Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Please visit me at my new home:

Monday, August 4, 2008

The hunt for the perfect chrome cabinet pull

In one of my earlier posts, I detailed our current (ugly) cabinet hardware, and how disappointed I was to find out it was original to the house. It would have been easier to discard that cabinet hardware if it had been an 80s addition or the like.

Let's just say I got over my anxiety of switching out the original hardware. I thought it was ugly before, and it's still ugly, even if it's original. I envision chrome cabinet pulls for my kitchen, so I need to stick with what feels right. Stick with what's right! Do what you want! Listen to your gut! I sound like a syrupy sweet 70's style self-esteem film strip. (Anyone remember "Free to Be You and Me?")

(I just realized that it's been eons since I've said the words "film strip." It sounds strange rolling off the tongue these days.)

The quest for the perfect chrome cabinet hardware wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. With all the retro and reproduction sites out there, I thought there had to be someone who specialized in this stuff. And there are sites like that -- if you count the sites that categorize their selection by finish so that you can browse through the 1500 chrome handles that they carry. It's a little overwhelming.

There were a couple of looks that I was going for. I thought it would be cool to have the "chevron" handles -- the v-shaped ones that frequently appeared on dressers. Let me tell you right now that it's nearly impossible to find those. I got really excited when I found a site that carried them ... only to click on the link and be told that their site is down for maintenance. (And has been for days ... must be a big job.) I knew the search was becoming fruitless when images like these started popping up in the search results:

My search terms: "chevron cabinet pull."

How this came up, I have no idea.

So ... second vision for cabinet hardware: a chrome arched cabinet pull that has etched lines in it -- kind of what you'd normally find on the steel cabinets. These ones are relatively inexpensive, and have a nice retro look to them.

Another option would be a classic chrome arch with tapered ends. There are many of this style to choose from, but for me, price was the main concern. I'll have to switch out cabinet pulls and hinges, on everything, so the cost will escalate quickly if I'm not careful. I would recommend starting here at the myknobs.com website. This is the only website I've found so far that has all their finishes broken down into very specific categories. Other sites I've found have subcategories such as "light finishes" or no subcategories at all. When you know the finish you are looking for, why waste time wading through anything else? The search is agonizing enough as it is.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fun with ads from the 50s

I love perusing through 50s magazines, but there's one detail that has started to disturb me. I understand that the ads of the day wanted to portray a feeling of happiness. After all, a new dishwasher = happiness, does it not?

Yet I don't understand why the artists had to go overboard on this one. In many advertisements, the drawn figures look downright scary -- happy to the point of mania. Wide eyes, mouth hanging open, empty stare ... it's what bad B movies are all about.

It's a trend, I tell you. I see it more and more often. Here's just a sampling.

New steel kitchens and shiny sinks can certainly do this to people. I totally understand.

BUT ....

Would it make you DANCE, too?

Note scary, empty, manic stare.

Both of these came from the same ad.

Brooms. They're not just for sane people.

What do you think this is an ad for? Telephones?

Bed ruffles?


If you guessed "contoured sheets," then you're right on.

I don't know about you, but I don't remember when I've ever had this much fun with contoured sheets before. One question: why is the woman on the left talking on the phone when she obviously has company? And what kind of friend would just barge in on a private phone conversation and start checking out the sheets?

From a hot water heater ad ...

He's right ... glass can't rust.

But who in his right mind would get THIS EXCITED about it?

Do not stare directly into his eyes. You'll never be the same.

This is one of my all-time favorite ads. It happens to be for light bulbs, but you'd never know it from the artwork. (Click on the photo to see a full sized version. You won't regret it.)

About 60% of these people look normal. There's positive manic zombie ID in the guy playing cards.
My favorite? The two guys in the middle. Are they dead, or just in the middle of a seizure? The guy on the right looks like he's doing his best donkey impression (hee-haw!) while the guy on the left looks uncannily like a narcoleptic George Bush.

Then there's the woman who -- very snootily, I might add -- is checking out the hostess' fridge. What exactly did she expect to see in there?

One lingering question: why is everyone crammed into this kitchen? Does a living room not exist?

Oh, that's right. Those GE lightbulbs just put this kitchen in a PARTY MOOD.

And finally -- a car ad. I love these ads because they usually show the couple in the car laughing like simpletons.

Though his face is partially obscured, you can tell the guy is totally with the program. He's smiling like a goon. But the wife, pressed up against the door with a fakey little smile on her face, says she's had enough of his manic laughing and smiling over a freakin' car. Get over it, already.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A holding pattern

Last Monday, I got a call from my contractor that said he could start as soon as we could give him a check for materials so Menards could deliver sometime this week. One problem: we're waiting on the bank. Actually, we were waiting on one final estimate. In fact, we waited for that estimate all week! Finally I just wrote down a number that was at least twice as much as the job would actually cost (shower install) and gave the numbers to the bank. Now, we wait.

Oh, it's going to be a good day when that money comes through. I'm going to be ordering that cracked ice chrome table faster than a wino hits the jug. Priorities, you see. So what if the table has to sit in the breezeway while the actual dining room is being crafted? At least I'll have it. And I'll gaze at it late at night. I might even talk to it, too. It depends how late it is.

A breath of fresh air

I really hate having the A/C on 24/7, but I do so for my husband's sleeping comfort and for the kids. Oh, all right, I guess I don't exactly want to be sleeping in a room clogged with 80% humidity, either. But it makes me feel like such a wuss. It's almost as I can hear one of my Swedish ancestors while he shakes his head, muttering "WE didn't have air conditioning when we lived in the log cabin, and we survived just fine."

Then I realize that my Swedish ancestors probably would have sawed off their right arms in order to enjoy A/C in the middle of a Midwestern August, and it makes me feel better.

(Now, if I can only get my ancestors to quit talking to me, I can shake this guilt complex once and for all.)

This morning I felt a tinge of relief when I opened the front door to let my wayward cat Lucky into the house. A cool, fresh morning! We hadn't had one of those in so long that I just stood there with the door open for a few minutes to make sure it wasn't my imagination.

I was careful not to lean out too far. No need letting the neighbors take a peek at my granny jammies. Not that I'm normally paranoid about stuff or think that anyone would care, but as a teacher, I'm always aware of who may be observing me. And I am painfully aware that I live next to two houses where students reside. So I'm careful, y'know? No need to have the entire school knowing that Mrs. W looks like a cross dressing Frankenstein when she wakes up. I know that ... they don't have to.

Of course, it is Saturday ... 7:45 a.m. I think I'm safe.