Blue Christmas

We weren’t able to spend the holidays with our families this year, but we were so touched by their thoughtful gifts that are helping to advance our project (dream house). My mom keeps up with the blog, so she knew that we were about to launch into full electrician mode – and my folks sent us some blue stuff: e-boxes, and tools too. As well as some green stuff that helped us stock up on the necessities. K’s parents had the same idea, and generously contributed to the Winter of Electrification. We are in the absolute home stretch now – we think 100% of the electrical we planned to do will be done by New Year’s Eve – which is tomorrow! Only a couple of outdoor lights to work on next summer – they will be part of the porch and yard overhaul.

The other day, while we were working, I was searching around for an extension cord (they were all plugged in to heaters or tools). Then suddenly – a realization – there were outlets on the walls that work! It has really made the cabin feel like a home to have a full electrical system and get some walls started as well. Much progress (“What we did on X-Mas vacation”) documented below. THANK YOU families, for ‘getting’ us. We know we are weirdos!

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This is our 100th post, and we have a lot to show you!

Wow! Kind of crazy. I think when we bought the place – almost 2 years ago – we thought we’d be in by now. However, we are really getting close. Witness: windows are nearly all restored to functionality. Some still need paint, but they are re-glazed, frames straightened and leveled, and there’s no more broken glass. (Exception: we are planning to completely replace the bedroom windows and are on the hunt for some good wood replacements).

Today we did something really wild – we installed lighting! Not hung-up-on-a-nail paper lantern stuff, but the real, final lighting we actually picked out for this place. And some jack-leg temporary lighting too, so we don’t wreck my pretty, restored Italian mid-century glass fixtures. Nonetheless, they turn on and off with switches, not extension cords! And we finished the last window, to be installed later this week (after the Noah’s Ark-like flooding that’s predicted for Wednesday).


I got a vintage light fixture about a year and a half ago, when I saw it listed for a mere $15 and knew immediately that it was perfect – perfect! – for the cabin bedroom, where we want to have a little more sparkle and little more mod. There are two of us, so of course I’ve kept my eyes open in the vain hope that I could ever find a match. I figured I’d end up with something complementary, but never a true pair.

And then – there it was! I wasn’t even searching for it – I was cruising the mid-century auctions and it popped up with one day left and no bids! It’s missing a piece and needs a bit of restoration and both will be re-wired, but it’s a freaking match – same brand (Sarama – check Wikipedia for an interesting origin of the word) and all. Sarama was apparently located in Fall River, MA (interesting – we have relatives from that neck of the woods) and was in business in Canada from about 1975-1980, from what I can piece together. Some info suggests that it was located in Fall River for over 50 years, so maybe just the Canadian branch didn’t make it?

The timing couldn’t be better – we are off work after this week, and about to launch into electrical. Super-sweet.

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A week behind (but getting ahead)

We are doing loads of cabin work, and not so much blogging about it. Last week we worked on windows, yet again – the end is in sight. As previously mentioned, we are reconfiguring my stockpile of all-wood Marvins from craigslist scores to fill all the small window needs. We are almost done on those! One more is in process (building it in the warmer basement at home), and our last two large, vintage sashes are almost done as well. Our goal is to finish this phase of Windowfest before our long-ish winter break, when we will switch gears and focus on electrical. (We are missing some after photos here – will get them next time!)