Tuesday, August 2, 2011

(New)el Post Time Capsule

Since I'm STILL painting the balusters (kill me now), I'm not ready to reveal the full staircase to you. However, the newel post is 100% done, so I thought I'd go ahead and share the final result with you. That way, my sister-in-law Sarah can retract her devil woman accusation. ;)

Meet Frank the Fungi:

Frank the Fungi is an overgrown mushroom wannabe with no social graces. His greatest aspiration is to one day join his shroomy brethren in the forest.

After stripping away his paint, I still couldn't make myself like Frank. He was just too.... Mushroomy. 

Don't get me wrong. I like mushrooms. In my food. A lot. My husband affectionately refers to me as the fungus queen. (Isn't he sweet?) That's how much I like mushrooms.

But, maybe not so much as a newel post cap? (ha ha)

I experienced a great deal of guilt about wanting to remove Frank from the house. After all, he's been here for a really long time... But he just wasn't working for me. And it is my house. So, after hemming and hawing, I finally decided to send Frank off to live with his forest buddies.

And there was much rejoicing.

No more Frank. Just a gaping pointy death trap of a hole.

Now, I just had to determine HOW I wanted the newel post to look when I was finished with it.

Two years ago, I decided that I wanted to stain the newel post to match the stair treads and railing. I had mostly stripped the post for just that purpose when Joseph arrived on the scene in all his fetal glory.

Two years went by... Two years of staring (ha) into the abyss:

Seriously. TWO YEARS.

Then, last week, Stephen and I had a discussion about what should go on top of the newel post.

Naturally, Stephen suggested the Civil War lamp that used to be in my high school classroom. Because it's classy...

...and everything he'd ever hoped for in a newel post. He was very excited about the idea! Just think, he said, we could have G.I. Joe guarding our stairs!

I said, "No. End of discussion." Because I'm no fun. I am a killer of fun. And unreasonable. Don't you think?

Blogosphere to the rescue! After some browsing of Pinterest, I came up with a plan.

I really, really, really liked the all white, flat top of this newel post at NewlyWoodwards. I was pretty sure I could manage a basic square.

And the all white, flat tops of these newel posts... 

...and about a hundred or so other all white newel posts. See Caroline refrain from adding more pictures to this blog post. It's a miracle, folks!

I showed Stephen pictures of what I wanted and told him I was going to cut the wood and have the top put together in no time!

He looked pathetically at me and asked if he could do it instead. Apparently, he had already started his own newel post cap project as a surprise for me.

Stephen was all about the flat top.

But he also used the Dremel to personalize it.

Yup. He staked our claim on the house. The house is now positive that it is ours. It was very confused before.

Since the post was going to be white, he filled in the engraving with black paint.

He tells me it goes faster when you toss the brush out the window in favor of a squeezing paint out of the corner of a plastic baggy.

Before permanently gluing the post cap in place, we decided to include a little extra something.

A letter and a picture from our family to whichever crazy person decides to rip off the top of the newel post in the future.

At first, the letter read:
To whoever finds this letter,
The end.
Can you guess whose idea that was?

The second letter was a little longer.
To whoever finds this letter,
There are six dead bodies in the walls. Good luck finding them.
The killer.
Also, not my idea.

The actual letter that went into the newel post was written by me and was therefore much more sappy and lame:
To whoever finds this letter,
Welcome to our home! From the homestead of Reverend Henkel, to James Cox's Skating Rink, to the Corbin's Traveler's Inn & Coffee Shop, the house has a lot of history! We worked hard to fix her up! You can visit yeoldesandwichshoppeva.blogspot.com (if it is still around) if you want to see what all of these rooms used to look like. Fun!
We bought the house in 2009. We were right out of college, newly married, and starting our careers as teachers. This was our first real home. Our children were born while we lived in this house and we raised them with love and joy in these very rooms. We hope you come to appreciate and love this house as much as we did!
Stephen, Caroline, & Joseph (+?) 7/29/2011
I let Stephen do the honors.

Look! A sneak peek at the shiny new railing!

We glued the cap in place with wood glue, pomp, and circumstance. If anyone ever finds that letter, I expect it will be with the help of a sledge hammer.

Stephen used a Sharpie to make sure that the lines of the engraving were clean. I love it. Did I mention that I love it?

Joseph does too. Or, at least, he gets a maniacal gleam in his eyes whenever I open the gate  to the stairs.

Must. Climb. Stairs. Immediately. Before. Mom. Catches. Me.


  1. I LOVE IT!!!! And I nearly died of Stephen's sweetness! I do hope you assigned him lots of husband points. :)

  2. Aw~ It's beautiful :) Stephen has really nice handwriting too haha :) I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of putting a note in the post :) haha you should write a BUNCH of memories you have with the house and hide them all over the house :)

    As for the mushroom thingy, I think you should paint it red with white polka dots and have it sit in your side garden :)



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