What? Me? Obsessing?

After an absurd, scandalous, and massive amount of work, the parlor in the 1894 Cross House was, at last, close to being done. But Ross was…unhappy. In staring at this image, Ross felt it was, ah, too perfect. WHERE was the all-important discordant element? For, without a discordant element, rooms can seem lifeless.


Ross pondered.

Ross fretted.

Ross worried.

Ross came up with a dozen potential solutions to this epic problem. Yes, yes, the world may be going to Hell but, damn, not until the Cross House parlor was the best it could be.

So, Ross continued ponderingfretting&worrying.

Then a light bulb went off.


The vines!!!!!!!! The vines on the picture rail!!!!!!!! Ross zeroed in on their utter failure in making the parlor come alive. While visible in this close-up image, they were barely visible in person. Oh, the horror. And Ross suddenly realized that something had to be done. (The frieze has since been changed.)


Royal blue to the rescue!!!!!!!! But…damn…still not quite right. Damn. So, Ross had to sand them, subduing the blue. That helped. But still…not quite right.


Then Ross rubbed gold onto the blue. The same gold as the picture rail. Gadzooks! Ross thought that this worked!


This subtle change introduces a discordant element. And Ross is much happier, as the blue offers a not-quite-right contrast with the teal. (Note: colors not accurate.) But then…damn…damn…


…there were oculus issues, too. And Ross HATES having oculus issues. Don’t you? Well, you see at like the 11 o’clock position? There is a lot of teal between two lightning bolts. It looked like a mistake.


A seeming mistake now rectified. Better?





  1. Barb Sanford on June 4, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    You know, I thought I was a perfectionist. You see, I thought the room before was “perfectly perfect in every way,” as Mary Poppins would say.

    But I now realize that next to you, I am a rank amateur, because you, dear sir, are a perfectionist’s perfectionist.

    I’m not sure about the picture rail — I’ll wait for a photo in which the colors are not off. But the oculus? Love it! It truly IS perfection.

  2. Vicki F on June 4, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    Better. On both accounts.

  3. Sandra Lee on June 5, 2017 at 2:16 am

    Lovely!! Perfection–“practically perfect in every way” sans SE corner. Love love love the royal blue w gold! Just the ticket. You are like an artist who keeps making changes & isn’t always satisfied. However everything done has been mesmerizing. Parlor looks wonderful. Love the view of oculus & chandelier when looking toward the stained glass windows. Draperies going up after SE corner done? What else are you working on besides finishing touches to parlor? Continuing painting north side?? Let’s see a view of the north with the beautiful 1894 colors:-)

    • Sandra Lee on June 5, 2017 at 3:19 am

      Didn’t mean to sound like u were neglecting other important tasks–I understand u know best & have to pick & choose which project needs the immediate attention orwhich is most compelling; or what u wish at the time:-(

      • Ross on June 5, 2017 at 7:25 pm

        I did not take your comment as criticism.

        I took it as curiosity.

    • Ross on June 5, 2017 at 10:28 am

      Yes, when the SE corner is done I can install all the furnishings and draperies.

      The parlor is consuming ALL my energy so the outside has been, mostly, abandoned for now.

      It is not just the physical work with the parlor that is so demanding. It has required every ounce of creative thought, and this, more than anything, just depletes me. It is like everything I am is being poured into the parlor.

  4. [email protected] Ridge on June 5, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Ross, thank you SO much for sharing the evolution of your parlor with all of us! This room is truly amazing and so reflects the bright energy and renewal of life you are awakening in the Cross House!! Hope you can take some time to just sit here when the parlor is finally sporting all its bits to just soak in the beauty and enjoy it. I suspect your parlor will be a source of inspiration later as you are contemplating design in other rooms.

  5. californianinkansas on June 7, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    I love the change to the blue-gold!

  6. Stewart McLean on June 29, 2017 at 7:55 am

    I am throwing out an idea because you clearly do not have enough to do. So many people have asked me why I ask their advice when I never take it. It is usually because their ideas make no sense to me at all. I have tried to be tactful and say that, if their idea is not to my taste, it helps me see what I do want. What I just realized as I am/was writing this reply is that I should say that their ideas stimulate my creative process and are incorporated into the design invisibly.

    Here is my idea:

    the subtle use of polyurethane, or some other medium in your field of experience, could emerge from the tip of each lightening bolt and across the oculus to be the slightly visible cause of one of the contiguous cracks in your glass ceiling.

    I didn’t get the connection until you told me. I like the effect so much I would be tempted to use/ steal it myself. alas, I am married. In a fantasy world, I would go to an auto repair shop and take photographs of actual damage to safety glass as it emerged from impact areas. I would paint a whole room in high gloss paint conventionally. Next, carefully choosing a likely impact point, I would hit the wall hard in that spot putting a real dent in the plaster. Finally, I would paint very thin cracks in the exact color green that one sees the edges of a piece of glass.

    I could see this design used on Hillary Clinton’s bedroom ceiling, so she could wake each morning and realize that, even though through technicalities, she didn’t get through the glass ceiling, she sure shattered it in a way that it is going to fall at any time. I don’t mean this as a political statement, for or against her, I just think that it would work for her or any woman who has reached the top of her field. I grew up with the idea that, in polite company, one did not talk politics or religion unless one was or was speaking to a politician or a full time religious leader.

    Is the plural form of oculus, oculi?

  7. Stewart McLean on June 29, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Your bolts could emerge from a thunder cloud too. I am not wild about the white circle. Gosh I’m pushy today. For fun, you could also (sacrilige) paint the cloud on the escutcheon of your light fixture

    • Ross on June 29, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Sacrilege, indeed!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.