Sunday, September 20, 2015

One Thing Leads To Another!

Now that Summer is winding down I can concentrate on the interior, which has become a perpetual undertaking!  

I know you know what I mean. Don't tell me you don't. 

You labor under the delusion that your home is just perfect.  Perfect.  That you will never change it...then suddenly, without rhyme or reason, you cannot stand to look at it!  
It's as if madness has taken over and you are thrust into an alternate dimension, a dark place where your mind is so frenzied, ravaged by asymmetry or the wrong shade of grey, that you find yourself on a quest.   
For the only thing that will salvage your sanity is a thing, a brand new thing, a thing like no other thing you have ever owned.

Or is it just me? 

Well, my friends, let me introduce you to that thing!

This is the thing! 
This enfilade cabinet was part of the set for a television show made in Chicago, called Empire.  The set designer said they were clearing the soundstage. 
For $500, I have the French cabinet of my dreams! It is seven feet long and perfect for the entry!

The five foot tall mirror above it looks so small in this photo.  
I have not yet painted the enfilade, but I am fairly certain I will.
There is plenty of room for the five foot tall pair of angels! 

And another thing!

This pair of pillars, a Craigslist find, were originally found at Restoration Hardware. I painted them Vintage Market and Design Furniture Paint, in Dove. 

I have lots more to share.

Anything new with you?



Friday, September 11, 2015

A Wry Memorial

Today, I share a poem written by my dear friend, Freethinke.


______ A Wry Memorial ______

The Swarthy Ones took over;
And made weapons of four planes.
The riders had no cover;
They suffered dreadful pains

That ended once their deathtraps
Burst into roaring fires
Turning instantly to mere scraps ––
Cinders –– made of former flyers.

The burning towers crumpled,
And fell into the street.
New York was more than rumpled;
It briefly knew defeat.

The nation drew together;
We felt collective grief.
Anger broke its tether;
To express it gave relief.

But just a short time hence
We were at each other's throats;
And built ourselves a fence
Over which the Devil gloats.

We've failed to give the orders
To build a proper wall
Sealing off our borders
To the fiends who’d make us fall.

Instead, we've made division, 
Went to war against ourselves,
Became mired in derision
Sparked by partisan elves,

Who forget this blessed land
In pursuit of powers lost
In close elections manned
By fraud. So, tempest-tossed

The country’s now in turmoil.
The Enemy's our own.
He said ‘twas all for Big Oil,
And then usurped the Throne.

The heap of twisted rubble
Raising toxic fumes for weeks
No longer gives us trouble
Because of media leaks

Designed to throw us off the scent
Of whom we need to blame
And encourage ruinous dissent
That hopes to break the frame

That holds us all together
And preserves our liberty,
So many now doubt whether
We really should be free.

And each rabble rousing louse
Should 'neath these words be pinned:
"He who troubleth his own house
Shall inherit ––– the wind."

~ FreeThinke

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Details, Details...

Hello Old Friends!

This summer was likely the longest summer of my life.  As you know, my father passed away in May.  A few weeks later I had a severe allergic reaction to medicine that required a hospital stay.  I was exposed to the flu in the hospital...which developed into pneumonia...first in one lung, then both.

No fun
I have had fun before and it was nothing like that.

I am finally back in good health and spirits!  My energy levels are not as high as usual but it's coming along!
We had a great deal of catching up to do as far as family summer adventures are concerned, so the house had to wait.
We did get a beautiful new fence this year.  The dogs are so happy!
I will post photos soon.
In the meantime, I am tackling small things, like painting doors and cabinets and adding better quality hardware, knobs, faucets, etc.

I was going to pull out the builder's grade oak cabinet but am glad I painted it instead.  I absolutely love it! I added antique French hardware and painted it with sample paints fromHome Depot.  I still have to add the legs after I find a way to shorten them.  

Cabinet before

It was a real challenge to photograph the entire cabinet in this tiny powder room.  McGillicuddy the Big, Orange Cat also had to be in the room with me.  When I say "with me", I mean "on me" and on the camera.  It took about  an hour to get this shot, while balancing precariously on one foot, camera pushed up against the door and one hand on the cat.
I do suffer for my art!

You can see a glimpse of the new bronze faucet.  I have not installed it yet.  It's a little intimidating.

Antique French bronze escutcheons applied to faux drawers.

Another set of antique French escutcheons.  This time with serpents.

Painting the front door.  I also painted the sidelight.  Ha!  No more looky-loos! It also balances the door and adds much needed symmetry.

I bought knobs and a deadbolt for the door.  Then I learned that the term "standard door" really has no meaning.  The hardware I bought is for a 2 3/8" backset and my doors are 2 3/4" backset (the measurement between the edge of the door and the center of the hole where the doorknob goes).
I ordered a universal latch set.  It wasn't as universal as they claimed.
So far, I have invested $150 dollars in a set that normally costs $500.  I may order brass push plated to cover the offset holes...more on this as it develops.  :)

We finally bought high gloss black and white paint to do the interior doors and trim.  I am really excited to begin!

