Archive | November, 2010

We’ll leave the light on…

30 Nov

You have to know about KAM Lamp Co.

Amanda is one of those curious types who takes a thing apart just to see how it works. She’s very much a restorer—houses, lamps, windows, whatever she can get her hands on. It is a very good thing that Amanda runs KAM Lamp Co. from Shreveport, LA because if she were in Nashville I’d be standing in her shop every day with a new question. Amanda, do you think we can restore these factory windows? Amanda, what would you do with this old barn wood? Amanda, I have an idea for a light; do you think you can make it?

Vintage Minimalist


Vintage Minimalist Handle

She’s been restoring and making fixtures for more than 20 years. “I was never satisfied with what was available and definitely didn’t want anything mass-produced, so I made my own.” She also said, “I truly don’t consider myself an artist, but I am creative.” Oh, Amanda. Knock it off with the modesty. You’re an artist. And, in a mass-produced world you are a home-renovator’s dream come true.

Yesterday I called Amanda and said, “I want to use your lights in my house. I’m just not sure which one will work best.” Essentially, I need a few versions to dangle from a ceiling joist so that I can stand back, stare, and make an educated decision. I really like the Vintage Minimalist with a handle but I have to think through whether or not they would work in the hallway as they will need to be “the perfect length.” And what’s the point in having the handle if it’s not anything you’d notice because of positioning…

Amanda sent an e-mail last night with my all sorts of options; I realized these lights to be just what I want them to be. I wanted to hug her after I read her e-mail. My friends say I squeeze when I hug—it’s all that gratitude working its way out of me, I guess.

Cord Color Options


Canopy Finish Options


Handle Finishes

Check out KAM Lamp Co. on etsy. She does great work. And, if you live in the Nashville area you’ll see her handiwork at Zumi Sushi and Bar No. 308. And as usual, I love to hear what you think. Handles? No handles?


“People come and they don’t leave.”

24 Nov

That little sentence grabbed me when I watched the Minka trailer. There are many things to be said about this project and film but my heart is tender and full and achy on this day before Thanksgiving.

MINKA is a short documentary film about a remarkable Japanese farmhouse and the memories it contains. In 1967, an American journalist and his adopted Japanese son rescued the ancient house from the snow country of Japan, and their lives were forever changed. MINKA is an intimate story about place, architecture, memory and the meaning of home.

I understand. I get it. Building a home is a sacred process—at least it on Bradford Avenue. I am thankful to work with a builder, and friend, who treats it as such.

So much gratitude.
So much gratitude it hurts. And that’s okay.

Back Where I Come From (stuff PETA doesn’t need to know)

23 Nov

Taxidermy has become a sort of cool I never anticipated. My people—or, the people from whence I came, are/were hunters. I know far more about hunting than I care to admit. You know that song, “A Country Boy Can Survive”—Hank wrote that about my people. I’ve come so far. So very far.

Regardless of this backlog of knowledge, I cannot grow accustomed to having any sort of animal stuffed and mounted in my house. You won’t see that at Bradford Avenue. Once I walked into my friend Mae’s living room to find a full-grown turkey mounted in a glass case and I thought She is a better woman than me. Our D.I.V.O.R.C.E becomes final today….

This I can handle:

Urban Outfitters

Ruby’s Lounge

Regan’s Brain

I went to the Christmas Open House at Gas Lamp Antiques on Saturday and realized that you can now buy someone’s trophy buck. Bo and Luke Duke would be so disappointed. I know what happened here. Some woman had all she could take and took this out of the house while her husband was gone.

And I am going to have to draw the line right here. I can’t take it. I want to talk about what’s wrong with this picture but I think you all know. I am grossed out. And I am taking you down with me.

That’s all for today. I will stick with the pillow. That’s all the buck I need.

We’re bringing sexy back.

22 Nov

I don’t know what that title has to do with anything except it has the word “back” in it and this is about back doors. Who doesn’t want to reference Justin Timberlake in their home renovation project? If only I could figure out a way to incorporate Bobby Brown (before he went bad) my life would be complete.

Something about doors makes you feel like your house is a real house—no longer a shell. The siding is going on piece-by-piece today and I hope to post a picture that will blow our minds tomorrow. Yea. Right. Let me take this opportunity to get real and say that a picture of a house with siding will likely come next week. It’s going to rain tomorrow and we’re all going to stop working and be thankful from Wednesday until forever. Because we have so very much to be thankful for—really we do.

