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

Monday, October 31, 2011

This IS Hallowe'en!

That Old House is noisy today.
Earlier, I heard what sounded just like a door slamming upstairs.

But I'm sure it was just some snow sliding off the roof.  Yes, of course it was.
What else could it be?  In an old house?  On Hallowe'en?

So far, no trick or treaters, but we are prepared with a big bowl of candy.
Unlike the U.S. Government, Dion and I do negotiate with terrorists.

But now for something completely different.
"Hello, my name is Cass, and I am a fabric-aholic."

Upstairs at That Old House there is a bedroom, painted Benjamin Moore's Soft Shell, a lovely pink.
Honestly, I never thought I'd ever paint a room pink.  Never say "never."
There's a big high rice-carved 4-poster bed; unless you are quite tall, or you are quite young
and can fling yourself upwards, you need a stool to climb into it.
My daughters say it's like sleeping on a cloud.
 This room still has the remnants of our daughter Alida's brief tenancy here,
before she moved to California in the summer of 2008 for graduate school.
 Bit by bit, her things are being boxed and stored in the attic.
Or sold, but don't tell her that.  Just kidding.  Pretty much.

I'm collecting rose-themed decor for the room.
Like this painting, found at a charity sale on eastern Long Island in 2010.
I think it was $5.

One of my mother's old slop jars serves as a wastebasket;
she used these beautiful old china oddities as wastebaskets in all her baths and bedrooms.
On the slop jar -- Roses.  Natch.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because today I  wasted  spent a lot of time cruising my favorite fabric website, Fabric

Because our pink room, which my sister in law Doris has dubbed The Rose Room,
needs curtains.  And a dust ruffle (the old fashioned term for a bed skirt!).
Also a skirt on the vanity dressing table, and a little bit of slipcover magic.

Meaning:  Fabric.
I was going to use a fabric originally ordered for another room, but it's just not right.
I'm thinking that one of these, below, may be The One.
I have ordered samples of all of them, because computer monitors are never totally accurate as to color.

So . . . whatcha think?





(Yes, same as above, but different colorway.)

(Okay, this is wild, but I love it; just don't know about a whole room with it!)

(Probably not as dull as it looks, in person.)

(This is a tapestry, may be good for rocking chair seat covers.)

(Hope this might be a good accent fabric, or a lining.)

(Yes, I have two pictures of this pattern, as I am hoping that I
can really, really love it.  It is only $3.95 a yard, and from a good maker.)
Hmmm . . . may not be pink-y enough.  Too much red?

Well, in 3 days or so I should have my samples.  Fabric Guru ships fast, and cheap.

It's hard to get the right tone of the pink walls in pictures of that room,
as the pink changes with the light, and often hovers close to peachy pink, almost pale salmon.

My last picture today was as the light was really fading, and the chandelier was off.

Well, what do you know?  That's probably the most accurate of all the wall colors!

Still no trick or treaters.
I think they've been told to stay home, because so many neighborhoods are without power.
We are so, so lucky -- we never lost power, despite our town being in what one of the
New Jersey newspapers called "the epicenter of the storm."  Who knew? 
Some parts of our town got 17 inches of snow; we didn't get that much, but we got . . . enough.

Happy Halloween,
from Cass and Howard and Dion and whomever else lives here at That Old House.

Guess what?  An old picture from when the house
was being painted, before we moved in, shows the Soft Shell paint color best.
When we bought the house, the room was painted sort of white.

I'm not real big on white walls, and there were some (!) wall repairs to be made.
So the painters got to work -- this is the room with primer and plaster repairs.

That's all, folks!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What a BOO-tee-ful Sunday

 It is the Sunday before Halloween,
and our ground is still snow covered from yesterday's bizarre October snowfall.
Snow's falling in sheets off roofs and trees as the temperature is expected to go well into the 40s today.
I have high hopes that all the white stuff will be gone by the time Trick Or Treating begins after school tomorrow.
Otherwise, who will eat all the candy?

Meanwhile . . . I'm borrowing some old pictures, and a ratty old poem, from past Halloweens at
That Old House, just to give you a taste of the season.

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;
"'Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you may spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many curious things to show when you are there."

The Spider and the Fly
Written by Mary Howitt (1799 to 1888)

And . . . That Old House's version of the famous poem:

Yes, come and see our curious things, my precious readers all.
There's a table in our parlor, O so charming, O so small.
You can rest your weary skeletons upon our chairs so black.

Do not fret about the ghosties sending shivers down your back.

Do not worry, all my pretties; you will not hear ghostly calls.
You will not hear howls or rattling chains in That Old House's walls.
For the ghosties here are kind ones, and they wish you only well.
Now sit down and have a drink, while we prepare a ghostly spell . . . .

Written by the Ghosts of That Old House in October 2009.
They are still waiting for you . . . .  

The Parlor in 2009.

And in 2010.

I am not going to show you the 2011 Parlor, because you might do this:


I love ceramic pumpkins and Jack O'Lanterns.

Also in 2009, I made witch hat cookies -- Hershey kisses glued with icing
onto those thin chocolate wafers that are so good with coffee.

Rudy, our pet ghost, looks longingly at the cookies.
Sadly, his mouth is just a line of ink, and cannot open.
Sorry, Rudy.
More for us.

