Sunday, June 30, 2013

Unique Things and Bathroom Sneak Peak

I'm a sucker for unique one-of-a-kind things.

Add hand-carved and with a crown, and it's as good as sold.

My first name means "crown" so  I've always considered it kind of a personal logo.
Doesn't everyone have a personal logo?

But what the heck is it?

At first I thought it was some kind of a game board.  The outer ring
has the numbers 1 through 31 but once I saw the middle ring with the
labels, J31, F28, M31, A30, M31, J30, J31, A31, S30, O31, N30, D31,
it was clear these represented months and the number of days in each month.

January 31, February 28, March 31, April 30, etc.

But when I got the inner ring, I was stumped.

L, M, M,  J. V, S, and D.

Any ideas?

The back says in pencil "Made by Elliot Rogers, Oct 1841."
This inscription isn't a good clue; in fact, it's misleading.
There's another notation that says "Made for..." but it's illegible.

If you haven't figured it out, I'll give the answer at the end.

Let's take a sneak peek at the new bathroom.

I finally got my marble on Friday and I couldn't wait to dry fit
everything together to see what it looked like.  I painted all day
yesterday so hopefully everything is looking quite pulled together.

Here you can see the corner of the Swedish console vanity,
the new honed cararra marble top and the basin sink.  The horizontal
planking and chair rail are in the background.  I have to say I'm
pleased with the overall vibe referencing the age of the house.

I also have to say I'm in love with cararra.  I can't stop looking at it.
I'm really pleased with the corner detail and ogee edge I used on the marble.
You can see the top of the table's leg has this clipped corner and you may
recall that clipped-corner detail is repeated in the toilet base and tank.  The
ogee edge is also quite similar to the original top that is now the lower shelf.

You can also see a little bit of the floor tile.  The tiles are 6 inches
by 24 inches and after a lot of thought and discussion, I decided
to place the tiles with a 1/3 stagger.  I originally wanted to place them 
in a grid pattern but thought it might be too modern.  The 1/3 alternation
makes it feel more like hardwood would be placed.  So I think it's perfect.

The colors were a challenge because the Swedish console was a much different
gray than the Greek key mosiac and floor tile.   I find grays really difficult.

In the end, I chose Benjamin Moore Icicle--one of my favorite go-to whites-- for
the walls because it related to the greenish-gray of the console table and Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray for the chair rail and trim.  This is the first time I've used Stonington Gray
and I love it.  It looks great with the mosiac chair rail and cararra mable vanity top.

Today I'm sealing grout (after mowing my keep deep grass before it rains again) and
then hopefully the plumbing and electrical will get finished up this week.

So back to the calendar.  Did you guess?

It's French.

The L, M, M, J, V, S and D are the days of the week,

Lundi = Monday
Mardi = Tuesday
Mercredi = Wednesday
Jeudi = Thursday
Vendredi = Friday
Samedi = Saturday
Dimanche = Sunday

Even though I took French in high school, I never realized the 
French months all started with the same letters as they do in English.

January = Janvier
February = Février
March = Mars
April = Avril
May = Mai
June = Juin
July = Juillet
August = Août
September = Septembre
October = Octobre
November = Novembre
December = Décembre

As to why the notation on the back in English will probably remain a mystery.

I'd love to find something to use for pegs since it would make it a piece
that's interactive.  It might be fun to put in the guest room marking
the day of the guest's arrival.

Have a great week!  I hope you don't have any Google Reader nightmares to report.
See you on the other side.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Playing Tour Guide

Mom and sister-in-law have been visiting for a few days and I'm the tour guide.
Thought I'd share some of my favorite photos from the weekend.

You may remember this scene from my Rockport post last year. It looks different
every time you see it.  I think this one of my favorite photos in a long time.

Rockport tends to be a little bit of a ticky-tacky tourist trap but it's improving and
there are several nice shops and art galleries.  Lula's Pantry is great new shop that I love.
It has a lot of great gourmet pantry items from sauces,
spices, salted caramels and cookies to nautical themed kitchen items.

We saw these monkey or sailor's know doorstops/paperwights in a few different stores.
I love then here mixed with the wood and white.

This was a driftwood sculpture in the same shop.

This show how tightly some of the houses are packed in together
along the water. These two houses lock together like puzzle pieces.

I love the old lobster sign on Bearskin Neck.

The kayak rental place on Tuna Wharf.

This jester-like lantern was unexpected on this old Bearskin Neck cottage.

When I heard the amazing potter Frances Palmer was going to be showing her
work at Snug Harbor Farm on Saturday, I planned a trip to Maine so I could show 
my family around the farm and meet Frances at the same time.  Todd from Snug Harbor Farm
set up an amazing spread of food in the barn and it seems like a good crowd turned out.
I also got to meet blogging icon Katy Elliot in person.

Any trip to Snug Harbor has to include a tour of the greenhouses.

