Retro Renovation shares this intriguing review of a product that might make cleaning chrome less laborious. I’ve got a serious chrome collecting habit, but wow what a pain it can be to keep shiny. Curious to check out this eraser.
Speaking of …
That’s glass gem corn, an heirloom that you can read about here. I’ve gotten on the waiting list for seed because the allure of those colors was just too much. My own attempts at corn growing were very short and modest. But I’m sure that even if I don’t feel up to trying to nurture this, I can find friends or family who will be up for the honor.
Photo, article and seed saving by Seeds Trust
Having bought a heap of pumpkins but carved only two, I took knives to these two in bed during a Skype convo on All Hallows’ Eve-Eve. Shot them in the morning with the living room wall as backdrop, and the pics show the color variations that occur in that room with changing light.
Finally got some color on my living room walls.
And I love love love it.
Living in an old house whose walls are needy, you get used to the patchwork effect of cracks and holes and plaster or drywall rebuilds. In this house you also have to get used to the walls being beige or brown or yellow, the first two being shades that leave me so uninspired and the latter being disastrous in combination with the first two. So I was simply jubilant to finally work myself to the stage where I could splash some serious hue on those sides.
With the green old-sheet dropcloth you can get a better idea of what I whittled my visions down to. The blue-green crayon was almost my favorite. That’s got a lot to do with this, having to take into account the woodwork and light allowance in the room. I’m very pleased with this.
I’m also impressed by the paint’s coverage and sheen. It’s Benjamin Moore’s Cool Aqua in the Aura line’s matte finish. And I put it over 60-year-old drywall that had been dinged and patched, not to mention sawed out and built back in by the chimney wall. You can’t see any of that with this finish.
Oh, and then there’s the alcove I had installed! That’s a whole other post.
Pop quiz—What do these three buildings have in common?
They all need to be demolished. At least according to prevailing attitudes. These are just a few of the buildings on the city of Chicago’s chopping block, according to a series being featured at Gaper’s Block this year. Sociologist David Schalliol is posting portraits of 100 buildings threatened with demolition. I’m glad he’s collecting this info in one place, though it’s going to make me so sad to follow the updates. I only hope I can keep the house I’ve been working on standing for another hundred years at least.
I’m blown away by Mike Doyle’s Lego renditions of abandoned old houses.
He built the one above, Three-Story Victorian with Tree, out of about 60,000 Lego pieces, putting in 450 hours of work.
What attracted me to these at first is obvious: ooooooooh, lovely old house. But then the fascination starts to switch back and forth with that bittersweet tang of realization. It’s the feeling I get when, hiking through the forest preserves, I come out of a thicket into a slight clearing and notice daffodils in orderly clumps, then rain-rounded curbs of—oh—a foundation; look, it’s steps going down to the cellar … this used to be a house. Then I’m stoked to prowl every edge of the prior property, searching for signs of a domesticated identity. I cherish the woods at the same time as I honor a homestead.
But there’s something else about his fashioning these evocative structures out of thousands of plastic blocks that seems simply perfect. It’s that the investment of time and precision seems to mirror the spirit of the renovation community. I don’t know how many hours I put into one bathroom or the other, the front porch, the window trim, the living room that I should perhaps be working on now instead of clattering out this procrastination. It’s been hundreds of hours, hundreds upon hundreds upon who knows. And while part of restoring an old house is learning to reward yourself for small progress, allow yourself to take a break, and wait for the time and inspiration to pop up and push you back into it, the larger part is the fascination with bringing the project forward, with helping the house become solid and stunning. I don’t know Doyle. Yet I think we’ve got something in common there. And I thank him for how his projects inspire me to keep going on mine.