Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy things.......

There are days you just want to think happy thoughts.....

The sun is bright.
The flowers are still in bloom.

Butterflies are fluttering.....

The dog is resting........

You just don't want to think about the new hole in the new wall because the new plumbing was leaking in the new bathroom.

$%^*#@ !!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Paint Curls...

I have been removing the paint from the doors we bought months ago at our local Habitat Restore for the laundry area.

I have been using the heat gun which is working great on this door. (It doesn't work so great on the doors that belong to the house. ) Does anyone have any hints on the best way to remove the paint from the grooved trim at the panel?

And ....that is the longest paint curl that I have had in two years of stripping paint. It just made me happy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pet Peeves....

One of my biggest pet peeves in remodeling old houses and buildings is replacing the old windows. It is like plastic surgery gone wrong.

I read and posted about Dr. Luce's Prescriptions for Preservation.

There should be hand out materials on the value of your original windows to each person remodeling an old house.

I often think of everyone that has ask us if we were replacing our windows and I sharply and firmly say......


All caps and exclamations included.

People.........Don't take out your great old windows and dump them in a land fill and replace them with plastic !!

Ok......so...... most of my readers are old house lovers, not haters..... Maybe...this post is not for you. But one day... it might just save some windows out there somewhere.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

State Bank....

All this talk about banks in the news the past couple of days made me think of my little bank.

See......It is a State Bank.

It was my grandfathers. My dad's dad. He grew up to be an accountant.

It is called a Puzzle Bank. If you turn that little key up there. The walls fall in, and the money flows out. I could say more about that. But I won't.

You see.... I tried that once. Taking the bank apart. The stairs were on the wrong side. Not in front of the door. It was the most difficult thing to ever put back together. I could say more about that too.... but I won't.

( Did you notice the floors? They don't look that good in person.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Prescriptions for Preservation

I found this here and I thought I would share. I highlighted my pet peeves.

Dr. Luce’s Basic Prescriptions for Preservation!

1. The buildings, landscapes, and sites created by people who lived on this land before we did can enrich our lives through beauty, education, and economics. Therefore, do as little as possible to change what they left. Change for change's sake, like that done on many TV shows about old buildings, destroys more than it enriches.

2. Don't tear down an historic building (over 50 years old) unless there is no way to avoid it. RE USE IT! Once its gone, its gone, and a photograph is a poor substitute for the real thing.

3. Don't dig for Indian, Civil War, or historic artifacts unless you are qualified and obey all laws, including getting permission from the landowner. Taking goodies from an archaeological site without recording how they relate to one another destroys most of the information in the site. It is like burning a page from a history book that no one has read yet.

4. First things first. Be sure to stop water from getting into a building before you worry about restoring interior decorative items.

5. Don't sandblast anything--ever!

6. Keep as much historic material as possible.

7. Don't remove any good plaster or other historic materials to create a new trendy (well almost trendy) look like exposed brick.

8. Be careful about windows; they are the eyes of the building and small changes can have major impacts. Repair them when possible; replace them only when absolutely necessary. Don't make your building wear sunglasses by tinting its windows.

9. Don't put awnings or shutters on all old buildings. Follow what was originally there. Don't put too much "make-up" on your building.

10. Let your building be proud of its age. Don't try to make it look younger or older than it is. Over-replacement of materials can cause your building to lose its historic appearance and look like a person with a too tight face-lift. On the other hand, inappropriately trying to make your building look older than it is, so that it will fit in, may lose some of its youthful exuberance and look like a teen-ager in ill-fitting, geriatric clothes.

11. Don't try to take a building back to a particular point in time. Historic additions are part of a building's history and are often as important as the original part of the building.

12. Make new work slightly different than the historic. Not only will this prevent confusion about what is old, but it will give you credit for your work.

13. Don't sweat paint color or other reversible procedures. Suggest a possible pallet for people who would like to paint with appropriate colors.

14. Don't paint unpainted brick. Not having to paint brick is one of its major advantages and once you paint it you have to keep painting it. If you ever want to later remove the paint it will take more time and money than you want to spend to remove it without damaging the brick.

15. The landscaping surrounding a building or site provides an important setting. Learn what is there and then prune and add to it rather than bulldozing everything and starting over. Seek plants that are native and drought resistant rather than trees, like Bradford Pears, that can later self-destruct.

16. Develop plans and guidelines for your historic neighborhood or commercial district. Such guidelines can help owners be good neighbors by helping preserve their historic neighborhood. Such plans should include guidelines for new construction, as well as for existing buildings, and should be based on what is in your town, not on some idealized neighborhood.

17. Keep as much as possible of your city's plan - it is as important as its buildings. Respect the size, scale, and relationship of existing buildings. When designing a streetscape, start with what is already in your town, not something from another city or Main Street in Disneyland.

18. Be careful when you dig or excavate. Remember there can be great archaeological sites in cities as well as in the country.

