Friday, August 31, 2012


    I have filled the void in the transoms with hammered glass.  Like the glass in my studio, this is a product sold by my friends at Laurel Gallery.  Looking good!


    I have a  goal to move at least 1 small piece of furniture into the house each time I go to Hawthorne Ave., be it for a few minutes or several hours.  Since it has to be a piece I can lift and carry alone, the items have been limited to petite shelves and chairs.  Yesterday it was my easel and stool.

My easel is acclimating
 I believe the new surroundings suit it!

*Veteran Art Campers and Craft Campers please note the presence of a SINK.  No more running up and down stairs to get bottles of fresh water for projects and no more stinky dirty water jugs.  Small pleasures!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


    The house is rewired and the remaining interior lighting fixtures are hung.  It is time to call for inspection.  We have an eclectic mix fixtures.  Does anyone have a favorite?

In the kitchen

2nd floor hallway

3rd floor stairwell

Vintage fixture in master bath over tub

Screened porch - vintage fixture
Library lights to shine on shelves

Vintage fixture in entry

Dining room - hand forged pewter fixture

Butler's pantry

Octopus light in back stairwell

Back bath

Vintage fixture in upstairs hall

Master bath sconce

Master bedroom - bedside sconce

Vintage fixture - stair landing

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


A month ago I was re-wiring old fixtures.  Today they are all in place...back where they belong.

Before : March 2011

After: August 2012

Before: March 2011

After: August 2012

Before : March 2011

After : August 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


   It is time for another BEFORE and AFTER post.  Warning: Extremely squeamish souls might want to scroll down fast or skip this post altogether.  Mind you, I have not posted a couple of the worst 'before' photos because my stomach tends to heave when I look at them.


Sink - March 2011

Under stairs - March 2011
(Our refrigerator now resides in this location)

Kitchen - March 2011
Now, try to ignore the cleaning and construction clutter on the counter tops as you grab a peak of the 'after'. 


Sink - August 2012

Cabinets - August 2012

Cabinets and flooring - August 2012

Cabinets and lighting - August 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012


   Patience is said to be a virtue, but in the case of getting this house ready for final inspections I am completely without that particular virtue.  This past weekend Wallace, Donnie and I spent our time doing some of the contractor's work so that we might get our certificate of occupancy this week.

Installing an antique street light in the kitchen

I install a light kit in a fan to make up for the contractor error of not wiring a switch to an outlet
(View from the light at ceiling)

Wallace and I attach the remaining 30 switch plates and outlet covers on the first floor.  Donnie gets rid of a 'dummy' switch in the 1/2 bath (Having a 3rd switch that does nothing would drive me crazy for years to come) and patches the hole left in the drywall.  All this should put the electrician a day ahead.  Fingers crossed!

    Remember the shower disaster a week ago?  It is repaired.  Donnie installed a new shower pan and we tested it Saturday.  No leak in the pan.  No leak in the drain.  No leak in the plumbing.  He then patched the gaping hole with sheet rock and will give it all a finish coat this week so painters can go over the scar.  

Pipes and beams are covered with sheet rock



   Now that the floors have had their final coat of finish, I have begun to bring in a few things each time I head to Hawthorne to do some work.

In Billye's room a painting my mom did in 4th grade
"Hey!  These paintings are from my bedroom
on Warren Road."

And, so my daughter does not think only her things are going to Hawthorne Avenue, I bring some art work for my own bedroom and a desk for the library.

Miss Magnolia uses the computer in the library

Artwork for my bedroom

Sunday, August 26, 2012


    After many months without, it sure is nice to have working plumbing again.

Back bathroom

Thursday, August 23, 2012


    After acquiring all the light fixtures for the house this past year, we brought them to Hawthorne Ave. last week to be installed.  The electrician noticed that the 2 fixtures sold to me as exterior lights are actually labeled inside the fixture "not for outside use".  Putting the fixtures back in their boxes to be returned, we went in search of  Paul's Place to the rescue.  Anne at Paul's Place pulled out numerous fixtures, most in need of some work.  The one I decided to fall for needs perhaps the most work.  It figures!

A little scrubbing with fine steel wool revealed some brass detailing.


This one will hang above the door on the 2nd floor deck out back.  I've decided to clean it up and clear coat the fixture instead of paint it again.  I like how, with this treatment, this beauty's age shows.  

Stay tuned for the completely cleaned, re-wired , and refinished light fixture!  It should be sometime this week.

Monday, August 20, 2012


... SO FAR

I had honestly believed we would be moving in to our Hawthorne house this week.  Really!  As I write this blog entry the floor finishers are applying the final coat of finish to the entire house and the house is off limits for the upcoming 36 hours.  This was to have been the final day of contractors in the house.  

As it turns out, there remains a significant amount of electrical work and a small amount of plumbing to be done. In addition and most unfortunately, there was an incident last Friday which presents a big fat road block to our move.  In the process of running water through the shower plumbing, we filled up the shower floor and discovered, much to our chagrin, that there was a leak.  
We discovered this as water came dripping through the kitchen ceiling and new pendant lighting.

(insert a few choice expletives here %$*#@!!)

The question was whether it was a plumbing issue or a tiling issue.  Both of these jobs we contracted out.  Upon a bit of exploration into the leaking ceiling this is what we exposed.

Exploring the origin of the leak in my once beautiful kitchen ceiling

All the plumbing appeared tight so the culprit must be improper liner installation in the shower pan.
The way you find this out is, and you may have remove the tile.

Wallace chisels out the shower floor

Tile is 1/2 up
Once the 2 inches concrete was removed it was obvious that the leak was due to improper installation of the liner by the tile man.  There was a hole near the drain and a split in the outside corner.  We chose to let this original tile man go 2 months ago because of slow and unsatisfactory work.  We hired another highly recommended installer to complete the job and we have been very pleased (name and number to come upon completion of kitchen back splash).

The good news is....and this is a st-r-e-t-ch....It is good that it leaked now before we were all moved in and had a long standing leak AND mold with which to contend.

A full bath reveal is to come once the re-tiling is done (perhaps this too is another skill Donnie will teach me).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012



                   My husband was (is) a child of the 60's and 70's. 

                                          All things 'space' captured his imagination.

          The toys....                     


                                    The TV shows....               


The reading material...       Silver Surfer comics 1970 

At 2 years old, our first child  would curl up next to his daddy and listen to adventures of Spaceman Spiff.

I would often (and sometimes still do) catch the two 'boys' watching cartoons together.....


So, it should have been no surprise that when we made a trip to Chicago a year ago, 
we came back with this...

A light for Wallace's music room