Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mystery Items

I've been going to garage sales and antique shops since before I was born so it takes a lot to stump me. This first item has me completely stumped as not only do I know nothing about it but I can't tell how old it is. 1930's? 50's? 80's? 2014?

The main design looks Art Deco but that gold splatter top makes me think 50's/60's but then again, the vase has no aging whatsoever so it makes me think it is new.

Someone had glued foam to the bottom and I was hoping to answer my questions by peeling it off, but nope. Nothing.

It was only $1 and it is very nicely painted so I'm enjoying it on the mantle. Though it kind of bothers me every time I look at it because I may never solve the mystery!

The next item cost me $2 and it looks like it belongs with the Pyrex Drinkups.
But it appears they came with a more standard shaped coffee pot. Mine also has no markings so it's probably just a Pyrex wannabe. It looks cute with my avocado Pyrex though!

Water got in between the plastic and glass when I washed it so they only way I could figure to properly clean/dry it was to unscrew the handle and take it apart. A little ridiculous if one had to do that everyday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Emerald green is trendy? Really?

This project happened before it got chilly out.

I was going to change out the ripped up weather stripping and decided first I had to fix Bernie's (the previous owner's dog) scratchings.

Real classy Bernie. Real classy.

I filled in Bernie's scratches with exterior wood filler and sanded - though it still looks rough in this photo. Then scraped and sanded the rest of the door.
I am a firm believer in limiting the amount of white objects in my life with everything from walls down to clothing due to a klutzy dropping and staining disorder. I am also a firm believer blatantly 1990's style decks and patio doors shouldn't be added to the dining room of a 1915 house but that is a different rant. Back to this post, that weekend was also free paint exchange day at the Eco Store so I decided to see if I could find a replacement for that awful flat (yes, flat) white paint. I browsed the exterior paint pile, brainstorming what would match a dark red trim color and found this green. Hmm, I read somewhere emerald green and brass were popular so I thought I would give it a whirl.
It is impossible to get a good photo with bright sunlight streaming directly onto the door so the color is a tad darker than it is in this photo and to me it just looks circa 1993. Possibly because the door is circa 1993?? The red is dark enough so it doesn't look Christmas-y (my other concern) but this color still doesn't really do it for me. Wasn't it termed Forest Green in the 90's? However, it does look 100 times better than the white, especially with Bernie's markings gone. So it will stick around for a while. At least until I find a different can of free paint to try out on it! I have also confirmed that no matter what that article told me and showed me photos of, anything I do in this color combination is just going to look 90's.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nerdy Staircase Upgrade: Part 1

My dad was looking for a new woodworking project and fortunately I am his victim. To prevent him from making another coffee table-sized boat model case, I am allowing him to do something which I am a little leery about as it will be messing with original house parts.

This is  my staircase. I apologize for the bad night shot which highlights the dingy carpet.

See the opening to the right? I'm sure it is grandfathered in, but having a large opening with a 7 foot drop, level with the stairs probably is not up to code. The cat loves it AND unfortunately the small child also loves it which gives me a heart attack when I am sitting on the couch and am realizing she snuck up the stairs as she sticks her head out over the side giggling.

My dad came up with the idea of vertical slats filling the space. Not uncommon to staircases of the time so I agreed to his design but wanted to take it a step further because, why not? Anything to keep him entertained longer, right?

These are the original 1918 slats on my parent's staircase:
(I had to confirm with my mom that she was decorated for Halloween. The doll head case is the normal d├ęcor though...)
See, they have funky tulips! I didn't want to copy their funky tulips but I could only find a couple other photos of staircases from this time period with the funky designs. I didn't find any which caught my eye so I decided to come up with my own. It had to look like it was from 1915 but being the nerd I am, here is my final design decision and the test cut my dad did:
I think it has a nice Art Nouveau flower look to it, right? Is it obvious what it really is when it is out of context? I hope no one shuns me for installing this design into my 1915 staircase! But, umm, I really don't care because I think it is going to look fantastic!
Until next time, may the force be with you!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Moist Boxes and a Halloween Costume

It was a week before vacation and I was going crazy. There were things to pack, a dentist appointment, laundry, shopping. But let us go back to the task of laundry. I walked downstairs to throw in a load of laundry only to discover the middle (not the edges) of the basement very moist.

Nope, this isn't an episode of Hoarders. This is what happens when I have to haul half of my stuff upstairs in 3 minutes flat, wait for the floor to dry out and then spread more stuff around to air out.

Anything on the outer walls is in plastic but I wasn't guarding the middle of the floor. I had to empty and spread out several boxes of things but everything seems to have recovered. Where did the water come from?? We had a freak 6" of rain the night before so it must have come up and out of one of the cracks in the floor? I'm just glad it didn't happen while I was out of town. I would have come home to a bunch of mildew covered toys from the 80's!

And since I have everything in disarray, I may as well vacuum out those little nooks and crannies (which I never have done), give the floor a good scrubbing (also never have done) and sort through some boxes to try and weed out my hoard (an ongoing process). So that has been my life the past month. I know, I can barely stand the excitement!

On the plus side, since I had a portion of the basement scrubbed and vacuumed I had a good backdrop for Halloween photos.

Why is it I don't think she is going to go along with my costume idea next year?? Come on, I thought a Tribble was an excellent choice of costume!

(I bribed her with candy in this photo.)
Easiest costume ever. I thought of the idea, went into a thrift store and there was a fuzzy vest a couple of sizes too big for her. I did sew up the little Tribbles.

The vest is also an actual piece of children's clothing. I can't imagine buying this for your 4-year-old child to wear out and a bout. It's so hairy!