Sunday, August 28, 2016

Curtains & Brackets

The topic today...

Seriously, I hope you're not waiting for me to tell you because it's right in the post subject line. 


After thinking and rethinking and looking at more pictures of New Orleans online in an attempt to address the top heavy issue Keli pointed out yesterday I was bracing myself to begin building a front porch.  I have the posts that would match the ones on the balcony, I just really didn't want to build a porch, sidewalk or any sort of front edifice beyond the one I'd done.

Then Keli rescued me from my own laziness (and ineptitude) and sent me some pictures on how to beef up regular brackets.

That's the biggest problem visually and also (if you want to be nitpicky about engineering) structurally.  The pretty brackets I had supporting the balcony really didn't look like they could support the balcony.  See?  Very insubstantial.

So I got to work.

Luckily I'd been worried about Elmers white glue or wood glue adhering to the aged surface well enough and I'd used sticky tacky glue.  With some wiggling and judicious prying the brackets came right off.

Lots of cutting and fiddling with curlicues and bric-a-brac to make them look fancy but here's the result.

I have a few finishing touches to do.  Mostly I want to do a little line of the dark grey along the edge of the two new curlicues in order to make them match the original brackets better.

I had to have two really large ones and then two shorter brackets because the windows wouldn't allow for four full sized brackets.  Visually though I think it works.  See?

See what I mean about the grey?  Right now (to me) it looks a little cobbled together.  I did go with the same white though.  I used warm white on the brackets and snow white on the rest of the trim.  It's that sort of weirdness I've run into at old houses before.  When someone repainted they didn't bother to check if the paint had gone yellow on them.

But so far so good I think.

I also made some progress on the curtains. 

The bedroom curtain tiebacks have been a work in progress for a week now as I twisted embroidery thread together for thickness and then made tassels and sewed them onto the ties. 

I finally settled into a good system and got them done today.  I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.  For my first attempt they don't look bad.

Hobby Lobby's embroidery floss/thread was severely depleted by the time I was done. So many colors!  But it was worth it to get the right color green.

I also drew, cut out, and glued little cornices for the French doors last night and glued the fabric to them today.  I just finished sewing the curtains.  They're so small I couldn't glue the hems or they would never have pleated well.

I gathered them with a running stitch and then pinned them to my board, got all my pleats organized and then brushed them with my water/glue mixture. 

The red curtains for the kitchen French doors aren't black, the red just goes really dark when it gets wet.

Not a bad days work.  Especially considering I still feel lousy. 

I need to go clean up my closet so the floor can get vacuumed so hope all of you have a great evening.

Keli I so owe you for your help!  Thanks again.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Trial Run Assembly

Oh boy.  So I'm working on my front balcony and I just didn't like how screwy the roof kept looking.  So I'm deviating from my original idea of a roof like this:

It's not that I don't like them.  But with the width of the balcony the roof would be too flat in the front and it would look very odd.

So I'm going with a roof similar to this.

Only I'm planning on adding some detail to it, some half scale fishscale shingles to make it prettier.  And I have some pretty curlicues that I might put on the top.  I'm still debating the colors but definitely white trim, maybe use the same blueish grey I have for the French doors on the fishscale shingles to make them pop.

I also decided to do a trial run on the assembly of the house...

Good news is that I think with glue and my corner braces I won't have many problems getting the floor slotted in place.

The bad news?  I'm not completely certain of that.  And I won't be certain until I actually glue everything together. 

I took a few more shots, mostly of the interior.

As you can see, I still haven't put in the curtains.  I'm drawing out some ideas for the French door windows.  Very thin little cornices that follow the curve of the windows on the bottom and curtains that are draped in the same curve.  Once I'm ready to put the walls up I'll add hardware to the outside of the French doors.

I bought some shrubs and mulch to make a little bed to go in the front of the house and maybe along the side.  I also have some supplies to make some vines to climb up the side of the house with the staircase on the inside.

Here's how the balcony looks, taped to the house.

I tested my balcony and front door lights so they work and that's nice to know.  The open side of the house will have a wall so it can be closed in and safe from Building Inspectors. 

I'm hoping to get the rest of the lights finished this weekend and the staircase wall glued in if I can get the curtains settled for those French doors and the bathroom window.  We'll see.  I'm not feeling so hot and all I want to do is be a vegetable.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Finally the Balcony!

Yes! Yes I have made serious progress on the balcony.  I'm so excited.  But first...

I got some more work done on the curtains.  For the kitchen I had to actually cut down the first cornice I made or it would have run into the dividing wall.  So I reduced the width a bit and then glued in the little half drapes.

I also did some work on the bedroom curtains.  Got the panels attached to the cornices and pinned to the board so I could get them glued into place for the pullbacks.

So, so far so good.

I also figured out what was bothering me about the stairs.  The wallpaper shouldn't go to the treads. Most stairs have a stringer along the side of them.

So I cut some wood into triangles and added some trim.

Before I started on the balcony I glued the pediments over the doors and windows on the front of the house.  I decided against adding them to the windows on the side, mostly because every picture I found of the New Orleans homes didn't have as much fancy trim on the sides of the houses.  The front elevations were gorgeous and the sides more utilitarian. 

