Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
This is the upstairs hallway. I don't have any pictures of it when we first moved in. Just picture a boring white box with ugly popcorn ceiling, no border or crown molding, and just blah... The vanity is now serving as the linen chest, where we keep the towels and wash cloths. It's made of mahogany, and is in the Eastlake style with some other elements. This belonged to great-grandma Mary Burns, who was known to us as "Granny". It was made by William B. Moses and Sons, of Washington, D.C. The company was founded in 1863, and went out of business in 1935.
The kerosene lamp on top belonged to her as well, and has a Currier & Ives scene on it. It is made of milk glass.
Below you can see the molding, which replaced some really cheap trim that was here before. The mirror was an antique store find, and the door will be refinished to match the door frame. It's too cold outside to do it now.
These pictures are actually watercolors by a Pittsburgh artist, Mary Lois Verrilla. She is famous for designing alot of Christmas seal greeting cards. I honestly bought these for $1.50 at a junk store in Rio, WV. I didn't know who she was, I simply liked the scenes that were painted. The top one is my favorite. And the frames? I got them at the Dollar Tree.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
This morning I spent cleaning up the house. We have just finished the second bedroom, and have the master closet back. Prior to that all of our clothes were in the dining room- so either you took them upstairs with you, or you walked downstairs to get them after a shower. Not very convenient! Anyway, that is all done with now, as the bedroom is back together except for some furniture pieces that have yet to be found and purchased in the antique store they now reside in.
My office and the Franklin Bedroom were also reclaimed. The bed and the desks are back in order, and with the exception of a few books everything is back in its place. Even the carpet got a good vacuuming, and at one point I found enough cat hair in the corner to create a new cat.
Not one, but two trips to Lowe's later (I forgot the foam insulation for around the window in the stairwell) - and we were on our way to making the upstairs hallway the next project. That involves very little in comparison to the last few projects. It's a much smaller area for one, and all it needs is new molding around the doors, paint on the walls and ceiling, and some window trimming and dressing. Oh, and before all that, there's spackling to be done. The hardwood floor is already down in the hallway, thank goodness. The walls will be a parchment white, with a light yellow ceiling. I know - a departure from my usual colors. However, I've got a great wide border, about 12 inches wide, of a New England harbor scene that will go around the top of it, sandwiched between molding. It will look great when it's done.
One of the best parts about this project is that when it is finished it will be home to my great-granny's Eastlake dresser, which is made of mahogany. I plan to use it as a linen chest, since it will be located just outside my rather small bathroom. We ordered new hardware for it, since the old hardware was missing all but three pulls - and found some fantastic gold pulls for it at Lowe's through special order. They're on it now, and for the first time in over three years, that dresser is back together again.
I don't have any pictures of any of this yet, but when it is all done and finished I will post them here for you to see. Thanks for reading, and if you need me - I'll probably be at Lowe's!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Lately I've been reading the works of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873). I found a copy of this on sale in the book outlet in Flatwoods, WV in the outlet mall there. In addition to this book, I also bought one about John Henry which I have yet to read, but it is on the list. With the onset of this hellish winter, I'm certain I will have more time to read. This work, entitled Madam Crowl's Ghost & Other Stories, is the book I speak of.
The collection's namesake, Madam Crowl's Ghost, is a rather disturbing tale about a young English servant girl who goes to wait on a wealthy old dowager lady who lives in a large country house in England. When Madam Crowl (the wealthy dowager) passes on, she returns to reveal a ghastly secret about her former home.
Other stories, such as The White Cat of Drumgunniol, is reminiscent of the "black dog" stories told throughout Appalachia. It is the tale of a white cat that is like a banshee, appearing to those who are about to die. This type of story shows there is still a connection between the old and new worlds- through stories!
Speaking of connections, the last part of the book tells the ghost stories that surround the Bailey family of Ireland. That family name is a common one in West Virginia. The stories of the Bailey's involve a wizard, a sunken castle, a banshee, and other ghostly/supernatural entities - even a redcap!Sheridan Le Fanu was a contemporary of the literary ghost/monster story greats of English literature. His works influenced many other authors of his age, including Bram Stoker and Edgar Allen Poe. Although he is lesser well known, his works are nonetheless great in my opinion as an aficionado of ghost/monster tales.
So if you are looking for a good book to read by the fire this winter, and you don't mind a slight scare, pick up this book. I took a chance and discovered an author who really can spin a yarn.