Wednesday, April 11, 2012

On a Pedestal

We have a wonderful cabin on Lake Tenkiller in eastern Oklahoma:

I've been fixing it up for years.  We added on a bedroom, bathroom, laundryroom, and two decks (the one story part to the right and everything with a deck railing) several years ago.  But we rarely get to go there. 

Last weekend we went to there to put new locks on the doors and to put a few fishing lines in the water.  The result was a vow to use the cabin more and to get it finished enough that others can use it as well (if you want to use it, just ask!).  It has two bathrooms, three bedrooms plus a big enclosed sleeping "porch" (the front half of the upstairs where all those windows are) that sleeps 9 kids.  When I get everything to where it's supposed to be, the house will sleep 18!

So I'm all cabin-on-the-brain this week. 

As I drive around town, my eye habitually monitors all lumps on curbs -- I usually spot them from a block or more away.  It's just the way I am to my core. 

Yesterday, I found this:

It turns out that my very nice, new, caddy-corner backdoor neighbors are having to remodel a bathroom to accomodate a disability and this sink didn't fit in with their needs.  

It just so happens that this is the exact $377 (+ tax) Kohler pedestal sink that I've adored for years. 

It also happens that, at the cabin, I have this:

The sad little bathroom with the dinky vanity and the marbelized plastic (yes, PLASTIC!) tiles.

There IS one problem with the new sink:

There is a piece broken off of the base.  I am completely unconcerned about this.  Epoxy will rejoin the two pieces and I could care less if there's a crack visible in the base.  Most of my possessions have a crack or a chip or a ding or some other imperfection (for that matter, I have a few of those myself).  I would much rather have free imperfection than expensive perfection.

I can't wait to upgrade this room with the new sink!

Now, to find (for free on the curb, of course!) the clawfoot tub that I have dreamed of for the other side of the bathroom.  Keep your eyes peeled for me!

And now I'm looking forward to doing a blog series on the cabin.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Am Such a Ferret!

They say that ferrets like to steal things they like and stash them away.  Often, shiney things.

We've had ferrets.  They didn't do this.  The most mischeivious thing done by our ferrets transpired when Gizmo learned to escape not only from his cage but also from the house entirely -- via the dog door.  He would turn up, blssedly, frolicking in the neighborhood a couple of blocks away.  We were lucky to get him back from these adventures.  It didn't end well though.  He decided one day to come home via the back yard.  Our labradors thought he was a great chew toy.  To make it even more tragic, it was Thanksgiving morning.  Poor Gizzy. 

The biggest "ferret" in the house is Tessa.  I used to find the most amazing assortment of things in her room.  I wish I could remember and recount a long list for your entertainment.  I can only remember that the springy egg beater whisk was one of them items.  Tessa will still admit to me periodically, "I ferretted X.  It's in my room."  She is SO CUTE!

I must confess my ferret tendencies as well.  They derive from my being so very, VERY visual.  I like to look at stuff.  I especially like to look at stuff I am brainstorming on, the final product of a project that I am happy with, or when it something new or just something I LIKE. 

I had to laugh at myself this morning when I realized that I had created a little ferret's nest in that spot on the bedroom wall opposite me bed -- that spot that I look at most because bed is where I sit still the longest.

Mark bought the reproduction radio at a garage sale last Saturday for $1.  I found the vintage Waverly fabric for 50 cents.  Not sure what I'm going to do with it (and it make take me YEARS to figure it out) but I just adore it.  I did splurge and went back and sprang for the vintage blouse I fell in love with. 

These new acquisitions were added almost unconsciously to my collection of favorite things:  pink plates, white wire plate rack, vintage bird cage stand, my grandmother's candleabra, my mother's geranium quilt, one of the dried rose wreaths I used to make, and my favorite cream-framed chalkboard -- all on my vintage shoe salesman's rack. 

I realized later that my subconsious ferret must be working on my book because most of these things have the feel of the 1910's which is the time period a big chunk of my book is set in.  (That totally justifies both my purchases and my display of them, right?) 

These things, along with my vintage chair (right):

and my vintage dresser:

allow me to feel, when I'm in my bedroom, like I'm in my book, on the little twelve acre farm with the two white clapboard houses and the honeysuckle vine lining the back fence and my characters around somewhere.  I am pretty in love with my setting and my characters.  I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing for an author but I know I am enjoying it.

There's a lady around town who dresses like she stepped out of the 1930's and a lady on TV whose every belonging and item of clothing is from the 1950's.  I love to put a vintage spin on my clothes.  My favorite fashion inspiration comes from the seasons of Ghost Whisperer where their very talented costume designer made sure there was a vintage feel to all of (the main character) Melinda's clothes.  If you start to hear about some lady in Fayetteville who dresses like the 1910's, it will probably be me!

But don't worry, I won't ever be willing to give up modern conveniences like TV, central heat and air, washing and dishwashing machines, the internet, Facebook, and writing on an oh-so-changeable-and-forgiving word-processing program -- so a complete conversion is unlikely!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dreams Do Come True

On July 7, 2011, I posted this:


I have THIS:


Well, I finally got around to it:

I'm a bit disappointed that you can't tell in the pictures that the inside back of the cabinet is pale blue but, trust me, it is!

 I love getting to showcase some of my favorite red things and, of course, more silver.  Ooh, shiney!

