Monday, March 28, 2011

Never Again (ok...maybe one more time)

So I "won" this vintage Italian Tole chandelier from an ebay auction back in high bid was $79 plus the $25 in shipping. Tom told me he could re-wire it (mainly due to the fact that the main wire was much shorter than the chain)...but it sat there through January, it sat there through February...he bought lamp wiring...but it sat there some more. Finally one evening I plopped the chandelier down in front of him and demanded to know what he was going to do about it. He told me he wasn't sure he could do it so I should bring it to The Lamp Menders in Minneapolis (wow, really? you tell me that now). So The Lamp Menders replaced the main wire and all five sockets for $136 bringing my total to $240.00. Tom planned on hanging it on Saturday but we had too much running to do so he PROMISED Sunday would be the big day.
And he made good on his promise...but not without him seriously wanting to kill me. Listen to this: So Sunday morning about 8:30 he starts working but discovers the "black" and "white" wires weren't marked so we drive to Home Depot. We were told by a lighting "expert" (I use that term loosely) to buy this $17 home, it didn't work. Went back to Home Depot, found a different lighting expert who actually knew what he was talking about. Told us how to LOOK at the wires to tell which was which. Got back home, work a little more, find that the screw (or as the lighting people call it, "nipple") from our fixture we were replacing was smaller than that needed for the vintage chandelier. Tom went back to Home Depot, replaced the bracket to fit the bigger screw that he also got a home depot. We got the chandelier up, tested it then held the base up to the ceiling to find that the base didn't cover the hole. I went back to Home Depot to buy a medallian. They only had white so I found my ivory spray paint but it was out in the 30 degree garage so I had to wait an hour for the paint to warm up, got high in the basement spraying the medallian and now we're SURE we're good to more trips to the hardware store!

We take the chandelier back down, string the painted medallian, make sure the hole is covered, connect the wires, test to make sure it works, start to screw in the base...only to find that the new screw is not long enough for the darn vintage base thats about 3 inches deep (refer back to pic 1 to see the pretty scalloped base). So down it comes...again...and by this time Tom wants to throw the darn thing out the window (and me with it.) We already know that Home Depot doesn't have a long enough screw so we try luck...they just don't make the 1/4" screws (nipples) anymore, they're all 1/8". As a last resort we head to our local Frattalone's Ace Hardware and they actually have another 1/4" screw the same length as the one we got at Home Depot BUT they have a little coupling that hooks the two together and VIOLA! We now have one that's long enough and that pesky (but pretty) vintage chandelier finally gets hung at 3:30. I don't know why Tom was so only took 7 hours and 6 trips to various hardware stores.

Final cost of the $79 chandelier = $302.00 (and almost my marriage)

Moral of the story = Don't buy a friggin' vintage chandelier (ok...maybe one more, just don't tell Tom)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sweet Sunday...

I finished my last week's "to do" list late last night after all our non-stop running was done. This pillow was the last thing on my list and I love the way it turned out. I didn't have time during the week to run to St. Croix County Dry Goods to get the fabric I had in mind so I ran yesterday morning while Tom was doing his own errands. Then we ran to a few estate sales in Minneapolis...
And I found this hat, I don't collect hats, I only buy them for the millinery. And this one came in it's original Daytons box...lucky me!
And I found just a few other odds and ends, neither of us found anything spectacular.
After we hit the estate sales we went to visit my dad who was just moved to his Transitional Care Unit. Of course some things weren't right so I had to bother the nurse (and bother the nurse, and bother the nurse) but luckily by 6:00 he had everything he needed. Matt is feeling much better and after having 6 days off from school is ready to go back tomorrow. This week should be smooth sailing (knock on wood). My "to do" list is very small: 1. re-grout the master shower 2. fix the chair I ripped apart. Tom is FINALLY hanging my chandelier this morning so I'm really excited about that...for some strange reason it makes me want to clean!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hooray for Friday...

So a week or so ago I was blog hopping and came across a challenge to use your "good stuff" know, the stuff you find and then hoard because you'll never find anything like it again and you want to save it for something really special. I wish I knew who's blog it was to give proper credit but here's what I made with all my "good stuff" and just my favorite little bits and pieces that I've been hoarding for myself...

I love, love, love these blue flowers, the metal key hole and the vintage hat label that I saved from a hat I took apart (it might even be the hat that I got the blue flowers from?)
I love old religious medals and pins, buttons and paper ephemera.
And I really love this fabric (wish you could see the pretty clear button better)
More of my favorite fabric and a bit of an old pillowcase.

