October in Colorado- orchards and pumpkins and antiques!

Every October when we lived in Colorado we would go down to the Canon City/Penrose area to pick apples and pumpkins and say hello to Fall. It was a fun annual tradition.The weather is usually crisp and Fall-like but not yet cold. Not sure what’s going on down there this year seeing as how the whole state has been on fire or underwater for the past few months, but you could always call some of the orchards down there to find out. Here’s a list of a whole bunch of places all over Colorado. I noticed that our fave (and the one in most of these pictures), Third St. Apples, is closed for the season now. But there are still lots of others.

Penrose, Cañon City, and Florence are three little towns about 30 minutes south of Colorado Springs. Penrose is know for its farms. Cañon City is known for river rafting and the Royal Gorge Bridge. Florence is known for its many prisons, including Colorado’s SuperMax.

We go down there every year because those towns are a great place to experience an oldey-timey farm-ish fall day. We usually pick apples, check out some antique stores, have some lunch, and look at the changing leaves on the little country roads and bridges.

Here are some pictures of the places we always liked to go.

 

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Forence, CO

There are several good antique stores on Main St. in Florence, CO

Hotel Florence under renovation, Florence, CO

Victorian brick building in Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat  live-work space. Florence, CO

This old church is for sale- it would make a neat live-work space. Florence, CO

One of my favorite farms, Colon Orchards, was on the way. We had the most fabulous apple turnover there one time and wanted to have another one. Alas, they don’t sell the apple turnovers there anymore! They did have my favorite honey, Bizzy Bee, which I was pretty happy about because just the day before I was trying to remember where it came from as I emptied the jar.

This farmhouse and pumpkin patch are for sale, across the street from Colon Orchards, Florence, CO

On to the burger stand which just happened to be across the street from the most awesome antique store around, Uncle Sam’s. Last year we came across a Victorian casket stand that was really cool there. We didn’t buy it but wondered if it they still had it! They have several buildings full of junk and tons of neat old stuff out in their yard, too.

Uncle Sam's Antiques, Canon City, CO

Uncle Sam’s Antiques, Canon City, CO

We decided to eat something at Big Burger World and then go over there.

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

It’s called BIG Burger World because most of their burgers are huge. Like half a pound or a pound or something insane. They also have a 3 oz. burger, so we got a couple of those and some fries and a blackberry milkshake to share.

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

3 oz. burger and fries from Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO

Big Burger World, Canon City, CO


All my apples. I shined them up- there’s no wax or anything on them. I don’t think they’re organic but they’re about as fresh and local as you can get. Picked them myself!

IndustrialEx Colorado Springs Powder Coating

Ok, I said that the powder room post was the last home improvement post. But I forgot I wanted to tell you about IndustrialEx in Colorado Springs (there’s also one in Denver).

We had some vintage metal cabinets in our kitchen and wanted to fix them up and reuse them in our renovation. There is lots of info online about how to deal with old metal cabinets, from stripping and painting them yourself, to taking them to an auto body place to be painted, to powder coating.

I was more familiar with powder coating than with any of the other options, so even tho some people said that the blasting they need to do to strip them (the metal has to be completely bare, raw metal for powder coating to work unlike other kinds of coating) might warp or dent the metal, we decided to try it. IndustrialEx used a gentle material in the blasting process (bead blasting?) and we did not have any problem with warping. We did have a few small dings in the metal, but I’m not sure if that was from the blasting or if they were there before. Later someone told me that we should have looked at them once they were stripped and had the dings filled and repaired before the powder coating. I don’t know if they really could have done that, tho because the repair material would have also had to be metal. But the dings weren’t huge and we were selling the house so I just ignored them.

There are lots of powder coating colors and several different finishes, we chose a simple white in a semi-gloss finish. If we were staying in the house I would have picked something fun like red in a high gloss finish. But with powder coating, since it’s baked on, it’s permanent, it can’t be blasted off or removed or re-powder coated (altho it can probably be painted), so we figured white was pretty safe.

There are some good pages online discussing what powder coating is and how it’s done. Check out the ehow article and the wikipedia.

We had to take the cabinets out and take all the hardware off (including the little rubber wheels on the drawers, which we were very careful not to misplace!) before the powder coating, then put everything back on after.

Beauty Queen vintage metal cabinets before stripping and powder coating

Beauty Queen vintage metal cabinets before stripping and powder coating

Vintage Beauty Queen cabinets after stripping and powder coating.

Vintage Beauty Queen cabinets after stripping and powder coating.

Powder coating coats every surface, making the cabinets look brand new.

Powder coating coats every surface, making the cabinets look brand new.

We were so happy with how the cabinets turned out that we took all our heater vents to be done, too.

Heater vents with multiple coats of paint before stripping and powder coating.

Heater vents with multiple coats of paint before stripping and powder coating.

Heater vents after stripping and powder coating.

Heater vents after stripping and powder coating.

We were really happy with the powder coating and are looking around for more stuff to do it to!

Stylish powder room renovation

This really wasn’t a “renovation”. It was just paint. Since we had used non controversial paint colors in the rest of the house, I wanted to do something unexpected in the little powder room. I was on a purple jag for awhile so thought this eggplant color would be nice. I’m glad we did it in such a tiny room because it was a pain in the butt. Dark colors usually are, so we chose the higher end Benjamin Moore Aura paint in Bonne Nuit (and the trim was Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls). It probably worked better than some cheapo paint would have, but it still took several coats. Anyhow, it came out nice!

