Welcome to That Old House

Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. Yes, that is our house in the header.
This blog named itself. When I tell local people where we live, they almost always say, "Oh! You live in that old house!"
We do, and I'm glad you've come to visit -- Cass

Friday, October 24, 2014

Craigslist, You Are On Thin Ice

Dear Craigslist,
While your on-the-job performance has heretofore been quite 
satisfactory, recently you are not performing up to ability.

The lastest contestants in our 3-week search for a
coffee table are as follows:

#1:  Square (our first choice of shape), sizeable, and cheap.
I might want to paint its little bottom.
#2:  Same size as above but simple lines.  Kind of a wallflower,
but an easier keeper -- no carving to dust.

#3:  Not square but long enough to hold all the stuff that inevitably collects on a
family room coffee table.  Scuffed, but that's why God made paint, or Olde English.

#4:  From Ethan Allen -- a pine piece with a past.
Also scuffed, and I don't much like lower shelves... things get lost & dusty down there.

#5:  Another square.  Good condition, cheap, but there's that lower shelf....

#6:  A dark horse in the race!  Certainly not square, but l-o-n-g enough for any amount
of party wineglasses and plates of half-eaten nibbles.

#7:  Another contestant in the "Love Me I'm Square" category.
But -- lower shelf.  Not sure if that's a deal breaker or not.  It's from West Elm.  Looks heavy.

#8:  Remember these?  Almost square, and with a drawer.

Books might work.  We've got a lot of them in the study (below).
(That chow table went to Goodwill year before last,
but that's how we know we want a big square table.)

One more week of cruising the List of Craig, and I still am not
in love with any of the available coffee tables.

Do you like any of them, or think they are right for our room?
Help me out -- tell me which one!

If all else fails, this beauty is still available for a piddling thousand bucks.
All we need is the Adirondack lodge to go with it.

Have a spectacular weekend!
I am having a very rare weekend with both of my daughters.
At the same time.  Such fun! -- Cass

Link Parties
At My Romantic Home, it's Show And Tell Friday Click here!
Feathered Nest Friday makes its home at French Country Cottage.  Click here!
The Charm of Home features Home Sweet Home on Fridays.  Click here!

Get your act together.
We need a new coffee table for our study.
Empty space does not hold magazines,
television remotes, books, and boxes of tissues. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BOO-tifying The Sunroom

Nowadays, I need a kick in the britches to
motivate myself to decorate for Hallowe'en. 

No kids pestering me = lazy.

But when Howard brought the bins up from the cellar,
well . . . it was time.
Ignore, please, the lampshade on the wooden boxes.  Real life isn't always pretty.  :-)

Most of my kitschy, corny Hallowe'en stuff ends up in the
Sunroom.  The good stuff goes in more serious rooms!
(Not that I have any real good Hallowe'en stuff!)

Weekend before last, I got a fall-themed wreath at The Christmas Tree Shops store.
It lights up.

This is what happens when you go shopping with children.
If by "children," we mean "Howard and Anne."
Yes, my husband and grown daughter forced convinced me
to buy a glittery, battery-lit, cheesy, corny wreath.
Not my usual style.

This is my usual style.  Dull and safe.

So, I didn't put it in the usual wreath-hanging place on the front door.

Instead, it's lying down on the job, and making believe it's a centerpiece.
With a ceramic Jack O Lantern in its tummy.

Kitsch has its place, especially at Hallowe'en.

Several old wax candle ghosties have nestled themselves
into the gold and glitter.

I'm copying you!
We went to Home Depot, and got a wee baby stove for the sunroom,
and we adore it.  

Oh Holy Mop-and-Shopping-Cart, Batman.  Nice picture -- talk about Real Life.  I am a doofus.
It adds a nice bit of warmth, and the fake flames are such fun;
they crack me up.  They MOVE.  How does that happen?
I am mystified.
I would not have gotten one of these, without your vouching for it,
so Thank You, Martha!

So, I think I have proved that cheese knows no bounds!

