Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sara Elizabeth Block Printers: Whiting Factory

I got a second surprise today. My block print came from Sara Elizabeth Block Printers! Love, love! I ordered "Whiting Factory" (below) in a large panel piece for just $32.50. My sister ordered the lobster print (above) and was able to get it framed for about $300. The lobsters look great in her family room. I am thinking of getting my piece framed in a antique wood frame. I want to order a dozen more. Great gift! Check out more:

Ikat Fabric: Uzbeck Alive

I received some gorgeous ikat fabric from Uzbeck Alive today. I ordered three pieces to check out the quality and color of the fabric for possibly use for some pillows. The textile is top quality and really beautiful. I did have a problem with my postman and my fabric got sent back. Uzbeck Alive immediately e-mailed me and resent the fabric absolutely free within just a few days. Great service! How cute is the package it came in (above)? Check out their store here:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dining Chairs: Classic Shapes

I've been thinking about what I would like our new dining room to look like. The house is so old that I feel like I need to go with an older classic style. I've been eyeing these two styles. Above are antique Windsor chairs that appear August issue of Martha Stewart. I love the simple shape and black finish. I did a quick search and found chairs ranging from $300-$30,000 for individuals and sets. Windsor chairs are classic Americana. Depending on age and set size the price increases.

The chairs below are from my favorite classic kitchen from Domino. I've been dreaming of the blue penny round tiles in my kitchen for days. The rare set of Thonet Bentwood chairs look totally dreamy in the space. There are number of different Bentwood styles but this is truly my favorite. A similar style is available at Conran for $275 each. My search begins now!

Susan Daul: Fraktur Artist

I discovered these pieces this afternoon and fell in love. Folk art artist Susan Daul creates simple framed artworks called Fraktur. Fraktur are a highly artistic and elaborate 18th century and 19th century illuminated folk art drawings created by the Pennsylvania Dutch. "Some of her Fraktur reflect the reworking of a period piece, but most of her designs are original and come from the excitement she feels for this fascinating art form." ( I love the colors and ornate frames she creates for the pieces. Super fun and whimsical. Prices range for prints from $72-$175 and original paintings will run you from $350-$2500.Check out more from Susan on her website:

Wood Farm Tables

I love old wood tables. The table we have my mom actually found for us on the side of the road. The name "Randy" is carved into the center of the table. I was actually searching tonight for dining chairs when I came across these gorgeous farm tables. The tiger maple wood is so pretty. I am sure it looks stunning in real life. The tables range in size from 5 feet-11 feet. Available in Cherry or Tiger Maple wood finishes. Prices range from $1,200-$3,200. Check out the site:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Old Bricks and Cobblestones

Granite Chunks

My second stop on Friday was at some place that had bricks and cobble stones. I don't even know what to call it. There was nobody there so we were out of luck. My mom told me you can pay the town to take the bricks. The bricks and cobblestones are from old wreck buildings in the town of Portland. You would have no idea this place was here unless someone told you. The bricks are 4 cents each and the cobblestones are $2 each. The bricks are a deal. The cobblestones seem a bit steep. I wanted them to put as a border in my front garden and eventually bordering my driveway. I guess I need to investigate some other sources. The place was interesting though!

Yard of Bricks and Cobblestones

ReStore Portland, Maine

Re:Store Portland, Maine

We have to buy everything new for the house from sinks to molding. Since neither one of us are millionaires we need to find cost effective resources for the renovation. We don't have the money to just hire an architect and come back in a few months to a gorgeous home. We are excited about doing all the work ourselves. I love the hunting part. You never know what you'll find.

On Friday, I headed up to my mom's house in Portland, Maine to check out some local resources for building materials. We checked out the Restore run by Habitat for Humanity first to see what they had. I saw lots of doors, windows, moldings, sinks, and spare wood. A great resources for anyone working on a renovation. Greg and I really want to use as many recycled materials that seem appropriate not only because it is cost effective but it's just logical to use old buildings supplies for a home. We don't want to add to the waste in landfills and junkyards. I took a few shots of the store so that you could get idea of what you can get at these store. Get more info about Restores in your area:

Re:Store Portland, Maine
Re:Store Portland, Maine
Re:Store Portland, Maine
Re:Store Portland, Maine
Re:Store Portland, Maine

Restore Old Stove

Leaky Bathroom Roof

Second Floor Bathroom

We got to Marblehead late Thursday night. As we turn down the corner to the house I think both of expected that the house could have burned down. "Someone would have called us, right?" The house was standing to our relief. I ran inside to the second floor bathroom and tried to turn on the overhead light. I pulled the cord once. Nothing. And then a second and third time and I got small sparks. I shouted to Greg to come and check it out. Greg came upstairs and tried and he yelled, "We've got sparks!" I screamed back "No shit, I told you that already." (You can feel the love?)

