Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First Christmas at the Lilly Ranch

Technical Difficulties

We are having plumbing problems. Ick. The left side of our sink is clogged, and seems somehow related to the fact that our dishwasher isn't really working, and when it does, it leaks, and it smells like something died in it. For now, Justin balled up my childhood Betty Boop beach towel and put it under the dishwasher and we're just sort of carrying on and ignoring it, but my dad says we probably have a clog in there somewhere. We'll get to it eventually. We also haven't gotten the hall light fixed, despite my best efforts. At least I put the new fixture in, so even though it doesn't work, it doesn't look like a big black hole with wires hanging out of it. I think maybe I didn't install the new wall switch correctly, and that's why it isn't working. But I don't know.

In other news, Justin is working on creating his own music studio in the basement. He got a new iMac so that he can use it for recording, etc., and have all of his music equipment in one space. We'll be broke for like a year, but when he explained to me that he and Roxanne could record songs together, how could I say no? She loves loves loves playing music with him in the basement and dancing all over the place. She'll tell him, "let's go play music downstairs Dada" and then pull him towards the basement stairs. Irresistible.

I'm kicking myself for not buying a super cute bookshelf from Goodwill last week. It was only $14 and would have been perfect for Roxanne's room, but I would have had to paint it, and I just couldn't decide if it would be worth it. When I went back for it, it was gone. Of course. I did find some gorgeous dinner plates that were around $5 for four, but now I'm realizing that they are going to be hard to get more of. I'm thinking of trying to find a way to just use them as display. They are really pretty, and when I did a little research on them, it looks they were originally sold door to door. How cool is that? I just like the design on them, and the colors are perfect, aqua, yellow and grays with a lovely silver edge. I'll keep an eye out for more, even though there are some on Ebay right now for cheap, the shipping is outrageous. I think I'll try and stick with Replacements. I'm just disappointed that it looks like they only have the plates in that pattern. It would be awesome to have a full set in them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

All to avoid the Wassily

Justin picked up this print for our "dining room" at Kudzu Antiques. I think it's so cute! Click on the image to make it bigger if you can't see the little rocket man. Or to get a better look at that delicious corn dog.
Roxanne's crib and new Circo decals. I really want to get her the bed in a bag that comes with this set, but it's all twin-sized, and it will probably be a few years before she is into a twin bed. And like Justin pointed out, who knows what we will want for her room then, or if she will force us to let her pick it out. Sigh. He's right. But I did buy the owl bank (on her dresser) and the owl pillow that goes with the set. So cute.
Roxanne "helped" me put these up. She keeps telling me how much she loves them, and she points to each animal and names what it is. She says her favorite is the hedge hog.
Roxanne's room is almost totally done now. We finally moved that nasty futon out, so it feels huge in there now. These are the paintings my sister did for Roxanne. They really look so cute with the decals.
I finished this spot of the wall today. The cut outs were my mom's as a child, and I think they are perfect. The frame is something I bought at Target back when I was pregnant, but I painted it the same pink as the dark pink of Roxanne's dresser and put pictures in it from the Golden Book Little Red Hen. The text of that story is kind of boring, but the characters are so cute! I love the duck in his soldier's uniform.
Here's the dresser, all done and pretty. And I moved the yellow doggy chair into Roxanne's room for her "reading chair." In this photo, she is actively destroying her Yo Gabba Gabba Halloween book. She kept saying "I tear up Foofa." To all that don't know, Foofa is the pink flowery thing on Yo Gabba Gabba. Sorry Miss Foofa. By the time I got to you, you were already headless.
Our newly staged credenza. Justin found the lamp and print at Kudzu, also. We have been wanting this print for a good two years or so. We have no idea what it's for, but it's just so awesome! And my Pittsburgh steel mill picture got relegated to the hallway. Justin really wanted this picture over the credenza, but I said it was too small. Then my mom suggested getting a big lamp to offset it, and voila! I think the end result is nice! My favorite is the lamp shade. Well played hubby.
And, as another appeasement trick, Justin got a Bertoia chair for the living room. He has been hearing me talk about how much I wanted a pair for few months now, and so he bought this one for me. This is what happens when you let a man with the "holiday spirit" and a credit card loose in a good antique shop. At least we got our Obama check in the mail last week. Most of that goes to the fridge and the new roof. But now the last of it is spoken for as well. But at least I got my Bertoia! Thanks first time homebuyer tax credit! Now we need a second Bertoia though. You can't have just one. But it will probably be tough to find one that matches this one, since it has the white seat and chrome base. Some day I'll make some cool seat cushions for them. Once we have two. Lovely.