Glitter and fake flames?
Welcome to That Old House!  You rock.  -- Cass

Linky Parties!
At The NY Melrose Family blog, it's Whimsy Wednesday.  Click here!
The Style Sisters host Centerpiece Wednesday.  Click here!
And Kim at Savvy Southern Style is the brains behind Wow Us Wednesday.  Click here!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Happy Hands at Home

Long ago, I sewed all my daughters' clothes, 
and pretty much all of my own.
My Mom had sewn ours, and her own, so I followed her example.

Image: Karen, of The Graphics Fairy

And then I discovered that if you give merchants foldy green paper,
they give you fabric that is already sewn into garments.
Son of a gun.  Who knew?

But a few years ago, I bought a killer sewing machine.
A Babylock Symphony.
And my daughter Anne has used it more than I have.
Bad Cass.  Bad, bad Cass.

Garment District with Anne, weekend-before-last, I was inspired.
Time to fire up the needles and threads, and go all creative again.

But since I'm too lazy to romp back into NYC again,
I hit up Fabric Warehouse in Rahway, New Jersey.

Holy monkeys, what a lotta stuff.
Most of the offerings are home dec fabrics, but there is
a goodly section of fashion remnants -- suitings, challis, knits ....

The suitings called my name, plus they are crazy cheap inexpensive.

Here, in my car, a quick (and bad) phone shot of my treasures.

L to R, a black and cream speckly tweed, a multi-color loose weave,
and a brown and black tweedy fabric (my favorite among them).
I'm feeling the cold weather looming.

I'll have to test the fabrics to determine fiber content.
Could be just about anything ... but I bought stuff for 3 jackets
for 27 bucks.
As long as the faric doesn't melt in the rain.

Now, let's see if I get these sewn.  I'm still promising to finish up
some simple draperies for That Old House ... so what I need to do is
get over my lingering fear of my fancy sewing machine,
and put my foot to the pedal and go.

The sun just came out.  Good omen! -- Cass

Visit Linda at Coastal Charm for Show and Share!  -- Click here!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blues, On A Chilly Monday

Blue Monday.
I'm sharing a little mosaic I did a couple of years ago,
of some of my blue-and-white china.

Who doesn't love blue-and-white china?
Hmmm... rather odd, don't you think, that a color,
that we identify with sadness or feeling a bit gloomy,
should be one of our favorite colors?

I actually did have a few blue moments today;
Hallowe'en does that to me.

Paging Dr. Freud, paging Dr. Freud.

Since making this mosiac, I may have gotten more blue & white china.
Maybe.  It's just possible.  -- Cass

Feeling Mosaic-y?  
Join Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday.  Click here!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear Craigslist: You're (Almost) Fired!

Last weekend, I inflicted a batch of Craigslist
coffee tables upon you, that might or might not
be right for our coffee-table-deprived study.

Oh poor, poor That Old House.  There is no coffee table in its study!

Craigslist pretty much always comes through for us.
But ... not yet.  And I've checked every day.  
I know, such a chore.

A new old coffee table, big and feet friendly,
will be put into harness in this room, currently coffee-table-less:
For the ebay bargain of the decade, this table, click here.
So, time for the next batch of likely suspects.
Do any strike your fancy?

This one, by Councill Craftsman, is high-end, and has storage,
and loads of park-your-wineglass space.
And a glass topper.   A little stodgy, maybe.

Don't know the origins of this rather Plain Jane fella, but it's got nice curves.
Hmm ... those lower shelves?  Dust catchers.  I know myself....

Should we try going edgy and industrial?
A wood pallet on rusty iron legs.
Interesting, if probably a passing fad, and no worries about rings from wet glasses.
Also, a great reminder to get a tetanus booster.

This dainty number intrigues me.  Large, wide pine plank top, with nicely shaped spindly legs.
But the back legs don't have feet.  Really.  Clearly a cobbled-together piece,
but I kind of like it.  The legs would get new paint.  I like that it is not much of a presence.
There's already a lot of stuff in that room.

This one is ... interesting.  Nice big squarish top, sturdy, all that metal scrollwork...
... and then it hits me: I have two long-haired dogs.  Metal scrollwork and fuzzy dogs?
No.  I can't imagine how hard it is to clean the bottom of this thing - all 4 sides are covered in grille!

