'DIY PROJECTS PAGE'~

ON THIS PAGE WE PERIODICALLY FEATURE PHOTOS OF JUST A FEW OF OUR MANY PROJECTS.

 

email~

countryladyantiques@yahoo.com

___________

 

We've made some updates to this page February 5th, 2023~

 

 

________________________________

 

 

PLEASE NOTE~ We are not on Facebook.

The Country Lady Antiques on Facebook is an entirely different person and business.

THIS SITE DOES NOT ALLOW PINNING TO PINTEREST.

Unauthorized use and or duplication of any photos/material on this copyrighted site without our permission is strictly prohibited.

____________________________________

 


A BATHROOM PEEK~

Quite a few years ago we had re-done our bathroom with new bathtub, walls, lanterns for lights, rain shower, dry sink in old black distressed paint for a vanity, antique mirror frame, a very old antique hanging pine cupboard on one wall, as well as some other 'old touches'...

We had put in a natural stone sink too, which was just the perfect color and size as the tile in the tub area...

We had made shelves for the room from 18thc. boards.

We had a wood floor, but it became damaged over the years from moisture.

FAST FORWARD TO OCTOBER, 2022~

We put in a new bathroom floor.

We wanted the look of old, grungy wide board wood planks but needed the floor to be waterproof and durable.

We found some gorgeous, large porcelain tiles that were exactly what we wanted. We've now finished the project and are thrilled! Given that the house is 250 years old and nothing is level or straight, it was an epic and grueling morning til night 4 day project, and something we had never done before.

Even up close you cannot tell that the floor is not old wood.

Old patched linen tab curtain for shower in a natural light mustard.

Stone sink. Old drysink vanity in 'worn' black paint.

A very early antique hanging pine cupboard holds a lot of things.

We made the hanging rack from a piece of 18th century live-edge board. It has hand carved wooden pins in it for hanging.

Another thing we have hanging from our DIY crafted hanging rack is this lovely handmade soap on primitive rope.

 

OCTOBER, 2022...

It was also time for a fun little project to add to the 'early ambiance' of our bathroom...

We love this small early antique leaded window we got from England for a bargain...

A perfect size...15 1/2 by 13 inches.

I carefully cleaned the original light green panes of glass...

Salvaged 18th century boards from our stash,

and some hinges we saved and had up in the attic...

A nice photo we enlarged and laminated...

I trimmed the photo to fit the window glass...

Time to build the frame.

I measured and marked the pieces of old wood.

Looking good~

Built by Mary!

Hinges attached.

Moment of truth! Oh gosh, IT FITS perfectly!

~Pretty proud that I did it.

A leftover piece of masonite for the back.

Glued and clamped masonite in place, and put hand carved wood pegs into the frame front...

Installed the window using a thin bead of grey caulk inside, and a narrow bead on the outside along frame edge, but not covering the original lead.

Drilled holes for screws to affix it to the wall, and countersunk them.

Made hand carved wood pins and glued them into the screw holes to you don't see the screws!

This bathroom is an interior room with no windows. This was the perfect finishing touch to the room.

Wow! We LOVE it! Wish you could see it in person. It really looks amazing.

We also electrified the hanging tin sconce.

 

__________________________________

 

 

MAY, 2022~

THE 'NEW NATURAL POND PROJECT'

SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE to see how we've made a large, natural pond ourselves, digging it all by hand.

 

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE MANY OF OUR LATEST PROJECTS~

 

IN OUR OPINION...

AS REQUESTED, WE'RE OFFERING SOME PERIOD DECORATING ADVICE~

I TAUGHT A CLASS ON ANTIQUES AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE AT ONE TIME, AND WE HAVE EXTENSIVE HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE AS WELL AS HAVING DONE PERIOD DECOR IN OUR OWN HOME, AS WELL AS OTHERS.

 

I have received many kind compliments over many years on my home, projects, and antiques. We are longtime history geeks.

Our early cape is the oldest standing house in our little town. I had 17thc. antiques and decor---the 'cringe-y', so-called "pilgrim style", many years before it suddenly seemed to (sadly) became a trendy 'thing'.

SOME 'CRINGEWORTHY' DECORATING FAUX PAS WE WOULD NEVER DO AND NEVER RECOMMEND...

(We'll add to our list)

 

1.

Most importantly, surround yourself with the things you truly love and have an affinity for. Don't follow the 'trends' or current fads. Don't 'decorate' in 'formula' styles, imitating each other. We see far too much of that out there. Along these lines, don't label your home; "This is my Pilgrim style house", "I love to decorate Pilgrim", etc. It's just---silly.

2.

All my life I have done my own thing and not cared what anyone else thought.

3.

