A Woman’s Perogative

They say it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, and I’ve been pushing my prerogative to the limit.  So between that and just sinful laziness, I’ve fallen far behind schedule.  Construction is mostly now complete on the first floor, but lighting has become a definite PROBLEM which I won’t go into lest I tear out my hair and go screaming into the snowy Maine woods, never to be seen again.

I had a very Merry Christmas and some time off from work, which tends to transform you into a Netflix bingeing zombie cradling a half gallon of chocolate ice cream in your lap with a big serving spoon in one hand and a sticky remote in the other.  It’s a not a pretty picture.  But some ice cream factory somewhere is handing out bonuses due to an astronomical profit margin.  So I’ve done my bit for the economy.

Before I fell into a lactose-induced coma, I exercised that woman’s prerogative and repainted the living room, going from Oceanus to Cabana Blue.  Then I repainted the utility room from Clean Canvas to plain Ceramcoat white.  I began working on the narrow little staircase, and changed my mind several times regarding the balusters and how I might get just enough width to make it plausible that a small person could actually fit between the railings.

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Yes, I put tiny little black nails in the treads. The madness continues. Along with some dark wax to make it look old.

Next came baseboards.  Apparently 18th century baseboards were pretty tall, and cutting 45 degree angles into bits of wood too tall for the cut saw or the mitre box was a nightmare challenge that I truly loathed enjoyed. Finally, after a lot of swearing cheerful humming, I stained them with Ipswich Pine, put on dark wax and installed them (except for the kitchen, which will have a compact kitchen unit unless I totally mess it up in which the little people will get an old stove and refrigerator from the dump). I also stained a bi-fold door for the utility room, and gave it a good buffing with clear wax, no aging as it’s a new door in the old house. I HATE the giant hinges on the back side, but they’re totally cemented to the door, so I have to live with them.

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I then embarked on the 12 over 12 colonial windows from scratch, and if you believe that, I have a flying reindeer on my ceiling.  Once again, after many trials and more errors, I came up with a plan: I bought single-paned, double-hung working windows, then stained and waxed all the bits.  Then I painfully measured the panes and drew up a frame and mullions using a desktop publishing program.  I cut them out and glued them to illustration board, which was (hallelujah!) exactly the right thickness to lay flush with the window frame.

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You may not know this, but cutting tiny little squares out of illustration board was a method of torture during the Tudor era.  Henry VIII actually sentenced Anne Boleyn to life with illustration board hard labor, and she stuck it out for a while.  She was only beheaded because she literally BEGGED to be executed rather than face one more #!%*# little square. Luckily, I only had 28 of these window frames to cut out, so I survived.  But I’ve gone totally gray.  I then painted them, and stuck one set of mullions to each side of the window, et voila!

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Christmas then intruded, and I was able to uncramp my hands and enjoy the day with my little ones.  “Dad” very sweetly put up stockings for Santa to fill, each with their name (Dunkin, Merri, Pooh, Koko, Moses, Sebastian) so they’d know which was their own.  HAH.

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The carrot tops concealed rich little packages of rabbit junk food from Pet Smart in the stocking toes.  They went at it like starving savages.

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After the festivities were over, I was able to install all the windows (except one, which didn’t survive my experimentation – replacement on order).  I was going to install a Deerfield door until I realized that the decorative little urn at the top came up over the roof line.  I had to cut the bottom out of the door opening in the dollhouse, lower the door, and then plug up the empty space at the top.  The framing will cover the new piece on the inside, but the outside may present a problem which, like Scarlet O’Hara, I’ll fiddle-de -dee think about tomorrow.

I’ve been monkeying about with making newspapers, magazines and Yankee Candles, but in the meantime I swept out the house as best I could to take photos of the current status:

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That’s it!  I’ll keep plodding along.  Happy 2016!!!!

5 thoughts on “A Woman’s Perogative

  1. Oh thank goodness! It feels like forever since we have had another installment in the continuing saga. I probably get way too much entertainment out of this, but it so fun! And there’s nothing on TV this time of year!

    I love the house and what you are doing with it. I wish I had a grown-up house just like it! I love that you take such good care of your rabbits at Christmas. If it’s true all animals can talk at midnight on Christmas, I bet they had lots to say about their mom!

    You are a talented, gifted, and very witty writer. Thank you for letting us come along for the ride.

    Happy New Year!

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  2. I, too, would love to have a house like this. Sigh! But I realize that this is the closest I’ll ever come to owning Cape property. Unless I win the lottery, in which case I’ll have to purchase the entire thing and deport everyone to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Hey! Sounds like a plan!

    Thank you for your very kind words and a Very Happy New Year to you!

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  3. This house and your dedication to it continue to amaze me. Seeing those illustration board cutouts and thinking about the effort and patience it took made me cringe multiple times *shudder.* But they look so good! As does the rest of this build. This is fantastic, and yay bunny Christmas!

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    1. I have a much larger house which I’m planning to do once again as a renovated 18th century house with twice as many windows. And yes, I will insist upon making them 12 over 12. Somewhere, in a haunted craft supply store somewhere in the universe, there’s a gigantic sheet of evil illustration board with my name on it, laughing insanely in anticipation of the horrors to come. Thank you again, and yay bunny Christmas! Now I’m sending them out to find part time Easter egg delivery jobs and they are GRIPING!!!

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      1. Oh gracious sakes, *shudder* I wish you godspeed on your quest. My craft material yoke is a sheet of polystyrene insulation…been used on two houses for terrain and it shows no signs of disappearing. I commend your dedication and the reno sounds inspiring.

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