Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Sign of Spring

Hurrah! The first true sign on Spring in MN. The Friend's School Plant Sale catalog has arrived.

I've pretty much covered my thoughts on this sale in past posts (I started going in 2003).

Download the catalog.  It's like a textbook specifically written for Minnesota gardeners.  Seriously.


I have my eye on geraniums and peonies this year.

(graphics used with permission of Friend's School)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Filling the Pots

I so need to find a job where I just hunt down stuff for old house people all day long.  Some people hate doing this, I think it's fun.

Anyway, here's the lastest for the kitchen.  It's a pot-filler faucet that will be installed above the vintage Tappan Deluxe stove.   It will allow me to fill my canning pots while they are on the stove instead of trying to fit them into my shallow, vintage sink.

The plan is to replace the existing handles with porcelain.  It's in the works.  Will post more as I'm able to hunt it down.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Detail

Last week, my mom & I stopped by the cabinet maker's shop to drop off the hardware and pick up some scraps of birch to practice finishing.

I've used shellac on many things over the years and have become pretty good at replicating a nice, amber shellac, vintage-look finish.  But, this one has me a little more nervous and I'm going to practice a lot before touching the actual piece.

I had my camera with me so I took a shot of another one of the details I really like about the new cabinet. Inside the cabinet, John has duplicated a neat little feature from the old cabinets.  There is a notched board in each corner of the cabinet. There are two little boards that fit into those notches on either side of the cabinet and the shelf itself sits on top of those little strips of wood. This allows you to adjust the height of the shelves.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rain Barrel/Compost Bin

Quick tip for folks in Minnesota looking for a rain barrel or compost bin.

www.recycleminnesota.org

The Spice Cabinet

A quick post with photos of the spice rack that I'm having replicated with my new kitchen cabinet.  My version will be more narrow due to space constraints and made out of birch.

This spice drop-down shelf is my mom's.  She bought it 40 yrs ago as an "after market" add-on from Sears. In the photo, it looks like it sticks down a little mopre than it does because I was taking the photo at cabinet level.  It actually is pretty hidden.

I searched high & low on the internet for the past 6 years and never saw a drop down spice rack anywhere.

I have to admit, along with the little flour bin & pull out cutting board....this is one of the items on the cabinet I am most excited about.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

First Glimpse

Just received photos of the new kitchen cabinet in progress from John, the cabinet maker at Scheftel Construction (same guy who did my rafter tail restoration).

Catch the little flour bin - how cute it that?! If you look close, he replicated the way my vintage shelves are held in place....a little strip of wood fits into grooves inside the cabinet (more on this later). The little curve on the side of the cabinet mimics the same curve on my existing cabinets. There will also be a little drop down spice rack.

On Monday my mom & I are dropping off the hardware and taking a look at the cabinet so far.  I've also asked John for some scrap maple so I can practice my shellacking skills - I'm finishing it myself to match my existing vintage cabinets.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tappan Deluxe Advertising

Just nabbed this off of Ebay. It will go in my kitchen.

That's the end of the Tappan fun stuff. Now I'm limiting myself to only stove restoration items. Really.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Stash

Here's the array of kitchen cabinet hardware I have assembled for my new cabinet so far.

In the photo of the two hinges, the top on is new....the bottom is 1924 vintage. Pretty darn close, huh?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Minnesota Tax Payer Alert

The Start Tribune reported this morning on a piece of legislation working it's way through the Minnesota Senate that would remove property tax caps.

Minnesota Senate File 1054, Sponsored by Senator Thomas Bakk, allows cities & counties to raise property tax levies without any input from the state or taxpayers.  It eliminates the requirement for notices to taxpayers to be published in newspapers.  It discontinues the annual truth in taxation meetings where budgets are traditionally shared and the public has an opportunity to share their thoughts.

Every November, you get a statement from your county and your city.  It's a sheet that gives you a comparision between what you paid last year and what you will pay this year in property taxes.  On the right side, it gives you a percentage of change.   The form also lists dates & locations of meetings for the individual portion of the increases (e.g. park board, city tax, school district, solid waste management fees, etc.) where you can go to ask questions or voice your concerns. There is an attachment that explains limit & how money is to be used. This is what we are talking about.

This lovely piece of silent taxation was sent to the Senate Tax Committee, conveniently Chaired by Senator Bakk.  This morning it passed the Tax Committee with a recommendation and it's now headed to the Committee on Rules & Administration.

What galls me is they now want to take more of our money and not have to bother with the pesky task of even letting us know before they take it or how they plan to spend it. Seriously? This one has me ticked off. 

I have let the Senate Tax Committee, Committee on Rules & Administration, my Senators, my Mayor and our Governor know my thoughts via email on this :-) 

Email me at stuccohouse @ aol.com if you wish to share your thoughts with the MN Senate and need help finding their names & email addresses.

Here's a copy of the actual Bill.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Flaking Off

I had a spare moment the other day, so I started removing some of the paint on the metal of my salvaged light. This light will eventually end up in my bedroom.

