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January 2006 Archives


January 12, 2006

Clawfoot Tub

I know we seem to bounce from one project to another. But it?s only because of priority, honest hehe. When we did the brick for the wood stove, it was because winter was coming. Now I am not sure what all the fuss was, we haven?t had much of a winter here. Anyway now because of the way the previous owner, not the original builder, the bathroom floor is fixing to fall through. So we are going to switch directions to re-do the bathroom. It?s going to be an extensive remodel. We are ripping it out to the core, and then adding in beams for the floor to fix it and give it plenty of support for the new clawfoot tub. Yep we recently bought an old clawfoot tub. We have been cleaning the feet of the tub, restoring them by ridding them of about 5 coats of paint. Though two of them we suspect that were put in the back of the tub and they have the original porcelain paint. At any rate they are going to done in a "weathered copper" aka rich coppery brown finish. We are painting the underside of the tub white after ridding of its white and then green layers. The finish on the tub is in real good condition. The antique shop we bought the tub from refinishes them as well. But as we had read, and they backed it up, the original finish cannot be beat. Refinishing is much more delicate, and not as hardy as the original. They say about 5 years is getting a good amount out of a refinished tub. So finding this one in such great shape is great, so we can keep the original finish! Well we bought a faucet and drain in a weather copper finish. The drain came in this morning. Here is a photo of the faucet which is by Elizabethan Classics, I found on a website...

Which speaking of the weathered copper finish, its discontinued. When we bought the faucet they called up the company to order the drain and they had only ONE left! And its now sitting in my living room! Boy is that unusual for us. Usually its, "We just sold the last one a few minutes before you came into the store" or "Sorry they discontinued that line". Ok well now its discontinued with NO more drains! I love the weathered copper finish. I want to give my bathroom a very old world feel.

We also picked out the floor we want for the bathroom where the tub will go. You see our bathroom is quite unusual. The original bathroom is a very small space where I cannot understand where a tub went. Its only about 4 foot across. Anyway the next owner added on a spot for a tub and cut a narrow doorway into the outside wall to add on the small space for the tub. So we basically have room 1 which holds the sink and toilet enter room 2 for the tub. So anyway the Tub Room will have a real stone floor called Copper Fire. I cannot find any samples online, but we found it in home depot. It?s a special order floor but I love it! It has an actual sparkle fleck in it. It has various tones of green and rust with some other beige/gold and dark streaks if I remember it correctly. I saw it and knew it would go well with the tub and fixtures. But the flooring in the sink/toilet room will have a wood floor that coordinates with the stone. I don?t want everything matching perfectly. I am more eclectic these days and prefer complimenting varieties. Here are the current and new floor plans to give you an idea of what I am speaking about.

We plan on changing the location of the window. Once we change the tub location the window would be above the tub, which I am kind of freaked out about windows near the tub. Bugs being my biggest fear about it. So we are going to put 3 or 4 small rectangular panes of glass on the side where the tub is currently. I am hoping to find some of that glass that has a milky looking color in it for lack of visibility, but yet let?s light through. I am hoping to find it in an orange or brownish color.
Also we are getting a new toilet, which I have a handle for (yes I know crazy!), also we want a pedestal sink. Although I have considered keeping the sink we have. We will have to see.

We found a complimentary toliet paper holder, towel bars, and toliet lever. Here are the photos for the toliet paper holder & lever which is by delta in thier Victorian Collection

The colors may not seem to match on here, but in person they compliment well.
The towel rods are by a different company and are a new collection by Bath Unlimited, the Rubbed Bronze/Aged Ceramic Alexandria Series. They should be found at home depot since they are still releasing part of the set. They are simliar in color to the previous items, but they have some "aged ceramic" that actually looks aged, not fake. Once the rest of the stuff hits the shelf I plan on getting a couple of robe hooks from that collection and a towel loop holder for the sink area.

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January 15, 2006

One Trip to Home Depot Later

We have the floor on order at home depot. I have no idea how long it will take to come in but I am anxious for it to! It?s actually a type of slate and it?s called Copper Fire or just Copper. I said it was green, but it?s actually a light rust color (bad memory of mine) but it has a hint of green streaks in it. Here is a photo I took of it at home depot,

And here is a photo I found on a website of the same slate

Then before leaving we browsed through the lighting department to figure out what two wall lights would go in the tub room. Well I honestly was not up to spending $40 dollars for one light that I liked so-so. We continued browsing and went onto the exterior lights. There the styles began to appeal more and I finally found my lights. They were $7 dollars each which I can totally handle that!. Right now they are white and have a hideous yellow back piece that the light is supposed to reflect. However, we are going to replace that with a mirror and also change the finish to a rich aged coppery brown. Then they will be perfect & classy. And the funny thing is they even included the light bulbs! Not even the $40 dollar lights would do that lol!

