Sunday, January 14, 2018

Painting The Foyer I

The foyer and staircase in this rural farmhouse are especially wide and gracious for the period that it was built.  A lovely curve at the top of the handrail and thick, early chair rail add to it's charm along with an original window of old, wavy glass at the top level.

Although this house was built in 1780, there is a 1787 coin in the newel post usually dating when the mortgage was paid. A Nantucket tradition which spread to New England, mortgage papers were placed inside the hollow newel post and an ivory cap sealed its' top. When paid off, the mortgage papers were burned, the ashes sometimes placed inside the post and a coin of that year replaced the piece of ivory.

This is a New Jersey copper penny, produced in 1786 to 1790 before the country had a mint. NOVA CAESAREA is Latin for New (land of) Ceasar which was the Isle of Jersey; an island off the coast of France in the English channel and part of England. Over the years it was anglicized to become Jersey and the "ey" came from the Vikings which meant island. Sir George Carteret was Governor of the Isle of Jersey and awarded "New Jersey" (along with John Lord Berkeley) for providing King Charles II and his family a safe haven during the English Civil War.

The front has a horse head and plow with the United States shield and E PLURIBUS UNUM (one of many) on the back. They are worth $35.00 to several thousand dollars based on their condition. In it's day, this penny could buy one a ferry ride from Morrisville PA to Trenton NJ.

We are now repairing walls, stripping peeling paint, and replacing missing cove or shoe moldings. Next the textured surface from the foyer ceiling will be removed by spraying it first with hot soapy water before scraping it off, broken window panes replaced with similar antique panes and walls or wood prepared for paint. The paint colors will be Benjamin Moore "white" for the trim and "linen white" for the walls.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Round Ceramic Garden Tables

Although it was very cold this holiday season, Bill continued to create ceramic garden seats and tables in his basement studio at home. This is his most recent work and shows a series of round ceramic garden tables.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Painting The Library

We inherited a historic palette of paint colors in the library of this farmhouse which includes the living room and dining room. Most of the same colors will be used in these rooms after the repairs are done. The library was stripped of peeling paint, sanded, primed and had new shoe moldings installed before painting.

The light green paint is called "seedling", the off white walls and trim are "white dove", and the windows as well as exit door are "northhampton puddy". All are by Benjamin Moore and the first is part of the "Aura" historic collection while the third is a lighter shade of one. A darker green called "boreal forest" is also an Aura paint and on the dining room fireplace surround. The green living room walls are "pine brook". All are lovely names and colors while in the eighteenth century, green pigment was expensive and a status symbol. 

The window seat wall had a hole repaired with new sheet rock. The fix allowed us to discover that this part of the house was also very old and originally brick insulated, although conventionally insulated in the 70's. Two original; wavy window panes were broken and Christian removed several from a matching old window found in the garage to replace them.

Here is a picture of the Royal Govenor's Palace bedroom in Williamsburg, VA. A beautiful green and white room via Pinterest.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An Antique China Closet

The dining room china closet is now finished with narrow enough black iron hinges I found to hang the old plank door. Bill painted the original thumb latch hardware to match and added a stabilizing bar to draw two boards back together, inside. Material costs to build the closet were about $100 for sheet rock, finished plywood shelves, hinges and a replacement thumb latch part.

Christian rewired the ceiling light from a pull chain to a wall switch.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Patching Plaster And Sheetrock

We are now patching up the remaining holes in walls and ceilings here resulting from burst pipes. It seems all of the plumbing in the house needed to be fixed and the ceiling as well as an exposed plumbing line in the plaster wall of the library have now been repaired with new sheet rock.

Christian has rewired the ceiling light at this time, in order to eliminate a wall switch usually hidden behind a door. The wall plumbing has also been insulated with Roxul which now includes PEX water lines that heat the main bathroom floor. Installing a track light here seems best, to highlight books and artwork while keeping the house somewhat contemporary.

Some ceiling and floor trim was removed to make the repairs and I found a missing piece of long trim stacked in the barn.

It has taken initial coats of plaster before spackling, to make these repairs.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Glaze Kiln

Bill spent last weekend stacking a glaze kiln to be fired with two of his latest ceramic garden tables. I love how artistic this view is whenever they finish putting it all together! Below is the last garden table with a bit of blue glaze for a change.