Thursday, December 23, 2010


I need more Elves!!

I had to have something festive to start my post and my elf wreath does look sparse. I swear I have more somewhere but all I could find to add were the creepy, er, cute? fun? heads I picked out of a free box. No glue needed, they all perch right into the branches.

I am still alive! and doing what, I'm not sure. Nothing productive. Reviewing my photos which have been lurking on my camera I didn't find much excitement happening. I am excited to have the insulation done though it doesn't add any pretty photos to my blog. If anything it is worse because there are now holes all over the walls!

My dad is the plaster master (whoa, that one rhymed) and had all of the Styrofoam plugs hidden within a day so now the walls are just blotchy.

The downside of stucco is having to insulate from the inside. I thought for a moment about making this a DIY project and then I pictured myself losing control of the blower tube and having insulation all over. While humorous to think about I would not be laughing in real life, mm, well, maybe I would. Insulation and plaster dust was all over the place anyways so I can't imagine what would have happened if we had done it ourselves.

The inside of the walls before (as taken from a cold air return) and I can only assume they are filled with fluffy insulation. I had to seal up the top vents so we didn't insulate all of our duct work.

The attic also got a boost.

I do want some flooring up here for storage eventually but we were basically paid for this part. Our utility company was doling out lots of money only if we insulated the attic too so why not?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Curb Alert II

As you may recall, in a previous post way back a month ago I found this "lovely" item sitting by the curb. Here is the little story of its transformation:

Before it was several colors with dirt and probably some flaky lead paint.

Sanded and ready to go with a coat of paint on one drawer. It was free paint I picked up from the Eco Store and I obviously enjoy free things.

Another gross side view.

Tada! A clean, very bright green set of drawers!

Cammie helps me model the new drawer liner.

Hopefully it will help me organize my spare closet a little and eliminate the stack of small boxes where what I need always seems to be at the bottom.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I guess I haven't posted updated painting photos but that is what we er, Mark has been finishing up with. Painting the windows and finishing up edges here and there. We might just get this done yet before it gets cold thanks to the freakishly warm fall we have been having. I have been cleaning storm windows and cleaning up around the yard.

I think festive Halloween pics are more fun than dirty storm windows.

Ignore Frankie's bike and misc. porch junk in the background. Drat! I guess I ended up photographing some dirty storm windows anyways.

This is why I enjoy the fireplace. I haven't even attempted to use the fireplace for its actual purpose. I figure if the toilets were barely working why would I even think to try something attached to a gas line?

Frankenstein trolls!

Soo, are they implying this guy is dressed as a ghost??

Of course I have a Halloween Hello Kitty! The pink troll's shirt costume is more successful than the green one's.

Coffee table decor.

and it's our little Halloween kitty.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Curb Alert!

Me? Pick something off the street? Yes, it's true. Randomly discovered free stuff does excite me.

We were driving home from lunch when my mom spotted this "fantastic" set of drawers sitting on the curb down the block. With the pretense of walking the dog, we wandered back on foot to take a closer look. It had a free sign on it which reinforced the fact it needed a new home. I want to clean and paint it so bad right now but I better keep any painting I do to the exterior of the house.

Some of the drawers are open and some have inserts. Perfect for organizing my crafty items which are currently stacked in random little boxes all over the spare room's closet.

My mom's other fantastic find she brought me this weekend was this crazy gondola lamp. The 2 compartments are removable. Planters I suppose? And it is tricky to see in the photo but the shade is oblong to match the width of the boat.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I thought we were making progress on the painting. After all, the neighbor's house behind us looks worse than ours and...wait, what the!? He hired painters so now his house is all shiny and new in less than a week? Drat!
A full back view of our house, hideous deck rails and all. We successfully recruited some help so the progress did improve over the weekend. Nicolette is scraping the kitchen windows.

Ryan Scraping the trim above the side door.

Rollers are amazing! As long as you don't mind paint splatters and outdoors I don't mind paint splatters. The afternoon sun was too hot (yes, 90 mid-October? What is with that?) so we moved up front.

