Tuesday, July 31, 2012


    On Sunday morning my daughter and I discovered the beauty of refraction.  As the mid morning sun shone through the antique glass in the front door sidelights, a beautiful pattern adorned my newly painted dining room wall. 

Nature's artwork.  This will be an added bonus to having a leisurely breakfast in the dining room.


Ahhh, the beauty of refraction.

Monday, July 30, 2012


   I'm in love with the look and feel of the honed soapstone (a native Virginia product).  I just can't stop touching it.  Those of you who know me well understand my tactile quirks!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Some plumbing fixtures got installed last Wednesday.  This weekend I will complete the carpentry on the tub surround ( a little bit o' bead board and bullnose to complete the soaking tub).  Take a look so far.....

Saturday, July 28, 2012


I've been doing a bit of shopping (not yet buying) for fabrics to finish some rooms.  
Fortunately for me, several fabric stores in the area are having significant summer sales.


Needlepoint pillow covers

A lovely linen fabric for dust ruffles on twin beds

I'm so pleased with the Powder blush pink walls and how the white fireplace stands out

Friday, July 27, 2012


     The floor finishers have begun sanding on the 3rd floor where the floors have been painted.

Art studio  in 2011

Art studio 7/26/12

Guest bedroom in 2011

Guest bedroom 7/26/12

And this is just the first day of sanding.  Much more beauty to be revealed in the near future.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


    The painters have just about finished inside the house.  Yesterday was the last day they could be inside the house since floor refinishers started today.  There is a bit left to do but for the most part, color is complete.  Take quick tour of several rooms...

1//2 bath awaits wallcovering above chair rail

Classic gray looks good on Michael's walls

A pale gray on the music room walls 

The dining room easily handles the Berrywine ceiling and Fennel Seed wall colors

Revere pewter and Snowfall white frame the old brick nicely

Pale yellow in the kitchen will make for a cheery morning

Buxton blue on the master bedroom walls

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


   We spent some time this past weekend cleaning up the transoms to be re-installed.  Only one of the 6 total transoms still has unpainted original glass.  I am having clear hammered glass cut to fit the remaining glass-less transoms.   

Original textured glass remains in one transom to be hung in library door

Friday, July 20, 2012


Testing the viewing angle...chair to wall mounted TV location

Thursday, July 19, 2012


   A friend gave Miss Magnolia a hammock swing for her big trees on Hawthorne Avenue.  We hung it from a porch swing hook last weekend.

And she was swingin'.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


    Here is just a taste of the color that is beginning to show over on Hawthorne Avenue...

A peek in through the front door (dining room ceiling on right - Berrywine)

Library fireplace ( Gray Owl  and Snowfall White ) 

The neighbor's house just went from white to a peaceful green

Studio side lights are installed and sun streams through

Michael's bedroom ceiling (Santorini Blue)

* Paint colors are all from the Benjamin Moore color palette and applied by my fantastic painters from 


    It was just a few days ago that I mentioned Kyle.  In addition to creating his own funky artwork, 
Kyle works at Paul's Place restoring and often resurrecting antique light fixtures.

We purchased this gas fixture several months ago from Paul's Place.

Kyle converted this early gas fixture to electric, maintaining the original features.  (Originally the house lighting was fueled by gas.  Several of the original house fixtures had been converted years ago but the front fixture was a small  Arts and Crafts lantern).

 Since the gas fixture was missing a canopy, Kyle took a paint laden canopy from another fixture,  
cleaned it up, gave it color and created patina to compliment the fixture, 

and VOILA !

    The electrician is scheduled to return tomorrow to hang more light fixtures.  Check back to see this beautiful fixture in its new home on my front porch.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


    The template for the counter top is done and has gone to the cutter.

Kitchen faucet is placed to mark holes in the counter top template

Monday, July 16, 2012


    Things are coming together.  Everything is primed, much of the trim has final coats, and colors should be going up in the next week! The fireplace brick is repaired and the picture molding is installed.  It makes me smile to have come this far. 


