31 May 2005

Attic windows

Yesterday we were driving around town and noticed this house still has its original divided attic windows.

This house is located a block from where we used to live. During our time there some one bought the house and flipped it. I think it turned out pretty nice. The realtor had an open house when they were selling it, but I missed it. I was really bummed out about it too.

We only have frames for two of our original attic windows and a picture of another one. This means we have to come up with what we are going to do with the other four. So we spend a lot of time driving around looking at other people's attic windows. We liked the windows in this house which had little squares as a border and a circle bisected by a cross.

Here are the two frames that were still in the house when we bought it:

30 May 2005

A Change of Plans

So I said I was going to do a little shopping in the comfort of my own home on Saturday. Which I did, but never sent in my orders. Instead after giving it a little thought I took the money and bought Tim the Victorian couch and two matching chairs he's wanted for so long. Even though he was kinda a poop-head this weekend.

I didn't take the camera into the store with us so I don't have any pictures yet. We hope to pick them up Friday or Saturday depending on what the weather is doing. I get pictures as soon as we get them home. They are in beautiful shape. We are soooooo unworthy. I might have to get the cats stuffed so they don't destroy them (just kidding animal lovers).

The couch is going in front of the staircase and the two chairs are going to sit in front of the picture window. I've got my eye out for a little table to sit between the two of them.

They are going to go in our foyer when it is finished. Part of the reason we bought them now is we need to start deciding what we are going to do for wallpaper in that room.

With the rest of the building fund we bought the ceilings and trim boards for the porches, even though we still haven't heard from the carpenter. I think if we don't hear from him by the end of this week we might start looking into other options.

My First Letter to the Editor

I wrote my very first letter to the editor last week. It is in response to the article on the couple getting permission to use vinyl siding on their home located in a historic neighborhood.

It's not very eloquently, but at least I feel better for having my say. I'm one of those people who always comes up with good digs after the fight so I know there are lots of other good points. But this was how I felt one night very late when I couldn't sleep.

Historic districts need to be preserved

28 May 2005

Room to Grow

Yesterday while I was at work Tim revved up the chain saw and got those over grown pines next to the house weeded out. Here's what they look like now:

Since things haven't been getting done here at the house I've got a little extra built up in the building fund. So I'm going shopping today with out leaving the comfort of my own home.

I've wanted these bathroom fixtures from Restoration Hardware for a long time. They will go into the master bathroom.
in polished brass

I also got a JC Penny's sale catalog and they have curtains that would look great in the big bedroom for sale, so I think I'll get those too.

Then we just have to get the door on the guest bathroom and I think people will be a little more willing to stay with us.

27 May 2005

Some thoughts on landscaping

My mother-in-law had the magazine "Easy Care Gardens & Plans" by Country Almanac the June issue (#65) on her coffee table. I picked it up to flip through it and loved it.

I loved this, but it looks a little complicated for me.

We were looking into hiring someone to come in and design our landscaping since Tim doesn't have the time and the thought of it scares me to death. But this little magazine has such good tips like "the tallest plants should be no more than two-thirds the width of the border" and for "all roses, all the time, the place to start is with Flower Carpet Roses used as a ground cover." Lots of specific advise for the logical scientist in me and lots of great pictures for the visual learner in me. I think I'm going to give it a shot myself.

I'm going to put a little rose garden next to the kitchen porch.

My mother-in-law is also great at this sort of thing and she's offered to come out and help me once the field work is done.

We are going to use some of the limestone taken out of the foundation to separate the driveway from the landscaping on the south side of the house.

unfortunately, the carpenter still hasn't shown up to work on the trim work for our porches and I don't really want to start any projects around the house until he has finished.

26 May 2005

Kitchen Light

I'm late for work, but here's a quick shot of the kitchen light.

Tim got it put up last night. I wasted all that time worrying that it would look stupid with the painted copper ceiling. I was wrong, it looks great!

24 May 2005

Beauty- It's in the Eye of the Beholder

So I get settled down tonight to read what everyone has been up to all day and notice a running thread with some of my favorites. Is everyone feeling a little less than fresh today?

