September 29, 2010

What is Morgan Thinking?

Leave your answers in the comments.

September 27, 2010

Boston Design Center Trip

I joined Mr. Man on a scouting trip to the Boston Design Center. I've never experienced the 'to the trade' thing.  Ever.  While I adore my shelter magazines, I buy my trash cans at Target thank you very much. So I didn't know what to expect, except that I expected A LOT: Jee Jofa, Scalamadre, Brunschwig & Fils.....

The Boston Design Center was really disappointing. Nary a mid-century modern reproduction in sight. Just LOTS of swirling gilt, LOTS of giant chintz, LOTS of thick brown furniture, and lots of $10,000 rectilinear bathtubs. Apparently, Bostonians hide all their 'modern' in the loo.

I was entranced by a few items in the Baker Furniture showroom. It appears I have a latent 'Hollywood Regency' gene that's only activated by lighting.

 Have you ever been to a 'to the trade' showroom?

September 24, 2010

Special Farm Share Friday

Last weekend, Holyoke hosted its first Saturday Farmers Market downtown at Open Square. Open Square is (in my totally biased opinion) the heart of Holyoke's renaissance (if that's what we're calling it.)

There were golden-yoked local eggs and whole chickens (sorry chickens); granola and bread and APPLE WRAPS made with flaky pastry crust; local ice cream (for to go on the APPLE WRAP?); grass-fed beef with grilled sliders for sale; and fresh produce from two local farms, our very own Mountain View, and further flung - but no less lovely - Granby's Red Fire Farms.
The vendor were so pleased with the local turn-out that they're all interested in coming back next spring for a weekly Saturday farmers market at Open Square.  I'm more thrilled about this than if my favorite pair of sunglasses decided to wander home. I'm more thrilled than if Design*Sponge actually published my coffee table before and after. I'm more thrilled than if Lonny and Living Etc. magazines both showed up in my mailbox ON THE SAME DAY.
Yup. I'm pretty thrilled.

Thank you to all the vendors, thank you to Open Square staff for pulling it together, and thank you to all who came for making it a success.

September 22, 2010

Holyoke's Artists and Artisans

Welcome back to Holyoke Week (<-it's my blog, so I can make up stuff like this) here at Holyoke Home. Today features artists and artisans in our fair city. 

I'm afraid this post is going to be too long and you might wander off like my favorite pair of sunglasses.  Because just off the top of my wee little head? I can think of about 12 artists in Holyoke I am DYING for you meet. But I think I should keep this shorter than my Chirstmas wish list. And speaking of Christmas wish lists, lets start with: Daphne Board - Zerkahloostrah Shoes and Bags 
 and Julian Halpern - artist and furniture maker
and finally,  Denis Luzuriaga - artist and illustrator
there is rumor that one of Denis' pieces may soon grace the walls of Holyoke Home. Can't wait!

September 20, 2010

Holyoke Week

For some reason, the end of the summer and hints of fall got me to thinking about this place I call home. I'm not an urban pioneer. Not even close. I'm just one of the most recent wave (mini-wave? wave-ette?) to settle here - of ALL the places in the world to settle.
And while its true that there's a lot I don't talk about on this blog - like finding shopping carts in my front yard, or feral cat poop in my back yard - sneaky Holyoke weaseled its way into my heart while I wasn't looking.  I increasingly hear comments about my city - it has a spark, a crackle, a 'something's coming' kind of excitement and potential that's palpable.  But the kicker? The 'deal-sealer'? The people. The pee-pul. The Holyoke Folk.
I didn't expect to end up here, but here I am. We're celebrating Holyoke this week at Holyoke home with posts about our fair city. Welcome.

September 17, 2010

Friday Farm Share!

**Every Friday, Holyoke Home is posting images from our weekly farm share at Mountain View Farm. Mountain View is currently offering a 100 pound Winter Farm Share for only $110, available for pickup just before Thanksgiving. If you're interested, contact the farm for more info: 413.329.0211 or email them at**

When I arrived at the farm this week, all the farm machinery was laid out in a perfect row, like a farm girls' pricey and colorful dowry. It's as if it was there JUST FOR ME. I couldn't resist taking more pictures of the farm equipment.  For those who came looking for produce, I apologize. But only a little.
Have a beautiful weekend my little birdies!

September 11, 2010

Holyoke Home Featured on Remodelaholic!

We're so very honored to be featured on Remodelaholic! Remodelaholic is a Home and Garden blogger's dream. Every day features a different before and after (the internet's own crack cocaine). If you haven't seen our remarkable (ahem) kitchen transformation, visit out kitchen page there.

September 10, 2010

Friday Farm Share!