Yu may have noticed that I have not finished one single task, but am mired in approximately 20.  Is that how you work or do you do one thing at a time?


Friday, July 10, 2015

Four Years Later...

It only took four years for me to get up the nerve to hang this pier mirror!  You can't tell from the photo but it is seven feet tall and four feet wide!  We also hung the ginormous Craigslist chandelier, which is five feet tall and four feet wide and a reproduction train station clock casing, also found on Craigslist, which is four feet tall and 14 feet long!  You can see the reflection of the chandelier and the clock casing in the mirror.

This is what the chandelier looked like in the Craigslist ad.  I paid $100 but it retails for $7,000!  You read that right!  So, what did I do with a $7,000 chandelier?  I cut it up with a pipe cutter, of course!  Off came the huge curlycues, down came the giant crystals (bigger than my hand)!

I can't put my finger on it, but this chandelier was a little bit too much, too something.  However, I saw the lines of an Empire chandelier underneath it all!

If you remember, I bought 500 feet of chandelier crystal from China.  I waited to paint and add the crystal until the chandelier was hanging because it was so big I could not move it out the door to spray paint it!  Instead, I will climb a ten foot ladder and brush the gold paint on then hang the crystals!  I already added white beeswax candle sleeves, which gives the chandelier some much needed levity!

This is the inspiration for the chandelier transformation.

More on this as it develops!
A view of the bank of windows,  to which I added a six foot long zinc architectural salvage element.
The five foot tall Bouguereau painting can be seen above the armoire to the left.

Here is the reproduction clock case I found on Craigslist.  It is fourteen feet long!  The ad said twelve, so I thought I could fit it in my SUV, albeit with it hanging out the back.  I have never been more mistaken!  You should have see the look on the faces of the men at the loading dock!  I called my trusted mover, Julian Collins, from JC Enterprises in Chicago and he was there within the hour to rescue me!
When the contractor hung this, we realized that the Craigslist ad dimensions were off by two feet.  Too long.  The contractor cut the ends off, removed the excess, then reattached them. It extends the entire length of the wall.
The clock case was custom made as a prop for a store opening in Chicago.  It is fabricated of fiberglass and metal plumbing pipe, then painted in a faux copper finish.  

So excited that everything is finally coming together!

Handsome Husband is excited because he no longer has to walk around a five foot tall chandelier, a fourteen foot long clock case, a five foot tall painting, a six foot long piece of architectural salvage and a seven foot tall mirror propped on the wall! 

 He is waltzing around giddily like Julie Andrews on the mountaintop in the Sound of Music!

So much SPACE! 

Do you have that one thing that you have been putting off?



Friday, May 29, 2015

Atticus in the Music Room...

Thank you for your warm condolences regarding my father, friends.  
We are busy counting our blessings, you amongst them!




Saturday, May 9, 2015

Good-Bye, Dad.

My beloved father passed away this morning at 9:05 Eastern Time.
He is in Maine, I am here in Illinois. It is what he wanted. He did not want anyone to see him that way. It is torture being so far away. There will be no service. No formal affair to honor his life.
We have a dog rescue today. A mama Labrador and her four nine-week old pups are coming from Southern Illinois and being transported to Northern Illinois.
The transport coordinator has graciously dedicated the transport to my Dad. It is fitting, for he is the one who fostered my love of animals and of compassion for others.
The transport will honor the memory of my father. The man who took in seven stray children and called them his own.
It will be a long day and for that, I am grateful. Grateful, too, that his memory is celebrated by sharing his charitable nature.
My Dad is no longer suffering. Now our suffering begins.
Please say a prayer?



Friday, March 27, 2015

Brightening the Entry

I didn't even know I was going to do this project until I was up on the ladder with my paint brush!

It took about an hour to gild the five and a half foot tall trumeau mirror I found on Craigslist...

...and it made all the difference in the world!
I just had to share!

Again, I use a stiff bristled artist's brush

Rub N Buff,  Gold Leaf.

I use a drop of lavender essential oil to keep the gilding wax fluid.  It is also very soothing!

I didn't want too much color for this small space.  It could be overwhelming.

The angels are five feet tall.  The commode and the mirror take up over nine feet of wall space, to give to some perspective!

The entire vignette, except for the angels, cost less than $300!
Yes, the mirror, the candle sconces, the iron urns, the crowns and even the commode...

Craigslist photo on left and the finished trumeau mirror on right.

I used multiple layers of color and washes, beginning with Martha Stewart Vintage Decor Chalk Paint  in Cloud, then washes of white and black acrylic craft paint.  I just played with the finish.  You really can't make mistakes! They just add to the patina!

Originally, I painted the mirror a solid grey.  Often, I will do that to better see the shape, so as not to be distracted by color. 

It was pretty this way but the gold leaf pulls the mirror into the entire room.
Don't you agree?

It really brightens up the space and makes the entry very welcoming!

 Raise your paw if you approve!

Thanks, Tallulah!  She's always so agreeable!




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