First there was Jarrett House's lamenting of the abs...
Then it was Kristin glistening away...
Finally we zoom in for the close up with This Old Crack House.

Well, we may not all be the worlds next super model and our hard work might not be showing up on our physique, but I'm thinking some of our houses are looking pretty damn good.

Grex said... (from this morning's post A Bit of Marriage Advise)
"Very nice. I good light fixture really makes a room. The one room I've actually finished is the bathroom. I put in this really nice brass fixture that I got off ebay. I had to clean it up are re-wire it, but it really makes the room. After I got it up I just stood there an admired it for a while."

I know I too have spent an abnormal amount of time just staring at my new lighting fixtures over the last two years. Probably more time than I've spent looking at nice looking men (Tim will be happy to read that!). But I was so feeling what you said Grex. If old house parts were like body parts we'd be "light" people, right?

So perk up everyone. We don't care about your "headlights" :) We want to see more bedroom lights!

Light in the big bedroom next to ours.
Light in the guest bedroom.
Light in the up-stairs back hall.
Light from the up-stairs front hall (there are three total).

Lets all say it together...
Don't hate me because my house is beautiful!

A little bit of marriage advise

A few weeks ago at work one of our temps was complaining that he wanted to go home early (and I don't?). Being a little frustrated I said to him, "Let me give you a little advise, never get home early."
"Why," he replied.
"Well," I answered. "You'll never walk into something that will surprise you."

I got home early last night. And boy was I surprised. Look what I caught my husband doing.

Yes, when he got home last night a box with half of our Rejuvenation order was on the porch. He was going to have these up by the time I got home from work to surprise me.

Our master bathroom. Now with this great lighting I have no excuse for looking hideous!

The mudroom. We don't really like this light. I'm trying to talk Tim into returning it, but we probably won't. It's just too exciting to have something installed you just can't seem to go backwards.

This light is in the hallway to the mudroom (you can see the blue color that I'm currently painting the beadboard). This is one of the first fixtures I ordered for the house. I found it over the internet and loved it so much I had it shipped from Germany. Yes, this light is more worldly than its owners. It is currently the thing I love the most in the house.

Well, I guess there's also that handsome electrician that installed it :)

23 May 2005

I'm doing just fine with out my soul thank you

The first thing I can remember my sister Mary saying when she saw the house is, "I'm not going in there it will eat my soul!" Ever since then I've been trying to make the house look less evil for her benefit. She's returning from Germany tomorrow so I need to step cleaning efforts up into high gear to get from this:

To this:

22 May 2005

Adding insult to injury

Couple wins 3-year battle to side their house

He wants to be part of the commission now???

I read this article at the Donalds on Friday and it made me shed a tear into my fries.

I'm fine with the fact that he bullied his way with the commission, but come on. Leave them alone now.

Pictures from the building

I forgot to charge the camera. I'm so mad at myself. So I only have pictures of the downstairs of the building.

The downstairs consists of two sides and a little addition at the back of the building.

The south side is currently rented out to a cell phone store.

The north side is a printing store.

boarded up skylight
this side was a dentist's office which explains the cubbies

The little addition in the back is currently part of the printing store, but it was once a public bathroom.

The apartments upstairs are exactly what I thought they would be. Lots of great old fixtures and hardware. Right now I'm surfing the next looking for grants and low interest loans and we're going to meet with the community revitalization committee sometime this week.

Saw Star Wars last night. It's been interesting to see the last two with my husband who never saw Episodes V&VI (or I). His major complaint was the ships weren't as cool as they were in the last one (pilot=one track mind). I tried to explain to him that they were trying to make them look more like the ones in the originals. He was still disappointed. But we both agreed it was a great movie. Now that the anticipation for that is over I can anxiously await the other movie I really want to see this summer- Madagascar.

20 May 2005

Quick up-date

I just had to let everyone know I finally broke down and called the Realtor about that old building in town I LOVE. We see it tonight at 6:00 and I'm going to try and remember my camera. Soooooooooo excited!