After a little investigating we realized the light was full of water. Thanks god we didn't get electrocuted! Seems the floor above the bathroom was filled with water because of leaky roof and the water slowly leaked down into the light. Aah the fun! The image above is our leaky bathroom. The image below is a view from outside the house. The second smaller bump out on the back of the house is where all the bathrooms are. The roof at the top is our demon.

Side Of House

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Marblehead Weekend: NOOD 2008

We just got back from our second weekend in our new house. We didn't get a whole lot done on the house but we did have fun relaxing. I was recovering from a week of being sick and greg spent the weekend racing in the NOOD: Marblehead (National Offshore One Design). Check out his video of their awesome start on a Sonar named Crusher from Noroton Yacht Club. They just made it in between another boat and the committee boat for a perfect start. I'll share more of our projects we have in the works later this week. Night.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pulling Up Old Carpet

Greg Pulling Up Carpet

We ripped out all the old carpet from the third floor last weekend. Thankfully that was the only place that the stinky cat carpet lived. We were hoping that the wide plank wood floors lived underneath the carpet. Unfortunately, all we found was painted stinky cat piss plywood. Yuck. Maybe there are wood floors under the plywood? Check out our brief video of my mom helping pile up the old carpet out on the lawn below.

Back Room With Carpet
Back Room On The Third Floor Without Carpet
Bare Stairs Up To The Third Floor

Digging Up The Front Garden

Katy tackling a root fest

I have some more photos to share of the renovation from last weekend. In these photos were are digging up the front garden. I pulled out about 6 huge garbage bags of roots from the tree. I just keep digging and digging and finding more roots! It was like a coral reef of roots.

I was digging for two reasons. The dirt came up too close to clapboards on the house. I had to dig down to expose the foundation. If the soil too high the clapboards have the possibility of rotting or could causing bug problems. The second reason was we are preparing to put Endless Summer Hydrangeas all across the front. I have to dig down far enough so that I can bring in a nice healthy layer of top soil. The bright blue color of the hydrangeas in an effect of the ph in the soil. I've heard rumors people use to put old nails in the soil to achieve super blue flowers.

The old toolbox (below) we found stuck between the old window and the basement. I'm sure the house will be filled with all kinds of treasures.

Digging out the old window

Old Toolbox

Blue Hydrangeas

Thursday, July 17, 2008

West Elm: Cozy Sweater Pillows

I stopped into West Elm on 18th street and the store look as if it was staged for a hot chocolate movie marathon. All the new pieces were earthy, soft, and cuddly. The store felt very Americana alla Thomas O'Brien. I love the soft wool pillows and cable sweater pillows. Prices range from $39-$59 per pillow cover, insert is separate.

I have a tear out from an old book from about eight years ago has a pattern for making pillows from sweaters found at the the Salvation Army. Maybe I should get to that project? Check out more cozy knits:

Entryway Wallpaper: Boussac Papiers

I just found these two wallpapers via Very traditional. So pretty though! I feel like my mom would love this paper which makes me kinda think am I starting to get old lady taste? Let me mom is a matchy-match queen! I moved a lot as a kid and every bedroom I had was some variation of a Laura Ashley or Waverly inspired floral. My garbage can even coordinated with the bedskirt. Gag! Check out more colorways of these wallpapers:

Entryway Wallpaper: Timourous Beasties

Image Courtesy of Domino Magazine

I have a secret love for this modern damask print from Timorous Beasties. I love Rorschach test meets royal seal quality expressive damask. Maybe this could be a fun paper in an entryway? Timorous Beasties also makes a great pineapple and pheasant printed wallpaper (below). I love the patterns modern take on a toile inspired print. Check out more:

Ring Pull Knobs

Image Courtesy of Domino Magazine

I totally love the ring pull knobs from Thom Filicia's kitchen in upstate New York. The knobs are totally classic but have an unexpected look on kitchen cabinets. They kinda remind of knobs you find inside an old sailboat. I found a whole bunch of variations of ring pull knobs at Prices range from $5-$10 per knob. Check out more:


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