Monday, May 27, 2013

Living Room :(

Well I've had a full day to look at it, and think about it, and I definitely hate it. It just doesn't blend-in well with all the other colours in the house. I'll either be repainting it, or I might try some type of stencil over it? Thoughts?

Viewed from the office:

The colour appears to be a bit more "quiet" or soft in this photo (closer to what I was hoping for).


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Living Room Painted

I painted the living room today.

I have mixed feelings about the colour. I am trying to decide if I love it, or if I hate it.

- It's not too dark, which is nice, but it's BRIGHT.
- The shade of green is alright, but it might not be the best shade for the living room (which I wanted to be a bit more formal).

If I had to pick a few words to describe the colour: Pistachio ice cream.

I'll do the touch-ups tomorrow, and then post photos.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pain in the Neck!

Alright, so this is the first house related (progress) post in quite a while. This afternoon I painted the rest of the original tongue and groove ceilings on the main floor (those being the ceiling in the main hallway, and the ceiling in the living room). It took about 2-3 hours, and I went through about 1/2 a can of paint (I finished one and had to start on another), but it's finally OVER.

I've been both looking forward to, and dreading this job for about a month now, but now I can go ahead and paint the living room (tomorrow or Sunday).

I actually started around 1:00pm but I ran out of green painter's tape, so I had to run out and buy more, so I think I got back and was painting just before 2pm, and I finished around 4:30ish (including cleaning the paintbrush and putting things away).


Part of that time was also spent emptying out that bookcase in the living room. The cabinet is only 50" squared, but you wouldn't believe how many books fit in there! The weight of all the books (almost all large hardcovers) must be at least 500lbs or more.

The ceiling in the living room was the one that had the most dramatic transformation. I think it was only painted once or twice, and for the most part, a bunch of the old orange shellac is bleeding through the paint. It actually looked like nicotine build-up, but I tried washing a spot, and it made no noticeable difference, which is why I assumed it was shellac.

This was the last strip to be painted.

The finished ceiling. I notice that in the photos, it's more clearly visible where the lighter white repaired boards are. It's not really that noticeable in person. I'm NOT doing another coat.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Watercolour (Done)

I didn't think I would finish this watercolour this quickly (I prepped the paper and did the tracing on Monday, then the moth on Tue, and the rest last night).

The flowers went fairly quickly, and initially they were done in just a single magenta colour. Later on, I went back and added darker shading to them in a darker pinkish-red.

The leaves also went fairly quickly. Oddly enough, one of the nicer shades of green I have is from that giant set of 6 "pucks" which we used to use in schools as kids. I also used the black from that same palette to shade/tint the green, and for the background.

I took some artistic liberties to stretch the image a bit, since I wanted to fill-in a bit more over the top flower, and under the tails. I also made some of the leaves just a tad brighter than the original photo (which you can see more clearly in my print-out that I used for the tracing.

Lastly, here is the finished piece. The only thing left to add is my signature, but since the background is a saturated black, I want to sign it with a gold pen. I can't find the one that I had several years back, so I'll have to get a new one.

I like how it somehow evokes the look of old fashioned wallpaper, as well as old European paintings where they always used a black (or very dark) background.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Watercolour Progress

I painted the moth portion of the painting this evening. It needs just a few touch-ups, but it's basically done.

Here is my hoard of watercolours. I love art supplies, and some of these are old (from when I was a kid), and some are yard sale finds.

That's just the watercolour stuff. I also have tons of coloured pencils (literally thousands), charcoal, oil pastels and dry pastels, lead pencils, oil paints, acrylics, gold leafing supplies & powders, calligraphy sundries, and a bunch of other stuff too.

Here's the progress. I think I worked on this about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, but I honestly didn't check the time when I started.

Side note: the moth in the photo has a bit of a greenish tint, and I did mix-in a touch of green on some portions of the wings, but it's more subtle than I had anticipated. That said, however, these moths don't really have any green tint to them normally, so it's not a big issue.

Parts to fix are the bottom wing tips, and a few of the shadows on the main wings.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I was planning to go and buy the green living room paint today, and get some cheap shower curtains and paint drop-cloths (dollar store), but I forgot that today was Victoria Day.

I'll go tomorrow.

Tomorrow I might just do the paint/supply run, but this week I'm planning to get the hallway t-g ceiling painted, as well as the living room t-g ceiling and walls painted. It's a lot of painting, but it should go pretty quickly.

That's not the only painting project I'll be working on...

