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Friday, June 3, 2011

Help Wanted; Must Love Crystal and Getting Damp

Three years ago, we bought That Old House 
and set about making it our own.

Even when "our own" involved
some possibly oddball decisions.

I am not sure what flight of fancy, or wacky middle-aged wish to play princess, prompted me to choose a great big honkin' crystal chandelier for the dining room of our old Greek Revival farm house.
This was my first blog header.  Meh.

Honestly, friends, I did follow the rules for how big a ceiling fixture
should be installed in a 16 x 20 dining room.  Really, I did.

It still startles me when I walk into the room.
As in, Whoa!  Shiny stuff!
In the dining room today: tablecloths waiting to go to the laundry, the wedding guest list on the table, an old chair upturned prior to getting its seat taken off and recovered, and a covered dish, homeless on the table.  Real life.

The chandelier (which the neighborhood kids think is made of diamonds)
has been holding court in the dining room for three years, as of last month.

It's never been cleaned.  Not that anything ever gets schmutzig around here . . . .

Got Dust?
 Why yes, we do.  Thanks for asking.

That ain't amateur dust, either.  That's old house dust.  Old houses manufacturer
it by the dumpster load, and anyone who's owned an old house knows what I mean.

So who wants to help me clean the dining room chandelier at That Old House?

There are some basic job requirements.
You must be able to climb more than one step on a stepladder,
because one step is my height limit for doing dangerous things.

You must be able to look directly up without getting dizzy.  Because I can't.

You must have strong arms that won't poop out from being held in the locked and upright position
as you swipe out those little cuppy doo-dads, those bobeches, and you can't be bothered by
drippy cleaning solution running down your arm and off your elbow, and sometimes all the way to your pits.

Hey. I think I have just described my daughters.  And luckily, they are home right now!
This job position is filled.
My girls have never minded getting messy.  That's our bride on the right.  Yikes.


 Link Parties!
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home.  Click here!
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground.   Click here!
Home Sweet Home Friday at The Charm of Home.  Click here!
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage.  Click here!

 Have a glorious weekend, and remember to take pictures!
I don't want to forget to say that we love our big honkin' chandelier.
-- Cass


About our chandelier . . .  I bought it online, for what was a really good (as in, cheap) price.  It was delivered in an enormous box.  Inside the box was a giant crystal 3-D puzzle of sparkly bits and pieces, and snaky looking glass tubes, wires and connectors.  Plus very sketchy instructions, written by someone for whom English was a casual acquaintance, perhaps even a one-night stand.

After a brief flirtation with assembling it myself, I came to my senses and called the electrician.  It took two guys to assemble and hang it, and that cost more than the danged chandelier itself had cost, but those electricians earned every penny.  I just toss that little factoid in for those considering playing princess under a big crystal chandelier; be prepared to pay a king's ransom for installation if you aren't married to a patient electrician.


  1. I have an old old chandelier that came with my ~1895 house. The PO was a smoker, and the chandelier crystals were actually so covered in nicotine, that they were amber colored. With dust on top of that.

    I took all the crystals off and threw them in my ca. 1950s dishwasher - that was so hardcore it melted plastic containers. I ran it a couple time, and they came out sparkly and awesome.
    I do it about once a year now. It gets them spotless :)

  2. It may be the "wrong" chandelier for the "period", it may have cost the national debt, cleaning it might "take a village", but oh my stars, Cass, it is absolutely gorgeous!!

  3. Cass -- as Jenne said -- the dishwasher is good for crystals (or so I've heard -- I still do mine by hand) But there is something about a big beautiful chandelier!!!! It's gorgeous and I've seen a lot of pretty ones here and Westminster Abbey (which is a LOT older than TOH) has crystal chandeliers (they're Waterford) -- so you're in good company!

  4. I LOVE the chandelier...and I can imagine how it must be hard to keep all that crystal clean! And I know about old houses and dust....believe me...I feel your pain!

  5. It is big, but it looks as though your room handles it's size well.

    I'm married to an electrical engineer so all wiring and light hanging is done for free. LOL He's a keeper.


  6. I would have to pass on the cleaning job, as I would fail the step ladder, tilting head and arms tiring requirements. :D
    Have a great weekend.

  7. Cass,
    I would help but but I can't do the ladder. If you got the dang thing down on a towel on a table and I could sit, I would be there!


  8. The chandelier is gorgeous and looks lovely in your room...and daughters are supposed to help their mothers....right???
    Have a beautiful week end!!!

  9. What a gorgeous Chandelier. It looks great any way you look at it! Thanks for linking it up to HSH!

  10. Thanks for the chuckle. Your chandelier is gorgeous and I'm sure it will be so sparkly pretty when your daughters finish cleaning it that you will need sunglasses on to look at it! Have fun!

  11. You have a gorgeous chandelier. I had one in an apartment I rented in the historic district of our town. I loved how the light danced around the room, but it was not fun to clean. I lived there for five years and cleaned it once.

  12. Cass,
    I would help! We just put on in our dining room this week. You should check out the post. Funny, the similarity in posts sometimes!

  13. Hi Cass,
    I have to say that anyone who is brave enough to hi-light their dust, up close and personal, has to be at the top of my friend list. We moved into this house 7 months ago and finally, a month ago, I lowered the twist-tied-up chandelier in the dining room. I had been putting it off because I knew a lot of greasy dust would be awaiting me. Mine is nothing like your crystal goddess, but it does have 79 crystals (yes, I just had to go and count them). I hand washed about 12 and stopped. Now you have reminded me that I have a job to finish. THANKS A LOT! I can't believe all the stuff you have going on before the wedding. Now, I feel inspired to go tackle a project.....hmmmmm ...... something other than the chandelier I think. I have several others already in progress, so off I go. Have a dust-free weekend!!

    ~ Nancy ~

  14. Hi Cass,

    Me again, I just realized that when I went and changed my blog ID to include my blog name, rather than just say Nancy, it shows up on both of my blogs. You follow my blog "See Nancy Run" but all my comments show up as Nancy @ I'm All Astonishment. When I try to change the other blog to SNR, both will say that. Grrrrr!!! Well that's confusing I must say but I can't figure out how to change that. Anywho, just FYI.

    @ "See Nancy Run" AND "I'm All "Astonishment"

  15. Yes, Cass, our chandelier came in a million pieces, too! Mister got the skeleton of it hung and wired.
    I got to put the bling on! Enjoyed it thoroughly.

  16. Oh Godd golly. That is one big job!
    Too bad you just can't dunk it in soapy water, spray it off, let it dry and hang it back up!
    I guess that wouldn't work since there is electricity involved. :)

    Good Luck!


  17. Cass,

    I love your big beautiful chandelier and your gorgeous dining room.


  18. This is one gorgeous lighting fixture, Cass! Lots of sparkle and bling. I hope all your planned projects get done with plenty of time for you to actually relax a bit before the big day. Stay calm and breathe!
    ~ Sue

  19. I think the chandelier looks beautiful. And it is indeed worth it. Thanks for sharing the images and inviting us to your home.


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