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Thursday, March 29, 2012

At Home, and Not

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood . . .

So Howard took his big scary camera outside early this bright sunny morning,
and snapped a few of our spring blooms in the act of, well, blooming.
 Who doesn't love hyacinths?

Dreamy colors, and a fabulous scent.

Down the border a bit, we find these:
"Hey, Bud . . . you're gonna be a yellow tulip!"

A little rose bush is blushing up its leaves.

No action from the grape vines yet; they are slow starters,
but once they get going, get out of their way.

Inside the house, in the sunroom, my Christmas cactus plants continue to suffer from identity crisis-es.
 These dudes bloomed at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and now Easter.
They need a new union.

This wire patio set is going to the booth, and I've decided to give it a new, fresh
coat of paint to help it stand up to the elements, so it can live in plein air,
which is a fancy French art term for "outside."
In the meantime, the set is looking rustic and inviting, on the driveway level above The Old House.

And now, I'm off for a day of thrifting and antiquing with
my friend Emily.  Who knows where we'll go?
We hope Merlin, the GPS, will have some good ideas.

Have a lovely Thursday!  -- Cass 

P.S.  Don't tell Howard, but I think cleaning out the perennial borders is on our "to-do" list
for this weekend.  Who knows what we'll find under all the old garden schmutz.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trippin' On Barns and A Burger Joint

Last Saturday, Howard and I headed out
in his car for a little drive northwest of here.

Goodbye, That Old House and Trusty Red Minivan.
We are backing out of the driveway and hitting the road.
I don't think I've ever shared a picture of our TRASH CANS before.  Class.  Pure class.

I was on the trail of the famous Annie Sloan Chalk Paint,
and hoping for a few good pictures along the backroads of New Jersey.
Howard was on the trail of lunch at someplace interesting.

We both found what we wanted.

Just south of our goal of Lafayette, New Jersey, we passed this old building:

 I want to think it's an old school, but I have to be honest; it's an old church, no longer used.
It's in rough shape, but someone wisely put Plexiglas over the last stained glass window for protection. 

Paint job, anyone?
Looks like That Old House before last June's makeover.

I do love those shingles on the steeple.  All alligator-y & scaly looking.
Once upon a time, someone put a lot of work into this house of worship.

Just up Route 15 is our goal -- the small town of Lafayette, which is Mecca for antiques lovers.

I was headed for this place, below, to invest in some chalk paint.
Yes, you buy regular paint.  You invest in the Annie Sloan stuff; it's -- um -- costly.
That's Howard trying to beat me to the door, so he can get in first, hollering,
"Crazy woman right behind me!  Don't sell her ANYTHING!"
 There was a mill on this property years ago; the mill race still flows.
 On Route 15, across the stream, are lots and lots and lots of other places to spend your greenbacks.
Which would be greenbacks well spent, as there are lots and lots and lots of beautiful things.

There's even a gift shop called The Chocolate Goat.
The goat outside the door is, sadly, not made of genuine chocolate. I tested.

Anyway, I bought chalk paint in Old White and Paris Grey, and I'll let you know how I like using it.

Howard, meanwhile, had gotten faint and hungry from signing the credit card slip at Sweet P.E.A.'s for the chalk paint, 
so we continued up Route 15 looking for a likely lunch stop, and found a place called Chatterbox,
which is in Augusta, New Jersey.  Who knew there was an Augusta, New Jersey?  I didn't.
But then I've only lived in the Garden State for twenty-five years.

Chatterbox is a trip.
The view from my seat:
 Or, if I looked the other way, this:
Great fun place, and plopped in what seems to this city girl like the middle of nowhere.
Especially when I can look out the windows and see this:
Yes!  Old barns!
And here they are, ready for their closeups, Mr. DeMille.
The largest barn:
 Used to be red, apparently.
I'm thinking this one may still be in use, but I'm not sure I'd go into it.