For months now, I've been itching to do some sort of artwork. I was going to do a gouache (acrylic) on a prepared canvas, but the canvas that I have on hand is a bit large, and it's an odd size for framing (I think is 12x16 or something and there aren't that many available frames in this size).

Instead, I'm doing a watercolour. I love watercolours, but I tend to use them in an over-saturated way, where only the very pale colours are transparent. My art teacher hated this about me, but I really just strive to get a colour match from the source image I'm using, and if it has black in it, I want pure black, rather than a translucent back.

The image I'm using is an internet find. It's a photo of a beautiful "Madagascar Moon Moth" or Comet Moth. These are similar to the large "Luna Moth" but are yellow rather than a soft green.

I actually just managed to track down the original photographer who took this photo, and I contacted him to see if he would have any objections to me using his photo. Most people don't mind if permission is asked, but sometimes you just never know.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cornwall Homes - A Fabulous Victorian

Not only is this house fabulous, it also has a TOWER! Not many Cornwall Homes have towers (I know of only 2 or 3 off the top of my head).

The details on this house are just jaw-dropping, especially to a woodworker like myself.

First off, the house is massive. It's pretty clear to anyone looking at the house, that the portion on the right is a later addition. It also has 3 address numbers on it: 121, 123, and 125. I don't actually know if it's divided-up on the inside.

The addition is not new, and it's been there for as long as I can remember. It may be 100 years old. Whoever built it did a very nice job of blending it into the older part of the house, and matching the 1880's aesthetic details. Note the bracketed cornice, the similar sized window (compare with the side of the house), and of course, the use of beautiful complimentary gingerbread trim. This newer section, and that one side of the house on the left are newer siding, but the rest of the house appears to be the original and recently repainted wood siding (except the tower, which hasn't been repainted yet).

The front porch, and the bay window boast some of the most ornate and beautifully executed porch elements I've seen from this period. You can sort of see part of the front doors as well.

It's unfortunate that the new windows are not correct. These should all be 1-over-1 windows (like the old 4 in the upper tower). I wonder whether or not this one originally had a curved top or not (they often did, but not always).

Just look at how gorgeous this is! Seriously! Why does no one bother to try to build anything as nice these days? Everyone seems so content with ugly plain boxy designs with no character or visual interest.

Look at the details on these columns. They have a beautiful 8-sectioned crown, and below are 8 "ribbed" (rounded) flutes. I'm not even sure if they were made from 8 sections glued together, or if they're cut/carved as a solid piece. The bottoms of the posts look like they might have rotted and been capped (plainly).

Also note the triangular slatted/ribbed/detailed top board. This is a detail that I see very rarely.

The fancy brackets, however, are not nearly as special (although they are gorgeous). They are simply made with 3 cut pieces glued together, and I see those on dozens of other Victorian porches.

Gingerbread trim. This is quite a lively design (more fun and flowing than others that resemble lace). Note the original turned rosettes and finial(s) on the tips.

I also adore the look of a nice stone foundation.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wow! Awesome Video

You guys!

This video was featured in one of my YouTube subscriptions, and I had to share it.

This video is a music video for A-Trak & Tommy Trash - Tuna Melt, and it features a long and extremely complex run of dominoes and fun gadgets, but in addition to this, it's all done in an absolutely breathtaking Victorian house. You get to see quite a lot of the house as they follow the dominoes around, and it's well worth a look.

A-Trak & Tommy Trash - Tuna Melt from Pomp&Clout on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Beautiful Spring Flowers

I love the short-lived spring blossoms. I think that some of the best-smelling and most wonderful flowers are those found in the spring, such as lilacs, and apple/cherry blossoms. There's nothing quite like being down-wind near an apple tree in full bloom.

Last night, I went and picked a few lilac branches. I usually prefer the purple ones, but these white ones are stunning! They completely fill the room with their perfume. Side note: I moved a bunch of the Living Room furniture out of the room so that I can paint the ceiling and walls (soon), so the French Figural clock in in here for now, and it looks lovely.

They look even nicer in the daylight.

I also picked a small bunch of purple lilacs for the bedroom.

Miscellaneous Things

These are a few random recent things.

First, a few additional detailed LR colour photos. I'm heavily leaning towards the "Shy Blossom". Refer to the prior post for the colour names and info.

The dark green on the left along with the swatch (second colour) is the green from my aunt's living room that I liked so much, but it will look too dark in my house.

Here is the green that is quite popular in the comments, but I find it looks pretty grey/grim/depressing/corpse-like (lol).

The "Shy Blossom" on another wall.

