Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween at the Huntington Community Thrift Shop 2011

Had to post this photograph that I took today at the Huntington Community Thrift shop.  One never knows what will be walking in the front door.   A lovely volunteer, Harriet, greets a Raven named Glenn.  Can't make this stuff up.
The Thrift Shop had been hopping all week with high school and college kids looking for elements to be used in costumes.  Next, we will be saving "ugly" sweaters for their next bout of holiday parties .

 This mantle was designed my daughter in Virginia.  She saw the unbleached coffee filter rosette garland on a black ribbon, in a crafts magazine, and completed her Halloween tableau with black candles, a spray painted terra cotta flower pot and branch, decorated with black birds, white bird house and bat, antique black ink engraved  prints, skeleton, snow globe, and very old silhouettes.   Great job!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Of Plywood Forms, Knee Walls, and Three-Quarter Inch Blue Stone Gravel Basement Foundation Infastructure

 After Hurricane Irene, the foundation of the Jarvis House needed to be reinforced with a concrete Knee wall.
 Substantial plywood forms needed to be constructed on site.
The original foundation of the 1838 Jarvis House is built from rock and then hand made bricks.  Water coming into the basement has denigrated the foundation over time.  Fortunately a general contractor Robert Rexer of Huntington, knew what to do and who to entrust the job.
 Before the concrete forms were made the steam pipes had to be reoriented about twelve inches from the existing configuration, to accommodate the plywood forms.
 If you live in a house with three toilets, two showers, and four sinks you need a really good plumber,and my friend Jeff Kleverweiden came to the rescue.  Not only did he come on short notice to meet with the concrete foreman, Joseph Fiorella of JGF Concrete, but he re-configured the pipes a few days, shortly thereafter.  Everyone was impressed with his work.
 An original locust post was too close to a basement window and had to be moved out of the way of the knee wall forms.
 Old drainage pipes, no longer connected to anything were cut short.
 Large metal rods were pounded into the existing portion of another knee wall that had been built years before, to join the two sections.
 Extra reinforced forms went up.

 A cement truck makes its way backwards into the driveway.
 Plywood plates made a runway to the basement window, where Joe had made a flume, rather like a coal shoot for the wet cement.
 Out it comes into wheelbarrows.
 A finished portion of the wall behind the boiler.
 Joe guides the cement into the forms and distributes it evenly.
 The knee wall facing the front of the house. A perfect match!
 The knee walls will never keep out the water, but might slow it down a bit.  Joe advised me to pour three-quarter blue stone chunks on the floor to make it more level and easier to walk on.
 The sump pump is in the background.  Water is aimed at this well and will flow through the loose stones, that is if the electricity is flowing too.
 A really old cast iron radiator, left over from a past renovation was put up on blocks, just in case someone in the future needed it for another re-do.
 The North wall which was the most compromised from water.

 Now some women might get excited about jewelry or cars, but this old house owner is thrilled with the wonderful new knee wall!
 Posts supporting the staircase were reinforced.
 A job many will never see or appreciate, but one that will help the Jarvis House to live on for another two hundred years.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Having Fun at a Beading Class at Beads & Stitches

 This past weekend, I attended a silk thread knotting class at the Beads and Stitches of Hicksville shop.
 As a lover of knotted strands of beads, some of the silk threads on the necklaces in my collection have broken over time.
The only way to inexpensively repair the beads was to learn to knot them myself.   Maryann Olson is the shop owner of this delightful establishment.
 She guided me in the acquisition of the correct tools for beading. 
 A kit for a lariat was supplied with the lesson for a very modest price and we were off.
 As we worked on our projects, Maryann expertly created samples of much more ambitious beading projects, which were coming out in current journals.
 At the start an example of the project was displayed for us.
 A photocopy of the bead arrangement was our "map."

 The shop is filled with beads, and threads of every conceivable color, with jewelry findings of every description. 
 The possibilities for a beaded necklace, earrings, or a bracelet design were endless.
 She had style and direction books.
 Examples of projects.

All in all the work was fun, the company of other students was cheerful, the instruction was excellent, and I went home with a completed lariet for a young friend who wore it today.   I would encourage anyone who wishes to start a wonderful hobby to checkout Beads and Stitches of Hicksville.  For more info click there.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Small Wagon Wheel Plastic Debris Washes Up on North Shore Beaches

 Have you ever seen something like this?

 It reminded me of Wagon Wheel Pasta that I used to eat as a kid, but it wasn't pasta but white plastic.
The original Wagon Wheel pasta.
 This was Sunken Meadow Beach, a New york State Park, located just east of me on the North Shore of Long Island. The weather last Sunday was chrystal clear.
 I had walked the beach last Thursday and noticed many little wagon wheel shaped things in the high tide debris.
They seemed to be tangled in amongst every clump of reed and shells.

 They were sort of cute, but I couldn't figure out what they were, or why so many of them were on the beach.

 The little plastic disks are about one inch in diameter.  I collected them as I walked along.
From a distance the beach looks perfect,
 but taking a closer look, the little disks were everywhere.
 In just a few minutes I collected a handful.  I placed them on the front desk in the beach office.
 The first day I enquired about these little guys,the young student employees  knew nothing about them.  Later on Sunday the office director explained that they did indeed know about the disks and the beach had been checked out twice this Spring before the season started.
I learned from the Internet, late Thursday evening that they had escaped from a waste water treatment plant in Mamaroneck, NY which is about 25 miles across the Long Island Sound as the crow flies, or as a small disk would travel in water.  I have since been contacted by State authorities about these disks.  They showed up in other North Shore Beaches, including Glen Cove, and Northport.  Thousands hit Sunken Meadow after being spilled into the sound in March, but were cleaned up.  I am not sure if these that I saw were just coming in, or leftover from months ago.  These were placed in the trash can.

To read more about this spill go to :


I had been going to Robert Moses Beach all summer, which is on the South Shore and did not know about the wagon wheel disks.  It didn't take me long to find out where they came from.   Sort of ironic that they came from a waste treatment plant.