Is the painting finished yet?

Putting up masking to repaint the ceiling

Technically, no.  Well, maybe.  Okay, I’m honestly not sure anymore.  We’ve repainted the walls and now the ceiling, so everything has about 4 coats of paint and at least one coat of primer.  It is our living room after all, so we’ve wanted it to look absolutely perfect and it has taken a while to get there.  We switched brands of paint as well as colors for the room in mid stride and ended up not liking the results.  So, after some debating a lot of test mixing, we finally found the right wall color and then Bill wanted to repaint the ceiling to a matte finish so that it looked smoother.  I can’t blame him, and yet it was just too much for me to think about.  I’m ready to be done already.  I think we’re honestly both tired of living in the dining room.  Not to mention, once this room is actually finished, it will be the first time in 2.5 years that we’ll live in the house in all the rooms.   Since we moved in back in July of 2009 we have yet to occupy all the rooms of the house and enjoy them all at once.  Once we move back into the living room, all ten rooms in the house will be used to their full capacity, and we’ll take a much needed break from plaster work.  Oh, there is plenty more to be done, but Bill is going to do some wood working and I”m going to paint for a while, maybe a long while.

The final choice of green

So, this is the living room at this point.  I haven’t yet decided if I really want to stencil this whole room.  I know, I know.  I have started creating a stencil for it and I’ve talked big about it, and now I’m changing my mind again.  The walls look really nice plain and I’ve picked out a ceiling stencil.  Thinking I might just hang art and pictures and let it go at that.  I’ve decided how to stencil the front hall and with a patterned rug, it might be enough. (I do realize that I owe you a stencil tutorial.)

We aren’t going to buy rugs for a while, though, considering that Will is enjoying the walker right now and the hardwood floor works well for him.  So, we rolled up the other rugs downstairs so he can maneuver room to room on his own.

The Christmas tree is planted squarely in our front window this year, a different spot than the previous two years.  It will be hard to decide the permanent place for the tree, but it seems to belong in this room for the long haul.  Now to place the furniture and think through how the baby will get around and what he’ll want to pull down or crumple.  Once everything is in place, I’ll post some completed photos and take you on a house tour as of where we are right now.  I just want to get all the plastic down and tools put away first.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!


Just a few pics

Fall 2009

So, it is way past time to catch you up on all the house doings. The house is readying for a winter season. We have already had a first snow fall and a few hundred trick-or-treators. 🙂 You can see how far we have come in 2 years from the before and after shots of our house in the fall. I still have a lot of gardening to do, though, to give our house more street appeal and just to enjoy our little yard. We were lucky that there was so much mature foliage upon moving into this place, but I still have yet to learn what everything is and how to care for it. There are some huge lilac trees in the back, along with five quince bushes, blackberries and loads of flowering bushes that are new to me. Our priorities have been the inside for obvious reasons, but I’m looking forward to plunking the baby down in a sandbox in the spring and beginning the huge process of creating flower and veggie beds.

Fall 2011

On the inside, we have finished plastering and painting the living room.  It is a soft green right now, but completely the wrong color.  You might wonder how that happened, considering that Bill and I are both painters and I chose these colors eons ago.  Well, metamirism would be the answer–how the light and setting have effected the color.  (Did I spell that right, Bill?)  Painted on a small swatch held up next to the other palette, the color looks marvelous, but once painted on the whole surface of the room, it looks to bright and to blue.  So, I’ve got some faux work to do to correct it, along with another full room of stenciling.  It has to look Victorian, match the dining room and work well with my furniture and hallway plans.  So, pics of the bad “Green” to come.

Below you can see how the plaster work came about, with plastic covering all the woodwork and pellet stove.  Since the stove is now lit and working, we had wanted to complete the painting before the fall season.  The room is still empty, we’re using the dining area as a living room space.  Bill is working on the mantle, refinishing it and getting ready to build an upper mantle to work with our mirror and the cherry moulding.  We’ll wait to do the floors until the baby has worn them down to a nub riding toys and what not across them.  Possibly by Christmas, we’ll move back in.

Ready for priming

You’ve been waiting!

Waiting to move in

That title implies that I would be showing you a completed nursery, right?  Well, it is complete to a degree.  The crown moulding is in, we’ve put down a carpet and the baby has moved in.  But, I’m still painting.  Yes, it does take me that long.  I’m working on a Peter Rabbit mural for the nursery and now that little guy is napping in there, I can only work in bits and pieces.  However, here are the pics of the room so far.  We finished painting the room a light turquoise and then readied the closets.  I decided to paint them a bit darker than the walls.

Mural in progress

Previously, we thought we could line them both with pine and/or cedar and call it done, but the expense kept us on the original plan just to re-plaster.  My father had removed all the wallpaper in them during the winter, so they were completely bare.  Bill re-plastered and built shelving and I primed and painted.  In the meantime, we shopped for a carpet.  To keep the dust at bay and the baby healthy, we have decided to wait on refinishing any floors right now.  Course, this drives Bill crazy, but it keeps us moving along on getting plaster work done. . . and has given Bill motivation to work on other wood projects (such as our mantel).  So, the room has a full rug, which was hard to shop considering the room is shaped like an octagon.  We ended up purchasing a rug that was custom cut. . .but the store had to do it twice to get it right because the room isn’t square!  Crazy hard.  All in all, it is a clean comfy nursery space at this point, but not as fun as it is going to be.

