And the changes continue – with some stair stuff

As the renovation at MisAdventures continues and the sawdust making elements diminish, I have to entertain myself by continually moving stuff around. Mind you, the kitchen is still not in – I made some last minute revisions just this week and changed out the range venting. The cabinet makers probably are not used to an old man with OCD- but these are easy going Amish folk who seem amused by my attention to detail and constant ‘what if’s”.

So on we march – one step forward, two steps back.

You may recall I ended up at the close of my last post with this arrangement. Well,..

I’ve noodled this arrangement as of today – but no guarantee it won’t change.

This was my original selection for the living room – I was happy with this.

Until I came home and this subtle hint was waiting for me. The artist is the same, so I guess I can take the hint. The original selection is a local hardware store, the new oil painting is a Cathedral in Sienna, Italy. I think it’s a girl thing – I’ll find a place for my hardware store somewhere.

Other changes – This lamp in my wife’s office was nice, but she wanted something with a little more style. OK.

This is what happens when you leave an old electrical box in the plaster ceiling – not a problem unless your wife selects a light that’s not compatible.

Three hours later, the new box is in – with plaster ceiling intact. The things we do for love – and to stay out of the dog house.

And 20 minutes later her new light illuminates her makeshift bed sheet curtains. One project at a time dear.

And the lamp from her office makes it’s way upstairs the the master bathroom. Will it stay? Hard to tell.

Hercules the plant stand also made a move from the sunroom up here as well. I think this is where he’ll stay.

Enough of musical chairs, let’s get back to building something.

I decided to use stepped oak rails to bring the iron panels up closer to code. The rails were assembled and screwed to the floors. The rails were drilled and lag bolts were used to attach to the oak. The bolts were rust treated to match the rail finish.

As usual, I put the piece in place to figure out what to do next. Freestyle design takes a little bit of trial and error.

Vertical Oak rails were added to the back and long lag bolts attach the railing into the wall studs.

I had built a pair of pine square columns, but decided these oak newel posts off the shelf were a much better design. I like the scale and keeps the railing compact.

The posts are marked and a newel post bolt is used to secure the post to the floor. The bolts are screwed at an angle into the floor joists below.

The posts are drilled and fastened to the floor.

I had some railings from the old house that I will use for the caps. The top rail height is now fully compliant to modern building codes.

I’ll use an oak base rabbeted on both sides to fit the top of the panel and also to hold the top rail in place. The newel post is scribed and cut to fit the cap to the post.

Clamps hold everything in place until the design is finalized. Still a long way to go…

Come along – pretty things to come.

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July Updates – the Art Edition

Since I’ve been trying to increase my posting frequency, I thought I’d pop in this Saturday with a July-ish update. This is a strictly art roulette edition, with a time frame from Mid-June to present. It’s more of a game of musical chairs with pictures, so if you’re looking for a DIY tip or special instructables – this post isn’t it.  We all have that one (or two or more) things we obsess over that other people just don’t understand. Art and antiques are mine.

But I have an excuse – this is what I do for a living – I look art art and doodads – buy art and doodads – and sell art and doodads. It’s my occupation, my interests and passion as well. So please  forgive my preoccupation and I’ll get back to making sawdust in the next post.

Back in April I posted this photo of a painting that I thought would be displayed in this spot along with my old wooden horse. I actually had this painting in mind when I designed this sunroom, with the wall large enough to hold this 4’X5′ painting. But as usual, after a couple days it was time to change things around.

The next idea was to make this a nature theme. So I brought in a large landscape and a couple more that my wife liked.

Here, clearly, I’m making progress. I’ve found some more paintings in storage and decided this combination would be a possibility.

But then I pulled this large oil by Robert Kingsley from storage and my wife said that’s the one she wants displayed. OK. Now something I just noticed.that the TV monitor visible just above this painting is showing the exact same image during a slide show. Coincidence?

And over in the corner was this Chinese Altar Table from the 1880’s. That might as well come home too. Time to make some more art adjustments.

OK – now they’re home. And the gymnastics begin. The painting is nearly 5X6 feet and wall anchors need to hold it up there – that I will move 3 times before I’m done.

I then added some little landscapes by artist Jeffery Little – so they were really Little Landscapes. But the arrangement looked a little uninteresting.

