Library trim is done! And Happy 3rd Birthday to our Maple Forest Cottage in-the-making!

22Jul15 – Steve & Micah had a surprise for me this morning when I came home from teaching my Yoga class:

The Library trim is done!  Wow!  Except for our variation of just two windows together instead of three, it looks just like the original Maple Forest Cottage Library/Office with all the trim lined up!!  “This doesn’t happen without good communication” as the architect Michaela Muhady says in the DVD.  Although in our case it was more like ‘some miscommunication with corrections along the way’….

You don’t know how cool this is for me after waiting all this time – since the 90’s when I first set eyes on a photo of the Maple Forest Cottage and fell in love, and now three years, yes 3 years! this week since we started construction on this mammoth project.  Wow.  What more can I say…..


A mill work assistant for Steve!

20Jul15 – I was on vacation with my son & family at a cottage on Lake Winnipasaukee last week.  It was so great to “get off the Rock” and play with my grandchildren!

We got a great referral for a finish carpenter named Micah.  He’s a joy to have around and is helping Steve get some of this plethora of mill work under his belt.  It took a week for both of them to hang all the doors – rest assured, they are all perfectly level and plumb!  And don’t worry, I won’t bore you with pictures of all the doors.  Just one token door in the master bedroom…..

Ugh, I even deleted and reloaded all the photos and they still are out of order.  Sorry about that.  Click ‘Next’ for two photos and then click ‘Previous’ to get all the rest.  So strange…




Trimming out the Maple Forest Cottage

08Jul15   Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July.  We had our neighborhood/community party yesterday.  What fun!   Steve & I are still recovering from all the great food and delectable desserts we managed to consume.

Steve is continuing the main floor door & window casings and general trim.  It is so exciting to see the cosmetic touches looking so well.

We went down to our favorite mill work company, Smokey Mountain Lumber , this afternoon to order our crown molding, stair treads and ballasters.  They should be available in a week or so.

8 1/2 weeks til we should be moving in. Oh my, could it really happen this time?


Interior doors arrive, adding cherry trim to main floor and more….

29Jun15 – We’re working on so many different areas at the same time!  I’m helping Steve whenever I can and I’m still making regular trips down to the Artesian pond for water for all our flora!

I’m also in the process of designing my new business website with  Black Mountain’s Kudzu Branding , and working on a land deal.  Ay caramba!  So I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves today!

In my Home Office (!!!!), lots of clamps, and door jambs

17Jun15 – I have to share that I am finally in my home office in the lower level of the main house!!  Oh my, this is such a treat.  My own space where I can concentrate and be in a clean environment.  You just don’t even know….

We put on another layer of veneer early this morning – too hot during the day with this heat wave.  I’m impressed by the number of clamps it takes to take straight pieces of lumber and make them want to curve into our demi-lune deck’s top railing.

Meanwhile, Steve is making the door jambs for the first floor doors that are on their way.  Normally a pretty easy project, but each jamb has to line up perfectly in height so the horizontal maple banding is level all around each room and hall way on the main level.  No small task.  His laser level is being put to good use!

Still watering plants, deck railing, main floor window trim…..

15Jun15 – Not much to report this week.  We’re still watering plants religiously.  We’re going through a heat wave of 93 degrees that next few days, so we’ll be making trips to the artesian pond more frequently.

Steve has started to attached the veneer strips to his elaborate  railing top “form” on the demi-lune portion of the main deck.  I’ve never seen so many clamps at one time!  We have three 1/2″ layers of strips up – we’ll be finished at 11…. It’s a slow process.

We decided to lightly stain our cherry trim for more depth to the cherry.  After playing with loads of formulas (of course, plain cherry stain wasn’t working – too orange) we came up with 50%/50% Cherry wiping stain/Red Mahogany wiping stain diluted in 8 parts mineral spirits.  It works!  All the cherry window stools on the main level are in! (we learned that’s the correct term for the ‘sills’ on the inside.  Window sills are on the exterior.  Still sounds funny to me.)   It’s such a nice contrast to the maple trim around the windows.  Little by little, the inside is starting to look like the Maple Forest Cottage pictures I’ve seen for so many years.

Main floor trim and more watering of the plants!

08Jun15 – We’ve been spending a lot of time tending to our new landscaping.  That means up to 5 trips a day down to the watering hole to get 210 gal. each time to then return to our yard and pump it out and quench the thirst of all our trees & plantings.  It finally started to rain last week and it was such a blessing to be able to skip a day watering here and there.  All plants are thriving except one lilac.  Her sister right next to her is fine but she just isn’t making it for some reason.

Steve has started the main floor trim.  Whoa!  Now this is a major project.  The detail is so beautiful, but executing it will take some real skill and patience.  It’s bound to go slowly, so I need to focus on what I can do to move this project (ie getting our C.O.) along.

I prepped the lower level travertine floor yesterday & today, readying it for sealing.  Then, yes then, I get to move my real estate office from the back of the garage to my office space in the main house.  This is big.  I’ve been wanting to do this for months and now it’s here!  I’m delighted.

Landscaping Day 12 – Done!

26May15 – The landscaping was finished today!  I spent most of the day away from the activities as I had a closing to attend to that took all day….  But here are some final shots.  It will be fun to see all the growth through the Summer.  More Landscape pics then.

Landscaping Days 10 & 11, and more Cabinet Carcasses

22May15 – Fred and crew are off for a long Memorial Day Weekend, and much deserved!  They’ve been working really hard, long hours to give us our beautiful yard.  We’re watering religiously, sometimes twice a day and so far ‘everyone’ is looking very happy.  The grass sod is even starting to take root.  Nature amazes me…..

Glenn, our cabinet maker, and his new assistant, Alphonso, came yesterday with more cabinet “carcasses”.  We’re supposed to actually get some door fronts, drawers, and cherry tops in the next two weeks.  What a long haul this cabinet process has been….

Landscaping Day 9

19May15 – More things happening with the landscapers today.  They are work horses!

Of course, this also means more trips down to the artesian well at the community entrance to fill our portable 210 gal in-the-back-of-the-truck water tank!  We make a couple to a few trips a day depending on the weather and the number of new plantings.  We’re actually enjoying the 6 min fill up as we watch the kazillion tadpoles grow.  Some are starting to grow their tiny frog legs.  Sounds silly, but it is such a peaceful respite from the crazy busy-ness of building our Maple Forest Cottage.