Who Needs Drywall When You Have Americana Wallpaper?

On Monday I showed you the beautiful, spectacular, outside of the house including the most wonderful window that has ever been installed. Today we move to the inside. These photos are some of the last “pre-demo” photos we have, but I use “pre-demo” loosely. Very, very loosely. Truth is, these were post early demo, but long before this last weekend when family came down and shit got real.

First up, the bathroom. These photos are during the initial deconstruction of the big items, so we could tear it all out.

House Renovation June 2015-41House Renovation June 2015-47Here’s the bathroom into the start of demo, as well as the gaping old chimney hole that was behind the medicine cabinet.

House Renovation June 2015-51House Renovation June 2015-38House Renovation June 2015-37House Renovation June 2015-55Moving on from the bathroom is my brother-in-law’s old bedroom, and what will be the new bathroom. This is the room we put a new window in, as shown on Monday’s post.

House Renovation June 2015-58House Renovation June 2015-60The closet is going to be expanded and will house the washer and dryer.

Next up is the first office, and going to be new guest room (I think). We were going to use the downstairs bedroom in the addition as the guest room, but I’d really prefer to work in that bright beautiful room the vast majority of the time. It’s currently set up as our makeshift office/pantry while the kitchen is torn out, but I think I’d like it to stay an office. 

This room however has seen the most transformation of the years. It first was a lavender nursery (before we moved in), and then it stayed that color for a long time as a guest room, before it became my office/soap room. Below are a few before/afters of when it was my office versus what it looks like now. There was an intermediary step of it being a little more torn apart because we had moved the office, and had to put a new window in. This is pretty clear though on the differences over time.

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Here are more shots from similar angles.

DSC_0732-01House Renovation June 2015-63DSC_0745-01House Renovation June 2015-64DSC_0730-01House Renovation June 2015-61Second to last is “the green room” which has been everything from an office, to a makeshift bedroom while we built the addition a few years ago, to a storage / soap room.

House Renovation June 2015-67House Renovation June 2015-69House Renovation June 2015-70This final photo leads us into the main part of the house, which has seen a crazy huge change. Let’s just soak this in, because my upcoming posts will look shockingly different.

House Renovation June 2015-73House Renovation June 2015-71With that I leave you in bewilderment, and knowing that yes, I definitely made sure to keep a piece of that fantastic americana wallpaper. Like I wasn’t going to put a swatch of that up framed in the completed renovation? Yeah. Right.

Heather

Eight Years and Two Doors

As of this blog post, the only way to tell where our kitchen used to be is because the sink and fridge are still hooked up. That’s right – it’s down to the studs. We need to back it up a quick notch though, since I haven’t posted any of the “before”. As of a few weeks ago this is what the outside of the house looked like.

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You’ll notice two side-by-side doors, one new window on the far right, Andy in the process of installing a window on the left, and a terrifying heap of what the hell in the middle. Let’s walk through these before we get to the inside. Well, except for the window on the far right. We won’t discuss that one because it’s not gross, it was straight forward, and I can’t find any pictures. I may not have even taken them. Here’s me. Here’s the rails. I’m off them.

A crazy freak malfunction in a pneumatic nailer and one 16 penny nail straight through Andy’s thumb (I will save you the photos, but he missed all bone/nail/nerves), we have a new door to what will become the mudroom. In fact, we have two functioning doors side-by-side. Eventually the old door will become a wall with a fridge in front of it, but for now it’s like a fun house guessing game for the dogs of which door I’m going to let them out of in the morning.

House Renovation June 2015-4 House Renovation June 2015-5

If this didn’t look messy enough, let’s move on.

On the far left is the room that will become the new bathroom. This room, as you can see, also needed a new window pretty badly. It’s not that I hated the oddly long sliding basement windows, but I hated the oddly long sliding basement windows. Not only was the windows coming out, because – gross, it was coming out so we could fit the new layout of the bathroom. House Renovation June 2015-25

House Renovation June 2015-28

House Renovation June 2015-34Tada! That one wasn’t too bad.

The old bathroom window was the kicker. Get your heave bucket situated firmly in front of you. At no point move it.

House Renovation June 2015-8This is the bathroom window from the inside. What a window, right? Well, it wasn’t ever put in properly. Shocking, I know. It was more of a hack in the side of the house. There’s nothing better in this world than a permanent closed window, which was installed improperly, in the room that gets tons of moisture.

House Renovation June 2015-10Oh yeah, that’s mildew and rot. Let’s go closer.

House Renovation June 2015-12Have you lost your dinner yet? No? Let’s try again.

House Renovation June 2015-13Still No? One more.

House Renovation June 2015-15FOUND ALL MY BOBBY PINS! Also, I just found your dinner spewed on the floor. You’d spew more if you could have smelled it.

Take it in, take it in.

House Renovation June 2015-18I think that’s all I’m going to leave you with now. I’ll be back with another set of “before” images of the house on Wednesday morning so I can try to get everyone up to speed pretty quickly.

Be safe, strong, and go empty your heave bucket.

