Saturday, December 31, 2011


lovely Malabrigo. I made scarves for a couple of people for Christmas. Now it's my turn. I wish I could get a photo that does justice to this yarn. Trust me, it's gorgeous and so soft.

This photo is from the pattern, Just Enough Ruffles by Laura Chau, which you can find on Ravelry here. I rarely make anything with ruffles, but this is a simple scarf with a nice drape to it. And it's very easy to knit while watching a movie, which is my big new year's eve plan for tonight.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Kitchen Faucet

This faucet was driving me low to the sink that it was hard to get big pots under it. So, after looking at Lowe's I decided it would be 85 dollars well spent to get another one. It's one of those things you have to use several times a day, so worth changing out, even if you are renting.

I had the cutest plumber in town install it for son. Thanks Mike! It's so much handier, and prettier too!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Window Film for Privacy

 This is the bathroom window.  It's a bit of a problem...I've just had a blanket hanging there for privacy. During that time I realized that I didn't want to lose all the light with curtains hanging here all the time.

 When you walk out of the bathroom you are looking toward the stairs and this is what you see, so you'd better be sure you are dressed! This house has so many windows, and even the interior hall upstairs is flooded with light. I love that and didn't want to lose it!

Here's the bedroom. I like the view of the tree. It's like being in a treehouse, especially when it's all green and leafy. I decided to block out the view of the roof (and from some angles, the neighbor's garage).

 I'd been looking for a window film at the home improvement stores, but didn't find a design I liked, so I went online and looked around.  I found this window film by Emma Jeffs at PureModern.

These are the tools you need, plus a spray bottle of water. The window film is renter friendly because you can remove it without any residue or damage to the windows. It takes a bit of patience, but is not really too hard to put up. I did all these windows on Christmas morning.

First you roll the film out flat the night before and let it rest. Then cut the film slightly bigger than the window pane, peel the backing off, and mist the back side of the film with plain water. Then you apply the film to your clean window, using a credit card and a soft cloth to squeegee the bubbles and extra water out. At this stage you can still slide the film around a bit to get it just the way you want it. Finally, trim the edges with a sharp blade.

 Here's the bedroom now. No more rooftop, or view of the neighbor's garage, and I can lay down for a nap and have a bit of privacy. Of course, I still pull the curtains at night for total privacy and to keep the room warmer.

 It's great for the bathroom. It obscures the view and provides privacy without sacrificing light.

When you come out of the bathroom, this is what you see now, and no one can see you either!

 Here's the view from the entry downstairs as we were nearing evening. I was worried when I bought this product, because it's rather pricy, and if it turned out to be hard to apply, I'd be out the money. I'm glad I tried it though!

Here are some sites with pretty designs in window film:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

O Christmas Tree...

 I have been enjoying the tree for the last week. It's not a theme's all the ornaments collected over the years. Today Dad hung the light over the dining table. It's the one we had growing up...straight from the 1970s. I love it.
I like a tree with tons of lights, but the lights these days are so much brighter, so I put a dimmer on it. Dad showed me this trick last year. I don't know why I never thought of it....if the room is very dim, you can have it nice and soft. If it's day light, turn the lights up brighter. Love it!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Lights

There are no outdoor electrical outlets, but I figured out a way to run a heavy duty extension cord out to the porch. Then I was able to put some lights on the evergreen garland I picked up earlier. We are having Christmas dinner here, so I want everything to be nice and cheery! We had such nice weather today, so it was a great day for doing this kind of project.
 This stable was built by my brother-in-law and is very special to me. We bought the Fontanini nativity pieces because they are unbreakable and we liked that the kids could move them around with out worrying about breakage.
 This star was one that the great grands brought from Germany.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Replacement Windows

 There were so many windows that were broken and/or rotting that the landlord decided to order replacemnt windows. I'm usually all about keeping the old wavy glass and orginal windows, but for this house I think this was good decision. These are from Window World. They work well, I'll be able to wash them from inside (yea!), and they will be warmer.

