Finishing Touches on the Saw Blade Sign

I thought I was totally finished my saw blade project back here.

We spent much of Saturday using "bespoke" in a sentence.

We spent much of Saturday using “bespoke” in a sentence.

But after it dried it still needed something so I used a silver Sharpie to make dots on the word “bespoke”.

White oil paint Sharpie

White oil paint Sharpie

And when I bought my regular Sharpies I also purchased a two-pack of Sharpie white paint pens.

The paint pen brightened up the lines.

The paint pen brightened up the lines and made them more opaque.

I traced over all the white lines with the paint pen.  Next time I would use the paint pen for the entire project.

The pictures don't look much different but the project is really finished this time.

The pictures don’t look much different but the project is really finished this time.

It’s ready to be delivered to the belt maker.  I wonder where he’ll hang it.

What did your Valentine give you? A saw blade sign?

The Propane Heater in the Cottage

Glade Cottage, our guest house, is heated by a propane heater.

I installed the programmable thermostat all by myself.

I installed the programmable thermostat all by myself.

It is hooked up to a programmable thermostat which I installed many years ago, even before I started the blog in 2011.

After a broken pipe in the attic caused a mess we were careful to heat the Cottage above freezing or drain the pipes.

After a broken pipe in the attic caused a mess we were careful to heat the Cottage above freezing or drain the pipes.

It has always worked well keeping the Cottage warm enough to prevent frozen pipes.

We think the blower is not working.

We think the blower is not working.

Charlie diagnosed the issue and discovered that the pilot light was on and the burner fired up.  However, the fan/blower which distributes the heat was not turning on.

The fan seemed to move easily in the casing when Charlie moved it with his hand.

The fan seemed to move easily in the casing when Charlie moved it with his hand.

After reading the “trouble shooting” list he fiddled with the fan blades which were moving easily in the housing.  So he ruled out that the fan was jammed.

When a flames was held to the switch it clicked then the fan began to turn slowly.

When a flame was held to the switch it clicked then the fan began to turn slowly.

The next check was the switch that turns the fan on.  He talked to a technician from a local company who told him to check the switch by lighting a match right near it:

  1.  If you hear a click and blower comes on you know it’s the switch;
  2. If you don’t hear a click then it’s the switch; or
  3. If you hear a click but the fan/blower doesn’t come on then it’s the blower.

Our outcome was number 1 above so we ordered a new fan control switch (about $20) and were getting ready to switch it out when we discovered the burner may not be firing (the thermostat was set to 52 and the room temperature was 32).

Blower switch.

Blower switch.

More research needed.

Do you dabble in areas where you know nothing?

The New Knobs

I was looking for knobs and drawer pulls for the linen closet just outside the master bathroom.

The vanity came with its own hardware.

The vanity came with its own hardware.

I wanted them to go with the knobs and Crémone bolts that came with the master vanity.

I bought 4 Advantage Plus 937 Advantage Plus 5 Knobs and 2 Lauréy 527 Nantucket Pulls from AGTStores.

I bought 4 Advantage Plus 937 Advantage Plus 5 Knobs and 2 Lauréy 527 Nantucket Pulls from AGTStores.

I ordered everything from ATGStores.com using a 15% discount coupon for less than $20.

The new knob is on the left.

The new knob is on the left.

The door knobs are from Berenson — weathered nickel finish.

I like how the ridges on the drawer pulls echo those on the Crémone bolt.

I like how the ridges on the drawer pulls echo those on the Crémone bolt.

The drawer pulls are made by Laurey —  antique pewter finish.

The smaller knob (on the right) that came with the vanity looked better than the larger knob.

The smaller knob (on the right) that came with the vanity looked better than the larger knob.

I tried the knobs that came with the vanity and the new knobs on a vanity drawer and decided to stick with the original plan — using the new knobs on the linen closet.

Please ignore the disarray on top of the cabinet -- those are our lighting fixtures and towel bars that still need to be installed in the bathroom.

Please ignore the disarray on top of the cabinet — those are our lighting fixtures and towel bars that still need to be installed in the bathroom.