We drove up through charming Kennebunkport past the Bush compound.

On the way back down Route 1, we stopped at the Johnson Hall Museum in Wells which was one
of the wackiest places I've ever been.  We first thought it was an antique shop but as you get
closer, you learn that only things on the porch are for sale.  You can't enter the building
without paying $5 and nothing is for sale.  I looked around the porch--nothing is priced--and
when I asked the price of a few things, they weren't for sale.  I wanted to walk around
Mr. Johnson's collection of buildings on the property and was directed back to the "museum"
where we had to pay $5 (each) for the pleasure of walking around and taking photographs.

Since we paid the $5 to walk around he wanted to give us a tour of the "museum" for free.
We relented and the tour was charming--Johnson is quite a character--but it was when
he asked us to sit down to hear the player piano, I ran.  I suspected we might never get
to leave if let him go on.  

His buildings and collections of objects adorning them is purely charming.

Back at home, I unwrapped my Frances Palmer souvenir vase
and we plucked a few things from the garden to give it road test.

Dreamweaver roses,  yarrow 'Cherise', white geranium,
crown vetch (that is making a good attempt at overrunning my garden),
heuchera and a few hosta leaves.  Perfect to take to Janes for Flowers in the House.

I've got to run.   I have a tour this morning.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rainbows, Floor Heat and Towel Bars

We had the most beautiful double rainbow last night.  I wished I could see
the end of it.  I think it went right in to Fenway Park.

Anyway, Webb brought up the fact that some people believe that the Blogger Reading
list is different than Google Reader.  I went to the real Google Reader site for the first time
and all of the blogs I follow were there.  So it's clear they're related but I just don't know if
they're the same thing.  All I can say is it's so easy to join Feedly and Bloglovin' and get your
reading list imported, so why risk it?  It's like the new millenium when all of our computers and 
the electrical grid were supposed to stop working.  We'll just have to wait and see.

In other exciting news, my bathroom radiant floor heating is installed.
I used the Laticrete product called "Floor Heat."  Isn't that name genius?

It comes in a lot of different sizes.  This 15-foot mat was about $150 not
including the little programmable thermostat that operates it.  My bathroom is just
over five feet from door to tub so the 15 feet gave me three five-foot courses that
pretty much covers the open area on the foor.  Does that make sense?

The mat is essentially an electric blanket and comes on a tacky mesh that (sort of) sticks to
the subfloor.  The store recommended using hot glue in a few places to really keep in place.

Even though the mat comes in a one-foot roll, you cut the mesh so you can flip the mat
and then turn it in the opposite direction.  In the photo above you can see where the mesh 
was cut in front of the door, the blue wire was straightened so the mat could turn around.

Still with me?

Once the mat is stuck in place, a layer of thin-set mortar was placed
over the top with a straight-edge trowel.  Once this is dry, it's ready for tile.

The tile is going in today.

The vanity table has been altered--shortened--to fit the space.

As you recall, I had the original top removed and cut down to make
a lower shelf for a basket of towels and to make it impossible to get 
the kitty tumbleweeds from underneath.

The shelf fit perfectly into the leg turnings but you can see it's also got pegs
that really lock it in to place.  The original edge is still on the front of the
shelf and Sam did a great job of finding a routing bit that matches the profile.
I just need to touch up the new edge with some matching paint.

The marble top is being fabricated from a remnant.

As I was thinking about some of the finishing touches I needed for
the bathroom, I was reminded of some glass towel bars I had stashed away
for a rainy day.  It guess today's the rainy day and it turned into a rainbow
because I think they're perfect for this vintage inspired bathroom.

I love when a post comes full circle.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blogger Alert, Google Reader Ending in Two Weeks

First, can I tell you how much I love my iPhone 5?  Who could have imagined
a photo like this could come from a phone?

But that's not the reason for this post.  I used this pretty picture to lure you here
to make sure you're aware that Google Reader is ending in two weeks.

If you're on Blogger, this means your reading list will be going away!  I also believe, but 
cannot confirm, that if you have a blog roll on your blog, it will also go away.  So if you
read blogs using your Blogger Reading List or from another blogger's blog roll, you need to
find another way to keep track of the blogs you like to read.

I did some research a few months ago when this was first announced to find some alternatives.
It seems that most people are switching to Feedly or Bloglovin' and if you google "feedly vs.
bloglovin,'" you should find some posts that list the pros and cons of each one.

I looked at Feedly very superficially and when I saw I needed to download Firefox,
I moved on to Bloglovin' (just because Firefox is incompatible with software
I have at the office). I signed up for Bloglovin' and not only found the process
very easy, it automatically imported my Blogger Reading List. 


Tracy left me a comment that Feedly didn't require Firefox so I went back and
clicked "Get Feedly for Chrome."  (I don't recall seeing that when I went a few
months ago.)  It automatically imported all the blogs from my Blogger Reading List.
Also very easy.  It will take me a little white to get the settings the way I want them,
but it's also looking like a great option.


