Tuesday, August 13, 2013

End Of Summer Projects

Daniel and I were reflecting on how far this house has come since last year; it's pretty incredible! Last August we were finishing the pipes and wires and waiting for the drywall to go up. How far we have come in one year! We're now putting the finishing touches on our forever home.

I picked these up at a yard sale for $0.50 each. I really liked them because of the cast iron frames and the old prints they contained. For fifty cents, I thought it would be worth a try to clean them up.


I read up on how to clean up cast iron pans, and tried to apply it to the frames.
1) Took an old toothbrush and white vinegar and brushed the frame. The low acidity in the vinegar was just enough to dissolve most of the rust.
2) Used a bit of steel wool for a few of the more stubborn spots. Use sparingly, since the cast iron can be ruined by too much steel wool.

Left side untreated, right side cleaned.

3) Oven to 350 degrees. Rubbed Crisco into the frame (really? Yes. The oil treats the cast iron and prevents it from rusting again by creating a barrier between the iron and the air.)
4) Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Rub down with clean towel.

Fini. Kinda proud of myself for not
destroying these, or the oven for that matter :)

Dan and Dad have patched up our garage and fixed the mess of mud between the house and garage. 

Hard at work.

One of the garage walls was eroding thanks to some huge roots and an improper drainage system. The wall was dug out a few months ago when the rest of the drainpipes were buried, so the men set about repairs. Cement and chicken wire filled the holes, and new french drains were put in the length of the garage.

Dad filled in the space between garage and porch with gravel and placed these cement slabs on top. It's already been tested by a few days of rain, and it is a vast improvement over puddles and three inches of mud! Now that this is done, we can work on the front yard a bit. We need to remove a stump and create a walkway from the driveway to the front porch. My mom and I are working on some designs to make everything work together. 

After many months of waiting, I finally have my linen shelves! I was able to unpack three attic boxes worth of towels, sheets, bathroom stuff and blankets. I'm pleased :)

Eventually, there will be a door in front of the shelves to make it a closet, but that can wait a little while.

I'm working on sanding down some old barn wood to make some shelves for our living room. We're putting a 6 ft. shelf over the top of the television to hold surround sound speakers and some pictures and knick-knacks. Gonna try the barn wood first, and if it doesn't work we'll try something else.
There is something pretty neat about
re-purposing old wood for new projects!

Speaking of old wood, I've finished up two more doors for our upstairs.

Three coats of polyurethane seemed to do the trick pretty well, though the doors do feel a bit more rough than the other one. I should have taken more time to sand them down. The door on the right has a bit of an odd color to it, almost as if the wood was bleached. I'm hoping we can make that one the closet door, and turn the odd side inward. 

We've received the hardware that we purchased for the old doors. I'm going to save those photos until the doors go up and are fully functional, but we are really pleased with how awesome they are going to look.

Next up: hanging doors, buying countertop (finally!) and getting started with our baseboard and window trim.