Friday, December 31, 2010

These are a few of my favortite things...Part III (and Happy New Year's Eve!)

Over the past 48 hours, life has been hectic but good.  We are exhausted but we are completely moved into 1910 Dream Street and are official landlords of our former home.  To finally be living in one place is a welcomed event. Now to weed out even more stuff that we don't want to keep that couldn't be done before we moved.  The fall caused a lot of the things we wanted to do over there to not happen but that is ok.  We are finally out and the tenants are in.  On to 2011!

My final favorite thing that I will share are convex mirrors.  I have one that I bought from Pottery Barn about 10 years ago when we moved into our former home.  I absolutely adore them.  I plan on getting an ornate picture hanger so that we can hang ours over the fireplace in the dining room.  I think it would be the perfect addition for now.  Eventually, I would like to get a true antique convex mirror.  Here are a few styles that I really love:

This is from the Federalist time period (18th century) and is one that I am fond of.  The mirrors of this period are adorned with thirteen gold balls to represent the original 13 colonies.

I really like the depth of this mirror and the wide frame around it.  It is amazing how this type of mirror can make a room look so much bigger. 

This is a bit more modern and only about 60 years old but is still one of my favorites.  The star burst convex mirrors are making a huge come back and I expect to see more of these in the antique stores.

I hope you and yours have a very fun and safe New Year's Eve!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...part II

Silly me almost didn't post an entry today.  I am exhausted and still in a bit of pain from the fall.  I head to the doctor tomorrow for a follow up appointment.  Should be interesting to see what she has to say.  We've also been trying to get the last bits and pieces out of the country house this week.  The movers came this afternoon and brought over the big pieces of furniture for all of our bedrooms plus the guest room to the city house.  All that is left are a few closets and cabinets to empty as well as some cleaning to do.  It is going to be a busy 24 hours leading up to a 10 am walk through with our renters on December 30 but it will certainly be worth it in the end.

But what is another one of my favorite antique things you might ask?  This is not a common one but I have an interest in it since we have two that were left behind in the dream home: antique radiators.  Yes, strange but true!  We have one small one that has been stored in a closet.  It is very plain and simple but I would still like to find out how old it is.  The other is quite ornate and unfortunately stuck in our master bathroom.  It was against the wall in our master bedroom but the flooring guys managed to slide it from the wall to the bathroom by using the moving rugs that were stuffed underneath it by a previous homeowner.  We have been told by other that the previous owners were under the impression the radiator still has water in it.  Yikes!  Not only is it cast iron but it also weighs a ton.  In a perfect world, we hope to move it downstairs and place it under the stairwell like this:
The one we have is even and would make a great console table with a thick piece of glass on top.  I love the quote from one Web site I have found regarding antique radiators, "radiators aren’t just hunks of junk, they are works of art we are salvaging from the past.." That is why I would like to salvage the one we have.  Despite some poor attempts to repaint it, the radiator is in great shape and it has beautiful ornate pipes.  It is very similar to this one:

Once again, if I ever locate that flipping USB cord for my camera, I will post some of my own pictures.  I would love to have a company like A1 New & Used Plumbing and Heating (located in Union Square, Massachusetts) tell me more about this "work of art" that has been left behind in our home.  Perhaps I can email them some pictures soon to see what they think?  I wonder if it is original to the home.  Now that would be an amazing discovery if so!
One more favorite tomorrow :0)....

Monday, December 27, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...part I.

Last night I had some girlfriends over and as we were chatting over hot buttered rum, The Sound of Music could be heard in the background from the TV in our living room.  As the famous song is still stuck in my head, I thought I would share a few of my favorite historic things with you.  These are the beauties I would like to get for the city house as soon as finances are back in order.  Heat first, right?

The first are real picture hangers to use in the rooms that have picture railing.  So many people try to bang a nail in the old, plaster walls and end up screwing a bolt in so they can put a picture on the wall.  Sigh...if they only realized that molding above their heads was put there for a reason not just decoration!  At the state capitol where I work, they still use the old antique brass picture hangers.  If you are a legislator or staffer lucky enough to have a capitol office, one must hang one's acolades and diplomas on cords with these.  I like this version possibly for our office:

I know I want some of these rosettes once they are back in stock.  I could see using these in the bedrooms without a shadow of a doubt:

I found the two above as I have been doing research online.  Then I stumbled upon these beautiful picture hangers.  The Swan Company specializes in authentic replicas of picture hangers used back in the day.  They range from the very simple to the simply ornate.  I love this one:

Personally, I have never seen these in the stores but then again, I haven't been looking for them.  I plan on scouting the local antique stores to see if they carry anything in town.  If not, thank goodness for the World Wide Web! 

