My last few days

So what have you been up to?

When we moved from the old house the last few days were madness. Things were tossed in boxes, in trash bags, in the truck to be taken to Goodwill, it was insane. It's not going to be that way this time. This time we'll be organized and orderly wherever we end up going.

Speaking of that, we don't know yet. If it's a house then everything can move together. If we have to get a rental we'll take the basics and most of these boxes will get loaded into a PODS and stored until we find a place.

A run down

We looked at houses today, here are the impressions:

1. Not as pretty as in the pictures. A drag too, we were both hopeful about this one.
2. Showing cancelled due to contract accepted. (I drove by later, 1 car garage with nowhere to add on)
3. Gorgeous beamed ceilings throughout, interesting painted plank paneling walls, really tight rooms. Room to add on, but you'd price yourself out of the neighborhood.
4. Really nicely modernized cape, with a master closet that rivals the one we're leaving. I don't love where it is, but I could deal. Been on the market over a year, we can't figure out why.
5. Interesting 1911 home nicely updated. High ceilings, wonky kitchen. No back yard, oversized garage.
6. The house on Morningside Drive cancelled the showing. We could have gone later but decided to wait for an open. It's probably too big. We're looking for a ranch and it's three full floors.

Numbers continue to be crunched for an offer on The House. I need all the good vibes you can send this way. Plus if we get it I promise a photo tour that will leave you thinking "Good God they've lost their minds."


I'll be go to hell, Chez Malaise is under contract.

It came about quickly and we're still a little bit in shock, but it's good news all in all. Phyllis is in New York visiting her kids, so there have been calls and texts and faxes and emails, but it's all signed now.

Up next are inspections of course, but we know what needs attention and those few things will be repaired even before the inspectors arrive. The thing now is that closing happens at the end of October, so we've got to figure out where we're going.

The house we love is still available, but we've run the numbers and it's not looking good. There may be an offer made, but likely not one they're going to take. Then again I don't think either of us were really expecting to sell at this point so one never knows.

The moment we had an offer we were both all over the online listings, and the nice surprise is that there are others we're interested in seeing. We'll be doing just that this Sunday, followed by the getting started on the packing. It seems early in some ways, but in others all I can think is "30 days."

Cross your fingers for us, and if you're in town and run across something you think we should see let me know!

Tivo alert!

We're watching the season debut of Dancing With the Stars tonight. It's Mens Night and four dancers in, my money is on the Iron Chef America guy. I'm a harsh judge and so far his Cha Cha Cha is the only dance I wouldn't characterize as stiff and clunky. I adored DWTS when it began but, but over the years their definition of "star" has slipped.

UPDATE: Who knew Donnie Osmond could dance? Completely respectable.

But the big excitement this week is Modern Family starring my cousin Eric! If you've had ABC on for even a moment in the past few months you've probably seen a commercial for it, and the early reviews have been fantastic. I've seen the pilot, know a little bit about upcomming guest stars and plot, and I can't wait to see more. On the right in the picture above, he plays Cameron to Jesse Tyler Ferguson's Mitchell. They're a gay couple who've just adopted a baby from Vietnam.

Brett's as excited for Eric as I am, and we've both been googling to try to keep up with the pre-debut buzz. What we've found is that he's on his way to becoming a bear icon! (A subset of the gay community, the bears are bigger, beefier, hairy guys who reject the shaved, tanned, worked-out look usually associated with gay men) What really makes it a kick? He's not gay!

Comments on the first blog post where I found him mentioned were really nice things like "great actor" and "Not only handsome, but I've met him and he's charming and funny." Comments on another blog post I found later were complimentary as well, and lets say, more detailed. God I hope his mom (or mine) aren't searching for mentions as well.

So set your Tivo or be sure to watch, not just for Eric (the newly-minted Bear Sex Symbol!) but also Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen and Ed O'Neill. Totally a good time!

A disturbance in the Force

photo credit: miss jessie/flickr

Toad's done. I'll miss seeing what's on his mind, but we all do what we need to do. Always a place on my blogroll for you Sir.

HG's back from her summer vacation, with the warning that she'll be blogging less. The first post back got a little zesty in the comments which makes the break understandable and the return just that much more enjoyable.

Decorno, too vowed to lighten her load since returning from Italy, and she seems to have done so. And why not? With her opinionated readership just asking a question is often enough.

Change is good, yeah? Or at least ok.

Pick your poison

Mrs. Blandings likes chairs. ArchitectDesign is fond of china. And I'm a lamp freak. Be they vintage from ebay,

Or new from Barbara Cosgrove.
What about you, what's the thing you can't pass up?

At the workshop

I've been spending time at the workshop in the evenings and on weekends so I thought I'd post about what I've been up to. Lots in progress, and a few things ready to go, or close.

