Thursday, May 31, 2012

News and Updates from Little List Week

I didn't plan on being gobsmacked by post job departure decompression. I had no idea how stressed out I was until I took a week off work between jobs......only to find I would have been better suited to regression hypnosis therapy and hot tea than a week of home improvement. 

I got through Wednesday (yesterday) only to find myself on the sofa for the rest of the day by 3 p.m. So I wrote this blog post instead of soldiering through.

Ups? I found my home office space again. And it's looking good. I added a sewing project onto my list, which involved some cafe curtains for the window to replace a pair of broken-down shutters. A peek until I blog about it later: 

I also took advantage of Memorial Day sales as a reward for all that cleaning. I'll be getting this rug for the space too, and I'm thrilled about all the colors. 

I also found four boxes of items for a yard sale, one box for consignment, one box for Goodwill, and one big bag for the trash. 

And, BREAKING NEWS: I'm getting my first floor bathroom floor done! Readers may remember the state I've been living in for some time: 

Yup. Broken chunks of old (cool, but totally destroyed) asbestos flooring. 

I've just wanted a temporary, inexpensive vinyl tile "fix" to get us a couple of years down the road to when I have more money and time for a full bathroom remodel; but it's never a good time to have your toilet removed and......well. You get the picture. My neighbor works in the trades and picks up extra jobs for a reasonable fee for family, friends and neighbors. This week is my turn!

Downs? All my other sewing projects didn't even get started. Clearly I need to rethink reality on sewing projects. A couple of skirts, some pillows, AND a set of curtains? Who do I think I am? 

Thursday is the day for getting the bedroom alcove ceiling repainted (properly, this time), and Friday is gardening day. Let's hope I gain momentum as the week draws to an end! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lamp Love: Kitchen Light

Today's Wednesday Lamp Love isn't a link, because there isn't one. This is a very special edition of Lamp Love, because it's showing off a new find of mine.

I've currently got an ugly, non-descript, home-improvement store bargain, white ceiling fan in my kitchen. Word, sisters and brothers, can you see in your mind what I'm describing? Amen.

It has to go.

Not only that, it wasn't going to be replaced by another ceiling fan. List this as one of my odd little persnickety issues, but I can't stand having ceiling fans over kitchen or dining tables. I can't explain it. Only that it is not right in my little world.

You know how it is when you want to change up something in your house with a vintage fixture? You look and wait, look and wait, look and wait, look and wait. I looked in barn sales and on Etsy and Ebay. I found lovely light fixtures that were shockingly expensive (a copper and slag glass shade 1930s era fixture for.....gulp....$900). Eep.

I found all sorts of light fixtures that would have "worked," meaning they fit the era or the color or the style I sorta liked, but nothing really said "I AM THE ONE" and commanded me to buy it immediately. I wanted that reaction in myself, because I spend a lot of time cooking, and didn't want a light fixture that made me say, "it's all right," or even worse "pfffft," because that's just no way for momma to stay happy in her kitchen.

Until this:

Everyone, meet my new kitchen light fixture. In this photo she's hanging from the chain hook above my dining room table just so I could show her off better. Hum a few bars of "Isn't She Lovely" from Stevie Wonder, because I think that's what tune burst into my mind when she appeared in my internet browser. I was that excited.

The seller (Etsy) dated this fixture to the 1940s, and to be honest with you, I'm not sure. If it is, it's perfect for my house. If it isn't, (and my next guess is 1960s), it's still perfect. I wanted a dark metal or aged copper metal fixture, but I didn't want anything too dark and heavy and I knew I wanted white glass involved somehow and......don't ask me what I was seeing in my mind's eye. I didn't have a clue until I saw it. Then I said "YES."

Here's another angle:

I spy: yellow daisies and green handled scissors. Can you? 

Above you can see the metal lace trim and the glass connector on the stem of the fixture. The shade is about 17 inches in diameter, perfect size for my kitchen. In the background you can see one of the corner built-ins in the dining room. Really, it's the reason I bought this house.

