Happy Thanksgiving

Our chef at work made my turkey, chestnut stuffing, gravy, and cranberry-orange relish.

Our Thanksgiving turkey this year has a spicy rub.
Our Thanksgiving turkey this year has a spicy rub.

I’m responsible for the vegetables: corn and mashed potatoes.

We have some spicy gravy and turkey both to make more.
We have some spicy gravy and turkey both to make more.

And maybe some more gravy.

Last year we had pumpkin pie from real pumpkin. This year it's sweet potato pie.
Last year we had pumpkin pie from real pumpkin. This year it’s sweet potato pie.

Another friend made us a sweet potato pie.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving — that’s what we’re planning.

What’s your signature dish.

Double Fail

Number 4 on yesterday’s list was to find a robe hook for the conservatory bathroom.

I want a hook near the shower.
I want a hook near the shower.

I want to hang a sturdy hook because my terrycloth bathrobe is heavy.

A ceramic frog hook.
A ceramic frog hook.

My first choice was a ceramic frog which was a gift.

The hook is crooked when hanging on a nail.
The hook is crooked when hanging on a nail.

I didn’t think it would work because the hook is kind of fragile.  The real reason it doesn’t work is because when I hung it by the hole on a nail it tilted sideways.

The Hobby Lobby mermaid costs about $4.
The Hobby Lobby mermaid costs about $4.

So I went shopping at Marshalls, Home Goods, Etsy, and Hobby Lobby to find a more appropriate hook. I finally settled on an iron mermaid from Hobby Lobby.  Her tail is the hook.

The mermaid hook is the right style of rustic.
The mermaid hook is the right style of rustic.

I’m afraid the mermaid won’t work either because she hangs on a loop on her back which does not keep the hook stable against the wall.

Maybe a blue hook would be better. I almost bought one.
Maybe a blue hook would be better. I almost bought one.

I’ll just have to keep looking but I’ll leave the scaly lady in place for now.

Any suggestions?

The Conservatory Bathroom — Almost Finished

Back in January we had a number of projects remaining in the conservatory bathroom.

The shower will be enclosed something like this.
The shower glass design.
The shower glass makes the room seems spacious.
The shower glass makes the room seems spacious.

The shower glass was installed in the middle of last January.

  1. The vanity needs to be trimmed with vintage wood.
    The conservatory vanity will be face with more old wood and a shelf built on the bottom area.
    The conservatory vanity needed to be faced with more old wood and a shelf built on the bottom area.

    The completed vanity.
    The completed vanity.
  2. The same wood will be used to close the plumbing access behind the shower head near the toilet.
    The area to the left of the toilet will be covered with shallow shelves made from vintage wood.
    The area to the left of the toilet will be covered with shallow shelves made from vintage wood.

    Working on the shelves to block the plumbing alcove.
    Working on the shelves to block the plumbing alcove.
  3. The plumber needs to check the showerhead because the flow is stifled.
    This showerhead has limited water pressure but the rest of the fixtures in the bathroom are fine. We think some pipe shavings got stuck in the showerhead.
    This showerhead had limited water pressure but the rest of the fixtures in the bathroom are fine. We think some pipe shavings got stuck in the showerhead.

    This showerhead is now working great.
    This showerhead is now working great.
  4. Towels bars near sink and robe hook near shower.
    Towel bars have been hung near the sink.
    Towel bars have been hung near the sink.

    Looking for a robe hook to hang on the board next to the shower.
    Looking for a robe hook to hang on the board next to the shower.
  5. Touch up paint that’s been nicked.

    The paint color in the conservatory bathroom is "Seed" by Valspar.
    The paint color in the conservatory bathroom is “Seed” by Valspar.
  6. Hang a mirror over sink.
    This mirror is a good size but I prefer to use it in the master bathroom.
    This mirror is a good size but I prefer to use it in the master bathroom.

    The over-sink mirror co-ordinates with the rustic look in the bathroom.
    The over-sink mirror co-ordinates with the rustic look in the bathroom.
  7. Hang a cabinet over toilet.
    The walls over the toilet need a small cabinet.
    The walls over the toilet need a small cabinet.

    The chart fits well above the toilet instead of a cabinet for now.
    The chart fits well above the toilet instead of a cabinet for now.
  8. Hang photos of the source of vintage wood.
    This diagonal sheathing which we removed from the house is being repurposed in the conservatory bathroom.
    This diagonal sheathing which we removed from the house is being repurposed in the conservatory bathroom.

    The house during demolition photos are hung in the bathroom because we used that wood to finish the vanity and shelves.
    The house during demolition photos are hung in the bathroom because we used that wood to finish the vanity and shelves.
  9. Find a rug for in front of the sink.
  10. Install tile backsplash behind sink.

    The conservatory sink NEEDS a tile backsplash.
    The conservatory sink NEEDS a tile backsplash.
  11. Paint the door and trim.
    The bathroom door along with other new doors needs to be painted.
    The bathroom door along with other new doors needs to be painted.

    Reviewing our progress from time to time lifts my spirits.

    Are you searching for a decorative item that is eluding you?

My Idea, Pretty Sure

I’ve been looking through December magazines and catalogs and noticed the color scheme I thought I created is showing up everywhere.

The aquas and berries have come together in the Cottage.
Aquas and berries have come together in the Cottage.

The Cottage is decorated in aqua (some might call it turquoise) and cranberry.

Why 006 Square Brass Chair for $2,650.
Why 006 Square Brass Chair for $2,650.

In Marie Claire’s gift guide is a chair designed by Francesco Della Femina in berry and turquoise, touted as the colors of Capri.

