Dividing Irises

Two Saturdays ago, we decided to finally divide our irises. You may recall some of the posts I talked about them. We did not know they were there until we had a pecan tree taken down about two years ago. That gave the area enough sun to force the bulbs up. However, we noticed they did not bloom and was not sure what they were until this past Spring. We had one lonely bloom. (Click here for the picture).  So, we researched yellow irises and found a plethora of information about how to divide them, how to plant them, when to do it, etc.  The 8 years we have lived here, we have not divided them.  According to the LSU Ag Center, you are supposed to divide irises in September/October while it is still a little warm and before it gets too cold. They need a little sun and getting used to their new flower bed before it gets too cold.  So, with two tutorials and lots of pictures, we culled them.  It just about gave me a heart attack. I was sure that I was doing it wrong. However, I was following the tutorials and what I was doing matched what they were showing!

We had so many irises that probably could have replanted half of the city’s flower beds! I gave 2-3 boxes away to friends and established a good many back in the area they were in.  I made a little gravel place for the City meter reader so they would not have to step in the dirt bed.

I guess I won’t find out if I did it correctly until next Spring!  If they live, I did ok. If they die…I will be sad!!!  The picture directly below is the bed of irises, right under it is what we culled. Below that, are pictures of the new bed. I guess you can check back next Spring to see what will have! Hopefully they will bloom. Sometimes they do not right after they are divided, so it may take 2 years before we see the fruits of our labor.

 

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Washing the rhizomes and soaking them in water to rehydrate the roots before planting.

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Here are the tutorials we used:

Better Homes and Gardens Dividing Irises

Replanting Irises

Louisiana Ag Center: Irises

Weekend Project: repainted porch furniture

Last weekend I was given a set of porch furniture. It used to be Steven’s aunt’s at her bed and breakfast in Natchitoches ten years ago, then my mother in law had it a while, then it was passed to me. At first I thought it was wicker, but upon closer inspection (and trying to pick it up!), I saw that it is some sort of nylon that looks like wicker.

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I looked some sets up online and they range in price from $600-$1,000 new. Wow….

10 cans of high gloss primer and spray paint and…voila!

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I bought the bird seat cushions and pillows from Pier1 and the Khaki sofa seat cushion. I bleached the burgundy/green pattern from the original seat back cushions so they would match better.

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I made the blue pillows from fabric I had. The stripes are dress front pin tuck things. Not sure what their proper name is. I bought a box full at a flea market for $2 with the intent to make pillows.

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The polka dot pillow is old, old. I had it in a container in the attic. It matched (somewhat), so it got tossed on the porch.

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I spent $150 on pillows (they were on sale and I asked for a discount on a couple that were a little dirty. They gave them to me for 45% off) and new seat cushions. I reused the original seat back cushions and made pillows. Cost: $0. The spray paint/primer cost $38. Total: $188. Not too bad for saving $600-1,000 for a new set.

Done!? Are we really?!

I hate to even make an announcement that we are finally finished, after 8 plus years of work (and lots of breaks in between :-D), because as our luck would have it, something big would break…perhaps a geyser in the yard? Or, a random safe falling from the sky making an obscene hole in the roof (hey, I’ve watched the road runner, it happens!). I also realize (cue shaking the head and wiping tears) that you are never *really* done when it comes to old house upkeep. So, maybe I can say that we are done…for now. Will that suffice?

I’ve had a lot of requests for updated pictures and more in depth before/after. In preparation for our appraisal tomorrow, I have cleaned the house and fixed quite a few cosmetic bo-bo’s (I am sure you will find quite a few more I didn’t fix), so I thought it a perfect time to take some 360 videos. Are you game? I will do some before/after photo blogs when I get around to it later this summer.

I only videoed the master bedroom, hall, living areas and kitchen. I’m not brave enough to show the kids’ rooms and who wants to see bathrooms? Coming up tomorrow will be porch and exterior tours. I thought it was fun (and a whole lot easier than taking pictures!) and I can also use it for insurance purposes should that Acme safe ever fall out the sky.

If you are new and would like to see some before pictures, you can search for “realtor walk through”, click on the name of the particular room you want to view in the cloud tag, or click on “before and after”. That should get you some really old photos to look at and compare how far we have come. Here is a post I did right after we updated our major systems (roof, plumbing, paint, mostly exterior projects).

I ordered the videos so that if you watch them in the order I posted them, you will feel that you are walking with me, or at least can make sense of the floor plan. Here you are! Tell me what you think!

PS: Note to all the perfectionists: ignore those cosmetic blemishes.

Note to old house purists: yes, I know I don’t have velvet curtains and Victorian tchotchkes. “Museum style” has never really been my thing.

Note to people who want paint colors: I will publish all paint colors in a future blog post when I do the final before/after pairings.

Did I cover it all? Leave a comment if not :)

Master Bedroom:

Small weird hall and the back of the Great Hall:

Front of the Great Hall, study, living room and dining room:

Kitchen:

Back Wall Painting Done

You may remember this post from March when I was quite indignant about getting a $20,000 bid to paint the back of our house. You will also remember that I decided to buy the tools necessary and paint myself. Since that time, we have been sanding, scraping, priming, caulking and painting on the weekends.

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Today, I totaled all of the receipts on materials and tools we spent.  We spent a grand total of: $1,792.12!!!  That is over a $18,000 savings for doing it ourself!

Here is our cost breakdown:

House Paint (Benjamin Moore, White Heron, bought at Joseph’s Paint)    $323.06

Primer (Valspar Exterior primer, bought at Lowes) $213.30

Paint brushes and caulk $39.82

2 Wagner paint eater sanders and 8 discs $251.04

Graco paint spray gun and tips $300.00

Scaffolding rental $664.90

Now, we are done! This past weekend, we finished up cleaning the paint overspray from the windows, caulking the windows so they won’t rattle (YAY), and painting the window trim.  Thankfully, that was the last bit needed until we could really call this house DONE!

Of course, I have painting the shed, backyard landscaping and some other spiffy things up my sleeve. But, as far as the house…inside AND out, we are DONE!

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Great Hall Interest Wall

I was flipping pictures and found some from when I put up the interest pieces on the hall wall.  For quite some time I have gathered pictures and ideas on what I wanted to do with the wall once everything was painted.  In between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we completely finished sanding and painting the wainscot and refinished the floors.  My hall wall was ready!!!

Here are a couple of my inspiration pictures:

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Here is what I scrounged the shed and attic and found:

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I laid it all out on a quilt in the hall to see how I wanted to arrange it all.  I disliked the different colors and decided to use some Martha Stewart metallic paints to unify them.  I also bought some black silk ribbon to hang some of the frames and painted some clothes pins with acrylic paint to match.

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After laying it out and measuring the wall, I realized that I did not have near enough items to cover the wall. So, back up to the attic for a couple black shelves and a couple other misc. items.  I come back and find my daughter like this. She told me that she was “framed!”. It made giggle…

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More items……more paint………more arranging………..and here it is:

 

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I am looking for a small flat sign that says “FAMILY” to go in the top right ornate frame. I may either make or order a decal. I haven’t gotten that far yet.  The above picture was taken right after i got it all on the wall late November (I believe) and below is a picture I took today.  I need to fill in the empty picture frame. I really like the shelves. I have moved things around according to season and according to what I want to look at.  Overall, I was pleased with it.  You will notice that I did not repaint the pew. I think the color has grown on me.  Most of the frames I bought from garage sales or goodwill.  The black shelves I had in the study, but when we added the bathroom, they came down and I had nowhere to put them…until now.  Thanks for stopping by!

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