Here's a detail of the shade:

Now that I've got it, I need to do several switcheroos all over the house. This needs to go in the kitchen and the ceiling fan needs to go on the yard sale. Then the other ceiling fan from my mother's house needs to go where the screen porch's weird 1980s crystal light thingy is now. Then the vintage Lightolier in my bedroom needs to come downstairs to the front room so the track lighting there can go on the yard sale....why is it always so complicated? Isn't she lovely?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Stitch in Time

From the Singer Sewing Book, 1953.
I'm on day two of my "Little List Week," and I'm already behind. I'm cheerful about it. No, really. I am.

Yesterday was amazingly productive, and I've now recovered my home office space. I'm putting a few quick finishing touches on it today so that I'll be ready to blog about it later.

Today, not so much. I've got my sewing machine out, and I've got my projects lined up, but it's nearly 11 a.m. and I haven't sewn a stitch yet. Argh.

This is the problem when one moves and STILL doesn't have a dedicated space for sewing, crafts, etc. I've spent more time in set-up so far than I have in sewing. And I've had some misadventures that are going to involve me going to the fabric store before I can make any progress. I'll blog about it later.

I'm taking the philosophy that I'll get done what I can today, and then move on to the next thing on my list. I'm counting on that overflow day!

Check back in later this week for an update on my first few days of checking things off my Little List.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Little List

Writing, by Elisa Xyz

When I posted on Friday I said out loud in front of the whole world (me 'n' my big mouth), that I'd come back by Sunday with a list of things to accomplish for the week I have to myself between jobs. I consider it a way to take a little bite off the huge enchilada that is my total house renovation. If that goes well, maybe I will sit down and tackle the BIG LIST, the one I blogged about here with misgivings and strong drink. 

At first I was off and running. It's easy to "make a list." It's harder to "do the list." In my Wild Imagination, it's easy for me to get all excited about the possibilities of "getting stuff done." Unfortunately, Wild Imagination, that sassy missy, tends to concentrate on the fun stuff-- the pillows and the knick-knackery, picking paint chips and shopping for the little finishing touches. She doesn't seem to care much for the more unpleasant things like pulling up carpet staples, sanding walls, or cleaning up several decades worth of grime.

So I put a stop to all that, got stern with myself and start to think realistically what I could get done in a week, and what HAD to get done this week. After that, a clearer picture started to emerge.

How I chose my week's list:

1. I'm going to be freelance writing again for about 10 to 15 hours a week to supplement my new job's income. That means I'll be working from home again, and need to have an orderly, dedicated place in which to do it. My front room is a disaster, and I'm going to change that.

2. Some time ago, I put a firm moratorium on buying any more fabric until I did some of the endless projects I cooked up in my head (thanks, Wild Imagination). I've got some projects that need doing in the short term, so now it seems easier to dive in.

Above from left to right are two floral cotton prints I picked up last year, and a vintage lightweight dobby plaid. I need some skirts that are office casual appropriate, and I've got some simple patterns that I can run up quickly to fill my closet. The fabric on the far right was a set of curtains in a previous life, made of sturdy twill. They are going to become a set of toss pillows for my living room sofa.

3. I keep shoving off having a yard sale because I can't seem to get my act together, assemble the items, and sort them by categories that will be easy to price. Also, this issue is getting me stuck on making progress in my bedroom (Don't ask. It's not pretty). So, I'll spend a day getting these things organized, even if I don't have a date set yet.

4. Another reason that I've gotten "stuck" on my bedroom is a ceiling paint job that I did last fall that to be perfectly honest, stunk. I didn't want to start the next step, a floor painting job, until I painted the ceiling again. But I hate painting ceilings. So.....(clock ticking, calendar pages dropping to the floor)....I just didn't do it. This situation is ridiculous, and I'm doing something about it this week.

5. More progress in the garden. Any progress at all. Don't get me wrong. It's been coming along. I just need to keep at it. Right now that means bagging and disposing of sod, mulching newly claimed border territory, and getting edgers run all the way along the bed.