Watch out!  On a nearby table, some mice await their chances to snatch cookies!
Finally, a picture from 2011.

 Each year at Halloween, a few songs get stuck in my head.
Werewolves of London.
Monster Mash.
and this one.
Listen if you dare! And have a lovely, spooky-ish, silly Halloween! -- Cass

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

So what, indeed, is wrong with this picture?
 Here's a hint:  that is the Scarecrow at our sunroom door.
 He and his other Scarecrow friends are all covered in snow.
 As is everything else in the yard at That Old House,
and in the rest of the North East USA.
And it is two days before Halloween!

Now you know what is wrong with all these pictures.
Global warming, my eye.

It's a good day to stay inside, watch the snow fall,
and think about all the buried but blooming begonias, geraniums,
and snapdragons that are having the surprise of their short little lives.
See the lilac tree through the window?
I should have noticed it was sagging.
Look at the next picture to see its fate.

Houses feel so different when it is snowing, don't they?
They feel so much more like nests.

And now I'm going to do more nesting; snuggle in, folks!
The snow's not over yet.  -- Cass

 Oh dear.  I just looked out the window to the left of my desk.
At our big, beautiful lilac tree.

Trees weren't meant to carry snowloads and leaves at the same time.
All the main stems (trunks?) have snapped under the weight.
Dang.  Instead of nesting, we should have been outside shaking snow off the branches.
Well, it's half the size it was, but I guess it can always grow!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

That Old House Of Horrors

My Friday post was supposed to be about our
parlor fireplace, all decorated for Halloween.

But do you know what?
It gets dark awfully early these days, and there isn't a whole lot of wattage in the parlor table lamps;
that photo shoot will have to wait.

Instead, we're once again at the old oak table in the sunroom, only this time . . . no turkey plates.
It's a spooky supper for two on a windy, rainy night
near All Hallow's Eve.

Bring on the dark.
Old houses are the best places to be at Halloween.
Don't be scared . . . you are among friends.

Mr. Jack O'Lantern is keeping an eye on the proceedings.

Do you wonder what your Ghostess -- I mean, Hostess -- has planned for the evening?

 Wineglasses at the ready.

Spider webs and bats beneath the plates.

Black crows settle onto the centerpiece.  Let's hope they are friendly. 

Eeek!  Spider!  Hope he's not the first course!

Miss Havisham has supplied the yellowed old linen napkins, leftovers from her wedding day.

The old  bat  dear also did the flowers for tonight's special dinner a deux.
I think they came from her bridal bouquet.  Nice and crispy!

Please, take a seat.  The pumpkins, crows, spider, and ... who knows? ... are all ready to serve you.
With Hollandaise.  Cue cackling laughter here.


Are you ready for Halloween?

Question:  Do you buy your candy ahead of time and hide it?
I buy ours at the very last possible minute!

Well, time to climb up on my latest vehicle, and go for a spin.
-- Cass

And . . . the charming illustrations are all courtesy of
The Graphics Fairy.  Visit her here; she's amazing.

Gobble Gobble Goodwill

Way back on Tuesday, That Old House had a post about my new
Pottery Barn turkey plates, paired with different color dinner plates.  

Curious as to which was the most popular color combination?
If you think it's the red dinner plate pairing, you are right.

Here's how it all turned out:
Robin's Egg Blue -- 4 votes
Red -- 7 votes
Turquoise -- 4 votes
Green -- 4 votes
"All of them" -- 3 votes
And also getting 3 votes . . . the original Pottery Barn display tablesetting plates, which were a golden yellow.
Even though I didn't have any golden yellow plates to use.

This is the tabletop display from the PB outlet on Long Island,
where I got the turkey plates back on Saturday:

Well, guess what?
You just never know what you'll find at our local Goodwill Store.
 And on Tuesday, late afternoon, I found big dinner plates, golden yellow, for 99-cents apiece.
 Pretty slick, huh?

Our Goodwill yielded a few other goodies.
Should that be "a few other goodwillies?"
Maybe not.

Anyway, I found a milk glass pitcher for 99-cents. 

 Silver serving pieces, $1.99 each.  After polishing, they will look fabulous on a buffet table.
They are very heavy, too; they don't feel chintzy.
(Now there's a word you don't hear much nowadays -- chintzy.
Probably because it's not Politcally Correct to offend chintz, or Mario Buatta.)
 And since I'm a sucker for Majolica, and Majolica-type wares . . . a chunky pitcher.
Not old -- from the 1990s I think.  But great color and vintage style.
 What kind of flower do you think this is?  Dogwood?  Magnolia?
 There are buds on the front of the pitcher.  Any clues?
 Well, as that little cream colored, carved Dollar Tree pumpkin
in front of the Giant Mr. Turkey Centerpiece says -- Give Thanks!
For Goodwill, for the fun of playing with dishes, and for friends who understand.

Off  now through the rain, for brunch in New Brunswick with daughter Anne. 
Hmmm . . . there's a Goodwill down there, too.  -- Cass

 Thursday Links
At From My Front Porch To Yours, it is Treasure Hunt Thursday.  Click here and visit!
At Tales From Bloggeritaville, it is Thrifty Thursday.  Click here!
No Minimalist Here hosts Open House Party Thursdays.  Click here!
Between Naps On The Porch -- Tablescape Thursday.  Click here!
No Minimalist Here