Thursday, October 31, 2013

House Anniversary

Tonight marks the 11th anniversary of my owning the StuccoHouse. Time flies while you are stripping paint....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Wind in Your Hair

Totally not house related, but I have been sorting through some old photos. Here are a couple of pictures of a car my dad once owned.  

He had to sell it when the Army shipped him abroad.  I personally will never forgive Korea for that.  

How good would that Cadillac have looked parked in front of StuccoHouse?

Sunday, October 06, 2013


When we last left my new, custom built, kitchen cabinet, I had located new hinges that virtually matched the hinges on my existing cabinets, as well as one vintage green, glass knob and a vintage nickel drawer pull.  The one thing missing was the three cabinet latches for the three doors.

The existing vintage latches I'm trying to match.
I had hoped to find vintage versions of these. My existing cabinet latches are unusual in that (when polished) the knob on the latch is brass colored and the body of the latch is nickel. I looked high and low for vintage replacement latches. At one point, I discovered some very close to my existing latches at the ReUse Center (now closed).  They were on a rather large bank of existing cabinets they pulled out of some poor house. They would not sell me three of those latches. Either I bought the whole bank of cabinets for near $1,000, or I was out of luck. 

Anywho. Here we are 4 years later. I finally broke down and started shopping new latches. I comforted myself with the fact that the new cabinet was across the room from the existing cabinets.  I hit up two of the well known vintage look hardware websites. Then on a whim I pulled up the site of Crown City Hardware. Their latches were quite a bit less expensive than the other two stores and they looked similar enough.  I ordered three in oil rubbed bronze.

The new latches. Made in Taiwan.
They arrived and looked fine.  So, one day armed with my drill and a bar of soap.....and a fair amount of courage.....I started to install the new latches.

I carefully measured, remeasured and then re-remeasured.  Then I marked off the drill holes with a Sharpie.  I drilled a hole, ran the screw through the bar of soap and then hand screwed the hardware in place.  All was well with the world.

 And then on the last hole of the last latch, the screw snapped. The head of the screw fell to the floor.  My heart stopped. Then it sunk.

There it is. Just hanging there. Half of a screw lodged in the wood and half laying on the floor below.
I put down the drill and walked away.  Over the next day I was able to talk myself down from despair. It was the top screw on the latch on the top cabinet. If a screw had to snap off, this was the ideal screw to do that. Worse things have happened to better people. Not the end of the world.  Etc.
The top of the offending screw.

I sent off an email to Crown City telling them I had a screw snap off and asking if I could get a replacement screw. My email was that simple. Short and sweet. I thought they would drop a matching $0.20 screw in an envelope to me.  Probably with a generic apology.

The reply I got back took me by surprise. It was a long email implying I had installed it incorrectly. They also told me I'd need to buy a bag of screws and it would take some while to order them.  I never told them how I installed it, so this took my by surprise. Then it made me mad. Good freakin grief, I was not fresh off the home restoration turnip truck. I've installed more than a few screws in my day. They were a hardware store and didn't have an extra screw that they would be willing to mail me?!

I sent off a reply informing him that I would not be buying a bag of screws from them.  I told them not to bother with the screw if it was that much trouble for them to send one out.  It wasn't worth it to me. Lesson learned, I would not buy from them again.  They had, however, given me a nice blog post.

The minute a blog was mentioned, they could not have been more happy to send me out a free bag of screws. They were very concerned about standing behind their product then. Ick.

I never responded.  I'll have to dig the remaining screw piece that is lodged in the wood out with my Dremel.  Then fill the large hole with WoodEpox and try to stain the patch to match. I'll then go down to the local hardware store and buy a Phillips (or slat if I can find one) screw in black, not oil rubbed bronze. It won't match, but I doubt anyone will see it. Not exactly what one wants for their brand new cabinet.  However, It will be a nice reminder to me about buying from companies that stand behind their product....and not going back to companies that don't.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Junk Bonanza

The Thursday before last, I attended Junk Bonanza. It's a huge collection of "junk" dealers that are pulled together for a long weekend out at Canterbury Park (our local racing track).  I won two tickets from Hirshfield's on Twitter.

Hirshfiled's (my favorite paint store) kindly asked me to do a guest post on their blog, which you can read here.  You can also see two of my other purchases over there (one a very clever Halloween item)

To wet your interest, here are a few of the items I managed to haul home....

And here is my favorite view from the sale (no, I did not buy the sign!)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin