January 27, 2014

Living room redo (part 2)

It was a go fast weekend. My husband came home, which always makes the rest of my world come to a stop.  I miss him so much when he’s gone. I try to do a little something special for him when he comes home.  This time it was homemade sticky buns. He sacrifices so much to do what he does. He lives in a camper, works in the brutal cold temps in North Dakota, drives 4 hours to come home. When he gets here we spend most of the time getting him stocked up on necessities, doing his laundry, and there’s usually a much needed haircut. But we always make and take time to do something fun. Sometimes it’s just sleeping in, having a few friends over, or just relaxing,which he doesn’t do near enough.  He never knows what he’s going to find when he walks thru door. New furniture arrangement, a new treasure, different colored walls. He’s pretty good about it, but does feel the need to make a snide comment. .  . always. . .
This time was no exception. He was pleased I used his deer horns in the living room, I knew he would be.
To keep with the simple, less country look, I switched out the cupboard with one I had in the guest room. The other one had open shelves and took a lot to fill it up. The *full* look is what I wanted to change. As much as I love my old quilt collection, it’s more appropriate in the guest room.
The old school house picture is very special to me. It's the school house my Gramma went to when she was a child, then taught school there after she married my Grampa. Her students were her own kids as well as the neighbors kids. You may remember from this post. here
This is reflection I see when I set in my chair across the room.
This old heater isn’t original to the house, it was given to me by a friend who saved it from a house that was being demolished. According to my husband and other family members there used to be one just like it that was replaced when Grampa put in hot water heat.
I’ve said it before, but I mean it. . . my mantle is so hard to photograph. It looks like a big white elephant in pictures. It looks a lot better in real life. I do have plans to give it a face lift. I want to add some trim to disguise the round corners, beef up the mantel with some old barn wood,  and replace the cracked tiles in the firebox.  The family seems to have a problem when I make changes to the house. I do understand their desire to keep it the same, but sometimes things just have to change. So. when I do tackle the project I’m not going to demolish the fireplace or change it in any way. I’ll just make it so it slides up to the existing one.
This old ironstone pitcher came from my mum. I remember going with my dad to buy this for her for Christmas. It came with a very large basin. They aren’t a set. The basin is a different color of white and has a design on the inside. They are both Homer Laughlin ironstone. I just love the greige color and the simplicity of this pitcher. My mum tried to give it to me a few different times but I wasn’t interested. . . when I went there for Thanksgiving I asked her where it was. . . she had put it in storage !!. . . it came home with me. To this day I don’t know why my dad bought it for her. She never was into antiques. Guess he knew it would be mine someday.
The 5 gallon Redwing crock was also given to me by my mom. It was her Grammas. She remembers her Gramma making pickles and sauerkraut in it. She’s the one that broke the lid, so she says.
Well, that’s a wrap for the living room (for now).
There’s a corner on the other side of the doorway beside the fireplace where the TV sets. I have tried and tried to get a good photo of it. It ain’t happenin. I know TV’s are a big part of our lives, I love ALL of mine. But. . . I wait for sunny days to take pictures, when that happens there’s also a big glare on the TV that just ruins the whole picture. I rarely see TV’s. Whether in blogs, in magazines or even on Pinterest. Now I know why. . . they just aren’t very pretty.
I try to arrange my rooms so the sofa and TV are at an angle. I do this so I don’t have to struggle with what to put above them. . . this arrangement works. .  . 
Okay. . . I’ll show it anyway. . . but only because it gives the real feel of the room. Pardon the glare. . .
My failed attempt to hide the big black box. 
This ended up being a lot longer than I planned. Thanks for taggin along, if you’re still here.
As always, I truly appreciate each and every one of you. My blog is getting a lot of traffic and I owe it to all of you for your pins, shares and comments. . . I feel the love. . .
happy day. . .   d

January 22, 2014

small room big changes. . .

