Ready…set….shower! The bathroom makeover is completed….
November 7, 2011

I love stepping into this shower....the door is the Enigma by Dreamline

Ok, I’ve had several of you ask about the completion of the bathroomthat was being redone….It is now finished, except for a couple of details(deciding what to hang on walls artwise-there has been a teensy bit of disagreement over this)….but finished. I love the white subway tile. Classic…don’t think I’ll get tired of it, and the gray grout makes the tile stand out(besides being practical).

Shelves at the back of the shower...mirror glass in cabinet doors..

And I’m determined that these shelves will not become overrun with shampoos and conditioners, like before(should be easier now that my daughter the product fiend, lives elsewhere)…

Love the way the pebbles feel under your feet....

Here's how the bathroom cabinets turned out....

Glass from Chaudron Glass in Baltimoresuch a cool placepost about it here.

the pattern is called "Rondelle"....

I want a larger mirror...and on the wall is to be determined...

The mirror I recycled from the bathroom in it’s previous state(still like it)…got a different wall-hung sink..larger and more contemporary looking…nice ledge to put things on!

My daughter painted this canvas...I think I like it here...

And as you can see, I mixed metals…(something I did in the kitchen makeover as well)….it’s just more interesting than everything perfectly matchy-matchy…as long as you don’t overdo it. Used the polished chrome for most things, and the sink faucet and shower hardware in wrought iron finish. And yes, I bought everything including the shower door(which weighs 400 freakin’ pounds) online…..except for the cabinet doors-from Chesapeake Kitchens….and Chaudron glass.

Near the finish line…..and little weekend history!
October 21, 2011

Beautiful, hand engraved glass....wow...

Ok, I took another trip to Chaudron Glass yesterday(my glass was finished a day early by the “man upstairs“)….better known as Derrick Chaudron, 5th generation of the Chaudron family to work in the family biz. And I didn’t even go around the block a few times looking for Lovegrove Street, but I did get a better look at the place inside….wow, they do some amazing work, like the gorgeous piece you see above.

narrow streets allowed fire to easily jump buildings

Derrick told me..they’re on an alley, because Chaudron has been in this old carriage house since 1931…which would have of course, had an entrance in the back, not on the main street. Before they were at this location, they burned down in the Great Baltimore Fire of 1904, which destroyed much of the city over two days!(20 banks burned down, but the vaults held and not a penny was lost!)

melted glass that contains wood and nails from original location

And this is Chaudron’s souvenir from the Great Fire. Incredible. They’ve been around since 1901…so yeah, they have some experience in glass and mirrors. Here’s what my  doors look like(unmounted)….

Pretty, yes? I love...

And the construction guys are back at my house today….finishing up all the details(shelves, towel racks, etc.) and redoing some tile work that didn’t come out quite right…which they were really nice about. Next week….I’ll show you the finished product…I hope I’m not jinxing the whole thing by saying it will be finished today!

It's soup weather!!

Have a fab weekend all…the forecatst looks gorgeous, so do something outside and enjoy the weather, make some butternut squash soup(doesn’t that sound nice?)…or sweet potato…yum. It’s gonna be soup weather. And come home safe…’cause we miss you!

Getting Glassy-eyed….
October 18, 2011

Welcome to Chaudron Glass....

Ok, you know about the ongoing bathroom project…the one about 6/7 finished…it still is by the way.  One hangup is cabinet doors for some shelves, built into the wall….you can’t leave them open, with all your personals in there. So I have the doors….the same cabinets that are in my kitchen, but in white. But they’re just a frame.

Something like this....only in white...

Considered mirrors in them but have decided instead on glass.  Glass with a little attitude.  I saw online a place called Chaudron Glass, on Lovegrove Street. On the map I saw it was pretty close to work, so I drove over at lunchtime. But finding it was another matter altogether(the gps kept insisting I had reached my destination)…. because this is what Lovegrove “Street looks like. Yep, it is an alley…with a name.

Welcome to Lovegrove "Street".....

Saw the sign on the wall you see above on the first picture, but not an entrance per se… none that looked very welcoming.

Please, come inside...if you dare....

So I called and said, “Ummm, I’m here, I think….but where do you go inside?” A woman replies, “See a door with a keypad and a ringer?” I replied that I did. “Buzz the ringer, someone will come to get you“….very Russian mafia, yes? Love the tag art.

But Chaudron is the real deal…

This is what the workroom looks like(my handbag and Ray-Bans on the table)...

Here were my finalists of glass…..

All so pretty, but I only need one...

Love the seeded glass.....

Love the old "drugstore" look of this....

But the pattern called "rondele" stole my heart....

