Sunday, December 14, 2014

Shopping For Antique Lighting

I have a new computer!!!!!
Isn't it pretty?????
After I calmed down about how different my new Surface Pro 3 computer was, I realized that it wasn't so bad, and it would satisfy my needs after all.
I don't use it the way it is meant to be used.....
I have  a big monitor that I attach it to, and it works great for fabric design.
The solution was to connect my Intuos touch pad to it, and draw on that instead of the glass of the Surface Pro screen.
The main point, is that it is light enough to carry back and forth to Flerida without needing some strapping young dude to sling my carry-on into the overhead bins on the plane.
I want to sling my own stuff, thank you very much.......

I've been going over my files of photographs that have accumulated since I stopped blogging so much.
There's a ton of material, so you guys are going to be seeing things from the summer that I never got around to sharing with the class.
My buddy and bidness partner, Kris, needed to find some sconces for her front porch.
We couldn't find any new ones that we liked, so we went to the Yankee Craftsman in Wayland Massachusetts to hunt for something that would satisfy our very particular tastes.
They have barns of old stuff just waiting for some sucker one with discerning taste to come along and pluck them out of the dust and have them refurbished into a wonderful piece of lighting.
There are buildings all over that are just full of stuff!!!!!

Everywhere you look, more structures with old things!!!!!
We didn't get a chance to see what was behind the doors in the barn below, and we wanted to.....

I mean...
don't you just wonder what they're hiding?????
Well, 
the main barn is just chock full, so I took lots of pictures for you guys to ogle all the dusty dirty treasures.
This is where you can hunt around, and choose something that the restoration geniuses will fix up, clean up, and wire for anyone with a large enough bank account!
 I loved this chandelier, but we gots no more places for no hanging lights, no more.
A virtual cornucopia of glass and crystal chandeliers.
Tons of table lamps.
Check this girl out....
she has no shame!
'Course if I had a bod like that, I'd pose for a lamp statuette too......
Do you think she's sucking in her stomach?????
(OK Betsy, get you mind back on lighting.....)
I found this glass lamp that I fell in love with,
BUT I HAD NO PLACE FOR IT!!!!!
Cleaned up it would be perfect for a dressing table.
They had some wonderful hanging lanterns,
but we didn't need no stinkin' lanterns.....
Then I stumbled upon this wall of cool rings.
They looked like crowns from the side.
(If you had a really really really big head....)
They will all eventually be made into chandeliers.
Soooooo.....
after screwing around for a while, not focusing on what we were supposed to be doing.
Just looking at all the neat stuff....
Kris and I got down to the serious business of finding a pair of old carriage lamps to bracket her front door.
We found this pair, but they were too big.
Then we got distracted by more chandeliers....
I loved this one that's all metal rings.
One of the owners was in the back part of the barn and came out to see if we needed any help. Next thing that happened was that the three of us ended up spending around 1/2 hour chatting about all the cool things that could be made from the various parts that were strewn around the place.
I mean, don't you just want this?????
He's making it into a fabulous hanging light for some university or library or restaurant or something or other, I can't remember, it was this past summer that we were there.
He told us that in the front barn there were a pair of carriage lamps that he thought would be what we wanted, so we agreed to meat him up there.
On the way we got distracted.
They had a couple of miniature horses that required some of my time.
The horse didn't know that it required some of my time, 
so I needed to convince explain it to him.
or her.....
Finally she (or he) deigned to accept some grass from my hands.
Then Kris pulled me away to get back to work
Then Kris and I entered the front barn, where we found this pair of carriage lights that were the perfect style and scale.
They were old and beat up, just like us.


Kris and I discussed with the restorer how we wanted them refurbished, and I must say they did a really nice job.
We had them installed on either side of her front door, and they looked truly handsome.
So that's it for stories about Kris's front porch, until the spring, when we will add the finishing touches.
On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Porch Furniture for Kris

