Category Archives: Our House

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Considering making a dollhouse…

for this. Really should be just saving for roof.

I haven’t built a model in a while & I just cleaned my tool area in the basement …

Thinking I may do a rough mockup in 1/4 foam core (and then if successful transfer it to 1/4 birch ply) although my current calculations have the house at almost 4′ long and 2′ deep… that is kind of crazy big right? although it would only be 20″ tall …

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Our Home’s Doppelganger


Greek revival’s are very very common in our neck of the woods – heck this cabin is just the next town over. But I have had a hard time finding any houses that are the same combo of the 1830′s rural Greek Revival New England house and the 1840′s ‘Midwestern Greek Revival farmhouse’. When I saw this house on a drive to Cooperstown – I noted its approximate location and on a lazy summer day we drove back to grab some photos. The house in reality is a mirror image of ours – (photoshop magic!), the windows are taller on the top floor (not pocket windows) and the enclosed porch is a different shape – but this house gives me an idea of how ours will look without the dreaded vinyl and perhaps with a few shutters? Its cute and classic and it kind of reminds me of this .

vs.

vs.

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Chicken Lamp

For my upcoming birthday my mother bought me a chicken lamp I had been eying – I love chickens – both in real life and in ceramic form (see the chickens lined up on top of the cabinet in the background?). Unfortunately this chicken lamp was a bit brown for my taste and the paint finish was chipped – so using the lamps in Ellie’s ‘cougar town’ house as inspiration I gave it two coats of white oil. I even spray painted the finial in gold spray paint – and the result is a mix cheeky glamorous. I have been loving the glow of lamplight in these early dark evenings.

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Affair with a New Driveway Plan!

So earlier in the summer I bought the above book and devoured it cover to cover. One of the reasons that I initially bought it is that her house is similar to ours (I know that ours is MUCH more modest). But what really drew me was how she talked about her journey of turning a house into a home and a life – It was a delicious read and really inspirational. It made me happy to read about another persons devotion to a house and place – and the joy that it has brought her and her loved ones. I too am always planning on how to turn not just the house – but the land into a usable and enjoyable PLACE. Right now I am obsessed with antique barns (being that we don’t actually have any kind of out buildings left on the property) – and with trees (remind me to tell you about the row of sugar maples) and driveways (read below).

So another surprise here is that today we got our permit from the county to put in a new driveway entrance! – so this poor washed- out driveway will soon be replaced with lawn and graceful curving sweep of gravel. Basically our parcel is smallest where it hits the road because we are situated on the outside of a curve (giving us a slight pie slice of land – the pointed tip being our road frontage).

Our plan is to extend the driveways to the far corners of the property and connect them in front of the house – thus removing the current turn-around /parking area behind the house – Which will help to restore the front lawn / back lawn privacy that I crave in the country. Right now the house is completely surrounded by car paths – the highway in the front – the driveways looping up the sides and the parking area in the back. This layout made sense when it was apartments but it makes for a hostile barrier between the house and the lawns that I can’t wait to be rid of! Our new plan will be better for safety (better sight lines on the edges of our highway curve ), better drainage (we are gonna do some extensive ditch/culvert work), better during the winter – (we will be approaching the house from the side at the same elevation level instead of driving uphill which can get SCARY with ice) and privacy (we will be using the left over dirt to fill in the old driveway so that the resulting berm will hide traffic a bit). – So wish us luck!

p.sFor a great post on Bunny Williams’ house visit Cote de Texas.

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Splish Splash I Got a New Bath… tub

Forgive my silly title I had a hard time coming up with one


The tub arrived safely in New York!


Look at all the other free stuff I got – SCORE!


