Thursday, June 30, 2011

Patriotic Toys

Now that we once again have babies in our family, I have a valid excuse for playing with my vintage toys.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  We have had such a dreary, wet June that I felt the need to brighten up our living room with some festive red, white and blue. 

My friend Margo made this vintage looking bear years ago when we hosted Christmas boutiques in our homes.  The red snare drum and drumsticks were rescued (by me) from a trash pile.  Really, who would throw this away!?  The top is broken, so I just flip it over to the "good" side.

Easy newspaper parade hat.  If you look closely, you can see results of the Grandma's Marathon.

My version of spa slippers.

The coffee pot passed down from my Baba is filled with branches cut from our Mock Orange shrub.   The majorette and plate were estate sale finds.

This new truck was purchased years ago at the Midwest Outlet in Jeremy's hometown of Canon Falls.  It's a small world!

I started this banner last year.  Maybe next year I'll get the lettering added.  "C-e-l-e-b-r-a-t-e" will fit perfectly.

Buttermints inside.  Somebody has been warned to leave these alone.

I bought this doll at the now defunct "Forsberg Highway Sales" in the 1980's........charming shop.  Picture a run-down corrugated tin shack heated with a barrel wood stove and cash stored in the owners bra.  I kid you not,  she would actually pull a wad of money from inside her bra to hand out change.  Oh, let's not forget the "coffee can"  toilet.  Mmmm, hmmmm.  All that aside, low overhead equals cheap prices.  Works for me!!!

Did I mention corrugated tin?

Obviously, I can't bear to part with my red Tonka truck.  It works great as a coaster!

My patriotic decor.

Let's not forget the most important decoration......

Happy Fourth of July!

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ahoy Matey!

Quick, get the binoculars!!  Darn, I dropped them in the middle of the lake last summer!

I'm not sure ( not the best long distance vision ) but I think I see a .........battleship in the middle of the lake!?

Earlier this spring I was presented with a model gunboat made by a WWII U.S. Navy veteran.  He is in his eighties and loves to tell off-color Polish jokes, so when I mentioned that I have a Polish son-in-law, well that was the icing on the cake.

This gentleman has connections to a local lumberyard that allow him to pick scrap lumber for building his models.  He produces hundreds of boats that he either gives away or donates to fundraising events.

Ship name added with permanent marker.

Just wind up the rubber band-propelled paddle ( no batteries required ).

Needless to say, I had to test the floatability before sending it off to Mack.  Yes, Julie and Jeremy, Mack will be the envy of all his friends when he floats his boat down the mighty Mississip!  I thought it looked rather lonely without a captain, so meet Captain Monkacek ( pronounced monk-a-check ).  In honor of the maker and recipient, a Polish name seemed only fitting.

He's off!  It really works. 

Just look at him go!


Hey, get back here!  Don't make me come after you!  Eww, look at those weeds.

Rescue 911 called into action.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chalk Talk

I've been tripping over these frames in our basement for quite some time now.  I decided it was high time to either get rid of the things, or do something with them.  And we all know it's not very often that I get rid of old junk!
So, I had one of my assistants cut 1/4 inch hardboard pieces to fit each frame.  I then primed and painted all of them with 3 coats of chalkboard paint.  One can never have too many chalkboards, after all.  Not only are they useful, but visitors seem to have fun leaving messages as well.   

Chalkboard paint.  Great stuff!

This small, but elegant chalkboard is a very belated birthday gift for a friend.

Beautifully detailed frame.

To distract her from noticing just how late I am with this gift, I am including a vintage map.

This is a map of Lake Vermilion where she and her husband have a gorgeous lake home.

The large rectangular chalkboard is now mounted in our basement stairwell that leads to the "man cave".

Sorry for the dark photo, but it is a cave after all.

What better place for a "honey do" list?!