Next, this barn, complete with silo:
 Clearly no longer in use.  At least, I hope not.
 Hmm, also used to be red, if the color up under the eaves is any indication.

And the last one of the three, and in the roughest shape, is this little fellow:
Also a former redhead.
It must take one heck of a lot of summers and winters to wear off red barn paint so thoroughly.

If you are interested in visiting Lafayette for antiques, or paint, or chocolate goats,
click here for listings of dealers and shops.
Or, shoppes, if you prefer.
For the Chatterbox website, click here.

Or, just come along with me the next time I visit! -- Cass

P. S.  My daughter Annie's managing with her right arm in a sling; thanks for the kind wishes yesterday.
Go visit Bluff Area Daily blog for the
weekly Barn Charm Link Party. Click here!
Image and video hosting by TinyPic 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Injured On The (Really Fun) Job

Well, I planned a Monday post.
But instead, I'm going to join my daughter Anne at her apartment.

Anne is among the walking wounded, sporting a sling on her right arm,
an ice pack, anti-inflammatories and pain killers.

She was injured in the line of duty, and now needs a little temporary help.
Anne's been working as an assistant to the designer for the Broadway revival of
which opened in previews the week before last.  I didn't realize all the the tweaking
that goes on during previews, including some wardrobe changes.
We should have known she'd go into costume design as a career.
Annie spent Friday and Saturday hauling heavy bags of clothing, shoes, and other wardrobe items
all over New York City, returning or exchanging them.  By Sunday afternoon, her right shoulder was sore.
Then it got worse.  And worse.  By Monday morning, when she saw a doctor,
she was diagnosed with something I can't spell, but it means swelling and pain and now -- rest.
Anne in Germany
So I'm off to give what assistance I can.
And to hear more tales of Broadway backstage!
Demonstrating scarecrow makeup last Fall for her undergrad students.
See you tomorrow!  -- Cass

Friday, March 23, 2012

Drop Dead Gorgeous

What is it about old Drop Leaf Tables?
I'm nuts about them.
I think a lot of other people are, too.

They are so practical, modestly slipping their slim silhouettes into narrow spots in our houses,
but then bursting out, triumphantly, with their wings unfurled to pitch in at parties and shindigs.
They are the "We need more table space, stat!" heroes of the furniture world.  

The first thing I sold in my antiques booth
last November was a much-used cherry drop leaf table.
With a few issues.
But someone took it home, with all its scars and boo-boos, and I hope is still lovin' it.

I have an old cherry drop leaf table next to the sofa in our study.
Howard and I bought it many years ago in Zelienople, Pennsylvania, when we lived in Pittsburgh,
and it has served us as a kitchen table, a bedroom night stand, an entry table, a living room end table,
and now it holds a lamp, coasters, magazines and books in a cozy nook.

Upstairs in the Pink Bedroom, there's an Empire flame mahogany drop leaf table that I'm not yet sure what to do with.
It's got one large leaf, and becomes a lovely generous 5-legged square when that leaf is up.
It could be a card table, but I think it is a little large for that.
I have pink towels for overnight guests piled on the top, so I didn't take a picture of the whole table.

(Yes, we make our guests use a slop jar . . . . anything for antique authenticity.)

There is a drop leaf table that I would love to
sling into the back of my trusty red minivan and haul home.

It lives in Virginia, and I saw it this past weekend at my niece Emily's antiques booth.

Square legs.  It has square legs, love them, and a drawer that just hollers "Empire!"
And fabulous wide board leaves.

