Thursday, January 26, 2017

Basement Stairway

When the world all around you seems to be going crazy (or at least social media is), I suggest a hands-on project to get your mind off of it. Practical work, and prayer, seem to be the best ways for me to cope with stressors in my life. Sometimes it means I clean out my clothes closet, sometimes it means I tackle an organization project. More recently, it has been a painting project (big surprise there).

I give you: The Basement Stairway!  


I have no idea how old this green paint is, but based on the dirt and dust build-up, it's old. 
It's textured: gritty and sand-like. The hooks here are nice and convenient, but 
because the basement door has glass panes, we can see the stairway. I decided last week that I was tired of looking at dirty old green paint. I took the hooks down, and the guys who are dipping and stripping our interior doors put them in the vat to get the paint off. They didn't look so great, but with a bit of spray paint, they look like new. The basement walls need painted, but that will happen in time. As always, I am so amazed what a little caulk and fresh paint can do.


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

China Collection

Once upon a time, I actively collected china cups and saucers. The first thing I ever bid on (and won) at an auction was a china cup and saucer. And when I was in high school, I bought myself a whole set of antique china at an antique store in central PA.

I don't buy china things anymore, but I've kept (most of) my collection. I got rid of a few things that I didn't really like, or that didn't have any sentimental value. I even considered getting rid of my set of china dishes, because, really, how often will I use them? But I still have them. I still like them. And I plan to start using them now that they have been unpacked and the boxes and paper recycled.

When we lived in Baltimore, we were given an old china cabinet that was in a house a friend of ours had purchased. A couple years ago, when I knew we were going to move, (but didn't know where yet) I packed up all that china and we got rid of the old cabinet.

Now that we've settled into this house, I started itching for a china cabinet, so I could unpack those boxes! I've been checking craigslist (once a day) for a number of weeks, checking out etsy, and I even visited some antique stores in the region. I found two that I liked. One was in North Carolina (a bit too far away to look at, and then there's the logistics of shipping a china cabinet) and one was close by. The one close by was just the style I wanted, but one of the doors didn't close and there was a crack in a decorative piece on top. I really liked that cabinet so I considered whether it would be worthwhile to take it to a furniture repair person. In the end, I decided it wasn't worth the hassle. Through craigslist, I ended up finding another cabinet relatively close by that I liked. And thanks to some friends who loaned us their truck, Dan and I were able to pick it up. So that's done.

It's fun to get new things, but it also becomes exhausting after a while. And when time drags by, and I deliberate about what decision to make, I start feeling cranky and annoyed at the whole experience. I just want to make a decision and be done already! And I start feeling like I'm just running after material possessions. And I don't like that. I don't enjoy feeling as if I am trapped by stuff.

So I'm glad, and thankful, that I found a cabinet I like. It's not perfect. It's old, so it has some wear and tear, but all in all, it does what it's meant to do.

I didn't get an exact date from the sellers, but based on who in their family originally owned it, I think it fits the time period of when our house was built.

This shelf below belonged to my grandmother. It, along with the cups and saucers, were packed away the entire time we rented. Once we moved to this house, I finally unpacked them, and we hung up the shelf. Elena is asking when we can have a tea party. One of these days I need to plan one!