Another favorite thing tomorrow!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let it snow!

Merry Christmas, everyone! My husband and I have decided that you have really moved into a home when you celebrate the holidays in it.  The dream house now has two celebrations under her belt with Thanksgiving and an incredible Christmas!  We even had a white Christmas - the first one in Georgia since 1882.  It was absolutely beautiful.

The house got a few Christmas presents of her own.  We were given a medallion to go in our dining room over the chandelier.  I can't wait to have that installed.  We also got a circular saw which will come in handy very soon.  We even got new lamps to put in the office.  It was a fantastic Christmas and we are so thankful that we got to celebrate in our new home around a beautiful 8" noble fir tree.  I hope you and your family had a terrific holiday!  Enjoy the relaxing days ahead before the hectic New Year arrives!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Slip and slide!

Finally...we have heat in our entire house.  When you program the thermostat to 70 degrees, it actually feels like 70 degrees no matter which floor you are on! YAY!!!  As I mentioned, the HVAC guys came in the following Monday and popped the roof to put in a vent for the second unit.  By sundown we had heat on both floors.  Such a novel concept.  Finally, my family is together under the same roof and not freezing to death.

Since the heat has returned to our world, life has moved on.  Christmas decorations went up.  We continue to get settled in our "new" digs while we bring the last bits and pieces over from our former home.  Thankfully renters are moving in to that house at the end month and we will only have one house note to fret over.  Becoming landlords is a totally different story...

The one downside to the dream home is the stairwell.  Old and creaky as well as very narrow as you reach the top, we are always fearful that our three year-old will fall down them.  Who would have thought one of the adults would take the tumble first.

This weekend I was running around with only my socks on while taking care of a few things upstairs.  When my daughter started hollering for me, I ran to the top of the stairs to let her know that I was in our bedroom.  As I stopped at the top stair to let her know where I was, my body stopped but my feet did not.  Hard I crashed on my back side down 11 of our hardwood stairs.  My blackberry in hand went flying over the rail and broke my house warming gift to myself, the blue floral knick knack bowl from Glory Haus which I think has now been discontinued :( Thankfully, that is all that was broken. Sunday, I went to the emergency room  since the pain was worse the day after of the accident (so much so that I passed out in our hallway!). The x-rays showed only sprains and bruises.  For that I am most grateful.  We have always known we would have a long laundry list of projects we would like/want/need to do over the next few weeks, months and even years but I think the one regarding a carpet runner on the stairs just got bumped up on the "must do" list.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Warming trend!

As of noon today, we have heat in the house! Hallelujah!! Just as the first floor was registering 40 degrees, the HVAC folks finished up the install of the new heating unit.  The gas company did its part and within an hour, my husband reported that after an hour, the house had warmed up to 50 degrees on the first floor.  The second floor will be finished on Monday as one of the technicians they need to have in order to punch through the roof is on another job site today.  That is fine...a finish line has been spotted.  Besides, we can always live on the first floor if we need to for a few more days or use the portable heaters until Monday rolls around.  I am so excited! Never will I ever take for granted a heated room. 

Still looking for that USB cord!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The saga of the big chill continues.  The warranty company sent their incredible contractors out to inspect the heating problem.  One rocket scientist said we needed more insulation.  Done.  Still cold air blowing out of the vents.  The second genius decided the way to fix the heater is to replace all of the windows in the home.  Brilliant.  When I spoke to the warranty company, they said it was time for us to get our own opinion and if there was a "mechanical" problem found, they would have their technicians complete the work.  Ha...fat chance.  Needless to say my husband and I do not trust them to do any work of this substantial nature.  The HVAC company we had come out has recommended replacing what we have with a unit that is meant to heat/cool a home of this size.  In addition, we have decided to uncap the natural gas and have that as an option vs. an electric only home.  They started the work today to bring in the new equipment. 

So what does the 47/53 mean as the title of this entry? Those are the steady holding temperatures downstairs and upstairs respectively in our home.  Our daughter has been staying with her grandparents since Monday after school.  My husband and I have heaters in our bedroom and bathroom upstairs, which is tolerable.  We have down comforters, flannel night clothes and we vacate the house during the day.

We are keeping our fingers crossed on the installation.  This weekend the weathermen predict that it will warm up a tad before plunging into the low teens on Sunday.  YIKES!

PS: Regarding pictures....during the move we have managed to misplace the USB cord for the camera.  As soon as it is located, I will share lots and lots!  Until then, stay warm!

Friday, December 3, 2010

And the renovations continue...

