Monday, December 9, 2013

My Secret Desire to be a Hipster Artist Revealed

A couple of years ago I convinced my husband to go on a historic house tour in Council Bluffs. Ever since then I have been fascinated with their houses and have been trying to convince him we should move. But alas, being a native to Omaha, he has this random dislike for Council Bluffs and kindly refers to it as Council-tucky. This is apparently a common phrase as just last week I heard a radio DJ say "Council-tucky" in a casual conversation so the people of Council Bluffs are indifferent to this? I guess I will have to live vicariously through tours and  I saw another home tour was on for yesterday with Christmas décor. Historic houses AND Christmas decorations!? Yes please! Unfortunately the husband said we could go only knowing it was going to be snowy and gross so he knew I wasn't going to want to make the drive. Darn it! Lincoln's Christmas tour this year consisted of a couple houses in a new housing development by the interstate.
Anyways, I was browsing real estate listings for Council Bluffs just to see what was happening over there and one of the houses I really liked on the house tour a few years ago is for sale! I tried again to persuade a move but for some reason my husband is just not as fascinated with this house as me. "Come on honey, you can find a good paying job there, right?" Good paying it would have to be as I can't imagine what the utilities would be! Victorians aren't known for their efficiency. At least now I have some photos of it since they don't allow photos on the tours. It is listed by Deeb Realty and here is the description:

Only 3 families have ever owned this historic Beauty!! So many fabulous features, including original Steuben fixtures, intricate woodwork throughout, Butler's Pantry, wrap around porch, addtl rooms on 3rd floor (642 sf) waiting for your special touches (area is finished, but not updated or heated), stunning hardwood floors, library w/ fireplace, unfinished lower level can be made very useable. There is an ADORABLE full sized doll house out back, which will win your child's heart! Don't wait!

Here is the link to the listing and there are more photos to be found there:

It's only $169k which I think is a good price. I see it backs a parking lot and the start of downtown and that equals convenience right? This will also reveal my secret desire to become a hipster artist. They had the house all decked out with Eames and Bertoia with some primitive antique pieces in the mix and I thought it was really cute. Both Victorian and 50's purists would disagree but obviously I have eclectic taste and I can't seem to limit myself to one era.
OK, the black/gray color gives it a funky Goth feel and it would be good for a couple of Halloweens but I'm more of a purple person so that is eventually what I would do to the exterior. Maybe blue. Blue and Purple?

I do like their color choice for the front doors. All the little details are fantastic in the gingerbread and those cute screen doors. It seems like there should be some stained glass in the window to the right, if not both windows.

The cute back porch, with another cute screen door.

Front entry with lovely staircase and light.

One of the parlor rooms/library. They apparently didn't feel the need to spend money on putting expensive parquet in the middle of the room where a rug was going. That was resourceful...until one needs to find a new rug in that exact size or bigger I guess!

Bookcases for all of my fine leather bound books? Who am I kidding, they would contain novelty books (i.e. Awkward Family Photos, Stuff on my Cat) along with an assortment of tacky tchotchkes. 

Lots of room in the kitchen with a back staircase and view of the back porch so I could enjoy that cute screen door while I cooked. If I ever cooked. Maybe I would if I had this house?

Plus there is a pantry where I could display all of my fine china er, Pyrex?

The hipster artist in me likes this bathroom. I can see it on Pinterest with a little more wall décor and a tag leading everyone to a tutorial about framing your bathtub. On a side note that bathtub must be a pain to clean around!

More hipster artist coming out. I like the white painted floors. I couldn't figure this out when I was on the tour and still can't figure out. You can see it better in the bathroom that these are really crappy, gummy pine wood floors. It's such a fancy house, they wouldn't have such crappy flooring in all of the bedrooms. My only thought is something was on top which got wrecked?? and this is the subfloor?

There aren't any photos of the 3rd floor but this is the staircase continuing upward. I recall it had a hallway with that red carpet and several bedrooms up there. See, more of that crappy subfloor-ish wood for the second floor hall.

And if the main house isn't enough, there is a super cute playhouse in the back!
Feel free to buy it and then keep us updated about your projects!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

 I hope everyone has a happy turkey day!