Another sunny day here in Iowa

Today I got another wall painted in the beadboard room. Just 3 more and then I can put the second coat on. Wow does it suck!

I got my beautiful yellowish-orangish-red flowered hanging plant up on the kitchen porch today.
What do you think?

I forgot to pull out the tag saying what it was. I'll have to try to remember to do that next time I water it.

I also wanted to show off the cute little garden accessory my mother-in-law bought me. It's called a garden bell. It's made of terra cotta and you dip it into a bucket, put your finger over the opening on the top.
Then move it over your plant, lift your finger, and the water comes out the holes in the bottom.
It's a Victorian version of the garden hose I guess. I haven't actually used it yet, but to steal my future sister-in-laws saying "It's just the cutest thing ever." I can't seem to come up with a good name for him though. Any suggestions?

18 May 2005

Chicken Feeder Pot Project

Yesterday I finally got my chicken feeder planters made. Here are the instructions:

1. Come from a family that keeps everything. My dad had these at the big rock (dump site) on our farm. These planters were actually his idea. Way to be Martha-esque dad.

2. Using what ever size (or type) drill bit you can find in the messy pit that has become your tool room (someday it will be a bathroom) drill holes how ever far apart you feel like for drainage.

3. Using a wire brush go over the interior surface to remove any loose dirt or rust from the surface. Or don't and call the painted over dirt antiquing.

4. Remove the wood the chickens used to stand on to eat. Use a hack saw if necessary. Or waste most of a perfectly good afternoon looking for a Dremel attachment you mis-placed in the pit of a tool room only to return home empty handed. Be thankful you have hack saw blades.

5. Use rubberized underbody coating to help protect these "antiques" that just spent the last 30 years in the crevice of a huge rock.

6. Spray paint color of choice. Tim choose a textured gray. The picture on the front of the can showed a beautiful old fashioned street light that had been "painted" with this paint. I think he's trying to make my chicken feeders into something they're not (he tries this with me occasionally, but that's a whole different post).

7. Once the underbody coating has dried put a little gravel in the bottom and then some sand for good drainage (I'm kinda a stickler for that drainage thing ain't I). Then top off with wholesome Iowa dirt (or a dirt of your choice). And plant the flower of your choosing. I went with geraniums because these planters sit back so far I wanted something with a little height.

I still need to get the guards put back on and the boards painted and screwed back on.

One person's junk=Another person's treasure

16 May 2005

Started painting the beadboard

Originally uploaded by tbnewton.
I finished priming the bare wood in the mudroom. I then got all of the floor pieces I had laid out last night (Tim was very surprised) picked up and put into piles.

The picture is of about how far I got with the first coat of paint in the beadboard part of the mudroom. The color looks white in the photo, but is actually a dusty baby blue color. It dries a lot darker than it goes on. The color is the same that we used in the hallway to the mudroom- La Fonda Mirage.

This is a pretty hard job. I knew it was going to be bad, that's why I've been putting it off for so long. It takes a lot of elbow grease to get the paint into the grooves, but not too much paint into the grooves.

After this room I only have the downstairs bathroom and dining room to paint. Of course there's the up-dates on the exterior that need to be done too, but I'm really starting to lean towards hiring the guy who painted the house to come back and do those. I'm just starting to really get burnt out on painting.

Tim sent an e-mail to the guy who fixed our foundation about what it would cost to get our barn back in square. I'm kind of scared to know what that's going to be. It's hard to justify spending money on a structure you have no plans on using, but it's such a beautiful building it would be a shame not to care for it. Plus, can you really have a farm house with out a barn?

15 May 2005

A little of this and a little of that

Today I just couldn't seem to get into a project. I started the afternoon by priming in the beadboard room for a little bit.

So I pulled out the Vinyl Composite tiles for the mudroom floor and started cutting the pattern. After awhile my hands got tired so I think I'm going to have to take a break and make some supper. This is what I accomplished-

What do you think of the pattern? Won't Tim be surprised!