I got part of the roof shingled while the witches were here yesterday. This morning I am continuing with the process.
It's very hard to concentrate on what I am doing with Tessie sitting on the roof peak, loudly singing a medley from "Fiddler on the Roof". She realllllly likes "If I Were a Rich Man". Over and over....
I stopped about two courses of shingles on the other side to write this. I couldn't take the serenading any longer. Zar was about to join in when I left.
I need lots of reference points for doing a Russian cottage, so I went straight to the source.
April majored in Russian and has been over there a few times. Being the good daughter that she is, she always knows what to bring back for me. These are just some of the books that she brought back. The two on the left are on Russian cottages and patterns for the intricate trim that goes around the windows and doors. The two on the right are on Russian needlework. They will all be useful for decorating this house. Tessie had her nose buried in them all of yesterday evening. And yes, she was humming a lot......We know what that means. She really liked what she was seeing.
She has used a whole pad of post-it notes to mark things that she wants incorporated into the cottage. The cottage is nowhere near big enough to hold everything that she marked.
Yesterday, I was thinking that I should "age" the shingles and other areas of the cottage sooner or later. Tessie and I put our heads together and she concocted an old recipe for ageing that has been around for years. I let her do it. I didn't want to get involved. It is nasty stuff while it is brewing.
If you try this at home. Please do it outside and with a bottle that you don't want to keep....In other words, don't use Grandma Daisy's cut glass punch bowl.....She won't be happy with the resultant stains.
I am sure that there is an exact recipe for this somewhere, but I usually just pull apart enough of a roll of steel wool to fit into the bottle and then pour vinegar over it to cover. It can always be watered down later.
The vinegar reacts with the steel wool and turns it black. That, in turn, makes the vinegar into a stain.
Tessie just informed me, "I did the important part. I put the stuff together. You have to fish the steel wool out of the bottle. I don't want to get my apron dirty."
Why do I always get the dirty jobs? I am going to mess with her head and just pour the vinegar solution off into another bottle. Ha! I win!
The Shaker peg in front is what I tested it with. At the bottom you see the raw wood. The center gray part is what it looked like yesterday and the top part is what another coat of it did this morning. I think it is pretty close to what I want.
By the way, if you try this, be aware that it expands and smells icky. The liquid bubbles up and overflows the bottle if it is too full. The white foam on the top of the bottle in the picture is the result. I did have it too full at one point and it overflowed. I am doing it on a glass top table outside, so the overflow will wipe right off. Be very careful!
The resultant liquid is great for aging, but the mess that you create if you aren't careful can be really irritating and sometimes impossible to clean up. Do it at your own risk!
I am going back and play with shingles now.
See you tomorrow.