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Aqua Chair Story

I feel I am behind in my postings though looking back at photos I have taken it doesn't look like anything thrilling has been happening around here.
My beloved aqua chair has finally arrived. It has been sitting in my old bedroom at my parent's house and they finally got sick of looking at it plus my mom has Ikea shelving to set up so they lugged it to my house. I have no place to put it which is why I haven't been begging for it that and I'm afraid of exposing it to the husband and small child since it has managed to stay looking brand new after all of these years. But so far so good.

 It's a little too aqua for my living room but it's the only spot I have for it!

 I got it years ago after an auction. Yes, I said after. I felt I had no place for this chair so I avoided being in the furniture area while they were taking bids. I got a huge set of aqua and pink dishes for $10 (still lost somewhere in my parent's house) plus some other lovely 50's items so I was satisfied. Thinking back now, I am not satisfied! The place was FULL of boxes of dingy yet mint 50's housewares and furniture. This was pre high speed internet browsing for me so I really want to go back 18 years and dig through those boxes.  Anyways, how did this chair come into my possession since I just spent way too much time saying I didn't bid on it? The next day my mom and I happened to drive past the auction venue and what was by the dumpster? Obviously this chair! I was OK with someone else taking this chair home but I was not OK with it going to the dump. We had a little hatchback but managed to squeeze it in enough to get it home. I managed to clear a spot in my room for it and it has sat there until now. I haven't found an exact photo but to me it looks like a Kroehler. If not, it is a very close knock off. Well, the price was right either way!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Lingering Halloween Project

I was organizing my Halloween decorations to put them away (slowly) and realized I never featured my other spray paint project.

I took this planter from my mom's garage sale stash. It's probably a Hobby Lobby special. She didn't buy it new...I have a few guesses where she got it.

Anyways, I needed something for my Halloween branches.
A couple of coats of spray paint later and it looks like one of those classy, trendy Halloween decorations!

I know it's waayy past Halloween at this point but one could have left it green and put some gourds in it for Thanksgiving or paint it red and find some glittery tinsel bulbs on sticks for a festive Christmas arrangement. There, it is still relevant!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy Halloween! Wednesday

My great grandparent's farm is a known haunt to all of our family. It was built over the foundation of a previous farmhouse which burnt down and no one seems to know the story of the previous house. Well, that is always a good start if you want your house to be creepy. Build it over a mysterious foundation. Anyways, my mom always spent the summers there, always talks about how creepy it was and how much she loved it there. This is one story which always freaks me out when she tells it. One weekend my uncle was up for a visit. She was in the bathroom when the door knob started to wiggle and turn. "Just a minute, I'm almost done" She said. It preceded to wiggle more obnoxiously while the door was being pushed. Now positive it was my uncle being a typical brother she said again "Just a minute!!" horrified he might actually get the door open on her. The wiggling became more vicious, finally the door was kicked and then all was quiet. "OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!" said my mom as she ripped open the door expecting to see my uncle smirking on the other side. Nothing. She looked around and looked outside to discover both him and grandpa were way out across the yard, in front of the barn tinkering with a tractor. No way was it possible for either of them to get back to that spot in that short amount of time. Needless to say, she took an interest in helping them the rest of the afternoon. How she spent entire summers up there I will never know. My aunt said she would make it a week before she requested being brought back home.

The worst part is, my uncle leveled the old farm house and built a new house on that same spot! Yes, their brand new house is creepy too!

Happy Halloween! Tuesday's Story

I had to make an emergency batch of cookies last night so I guess I owe two stories tonight!

I am not a Oiji board fan. They kind of freak me out. When I was in college, one of my roommates had one. She said they also freaked her out and she never used it in our room - just in her friend's room down the hall. *sigh* whatever! She rarely spent the night in our room and one night her radio came on in the middle of the night. It was one of those huge boom boxes with the controls on a panel which spins when it turns on. "Ugh! She must have an alarm set or something on it?" So I get up, unplug it and it shuts off. I'm drifting off to sleep again and I hear that control panel spinning open and the radio turns on again. "What The!!" "ARGH, does she really have batteries in that thing too!" I get up and rip the back off only to discover, you guessed it, no batteries! I am freaked out by this point so I think I turned on all of the lights and played some Sims for a while to ease my nerves. The next night, yep, it turned on again. I didn't move. I listened to it being fuzzy and changing channels until it finally turned off. I stayed under my blankets until I finally fell asleep. I also had a floor lamp which would turn on and off in that room all of the time but I had just bought it and couldn't confirm if it was just because it was a $3 clearance lamp from Target or something spooky. She moved out at semester and took the Oiji board, her giant radio and my Paperboy Nintendo game. Second semester nothing crazy happened to me in that room and my lamp also was no longer possessed.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Halloween Week! Monday

