Tag Archive | chandelier

Let There Be Light!

A recent one-act dramedy, taking place in the living room.

Setting: Me, standing on a ladder wielding the drill and trying to put a large hole in the plaster ceiling.

In walks Stuart, looks up at me, face twisting into a grimace.

Stuart: “Usually when I walk in and witness you holding the drill and crying, it means a project for me.”

Me: “Don’t worry, Stuart. I was merely whimpering.”

Stuart walks away and tries not to feel needed. Me, now cursing whoever invented plaster and this old house, tries to continue making a hole in the ceiling, ignoring the arm pain that is caused by holding a drill over your head for way too long. Then I am struck by a bright idea. Perhaps this is my opportunity to show Stuart how much I need him! Besides, every now and then a guy needs to be needed, right?

Stuart to the rescue!

Stuart to the rescue!

Scene 2: Me, now drinking a beer with feet up on the ottoman, watching Stuart put up my light. What is better than that? And we all lived happily ever after, or close enough.

Let There Be Light!

Let There Be Light!

The light was needed in this living room, not only for light, but for visual PAZAM!  It was my birthday present from my mom, who will buy me whatever I ask for without any thought to how it will be installed. A no questions asked sort of confidence policy. She would not want to damage my self-esteem or anything. When Stuart entered the scene above, I had already faced some turmoil with this light. I broke the inside shade that was supposed to conceal the lightbulb. The baby was “helping” me and I was frustrated with the plaster ceiling. The directions went something like: “open box, install light.”

Light fixture, in the store.

Love at first sight… in the store.

The baby "helping" me.

The baby “helping” me, holding the raceway.

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Even with the exposed lightbulb, it looks nice and I had no idea how complicated that raceway stuff is to use. If you want to conceal a wire running across your ceiling, it is great. Here is a tip: Put the wire into the raceway, clip it closed, and only THEN do you stick it to the ceiling. After it is up, it will fade away and not be too noticeable, I promise.

Raceway, used for concealing electrical wires.

Raceway, used for concealing electrical wires.

Installing raceway.

Installing raceway.

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And of course, one thing leads to another…. Now I need to get curtains to conceal the wire running along the window to the plug, which also needs to be replaced.

Living Room Light.

Living Room Light.

It is at these times that I am so grateful for Stuart and I can’t believe he puts up with me.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.

Christmas is When???

I know I am behind the eight ball when it comes to Christmas. However, I do have a good excuse. Much of the world, including the entire country of Armenia, celebrates Christmas later; on January 6th for the Armenians and on January 7th for the Orthodox Christians that adhere to the old calendar. Needless to say, being Armenian-American and Orthodox has caused me to be slightly confused about when Christmas actually takes place. However, I am pretty sure it involves baby Jesus.

I do not have a tree yet. I promise to show you my tree, after we put it up, probably around the time you are taking yours down. But I have started to spread some Christmas cheer around the house and I wanted to give you a peak.

My vine ball, lighted!

My vine ball, lighted!

The peacock feather wreath was a splurge this year from Pier1 Imports. The vine ball needed a touch of Christmas, so I added a string of lights to the inside.

Pomegranate centerpiece.

Pomegranate and greenery from the yard for a bright and easy centerpiece.

This pomegranate centerpiece will not last too long in my house, as Secondo will eat it in no time. But I have a few more in the kitchen to distract him.

Chandelier with greenery.

Chandelier with greenery.

 An easy way to bring Christmas inside: add a little greenery.

And the quirky, Jack the Guardfish gets a bow.

And the quirky: Jack the Guardfish gets a bow.

We rearranged a little in Paris, opening up the table and adding a bench to accommodate more people. It is now an actual Breakfast Nook. I added a little Christmas cactus to the middle.

Breakfast Nook.

Paris has had a makeover.

And the bread! I baked ten loaves of bread for the teachers and just the smell of it filling the house brings on Christmas cheer. This is an easy-to-make quick bread that is delicious and Christmas-y. It can be easily modified and made vegan as well.

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, circa 1950.

Cranberry-Orange Bread

Cranberry-Orange Bread


Cranberry-Orange Bread Recipe (Can be made Vegan):

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread pan. Mix the dry ingredients   together in a bowl: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Toss in one cup of coarsely chopped cranberries, 1 tsp. grated orange zest, and 1/2 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts. In a small dish mix together 1 cup of orange juice, 1 egg (or egg replacer if you are vegan) and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until moist and bake 55-60 minutes. You will love it!

For me, this Christmas will be extra special. We have a new baby and have so many things to be grateful for. The recent tragedy in Connecticut reminds me to hug my kids and not to take anything for granted.

 © copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.

The Dining Room Saga

I had this idea that I would replace the light fixture in the dining room with a fa-beaux new one. The old ceiling mount fixture was #1 on my hit list, and it had to go. I wanted something large-scale, that did not obstruct the visual space, something that said WOW! I wanted the room to have a cottage feel. I wanted it to feel warm and cozy and different.

Dining room light, before.

Dining room light, before. The Hit List.

I eventually found one that was perfect, although not exactly. I had to transform it from it’s original brass finish before it would be perfect. It was a lantern that would capture the feel I was going for. It was hexagon-shaped, oversized with delicate lines and would do nicely in my dining room. I rescued it from Community Forklift. It cost $119.

The almost perfect chandelier.

Working on the chandelier                                                      

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I spent days painting this behemoth chandelier, taking it apart, letting it dry between coats. I eventually got Stuart to hang it, with the help of at least one neighbor. It was shimmering and I was so pleased! Then, I sat down at the table under my new light, and opened up the latest Pottery Barn catalog. A few pages into it, my jaw dropped and I thought, “NO Way!” How did they know? There was a lantern-like light hanging above a beefy table, and it looked a lot like mine:

http://www.potterybarn.com/products/bolton-oversized-lantern/?pkey=cchandeliers-pendants

I did not know whether to be happy or sad about it. I liked my version, and it must have been a good idea, but really? Did they have to go and ruin what I thought was an original-ish idea? At least I could take comfort in the fact that they had not painted theirs first and it cost three times what I had paid at Community Forklift for mine. My light was recycled to boot.

Dining room chandelier, after.

I figure one of the following things happened:

  1. I must be extremely stylish and capable of keeping up with the latest trends (Ha!)
  2. I am receiving subliminal advertising messages from the stores I like and it sunk in without my knowledge or consent
  3. Coincidence
  4. Pinterest is to blame

Most likely, it is a strange combination of all of the above.

Dining room chandelier, after.

Dining room chandelier, after.

I am thrilled with the way my dining room looks, but this project wore me down. Next time, I may just buy it directly from Pottery Barn and save myself the trouble. But where is the fun in that?

© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.