January 19, 2012

Déjà Vu

Our favorite saying around here is...

"Anything that can be done, can be done again!"

But in this case, or shall I say "staircase" we are doing it again, but not redoing it his time.

"what the hell is he talking about???" 

Staircase number two or Déjà Vu! The center hall awaits its plaster walls, but this can't be done until the second staircase (the stairs from the second floor to the third floor) is disassembled, stripped of all it's paint and finishes, sanded, sanded, sanded, primed, filled, painted, new treads and trim installed, and the banister reassembled. Whew! what a load of work! We have already done this once before with the main staircase, and now we are doing it all again. Yeah! what fun! (there seems to be a lot of exclamation points in my writing today, I guess I am being very expressive!) 

Take it apart, strip it and sand it...

Stripped and ready for sanding. Bondo applied to the steps where deep gouges existed.

Kind of pretty. Bare and naked old growth redwood.

Let the priming begin.

All primed and ready for filling.

Nail holes are next and it will be at least three weeks before we can move onto plaster work. But it is exciting to be up this high in the house and working away.

Last weekend found us in the first of the guest bathrooms installing, or attempting to and failing numerous times, an antique sink. The sink was purchased from the same lady we bought the marble fireplace from, and although the purchase price was a song, there are certainly reasons I would not recommend this. First would be the lack of any clear and present hardware for mounting the unit to the wall. The sink is over one hundred years old, and what ever means of mounting it once had are long gone and we were left with a trial and error situation. Scheme and plan and prepare we did, but every turn seemed to be a brick wall. After having missing pieces reproduced, tackling the issue of really short people back then, and giving up on the perfect solution to faucets and a drain, we got her in and functional. We will find the perfect nickle finished faucets, and an aged brass drain to match the legs, but for now she gives you water and sends it away.

Rocks from the Russian river became the answer to the height problem.

In this shot you really see the need for a brass drain.

Crazy chicken legs, they are kind of funny!

And now a word from our sponsor

If you need your old lighting revived and redone, refinished and rewired, reworked or recast, or simply re-anything, Be sure to call Paul Ivazes of Qualitylighting.net.

Paul has returned to us the light fixture I wrote about in my October 5th post (read it by clicking here). This Renascence Revival gas light fixture definitely has a colored past, but is truly beautiful to behold. It now hangs proudly in the Library/Drawing room, hmmmm.... we have no books in there nor have I put pencil to paper, hmmmmmm, but when we do, or if I do, I will have amazing light from which to read, or draw, or draw about reading, or read about drawing, or simply sit and drink vodka.

The spur shaped stars give it a touch of the old west.

This weekend we will be back on the second floor working our butts off. So if you happen to ring the bell of give us a call, wait a moment or two so we will have a chance to get down to the first floor, because as of this date, there is still not a butler in this house, exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point!

A quick parting shot for today.... as I came down the stairs from taking pictures of the second staircase I was struck by this view...

Many are asking so.... the tile came from Lundi at Villa Lagoon tile, click here to visit.


January 05, 2012

Ho, Ho, Ho and mistletoe, and suddenly its 2012

Oh the weather outside is frightful (actually it's amazingly beautiful), la la la, la la, la, la la, hm hm, hm hm hm hm hm hmmmmmmm....
wait... what happened to Christmas? Somehow it came and went and we kind of missed it. We did not have time to make cookies and spend endless hours in front of the fire stringing popcorn, sipping toddies, and communing with dear old friends. Sigh. Maybe next year, although it seems I said that last year and the year before. We did manage to have some fun, and get somethings done all at the same time. We made a big push in the two weeks before Christmas and accomplished a multitude of little things that had been on the list, and also began a few larger projects.

The Monday following Restoration Art our tile for the center hall arrived. We spent a day installing the marble threshold for the front door, laid the underlayment over the subfloor, and began what we thought would be a fairly straightforward and quick job of setting the tile. Boy were we wrong! In all it took seven entire days and once again I have acquired a slight limp in my right leg due to kneeling on the floor for hour, after hour, after hour.

A few days into the job I realized it would not happen for Christmas, so we tabled it until the 27th.

Tabled is actually a good way to put it because we turned our focus to that which we had asked Santa for.... a table for the dining room. The table top was built from the original ceiling joists that once held the ceiling for the dining room. When the second story was added over the rear section of the house, the engineer felt the old two inch by six inch by twenty foot old growth redwood joists were not sturdy enough for today's standards, and they were replaced. They have sat in a pile in the back yard for over two years.
Charly of Exceptional Wood Products in Geyserville, the town just north of here, picked them up and created a fifty four inch wide by ten foot long table top and delivered it three days before Christmas. Two coats of tongue oil and three coats of wax, add some antique radiators for the legs, fourteen rented chairs, dishes, napkins, flatware, and a pair of over the top candelabra, and...

Voilà, Christmas dinner!

Daylight view just after we finished setting the table

Magical and ready for guests.

Eighteen in all feasted at the first sit down dinner in the house. It truly was an amazing evening.

 Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way....  And suddenly before we knew it was here, Christmas was over. Between Christmas and New Years Day we went back and tackled that tile floor in the center hall. It took us all week to finish it, all that is left is a short waiting time and then we can seal it. But I will tell you it is breathtaking in person!

As a parting shot for 2011 I wanted to share a picture of the fireplace finally finished and burning. These sorts of projects take so long to complete that I sometimes fail to post the finished product. So next Christmas we shall while away the hours in front of it, stringing popcorn, sipping toddies, and spending much needed time with dear old friends.

Now all we need is some furniture... details, details!

Happy 2012 everyone!