frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Project Number 2

So I figured that I would get that mantle stripped on Saturday and have Sunday and possibly Monday to work on the Garage. Why did God make me so delusional? I have not stripped a piece of furniture in maybe 28 years. I am kind of remembering now that I vowed never to do it again. Yes, that memory is coming back to me,
My first mistake was painting the entire mantle with stripper. Like as if it would be done in one day. My second mistake was buying this wimpy little package of steel wool. I will need a bale of the stuff before I am through. Kate helped me a little. We were in the backyard with the mantle laying horizontal on four 5-gallon paint buckets. First I was using an old paring knife to pick out the paint between the little tiny crevices in the carved designs, then I switched over to a straight pin. I worked like that... I don't even know how long, but it became too dark to see. My reward is the revelation of the most exquisite design. Little flowers and ivy leaves and roses, and the circle in the design has an oriental design to it and finally, a stylized shell at the bottom. There are acanthus leaves running down the sides, and some more little flower clusters on the front. I will finish this, and it will be gorgeous, but what a job! I'll post pictures today.

I've got to run over to Home Depot this morning. A 24 mile round trip. Our local hardware store is closed for the holiday weeked. Imagine the nerve? (joke. of course the devils at home depot never close)
Right now Joe is taking apart our coffee maker. I consulted the Consumer Reports website when we were buying a new coffee maker to make sure I got a good one. Now, about six months later the bitch won't work. It keeps saying, "pour water" when there is water in there. I am this close to buying a perculator like my mom and dad used to have. That stuff is so annoying!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Finished Brick Walkway

Finished walk!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Remember the Hurricane?

I suppose you can tell that the hurricane was no big deal for me, since I almost forgot to mention it. It rained like hell on Saturday, and the power went out around 3am. I always forget that losing power is a big deal. You can hardly do anything! We have an electric range, so we could not even make coffee. Our grill is gas, but the side burner is shit. You should have seen us driving around Sunday morning looking for coffee. First we had to find a town with power. Every road was blocked, wires and trees down, one road was blocked by a mudslide. You don't see that too often. Finally we ended up out on the highway at a truck stop.

The other thing about no electricity is that our sump pump won't work. Our house is OLD, and the foundation is made of stones. Water just comes right in. This is the case all over town. Since we live just under 2 blocks from the river, water in the basement is a fact of life.We all have french drains and pumps, but no one has a rec room in the basement. We ended up with 3 inches of water down there. Just enough to make the place smell bad. Once the electricity came back on, the pump worked and the water was gone. Now the floor is even dry.

Here is the picture of the Delaware River from the Frenchtown Bridge. The water had not crested yet, it did get higher. Still, not enough to cause major flooding in our town. We enjoyed watching entire trees float down the river toward Trenton. We fantasize about getting a canoe and riding it all the way to the Delaware Bay. I wonder if you could really do it?


Joe and I have been trying all summer to get someone to lay a brick walk in our back yard. It is to replace the old cement path that leads from our deck to our garage. We always have a hard time getting contractors to do work, because we are a pain in the ass. We want them to do it the way we want them to do it. We are picky about the brick we want to use, and most contractors want to use their own material. We already have our brick. Long story short, we finally found someone to do it. Joe also bargained to tear up the old walk himself, saving a couple of hundred bucks. The day the guy agreed to do it, Joe came home from work and went nuts tearing up that cement. I could not believe it. I wanted to take a before picture, but I never got to it, because it was half gone by the time I got home. He put up with lights outside, so he could keep working. Oh, if he could put his mind to my attic studio that way! (This labor day weekend marks year 2 since it was started and no where near finished.) I believe the walk will be done when I get home today. I did manage to get a picture with the old walk torn out, before the new one was in.

In other news, our garage needs painting. You can see the garage in the picture. I bought scrapers and five gallons of outdoor primer. I will begin sometime this weekend.

   When I was buying the primer, I saw a bottle of that citrus stripper stuff. It reminded me that I want to strip this mantle piece we have. The mantle is not attached to a wall, there is no fireplace involved. It is just decorative. It is painted white now, the paint job is kinda shabby, which I know is chic, but I'm just not into it. I had a piece of tape stuck to it at one point, and the tape took the paint right off. I've been going at it with my fingernail, and in the space 2 days I have taken most of the paint off. A lot of it came off in big sheets.There are decorative parts of this mantle, and the paint is not coming off that so easy, so I will still use the stripper.

So, I have plenty to keep me busy this weekend! What are you doing?