Glenlochan -The Beginning

Glenlochan -The Beginning
Glenlochan - The Beginning

Glenlochan Today

Glenlochan Today
Glenlochan Today

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Purposeful Re-Purposing

During the demolition phase of Glenlochan, we saved a lot of materials we found in the house, more than we could ever use even across other house projects.  We just couldn't dispose of such cool old stuff in the dumpster and at first, I couldn't part with it at all (Rob doesn't tend to have the same sentimentality as I do on this front).  However, reason had to prevail at some point - we cannot continue to rent three storage lockers forever and, financially, it would be cheaper to source what we need, when we need it, rather than paying so much each month to store unused items.  The largest amount of materials we had salvaged was wood - we had a huge pile of old beams and awesome wood.  After selecting a few choice pieces for known upcoming projects, we were finally willing to give the rest to good homes.  We also had a huge selection of old interior doors and windows, most with the original glass and hardware, and porch rails.  Quite a find for someone, but not us, unfortunately.  We selected a few choice windows for some upcoming interior decorating projects, but the rest were put on Craig's list in search of a good home.  

Fortunately, there are a lot of like-minded people out there (some are old friends, others new) and we were quickly able to "adopt out" and sell the items we can't use.  At the end of the day, even the boards that weren't in great shape and had some termite damage all found good homes after their strategic placement in the front yard with the addition of a "free boards" sign. 

I've asked those who ended up with Glenlochan items to send pictures of their re-purposing projects, and I have a few to date.  First up, the beautiful staging of my favorite old door from Glenlochan.

Clearly this awesome nook requires an eye for design and decorating, definitely beyond my talents, but I'm so very happy to see such a cool re-purposing that others will enjoy.

And, from the old wood and beams from the house, good friends of ours created a beautiful setting in their back yard, complete with an outdoor pizza oven (can't wait for the first tasting):

So many cool re-purposing projects that can be undertaken, so little time.  Love it all!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Break for Apple Head Dolls

Really, we've taken a break from renovation for the holidays and due to guests coming to stay, not apple head dolls.  We just didn't think it would be so nice to make our guests sleep among demolition, paint fumes and tools, so instead they get to sleep with unfinished woodwork and mismatched furniture. Oh well. 

No renovation doesn't mean no creativity, however, and this year the project for me was apple head dolls.  I started this project in early November with six nice big green apples.  First I peeled them, next inserted a stick (bamboo skewers work great for this) for drying, and then carefully carved in a face on each.  A sculptor I am not, but that's the beauty of the drying process - it turns each badly carved face into a wonderful work of art - no matter how untalented one (me) is.  A quick dip in lemon juice for each to limit discoloration and then I inserted them into an egg carton I had anchored in a box to keep them upright.

Day one after carving:

The drying progression over about a month turns the juicy carved apple into a shriveled little head. 

Each one has its own distinct personality.  I'm still working out the final dressing up for four of them, but here's the first two, decorated in their holiday finery:

Far from perfect, but so fun.  Happy Holiday prep to everyone.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Old Friends

I was dreading the Thanksgiving weekend - not the holiday itself, I love the cooking, and eating, and hosting family - but all the work that would follow.  After the holiday, since we had a long weekend in Virginia, I had an equally long to-do list that included (in addition to a LOT of cleaning) gathering from various storage locations all of the holiday decorations, sorting, and putting them up at Glenlochan for the first time.  In theory that might sound fun, but since none of these boxes had been opened in 4 years and they had been in various storage places to varying degrees of temperatures for those said 4 years, it was a monumental chore to simply find them all, let alone, open sort, and then actually decorate.  I was tired before I started.  And, this was our last weekend in VA before the holidays, so it had to be complete when we walked out the door to go back to Philly.

Thanksgiving itself, as hoped, was absolutely wonderful.  We had a great dinner (most said, "best turkey ever" - thanks Josh!!) and it was small and manageable and very fun and restful.  That night, Rob and I headed to Richmond for an antiques auction (more on that later, but it might be a new Thanksgiving tradition!).  The next day, the fun began.

To my surprise, it actually WAS fun.  There were a few unpleasant surprises - the artificial tree that smelled pretty rank due to non-climate controlled storage conditions, the favorite lights that no longer worked - but overall, most everything else came through with flying colors and it was like greeting many old friends.  The fake and smelly tree was quickly disposed of - it had served our family well for over 10 years - and this year Glenlochan will boast a fresh tree, hand cut when we arrive back in VA.  Winding the new garland inside and out took a while:

I had forgotten how much I missed my Santas, truly wonderful old friends. 

