Monday, July 6, 2015

Starting the Siding on The Shack

The Fourth of July holiday provided my husband with a three-day weekend, and he wanted to use it to accomplish something.  Weather was predicted to be cloudy and cool (for July, you understand), and he suggested that we work to start reinstalling the siding on The Shack.  It has been months since we worked on this little building.   

The Shack looked like this last time I showed it to you:

One afternoon in February, when the weather was nice, we installed 2x4 trim, sealing tape, and roofing felt around the picture windows.

Over the holiday weekend, Day One was installing the corner trim on this wall.  This was more involved than it sounds, because we had to remove some of the siding and install sheathing on part of the west wall of the building in order to accurately install the corner on our target wall.

The longer piece of sheathing is temporary.

Yes, the siding was originally installed 50+ years ago with the seams lined up like this.

On the other corner, we cheated and used a strip of plywood on the adjacent east wall and some spacer blocks to place the corner trim in the correct spot.

With corner trim in place, and primed, we could FINALLY begin the actual installation of the siding.

A rare photo of me at work, tacking up the starter strip at the bottom of the wall.

Here is what the wall looked like at the end of Day One.

Corner trim in place, and one course of siding installed.

Day Two began with a whole lot of figuring and profuse amounts of math.  We wanted approximately four-and-a-half inches of exposure on the siding, and we had to calculate how to get that amount AND to reach the bottom of the window trim with a whole board.  This took a while.

We are reusing the siding that we removed from this wall in January.  It is scraped and repaired, and primed and painted.  The installation layout will be different than it was originally, because we are staggering the seams (like it's supposed to be done) and because we have large windows now, where this wall had no windows originally.  It took more time than anticipated to choose each piece of siding to minimize waste and to have as few seams as possible.

By the end of Day Two, which ended at lunchtime because we went to our daughter's house for a cookout on the 4th, we had worked out a rhythm and were beginning to see results much faster than at the beginning of the day.  Notice that our calculations worked out and the the siding spacing came out exactly as we planned.  I love it when stuff like that happens!

I am thrilled with how the repaired/repainted/reinstalled original siding looks!

We got to work bright and early on Day Three, and we accomplished a LOT ... installing all of the stack of siding that I had prepared ahead of time.  

In progress photo, with siding between the windows.

End of day, 7/5/15.

This is all that we can do for now, till I get some more siding prepared ... which I will do as time permits.

Here's a short summary, to show you how far we have come.

Photo of this wall, before we started working on it.

My husband's Photoshop rendering.

What this wall looks like right now.

What started out as a tired little building, with tons of character and a whole lot of promise, is slowly beginning to truly look like the studio that I have always hoped it could become.

If you are new to this project, or you want to refresh your memory on how it got to this point, here are links to previous posts.

Reframing and Sheathing
Beginning to Install the Windows
Finishing the Window Installation
Preparing the Siding

If you're visiting here from Metamorphosis Monday, thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Snapshot ... That's MY Mommy.

This is a typical scene here at our house.

My husband and I had been working outside (which is why you see that I'm wearing camouflage work pants).  I parked on the sofa to chill for a few minutes, before going upstairs to shower, and the animals seized the opportunity to grab some mommy-time.  

Winnie had been on her green down throw (that you see there all wadded up).  When Dorothy arrived, Winnie quickly hopped over to claim my lap.  Dorothy was feeling affectionate ... she rubbed on me for a few minutes, then she settled in beside me on my arm.  When Dorothy is happy like this, she stretches out and puts her toes on me.  This time, she was touching Winnie and Winnie didn't like it one bit.  

Each time Dorothy moved her toes, Winnie growled.  I use situations like this as a training opportunity ... correcting Winnie when she reacts and praising and petting her and telling her that she's a good girl when she's quiet.  It only took a few minutes for Winnie to decide that my lap was the reward in this case, and that she would have to tolerate the happy cat who wanted to touch her.  

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Sunday Snapshots are posts devoted to a moment in time that represents a slice of life in Hartwood, or wherever else I happen to be at the time. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oh, Deer.

There are advantages to spending early mornings in the garden.  It's cooler in the morning, and I can sometimes catch a glimpse of some of the wildlife that shares the property with us.  

I saw this fawn today, sniffing around a tree in our back field.  It was about the same size as Ruby.

I was down-wind from it, and being very quiet as I slipped my phone out of my pocket and snapped this photo.  The scene was quickly disrupted when I sneezed and the little fawn bolted, its white tail raised in alarm, and it dashed toward the safety of our tree line.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Another Story ... With Four Snaps This Time

Winnie's favorite place to be is on the sofa, snuggled onto the down throw that I keep out for her year-round.  (It used to be a winter-only item for use by chilly humans ... stored away during warm months.)  She gets onto the sofa via a set of pet steps given to her by her Auntie Susan.  

In the beginning, it only took about five minutes and some delicious treats to teach Winnie to use the steps, and now she scampers up and down them easily to get on and off the sofa ... most of the time.  Every once in a while, it appears that she decides that she has forgotten how to use them or it may seem easier to her to resort to begging to be picked up.

I tell Winnie that she is very lucky to have been adopted into a family that spoils her, instead of babying her ... though I don't think Winnie understands the difference.  During this little exchange, Winnie made multiple trips back and forth between half-hearted attempts at the steps and begging to be picked up.

