Tuesday, March 9

.And while I am on the subject of vintage light fixtures...

Light fixtures in old bungalows provide some of the richest period detail, and collecting them is great fun. Here's an example of a chandelier you might have chosen for your bungalow had you been buying it new a century ago...

Image from Sweet's Catalogue of Building Construction, courtesy of Google Books.

They just don't make house lights like they used to. Try finding something like that today at your local big box hardware store...

Friday, March 5

.Installing a vintage light fixture in the hall (Part Two: And in with the new.)

And now I'd like to interrupt the broadcast with a few choice words about safety: Always flip off the fuse feeding the fixture while you are futzing around with it.

Preferably before you expose any wiring; otherwise you'll be reminded of the need to do so by a loud spark like I was, or worse yet, a nasty shock.

Wednesday, March 3

.Installing a vintage light fixture in the hall (Part One: Out with the old...)

The other day I bought a vintage Craftsman table saw from an ad on Craigslist (which is an event that probably deserves its own separate post). When I met the seller to pick up the table saw, he showed me several other items he had for sale, including a vintage light fixture.

It was love at first sight. And can you believe he only wanted $10 for it? Try looking up Beardslee fixtures on eBay sometime, and you'll see what incredible prices vintage fixtures can go for...

Thursday, February 25

.Patching holes in the bathroom walls (Part Three: Zen and the Art of Spackle)

So what did I learn by patching the bathroom walls? I learned that I need more practice. But like any other home repair project, it's not rocket science, and if I apply myself, I can do a pretty decent job.

om mani padme hum, I will get this project done...
om mani padme hum, I will get this project done...*

And this old house has plenty of practice areas...

Wednesday, February 24

.Patching holes in the bathroom walls (Part Two: Getting the hang of this...)

So when we last left our intrepid hero, he was applying the second coat of spackle.

Spackle, sand, repeat.

Monday, February 22

.Patching holes in the bathroom walls (Part One: I'd rather be doing anything else...)

Earlier this week Tory pointed out something new. We'd developed some rough spots in the bathroom walls, by the shower, above the tile surround.

Exactly what I wanted to spend Saturday doing, I thought to myself. We'd had the bathroom painted not too long ago by professional painters (four or five years, I think), and I was surprised these problems had developed so quickly. But that's an old house for you.

Thursday, February 4

.Seven digit dialing is alive and well in the suburbs of Chicago

Perhaps this would interest few people beside me, but you can still make a local call here by dialing seven digits.

No, that's not a current picture of my local telephone company's central exchange office.

I thought those days had passed.

Wednesday, February 3

Vintage Kitchen Hoosier Cabinet

My latest Alleymart acquisition is a particularly rare discovery. This time I found a Hoosier style pantry cabinet.

I’ve found vintage cabinets in the alley before, but until now they’ve all been metal.

Thursday, January 28

O! O! Osterizer!

I found this Osterizer Model 432 at a thrift store this past Sunday, for $10. It's vintage 1957, or thereabouts.

What a score! I love these things. No vintage kitchen appliance collection is complete without a retro beehive blender. This is my third one. Margaritas, anyone?

Monday, January 25

.Dinner on the Pirate Ship

Last Thursday, Tory and I had dinner at Schwa.

There's not a lot to be said about Schwa that hasn't been raved about already. Just check out their Yelp page. It's impossible to get reservations, there are no waiters, you must bring your own bottle (and don't forget one for the kitchen, too), and you'll enthuse about your dining experience to all your friends for long afterward.

Saturday, January 23

.Be careful what you bring home

Don't bother to read this post unless you've got the junk bug pretty bad...

One of my favorite places to shop is Alleymart.

Chicago's old growth neighborhoods have hundreds of square miles of alleys, and on any given day one can find a variety of interesting things being put out for the sanitation engineers.

Tuesday, January 19

.How to fill your bungalow with oriental carpets for little or no money

I love oriental rugs. One of the best parts about owning a bungalow with 3/4" hardwood floors is that you can use them to show off your collection of rugs.

Thursday, January 14

.The Demolition Sale

I'm an incurable shopper.

I've been to lots of different types of sales over the years, but my recent visit to a demolition sale was a first for me. I'm familiar with estate sales where they liquidate the contents of a house, but at a demolition sale they liquidate the house itself, one piece at a time.

Monday, January 11

.Disaster Averted

The other day I called the gas company. I know, that's probably your idea a fun night out, too...

Saturday, January 9

.Great Article on Repair Services in Chicago

I like Chicago Magazine.

Mostly it's the New Yorker style writing and the obligatory monthly crime and corruption story. The graft stories are kind of like the literary equivalent to Law and Order, somewhat cerebral, and rather fascinating.