---Don't use old army blankets as bed hangings. (In the book 'New England Begins: The Seventeenth Century, Volume 1' you will see in brilliant color a photo of 17thc. bed hangings with similar colors and motifs to my own.)---The first colonists did not hang tatty 'army green blankets' on beds for hangings!

4.

---Don't hang children's chairs (or any chair) on the wall.

5.

---Don't try to replicate a 'Plimoth Plantation 'hovel look' in your HOME. Conversely, we often see inappropriately 'fancy' antique furniture in simple homes---Don't try to make your house look like those at Plimoth Plantation OR a period English manor house.

We suggest you don't put a heavily, ornately carved Elizabethan table or a too-formal, overly carved, too-tall 'castle' /mansion bed, chair, etc. in your home, for example.

6.

---JUST BECAUSE YOU SEE IT AT PLIMOTH PLANTATION DOES NOT MEAN IT'S ALWAYS 'CORRECT'------Plimoth not long ago had the renowned Stuart Peachey from the UK come and give them help and advice to correct some of the things they were doing wrong and portraying inaccurately.

7.

---Resist the urge to put a lot of hornbeams, sacks of grain , foodstuffs, hanging rags, etc., all over every room of your home instead of in a buttery or the like, where they belong.

---No one back in the day would have owned umpteen hornbeams, or have too many pieces of iron at their hearth. A few well chosen and good pieces speaks far more eloquently.

---Don't put too many 'fake food' "vignettes" all over as if your home were a living history museum.

8.

---REGARDING 'WALL-AGING'~IF you are going to 'age' your walls...

~ I came up with an idea and formula to 'age' my walls/ceilings, and did them initially in 2000. I had not seen anyone do this before. After they were featured in a couple magazines, the idea exploded and it seemed everyone was doing it. The main problem I see is that so many are cringe-ingly overdone.

Overdone 'aging' just looks, messy, unnatural, and not at all attractive. I use only 2 products on my walls, and none is paint or food.

---DON'T use paint or ANY food products to 'age' your walls---(I know one woman who diluted her trim paint with water and smeared it all over her walls, and another who used coffee, which will mold in time), and remember that less is more. Go easy. Be subtle, and you'll achieve a look that is warm, realistic, and believable.

 

WINTER, 2022~***

I had my walls 'aged' since 2000, and was tired of the look that now, everyone had tried to imitate. For me, it was time for a cleaner, different look, so we recently got rid of the aging and painted all our walls and ceilings a fresh, bright white that we feel looks tremendous with the old beams and antiques.

9.

---Don't 'ding up', break, stain, etc., reproduction pottery pieces that you buy, attempting to make them look 'old'. The fine craftsmen who make the pieces worked hard on them; Don't disrepect their work. Enjoy them as they are and allow them to 'age' on their own and become antiques in time.

10.

---Resist the urge to buy modern lumber---boards from a home center or lumber company, such as 1 by 4's or 1 by 6's ---and put them on your walls in an attempt to create a 'half timber' or 'tudor look'.

If you cannot save for or find original old boards, we highly recommend you try to come up with a different way to bring an 'old' feel or character to your home.

11.

---A big mistake---"Staging" your home instead of trying to blend your 21stc. life with the endearing elements of a past you love---If you have 'decorated' to the extent that you are forced to live in a 'modern' upstairs or basement room, you have gone too far.

12.

---Don't make every room into an 'all purpose room'. Rooms in a home had specific function(s), especially if you are not living in a one-room hovel at Plimoth Plantation. An example is putting your best table and some of your finer accessories/possessions in your 'best', or social rooms. Don't make a bedchamber into a food or goods storage room as well.

13.

---Along those lines, don't pile inappropriate things on every piece of furniture---I see so many piles of baskets on a cupboard, rumpled replica period clothing on chests or blanket chests, wadded blankets or bedding as well. This is some misguided attempt by some who should know better to again replicate a Plimoth Plantation one room hovel. The colonists were quite sophisticated people from England, and then having lived in cosmopolitan Holland for many years before 1620. They were neat, and wanted a nice home just as we all do. They only piled things willy-nilly because they only had one room initially and no choice for several years until they could construct the homes they desired.

---More is not necessarily better.

14.

Resist the urge to put duplicates of one certain piece in a room. A good example is our triangular stool on the main room hearth---No one would have had too many more of those. Don't get a 'set' of what should be a rare and interesting addition to your period room.

15.

AS TO THE 'FAD' OF ARMOUR (BREASTPLATES, HELMETS, ETC.) HAGING AROUND YOUR HOUSE...

All we have to say is LOL---This is just one of the silliest things we constantly see. Most people would not even possess those things and even if they did, as at Plimoth Plantation, they stored them in a common building, not in their houses.