I don't know if you guys can remember back a while, but I was telling you about my buddy Kris's front porch redo.
We had gotten this far......
Here's a before and after to help your feeble minds recall the project from the beginning.
We still have to add the dark green shutters, and re-roof.....and do the sides of the house.....
but at least we got the furniture!!!!!
I helped Kris with the floorplan, putting a sofa in front of the windows on the left side with a chair perpendicular to create a seating group.
The chair had to be a small one, as there wasn't much depth to the porch, so I chose the dining chair as apposed to the lounging chair in this Lloyd Flounders collection, called Nantucket.
We still need to find a bench to place in front of the sofa that will serve as a coffee table.
It can also work as an ottoman if you put a toss pillow on it.
That's what I do with mine in Flerida.
On the other side of the porch, we placed 3 rocking chairs.
Kris didn't want 4, as she felt that her house would look like a nursing home.
(She is getting on in years.....)
She found two pairs of lily pad nesting tables that she will put between the rockers in the spring.
I didn't take a picture of them, so I grabbed this image off the World Wide Web so you guys would know what I was going on about.....
I had found a pair the year before last for next to my napping reading chair, and I love them.
There is a level for the newspapers, and a level for my iPad.....
Kris and I didn't want to use wicker tables, as we like to mix up our materials. She found this table online and we felt it would be the perfect size next to the sofa.
Next spring, we will decide what to do with the top.
We like beat up, but it may need a leetle help.
Kris found this iron bunny several years ago and has been storing it in her basement special storage area for when the porch was done.
It's her attack bunny.
Any body coming to the house with harm in their hearts, may end up tripping over it.
(So, if you have harm in your hearts, you'll be attacked by a hart!!!!!)
At the other end of the sofa we placed this wonderful 3 tiered plant stand that will do double duty.
It will hold plants.....
AND IT WILL HOLD DRINKS!!!!!
It's a plant stand....
no it's a drink table....
No It's Both!!!!!
Kris has a condition which causes unknown and unusual objects to follow her home.
They just mysteriously appear in her basement.
The little stand below did just that.
But don't worry, we will find a place to use it.
I swear, every time I go down to her cellar, there's new stuff.
Her go to answer is "What do you mean????? I've had that for years!!!!!"
She must think that I'm as gullible as her husband.
Well, 
I'm not!!!!!
I'm a very accomplished decorator with amazing powers of observation!!!!!

Anyway...
where was I????
Oh, yeah, decorating Kris's porch.

We chose fabric that resembled French grain sacks, but is an all weather material.
And very comfy.
This is a hugely important detail, as my very qualified decorating @$$ plans on spending tons of time on these cushions.
Kris's sister's dog agrees.
He's too cute for just on picture, so here's another...., 
Sooooooo.....
Now that there's snow on the ground, I felt it was time to finish up writing about her porch.

On that note,
Later, Gator
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Betsy's back for another post!!!!!

As you guys have probably guessed.
I've been busy working on my fabric line., 
I'm starting to get the hang of it.
I met with Josh last week, and it really helps to have another set of eyes and another brain looking at a design.
Designing in a vacuum just doesn't work.
That's why I have a house keeper!!!!!!
Josh is the absolutely gorgeous studdly young man that owns the showroom I work with at the Boston Design Center.
It's called Studio 534, and I've been involved with it from it's birth.
He calls me his "design mom", as I think of him in a sonnly way.
You know, like a son.....
sonnly....
I'm making up words in my solitude and wacko fabric studio.
(commonly referred to as my study)
I've known him since he was 23 and working as a sales person in another showroom.
Even as a youngster like that (he's just turned 40!!!!!, I can't believe it.....), he was amazingly organized and capable. 
So when he told me he was opening his own showroom in 2007, I was more than eager to help him.
Studio 534 officially opened in 2008.....
talk about GOOD TIMING!!!!!
But he persevered, 
even through the recession,
 because designers love him so much, and like doing business with him.
(But he keeps assuring me that I'm his favorite.)
(He's a man, so I'm sure he only says that to me.....)

Sooooooo......
that was just a little explanation of the guy I am hooking my star to.
( that's because I am way to old to be hooking.....)
( my jokes are just getting worse and worse....)
(NOW aren't you glad I haven't been blogging?????)

Anyway.....
I am down in Florida for a couple of weeks, so I thought I would take a break from my fabrics, and write a blog post.
It has absolutely nothing to do with the comments I started to receive about how long I've gone without posting.
You, my lovely readers, have no power over me, so don't start getting any swelled heads.

Since I hadn't been in my Florida house since last season, there were lots of surprises waiting for me.
Last year it was rats.
This year it is Palmetto Bugs, the largest @#$ roaches I've ever seen.
I saw two in the kitchen square dancing, and immediately ran out of there hyperventilating.
After I girded my loans, and stole back into the room, they had made like a magic act and disappeared.
Well,
 you know, as well as I do, that if you see two roaches,
 there are bound to be a gazillion more 
that's probably all you have in the house!!
AND DON'T FORGET THE MEALY BUGS!!!!!
Who knew they liked sugarless gum????
Heaps of bodies under the gum.
heaps!!!!!
I arrived in Florida Sunday night,
and had the exterminator here by Monday morning.
I've had to throw out all my food staples and wipe down my whole pantry.
Don't get me started about the dead beetle bodies crammed into the ribbed rubber gasket along the top of my freezer drawer.
GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS

I've gone through a whole roll of paper towels.
And my wireless printer only works if I connect it to my computer with a cable.