This is what it will look like after the glass is frosted...that takes a few days...

Herman does the ciphering, old school....

I asked Herman could the glass be finished by Friday…he replied, “I’ll have to ask the man upstairs about that.”  He did not mean God…there really is a man upstairs who sandblasts and cuts the glass. Herman came back with, “There a very good chance it will be finished by Friday“. And on that resounding qualified note, I left the doors there.  I’ll post a picture of the final cabinets doors and what they look like…oh, and if you have an old mirror that needs re-silvering, or glass or crystal or stained glass that needs a fix….Chaudron does that too. I think I really love this place.

Love the sign....

the zen of bathroom remodeling… and other tales from the palace(as in Blenheim)….
October 5, 2011

Shower floor is pebbles...white subway tile on the walls...

Well, a number of you have asked how the bathroom remodel is coming along….and truly, by now, I thought it would have been long finished. We are now a week past due date. The bath is functional, by which I mean you can take a shower, you can brush your teeth at the sink, you can go to the loo….but some detail work remains on the tile and the ceiling lights, no shelves are up to put anything on…so I’d say we are 7/8 there?

I have gone from being a little frustrated…to wanting to stomp my foot… that it wasn’t finished in time. But now that my house guests leave in two days, I have retreated to that Jamaican “Soon come, man” attitude.  I’m not upset, or angry, or anything really. It will be finished when it will be finished. Very zen, yes? Oh…but there is one thing. remaining monies stay in my pocket until it’s done. All. done.

Guinness shirt...of course....

Oh, and here’s a little tale about the people staying at my house…the Shelleys, as I’ve told you are 84 and 79, I think. They grew up in England…Harry in London, and he and his Mum were shipped out to the countryside when he was just a boy, when the  London Blitz  began in 1940( he actually was dug out of his house after it was bombed there…not injured). He said it was the most amazing scene you can imagine at Paddington Station….hundreds and hundreds(maybe thousands) of women and their kids milling around taking trains to who knows where? They didn’t know where they were going, but when they got off…people who lived in the towns just came and picked out people to stay with them(the clean and tidy were picked first of course). And there they stayed until it was safe to come home.

Inside Blenheim Palace...very posh...

But that’s not the story! On a walk one morning, Harry shared something I had never known about him(and I’ve known him for 30 years)….that his grandfather was head coachman for Winston Churchill’s Father.

"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."

And Harry’s grandmother was in the room when Winston was born in 1876…part of her duties at Blenheim Palace, as head housekeeper! Very upstairs, downstairs…yes?

Insanely good!! I think we had been talking about Downton Abbey-here, the insanely popular British costume drama( season two is airing right now in the UK so I downloaded Season 1 from iTunes and LOVE.) It jogged his memory I guess.  SO if you haven’t seen Season 1…get it together, so you can be prepared for season II which begins here in the U.S. in January. You will NOT be sorry! Here’s glimpse at the trailer for Season II.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoe3CoxcYm0

The dusty and the sweet….redoing a bathroom, & dessert for the weekend
September 16, 2011

The stage we're in now...and there was NO insulation behind the walls!

Yes, it’s come to that again…walls and doorways covered with plastic…coughing a little because of dust you inhale in spite of your best efforts not to….crap in the yard(see below)…and lots of deafening hammering and drilling noises. Yepperdoodles, it’s a long overdue bathroom makeover at my house…

Detritus in the front yard....nice!

And look at what’s on the bottom of the old cast iron American Standard tub…..ah, days gone by….LONG gone by. (this was a circa 1955 bathroom)

made in America...wonder if that's still true?

Too bad it had to be broken to get it out…but there it is. But I don’t feel too bad…onward and upward….this is the look we are doing today…

Sink will be wall-mounted, grey pebbles, white subway tile, grey walls-check!

Nice, yes? Ok , there’s no pretty bathroom now though…..so how about something sweet for the weekend?

small plums in season!!

I know, I know…I’ve given you the plum torte recipe before, oui? (Whatsupwiththat?)But the little prune plums are just now in season, and given the fact it is the NY Times most requested recipe ever….so I’m giving it again-here. Love, love, love this torte…sooo easy, and relatively quick…just butter, flour, sugar, salt, eggs and plums. And cinnamon. If you don’t like prune plums or they’re not in season, use peaches, blueberries, raspberries,regular plums… whatever you like. Here’s the finished product…

I used plums and peaches together....yummy!

I don’t think I’ever ever served this to anyone who didn’t adore it. Try it this weekend!! Have a great weekend….even if you have to work(and I know some of you do-I’ve been there-recently)…cook something delicious, read a good book, don’t throw rocks, and come home safe…’cause we miss you.