So to give my mind a little rest, I thought I’d work on the art in the living room. The sunroom painting was moved in here, along with a couple other single women paintings.

On another wall in the living room I added these two oil portraits of Indiana artist Kieth Klein’s daughters. Then promptly removed them to use upstairs.

And put these two paintings in their place. But I have decided the girls should stay with the girls so I’ll revert to my previous image. So you see how this art roulette goes? Most folks would hang something on the wall and call it a day, but not yours truly.

So I wrangled these big oil paintings into place and I’m OK with the placement. But now that painting over the fireplace seems out of place. Time to dig into the storage bins – some of these pieces have not seen the light of day for 30 years.

With a little more digging and a lot of re hanging I’ve got this arrangement I’m fairly happy with. A mixture of artists and mediums and subject matter. I’ll try to finish the pile of stair treads under the window sometime soon. And now I am contemplating painting this wall the color of the sample above the Altar table to give the art a little depth in presentation. So you see, this is the kind of tom-foolery that consumes my days.

Moving things around also allows the chance to see things in a new light. I’ve owned this old altar table for decades and never noticed the old red paint and gold leaf still visible when the sun illuminates it in the late afternoon. This makes me happy. Art is my life and livelihood, so I guess in some ways it’s a good thing.

Enjoy something beautiful today.

Fireplace Freestyle Fiddling #2 Design Fail

First I want to thank you for your kind comments – it’s encouraging to hear from some of you who follow along this 6 + year renovation – my,  you sure have long attention spans.

Remember that anyone can do what I do – it’s not difficult if you take your time and be precise in measurement and cutting – or build in some wiggle room in the design like I have on this project. If I hadn’t put in the daddo (groove) in the back of the legs on this fireplace but instead built it on a flat surface – it just would not have worked.  One other thing – be prepared to make changes in the design – especially if you have no clue as to what you plan to do –

See Below

So we left of here.

6-start-of-fireplace-designThe two side legs (pilasters) are removable and the crosspiece is loose. I’ve built small square boxes attached to the front of the pilasters – now we start to figure out our design.

2-fp-designFail # 1 – This seemed like a good idea on paper, but when I glued these on the fireplace I knew I made a mistake. Waffles anyone? I was trying to tie in the design of the cabinet doors.

3-fp-designFail #2 – OK, so maybe if I just move the center element to make a central rectangle and use a simple molding under the mantle.  Nope.

4-fp-designFail #3 – The fluted pilasters are the original pieces that will go on the cabinet frame. So maybe we could make a wider version to fit the pilaster. Still trying to salvage my waffle, I thought maybe I could place a center square of some kind of design. Not feeling it.

5-fp-designSemi Fail #4 – How about making the waffle go away and add a square design element? The flat fluting has got to go away. This thing looks too square.

6-fp-designFail #5 – So let’s put a rounder element in the mix. I had a couple of stair balusters, so why not add these. It will soften the look of all the sharp corners. No, no, no.

7-fp-designGetting warmer – Let’s just get back to basics. I cut some cardboard and mocked up the design elements – we’ll figure out what they are later. I want three elements to mirror the three Ginkgo leaves in the stained glass windows. Also in the photo I’m in the process of adding rock wool insulation up the chimney. This high-heat insulation will help keep the cold out. This is a direct vent fireplace, so the two silver pipes are for venting.

8-fireplace-design-1Fail #6 – My first thought was to use some type of flower to to tie in the leaf theme of the windows. I found a great wood shop out in Oregon that makes stock carvings that I thought I could incorporate. The company is Heartwood Carvings. This was nice, but too far from the arching design the Ginkgo leaves have.

9-fireplace-design-2Fail #7 – We’re getting closer. The palmetto flower had sort of the design I wanted, but I really liked the central scallop shell design.

10-fireplace-final-designI’m tired, my head hurts – let’s just go with this. I found matching scallop shells in a square block and thought that they mirrored the Ginkgo leaf design. My wife was from an island and she eats scallops – so why not?

11-wood-carvingsSo I put in my order and in a few days I got these. Two carved pilasters 4″ X 36″ – Two 5″ square corner blocks and a 5″ X 12″ center block.

12-wood-pilastersTime to get busy and build this thing.

More to come – stick around.