I'm going to write up some ghost stories this week to go along with the spirit of Halloween though my mom has way more interesting stories since one of her hobbies is actually ghost investigating. Meaning she is one of those crazy people who will set up cameras and recording equipment and spend the night someplace to prove/find more proof it is haunted.

My first experience was, as mentioned earlier, when I was seven or eight. I used to be a night owl so I was always up late reading. One night, not too long after we had moved into our "new" to us home, I was deep into a Beverly Cleary (the opposite of anything creepy) and I looked up to see a man in the doorway. Umm, who? what? I don't remember being scared but I did duck under the covers and I remember saying "who is there??" "Is someone there??" No answer. He was gone by the time emerged and I guess I went to sleep that night? I'm not sure I was old enough to even know what a ghost was. I didn't tell my parents because, you know what, I am not sure why. I guess it never came up in conversation until...
One night, a few years later, my mom had an antique club meeting at our house. After the club meeting a friend was telling her a ghost story. I wasn't really paying attention until my mom started acting suspicious by telling her friend to come out on the porch with her. THAT peaked my interest so I snuck over to the door to hear what I obviously was not supposed to be hearing. She was telling a story about how she was watching Price is Right, doing some pricing for her booth, the usual mid-morning activities when she heard someone coming down the stairs. She didn't initially think anything of it until she realized no one else is home! She looked up to see a man on the landing and freaked. Did someone break in and has been hiding in the attic?? What now? What is he going to do?? It was then she saw him start to say something and realized "wait a minute! It's a ghost!" and pop he vanished.

OK, I was a few years older at this point and was realizing I hadn't been crazy because this same person my mom had just described had been standing in my doorway. After everyone had gone she noticed I was acting strange and knew instantly I had heard her story and was somewhat mad because she didn't want me sleeping on their bedroom floor for the next five years. I blurted out "I've seen him too!" which instantly eased her temper into shock? or perhaps a validation that she also was not crazy.

We think it's the son of the original owner of the house? He passed away in a car accident. He has been helpful over the years. If we were missing anything, he would place it front and center on the kitchen table. Though sometimes our theory was he was the one who took it to begin with!  He's never done anything scary or mean except occasionally walk down those creaky stairs!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ghosts? Or just some Dust

I am going to paint the hallway "quickly" as I realize the current layer of paint is probably lead since their 80's/90's remodel of this area was tiny flowered wallpaper and I'm also tired of looking at the sloppy paint job. I was getting my before shots and this photo was in the mix.

I'm not a huge orb fan but these, especially the one waayy down the hall, by the sock, struck me as odd. That looks to me as if it is by the sock and would have to be a substantial piece of dust to be reflecting that much light that far away. There is also one on the ceiling and one on the right wall, kind of in the middle.
Here is the same view taken a few seconds later.

Apart from the first night I was over here by myself, I have never had any funny business happen. That first night, Mark got off of work late and I was going to pick him up so I was over here doing a little cleaning. I went to use my recently charged phone and I lost all signal (Ok, no shock there) but then the little battery symbol started dropping bars one by one until the phone turned off. It was fine again after I charged it and I never saw it do anything crazy like that again. That being said, this house doesn't creep me out in any way and I've never seen anything - that I've noticed! I admit, I do believe in ghosts. Though it's hard to say you don't when you've looked up to see the previous owner's son standing in your bedroom doorway staring at you when you were 8 years old. Oh yeah, he was dead and I had no clue who it was at the time. My parent's house = definitely haunted. They have an extra cat and at least two people. My house? Meh, not so much. I grew up in fear of having to go to the bathroom at 3 AM, in fact, I usually braved a further away bathroom just to avoid a certain hallway! So I am still ecstatic to wake up and not worry about bumping into anyone if I need to use the bathroom.

