A Bright Spot in a Dreary Winter

This has been the craziest winter. The weather has been so cold and stormy, it seems like one day just blends into the next. Where usually that makes things feel like they are dragging, this year it is zipping by. I kind of feel like I'm sleep walking thru this season!

Anyway, one of the oldest projects on the honey-do list at my house has finally been completed, so thought I'd share! We remodeled the family room and kitchen about a year after we moved in here. That was a long time ago! For all the years since we finished, there has been no hearth mantle around the wood stove in our family room. I've begged, whined, and belly-ached for so long! I even shopped around trying to find something ready-made that I could slap up there on my own, but had no luck finding anything that would fit in the space. I do know how to use power tools, and I did take wood shop in high school, but I'm not brave enough to tackle a project that is a really prominent, and permanent fixture in the house. Something like that needs to not be done by an amateur, but by someone who is a craftsman. Bruce is more than capable of building a mantle, but it's that darn time thing again, and there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything he needs to do done. So, I told Mr. Bruce I was going to start searching for a carpenter to get the dang thing built and installed! As it turns out, we were lucky enough to have the perfect fellow agree to do the project. Mr. Z was a shop teacher when I was in high school. When school was out during the summers, he and a few other teachers would do carpentry projects, even house building. When Bruce moved here from Nebraska, he was fortunately hired by Mr. Z to be on their summer crew! They became great friends. Bruce worked for him off and on over many years, until finishing college and finally giving up carpentering for full time engineering.

Mr. Z is an extremely talented wood worker, but has all but given up the craft because he struggles with severe rheumatoid arthritis now. But Bruce pleaded, and thankfully Mr. Z consented! I would have settled for a simple 3 board, faux beam looking mantle just to have the project done, and not have that ugly, unfinished space showing anymore! But he came over to measure, and see what all it would entail, and he asked me what I would truly like to see up there. I showed him a quick sketch of the super simple 3 board method. He said “Now, if I'm going to take the time to do this, I want you to have what you really want!” Well, with a green light like that, I proceeded to pour my heart out! I told him how much I like arts&crafts/mission style, showed him a few pictures in some of my American Bungalow magazines, then drug out my stash ……

Several years ago I took an Adult Education pottery class our local high school was offering; 5 weeks, one evening per week. My Mom, my “other mother” Roxy, and myself, all signed up and were excited to go. Unfortunately, we had a “teacher” that was not interested in teaching. She said she was turning us loose to do whatever we felt was creative, and she would mentor us if we felt it was needed. :-/ Maybe some of the others in the class were familiar with pottery, but the 3 of us had never worked with clay before! So, we did the best we could with what we had – It wasn't too difficult for my Mom or Roxy because they are both extremely artistic, but I'm another story! Back to my good old American Bungalow for reference, and I managed to churn out 10 tiles, and several long faux branch tiles for a border. Our “teacher” did not take good care when she fired our clay works, and we ended up with all manner of round bottom rather than flat tiles, and other deformities on Mom and Roxy's projects. But it cost $100 to take that class, and I hoped I would someday be able to use my finished products, given that terrific cost.

So I pulled out my box of tiles, and worked with Mr. Z on incorporating them into the design. I chose 6 tiles to use, not wanting to overwhelm the woodworking, and he left with a plan.

A few weeks later, he came back with a beautiful, artfully done mantle; solid oak, stained a rich golden brown, and in the mission style that I love so much. He and Bruce carefully installed it. I could have jumped with joy! It was my job to place the tiles in the spaces he had designed to hold them. I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge since they were round bottomed and out of square from the firing mishap, and I was terrified of messing up that phenomenal mantle. I got some epoxy glue, and a tube of grout and went to town! I'm very happy with the finished product because of the wonderful woodworking, and it is such a relief to finally have it done! It's also nice to have a little offering from me built into the house, because this house sure owns a big chunk of my heart!

 

 

 

 

 

Now I just need to re-black the stove pipe, add a fresh coat of satin sealer to both the rocks and slate hearth, and it will all be fresh and finished! Makes me so happy when something can be checked off the mighty to-do list!

TTFN,

Teresa. 🙂

 

 

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A Cottage Bedroom

My time management skills are sorely lacking. But I did manage to get my big little son's former bedroom put back together again. Because of that, my turkey collection has to suffer another full year of being boxed up before they can come out and play again. I have so many beautiful and unique turkeys it's a shame to not get them all out, but I put 5 full totes of Halloween stuff out this year, and by the time all of that got put away, then also had the bedroom re-do that had to get done before Thanksgiving, well something had to give!