16.

Don't be a sheep and copy other people! Be original and do your own thing.

 

 

Below, Mary and Adam hired to present 17thc. program at the historic Fairbanks house, Dedham, Mass.

We are fortunate to have a set of 3 books that in our opinion are the best reference books we have in our own collection, and that we highly recommend to anyone interested in the history and antiques of early New England.

'New England Begins: The Seventeenth Century', Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are out of print, but you may be lucky enough to find them out there if you search. We can't stess enough how wonderful these books are.

 

Contact Adam and Mary at

countryladyantiques@yahoo.com

 

PHOTOS OF US WITH STUART PEACHEY OF

'TALES FROM THE GREEN VALLEY'~

Adam and Stuart Peachey.

'Union jack' shortbread cookies we made as a present for Stuart.

Adam and Stuart Peachey discuss the fine points of 17thc. clothing in England and America~

 

___________________________________

 

A FEW PROJECTS~

We have DIY restored our entire 18thc. home ourselves. Periodically we feature just some of our changing projects on this page.

 

___________________________

 

 

The 'free fence project', July 2, 2022

A little fence we built along the chicken and duck runs and the stone path using old pallets we salvaged for free.

See more photos on TOUR page.

 

__________________

 

MAY, 2022~

THE 'NEW NATURAL POND PROJECT'

 

DAY ONE.

We have a large, low area of our property that was always wet/flooded. It was the perfect spot to dig out and turn into a natural pond...

We decided on the size based on the area that was always low and wet.

We first dug a small trench to mark out the area that would become the water's edge of the pond.

This pond is approximately 20 feet long and 15 feet wide or more...

THE TWO OF US ARE DIGGING THIS ENTIRELY BY HAND OURSELVES.

A muddy mess.

We are throwing all the dirt into a pile surrounding the entire pond. This will be a raised berm that will be packed down and planted with pond area wildflower seeds...

We then started digging at the center of the pond, determining an area that was to be the deepest.

We are digging out that area to be a minimum of 2 feet deep.

After we get the deepest part of the pond dug, we will dig out from that sloping up until we reach the edges of the pond.

We put large granite boulders all around the pond. These mark the border of where the water stops.

All of these boulders were on our own property and used to be the foundation of a 19th century barn that once stood next to our house.

All of the dirt that we are excavating by hand is forming the little hill behind the rock line. We are compacting this against the rocks tightly.

We accomplished all of this in one day.

After we get a large central area of the pond dug to about 3 feet deep, we're digging out the rest sloping it down toward the deepest area.

When completed. Adam will rototill the area around the pond and get rid of weeds.

Eventually we'll sow a wodflower and tall grass 'meadow' all around the pond.

We'll get a few live pond plants to put in the water and oxygenate it such as water lilies and duck weed.

It's a lot of hard work to dig this all by hand, and with no other help, but our ancestors did it, and we will too!

DIgging, digging, and more digging to get the center of the pond deeper.

You can see here that we used what we dug out to backfill at the rear of the stone edging. It'll be done all around the pond. The rocks themselves will be the actual water's edge of the pond. The berm behind them slopes gently into the landscape.

We're next starting to dig out the rest of the pond, creating a shallower ledge and a natural slope up to the rocks .

Not bad for less than one hard day's work!

___________________

THE 'NATURAL POND PROJECT'

DAY 2

Today is almost 90 degrees. We went plant shopping early this morning and got all the things we wanted for our gardens.

It's an annual thing we do together on the weekend in mid-May.

For the rest of the day it was dig, dig, dig a new pond by hand---a terrible job in the heat, but we're nearly done with that part!

We've made the center deepest, and then started on the sloping sides. Every shovel full had to be thrown over the rocks to the ground in back.

Tomorrow we're going to rake out all the dirt circling the new pond, pick out the rocks and build the berm around it, pounding it down smooth...

The next step when that is done is for Adam to rototill the area surrounding the pond.

This was a nasty, low, muddy area that always flooded when it rained, so it inspired us to build the pond there.

We think it's now a thing of beauty already, and soon will look like it was always there.

We already attracted spring peepers to it, and they serenated us last night. I think we'll have frogs and dragon flies, etc., in time too.

__________________

POND PROJECT

DAY 3


The pond is now finished and today we graded the ground all around it. Everything we did, we did by hand.
The inspiration to create the pond:
A. It was a low spot on the property with a very high water table in that particular spot. It flooded there as a result.
B. This pond is now filled entirely by the natural water table and rainwater only, and has no plastic liner.
C. We knew we could turn an unusable, unsightly area into something beautiful.

