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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Big Apple Baubles On The Cheap


Hello, my name is Cass, and I love a bargain.
I'm kinda cheap.  It's in my DNA.  
(Thank you, Mom.)


I don't go to extremes, like a long-ago neighbor of ours,
who bought desserts that her family didn't like, so they'd last longer. 
 (I am not making that up.)
Pear cake/pudding/weirdo dessert image
from the wonderful website, The Graphics Fairy.

****************************
Long ago, in the 70s, I bought a necklace in the infant department at Lord & Taylor,
on sale for just a few bucks, and wore it for years --
it was primary colored wooden toy blocks strung on a simple cord.
It began my love affair with goofy, cheap jewelry. . .
like this piece, a recent wood-and-plastic purchase.  One buck.
How lucky is my husband?

I like jewelry, and I like cheap.  When they collide, all the better.

See?  Don't I look nice?
Vintage image courtesy of
the amazing Graphics Fairy.

 This combined love of dress-up and cheap is why I found myself
scooping up rock-bottom-priced pieces at a storefront on
7th Avenue in New York City a couple of weekends ago, on a 
fabric buying trip with my daughter Anne.

We are not talking investment pieces, but the costumey-est of costume stuff.
The kind of pieces you don't worry about, and muggers don't want.

I like lightweight necklaces, so I adore . . . plastic.
Not gold.  Not even sterling.  Glass or stone beads, if not too heavy, are fine.
Seriously, Howard, you are a lucky duck.

These are plastic, and long enough to double over.

I got 3, one white, one red, and one goldish-orange,
which seems to have gone AWOL.

Slightly scratchy to wear, because of some flat plastic paillettes.
But, as my Mama used to say,
"You have to suffer to be beautiful."

This one is lightweight plastic beads, very comfy,
and goes so well with Fall neutrals.  


It had a pendant when I bought it.  Leopard spotted plastic . . .
which I didn't notice.
Anne kindly pointed it out to me, and I decided I liked it better sans pendant.
That's the fun of inexpensive jewelry; you can yank stuff off, without your conscience twitching.

The colors look odd in these pictures, but they work.  Really,
This one is plastic discs and beads, strung on twine.
It's my favorite.

Shades of brown, with tan and a bit of black.  My colors!

So light, I forget I am wearing it, which means I'll surely lose it one of these days.

Most of these art pieces cost me a whole dollar.

A couple of them set me back $2.99.

And they say New York is expensive!
:-)
Have a lovely Thursday.  -- 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
previously-owned-large-decent-condition-and-under-a-hundred-bucks 
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.)

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

C'mon, Craigslist.
Empty space does not hold magazines, catalogs, a scented candle,
television remotes, books, pens, and boxes of tissues. 

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.
#9:

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!



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.
No-sir-ee.

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.
Sweet.
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,
blue,
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!