I should dig out my pre-digital Gettysburg photo and the photo my mom took of me with their house behind it and what looks to be a silhouette of a woman. Ohh! That would be good for Halloween - though I can't promise anything because I only have a vague clue where those photos are. More ghost stories would be good too! I've got a week.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last week was my birthday and I always enjoy hanging out with friends and telling my husband we're eating at the Chinese buffet without question. My husband and I usually just buy our own gifts because I never know what I want plus I can give him a list but he still wouldn't know what I was talking about. He always just wants the latest electronic gadget so he got a new phone and a new plan. As a result I also got a new phone which he was very excited to tell me about all of the features I now have. I have so far used it to take 2 instagram photos and 2 videos. The alarm clock works well.

I behaved myself this past summer and avoided buying any Pyrex I wasn't crazy about just for the sake of buying Pyrex. I passed up a lot of avocado, browns and mushrooms. I'm sure someday I'll be kicking myself for passing them up but my cupboards (and husband) are thankful for it. I did splurge for my birthday and found a few pieces I love which also stick to my attempted color scheme for this cabinet!

I then got to spend the afternoon (er, a naptime) dusting, reorganizing and putting up Halloween decorations. Yeah, I'm a nerd and was excited to clean and rearrange for my new treasures...

 My mom gave me the first two: a Delphite Pyrex bowl and fun Wizard of Oz glass

Check out the mod little witch and tornado!

and some of you may recognize this as the mug from our antique outing I was ogling but it was $20!! I couldn't rationalize randomly spending that much on a Pyrex mug!
but then I remembered my birthday and I always want to spend a little more money on something unusual while still feeling like I got a good deal.  I'm not sure how good of a deal it was but it is something I don't see everyday.

My mom also found a small stripe bowl to match the big one from grandma's house.
I Picked out this juicer a few months ago. The tag said it works! but I have yet to try it. The top juicer part is glass so I would probably break it.
The Bluebird casserole got my attention not only with the color but the mod shape of the caddy. Frankie found the carafe at what he referred to as "the creepiest garage sale ever." Well, I'm glad he was brave to wander this guy's house because it looks lovely in my cabinet. The peanuts were my attempt to make it easier to see the pattern...
 The buffet area also got a fall makeover.
Some fall colored Pyrex and this year's Halloween Pyrex I came across at Target. I missed last years so I was happy to accidently find it this year.
The Hex Signs bowl I brought home and found it was the same size as my huuge Christmas bowl. I also discovered it originally came with the same lid and caddy which is fantastic because now I can stack away my Christmas bowl and not worry about where to store the huge lid and caddy!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Longest Delayed Blog Post. Ever.

Seriously? I have had this post sitting here for about 2 weeks. I'll add a sentence or a photo and get distracted! OK, I'm just going to "try" to accomplish something on here today!

I escaped the house last Friday (now several Fridays ago), well, *we* escaped the house under the pretense of finding some warmer clothing for little one. My main dilemma is there are not baby clothes at estate sales for some reason? and those ads sound way more interesting to me than: "kids clothes, microwave, dining room set, 1990's Christmas decor and knick-knacks from Wal-Mart." I added that last part but any garage sale enthusiast knows what I'm talking about. I did manage to get to an estate sale and a church-ish sale.

This guy was at the estate sale and he looks nice on my kitchen counter but reminds me I need to paint my backsplash something other than white because he disappears under the shadows of my cupboards. It is by Bing and Grondahl. My mom collects the blue Christmas plates. I see her plates all of the time but I don't see/don't notice other items by them often. Especially weird looking things which fit in with my taste.

I have had a strange goal of trying to find one of these Pyrex canisters as it seems they are always faded, cracked and or way too expensive. (way too expensive being more than $3) I finally accomplished my goal as .50 seemed to be a reasonable price and it is in perfect condition. Spice of Life isn't my favorite pattern but maybe it should be as it also seems to match my counter perfectly.

The classy Staffordshire dog for my mantel was .75

And I can't stop with the reindeer so this herd followed me home.