The arched top gilt frame once held a lovely beveled mirror (may it rest in pieces, right Mom?).  I wanted to replace a Michael's discount picture in our kitchen, and this frame fit the bill.  I added the chalkboard to the frame, but still felt is was missing something.  I decided to make it into a menu board and found the perfect lettering at "The Graphics Fairy".  She has thousands of vintage designs to pick from.  Check it out!

I painted the letters with off-white acrylic craft paint and added metallic gold shadowing.

Here is the finished piece propped in the window for better light.

Hanging on the wall.  Perfect fit!

FYI:  My new camera arrived a few weeks ago, but I haven't had a moment to play with it yet!  The battery is charged and ready to go, so today, my last day of vacation, I plan to experiment.  I'm hoping the quality of my indoor and people photos improve.  Consumer Reports gave it excellent reviews for picture quality and low-light pictures, so we'll see. 

Maybe I can plug it into my brain while I'm sleeping and the info will transfer by osmosis.

*Blogiversary "Five Little Monkey" book giveaway August 16.  Comment to enter now!

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Funky Junk Interiors

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Above left is a picture of my father holding me and on the right is Bill's dad holding him.  Until I actually viewed the photos next to each other on this post, I didn't notice the similarities.  Both are posed the same, but photos are taken from a slightly different angle.  The couches are the same, only a different pattern embossed in the upholstery.  I guess each generation will have a signature look of it's own.

Here is Bill as a new dad about 29 years ago.  It's hard to believe how quickly those years fly by!  Well, Julie, I guess it wasn't just that one picture where your forehead looks rather......well, large.  That's ok, you were a very happy baby and grew into your head eventually. 

We had no idea what was in store for us when Megan entered the picture. But, we all survived and we can even laugh about it now!  All I can say is that Megan was a force to be reckoned with.

This year, along with the arrival of our first two grandchildren, we have two NEW dads in the picture.

Newest dad, Jeremy.

Mack, who we visited last weekend.  How peaceful.

Dave, with seven months of experience under his belt.

Finley all decked out for a wedding yesterday. 

Grandpa Bill can hardly wait to go Christmas shopping for TOYS again!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, new and old.

Friday, June 10, 2011

My Container Store

Why buy new storage containers when there are so many old things you can repurpose to suit your storage needs?  I confess, I do love my large plastic totes for storing seasonal items in the basement and garage, but, exposed storage for our main living areas.......not so much.

Before I go to an estate sale, I usually ask Julie and Megan if there is anything in particular they would like me to look for.  Items on Julie's list:  the ever elusive farmhouse dining table, and wine crates.  Never give up the search.  Just when you think you will never find what you are looking for, there it is!  Don't get too excited, Julie, it's not the table, but I did find these last weekend.......

While these are not exactly wine crates, I think they have the same look and feel.  Once I purchased them, I, of course, had to "Google image" vintage wine crates to see what creative folks have used them for.  Here are a few of the ideas I found.

Maybe Jeremy can rig something up something like this in your kitchen island.

Clever storage in baby's room.

Temptation for crawling babies.  Adults only rating.

Pretty buffet setting.

Next up is an item I found last winter for only $3.00!!  

A vintage collapsible shopping cart.

It was too good a bargain to pass up!  I knew somebody would find a use for it, so I bought it and shoved it in the back of a closet for a few months.  When Julie was decorating her nursery, I pulled it out and decided it would make a cute toy caddy if it had a fabric lining.  This is how it sat untouched in our dining room for weeks.
By the end of the day, I only have enough functioning brain cells to work on mindless projects, and this one just required too much thinking!  Julie was getting very close to her due date, so that was the motivation I needed to finally get it done.

I'm not sure if she is actually using it in the nursery, but it could be used for all kinds of things:  laundry, gift wrap holder, etc.  Although, I'm picturing her kiddies giving each other rides down the sidewalk.  :@

Last, but not least, a magazine cart.....

Just think of the possibilities!

It even has slots for names or whatever.

These are the items currently in stock at the 911 Container Store.

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