Archive for February, 2009

Orange-Chocalate Pudding

Stripping the stairs is, hands down, absolutely the most disgusting project I’ve worked on so far.



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Frautschi Wardrobe

Rather than a movie or dinner or something a reasonable couple would do, Missy and I took advantage of my parents’ visit to pick up furniture with Dad’s giant diesel pickup.  We’ve had to pass on so many great Craigslist/ReStore/antique store finds because a Hyundai’s trunk is only so big.  It’s a sad story, I know.  This is Part I of a two-part saga entitled: What We Brought Home In Dad’s Pickup Instead of Going to Slumdog Millionaire or Milk. Part II features a pair of book-matched quartersawn-oak doors, so that’s one you’ll want to stay tuned for.


When Missy’s teaching in Madison, it’s up to Josie and me to shop for antiques next door.  This wardrobe was marked $60 (down from $395), but it was in the half-price room – score.  Still, $30 is only a good deal if we have a way to get it home from Madison.  Enter Grandpa Dan and his giant diesel Chevy.  25 mpg and enough room in the back to hold a dozen of these wardrobes.  Which would still be $35 less than the original price.


The veneer is in less than great shape and the finish is pretty sorry, but we’re going to take a page from Apartment Therapy and paint it robin’s egg blue.  It’s going in the upstairs hallway, where the fugly, hulking built-in with louvred doors sits now.  I’d reconsider taking down the built-in closet if it was original, if it was built nicely, or if we needed an upstairs coat closet, but it isn’t, it’s not, and we don’t.   I’m replacing the wardrobe’s mirror (not original) with a piece of 1/4″ plywood, and the half-broken rounded pieces on the front legs have alrady been thrown away.


As low as the price was and as nice as the dresser will look in the hallway, my favorite part is the stamp on the back.  C. Frautschi & Sons was a Madison furniture company founded in 1869 by a Swiss immigrant named Christian Frautschi.  In 1927, it was incorporated as Frautschi, Inc, so our wardrobe is at least that old.   The local history doesn’t end there.  One of Christian”s grandsons – Walter – chaired the board that raised money for Madison’s original Civic Center.  When the the city was ready to replace Walter’s civic center, they turned to his son – Jerry Frautschi.  Jerry had previously given tens of millions to help build the Frank Lloyd Wright Monona Terrace, and this $100 million gift would be used to build the Overture Center.


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Get sprung already

Look spring, this chair demands to be on the porch, OK?  We’re ready, you’re ready – let’s just do this thing.


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Back tomorrow morning – promise.  We spent a long weekend in Madison so Missy could teach, then my parents came to visit The Finest Granddaughter In Recorded History.  We’re just getting back into a normal schedule, which includes posting on the houseblog, but certainly not doing any real, actual, hard work in the house.  Nothing like the plumbing saga poor Christopher over at Shaker Heights has run into after tearing out his library ceiling.

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It’s all coming off – three layers of paint from the stairs and one (thankfully) layer of wallpaper border from the dining room.  All prep-work for February, which is National We Get Stuff Painted Month.  The upstairs trim will be off-white (the original color – the brown you see is faux-grain), the stairwell will be medium gray, and the dining room & kitchen will be dusty blue.  I have the official names somewhere, but I don’t think they’d be any more desciptive.


I can't figure out how to citri-strip the centers in a way that still lets us use the stairs. Suggestions?


Here's a public service announcement - no one's going to steal your wallpaper border, so you don't have to secure it so tightly

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Hot or not?


Q1: Chalkboard walls – hot or not?

Q1a: If yes, where?  Kitchen? Dining room?  Kids room?  Office?  Uh, bathroom?

Q1b: If no, is it the dust?  Is that what bothers you?  Or dinner guests scratching their nails on it?

Q2: Is it functional or is it art?  It can’t be both, so no weasel-ey answers.



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Me too!

Christopher is looking at cheap rugs on ebay, and now so am I.  After I take the carpet out of the office, I want an old, threadbare Turkish/Persian rug for the room.  Like something I brought back from a foreign adventure.  From what I’ve seen on ebay, $100 shipped is not out of the range of possibility here.





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