Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lionel Lloyd of The Painted Finish

It is a great feeling when someone working on your home becomes a person you look forward to chatting with every day. Lionel Lloyd of The Painted Finish is just that kind of guy.
Lionel's house painting company evolved out of a business partnership with a friend. They started out together doing property management. Since the properties frequently needed painting as part of the regular maintenance, it was a natural transition for Lionel to step into this line of work in 1987. He has been doing it ever since. Sometimes his step-son Cameron steps in to assist him on the job, as needed.

Painting seems like an obvious choice for Lionel, given his decidedly artistic bent. His attention to detail and perfection on the job reflect his artistic priorities. Lionel was a finalist at the first FOTOWEEKDC in 2008, and was honored to meet some of the photographers he admires and respects. See his amazing photography work at Spiderpaw's Blog, where he displays some truly magical images.

Lionel revels in travel, history and culture. He has had some fantastic adventures visiting his wife's family. She is originally from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, where they enjoy a great deal of peace and quiet at their family cottage, which is accessible via a not-insignificant ride in a small boat. On Lionel's most recent trip to visit them he logged 3,000 miles around the United Kingdom with his brother-in-law, seeing many of the sites important to the history of the U.K. He hopes to have the opportunity to visit France when they are visiting across the pond in the future.

He has upcoming plans to do an essay of his in-laws' family history. He also hopes to do both portraiture and an essay on a friend's family, focusing on their Salvadoran heritage.
The photo above is from Lionel's recent fall photo collection. This shot is from the Cushwa Basin of the C&O Canal in Big Pool, MD. The Cushwa Brick graphic was a particularly interesting coincidence. Harmon Builders renovated a home in a previous project, matching the original Cushwa brick with new brick from the original manufacturer.

Should Lionel find his way to a painting project at your home, be sure to collect some of his fascinating tales. Don't forget to ask if he has any photographs to show you. You will be swept off your feet by the beautiful work Lionel can do, both with a camera and with a paintbrush on your walls. It is a true pleasure to have him on board any project with his friendly commitment to high-quality work.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Home Weather Station

Everybody loves to talk about the weather.  A subject that is both entertaining and practical. A basic home weather station can be relatively simple and inexpensive to put together, while also having loads of scientific value.

You will need a rain gauge. You can buy a simple graduated cylinder for measuring, or easily make your own with a ruler and a container. Of course, you must be mindful of a couple of things. The container should have straight sides, and nothing overhead or nearby that would shelter the guage from the rainfall from above or if it is coming down at an angle.

A weather vane is something that can be easily made or purchased. Mount it high on a roof top or up on a tall post, positioning it to avoid disrupted air flow from buildings and trees. A wind sock serves the same purpose, and it can be nice to have both--you can also make your own wind sock relatively easily.  If you are using these with children, the visual of the colorful windsock reinforces the accuracy of determining the wind direction. With a wind sock you will have a great visual. Use a compass with it for precision, which gives the children a chance to learn a great life skill with other applications, too.

An anemometer reads the wind speed. These look very cool and high-tech, and you can get one for $30-$50 range at the low end. The same rules apply about mounting it high and away from obstructions to the air flow.

Another instrument you will want that will not be a DIY choice, but is inexpensive to purchase is a hygrometer. These are only about $5 for a reliable tool that is used to measure the humidity in the air.

A barometer measures fluctuating atmospheric pressure. In actuality, you can easily make one of these as well for a fun family project, but you will want something more durable for regular use. Check out all the different types of barometers. Classic analog or glass barometers can be interesting decorative finds for inside the house. Modern ones are digital, of course, and run the gamut in pricing.

Assembling your own weather station should be fun, but if you want the easy way out, there are always fancy electronic ones that are ready to use and streamline the details.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Great Salvage Pieces

I like industrial and vintage looks. They often blend well with either modern or traditional aesthetics. Plus, this is an excellent way to reduce waste. When I need something affordable, I've started checking in with Chartreuse & Company in Buckeystown. They are usually open the third Friday, Saturday and Sunday each month, but do have special holiday functions. Here is a peek at the kind of amazing finds they have had there in the past (architectural items, furniture, and fun bric-a-brac).

I am constantly trying to improve the storage and shelving options to suit a modern family of four in a house built in 1927. We just finished the basement. It is currently a pretty blank canvas. It needs a utility sink and this was one of the first things to capture my attention. Complicating matters, the plumbing is in the main space that we plan to use like a game room. I thought I would like a bar aesthetic in the space, rather than looking at laundry room ides. I was so excited by what I found--I never even asked what the original function of this item was.

This will need to be converted to have a real, workable drain "set up"--it has just small spigots, but it has several things going for it. Number one, it looks cool. It will also hold beer and ice handily in half, while still having a functional sink in the other half. Best of all, this cover that I can remove to scrub something in the deep sink will also provide surface space when the waterworks are not in use. I'll have to get started on the search for some wall mount fixtures to work with this. There is no way there is anything this cool in all of Ikea! There is another popular architectural salvage place in Baltimore called Housewerks. I have never been to Lucketts, VA, but Chartreuse & Company is often compared to the much larger market there. I have much more to look forward to as I hunt for pieces to reuse and repurpose.