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Happy little house project

I’ve been mulling a longer, seriouser blog post, but not (yet) writing it because I’ve been occupied with a happy little house project. Two of them, actually, and as it happens I finished both today. Only one is photo-worthy, but I admit I’m quite proud of that one.

When I bought Ye Olde Wreck, two attractive but misshapen archways (clearly the work of Jim Beam and Jack Daniel) opened from the living room onto the long, crooked wreck of a former covered porch. I’ve been trying to make something of that porch ever since. One part of the “something” is an office/art room/potential second bedroom. Been working on that forever. If you’ve been reading here the last seven years, you’ve seen bits of it develop.

I just finished the part in and over its archway:

Pretty good for a mere girl, eh?

The Wandering Monk installed the French doors last year. I’ve spent the last month-ish finishing around them. It was complicated. Many, many picky little details from shimming to trimming, with endless steps in between.

I had a few adventures along the way. Crookedness caused frequent cussing. One day I was more tired than I knew and spent hours banging my head trying to fit a warped 1 x 2 when my more-awake self would have just tossed it out.

Then this morning, while drilling various-sized pilot holes for the shelf brackets, I learned exactly why the instructions always say to unplug the drill before changing bits; I gouged myself good and missed drilling a wrist artery by a fraction of an inch. Never do that again; the scar will remind me next time I’m tempted to get lazy.

Anyhow …

The colored windows began life as squares of smooth plexiglass, which I treated with crystal clear liquid “stained glass” to give them a nice texture and more opacity. They came out just as I hoped.

The above-door shelf was a last-minute brainstorm to cover a bad seam. I like that, too, although I think nice, carved wooden brackets would be better than those metal hardware store jobs.

The trim on the living room side isn’t done yet, and that may be a task for The Monk when he decides to emerge from self-isolation. But you can see how pretty the effect of those plexiglass windows is going to be. (Pardon the rubble lying around; it’s still a perpetual construction zone.):

You get the glow in either room, depending where the light’s coming from at the moment — soft or vibrant, reliant on the chosen light source. Many ways to play with the quality of light and color in both spaces. (I can’t wait to see candlelight!)

Now that I’ve finished two minor but long and detail-y projects, I’ll pause and return to writing a blogosaurus for you before moving onto the next phase of house project-ing.

It’s fun being down to the finishing touches. That sort of work doesn’t go fast. Every tiny thing takes forever. But it’s worth it!


  1. khperkins
    khperkins April 4, 2020 4:29 pm

    Looks nice.

  2. Myself
    Myself April 4, 2020 5:26 pm

    That archway looks great!!

    You’ve put a lot of work into your home, I hope you enjoy living there as much as I enjoy looking at pictures of it!

  3. Comrade X
    Comrade X April 4, 2020 7:32 pm

    You should be proud young lady!

    And a great way to pass time during this pandemic.

  4. Fred M
    Fred M April 4, 2020 7:40 pm

    Claire you’ve earned a gold star for the work you did on the doorway. What a great transition from a gaping hole to a decorative artistic expression of your self. And it is a useful addition as well. You have talent for interior decoration, and I love the colored panels and the play of light through them. Now time to move outside to your gardens. 😎
    Be well and…lave los manos,

  5. Pat
    Pat April 4, 2020 10:43 pm

    That is beautiful work, Claire, and you’re making a beautiful home to live in. You can, indeed, be proud.

    The light even plays on the ceiling! That will be fun to watch.

  6. coloradohermit
    coloradohermit April 5, 2020 9:56 am

    Wow! Your artist soul at it’s finest. You’ll enjoy that for years to come.

  7. SLee
    SLee April 5, 2020 10:38 am

    That looks lovely! Beautiful job!

  8. WolfSong
    WolfSong April 5, 2020 11:58 am

    That turned out fantastic!
    The light is beautiful. 🙂

  9. larryarnold
    larryarnold April 6, 2020 11:01 pm


    mere girl
    [sarc meter pegged]

  10. Joel
    Joel April 7, 2020 8:22 am

    Lovely! I like it.

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