Anyway, thought I'd share how the bedroom turned out. I am really happy with it. It feels very calm and feminine and old fashioned to me. Let's see what you think about it –

These are the before pics. This room is only 9 feet by 10 and really difficult to photograph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just went from the doorway into the room, then clockwise around the room. It was pretty beat up from my teenage fella living there. When he was little, he used to bedroom hop. With no siblings, he had 3 bedrooms to choose from, but spent his teenage years in this room.

This is the first time I can remember that I didn't make it harder on myself and complicate things by using multiple colors, wallpapering, trying strange paint techniques, etc. I just got two partially full cans of light colored paint out from under the stairs where we store lots of extra paint, and I mixed them together. The result was a nice off white, with casts of buttery creme, beige, and even a bit of a pinkish tint at times. Depending on the light throughout the day, it can take on any of the above tones. I did walls, ceiling, doors, and trim the same color. That made it pretty snappy to finish. We did prime the brown wall with 2 coats of Kilz before paint went on.

This room didn't cost me a dime to re-do. I just shopped my house and didn't have to go out to buy anything. I don't know if that's good or bad, to think you have enough stuff to completely re-do a room and not have to buy a thing, from paint to bedding! The crazy thing is, even if I did add up the initial cost, it would still be little to nothing. I buy paint inexpensively from WalMart and keep what's leftover to use later. Nearly everything in the room is rummage sale or hand-me-down. Let me show you…

The old metal bed, mattress, quilt, little juniper filled chickadee pillow, and old quilt bunny; all from rummage sales. Shelf came from a craft sale, unfinished, and I painted it. The old, old baby dresses hanging from the shelf pegs my Grandma found in a box in the garbage a few houses down from hers. A family moved their elderly relative out of her house and threw nearly everything in the poor lady's house away. So at least these sweet little dresses were rescued. Lamp and chair were my Great Grandmother's. My Mom and I re-upholstered the chair (with clearance fabric) about 10 years ago. Night stand found on Craig's List. Had the lace panels for years. The valance looking thing at the top of the lace is a linen table topper, hand embroidered by my Grandma's tiny little French/Norwegian aunt (she was about 4 feet 10 inches tall in shoes!), many, many years ago. In the frame above the bed is Bruce's Great Grandparent's marriage certificate. It is unusually large, and so beautiful!

I love the detail; the deer by the lake, the different flowers.

Just a few of my favorite poochies from my antique dogs collection. The majority of these were found at rummage sales or were gifts from folks.

 

 

All the antique lady pictures were also my Great Grandmother's.

I moved the gothic window from the living room and added some rope lights. I placed it on an oak 2 drawer chest I got for a song at an antique sale.The wooden shoe lamp was sent from Holland when my Mom's cousin lived overseas. She sent it to my Great Grandmother, and I remember it in her home from the time I was little.

A happy little couple. My little glass corgis were just the right size to be their companions 🙂 .

I put some dollhouse furniture my Mom had when she was little on my little mini hutch.

 

 

 

I'm glad to have it all put together and off the to-do list!

So, in parting, I want to wish everyone the happiest Thanksgiving. I'm going to throw in a couple pics of turkeys from last year, just cuz I'm missing them so much!

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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A New Hat For My House

Guess what just got finished at our house!

Yup, we have a brand spanking new roof!

This was another thing that just snuck up on us. I knew the porch shingles needed replaced because the front of our house faces east and spends the biggest part of the day in shade, so when it is snowy here (which is a big part of the time) the sun doesn't shine on the porch long enough to get the snow melted off the roof. So, consequently, it just sits on those shingles week after week, which really wrecks the heck out of them. Several times over the last few winters, Bruce had to get a ladder, climb up on the porch roof, and shovel the great drifts of snow off. Not fun, not safe. And as bad as we knew the porch roof was, we weren't prepared when we saw that the rest of the house shingles were all of a sudden looking pretty darn shabby as well. Great.

Boy, this was sure the year for it, tho. By the looks of how many roofing companies were hard at it this summer, a goodly portion of folks in our town were doing just as we were and digging deep in their wallets to remedy the “rotten shingle epidemic” our County was struck with.