We dug this by hand, hefted stones from an old barn foundation on the property by hand and reused here, and graded around it by hand.

The BEST reason of all for this pond---
Our ducks and goose already love it.

JUST ADD RAIN...
They rain will fill it up the rest of the way to the rocks. As a natural pond with no liner, filter, etc., the high water table in that spot and rainwater will fill the pond.


(See more about this project and others, and a tour of our DIY home and gardens on our website.)

The pond is 20 feet by 16 feet and about 3 feet deep.

We wanted the water level to be able to stay high so we decided to line the pond with sodium bentonite...

Refining the dig and smoothing out the pond. Removing rocks and sloping the sides to the right degree---not over 33 degrees.

helpers!

Pond is 3 feet deep.

About 16 x 20 feet size.

Rainstorms were starting to fill the pond...

COMING SPRING 2023...

We'll be re-tilling all around the pond, getting rid of weeds and sowing perennial wildflowers and tall wild grass varieties of seeds.

CHECK BACK HERE TO SEE US SOWING A WILDFLOWER MEADOW AROUND THIS POND.

_________________________

 

 

We made all of our trellises. This one is for heritage Painted Lady runner beans. We wove twigs in and out of the framework creating an open wattle for the vines to climb up.

_______________________________

 

APRIL 2, 2022~

THE HOPS LATTICE TRELLIS PROJECT

About 7 years ago we built a tall hops screen from trees we cut down for the hops vines to grow on, but after all these years the hard New England winters took their toll and it fell down!

We loved the primitive look they had, but now it was time to build something stronger and more substantial, so today we built a new 'hops trellis' from 4x4 posts and 8 ft. tall pine outdoor lattice panels.

We're very happy with the way it turned out and the hops now have a firm screen to cling to.

This will look especially nice once it 'weathers' to a nice grey/brown patina.

Below are the photos we took of the project.

PHOTOS OF THE HOPS GROWING UP THE SCREEN WILL BE ON OUR TOUR PAGE IN SUMMER~

Working on the new hops climbing screen.

Finished.

___________________________________

 

 

APRIL 2, 2022~

THE SUNDIAL PROJECT

Last summer we saw what appeared to be a human-worked granite stone object peeking up from the dirt in our sideyard. We had never seen it before and a bit of it had become uncovered.

We dug it up and found that it was a gorgeous hand carved granite post! Who knows how old it is, or how long it had been buried in the yard...

Today we finally got the sundial that I have had for a year installed on the lovely post using stone adhesive, and it now has place in front of the hops, and next to the little duck pond.

We just love it.

 

____________________________

 

June 12, 2021~

BEE SHELVES

 

We built shelves above the freezer out in the attached woodshed for all our beekeeping supplies.

We used only scraps of wood we already had.

 

_____________________________________

 

 

April, 2021~

We built a neat arbor trellis near the raised beds in back from trees we cut down in the woods. We added a long grapevine garland.

See TOUR page. We'll be planting climbing plants on it soon~

____________________________________

 

March 27, 2021

BUILDING A COMPOST AREA FROM SALVAGED PALLETS~

We're both building a 3 bay combost bin set up similar to the one in this photo. We're using all salvaged pallets to build it...

An idea...

Ours has the 2 smaller uncovered bays, and half of the structure is roofed with a tin roof.

We made a branch trellis attaching it to the end facing the road and I'll be planting climbers on it.

Getting ready to put the roof on half of it.

We lined the bins inside with chicken wire.

Twig trellis at one end for a climbing plant. Grass seed is going down in the area.

We love our finished budget friendly compost bins.

 

____________________________

 

 

March, 2021~

We found a pair of 16thc. wood shutters and they happened to fit a back leaded window perfectly. We really love them.

I was proud that I installed them on the outside of the window by myself. Adam came home and was so suprised.

Shutters had their original forged hanging pins...

I used hand forged iron screw eyes to hang them.

Spring, 2021. I used an old gate we made years ago as a feature under the window. It faces into the garden.

See the TOUR PAGE for updated photos of this finished project~

 

______________________________________

 

DECEMBER 14-15, 2020~

Goodbye to the huge ugly tree.

We've been trying for years to have the power company authorize and remove a HUGE ugly pine tree from our front sideyard. The electric lines ran all through it, and it was also leaning toward the lines at the street because of root upheaval over the years.

It is 75 feet tall.

It finally got approval, and the tree company removed it for free.

It was in 'Mary's Meadow', and was a terrible eyesore, as well as being messy and dangerous.

We plan to plant one nice October Glory maple in the fenced meadow area in spring.

Here are some photos of the tree removal in progress.

The tree was 75 feet tall and over 3 feet across at the base!

