Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Victorian Style Shed/Playhouse - Part III - The Never Ending Project

Work has been progressing slowly, but nicely. This job has been named 'The Never Ending Project' because of the constant threat of rain in the forecast. 

 Painting has started on the swing set.

Yesterday again, was a rainy day, but up until this morning, rain was only one obstacle to getting the job done. Note the dead tree on the left, in the neighbouring school yard. You guessed it, half came down in our yard this morning, waking us up at 6:08 am with a huge crackling sound. I first thought that we'd had a lightning strike in our back yard.


It missed the shed by a few feet, but it can still flip back and do a lot of damage.


This tree was alive last summer, but was showing signs of stress. It did not survive the winter. Two attempts were made to inform the new owners of the situation, but we received no response. We knew it would come down sooner or later, but I think that all the rain we've been getting made it rot so much faster. Anyway, most importantly, no one was hurt.

This last shot of the shed/playhouse is where we are at. I'm hoping this can be completed soon, but we are already cutting it close for painting projects. I'm afraid you might only see the completed version next spring.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Victorian Veranda - Side Trellises Completed


Of all the restorations we've done so far, I have to say that the trellises were the most back breaking. I'm thrilled to say that this one is over and done with.

The side veranda had three sections measuring about twelve feet each and weighing appoximitaly 40 lbs. The weight and length made them awkward; I couldn't move them by myself, making me very dependent on whoever was around.
Note that the trellises themselves were hand-assembled with 1/4"-thick by 1 1/4"-wide pieces of wood - heavy, but very well done. My most valuable acquisition for this job was a paint sprayer, a lesson learned after doing the two front sections with a paint brush.  

Here is a before shot of one of the trellises - the most damaged one. The bottom edge was touching the ground, and in some areas was literally in the ground.

Restored and painted.

Back where they belong. We just have to level the ground, roll out some black weed barrier sheets and top it off with gravel.

On a related note, my mom is an avid gardner and my 'go to' person for pretty much everything. She showed me this newspaper article on living willow fences. I just love that idea so researched it a little further and found this blog site:
Purpleosier  growing, using and making with sustainable materials

 Purpleosier's beautifully delicate willow cupola.

natural fencing.com 's lush harbour.

Jay Davey Bespoke Willow 's renaissance like garden fence.

There are so many beautiful willow structures. Some are too complex for the amateur gardner like myself, but the three above seem to be feasible. Perhaps there will be a blog post on a willow structure in the DV's garden sometime in the distant future.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Victorian Veranda - work in progress III & Coco Runner on Stairs


Life has been super busy here. We've accomplished many things between rainy weather, but there are still a few more to do before the cold weather sets in. The side veranda balustrades, column bases and sides have been restored, primed and painted. You can go here to see a before shot. But the three trellis skirt sections still need to be done.

Here is my lovely assistant Astrid, indispensable student helper of the season. 
A fresh coat of floor paint was given to the front stairs...

and front veranda, covering the repairs done to the floor earlier this season. My back is acting up so Astrid has interrupted her work on the shed/playhouse to do touch-ups for me. 
To be young and limber again... sigh.

A 45" wide coco runner was installed on the steps leading to the front door. I looked at many options to make the stairs more safe and to me, this was the most attractive and environmentally friendly.

Easy to install with a good heavy duty stapler and galvanized long staples. Brian and I did ten steps and a landing in an hour. 

Safer for humans and my beasts as well.

Here we are, mid-august 2013. Let's hope for a gorgeous autumn to make up for the disappointing summer weather we've had so far.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Victorian Style Shed & Playhouse - Part II


Colour inspiration for the shed/playhouse came from a few feet away. 
Lavender-coloured buds from the hostas...

orangy red from the the day lilies... 

creamy white and yellow gold from the shasta daisies.

It was progressing nicely until all came to a halt with a rainy day, yet again. So, I'll show you the inside of the playhouse.

Entering from the deck.

The door to the balcony.

View of the DV from the balcony.

Turning back...

and looking out from where I came in. This is a view of the old 'right of way' from the time when there was a carriage turn. We still use it on occasion when we have a bulky delivery or restoration that requires heavy machinery, like when we had the eavestrough done.

Looking down onto the yard, it really feels like one is in a treehouse.

Shutters ready and waiting to go back up where they belong beside the windows in the front tower part of the DV. That is, once the top window is restored, hopefully before autumn.