Next is an antique lamp that I recently finished repairing (after several months). This was an old lamp given to me by a good friend of mine as a gift. It's a typical "Mogul Lamp" from the early 1900's (likely 1920s-1940s). This one was missing several pieces, with a few others bent, or needing attention. I forget where she got it from, but I love these lamps, and I was happy to get it.

Here are the "as received" photos of the lamp. Here it is next to one of my other lamps (the one I got from my Mom). NOTE THE SCARY WIRING JOB.

The entire top of the lamp (with the large shade holder and mogul socket) was missing.

This was the halfway point, with the lamp rewired, and parts straightened and repainted (the base) but with the top still missing.

And here's the finished lamp. I just recently found parts for the missing top from another lamp. Unfortunately, the top I got was in a polished chrome finish, so I had to colour-match it with various spray paints in browns and gold to get approximately the right colour.

I touched-up the base again, and got rid of the lighter gold band (it didn't look right).

The gold candle covers were originals from the other parts lamp top that I bought. The old shade was a thrift store find. They are actually fairly easy to find, and usually under 5$.

Shade (borrowed from the other lamp). I'll get another identical one for this lamp. They have it in white or black, but I think I'll stick with white.

Lastly, here's a shot of my "Weather Glass" (or Storm Glass) from this morning. Yesterday morning (and for several days prior), the entire solution was clear with absolutely no crystal formations. It was literally just the white sandy crystals sitting in the bottom. Then just last night, I noticed some of the crystals were forming again in the base.

They are just so incredibly beautiful to look at. It's hard to capture them properly in a photo, but it looks like a patch of ferns, or feathers. Some crystals also started to form at the top. The other really fun and exciting formation is that there are tiny little snow flakes of crystals just floating in the liquid (which I haven't seen very often - the liquid is clear 99% of the time). According to the chart, stars in the liquid usually indicates snow, but I find that unlikely at this time of year, so it may indicate rain.

Since I'm so fascinated by this gizmo, I'll be posting pictures of it from time to time.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013


As some of you might know, Google Reader is calling it quits as of July 1st. I hadn't switched to a new reader yet, but this morning, Google Reader was giving me problems (it would only load 2 articles and then stop, despite restarting Firefox), so I finally decided to seek out a new option.

There are several RSS Feed Readers available on the web to manage all your blogs, and for a while I was considering "The Old Reader" but they appear to still be in Beta, so I looked for another one.

The one I ended up choosing was Feedly.

Feedly is a Firefox add-on, and will also work with your phone and tablet (I have neither). I'm not sure if it's also available for Chrome, Explorer, Opera, or other browsers.

It was exceptionally quick and easy to install (it took less than a minute), and I absolutely love how easy it is to use, and how nice and clean it looks. It gives you several viewing options (list view, most recent, card view, or full article, which is what I usually like to view).

I would highly recommend it.


For those of you who are "out of the loop" when it comes to readers, basically it is just an add-on that keeps track of all your blog subscriptions. Every time one of your blogs has a new post, it goes into your reader list, and it stays there until you have the chance to read it. I follow something like 100 different blogs, so being able to have them all in a list is very convenient for me, since I don't have to go visit each blog's webpage individually to see if anything new has been posted.

All you need to do is find a blog you like to follow, and find their "subscribe" button (sometimes it will say "feed" or "posts" or "Atom" etc, but these all work through an RSS feed and will work with any reader programs you want to use.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Living Room Colour?

Help me pick a colour!

I'm looking for your thoughts/opinions. Originally, I really wanted the same green as my aunt's living room which is the green on the walls in this photo:

Behr's "Olivine"

But I'm pretty sure it will look too dark, and I won't like it as much as I think I would.

However, I do like many other dark green rooms I've seen, like these:

But then I like some of the lighter shades, too...

What do you think? Am I just being a chicken and playing it safe, or should I aim for a bit of a lighter colour?

Why does it have to be so hard to pick colours?

Anyhow, these are the three samples of green that I have currently.

- In the top left is "Shy Blossom" (by CIL) which is a bright, fun pistachio shade of green (towards the yellow spectre). It looks pretty close to the photo above with the basil plant.
- Below it, is "Sea Drops" (by CIL) which is the colour I had planned to use in the upstairs "L" Room. This one is in the light grey tones, but is a night light green shade.
- On the right is one shade darker than the "Sea Drops" and this one is "Woodland Mystery" (by CIL). I like this one the least, and it's a bit too "drab grey". I'm worried it may look a bit too lifeless and boring, like the photo below:

I don't have an actual sample of the "Olivine" but it's much darker (2-3 shades) than all three of the samples I've got on the wall currently.