Archive for the ‘Log Rhythms’ Category

27
Jun

Log Rhythms: Door Debate…

With picking a maroon-colored metal roof and gray stain for our cabin, one would think I had already decided on the exterior door color for our cabin and that this job would have long been done by the time we had finished the inside work, right?!

Wrong.

Our exterior doors arrived in a light cream color. We were so eager to have lockable cabin doors that we didn’t paint them in the beginning. In fact the cream color almost became the color of the doors. I was beginning to think that the dark colors I had chosen for the outside were getting too dark and the cream color actually worked with the other exterior colors to my astonishment.

Even my daughter talked about how nice the existing color was and wondered if we needed to keep them a light color. Then reality happened.

With all of the traffic through these doors to work on inside projects, we had managed to put dirt all over these poor doors. I thought they would clean easily with some good old-fashioned elbow grease and cleaner, but I was wrong. I either lightened the existing color (and it was in patches!) or the dirt remained.

20
Jun

Log Rhythms: Endless Trim…

Even with all the major work done on the inside of the cabin, one final task remained: Trim work. If we weren’t such a nice family, one could argue that there was still some lack of privacy in all of the bedrooms and bathrooms, because the baseboards and door trim had not been put up yet.

This project, unfortunately, began in the summertime last year…in Texas. Much of the work had to be done outside. Granted, we largely worked under porches, but it was still hot, sweaty work.

It wasn’t easy for the hubby and father-in-law–I wanted an arts and craftsman look trim-wise. Each door required 4 pieces of trim. Each window required 7 pieces of trim, including window bucks. Even in a small cabin like ours, that meant entire rooms filled with stacked trim pieces as the hubby and father-in-law routed each piece. And that doesn’t even include the baseboards!

06
Jun

Log Rhythms: Aid for the Kitchen…

Well, my best laid plans for getting you some updated pics of the cabin did not occur. My latest health adventures prevented me from trekking to the cabin. I’d like to say that I will be there this next weekend to do just that, but I have other commitments on the plate and that just won’t happen until the end of this month–my apologies for the delay.

It’s ironic that I used the term “on the plate” because today I’m telling you about our fantastic kitchen and laundry room appliances. You need to know a few things first:

  1. The hubby’s a great amateur chef. He likes better than average kitchen appliances.
  2. I can cook and bake, but I can go 335 days without either activity, and be perfectly content.
  3. The only time of year I cook and bake is at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The hubby and I go all out for those two holidays, food-wise. Thus, we need a LOT of room when we do so.
  4. I like appliances that either self-clean or are easy to clean, since I’m “the maid.”

30
May

Log Rhythms: Plumb Crazy…

Thankfully, this log cabin of ours does NOT feature one thing true of the original log cabins in the U.S.–an outhouse. Thus, I actually deemed it fun deciding how to “outfit” our 2 bathrooms, our kitchen sink and our laundry sink.

I wanted the bathrooms to have that arts and craftsman “feel,” so I already had decided that the fixtures would all be white, as they would have been back in the arts and craftsman era.

As you might suspect, this is where the hubby’s engineering end of the build came into play with my aesthetics end. This was particularly true of two plumbing areas: faucets and toilets.

I have had a lot of bad luck with faucets throughout my life. Why? Because I listened to commissioned salesmen “voices” who sold me on Moen and other brands I knew I didn’t like in the first place. In my experience other brands leak remarkably soon after installation and become a cleaning nightmare in the process.

23
May

Log Rhythms: Door Staining…

While we were acquiring flooring, cabinets, counter tops, appliances, and plumbing fixtures, we were still existing with few interior doors. There are no hallways in the cabin to utilize every inch of floor space, so not having bedroom and bathroom doors all this time was often a problem.

If the hubby and I were the only ones there, it really wasn’t a problem, unless neighbors or contractors came without warning. But if our awesome family came to help, it really made things awkward for all of us.

Even for our little cabin, there were a lot of doors. Eleven interior doors had to be stained and sanded 3 different times. Since both sides of a door have to be treated this way, that makes for 6 different rounds of sanding and staining per door, or 66 rounds total.

Trying to sand and stain one side while another side is drying is very difficult for even the best do-it-yourselfer. Based on all of these factors, we decided to have our interior wall staining crew price this job. It turned out to be a very reasonable price and within a weekend, we had doors installed!