6. An "overflow day." Even thinking hard about setting priorities, I tend to get too ambitious. A day to make up for unexpected surprises or poor planning is a good idea.

So here we go with the little list/schedule:

The Little List
Sunday: This is Prep Day. Cleaning supplies for front room project, set up sewing machine on the dining room table, assemble paint supplies in bedroom for ceiling re-do. Find storage boxes for garage sale organizing day.
Monday: This is Front Room Day. Clean, organize, and get the front room ready to be a freelancers office!
Tuesday: This is Sewing Day. Skirts, pillows!
Wednesday: This is Garage Sale Planning Day. 
Thursday: This is Ceiling Painting Day.
Friday: This is Gardening Day.
Saturday: This is Recovery Day. Clean house and do laundry. 
Sunday: Yeay Me Day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Big List

I am afraid of the Big List.

You know. That one where you go from room to room in your house, and make a check list of EVERY thing that needs to be done, from plumbing upgrades to paint to curtains.

I get kind of light-headed just thinking about it. I'll admit there's even a tot of strong stuff in the glass of lemonade I'm drinking while I write this post, it makes me so neurotic.

Ever since I took hold of the keys to this place I've felt a little inadequate to the job of getting it fixed up. My budget certainly does. Hundreds of items "to-do" crowd my mind, and they cycle around in my cerebral cortex like a big old cloud of drywall dust, dollar signs, and crazy.

So, given that even the un-named, un-listed bunch of stuff that confronts me every day in every room was more than I could bear to think about, the idea of writing it all down seemed like an invitation to a nervous tic and possibly violent outbursts. Why do it?

Over on the blog DIY Diva, writer/builder/ass-kicker Kit has made what she calls a "Master List" of everything she needs to do to her recently purchased, beautiful, and sadly neglected 19th Century brick farmhouse. She writes about it here. She's a home-improvement blogger more than a home design blogger, but I've followed her for about a year because she has both gumption and a sense of humor. In the next blog post after the master list she writes, "I know that all of you think I took one look at that bigass list I wrote, fell out of my chair, and have been lying on the kitchen floor contemplating the purpose of linoleum and how the hell I'm going to get all that work done ever since."

Well, uh, yes. Exactly why I haven't attempted a bigass list of my own.

But I'm beginning to reconsider. And that's not just the spiked lemonade talking.

Kit was smart enough to list the things she's already gotten done. Good strategy. It gives you a sense of accomplishment to see that there's already things crossed off that big scary list. Ta-DAH!

Secondly, I'm beginning to realize that I look at the Big List, in its giant, scary, un-made state, as ONE THING. All or nothing. Paint it all or die trying. Replant the garden in one month or hang up your hoe.

I am a lunatic for thinking this way. Not to mention the fact it's defeating me before I even get started. It doesn't exactly get me cheek to jowl with the linoleum like Kit's scenario of despair; but it does tend to make me sigh, shrug, and go wander off to daydream over magazines instead.

But if it's the Big List, written down, it's break-down-able. Itemized. If instead of that big pile of undone stuff that's jamming up the sanity between my ears, it becomes "I have time to do #47 in one Saturday," maybe I'll be better off.

At least I'm going to try it.

I'm setting a goal of creating a structured list to publish on my blog Sunday to organize the week I have free before starting my new job. It won't be "the" Big List, but it will give me a small start on a new way of thinking about how to get things done. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Purty Dishes

The farm women in my family (and two or three generations ago, that was all of them) didn't like to serve from the stove. Those vegetables weren't properly taken care of until (slathered with butter and) put on the table in a "purty dish."

I have become one of them, though I haven't yet adopted their cotton print house dresses or beaded hairnets (but give me time). I can't pass by a single yard sale table or antique store display case if it's got a few "purty dishes."