A few days later a truck and crew came and took the gigantic tree pieces away.

Mary's Meadow looks a lot nicer with the huge terrible tree gone.

*Spring 2021~ We've now planted an October Glory maple tree in the meadow and seeded with native northern meadow grasses and wildflowers. See updates on our TOUR page.

The huge stump is about 40 inches across.

Spring, 2021~ We now have our first beehive set up on this huge stump~

SEE OUR TOUR PAGE FOR up to date spring/summer photos.

________________________________

 

June 4, 2020~ Finishing the path in the backyard over to the kitchen raised bed area.

Mary placed the last 6 stones and Adam dug out and sets them in place. Grass seed to follow.

SEE UPDATED PHOTOS ON THE TOUR PAGE.

 

_____________________________

EARLY SPRING 2020

SOME PROJECTS~

The NEW cedar fence around 'Mary's Meadow' project.

We took down the old branch fence we made years ago around "Mary's Meadow"...

We're replacing it---building a new cedar 'farm fence' on land that is not level.

It will have 2 gates with period hinges.

Taking down the old fence and gate.

We both buily this together as we have everything we've done.

Mary framed in the first gate and we set all the fence posts in Quikcrete.

Adam digging holes and Mary leveling and setting posts. We then braced them with boards and clamps while we added the concrete.

The hardware for our 2 fence gates, etc.

The land is not level and we taught ourselves fence building as we went along, like everything else.

Adam installed a wood dowel in a corner post to hold our 'guard owl'.

Chuffed! It's looking very good.

We love the rough sawn, rustic cedar boards we used.

It was grueling hard work but the fence turned out so well and we love it.

Stone mason Mary built little stone walls under low sections of the uneven landscape.

She salvaged every rock from our stream. ~Wait till you see them all in place!

Mary made 2 gates, each a little different.

The driveway side gate...


SEE ALL THE PHOTOS OF THE FINISHED FENCE AND GATES ON THE TOUR PAGE.

 

____________________________________

 

EARLY SPRING, 2020~

THE FRONT PATH PROJECT

 

When I first came years ago, the path to the front door was brick.

NOT our style at all.

We took it all up and gave the bricks away for free on Craig's List---'You come get and load them, they're your's for free'. A lovely older couple came and took them and were so delighted to have them. I helped them load them up...

We're finally working on the path we've wanted---Natural, large flat New England stepping stones just set into lawn.

We got some good black dirt and filled in the old path, compressing the soil...

Mary

We laid down large stepping stones.

Adam set them into the dirt.

Mary put down grass seed and mulch.

We love the way it looks.

 

______________________

 

 

MARCH 2020

#we-don't-panic-we-don't-hoard-we-build-and-bake.

THE GUEST ROOM 'DESK PROJECT'

MAKING AN 'L' SHAPED DESK IN A CORNER OF THE ROOM~

We had an original 19 inch wide pine 18th century board.

We decided it would make a great built in, permanent desk in the corner of our sloping-ceiling upstairs guest room.

We stained it.

It felt like satin and you could see all the old character.

It had one original feather edge which we faced into the room as the front edge.

We attached the wall-end to a beam from below which was at the perfect height.

Mary used a level and propped it up with a piece of scrap wood temporarily...

We added a cleat of the same 18thc. wood to the underside at the corner, securing the desk top to it.

We used another piece of 18thc. wide board for the end support. We'll cut out the bottom to replicate that of a 17thc. coffer we have....

Making the end support from other 18thc. boards.

We made battens on the inside, keeping the original feather edge of the board.

Mary made her own free hand pattern and transferred it to the bottom of the end support board for cutouts...

We whittled wood pins for attaching the top to the leg support. We made a shoe foot leg for the other side.

The finished desk. Cost: 0

(THE DESKBOX~This bottomless box that we made years ago to cover our computer fits great on the desk. Adam carved out initial into the front of it in 17thc. scrip years ago...)

See more photos on our TOUR page~

 

_____________________________

 

WE HAVE CHICKEN KEEPING, DUCK AND GOOSE KEEPING HELP, ADVICE, AND INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE~

Email us anytime as well.

countryladyantiques@yahoo.com

_____________________

 

Jan. 2021~

__________________________________

 

 

MARCH, 2020~

A PROJECT FOR THE 'LITTLES'

We have 2 Speckled Sussex chicks...

Adam built this little fort for the 'Littles' in about an hour with $2. worth of popsicle sticks!

 

__________________

 

THE 'LITTLE GOOSE COOP' PROJECT.

'MY LITTLE GOOSE COOP'~

SEPTEMBER, 2019

No kits, no plans, no help...