Hard at work

While I’m painting away on the nursery (and finishing stenciling in our bedroom), Bill has moved on to plastering the living room.  As you may remember, the ceilings have been sheet-rocked.  So, he is working on the walls and seams.  The woodwork in there is all cherry, which we love, but this will mean that any additional work we do will need to match.  Well, we would want it to match.  Eventually, we would like to do a crown/picture rail moulding in there to formalize it.  However, the main woodworking project we need to complete is the fireplace mantel.  It is currently pine, and we are thinking that it is original, but we aren’t sure.  It looks to simple to be Victorian, and yet, we found a matching mantel in oak online that dates to 1890.  So, we are debating whether to improve the piece we have by wrapping it around the stove more carefully or to build an entirely new piece that would go up the wall.  Any thoughts on that?

Nice window, eh?

My favorite thing in the living room is the side door.  It leads to the porch, which is the front porch that wraps around, but the door is mottled with shellac and old stain.  I love it!  I don’t want to refinish it at all, because the patina is so beautiful to me.  However, Bill might win out.  It should be refinished to complete the house and care for the wood.  Sigh.  (I like this door even more than the stain glass in the front window).

So, this is our current state. . . Hopefully by the holidays we can have a lot more done.  It would be nice to be in the living room by Christmas, for Will’s first.

Changes are coming

Well, we’re off to a slow start this year.  The master bedroom is my pride now that it is complete, however, we’ve found a major glitch in our renovation system.  The baby appears to be allergic or irritated by the products we used on the floor!  So, that great little nursery nook we made?  Well, it all had to be moved, and moved again.  At first we didn’t know it was the room, so it took us a while to figure out that our son was agitated and stuffy because of the solvents.  I can still smell them faintly, but Bill can’t smell them at all.  So, we were hoping to be settled.  But, the baby has a sensitive system, so we moved him next door into the guest room/green room.  Alas, the floor still seems to bother him, so we moved him down to the library.  And now, currently, the baby’s room is in our library.  (And, our bedroom is the close-by dining room).  The green room still holds the crib, and there is a pack and play in the kitchen.  It is a long story, but when one has a baby, the house seems to collect baby things in every room.

We were going to focus on finishing the floors this summer, but we aren’t going to move forward on those until we know what finish to use.  Our previous choice was not only easy to maintain and looks great, but it is extremely durable.  The best choice for low odor will be softer and more likely to scuff.  Throw out ideas if you have them.

But, we are plugging away at Will’s new room, whether or not we do his floor right away.  Bill is spending bits of time here and there plastering and I’m well. . . I’m nursing and diaper changing a little man who will eventually be helpful on the home renovations, too.

You can see how much he has grown in 3 months.  He is giving us a workout physically but we’ll get back to full swing eventually and finish this project! 😉

Taken last week, just after a feeding
in the hospital the day after he was born

Stay tuned for a video tour soon!

William’s growth

It has been a month since I let you know about the birth of our son.  He has gained about five pounds and a few inches since then.  So, I thought you might like to see his changing looks.

His first week home
2 weeks later
at one month
and now

A huge thanks to my cousin Sarah for this bouncie seat, which he loves but is almost too big for at this point. Yup, got a chunk on our hands. He actually seems to want to grow this fast, he seems ready to run or fly. Thank you, too, to Molly and Aunt Donna for these outfits. We’ve already started a box of things that are too small, but we’ve been able to enjoy and wear (or pee on) everything we’ve been given.

As a family, we have been so blessed to have so much support around us for our first child. I was given two baby showers (both surprises) and we’ve received so many wonderful gifts for Will. Thank you so much. It has been encouraging and wonderful to have the love around us as we start this new journey. I can say that it is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I look forward to what the road holds for us.

the Baby has arrived

William August Berthel was born a week ago today on February 22nd at 4:20 am.  He weighed 7 lbs and 12 oz at 20.5 inches long.  As we adjust to our new arrival, we’ll be taking some time away from working on the house and his new nursery.  I will post more pictures and stories soon, just so you can get to know him as well.

First touch

Merry Christmas from Bill & Karyn

About us. . . a break from the housework. . . reflections on the year:

Another year has flown by, and it has been a whirlwind for us here on 60 West Main. We have gotten so much work done on the house, and it is really beginning to feel like a home.  But, the house is just a small part of our news.

Winter and spring were a busy time for us, as Bill started back to school and I had a lot of traveling with work. Bill’s job in HR at Golden Artist Colors is  gaining momentum as he is learning the manager ropes.  Currently, he is the HR Generalist, assisting in manager duties. Celebrating his 21st year at Golden, he has really accomplished quite a bit professionally.

On my end, work headed the other way. After producing some DVDs for my company and a busy winter building new products, I was let go due to restructuring. With a few national presentations to do in June, I was hopeful that doors would open for consulting or part-time work. After six months, I’m still unemployed with no prospects. I have had more time to paint, however which I am loving, and you can see my artwork at

But, the timing for my unemployment hasn’t been bad, due to the fact that Bill and I are expecting. “Evening” sickness has stuck close by, but the baby is healthy and will arrive in early March if all is on schedule. We were happy to find out it is a boy, and he is quite active already. Our nursery project is far behind, but it will happen in good time.  You’ll be able to see all those details here on our blog.

Well, that is our full and busy year, and the next, I’m sure will hold more surprises.

May the season be a wonderful time of reflection and joy for you, and your New Year be blessed.

Love, Bill & Karyn (Heidi & Baby Boy)