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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Weird and Wonderful of Thrifty Finds

Sometimes we do indeed bring home the oddest strays.

We stopped at my brother's on Saturday night, on our way home from the beach house.  He and his wife have sold their Long Island home and are packing the camels and heading their caravan off across the desert, aiming for North Carolina.

Their new house is smaller than the house they are leaving, and that's why every once in awhile
I get a call from him:  "Hey, Cassy, you want the . . . .?" and I nearly always say, "Yes."

The latest thing -- an old oak office arm chair that our Mom painted
about 40 years ago, for the original Southold beach cottage.

She painted it glossy yellow.

Really yellow.

School Bus-Yield Sign-Crime Scene Tape-Screaming Yellow Zonkers Yellow.

This is the woman who, back in the early 60s, painted the walls in our tiny summer bungalow kitchen in a tasteful pale creamy yellow, thereby lulling my father into a false sense of security.  She then painted the 1910-era table and chairs in brilliant deep watermelon pink and green, and slathered the pink on the old round-top refrigerator too, just for good measure.

Mama was not shy about color.

Sadly, the chair's paint is showing its age.
There's a big chip on the back and scads of little bitty chips elsewhere.

My brother Lindy thinks I will strip this chair and restore it to its oakly dignity.  He is delusional.
I think it needs a new and gnarly paint job, don't you?  Color ideas?

It's going to live at our desk, where I blog if I'm not using the laptop.
The chair is perfect -- comfy, and it makes me smile.

Odd things do make me smile. Like the next two thrifting finds . . . a pair of -- ummm -- lamps.


When we were out at the beach house back in May and attended a flea market at the Museum Houses in Cutchogue, I snagged two table lamps.

I say "snagged," as if I had competition for them.  I did not.
I think even the seller was surprised that I took them.

They are . . . interesting.

Because they are so big and tall, I had to leave them at the beach house till this past weekend,
as I couldn't fit them in the car back in May -- not with 5 people and Dion!

These babes are tall.  36-inches to the tops of the harps.
There are two lamps, but I only photographed one of them.  They are identical, and both in perfect shape.

Loaded with painted, gilded, and molded detail.

 Help me out here, folks.  What the heck are these?  They are not new, that's for sure.

Former oil lamps?  Buffet lamps?  Rococo?  What would you call them?

I haven't decided the fates of these old gals.
They may end up on either side of the high 4-post bed in the pink guest room,
where they are tall enough to shed light on a book being read in bed.
Or, they'll get listed on eBay and I'll leave them to their fates.

They do have a certain quirky charm.  Well, I think so, anyway.
The rest of my family is of another mind.

And on Saturday, Annie and I discovered that Eastern Long Islanders are intrepid yard salers and will follow the tiniest, least legible "Yard Sale Today" signs to the most out of the way places to find their bargains.  We followed signs for miles, only to come upon a house in the middle of nowhere, with 18 cars parked up and down the one-lane road.  Amazing.

At one house sale I bought this:

A 20-year old Fitz and Floyd bowl.
It's about 8 inches wide, about 3 inches deep.  Nice size.

I think it has a neat, woodsy, log-cabin-in-the-Adirondacks sort of look to it.

At another house sale, I found 5 old lamps, porcelain, of odd old designs and shapes and colors and I was sorely tempted, but my daughter Anne wisely shot me with an elephant tranquilizer gun and dragged me away.  A narrow escape indeed.

 . . . sigh . . . . 


So, Tuesday's Blog Parties -- about thrifting
and finding and sharing those finds;
just click on the highlighted words to visit and be charmed!

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

At House Of Grace, it's time for Bonnie's Twice Owned Tuesday.

And at Coastal Charm blog, Linda hosts Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.
Have a lovely Tuesday!  I'm trying to get used to being all by my lonesome during the day.  Howard leaves in the morning at about 8:45 for the new job at Fox Business Network, and most nights will get home about 13 hours later.  I got so spoiled during his 5 months out of work!  -- Cass

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Blues Of A Summertime Beach House

We left New Jersey on Thursday afternoon,
heading for the East End of Long Island, to my family's beach house.

While there are plenty of flesh-and-blood horses out there,
I couldn't resist getting picture of this flowery charmer, above, at a farm stand!

Friday was our 32nd Wedding Anniversary.
We had breakfast on the deck, and watched
the sunlight sparkle on the inlet, which opens to Peconic Bay.
Dion sure wanted those last crumbs of Howard's bagel!
After coffee, I asked Howard to do a video scan of the inlet, which is known as Corey Creek.
He did, but having a short attention span he got a little silly. . . .

  We stayed until Saturday evening.  I always hate to leave,
but then I always love coming home to That Old House!

Annie and I had great fun searching out yard sales and antiques shops and little roadside places like this:
The Jamesport Country Store, in a 1700s cape.  Don't you love the pickup truck?

Mary at Little Red House is hosting her regular Mosaic Monday blog party.
I'm in; are you?

At Smiling Sally's blog, it's Blue Monday.
I'm showing off the saltwater blue of Peconic Bay;
you will get a kick out of Sally's blues!

Since the sparkling water is a necessary part of a beach cottage,
that's what I'm showing off today!
Have a lovely Monday; I brought home some nifty finds from the Island's North Fork that I'll share tomorrow -- Cass

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And . . . It's Off To The Beach House For Us!

We're running away, Howard and I. . . getting out of Dodge
for a few days before he rejoins the Monday through Friday suit crowd in Manhattan.