Gesh, it's not like this post was long or even interesting. I'm glad I finally was able to spit it all out, get it posted and move on to my next post!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Freshening up the Bedroom

No, I'm not starting another project. Our bedroom does still smell a bit like previous owner's cat when the humidity gets high but I can't make another mess before I finish the living/dining room which I'm seriously getting in about 10 minutes a week on if I am lucky! Anyways, it started with my Ikea trip and my quest for a new curtain rod.

As you can see, the curtain rod is the standard $5 model which has been somehow extended with an extra piece in the middle. There was something sticky all over these rods so besides being disgusting, the curtains were impossible to slide open/closed.
They've now been upgraded to $6 Ikea rods. We'll see how long it takes before they get bent up and sticky!
I also did a little rearranging on my owl wall.
I found this photo from a January 2011 post. I have added a few since then but I've tried to not overdo it? - which I tend to do!
My new Ikea pillow and "new" $2.50 quilt also brighten up the place. (Yes, a headboard is on my current wish list/brainstorming idea list.)
I think someone threw it in the washer AND dryer because it was very clean, fluffy and smelled nice but it left some nice holes in the middle. It's pretty generic fabrics so I can probably manage a repair eventually...
And my hideous .25 credenza from last fall
I actually found a good color at the free paint exchange which matched the curtains so after a thorough sanding:
We have a funky TV stand. We were using an old TV stand which wasn't tall enough to be seen over the bed so a shoe shelf was added to the top. It was classy and I didn't get a picture of it! I am very disappointed with myself.
Now I have room to display some decorating books, the monkey I pulled out of a free box and a lamp which was always in the guest room at grandma and grandpa's.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pyrex Painting

In my neverending quest to organize my hoard in the basement I came across this piece of Pyrex which I pulled out of the free box a while back.

Poor thing! I think at one time this was a red fridgy but it was scrubbed/dishwashered beyond recognition. The price was right and I was wondering if I could paint it but I must have felt obligated to clean up some clutter so it got put in the basement and forgotten about. Upon finding it, I figured it was a good naptime project and it definitely wasn't going to hurt it any.

So I taped up anything I wanted to remain white. I am getting antsy about putting up some Halloween décor plus I had a can of open black spray paint handy so I decided black would be its new color.

A couple sprays with the spray paint and I now have a shiny black fridgy! I am going to guess this dish is now rendered purely decorative. No more baking or scrubbing.

Yay! I now have an excuse to go out and track down some addicting candy corn to try out my "new" dish.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dreamy Knotty Pine Estate Part III: The Bathrooms

To shorten my previous post I decided to devote another posting to the bathrooms.
If you looked closely at the last post, you may have seen a peek of one of the bathrooms I would kill for (I'm considering it anyways to the woman who came in and said "oh, there is enough room for a skylight in here" along with "ugh, are these tiles 70's??") down the hall in the master bedroom.

A nearly mint condition octagonal, tiled floor to ceiling art deco bathroom!
 I can just imagine fixing some stray hairs and making sure one's silk stockings are straight before taking off for brunch at the Country Club 80 years ago.
No tanks for the toilets in this house. The recessed holder makes up for the awkward reach to the TP.
Yes, this tub is very short.
 There was a light in the tub area which was out and it appears someone else besides me was taking a peek at the tub when I took this picture. Luckily it's in good shape because I don't think one could find a replacement though someone will probably come in, rip it out, put in 12" brown tiles and some glass shower doors. To go with that skylight. Are skylights still a thing? I thought that was an 80's/90's thing?
Apart from the nifty recessed light above the sink, this was the only other (working) light in the bath. I suppose it will be sacrificed for that skylight?
The main bath isn't quite as roomy but I like the colors better.
I'm liking this deep windowsill and those little decorative tiles.
The sconces flanking the mirror match the tiles. Plus, check out that 60's wallpaper which they somehow managed to match the flowers perfectly with the tile color!
Whew, I think I shared a small portion of this nifty home. I'm sure it will sadly be updated and modernized BUT if someone does happen to buy it and restore it/leave it's funkiness please invite me over for brunch. Umm, unless you are one of those people who I heard bragging about golf. I am bad at golf.
I also am not capable of using the heard phrase "toodaloo" as a serious farewell statement. Is this a current rich country club thing that I am out of the loop on because I live on the poor side of the neighborhood??