Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Boat Tour Around My Neighborhood on Long Island

I'm changing things up a bit today.  I thought some of you might want to see the beautiful place I call home.  I think I live in one of the prettiest spots on Long Island - Great River, NY.  It's a small town and we even have to pick up our own mail instead of having it delivered.  But that gives this place an old timey feel and I really love it.

We have a sailboat that we're on most weekends.  My husband, Richard, is a diehard sailor and he feels more comfortable and at home on his boat than anywhere else.  Sailing is a stress reducer.  When you're aboard, life's worries seem to melt away.

My stepsons, Tim on the left and Dennis, right; My step daughter Megan (without makeup, I must add, right) and brother Dennis...and Megan's so stress-free that she even allows a picture of her toenails and nails in two different shades!

When we pull out of the dock where we have our slip, you can see one of the beautiful homes on the water...and look at that sky!!!  How gorgeous is that??

As we make our way on the Connetquot River (it's actually part of the Great South Bay and Connetquot mean Great River in an Indian language), we see lots of boats and beautiful scenery left and right.

I love sailboats...but I wouldn't mind a spin on that nice yacht!

And here's a cat boat, which only has one main sail.  My husband almost bought one of these. You can see that the water was a bit choppy - one of the reasons we only sailed with the jib that day!

There's a lot of eye candy - housewise - along the way.  Everywhere you look, there's a beautiful home and lovely scenery.  I'm glad I don't steer too often because we'd topple over if I was in the driver's seat.  I only steer and tack (change directions with the jib) when my husband is doing something else!

The large photo on the left shows The Bayard Cutting Arboretum and the main house on the property (a must see if you ever visit here) . The home styles on the water vary - from Miami Vice-esque modern to traditional and Hamptons beach homes.

You never know what you will see - maybe even a bird that's not native to the area.  As I was snapping away with my Iphone I spotted this bird that was floating and then he submerged himself completely for a really long time (a Houdini bird??) and then only had his neck showing above the water.  This was a first for me!!

There's the bird - in researching it I believe it's a Anhinga (or snake bird) and it's native to the southern part of the east coast of the US.  This is the first time I've ever seen this bird.

There he is again - with only his neck sticking out!  Amazing!  And what do you think of that gorgeous house on the right?  I saw that home being built over the past few years.  When I walk down to the end of my block - there's a small dock on the water there - and that's the home I see.

Some of the other sights you'll see on the Connetquot River are Dowling College and the View Restaurant (that used to be called the Riverview and was once part of the William K. Vanderbilt estate).

Dowling College pics - and The View Restaurant, upper right.

There's always a lot of sporting activity on the water - kayakers, the crew team practicing, waterskiers, upright paddlers.  They give kayaking lessons near where we have our boat slip and sometimes it takes a little while to be on our way because of some inexperienced kayakers...but we don't mind - we wait.

Here are some more pics of the lovely homes that I see every week...

I hope you enjoyed this little tour!  Let me know what you think of it - and if you've ever been to Long Island to visit!

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The Charm of Home

Friday, June 8, 2012

A Commercial Range Hood Gets a Beauty Treatment

One of my long time clients, Staci, had a commercial range hood installed in her kitchen.  She loves to cook (she's Italian and a great chef!) but she never loved how her residential range hood performed in terms of eliminating cooking odors.  She's still be smelling the dinner she cooked for her family that night when she went to bed upstairs. So, in other words, it wasn't working!!  Her kitchen is quite large and her cooktop is on the kitchen island and so an exhaust duct (not sure what you call that) would have a long way to travel in order to work properly. 

She was loving how the commercial range hood was eliminating cooking odors - but boy it was ugly!!  So she called me to see if I could help her. Feast your eyes on this monster!


So, I had my work cut out for me.  First of all, it's pretty difficult to paint on a shiny, stainless steel surface because it's hard to get any paint to stick.  You can't just use a primer, then paint it and voila!  No - you need to degrease the surface (I cleaned it with Krud Kutter, a non toxic cleaner) and then you need to use something to etch into the surface so that it will give you some tooth (painter-speak for "it's OK to paint').  I used a product by Faux Effects called PrimeEtch.  I had used this only one time before when a client had asked me to paint and antique her bathroom vanity which was finished with a very shiny factory finish. I have to thank Cat Faust at Faux Effects in Florida for telling me how best to apply the primer (thinly, with a sponge brush).  I then let it dry overnight to work its magic. When I had first used the product, I was in a hurry so I only let the primer cure for a few hours - but luckily everything worked just beautifully.  This stuff is like liquid flypaper (that's what I call it) because it really gives you a great surface that paint can stick to.

As always, I did some samples for my client.  I had done a lot of work in her home before and I knew her favorite colors and what she liked.

Sample Board for color and ideas for design

I also did a sample on the stainless that her installer gave her - to see how the PrimeEtch would work. It worked on the sample - so the project was a "go."

I blended a 50/50 mix of bronze and copper metallic paint for the basecoat. Copper alone would have been too bright...and bronze alone would have been too dark - so this was the perfect solution.

Range Hood with the basecoat, without antiquing or design

I suggested a few decorative motifs from Modello Designs - which I've talked about before (see the post about how I used an intricate one on my ceiling Here. This company makes one time use stencils that are truly gorgeous and intricate.  Staci chose a lovely wrought iron gate looking design, which would go with the look in her kitchen. She has a lovely piece of wrought iron artwork over one of the doors in her kitchen, so the design would pick up on that. The placement of the design on the hood is perhaps one of the trickiest parts of the process.  You have to measure and measure again to make sure the stencil is level and not lopsided.  The adhesive on the underside of the Modello is pretty darn if you make a mistake - it's not all that forgiving.  So - measure once!

That's me and my knee up on the scaffold

The design done with dark brown, copper, gold, verdigris and black

Looks lovely, huh? You always need to do a sample with this method because it's very hard to see what you are doing. Unlike a stencil, which you can lift up to see how light or dark your design is, you can't lift this up until you are done. But the designs are so beautiful, it's worth the extra effort to make a sample so you don't overdo or underdo (is that a word?) a color.  I wanted to effect an antique wrought iron look, so I started with an overall dark brown - and then I floated in some copper and some pale gold - and then some verdigris color.  To finish it off I added some black to help pop the design and give it more depth. Then I gave the entire range hood an antiquing glaze of brown and dark brown...just enough to age it gently and to cut down on some of the shininess of the metallic base.

(I promise I am going back to take better pictures next week!!)

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.  So, if you have a range hood like this - don't despair.  It can be made beautiful! Let me know what you think of this transformation!

Thanks for looking!  Please leave me a comment or a question.

I will be linking this project up to...
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