It's out to the beach house for us!

Can't wait to turn into this driveway:

 Bring our bags into this house:

And settle down on the deck with a tall cold drink, and this view:

We will be back probably on Saturday night.  That's the plan, but I've learned that plans don't always pan out!

About a year ago, Howard and I went out to the beach house for a long weekend.
We had a grand time, and cooked a grand East End meal. . . using the old dishes and tableware that 
my Mom had used in our summer houses since I was a little girl.

We picked up corn, burstingly ripe local tomatoes, and flowers at local roadside stands. The Southold Fish Market at Port-Of-Egypt (yes, that is really the name) yielded fresh-off-the-boat flounder filets.

Now how does this look, for a simple, quick, fresh and local Long Island supper?

I put butter and salt on the table, but we didn't use either of them. The corn was so amazingly sweet and delicious, it didn't need any embellishment. All we added to our meal of fish, corn and tomatoes was some wine. I'd have served this to Julia Child!

The dishes came from John's Bargain Store in Smithtown, New York. They are Japanese knockoffs of Staffordshire, and they are a bit mis-printed, and oddly colored. I remember Mama buying them for 25-cents apiece one summer, and they make me smile.

My sister-in-law Doris says they remind her of old hand-colored postcards,
with odd blobs of color dabbed on monochrome prints.

Old amber goblets from the back of the cupboard:

Also on the table -- serving bowls and platters of Hull brown drip pottery.
My Mom had lots of it -- good sturdy pottery for big family meals.


I love fresh cut flowers, and they are cheap on the North Fork, sold at rickety wooden
tables in front of old farm houses along the Main Road.
It's done on the honor system; you put your money in a coffee can
or an old cigar box, wrap your flowers in newspaper, and take them home.

A pair of porcelain quails kept us company.
(Hey, that's Howard's hand. He is patiently waiting to eat!)

That's as fancy as it gets at the beach house.

But when your main course is absolutely fresh flounder. . .

. . . you don't need fancy. Simple works best, for the food and for the setting. 

It's Thursday, and bloggers are busy tablescaping!
Go check out Susan's Tablescape Thursday at
You'll be glad you did!

See you when we get back.
Meanwhile . . . play nice!  -- Cass

Raindrops Keep Falling On My House

What's that old saying on the salt box?
"It never rains, but it pours."

Well, after weeks and weeks of never raining, it is surely pouring here at That Old House this week.

Day after day of rain.
Howard got some pictures from inside the sunroom.

He better enjoy his last few days of freedom; the new job begins bright and early Monday morning.

Join Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday.  It must be sunny somewhere!

Yesterday's That Old House got posted late . . . not long before midnight!
It's about a dressing table and a newly employed husband; click here!   And, stay dry! -- Cass

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's A Beautiful Tuesday! (World's Latest Tuesday Blog Post!)

And why, you ask, is it a beautiful Tuesday?

1)  It is no longer steaming hot, the AC is off, and the windows are thrown open to fresh air.
2)  I am no longer under the weather, and feeling good beats feeling crummy; antibiotics are my friend.
3)  Howard is no longer unemployed.

Yup, after 5 months of having hubby at home and underfoot (which I rather enjoyed!), Howard starts a new job Monday with Fox Business Network.  I will miss the old pest the dear boy, but a regular paycheck is a thing of beauty.  That Old House has a mortgage.

Downside:  I will have to make my own breakfast again.

The other downside is that I'll have to actually DO something.  I've let my projects mostly slide here in favor of hanging out with Howard, but he'll be gone for 10 or 12 hours each day, and I can't spend all that time blogging!

Welcome to one of those neglected projects.  Meet the Pink Room Vanity.

I think most women have a fondness for vanities, or dressing tables.  Who doesn't love
a piece of furniture dedicated to holding all the stuff that makes us smell good and look pretty?

There's no room in the master bedroom for a dressing table, but there is space in the Pink Guest Room.
And enough of that room's chosen fabric to make a skirt for the table.

It's got one of those tops shaped like a kidney bean, but the top is in kinda rough shape.
I will either paint it, or give it a good sanding and a coat of wipe-on poly and see how it looks.
The wood is nice, if I can restore it, and it will be more durable than a painted finish.

It has arms!

Those arms swing out, so you can get to the drawers hiding underneath
the beautiful skirt that the piece should be wearing.
(The missing knobs are in the drawers.)

I love the scars of past lives on the old things we bring home.
You can see the marks of old tacks and nails, where skirts were attached in years gone by.

This is the fabric I will use for the skirt.

I got this fabric originally for the dining room; it's all wrong for there.
Luckily one of the pinks in the roses is a sweet match for the Benjamin Moore Shell Pink of this room's walls.

I think it will look terrific as a dressing table skirt.
And curtains.  And maybe a dust ruffle.  Or a loveseat slipcover.  We'll see!

Note to self:  Get sewing machine serviced.  It's not working. 
I hope Tam at The Gypsy's Corner will forgive me for my goofy Three Or More List at the top of the post;
hers was one of the first blog parties I was brave enough to join!  Visit The Gypsy's Corner for more.

At Coastal Charm, it's Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.  You know you want to . . . .
And at House Of Grace, you can see who else is a Twice Owned Queen!
 And if you are wondering what my new old dressing table has to do with thrifty finds . . . 
well, it was a Craigslist bargain and cost me all of $20.  Sweet.  -- Cass