It's been pretty slow around here blog topic-wise. It has been Cold. Typical February. But Spring is finally on the horizon! My parents were in town last Friday and they are always a bad influence on me because they take me out of the house to places like estate sales! I'm glad I went to this one as it was in a fantasticly funky house. It was an architect's house from 1961 with the original bathrooms, kitchen and light fixtures. I don't really know how to explain it except it reminded me more of an office building or our downtown library. It looks like one of the family members bought the house and was keeping most of the furniture and probably most of the matching décor and knick knacks so there wasn't a whole lot of interesting things which is fine with me. I would rather they stay with the house than migrate to my house!
I did find this tiny Pyrex flask.
and I am jealous there was a time when one could say "you know what would finish off this backsplash? Some brown peacock snowflake tiles!"
Yup, still workin' on the living/dining room walls. Once I get the usual chores done to keep the sanity around here i.e. a little vacuuming perhaps cleaning a bathroom, I'm left with some free time to work on this room which is maybe 45 mins. If I am lucky. This week I decided to try to work on this wall.
Note the holes where the broken circa 1970 doorbell was removed.
This is the supporting wall so it is particularly nasty as the house settled and then they jacked it up probably an inch or so at some point which resulted in:
Nasty stair step cracks all the way up and across. Previous owners skim coated the whole wall and surpise!? The cracks showed up again! So now I have to go through and gouge out their plaster and paint along the cracks so I don't end up with ridges along the wall. Then I slapped up a whole bunch of sticky mesh tape. This is just the bottom half of the wall. Can you see it in the photos?
The label on my tape is long gone but this is the same type and also from Menards so it probably is the exact same thing. Will it keep the cracks from reappearing? Maybe. Maybe not.
Other delightful things such as nail holes and what I thought were plastered over nails but turned out to be plastered over hot glue? dotted the walls to be repaired.
For the initial sanding I do some wet sanding which involves getting the plaster sandpaper wet. I would recommend a larger bucket if you have time to do more than a 3 ft section at a time oh, and also maybe covering up the vent as it still makes a mess but a majority of the damp plaster dust falls on the floor right below rather than all over me and surrounding furniture.
A side note: Don't dump the plaster water down the drain! It seems to me it would eventually clog up the drain? I always dump it outside as plaster is good for the grass so bonus there.
This is about as messy as I get since it all has to be scrubbed down before the baby wakes up and starts running around so I don't worry about the vent since it takes about 3 seconds to pop off and vacuum. This wall is starting to shape up! I think the plaster patches are an improvement over the cracks anyways!
Last summer the neighbors finally sold their house (after letting it sit empty for 3+ years) and they finished cleaning out what they had been storing there. I was a frequent customer to their trash pile rescuing this among other items. I thought they were done cleaning out but then I spotted this (plus the matching chair (still in my garage)) waiting for the trash man.
My husband has made it clear he will not partake in dumpster retrieval so it is all me. Upon first glance, I figured it was a lightweight aluminum set and it would look cute on my porch...or somewhere. I went to grab the chair and realized what I was up against. It was heavy chrome and the cushions had springs in them. Luckily the cushions were removable so I hauled those separately which made the chair movable but the couch was still tricky. I'm sure adrenaline had something to do with my ability to get it securely into my yard. I decided to give the couch from my grandparents a rest since the leg broke again and the upholstery and foam cushions were shot! This set was freshly upholstered with zippers on the cushions so I washed them up and they look like new.
I searched "chrome couch" on the interwebs just so I could see how other people decorated with them (not like I would have time for anything other than pinning those decorating idea photos) and found several very, very similar ones designed by Kem Weber for Lloyd Manufacturing Co. in the 1930's. The armchair is exactly like these seen here (except for the new upholstery) but the couches are all a tad different so I can't say for 100% sure.
Weber, a German immigrant, designed some truly drool worthy Art Deco furniture and these would have to be one of the more generic sets. The article here gives a good synopsis of his life along with some photos of his fancier furniture. Why didn't the neighbors have any of those pieces to throw away??
I have been trying to organize my photos and computer files. Virtual Clutter is the worst! You can forget about it because you don't see it yet it is there lurking, getting messier and requiring more and more of your time to organize!
Switching subjects, this is going to show that my obsession with oddly colored, vintage kitchens goes back to my childhood. I don't know where it came from as everyone in my family had white 80's appliances with wood colored cabinets. This was the sink I picked out to use in my Barbie house.