YIPPEE!! I'M ON VACATION!!!!!

Now, let me tell you about my computer....
I thought it would be a good idea to replace my old laptop.
The CD drive no longer works.
One of the USB ports no longer works.
The battery no longer charges.
I have to tape painters tape around it when I travel, as it no longer latches shut.
And it is SLOWWWWWW.....

So I thought "Betsy, why don't you buy a new computer?"
So,
I started doing research.
For my work at the computer designing fabrics, I use a touch tablet from Intuos.
I can "draw" this way on my computer.
But it needs to be connected to my laptop, and it is just like a big silver touch pad that uses a pen stylus.
Well, I won't get into the particulars of what I bought and why, after reading lots of reviews, 
(because if it's boring me to type it, it must be boring you to read it.)
Let me just tell you that I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 3.
Surface Pro 3
I bought it from Staples.
I bought everything but the monitor from Staples.
Most of what I needed they had to ship in from their warehouses.
I had to go to Staples once or twice a day for the whole week.
(Sometimes, I would get an email saying the stuff was in the store when it wasn't)
(So I would drive over to get it.)
(And it wouldn't be there yet, just on the truck.)
(And I couldn't call because there was something wrong with their phones.)
(Everyone at that store knows what I look like and the sound of my voice......)

Soooooo...
After dealing with Adobe trying to get Photoshop and Illustrator downloaded.....
5 @#$ hours on the phone over the course of two days.....
I finally had everything up and running.
And there I was, sitting on my sofa, working on the details of one of my fabric designs.
I used it for two days.
I HATED IT!!!!!
The Photoshop menus are so small, that on a 
12 inch screen it was near impossible to click on anything.
And I didn't like the way it felt to draw.
Or the way it worked as a drawing tablet.
SOOOOOO.....
after the week of torture, I am returning EVERYTHING.

There went my fantasy of having a light carry on piece of luggage because I wouldn't need to haul my big computer around with me.

So, I packed up my trusty old laptop, and came on down to Florida.
BUT!!!!!
Since the battery no longer charges, I left that in Massachusetts, making my load just a little lighter.

I promise to write about decorating while I'm down here taking it easy.
But today's post was to catch you up with the glammer filled life of a fabric designer.

On that note,
Later, Gator
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Friday, October 10, 2014

It's ME, betsy!!!!!
Did you miss me????? Do you remember who I am?????
In honor of the fact that I am finally writing the next chapter of the adventure of redoing Kris's porch.....
I TOOK A SHOWER!!!!!
sooooooo
take a deep whiff, and let's get to it!
(don't you wish this was one of those scratch and sniff thingies?????)

We left off at this point in the transformation.
Kris had a fantasy
 (that has now been fulfilled by the designer genie....Betsy)
 to spend lazy days on the porch spying on watching the people of the neighborhood walk by.
In order to do this,
SHE NEEDED A PLACE TO PUT HER TUSHY!
So we went place putting tushy shopping, and chose outdoor wicker by Lloyd Flanders.
There's a convenient shop near where we live that sells all sorts of garden stuff.
It's called Seasons Four and is in Lexington Massachusetts.
Kris did a lot of in depth research.
Placing her tushy all over the store.
She's a reference librarian, so she's very good at research.
She be workin' hard!!!!!
We chose the Nantucket style as it was appropriate for the period of the house.
I was able to stuff in do a floorplan that accommodated plenty of seating for Kris's family and friends.
I placed a sofa and chair on one side of the porch, and three rockers on the other side. 
We used the dining chair for the seat perpendicular to the sofa, as the porch wasn't deep enough for the width of the lounge chair.
I also liked that the back pillow was small, allowing the open weave to show.
There was room for four rockers on the other side of the porch, but we were worried about it looking like an old folk's home.
(even though she and her hubby ain't the young chickens that they once were.....)

We then dove into eBay and Craig's List looking for old tables to finish the floorplan.
I have yet to take the final pictures, as I was waiting for the last table to arrive.....
and then Kris had to go on a trip to the southern tip of Africa.
She is very inconsiderate of my readers.

OY!!!!!
I just remembered that I told you guys that I would write about finding the antique carriage wall sconces in this post.
It was going to be a really go one too.....
Soooooo...
I'll do it next time.

On that note,
Latah, Gatah
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