Tomorrow is the anniversary of the founding of the Anti-Saloon League (1893), the first baseball game played under lights (1935), the Brooklyn Bridge opened (1883), it is the International Tiara Day and the anniversary of Morse opening his first telegraph line (1844).

Oh my, it’s been almost a week since I last posted.  Time flies when you only have one housekeeper.  Quey started today, she seems like she’s going to fit in well.  She definitely was a quick learner.  And she was taking initiative.  In her first room, while I was on the first floor, she figured out how to fold the “basket” for our toilet paper presentation.  I’m excited.

The free concert series,”Final Fridays” returns to the Allegheny Court House courtyard from noon to one.  The kick off for May will be Madie George, June 24 will be CAPA Jazz: Past, Present and Future, July 29 will be The Vagrants and August 26 will be neo-soul pop artist Joy Ike.

From the ashes of big box book stores spring small businesses.  Mike Paper (no kidding on the name) is the Prez of Bradley’s Books with locations  in Macy’s 9th floor Downtown, Station Square, Greentree Road Shopping Center, Penn Avenue in the Strip, Zombieland Century III Mall, the Washington Crown Center and malls in Uniontown, Indiana and Youngstown.  What they do is offer major books highly discounted.  They do this by buying remainders-big box and on line sellers make most of their money on 10% of their inventory, when the hardback comes out in paperback, they have all these books that aren’t moving.  They also buy “hurt” books, volumes returned to stores for various reasons that may have scuffed pages, etc.  Most of his books are half off the listed recommend retail.  So Bradley’s carries the recent (not necessarily the newest) and a lot of other books like large print, cook books, etc.  Mike Bradley Paper (hence the name) got into book selling by accident.  His father, an attorney was handling the liquidation of six Atlantic Book Stores and reopened what they figured had the best chances or success (this was in 1993).  Mike has malls calling him to open stores because malls like the clientele bookstores bring.

There’s a new exhibit at the Society for Contemporary Craft (in the Strip) that looks pretty interesting.  Lia Cook, Mariko Kusumoto and Anne Drew Potter are the latest in the Bridge exhibit.  CC started the Bridge exhibits in 1988 to show how unrelated craft styles work together.  Lia, from Berkeley, photo shops old pictures and then with a Jacquard loom making tapestries of these images.  There are ten on display.  Mariko, from Lexington, MA, works in metal and she has a hand held jewelry box she made on display and in it are pins and brooches she made.  Some of them are sort o Salvidor Dali isk. Then there’s Anne (put her first name and middle name together and you get Andrew :)-I bet I know her parents first names.)  She is a potter from Berkley as well.  Her installation is titled The Captain’s Congress and is 15 distorted female figures arranged in a circle and take on every imaginable human characteristic as they appear twisted and enraged in a heated discussion.  The exhibit is scheduled through October 22, so you have plenty of time to see it from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturdays.  More info on their web site or call 412.261.7003.

Today, we’re going to look at Oleander.  This was the original master bedroom, if you look up at the border by the ceiling, that is original to the house, from the 1800’s.  The first picture is the before, I really didn’t do a

lot to this room.  It had the old canvas wall paper all over which I removed, patched the walls and painted.  I added a shower in the bathroom that ended up causing some issues.  To get my Occupancy for the seven double occupancy guest rooms, I had to do a number of things.  One was to create a second means of egress in case of a fire.  If you notice the mirrored door (to the left of the screens in the first picture and kitty cornered in front of the love seat in the second picture), that is the closet for Oleander.  At the back of that closet, is another door that goes into Bougainvillea.  It is on the fire system, if the fire alarm ever goes off, the dead bolt on the door releases so guests in the front have access to the back stairs and guests in the back have access to the front stairs.  Well, under the tub/shower of Oleander is a junction box for the fire system and when it gets wet, it sets the fire alarm off.  This has happened three times.  I not only very clearly point this out when I give new guests a tour of their room, it is also in their welcome letter.  Since making such a point of it, the fire alarm hasn’t gone off because of this in almost a year.  The ceiling light fixture is pretty amazing.  I have seen them around at antique sales/stores, in houses, etc.  Seldom have I seen one as intact as that one.  I am afraid to touch it for fear of knocking some of the strings off.  The wall sconces on either side of the window seat are pretty incredible as well, I don’t know for a fact, but I believe they are Murano.  Have you ever heard of the term “boulevard shopping”?  Picking up other peoples discards from the street.  That trunk at the foot of the bed I relatively recently found in the trash.  I removed the beat up canvas, refinished the wood, painted the metal strappings and cleaned the interior.  It holds the extra pillows and blanket for the guest room.  The end tables I bought at Karin’s in West Palm Beach.  Unfortunately, she closed two years ago.  You’ll find pieces from her store all over my place.  I loved it.  She’d go down to Mexico an bring back trailers full of stuff.  All the ceramic wall art in Bougainvillea is from her, the round table in the sun room and many other pieces.  The green ceramic tiles over the fireplace are pretty amazing, you need to see them in person to appreciate them, they are original (the wooden mantel, Joedda, the previous owner put in).

One day, I’m going to feature my “artwork”, the green tissue box on the night table has my renderings of fish.  As long as people can tell the difference between my fish and my birds, I’m happy.  They are fun.  I also have some more serious faux finished furniture and mosaics.

Have a great evening and tomorrow,


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