If this behavior doesn't get her what she wants, it rarely takes more than a few minutes for Winnie to resign herself to the fact that she has to use the steps to get onto the sofa by herself if she's going to get there at all ...

... and, soon, she was fast asleep.

P.S.  Here's a extra gratuitous Winnie photo for you ... because she's just so darned adorable.

This tiny little dog has a huge piece of my heart!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Three Quick Snaps Tell a Story

A few minutes ago, as I was sitting here on a bar stool, at the peninsula counter between the kitchen and the dining room, I noticed some movement.  It was Maggie, being silly, biting and kicking a dog toy that Ruby dropped there earlier this morning.  I picked up my iPad, which was sitting on the counter next to me, to photograph and document the silliness.

must . kill . this

Ruby, who was in the other room, must have noticed what Maggie was doing at about the same time as I did.  Almost as soon as I snapped that first photo, nosy Ruby was in here checking to see what was going on. 

"Exactly what are you doing with my toy?"

It only took that quick look for Ruby to be satisfied that this was not something where she could participate, and she returned to the family room.  Ruby's interruption broke the spell, and Maggie acted as if nothing had happened ... and she quickly settled in to take a little nap, using the toy as a pillow.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Little DIY Shoe Transformation

I bought these shoes at Target on clearance last year for a ridiculously-low price.  It's rare for me to find cute shoes I like that are large enough for these size 11 feet of mine ... finding a pair on sale like this was even more unusual.  The rope-covered wedge heel on these is a great height, high enough to be stylish and low enough to be comfortable.  I love the big gold zippers ... but the linen color of the cloth upper part of the shoe wasn't my favorite.  I could learn to love that, too, or so I thought.

These shoes have been tucked away in my closet ever since I brought them home.  Every once in a while, I would try them on and admire them, decide that they I still probably didn't have anything to wear them with, and back into the closet they would go.

Recently, Goth Gardener posted about a pair of shoes that she bought under similar circumstances.  Her solution was to use paint to make the shoes into something that was a better fit with her personality and her wardrobe ... and now you see where I'm going with the DIY portion of this post.

No turning back now.

I used regular black acrylic craft paint and a small angled paint brush, working carefully so I didn't get paint on the rope-covered wedge part of the shoe, and thinning the paint slightly so it flowed into the grain of the fabric.

Halfway finished ... One down, one more to go.

When the paint was dry, I buffed it off of the zipper with an old toothbrush.

... and here is the finished product.  All it took was a bit of paint (that I already had) and some time (while I was hiding in the a/c because it was too hot outside to work) and I now have a pair of shoes that are perfectly ME.

Before:  Cute clearance-sale impulse-purchase shoes, good for a nice spring outfit, but not exactly my style.

After:  Black shoes, totally my style, with that fantastic funky gold zipper, that I probably would have bought even if they had been full price.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I still haven't worn these yet.  Now that they're black, and I love them more than I dare to admit, I imagine that they will come out of the closet and into regular rotation in my wardrobe very soon.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

An Additional Tactic in the War Against Japanese Beetles

While I was outside yesterday morning drowning Japanese Beetles with my Death Bucket of soapy water, I realized it looks like this will probably be a bumper-crop year for those nasty creatures.  Some of my roses were unaffected so far, but it's still very early in the season.  Many other roses, especially my most fragrant ones, were already acting as bait, food, and love nests for the beetles.

Along with my two-part approach to Japanese Beetle control that I told you about in yesterday's POST, I am adding a more-drastic measure this year ... removal of all of the flowers and buds throughout the garden.  It's not like I'm really losing anything, because the beetles aren't going to let me have any decent flowers while they're here anyway.

'Prospero', before.

'Prospero', after.

I started yesterday morning by working in the English Garden.  It's a relatively small garden (by my standards) 30-feet wide and 40-feet long, with 40 roses in it ... perfectly realistic to expect that I could start and finish the job there relatively quickly.

English Garden, before.

English Garden, after.

As I worked, I dropped the trimmings into a five-gallon bucket.  Whenever the bucket was full, I emptied it into the dump-bed of my golf cart ... then I tossed it all into hedgerow tree line dumping spot at the back of our property.

Bye bye for now, Teasing Georgia.

This is about halfway through the job.  I liked how the few intact flowers ended up on top of the pile.

To be honest, removing the flowers and buds like this isn't really as drastic as it sounds.  I had planned to be in the garden anyway, because most of my roses could use a bit of a trim and deadheading of spent flowers, to tidy them up and keep the garden looking as nice as possible.  Even without beetles, summer heat makes many of the roses slow down and flower sporadically or not at all.  By the time the beetles are gone in a few weeks, the roses will have recharged, grown new buds, and they will be almost ready for their bloom time to start again for the late summer and fall.

I'm still going to have to keep the beetle trap bags changed as they get full, and continue my morning walks in the garden with my Death Bucket to drown any beetles that I find.  Beetles eat rose foliage, in addition to flowers, and they're a whole lot easier to find and catch if I don't have to dig through the flowers to get them into the bucket.  

I will spare you the photo of beetles in my bucket ... you're welcome.

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