Monday, March 30, 2009

may cod have mercy on your sole

Forest Park on a windy day

dabney's dad visited us here over the weekend for the first time since we became official residents of the show-me state (don't ask me why it's called that). despite all the gorgeous warmish spring weather we've been having around here, mother nature decided to let loose and give us a mostly cold and rainy weekend.  we braved the crappy weather and gave dad a tour of the house. we stopped by our contractor's workshop.  we played with the puppy.  we managed to watch a lot of movies.  however, the highlight might have been the friday night fish fry at st. mary magdelen's.

there, they serve god's cod.
Fish fry

Fish fry

May Cod have mercy on your Sole

Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009

more stripping

i'd elaborate, but my hands hurt.

Radiator and Fireplace

Stripped mantels

Stripped mantels

Stripped mantels

Friday, March 20, 2009

freaky friday

one thing's for sure - this dog loves to hang out on her back...

sometimes to play on her back.


sometimes to nap...
I love to sleep on my back

sometimes just to lounge...

sometimes with her face squished up against the side of her "condo"

and sometimes spread eagle.
Spread eagle

Thursday, March 19, 2009

mantel #1 returns home

good news:  our contractor gave us a thumbs up on our refinishing job.  today, mantel #1 was moved back inside.

Moving mantel

Moving mantel

Moving mantel

one more time - here's a before shot:

ta-dah! here it is sans paint.
Moving mantel

all in all, it took about nine hours of us figuring out what the hell we were doing to actual grunt work, but it was worth it. it looks so much better without its paint job.  removing all that white paint returns this mantel to being the highlight of this room.

this weekend, we tackle the more ornate mantel #2. wish us luck.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

workroom floor

the floor in our new workspace was recently installed. it's constructed of medium-density fiberboard.

Workroom floor
looks like cardboard, no?

while we would have loved to have continued the white oak from the front living room into this space, the additional materials and labor made this option cost prohibitive for us.  it's just a studio space anyway that will get tons of wear and tear.   i love the possibility of working in a big white box that's filled with light, so our plan is to paint it a glossy white and call it a day.

Monday, March 16, 2009


chair, stripped. Reassembly

with all the reupholstering and refinishing happening around here, we thought we'd take on a bigger challenge - the MANTELS.

as you might remember, the mantels looked like this before demolition of the interior.

Radiator and Fireplace


we discovered the hard way that under the white paint, there are two more layers of white and for good measure, a single layer of turquoise paint.

Stripping mantel

five hours of elbow grease, here's what mantel #1 looks like.

the belief is that the wood is white oak and that they should clean up beautifully. if not, our backup plan = repaint them.

Friday, March 13, 2009

friday (the 13th)

Head cocked

it's been a fun-filled, though relatively sleepless, two weeks since friday's arrival. we're all doing great though. 

she is growing like a WEED.   here's proof.

february 27th:
weight - 13 lbs.
height - 14"
length - 17"
ear span - 16"

today, march 13th:
weight - 17.5 lbs.
height - 16"
length - 18.5"
ear span - 17"  

remember that little bed that she barely filled?  
Sleeping in a box
she's too big for it now. good god, we've got ourselves the bionic bloodhound.

friday attended her first obedience class on monday and made fast friends with a 12 week old sheltie named "francis." they couldn't keep their paws off each other.  after class, i had never seen a dog so tired - she was like a lump of skin and fur.

Puppy playtime

the crate training is ongoing and we're making steady but slow progress. the good news is that she loves her little puppy condo.  i know it's hard to tell by her expressions in the pictures below, but she really does.


just for you crate aficionados out there: we partitioned the giant crate above to suit her better.

friday was also the recipient of a new bed.


i bought the "large" size though i fear that she will outgrow this thing in a matter of weeks. i just couldn't bring myself to purchase the "x-large" which is longer than i am tall. hell, i could use it for a bed.

New Bed

Thursday, March 12, 2009

the sixth sense

some people have a keen sense of smell. some people have ESP. dabney, it seems, has a sixth sense - an innate ability to find great items on craigslist.

her penchant for chairs is now famous...
Lounging in the cube

More chairs

Floor Lamp & "Wassily" Chair

but her skill is not restricted to chairs.

Swedish Roll-top Desk
how about a swedish roll-top desk?

Another Craigslist Find
or an "arco" lamp?

or maybe a ginormous dog crate?

this week, she found the most unusual of treasures - a library ladder.

Craigslist library ladder

Craigslist library ladder

why a library ladder, you ask? rooms lined with books dance in dabney's head. we had grand plans to include one such room in our new place, but our budget has postponed that dream for the immediate future. it's all good though - at least dabney has the ladder.

maybe i should surprise her and wallpaper a room with the stuff below and have the ladder leaning against the wall...

Library wallpaper

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

moving items to the DONE column

we've hit our first delay in the construction - the arrival of windows. they were supposed to have been here months ago, but a production mistake has made them three (+ three + three) weeks late. that being said, it's still full steam ahead for the crew who are putting everything else they can into place.

New trim

right now, they're making their way around the house and installing all new trim and door casings. in order to receive approval from the missouri historical commission, all the mouldings had to be reproduced with the same profile of their originals, so this is exactly what the place looked like when the place was constructed in 1899. it's pretty simple compared to the woodwork in many homes in the area.

New trim

we wavered back and forth on whether to paint the new trim white or stain it to its original dark tone like the doors.  however, painting is the much more affordable option here, so white trim it will be.  sacrilege, some might say, but the budget rules on this choice.

those floors we mentioned yesterday? they're being installed as we speak. just a clear coat and they'll be done.

Floor installation

with the installation of the shower doors, the master bathroom is inching toward completion. that sale tile really turned out even better than we had imagined. trim it out with some more marble and tiling can be checked off our list entirely.  

Shower door installed

just add toilets and sinks, and both bathrooms can be called COMPLETE.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


we finally settled on our choice of wood for the first floor.  

Floor and cabinet

the white oak, pictured on the left, will be our floor. a) it would have been common for old stores to have had long plank white oak floors. b) on the hardness scale (that's the janka scale for those of you who are interested), it's pretty durable. c) it was one of our most affordable options.  

pictured on the right above is walnut which is the veneer we have chosen for the kitchen cabinets.  i love how the two woods look together.

in other wood news, the original doors were sent off a few days ago to get cleaned up.  when we bought the place, they had several layers of white paint (so many layers they barely fit into their jambs). it was uncertain how they would come out once they were stripped, but lo and behold, they are beautiful again.

Newly-stripped doors

they turned out so great that we've scrapped the idea of repainting them and are going to re-stain them to their original dark color.

Newly-stripped doors