Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Toys in the Attic

I've been buying girl things my whole life, and when Mack came along, I thought it would be difficult to find vintage boy things.  Au contraire!   Here are a few treasures I stored in our attic until our Christmas celebration last weekend. 

I literally tripped over this box in the basement of the last estate sale I attended.  It was marked $7.00.

I thought it was a homemade toolbox until an elderly man informed me that it was in fact an army ammunition box.  I didn't photograph the bottom, but it's stamped "Cedar Box Co./ Cedar Avenue,  Mpls."  It didn't take a huge stretch of the imagination to see it would make a perfect toy box for the little guy.  I cleaned decades of dirt and grime off and gave it a light sanding to remove the loose paint, followed by a coat of polyurethane.

It already had the perfect rope handles.

I added a safety hinge.....

...and casters to make it easy to pull around.  Or put the cats inside and give them a little joyride.   meow

The finished toy box for the little man has come full circle and is back in Minneapolis where it was created.

 Oh, wait!  Let's personalize it.
The tin letters were 5 for a dollar. 

Might as well get 10 for $2.00!  I'll let the P family arrange them.

Now, if you've followed my blog for awhile, you know I have a weakness for......

....rusty old toy trucks!  Don't you love the colors and graphic detail on this tin truck?!  I would guess that it was an advertising promo for the Glendale Wrecker & Repair Company.

I almost kept this beauty for myself, but decided not to be selfish and settled for playing around with it for a few weeks.  It will look adorable in Mack's room.

I also found.... bowling pins photographed in a rare moment of sunshine.

And Julie's favorite....

...a tiny harmonica!

For the little mademoiselle.

Her very own...

It's got large sliding doors and windows for light and ventilation.

The interior is nicely whitewashed so Finley's dollies can have a barn dance.

But for now.....
...some age appropriate animals to inhabit the space.

I found this leather souvenir compact sporting the family name of St. Pierre from Dave's side. 

And my personal favorite for Mack Julie.

A bargain at only $1.50.

Little Tommy Tucker.  Just look at those teeth that face!  Julie can place it on her desk at work.  It will be sure to bring a smile to her coworkers.

Now I need to start looking for next year's Christmas presents!

Thanks for stopping by!

Linked to:
The Charm of Home Home Sweet Home
Miss Mustard Seed FFF
Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special

Sunday, January 22, 2012

French Nordic Prize

We've finally hosted our belated Christmas celebration at 911.  It was a fun, chaotic weekend and now it's time for me to pack it all away.  Why is it so exciting to unpack Christmas decorations, and such a chore to put it all away?

I'm taking a little break from packing and cleaning to show you some pictures of the gift I bought for the dice game we play on Christmas Eve.

Cute button nose.

Big brown eyes.

Mona Lisa smile.

Meet John.  John Deere.

Now who wouldn't want to win this prime piece of French Nordic decor!  I went slightly above our price limit of $25-30 for the purchase price of $33.  I couldn't resist his charm!  And neither could the winner, Jeremy.  He has plans to hang him over their living room fireplace.  His wife has other plans.   :@

 Congratulations Julie and Jeremy!  Hehehe.

Linked to:
French Country Cottage Feathered Nest Friday

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eat in chicken.

I've got 2 whole days off to grocery shop for our belated Christmas dinner, get my hair cut, clean the house, make sure all the presents are wrapped, etc.  You would think I'd have finished that stuff weeks ago, but no.  I left everything for the last minute.  As for the post title, it's one of my favorite lines from "Girl Interrupted".

What do I do when I'm under pressure?  Oh, sleep in, play on the computer, you know, important things.

Pictured above is a cutting board I found recently that is dated 1961 on the back.  I love her little suit, hat and purse!  And it looks like she is Christmas shopping to me, with the packages in her cart and the green and red coloring.  I just realized she is 2 years younger than me.  Yikes!!!  I'm giving her to our city daughter to hang in her kitchen during the holidays.  Since I can't share any of the other vintage goodies I found until after they are opened, I thought I would share some photos of a kitchen from the same era as that cutting board.

Here it is.  Our kitchen as it looked when we moved in just over 7 years ago.  The pictures were taken with our old 35mm camera, so there's not much I can do to improve the quality.  The photos actually soften and blur the loveliness.  Many of the cabinet doors had broken hinges and were hanging kittywampus (a term my old neighbor liked to use).  I know you'll find this hard to believe, but those are NOT real butcherblock countertops.  Yummy laminate reproductions.  But they look so real!  The backsplash is NOT subway tile.  Nope.  Painted Z Brick.  Try cleaning spattered spaghetti sauce off of that. 

Looking in from the dining room.  The vinyl flooring came up in less than 30 minutes.

One redeeming feature.  The large bay window.

When I first viewed the house, my heart sank.  I was so disappointed that it didn't have an open staircase.  And all the plaster walls were cracked.  And it had original 1921 plumbing.  And the updated wiring was a fire hazard.  And I had to leave my two beautiful (to me) bathrooms behind. 

On the other hand, I was finally getting out of the hood!!!  And the kitchen had this wonderful window overlooking the back yard.  I didn't have to see the neighbors junk cars out of every window of the house.  Well, I guess you can see our neighbor's truck.  But, it's parked in his driveway and not in his front yard.

The cabinets are maple and although I would have chosen a different style, we were on a budget (2 daughters in college at the time) so they were there to stay.  The soffit houses wiring, steam heat pipes, and range hood venting, so it was also staying.

