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Curtains!

11 Nov

Today was supposed to be a day of major transformations. I had a handyman coming by who was going to install the rest of that striped wallpaper on the downstairs stairwell, install a tin ceiling in the guest bathroom, and wire up the closet -> kitchenette in the guest sitting room. We’d had a date set earlier (in October), but the tin ceiling panels hadn’t arrived by then. We’d be in touch via email and phone. I was sure he’d show. He didn’t. Sigh. So back to the drawing board with finding someone.

In the meantime, I worked on sewing up some drapes for the guest sitting room. I found a very charming P. Kaufmann fabric at Osgood’s (greatest fabric store in New England, if not beyond). It features elephants and viney things and is a heavy cotton velvet. It looks pre-aged. Just the thing. Unfortunately, I under-estimated the amount of blackout fabric I’d need, so I have to go back to get more and sew up one more short central panel.

Summer curtains.

Summer curtains.

Fabric and liner from Osgood's

Fabric and liner from Osgood’s

First panel up. Inspector Walter.

First panel up. Inspector Walter.

Fabric next to wall. Cute!

Fabric next to wall. Cute!

Trying to show the (mostly) finished work.

Trying to show the (mostly) finished work.

At least I managed to get some things done, since I arranged to work from home today to be here for the no-show handyman.

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Guest Sitting Room Closet + Future Kitchenette

6 Jul

Had an uncharacteristic burst of energy this morning — fueled by iced coffee and A.C. Produce‘s amazing Tiramisu. Sometime soon (or later than soon), this will become a little kitchenette space for my AirBnB guests. There’s a water hook-up in there, and I’m pretty sure there’s a drain under the floor, but it might be lead (yeah, really). I don’t think it would be a major undertaking to put a sink in there, but I’m leaning towards just moving the microwave and fridge in there and letting people get water from the bathroom. Guests stay for such a short time that going to get water down the hall doesn’t seem like a major imposition.

Water hook-up.

Water hook-up.

Shelf and hooks galore.

Shelf and hooks galore.

Drawer of built-in dresser.

Drawer of built-in dresser.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There's still some removing to do.

There’s still some removing to do.

Built-in and nice (real) linoleum on top.

Built-in and nice (real) linoleum on top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although the closet looks empty, I basically just dragged the contents into the sitting room and piled some up in the “box room” (attic-type space). The energy burst didn’t last all that long, but there’s always tomorrow. Gotta take it slow on these hot days.

Anyway, here are some views of the 1973 Springfield Daily News that was lining one of the drawers.

Does your toupee smell?

Does your toupee smell?

1973 Newspaper from drawer

1973 Newspaper from drawer

Cartoon about the Middle East during the 1973 gas crisis

Cartoon about the Middle East during the 1973 gas crisis

Corner repair, Gudenov style

4 Jul

 

So there I was, happily painting away when I came to this corner in the hallway. The wallpaper was completely unattached to the wall. Rather than just painting over it, I thought I’d take it off and paint the wall below, spackling over any rough spots.

Well. I discovered an ENORMOUS hole in the wall (four inches by 3 inches) and the plaster at the corner was in horrible shape. It was like pieces of gravel stacked on each other. No way to paint that and make it look remotely normal. So I went down into the creepy basement and got out a dented old can of putty (Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty, to be exact. What a weird web site). I’d used a combination of putty and plaster when I re-did the craft room walls many years ago (and plaster washers and wall liner and all sorts of other things to keep those walls from collapsing off the lath.).

I mixed up the putty and used it to fill the major hole and some of the biggest gaps in the corner. I had some leftover masonry/concrete waterproofing caulk from the stoop project, so I used that to cover some of the smaller cracks.

After the putty had dried, I sanded it down. I mixed up a batch of leftover plaster (thus using up what I had leftover of both the putty and the plaster) and skim coated over the putty and some of the caulk (as neither takes latex paint – it crumbles the putty and it beads up on the caulk). When I ran out of plaster, I used some spackle I also had in stock.

Gave it all a quick sand when it dried (this took several days overall) and painted it over. It’s nice and tight now, it’s painted green, and Bob is basically your uncle right here with this Gudenov leftover junk in the trunk corner repair project.

The Craft Room

6 Jan

This is now my guest sitting room. It’s on the top floor front of the house. The room had about a dozen layers of load-bearing wallpaper. I had no idea what an undertaking it was going to be to remove this paper. OMG. With the help of GOOD friends, we got it all off and discovered the plaster walls were a mess. I learned how to use plaster washers and stabilized the walls as best I could on my own (cheapskate). My dear friend Liz S. found some photos of the removal process on her computer, so finally here are some before shots of friends helping. We carried about six big contracter’s bags of wallpaper down to the ground floor (three flights of stairs!).

Then I lined the walls with wall liner and put up this fabulous oriental carpet-esque wallpaper.

The ceiling was plywood, so I papered it with a textured wallpaper and painted it a deep shade of green (so no pesky light would be reflected off it).

I called this the craft room because I had the fleeting idea of doing crafts up there — paper-making, stenciling objets, amateur bookbinding. People thought the name sounded mysterious (more The Craft than dried-flowers), so it stuck.