Friday, September 28, 2012

Kitchen Rafters!

I promised an update on the greatest change this week....

You know those rafters that I've been staining and sealing?  

They were hung in the kitchen this week!

Architect Kevin Harris hit another home run 
with both the design and scale.  

For my part, I'm pleased as can be with the color that I worried over for days.  

I tried out four different stains, 
gave a fleeting thought to pickling, 
and was close to choosing a really dark Espresso solid stain
before I switched gears and tried this oil finish in Dark Walnut.  

The stripes on the ceiling are where I taped over Pat's chalk lines
so that Joe could roll the ceilings first coat without covering up the reference marks. 

The timber framing and exposed rafters 
on the back and front porches are structural, 
but not the kitchen rafters.  

So it looks like a magic act in there now with the rafters bolted into place 
and seemingly hanging in mid air without a central ridge beam.  

The three ridge pieces are a few days behind in the finishing process, 
but will be ready to start sanding and poly-ing tomorrow. 

What a kitchen!!!  I'm psyched!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Beehive of Activity!

There's so much going on out at the house that I hardly know what to post about.

It seems like half the county is out there!

This afternoon I "hid" down in the guest bathroom
puttying nail holes
trying to not be in the way of all of the commotion upstairs

The stairs are still coming along brilliantly.

The tile floors in the master bath are finished.  

The master shower was being waterproofed.

The stone crew was laying the bluestone pavers on the front porch and steps.  

Shawn Burkholder our cabinet maker made a trip 
to the house and installed the stairwell bookcases.
(I miss my books!)

And the cherry master vanity
(Drawers!!  I'm going to have drawers again!!)

Notice that I haven't said anything 
about what our carpentry crew
was up to today?

That's because it's so great that it deserves it's own post tomorrow!!

Stay tuned!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where Sleeping Dogs Choose to Lie

Attagirl asleep in the dining room.

It doesn't look too comfortable to me but she's a contortionist.  

Let's get a closer look ....

 Notice anything?

Other than the fact that she's so neatly balanced?

And her back feet look sort of like kangaroo legs?  

This my friends is the Number One reason 
why the new house 
will NOT have floor vents! 

She's an A/C hog!  

Caravatti's Salvage

Bernard the Mini had a rare glitch last spring 
that required going to the Mini Dealership in Richmond.

We decided to make the best of the 2.5 hour drive 
and also visit a few places 
looking for house "stuff."

One of our stops was Caravati's Salvage 
in the old warehouse district of Richmond.

There are over 40,000 square feet  jam packed with doors, windows, lights, cabinets....

Need some staircase balusters?


Or iron railings? 

Even though being in Bernard the Mini
meant that we'd need to make a return trip with the truck,
we couldn't pass up this set of doors.

They were the  the perfect size (tall and narrow) for our closet.

Each door is only 23" wide but they're a whopping 9.5' tall! 

We decided to use "barn door" type of tracks 
so that they'd be visible when open or closed.

The rollers and track will be concealed under an overhanging "valance" board.

Here they are newly hung and pulled together/closed....

And open with the closet 
and its two cute little windows behind...

 The tracks are super smooth operating; 
the doors move with just the touch of a finger!

I'm loving seeing the details begin to come together!  

4.5 weeks until moving day!!  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Year in VA

It was a year ago today today 
that I closed the door to my much loved home in Louisiana 
and began the drive to Virginia and our new life here.

It's funny how life is full of twists and turns.

When am I ever going to learn that I can't predict the future?

A year ago, I didn't let myself consider that in September 2012,
I'd still be mostly packed 
and not moved into the new house.

I imagined that I'd be volunteering for CASA or some other organization by now, 
but it turns out that my free time is nil until we get settled.  
And that includes time for riding our much neglected horses.

We rarely bump into acquaintances that I thought we'd see a lot of after moving here, 
but we've made wonderful new friends in unexpected ways.

Though things are different from the predictions of the crystal ball that I always try to peer through, 
I couldn't be happier with the life that I'm living after a year here in Virginia.  

Our move has been everything that we'd hoped for and more.  

Now its back to the salt mines and another 11 hour day of painting and prep work at the new house!

Life here in Paradise is sublime....
Even with the paint fumes!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

We're home from another 11 hour day at the new house.   Phew! 

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining because we're really enjoying being out there and putting our own work into the house.   