Yeah. These guys could lay down some serious fuzz on those metal swirls.
Dylan DiPoochy, left, and Gilda Von Tease.

So, I guess I can't help myself.
More metal scrollwork, but the ends of this table are open.
Easier to get that vacuum hose inside, to suck up dust and fuzz-wuzzies.

(The envelope, please!)
The Oscar for Best Hilariously
Goofball Coffee Table, goes to this one:
Yes, chickens, it is made of two artifacts described in the listing as "Eskimo snowshoes."
The asking price is a thousand dollars, but it says offers are considered.
Gee, I hope I can resist ....

By the way, that nice burled wood coffee table from last Friday?
Gone.  Gone.  Gone.  Sigh.
When Craigslist tosses up A Good Thing, pounce. -- Cass

Linky Parties for Friday

It's Feathered Nest Friday at the French Country Cottage.  Click here!
Miss Mustard Seed is gathering Furniture Friday posts.  Click here!
My Romantic Home is home to Show And Tell Friday.  Click here!
At The Charm of Home, it's Home Sweet Home Friday.  Click here!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Feeding A Fabric Addiction, Garment District Style

I have a few weaknesses.
(Stop laughing, Howard.)
Among them:  fresh blank notebooks, good pens, yarn,
china, books, other people's old furniture, and . . . fabric.
(I left out chocolate, and onion dip.
Umm... not together. Unless there are anchovies.)

Having a daughter whose livelihood involves fabric means that I sometimes get a fascinating glimpse into her world -- a world of narrow, packed fabric shops and specialty stores that feed the fashion and costume industry in New York City, and beyond.

Below, Anne, in her natural habitat, in a fabric shop on West 39th Street in Manhattan's Garment District.
Not all the shops are this overwhelming.  Some are more so.  And some are more spare.

Anne lives and works in Washington, DC, now.
A benighted city without a garment or fabric district.

(You have to watch where you walk; fabrics at your feet!)
Can you spot Anne?
(And more material overhead.)

(With walls and walls lined with bolts of endless color and texture.)

Good fabric stores are like crack to me; I want ALL the fabrics.
I want to bring them home with me and gaze upon them.  So much potential.

Anne is a theatrical costume designer, and after two post-grad-school years
of freelance designing in and around NYC,
recently accepted a full-time job as a costume designer and teacher in DC.

Currently designing and building costumes for a production of Moliere,
meaning 1660s clothing, she could not find all of the fabric she needed locally.
So Columbus Day weekend, she Amtrak'd it home to Jersey, and her familiar city fabric shops.

(Need buttons? Some shops have aisles and aisles of them.)

On hearing of her plans . . . "Please, may I come with you?"
And I did.  And it was glorious and such fun!
5 days later, I am still basking in the glow of whole blocks of specialty shops.

(Got trim?)

(Need a little bling?)

Anne found the specialty fabrics she wanted, as she knew she would.
New York City always comes through; you can find anything.

The little specialty shops have not changed much in generations.  The names of the owners have changed, but the shops are still catering to a niche clientele that knows what it wants.

You may be offered a better price to seal a deal,
it is wise to be an informed consumer,
and ... something that I find charming ...   receipts are still written out by hand.

Okay, once more . . . Where's Waldo?  Oops, I mean Annie!

And, no, we did not go to Mood.  

But W.38th, W.39th, W.40th Streets, and 7th Avenue?  Oh yeah.  Oh yeah ....
I even got a bag full of $1 and $3 necklaces at a place on 7th.  
Cheaper than Goodwill.  :-)

Bonus:  It was lovely having Anne back home for a few days.
And, she made gluten-free, grain-free pizza for dinner on Sunday.
Yum.  I do miss that child's cooking!

I hope your Thursday isn't as wet and blustery as ours!  -- Cass

And now, a Linky Party!
Treasure Hunt Thursday
It's Treasure Hunt Thursday, at From My Front Porch To Yours.
Click here, my pretties!