Our Retro Bungalow

Our Retro Bungalow
The journal of the making of an old house into a lovely new home.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Meaningful Decor: Re-purposed Vintage Windows and Wallpaper

I could be tidying up the kitchen right now.
Or finish putting away the sundries I picked up at the market today.
But I think I'll blog because I have a mind to.
And I have a mind to only because I turned on our bed lamps 
a little while ago like I do most evenings just as 
 night's darkness settles in and, as usual, thought to myself
how pleasing our room is by lamp light. 
I feel the same about our sitting room too,
but tonight I'll tell you about the re-purposed vintage windows
and antique reproduction wall paper project I did
a couple of months ago.

Dean had, oddly enough, mentioned to me that we 
needed some kind of decor over the head of our bed.
That's not typical of him.
Quite surprising.
But I began giving the matter some consideration.
 I knew I did not want to buy something new.
I have several large-ish picture frames that
I saved from our Pleasant View home and thought
I might be able to do something with those, but after entertaining
that option for a couple of weeks I'd still come up with nothing.

One afternoon when I was hauling bags of 
chicken feed up to what we call "the garden shed" 
the obvious, which had eluded me for quite some time, 
smacked me right upside the skull.

A side note: That old shed and its companion that sits a bit further back on our property
have an interesting history and maybe one of these days I'll blog about that.
after I emptied the layer pellets and scratch grains
into their respective bins and was gathering up the feed sacks,
I looked up at the old, wood frame windows on the west wall 
and thought about all those Pinterest posts I'd seen of 
vintage windows turned into photo frames and what-not.
Next thing I knew I was back up at the shed, tools from the garage in hand, 
removing those old window frames.

I broke out what panes were still remaining and scraped out all the ancient caulking.
(say "ank-shent" just to give Mrs Brunty a giggle)
"Now what?"
Photos, maybe?
Art glass?
A few days later I was on a website that I enjoy 'window shopping' on
and came up with what I thought was a pretty good idea.
So, I did it.
I bought a yard of an antique replica wallpaper that I liked.

When it arrived, I cut 8 pieces to fit each pane, took those pieces to
Bennion Crafts to have them dry mounted, purchased a package of glazier points,
then stopped at Kelly Glass to have 8 new pieces of window glass cut.
I hauled the new components home and assembled our 'over the bed decor'.
Dean hung them and we're both very pleased.

So, about tidying up the kitchen and putting things away.
It can wait.
I'm weary.
I wonder if Dean is gonna watch Star Trek much longer.
Regardless, I'm gonna get myself ready for bed and crawl in.
G'night and God Bless.

Monday, July 20, 2015

56 Tubes of Caulk, Gable Boxes, Tate Olive & an Old Timer

And boy, oh boy, do I have a woeful case of tendinitis
in my right elbow, not to mention my entire left hand throbs
on a regular basis now.
I'm confident that'll subside in time.
Now, enough with the whining.
We are so happy to have that all behind us.
Speaking of b'hind...
did I mention having to go see our chiropractor 
due to the fact that I could hardly walk for a week?
Fixed me right up, he did.
I picked up a gallon of trim paint on Friday
(just a gallon to see how far I can get with it which will be a good indicator 
of how much we'll actually need cuz paint ain't cheap, ya know) 
and was
planning on getting the priming of raw ends and painting the trim 
started this morning, but #sweetmercifulheaven,
it was RAINING!
We've been hot and dry, so the pitter-patter of raindrops
and the delicious scent of rain 
and the sweet, dewy sensation wafting through our open windows...
well, it was a downright bless-ed gift from above. 
remember how I said we'd decided on an exterior color.
We, and I do mean WE as in it wasn't just me this time,
changed our minds.
We left those sample colors up and looked at them for so long
and our choice of "Wethersfield Moss" just didn't grow on us.
Our new choice is "Tate Olive".
It will look a couple of shades lighter when actually on the bungalow.
And our trim color is "Cloud White", same as our
interior trim and kitchen cabinets.

My dear friend, Joanie, had asked what I meant by 'gable boxes'
after she read my last post. Maybe others were wondering the same thing.
Here's a photo of our middle gable box after Dean got it installed.
Our son-in-law, Joe, just happened to show up in time to hold it
in place while Dean nailed it up.
I asked Joe if he had a problem with heights.
"No. It's ladders I have a problem with.", he said.
Typical Joe.
We love him and his sense of humor.

An interesting side note:
When we tore down the original house we salvaged as much lumber
from it as possible and used it in the construction of the new house.
It was #1 prime grade lumber from old growth trees back when
 Percy Randall built the little brick rambler for his family all those years ago.
Lumber like that is rare now-a-days.
Dean used the very last remnants of the original lumber to build the gable boxes.
That's pretty awesome, if you ask me..
Ryan U is back from scout camp and already came by to get his final measurements.
We should have the vents installed  on the gable boxes
by sundown this coming Saturday.
our final final inspection will happen.