We had never done anything like this but we designed what we wanted on scrap paper and the two of us built it, watching videos and figuring it out using common sense as we went.

We are thrilled with our new "little goose coop" for Mayflower, and the ducks Jemima and Charlotte.

The duck/goose coop is in the area we've paved with the flat stones...

We both first constructed the base for the 4x5 coop which will have an angled roof.

Mary ran a chalk line to mark the joists so we could then install the plywood deck floor making sure the screws to attach it were lined up with each joist.

We snagged a sheet vinyl remnant at our local flooring store for $12.

This makes cleaning the coop easy.

We glued the flooring down, weighing it down with stuff while we ate lunch.

We started building the walls one by one...

Mary framed the first of 2 windows. We had three walls done and up by days' end.

We have Two 12 x 18 of these nice sliding windows for the coop, complete with built in screens.

We couldn't believe that the brown was the same color as our house paint. Really nice quality windows, $24. each.

Mary framed in the front wall of the coop with a door and another window.

Trying it out!

The first piece of the siding goes up.

The siding on the sides will later be cut on a sloping angle after the roof rafters are on.

The interior will be this nice butterscotch color, semi-gloss to make it highly scrubbable.

The exterior will be painted with the dark brown flat house paint.

Mary installed the windows and is chuffed! They went in and fit perfectly.

Below, the forged hardware for the coop.

The hinges...

The latch for the door...

The door handle.

Mary got both windows installed...

Most of our tools are old and not 'fancy' but we did a darn good job...

A big thank you to friend Steve who loaned us his nailer and compressor. We used screws in the construction of the coop, but nailed all the trim with finish nails in the power nailer. Nice!

Underlayment on the roof.

Mary measured and cut trim and we installed it.

Nice job! We never before installed a soffit.

Mary trimmed out the door and windows then made a batten, 2-board pine door.

 

And here it is!

Mary made door-stop trim for the interior of the door frame.

Ready for paint!

The exterior and interior colors.

Shingling the roof with cedar shakes and getting a coat of the dark brown house paint on the exterior.

Running electricity to the goose coop and putting in a light...

Burying electric line underground...

So nice to have electric light in the coop.

Radio/cassette player in the goose coop!

THE FINISHED COOP~

Adam making 2 custom predator screens to go over the regular screens inside the goose/duck coop.

Sept. 27, 2019~ Move in day!

Honey Crisp apple tree at back corner of goose coop. Getting another apple tree and a Black Ice plum to plant soon.

See more on our TOUR page.

 

________________________

 

CHICKEN KEEPING~

Come into the old attached woodshed...

The covered bins hold duck feed, chicken feed, and scratch grain. Scoops inside. We have a coop cleaning bucket handy with all the tools we need for cleaning inside...

On a shelf above this we have 'chicken stuff' we use in the feed, nestboxes, etc. The medicines, and other 'chicken stuff' has a special shelf inside the house.

 

_____________________

 

 

SPRING 2019~

THE CEDAR 'GATE-IN-THE-STONE-WALL PROJECT'~

We made this gate in about 2 hours from all leftover materials.

We used leftover cedar pickets from the fence we built last year.

All of the materials used were leftovers...

We hung the gate on heavy iron pintle hinges.

The cedar will age to a nice weathered grey/brownish in time, and so will our cedar-shingled cape.

The gate in fall.

 

~It was a busy Saturday with projects, and a gorgeous sunny day too, so perfect for grilling on the BBQ for our dinner...

Cheddar burgers and...

...'Cape Cod grilled corn' ---olive oil, mayo, smoked paprika, lime, feta cheese...and fresh cilantro and mint from our garden...Yum!

 

__________________________________

 

When we started work on the new duck/goose coop area...

Laying New England natural stones in the new duck and goose coop area, and more stone paths.

This is right next to the chicken coop and run, so they are neighbors.

Adam laying and setting the stones in the new duck/goose coop and run area, and the path around the yard to the shed.

THE TEMPORARY DUCK/GOOSE COOP...

This was our temporary coop for the ducks and goose...

After constructing the new big coop we moved this little one to the backyard along the side of the garden shed and it's now the coop for new chickens while they are young, or for broody or sick hens.
See NEW photos on our TOUR page.

The permanant 6 x 6 x 6 ft. tall duck and goose run, directly across from their coop.

For the floor of the duck run, we dug down about 7 inches, laid down some 1/2 inch hardware cloth, and then filled in with lots of pea gravel. Easy on their feet and easier to keep clean all year.

Looking into the duck/goose run. It backs up to the chicken run so they can always see each other.

We made the gravity feeder for the ducks and goose with PVC components and it has caps to keep food dry and pest-proof, and closed at night.

