Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

La Deluge; The Blogging Drought is Over

First of all, thank you so much for responding to my whiny post about having Bloggers' Block. I promise, no more whining -- on to better things! I am taking your excellent advice.

You dished out lots of good suggestions, including getting back out into the field, back into the trenches, back into the fray . . . hitting up those thrifts and shops and online listings . . .so that's what I did! On Wednesday, I tromped through a big antiques-flea-thrift mall, and a high-end antiques co-op, and spent some hours scouring Craigslist for stuff I have to have.

Today, I'm going to pick up these:

I am heading south (slightly) to bring my daughter her digital camera; she forgot it here
and needs it, and these sconces just happen to be at a location that is on my way. Serendipity!

They are iron. Can you see them painted?
White? Bronze? Pewter? Blinding crazy grasshopper green? No.

Other things that are calling my name on Craigslist, and every one of these is under $20:

Cruising the antique and furniture listings daily on Craigslist around here is almost a full time job;
there are pages and pages added every day. And that is just northern New Jersey.

How do you like this old wood bowl?

I think I need it, don't you?

What would you like from this string of Craigslist lovelies?

And now I know I need to hit the road; time's a-wasting, and I promised
I'd be picking up those candle sconces in about 90 minutes. Time to strap on the roller skates!

Thanks for all the encouragement and understanding. You ladies rock.

And speaking of encouragement, take a look at the bloggers who have joined these
blog parties today; loads of great stuff to go green (as in envy) over!

And that's it for today!
I hope to be back tomorrow . . . stay tuned. All the best -- Cass

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm All Dried Up. . . .

Remember early this summer, when the poppies at That Old House looked like this:

Well, now they look like this:

Which is pretty much how my blogging looks nowadays: dried up.
My last blog post was written a week ago.

I have Blogger's Block.

So tell me, my friends, when this happens to you -- and please tell me that
sometimes it does! -- how do you resuscitate your blogging skills, so you can go from this:

back to this:

Have a lovely Tuesday! -- Cass

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So On Saturday, I Went To Goodwill. . . .

What does a girl do on her 406th birthday?

She tosses her willing accomplice -- hereinafter known as Daughter Anne -- into the car, and heads over to the Goodwill Industries store, of course.

What, you didn't know that? Look it up.

So on Saturday, that's just what I did. I went to Goodwill.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear, but these babies, right in the front window:

Turquoise and gold drinking glasses.

I can't swear to their age, but they've clearly got a few miles on their odometers.

Can anyone say, "Tom Collins-es on the porch?"

They are the perfect size for a tall, cool, grownup summer drink.

I am not sure if I'm going to keep them.
I've been having fun selling a few things on Etsy and eBay, so I may list these for sale. Jury's out on that.

And since it's illegal in 37 states, including New Jersey, to leave Goodwill
with only one purchase, I also got this:

It's a cocktail shaker, and it's chrome and not silverplate; easier maintenance.
It says "chromium" on the bottom. It's also got nice vertical Art Deco-ish lines on the sides.
Very sleek. And in excellent condition, too. I like shiny things.

(And that's me in the reflection; I am not sure why I look like Quasi Modo,
but the mirrors in the Coney Island Fun House are nothing compared to this martini shaker. Eek.)

And that's it! My accomplice in these trips, Anne, is heading back to her own digs today for a spell;
I may have to go thrifting on my own! -- Cass

Tam at
The Gypsy's Corner hosts
Three Or More Tuesday.

Click and go see.

And Linda at Coastal Charm
is our hostess for
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.

Just click to visit.

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Crock, One Birthday, and One Ga-Zillion Weeds

What is it about summer that makes us lazy?
Or is that just me?

Come summer, I begin channeling my inner child.

No more pencils, no more books. . . let the dust pile in the nooks . . . .

Speaking of dust, and other things that accumulate over time in a house, take a look at this:

That's the toss-out-pile at a neighbor's house.
Naturally, I passed it s-l-o-w-l-y a few times, and looky what I found:

A big crock. Big. With handles on either side.
Complete with some honest and well-earned schmutz on the inside.

It's marked, although I have no idea what the marking means.

It is in excellent condition. Right now it's sitting on our step outside the sunroom,
holding down one end of the granite slab. and
waiting for a permanent assignment at That Old House.

Don't you just love it?

Speaking of giving away vintage treasures,
we sold our old Sellers brand Hoosier cupboard in an eBay auction.
We just don't have room for it.

Unfortunately for us, the first bidder was the only bidder, and got it for a song.
But he also has a 1725 house in Pennsylvania, and is super excited to get this piece for his kitchen,
so that goes a long way towards making me feel better about saying goodbye to this old beauty.


Do you dream about how you want your home or cottage or castle to look?

When I picture the narrow side yard at That Old House, the one off the sunroom,
in my mind's eye what I see is this:

Only, this gorgeous patio area belongs to someone named
Thomas O'Brien and the picture is from Domino magazine.


What I really see, when I actually look at our side yard, is this:

Oh dear.
Here I am showing off my cottage, and what I am showing off is what
extreme heat and some rain can do to a formerly civilized patio.
It's just been too darned hot to weed, and the weeds and the ivies and the mints, opportunists all, are running amok.
The inmates are taking over the asylum.
See that green stuff between the pavers? That isn't even supposed to be there.

