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!