A view of my parents Farm from the tub’s (temporary) new home

Whew. What a week I had! I don’t know if any of you are like me – but when I have guests over (or decide to throw my boyfriend a 28th birthday party to thank him the work he has done here) I make lists. I make tons and tons of lists and I try to accomplish months of projects in a week – needless to say I had us getting up early and quitting at 10:30pm quite often last week. I employed the help of all my sisters, parents and my ever patient boyfriend. My family and friends have a term for my ambitious (and dare we say slightly fearsome) behavior before I have guests over – they call it ‘hostess mode’. I turn into a drill sergeant – intent on finishing everything I can think of. For some reason I decided to prep and oil paint 10 pieces of furniture – and take down a tree – and make hammock stands, and mow all the lawn visible – and recover and refinish almost every table in the house… I am officially insane. Ok let’s rewind. Take a breath :) I will post more of that later but I just found my camera card with my pictures from last week so now I am going to tell you about my new tub.

Do you remember when Joan from ‘For The Love Of A House’ offered me an antique claw foot tub? Well we were trying to coordinate a good time to meet up – she and her husband Dan live about 5 hours away in New Hampshire (we live in the western Catskills) and so picking up the tub became a road trip. I truly feel really very lucky that my parents were ready and willing to help out and lend their car to the effort – that my boyfriend not only was up for a 10+ hour car trip with my parents but also said he ‘enjoyed it’ afterwards – AND of course that Joan and Dan were so friendly and generous to give us the tub in the first place. It really did feel like an adventure – and now we have this gorgeous tub to show for it. I can not wait until we have the bathroom ready for it to go in (now it is in my one of my parent’s barn waiting for the day that it can shine). AND do you see what else I got for FREE? I got two oval mirrored bathroom cabinets (so cute!) I got 3 light fixtures, TWO pedestal sinks and matching towel racks and hooks. It was like a walk into a renovator’s heaven. Oh! And I got a gift basket and dog treats for Bighead and Zoe (our dogs) – they were so happy to have them!

AND speaking of heaven – my goodness Joan and Dan’s house is so spectacular. For a house nut like me it felt like a VIP experience getting a tour through the finished product after seeing and reading about the renovation process online. It seriously felt like a house in a movie – the driveway is lined with beautiful old trees, and the house sits looking towards a rolling hill edged with a white fence. The house itself is filled with so much light – the windows are really large for an old house. The rooms are painted this unbelievable color which made the light sparkle throughout. Joan and Dan kept all the original windows which won major points with my preservationist-minded family. Joan’s taste is so lovely she has made the house so welcoming and warm, and even though it is filled with beautiful antiques and the effect is really modern. I can’t wait until she posts pictures of her finished rooms for you guys to see.

As for sharing photos,– Joan encouraged me to share more – I guess It is hard for me to show everyone really HOW messy everything is here – how dirty and well unfinished it is – but she told me that she enjoys seeing the ‘nitty gritty’ and that I shouldn’t be afraid to let you guys in on how overwhelming it is. It was so nice to talk to another home blogger and hear encouragement – I try to be a private person on this blog keeping it from overlapping with my other online presences – but I think it will be more rewarding to open up a bit – So hopefully you will enjoy seeing the ‘unfinished’ parts of our house.

It is funny I have met a lot of food bloggers through my sister (and part-time business partner) but I had never met another renovation blogger – and I was just amazed that we spoke the same enthusiastic house loving language. It was just such a great experience – but I think mostly because Joan and Dan we just such nice and funny people – after driving for 5 + hours we must have seemed particularly frazzled but they really put us at ease and made us feel welcome. So a big THANK YOU to Joan, Dan and Ella!

p.s- If you haven’t already go check out Joan’s lovely blog For The Love Of A House

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Want To Make This Bench…

image from MSL

I wonder if it is beyond my skill set? we shall see…. I know my way around the tool shop – but making something sturdy, that won’t collapse like a pile of sticks? I am not sure…

And a HUGE thank you to Julie she nominated me on her blog, Shelter for the Splash award! It is such a compliment coming from someone with such impeccable style – and the other nominees are so talented as well – it makes me feel super super lucky :). ps- i will be passing it along soon :)

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While I’m gone

image from Goldilocks finds Manhattan

One of my sisters also blogs. She blogs about food and farming stuff. I recommend it. I’m hopeless at cooking myself but a genius at eating it! She recently invited me and her boyfriend to this delicious meal with The girl who ate everything. Robyn’s blog is also amazing – and she and her friends are always lovely dinner companions. Be warned these blogs will make you very very hungry!