Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Magic Finial

Winter is coming soon, and it is time to do some magic spells to prepare for the cold weather and snow.

So, I got this cute little wooden finial on Etsy. I actually got a bunch of them, but I only needed one for the spell.

I sanded down the varnish and secured the finial to a pedestal in my basement. The wood looks a little rough and dull in the picture, but it's actually really smooth and pretty. Then I said some magic words and waved a spoon and a feather at it, 'cause that's how magic is done.

And poof! The finial branched out into this cool coat rack!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Enclosed Porch

I've been working very hard on fixing up my enclosed porch.

This project involved removing three layers of old flooring and putting down some very sturdy, high-quality plywood over what was left. My friend came from Texas and helped me with the worst of the demolition and with putting down the plywood and trim. Folks who live in Texas generally like to escape the summer heat, so it was a win-win situation. I filled all the nail holes and gaps with heavy-duty wood filler and painted the floor a medium grey. Finally, I gave it a couple of coats of polyurethane. I painted all the bricks in a mottled whitewash which kind of resembles Ghost Paint. I also did some gold-leafing and dripped paint on some of the bricks, too. I filled and caulked and painted all the trim so it is now completely seamless. I painted all the wall panelling and the ceiling, too.

Here are some pictures of the porch BEFORE:

The previous owner really liked lace curtains. They were all over the entire house. They were pretty, but not really my style. I mean, I like lace as much as the next guy, but I appreciate it in significantly smaller doses. So, I removed all of the curtains and will put up something else soon.

I removed the carpet and the flooring layers underneath.

See all those layers? The top one was actually pretty cool -- cream with little gold glitter flecks in it -- I probably would've kept it if it had been in better condition, but it wasn't in good enough shape to salvage. It was not possible to remove the final layer of flooring (the checkerboard linoleum), so we left it undisturbed and just installed the thick plywood over it.

Here's the plywood after the wood fill, but before the paint and poly. It is a really, really solid floor.

This is what the brick looked like before I painted it.

Here's the wickedness that presents itself when you remove a very offensive "Hunter Green" paint job from concrete steps. This step leads from the enclosed porch into the living room, so it is actually inside the house. Leaving it dark green was not an option. In fact, I didn't re-paint it at all. I just left it the untreated concrete color.


Here's the view to the left. I hung a burlap curtain over the window at the end. Eventually there will be curtains on those front windows which face the street, too. The concrete step can be seen to the right -- I'm sure you're as relieved as I am now that the "Hunter Green" has been removed.

Here's the gold leaf and dripping paint.

And a close-up.

Here's the view to the right. Those pipes on the left are for the radiator which still has to be re-installed. And again, there will eventually be curtains on the right side because those windows face the wilderness outside.

 A weird little built-in brick shelfling that is perfect for displaying a small glass bowl.

Here's a close-up of the contents including a beautiful seed bead bracelet made for me by someone so very special.

The porch is still not perfect, but it's so much nicer than it was and I can actually use it now. I still want to do a few things to it: replace the front door, replace the shuttered double doors that lead from the porch into the living room and of course, hang those curtains I keep talking about. But those are all relatively minor things, and they can wait for a while. So for now, I can cross this room off my list!

And that means that I can now move on to fixing the room that will be dedicated to my studio!