The stressful part comes from trying to stay ahead of the crew and yet be out of their way.  It's hard to square the fact that they need us to do certain things but aren't giving us the time or space to get it done.   

Baseboard Detail:  A double angular cap.  (Poplar wood trim in bedrooms will be painted)
Today had us doing a bit of everything:  painting, sealing, caulking, puttying nail holes, staining, cleaning etc.   
Side porch Kitchen door

Our division of labor is that Joe handles the bulk of the physical work 
(moving wood, setting up etc) and is the "roller-man" 
while I do do everything that involves a brush 
plus anything that requires a bit of precision.  

Oh and then there's the all-important supervisory part of our team....
Atta has had company for the past two weeks 
since for some reason cute little Murphy wasn't invited to go with Barb and Rich 
on their trip to Australia!  

Look!!  We're getting rid of the temporary stairs and are on our way to a real staircase!!!

We took our lunch break out on the porch 
and had some live entertainment....

I can't wait to live there!!  

I don't think I've mentioned that our rental home has been leased 
to a new family beginning November 1st 
so we're "out on the street" at the end of October.

The push is on!!  

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sealing and Sanding

Before I fall into bed, I wanted to get off a quick post. 

It's all about staining, sanding and sealing this week!

All of the oak trim needed to be tweaked... meaning sanded and resealed.  

Door casings, jambs, crown, baseboard.... you name it. 
Baseboard cap detail
We've got about six balls in the air right now though and can't concentrate solely on the oak.

The fir rafters for the kitchen arrived from Vancouver.

We had get them shipped all the way from Canada in order to find kiln dried pieces in the right dimensions)

The ceiling was marked and the lumber was painstakenly cut and notched by Pat our lead carpenter.

Then all 29 of them were turned over to me out in the garage to stain and seal.  

3 coats of Watco Dark Walnut later....

I'm now beginning the process of wiping on thin layers of poly.

Joe has been moving and schlepping the beams for me 
and he may have to visit the chiropractor pretty soon!  

It's time for my Aleve nightcap!  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Alive and Painting!

Goodness but I'm a failure at being a blogger lately!

But the good news is that I'm a pretty darn good painter!

After getting a text from our sweet California son asking if we'd fallen off a cliff, 
followed by a plaintive email the next day asking if we'd driven into a ditch, 
I believe that I'd better surface long enough to allay all fears that we've met our demise!

We're working until late each evening and then falling into bed in a stupor.

Priming, staining, sanding and sealing are the words in my vocabulary these days.  

Want an update on the house progress?  

We'll ignore the disaster for now (yes, there's been one) but it's a small town and we need a little distance from the problem before posting about it. 

All's well with the crew and also Tom our GC though so don't think that we're on our own here!  

There are racks of stained wood everywhere.  

To avert repeating the train wreck of what happened with our doors
every piece is being stained with the oil based stain, 
sealed with a coat of Zinsser Sealcoat and is now getting a coat of satin poly.... slowly but surely.  

Dealing with quartersawn oak makes this more like finishing furniture than just slapping poly on and calling it a "paint job" or at least it is to us since we paid for the wood! 

The master bedroom door is the first one where we've gotten to see the oak trim around the frame.
It looks like a 100 year old house and is smashingly beautiful.  

I defy anyone not to stroke the door frames when they come visit!!

Splurging on tile was a given from the very beginnings of my design thoughts about the house.  

The tile work is in various stages of near completion 
since Fernando keeps getting shuffled from one part of the house to another
(I know just how he feels....
staying away from the carpentry crew is a constant battle)

The basement hall bathroom has a shower with a wood look tile
(which is nowhere near as orange as this shot with the flash makes it appear!)

And be still my heart because the laundry room 

went from Schluter Ditra orange (the underlayment for the floor) 
to stunning green after Fernando laid the Terrazo tiles.

I've been priming poplar for downstairs trim and sealing oak plus I'm staining windows this week.  
I've done the huge single window in the laundry room.  
Atta enjoyed the unobstructed view while the window was out of it's frame drying!

And I'm mostly finished with the three in the mud room. 

They still lack the sealcoat and the first coat of satin poly but that's on my agenda for this morning.

The view from the mud room window makes it all worthwhile!

 Joe left for the house early this morning 
and is probably having a coronary because I'm not there yet 
so it's time to hit the publish button 
and go breathe some paint fumes!