Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Demo & Fun Finds!

We had an extended (4 day) weekend due to the New Years Holiday. So how did we spend our holiday? You guessed it! Working on the house.

So this is about where we left off last time. The plaster is torn off the lath boards and a closet has been torn out (you can see the studs still in place to the left). This weekend's project is to take out the doorway (seen on the left) and widen it to make the front part of the room and the sleeping porch portion of the room (pictured here) seem like one larger/suite-like room.

Before we can start widening the door, we have to move a light switch and outlet that is currently next to the door. We have a mixture of electrical wiring in our house. As seen above, we still have some of the old knob and tube wiring (some of which is still in use, some has been left in the wall after it has been replaced with romex etc...."Hello, and welcome to todays episode of LET'S...GET...ELECTROCUTED!!")
While Giles works on rewiring, I continue to take down plaster & sheetrock in the front part of the room. Fist I wanted to attack the chimney pictured here. We know there is brick behind this plaster because below this room is our kitchen which has a brick chimney exposed which extents through the attic. I'm hoping the brick is still in good shape since we plan to leave it exposed.
Luckily the brick is in great condition. The hole towards the top is an old vent. We will most likely find a nice wrought iron vent cover for that.

As we tear off the sheet rock on the wall opposite of the brick chimney, we uncover layers and layers of wallpaper covering the old plaster. (Note: If old wallpaper doesn't interest you, you can skip over the next few photos. I think it's interesting! Who knows how old some of this stuff is! We guessed the top layer alone is probably at least 40-50 years old!)

Here is a closer look at what the top layer of wallpaper looks like. A lot of it was still in suprisingly good condition (probably from being protected by the sheetrock).

Underneath the first layer, the next decernable layer had little pink and blue flowers which looked almost hand painted when you got up close. You can also see that there has been some water damage in this area (which is probably the reason it was covered by sheetrock). I kept a sample of each wallpaper type I found (I'm just sentimental like that I guess...after all, it's part of the history of our house!).
This is the next thing we found. Giles found this when he was doing some more plaster demo in the other room. For some reason someone cut this photo out of a Magazine. It looks like they started to cut her out from the background she was printed on but for some reason they stopped. It was also cut into 3 distinct/even sections. I think this was part of a puzzle. There are numbers out to the side of the photo and on the back of this photo there is type from an old magazine explaining the rules for "the puzzle." The name of the magazine was "Photoplay Magazine." Photoplay was one of the first film fan magazines. It was founded in 1911 in Chicago. Photoplay began as a short-fiction magazine concerned mostly with the plots and characters of films at the time and was used as a promotional tool for those films. Beginning in 1920, Photoplay gave out what is considered the first significant annual movie award, the Photoplay Medal of Honor (later Gold Medal). An actual medallion was produced by Tiffany & Co. Photoplay reached its apex in the 1920s and 1930s and was considered quite influential within the motion picture industry. The magazine was renowned for its beautiful artwork portraits of film stars on the cover. Photoplay ceased publication in 1980.

Here is one of the many cover archives I found online for Photoplay Magazine.

Here's Giles working on the doorway opening. Since we had to take out some structural studs to widen the doorway, Giles had to reinforce the remaining studs and top beam so the house wouldn't become unstable ( you can see the support beam on the left is about four 2X4's thick).
Well, here it is folks! Our newly widened doorway! Isn't it beautiful?! This little project got us energized to keep going and get these two rooms finished quickly. It's really cool to see the house transformed little by little each week!
We'd like to thank Tucker for all of his help this week. We couldn't have done it without him :)

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