And the Marie Antoinette look-a-like I got from my swap with Cerri of Little Pink Studio. I really love the blue pom pom trim and would have put it on every page if I could have (but you know how dumb that would've looked?)
This floral fabric is my absolute favorite and I can't find anymore anywhere.
More vintage ephemera and an old locker number.
A little chenille flower and the prettiest lace I've ever seen.
And these are all the tags tucked in the pockets and bags...although I found that I missed a pocket and it's completely tagless so I've got an old recipe card I'll use to stuff in there. Now I can breathe a little easier knowing that all my "good stuff" still belongs to me and it's all in a pretty look book I can fill with my favorite photos.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Easter Tiny Book

Here's my newest tiny book available in my Etsy shop.

We had more snow yesterday (just when it was almost gone) so it feels far from Easter but sooner or later we'll see the grass and get to wear open toe shoes!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Proud as a Peacock...

I always make a mental weekly "to do" list each Sunday...this weeks was a fun list and consisted of 1. Bring my vintage Italian Tole Chandelier to The Lamp Mender (since Tom decided he couldn't do it) 2. Organize the books in the home library (what a mess, books just thrown everywhere) 3. finish my vintage strawberry needlepoint pillow 4. Re-cover my studio chair and 5. finish the little felt peacock found in this book.
I'm proud (as a peacock...hahaha) to say that I snuck out of the office to drop off the Chandelier this morning. I organized the library on Sunday night (but still want to move some furniture around to make a cozy little reading nook.) I re-covered my studio chair yesterday and I have to schedule a trip to St. Croix County Dry Goods to get some better fabric for my Strawberry needlepoint pillow cause I'm not happy with what I have...and finally, here is "Fancy Peacock" all finished and hanging out with her little friend, the yellow bird.
So my list is dwindling but it's helped keep my mind off Matt's mono, my dad's seemingly doomed recovery, my father-in-law's neurological problems, the water that's threatening to flood our basement, the nasty weather we've got that's supposed to turn to freezing rain and snow during the night and all the other crap that life constantly throws at us...but as a great man once said "God never gives you more than you can handle...I just wish He wouldn't trust me so much!" I'm going to get my jammies on and curl up on the couch (far away from mono boy)...hope you have a much drier night than we're having here in MN!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just Another Day...

...of chaos. Or should I say another week of chaos because that's all we seem to have around here. To make a long story short(er), Matt has been running himself ragged for the past week and a half...about Wednesday last I said to him "you are going to bed by 1:00 every night or you're going to get Mono". Saturday morning he comes to me complaining about his wisdom teeth...he'd been complaining about his wisdom teeth for days...but as soon as I heard his "sick" voice I knew it wasn't his wisdom teeth...a mother just knows these I made him go brush his teeth (cause I wanted to look in a "clean" mouth) then using a flashlight and a butter knife as a tongue depressor (just call me Doogie Howser) I got a good look at his throat.

Then I called urgent care to see how long the wait was so that my 18 year old could get diagnosed with Mononucleosis. I had Mono when I was 16...and I got it the same way Matt got it...not from kissing but from running ragged until the wee hours of the morning then getting up and doing it all over again. So I feel really sorry for this poor kid because anyone who's had mono before knows how it seriously, completely and painfully kicks your ass...and kicks it for weeks! So now he's quarantined to the front room with hand sanitizer and I'm shadowing him with a can of Lysol. Seems to me I've heard once you have it you can't get it again so I'm safe but I'll be damned if Sebastian's going to get it! Tom's on his own =)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Look what I got!

So my new friend Cerri contacted me to see if I'd be interested in doing a private swap. I'm an avid reader of her blog so I knew she had been working on these canvas totes cause she gave us a little tease here...although she didn't have them listed in her shop she was kind enough to give me one in our swap! And it is so darn cute! I just love it! So, when she lists them in her shop make sure you grab one before they're all gone.
And a little birdie I made from the pattern in this book.
I had to tweek the pattern just a bit because the body was way too small to support the head. I'm currently working on the peacock but don't like the material I used (it's too stretchy) so back to the drawing board...and I think I'm going to tweek that pattern as well to make her a little smaller. I'm off to the garden center...the birds are searching for food so I need to make them happy. Hope you have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Henry Doorly Zoo

This post is more for my Mother-In-Law, Mary, than anything else. She lives in Michigan and doesn't get to see her little Buster very often so here you go Mary...
The first thing we had to do when we got to the hotel is swim, and then after dinner we had to swim, then the next morning we had to swim, after the zoo we had to swim and before we went to bed we had to swim...I think you get the idea.
Henry Doorly Zoo - The Night Kingdom
The I'm-so-ugly-I'm-cute Aardvark

Mr. Porcupine

DraculaIt was pretty dark in the Night Kingdom exhibit, you could barely see where you were walking. We stopped to look at the crocodiles and Tom whispered to me "Rachel, come here, I think I hear something" I fumbled my way over to him and listened...sure enough I heard some nibbling. We could not see this guy at all...only when my camera flashed to try to focus did we see this...

The Cat Complex
This girl was so old she could barely walk, it was really quite sad, when she finally made her way over to this wall to lay down she groaned as if it pained her to squat to a laying position. You would never guess how frail she is by this picture...she was truly massive!