I want to give a big shout out to Brenda at cozylittlehouse. She featured me in her Welcome Wagon Friday Party. If you haven’t visited her blog, you should. She has so much inspiration and great ideas. You can get there from here.
I feel like such a frump. She sent all those nice ladies to me, then I take 2 weeks off from blogging. . .  sheeesh. . . I do have a good excuse, well a few good ones. My dear friend of 30+ years came for a week long visit. We had such a good time catching up, staying up way too late, watching football and solving all the worlds problems. Gotta love girl time. Then I got busy getting my tax stuff ready. . . no fun at all.
So, I have been dying to share another piece of my world with you guys. . . I just didn’t have anything exciting. But. . . fear not.  Blame it on spring fever/cleaning. Our weather has been so unbelievably warm and sunny it felt like spring.
I’ve been wanting to make some changes to the living room for quite awhile now. The direction it was going was starting to look more *country* than farmhousey. So. . . every single, little thing got moved out, taken down, toted to another room. It took me all day because we have plaster walls which require drilling holes. Once I took the stuff off the walls I had to fill the holes then touch up the paint. . . then I washed everything before I brought it back in.
I had a plan in my head how I wanted to arrange the furniture, problem is there are 3 doorways and a fireplace to work around. I think my sofa was on every single wall before I finally decided on one I liked.
This area is where the sofa used to be.
There was a heavy gray wall cupboard on the wall. I have new plans for the cupboard. The beautiful mirror was in our room. My love for mirrors resulted in 3 mirrors in there. . . this one NEEDED to be in here. Did you know if you hold a flame to an old mirror and look thru the flame it will tell you how old a mirror is? Seriously. If you see 5 flames for instance you multiply it by 10, which means it’s 50 years old.  If the theory is right this mirror is 110 years old (there were 11 flames).
The deer mount is one my hubby shot this year. He was surprised to see me use it in the house. He has a wall of fame in the garage, which is where they usually end up. When I was looking for something for that area I fell in love with the colors. . . white and dark brown. . . duh. . . and I see *faux* ones all over Pinterest and blogland. . . .
I hated to do it, but I had to put the linen sheet on the sofa. With all the warm temps the snow has turned to mud. Another thing I did yesterday, cleaned muddy paw prints off of it.  I do like the look, I really love the linen sheet, but it reminds me of my days of covering an unsightly sofa with painters drop cloths.
I had to add the pretty pink tulips, after all, I did have a bad case of spring fever.
And lastly,for today, here’s my sweet paper whites. I have several pails, boxes, baskets and bowls
filled with them scattered through out the house. They are all in different stages so I will be able to enjoy the sweeties for quite awhile.


I will share the rest of the room in the next post. I’m still fluffing a few things. 
Do you mind if I pick your brain?
2014 is a year to celebrate for my hubby and I.. we are finally debt free ! ! ! Thanks to the oil boom, we were able to beef up on are payments, which is such a good feeling. Anyway, my hubby told me I could spend $500.00 a month on just me. What would you buy if this were you? (speaking only vintage/antiques/) Is there a certain pretty somethin you’ve been dying to have? Would you save for a big ticket item? Start a new collection? Or add to an existing one? I do know one thing for sure, I’ll be saving for a trip to a Country Living fair for sure.
(please don’t take this the wrong way. It isn’t my intention to offend anyone. Believe me, it was a long hard battle and commitment to get us this far. It wasn’t easy and at times we were too broke to buy bread. The only reason I asked the question is I’m stumped on what to buy. Sometimes hearing what others dream of sparks some interest. Truth be known, I don’t think I could spend that much money, I’ve been too thrifty for too long.)
Thanks for stopping by, and a BIG welcome to all the new comers. I really appreciate your comments, they are so encouraging.
I hope all you easterners are safe and staying warm.

January 12, 2014

Stayin busy and warm . .

The temps here in Montana are ridiculous. . . -22, -42 with wind chill. . . brrrrrr.  Needless to say it’s best to just stay indoors.
This has forced me to finish a few projects and even start some new ones. I’ve also been doing some shopping that doesn’t require any driving or braving the cold. . . thank you Etsy. I got some cute things I’ll show you in a later post.
I painted the family room before the holidays, but wanted to get the huge bookcase/shelves painted as well. Can I just say. . . I HATE that bookcase. It’s made of particle board, the shelves are were hung with metal pegs, bead board wallpaper on the back wall and front bottom, 2 outlets that are just in the way. . . I could go on and on. .  it is on its way out, and not soon enough. The only reason its still here is because it was built on top of *country blue* carpet. It’ll have to stay until we replace the carpet.
The walls in the family room are painted antique white. To try to not bring attention to the 5 hundred pound elephant in the room, I painted it antique white too. . . that plan back fired on me. It’s just too big to be that white. . .it swallowed up my ironstone. So I painted it Cottage Linen (Glidden).
The new color compliments the ironstone. The perfect amount of contrast.
If you remember, I had a make shift office area set up on the right side. And an old cupboard on the left. (It’s been about 10 different ways since then)
My sister gave me the awesome old shelf brackets, a long time ago. The old bread box is from  Yesteryears' Antique Mall. I found the old kraut Cutter (leaning against the right side) wrapped in several layers of newspaper, wrapped in 3 garbage sacks and then wrapped in an old towel. . . in my moms storage shed when I was there for Thanksgiving. The lace edged linen piece is a tablecloth my Gramma embroidered on and she even crotched the beautiful edge, a very special piece. I found the old drying rack last summer when my junkin buddy and I got to be *pickers*. It was laying in a dirt floor garage encased in cobwebs and weeds growing thru it. The 2 small silver cups are actually my kids’. My other Gramma had their name and birth date engraved on them when they were born. She said they were from her collection of Norwegian silver. . .
I filled  ALL of the holes where the pegs used to be and added simple wood brackets.
There’s still room for my ever growing collection. I don’t know what I’ll do with my ironstone if when the bookcase comes out. That’s one thing it’s good for.
I gutted the storage room the other day and decided to use this small cupboard in here. I was storing it until I got new doors for it. But decided I would just paint it and add a linen skirt to it for now. The shelf on top gives more room for displaying. I made the plate rack hanging on the wall.
When I decorate (and re decorate) I like to display things in a way they would have been if this were a 1920’s dining room. Linens, bowls, sho-fly’s and bread boards belong in a dining room. I have to admit, I’m addicted to The Walton’s. I get a lot of ideas from them. . . :) Have you watched the show recently?  They have the coolest farmhouse ever ! ! ! Their beds, their lights, the porches. . . oh and Ike’s store. . . OMG.
Here’s my newest grain sack ! I love it on the bench, but knowing me it won’t stay there for long.
Thankfully blogger keeps me busy and accountable. If I weren't blogging my projects would probably still be waiting on me.
I have a tenancy to ramble on but there’s a method to my madness. Hopefully, my kids and grand kids will read this when I’m no longer here and have some sort of idea where my things came from. And for the things they don’t know what they are, they’ll know “cuz their Gramma said”.  {if you got this far kids. . . yip, this is for you}
Hope everyone is safe and warm. . . hurry up spring. . .

