Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Window Box

The spruce tips are in. The Christmas season can officially commence.

Note to self: next year get them in before the dirt freezes, so no hammer is needed to get them to stand up.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Shot From the Past

Here are some fun images of Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis circa 1900. Not that I'm telling you how to decorate your house, but copies of these images can be purchased through the Library of Congress. Ha, now I dare you to follow the link and try to spend less than an hour looking through old photos.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection and photographer George Lawrence on the last photo.





LOT 12005, p. 4


Friday, November 19, 2010

Three in a Row

After walking aimlessly through my house for a week, I finally found the hook & eye hardware for my storm windows.  They were in a small brown bag on a chair right by the dormer windows. Of course.

Two storm windows went in without a hitch.  The third window mysteriously didn't come close to fitting. I tried each storm in each window. It was clear which storms fit into two of the windows. The third was not going to fit no matter how hard I tried to coax it into place.

I measured those damn windows 5 times before placing the order for storms, so this was particularly irritating. But the storm was made to order...and it was too big (thankfully). Today I called Rick at Diamond Lake Hardware and asked if there was any way he could trim down the storms (he made them)...he told me that it wasn't a problem. I just needed to bring the storm in and he'd trim it while I waited. I dropped by the hardware store 30 minutes later.

I contend that the window somehow shrunk between the time when I took the measure and tried to install the storm. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So, here are the storms installed. The top board and left vertical board still need to be fully stripped and repainted next Spring. The snow came before I could complete that job.

It's amazing how much more light comes through those windows without the old aluminum storms...and how much street sound they block. Oh, and how much warmer it is.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Damn. I bought the hook & eyes to install the storm windows last weekend. Now I can't find them. Anywhere.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

In The Nick of Time

There is nothing like a snow storm to motivate a girl to get her new upstairs wood storm windows puttied, primed and painted. They are now drying in my dining room. Oil based primer and two coats of Benjamin Moore exterior acrylic. I just need to clean up the paint edges on the glass. With any luck, I will be able to install them tomorrow.

For the record, I an not a taper when it comes to painting windows. I use an angled edge brush and don't worry about any over painting. If you don't own one of these cheap little straight edge razor holders, you need to drop everything and run out and buy one.  They make cleaning up paint on glass beyond easy. They also give the paint a nice sharp edge.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Three Faces of StuccoHouse

I'm going to do a post and run.  I have three wood storm windows in my dining room waiting for their last coat of paint.

Every now and then I go through old photos to remind myself of where I started and where I am now.

I've mentioned this before. but the stucco (and the yellow paint) on my house photos weirdly. It's the same stucco in all photos. The last photo is probably the closest to reality.

Here is my house as it stands today. The horizontal half-timber is newly stripped and painted.  The barge boards are slated as the first project next Spring. I have been slowly working my way upward. Here's a little background on the front door overhang.

Here is a photo of the house after I had been here a year. The white is all aluminum trim nailed over the original wood. I have to say, the house looks a whole lot better in this picture than it did in real life. Although. this photo has me motivated to pick up some fir tops again for the front flower box this winter.

And here is a photo of my house shortly before I bought it. Note the fine wood lattice front steps.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Another [Three] Bite The Dust

Two weeks ago in a phase where I thought winter would never come, I brazenly took down the decrepit aluminum storm windows from my three upstairs dormer windows. If you have followed my blog for a while, you know I have done this before (and apparently not learned) and now it's a mad race to get wood storm windows made, glass cut, storm primed, glass puttied in place, putty cured and the whole shebang painted and installed before things turn really cold here in Minnesota.

At this point, I have the wood storms (courtesy of Diamond Lake Hardware). I have them primed and one side painted. I put down a bead of silicone and then put in the glass and the little metal glazing push points hold it in place. Last night I puttied the last storm.  The glazing putty jar says to leave the putty cure for 2 to 3 weeks.  Two of the storms might get to 2 weeks (I puttied them early). We'll see about the third. I also ran out last night and picked up three sets of hook/eye to hold them in place until I decide if I want exterior brackets. I just may beat the snow.

I have also simultaneously been stripping the exterior wood on the dormers.  I have 75% of it down to bare wood.  I think I'm going to prime and paint that wood today...and then leave the top board for Spring (unless this warm weather holds out for another few weeks).  It should look pretty cute with the new gray storm windows even if the top board isn't painted just yet.

And just as a's what the dormer area looked like originally.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


There has been slow progress in my kitchen.  When last we left the kitchen, I had just finished putting up the ceiling and the ceiling fixture. (see the label Kitchen below for the full ongoing saga).  This past week, I had an electrician come in and pull new wires to both walls and install my new fixtures.

He also expanded my two outlet box above the stove to a four outlet. (Does anyone have any idea where I can get a polished nickel plate with one gfi and one standard hole? I have already tried all of the usual suspects. Do I want them both gfi?)

You will have to imagine this wallpaper behind the fixtures. I'm still stripping the peach paint. Still.

For the heck of it, you can also imagine this stove installed in the kitchen.

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