Friday, August 22, 2008

As promised, a yard post

Our yard, like the rest of the house, hasn't really been taken care of in...oh...TEN YEARS. There are giant weeds, who believe it is their right to inhabit our yard. There was a patch of daylilies that had decided it should own most of the vegetable garden, and three overgrown evergreens in the front. There was also a strange patch that had cement chunks and more weeds, daylilies, and vines.

There are a lot of good features of the yard too. Our PO grew a giant rhubarb patch on the side of the yard, which makes a great conversation piece. There is a currant bush that I used when making some pretty good scones. The trees in front, recently planted, are just what I wuld have planted. One is a gorgeous maple that I can't wait to see change in the fall. The other is a cute little flowering tree that looks a lot like an apple but hasn't produced any fruit. Just pretty little white fragrant flowers in the spring. The next door neighbors have a tree that flowered at the same time, so I plan to ask them what it is. Also, I have yet to be without cutting flowers in bloom. We have had fresh bouquets all summer. We have had Lily of the Valley, Peonies, Lilacs (the neighbors), Daylilies, Snap Dragons and Asters (I planted these). I had a bridal shower for my sister and was able to create some pretty stunning bouquets for it.

We've done some things this summer as well. There were a few areas that were terrible to mow, like by the neighbor's fence. So I planted some hostas and took advantage of the city's free wood chip piles. Which, as you will see is a common theme to my gardening. I also transplanted some daylilies from our massive bunch on the side of the house over to the side of our garage were there was a patch of hard-to-mow grass. I built a little brick retaining wall from some random bricks around the house. Yes, we have random bricks.

Finally, I planted two native gardens in the front. This is a picture of one. They are both mirror images of eachother. So far they seem to be thriving.

We're back!

Summer has been pretty busy, and due to both lack of free weekends and lack of funds, posting has been pretty scarce. Hopefully we'll be better now. We've been working on the windows when we can, and we actually have the living room one almost done. It just needs a final coat of shellac around the frame.

The foyer window is taken apart right now, and the glazing is curing on the bottom sash. Here's the second half of how to restore an old wood window.

When we last left off, we were still debating what to put on the inside sash (varnish or paint) and I was working on the screen.
1. Put finish on the inside of the sash. We decided to go with spar varnish for the inside of the sash and Behr Exterior latex in white for the outside of the sash. We put the finish on before glazing so we don't have to work around the glass. We also prime the exterior side of the sash. I use latex because I've heard it's better for the wood.

2. Buy more glass because you broke it trying to get it out of the frame.
3. Glaze the window
a) I use glazing putty to put a small cushion for the glass to rest in. I try to get a uniform thickness for this, maybe 1/8 in.
b) Put glazing points in. I have tried both the triangle ones and the fancy newer ones. The triangle ones can go further into the wood, but I couldn't comfortably get them in without feeling like I was going to break the glass. They take a lot of force to get in. So I prefer the newer style.
c) After all the points are in, I turn the glass over to see if there is any of the bead of putty showing through. If there is I clean it up.
d) I roll out the glazing putty on the window pane to get an even thickness. Then I use a putty knife or 5 in 1 to pull it up at an angle. I use my finger very gently to smooth it out as a final step.
e) Let glazing putty cure for two weeks
4. Paint the window
5. Realize the latex paint cracks when put over oily glazing.
6. Repeat step 3
7. Prime putty with oil-based primer.
8. Paint window.
9. Meanwhile, spouse has been working on the frame. He has stripped it and put shellac on the parts that we plan to leave natural wood. He has also dripped shellac all over the primer I put on the sill.
10. Sand off shellac spots, and reprime the sill.
11. Strip all of the frame because it just looks silly now with all the rest of it looking so pretty.

12. Shellac the stops and the new parting bead.
13. Work on the screen some more because spouse is hogging the heat gun.
14. Attach hardware to the sashes
15. VERY CAREFULLY replace the old sash cord. For a good how-to video, check out This Old House
16. Put spring bronze weather stripping on while watching Micheal Phelps win his eighth gold medal.
17. Get frustrated with the spring bronze, but feel the Olympic spirit and persist.

18. Hang the top sash
19. Put the parting bead in place.
20. Hang the bottom sash
21. Nail the stop in place.
22. Stare at the window in wonder and amazement.
23. Get over fear of touching it and play with it for an hour.

Somewhere in all of that we put the screen in too. I painted it Rainstorm, a deep blue. This is the color I will eventually paint all of the storms on the house. It is a Sherwinn Williams color, Duration exterior, and I have to say, I wasn't very impressed. I am kind of picky about my paint, and I have yet to find an exterior I like.

Hopefully we will get all of this going on the next window, and get these done before winter. Otherwise, I see a dining room darkened by a peice of rigid foam in our future.