Heather

DIY Simple Garden Trellises

Every year when we stake up our beans and tomatoes we use a simple piece of scrap wood and tie it on with cotton twine. This year I decided to shuck tradition and go for the all natural approach using sticks and fallen branches in the woods mixed with some twine. I decided I wanted to try two different types of trellises, a simple three leg one and a stand up one. I’m curious to see which one holds up better over time, and which one the peas prefer to crawl up. Eventually I would like to make a sapwood arbor which my peas can grow over, while my lettuce and basil grows under so they can have some relief from scorching sun and perhaps last longer. The only tools I needed were a small handsaw, large branch pruners (but I think the saw alone would be fine) and some scissors to cut your string/twine.

For all the wood below, give it a once over so you don’t bring diseased wood into your garden. Also, enjoy watching haying, but don’t get too close lest you get recruited to drive the tractor. Normally you wouldn’t care but you’re dying to try and make these trellises and nothing is going to stop you. Except the farmer, because you already feel like you’re shucking a neighborly responsibility. Sorry Steve.

People I know tend to refer to me as a little crunchy, which makes me laugh because I consider myself a homesteader but not particularly some super earthy hippie throwback. There’s nothing wrong with it, I just don’t see myself that way. While doing this project I looked down and realized I had just traipsed through the woods, picked up (or sawed off) branches and was sitting in the grass in a long maxi dress with a woven basket filled with twine. Then I remembered I make soap and a host of other cleaning products, I like showering every other day unless it’s really hot out or I have to, I prefer to be barefoot, I rarely if ever wear makeup and my favorite clothes in the world are either maxi dresses or chunky sweaters. Maybe I am a little crunchy. Country girl with a soft spot for a good pair of heels and a large makeup case she rarely uses but knows how to. I think that sounds good.

On this particular day though there was really no second guessing my crunch-level, and I was pretty much okay with it. Nothing wrong with a little creativity, work and savings. Oh, and did I mention I didn’t have to use the power tools at all to split the scrap wood into stakes? Yeah, I think that had a lot to do with it too.

Stand Up “Fence” Trellis

This was similar to fence building, in the sense you’ll need to do it in sections. Also, you may need to add some support to the lower legs because it ends up a little unsturdy. We’ll see how it holds up as the peas crawl but for now it’s good and hasn’t fallen down.

  1. Find two lengths of branch, rather straight but they don’t need to be perfect, which will act as your sides to the trellis.
  2. Figure out how much width you need and get smaller branches that will act as the climbing pieces for your beans. Mine were a little small but just remember they need to support the weight of the plant so nothing flimsy. Strip them of their branches and cut to width. You’ll want between 1-2″ at a minimum of overhang on either side so you can tie them up. 
  3. Once you have everything lined up, cut a very long piece of twine and slowly start wrapping it. You may need to sturdy the first piece between your legs. Make sure your outer piece on the first side doesn’t get twisted so it won’t stand up straight, especially if your side pieces were slightly curved like mine. My in-between branches would only fit if I had them turned inward, so I had to make sure to keep them that way. To tie them on you’ll want to wrap once and do a tight knot while leaving a 3-4 inch tail on the starting side. Wrap again the opposite direction like an “X” and knot again. Now keep wrapping over, around, under, side to side until it feels tight. It might not look pretty, but it should be rather secure. Make sure to keep your twine very tight while wrapping.
  4. Continue this method for all of your branches until they are secure.
  5. To place in the garden, firmly press where you would like it to go and then remove and pre-dig the holes for the posts to go in. Put the trellis posts in place and firmly pack the soil in around the posts. Jiggle the posts a little and then pack the dirt in again. You want this tight. If it’s still too wiggly, you can tie two sticks onto the bottom to make a brace. Just tie them on like the other pieces.

When you’re done, the trellis will look something like this.

Tripod Trellis

This trellis is significantly easier to do, so I won’t even break out the numbered bullet points. Go find three sizeable branches. Cut them to similar lengths. Place them where you want them in the garden and lean the tops together until it feels steady, tie them together with twine. Make sure to weave in and out of each branch instead of just around all three. This will increase the strength of it and keep it from falling apart. For me, this version was extremely steady and I could easily pick it up to move it without any digging. I just placed it over my peas, helped them get started up it and moved on.

 

The winner as of today: The tripod trellis. Much sturdier, no holes, easily moveable, and easier to assemble. I think the other one will be easier to harvest from though, but that still doesn’t negate how good I think the tripod trellis will turn out. If my decision changes I’ll let you know.

As a side project, I used some left over cuts I had to stake up my tomatoes. Nothing fancy, just pounded the stakes into the ground and then used some pieces of scrap fabric I had laying around to tie them up. Easy Peasey. Just a few more weeks and those green tomatoes will be big enough to pick. Mmm.

I really like the rustic and utilitarian nature of the trellises. I also love that they were free, very simple to pretty simple in difficulty, and involved no power tools. Plus, they make my garden look a little nicer. Win, win and win.

xo,

Heather

P.S. There’s another photo from this day, of a sneaky little bugger with yellow fur, over on my Instagram page. You can follow me at username: likeacupoftea or like the Like A Cup of Tea facebook page and click on the “Instagram” tab.