It would be helpful both to my personal budget, my sanity, and my storage space if I had just the ONE thing. You know those women. My Great Aunt Ruby collected Francisan Apple.  I know someone whose grandmother gave her a complete set of Johnson Bros. Friendly Village, right down to the gravy boat and covered butter dish. But me, I like to mix it up quite a bit. Okay, a lot a bit. You put it all together, and it looks like you're being entertained at a potluck by a hoarder. Oh. Um..... yeah.

My Pinterest board of the same title displays this brand of crazy pretty well. There's no unifying color, theme, or time period. And this is just easy and fancy pickins from Etsy. Throw some church rummage sales in there, and there's no telling where I'll end up.

Try these: 

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Or this:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Or this:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

With a few of these:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

With drinks in a few of these:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Dish the food onto this:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Or this:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Try some of these for fun:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Or these for beauty:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Have your after dinner coffee in this:

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

Mind you, I'm not disputing my TASTE. I think it's excellent, thank you very much. I just lack consistency. Color coordination. Restraint. A good sense of when a lot of pressed glass becomes too much. A local and active support group.

Two things I do know: I am always prepared to serve cake and iced tea. When I pass, I will leave behind an AWESOME estate sale. Both these things make me feel smug.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage Linen Finds

I had loads to do last week, but apparently that did not include cleaning, laundering, and pressing the linens I found at the flea market. They were in pretty yucky shape, wadded up any which way and from the home of a smoker, so I didn't share them on the blog along with the other bargain loot.

Now they're ready to make their debut.  Now, when I say "pressed" I mean I "ran them over once or three times with an iron." I need to make that distinction because my mother would have boiled up a pan of bluing and starch and ironed them on the linen setting until they were crispy and able to stand at attention of their own accord. While I have a great appreciation for the lost art of the laundress, I don't have the time. Oh, that and I like to sit down now and again.

Anyway, I digress. Here we go:

This dishtowel has exactly the 1960s-1970s colors I'm looking for in my kitchen rehab, and is Colonial Revival to boot. It is in perfect condition, and all it needed was de-stinkafication.

Up next was a Squealer. Meaning I squealed when I saw it. So much so I startled the other women pawing through the table of stuff, and my sister who said, "well, you're getting that," in the firm tone of voice one normally uses to deal with the slightly out of control.

I don't know where to start. I like the colors. I like the fact the woman who made this made the apron strings so they were wide and gathered into the waistband, so when starched (like I would know this, though of course my mother would), the bow is full and fluffy. I like the colors. I like the little black silhouette flocks which make up the design. I like how the garden gate becomes the fabric border.

I like the chickens. To distraction I like the chickens. See?

The last item, also another apron, isn't really special, and that's why I bought it:

And by "not special" I mean it seemed to be having some self-esteem problems, in amongst the organdy holiday aprons and extra awesome chicken aprons and lace pillowcases and the fancy-up the davenport doilies. But it spoke to me. It was made and worn by a woman with just the same sort of feedsack fabric that every other lady in the county had, in a simple "get the job done" pattern. It is scattered with the kind of food stains you find on the aprons of women who actually cook. I even noticed one apron string is cut from a strip including the selvage edge, and the maker left it unsewn. She used every bit of the fabric and saved herself some time (and thread) by taking advantage of the pre-bound selvage. I'm guessing she made a pretty darn fine pie, and wasn't afraid to get dirty to get her work done. I only wish there had been a recipe card in the pocket, but I'll bet she didn't use one. Wherever the owner is, I hope she was just as proud of this apron as the good-for-company ones she may have owned. I'm glad it has a new home, and I may even wear it the next time I bake. It seems pretty inspirational to me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Post Card from the Flea Market

I had a few things left to share with blog readers from the flea market, along with wrap up. Today I'm going to send you a little postcard from the market, details about how I rated it and where it is.  I will also share a couple of actual postcards I bought that day from a sweet, smart, elderly man in a plaid shirt and feed cap, who had his post card collection meticulously organized in photo albums by date and category. Wow!