It is for Penny Brite who is a bit shorter than Barbie but I guess it must have blended enough for my 10 year old self. Unfortunately I don't have the rest of the set so Barbie's fridge and stove were the 80's model, which is pink, so I guess it works. I do remember being bothered by the odd upper cabinet. I never knew what was supposed to be there and without the internet, there was no easy way of knowing! When I came across this in my Barbie stash, recently unearthed from my parents basement, I was excited to find what was missing. It turns out it is a set of doors which were supposed to look like patterned glass. hmm. I can recreate that!
I had this contact paper which was here when we moved in? I don't know where it came from.
and a plastic box from a Christmas Present.
A little measuring, cutting and this is the final result.
It's not quite to scale as nicely as the original but I can't beat free plus 10 minutes of my time.
Another pre-Christmas story. My mom told me my brother got something off of Craigslist but he didn't want to tell me what because he was afraid I would break into his house and steal it in the middle of the night. He didn't even tell her what it was as he wanted it to be a surprise. We were both intrigued but had made a good guess since he was lacking a stove in his kitchen.
He doesn't have to worry about me stealing it because there is no freakin' way it would fit in my kitchen!
(I think my camera phone decided to tint everything green to match the tiles)
$100, including delivery, so you can't really beat that! I think he said it was working except for one of the burners??? Sorry Frankie, I can't remember what you said! Especially since I think I was out of the room for part of the story... It is very clean and pretty looking though!
Blogging on a regular basis? Nah, I can't promise that one! I know myself too well. Resolution-wise I would definitely be the person going to the gym for about 2 weeks in January.
For the New Year I thought I would try making my own laundry detergent because I hate spending money on boring things. I also have a high efficiency machine which means the detergent is even more pricey (though supposedly you use less? My husband seems to be liberal in his detergent usage.)
Someone had posted this recipe on facebook and I thought it sounded doable as it didn't involve 5 gallon buckets and finding giant bottles and space to store all of this homemade detergent. I then lost the recipe but googled it and found about 50 other bloggers with the same recipe sooo I don't think I need to post detailed photos/directions. Google "homemade concentrated laundry detergent" and you will see what I mean.
All of the ingredients were right next to each other in the laundry aisle at Wal-Mart so that was easy. It took me longer to talk myself into venturing to Wal-Mart. The mason jars I had hoarded in my basement. I don't know where they came from. One maybe had apple butter given to me in it so my best guess is that one multiplied. It happens often at my house. Things multiplying.
Of course after melting the ingredients together one is instructed to divide the concoction evenly between jars. They post cute photos of perfectly divvied up jars.
umm, I think mine are even??
Anyways, after letting them soak and blending them the detergent came out the consistency of mayonnaise as it should. One of the sites said to clearly label these so no one mistakes it as food. I asked my husband if I needed to and he said "umm, what would I think it was??"
Me: "mayonnaise?" Wait, who would keep mayonnaise in a mason jar?"
Husband: "The same type of person who would make their own detergent!"
I didn't print out a cute label for these. I can hopefully assume no one will try eating this because I normally don't store food by the washing machine...
I have used it on sheets, my clothing and a load of diapers and it seems to be working. My kitchen smelled fresh after making this and it also did a nice job of cleaning up the pot I used to melt it. Now if I can get the husband to try it out I will be in good shape as he is the biggest offender of using too much detergent.
I'll include the recipe I used. As mentioned earlier, I have no clue where it originated. The 50 other bloggers have detailed directions and photos if you need some!
-bring 4 cups of water to a boil
-grate and stir in the Fels-Naptha (apparently other bars of soap work too?) and bring temp down to medium high/medium
-when this has melted (15 minutes-ish) stir in 1 cup Borax and 1 cup washing soda and stir for another 15 minutes-ish
-pour (scoop) them evenly into the quart sized jars and fill the remaining space, up to where the jar starts to curve, with water and turn upside down for 4-5 hours-ish.
-put the jar right onto the blade of your blender and let it rip for a minute until it looks like mayonnaise.
-One tablespoon at a time is all you supposedly need to use and it does seem to do the trick.
This blog follows our journey in restoring a 1915 Arts and Crafts style home. My style is vintage/kitschy/garage sale eclectic so I will more likely post about some Pyrex and a Paint by Number set I found over the weekend than a Stickley chair. Nothing against Stickley. They are just hard to come by at garage sales.