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Thursday, October 17, 2013

This Is Halloween . . . Almost

Welcome to Fall, at That Old House.

Please ignore the summery wreath on the door.
Yeah.  I bought Fall stuff to recycle that wreath.
The Fall stuff is still in its Michael's bag.  My bad.

Time for mums and pumpkins, for leaves on the grass,
and for - inexplicably - the lace cap hydrangea turning back to pink.

Time to let the coleus, grown to bush-size, finally bloom.
We won't tell them that their flowers are kind of goofy.
Mum's the word.  Yes, I said that.  Mums.

And we're sneaking up on Halloween.
Time for tables with pumpkins and ghosties.

Yes, I am always thankful to be living in this old barn of a house.
And I'm thankful that for the last 2 years, our only mice have been these:

Pumpkins and Spiders and Crows, Oh My!
Another Halloween Tablescape.

Now I must fly, my pretties!
Working today, slaving away at the antiques mall.
It's dirty work, but somebody's gotta do it.  :-)
Happy Almost-Halloween!  -- Cass

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Auction Chicken-Out, Craigslist Treasure, and a Cuddle of Cavaliers

We set off on Saturday morning, with all good
intentions of bidding ourselves cuckoo
at an auction 'way out in the Jersey boondocks.

We drove through beautiful countryside, 
 passing farms, horses, cattle, mansions . . . .
 and barns!
and finally got to the auction location.
(Full disclosure: it was only a 45 minute ride from That Old House.)

But then, we left.

It was very crowded.  The odds of getting really excellent
bargains at a heavily-attended auction are slim.
I need bargains, because I re-sell them.

So, home we toddled.  And instead, cleaned out closets in our bedroom.
Bonus: several big bags of clothing to donate!
There's always Craigslist.
My almost-never-fail source.

Last week, a small French chest of drawers caught my eye;
I contacted the seller, and bought it for $44.
(Yes, an odd number; don't ask.)

It's veneered in what may be satinwood, but I'm no wood expert.
It is old, with handcut dovetails and thicker veneers than modern furniture.

Plus, it speaks to me of being old.  I feel it.
 (No jokes about "it takes one to know one," okay?)

It has issues.  Lots of missing bits of veneer.

I kinda fell in love with it.
These are before pictures:

Before: Chipped veneer, scratches, blobs of old candle wax . . . isn't it gorgeous?
Even its dirt has character.  :-)

Before: Well, maybe not all of it is gorgeous!

So this brings us to yesterday.
Before: Great lines!  And the brasses, and the original locks, still in place.
I love the cockbeading (I am not being rude),
which is secured around the drawers with teeny tiny nails.

As I have neither the skills nor the patience to
do real repairs to her, it was a lick-and-a-promise job.

See any difference?
This is an after:

I got rid of the dust, cobwebs, and (thankfully dead) spiders, and carefully
scraped off the candle wax lumps with my poor fingernails.

After cleaning her with a mild furniture cleaner and soft rag,
I massaged the old gal with Old English Scratch Cover,
which is pure magic for disguising, well, scratches.

Looking better, don't you think?
Still "boo-boos" on the top of the piece, but it was in such rough shape up there
that I'm okay with what is there now.  I'll settle.
(The cloudy stuff is sun glare through the big sunroom windows.)

I didn't take the brasses off, but just rubbed them clean(er).
I'll do a better spiffing up, someday.  Stop laughing.

I think Fifi LeChest is pleased that she no longer looks
like something that the cat drug in.

She's a long way from perfect, and that's just fine.

Today I'll wax her, being very careful not to 
yank off more veneer by mistake.  Ouch.

She's staying right here at That Old House,
no sales tag for her.

Speaking of perfect . . . Mr. Dylan DiPoochy has a new ritual:
morning snuggles with Gilda The Red. 

 Our sunroom is blindingly bright in the mornings, and warm, and
Gilda loves to tuck herself into a corner of this loveseat for a good snooze.
Now, most mornings, she has company.
Since Dylan usually loves to tease his "big sister," this is A Good Thing.
In the old days, he'd have jumped on top of
her - several times - just to be a brat.  Yay for change.  :-)  -- Cass

Link Parties!

Linda's Coastal Charm is the place to be for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.  Click here!
Marty at A Stroll Through Life hosts Inspire Me Tuesday.  Click here.
And I'm a bit late, but I'm hopping onto Susan's Metamorphosis Monday,
at Between Naps On The Porch.  Click here!
And a new, to me anyway, Link Party:
We Call It "Olde" at the We Call It Junkin' blog.  Click here!

Inspire Me TuesdayOne on sidebar

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wish Us Luck - It's Auction Day!

Sadly, it looks like it will be a sunny,
lovely day here in northern New Jersey.

Because Howard and I are heading out
to an auction at a gentleman's farm,
and good weather brings out too many people.
Too much competition in the bidding.
Isn't that awful of me to think that?
Eh, it's true.  I'm kind of dreadful.
Now, as soon as I do a short rain dance,
it's into Maxine the Minivan with our bagels and coffee,
and we're off to raise our paddles high.
Have a marvelous Saturday.  Let me know
if you score at an auction or a yard sale.
Happy Hunting!  -- Cass

Pictures borrowed without permission from auction listing, but you can go to
this website and see them all.  Just stay away from the auction.  :-)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

That Old House Gets Her Feelings Hurt

How could I forget?
The first day of October was the 
5th Blogiversary for That Old House.

I didn't send flowers, didn't send a card,
didn't even mention this event in my post that day.
In fact, I didn't even write a post that day.
Not me, not writing a post, and not my cat.  Or whatever animal that is, stuffed or alive.
But I think I have that same small table topper in my stash of old linens.