**Every Friday, Holyoke Home is posting images from our weekly farm share at Mountain View Farm. Mountain View is currently offering a 100 pound Winter Farm Share for $110, available for pickup just before Thanksgiving. If you're interested, contact the farm for more info: 413.329.0211 or email them at**

The sun was potent - almost stultifying - this week at the farm.
Maybe I was in a daze from the sun, but I decided I wanted to wander out to the rumor of beehives in the fields.
Strolling among the rows of gorgeous produce, I had the WEIRDEST aromatic experience. Potent broccoli on my left rose up to meet sweet basil under my feet while savory thyme wafted from my right. My nose was so confused, "Pesto? Roast chicken? Pesto roast chicken? Broccoli?!"
Hundreds of bees catapult out of the hives, like angry circus clowns out of a cannon. It was a little scary and I didn't linger out there. I kept thinking what my Dad told me a million times as a kid who freaked out around bugs, "If you don't bother them, they won't bother you."
I turned around to head back and saw this view. Worth the entire farm share fee - if you ask me.
The raspberries are coming in beautifully this year. Alas, only 1/2 pint this week. Because we have to share. With others. Screw you, others.
Guess where these went next. Hint: they did not go in my pocket.
Yup. In one fell swoop. Right. In. My. Mouth.

Who's The Best Girlfriend in The World?

I'm not sure, but I better be in the running.

September 8, 2010

Upstairs Bathroom Update Also? Mr. Man Speakifying!

It has been a loooooooooong time since I've posted an upstairs bathroom update.  For those little birdies just joining us, here's the backstory. The halt in the bathroom progress space/time continuum began when we discovered two giant chunks missing from the floor joist supporting the weight of our, sink, toilet, and (sometimes full of water) cast iron tub. Hmmmmm.....what's a homeowner to do?
Without a Mr. Man intervention, I would sob and flail my arms, but luckily, I live with an architect (with a stamp and everything!) so instead I only sobbed and cried a little and then turned to he who understandeth buildings and building structure. Ahem. Without further ado, Mr. Man:

"It is called a Sawsall and the name pretty much says it all.  It cuts joists, beams, floors, and even columns without much trouble, even if they are still holding something up. It is a favorite tool of pretty much everyone in construction including plumbers. And a Sawsall is likely the tool that was used to make the plumbing in the upstairs bathroom function . . . by cutting out large sections of the floor joist that were in the way of the pipes (see photo above.)

Opening up the floor was originally an exercise in cleaning up the missmash of flooring under the sink and toilet. It was not until I pulled a few boards up that I noticed the cut joist.  Looking more closely at the surrounding floor, it was apparent the floor had sagged noticeably due to the cut joist and that it was one of several joists bearing the weight of not only the sink and toilet, but the five foot cast iron tub as well. The joist and floor had most likely been this way for 30 or more years, naturally redistributing the loads to other joists with out a disaster, so an actual failure was not that likely. On the other hand, even small odds of finishing a hot bath with broken bones in the dining room is not a pleasant thought.

Ideally the plumbing area would be boxed out with wood by doubling up adjacent joists and putting headers around the opening. But that would require removing a large part of the ceiling below, which isn't in the budget. So I cut this:
The steel plate in the photo above will slide in and be bolted to the joist. Even when notched for some of the piping, will provide additional strength for "just in case."

Thanks Mr. Man!

September 3, 2010

Friday Farm Share!

It's a bittersweet time of year at the farm. I smell fall in the air, a kind of crackly crispness - even though the temperature is still in the 80s (along with most of my pop cultural references.) Trees are considering going up in flame. The days are getting shorter.  And the tomato harvest is thinning like a nice man's hairline.

I don't look forward to 'sweater season'.  Sweaters make me look like an Eileen Fisher model of average weight, which is to say: like a walking wooly rectangle.

Speaking of 'crispness', the Gingergold apples below are EVERYTHING AN EATING APPLE IS SUPPOSED TO BE. Bright. Sweet. And Tart.
How the farm had time to create this handsome gourd display, I don't know.
Luckily, there are still tomatoes-a-plenty to put in my Useless bag and hoard like mother nature's own crack.
Soon, I'll start looking for a place to hibernate. You can usually find me in my natural 'sweater season' habitat by looking under the comforter.

September 1, 2010

Holyoke Home of the Week

Periodically, we feature a property for sale in Holyoke, Massachusetts, that we think is special. We call it the Holyoke Home of the Week.  Visit our Disclosure page if you'd like us to feature a home you represent! I stalk homes online, but getting INSIDE a house takes it to a whole other level.

Okay, This row house is no Taj Mahal. In fact, I'd say - except for the amazing original architectural details - it is a TOTAL gut job. TOTAL. UTTER. GUT.  But before you get all jumpy toward conclusions, please look at these pictures. Also? The asking price is $38k. That's right: 1400 square feet and a small private backyard for less than $40k. Take that Boston and New York.
Doorway with glass transom and original wood canopy.
Original windows throughout with added Storms
Carved Brownstone Lintel and Sill
Original detailed wood canopy over front entryway. Pretty!
Original Newel posts and (painted) banisters
The original hardwood floors look pretty good on both upstairs and down
Original sandwich glass knobs throughout. Most woodwork is
painted :(
Tons of beautiful natural light from upstairs front bay windows
Original door surrounds throughout. No original baseboards,
except around the staircase and in two rooms upstairs :(
Couldn't get to actual backyard, but this is the backyard of an adjoining unit -
so you can see the size
Both top and bottom Newel Posts are original and in great condition
This can't hurt the property value