Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Oddball Collection?

It's obvious I like to collect weird things, the weirder and crazier they are the better and if it is old, that is even better so how did this collection happen?

I'm not sure how I started on the Hallmark Merry Miniatures. I believe it stems from my younger years when I would pick out one or two for my birthday and Christmas. Of course they showed up in .10 boxes at garages sales so I accumulated more. I was so proud of myself because I recently convinced my dad to compartmentalize my printers box further which nearly doubled its little critter capacity. I installed most of my collection (a few larger ones are in overflow on a shelf around the corner), I sorted out the duplicates and even had room for a few oddball little animals I have collected.

And then I went to a garage sale this weekend. My mom and I had gotten separated, I had gone upstairs, she downstairs. When I got downstairs I saw 3, eight foot tables crammed with boxed Hallmark ornaments. They were $1 or $2 apiece so I got excited looking to see if they had any of my little miniatures at a reasonable price. Spotting none, I was browsing the ornaments to see if there were any I "needed" when my mom came back in the room carrying an entire shoebox full of miniatures for $1 a bag! $15 later and this was my haul.

 Hmm, the picture doesn't look like much but I stopped counting at 100 plus there were some pins and ornaments mixed in which I didn't include. Some are duplicates so they will find new homes but I put in an order with my parents for another printers box.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Saying Goodbye to the Hot Tub

I've never had the desire to own a hot tub but since this one came with the house I thought I would give it a try. After all, it might be fun to invite some friends over, do some grilling and have a hot tub party! But alas after 2 years I never even started planning a party which involved the poor little hot tub. The first step would have been to actually clean the hot tub but it still looks like this:

I've been thinking about putting it on craigslist for free just to get it out of here probably for the past year. But I have dealt with craigslist a few times.

I claimed a free shop vac which "worked just fine"...for half the living room.

I tried to buy an antique toilet which "had no cracks at all" after I asked at least 3 times specifically if it was cracked anywhere above the base. I drove to Fremont only to discover a huuuge crack all the way around and through to the inside of the bowl. Did they hope I was blind?

My place of work convinced me to post and be in charge of e-mails from several unused items they had around the office. This resulted in many e-mails involving sending money orders for above the asking price but no actual interested buyers.

I put it off and put it off but finally had enough of looking at that dirty hot tub every day and my dad was here to deal with the electrical so I decided to give it a go, expecting the worst. I received an e-mail within 20 minutes. I left them a message with my address and asked what time they might stop by but of course I never heard another word from them. I'm assuming they drove by, saw how gross it was (despite my warning and included photo) and kept on driving. E-mailer #2 seemed enthusiastic so I called and left a message, he returned my call within 5 mins and said he would definitely take it, sight unseen and mentioned he had removed and installed several hot tubs so he even sounded like he knew what he was doing. Score! He came yesterday, jacked it up and undid all of the electrical but his friend couldn't make it until today with the truck. He left his $150 jack under the hot tub as collateral and sure enough, a huger than expected truck pulled into our yard this afternoon.

(I snuck in a picture from upstairs to avoid any awkwardness)

Whew, I feel I lucked out in this craigslist posting. I was fully expecting someone who had never thought of owning a hot tub until seeing my free ad would show up with a small car and try to bungee it to the top or something ridiculous! I'm sure this guy is going to refurbish it and make a bunch of money from it but that is fine with me. I'm glad our hot tub is going to find a new home and I hope it goes to someone who will enjoy it and actually give it the hot tub party it deserves!

Now I have a whole new, unevenly dirty deck area!

I have some flower pots to put against the fence and...and I don't know what else I can do! Anything pricey and eye catching is out of the question at the moment since it is somewhat visible from the alley. Otherwise cute patio furniture and an awning I saw at Lowe's last weekend come to mind.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Converting Pinch Pleats

Enough ranting for a while and back to my house projects.

I was helping my mom clean out their attic when we came across a box labeled "Cara's Curtains". Fully expecting a pastel Cabbage Patch print to appear when I opened the box I was pleasantly surprised to see this:

Apart from the Kliban cats, the rest of the box contained 3 pairs of carefully packed and mint condition vintage curtains. Where did these come from? High school me must have snagged these somewhere, oh, yes, I found a $2.84 Salvation Army price tag on several so that must be where they came from. I guess they didn't match my lavender country 90's room decor but I felt I would have a use for them someday and carefully packed them away. Well, thank you high school Cara for probably splurging and spending $17 on curtains because as a matter of fact I DO now have the perfect spot for them 15 years later!

This is our master bedroom rug which was purchased quick when we moved in. A few months later I was at Target and saw these fantastic (OK, in my admittedly odd opinion of fantastic) shower curtains that I wanted to make into curtains which resulted in this:

They went into our bedroom simply because I couldn't think of another room for them at the time. The greens match the carpet but I always felt the styles were a little off. So these curtains are now going to find a new room and the vintage ones are up.

One slight snag in my curtain hanging was that they were/still are pinch pleats. I know myself too well and know I will be rearranging curtains, rugs etc. someday so I didn't want to mess with investing in a traverse rod and I decided to try and convert them.

I simply basted some shiny fabric onto the back wide enough to slide a curtain rod through

Here is the result! They still look like pinch pleats and can still be used as pinch pleats but they also fit on a normal rod. I would worry about lining them for protection from sun damage but the mini blinds are still up and these windows are on the north side of the house anyways so very little direct light.
I think I need a new spot for my aqua chair now but if I had to go out shopping for curtains, I don't think I could have found a better match for the carpet. They share the same green color and they have the same branchy flower-leaf thing happening.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Case of the Disappearing Seller

I've been hoping to skip past the drama and post about Frankie's house but it just keeps getting weirder. First off, I must have cursed the closing date by getting prematurely excited. Obviously since I'm writing this, nearly a month later, he STILL has not closed.

Right after I last posted Frankie informed me the seller's agent and/or the bank had not been able to get a hold of the seller (who lives out of state) to finalize the closing time. Umm, OK, she had known the date for a month. I know if I was getting free money from selling a house I inherited I would have that date engraved in my brain or at least written on the calendar. They finally get a hold of her to find she had been in the hospital with her husband and hadn't had time to deal with it. OK, some sympathy goes out to her. (though really, sitting in the hospital with only basic cable daytime television? Seems like the perfect time to catch up on paperwork to me) Anyways, now all should run smoothly...right?

She only had a couple things left to sign and I guess she doesn't believe in faxing or e-mails or something because everything has to be done by snail mail. About a week and a half after the supposed closing date she mailed (yes, snail mailed) an extended letter about how she received the paperwork and wanted to thoroughly read through it when she had time, she still wants to sell the house, so on and so forth and that is the last we have heard from her. She found the time to write this well thought out letter but not sign her name on some papers?? And read through what? The contract is signed so no turning back there. All she needs to sign are the papers saying she accepts money for the house and probably where this money should be deposited. Pretty straight forward.

Closing in on one month after the supposed closing date. The agent had been able to occasionally get a hold of her by phone but now that has been disconnected. The agent is now writing a letter to see if they can get a response about what in the world she is doing.

We just can't figure out why on earth she isn't signing. Does she have second thoughts on selling the house? The agent says she is really (really) elderly so what would she do with a dirty, slightly dilapidated home 600 miles away? Is she just confused about everything and has no family near her to help? In the mean time Frankie maybe should start looking at other houses BUT I'm guessing if he wants out of the contract she is still going to have to sign something, something she will want to read thoroughly through first when she has the time. If they can get that much out of her it might as well be a signature on the closing papers!