Let's start with the lighting.  Fluorescent box lighting.  That was the first thing to go and the start of what was intended to be a simple face-lift.  If you're wondering why there are utensils hanging from the pot rack, it's because there were only 2 drawers in the whole kitchen, and pots and pans would hit you in the head when standing near the sink.

The curtain was my addition .  I pulled out the dishwasher that was shoved into an unfinished opening in favor of storage shelving.  I'm one of the few women who don't mind washing dishes.  For me, it's therapy.  I know, I'm weird that way.

This view is looking up the stairs from the back entrance.  I wish I had taken a picture of the basement stairs before I painted over the John Deere green paint that was everywhere.  The steps, the risers, and the accent trim.  High gloss John Deere green.

Country green mini-floral wallpaper.  And under that another layer of 1960's wallpaper applied with glue.  Which pulled the paper off of the sheetrock.  You can see a little corner of the pantry cabinet on the left. 

As you can see, the vintage black clock is the only item I kept from the before kitchen.  I will do an after post in the next week or two of our kitchen remodel that was meant to be a simple project and snowballed into a much more complex and expensive project than planned.  My mother came up with some helpful money saving ideas during the renovation.  She knows my cooking skills ( or lack thereof ) and suggested I forego splurging on new appliances and just go with a simple hotplate, microwave and dorm fridge.

That being said, it's time for me to plan our holiday meal.  I'll just Google "How to cook a ham".   :@

See y'all next week!

Linked to:
Knick of Time
Ivy & Elephants What's It Wednesday

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Love Potion No.911

One month of nasal congestion.  One week of non-stop coughing.  One bottle of Nyquil.  One bottle of Robitussin DM.  Six extra-large boxes of kleenex.  Irritating people for miles around with my annoying cough.  It's time to stop the over-the-counter home remedies and see a doctor!

I've taken the first two doses and I'm impatiently waiting for the magic to begin.  ( I just hope the real culprit isn't the dust accumulating on our Christmas tree!  I conveniently chose not to mention this possibility to my doctor.)

There is a silver lining to this whole fiasco.  I'm well on my way to washboard abs from all that coughing!

Or a hernia. 

As long as we're on the subject of medication, here's a before and after of a medicine cabinet I picked up a few weeks ago.  I knew it didn't need much work, since I already liked the color for the spot I had in mind.

Very simple construction and nice distressed finish.

Cute little latch.......that actually works!  I just scraped off the paint with a good kitchen utility knife.

I like aged mirrors, but this was a bit much for me.


Basically, I just cleaned and disinfected the interior and,  forgive me,  removed the silvering from the mirror.  I soaked the mirror in hot water and scraped the silver off with a putty knife.  I removed the stubborn residue with my ceramic stovetop cleaner and was rewarded with a flawless piece of beveled glass.  I mounted the cabinet on the kitchen wall where a framed calendar once hung.

I filled it with Santa mugs that are missing their original paint.

TJ Maxx discount coffee canister I picked up years ago.

And this one-eyebrowed cranky looking fella.  He's mad because he's missing his salt and pepper shakers AND somebody just dropped his adorable hat and broke it into a million pieces.  :{

The good thing is that now he fits on the shelf.

I filled in the empty spots with 2 cream colored pitchers I just picked up this week had in my stash.  Shhhh.

This cutwork tea towel is hanging from a piece of twine strung through the mounting brackets.

This is temporary until I get supplies to mount a towel bar to the bottom of the cabinet.

And that's it.  A quick and easy makeover for my first project of 2012!

Have a (cough, cough) good (sniffle) weekend!


Linked to:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Major Award

Last week I received a call from Magnum Trucking Company informing me that they would be making a delivery to our house with a 56 foot semi-truck.  Huh?  Maybe Santa couldn't fit the new living room couch I requested in his tiny sleigh.  Yes, Vickie, there is a Santa Claus!!!

Then I remembered Bill's major award.  After 35 years of service, he was given a catalog from which he could choose one prize.  What to pick.  Hmmm........surround sound system?  No, the TV in the man cave is already loud enough.  Wine refrigerator?  To hold Diet Dr. Pepper?  Nah.  Elliptical?  Been there, sold that.  Electric fireplace?  Now we're talkin'!  We already have a fireplace in the living room, but I've been wanting an electric fireplace in the dining room to make it more cozy.  So......that's the prize Bill I chose.  :@

I must have overlooked the fine print that said assembly required.

There it is.  Fruh  gee'  lay.  Yup, major award.

The fireplace took less than an hour to assemble.  I placed it under the church window in our dining room after I drilled 3 new holes in the plaster walls so I could move the window 5 1/2 inches higher to accomodate the height of the fireplace.  I'm not totally sold on this location, but I wisely added felt furniture pads under each corner so I can easily slide it around the room.

Even though we aren't hosting our family Christmas celebration until the 21st, I couldn't stand looking at my Crhistmas decorations in the dining room any longer!  So, I switched out Santa for some green and red that doesn't shout Christmas.

I even hauled my old typewriter out of storage.  I probably should have dusted it first. 

Nice cozy faux fire.

I do have plans that involve painting the fireplace and all the windows and crown molding a warm white, but for now this will do.  The fireplace also includes a kit so it can be placed in a corner.  I would like to try it in the corner where the secretary is, but I would have to switch out the current secretary for a smaller one in an upstairs bedroom.  And that would involve the help of the award recipient who is currently at work.  Five or ten years ago, I would have tackled the job myself.  I am older and wiser now and can patiently wait for my moving assistant to get home.  Not only that, I don't want to damage the stairway that took over a year to refinish!

And I really don't think Bill wants to come home to this.......

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