My aunt called me this morning to remind me that I haven't been blogging and there has been activity in my house that needs to be shared.  She is correct on both counts.  We have moved most of our things in to the city house and have been sleeping there since Sunday.  Christmas decorations are slowly coming out of their tubs and are being sprinkled around the house here and there.  However, my husband has been tackling the biggest "new" project we have going on at the moment - heat.

Right after Thanksgiving, another cold spell arrived and we noticed the heater that we thought had been fixed was not keeping pace with the cold air.  No matter where we set the temperature, the first floor remained cold.  The technician came out for a second time and basically told us that the heater was firing up fine but there is no insulation under the flooring on the walk-in level.  My husband bought roll after roll of insulation and has been stuffing the rafters in the basement in hopes of warming up the place.  Unfortunately, yesterday morning the thermostat registered at 57 degrees.  Thankfully, our bedrooms are on the second floor and we did not suffer in that condition.

Today, we had another heating and air company come out and give us a second opinion, which was not good news.  They are recommending that we pull everything that is in place and covert to an new system which would include gas.  The current system is all electric and should only be used as a back up system we have learned.

Needless to say, we are frazzled, furious and frustrated.  Home inspection? Why did we even have one?  Sellers?  Now we know why you did a short sale so the house could be sold "as is."  I am baffled.  For the past two weeks as the house didn't heat I remember asking my husband, "how did a family live here before? Certainly this isn't all new?" 

Lots of phone calls will be made today to see what can be done.  Meanwhile, starting tomorrow we are predicted to have the coldest weather of the season hit.  Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

'Tis the season!

It is hard to imagine that today we celebrated Thanksgiving and now we are moving on to Christmas!  I am playing with Christmas card designs and thought I would share a template I have been working on with Shutterfly.  Tomorrow we start decorating the house as our home is on the route for the Marietta Tour of Homes.  Can't have a naked house with company in town! :)  More soon...
Love Hope Faith Religious
Unique party invitations and greeting cards by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Happy Thanksgiving!

And just when I posted about Halloween, in a blink of an eye it is Thanksgiving!  I can't believe I haven't blogged and kept you up to speed on what has been going on.  The truth of the matter is I have been too busy to sit behind the computer and peck out an entry.  Why? Because we have been MOVING!!! :)  Can you believe it?  I still can't.  I keep pinching myself.  It sank in a tiny bit when I was unloading some boxes and was heading back to the truck when I stopped and stared at my furniture in the house.  That was a bit of an epiphany for me that all the months of waiting and working had finally paid off.  We still need to move our "living quarters" in but for now, everything else is in the city house.  Right now, I must dash off so I can finish preparing our first Thanksgiving dinner in the new digs.  I owe you lots of pictures of newly painted rooms and freshly buffed floors but until then, I wish you and your family a safe and festive Thanksgiving.  May you enjoy the many blessings He has bestowed upon you! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


As always, I cannot believe how quickly time flies.  The pictures I posted yesterday were taken before Halloween.  Since the end of October, Halloween, Election day and a two day board meeting at work plus a weekend work trip has kept me from uploading pictures for you to enjoy.  Below are a few pictures from Halloween.  The new 'hood has an annual Halloween parade for the kids to enjoy before trick or treating.  We also put up some Halloween decorations.  We may not live here but from the outside, you sure wouldn't know it! We hope your family had as much fun with your ghosts and goblins as we did.

The princess doesn't want to leave the house

A few pumpkins and spooky window treatments

Spiders and tombstones

The yard is the perfect place to watch the parade go by!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hello November... is November.  Thanksgiving is around the corner.  I wonder if moving is?  The interior of the house is finally done.  For the most part, I think we are really happy with our choices.  A few of the shades weren't as dark as we thought they would be or they were too close to another hue in the adjacent room.  However, I think once we have furniture and our personal touches in the rooms, it is really going to be a perfect fit.  I am not 100% thrilled with the pictures below but at least you can get an idea of what we have in the rooms.  Also, the last task is to clean up the hardwoods.  Last week they started replacing some horrible patch work where the radiators used to be.  My fingers are crossed for completion by next week.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


So I really, really, really wanted to move the weekend of October 23rd.  It didn't happen.  The contractors didn't call us back until yesterday so the rooms that need to be painted and the horrifically horrible mess of dry wall residue that is everywhere waiting to be cleaned are still outstanding jobs. Thankfully, the men are in my house today painting the living room, office and kitchen as well as prepping the guest room and guest bathroom.  We haven't decided what colors to go in there so it can just wait.  I want to move!  Hopefully I will have a happier update next time regarding our progress.  Until then...keep checking back for periodic updates :)  You just never know when I might blog something!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