The single thing I picked up at Sparks last week is the rusty locker basket above. They're always good sellers and because it's a little rusty I got it cheap. I cleaned it up with some steel wool and sprayed a coat of polyurethane to seal and it's done. The Murano lamp was all I got at the Tuesday night consignment auction two weeks ago. Right after the photo I took it apart and will look for a replacement base this week. The industrial basket actually came from Sparks earlier this spring. Its been sitting at the workshop but I don't think I can part with it. I'm picturing it as a great wastebasket, or lined with moss and full of plants on our next porch. It would also make a killer shade for a light fixture, so that's a possibility as well.

Last month Brett's birthday fell on an auction night, so I ran down at lunch and left a bid on this old maple drop-front secretary. The finish was shot but the piece is solid, and as usual I forgot to take any before photos. This black is the undercoat, and next up is a grey topcoat and a lot of distressing. It has cubbies that slide into the desk area, but I think I'm leaving them out. With them gone while it could still function as a desk, I can see it even more as being great for a small bar. There's plenty of room for bottles and an ice bucket, with the shelves above holding glassware and tons of other storage in the drawers below. At the moment at least that's how I'm planning to display it, so hopefully I can pick up some interesting glasses or shakers or something at the auction this week.

A woman I work with moved in with her new partner, resulting in two households full of furniture that both decided needed to go. These two tables were worn and tired and I picked up the pair for 20 bucks. The square table, now green, gets a whitewash and some polyurethane and it's done. On the washstand I've used a pale blue that's actually the color of our master bath at the old house. I got a quart in a gloss finish that I planned to use on another piece but thought I'd give it a go here. It will get the slightest of rubdowns with black glaze and some poly to finish.

It also hit me as I was shooting pictures that while I'm great at buying lamps, I'm not so good at selling them. Of everything you see sitting there, only the old Haeger lamp on the right is rewired and ready to go. I've been holding on to it because I'm thinking about starting something on Etsy, but I haven't decided for sure. The two urn bases and the horse head are pot metal so they can't be chromed (damn!), but I've found a body shop that's open to doing some car paint for me. I think the urns would be stunning in a pearl white, and wouldn't the horse head be fun in an orangey red? The copper lamp is made from an old French brazier and had a Sebree Galleries price tag of $980 retail / $720 wholesale...when I bought it for $40 at auction. I went to the estate sale of the woman who owned Sebree Galleries. The house in Fairway was fabulous, even in it the deplorable condition it was in, and hoarder-sickness full of gorgeous things. Webster House ran that sale and the women working couldn't have been more condescending, FYI.

Also in progress are a set of four of the most uncomfortable dining chairs ever made. They had tie-on cushions that I accidentally (wink) left at the auction house, and they'll need them again. I was going to paint them black, but black is just looking so heavy to me lately, so I went with pale green. I don't know that these would sell at the mall so I may give craigslist a shot.

One thing that IS ready to go is this 48" pine pedistal table. When I picked it up the finish was gone on the top and there was a big green stain. I sanded it down and gave it a coat of grey and a light rub with black glaze and a final poly coat. I originally planned to sell it with the black chairs, but it looks more to me like a big occasional table now rather than a place to eat. Then again, it's the perfect size for four, so who knows. I'm going to show it more as a large occasional or center table, but people can do what they want.
So that's some of what's going on at my workspace. More to come as things get finished and taken to the mall.

Joe Wilson: Asshat

Photo via
Did you see the look on Nancy Pelosi's face? Palin/Wilson 2012!

About your wedding: Notes from a guest

Saturday afternoon we went to a wedding for the brother of Brett's law partner. That's us above with his law partner, Rachel. And delicious cake. This is how weddings should be done. Here's what I liked:

-The ceremony was over in 19 minutes flat. Exchange of vows, two short readings, one quick song, and Hello Mr. & Mrs.

-The reception was immediately following, at the same location. Nobody wants to wait or drive across town to the country club. One and done!

-Black and white isn't traditional for an afternoon wedding, but you know what, everyone looks good in it.

-Immediate drink service and opening the buffet quickly keeps everyone happy.

-Yay! for not doing the bouquet and garter things. Does anyone really like that?

Best wishes to the happy couple. Thanks both for including us in your big day, and for making it so easy and pleasant.

Sparks Fall 2009: The Lazy Recap

I took off from work Thursday and headed up north of Atchison for the Sparks fall flea and antiques market. Cool in the morning, it turned out to be a beautiful day and a great show. As always seems to happen, I went to shop but fell victim to "if I buy it I have to lug it to the car" mentality and came home with one locker basket to resell. And as usual I've spent the last two days thinking of a small two door cabinet and a tall console table I wish I'd brought home to paint.

I ran into Sheila and Craig, some friends I met through auctions and sales around town. Sheila has a fun review of the day on her blog, Oddfolies. I'm taking the easy way out and directing you to her for the review.

Enjoy the rest of your long weekend everyone!