Have you noticed that I kinda have a thing for silver?  This is a good thing because I have all my mother's and my grandmother's silver.  I used to wonder what the heck I would do with it other than Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  I usually make chili for Christmas dinner so that whittled it down to just Thanksgiving.  But I currently have silver in my bedroom, my master bathroom, the girls' bathroom, the tv room, the front hall, and, now, the upstairs hall.  I think I'm making good use of it!

I enjoy this cabinet and it's contents every time I walk up the stairs.  It makes my heart happy. 

I'm still wavering on adding chicken wire behind the glass.  What do YOU think?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Dining Room Expedition

Many months ago I emptied a storage unit -- into my dining room.  Bad idea.  But necessary.  Over the subsequent months I have been gradually digging out and sorting through in order to reclaim the dining room and beat the junk back into submission. 

The first time I ventured in to attack the heaps (picture binoculars and pith helmets) I actually got trapped in the middle of the room!  Which makes me feel pretty stupid but at least I can laugh at myself.

Tessa's 15th birthday is next Thursday (April 12th) and I want to have her birthday dinner in the full splendor of the dining room.  I also have lunch date fantasies and want to be able to have my friends over.  Ooh!  And dinner parties!  Could my life really come to include dinner parties?

So I've continuted to dig.  I unearthed the table.  And found the floor.  And shoved some stuff into the garage to be dealt with during the Great Garage Expedition. 

I'm not showing you the whole room (can you guess why?) but looky what I've uncovered thus far!

I am so happy that I built the wall-to-wall/floor-to-ceiling shelves! I used cheap laminate bookshelves and then added wood molding to make them look like built-ins -- total cost: $600 (which sounds like a lot now but is much less than it could have been)!  I have always thought that dining rooms should also be libraries.  Alas, there are only a few books in the shelves in the room but I COULD put more in. 

Meanwhile, I can store LOTS of my favorite things that I love to look at.  I'm visual, as I may have mentioned, so I like to look at things.  This proclivitiy creates clutter pretty quickly but I love shelves because shelves mean I can keep/have/display/look at more stuff without drowning in it.  I apologize to the minimalists of the world but, for the record, YOUR style makes me panicky because there's nothing to look at!

I found a set of floral barkcloth bedding several years ago (a duvet, three valances, and three pillow shams).  I adore them but haven't really gotten to take full advantage yet. 

Detail of barkcloth.

In reviving the dining room, I was able to alter (make smaller and sew the big blue satin ruffle edge to the inside) the three pillow shams into pillows for the chairs.  I used two of the valances to line the inside of the glass doors on the costume cabinet and the third valance as a table runner. 

Partial photo of costume cabinet with fabric lining.

I will probably end up using the duvet as a table cloth and make that third valance into the fourth chair pillow (I love having a limited amount of a fabric and trying to make the most of it!) but you are seeing it as it is now.

A few other trivia notes on the room:

* I was so sad when the rug I had in the room got ruined (long story) but I was able to get the same rug FOR FREE!  I am SO happy to have it back!  You can't really see it but it's a moss green damask pattern. 
* LOTS of the stuff on the shelves belonged to my mother and my grandmother and other departed relatives.
* The boxes in the bottom right shelf hold my china (darn those two boxes that don't match!).
* The brown leather suitcase on the shelf holds pow wow accessories (belts, jewelry, feathers).
* The green cabinet on the top shelf was my birthday present to myself a few years ago.
* The "plant" in the top left corner is dried greenery from out wedding flowers.

So... who's up for a dinner party?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Little Things

There are two airborne allergens that I am allergic to at the level of 5 on a 1 to 5 scale. Pecan and elm.
Look what is EVERYWHERE right now:

Pecan and elm.

I don't get the sniffly/sneezy/itchy kind of allergies. I get the out-of-sorts kind of allergies.

So, today I am out-of-sorts.


My office is full of lilies!

And there's a Dr. Pepper that Mark brought me next to the vase of pen flowers that Sara-Grace made for me:

And I'm wearing pink shoes:

So maybe it's a pretty good day after all!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Booth Envy

On Friday, as my previous post described, we found this gorgeous dining table on the curb:

On Saturday, Mark and I went garage sale-ing where I got this: 

It cracks me up!

Then we hit the "cash and carry" sale at the Salvation Army where I spent $8 on this chair:

Mark and I now having a running debate over whether it's cool or ugly.

Then we went to Prairie Grove where I fell in love with THIS:

Which the main character in my book will wear and which I will borrow from her frequently if I go back and actually buy it.

I also got all inspired/intimidated by all the wonderful flea market booths like these:

On Sunday Mark talked me into renting our THIRD booth (at Southtown Flea Market next to the Salvation Army on 15th Street) -- shown here BEFORE they cleared it out for our stuff. 

This is where the table and chair pictured above now reside.

On Monday I got my largest check ever from booth #1.  Which is encouraging.

Now it's Tuesday and I'm still not sure if booth #3 is a good thing or a bad thing.  I do know that there is still stuff this in the garage:

and this in the front hall:

And there's more that won't fit in the booths at the moment and stuff is always finding us -- so I think keeping the booths supplied won't be a problem. 

If only the booth decor fairy will grant me inspiration I might be a bit less panicked!  Or maybe it could all just sell before I get to prettifying it?