Here are a few snapshots from Friday’s door installation.

J, Luke, and the over-exposed inside view.


Doors upstairs and down.


And, the front windows are in, too.

A Lump of Cole

19 Nov

Many, many Christmases ago my sister asked for a black lab for Christmas. She put it on her list. She mentioned it aloud. And with the help of J.Crew, she made visual aids.

At the time, J.Crew used labrador retrievers in their catalog to convince us that if we bought their clothes our lives would reach a sort of pretty perfection—you will look good, you and your dog can have matching sweaters, and said dog will obey. Oh, J.Crew. Life really can be that pretty. But you cannot make me believe that a dog will obey without a great deal of effort. Period.

Ashley plastered every single picture of every single lab from J.Crew’s catalog on the refrigerator to express her sincerity. She wanted a dog. On Christmas morning there were so many gifts but none of them barked.  I would like to pause here and say that if you are a parent and your child posts multiple pictures of an animal on any appliance in your house that means that your child is quite serious about his/her request. And if, as a parent, you know that their wish is not your command, it is your duty to prepare them. Otherwise you will spend Christmas morning cleaning up a major spill on aisle five.

There I was between my parents and my sister thinking that the Grinch had just snatched Christmas. Ashley stop crying, knock it off and be grateful. Uhm. Mom. Why can’t she have a dog? We live on a farm. She loves dogs. She’ll take care of the dog. I don’t understand why she didn’t get a dog. She wanted a dog. We can afford a dog. There are pictures… on our refrigerator… of dogs. Lots of dogs. I don’t understand. We have always had dogs. Two at a time. Just like the ark. Two-by-two. Can’t she have one? Just one. Not even two.

My mind was blown. Really blown. What kind of parents are these people? This is so out of character. Really bad parenting mom and dad. Really. Bad. Parenting. But what did I know? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Let me say that if, as a parent, your plan is to run out after lunch and find a black lab for your daughter, or pick up the black lab that she thinks she’s not getting, and bring it home with a red bow tied around its neck on Christmas night, you will come off like father-of-the-year and all will be forgiven right there on the spot—your errors cast as far as the east is from the west. All faith will be restored. And eleven Christmases later your children will still be as grateful as they were that day. This is Coleman—a lump of Christmas Cole. He was a great dog. Best Christmas present ever. Period.


So, of course, my plan is to get a dog once the house is finished. And I told that whole dramatic story and found those pictures of dogs in sweaters just because I wanted to show you these really cool dog food tins I found at One Kings Lane. One Kings Lane is worth signing up for—a few weeks ago Amy Butler Rugs were nearly half-off. I refrained. I’ve got nowhere to put an Amy Butler rug. But I stared at them for quite some time.

The dog food storage… back to the dog food storage. I’d choose the last one—it’s the font. It’s the font that gets me.

Have a good weekend friendlies!

Just add fishing twine.

18 Nov

I’m thinking this is a great idea. All you need is fishing twine and postcards. It feels a little retail/anthro to me but somehow it works, too. I suppose the key is having the perfect stairway. Personally, I’m sort of lusting over those one-by-whatevers that are painted on the wall. And I like the stairs being a different stain of wood. Nice. Lots to like in these two little photos.

Dear Charming Family That I’ve Never Met:  You have an amazing house. I found it on Martha Stewart. I hope you don’t mind being on my blog, too. You’ll inspire so many.

Shut the French Doors.

17 Nov

My roommate Zana always yells, “Shut the front door!” when something blows her mind. Really. She yells. I know. We’re so refined. And we really strive to be ladylike in all our communication. Yesterday Russ—the door maker who lives in God’s backyard—sent a progress report on the doors. All I could think was shut the french doors…..

So, these are the doors going on each side of the fireplace. He’s not finished so this is a work in progress but I cannot keep this to myself. Can you even believe this?

I sort of feel like I should offer up my firstborn child or something. Or maybe I should just make Russ some granola or cookies. Yesterday, when I saw these photos I thought of Donna Fargo. Sorry, Donna. There’s no way you are the happiest girl in the whole USA. Actually, I’m not sure if Donna still has a pulse… Regardless, it occurs to me that I have been given more favor than one person deserves—I like the moments in life when something seemingly silly and unimportant (like a door) remind you that you’re blessed.

Shine on me sunshine walk with me world….