Making a museum

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One of the perks of living in an old house is that you never know what you will find. In attics and basements, in outhouses and barns, you can discover old junk that someone stored there ‘just in case’. Things that first lost their value in the onslaught of the modern, but since then have gained another kind of value through the romantic tint of Olden Stuffe.

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During our latest stay at the cabin, we started cleaning out an old barn in order to display some of these old things in a museum-y way that heightens that value. You only have to put something in a frame or a context to make people see it in a more positive light. What looked like rubbish just now, lying thrown in a dusty corner, is suddenly a relic, an artifact. Like these old cake tins.

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It takes some doing to brush away the filth of the decades, but it’s very refreshing to survey the result.

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And windows that sit in the cracked old concrete walls of a barn where cows were once kept can suddenly become picturesque just because you put some ancient paraphernalia in them.

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Pretty, isn’t it? So let’s ignore the piles of still-unsorted junk right outside the frame…

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Floored again

Yesterday I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for about a year: laid a floor on the landing outside one of our front doors (long story, don’t ask). It’s been an eyesore – ugly plastic carpet with paint stains – but now I suddenly had the energy to do something about it.

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About a year ago, I started on this tiny space by painting the frankly revolting wall green, but I never got any further. The floor is only three metres square, but it’s still a proper project, you know? You still have to drag out all the STUFF and you have to THINK and DO THE THINGS and you’re working in ergonomically horrible positions and it takes time.

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But I’m a firm believer in waiting until your natural instinct – your body – tells you to go ahead instead of working against your energies. So this time, even though I should have been scraping the facade, my instinct guided me to lay floors instead. And because I obeyed that hunch, it went splendidly. 🙂

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And the SATISFACTION. So worth it.

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Roman update

Work progresses slowly in the Roman room. Last night I surprised myself by putting in several hours of work – on a day when I’d promised myself not to budge the fraction of an inch from the TV sofa. But it turned out that scraping old floors was the perfect antidote to a goddamn aneurysm over the many stupid flaws of the education system. Win-win.

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I’ve been spicing up my videos with royalty free music, so you might want to have a look at my latest effort – tongue firmly in cheek. 😉

This old house

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I think I’ve only shown you pictures of pretty parts of the house, but believe me, it’s an ongoing battle to make this dump habitable! 😀 That’s why I’m trying to document the process – to be able to look back at how horrendous things were before we did something about it. It’s so easy to forget what went before – you just put in hundreds of hours of hard work and as soon as a problem is fixed, you get amnesia and/or only focus on the next one.

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One big project is the facade. Half of it is painted red – the only part you’ve seen, I think – and this summer we’re planning to paint the rest. It’s in pretty bad shape – and it’s the wrong colour. The cinema is called Röda Kvarn, after all (Red Mill/Moulin Rouge), so the house better be red, right?

magnus

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Yesterday, though, it rained all day so we couldn’t work on that. Instead I started on a random basement room where we’ve just stored Stuff. It’s in horrible shape. I won’t bore you with the gory details, but you can see for yourself that it’s not exactly cozy.

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That floor! *shudder*

Every time I’ve passed that room to get something in what used to be the shop part of the house (the previous owner’s father sold men’s clothing), I’ve sort of stopped in here and surveyed the space, wondering if there’s anything at all you can use it for. And yesterday it struck me how to combine function and form.

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To be honest, I dithered a bit at first. Hubby suggested white for the walls, and I was on the verge of agreeing because it’s cheaper and reflects light. But the room didn’t really want to be white. We really love colour, and it felt like a waste to paint this room a dreary non-colour just for scrimping purposes.

So. I pored over our collection of random paint buckets that we’ve gathered over the years when they’ve been on sale, and there was this one tomato red that was sort of nagging me to “Pick me! Pick me!” So finally I did.

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The inspiration for this colour scheme is the HBO series Rome, so I’m trying for a “marbled” effect (on my level of expertise, which is zero). Suffice to say I’m not trying to make the paint completely cover the stone everywhere. I want that rugged, withered look, so that when we eventually store wine in here, it’ll feel properly Roman and ancient.

Unfortunately the paint was really glossy, and I tend not to check that kind of thing beforehand because I’m soooo spontaneous, so the next step will probably be to a) sandpaper the surface a little, b) fill in the white spots with a rag dipped in diluted ochre yellow, and c) maybe incorporate an intermittent pattern of gold. We’ll see.

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For the pathologically interested, here’s a short video. 🙂

Careful carpentry

I’ve mentioned that we’ve had a balcony built, and it’s on the attic floor, so there’s a need for some floor laying so we can actually reach the balcony. We’re also waiting for a door, but we’re hiring a carpenter for that job. The floor is doable enough for an amateur, though.

Today the work began.

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Well, hubby worked, while I mostly took pictures… I did some work of my own, though, but that’s for another post.

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Half of building something is thinking.

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There was a lot of saw dust, but it looked really atmospheric in the warm light.

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You find all sorts of things in an old attic. Money, toys, and ancient newspapers.

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Seriously, the light up there… When everything is made of wood and the window faces south, it really makes for a warm glow.

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