She's crafty

It seems like every day I am trying to find something for the new house.  I am on the hunt for rugs as every room in the home is hardwood.  I am also on the prowl for new furniture and antiques to put in the rooms.  We have enough furniture but eventually I want to replace what we have with more appropriate pieces that fit the style of the city house.  This weekend my aunt and I found a wing back chair at a yard sale for $20.  It is that horrific color that I like to type as "office burgundy."  As I was inspecting it, one of the ladies at the sale asked me why I wanted the chair.  I told her I was planning on reupholstering it and putting it in our library/office.  "Well, I guess you can pay $20 for a chair then pay $300 to have it recovered.  I have several wing chairs that I need to do that to and haven't yet."  Humph.  Maybe she wanted the chair to add to her collection but I was not deterred, so I handed over the $20 bill and packed the chair in the back of my vehicular unit.

As I stare at the chair, I think there is no way this chair is going to cost me $300 to recover.  I am going to attempt to do it myself.  If I fail, what is the big deal?  I'll only be out the cost of the chair and whatever fabric I decide upon.

I love the Internet.  I surf constantly in search of news and articles.  I think it drives my husband batty at times.  However, you can learn a lot from reading.  Who cares if it is a hard bound book, a news paper or a Web page, right?  I think I have found my source of tutorial for tackling the wing chair job. 

The Creative Maven has an awesome two page DIY article dedicated to reupholstering a wing back chair complete with pictures and notes on what to do/not to do.  Mormon Chic also has a pretty simple to follow guide on taking care of a chair without paying $300. 

What do you think?  Can I do it?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Working on the dream room...

Now that my daughter is old enough to tell me what her favorite colors are and the kinds of things that she likes, my husband and I really wanted to make her new room at the city house a dream come true.  We figured it also might help with the transition when we indeed move from one home to the next.

You've seen the pink and purple walls that she requested.  It is actually growing on me each time that I see it.  Through a three year-old's eyes, it is completely perfect.  This weekend along with the grandparents, we purchased her new bedding to go on the new twin mattress set her Nanee got for her.  I must admit, I am kinda jealous.  I want soft bedding like this for our room!  Too bad we have a king bed.  Pottery Barn Kids does have queen sizes though...maybe I'll start sleeping in the guest room since we have that size in there.  Heh...The fitted sheet, shams and duvet are chamois and the sheets are flannel.  Can't you see why I want her dream bed too?

In the summer, the sheets will be changed over to regular cotton sheets that we purchased that are lavender mini dot as well.  This bedding ultimately became a reality when a good friend who works for Pottery Barn gave us her 20% off friends and family discount that was available this weekend.  The bedding was already on sale so we really got a phenom deal.  Thank goodness for friends!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I have been a bad blogger and not spending much time at all on my homepage posting wonderful things.  Today will not be like days of not so long ago.  After a week in the bed being sick, then craziness at work and a long weekend packed with volunteer work, I have some things to show you that I know you will be looking forward to seeing! Pictures of the NEW ceiling minus the exposed pipes! Pictures of dear daughter's pink and purple room completed! Pictures of new paint in our foyer, dining room and master bedroom.  The contractor has been working hard slinging dry wall mud and valspar paint for us.  We have one heck of a mess to clean up on the floors but it is going to be worth it!  Getting so much closer to a move in date I can almost taste it!  Enjoy the view...

The new ceiling in the office!

Foyer and dining room painted

The dining room in Van Courtland Blue

Let's go upstairs along the newly painted walls
in Nantucket Putty

Our bedroom is a pale gray - Revere Pewter

The princess couldn't be happier that her walls
are painted in Light Pink and Iced Violet

We even have a new window where this one
was cracked!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Well that was creepy!

I thought I would be cute and buy the domain name for my blog.  Well, I did and it ruined my page!  I am not sure why blogger asks you to purchase your domain, making it seem like it is an easy process and transition.  Let's just say it isn't.  I don't know how I managed to get back to this point but I am going to stay here for awhile.  Maybe I can get a computer geek to look at it for me! Heaven only knows that I can't speak geek much less convert over to a clean domain name!!!

Sorry for the technical difficulties folks.  We're back online!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pretty in pink

Ever since my daughter realized she was going to have a new room she has begged us to paint it pink and purple.  Pretty intense for a three year-old but she tells everyone those are her favorite colors and her new room will be painted in those hues.  The first time we went to look at paint chips, she picked out the absolutely most brightest shades of electric pink and purple for the walls.  Of course, why not...if I was three I would probably want the same.  However, this mom has a different idea.  I finally settled on a powder pink and a pale lilac for our pallet.  As you can see from the pictures, the job is underway!  Under the picture rail will be pink and above it will be the lilac.  Even this color is a tad bright for me but for a three year-old princess, I have a feeling it is going to be just fine.