Because of this gentleman's flair for tidy display, I almost walked right to this unmailed postcard from the 1939 New York World's Fair, above, which depicts the Elgin Watch Building. The New York World's Fair, its impact on Mid-century culture and its memorabilia are one of my new pet hobbies, because it is the same year my house was built. The fair was the first with a theme of the future, "Welcome to the World of Tomorrow," a concept I find both forward looking and poignant, considering that the shadows of World War II were already upon Europe as the exhibits began to open. In fact, one of the best "interesting facts" about the fair has to do with WWII. Britain loaned Lincoln Cathedral's copy of the Magna Carta to the fair exhibits, and then found itself at war with Germany shortly after. It was decided the precious document was safer in America. It remained after the fair, guarded at Fort Knox and keeping company with the original copy of the U.S. Constitution, until it was delivered back to Britain in 1947.

I also picked up this one, which is a postcard from the 1933 Chicago Exposition, "A Century of Progress,"

I'm a bit amused with myself for this purchase, because technically it was a mistake; a goof. At least it was only a $3 goof. When I was at the market I thought it was another 1939 New York World's Fair postcard, and I was so tired, sun-baked, and confused by what I was reading that I didn't recall my history. The postcard didn't indicate the location, though the lakefront locale of the building should have been a big hint, and so it came home with me. Still, I'm not sorry I bought it. I love the clear, bright colors used during the 1930s, and the decade has always fascinated me design-wise. It's a keeper!

For those of you who have been asking, the flea market is held in a small town with an unusual name. The market is held three times a year (May, August, and October) in What Cheer, Iowa, pop. 678, at the Keokuk County Fair Grounds. Admission is $1. To give you a rough idea of location, What Cheer is located off U.S. Interstate 80 roughly midway between Des Moines and Iowa City.

I admit I haven't done a lot of flea markets, and I intend to change that! Nevertheless, I know it means I don't have a good point of comparison to review this one. That said:

1. This flea market had a lot of antique dealers. This meant the quality of items overall was high, but it also meant you were not going to score deals of a lifetime. Most flea market dealers know their stuff, and know how much it's worth. Even so, it's worth haggling. My sister's bargaining for a Westmoreland milk glass bird ended in a very fair price, better than an antique mall, even if it wasn't a "steal."

2. There's a lot of garage sale crap at this flea market. Granted, if you're going for used farm/lawn equipment, outgrown children's clothing, and second-hand household goods, that's a good thing. AND those nasty estate sale boxes I mentioned in a previous post were worth digging through, so it's best not to turn your nose up at these options. You just have to be prepared to sift through a lot of junk and a lot of crap. Sometimes literally. (I'm still shuddering at all the rat poop in those estate box lots.)

3. This is small town Midwest, which was never a mecca for cutting edge Mid-century design. You'll find housewares, linens, small kitschy items and even some good vintage clothing. But if you're looking for an amoeba shaped coffee table on hairpin legs, Heywood Wakefield dressers and the like, you'll look in vain. The people here lived modest farming lives and had traditional tastes. People who favor country rustic or 19th Century antiques will fare far better in the furniture department at this flea market.

4. There was too much to do. That same day was a quilt show and sale and church lunch in Deep River, a little community northwest of What Cheer, and there were other sales and activities going on downtown. Even if we'd showed up at the market start, 7 a.m., we wouldn't have made it to everything. We didn't even cover the whole fairground. It was enormous!

5. Come prepared for almost anything. I'm probably just using this as a platform to whine about my very foolishly earned sunburn, but still. The day started rainy and overcast, ended up 85 degrees F. and sunny. Early rains soaked the fairgrounds and foot traffic churned everything up into a giant mud pit. During the course of the entire day I could have used an umbrella, sunscreen, a hat, a pair of garden clogs or some kind of boots, an extra bag or two to carry loot, a tape measure, and a camera. I brought about $100 in small bills. I didn't spend anywhere near all of it, but most sellers weren't taking plastic or even checks. 

Would I do it again? Absolutely! And now I'm wanting to find flea markets closer to home, and further afield, and while traveling. What are some of the best in your area?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Why We Need Cake

Mostly, I favor home made. If I want a cake, I'll go through my recipe box and pull out a family classic, and whip me up something.