17
May

Log Rhythms: Cabinets at the Cabin…

As you may have noticed, I have a “particular vision” for this cabin and I don’t compromise that, easily. Part of the “vision” was to have very, very simple farmhouse cabinets. And while I’m sure the hubby could have made cabinets for our kitchen, laundry room and bathroom, it was just too time-consuming for a guy who is regularly on the road.

Thus, we elected to use a local cabinet maker. The hubby selected the cabinet maker he felt would do the best job. Unfortunately, I am a very “visual” person–I have to “see” what something is going to look like before I can tell you if that is what I envision. Our cabinet maker chose to very roughly sketch how the cabinets would look and the drawings were not to scale. The hubby convinced him this was necessary to get a final okay from us.

Then, he wanted to put crown molding on everything.

09
May

Log Rhythms: Floors, Part 2

Last Wednesday I discussed how we wound up with Wild Horse Sandstone for our counters and tiled areas of the cabin. We even considered putting the floor plank tiles everywhere in the cabin. Indeed, that would have made for easy clean-up everywhere.

When I think of log cabins, I do think of wood flooring. With its rising popularity these days, it seemed important to put in some wood flooring for a few parts of the cabin, particularly since we hope to rent the cabin in the future–potential renters would expect to see wood floors in a log cabin.

Thus, I began researching the possibilities for such flooring. If you are a fan of this blog’s Friday posts, then you know, all too well, that we have a golden lab by the name of Maizie. Maizie is a sweetheart, very smart, and we adore her presence most of the time–she’s often both our entertainment and our dearest companion now that we have an empty nest.

02
May

Log Rhythms: Floors, Part I…

After all that sanding and staining, it was time to work on the fireplaces. To do that we needed rock (or a reasonable fac simile) and after visiting several stone and brick places in our area, we decided that East Tyler Brick in Tyler, TX was the best place to get a quality product for the least amount of money.

East Tyler Brick has far more than just brick and stone. They have pot belly stove replicas, “throw-back” appliances, and outdoor living furniture and equipment. While the hubby was finalizing the stone order, I noticed a patio table off to one side. It had a wooden top on it, but also had a metal base. The wood grain was amazing and very polished. It puzzled me, quite frankly.

I went over to the table and when I examined it further, I realized it was actually STONE! I fell in love with it, instantly. My mind raced and I checked myself quickly with this thought: “We’ll never be able to afford it.” But the next thought was: “Maybe we could do the bathroom counters in this?”

25
Apr

Log Rhythms: Sanding and Staining…

Perhaps the most daunting task of finishing out the interior of our cabin by ourselves was sanding and staining the interior walls, doors and trim inside our home. “Phase I” of this process involved sanding all the interior walls and ceilings.

Just doing the vaulted ceilings was a massive two-week undertaking. While the hubby had tremendous help from our youngest and the DSL that first weekend, the hubby was forced to take some vacation time and do most of it himself.

After looking at several log cabin magazines, I had one fear and I have a sneaky suspicion many log cabin families fear the same thing: making the cabin too dark. Our neighbor says and I agree that one does have to install more lighting in a log cabin than in conventional housing because the logs are already going to naturally darken the room and absorb light.

Thus, I elected to go with the lightest stain we could find to minimize this effect.

14
Mar

Log Rhythms: Spring Fling

Weellllll….I didn’t quite follow through on my intention of keeping you up to date with all that is going on with our Katahdin cabin at the Reserve at Montalba. Let’s just say my spiritual direction practicum is to blame.

However, the practicum should be finished by the latter part of April and I will be back to my blogging shenanigans. In the meantime I want to give you a brief update and…an invitation!

We are now “at the landscaping stage” of our little gray cabin in the woods. And a new pond is going in, as well as our driveway! I finally got to drive down the driveway this past weekend and we can now park a car in the carport! Hallelujah–I never thought I’d see this day!

We have already had two sets of guests at the cabin, too, and celebrated our first Christmas there. I used to think I did well decorating my own home for Christmas, but there is just something special about decorating a log cabin for Christmas. And it was our first grandson’s first Christmas and New Year’s, so it was even more special.

But, back to that invitation I mentioned. Each year the Reserve holds an “Open House” of sorts–Spring Fling! It’s held in conjunction with nearby Palestine, TX’s Dogwood Festival.