January 5, 2014

Baby it’s cold outside

Good morning. I hope everyone is staying warm and cozy. From the looks of the weather the entire country is experiencing frigid temps. We have fresh snow, and as pretty as it is to look at, that’s not the case when you’re outside shoveling and sweeping.
I finally got the upstairs hallway finished. It was a lot more involved than I thought it would be. I thought I could just rip up the carpet, put some stain on the floor and stairs, hang a few pretty details and set back and enjoy it. . . not the case. For those of you restoring old houses, you know how time consuming and involved it can be.
How fitting is this sign on this chilly winter morning. . . ? This is the first landing. Stairwells are difficult to decorate. The walls are so tall, so much in fact it’s hard to hang stuff {when you’re afraid of heights like me}. Whatever you do decide to hang has to be big enough it doesn’t get swallowed up by the huge blank canvas. This sign is probably 3’ long and 2 ‘ wide which is the perfect size for this space.
Here you can see the beadboard I added to the risers. When I took  the carpet out there were so many staples and nails this was the best solution. The steps had years of paint drips so they had to be stripped by hand. The wood is some kind of fir, which has natural horizontal grain to it.  It's nice to prevent slipping, but those grooves sure made hard work when it came to stripping.
This window faces east so it gets wonderful morning light. Kinda difficult to get a good photo however.
Yes, I know the handrail is funky. Someday I would love to tear it out and put up *normal* handrail.  However, that will entail patching the wood floor. When the house was built by my husbands great grandfather, they put in the handrail/knee wall before they laid the wood floor so the wood doesn’t go under it. That was the case on this entire upper level. I had to add base trim due the ginourmous gaps. If you notice the placement of the rug, it looks odd having it off center, but the space narrows due to the jog. It is actually only as wide as the rug at the bottom of the photo. 
Trying to find something for this wall was also a challenge. It is such a narrow opening and the ceilings are so low. Thankfully there isn’t a lot of traffic up here, mostly the pitter patter of little ones.
The grandkids playroom is off to the right. They love to grab this quilt when it’s nap time. The room with all the sunlight spilling out is my *make room* Trust me, you don’t want to see it. . . lets just say I have been *making* a lot lately. It’s nice to just be able to shut the door on the mess.
I also wanted to show you an awesome treasure I got last week. I was in desperate need of some hunting therapy. So I went armed with Christmas money and a gift certificate from my son. I didn’t find much. This file box from my hometown sat hidden on a shelf in a booth I almost never go into.
It spoke to me in so many ways. First of all, Lewistown Montana was the town I was born in and lived until I graduated from High School. Secondly, it is from the courthouse office where my mom worked, and lastly. . . it is dated Oct. 6 1903 and that’s my husbands birthday, 1965, not 1903.
I’ll leave you with another treasure I got last week. . . this sweet twig basket. The picture is slightly crooked, but I was in my jammies and it was sooooo cold. . .
Thank you to all who have shared my blog. I need more followers so I appreciate any and all you send my way.
Stay warm, cozy and safe. . .    d