19. These are general prescriptions. For more specific prescriptions (especially when seeking tax benefits or meeting criteria for other programs) see: http://www.gashpo.org/ or www.cr.nps.gov/hps/tps/tax/rhb/stand.htm

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mistake # 21564

I saw this

a couple of months ago......

I just thought if I closed my eyes and pretended.... it really wouldn't be there.....

And if I did not blog about it... it really did not exist....

Because.... I repaired these cracks!!! Over a year ago. Actually almost two years ago, before Chris worked on the foundation and re-leveled much of the house.

MISTAKE # 21564 in remodeling a house.
DO NOT fix any cracks in drywall or plaster or drywall over plaster before working on foundations and leveling a house.

But I did. Because, I was trying to get our bedroom livable..... And......he did not tell me he was going to use 3 jacks to level up so much of the house.

Anyway........... just another hole to repair.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Girl in the Straw Hat.....

She called my name from a box in a flea market. This tiny tintype image of a girl. A girl that is not happy to be there, at that moment, sitting very, very still, wearing the hat. The hat her mother bought for her with egg money.

Was it the blushed cheeks? The tilted hat? The pin curls? The too large for her body folded hands? Or the possible outlines of a Hitchcock chair? I am not sure what exactly enticed me to bring her home for a $1.

Maybe it was the soulful eyes?

What is her story?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Beat up, Cracked, Nasty trim....

I've been trying to scrape off more paint lately.....
At this rate.... 2020 may be the date I actually finish.

I did make it down to the bare wood on a couple of boards.

Only to find many holes.....


and the fact that the white -ish paint has embedded itself in the grain of the wood.

The first 6-8 layers of paint are not so difficult to remove...The last two...they are.....

Stubborn....would be the nice word to use.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Moss Rose

Moss Rose or Portulaca grandiflora
is another easy growing, low maintenance flower.

Each bloom produces hundreds of seeds.

In little capsules.

That you can save for next year.

But sometimes, it just can't wait....

'til....next year.

These babies, will not probably not bloom before frost.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Is it really Friday already?

Where did the week go?

Where did the summer go?

Where has this year gone?

Maybe she knows......

I've been frantically working on a project all week. You know........ one of those projects that you think will be a breeze, but it is not. Then your computer thinks it is working too hard, and decides to S....L....O.....W.... down the pace a bit, then your email locks up from sending out too large of zipped files. Then the dog needs to go out and all the separated papers from the project fly off the table from the gust of wind that came in the door and they land on the floor.
Then you think you have another day to work on the project, but then, your husband reminds you that Monday was a holiday and today is Friday.

Yikes....It is Friday!

YEAH! it is Friday. I finally finished....I think....and sent out the project.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Sweet Autumn

Sitting at the kitchen table, sipping my morning latte, I glance out the large un-craftsman style picture window that views across the back yard and beyond to the kudzu jungle.

While I prepare my morning coffee, Puppy is already busy with his daily work, patrolling the grounds. Each morning, he sniffs along the chain linked borders of the back yard. Making sure the grounds are safe from unwelcome guests. He did this at our old house. Patrolled the grounds. There, in the country, I assume he was keeping the grounds free from deer, fox, raccoons, beavers, and rabbits. Here in town, I guess, he is keeping the grounds free from cats.

I always keep one eye on Puppy while drinking my coffee. Usually he is good about coming straight to the back door when he finishes his rounds, but on occasion, since the back gate post broke in half, he follows his nose to the front of ThirteenEleven.

I see him sniffing around a mound of pea green kudzu. Then I notice the white dappled glow to the right of our mutt. Was it the sun beaming brightly through the pecan tree canopy above? I look up. No. The sun is not high enough in the sky. Hum…….I wonder if something is blooming.

I finish up my coffee, slip into my flip flops, grab the camera, remember to install the battery fresh from the charger and venture out to the kudzu jungle. (The back yard)

A dainty white flower is blooming on a vine. (Another vine, for this vine engulfed yard.) It is pretty, and I seem to recognize the type of flower, but I just can’t place it or pull up the name from the memory bank in my mind. I take a picture and go about my daily business.

Chris brings home the AJC every evening when he arrives home. Typically I go straight for the living and food sections. There in the paper I see it, the same plant in my back yard.

Clematis Terniflora, Sweet Autumn or Virgin’s Bower.

Along with Kudzu, Ivy, and Wisteria (all residences of ThirteenEleven) , it is an invasive plant.

Great !! Oh Joy!!

Quoting Martha Tate, “It depends on your perspective, but Clematis terniflora, which produces clusters of white starburst flowers on twining stems, can be either good or evil. The vine is on a list of invasive plants for the Southeast, and on several global lists as well. On the other hand, it is a favorite of many gardeners, who prize the charming mass of white flowers it produces each August.”

Chris mowed it down.