Lastly, I have to tell you about my Wassily. I found a Wassily style chair at Goodwill for $12 a couple of weeks ago. I LOVE it. It's a dark brown suede, although the suede is hard and dirty, like maybe someone left it outside on a rainy day or something... But overall, it's in great shape. I'm thinking it's from the 70's, but only because I found a listing for one that looked exactly like it on eBay and it said it was from the 70's. It's so hard to date knock-offs... In any case, Justin hates it so much that he bought the Bertoia and moved my Wassily into the basement. He thinks the Wassily looks like a 1980's office chair and is "too dirty." Sigh. I'm going to find some suede cleaner, shine up the chrome, and put that bad boy back into the living room. It's a Wassily! It was designed in 1925! How can it look like a 1980's office chair? I mean, it kind of does, but since you know it isn't, it shouldn't. Right? Even if I clean it up and resell it, I'll probably do alright. I mean, buying it for $12 makes it easier to turn a profit. But I like it. So there.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Themed decorating... Yippee!

So, the first set of photos are the most recent. I did our Christmas decorating today. That's what those are. The second set are from the baby shower we hosted for my friend Sarah on Saturday. It was a vintage themed baby shower with boys and girls allowed, so I tried to keep it fairly low-key.
My Grandma also passed along this cute little tree. I have some vintage ornaments she gave me on it. They look gorgeous.
My very favorite Christmas presents under our silly little window tree.
My Grandma and Grandpa dropped off this fabulous white wreath for me yesterday. It has lights on it, but there is no plug to be found.
Our sad front lawn, but look at our pretty new roof!
Garland from Grandma!
The guest of honor. Miss Sarah and baby Rosalie.
My attempt at making a vintage looking banner using vintage gift wrap and ribbon... I think it's cute, but a little holly hobby.
The table I set up. We really need some serious serving dishes. But I do love the fat chef man my mom gave me for onion dip... Adorable!
My weird baby lamp/mobile. I couldn't figure out what else to do with this adorable vintage baby wrapping paper...
This is my first attempt at throwing a real party for someone. So I think I did OK. :) But I have a lot to learn...

Friday, December 4, 2009

This and that (opinions requested)

I found this fabulous table today at a Goodwill in Tucker. It's not marked anywhere, but I feel fairly sure it's vintage... It's really really heavy. And I really like the legs. I have been looking for a small table for the play room to put some of Roxanne's Weeble toys on, and this seemed ideal. I just really thought about it long and hard because it was $10, which seemed too much for Goodwill, but I finally gave in. I could probably spend about the same on a table at IKEA, and this one is pretty sturdy. And it's the perfect height for Roxanne.

This shelf I'm just not sure I have done well. I love the Dundee jars from my Grandma. I also love the recipe books and recipe box way up top, but the proportions are just a mess. I have so much to learn about staging...

My current styling of one of the kitchen shelving sides. I think I like it. The red topped glass pieces are from my Grandma, and they are adorable. They sit a super cute wire rack, but it doesn't fit on the shelf, so I split them up. The milk jug is from my mom. Isn't it awesome?
Another one of those "bain of my existence" things in the house. The stupid space over the kitchen sink. I took down that scrolly piece of laminate that was covering the awful light fixture, because it just really looked 80's and country kitchen. But then, I realized that the light fixture literally has a cord that just runs into the wall. So I have to figure out how to get it out. Then you can see where we used some special (*expensive*) paint to cover up the ivy tiles you can see in an old post. Um, it just looks like goopy puffy paint or something. A friend recently introduced me to "tile stickers," and I think we will be ordering soon. If they really are opaque like they say they are, then we are SOLD.
Close up of the cluttered bar top. Oh. That stocking isn't supposed to be there. Pretend it's not. But yeah, I've been trying to figure out what to leave and what to take away, so for now it's just all junked up.
I just wanted to show a nice close up of my favorite painting ever. I bought this paint by number at Last Chance Thrift Store for $10. I really really really had a hard time paying so much for it. I even left it once and then came back for it. Now, I'm glad I did. I saw a similar one for $45 at an antique shop nearby... What?
The current, cluttered incarnation of the bar. Do you see what I mean about the shape and the color of the table repeating the credenza a little too much? It's such a pretty table though (thanks Susan!) so we will definitely leave it indefinitely. I think I just need to figure out how to make it less overcrowded in there. Justin added his Soviet dictator nesting dolls and Soviet rocket toy up at the top. They really look nice next to my antique British-y volumes. We are so high class.
So, this picture is a point of contention for me and Justin. I bought it without him seeing it and swore to him up and down that he would think it was fabulous. Um. He hates it. He says it's depressing. I LOVE it. It's an actual photo of a Pittsburgh steel mine. The dealer who was selling it (at Decatur Estate and Wayback Antiques) said he bought it from the president of the steel mill. And sure enough, the shipping label on the back has his name and the address of the steel mill. That tidbit is woefully boring, but somehow I think it's really cool. I just think it's a really dirty, urban, and cool image and it makes our house look more high brow. Is anyone out there on my side? Oh, and I tried to include a bit of the credenza for scale. This thing is HUGE.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where was I?