Mark using the roller with the extender up front. The extension thing is also amazing as Mark can pretty much paint all of the house standing on the ground. Too bad the edging and trim still need a ladder.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bathroom Flooring

The bathroom still taunts me as I'm stuck working on the exterior until it gets cold. I did manage to check out some floor tiles to see if the color works.

It looks really too gray/beige on the sample. My first choices average $40+ a sq ft but if I had that much money to spend on flooring I would be blogging about redoing a house down the block which was twice the size of this house.

But I do have the remains of an original tile from my parents for comparison and it is almost exactly the same color. I don't know, maybe it is the bright white grout which makes it so dark? Whatever the reasoning, I think this tile with a black hex flower pattern and dark grout is going to look amazing compared to the circa 1981 carpet.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Space Age Find

My mom and I were at one of our favorite Goodwill stops in Omaha when I spotted this fab object on a shelf.

Whatever could it be!? A vase? Part of a lamp? A large juicer? (my mom's guess) For $2.50 I figured it needed further investigation so it found its way into the car and back to my house. It is a little over 19" tall and the yellow insert is removable.

So what is it?

Yep, an ashtray. I Googled the markings: Space Age Products Inc. and came up with their web page. It looks like they have been making the same ashtrays since 1954 so I was rightfully attracted to its vintage-ness I guess. It doesn't look like they currently make yellow but I'm not sure how one would date these. They run $37.95 plus S&H so I didn't get ripped off and as my brother states "he knows of a few hipsters who will buy it from me if I decide I don't want it." I think I'll keep it for a while and see what I can come up with.

Whenever I try to flip through the records at these places I always get some creeper standing in my personal space. I am afraid they are trying to think of some clever pick up line for the "hip" girl trying to find vintage exotic music to listen to on her record player. In actuality they probably just want to look through the records to find a few for their ebay store. I even had some older guy yell at me one time, "Do you even know what a record player is!? Watcha goin' do with that!?" Did he really think my Starland Vocal Band record was priceless and he was going to convince me not to buy it with that comment? Whatever the reason for creeper's closeness yesterday I made my selection and then made my escape without any awkward communication. This one was my favorite find:

I'm sure I lost all cool points if Mr. Creeper saw my selection but how can one resist Grover dressed as John Travolta!? The record is in amazingly good shape too with classics such as C is for Cookie and Rubber Duckie.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Jungle

Oops. I forgot to post my very unexciting tree/shrub removal post so here it is.

This is the side of the house I never see. Our poor neighbor, on the other hand, does from his kitchen window. A while back I looked at the side of the house and realized Mark had not been moving over here. When asked about this he said "I thought it looked cool, like our own little jungle garden area." OK? Yes, I'm sure our neighbor feels the same way.

So here is our little jungle garden. Mostly trees at this point since I have been more closely monitoring the mowing.

Tada! The trees are gone leaving the bridal veils which also got trimmed back so hopefully they come back next year.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Little Late for Exterior Painting?

I really don't think we are going to get the exterior of the house painted this fall as it already has been getting chilly but the boys are determined it will be done. And when I say determined, I mean they are maybe putting in 2 hours a week of work and still insisting it will get done. OK, whatever. I will start painting when it gets to the lower half but I have some minor vertigo on the tall ladder. I can climb the ladder but I will be tightly gripping it with both hands by the time I get up 10 feet so I'm not much help. Why did I buy a 2 story house which needed painted then? I don't know, it seemed like a good idea at the time!

Some of the paint colors we tried. I do like the top blue. Though I started looking at other houses painted blue and realized they had faded. If we paint the stucco right, we shouldn't have to do anything to it for a long time so a dark color is not a good idea. Plus, not that I am a purist when it comes to paint (it's only paint and can be easily changed is my theory) but while researching Craftsman paint colors it doesn't seem they painted the exterior of their houses blue at the time - slate gray was the closest I could find. Anyways, I was afraid the blue would look silly and then silly and faded in 2 years so I think our final choice is Chocolate Swirl with Raffia Cream. The whole combination makes me hungry just thinking about it.

