Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy 4th Anniversary Renovation Leary Castle

              4th floor hallway in all its wood paneled glory. Smells like you are walking through the forest
                      My laundry room has doors now too and....... wait for it....... the washer and dryer work!
 The Library is nice and clean. They are starting to install the turret bathroom which is behind the bookcase. You can see on the left of the picture the part that is the secret door as it is open
 This window got framed, its actually a bed headboard, but as my husband is a think outside of the box guy, it is now a window frame. It is all framed in below, so the window seat is sittable
                                                       A table with a collection of crowns.
 See now this picture looks like I am a professional it is so good. The chairs and table are ready for our guest
                            This is the 3rd floor landing and you think it is just a cool painting right?
 well, as promised, it is actually a painting with eyes cut out and if you go behind the wall, you can lift the painting on the wall and spy on everyone coming up
 Views are still spectacular on the roof and as you can see here, there is still snow on Big Tupper. This was the calm before the 5 inches we got that night>
                      Framing in the old work room which is now the upper part of the fungeon.
 Matteo loved the clean wine cellar, but he wants to know where all the wine is. Uh, Matteo, we drank it all!
We got a new handy dandy backpack vacuum. Dave put it together and went for a spin. 

Andy had to get more work in, so he was putting on hinges and fixtures. Here he is working on my laundry room door.
 Looks great right?

 Towel rack is up in some of the bathrooms. It is an old idea that some may recognize from the coat room @ Roaslie's restaurant in Skaneateles.
 All the speak easy door fixtures are on and operational. The kids love these and the fact that they can bolt doors from inside so parents can't get in. Works both way kids!

                               Here are the dioramas Marc gave us on their funky castle bases
OMG, when I was working in the kitchen Andy came out and open this drawer in the island. There are no handles on them and I did not know they were drawers. They are all the way around the island. I started filling them pretty quickly after that discovery.

 New industrial kitchen sink is in. You can't see it very well in this picture, but after about 20minutes I figure out the knob underneath the sink knocking me in the knees was the drain release. Didn't I feel stupid. I guess I should have also showed you the dishwashers on each side of the sink that are working now.
 The great room all clean on Sunday before we left. Nice sun shine coming through the window.

 The powder room on first floor off of entrance at base of spiral stairs is going in. top pic is the vanity. next pic shows how they split room in half, left is new bathroom, right is utility/furnace/boiler room
and that's Leary Castle up to date as of  3.31.14. 
Tomorrow marks the 4 year mark that we closed on this treasure.

A Full Castle of Guests and Visitors

It is so nice to be able to stay at castle now and have friends come and visit and stay with us. Andy has been trying to get Matteo Bartolotta up forever. He is the master woodworker who built the library pieces, the beds, and the kitchen. 
Andy met Matteo over 20 years ago and they have been designing and building beautiful furniture ever since. An added bonus of their work relationship was a true respect for each others artistry and love of family, so our family has been invited into their family and what follows is what happens when you invite Matteo somewhere. 
You get two of his 3 sons, the other had a very important concert in NYC, sure Matt, Whatever, their beautiful wives, and 5 of Matteo's 7 grandchild. We missed Francesca, but her babies are wee babies and the castle is not baby proof just yet.
My bestie Patti came for a visit with her daughter Kate. We are planning Kate's graduation at the castle! They are visiting here with Kathy
                           Andy and Matteo, pure genius lies within and between these two men.

          We know no man is an island, or anything, 
without the beautiful wife. Her are Matteo and his beauty, Rose partaking in castle play.

    The Bartolotta Grandchildren had a great time. They were just running up and down the spiral stairs saying how cool it was to be staying in a castle.  Little Matteo knew when the camera was around, so cute!

 Marc Johnson from Saranac Lake contacted me a while back noting his love of castles and he shared with us pictures of his house that is "castled out" and a stone castle he built in his backyard. Well Marc got over for a visit to see our castle and he brought lots of goodies. The men are looking at two dioramas Marc built and donated to our castle for all to enjoy. 

 Marc also brought us some castle games, puzzles, and books for all ages. He shared some of his unique techniques he used in his house and he offered to come help us with projects when help is needed. You know we take people up on those offers. 