I applied the knobs to the doors of the linen closet.  The bottom already had holes from its previous incarnation.  I drilled new holes in the upper cabinet and bolted on the knobs. (I spaced the knobs with this useful doodad.)

Eventually the vanity will be pushed back out of the doorway.

Eventually the vanity will be pushed back out of the doorway.

These knobs and pulls, while not even by the same manufacturer, go very well together.

The screws are spaced 3 inches apart but the overall length is closer to 4 inches.

The screws are spaced 3 inches apart but the overall length is closer to 4 inches.

I wanted to add a tip here for putting on drawer pulls that have 2 holes. When drilling allow a little extra play in the hole to help the bolts line up with the screw holes.  At first I had drilled a tidy little hole which I then had to ream out with a Phillips screwdriver. The pulls came with 2 pairs of screws — 1″ (too short) and 1.5″ (too long) — I had to use 1.25″ screws that I had on hand.

We'll have to move the bottom cabinet out in order to lay the floor.

We’ll have to move the bottom cabinet out in order to lay the floor.

Once the bathroom plumbing is finished and the hallway floor is laid I’ll be happy to “stage” the linen closet. Until then .  .  .

What little update are you making for under $20?

Teapots

I was sure I had more than the 3 teapots I found in the kitchen cabinets.

A lovely variety of teapots.

A lovely variety of teapots.

I trekked up into the attic (not my favorite thing) and found a box labeled “teapots”. Woo hoo!

The little brown and the little blue pots are for single servings of breakfast tea.

The little brown and the little blue pots are for single servings of breakfast tea.

There were items in the box I don’t even remember having so everything must have belonged to Mother.

The Franconia teapot ("Gretchen" pattern) was purchased in 1935 Berlin by my son's great-grandfather.

The Franconia teapot (“Gretchen” pattern) was purchased in 1935 Berlin by my son’s great-grandfather.

I am happy to have extra teapots to use at my tea parties.

I added small teapots to the left and right of the gold one.

I added small teapots to the left and right of the gold one.

Is this an individual teapot or a single chocolate pot? Either way it's dainty and cute.

Is this an individual teapot or a single chocolate pot? Either way it’s dainty and cute.

This Noritake teapot is also scrumptious.

This Noritake teapot is also scrumptious.

Two of the pots were so pretty and unusual I added them to the mantel decoration.

Handpainted Noritake bowl with pink roses.

Handpainted Noritake bowl with pink roses.

In addition there were two Noritake bowls which reminded me of the “Belle Epoch” era when tea parties were plentiful.

Another smaller bowl with only one handle which ties together the golds/oranges and pinks I've been decorating with.

Another smaller bowl with only one handle which ties together the golds/oranges and pinks I’ve been decorating with.

I’ll have to use them because they go right along with the pink rose theme I’m planning for the décor.

A lidded butter dish.

A lidded butter dish.

This treasure trove reminded me that I have a porcelain butter dish.

Isn't this a treat? Maybe I can think of some other small food item that needs to be kept chilled other than butter.

Isn’t this a treat? Maybe I can think of some other small food item that needs to be kept chilled other than butter.

An old-fashioned butter dish has a perforated tray which sits on crushed ice to keep the butter from melting on during warm dinners. What can I serve to use this neat little piece?

The responses are rolling in.

The responses are rolling in.

I’m having so much fun planning this tea party.  I’ve already had some taste testings of petit fours.  It’s a hardship, I know, but someone has to do it.

Have you tried a new food recently that you’re craving?

Tied Up in Taxes

This is the time of year we pull together all the financial information from the prior year so we can file our tax return.

Charlie plays the piano with animation. He can't help it.

Charlie plays the piano with animation. He can’t help it.

We both individually file a Schedule C (Self-employment) with our tax return even though the businesses for both of us are called “Charlie and Jo”.

Schedule C for people who are self-employed.

Schedule C for people who are self-employed.

Charlie is a piano player and I am a singer/manager. Charlie determines how many gigs he’s done and how much money he made. I consolidate his reckonings with my own.

Mileage counts for the most expense for musicians.

Mileage counts for most of the expense for musicians.

We both figure out the mileage for our cars that constitutes getting to and from music engagements.

We're a frugal pair expenses-wise.