These will add a subtle colonial element to the room.
Then after having a photo of the floor, I was able to choose the glass that the bathroom windows would hold. Surprisingly it?s not nearly as expensive as I thought it was going to be, which is always a good thing lol! Here is the glass by itself, and you can click on it to see the website we will be ordering it from if all goes well

And this will give you an idea of how we intend to use it

Oh and we also decided to put one of these windows where the wall-cupboard is right now.

So now we have to scrub down the outside of the clawfoot tub & its feet. Then we have to get some white enamel paint for repainting the outside of the tub. I plan on doing the feet in a dark copper brown for contrast. We have a couple of chip repairs to make to the lip of the tub too. We found this site that has a kit for just such things. I have no idea how good they are but we are going to give them a shot. The inside just needs a good cleaning and buffing. Then we can start on the bathroom remodel, of course once we get the glass & flooring too.

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January 18, 2006

The Seven Dollar Light Fixture

We have been working on some of the projects we have to finish before our weekend bathroom renovation (we will see if it actually only takes a weekend lol!)
First up is our light fixture we got from Home Depot. We have added the weathered copper finish and we are quite pleased with how it turned out. I used a metallic copper undercoat, and an espresso brown overcoat. When I added the overcoat, I didn?t allow the top coat to dry since I wanted it to merge if you will. Here are the results

Also we have been working on the tub. We have to scrape off the paint so we can get an even surface for repainting the bottom of the tub a white in enamel paint. Then we can clean and then repair the couple of "chips". The feet of the tub are going to be done with the same finish as the light but overcoated with a hearty clearcoat. The feet are the eagle claw design. Here is a photo of the side of the tub that we have left

We have been using a drill sander for most of it, but the real thick side, the side we have concluded was facing the front, needs to have the paint chipped off and then smoothed with the sander.
So much needs to be done. Although I do have a glass sample coming so we can be sure that?s what we want.

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January 19, 2006

Our Hurricane Katrina Damage

This post is mainly for my family who havent seen any photos of the damage that we sustained. I know this is nothing compared to a lot of homes that were severely damaged by water and mold. We used to live down in New Orleans so we are quite well aware of how things could have been had we still been living there. But we are now nestled in the hilltops of Louisiana. However the winds were still very damaging from Katrina. It was a close call for us but once we arrived home Tuesday evening, a day after the storm, we pulled into our driveway to see a tree down on our house. It was dark so at that point we werent sure all that it had done for damage, but we knew it was spared to a large degree. Many of our neighbors didnt even board up thier windows and stayed through the storm. We are very thankful we boarded up and left, because if we hadnt we would have had a broken kitchen window with rain damage, and some pretty tramatized children. Even for our area which is 2 hours north of New Orleans, a lot of people were scared to death when the hurricane came in. The older folks around here said they had never seen anything like it.
Here are some photos of our house, the first one was taken the day we left for the storm, as you can see we were boarding up.

Here is the tree that fell, a 40 yr old pine. If we had had a plywood roof our damage would have been extensive. But, as the roofing contractors agreed, what saved our house was the 1x6 tongue and groove deck that the orginal builder used. Smart man! The tree, once it hit the roof, slid off! Thats one tough roof. We did need to replace the shingles and were able to thanks to the efforts of some volunteers from Arkansas.

Here are some details of the corner damage it did do...

As as summary our house did shift 1/2 inch from the north/south direction. As as result we have 2 windows where the glass did break/crack, and the front door sticks bad. And for the yard we lost 31 trees in one acre of land. We were once heavily wooded, now not so much. Here is a shot of the back yard...