When I poured it into the pan,
I thought of a strawberry milkshake!

It felt great to finally get some paint on the walls.

The edge of the fireplace. What a difference
a little color can make!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whoa! There's a lawn under there!!!

When we first closed on the home, you could not see the back yard for the mounds of magnolia leaves that had not been raked, the waist tall grass that had grown over and the small trees that had sprouted up.  It was very apparent that the back yard was in need of some TLC, stat.  I am not sure how many times our lawn guy had to run over the grass or hack at the saplings with a machedi but the man did a great job.  What was underneath that jungle is absolutely amazing.  We are super excited about having a fenced in yard for our daughter to play in and our dog to roam around freely in as well.  This is going to be a great retreat.  Just like the rest of the property, it needs a little love but we are ready to give it!

This flox was blooming underneath the brush. It looks like there might be several in one of the overgrown beds.  I am hoping we can fix up this neat, old birdhouse.

Friday, September 10, 2010

One, two, three....

I moved three boxes this week! Yay, me!  Ok, so I know that doesn't sound like a lot but it is a start.  I decided that if we are ever going to get out of our current home into the city home, we've got to start taking baby steps to get there.  We still have a ton of cleaning and painting to do before we move in the furniture. But at least by taking over dishes we only use for special occassions or pictures that will eventually go on the walls, we are starting to transition.  That is the hardest part about owning two homes - there is really no one pushing your rear out the door so they can move in while you move out.  We've been cozy staying put in the "current" home while the "new" home has been getting its pipe facelift.  For now, I will take pride in my three boxes...and see what I can add to them this weekend.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Pipes, eggs and sheet rock

Labor Day weekend is coming to a close and I don't feel as though we accomplished as much as we should.  We have season tickets for UGA football and sitting in the sun completely drained us (plus we are just getting old, let's face it)! We leave the house by 8:30 am, spend some time with friends pregame once we arrive, then sit in the sun for the duration of the game and afterwards, grab a quick bite before arriving back home by 6:30 p.m.  So Saturday was football and Sunday was recuperation and a bit of work in our home we are trying to sell. 

Today, we did spend some money at Lowe's (shocker) and did some prep work at the dream house which I have also lovingly named the "city house" since it is so close to town.  We ordered and purchased a waste overflow for the claw foot tub.  That should be delivered within 15 days and our plumber said he would come back out and install that at no extra charge.  We chose the one with the chain-plug since it felt more antique-like. Here is a visual aid:

We also picked out the paint for our daughter's room.  She loves pink and purple so we chose a light sugar pink for the main part of the walls and a light lavender for the space above the picture rail.  My husband spackled the walls and patched plaster while I scrubbed down the two bathrooms upstairs (I will spare you the before and after pictures of those rooms. YUCK).  Here are some pictures of her room in the prep stage:

Her room has an awesome old fireplace in it that will be great for decorating purposes.  Unfortunately, a previous owner capped all the chimneys so the fireplaces do not work.  One day we hope to reverse that as you can see the chimney tops in our attic.  That will be years and years from now but it is on the long term to do list.

Last weekend I was on a mission to shoo Miss Charlotte and her webs from the house.  I sprayed more webs outside than I care to admit.  I know spiders are good and they eat bugs and all that wonderful stuff.  However; I do not need a web every 12 inches on my porch ceiling complete with an egg sack waiting in the wings.  The spray did its job so this weekend I tried to knock some of the old cob webs down.  In the corner of our porch, an abandoned nest was perched on top one of the pillars.  I was able to knock it down and found these poor little things.  They were abandoned and hollow.  Speckled but not blue...maybe they belonged to a wren?  So sad...

While my husband was prepping the walls for the upcoming tape and paint job, he also decided to vacuum the vents which needed attention desperately.  The great thing about this old home is the original wood is as hard as a rock.  Petrified is a complete understatement.  The bad thing about this original wood is once something is nailed or screwed into it, getting said nail or screw out of it is quite a challenge as you can see here:

After much tugging, pulling, twisting, cussing and finally the location of the right tool, the grate came down.  We will not be cleaning this one. A new one is on the way. 

I can't end this post without showing off our new pipes one more time.  Here is the finished product.  The dry wall was supposed to go up on Friday but the contractor was told it would be a small job and well, it isn't.  The Friday before a holiday means yet again we are waiting for a project to be done but this one I will gladly wait on.  I will take exposed pipes over broken pipes any day.