The Cottage rug has a southwestern design in cranberry and turquoise.
The Cottage rug has a southwestern design in cranberry and turquoise.

Then I was perusing Elle Décor where an alpine getaway in St. Moritz has rug almost like the one in the Cottage.

Oushak rug in an Alpine resort.
Oushak rug in an Alpine resort features cranberry and turquoise.

The late 19th century Oushak in Elle was probably upwards of $4000. The Cottage rug was $260.

The Cottage bed has a LJUSÖGA duvet cover from Ikea with tiny cranberry flowers and teal leaves.
The Cottage bed has a LJUSÖGA duvet cover from Ikea with tiny cranberry flowers and teal leaves costs $30.

Even in the bedroom there are aqua/cranberry options.

The Leona comforter would be a beautiful addition to Glade Cottage cranberry/aqua décor.
The Leona comforter would be a beautiful addition to Glade Cottage cranberry/aqua décor.

Pottery Barn has delved into the aqua/cranberry pool with the Leona reversible comforter.  Of all the items this comforter is affordable — $150.

Have you created something that you thought was original and then saw it someplace else?

Sometimes Things Just Work Out

Now that the conservatory bathroom vanity is finished we started working on closing in the access area behind the shower.

The area to the left of the toilet, behind the shower, will be covered with shallow shelves made from vintage wood.
The area to the left of the toilet, behind the shower, will be covered with shallow shelves made from vintage wood.

The conservatory vanity has a rustic style due to the vintage sheathing we removed from the house during the renovation.

The edge of the wall is 4 inches wide.
The edge of the wall is 4 inches wide.

I wanted to extend the look to the barrier in front of the opening by the toilet.

We tacked the 4-1/2-inch wide board to the wall with a pneumatic nailer.
We tacked the 4-1/2-inch wide board to the wall with a pneumatic nailer.

First, Charlie ripped the longest board to face the 4-1/2-inch edge of the shower.  Since the board was not quite long enough we added another short piece at the bottom.

The Kreg-jig holes will be hidden by the wall.
The Kreg-jig holes will be hidden by the wall.

After clearing out the space and collecting the necessary tools, using our Kreg jig we made 2 equal-sized frames which are ultimately going to hold shelving. Since the shelves were going wall-to-wall we drilled the pocket-screw holes on the outside of the side pieces.

The shelving frames are set in place.
The shelving frames are set in place.

The tops and bottoms of the frames were about half an inch smaller than the opening to allow for easy positioning.

The 2 by 4 base is narrower than the board width to create a toekick area,
The 2 by 4 base is narrower than the board width to create a toekick area,
The base is recessed about an inch and a half.
The base is recessed about an inch and a half.

We stacked the boxes on top of each other then slid a 2 by 4 base under them.

The boxes are stacked on top of each other for easy removal.
The boxes are stacked on top of each other for easy removal.

The boxes went all the way up to the ceiling creating a faux wall.

We have enough lumber to make shelves.
We have enough lumber to make shelves.

The next challenge is to cover the back and insert shelves.

Do you have a robe hook near your tub or shower?

Trying to Finish Up a Project

I would love to finish up the conservatory shelves today.

The area to the left of the toilet, behind the shower, will be covered with shallow shelves made from vintage wood.
The area to the left of the toilet, behind the shower, will be covered with shallow shelves made from vintage wood.

The space behind the shower is simply an access to the plumbing in case it ever needs to be repairs.

The lumber has been outside weathering.
The lumber has been outside weathering.

I have decided to stack two removable shelves made from our vintage lumber.

Before we ripped the boards Charlie sanded the dirt off leaving the rustic nature of the boards.
Before we ripped the boards Charlie sanded the dirt off leaving the rustic nature of the boards.

I don’t have a drawing or a plan — we’re just going to wing it.

The side porch has become the catchall for large items that ultimately go somewhere else.
The side porch has become the catchall for large items that ultimately go somewhere else.

I’d also love to clear off the porch to get it ready for a little Christmas décor.

Do you have a busy holiday planned?

Lady Finger Sandwiches with Pumpkin Pastry Cream

Just in time for Thanksgiving I’ve got a pumpkin recipe that will please the masses.  My guests described it as tasting “like pumpkin pie only better”.

24 lady fingers per box at Trader Joe's.
24 lady fingers per box at Trader Joe’s.
Lady fingers are very light.
Lady fingers are very light.

I started by making pumpkin pastry cream according to this recipe except I replaced the nutmeg with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves. Then I chilled it in the refrigerator where it became very firm.

Whipped cream is folded into pastry cream.
Whipped cream is folded into pastry cream.

I whipped up a pint of heavy whipping cream with about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar then folded the whipped cream into the pumpkin pastry cream. It became light and spreadable.

A schmear of pastry cream raises simple lady fingers to a new level.
A schmear of pastry cream raises simple lady fingers to a new level.

Having already purchased some lady fingers at the store I spread the light pastry cream on the flat side. (I also tried piping the cream. Either works.)

A delectable sweet treat.
A delectable sweet treat — light as air.

The cream spread lady finger was topped with another one to make a tiny, sweet, yummy sandwich. This recipe of pastry cream will make about 72 lady finger sandwiches — 6 boxes.

The pyramid on the left is lady fingers filled with whipped cream lightened pumpkin pastry cream.
The pyramid on the left is lady fingers filled with whipped cream lightened pumpkin pastry cream.

Lady finger sandwiches with pumpkin pastry cream is especially delicious with coffee.

What your favorite flavor? Chocolate? Vanilla? Pumpkin?