Friday, October 2, 2015

The Dollhouse

I've been wanting to find Rio a dollhouse for quite some time now.  Of course I didn't just want to source something new from Amazon so I've been keeping my eyes open while out and about.  As luck would have it, I found one during my last Kanokla trip in an antique store in Independence, Kansas!
Actually, I found TWO of the exact same houses in the same shop.  I knew one of them would be coming home with me.  The first I came across wasn't in great exterior shape but the interior looked a bit better.  No furniture was included and the asking price was $50.  I kept on going through the shop and audibly gasped when I glanced up high just across the aisle and saw the twin house.  My stumpy arms couldn't reach it so I quickly found my dad to fetch it down for me.  He's known about my dollhouse quest for a while so he was happy to oblige.  Inside of the house was a ziploc bag FILLED with the original furniture.  That made me do an internal happy dance.  The exterior was in much better shape than the first one and the interior was in fair condition.  The price?  $25 in a booth with a sale going on.  This was the house going home with me.  I ended up paying right around $20, which I was quite pleased with.  It was my biggest purchase of the weekend and the pick of the trip!
Naturally when I returned home, I spent a good amount of time with my best friend Google researching my find.  This house was made by Wolverine in the early 60s.  There were a large amount of these houses made but of many different variations.  I'm actually quite surprised that I found two of the same style in the same location!  The holy grail of these houses are ones with a fall out shelter in them!  No, no fall out shelter in this one.  :)  Sometimes the furniture is worth more than the house and finding the people is even more rare.  I'm fairly certain that all of the furniture is included with this house!
My dollhouse interest has been present for several years but only accelerated recently with a toddler in the house.  I've been reading this miniatures blog for many years which is filled with so much tiny eye-candy and then I got to follow along on this dollhouse rehab project  which is quite amazing!  Give yourself time to enjoy both!

We'll be gifting our find to Rio on Sunday so I took some time last night to clean things up.  The house is made of tin so the rusty-looking spots are there to stay.  I did light scrubbing with warm water and Dawn; I didn't want to use anything too abrasive.  The window frames cleaned up beautifully, as did the furniture.  After I got everything cleaned up, I had to place the furniture in the house.  I had no choice, ya know?  :)  There are so many things that amaze me about it - the tiny toilet, the removable sinks, the MCM table lamp, the permanent wall's all perfect in my eyes.
Fingers crossed that she'll like it (as much as I do!) and that it will be played with once again for many more years!  I've heard several say that they had a dollhouse like this during their childhood.  Did you?!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello, 36!

A week ago today, I turned thirty-six!  Today we're celebrating Rio's third birthday, but more about that in a future post.  :)
I had already decided to take the day off to play around town with the kid when I found out that our International Fashion Show at school was scheduled for the same day!  What a wonderful birthday surprise!  The fashion show is only held once a year and is one of my absolute favorite days of the year.  The majority of our students dress in modern clothing so seeing them in their traditional clothing for a day is a true treat.  The textiles, the colors, the stories, and the pride exuded make it a notable event that I always cherish.

For the past two years, the kid has participated in the fashion show with me but this year, she stole the show!  We were given a vintage kimono a while back that Rio wore and I sported a salwar kameez that I had made while in India ten years ago.  Rio wasn't too keen on leaving the stage after our turn was up so she pretty much remained up there for the rest of the show!  The crowd loved her.  It made her day.  It made my day.
Later that evening, we joined my folks for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and witnessed a stunning sunset that I swear was made just for me, as evidenced below.
Thirty-six.  Doesn't seem possible.  I'm finding smile lines around my eyes and mouth, age spots have been spotted, and my internal alarm clock keeps setting itself earlier and earlier but I'm doing my best to embrace this strange aging process.  My thirty-six years have been filled with adventure, love, sadness, laughter, and so much more.  I will forever celebrate making it another year.
Call me crazy, but I love birthdays.

