Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Tile Project that Wouldn't Die IV

I'm having trouble yet again getting back into the studio and into the unbroken time of thinking and working. I never seem to be able to get away from the house.

There are so many decisions that have to be made and problems that crop up daily. It's impossible to just nip out to the studio and do some work.

To Whit:

We're still working on the bathroom tile project. One bath is finished and I am refreshing the wall paint and re-caulking the tub. It's the only available bathroom on the ground floor and it's pretty crowded at the moment.

You see, our house was built by a Swedish emigrant who made his living there painting interior room decorations in houses and churches. There are some of his work still in existence in the house today. Come to think of it, this house has had three owners and all three have been artists. humm, interesting.

Thanks to a visit some years ago from a couple of nice little old ladies who used to visit their Uncle Sven (I don't really know his name) when they were little girls, I found out that once, the back wall of the basement held a painting of about 8' X 15' of "Dewey's Entrance into Tokyo Bay". And on the floor, now concealed by many layers of concrete paint, was a rendition of an oriental rug. (Red paint keeps re-appearing each time the current paint gets nicked.) Too bad the previous owner didn't like it.

I wasn't too crazy about this linen closet door, but the thing has grown on me. I just don't have the heart to paint over another artist's work. We also inherited many indoor decorated shutters which are now living in the barn, but that's another story entirely.

But back to the current house project: The Tile renovation had expanded to redoing the floor of the hallway powder room/bath. The original floor was ancient linoleum. So ancient that it was the marbleized, swirly green malachite-looking stuff . I hadn't seen a floor like that since I was a child. (And incidentally, the very same lovely stuff was the surface for the kitchen counter! Ugh! The countertop was complimented by a Pink (PINK!) kitchen sink. The first thing we did was install a steel sink and I tiled the countertop.)

Today, we have a new, lovely grey-ish porcelain tile floor that makes the room great. The original owner/builder decorated the walls with painted sailboats that look to me like in the style of the 1920s or 30s art. When we re-did the windows, we carefully protected the work and now I have to refresh the paint in the mural to match the new coat of paint needed for the walls. I'm experimenting with the use of friskit to block the fine lines and to preserve the coral paint. I Really don't want to redo that part of the walls just yet. You can see where I have tried to do an overpainting of one boat hull and it didn't work too well. I've since found a much better match for the original color.

Ignore the mess on the shelf. It's my catch-all place since we had to abandon the master bath.

I love that old florescent chrome lighting fixture. As well as the old iron tub spigot. They are vintage for the house--sometime around the early 1940s. I have the old mirror out of the frame. The wall under the fiber board is solid pine planking.

Would you believe I walked into an antique store and found these two metal bookends? And did I have to buy them? You bet! I didn't care what they cost. Turns out they were very cheap.

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