I had some more trim to age and paint so I did that while the glue dried on the pediments. I also got the board and batten underside to the balcony and its ceiling painted and aged.  The toughest part was getting the thin wood to stay flat while the glue dried.

Yes, those are my Fred Flintstone feet. But I spoiled myself with a pedicure so at least my nails are nice.
You can also see in the above picture that I've got my lights wired in for the balcony.  That one will hang down next to the front door.

They're battery operated so I'm going to (hopefully) make the balcony roof hinged so I can lift it up to plug them in to the battery packs.

Here's a shot with my fancy corbels attached to the underside.

You can see where the entry light will hang a bit easier here.

Here are the rest of the shots.  I need to work on the roof, hopefully during the week or next weekend.  Maybe I can get my tiebacks for the bedroom curtains made during the week. 

I was really worried that the balcony would look too busy with all the trim and railings but I think its wide enough and tall enough that nothing looks cramped. 

It looks beat up.  But that's good, I want it to look a little worn down and warped.  This house has probably survived a hurricane or two so water damage wouldn't be unheard of.

So? What do we think? 

I've got to decide on curtains or no curtains for the balcony doors.  I'm wondering if I could make some curved rods or very small curved cornices and having the curtains mimic the curve of the windows on the doors.

I'm wondering about gutters along the sides of the house, and if it would just make things look too busy.  Would it be a case of authenticity overkill?  Have to see.  I don't even have the roof on yet so I have to wait on that before I can decide on the gutters and downspouts.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Curtains & Cornices

Some more progress today.  First.

Here's a picture of the completed curtains for the front room.  What do all of you think? Tiebacks? Or no?

I'm curious as to what all of you think of them now that they're finished. 

I've been paying a lot of attention to Casey's blog since she's got some gorgeous curtains on it.  And I tried my hand at drawing out some simple cornices for the kitchen and the bedroom.  Still thinking about the bathroom.

I went with the curved bottoms for the bedroom and the more angular one for the kitchen.  Cut them out of basswood

Got the sides and top glued together.

Then started to wrap them in fabric.  I was really careful to use glue on the sides and back but none on the actual front of the cornices so they'd look a bit softer.

I love the texture of the bedroom ones. 

I'm waiting on the panels to dry in the pleater and then I'll add tiebacks and glue again so they stay in place.  It's a painstaking process but I'm hoping it'll be worth it.

Any suggestions for the bathroom?  The one on the left is window I'm working with.  (Please ignore the wonky coloring, this is the photo with the crazy exposure before I changed out the wire in the windows but it's nice and bright.)

I'm not sure about full curtains on either side, maybe something soft and lacy at the top?

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Color Choices and Progress

Okay!  Yeah, so far a good day. 

Got the front room curtains lined and glued to each other.  They're drying now so you can't see the fronts yet.  I'm not sure about tiebacks on the drapes or not.  I'll show you guys tomorrow what they'll look like around the windows and you can advise me.  That's the good thing about not gluing them in right away.

And I measured and made a sheer for the front door.  Call me strange but I don't like the idea of someone being able to just look into the front room from the entry steps.  I'll get them glued into place at the same time I do the window curtains.  And maybe add a little red bow to draw them taut in the middle.

I finished the little tilt table.  I made a stencil to draw the design and taped it down then sanded over it to make the design look worn.

Of course after I put it away the box I was using to store my couch, chairs and the new table (all the front room furniture I made) fell on the floor and one of my chairs broke.  At least it wasn't the new table.  So I have a chair sitting with the curtains, waiting for new glue to dry. 

Yeah, should have named me Grace.  (Insert eye roll here.)

I've been struggling with the bedroom curtains.  Not the style, I figured that out, but the colors.  I really wanted to use my rose fabric.  It's not quite as bright as the wallpaper but I didn't want a ton of bright pink.

The problem was something to cover the cornices.  White wouldn't blend well with the woodwork color.  But I took a picture just in case you all disagreed with me.

It goes nicely with the wallpaper but next to the trim it looks bad to me.

Then I started looking at some of the taupe materials I had in my stashed fabric.  There's a linen look one:

Not bad with the wallpaper but not great with the trim again.  Not awful, but not awesome.

And here's a suede look one.  Same sort of problem.  Okay with the wallpaper but with the could be better.

Neither of them are awful. I don't hate them like I do the white.  In face I really like the difference in textures with the suede, though it might be a bit much.  But I kept looking...and then...I found a greenish linen looking fabric.  And I was like "Yes!" 

See what I mean?  It seems to match the wallpaper perfectly but at the same time its good with the trim as well.  I think I like this one the best. 

I drew out some cornices on graph paper and then used a craft knife to cut them out of basswood.  Until I found the above fabric I really was thinking of just painting them the same color as the trim but it felt like they'd be really flat.

I drew out a few more cornices and I might just do a simple one in the kitchen with a small pleated ruffle under it.  I don't want the kitchen to have much in the way of curtains.

My other concern is the windows on the double doors.  Do I make some sort of curtains or sheers for them like the front door or leave them open?  I'm not sure because they look so nice the way they are.

So that was my Saturday so far.  I'd love to hear what all of you think of my bedroom fabric choices.  Hopefully I'll have more to show you tomorrow or Monday.