But last week in Virginia, I already had a drop leaf table in my minivan,
one that I'd gotten at an auction Thursday night in Richmond at Alexander's auction house.
That one is still upside down in my minivan; it will be going to my booth, probably tomorrow.
You know, when I clicked "Auto Correct" in the photo program on the computer, I was hoping
it would mask out the wrapping papers and moving blankets scattered around the back of the minivan.
It did not.  Useless.
 I don't often see acanthus carved legs, so I really wanted this table.
 The wood you see behind that leg, above,
is the top to this, below, which is also reclining in the van:
Another auction "win" for me, but that's a whole 'nother tale.
Anyway, if you are in Virginia and wondering what to do around Ashland, go visit
Hickory Creek Antiques on England Street.  Emily's booth, Ha'Penny Vintage,
is the second on the left as you enter. You'll know it because it's the nicest.  I am not at all biased.  Really.

Emily's Ha'Penny Vintage blog is here.
On this warm and sunny Friday, I'm off to Philadelphia with my sister.
Play nice while I'm gone! -- Cass

Link Parties to visit and love:

Feathered Nest Friday makes its home at French Country Cottage.  Click here!
The Charm of Home features Home Sweet Home on Fridays.  Click here!
It's Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground.  Click here!
Miss Mustard Seed hosts the Furniture Friday Feature.  Don't miss it! -- Click here!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Pill Makes You Larger . . . Oops, Wrong Rabbit

I've got rabbits on my mind.
To someone of my vintage, mentioning Rabbit
is as likely to bring back memories of belting along with
Grace Slick as it is memories of this nervous gentleman:

Don't believe me?
Go ask Alice.

Don't get the reference(s)?
Back to the sandbox, young'un.
This image and the one above graciously provided by Karen, The Graphics Fairy.  

I am in goofy mode today.
Because, you know, mostly I am so very, very serious and dour.
Which should be pronounced to rhyme with "tour" and not "sour."  Who knew?
English is whack, man.

I'm channeling Elmer Fudd, and going Wabbit Hunting.
Because Easter is just over two weeks away, and I have nothing Easter-y in That Old House.  Yet.
I know I've got a small cache of
Bunnies and Easter-y kitsch somewhere.

I thought it was in this chest in the Parlor.
Turns out, I thought wrong.
So . . . maybe I'd stashed them in the Dining Room, where I stash way too many things.
But no.  Not in the breakfront here.  See?
Nor in the sideboard, below.
Back to the Parlor, and that breakfront.
(And if you think I have too many breakfronts, you are probably right.)
In a bottom cupboard, we find . . . well, a jumbled dusty mess, AND
Wascally Wabbits!  Hooway!  Hooway!

 Since it is Thursday, and I haven't done a Tablescape in awhile, I had good intentions of using
the new-found bunnies and Easter decor that had been hiding in the Parlor breakfront.
But . . . time.  You know, time?  That thing we never have enough of?
I didn't have it.
So, here's a 2-year old Bunny themed table.  Links to Thursday parties follow.
This was done in the first week of March 2010, and we still had plenty of snow on the ground, and more falling that day.
No wonder I was eager to go all "Spring Table, tra-la-la-la!"

What I used:
Sheer flowered tablecloth, from my mother-in-law.
Vintage embroidered runner, eBay.
Georgian pattern flatware -- ca. 1912 -- eBay.
Mikasa Ribbon Pink china -- actually belongs to daughter Anne but it's in my keeping; eBay.
Gorham cut crystal hurricane lamp -- from my mother-in-law.
Irish crystal wine glasses -- Macy's.
Amethyst cut-to-clear glass and pewter hurricane lamp -- gift from my friend Betsy.
Majolica style asparagus pitcher.  Not old.
Majolica style asparagus tureen -- Tuesday Morning.
Vintage linen damask napkins -- eBay.
A Bunny.  Pushing a basket on wheels.  No recollection where I got it, but it's just so cute.  And crackly.
I sure wish that basket was filled with licorice jelly beans.  

As night drew in, we lit the candles against the darkness,
as people have done since ancient times.
Time for me to stop hunting Wabbits,
and do things I must make time for!  -- Cass
Link Parties!
Visit Suzanne at Colorado Lady for Vintage Thingies Thursday!
And Sherry at No Minimalist Here -- don't miss Open House Party Thursdays.