Sunday, December 19, 2010

Bar Tiles and Pulls

It's a bit of a learning process, this DIY thing. However, it is fun and one of the areas where we can play and learn to do new things without the fear of harming some irreplaceable hundred year old thing is in the Bar Room.

The bar itself was a sideboard which was built in the 70's and they tried to match the rest of the house but they didn't quite succeed. Eventually the plan is to have built in shelves and make that a Library Room, moving the bar to the 3rd floor. However, in the meantime we wanted to make it look more like the rest of the house.

This involved removing doors from both sides to create open shelving for glasses and bottles and replacing square wooden pulls with the same Craftsman pulls as in the kitchen, then getting tile and covering the white pressed wood countertop with it.

In case you don't remember (and I don't!) what the room looked like when we moved in, here it is:

You can just see the edge of the pressed wood countertops.

This is the tile we chose:

I liked the tiny squares because they create a natural and varied but overall uniform appearance. The stones are slightly iridescent, which you can sort of see in the pic. We got the tile at Home Depot and installed it ourselves using the Tiling 1-2-3 instructions.

This is what the tile looks like over the whole bar:

You will notice that some of the pulls are not yet on, and you can still see the pressed wood on the side.

Here is pic showing the side tiles and in counter outlets:

This is what the pulls look like all on:

It's finished! (for now...)

So come have a drink!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Pink Room Is Now The Yellow Room

Last weekend was very productive. I made slow cooker chili, played more D&D on the Geekchic table, and painted a room.

The pink room was a color which was clearly chosen by a tween girl, and was on the dark side of the house which made it somewhat more somber than pink ever should be. The yellow is "buttercup" Behr one coat ultra paint, and really brightened up the room.




Saturday, October 30, 2010

Geek Chic Table Arrived!

Last night the two guys from Geek Chic arrived, carried the table parts all the way to our 3rd floor and assembled it for us. It was so beautiful, looks fantastic. I'm so glad we went with the green top, it's a really classic playing surface.

And the cheap bar chairs we got from the basement of the discount furniture store look *perfect*. Haha!

Tonight we will be playing on it!

A whole lot of THINGS are going to happen this weekend because of the Halloween Party. It has provided the motivation to tile the bar as well (pics of that in next post). Also we got real, actual beds so that my pregnant friend does not have to try to get up out of the inflatable bed.

Getting the beds home was fun.

But they look nice.

No pic of the other bed since people are still sleeping in it <3

Friday, September 17, 2010

Steampunk Office Beginnings

Finally it is gold! It is a really great color, kind of like being inside of a jewelry box.

I have the pink bordello couch, and soon the chinoiserie desk will be picked up and I will hang all my original Girl Genius art as well as the beautiful original Theo Black in the photo!

For my birthday my husband bought me a beautiful round table with a compass inlay on the top, and it will someday hold some scientific instrument of antiquity.
I am so excited.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Making Lists is NOT a sign of going crazy....

We just passed the one year housiversary! It's hard to believe all the stuff that has happened in just one year.

Recently, I went through yet another period of inertia. I guess that's pretty common in renovating a large place like this. So I decided to make a list of all the things done in the last year, to motivate myself.

And it worked! I got motivated to finish painting my office, replace pulls and install tile countertop in the bar, and make a new post instead of hiding my head in despair because of having so little to post about.

The pics of the office are coming soon, but today I will post the list. Feel free to skim. It's LOOOOOONG! *holds up head proudly*

1. ripped up 2 floors carpet
2. refinished floors
3. renovated the kitchen (new everything)
4. remove bar wallpaper
5. painted the downstairs living room and dining room and foyer and bar
6. remove laundry wallpaper, repaint laundry
7. take down all the nasty bug filled blinds!
8. new dining room table and chairs
9. new kitchen table
10. fixed the heat
11. cleaned fireplaces
12. cleaned gutters
13. BBQ party!
14. stickley bookshelves
15. replaced light in the foyer
16. replaced bedroom and hallway lights
17. new showerheads
18. shopping at Brimfield (twice!)
19. framed some artwork (not yet hung) (haha I said "hung")
20. new light fixtures in the bar

Whew! That is a lot and I know I'm leaving out many much smaller things, but the big ones are in there.

Feeling accomplished, now off to my actual job.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brimfield 2

This time we went to Brimfield was much more relaxed. We knew what we were getting into, not surprised by the scale of it.

Still, it can be quite overwhelming. I saw some beautiful things that I could not afford, and some that I could.

This little table with the lyre base I actually bought two of. And I have bookends with Dante and Beatrice on them!



The Lyre Table, with cat at window in the background:

I'm actually glad we didn't get too huge a haul, because when we go in July we will be going with my mom, and that will be fun.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Big Unchill

This has been a week of big changes, mostly due to the catalytic effects of warm weather. The first thing that happened was that all the willow trees in town burst suddenly into bloom with tiny white flowers. We even had some in our yard, although they lasted a tragically brief amount of time.

This galvanized me and I had the painters come and take away the dark muddy stripes on the wall of the foyer. Remember this? Those aren't shadows, oh no. They are painted on stripes. Also, that room isn't dark. It has a huge window. It's just painted that way.