And this is the very pissed off Tiger (most likely in heat) that looked as though she'd gladly rip you apart for the fun of it.
Me (I absolutely hate having my picture taken but I know it needs to be done every so often)

What a face...Giraffes are my favorite.

The Desert Dome
We saw lots of bugs, beetles, walking sticks, Katydids, etc.

Scott Aquarium
How pretty are these Jellyfish? This was our final exhibit of the day. It was really a nice time at the zoo because NOBODY was there, we would literally be the only ones in some exhibits. We could've watched the Tigers and the Orangutans all day, they were very entertaining!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Omaha/Iowa Treasures

We're back from out little mini-trip to Omaha. We had a really fun time at the zoo, the Orangutans were a riot, we could've sat and watched them all day and the Tigers were amazing! I think it was mating "season" because the zoo had them all caged male wouldn't take his eyes off a pacing female in the next cage who kept making strange throaty roars. I really felt sorry for them, they were not happy cats and I swear that female was ready to rip someones head off! I'll post those pics tomorrow because I'm really antsy to show you all my treasures we got along the way: I don't really need more jars but the prices were too good to pass up, especially on these red lidded S/P shakers!
I got two more floral hankies to add to my collection, a whole gob of rayon seam binding, a big white bowl to hold onions and some other linens that are currently being washed. I'm somewhat of a germ-a-phobe so the first thing I do whenever I get treasures home is scrub them all down...every single one of them!

Here's a bunch of smalls...more dice (I really gotta stop buying dice), some cute little felt baby booties, a vintage bunny candy holder, some jello molds that I'll grow grass in, put in an Easter egg and use on the table for Easter dinner, a Strawberry shortcake doll for Shelby's Easter basket (the doll already got a bath and her clothes are soaking in Biz), a vintage lock complete with the key and lots of little vintage baby announcements. Oh, and don't forget about my vintge crepe paper nut cups...
I've recently started a collection of vintage view master reels. I have a new View Master Viewer but it doesn't really work well with the old I bought a vintage one (and scrubbed that down so I can check out Mickey Mouse). I got a booklet of milk coupons (some of which will go into my store,) a vintage circus program and a player piano reel.

These are two of my favorite finds. This hat is full of lovely velvet violets and two pink roses and this Chocolate tin reads "With Love to Mother". It was digustingly dirty but cleaned up rather nicely...
See how cute it is all cleaned up?
Why did I think I needed more buttons? A whole 1-pound tin of them?

And last but not least, my find of the day (Ok, Tom actually spotted it for me), this vintage birdcage was an absolute steal! I've been searching for one for months now and this is exactly what I wanted...and for only $24. I'm going to plant flowers in the old pail and hang it in the backyard and the little hippo planter is for my niece who collects them (hippos, not planters).
All I have left to do is clean the birdcage...but I probably should do my 10 loads of laundry first!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring (Break) is Here! may not be spring literally but today begins our school district's spring break. Unfortunately with my dad in and out of surgery and rehabilitation hospitals we thought it best to stick close to home. So...our spring break will not be full of sand and sun, it will be filled with a trip to Superior, Wisconsin to visit the college Matt will most likely be attending in the fall...AND...(hold on to your hats) a mini road trip to Omaha to check out the Henry Doorly Zoo (and my two of the best antique shops ever...Second Chance and Brass Armadillo).
My Etsy shop will remain open since we'll only be gone a few days. Any purchases will ship out on Wednesday the 16th. All purchases to date have been posted.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Winter Flea Market Finds

Late last week a new found friend, Kate, who also lives in Minnesota, contacted me thinking I'd be interested in a winter flea market that Sue Whitney (Junkmarketstyle) was organizing. They were calling it "Flea Market Under Glass" because it was being held in a greenhouse (thankfully a heated greenhouse) I decided to check it out on Friday. I had been looking for months for an old wooden "box" with a hinged lid and a latched closure to hold the gagillion hats, scarves and mittens that one must have in Minnesota....Look what I found! (Thanks again Kate!)
Absolute perfection...and I got the dealer to come down $15 on the price...
And I just couldn't resist this old berry basket tray which will sit on my kitchen table (I need to get a few more primrose though). And these cute little strawberries were from a vendor who had set up adjacent to my booth at Junk Bonanza (so she let me have them for $1 each)

Shelby was home for the weekend getting everything ready for her first Spring Break with her college friends. I'm a little apprehensive about letting her go but I've warned her and warned her (and warned her) about the dangers so I'm praying her and the other four girls will be very careful. Of course, she needed her hair colored before she left so that's what we did this morning (and I HATE doing it!)
And I've been trying to get some more of my paper bag and fabric albums made to put in my shop but with all the junking, shopping and hair coloring who has time?
Maybe after our trip to Goodwill I can get working! Have a fun Sunday!