Small trees are up - these did not smell and the lights still worked (but the shot leave much to be desired, very blurry)!

I am really looking forward to decorating the tree when we return.  There are several boxes of unopened ornaments, many handcrafted by the boys and others, and I cannot wait to greet those old friends, too.  Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gimme Three Steps

Nope, I wasn't cutting the rug, but rather cleaning it.  Actually, them.  My quest to cover the floors at Glenlochan with as many of the rugs that came with the house as possible continued through the fall.  As mentioned in the original rug post, I would not bring a rug into the house unless it was clean enough and smelled good enough that I was willing to stick my nose in the fibers.  I've continued with my unconventional but effective cleanings and, over the months, I've now cleaned by hand every rug that I think will survive my heavy handed methods.  One large rug was too damaged to save and several appear to be antiques that we will be taking to a professional for assessment and cleaning.  This is the one that started it all.

I then moved on to the aqua floral rug that turned out to be a perfect match for our bedroom.

The blue floral looks great in the downstairs blue bedroom and cleaned up so nicely.

And, most recently, the brown rug currently adorning the game room in front of the fireplace, seen here in drying mode.

Not pictured is the green rug from our last house that also needed a good scrubbing after a few years in storage.  Each one required a lot of elbow grease, but they all look good and, most importantly, are completely clean and odor-free.  Baby steps towards getting this house fully furnished and decorated. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Done Dick'en with the Dock

Check, check, check - the dock project is done.  It was a long time coming and, despite some real reservations midday through the project, worth the wait.  The siding is spectacular - and totally reinforced our view that it had to be board and batten siding.  The horizontal thin stuff just wasn't going to give it the right feel, especially when the original had been vertical.

Some of the delay had to do with locating just the right color of siding.  Our first choice matched the color of Glenlochan unbelievably perfectly.  Too perfectly, apparently - the color had been discontinued.  And no, there wasn't enough left in stock, not even hobbling together everything available across the nation.  Plan B involved matching the original color of the boathouse which, as you may recall, looked like this:

That seemed like a quick trip to the supply store...not.  Barn red is not an easy color to find in board and batten siding.  The first samples were more rust than red, not at all true to the original and, in my humble view, not very attractive.  Finally, we found the Georgia Pacific "Hampton Red" board and batten siding.  Of course it was a "premium" color.  Of course it was special order.  Of course it took a while to arrive.  Again - worth the wait.  Here's the install:

 The interior of the boathouse (note the fall colors starting on the opposite shore).  We elected to widen the slip we'd be using for a boat and create a kayak launch/wave runner slip on the other side.

 The step-down for launching the kayaks:
The dock looking back to shore, now complete with steps:
And, the finished boathouse and dock:
The next project will be to run a water supply and electric down to the boathouse.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Philly Post: No More Plywood Windows!

The last 6 weeks have been a whirlwind of progress in Philly.  At the beginning of summer, I tackled sanding and painting the Philly front porch columns and door trim, which were sadly peeling and worn (and the eagle had to go).


 Once I had them looking good, it was a waiting game for the windows to arrive in VA and then to get them down to Philly.

We ended up transporting the windows a few at a time in the car while Rob has painstakingly replaced them over the past two months.  We used windows similar to what we used in VA - Anderson windows - but selected Sandtone trim on the outside and unfinished wood on the inside (which will remain unfinished until we tackle the inside trim renovation, one room at a time).  Here's a few shots of the progress.  Starting point:

 Removal of the old awful and dangerous aluminum replacement windows (we used new construction windows, not replacement, so all the framing had to be replaced, as well):

Here's one installed new window with some trim installed - it was amazing how much clearer the glass is.  It's almost as if there is no window at all - we love them!  I did not love the three tiers of scaffolding that was necessary for Rob to get at the upper windows.  Thankfully, he's a sure-footed climber (I am not!).

 Matching up the Sandtone trim and adding a few decorative scrolls for curb appeal:

 Installation of the green shutters to match the existing front porch awning:

And the "After" finished project:


I painted the columns in the same matching Sandtone color and, eventually, more of the trim will be converted to that color.  If only the inside of the house looked as good.