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January 22, 2006

Stand in Farmers

If our house projects slow up a little, this is why...A friend of ours, the one we got our goats from previously, has a farm with herds of sheep and goats. They live a few hours south of thier farm and would come up each weekend to take care of it. The hurricane knocked down most of thier trees, leaving the grazing land riddled with branches and trees. And now a close family member of hers took ill and is needing all her support. Yet we just discovered she was still coming up here to tend to her flocks. So we called and asked if we could feed the animals and tend to them for her so she could do what she really needed to do. We dont live far from her farm and we LOVE farm life anyway. She did have cows but because of her turn of events she had to give them up. Its ashame we didnt know about her situation earlier! She has fences that need to be mended because trees are on them, and a barn that took a direct hit from a tree. Plus she has to plant grass in March so her animals can graze, and currently you cant even see the ground due to the mass amount of tree loss. So a LOT of cleanup & mending work is going to be needed. We plan on doing as much as we possibly can! I'm just grateful she accepted so she can give her all to her family member and she has one less burdon to worry about! Here are some photos of the farm we will be helping to get back into shape

The above is what a large part of the property looks like. You cant even see the ground and yet it that is the grazing land. Its such a mess! I can get a better photo when its not soo gloomy out. It was sundown on a gloomy day so my photos didnt come out that great.

I soooo fell in love with the little chocolate colored lamb! He/she is too cute!!!!

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January 25, 2006

Gathering Ideas

Some "Early American" Style Inspirations

This is a site I have visited before. They have some very nice period & authentic styled homes for different era's or styles.
Eastender Restoration

Here are some of thier early kitchens...
Eastender Restoration

Kitchen Furniture
Wentworth Kitchen

Just for .... hummm .....
Some *interesting* links in my search for old kitchens:

If you are into roses & pink fluff this is your inspiration...
I have never seen so many roses or as many miles of lace & frill:
An 1820s Federal In the Pink - Literally
Country Kitchen

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January 26, 2006

Behold Copper Fire

Our floor has arrived....and I truly think this is the prettiest rock I have ever seen! Its got shimmer, "glitter" and all the right tones in-between. One flick of the wrist and it looks as though it was dipped in translucent silver, another flick and the silver sheen takes on a more golden tone, another flick and we see the fiery reds, and/or the hints of a grayish green. Some of the bricks look at one glance brownish in tones, another brick may seem fiery copper, yet another a slatish grey/green, and then you may have one that compiles all of the above into one brick. Most have a sparkle to them, a few are "flat". Its just one of those rocks that pictures cannot do it justice, but I'll present some anyway ~

I found a photo idea for the wall color I would like for the the real task is finding the perfect color in the stores!

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January 29, 2006


I've been doing a lot of research on early decorating and found floorcloths as an authentic and interesting piece of decor. They were also called crumb cloths because they were often used in areas where people would dine. They were highly popular until the modern linoleum was introduced in the 1920's. Here are some links of interest concerning floorcloths

How to make one from DYI
Early American Floorcloth Collection

Here is a good stencil site I found so far, even has a floorcloth stencil...

Primitive Designs Stencil Company

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A Dilemma Perhaps Solved?

I have been perplexed at how I was going to go about painting the living room. The reason being it is open to the kitchen. The original owner had a wall between the two rooms, but later the wall was removed and now we have an open kitchen/living room area. I had toyed previously with the idea of stenciling a border around the windows in the kitchen. The living room area does not have a window, only the front door. However we are hoping to later add a window that goes around the sides of the door. Anyway I never did stencil around the kitchen, but I did paint the kitchen a cheery warm yellow with white trim. It?s a solid yellow and very pronounced. I always wanted the walls of my living room to be a warm shade of red. However I knew being the two rooms have no boundary beside a beam that goes between them, they would fight for attention and be way too pronounced. So after looking at several colonial/early American style interiors, I think I have a solution. A solution, that would allow me to keep my red color for the living room and not fight with the yellow kitchen. I am thinking of wainscoting the bottom half of the room and then painting it red along with any molding around the ceiling, windows, and doors. Thus allowing the walls to stay white(ish). However I was thinking of doing some stenciling around the molding, with period stencil designs. The more I think about it the better I like that idea. Just for visualization, here are some examples of what I am thinking of doing

Now I don?t exactly like the ?country? theme, but I do like something that really echoes the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I have to run it by my husband and see what he thinks, but I think it?s a smooth transition for the two rooms.

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January 30, 2006

Historic Stencils

On the topic of stencils in my last post, I have found a site that sells historic stencils. There are so many I like its hard to choose from. They are the exact era I am looking for!

MB Historic Decor

For those with more Victorian tastes here is a stencil site most likely to suit,

Epoch Designs
Those are the only ones I know that sell authentically reproduced stencils. If anyone knows of other sites or sources like these please let me know! Well I need to get back to making dinner!

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