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Friday, September 16, 2016

Tutorial: German "schmear" Lime Putty Stucco Red Brick Ranch Makeover

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Today I'm going to tell you about the products and process that I used to create the rustic, time-washed look on the 1950 red brick portion of the farmhouse. I'm told that it's called "German schmear" by those in "Fixer Upper" circles...of course, all of that is lost on me because I've never had cable television in my life and I've never seen a single episode.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Tutorial: How to Stain and Waterproof Cedar Wood Garage Doors

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Today, I'm sharing a quick tutorial on how to stain and waterproof cedar wood garage doors.  After I spent two weekends unsuccessfully trying to strip found out that our old garage doors were unsafe and we needed to replace them, I quickly decided on Carriage House insulated cedar wood doors.  I called the same local, family-owned garage door company that had supplied the garage doors for our last project to assist with doors for the farmhouse. The doors arrived in about eight weeks.

Monday, August 29, 2016

My Best Gift Ever: A Vintage Midwest Corn Crib

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I have to admit that when it comes to gift giving, I've got some of the most generous, creative,thoughtful friends and relatives there are.  Over the years, I've been blessed with some amazingly cool gifts but none quite as incredible as the one that I received two weeks ago: a vintage Midwest corn crib. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Farmhouse Renovation Update: Drywall and Priming!

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My new studio/home office
Renovation on the interior of the farmhouse took a GIANT step forward last week with the installation of drywall, the taping and the beginning of priming.  I can't begin to explain how different the house feels now that it has walls  .....and ceilings (or how strange it is to spend 10 minutes looking for the broom that I left in the back of a closet because I can no longer look across the entire house and say, "oh yeah, there it is" ).
The hall bathroom
As the drywall was going in, I also took the time to install soundproofing (rock wool insulation) in all of the interior walls of the laundry room, the bathrooms and the furnace room which makes it much more quiet in the house.

Arched masonry wall with reclaimed scaffolding plank shelves
In a related note, it also makes it so that I spend a fair amount of time saying "where are you?" and "hello?" when I can tell that there's someone in the house but can't really hear where they are or see them (see "we have walls" above). Part of this may also be attributed to age but we're not discussing that so let's just stick with "the soundproofing is really great"  and move on.

Also last week, I finally ordered a fireplace insert which should be here this week.  I also gave up and ordered new garage doors after spending four days with chemical stripper and power tools and getting about 1/4 of the first door done. At that rate, it would be winter here in the Midwest before I finished.  I also had someone out to look at the springs and tracks and was told that they were not in good shape and would likely need to be replaced soon and that soon would probably mean sometime just after we finished installing the new siding and the drywall in the garage. He also mentioned the words "serious injury" so I decided that it was probably a good idea to replace them.
Guest Bedroom
Master Bedroom (with the old corner cabinet from the kitchen that still doesn't have a home)

On the exterior, we had a couple of nice cool days this weekend so I also got more of the lime stucco applied to the brick. I haven't forgotten about the tutorial. I just ran out of stucco (and daylight)...stay tuned.
Master Bathroom Extra Deep Built in Medicine Cabinets

Master Walk in Closet
Front door slabs and frame
 Lastly, the front door frame was installed this week which will allow the sill to be put into place. You're probably looking at this photo and thinking "Wow, I wouldn't have chosen that front door." Don't worry, I wouldn't have either. I had the door frame shipped with temporary slabs instead of the beautiful glass and alder doors because I don't want anything to happen to them during the remainder of the construction...a lesson that I learned from our last project when a trim carpenter ran into the door with a big piece of wood and took a gash out of it that was repaired but never looked the same.

We're still working on final grading, gutters and the last of the trim detail (shutters, a barn door, beams and posts on the porches) but that should happen the mean time, I've started doing a little planting and the gravel for the walkways is being put in.

Television opening in the hearth room
On the interior, this week, the primer will be completed, the fireplace is being installed and  the wood for the flooring will be brought into the house to become acclimated so that it doesn't expand and shrink after it's installed. I'm ordering the interior doors and the trim so that it will be here in a couple of weeks when we're ready for it.

Thanks so much for being a part of this journey!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Farmhouse Renovation Update and Being Authentic

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This month marks the second half of 2016. Since there are only six months left in this year, I decided to take a look back at my goals for 2016 and to take another look at my word for the year, "authentic". July also marks the third anniversary of our purchase of  the red brick ranch that is slowly becoming our bespoke farmhouse.  In honor of those things, I thought that I'd share a little "before/during" comparison of some of the initial shots that I took on the day that we officially took possession of the farmhouse and fill you in on what's been going on at our renovation.