On Saturday, Dean cut down the last Quaking Aspen on the north-west end of the house.

They were ratty and half dead and full of soldier ants.
Those ants, incidentally, have moved into the house.
Well, some of them have, anyway.
And I don't really know if they're actually called 'soldier ants',
but they are the bigger variety, not the teeny ones.
He cut down the first of these trees in the Spring and I stacked
the cut pieces along the retaining wall out front.
We were thinking that somebody would drive by, pick them up,
and carry them off to use for firewood.
In a couple of days a kindly, elderly gentleman came to our door and
asked if we were giving the logs away and, if so, could he take them.
"Why, certainly!", we said, and Dean helped him load his truck bed.
He told us he'd be interested in taking any other cut timber we might have
at some future time and he planned to keep a lookout for any other stacks
by the road in front of our house.
Shor 'nuff, he showed up yesterday afternoon and knocked on the door to
let us know he was going to load his truck with the new stack.
He must be in his mid to late 80's and insisted he didn't want to bother
Dean for help, but I called Dean up from the basement to help him anyway
and Dean was happy to do it.
After it was all loaded into his truck, the old man admitted he
would have had a real hard time lifting those larger logs on his own
and thanked Dean for his help.

He'd told us his name the first time he stopped for the firewood and
I think it is 'Blaine', but I'm not sure.
Whoever this sweet man is and whatever his name is, I like him.
I like him a lot.
He reminds me of 'the good ol' days' when most all folks were neighborly
and the world wasn't so full of confusion and social strife and
there seemed to be more goodness and wholesomeness all around.
 I do hope he comes back when we cut down the other trees
we have a mind to be rid of, if for no other reason than to just
be neighborly with him again.

That's it for now.
Thanks, as always, for stoppin' by.
We really do appreciate your love and support.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Meaningful Decor: Vintage Menus

 I've slowly 
-and I do stress slowly-
been getting decor hung and placed throughout the interior of 
Our Retro Bungalow.
My focus is to keep things simple.
And I really, really don't want to buy new stuff.
I'm determined that for the rest of my life I will 
follow a basic rule(s) for anything that we intentionally acquire.
It must have 
purpose or meaning
Or both.
Remember me grousing over the endless decor items that I unpacked 
from Casa di Mossi when we began moving into Our Retro Bungalow?
I don't ever - EVER - want to deal with so much stuff for the rest of my live-long days.
These rules will keep me in check.

There are two small sections of wall above our 'his & hers' towel bars across
from the shower on either side of the closet doors in our  master bathroom.
(did that even make sense?)
I decided that I needed to hang something on those little sections of wall.
I didn't want to go out and purchase some mass produced somethin'-or-other.
That would go against my self-imposed edicts.
Plus, shopping isn't my favorite.
I felt like I'd allowed this little matter of wall adornment
 too much time in my thoughts, 
so had essentially moved on and quit thinking about it.
But one morning while in the shower,
(sorry for the inadvertent visual, there)
(No, really. That's a sincere, heartfelt apology, people.)
 I was thinking about Aunt Geneva, 
which got me thinking about Grandma Mossi,
which got me to thinking about how long it'd been since Dean and I
were in Belanzona because I'd just unpacked the cuckoo clock
that Amelia and Achille purchased in Bellinzona during their
visit in 1950, which naturally got me thinking
about how romantic it must have been to be a passenger aboard 
a transatlantic ship back in that era.
(See how my mind works. Frightening, isn't it.)
And then it struck me!
Somewhere we had a box FULL of memorabilia from the ship they'd sailed on.
Grandma Mossi had saved several items from that voyage across the sea
 and Gil, Dean's dad, had given them to us on one of our visits to Ukiah.
I remembered lovely artwork printed on the front of the menus Grandma
had saved from the ship's dining room and thought,
"Why not hang those in our bathroom!"
I dug out the box of 65 year old memorabilia, shuffled through all kinds of
wonderful, vintage items from their travels, and located the menus.
I chose two and took them to the frame shoppe at Bennion Crafts
where my friend, Lesa, is manager.
I selected off-the-shelf frames and 
had them mounted on a soft gray matting.
28 bucks.
And they turned out beautifully.

Yeah, I suppose it is a little odd to have menus hanging in the bathroom, 
but odd has never bothered me much.
And besides being lovely and vintage,
 they have both meaning and purpose.
As Martha Stewart would say,
"It's a good thing".
(disclaimer- I'm not a Martha Stewart fan)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Caulking and Catching Up

I'm not much in the mood for posting this evening,
so this will be short.
And mildly informative.
And somewhat ho hum.
A lot ho hum.
Here goes...
Are ya still with me?