Most of the windows in this house were simple double hung sash windows, and they ordered the same style to fit the spaces exactly. One of my pet peeves is seeing older homes where the windows have been replaced with ones that don't fit the original almost always makes the house out of balance and takes away some of the charm. All these windows match the originals, and the two leaded glass windows were left untouched. I like that these fit within the original woodwork too.

I know I'm going to love not having to stand on a ladder to wash windows, and not having to wash triple track storm windows anymore!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And then there was light!

 My dad is awesome. He took down the filthy, dented, ugly storm door, and put up a prettier porch light.
 This is one of Mom and Dad's finds from their thrifting/antiquing jaunts. They always had pretty light fixtures even though moved often. They just took their favorite fixtures down and put the orginals back up before selling the houses, and I figure I will do the same in my rental. I'll store whatever fixtures I take down the basment, and put them back up if I ever move.
 Taking that storm door down lets the pretty wooden door show. If I put a screen door up this summer, it will be a Victorian style that fits the house.
Quite a difference made by just removing something!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

 We ended up having four for dinner because my sister came too! That was a nice surprise. This is the first time I've had anyone over for dinner at the new place.

 We made sweet iced tea, because that's the way you do it when your mama's from the south. YUM.

I didn't make near as many dishes this year because we had just a few of us, but we had turkey, dressing and the usual Thanksgiving type things. Since I was not having a crowd this year, I just cooked two turkey breasts...two because I loooove to have sandwiches from the leftovers. Cooking just the breasts was lots easier and faster than cooking a whole turkey. Mom made chocolate pie from grandmama's recipe too, which is my favorite dessert.

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving Day!

Getting ready for Thanksgiving

This year the kids are going to their uncle's house with Joe, so it will be a quiet dinner dinner with Mom and Dad. I have been working to get things put away enough here so that we can have dinner at my house.

The table is working out great. It's just the right size for this little room. Mom and Dad have a cute light that I'm going to hang over the table, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I did get some chairs though. I went to Pier one and got them during their sale. They have a distressed black finish, which is great...because they'll surely get more distressed as time goes by! Even though they are new, they look great with the antique table. I'll have to post a picture without the tablecloth after Thanksgiving.

 I got a little more storage by adding a bookshelf to the dining room. Lots of books and some treasures made by my kids.

I made a pumpkin pie and some deviled eggs tonight. I'm cooking turkey breasts tomorrow, so I don't think I have to get up as early as for a big turkey.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dining Table

Mom did some scouting around town and found a table that was just right. It's only 42 inches across, which is perfect because the dining room is small. It has a lot of leaves, so I can stretch it out for holidays. It's oak and looks good with the buffet. I'm going to get black chairs (the one in the pic is from my desk in the next room).

This table is from Brad's Antiques on Howard Street. Like so much older furniture, it's solid and was cheaper than a new table...even the inexpensive ones. Gotta love that!

Dad and I hung the old school map tonight. I love maps...such beautiful colors. Got another palm too, and potted it up in the same container I used at the old house. It will probably live in here in the winter and on the porch in the summer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blast from the Past....

I had a 70s flashback last night! I was going through some boxes, trying to sort out what to donate and what to keep, and came across these 45 records. That Bohemian Rhapsody one is one of the first records I ever bought.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Racks, Hooks and Shelves and the like....

Because this old house does not have much for closets, I'm trying to add storage wherever I can.
 So today, I put this little railroad car coat rack behind the bedroom door. Every little bit counts!
Aren't the hooks on this sweet? Such a nice shape.
 This window is getting a paint job on the frame to match the white woodwork in this house. I think I'm going to hang it in the bay window in the dining room to cut some of the glare off the house next door.

Refashioned 1950s Curtains

 I took the two huge barkcloth panels and made 4 smaller panels from them, and hung them from rings like I've been doing in the rest of the house. When I hung them this way, it made them apron length without rehemming, and that suits me!