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Dynamic Junkin' Duo

Last weekend, my dad and I packed a bag, took off from work early, and hit the road for another installment of Kanokla!  We discovered this event a few years back and have made it a tradition to pick it when our schedules allow.  I believe this was our fourth year to make the trek!  I grew up antiquing on the weekends throughout the state with my dad so this is certainly a callback to those days.  We're a dynamic junkin' duo!

In a nutshell, it's a somewhat organized collection of yard sales and garage sales along a 100 mile route in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas.  Most years we try and break it up into two days so we can take our time and hit as many sales as possible, which is what we did this year.  I think my favorite type of sales that we frequent on this trip are the 'sites' which are areas for group sales - imagine 25-50 different vendors set up in a field on the side of the highway.  You never know what you'll find there!

And now, a million photos to sum up the trip...

We mastered the art of selfies with drinks.
We sent countless photos of every bedpan we came across to my mom.  She was looking for inspiration for paintings so we were only trying to help.  ;)
We (mainly I) took photos of my 'catch and releases', aka items that I wanted to buy but knew I really didn't need.
(The machine below was my very first sewing machine!)
And we marveled at some of the collections the random antique shops had on hand.  This was a collection of used prescription scripts.   There was a bird in this shop that would say, "I'm sober now!"  It interesting shop.
And we shopped.  It didn't feel like we picked as much as we have in the past but I'm quite pleased with my haul!  After returning home, I cleaned things up, snapped photos, and took inventory of what I grabbed.
This was a double score as I didn't know the smaller canister was hidden inside the bigger one!  And I got it for $3!  I saw the same set later for $25!
Another trash can, because I have a problem.  And a spaghetti tin which is now filled with zippers!
I am one classy broad, as evidenced here.
And my pick of the trip which I will be dedicating an entire post to in the near future is this dollhouse.  It's in fair shape and came with allllll of the furniture.  I've been researching the hell out of it.  I'll be gifting it to Rio for her birthday in a few weeks after I get it all cleaned up.  I'm SO excited about it.  Hopefully she will be too!
After all was said and done, I spent very little money, had a great weekend on some back roads with my dad, enjoyed amazing weather, and got to go picking!  It was close to perfection.  Until next year's sale!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Weekend O' Projects

Three day weekend?  Line up the projects!  I was bound and determined to complete loads of projects around the house this weekend and did knock quite a few things off of my list and some that weren't even on my radar!  Here's a quick rundown of what I got done....

I painted our front door!  I'll elaborate MUCH more on our entryway project once it's fully complete so this is technically just a teaser.  ;)  The interior side still needs to be painted, there is some touch up to do, and the storm door is patiently waiting to be installed but paint made a huge difference and I'm thrilled with it!  I'm still finding yellow paint on myself two days later.
I fixed up tiny chairs from my childhood!  My Great Granny had these two little wooden chairs that myself, my sister, and my cousins all sat on throughout our childhood years.  My mom recently found those chairs and snagged them for me to make useable for Rio.  They sat in my folks' garage for quite some time only to be moved to our garage for a while longer.  They only needed some joints made more secure so I finally took some time the other night to get my hands covered in wood glue and play around with fifty clamps.  24 hours later, someone had a new art studio in their room!  (My mom grabbed that easel at a garage sale several months ago which also stayed hidden until this weekend.)
I sewed some wall art to bamboo rods!  Ha!  This is just phase one of an experimental project that I think will be pretty cool when it's done.  Fingers crossed.  :)  In a nutshell, my aunt made this tapestry when I was a kid and handed it down to me when I was in college.  I LOVE it but it's a pain to hang and it's crazy heavy.  This is an attempt by me to make it easier to hang and to move around!
I modernized some chairs!  Ok, this was SO simple.  These chairs came from my Mimi.  I remember them from my childhood and freaking loved them.  She had them recovered in the eighties and when she moved into a retirement community a few years ago, I inherited them.  I still love them but we wanted to update them without changing the fabric out.  Yesterday it dawned on me to just remove the dust ruffle which took 30 minutes total.  It's hard to tell from the photos but it made SUCH a big difference! 
Not pictured are about ten other projects, fits of rearranging fury, a ton of experimental meals (I'm hooked on Bountiful Baskets!), and some good ol' fashioned family time.  It was a very productive and fulfilling weekend! 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Drapery Dress

Remember those days where I used to post outfit photos with regularity?  Yeah, me too.  Here's an outfit post for nostalgia's sake and to document that I actually sewed myself something!