Lately I've spent a whole lot of time 

up on the extension ladder with my trusty caulk gun and Mr Garrison Keillor.
Mr Keillor takes up a minuscule amount of room on the ladder, 
as he is nicely contained within my iHeartRadio app.
I think, though, that Bill, Sharon, Barry and Marlene 
(our neighbors to the south and north, respectively)
may be thinking it's time for me to be committed to 
The Padded Palace due to my random bouts of
hysterical laughter while I'm perched up there on the rungs.
Cancel that reservation -
it's just Mr Keillor ticklin' my funny bone.

I've caulked all the windows, seams and nail holes 
(nail holes where the pressure was a tad too high on the compressor)
and trimmers on the back of the house.
I do love the traditional look of lap siding, but there sure is 
lots of prep work to be done before painting.
Tomorrow I'll start on the front.

That ^^^ up there...
I started it two weeks ago.
We've been busy.
And weekends are short.
And by the time I get the time to blog
I'm spent.
I'll try and throw in a few more details of our recent work here
Our Retro Bungalow.

The caulking is just about done; I just have the north side of the house to do now.
Dean took care of caulking everything above the frieze bands and soffits
and I sure do appreciate that because the further away I get from the ground
the less I like it.

The summer heat really kicked in bout a month ago, but no worries
because Dean got the evaporative cooler hoisted up on the roof with Tannon's help
and wired and plumbed  just in time.
Someone (who shall remain nameless) was really quite cynical about the fact that
we'd chosen to go with a "swamp cooler". And the young men from the company we
hired to fabricate and install the duct work for it said they'd never, ever installed a duct
for an evaporative cooler before.
A central air conditioner was simply not an option because we have no ducts.
Remember that we went with radiant floor heating.
No ducts. No registers.
And we are quite comfortable with our "swamp cooler" thankyouverymuch.
First off, after purchasing the unit, we got a HEFTY "rebate" from the power company
because "swamp coolers" are VERY efficient.
After the rebate we ended up paying about $140 for the unit.
Compare that with what you'd pay for a central air conditioner!
It's literally a fraction of the cost.
That's a pretty sweet deal and ain't nobody can argue with that.
And here's the kicker...
we got our report for power usage via email as usual.
Saving on the cooler itself was awesome,
but saving big-time on our power bill
is the frosting on the cake.

And check this out...

So, go ahead.
Be cynical.
We'll just keep on smilin' and bein' cool, baby.

We weren't sure just how to go about finishing off the raw lumber framing
on the garage door openings. We'd talked about covering and trimming it with
Smartside, but neither one of us were too excited about that idea.
I told Mr that I was pretty sure Omega metals could fabricate something for us
if we just provided a drawing of what we wanted with all the dimensions.
My engineer husband drew up what he thought would work, I delivered the
illustration to Omega metals and, sure enough, in just a couple of days
and for not a lot of dollars, they made just what we needed.
And we are extremely happy with how it fit just right and looks so clean.

Lets see...
what else?

We got all the soffit and fascia put up and I guess
since it's been a while, here's a photo of the font elevation...

The week before last, Dean built and hung five gable boxes.
This was kind of a big deal.
It took a lot of time and effort and figuring.
And guessing.
And he blames my "house porn" problem
(you know...as in houzz.com)
for coming up with all these 'great ideas' and having to figure them babies out.
But he did a great job, as usual, and I really do appreciate him
putting up with and coming through on my little (and sometimes not-so-little) requests.
Our friend, Ryan Udell, is making custom attic vents to fit in the gable boxes.

We had our "final inspection" done a few weeks ago.
We were hoping for Inspector Mike, but he was on vacation
with his family, so Inspector Blaine showed up in his place.
Inspector Blaine is a great guy and a good stand-in for Mike
so we didn't mind too much.
We knew that no matter who showed up to do the inspection we'd have
a 'to do' list to work on before we would be issued our official
occupancy permit. Most of the things on the list we were expecting,
but there were a few surprises; surprises like one of the treads on
our front porch being 1/16 of an inch too low.
Picky, picky, picky!

We've got all but one item checked off the tick-list
and that is the vents Ryan is making for us.
And he just got back from scout camp, so I'm thinking
it'll be next week when we get those installed.

A couple of other little details...
We had a slab of honed Absolute Black granite installed for a hearth
on the upstairs fireplace. It looks nice and finishes out the sitting room well.
The under cabinet and upper, glass front cabinet lighting is in.
Glad that's done.
And now it's time for this post to be done.
I've really just cranked this out and I know when I go back and
read it tomorrow it will be tedious and dull,
but it's done.

Thank you for stopping by.
Good night and God bless.