 I like them. I'm still seeing a bit too much of that house next door, but I have a plan that I hope will cure that problem. The colors in this picture are much more accurate than that night time photo at the top. I sent them off to the cleaners to get washed and if the fabric holds up, I'll have one more room of windows done!

This naughty little bird was not in the Christmas box, but in some other box I unpacked yesterday. So I stuck him up there, and he looks like he likes it better than being stuck in a box until Christmas!

Removing Paint from Hardware

On someone's blog I read that you can remove paint from hardware by boiling it. I tried it today, it worked great, and was much less messy than using stripper. Not smelly like stripper either!
 They had many layers of paint ...on the brass and on the glass. I simmered them for a while, and watched the paint losening and bubbling away from the knobs. Then, handling them carefully (hot, hot, hot!!), I used a green scotch brite pad to rub at the paint. It came right off.
 Here I've rubbed a bit and removed most of the paint. Then I put it back in the pan for a bit and repeated the process.
 Pretty much done! Just a couple of bits to take off.
Here's were they go...on a little medicine cabinet that for some reason is over the bathtub instead of the sink. Old houses are quirky like that sometimes. I need to touch up the paint under where the knobs go, as soon as Jane brings me a bit of the white she used when she painted. It looks much better though!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vintage Barkcloth

I bought these 1950s barkcloth curtains, and I was going to resell them at the shop. But then I brought them home from the shop and pinned them up at the windows. The color of the flowers is the same as my living room curtains, and they look pretty nice. So I'm seeing if I can remake them for the little bay window in the dining room. I'm lucky they were long enough to be apron length curtains.

Right now I'm trying to decide whether to hang them with the rings showing more (as they are in this picture), or with the hooks through the rings, which makes them hang a bit higher and hides the rods. That might be good because, as you can see, the rods are not custom bent for this bay..they are just 3 rods hung at the same height. I really like the looks of the rings showing though, so I'm thinking I will go that way. I'll deal with the rods somehow. These curtains were such a good bargain that I might even look for others, so I can change out the look at the holidays or during the summer...mabye something lighter for summer.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hanging it up...

Mom came over the other night and we started hanging some of the pictures. Great! They are on the wall, and one more thing off the floor!  I'm always happy to have Mom help me do this...she is the master at hanging artwork.
 This little chain of birds was hanging out in a Kankakee resale shop and it had to come home with me.

 The quilt is by local artist, JoanE Lipinski. It depicts pond life, and as you know I have a thing for anything to do with the water. Joe gave it to me for my birthday years ago, and I love it. The other piece is one we bought while we were in Hawaii. I'll have to take close-ups of both of these, so you can see them better. They are really beautiful. And I was pleased that they didn't clash with the curtains, because we chose the curtains based on the rug, not the artwork.

A couple more found homes on the stairway. The one on the right is below...

I got it an an auction for a couple of dollars and I've always liked it. The embroidered figures are cute and I love the little poem. I had it hanging inside our back door, by basement steps, at the other house for a while, but there wasn't a great place for I have it right inside the front door as you go upstairs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Splish, Splash...

So, as  much as I loooove a bath, I've been putting off trying this one out. Mostly because I didn't have a two dollar stopper (duh),  but also because I usually soak at night, and I have just not been comfortable enough at night to relax in the tub. So I had a day off and tried it out...niiiice. Now I'm ready to get this room shaped up. I wonder why they ever went to the kind of tubs I grew up with, when these old clawfoot tubs are sooo much more comfortable. I guess at some point, some designer decided that it would be great if bathtubs were super uncomfortable? Crazy!

I found that little stool this summer, at a resale shop in Michigan for a couple of bucks. Works great and folds up and out of the way the rest of the time.

I have this cool slip. It's was my mom's. Hehe. Sorry Mom! And then I wore it under some of her 50/60's skirts, retro style, when I was in high school and college. It's still lovely, and I think it's going to become a curtain! Stay tuned....