We made the duck-friendly waterer from a 5 gal. plastic bucket with a lid, and it has 2 holes just the right size cut in it.

~They eat and drink with minimal mess.

_____________________

 

WINTERIZING THE DUCK AND CHICKEN RUNS.

We use clear plastic shower curtains and little bungee cords to wrap the chicken and duck/goose runs since we have a lot of cold and snow here in New England.

_______________________________

 

 

THE DUCK POND PROJECT~

We wanted to give our ducks and goose something much better than a flimsy 'kiddie pool'...

THE BEAUTIFUL, IN-GROUND, 5 ft. DIAMETER DUCK POND PROJECT---

You don't want to build a pond with a pond liner that can't be easily drained. Ducks and geese are messy, and we clean the pond and change the water once a week so we knew we wanted to build one with an easy, underground draining system...

...A lovely little pond we've built ourselves in the area of tall grass and wildflowers, right in front of the hops poles.

The pond has a drain, and we surrounded it with natural New England flat stepping stones.

Working on the new duck pond...

We wanted one at least 5 feet across, so we started with a large, 300 gal. stock tank we bought on sale, and cut it down with a sawzall.

The depth was now much better and more manageable.

(We put the cut-off round of the tank out by the end of the drive with a 'FREE' sign, figuring someone might have an idea of how they could use it... Sure enough, a man stopped and was so happy to take it for use as a chick brooder!)

Adam dug out the spot to sink the pond into the ground and leveled it. We also located it in an area that naturally slopes down so the long underground drain pipe is at a correct angle to drain the pond...

We have a special valve and handle, also underground out of sight and connected a 10 ft. long PVC pipe sloping down, for the pond to drain into an unused brush area...

We set the pond on a layer of sand to give it a soft base to sit on...

The area surrounding the pond is now covered in wildflowers and tall grasses that are lovely all summer...

At the end of the buried drain pipe we put some pea gravel in the hole, then filled in the trench with dirt, and the underground drain spot where the pipe ends is hidden with rocks...

Here, the piping is all backfilled...

This area is now all re-seeded with tall grasses and perennial native wildflowers...

We surrounded the duck pond with large, natural flat stones.

Mary placed all the stones, and Adam dug and set them in place.

A large, flat, natural stone covers the drain valve/lever, and we easily just push it aside to drain pond, and then push it back into place...

In the process of setting the rocks around the pond.

A hose is not far.

Filling it with water...

The ducks and goose checked it out...Hmmm...What's this??

Mary dug up wild white violets that we have all over our property, as well as a few ferns and hostas, and transplanted them to the pond area. The area around the pond is a mini wildflower meadow.

SEE MORE PHOTOS ON OUR

TOUR PAGE.

 

CLEANING THE POND...

Slide big rock over and turn the green crank and the water drains through the underground pipe and out 10 feet away...

Adam wipes the pond out with rags and it's ready to refill.

Slide the flat rock back into place and no one would know the drain crank and pipe are there.

It's so easy to clean the duck pond once a week with the underground system we put in.

This is the perfect size pond for our girls. You don't want one unnecessarily big or too deep. They don't need that, and you don't want water bills to skyrocket.

OUR GIRLS JUST LOVE THEIR POND!

Girls just want to have fun!

Our Pilgrim goose, Mayflower, and ducks Jemima and Charlotte love the pond we built for them~

We had a lot of fun building this pond together on a nice spring day, and we love watching our girls have a ball in the new pond!

SEE MORE PHOTOS ON OUR

TOUR PAGE.

 

_______________________

 

SUMMER PROJECTS

 

JUNE, 2019

THE OLD FASHIONED CLOTHESLINE

Today we're in the process of building an old fashioned clothesline. Ours has 3 lines.

Mary used a level to get it level both ways while Adam supported it in place...

We set it in place with concrete.

Moving on to the other one...

Mary leveled before Adam poured in the cement. A string between the 2 posts made sure they were in line.

Adam made the primitive basket for clothespins and we used an old iron hook to hang it on the side of one post...

When the cement dried we strung up the 3 lines and put up tighteners at the end.

Finished clothesline. I just love it and it's so handy. I love drying things outside in summer and listening to all the birds.

See new photos on our TOUR page.

 

____________________________________

 

SEE A FEW MORE OF OUR PROJECTS BELOW~

 

___________

 

2018~

Adam hand made and painted over 50 herb signs for the garden in period script on cedar boards...

He's attached them to cedar pickets.

See photos of the signs all made and now in the gardens on our TOUR page.

 

_________________________________

 


2018

TIME FOR A NEW FENCE AROUND THE GARDEN...

Sept. 1~ We put the old fence out at the end of the drive for free...It was gone in less than an hour.