Bloglovin' provides a list similar to the Blogger Reading list showing the lead photo in
the post as well as preview of the text in the post.  If there are posts you don't want to
read just from the preview, you can "mark as read" and it will gray out.  Further, if you
refresh or reload your reading list, any post you "mark as read" will disappear leaving
only the unread posts.  There is also a list of your blogs on the left of the screen similar
to Google Reader.  It took a few days to get used to but I've been using it exclusively for
a few months.  It's good but it's not perfect.  I can't explain why but I can't comment on
some blogs (like Bow Street Flowers).  I think it's the blogs that have comments in a
pop-up box.  But even despite the few problems, it's better than the problems I had with
the Blogger Reading List...and it's better than nothing.

Feel free to share experiences with other reading lists or ask questions.  I think that this
will be the nail in the coffin for many blogs who have thousands of followers that will
suddenly be gone.  Check out Feedly or Bloglovin' soon.  If you join Bloglovin' and already
have a reading list, all of your blogs (including mine) should automatically be added to
your new reading list.  If you're already on Bloglovin', you can follow me here.

Don't put it off!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Day Trip

I played hookie again Wednesday and was lucky to catch a beautiful day
between all the rainy ones we've had this week. 

One of the greatest things about living in New England is you
can hop into your car and in two shakes of a lambs tail
you can be in city, country, mountains or ocean.
First-class museums, quaint antique shops or beautiful farms.

I headed the car north and ended up in Maine.  I'm sure it's no surprise.
Here are some of my favorite haunts:

I'm not sure this sea life in indigenous to Maine but
it sure looked great in a tray at Withington Antiques in York, Maine.

I love old portraits and it's hard to find really good ones.
Here's your great, great uncle Charles.  An instant heirloom.

From York, travel north on Route 1 and just north of Ogunquit, Maine is
R. Jorgensen Antiques.  Look at the stunning three-pear espaliers covering their building.
This shop is like a museum comprised of two large building filled with a nice mix of
formal and rustic antiques.  If you ever need a farm table, this is your place.

Paula Marshall, here's a plate for you.

This is one of the most amazing pieces I've ever seen...a 1785 Hepplewhite
 working chest.  The details on this were amazing.  The marquetry, the hand carved
ivory pulls, everything original and perfect.  And they chose a mahogany
Empire armoire as the perfect backdrop.
But bring your checkbook.  They don't take any credit cards!

I stopped by the Fisherman's Catch in Wells...

...for a quick lunch to go.

One of my favorite places is Smith-Zukas Antiques in Wells, Maine.
I often walk around an antique or salvage shop and find pieces of old things that
I'd like to turn into something else.  Proprietor Art Smith is backed up by a team of
artists and craftsman that turn your ideas in reality.
I love these column capitals.  Great end tables or bedside stands. 

Perhaps plaster ornaments from an old theater?

I fell in love with this brass nautical light fixture.   I'm not sure where this
will go right now but I couldn't leave it behind.

I also picked up a pair of nickel-plated Brasscrafter mirrors.  Just the perfect
size for my bathrooms!  They just need a little cleaning and they're a
perfect match for my Thomas O'Brien Bryant sconces.
And to find a perfect pair...I almost wish I had double sinks somewhere!

Just a few doors down from Smith-Zukas is Peggy Carboni Antiques.  Peggy's
shop wins the prize for "best look."  I could just move right in.
I want to do a collection of tiny "heads" in my downstairs bathroom and I thought
this was perfect thing to start my collection.  The entire thing is about three inches square.
 I first thought she was Madonna but now I'm not sure.  Do you know who she is? 
I love the frame and she appeals to my inner nun.
Continuing north on Route 1, I stopped at Corey Daniels Gallery but
I'll be doing an entire post on the gallery soon.  I love that place!
Continue north on Route 1 and turn right on Route 9.
I always need to get a little dose of country from Snug Harbor Farm.
They've incorporated part of the barn into their shop up by the road
and it just oozes charm.  It's another place I could just move right in to.

There's always lots to explore here from terracotta pots... ponies... peacocks showing off for their girlfriends... plants, topiaries and beautiful gardens.
I picked up some Goat's Beard for my garden.

The doves were being shy and wouldn't come out of their dovecote
so I had to visit them. 

Before heading back home, I thought I'd stop at Parson's Beach.
The rosa rugosa was in full bloom.  I would have expected them to have such a
powerful scent but en masse, the walk over the dune was pure heaven.

I love visiting the ocean.  It looks different every single time.  The low tide can
reveal all kinds of tempest-tossed treasures.  This days' high tide and gray skies
with distant showers left me feeling quite icy.  Perhaps it was my wet feet.
Visiting Maine for a day always feels like two days off.