Saturday, September 27, 2014

Message In A Bottle

We were putting up the porch ceiling a couple of days ago when Marion said, "We should put a time capsule in there."  He does this with all his restorations, and I've always thought it was a great idea.

I got an old Mason jar with a zinc lid out of the box of a dozen I bought at an auction several years ago (really cheap because some of them are Kerr jars with Ball lids!) and assembled the time capsule.

I put in the junky photo of the house in 1906

and the photo of Mr. and Mrs. Kenney from 1947

and the photo of the house in 2006, a week or so after I bought it.

I labeled all the photos so that whoever finds it would understand the evolution of the house, threw in a shiny 2014 penny, and wrote them a letter:

"To Whomever Finds This:
Firstly, I hope you're finding this because you're making repairs to the front porch and not because you're removing it completely or, Heaven forbid, tearing down the house.
This house was built about 1887 by James Crawford Kelly, and some member of his family lived in it until the mid-1950s.  Trails Regional Library (if it still exists when you find this) has a copy of the Kelly Family History, should you want to know more about them.  I bought the house in 2006 after it had stood vacant for several years.  The seller, Marijoe Cameron, told me that she finally decided to sell the house to me because I loved it so much.  I hope that you reading this love the house as much as I do.  She's a lovely old girl.  Please take good care of her.
Jayne Elizabeth Neville
September 24, 2014"

Then I asked Marion if he wanted to write a note as well.  He declined, but suggested that I add a line to my own note saying that I would come back from my grave and haunt anyone who ruined the house.  I thought that was a bit dramatic (although it's true) so I left the note as it was and screwed the lid on the jar tightly.  Marion set the jar in the ceiling just above the front door.

Song of the Day:  Charlie Robison, Photograph 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Before The Snow Flies

My daughter-in-law and I were talking a few nights ago about how different the house looks with the new front porch and how, from some angles, it looks like the house is done and she asked me, "What else do you have to do before winter?"

So I made a list.  (In no particular order.)

1.  Ceiling, trim pieces, and spandrel on the front porch.
2.  Finish painting front porch.
3.  Install guttering above the front porch.
4.  Build railing and steps on the side porch.
5.  Scrape, prime, and paint the last section of the east side of the house.
6.  Rattle-can the wicker furniture.
7.  Weatherstrip the back door.
8.  Put Feed-n-Wax on the front door.
9.  Paint all the bits of the house that I've forgotten to paint.

Sarah looked at me like I'm not quite bright and said, "Before the snow flies?  Sheesh!"

I said, "Obviously I'm gonna have to get up early and work late."

Sarah laughed and said, "Really early and get a floodlight!"

So now I'm thinking that items 1, 2, and 8 could be done by floodlight...or at least porch light.  

I'm posting the list here for accountability purposes.  We'll see.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Theory

I have a theory.

After finding the original color of the house when we pulled the junky porch off (a color which is oddly similar to the current color of the house, only a bit lavender)


And after discovering that the fancy trim on the house was teal at one time, which inspired me to paint it that color again (which in turn caused one of my friends to refer to it disparagingly as "Miami Vice Blue")


And after finding that the fascia boards and corner trim were painted a pale orangey-yellow at one time (which, honestly, a part of me wants to do again if I thought that the Historic Preservation Commission might ever allow it)

I came up with the theory that the house was originally painted in colors to match the panes of stained glass in the front windows.
(Old photo; the curtains are different now.)

So today I decided to repaint the window sashes dark blue (Valspar Royal Navy) instead of black, to go with the blue in the windows.
Not as dramatic a difference as I had hoped.  (The one on the right is navy; the one on the left is black.) But then again, I don't want folks driving onto the sidewalk because they're gawking at my house and saying, "Oh my stars, she painted the window sashes blue!"  It really does show up better in person than in a photo, and I imagine it'll look even better on a sunny day rather than an overcast one like today.

Special thanks to Mayfair Mistress of Queen Anne's Revenge, who first gave me the idea to paint the sashes dark blue.