61 posts categorized "English Cottage Kitchen"

Odds and ends and freezing

The English Cottage Kitchen is back in my studio to have its roof thatched.  This time I used a coir mat as a base and am gluing the coconut fibers over that.  It is a very messy job, and very burny ouchy, as I'm using a hot glue gun.


Before the holiday break I took my paint chips to the yarn store to purchase yarn in my new reno colors.  A friend turned the yarn into this...


It was supposed to be mainly teal but ended up mainly neutral because the teal and berry yarns were a slightly lighter weight than the neutrals.  I did know to check the labels to make sure they were the same there, but did not know to compare the actual yarns.  No matter, I love it, it looks fantastic in my living room, and it's long enough to cover my tall husband without his feet poking out the bottom.

I also got a hat, scarf, and stocking, because she was on a roll and bored.  Another co-worker got a hat too.

Nothing else has gone on in the home reno, and I feel a bit guilty for not stripping wallpaper in the dining room during Christmas break.  I would like to have that done before the spring, when it will get warm enough to paint again, but that's a few months away yet.  It's still freezing cold here...below freezing.  Brrr.


Have you ever received a much too large box from Amazon with only a couple small things in it and a ton of packing paper?  Ester loves it.  It's a playground wonderland.


I could make a life sized version of Nancy's yucca plant with all this paper.



work on the houses is not going well.....

I cut tried to cut the new walls for the Creatin' Contest kit last night, since it was finally warm enough to work in the garage.  It has been below zero for weeks, yesterday it was in the low 60s...ah, Michigan.

My idea to bolt the two pieces together to cut them exactly the same worked great...my measurements were perfect....I clamped on a board to use a fence in just the right spot....but I just couldn't keep the Dremel Trio against the fence during the cut.  Plus, the rotary saw chewed up the edges of the MDF, it wasn't a clean cut.


Husband gave it a try with the circular saw, without a clamped on fence.  His cut is better, and clean, but has a bow in the middle.


I've decided what I'm going to do is take the walls Husband cut to work with me today, then beg or bribe my assistant, Tiffany, to take them home to her builder husband, Jerry, to square them up on a table saw.  Or maybe Joe has a table saw...Joe built his own house, I bet Joe has a table saw.


While I was waiting for warmth I puttered around with the chimney top of the English Cottage Kitchen.  I added some ash build-up to the top and blackened the top of the working chimney pot.  I don't like it.  I liked it before.  I shouldn't have messed with it.


I think if I repaint the caps of the other three pots it will be better; right now the cement caps are too close in color to the ash.  Any suggestions for improvement would be appreciated.


I'm going to go curl up in my new recliner with Ester and my quilt, and drink a cup of cappuccino while I pout.




chimney is done

Saturday I cut and glued egg cartons, which takes a lot longer than you'd think...


Sunday I painted, grouted, sanded, aged and sealed....


The chimney pots are from my bin of scrap wood.  I had a finial that was too big to do anything with, a castle turret that fell off a cheap birdhouse, a piece of dowel, and a handle from something that I enlarged the hole in the middle of.


I've got a little bit of fiddly work to do on the very top...there is a slight gap where the foremost chimney pot doesn't sit flush that is driving me crazy. (Because I didn't cut the peg on the bottom of the finial off flush.)  I think I'm going to stuff some old dead moss in the gap.  Then I need to build up a thicker coat of ash under the working chimney pot.   I capped off three of the chimney pots with rubber o-rings and paint, since I bricked over the old fireplaces outside and the bread oven inside doesn't have a door and will be stuffed with wood.


pantry roof done

I want the pantry roof to look old and kind of decrepit, while still in good repair, so when I put the shingles on I did a bad job, while try to make it look like I didn't do a bad job on purpose.  The shingles were curling up and sliding around in the glue a bit, it looked great...but then they settled down when they dried and I hated it.


I'm not sure which is uglier, the pointy tips, the color, or the neatness.  Yuck.

Yesterday I ran silver foil tape around the edges, then put another layer of shingles right over the top.  The shingles looked better wet, they calmed down and uncurled when the glue dried, but I was expecting it this time so built in a few 'lifted' ones

I stained them a lighter color, aged them with washes of paint, then applied moss quite liberally.   Moss application is quite tedious and more time consuming than I anticipated.


I may tinker with it some more later...split some shingle edges and perhaps pull one or two out and replace them with clean ones, to simulate a repair....but it's done enough now to call it finished.


I haven't cut the new walls for the contest kit yet....maybe today, depending on how long it takes me to shop for new bedding and get the housecleaning done.

tinkering for improvement

I fixed the duct coming off the water heater...straightened it, and ran it into a more sensible place on the main duct, to give that one a reason to increase in size at that junction.  I don't like using plastic straws, because the paint doesn't adhere well, even when they're gessoed first, but I did insert a little section of it on top of the aluminum armature wire because I couldn't think of anything that would work better.  I'm not sure if I'm going to do more with the stovepipe duct that runs along the very top of the wall...I'd like to replace it with a painted plastic straw, but again, the finish is so fragile that I'm wary..I'm still thinking about it.

I wish I could buy black or gray bendy straws.   Hmm...I've never searched on them for the internet...and here they are...duh!...I should check the local party supply store next time I'm on that side of town, I bet they have them.  


Something I did a few weeks ago I haven't shown you yet....I inserted a piece of  mirror finish scrapbook paper in an arc behind and above the fire, to bounce the light out.  It's hard to take a picture of...it works great.


I spent most of the weekend out shopping.  I told husband I needed to go to Home Depot Saturday morning...he said he want to go to a new tool store...I replied "I like tools!".  First we stopped at the locally-owned hardware store for everything I could source there...spray paint, stain, and a few odds and ends.  Then we annoyed our daughter the barista at her workplace with an order for a "small skim soy half-caf mocha extra-foam caramel macchiatoccino decaf  upside-down double-shot low-foam vente extra-creamy medium doppio pour-over chocolate sprinkle latte no-sugar super-dry 2%  grande espresso, and I don't want to see one speck of cinnamon on the top or you'll be schlepping hot cocoa in Alaska, sweetheart!" (she said no, then made me an ordinary cappuccino just the way I like it). 

The new tool place was super cheap, in all possible ways, but I picked up a few things...more than husband did.  A quick stop at Home Depot afterward gave me more MDF to build out the contest kit, and husband a new shower head.

Now I should have all the supplies I need to start the contest build...final stop was the liquor store...just need to find some energy.

Sunday we went mattress and bed shopping....that didn't take too terribly long, but I sat in the world's most comfortable recliner and refused to leave the store without it, so husband had to spend a couple of hours sitting in all the recliners several times to pick a new one out for him.  Now I need to, at some point this week, before the new, smaller, bed gets here next week, buy all new linens....sigh....and clean and find a new home for the theater chairs that need to come out of the living room to make room for the new recliners....which will arrive when the bed does, since there was no way I could fit mine in the trunk of my Volvo.

Also...more changes, changes, changes....my boss is retiring....the new CFO starts today.  I suppose I should dress in something more professional than sweat pants this morning.  (Our offices are spread out over the country, only the accounting office is in Michigan...we don't see customers here which means I wear anything from jeans to my cookie monster pajamas, depending on what mood I'm in.)