Note to Mother Nature: Some cooler weather, please! Howard and I don't look good in sweatbands anymore!

At least there are still flowers to cut.

Switching gears again: Howard's sister Phyllis has a charming English Cocker spaniel named Kelly, who is our guest this week. Dion is quite smitten. Kelly sometimes has to threaten to knock his block off, to keep him in line. He loves it.

When Phyllis brought Kelly to us on Friday, she also brought me a chocolate cake,
because . . . Saturday was my birthday!

I am doing okay for being 406 years old, and I can still drive without wearing eyeglasses. Mighty darned impressive, don't you think? Have a lovely Monday! -- Cass


I'm sharing my big jugs
--- ooops I mean my big jug ---
for Today's Thrifty Treasures blog party.

Join Rhoda at Southern Hospitality!
She is sharing a post about hanging yard sale plates.
Lovely stuff!

And for Show Off Your Cottage Monday,
I shared my sad side yard.

And my hopes for making it look better!

Visit Cielo at The House In The Roses
for more Cottage love,
and her post today featuring a
charming rose-patterned tea set in a lovely setting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Home Invasion At That Old House, Or: Who Let The Dogs IN?

Hooray! It has been raining generously off and on for the past few days,
and our grass is beginning to green up again after playing possum --
shriveling up and turning brown.

Yes, there is still plenty of brown, but it is definitely greening up.

We have to remember to water the hanging asparagus ferns on the front porch;
the rain doesn't reach them.

I've abandoned Boston ferns in favor of these fluffy lovelies, as they don't shed,
and their fronds don't get brown if you miss a watering or two. They stay green.

We like green!


We also like red and white, or brown and white, in the form of small spaniels,
who descended on That Old House this week, en masse:

"Hey! We know there are chipmunks in this wall somewhere!"

We happily welcomed Dion's breeder, Joanne, and her darling Kilbrook family of Cavaliers, all relatives of Dion himself -- sisters, nieces, great nieces, and a great nephew who seems to share a number of his Uncle Dion's characteristics. We won't go there . . . .

We managed -- by keeping Dion on a short lead! -- to get a picture of him,
and two of his three littermate sisters:

Notice how nicely Daisy and Nina are sitting, paying attention to Joanne
Notice how Dion is being held in place, because what he really wants to do is jump down
and continue wrestling with his great-nephew, Woody,
who is all decked out in a kelly green belly band.

Guys just want to have fun, you know.

Anyone who has owned an intact male dog knows why Woody is sporting the Green Badge of Shame.

He is, as we say, lucky he is cute.
And he sure is cute.

Our doggy visitors thought it rude that we didn't let them join us for lunch in the dining room. Do you think we got their attention?
That's all 5 of Joanne's dogs, hoping and hoping and hoping . . . .

They didn't think much of the fence we put up for crowd control.

Anne took a number of videos; this, the shortest, is right outside the door to the dining room.

One thing about this gathering -- it was very quiet. No barking, no fights.

Sheesh! You call that a family reunion? Where's the shouting and the broken dishes?

They milled around, gave one another The Big Sniff . . .

Total dogs at our house that day: 7. Yes, SEVEN.
Dion, his sisters Nina and Daisy, his nieces Ginger, Ivy and Pepper, and his spunky nephew Woody.
. . . and then settled down to doing what Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do best: look cute.

And that's it for this Wednesday. I have not been a very good blogger lately.
What can I say? It's summer, and I'm lazy!

Join Susan at
A Southern Daydreamer
for Outdoor Wednesday!

By the way, what do you think this young lady was trying to tell us? :-) Cass

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Meet The Hale Street Studio Beauties!

Back in the 1830s, when That Old House was new, a fashionable young lady would
have deemed herself very lucky indeed if she were dressed like this:

Isn't she darling?

In 2010, I think anyone who received this as a greeting card would also consider herself very lucky indeed.

Our daughter Anne, who is in the middle of a 3-year masters of fine arts program in theatrical costume design, has opened an Etsy Shop, Hale Street Studio, for her original ink-and-watercolor drawings and greeting cards.

Hand drawn in India Ink on handmade paper, and then washed with watercolors and a touch of DaVinci
iridescent medium for a bit of gleam, the fashions are Anne's original designs and are historically accurate.

This sweet lady is from around 1805:

Mounted on blank ivory 5 x 7 cards, with envelopes,
Anne's fashion plates make lovely keepsake greeting cards, and look great matted and framed.

I know. I pulled rank as her Mom, and got the first one:

This beauty of the 1880s is just perfect in our powder room.

Anne's cards are original artwork, not prints -- hand drawn and hand colored.
She will take special orders -- colors, historical time period.

I can attest to Anne's extensive knowledge of fashion history;
watching "costume" dramas on television with her is a trip,
as every fastening, fabric, collar, corset and bustle is subject to scrutiny.
Along with hair styles, shoes, hats . . . you get the picture.

Her cards can be seen at Hale Street Studio
on Etsy
right here!

And if you haven't yet visited Etsy, an amazing online venue for things
handmade or vintage, you are in for a treat. -- Cass

It's Friday Finding Beauty
at Claudia's Dipity Road blog.
Visit here!

That's my proud Mama's
Show and Tell for Friday;
see what others are puffing up about at
Cindy's My Romantic Home blog, here.