This is Roxanne's dresser (it's now finished and looks slightly different). It has a long history with Justin's family, but I don't think the paint job had changed in about 30 years or more, and it was looking pretty icky. I used an ivory high gloss spray paint for the dresser (which I now wish I had just used regular paint, since the spray paint looks messy in spots and I'm a perfectionist). The trim is done in two shades of pink that I bought solely because they had cute names. One was watermelon and the other was flamingo. Those Glidden sample size bottles are perfect for these kinds of projects.

Um, sorry. After extensive googling, I cannot figure out an efficient way of getting this photo to be oriented correctly. So you'll just have to turn your head. This is Roxanne sitting in the "puppy dog chair" I pulled out of someone's trash. As you can see, it's just sitting right on the floor for now, since I have to rig it up with legs somehow. But I think it's totally cute. And Roxanne loves it. Oh, and I cloroxed it VERY extensively.
This the closet in the living room. We took down the really bad louvered doors that were there and painted the inside to match the living room wall color. We plan to turn it into a "bar" type of space. We moved our old dining room table into it with the drop sides, and we are using it as the "bar" for now. I got the idea from watching Vertigo because Jimmy Stewart has the same table in his bachelor pad serving the same purpose. I'll post a photo of what that closet looks like soon. The only problem we have with the space for now is that the dining room table sort of repeats the shape of the credenza on the wall next to the closet, and it looks a little weird. In a perfect world, we'd love a two-tiered bar/shelf/bookcase, like this one at City Issue. But for now, this is totally fine. And it doesn't cost $750, which is always a plus. But holy cow, is that "cocktail cabinet" fabulous, or what?
I'm trying to rein in my insane impulses to thrift store shop every day after work and fill our house with knick knacks, but I did pick up these three guys for the "bar." The dish on the left was not thrifted, but came from a local antique shop, and was still only $10. It's lovely and shiny and has a teak stand, and it's Danish. The bowl in the middle was under $2 at the local Last Chance. I'm fairly certain it's mid-century Italian, and I think it's silver-plated. I have cocktail napkins and vintage beverage umbrellas in it now. The far right is an ice bucket my mom and me found in the Goodwill in Roswell. Why are the thrift stores up there so much better? Argh!

Here's a peek at Roxanne's room. My sister did those adorable paintings for her. She LOVES them and always talks about what the birdies and elephants are doing. The chandaleir is from IKEA and I think it adds some nice girliness to Roxanne's room. I'm working on a collage for over her dresser using lots of darling vintage postcards and a big clunky frame. I'll finish it someday... Oh, and I do realize that the chandaleir would photograph better if it was off, but oh well. Some day my house blog photos won't look like they came from a seedy polaroid camera. But don't count on it being any time soon. We is broke.

I have a myriad of excuses for my lapse in postings. But it's boring to list them, and more boring to read them, so whatevs. We have been stalled out on the house decorating stuff a little. We've actually started having company over, and we're hosting a baby shower here on Saturday. It's also tough because by the time we get home, it's dark, so a lot of the electrical work is not doable. The weird wiring in our house makes it so that the fuse to shut off power to the hall light also shuts off power in the kitchen and dining room. The hall light and me are not on good terms right now. It almost burned our house down (not really, but still) and it has made me scared to try other electrical projects. The light fixture that was up there didn't work when we moved in, and when I put a new bulb in, it blew it out immediately. When I took down the old fixture, it looked like it had been wired together in a really really bad way. So I took it apart and put a new fixture up, but because there were a total of four wires in the box, I kind of guestimated when I put the new fixture in. Oops. It actually worked, but when I tried the wall switch, it made a loud pop, and black smoke came out of it. So my dad gave me lots of diy wiring books, a new switch, and a pep talk, and I've been stalling about starting over. I recently found a fantastic website called DIY Chatroom though, and someone actually drew me a diagram of how to correctly install the light and prevent the next homeowner from going through what I did. So thanks for the kindness of strangers. These photos are also not super recent, and there have been some updates since they were taken but that's OK. I'll catch up some day...