Monday, January 31, 2011

Well I left my camera at work, see.....

Seriously - I totally did.

And I've been a little busy with stripping wallpaper and trying to keep the house in some sort of order during the stair demolition/construction and snowy days and groundbreakings and keeping my friends kids for the weekend.

Not that any of that would have stopped me from blogging - except that I left my camera work. And I have TONS of pictures on there that need to be posted HERE.

Which I will do - soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

This is what we do on a random Sunday…..

I’ve always wanted to open up our stairway wall in the foyer. It just seemed a little too dark.

Convincing my husband to do it was another story.

(Enter the new golf clubs…..)

This is how it looked when standing in the dining room, looking through the foyer to what will be my sitting room (and next project).

Brian had already removed the trim by the time I thought to grab my camera.



This was the view from the sitting room. The sitting room used to be the dining room and the dining room used to be the formal living room. The sitting room is smaller and since I usually have 10 to 15 for dinner when entertaining and we get more use out of an actual dining room, we switched the rooms soon after buying the house.


The sitting room (old dining room) has just been an extra room, a pass through, if you will.


I want to redo the room and put in my grams old couch and make it a room for me to curl up with a good book and be left alone (wishful thinking) but before I could do that, I wanted the wall down.


There was electric in the wall, which would prove to be a bit more challenging than we had anticipated, since the wires were run both up AND down and ran right through the header.


Brian and I took the wall down in less than an hour. That was the easy part. And it was fun too – I love me some demolition.



And now he’s trying to figure out how to deal with the electric. After throwing several breakers, and thinking we had the current turned off to the light switches and thermostat, Brian realized the hard way that one light switch was still hot.

I realized it when I heard a loud

“OUCH! M&^%(&*^% F(&%$^)(!!!”

The breaker boxes weren’t marked clearly. So we shut down the power in the whole house.


I should note that it was 20 degrees outside and our heat was off.

By 3 o’clock it was COLD.


While he tried to figured out what to do with the electric
(which entailed a lot of moaning and cursing about how the HE!! he was supposed to get those F*&^%#&% wires through the holes in the header and out and run back down and install a F*&^%#&% Junction Box and DAMMIT SHIT HELL!) I calmly suggested calling my dad.

Dad suggested the if it was his house he would run the wires and junction box himself.

But he wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it in someone else’s house.

More cursing ensued.

I calmly suggested calling an electrician.

Brian quickly agreed.

Sometimes you just have know when to call in a professional.

And when it comes to electric and plumbing, I’m willing to pay.


The wall is down! We were able to save all the trim and several perfectly good 2x4’s, which will come in handy when we decide what to do with the stairs.


Notice the wires hanging through a 2x4 which is suspended in mid-air.


Brian was able to get the wires through that 2x4. It’s the header in the ceiling which caused the major issue.


Monday morning at 8:30 the electrician showed up. The company is one of Brian's customers at work, so they came right out (this is one of those “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” times).

After SIX hours, a junction box was installed in my bedroom and the switches were moved.


Here’s what it looks like now from the sitting room into the foyer and dining room.


Dining room to sitting room.


I’m amazed at how much BIGGER it makes everything look.


It’s so open and bright….


So, just recap, we went from this:


To this….



And from this:


To this:



Next up?
Figuring out what to do with the stairs. I’ll explain next time.

I have drywall dust to clean up.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A little filler…..

While I wait until I have some good light for pictures, I thought I’d tell you what we’ve been up to and give you a little look at the room where the magic happens…

Dude – I’m talking about the workshop.

It’s actually our basement and serves many purposes. Let’s take a look, shall we?

OK then.

First up, we have Brian’s “golf” section, where he uses his new clubs on a nightly basis to practice his putting.


This section also serves as our workout section, where we get PUMPED. UP.


Well, it’s where we do our P90X (hence the TV).


(Ask me how many times I’ve run into that pole while working out)

Storage shelves which are used for, well, storage.


What, doesn’t everyone have a stack of nearly 20 chairs in their basement, which also serve a storage place for laundry detergent and toilet paper?


And no, I have no idea how I managed to collect so many chairs.

Oh look! There’s my old cedar chest! I wondered what happened to that…..


All kinds of treasures can be found down here….


What’s that, you ask?


That’s my Grams very old love seat.