We’re a frugal pair expenses-wise.

I calculate investments and expenses both for our personal finances and our business finances. In addition to filling out the multiple page tax packet our accountant sends I also make a cheat sheet  summary version that’s easy for me to see how the money came and went.

This tax information packet is my project.

This tax information packet is my project.

No fun!

Do you prepare your own taxes?

The Cottage is Going Up

By going up I mean all the systems are breaking down.

Glade Cottage in Spring

Glade Cottage in Spring

We The Cottage needs a new hot water heater.  That’s been true for some time now.

The water heater in The Cottage needs to be replaced.

The water heater in The Cottage needs to be replaced.

I priced it out at about $1000.

The pile of trim is resting comfortably in the Cottage along with lots of other future projects.

The pile of trim is resting comfortably in the Cottage along with lots of other future projects.

I don’t go over to the Cottage much in the winter partly because I know it’s filled with the rest of the trim that needs to be installed in the house.  Miles of it.

Programmable Thermostat in the Cottage is attached to a propane furnace.

A programmable thermostat in the Cottage is attached to a propane furnace.

I went into the Cottage this past Saturday and realized it was cooooooold. The thermostat was set on 52 but the temperature in the room was 37. Not good.

Propane furnace is on the wall just past the bed in the Cottage.

Propane furnace is on the wall just past the bed in the Cottage.

The pilot light in the propane furnace was lit and the furnace would come on but the fan which distributes the heat wasn’t coming on.

The heater is difficult to get to with all the building debris on the bed.

The heater is difficult to get to with all the building debris on the bed. Charlie squeezed in the space near it, took off the front, and assessed the situation.

Charlie thinks the fan switch is faulty so I ordered a new one which he said is easy to install. We’ll see.

The water pipe runs up the corner of the wall across the attic and into the bathroom. It has popped apart just above the window.

The water pipe runs up the corner of the wall across the attic and into the bathroom. It has popped apart just below the curtain rod.

Let me preface this next little bit by saying the water in the Cottage has been turned off and the pipes drained so I’m not anticipating a problem if the pipes freeze. However I happened to look in the corner where the waterline comes into the Cottage and noticed it is completely apart.

Interior of Glade Cottage when everything was working.

Interior of Glade Cottage when everything was working.

Getting the Cottage back into usable shape is going to be more of a project than I first thought, not to mention the price tag keeps going up.

And the exterior needs to be painted. Desperately.

Are you longing for Spring?

Getting My Act Together

Since I generally only have Saturday’s free and the next couple of weekends include parties and musicales, I started collecting the things I need for our tea parties.

Afton by Heuschenreuther

Afton by Heuschenreuther

First, Charlie hauled his grandmother’s pink-flowered, gold-rimmed china from the attic.

My collection of cookie cutters did not include a heart shape.

My collection of cookie cutters did not include a heart shape.

Then I looked in my stash of cookie cutters for a heart-shaped cutter.  I have a giraffe, an elephant, and even a dachshund — no heart.

I plan to use the heart-shaped cutters for tea sandwiches.

I plan to use the heart-shaped cutters for tea sandwiches.

I stopped by Wegman’s looking for petit fours and rock candy stirs.  Those two items were bust but I found a set of Valentine cutters which included 2 hearts for under $2.

Pitchers and jelly jars.

Pitchers and jelly jars.

While in the attic I found a box of my mother’s pitcher collection.

This pitcher holds about 12 ounces.

This pitcher holds about 12 ounces.

I especially love the blue and gold windmill pitcher.

Not sure about the basket at the tea party but it is sweet.

Not sure about the basket at the tea party but it is sweet.

I also pulled from the kitchen cabinet over the refrigerator our crystal cake plate and Longaberger silverware caddy.

The bakery decorated Super Bowl week's petit fours with footballs -- unsuccessful, I think.

The bakery decorated Super Bowl week’s petit fours with footballs — unsuccessful, I think.

Happily I have found perfectly lovely petit fours for 99 cents at a local grocer.  According to the server behind the counter they always have them.  This week lemon and red velvet were available.  I tried the two-bite lemon which was delicious.

Did you watch the Super Bowl? (I watched Downton Abbey.)