and narrow, like a giant hallway tacked on the front of the house. There's a full-wall flagstone fireplace against one wall, a lovely triple window in another, and varnished wainscoting and "crown molding" on the third. The fourth wall is the opening to the hall and kitchen and front door. If you're standing by the hall/front door, it looks like the room goes on forever to a distant looming rock pile. Other people don't seem to care, but the trim makes me grit my teeth - it's DOOR TRIM. Stuck on the wall, up against the ceiling. It has nothing in common with real crown molding except its location. The "molding" and the wainscoting are varnished natural wood, and the sheetrock is textured and painted (of course) glossy white. The whole effect is horrendous.


We got out the tape and measured - the room is actually 12 1/2' by 17'. It's plenty big! It's just dominated by bad design choices. You can't tell from the pictures, but every bit of the trim in this room is door trim. Door trim at the bottom of the wainscoting, door trim at the top of the wainscoting, door trim along the edge of the ceiling... gggrrrrrrr...


My plan right now is to finish out the trim correctly, then paint the trim and wainscoting off-white semi-gloss. The wall above the wainscoting will be a bold color - G is leaning toward the oranges and reds, I like the chocolates and tans that complement the flagstones. The other walls will be the off-white version of the bold color. We are sort of thinking "dining room," but I dunno. I am not great at putting furniture in rooms, just making the walls look good. :)


  1. Hi Funder! Just a thought about your wainscoting: the horizontal line down the long wall just accentuates the "long-ness" (think "disappearing railroad tracks). If you can't live without the wainscoting, maybe think about wide (10-12 inches) vertical strips above--two tonal versions of the same color, if you want to be more subtle--or I've seen matte-gloss-matte of the same color.
    Saw horses look awesome!
    We had MINUS 7 F--so quit complaining! Up to the twenties today, and snowing...

  2. Sawhorses - free is good!
    Painting of Dixie - love that it captured her glorious mane.
    Door trim - I probably wouldn't have noticed, but now that you told me, it bugs me too!

  3. ES - good call! G mentioned the perspective effect too yesterday. I will definitely think about it, maybe get some more pictures and try to Photoshop up a model.

    I do like the wainscoting. I think if I get the colors right, it'll really make the room pop. I'm going to put some simple chair rail molding above it. I think that would separate the vertical lines of the beadboard from the vertical lines of the paint...

    I like the matte-gloss-matte idea a lot. I think I'd go with a more subtle color if I did that...

    Terry - thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one ;)

  4. You have been busy - I am very impressed- keep up the good work.

    However I do wonder whether you bought your house from a relative of the man from whom I bought my house, both members of the "botched DIY clan".

    What a great painting you have of Dixie. Our horses being alike, I shall have to commission a painting of mine so that I can visualise her clean!

  5. I am just so bloody impressed! This woman is a marvel! Give her a job!!! Get her own "Tool Time!" show!!

  6. I think you need to host your own home improvement show. I just can't do projects like that, it would be a disaster for me, for the tools I'm using, for whatever I'm trying to "improve" - it would be a bad scene. Whenever Jason sees me with power tools in my hands beads of sweat start forming on him immediately. Then he has an intervention - "hand me the cordless drill Melissa, just hand it to me." If he saw me using a saw of some sort he'd probably just pass out.

    Also, I never would have realized it was door trim until you pointed it out but now it seems so obvious! I also like wainscoting so I think you should keep it and work it into your new plan. Used well it really gives a room a lot of character and is very attractive IMO.

  7. You know, I'm actually thinking about doing a how-to blog. I spent my lazy Thanksgiving days looking at DIY sites, and I think there's an untapped market there for people in not-antique houses, on a budget, who need instructions on the easy stuff. I can't tell you how to plumb a bathroom addition - but I can tell you how to deal with a busted frozen pipe. And my house is a '78 model - there's nothing special or antique about it.

  8. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the watercolor of Dixie is really nice. Did your Mom paint it herself? Now that's painting talent I ain't got!

  9. I have been meaning to tell you that i LOVE to "home improve". But I am the opposite of you, i have the big picture of what i want decor and carpentry wise, but have to hire someone to do the work.
    We just added some gorgeous wainscotting to the boys rooms, a design that I thought of myself, and I'm waiting for the painter now. Everything was done first rate by the carpenter, i can't wait to get the rooms all pulled together.
    Your place is looking great!

  10. That painting is wonderful :) Just thought I'd say I thought so.

  11. Jill, do you have any thoughts about the front room? I'm always happy to hear Big Picture advice!

    ES and Dom - yep, my mom painted that. She's pretty awesome. This one is ... a watercolor collage on canvas, kind of hard to describe but great texture.

    Here's my parents' Flickr. Dad makes the awesome little birdhouses, Mom does the paintings.

  12. I highly recommend a paint in a mocha shade. Two people I know have used it recently and it is such a peaceful room. A little goes a long way though, looks better paired with an earthy cream on one wall or split. But with rock, would ROCK! I used to have all your energy and wish I could find out where it went.

    The painting of Dixie was lovely. I want one of Phebes!

  13. we beat you, we had -1* one morning!!! the water in my trailer froze... but thawed after I kept 3 heaters on all day! and that is a lovely painting of Dixie by your mom!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond


Feel free to comment!