Other times, one needs instant gratification. The sort of cheer that comes from buttercream roses in a bakery box, that easy elation of just picking it out of the refrigerator case and bringing it home to excited kids, ta-DAH! Look what I did! Just because I wanted cake! And cake for you too!

In this case, how about buttercream pop-art daisies?

It looks very cheerful, doesn't it? Kind of the way I feel.

I feel cheerful because I just got a new job. One that includes better pay. One that includes better hours, and no more evening hours that take me away from my precious, precious babies. One that means more time to create rather than just hurry, hurry all the time.

I'm grateful for the new opportunities. Ready to celebrate new-found time with my family. Excited about the future. And that's why we need cake.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flea Market Treasures

Foreground: groovy black and white Royal Copley Vases. Background: Dyan packing her loot for mailing back to Georgia.

After a Saturday night in which Mr. Man Friend took us out for Mexican food (we'd forgotten until we walked into the restaurant that it was actually Cinco De Mayo) and some rather larger than advisable margaritas, we were ready for a good night's rest. On Sunday, Dyan and I had almost as much fun sorting and bragging about our loot as we did conquering the flea market. I think it's how the Vikings must have felt, only with mid-century ceramics rather than gold coins (though we could have had a few of those at this flea market too.)

Ceramics was most of our haul. You'll remember the big ol' tables of Royal Copley mentioned in the previous flea market post:

It pretty well stopped us dead in our tracks! Then we saw the "1/2 Off" sign....and we were slaves to the bargain. Dyan has been collecting black and white colored pottery ceramics for awhile--ironstone, art pottery, things like that. So it only seemed natural she would come home with the pair above, at the top of the blog post.

I like green, and was looking for planters to populate a screen porch yet to be renovated. So I found this, for $10:

 And these. I love the tawny and green-y stripes on the one on the left. These were $3 each:

 Dyan picked up this pair of sweet little bird planters, $14 for the yellow and $3 for the rose/brown one (he has a little chip on the tip of his beak you can see in the photo):

I also came home with this speckle vase as an "inspiration" piece for my main floor bathroom, the direction I'd like it to go. It's going to be used to round up toothpaste tubes and toothbrush clutter in the meantime. $5: 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lamp Love Link: Ode to Orange

For the longest time, I was not a fan of orange. It still isn't the color I choose first to decorate my spaces with. But its zingy charm has grown on me. My oldest son's room sports an orange lamp. I like orange in the garden for it's ability to marry blues and purples vibrantly. And I'm contemplating an orange front door for a stand-out statement in the neighborhood. Here's another couple of orange lamps I'd welcome in my interiors if I were so inclined. Think of it as a little ode to orange:

Are you eyes open? They will be:

Orange hanging lamp from AardworkenZo on Etsy. 
I can see that lamp lighting up in an ultra modern room of navy blue and stainless steel.
I'm more likely to go for streaky ceramics like this:

A pair of glazed lamps from MonDesirVintage on Etsy.
Very masculine and yet arty too. How do you like your orange?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Burning Through the Week

Source: via Laura on Pinterest

The sunburn I got on flea market Saturday has started to itch. And peel. Remember those old Solarcaine ads? They still make the product, but the ads don't feature those scary photos of red-baked but beautiful women. When I was a little girl I didn't realize the advertisements had been tinted, but compared to those I'd have to say my shoulders, arms, bosom, and nose look pretty impressive. Remember the jingle? "Solarcaine stops sunburn pain....." Next time? Sun screen (duh), hat, and long sleeved shirt.

And can I just say this? I miss the hell out of my sister. You can't have that kind of fun and margaritas and then just say "all done," like moderation is a VIRTUE, for pete's sake. It just isn't true. Moderation is for amateurs.

I'm also burning to share the rest of the flea market treasure, an Etsy purchase, some garden progress, and other big happenings.  It's been one of those weeks. Not just busy, but significant. I feel like I've been running around saying "Whoa!" every few minutes. I promise it's all coming soon. I'll even share a few of the "Whoas."

