15 November 2010

Is that Tom Sawyer Toting a Pail of Whitewash???

Remember this photo from the previous post?  It was discussed having smeared, or dirty, mortar.  We had the smeared mortar on our last home and really liked the look.

This one the mortar was smeared.  And this is the one I told him to use.

BtB questioned my choice.  He said I would be covering up alot of the beautiful brown color of this brick.  I reassured him, "Oh, they don't have to cover it all up; just smear a little here and there".

C has been couped up in the apartment since his shoulder surgery so I thought I would get him out of the house and take a little trip over to the house.  Driving up to the house my heart started to beat really fast.  OK, where is Tom Sawyer?  He's got to be around here somewhere.  This brick is WHITE!!!!  Tom is surely running around here with his paint brush and his bucket of white wash.

OMG, what have I done?  It didn't look like this in the photo!!!  (and I guarantee, by looking at this photo you are not experiencing how white this is when you see it in person).  Now, with all due respect,  this is not a bad look if the stone on the house was Austin stone or another white stone.  But, our stone isn't white, it's brown!!!  This is just not good.

What the...look at this.  Are you seeing what I'm seeing?  Do you see the difference between the brick below the windows and above the windows?   I'm tellin' ya, this is all over the place!  It's like these poor mason workers don't know what look to go for.

 What the...., a phone call to BtB and I immediately got the "I told you so" speech. 

The guy in charge didn't like what was going on either.  We had him lay some brick with no smearing at all, just some sloppy mortar, and it looked so much better.  We had no idea how nice the brick looked without any help from smeared mortar.

Here we go now.  This is more to our liking.  Thank the Lord we went out to the house before all the brick was laid.

'Cause this is coming down baby!!!  My bad, my cost, but this is coming off.  I hope that whatever this is going to cost won't keep me from doing some stone work on a wall inside.  Watching our budget ya know!!

Now, to a less stressful issue....Here is how the stone is looking.  The stone masons were working on the stone across the front of the house.  I am very pleased with their work.  I sat and watched one man for a little while and this is a really time consuming effort.  He would select and shape the rock then place it just so. 

I like the brick framing around the window.  Those darker stones are the moss rock that I love so much.

Whoo!  This is a little messy, no?

Well, I guess we'll get through our first big glitch with this project.  Lord willing, this will be the worst of it.

05 November 2010


I love stone.  I love the feel of it, the look of it.  It's strong and beautiful.

I especially love this.  This is moss rock and I love the moss that is living on it.

In the 70's my best friend, her husband and I rented a house in Broomfield, Colorado.  The house had a small formal living room and one whole wall and the fireplace was solid moss rock very similar to this but lighter in color and a lot more moss covered.  All of the stone came from a quarry not far from Boulder.  Our landlord stipulated that we were to spray the moss once a week with distilled water.  She even gave us the spray bottle.  Something told me that we better not kill it!  There was something very magical about "feeding" the moss.  It would puff up and turn a blue-grey color.

The other stone we are using is a native sandstone.  The stone mason put up a test panel to see if we liked the grout color.  The front of the house will be stone and the sides and back of the house will be brick.
BtB sent a couple of photos of mortar styles.  We wanted a little sloppy, smeary mortar like we had on our last house.  This was a little too much of an actual weeping mortar.  At times it looks like what the backside of a brick wall would look like.

This is a little more what we had in mind. 
Will be anxious to see how this will look on a large scale.