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Carpet removal

We've been working on my mom's room, which used to be the main workroom for the tailor shop. More photos and stories about that soon. But meanwhile, a chronicle of our efforts to remove the rug--which, based on old photos, has been in situ for at least 40-50 years. The rug has a swirly pattern that is kind of pretty:

Alas, it had a dense wool padding underneath it that was like a smorgasbord for moths, who had infested the carpet in great numbers (ick, ick, ick), causing it to literally fall apart in places--and the dry rot didn't help. So out it came! (Thanks to Larry, who has worked his little butt off this week.)

The floor underneath is *gorgeous*. It has the original shellac finish with only a few water stains and no bare patches. We are going to give it a good cleaning (probably with mineral spirits), then wax it with paste wax, then buff it with an electric floor buffer. This will be our first time doing this, so wish us luck!

Next: we are going to paint the walls (pale blue-gray) and the trim (satin white). Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the acoustic tile ceiling stays for now. But I think things will look fresher and prettier with a coat of paint or two. One of these days, I'd like to strip the mantelpiece, which was originally shellacked a pretty garnet, like the floor, but I don't have time to do it right now, so it just gets another coat o' paint.

Need decorating advice...

It looks like we're going to start working on clearing out and painting the sunroom this weekend. (My mom will have two rooms completely to herself, the sunroom and the large room behind it.) I've decided to move all my 1950s-era aluminum porch furniture in there (loveseat/glider + 2 rocking chairs), since the dogs and cats can't really hurt it (I hope!)--as opposed to my vintage wicker furniture, which would probably become a lovely scratching post. I think I'll also put my vintage enamel-top table in there--it has chrome legs, so again the pets shouldn't hurt it much. I'm thinking of painting the sunroom a pale, jadite green and hanging sheer white curtains, and then sewing some red tropical-patterned cushions for the chairs. There are windows on three sides, so it's really a lovely little room to sit in and read, etc.

I'm not so sure what to do about the main room--right now, it has 1950s-era wood paneling (the *real* kind, thin sheets of wood, not fake wood grain). Should I paint over it? I feel kinda bad about doing that, since it is real wood, but it would certainly lighten things up in there. What do you think?

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I did things this weekend.

Garden is now 3/4 planted, there are seedlings and sprouts.

Kitchen wall now has a row of nasturtiums and zinnias.

And I just pulled what appears to be a healthy infestation of kelp out of the kitchen drain.


Here's my latest couldn't-afford-it-but-bought-it-anyway-like-a-fool Ebay find:

Authentic, ca. 1880 "die-cuts," the kind people pasted in albums, though these are unused. For the master bedroom, which will have a bird-and-bug theme. I'm hoping to separate them and make them into 2 or 4 matching framed pics that I will hang on either side of the bed.

Have a good day everyone!

Bird nests

I have a bit of a thing about bird nests. I find them rather magical, and once the birds have finished with them, I often collect them to display. Right now there are at least four bird nests in our yard: a mourning dove nesting in our only "tree" (an overgrown bush 20' tall), a mourning dove nesting on our front porch, a cardinal nesting in one of the bushes (one with red leaves, very smart of her!), and a dratted starling nesting in the soffitt of one of the central gable. (I'd get rid of the starling, but from the sound of it, she already has babies, and I draw the line at starving innocent fledglings.) Here are the mourning doves (hard to see in the first photo, I know, but she's there):

I should probably have discouraged the one from nesting on the front porch column, but I was feeling charitable. A different bird nested there last year, too, in a terra cotta pot.

I'd like to take the nests when the babies have grown up, but I don't know if mourning doves reuse their nests. Does anyone know?

Future project: the porch

Our next two projects will probably be the kitchen (sheetrocking and painting) and the front porch. The floor of the front porch has some significant damage, and we might need to replace some of the boards on the edge. It also needs to be painted. I think it looks kind of adorably shabby chic at the moment, but the damage is only getting worse with the spring rains. At the moment, three or four other projects are residing on the front porch: a potting table that needs to be painted (green?), a vintage glider that needs to be sanded and painted (red?), a porch swing that needs to be installed, and a big old tree branch that I plan to spray-paint gold and hang in our bedroom (it may need to be trimmed a little):

Eventually, we'd like to also replace the metal railing with a painted wooden one, but that's a project for another year!

Here's a shot of the porch floor at its worst, and the of the cement steps, which also need to be seriously sanded and repainted:

Yes, we have our work cut out for us! In the meantime, I'd like to gradually start adding plants and other things to the front porch, to make it look a little more lived-in. Anybody have good ideas for "curb appeal"?

Ongoing Project #3: the garden

Our third ongoing project is the garden--the vegetable garden, that is. Here's what our back yard looked like before:

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Ongoing Project #2

Ongoing project #2 is the backyard and, more specifically, the sheds. This is how they looked, more or less, about the time we bought the house:

The back shed. Believe it or not, this was taken *before* the neighborhood kids trashed it:

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Ongoing Project #1

We've started to paint the master bedroom, which will be Araucuna Blue (like the color of the eggs laid by Araucana chickens). The ceiling took two coats of drywall primer and two coats of ceiling paint--it had only been painted once, and probably never primed, since the drywall was put in about 1943. Larry put drywall primer and regular, tinted primer on the walls as well. Now we're painting the top coat, but we had to stop temporarily to take the windows out and strip them (stripping them in situ isn't working, and we can't sand because of the lead paint). Some pics:

The door on the left is a closet, the door on the right leads to my office and faces the rear of the house:

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Ebay finds...

Due to our straightened financial circumstances, I've been very, very careful about spending too much money (or any money) on Ebay lately. But I sold a book on Amazon last week and celebrated by turning right around and buying these two wonderful vintage magazines on Ebay:

I plan to frame the covers, or if I'm feeling preservationist, to make color xeroxes of the covers and frame those. Yay for bungalows!

p.s. We're working on painting the master bedroom at the moment--pics to come soon!