Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Wanna! Wednesday

Welcome to my first installment of I Wanna! Wednesday.

This is what I want today:

Yes, I want a window box. No wimpy one will do. It needs to be large, substantial. With large wall brackets underneath. And cottagey white, of course.

This one is from Walpole Woodworkers. Isn't it adorable? I'm lovin' the detail of the brackets.

But at $389, it's about $300 outside of my budget.

I've been thinking of making one myself for a long time now. We have plenty of wood in our workshop, even for the trim. I am sure I could make the box itself for no cost. The expense would come in purchasing the brackets and the inner liner. But I'd still be way under $389.

I always thought this would make a good winter project for me. Something I could go down in the basement and work on when it's blistery cold outside. Then in the Spring it would be ready to mount, ready for flowers, ready to brighten up the front of our home. Maybe I'll finally get around to it this winter. Maybe.

This is another one from Walpole. It is similar to the one I'd like to make, but I want beefier brackets like the ones pictured above.

I like this style because it seems to emulate the trim work on the columns of our house. When I built our arbor, I used the similar trim design to match the columns. And I think I'd do the same with the window box.

It will need to be quite long to reach the span of the large window on the front of our home.

Wouldn't it be so perfect there?

I think it would really add some curb appeal, don't you?

Yeppers, I think I've talked myself into another winter project.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm Back and Ready to Ramble

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. Life decided to up and smack me upside the head.

I followed through with my plan to get one set of shutters painted each morning before the blazing heat set in.

I'm not going to post pictures of all of them. Because that would bore you to tears. But here's the set on the left window of our front porch.

I still have two windows left to do. The small one of my office and the one up in the attic. The office one requires clearing away of bushes because I cannot get the ladder close enough to it with them in the way. The attic one requires the use of my mondo ladder. I love that thing, but it sure is a pain to lug around and set up. The heat and humidity are at scorching levels now, even in the morning. It is so hot that the paint globs right on my brush. So I've decided to wait on those last two sets of shutters until the weather cools off a bit.

In the meantime, I'm beginning my next project: Re-wiring and re-doing the ceiling in the Button Room. A "Button Room?" you ask? Yes, the Button Room.

But that's another story for another day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


A few weeks ago we repaired the windowsill under the large window on the front of the house. JD and his dad did it, actually. This is the window in our boys' bedroom.

The two side windows had never opened since we've lived in the house. So JD took this opportunity to fix them as well. Now all three of these windows open. Can't wait 'til it cools off in the Fall so we can open them up and let the fresh air flow through.

My job was to repaint the shutters, as they had become weathered and faded over the years. The paint color I'm using is very close to the original, although it does come out a bit more on the blue side than I wanted.

To give you a comparison, the newly painted shutters are on the left here. The ones on the right I haven't yet painted.

See what I mean about the new paint being more blue?

Anyway, I'm now in the process of repainting all the shutters on the house. With the temperature being so dadblamed hot, I've decided to tackle just one set each day. I'm doing one window each morning before I start work.

This morning I painted the shutters on one of the living room windows. The one on the right-hand side of our porch. These are in really good shape; the porch has protected them from the elements. But I'm painting them anyway, since I've inadvertently found myself in this new color scheme.

Here is a close-up of one of today's shutters in progress. The plank on the right side is the new color.

And here's today's final product.

(Never mind the black camera and wire hanging from the ceiling.
Smile. You're on video surveillance.)

This is an old neighborhood, with even older residents. Some of them have lived here since the neighborhood first developed back in the 40's.

One good ol' guy in particular was good friends with the original owners of this house, Mr. and Mrs. Webster. During a block party a few years ago, he told me the original shutters on the house looked totally different than they do today. Mr. Webster was the head of the science department at our local University that is just blocks away. He had the original shutters made with a cut-out of a science beaker on each one. I thought that was interesting. I wish I could have seen them or obtain pictures of them. I'd seriously consider reproducing them if I knew exactly what they'd looked like.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In The Beginning...

It was a beautiful Spring day. The sun shone brightly and the air smelled of the renewal of life that comes in May. The year was 2002.

JD and I were driving down one of the main streets in town when an "Open House" sign caught my eye. The arrow on it pointed up a residential street. On a whim, we followed that arrow.

It lead us to an amazing house. We pulled up along the curb across the street. And gaped at what lay before us.

"We could never afford this house", JD noted.

"Let's go look anyway, just for the heck of it", I chided.

We nervously walked up to the expansive porch, feeling out of our element. Feeling like paupers gawking at the crown jewels.

We stepped inside. And our lives changed forever.

As soon as we walked over the threshold, we were standing in the living room.

It was so perfect. The soft colors. The white trim. Oh, all that trim! The fireplace. The built in bookcase next to the fireplace. The lighted shadowbox built into the wall. The closet door with shelves built right into the door. The chandelier. The room screamed "Kim!". I caught my breath.

Next we moved to the dining room.

While I could see this room had undergone some awkward updating, its original charm shone through loud and clear. Someone had built open shelving, floor to ceiling, on one wall. A grow-light and shelf for plants had been added to another wall. The room was wall-papered up top and had sheet paneling down below. But it also had the original hutch with drawers built into one of the walls. And the original swinging door to the kitchen. Ooh la la!

Through the swinging door we went, into the kitchen.

It was a bit of an odd layout, being L-shaped. But it was large, 14x19, and certainly had potential. I peeked into the walk-in butler's pantry. Ooh, who wouldn't love to have a butler's pantry?!

Then we walked through the mudroom and out to the back yard.

I wished it had more than just a back stoop. I saw visions of yet another covered porch or perhaps a deck with an arbor. There was definite potential.

I leaned in to JD. I told him in the firmest voice I could whisper "I want this house." He agreed he really liked it to, but reiterated that we could not afford it. Never mind that we had no idea what the asking price was. We just knew it would be more than we could handle.

Still, we went back inside. Toured the rest of the house. And fell in love all over again.

The house had everything I wanted. Absolutely everything. The charm that comes with age. The cottage appeal. The covered porch. The basement to escape those Oklahoma tornadoes. Three inter-connected bedrooms, perfect for our daycare. A side entrance to those bedrooms, perfect for clients to come and go without having to traipse through our "personal residence" anymore. An attic large enough for future expansion. Superb quality of construction -- you know, the ol' "they don't make things they way they used to". Large mature trees.

Everything was perfect. I could not have asked for more.

Then came the shocker. The house was within our price range.

And thus I began the process of making the house of my dreams a reality.

Old Blogger, New Blog

Howdy all!

My name is Kim. I am not new to blogging, but decided to create an alter identity for my softer, gentler side.

There will be lots of pictures, lots of projects. And I hope you'll join in with your comments. I have a zillion how-to, what-do-you-think, which-looks-best questions. I greatly appreciate your feedback.

Join me in my quest for a cottage life.