Monday, May 7, 2012

Flea Market Treasure: The Ones That Got Away

Step right up......Kettle corn was being sold just steps away. I half expected to see an elephant in the next shed.

We'll start with the circus decor, because flea market day was circus-like in atmosphere. With babies in strollers, angus burgers from food stands, dogs on leashes and people in strange hats, it was almost as much fun to people watch as it was to shop.

Dyan, Kristy and I didn't arrive in time for opening, at 7 a.m., which meant we parked on the north forty. And I mean the north forty. We parked on a gravel road by a corn field and hiked back into town to the county fairgrounds, where the flea market was being held. Thank Karma we didn't end up buying a buffet. This little bitty Midwestern town of perhaps 300 people was bursting at the seams with thousands of cars and thousands of people. Wow. We had no idea what to expect. It was Fleamageddon. Fleamapalooza. And we didn't even see it all, there was so much of it. It was more flea than we could handle!

Today I'll share with you the stuff that didn't come home with us, but caught my eye. Later this week I'll show you our scores!

This paper doll wasn't labeled as being Marilyn Monroe, but she had a similar blonde bombshell look:

 I apologize for the blur in the photo below, but light in this building was dim and a very large woman kept jostling my elbow as she went in for the kill on a gaggle of old jam jars off to my left. I can't turn away from the concept of a sassy squirrel with a mallet, can you?

The glass and gold pitcher set was classier than I am. I'd have to go buy a dress to have this kind of party:

I almost didn't resist the Elvis Presley bust, and now I'm not sure how I did. He couldn't stand up on the crooked table, but he does look perfectly at home nestled between two pieces of Staffordshire royalty. He is The King, you know:

Now, when I think "party bucket" I think of those big containers of margarita mix. Nope. It's spiced herring cutlets in wine sauce. Who knew?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hanging a Sign On the Doorstep

Soon we'll be in trouble, my pretties (I think that must be the crow, above, talking).

My sister arrives today by plane, and by Saturday we'll be hitting the flea market. I have my envelope of cash, my sense of adventure, and my readiness to rock all, well, ready to rock. 

I'll try to write some mini-updates as we go along, but I'm basically posting a "Will Return Soon" sign on the door here. We've never been to this flea market before and it's a long drive, so I hope it's a treasure.

Have a good weekend, and we'll catch you on Monday for the whole story!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lamp Love Link: Deep in the Woods

It wasn't until I lived in Michigan that I gained an appreciation of cabin kitsch. And then it sorta hit me in an acorn/pinecone/camp crafts storm. I once even considered making one of those awesome popsicle stick lamps for Noah's bedroom. It never happened, but a girl can dream, can't she?

This lamp is all that I wanted the popsicle stick lamp to be and more:

A cypress lamp for sale on Etsy from ABetterTime.
It's got a woven splint shade and little built in cubby for a plant. Couldn't you just look at it all day? Also, the shop ABetterTime has loads of vintage goodies from clothing to Gene Autry postcards. I spent quite a bit of time looking around. You know how these things are. A girl starts out with vintage lamps and pretty soon she's looking at her other options too, like Mr. Autry and a pair of vintage Frye cowboy boots. You never know how these things will turn out, except in a country and western song.

I don't know how I got from this lamp to a possible honky-tonk heartbreak, but that's about how my week has gone. Crazy. I'll see you again soon with a garden update, and I promise to behave myself better next time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thank you for April!

My wee little blog saw close to 1500 web hits in April, a record breaker since I started in November 2011. In the span of a few short months, I've had old friends and some new ones cheering me on through the discovery of living in and loving this old home. Thanks so much for your support!

Coming up soon is the big weekend where my sister visits for flea market fun, and in the following months you can join me as I try to get the last bedroom (mine) whipped into shape. Stick around! Sit down and have a lemonade (with Southern Comfort, shhhhh, I promise I won't tell) and we'll spend the summer together! Bring your friends!