I am embarrassed to show the purple splotch up there! It was red/brown/deep plum on the sample but it is very purple on the wall and even more purple-y in this photo. Our brown is on the end and the middle off-white is what we picked for the stucco. I still like the dark red too but I'm afraid it will clash with our oddly colored brown/blue bricks. The brown might too for that matter. Mark says my brown choice looks 70's but it must fit with my overall retro vision for the house so he is OK with it.

I have an overall retro vision for our house? Hmm, he's probably right and I subconsciously chose these colors with that in mind. I was hoping for something a little more retro than 70's. I can't say I have the urge to panel anything though I have to admit a lot of orphaned owls have been finding their way onto our walls.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Ceiling for the Bathroom

I am glad no other females live here as they would not be able to stand this bathroom. We tore out the rest of the ceiling at the angle so we were left with this for a few days.

Fortunately my dad came down for a day and we were able to at least get the ceiling board up FINALLY!!

Of Course the boys were both at work so it was up to me to help haul the board up the stairs and hoist it into position.

Clamped up with some kind of contraptions my dad made for putting up plaster board at their house years ago.

And the screws make it official. The ceiling is in place! The bathroom project has come to a halt for the moment because we need to finish up the outside before it gets cold. Plus we have been out of town for a few weekends which has really put a damper on our progress.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Federal Offense

Yep, someone stole our mailbox. Or it is in our bushes somewhere but as far as I can tell it is gone. The sad, rotten post it was precariously balanced on remains but the mailbox is nowhere to be seen. I'm guessing someone stumbled by drunkenly and thought it would be "cute" to run off with it, probably discarding it a few blocks away. It was hideous and was embellished with someone's name other than our own so no big loss though it did happen right before we left town for the weekend so our mail lady had nowhere to deposit our mail on Saturday.

As soon as I discovered it missing I was excited as it gave me an excuse to replace the thing since I was afraid it would fall over every time I opened it and a family of ants had also taken up residency in it this summer. I immediately pictured getting something like this to replace it:
Something classy with some craftsman flair though at $179 it will have to wait until I win the lottery or find one at a garage sale. I will probably never be able to justify spending this much money for something I never really look at which is (obviously) sitting in plain sight for someone to steal.

Alas a $16 Menards special will hold our mail for now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Just How Much Will $1 Buy?

My parents and I hit a church sale this weekend. It is always exciting to walk up and have one of the helpers throw some grocery sacks your way and say "$1 a bag!" Even better, no other kitsch enthusiasts had been there so it was all mine! I did restrain myself with some of the items, making sure there was more for others who came later and so Mark would not disown me. My mom was beyond her bag and had graduated to boxes, which were $2 a piece, so I did toss a few items in one of her boxes but most of it fit into my $1 bag.

A few of my crazy finds include:

Not one, but two flowery GE kitchen Clocks.

My first thought as she went into my bag was "this would have fit perfectly in previous owner's bathroom with the wallpaper!" I believe she is a toiletry holder of some sort. Though being paper-mache I wouldn't want to store anything too juicy in her.

These should look nifty in my remodel of the bathroom which currently is planned as blue and white, shabby chic-ish. I think the one used to be an apple but the leaf is gone? The price was right.

I'm always delighted to add some new family members to my troll shelves. These guys aren't in the best condition but they definitely needed adopting and they do look very happy to have a new home.

And a psychedelic, paisley twine holder along with some bright Dream Pets also found their way into my bag.
Mr. Macrame owl is enjoying his new spot hanging on the front porch and I'm trying to find a good spot for the horribly tacky "Foam Craft 1981" owls. I was also excited about the afghan as I have been trying to find a cheap granny square in good shape - I have to say I am not going to even find enough yarn to make one of those for the amount I paid!