Shake that booty

As I pondered news to share here about progress we’ve made on the church, I realized I never shared before-and-after photos of the west side of the church.

This area of the old Methodist church received a lot of attention last summer when we sided the garage and finished repairs to the belfry.

Here’s how it looked “before” when that functional-but-less-than-pretty fire escape was still attached:

fire escape after new windows
This picture was taken after we replaced the windows. 

Note the distinctive architectural feature between the first- and second-story windows. After finding the original wooden shakes on the fluted portion of the belfry, Tyler suspected wooden shakes were also hidden beneath that aluminum siding on the west side. So he had You-Can-Call-Me-Al remove the siding, and behold, the original shakes.

west side revealed
Removing the aluminum siding revealed wooden shakes in the peak and between the windows.

The wood shakes were in pretty good condition, and we wondered why on earth they were ever concealed. They desperately needed paint. You-Can-Call-Me-Al replaced about 20 of them. Tyler rented an articulating boom to make the belfry repairs, and You-Can-Call-Me-Al also used it to fix and paint the west side.

west wide articulating boom
Useful tool, that articulating boom.

You-Can-Call-Me-Al painted the wooden shakes a similar color gray that we painted the stone foundation. Those century-old shakes soaked up the latex.

west wide after
A few pieces of white siding are missing on either side of the center fluted area in this picture (let’s be honest, in reality, too). Still, a huge improvement.

The west side turned out so well, we decided to copy the fluted peak and shakes on the new-construction garage, too.

west side garage match
Note the fluted peak of the garage. These shakes are a man-made substance manufacturered in rows, not individual wooden shakes like on the west side.

If you look carefully at the belfry, you’ll see the new spire. I’ll share more about the installation of that spire in a future post.

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CSH Book Front Cover OnlyIf you enjoy renovation stories or more specifically, this renovation story, mark your calendar. The book version of this blog, Church Sweet Home: A Renovation to Warm the Soul, will be available May 5. Stay tuned for details.

What middle age does to a woman

Our story so far: My husband and I bought an old Methodist church with the intent of converting it into our dream home. Weeks of demolition revealed the bones, and now we were working on mechanicals like plumbing and electrical.

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Chapter 13

Besides playing office as a child, I treasured my Fashion Plates. Fashion Plates was an artsy toy from the late 1970s that allowed you to design your own fashions with interchangeable plates embossed with outlines of shirts, skirts and pants. The young artist, or designer, would rub the embossed shapes to get the outlines, then color in the clothes with fashionable colored pencils. Voilà! A new fashion design! I was a fashion designer!

When I began earning money by babysitting, nearly every dollar went into my fall shopping fund. I pored over magazines and catalogs, spent days shopping at malls to find the trendiest fashions and created details plans of what I would wear every day to impress my rivals at school.

I grew into a 5-foot-10 woman who could pull off a wide variety of looks, and I filled every closet I ever owned to overflowing with my fashionista finds.

But when I turned 50 and acquired a muffin top and wrinkles, spending money on beautiful clothes and dressing my aging body became, well, less satisfying. It became clear I could no longer pull off miniskirts and sleeveless tanks and body-skimming shapes.

So maybe that’s why I became transfixed with dressing my home. I enjoyed the creative thrill of combining various pieces into a unique look, and when I showed it off, I didn’t have to suck in my gut.

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Tomorrow: How to create a style guide for your home. Read about it here.