09 December 2012


I finally got a couple of things done in the dining room recently, things that have long been on my to-do list.  (For a shamefully long time, to tell you the truth.)  I finally put up some curtains, but first we had to put up the hardware.  That is always a nail-biter.  We have the world's softest drywall.  The way the studs are spaced could only have been executed by a construction worker on crack.  You just never know what will happen when you drill a hole in these walls.  

This fabric goes with everything, I swear.

These finials are moulded something -- maybe resin.
I painted them a soft French Leaf, my favorite of the Benjamin Moore Metallics.
That is not the proper name, just what it looks like.
A little bit silvery, a little bit goldy.

Our luck held, there were no catastrophic do-overs thereby destroying my wallpaper, and we had lift-off!  I had to paint the wooden pole and the brackets and the finials all over again.  I have had these finials a long time, and they came from from a design resource.  They have also been broken and repaired, but I keep hanging onto them.  

Of course, I still have not made the curtains that I intend to be in here out of that silk I have been hoarding for years.  I'll get around to it next year -- maybe.  For now, I pulled out the trusty plaid moiré which was in my other house.  They were not long enough here, having been portieres in their previous incarnations.  Where there is a will there is a way.  I had a piece that was formerly a fabric shade for the top half of a door, so I cut it in half, folded it over and pinned it on.  Uh-huh, just pinned.  You can hardly tell, in the overall scheme of things.

 Switching gears, this window is one of my favorite places to play with the camera.  At different times of the day, it is quite impossible to capture with my limited knowledge and "point and shoot" skills to get a photo.  I get so excited when some actually turn out.

One of my favorite things since I got into taking photos for the blog is to play with light and shadow.
The play of light and dark is called chiaroscuro.  
I don't pretend to know jack about the technical aspects of any of this.  I just know that I like what I see when I do it.  Some people call it an art form, but I doubt my efforts qualify.

This is why I like to keep cut crystal and glass and silver on this iron and glass table.
You know I like tassels on everything that holds still long enough...

At long last, as promised, I will tell you about this cruet set.
 Ever since I remember seeing one, I have wanted one.
I was so impressed when Debbie the Plate Addict put hers together at Goodwill and thrift stores over time.
I didn't do that.
I have passed on several at good estate sales because they were too pricey.
When I would go back on the last (half price) day, of course they were always gone.

One day last summer, not long after Sweet Husband retired, we had a "play date" -- meaning we shucked off our chores for the day and took off.  We ended up in Homewood, a pretty little village that is actually an independent little city which makes up a part of metro Birmingham.  We had lunch and then hit the remaining antiques shops, and at the last one on the street, I saw this.  I say remaining because this used to be a fabulous area for antiques.  There are still lots of shops and many fun stops, but it is not what it used to be, thanks to the economy.  

Sweet Husband saw me looking at this set, fondling it basically, and he told the proprietor we would take it.  It does have a broken finial on one of the stoppers, and I doubt all the pieces are original to this set.
I did a lot of research which indicated that every Victorian era home had one of these sets which stayed on the family table.  Some had more pieces than others, and it is quite rare now to find one which actually has all the original pieces. The sites I read indicated that it is more than OK for them all not to match, just fit the holes properly.  A lot of the silver-plating is gone from this one.  It could, of course, be replated, but I think that the "faded glory" is part of its charm.  (I can just hear my late mother:  "What in the world do you want with that old piece of junk?")

Just noticed I screwed up the watermark -- oh well....

I am linking this post to Metamorphosis Monday at Susan's Between Naps on the Porch blog and to Nita for Mod Vintage Mix at her Mod Vintage Life blog.  



  1. I love your curtains! Truly! Those colors are so pretty and look like they would totally go with anything! Thanks so much for inspiring me today!


  2. "One man's trash is another man's treasure." I'm sure my Mother would make the same basic remark, but that would not lessen my love for the cruet set! Certain items speak to different people in different ways...and that's what makes the world go 'round! :-) Hooray for your curtain hanging!!! You are much further along than I am. I STILL haven't found any window treatments that I can afford that rock my world. So the windows remain naked. And they will stay that way until I can find something fabulous like yours!!! They're beautiful! I always worry about curtain rods crashing to the floor. Drywall is such a tricky thing, and that stud thing...a joke! Even with a stud in the right place, I always feel the screws for the rod are too small. I want something substantial that I can be guaranteed will hold heavy fabric. It's just all to iffy for me! Great job, Ellen! Me next! :-)

  3. I hope I won't make anyone angry, that is not my intent. Now that that's said I've got to tell you, don't you have a building inspector in your town? A building inspector is supposed to check out that the framing is done properly, 16 inches on center for the 2 x 4's in your walls etc. Your electric and plumbing is supposed to be inspected also. Now, if it's not you ought to go right up to your town, or city, (selectman) whatever officials you have and have a long talk with them. Talk to a lawyer. Find out who built this place and kick him in the (nuts)!!!!! Find out where the wall board was sold, made and by what company. Make them know your name! Kick some ___ ! You spent a lot of money for a house and we all have to put those fly by nighters out of business. It's your job! Do it. Don't accept the unacceptable and DO NOT worry that they will think you are a B word. They think you are anyway the second you don't kiss their egos. I'm just sayin................

    1. Sandy, I take no offense! Believe me, I would do all of the above if I could! We bought this crappy house, intending to stay only three years, then ---- the economy fell apart. Recently a couple of houses in the hood sold, so maybe we could sell it this upcoming year. However, we bought it when prices were high, and we would lose a s**tload of money if we sold it at its current valuation. It is in the County, not the city, and so the "officials" are a joke. Also, we do know who the builder was -- Eddleman -- and they have built crappy subdivisions everywhere, most of them quite high dollar. Last year, we got a letter from them saying that they were aware that the neighborhood is 20 years old, and the houses probably needed an "update!" A mild understatement. They were offering their services to "update" the homes. What a joke!!! Most of the residents have long since replaced all the builder basic crap that was put into the house when it was built. We have been working on it a bit at a time for the last 5 years, but since I didn't want to stay there, we have only done what is necessary. I have put in some things, like chandeliers, etc., which will definitely come out if I ever can sell it without taking a bath. I think people ought to love their homes, and I don't love this one, although I am quite fond of "my stuff." Sooo .... I am hoping one day to unload it, and leave it in better shape than I found it.


  4. Loving the curtains, Ellen! They are wonderful with your wallpaper. The windows were bare for about 8 years in our dining room, until I bought the PB panels last year or was it the year before. Anyway, they could be wider/fuller, but I like the fabric, so they work for me.

    I never have any luck at all with our GW's in this neck of the woods.:-( Love your cruet set. I've always wanted one of those too. Maybe someday.

  5. Ellen,

    Don't you love it when your photos turn out well (happy accident) I have such a hard time getting them to look good enough to post on my blog. Your playdate with hubby sounds like it was a great time. My heart skipped a beat when you mentioned Homewood. My grandmother and her family were from the Birmingham Alabama area. Many of my ancestors lived in the region around the greater Birmingham Alabama area. I doubt that any of the old houses are still standing. I'm an ancestor of the Acton family. During much of my research I've found lots of interesting information. I've never been to Alabama and hope to make it there one day. I hear that it's beautiful.


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