Thursday, June 30, 2011

Keys to the Castle

So, I've been planning this project for the past SIX months or better.

We found a pile o'keys in one of the kitchen drawers when we bought the Domus.  Skeleton keys, car keys, luggage keys, deadlock keys, all kinds of keys and even a couple of fun key fobs.

So, with a dozen thrift store 8x10 frames, a can of spray paint, a couple of yards of muslin and a hot glue gun, I ended up with this:

Hanging them was kind of a bugger, but I'm happy with the way it turned out.  I used 3M velcro picture hangers which are brilliant.  In addition to keys, I used a couple of knobs we had laying around, and several Coptic crosses that a friend had given us years ago.

The frames are not pure black, but have a bit of highlighting with some rub and buff.

I am really pleased by the way it turned out.

What do you think?  You like?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yard Work

Spent the morning (like from 8 to 11!) pulling weeds off the herb hill (you have to say that with a cockney accent and drop the "h").  The front is looking pretty spiffy if I do say so myself.  I moved around a few herbs that were being crowded out by others or weren't getting enough sun.  

 Doesn't the front look so different from when we bought it?
The hill is looking more lush:
 A pepper ready for its closeup!
 I know it doesn't look it, but I did a lot of weeding, like 4 buckets full today.

We started a veggie garden up next to the house.  It's a small plot, but it gets lots of sun and has good soil.  We had several "compost volunteers" and we planted several tomatoes, eggplant, raspberries, and squash.  We harvested our first zucchini the other day and it's on tonight's menu.
 From the terrace:
Almost ready to pick.
And the view from the terrace.  I never get tired of this view.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finished Porch!

Summer vacation is off to a great start.  The porch is finished!

This is what it looked like when we bought the place.

Today, it looks like this:

An improvement, yes?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


So, after two and a half days of work, I took this afternoon off to play.  See, I've set myself a schedule this summer.  Mondays and Fridays are cleaning days.  Tuesday and Thursdays are house project days and Wednesdays are play days!  Good schedule, right?

I did paint the second coat on  the back porch today, so I didn't play ALL day.  I took the afternoon off and went thirsting with a pal O'mine.  We stayed right in the Fan pretty much.  We hit a couple of swanky antique stores that we had both wanted to check out.  Cabell House Consignment at Belmont and Elwood had some nice stuff.  Pricing was generally good, but some of it was wacky.  I still get a bit weirded out by taking pics inside a store, so I don't have anything to show you.  We also hit the antiques store right next to Acacia Midtown.  They had SUPER cool stuff, very pricy, but really neat, stuff. Ivory folding rulers, old fire hose nozzles, an old German wall map, cool old globes, Jefferson cups, and lots of other unique stuff.  I fell in love with the industrial coat rack, but it was a thousand dollars.  Just a wee bit out of my price range this week.

I did score big at the thrift stores though.  We hit the Clothes Hanger on Cary St that is run by the Junior League.  This is what I picked up there:
Okay, I know that you're thinking is a boring big box light fixture, and you're right.  But imagine it with glass shades that I've made, and perhaps a bit of gilt on it.  It should look better than this monstrosity that still plagues my stairwell:

We also hit Fan Thrift and I picked up the following for a steal:
 A nice mirror that needs a paint job.
The cloche I found today.  The cake stand I made months ago.

Last week, I picked up these winners at an estate sale:
 This is a gilt and plaster hanging lamp that will replace the hideous boob light in the foyer.  I need to redo the shade on the inside as it's pretty icky.  I might paint it, but haven't decided yet.
This is a lovely batik that I found too and I just loved the colors and moody feel.

What have you scored lately?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This bodes well...

It's just past noon and I've already painted the trim on the back porch, the outside of the icebox, and the iron banister.  Let's hope the rest of the summer is just as productive!

 Back door trim now matches the rest of the house.  Please ignore the chipping paint on the ceiling.  It's on the list.

 Ice box needs one more coat to do it.  Then I'll put the hardware back on and paint the hinges black.
 Iron banister got a fresh coat.  Steps and floor are on this week's agenda.
 I had a poodle helper.
 Gratuitous poodle shots.  These were taken pre-paint.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Vacation

Graduation is today and about 5:00 I will be officially free for the summer!  Whoooopeeeeee!  I have house projects galore planned.  Famous last words.  I always think I'm going to get way more done than I actually do.

This week coming up, I'm working on the back deck and back yard in prep for the three day end of year bacchanal that a bunch of us teachers throw.  We host the hangover breakfast on Sunday.  So the yard has to be in tip top shape.  It's a bit weak right at the moment. Pics will be forth coming.

In honor of summer and the fact that we are not going on a real vacation this year, I'm going to relive a little bit of our vacation from last summer.

We drove up the Susquehanna river on our way to Maine and then boarded an 18th century wooden schooner and took a six day cruise around Penobscot Bay.

We stayed with some friends in Alexandria who have a marvelous view into DC and over the Potomac.  This is the view from their balcony.

The next morning we got up and headed to Gettysburg, which neither of us had ever visited.

Coincidentally, we ended up being at Gettysburg on the 2nd of July, the anniversary.  It was crowded.  In all the little New England towns we stopped in, the cemeteries all had civil war memorials, but they were very different than the ones we have down in the south:

Then we just tooled our way up north, stopping at yard sales, antique shops, and small diners for lunch and dinner.  We avoided the interstate as much as we could.  It was a lovely drive.  So lovely that I enjoyed looking at it and not photographing it.  I suck at blogging! We did stop at the LL Bean super store.

Our first night in Maine, we stayed in York Harbor and had our first taste of lobstah.

We then made our way to Camden where we boarded the Lewis R. French.

We got to participate in the Great Schooner Race which was really the Great Schooner bob, as we didn't have much wind, but boy were there some beautiful boats.

Accommodations were tight, but they fed us amazingly well, all cooked on a wood burning stove below decks:

We would sail during the day and stop in the afternoon at various islands and ports in the bay.  One day we stopped at the Wooden Boat School.

After the cruise, we headed up to Bar Harbor (Baa Hahbaa as it is properly pronounced) and spent several days touring Acadia National Park:

So, that was our summer vacation last year.  This year, P is taking 2 weeks off in July and we will be jobbing on the house, trying to get as much done as possible.  I'll be working every day on it and I promise to blog about it and take more pictures.  We do have a week at the beach planned toward the end of the summer.  I think we'll need some RnR by then.

What are your summer plans?