NO pre-fabs, NO kits, NO fencing panels---We built the new cedar fence with rails and attached each picket one at a time.

Where the land was lower, Mary built the stone wall under the fence panel, keeping everything level and straight.

SEE NEW UP TO DATE photos on the TOUR page.

 

_________________________________

 

2018

Mary's whimsical artwork for the ceiling in the run extension we built for our hens.

I am so chuffed at how my 'cloud' ceiling turned out.

We're finishing up with fixing the landscaping, moving an old granite step we have to the back of the addition and eventually putting a pot on it with a honeysuckle climber in it that will grow up the entire back side, come back each year, and provide some leafy green shade for the chickens.

We added a maple branch as a diagonal perch...

Inside the addition...

We wanted to be able to partition off the addition easily so that when we had new chicks to add to our flock they could have their own space until they were old enough to be put in with the grown hens...

We built this removable, 3/4 height wire and frame partition...

We attached it top and bottom with black screw hook and eyes...

Now it is securely in place, but is easily removed to once again open the whole run to the entire flock.

See NEW photos on TOUR page.

 

_________________________________

 

2017

THE INTERIOR BATTEN DOOR PROJECT

Building the last 2 period batten doors for the interior of the house.

Antique 'Norfolk latch'.

Part of the antique 'Norfolk latch'.

Recently we spent some time building the very last 2 interior doors for our house. When I came here the doors were old, but not period, and were obviously salvaged 'make-dos' that did not fit the openings or close properly for the most part. After designing and building all our exterior doors, we turned our attention to making replacements for every interior door---about 8 or so of them. Now they are all done!
All have original antique or very fine hand made replacement thumblatches. I think I could practically build doors in my sleep! We made these 2 from start to finish in about an hour and a half. Fitting them into the wonky, crooked door frames we have is a challenge. For some reason that truly shocks me, I seem to be able to do it. I do all the shimming as Adam tries to jockey a door in a frame into position. Both of us can attach pintle hinges.
Adam then watches as I mark areas of the door that need to be cut at a 'slope', and that by some miracle result in doors that have the illusion of looking pretty darn straight when finished, and open and close perfectly!
Adam has to haul them in and out, sometimes 4 or 5 times, before we get every 'tweak' perfect in every area, as I fit and re-fit, and that's a drag---they are heavy! We then install the antique latches.

Both of these last doors are in our bedroom; One leading into the front hall, one into the den.

 

_________________________________

 

2017

Just a few photos of the massive house re-siding job.

The clapboards were all in bad shape. We decided to shingle the house. No more housepainting.

It was a grueling job, but we 2 alone stripped off all the old clapboards and did all the repairs to sheathing, trim, etc. We then had to borrow a neighbor's truck, load old clapboard and debris, and then haul several trips to the dump. Huge job.

Grace water shield and Tyvek...

Grace watershield, Tyvek, and CedarBreathe went up before shingles. House is dry, protected, and insulated.

'Cedar Breathe' over the Tyvek.

 

We love the dark, blackish-brown new exterior flat trim paint we chose.

We also designed and built all wood frame custom window screens.

The shingles will weather and darken in time.

 

__________________________________

 

Sept. 2021~

DIY chicken coop upgrade project. We removed the nest boxes inside the coop to give the hens more room and are building EXTERIOR nest boxes with leftover lumber from past projects.

 

_____________________________________

 

Remembering~

Our yorkie girls, Sasha and Deladis in happy days.

IN MEMORY

OCTOBER 3, 2016~

We lost our darling Sasha.

We are both griefstricken, and trying to hold on to the wonderful, sweet memories we have. She quickly became quite sick. She passed away at home in her little bed. She was 12.

SASHA WOULD GO WITH US TO SCHOOL PROGRAMS WE DID WEARING HER OWN 'COLONIAL COSTUME'.

WE INTRODUCED HER AS

We are so grateful that we adopted her when she was not wanted by a breeder because she wasn't " a money maker" anymore, and gave her the best life we could. She gave us even more. We thank God for the years we had with her.

You will always be the dearest little thing and a 'wise owl' in our memories.

We'll always love you , Sasha.

_______________________________


A terribly sad day.

Nov. 10, 2019~

Our dear yorkie, Deladis passed away early this morning. We know she is in heaven with her best pal, our Sasha. We love you both.

We are broken hearted. You will be in our hearts forever.

Del in puppy days.

Happy times with Sasha and Deladis.

Our dear 'Del'.

March 27, 2010~November 10, 2019

Gone way too soon.

_________________________________

 

WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU~

CONTACT US~

countryladyantiques@yahoo.com

 

Take a tour of our home and gardens on the TOUR page.