To be honest, I haven't been behind the sewing machine much the past few weeks since school has started back up.  Last night, I really wanted to make something that would offer fast gratification and that I could use so I went with a dress...made out of curtains from our bedroom.  Seriously.
At Sew-OK, I busted out a few Wilksten dresses and quickly became obsessed.  SUPER simple and very nice to wear.  I can teach in them, clean in them, and dress them up or dress them down.  I spent a good while staring at fabric trying to decide what to use for my next dress when this fabric raised its hand.
Funny thing about this fabric is that it was once curtains in our bedroom.  (See the right side of the photo below.) When we moved in, that particular curtain rod was half falling down and the pull didn't work anymore so we removed them pretty quickly after moving in.  In fact, EVERY window in the house was covered with heavy curtains.  We took all of the curtains down except for the two largest rooms.  I figured it was all fabric that I could use at some point!  I completely deconstructed most of the curtains and cleaned all of the fabrics for future use.
So, from start to finish, this probably took two hours and I already love it.  I liked the fabric before but now I love it ten times more off of the wall and on my body.  :)  It's a hair short but it's summer so whatevs.  I added some pockets to it which makes it priceless.  It's not much of a fancy outfit but I did partner it with a green jersey jacket (totally not pictured) and a sunflower necklace that was my mom's when she was a teenager.  Oh, and my Birks because some things never change.

And the photos?  Self timed in the entryway, obviously.  You do what you've gotta do.  (Check out our new front door!  The front porch has been a major project as of late.  I'll share it soon!)  ¡Hasta luego!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

THAT Estate Sale

It was a year ago this week that we closed on our house.  We had a month long window to work on it before we had to move out of our old house so technically, we've only been living here eleven months. 

You may remember (because I don't shut up about it!) that we found the house thanks to my estate sale problem.  I recently came across the initial photos we snapped when we first started talking about buying it.  The estate sale was still in progress and during several of our tours, people were actively in there shopping!  It was a strange and interesting experience, for sure.  I'm pretty amazed that we were able to look beyond allllllll of the (really cool) stuff and truly see what the house had to offer.  There was one point I mentioned offering to buy the house with the remaining stuff left in it but it never went any further than that.  In hindsight, I'm sure glad we didn't but it sure sounded fun at the time! :)

Estate sales are an interesting thing to be involved in.  Yes, I like to frequent them but I've also been on the other side of them a few times.  The general thought is that someone has died and the family doesn't want what was left.  While that may be true in a few cases, that's usually not the norm.  What I have found is that often a family member has decided to downsize, move into assisted living, or something of the sort.  Other family members have taken what possessions they want and the rest they sell which is where estate sale companies come into play.  Oftentimes family members will actually be in attendance at an estate sale so I think it's always important to be respectful with your words and actions while at a sale.  You never know who is standing next to you and you are technically in someone's house!

At this particular estate sale, the son was present for the entire sale (and was who orchestrated the sale of the house) as were many neighbors.  I believe I ran into at least five people I knew while I was there so it was a heavily populated sale!  It sometimes blows me away to think about how many people walked through the house that week. 

So did I buy anything besides the house at this estate sale?  Yes, three articles of clothing - a black bolero jacket, a Hawaiian house dress, and a (my now favorite) green flannel shirt.  That's it. 
We still have SO much more to do but when I look through these pictures, I realize how much we've already done and that's wonderfully affirming.  Now onto house project number 500....
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