Decorating · Gardening · Misc. DIY · Paint jobs · Thrifting and antiquing

Framing pics, planning, and first transplants

Woo-hoo… finally it’s March!

Not that the snow has disappeared from my yard, but it is at least in retreat.

Close to my front door, I’ve placed some shrubs in pots on top of the snow where they’re planned to go once the ground thaws:

Not shown: I have some dwarf lemon cypresses in containers waiting on my dad’s back deck (pictured last summer here) and I will put one on either side of the path right in the corner with the heathers surrounding them. They’ll eventually get to be about 6′ high ands 2′ wide.

Having it mirrored on either side is a bit more formal than the rest of the front garden will be, but I figured the house kinda needed it, and it will give some winter interest. The formality will also be masked in the summer when the perennials and annuals are blasting away in front of the heathers.

In other gardening business, I’ve been starting more seeds:

These pics were from Sunday after sowing, and already I have a bunch of shoots, especially for the cosmos.

And the veggie seeds I posted about last time are going nuts, at least most of them. In fact, I had to transplant half of them to bigger seeding trays from the Jiffy peat pellets:

What else… I impulse-bought five ranunculuses (ranunculi?):

Visually, this is as close as I can get to buying roses for a few more weeks, though one of the staff at Dinter’s tells me they’ve been potting up bare-rooted roses for the last week and usually they hold them 3 weeks before putting them out for sale, so at least it’s not too long to wait.

Other than that, I revised my planting schemes a tad:

I’ve also been debating about adding a wildlife pond in the backyard, but I think that might be a job for 2020.

Oh, and I’ve been picking up some decorations such as glazing balls and obelisks, but there’s not much point in showing those yet.

Dad’s been busy stuffing some extra insulation into the upstairs crawlspaces, swapping the hood vent over the stove, and replacing the stained piece of plywood the previous owners had under the kitchen sink with peel and stick vinyl tiles:

And there’s the matter of the wall between the back foyer and the the family room. First, some old pics from the home inspection for the before… first from the family room side:

And from the foyer side:

Now, it always looked a bit suspect and we were able to figure out that it wasn’t a supporting wall, especially as we noticed scars/patches in the hardwood floor indicating the wall had been in a couple other spots near the current location… even so, we weren’t expecting the damn thing to not even be attached to the ceiling, lol…

All there was was a 2×4 across where the ends of the other 2x4s are here and then the drywall fa├žade.

So, it was pretty easy to dismantle and move back to where that tape line is.

Looks like the family room was completely open to the foyer at one point. And it was dark blue.

The original idea had been to build the wall up to the ceiling and then make it an L to the pillar under the stairs, just leaving the small opening under the stairs where I plan to put a dog bed after I get a mutt (I’ve mentioned that before somewhere), but I realized I like it better at the height that header is about 5′ up.

It brings in a ton of natural light bounced off the north fence and the neighbor’s house, too.

And I like the openness under the stairs. So… plan B:

Dad is putting a double 2×4 pillar at the end of the wall to anchor it to the underside of the staircase. Next, the whole thing gets clothed with drywall, and the top of the wall will get a 2×6 as a ledge.

Later in the spring or summer, we’ll plane some 2x4s to 1×3.5s and make a decorative screen/set of display shelves. I already had a plan to do the same as a 3′ wide floor to ceiling screen/divider between the front door threshold and the chaise in the living room, so we’ll do them both at the same time and paint them high-gloss white. In the meantime, Dad will finish off the wall, pillar, and ledge and then I can paint both the family room and the foyer… well, he found something screwed up with the other side of the foyer on the wall that backs onto the downstairs bath, so that will have to be addressed before I can paint the foyer, but still… progress.

One other thing with the foyer: the red crystals for the chandelier have arrived, but I need to touch up the paint on the chandelier, and it won’t go up until the foyer is painted.

I did, however, get the dining room chandelier fully dressed this afternoon:

Also in the dining room (but also the spare and the studio upstairs), I swapped a bunch of plug and switchplates for vintage ones:

Eventually I want every switchplate and plug cover in the entire house to be vintage, so I’m always hunting at thrift stores for them.

I also got a bunch of stuff framed, including this 4×6″ sticker from the Front Line Assembly 2011 tour. It was part of the VIP fan goodie bag, but I have it not because I went to the VIP meet and greet, but because at the time I worked for an indie electronic music label/management company, and a band called Left Spine Down was on our roster. LSD’s keyboard player was the (sadly, now late) Jeremy Inkel, who also played in FLA, so we took on handling the VIP stuff for the FLA tour.

Speaking about framing, I got this vintage 1969 Nixon political cartoon poster framed:

This will be going in the upstairs hallway, when it eventually gets painted. Someday.

Tricky Dick wasn’t the only one getting framed:

Some of this stuff got put up in the living room, such as this vintage Aerosmith pass:

And a trio consisting of an art print of Johnny Thunders as a saint, a lion wearing headphones that I’ve had for years, and the painting I did that became the basis of the cover art for my debut ep as maQLu, blood (later combined into a full-length, blood.black.haze):

I got my stereo set up in the corner of the living room:

And I picked up a cheap throw rug/mat for in front of the front door to wipe my shoes off when I come in the front door:

I also got one for the laundry room in front of the sink (the one right by the door currently is one I already had):

Everything else I did was painting, starting with chipping away with the royal pain in the ass known as the upstairs bathroom:

I got a first coat above the shower at least, and a bit more on the walls. But I still have about 20% left to finish on the first coat… and then I get to start over on coat 2 in what is surely the most awkward room in my house.

In easier painting, I got a first coat on a plant stand for the dining room, an extra shelf for the kitchen cabinet I keep my glasses in, and the shelves for a little alcove behind the door in the studio.

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