The white paint on the original picture looks all pristine. Trust me, it wasn't. The light's base was painted in place...probably when someone painted the ceiling. You know how pesky it can be to unscrew two screws before painting a ceiling ;-) It was on there goopy & thick. This actually was a good thing because the paint was detaching from the metal en masse and I was able to use a razor to gently lift it off. What you see in this photo is the remaining paint that I will have to strip off.


I intend to let the little "stem" that is painted in pink alone.  Just a good cleaning of the old paint.

Need to figure out how to rewire it next.  I'm ordering cloth covered wire to replace the old stuff.



Saturday, March 07, 2009

The Holy Grail

Unproductive day.  I went to Guilded Salvage and City Salvage looking for vintage cabinet latches to match my existing.  No luck either place.  Not even close. 


Seems that unless it has fancy Victorian styling....or is a Stickley style Arts & Carfts piece, it doesn't make it to salvage. 

I still have a few more places to visit, but hope is dwindling.

I've also developed a Plan B just in case.  More on this later.

Friday, March 06, 2009

A Pale Green

If you take a look at the drawing of the cabinet I am having built for my kitchen, you will see a small, vintage style flour bin on the left side of the counter top.

I have the hardware lined up for the cabinet hinges. I have the drawer pull,  and I'm working on the metal door latches. In the back of my mind, I always knew what I wanted for the flour bin.

When I bought my previous condo, there was a box of salvaged hardware in the basement storage area.  Some of it was leftovers from the kitchen cabinets....and some of it was just random.  I took the box with me when I moved.

The wallpaper that will eventually go into my kitchen is a green & red.  In the back of my mind, I remembered seeing a minty green, glass knob in the box. Tonight I went down to my basement, dug up that box, hunted through it, was was relieved to find the little glass knob.  Green.

Funny how things work out, huh?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Teeny, Tiny Rant

I'm in a bad mood this morning.

Earlier this week I ordered some cabinet hinges from Rejuvenation. I was ecstatic to find them on clearance.  After placing the original order online, I called the company to see if I could add two more hinges onto the order before it shipped.  The first order was on it's way out the door, so I placed a second order for the additional hinges.

Today I was happy to see a shipping confirmation in my email.  I opened the email and started looking for an expected arrival date.

Then something caught my eye on the list of items.  Two hinges. Correct.  Catalog. Good. An $80 black ceramic light fixture. Huh?  I didn't order a light. I ordered two extra hinges. That's it.

Called Rejuvenation.  Operator was polite when I explained to her what happened. But irked me just a little when she implied that because it was a phone order, she couldn't be sure what I ordered.  Whatever. I'm pretty sure I would remember ordering (or even needing) an $90 light fixture.

I think I can guess how it happened.  I asked the Rep. that took my order if it was possible to buy extra metal brackets to hold up ceramic towel bars.  He probably was looking to see what I was talking about and hit "buy." Honest mistake.

So, now the un-ordered light is on my credit card.  When the order arrives, I am now responsible for repacking the lamp, calling UPS and getting it back to the company.  And THEN I will be issued a credit to my card.  I kind of wonder if I should call my credit card company and get them up to speed, because you just know if there is a way that light could crack/chip/smash/get lost on it's way back to Rejuvenation....it will happen to me.

Like I need one more thing to add to my day.  Ok, I've vented. Not the end of the world. I'll live.

I adore Rejuvenation's products and have ordered plenty of them. I fawn over their store when I am in Portland.  But jeez louise, I have bad luck with their Customer Service.

I still am overjoyed to have found the hinges I need. I have to remind myself of that.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Nuts & Bolts

The cabinet maker called me last week to confirm some details about the kitchen cabinet.  We hashed out those details and then he asked me about the hardware I was going to use.  The hardware. Good question.

So, this past Saturday I spent the day making the rounds of the local salvage places.  I needed 8 hinges, three cabinet latches, one drawer pull and one pull knob.  I wanted all to be vintage and to match the hardware currently in use in my other vintage kitchen cabinets.

The hardware I was looking for it very typical of 1920's.  I'd venture to say that 95% of the houses in the Twin Cities with vintage cabinets have this identical hardware.

So, I was a tad surprised when I stopped in to Northwest Salvage on Selby in St. Paul and they had nothing close to what I needed.  Well, I was able to find a drawer pull that I wanted.  I thought for sure I'd have my pick of hinges, but no suck luck.

I went over the the ReUse Center knowing that they had cabinets in their store with the exact hardware I needed.  I wanted to ask if they had any loose hardware.  I can't go into it without getting frustrated all over again.  I'll just sum up by saying that their "sales people" are incompetent...and my standards are pretty low..

So, I was at home still kind of fuming about the ReUse Center and  surfing online.  I was checking out sources for new hardware in the same style.  For some reason, I tried Rejuvenation...then went to their clearance page.  It took a  second for it to hit me, but they had the exact hinges I need on clearance.  2 for $4.99.  I ended up with the entire stock I need (and some extras) for the price it would have cost me for one pair at full price ($20). Score. Because so little of the hinges actually shows, I don't think they will look too new once installed.

Now I just have to hunt down the cabinet latches.  One cool thing about my vintage latches is that they have a cute little brass turn knob while the rest of the latch is steel (I think). On these, I really am hoping for vintage.

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