 I forgot my good camera and was using my new Iphone 5S, clearly I am still learning about all the camera details, cause this picture is horrible, but I also wanted to share the Joan of Arc statue Marc made for the library. Love, love, love it. I put two knights to guard here nearby. Thanks again Marc, we'll be calling

           Back to the party, Did I mention when Matteo visits that he brings a case of pasta, a case of wine and Grappa, and the finest meats/cheese/breads. One does not go to bed hungry or sober. The wine was opened as soon as the tour was done and everyone took their places, men in big comfy chairs and woman to kitchen and chasing kids, just like in the Medevil Times. I was in bed early, but I heard the boys only got through 2 bottles of Grappa

Kathy was a big help in kithchen. Christine was around too, but she was chasing Matteo around and I guess I never got a picture of her.Sorry Christine.

 Ruby was up with us and her bestie Abby. They got alot of game playing in, snow playing, and a few movies, but hid for my photo

Baartolotta girls made it a slumber party early after getting all their clothes wet playing in the three feet of snow still here in the Adirondacks. I went up to check on them and they had neatly placed all their food and supplies on a table, I especially like the Rolaids and Tylenol, guess their daddy's knew the night that lied ahead.
We still don't have the curtains for the bathrooms done and the girls thought that was crazy and made their own pink leaopard print "privacy screen"
and dinner is served thanks to Little Italy! Yup, they cater and it was really good. As one of the girls said,                                           "that meatball was the highlight of that dinner"
 the chairs are all mix and match from various shopping trips, but some of them are very low and a few of the ladies  could barely see over the table, it was so funny.
So after dinner, I walked the dog, cleaned the kitchen and went to rest for a few minutes and didn't wake up until next morning. I heard it was a great night from everyone else and there was talk that Matteo was knighted, but I still haven't seen any pictures of that.
Thank you Bartolottas for making trip up, thank you Maria, Dave, and Michael for making it up again, and thank you Patti and Kate and Marc for coming over and visiting. it is starting to feel like a home away from home.

Castle Bed Curtains

Curtains don't just happen people. These have been in the works for the last two years. From picking out the perfect fabric, textures, and colors to figuring out a system to hanging them, to the countless, sleepless nights of sewing  by Maria and viola, 2 years later here they are!
                  Maria's assistants Dave (his real job is her boyfriend) & Michael (he's the son) look on
                                            as Andy places first hanging rod in top of bed frame
 Andy was up until 2:30am on Thursday evening working in our shop at home constructing all the pieces to that would attach to the bed frame and hold the curtain rods. He got to castle early Friday evening and was able to install all his pieces so he was ready for Maria when she got there.

Maria set up shop in the bathroom the first day. As much as she had done previously creating the curtains, there were final details that had to wait and be done on sight, so she came with her travelling sewing machine and sewing kit. Notice the boot in this picture? Well I didn't get a picture of its pair, but it was on Maria's foot. She was walking around all day in one boot. I asked if it was a new fashion statement and she said, " I like to feel the sewing pedal with my foot" She's a true artist who feels it right down to her toes!
We often joke coming to the castle is like a good weekend workout. Here Seamstress Maria is doing her stretches while measuring.
 From the sewing machine in the bathroom, to sitting on the floor sewing by hand, and stretching, this woman does it all.
 Peek a Boo. You might think Maria is hanging the first panels of the curtains, but she is actually working her triceps. They really are gorgeous and pictures don't do them justice.

                                     So the curtains can hang at the four corners as you see here.
 or they can close up completely around the bed. Andy wanted to create a small cocoon within the bigger room space for a private, intimate feeling
 Andy and Maria came up with this tab and rope hanging system after much deliberation. Models were created to see if this would work and to see how it would look before actual production of the real things. Andy and Maria went over every detail several times, trust me as I trusted them, these two knew what they were doing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So the Kings Room Bed Curtains are complete. The fabric on the outside is a velvety diamond pattern and the fabric on the inside is a satiny diamond pattern. 

View as you enter the King's Room. The blue thing in back with Cross is window opening. Should have real window and a beautiful Adirondack scene out it soon.

 A few pillows we picked up along our way help create the royal feeling. Right now we just have plain comforter and blankets on bed, still working on the bed spreads
Maria didn't stop. She worked through Saturday evening and was back at it Sunday morning. She moved to the Knight's Room, also known as Rex's room, and set up the sewing shop there. We had the castle dog watching her to make sure she wasn't goofing off.

Same system for hanging, colors are different and these pictures really don't depict the true richness of these curtains. They are green, but much prettier than this.

By the end of Sunday we had three of the six bedroom curtains done. Yeah Maria and her team, Yeah Andy, Nice job and better than anything you would find anywhere because these curtains have hours and hours of love in them and you can feel it when you are near them.