    On the same timeline as everything else around Hawthorne Avenue, the figs have perhaps 2 weeks to go before they are ready to become jam .  What difference does one more thing to do make when I'm already overwhelmed?

Sunday, July 15, 2012


    As I mentioned earlier, we've been tending to details.  Counter top shopping led us to Luck Stone, a local company run, in part, by a high school classmate of Wallace.

The studio at Luck Stone

A slab we chose

A natural and native material

Closeup of the soapstone slab

Saturday, July 14, 2012


   It was Friday evening.  The weather was pleasant.  We felt like a having a porch party.

A quick trip to the neighborhood wine shop ...

Miss Magnolia tries "Mama's beer".....
and likes it !

Miss Magnolia loves a party and, apparently, hard cider too.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I am starting to think that light at the end of the tunnel really is an oncoming train.  There are so many details to attend to in this stretch that my head is swimming.  With the number of tasks and people to coordinate, how could this possibly be a one person job?

~Light fixtures - cleaned, wired, on site
~Old hardware - cleaned, labeled, on site, installed 
~New hardware - located, selected, purchased, occasionally returned and reordered, installed
~Paint colors - coordinated, chosen, "approved",  labeled on walls
~Trim materials - bought or repaired, painted, on site
~Counter top - material chosen, slab selected, appliance or specs on site
~Tile - back splash designed, color selected, tile ordered 
~Replacement glass - totaled, measured, ordered, picked up, pointed, repeated when miscalculated
~Cleaning - sweep up, clean out house for floor refinishers
~Historic Restoration paperwork - gather and submit requested materials and photos
~Misc. - measure, purchase, install shelving material in closets

.....This in addition to packing up the Warren Road house and most of whatever my life entailed Pre-Hawthorne house restoration. (What exactly was that?)

It is said that the devil is in the details.

Thankfully I am not alone in this project.  My husband and Donnie have separate lists of "To Do".  Coordinating, scheduling, supervising, placating and sometimes firing subcontractors being the tip of the iceberg for them.

Whatever made me think a trip to Cape Cod this summer was sane I'll not know.  I've been informed that Cape Cod is not going anywhere and it will be there in 2013 when this monstrous project is behind me.  (love & xoxoxox to B & R for their understanding) 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


    With the weather being as hot as it has been, we spent a full day in the AC working on rewiring antique light fixtures.

Work surface
Original brass sconces will return to their places over 2 mantles

Even some of the original glass has survived the years

While the fixtures are still dirty and require some spit and polish, they all are rewired with up-to-date wiring instead of the deteriorated cloth-covered wire used with the old knob and tube wiring.

One particular fixture has given me a supreme challenge.  It is the small chandelier I purchased and cleaned up.  It was missing all it's wiring so we (Donnie and I) were working from scratch on this one.

Each of the 5 arms got individual wires

The candle fitting is re-attached

Wire is split and stripped  

Exposed copper is twisted and soldered

One of the arms gave me the devil.  The tail and the covered wire got stuck inside and broke off.  Nothing I did worked to remove the wire.

(Here is where I search for someone to salvage the project.)

The man of the hour (or actually 2 hours) is Kyle out at Reverie . studio.  Kyle is an artist and an electrical magician in my book.  He not only extracted the knotted up mess I created inside the small chandelier arm but also wired it for me.  I cannot sing enough praises!

This is not the first time Kyle has rescued us during this Hawthorne house project.  Several months ago when the drywall guys STOOD ON MY MANTLE and sent it crashing to the floor, Kyle took our damaged mantle, made a mold of the decorative corbel and used it to repair the damaged corbel.

The surrounding area is a mess but the mantle has been repaired to its original condition....Thanks to Kyle!

Go visit Kyle and the rest of the local artists out at Reverie.  There are loads of great works to add to anyone's eclectic collection.

I purchased this painting when I was out at Reverie!