Monthly Archives: July 2012

Keep calm and carry on

Original copy of the Keep Calm And Carry On poster, in Barter Books, Alnwick, Northumberland – image from: (UK Crown Copyright – expired)

House Crazy will carry on.

Thanks to all those people who emailed me about my blog and for your encouragement to keep going. I’m not much of a risk taker, but there is always risk in life so I am going to go forward with my humble blog. I love it too much to not to.

More details on my reasoning in a post to follow tomorrow.

Love you my readers!

(p.s………..I made sure I was legally able to use the above image – it is has been declared by the UK to be in the public domain!) 


On a serious note – Day of reckoning for my blog

I am all for full disclosure and transparency so I’m just going to tell you what is going on even though this has me shaking in my boots and feeling like a guilty felon:

My blog may have to cease to exist.

Okay, that statement is a little dramatic. But here’s the situation I find myself in:

I may be in serious violation of copyright laws.

Here’s what happened:

On Thursday of last week I inexplicably got an email from the folks at Google AdSense telling me that I was being kicked-out of their advertising program because I was in violation of their Terms Of Services. They did not specify what I had done wrong. I appealed the decision and asked them to please at least tell me what I was in violation of, but their automated system told me that they may NEVER get back to me about the matter if they feel they were justified in expelling me.

What does that mean?

Basically, I gave about 6 months of free advertising to Google AdSense advertisers and they don’t have to pay me for ANY of that.

Obviously, I’m furious and frustrated beyond words.

Since Google AdSense didn’t specifically tell me what rule I was violating, I can only assume it was copyright law because that was the most logical and obvious infraction that looms large in their rules. I have literally used dozens, maybe even hundreds of photos with a copyright mark right on them. I wondered about it all that night – could I be doing something illegal on my blog by merely posting pictures of houses?

The next day (Friday) I saw this post on the Blogher network:

As the title suggests, a blogger was recently sued for copyright violation for ONE photo on her blog that she did not have permission to post.

Have I used other people’s house photos on my site without permission?

Continue reading

A spectacular Queen Anne Victorian in Florida

This gorgeous lady is located in a historic district in Tarpon Springs, Florida. She overlooks a deep bayou just minutes from the Gulf of Mexico.

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She’s just as beautiful inside as she is outside…

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(That’s the enclosed pool & spa.) I came across this historic beauty on Kelly’s wonderful Old House Dreams website.

This 1885 home is currently listed for sale at $990,000.

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The home has 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms in over 5,000 square feet.

Continue reading

Rezoned and repurposed: The Old Village School in Vermont

Kaitlin from Preservation in Pink posted this beautiful photo on her historic preservation blog a couple of weeks ago (see here). I was so intrigued, I had to find out more.

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This beautiful 1874 building is known as The Old Village School. Its historical name is the Wells River Graded School and it is located in the village of Wells River, Vermont.

Here’s the town of Wells River depicted in an old postcard:

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I can’t pick out the school but I do see a steeple, or bell tower at the far end of the town.

The Old Village School is said to be “an outstanding representation of French Second Empire architecture”.

The old school served the Wells River and Newbury communities until 1967, when the school officially closed.

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The historic photo above was surprising to me because it put the actual size of the building in perspective with the students and staff shown out front. The school is a lot BIGGER than I had originally thought. Either that, or the humans were just really tiny back then.

The Wells River Graded School was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Since then, the school has been multi-purposed as a radio station, a probate court, law offices, a retail store, residential apartments, Pilates studio, counseling office and currently; a yoga studio and tanning & massage business.

A succession of private owners have implemented restoration projects over the last decade.

Have a look at some of the interior before and afters

Continue reading

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: the cottages of Venice California

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I just finished reading this amazing coffee-table book which profiles 28 of the historic bungalows in Venice, California.

My blog has featured Venice homes in the past including Nely Galan’s colorful house and Lynn Hanson’s coastal cottage, so I was thrilled to find a book that gathers a whole bunch of Venice house goodies all in one place.

Venice – west of Los Angeles right on the Pacific Ocean – is of course renowned for its famous canals and walk streets. The community was conceived and founded by tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney in 1905. In the early 1900’s Venice California became a popular tourist attraction and weekend destination. It quickly filled up with small vacation cottages on tiny lots.

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Due to public health concerns (swampy water in the canals) most of the canals were tragically paved over in 1929. The community fell into disrepair and became known as “the slum by the sea”. Starting in the 1960’s and right up to the 1990’s, artists and creative types began buying up the tiny cottages and revitalizing the neighborhood. Today Venice is a desirable, pricey real estate area that is a mix of vintage bungalows and contemporary new builds.

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Cottages in the Sun: Bungalows of Venice California written by Margaret Bach and photographed by Melba Levick, takes an up-close look at some of the remaining historic cottages.

The photos are vivid and plentiful; the text is rich and detailed. I read this book cover to cover and savored every moment of it.

The homes featured were all small historic bungalows (heavenly) but the book also highlighted the cottage owners and their personal decorating styles.

Creativity and eclecticism are on full display in the homes of Venice. The exterior spaces – gardens and decorated patios – were also prominently featured.

Cottages in the Sun is a visual buffet for the cottage-loving reader. The homes (and their peaceful lifestyles within) are – dare I say it – inspirational. Maybe even transcendental.

A credo carved on a sign outside one of the Venice cottages:

This house is a Temple engaged in the celebration of life.


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Here’s the giveaway part:

You can win a copy of this gorgeous book simply by leaving a comment on this blog post!

I will randomly choose one lucky winner and notify you by email. I’ll mail the book directly to the winner!

You have until next Wednesday – one week – to leave a comment. Good luck!



~ House Crazy Sarah ~

Sarah Felix Burns

"So many houses, so little time"

My first novel

JACKFISH - The Vanishing Village

My second novel

Song Over Quiet Lake
Rivit Media Publisher