It's a little difficult to describe the transformation that took place here, but if you want a comparison try looking at the stairs. The underside of each stair is still painted that dark color. Look at that, then look at the wall and you will notice that even under the overhang the wall looks lighter than the stairs.

Just when we got done with that a bunch of other stuff bloomed. I'm posting this because actually I'm not entirely sure what it is. We've got a bunch of 'em though. Azaleas? I'm guessing here.

In addition we had blown in insulation done this week, because it was warm enough for the installers to come. Over the winter we noticed that our heating bill was truly hurting our lifestyle. When your honey is sad because you don't want to take off your clothes because your house is too cold- it's time to get an energy audit. This audit showed us a lot of things, but the neatest one was the Xray specs machine which could see though the walls and told the auditor that we had no insulation at all, anywhere in the house, with the exception of the kitchen which had just been gut remodeled.

Not sure how the previous owners missed that. Also, weirdly it seems to be paying off already. The house is warmer in the night. Likely I will feel much more grateful next December.

To top this week off, a tiny spindly tree in the middle of the yard answered my questions as to its lineage by also blooming and proving itself to be... a magnolia tree! Splendid.

Here it is, on our first Spring.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Last weekend we went to PAX with a group of friends. For nearly a year now it has been among my husbands fondest wishes (not counting the menage a trois with Willow from Buffy) to own a gaming table made by Geek Chic.

And we totally ordered one.

They take nine months to arrive. But we are super excited. They make three tables: the Emissary, the Spartan and the Sultan. Oh, man, the Sultan is niiice. But a little out of our price range. The Emissary transforms astonishingly into a lovely dining table. However, the Spartan is the best for gaming when you don't want to take out a second mortgage to buy a table.

It has the ability to flip the leaves from craft surface to card table velvet, and pretty shoji screen patterns on the side if you like:

Which slide out and reveal shelves and drawers:

Wait, what was that one the side? A cupholder?

Let's take a closer look:

Under the leaves there is a dropped surface deep enough to hold miniatures under the leaves, which can be bamboo:

Or you can put a map under a dry erase surface:

I think it was worth it. There's very little else out there like it, and it was even nicer than in the picture.

Of course I had to endure the description of the salesman's 17th level Ranger in the process of buying it. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My cat is a shitty mouser

Husband: Hon, our cat is a shitty mouser
Me: What makes you say that?
Husband: Well, come and look at this.

I came out into the hall and there, on the stair, was a mouse. FIVE FEET AWAY was the cat....biting his own tail.
I caught the mouse in a glass vase:

My husband held the cat up over the vase. "This is a mouse," he said, "your MORTAL ENEMY." The cat looked innocently up at the ceiling. "You are an obligate carnivore!" my husband insisted. The cat licked his nose.

So disappointing. The mouse was set free in the woods. No mice were harmed, even by my cat, in the making of this blog post.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wallpaper from....okay, fine it's awesome.

Not all wallpaper is from Hell. The stuff here is so beautiful I'm considering putting up a frieze above the molding in the dining room.

After ordering the samples and putting them up to look at them in various lights, it's been narrowed down to these two:

They are much prettier in the room. Each is 16" high, and matches the wood of the house perfectly. Once whichever one is up, it will look something like this:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Bat has Left the Building

This last weekend it got so cold in the sunroom that the water we left out for the hibernating bat froze. So, the bat absconded in the night, leaving a bat-shaped hole in our hearts.

However, I have a picture of the cat that will soon be joining us to console you with. We will be trading one furry bitey creature for a furless (hopefully less bitey) one.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Bat Cave, er, Sunroom

Yes, this picture is rightways up. We have a bat hibernating in our sunroom. I'm not sure what to do about this...

It first appeared over this last weekend, and ensconced itself thoroughly in the Southwest corner of the sunroom. I have no idea how it got in. Then it stayed there, all day....AND ALL NIGHT.

This prompted a conversation wherein we first thought it was dead, so my brave husband went downstairs with a shovel to dispose of its body safely. Then it wriggled.

So it wasn't dead. I then suggested it was sick, and should be taken to the Vet.

Him: What?
Me: To the Vet!
Him: How?
Me: Well, you get a shoebox, and you scoop the bat into it, and you put the lid on, and you take it to the Vet, and you say...
Him: "In this box I have a very angry sick bat."
Me: Something like that.
Him: And you expect the Vet to do what exactly?
Me: Maybe give it a bat sedative.
Him: Like Bativan? Halbat?
Me: *laughing* and hydrate it!
Him: With a tiny IV?
Him: And admit it to the BICU?
Me: *doubled over laughing* YES DAMMIT!

Finally we wondered why it wasn't with its fellow flying fuzzies, and looked it up on the mighty internet, only to discover that brown bats like the ones in our area hibernate during the winter. They do not eat, or really wake, until Spring. They like to hibernate in abandoned houses (!) and hollowed out trees (!!).

I kind of resent the implication that our house is a hollowed out tree, but I see it. Especially since the sunroom is not well heated at this moment.

I still don't know what to do about this.