Dear old house, dear old blog -- I apologize.
You know how I am.
Pretty fuzzy in the brain department.
Foggy, you might say.
Just like you were, this past Sunday morning.

But I so clearly remember that very first blog post, with one picture
filched from the real estate listing for this house, and not 
a blessed clue as to what I was doing.

On the 2nd TOH Blogiversary, I wrote one of my favorite posts,
about what blogging means to me and, I think, to many others.

Today I tootled off to a magical place called Bergen County,
where lovely people often sell lovely pieces of furniture
for lovely (if by lovely we mean cheap) prices.

I bought a small chest of drawers, very French, and
I think quite old.  It has lead a colorful life, as some
bits and bobs of its thick veneer have taken permanent leave,
but it is still gorgeous.  Original brasses, too!

However, it's out in my car and it's too dark out now to get a picture.
Tomorrow.  Promise.  You will either think I'm brilliant, or a total boobie, for buying it.

Then, after kidnapping my sister for lunch at a cute little bistro
in Ho-Ho-Kus (and don't you just love that name?),
I went on to yet another town to take a gander at these:

I think it's time I grew up and got real,
grown-up chairs for the lovely table in our dining room.

Since we already have 5 good Queen Anne chairs,
I was hoping these six would give us almost enough, in a similar wood.

Turns out the set was in kind of a sketchy neighborhood.
Even by my standards.
I'll go back on Saturday, with Howard.
For once, I'm being cautious.

And now, my friends, adieu.
Guess what?  It's fewer than 50 days until Thanksgiving.
I think I need to start a T.B.D.B.T. List, posthaste.  Eeek!  --Cass
Many thanks to the amazing Karen of The Graphics Fairy for the vintage images.

Link Party!
It's Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer.
Join Susan and the rest of us.... click here!

Monday, October 7, 2013

In The Pink, And A Totally Goofy Goodwill Purchase

(Head-slapping stupid Goodwill story at the end of the post.)

Almost two years ago, on one of my first jaunts
to buy furniture for my antiques booth,
I got this from a favorite picker:

A old small-scale side table with a lift-off glass tray top.
A little rickety, but nothing some well-placed glue wouldn't fix,
and it clearly was begging to be painted.

So I did.  Paint it.  Nearly two years later.
I have never been known for my on-time performance.

A first coat of Sherwin-Williams Eros Pink semi-gloss,
and a decoupage treatment under the glass of the tray top.
It's gift wrapping paper.
(Hello, Christa! I wrapped your bridal shower stuff in this, because of the Tiffany blue.)

Table, done: 3 coats of paint, and an acrylic topcoat.
The pink paint is a teensy bit more vivid than the pink in the paper,
but I already had the paper, and I already had the paint.  So I will live with it.

Or, I hope someone will live with it.
We put it in the booth on Sunday.

Sorry.  Phone pictures.  I'd forgotten my camera.

It's kind of a bright spot
amongst its more sedate brethren.  :-)

Ack.  Phone pictures.  Sorry.

It won't appeal to everyone, but it appeals to me,
and I had a blast reviving an old, scratched, rickety table
and giving it a snazzy new look.

I can only imagine what that table would think if she could
see herself in a mirror.  I think she'd be pleased.
She's all ready to hold someone's tea cup, or martini glass.

Link Parties!
It's Metamorphosis Monday at Susan's
Between Naps On The Porch.  Click here!

And at The Dedicated House, it's
Make It Pretty Monday.  Click!!!

BUT before I forget -- my stupidest EVER Goodwill buy:
A hardcover book.  A British murder mystery.  So far, so good.
Here's where it gets stupid; 15 pages into the book, I realize
that I had donated the darned thing to Goodwill back in September.

Yes.  Yes.  I bought my own book.
It's okay.  Laugh.  I did.  And now I can donate it back to G.W.

It's wet and stormy in northern New Jersey.
The dogs and I will take quick walks today!  -- Cass

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The No-Sun Sunday

Our corner of the world went 15 days
without rain . . . until last night.  

Hooray!  It's wet!

It rained leaves on our side lawn, overnight.
The entire day was damp, drizzly, overcast.
Spooky weather.

Not at all like Saturday's glorious sun-fest.

 Oh, Pennsylvania, you are one pretty mama.

That's New Jersey across the Delaware River.

Looking good, Jerz, all decked out in sunny Fall colors.

Howard and I met the eBay seller of the Wedgwood china
just across the border from New Jersey, in Pennsylvania.
Five lovely big boxes of china are in my kitchen now, waiting to be be unpacked
and nestled in some china cabinet.  When I can find room . . . .

I have lots of this china now.
Want to come for dinner?  Bring something.
The roast would be nice.

I had company in the kitchen as I gazed at my latest loot.
Gilda and Dylan.  Gilda sat.  Staring at me.

Dylan never stayed still long enough for me to get a decent shot.
He was mostly just a blur.
New boxes in the house?  Too exciting to stand still for long!

Howard and I had a great Saturday, noodling around eastern PA.
Found a little Greek eatery in the Poconos for lunch.
We bypassed a place that billed itself as 
"Best Thai food in the Poconos."
We figured that probably was not a very high bar.

Back in The Jerz, we headed for our favorite farm stand in Hackettstown,
and bought their most delicious apples -- Macouns.
They are like wine.  Only better.

Macouns are a 1923 cross between the
Jersey Black and MacIntosh apple varieties.

Macouns are -- without doubt -- the best eating apple in the world.
If Adam had found these babies growing in Eden,
he'd have been the first one plucking them off the tree.

They are tricky to grow, don't keep, and are only available for about 2 months.
If you are lucky enough to live near an orchard that grows Macouns, you are lucky enough.

So what's that pink thing, below?
I'll tell you on Monday; it's dinner time now, and Annie's cooking.

Enjoy your Sunday evening!  -- Cass