Powder room before and after. Benjamin Moore Aura Bonne Nuit

Powder room before and after. The paint is Benjamin Moore Aura Bonne Nuit.

The entry, stairs, and upstairs hallway- what a mess!

Our 1911 Craftsman house in Colorado Springs was in pretty good shape when we bought it but one of the problems it had was wallpaper in every room that had been painted over. Normally this doesn’t really bother me (Mike can’t stand it). However, in some places the wallpaper was starting to come off the wall and looked terrible. If we were going to stay in the house we eventually would have stripped it all off. But that’s a major undertaking and not one we had the time and energy to do. In all the other rooms we scraped off the really bad parts and just patched over it then painted, which worked fine. But the stairway was another thing. We included the downstairs entry, the stairs, and the upstairs hallway in the same project because they were all connected so we needed to paint them all the same color, even though we did them all at different times. We knew we were not going to be able to do a great job on painting the stairway with it’s high high ceiling, so we chose a color that matched what was already there so that if it came out messy it wouldn’t show as bad. The color that matched the best happened to be one we had already used in the office, Old Prairie from Benjamin Moore. The trim is Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls. The light “fixture” is original, and they even sell new ones just like it for vintage homes, so we kept it.

The stair landing, before on the left and after on the right. If you look closely you can see the wallpaper had started to pucker and come off the wall in the corner. Also, the walls and the trim had all been painted the same beige color in semi-gloss paint. We removed the wallpaper, which I'll get into in a minute, and painted the walls and trim different colors.

The stair landing, before on the left and after on the right. If you look closely you can see the wallpaper had started to pucker and come off the wall in the corner. Also, the walls and the trim had all been painted the same beige color in semi-gloss paint. We removed the wallpaper, which I'll get into in a minute, and painted the walls and trim different colors.

The upstairs hallway wallpaper was missing in some spots, revealing this kind of original horsehair plaster (which I liked!) or was peeling off. We removed as much as we could, patched, primed, and painted.

The upstairs hallway wallpaper was missing in some spots, revealing this kind of original horsehair plaster (which I liked!) or was peeling off. We removed as much as we could, patched, primed, and painted.

 

An artistic shot of the original horsehair plaster wall.

An artistic shot of the original horsehair plaster wall.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

This wall made a great backdrop for my photography.

One night, after a couple of drinks, we started picking at the stairway wall and were excited to see this neat old Titanic era wallpaper. So we continued picking and peeling till it was no longer fun. It stayed in this state for months.

One night, after a couple of drinks, we started picking at the stairway wall and were excited to see this neat old Titanic era wallpaper. So we continued picking and peeling till it was no longer fun. It stayed in this state for months.

Original 1911 wallpaper.

Original 1911 wallpaper.

We had lots of ideas for this wall,. but when we decided to sell the house, we sadly, decided it needed to just be a normal painted wall.

We had lots of ideas for this wall,. but when we decided to sell the house, we sadly, decided it needed to just be a normal painted wall.

We had hoped a skim coat and some paint would do it, but nope. Bruse the drywall guy to the rescue. He got up on his scaffold and removed all the wallpaper for us! Then he let us borrow the scaffolding so Mike could paint.

We had hoped a skim coat and some paint would do it, but nope. Bruce the drywall guy to the rescue. He got up on his scaffold and removed all the wallpaper for us! Then he let us borrow the scaffolding so Mike could paint.

We painted everything, including the trim, and considered it done. It was good that we used the same color that was already there (we even went so far as to use semi-gloss paint on one of the really bad walls) because it matched perfectly.

We painted everything, including the trim, and considered it done. It was good that we used the same color that was already there (we even went so far as to use semi-gloss paint on one of the really bad walls) because it matched perfectly.

Quick and easy living room renovation

We were very lucky when we bought our 1911 Craftsman home in Colorado Springs. The house was a foreclosure so it had some issues. But the people who owned it before us bought it when it really needed a lot of work. They did all the boring, expensive stuff like getting a new roof, furnace, some electrical, refinished the floors, and got the exterior painted. Then I guess both of them lost their jobs, the housing market crashed and they went into foreclosure, leaving us to buy a cheap house that needed pretty much only cosmetic work. We have a lot of mixed feelings about the whole situation, but right here on this post we’re just going to focus on the things we did. I had been following the house for quite awhile, seeing the price keep going down. I knew I’d want to buy it so I didn’t even want to look at it until it was within our price range. Once we did go inside, we were only in there for 5 minutes before we decided to make an offer.

I pretty much knew this was our house when I walked in the front door and saw it.

I pretty much knew this was our house when I walked in the front door.

The house had been used as a hair salon for 40 years! Accirding to our neighbor, the people who owned the house before us discovered this intact fireplace and built in bookcases behind a bank of mirrors.

The house had been used as a hair salon for 40 years! According to our neighbor, the people who owned the house before us discovered this intact fireplace and built in bookcases behind a bank of mirrors.

All this room needed was the usual scraping, sanding, patching, priming, and painting. We used Benjamin Moore Ultra White on the walls and Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls on the trim.

All this room needed was the usual scraping, sanding, patching, priming, and painting. We used Benjamin Moore Ultra White on the walls and Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls on the trim.

These doors had all the original wavy glass.

These doors had all the original wavy glass.

The living room is huge, just slightly smaller than our entire Chicago apartment.

The living room is huge, just slightly smaller than our entire Chicago apartment.

Mike's favorite Morris chair fit in perfectly with the Craftsman style.

Mike's favorite Morris chair fit in perfectly with the Craftsman style.

The floors didn’t need anything except a good scrubbing, and then we were done.