Hi All,

Wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

A couple of my latest projects.  I stripped the canvas off an old steamer trunk (if you’ve been here, you could have seen several others that I have already done)  Here’s my latest as a coffee table in Bromeliad:

My mom lives in a senior apartment building with 51 units.  She wanted to give all her fellow residents a gift, so I made 51 Chris Mouses:

When I was executive steward at Resorts in Atlantic City, I made these for all my dishwashers, the first Christmas I was there.  I made 125 and did I get some strange looks when I gave them their pay check and a Chris Mouse.  It was pretty funny.

I frequent the Ohio River Blvd Antique Mall and find some great finds.  Usually they are reasonably priced.  This lamp was a steal at $3.00:

The radiator saga is finally at an end, a year ago I wanted to replace those huge radiators in African Tulip and Bird of Paradise.  I got two from Construction Junction and the staff at CJ said they could be used with either steam or hot water heat (I have hot water).    After stripping them and repainting them last winter, my plumber said they could only be used with a steam system.  So I got two more  and cleaned them up and repainted them.  You can sort of see one behind the table with the lamp on it above in Bird of Paradise.  The other was installed in African Tulip:

This is what it replaced in African Tulip:

So cute and compact.

I finally found an electrician I think I like.  He’s got the lights on my sign out front working again (that was a challenge, because the whole thing’s custom and welded together).  And he fixed the light over the back gate that’s been broken for a while working again.  He’s coming back next week to maybe finally install the LED light I have for the telephone pole in the back of the parking lot (or telly pole in Pittsburghese) and some small projects with securely mounting some receptacles around the Inn and things like that.

Speaking of electricians, sort of, I had security cameras installed this summer.  I have some difficulty accessing the system from the desk top in the Office (I think my security for my computer keeps kicking the plug in out) and when I’m here, my iPhone doesn’t like it.  The iPhone works fine when I’m away from here.  And the surface pro (I hate) works fine with the cameras.

I have been thinking of stopping sending printed holiday cards.  It’s a lot of work cleaning up my data base to send to the printer.  There’s just over 5,000.  The expense of postage is pretty big, the printing of the cards is fairly reasonable.  There’s getting the picture for the front, which is usually fun.  Then all the cards I get back from the post office.  I guess 200 out of 5,000 isn’t bad.    By far most of the returned cards are people that haven’t visited in five years or more (my assumption is they moved without a forwarding address).  My photographer Roy Engelbrecht is absolutely amazing.  I’m adding a page to my website Holidays, I have pictures I’ve taken which gives an idea of the festive look, but his are absolutely amazing. He was up last week taking pictures of my decorations.  While here he told me his thoughts for next year’s card.  I don’t know how he’s going to pull it off, but if he can, it will be the most memorable card.

Da kidz aren’t terrorizing Lester, Ester & Fester’s son.  He was sitting up on the shelf eating his peanuts with my nut cases jumping up and down barking at him, unfazed.  The squirrels and birds had a good Christmas breakfast this morning.

So I wanted to get a blog out wishing everyone happy and safe holidays,



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