It’s currently being used as a holder for all of the outdoor cushions and extra blankets until such time as I get the sitting room complete and have the time to refinish and recover it.

Dear God, I have a lot of crap.

To prove that point, here are the leaves to the lake house table.

All SIX of them. All hand made.


And no, I won’t be refinishing them. That’s what tablecloths are for.

And next to the storage shelves and in front of the 250 table leaves, are two 15 pane wooden doors I salvaged from my office when we tore it down. The building dated back to the 1920’s and the doors were original.


I know what I’m using them for, we just aren’t ready for them yet.
So, they’ll sit down here until it’s time. *sigh*

Here’s best part – Paint and Power Tools – Yee Haw!!!


Looking from the other side of the room…..


And what would a shop be without an old stereo (circa 1988), a toy Camaro and a little something to keep you from getting parched?


We had a busy weekend and I’m home with the girls tomorrow and Tuesday (woo hoo!) so I’ll give you a little peek at what we’ve been up to soon.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And the wall came tumbling down.....

Guess what we're getting ready to do :)

A project that's been on my "wishlist" for quite a while.

Brian finally gave me a start date of Sunday.

And his agreement to get a move on with this project only cost me a new set of golf clubs for his birthday.

So, why aren't we starting on Saturday, you ask?

Well, because on Saturday the Ravens (GO PURPLE) are playing the Steelers (BOO) in the playoffs and NOTHING is going to interrupt THAT game.

Depending on how the game ends, I may be able to convince Brian that wielding a sledgehammer would be a great way to work out his aggression Saturday evening.....

And the lake house table is almost finished!!

It's puuuuuuur-dy.....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The table from the lake house

Long ago, the Hopkins family had a lake house on Lake Oscawana, New York. The house was old, very primitive, had a ton of character and was located right on the lake. I don’t know too much of the history of the house but I do know that my great grandfather was at one time the Mayor of Peekskill and the family all lived there. The house was originally purchased/built by my great-grandfather as a vacation home for his family.

My grandparents, Gram and Poppy Hoppy (Hopkins) eventually became the main caretakers of the lake house as the family eventually scattered up and down the east coast. Every summer, from May until September, they’d live up there. Eventually it got to be too much for them as they got older and none of their kids wanted to take over the house because it was too far, and lets face it, an 80+ year old lake house located five + hours from home in area that was virtually impassable through the winter wasn’t something that people with young families were willing to take on.

The house was sold. The furniture was scattered amongst the family and that was the end of the lake house.

Had I been the age I am now, I’d have taken the house myself. Sadly, I was but a na├»ve 20 year old when this all went down and unfortunately, I never appreciated the lake house for what it was until I got older and had a family of my own.

When my Poppy died and my Grams got too sick to care for herself, her house was sold and the furnishings given to the kids and, in my case - being more than 10 years older than my cousins, their granddaughter.

I chose the old lake house table.


The table is OLD. No one can really tell me too much about it, other than it's been around FOR-EV-ER and was refinished many, many times. My poppy was a very talented furniture maker but it doesn’t appear that this was his handiwork.

The table is square (which I LOVE) and opens up to seat 10 easily. This table has been in my kitchen since 2001.

And it will remain in my kitchen for the duration. It reminds me of the lake house and of my Grams and Poppy.


The poor thing has seen better days.


The wood working is fairly detailed.


The finish on the top has virtually worn itself off and the table creaks and moans.


I like the white but with two kids eating at that table on a daily basis it looked dingy and dirty and I wanted something a little easier to take care of.


We took the table apart and Brian tightened all the joints.



The table is on wheels and when we removed the wheels I discovered that the wheels are not plastic, as I expected, but rather ceramic. I have no idea if that can help me date the table or not, but I don’t really see ceramic wheels on furniture made today.


They’re well made and in great shape, so they’ll be cleaned up and put back on the legs where they belong.


The table has obviously been repaired many times and was in desperate need of tightening up.


Brian had to put some more screws in to tighten everything up.



Here’s the extensions for the leaves.


I love this part of the table. It’s definitely not how tables are made nowadays!


The table is down in the workshop and I’m scraping, sanding, priming, painting and staining.

Hopefully I’ll be able to bring it back to its former glory so it can serve our family for years to come – Stay tuned!!