The Fireplace is Finished!

I know everyone is probably sick and tired of hearing about this fireplace. Believe me, no one is as tired as I am.

As a reminder, we were going to paint the floor. But before that could happen we had to lay a new hearth. Before that could happen we had to get rid of the old wood stove (which stuck out in the room) with a new wood stove (which doesn’t).

We got the new wood stove (Camano by Avalon, a local company) at Kirkland Fireplace. They were able to cut down the legs of the stove to better fit the opening. It was installed by Top Hat Chimney (425 827 4657), who did a wonderful/ingenious job figuring out how to fit it into an existing opening with an existing chimney liner and still getting it flush with the opening. If you ever need any work done on your fireplace, I highly recommend them. Plus they are super funny.

After installation, we were left with a hole in the face of the fireplace. The trick was to figure out a way to patch it without it looking patched. Then we could finally tile the hearth.

FireplaceBefore

The new Avalon wood stove and the hole left behind by the pipe of the old wood stove.

The main problem was the odd bricks. They have a chiseled tapered border. I researched looking for replacement bricks – I couldn’t even find a name for the style. After some thought, we decided to tile the inset area and create a ledge from angle iron. This way, we only had to deal with one replacement brick.

This is how it turned out:

FireplaceFinished

The “Madison” sign is an old street sign from Seattle (it’s also where the husband is from). I wasn’t so fond of the logo on the stove, so I attached the sign with magnets to cover it up.

And this is how we did it. Continue reading

Craftsman Trim Installation

A while ago, we stripped/prepped some wood for our Craftsman trim. I was afraid it was going to take a while to get it installed, but we had a spurt of energy and got it done! We matched the trim style of the rest of the main floor, read more about that here.

Finished Office Trim:

Office_after

Finished Craftsman style trim, matching the original trim style of our 1911 bungalow. Salvaged Fir doors from RE-Store.

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Finished trim on the office door, opening was added during the remodel. Salvaged divided light hinged door from Second Use Building Materials.

Continue reading

Stripping and Re-using Old Painted Trim

We are in one of the final phases of our decade-long remodel – putting up door trim. We wanted to use some old (and decrepit) painted trim that we had removed during the demo, but it looked like crap. But when we looked a little closer, it just looked like crap on the surface, so we decided to get the heat gun out and remove the several layers of paint that were gunking it up.

OldTrim_before

Old trim, before stripping.

Continue reading

Hearth Removal: Concrete, Jackhammer, Persistence

The hearth re-do.

Our intention was (6 months ago) to remove the existing mortar bed of the hearth so we could lay a new tile hearth flush with the floor. I’m embarrassed to admit that we haven’t made any progress with this project since last spring. For a reminder of where we left off, read this post.

A quick re-cap: we removed the wood stove and its tile pad, revealing “faux” tiles made from concrete which sat on a mortar bed.

FireplaceHearth_before

The first layer of concrete was easy to remove with a chisel and hammer, but there was a very stubborn layer of concrete underneath. We went to work on removing it. Continue reading

Coaster Art from Tree Branches

(This appeared as a guest post last week on Mod Podge Rocks.)

Here is a fun and easy project if you ever come across a downed or pruned branch – coasters made from tree branches. When stacked on their base on your coffee table, it becomes a mini-sculpture.

The Project: Stacked coasters made from branch slices with concentric circles of ephemera applied to the surfaces. Coasters are drilled through the center, and are stacked on to a metal rod which is attached to a thick branch base.

BranchCoasters

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BranchCoasterDetail

Continue reading

This Plus That Equals: Industrial Coffee Table

We found these HUGE casters at Second Use (where else?) and immediately thought “coffee table”. (Actually what I immediately thought was that the husband would kill me if I brought home another big metal piece of randomness – like this and this and this.)

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8″ diameter industrial casters.

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WoodPlanks

Planks from RE-Store, planed.

Plus

GasolineCan

Old Gas Can from Habitat for Humanity.

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Visualize Your Idea: Build a Quick Model

Here’s a tip: If you have a design idea floating around in your head – a new deck, staircase, fence, arbor, etc… build a quick model from cardboard or balsa wood. You don’t have worry about being too precise or neat – it just helps to see your idea in 3-D so you can see it from various angles.

Below are a couple of prototypes we’ve made – as you can see we weren’t too worried about fine craftsmanship, but it gave us an excellent idea of how things would work together and what modifications to make to the final plan. Continue reading

This Plus That Equals: an Industrial Wall Sconce

Instead of preparing for the holidays, I thought it would be more fun to make a light fixture. I found this old enameled sign at Second Use Building Materials a while back and never  quite knew what to do with it. Then last week, I was looking online and ran across a cool light bulb cage (for only $6), and all of a sudden a light went on in my head. (Ha!)

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Vintage enameled sign, from an old stove (I think!).

Plus

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Lamp supplies – cloth covered cord and protective cage are from 1,000 Bulbs. The cage arrived with a shiny finish. To remove that finish and darken the metal, I soaked it in vinegar. Our house smelled like pickles, but the great patina that resulted on the steel was worth it!

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This Plus That Equals: a Lamp

When we found this old car jack at Second Use, we weren’t even sure what it was – it just looked COOL! We thought it would make a great lamp base, so when this old utility clamp light came along, it seemed like a perfect match. This project was very simple, with no wiring except for adding a new plug.

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Utility Clamp Lamp, free giveaway.

Plus

JackStand_before

Old Jack Stand from Second Use, $4.

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MetalLamp_on

Funky Vintage Adjustable Table Lamp.

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Purging: It ain’t pretty.

Taking a load of donations to Goodwill.

This is one of the reasons we started Hammer Like a Girl – helping each other with yucky projects/tasks like this that we put off until the pile threatens to fall over and hurt an unsuspecting passerby.

Before: The pile in my basement. (I’m not proud of it.)

BasementPile_before

After:

BasementPile_after

Next time we will take a recycling trip: the plastic bottle tops will go to Aveda, the Styrofoam and peanuts to Ikea, the pvc pipe to RE-Store, and the used batteries to the local Hazardous Waste Site.

GoodwillList

We worked out a little system to make this project not so painful. Monica documented the items on a list (for tax deduction purposes) while I went through and bagged stuff up. When we dropped the bags off at Goodwill they gave us a tax receipt which we stapled onto the list – when tax time comes along it will make my life easier when I need to itemize. When it comes to taxes, I need all the help I can get.

How do you purge? Would love to hear tips!