Coming together, slowly

July 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

We’ve been in Five Islands for a month today and it’s starting to feel like home. We are particularly loving the mostly comfortable temperatures (especially compared with the temps in DC). Most days start out chilly and turn warm and sunny. Occasionally it stays chilly and grey all day. The week of the big heat wave, it was hot, but not intolerable, thanks to the breeze off of the Sheepscot River.

Anyway, we are continuing to touch up paint and do other small jobs. Robert started cleaning the upstairs this week, no small job. It’s a wreck up there, but we have company arriving this week and we’re hoping to stick the kids up there. Hopefully the television will distract them from the crumbling drywall and dangling insulation.

Here are some pictures from downstairs as things come together.

Sitting area of great room

Settee and chair from Country Farm in Bath/Dash & Albert rug

Dining area of great room/Dash & Albert rug

First meal at the bar

Bug spray and fish hooks

We are trying to get the yard shaped up just a little bit. Robert has improved the entrance, which you can see in this shot of Rocket and Wrigley on the porch.

Wrigley and Rocket lounging

And Chad built us a temporary gate to get in and out of the temporary fence.

Temporary gate

And a few more outside pics. Our friend, Sara, and I had a chance to go to the beach at Reid State Park on Sunday. It was hot and wonderful. The water was even a little warmer than frigid.

Boogie and Wrigley

Beach at Reid State Park

And, thanks to Sara, we made a trip to the wonderful Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the mid coast.

Ferns at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

That’s all for now. I’ll try to get some more pics of the bedrooms up soon.

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This is what DIY looks like (Masciola-style)

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Low point

Fortunately, Lawrence-Galloway style DIY looks a hell of a lot better.

High point

Well, those gorgeous Modwalls glass mosaic tiles were a bitch to put down. And I don’t use that word lightly. They came from California in 15×15 squares of tiles stuck to plastic sheets. The first hiccup was the fact that the bathroom floor was not prepared for tiling. It wasn’t even and had some small holes. So it needed a layer of plywood. Then Katy took a look at the instructions that came with the tiles and learned that they have to cure in the mortar for 24 hours. Stone or ceramic tiles can set for maybe 6 hours in mortar before being grouted. This new reality meant that tiling the bathroom floor would take 3-4 days, a project we had planned on taking 2 days. The first night of tiling we were at the house until near midnight and Katy and Mark were practically broken in half. All that would have been fine after a good dinner and a bottle of wine. But the next morning, we returned to find the floor had bucked up. It looked like there were wavy foothills all over the bathroom. Soul crushing.

Ever resourceful, Mark decided to selectively remove single tiles and screw the plywood down through the mortar. Okay, good solution. But when Mark and Katy started to remove the plastic squares that the tiles had come on, tiles started to come up by the dozens, hundreds even (see first photo above). The only solution at that point was to stick the tiny tiles down one by one. Katy and Mark did most of the re-tiling, “buttering” each tile by hand and placing it on the floor in even rows. Soul crushing.

Then we left it all to cure again for 24 plus hours. The second picture above is the result on Friday after Mark grouted and cleaned the floor. There were a few loose tiles, but all in all they worked a miracle. And then Mark installed the toilet!! Sing it with me people: Hallelujah! A week of either holding it until we got to the general store or peeing behind the house (ours and our neighbors’) was closer to camping than I had expected ever to get again.

We didn’t get to the shower or the bathroom faucet plumbing, but Mark installed the Ikea vanity, sink, and cabinet. And note the beautiful color on the wall. It’s called Filmy Green by Sherwin Williams. A Katy Lawrence-Galloway choice, of course. Oh, and the tile blend is an original Katy design called Luna-sea.

New bathroom vanity, sink, and cabinet

I was able to do a lot of the relatively idiot-proof work in the kitchen, putting together the cabinet drawers and doors.

Kitchen cabinet doors and drawers in place

That is a temporary plywood counter top, thanks to Bob the Builder. We are still considering counter top materials, but we needed a work surface.

We got almost the whole downstairs painted. Robert was master of the priming. Then we came behind him and put up the gorgeous colors that Katy chose. The great room is painted a lovely blue green called Quietude. The pictures don’t really do it justice.

View from the kitchen to great room

The guest room is Exciting Orange. Again, the picture doesn’t do it justice. But it is really stunning in my opinion.

Guest room all made up

Our room is a soothing color called Hinting Blue.

Master bedroom

Okay, next on the to-do list is flooring. We’ve decided to go with local pine and hope it will be installed by early June when we return. Then we are going to take a crack at putting the polyurethane on it. (or maybe not.)

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