This cupola and weather vane were a big splurge for me when we finished up the addition to the front of our house several years ago. I just love it, and am very happy we spent the money on it, which is a rare thing for me to say! When we scheduled with the roofing company, we made sure they did metal roofing as well as shingles. I picked a metal the same color as the cladding on our windows (which is called weathered bronze) and had them put metal on the porch instead of asphalt shingles. Now, hopefully, the snow will just slide off that metal, rather than sit there for weeks on end. They re-attached the cupola and weather vane and it looks so nice on the metal roofing. With all the trees in our yard, plus the height of the house, you can't even see the new shingles on the rest of the house. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because the garage and garden shed weren't re-roofed, and their shingles are now a different color than the house. Only those in an airplane will know that little secret!

Even tho it practically made my hand bleed to write that check to the roofing company, I am very glad we won't have to worry about leaks and/or shingles blowing off in the blizzards to come in the winter that is just around the corner. It's a good thing to take care of your home, because then it reciprocates and keeps you warm and sheltered and snug.

I know I said I wouldn't say the “f” word, but there is no sense in denying the fact that fall is now most assuredly here.

My hops are a little freeze dried, but will make nice additions to fall decorating indoors if I can get my rear in gear.

 

 

 

There is a lot of beautiful color popping up in my yard, and all over town for that matter. The birds will be able to feast on berries in my yard for the next few weeks.

I have carrots and a few onions to harvest from my veg garden boxes, and a few yummy little crab apples to pick. The worms unfortunately also love these little apples, so the lion's share goes to them. Actually I will gather all those I am unable to use, and take them to the cabin for the deer to snack on (they won't mind a worm or two in their apples 😉 ).

I need to hustle while the weather is decent and get the flower beds cleaned up and tucked in to keep them snugged up for the winter. I lost a lot of plants last winter, so I need to pay better attention this fall and mulch the dickens out of everything to blanket them.

MORE COFFEE, MORE COFFEE!!!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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BRING ON THE RUMMAGE SALES!

There is some serious rummage sale withdrawal going on in this county. For whatever reason we don't have flea markets or vintage sales much at all in this whole state as far as I can tell. When I read other blogs (based in other states) it seems like a lot of the folks have been going to big, wonderful fleas and sales for several weeks now.

Maybe, around here, this has something to do with it…

 

 

 

Boy, we've gotten our fair share of the white stuff this winter (and spring). It's funny, tho, that when someone has a sale because they are moving, or for whatever reason, bad weather or time of year doesn't seem to deter folks from attending in the least. It's each man for himself, and if you have the forethought to wear protective sport padding under your coat, smart. You are much more likely to get thru the throngs of people unscathed, that show up at these early-in-the-year selling events 🙂 It's all elbows and attitude once they fling the doors open.

We attended an estate sale about a month ago and were lucky enough to score a nearly new microwave for $5! for the cabin, and a few other odds and ends. But, Oh, the people!! It started on a Friday, and I think many must have taken a vacation day from work just to attend! Last weekend 2 sales were advertised in our local paper. I was so excited! Then I started to fret about the people factor. Gosh, I just hate the “Black Friday” type madness that occurs when there is only 1 or 2 sales. But they both sounded really good, so I decided to put on my big girl pants and just get after it. Sure glad I did! I ended up grabbing about 10 things, and left with nary a black eye.

Here is more show & tell of a few things I've picked up for the cabin over the last month or so. Some are thrift store finds along with the rummage sale stuff I just got.

 

Somebody worked hard carving this Indian Brave from balsa wood. He is so light, I nearly threw him to the ceiling when I found him are the thrift.

 

 

I love old Yellowstone Park collectibles, and hunt for them all the time.

 

I was in heaven!! But I could have laid on the floor and kicked my feet when I got to the check out line and saw what other people were leaving with…..so much neat stuff!! They said 'no earlies' in the ad, and sure enough they let people in early :-/ grumble,grumble But no matter, cuz it seems I've developed this disorder, where (in my mind) the cabin seems to grow considerably between my visits there. Unfortunately, my bubble is burst when I walk thru the door after having been away for a few weeks, and there it is in all it's itty bitty cuteness. Nowhere close to the expanse I have imagined in the interim; where truckloads of furniture, galleries of pictures, and scads of antiques were supposed to have room to live! I'm a pretty good squisher-inner tho, so I'll stack, and arrange, dangle, wedge, and squeeze at that little cabin; and what doesn't fit there can come back and live at CottageLodge 🙂

Here's another cute thing for the cabin that came from the downtown thrift.

Nobody else in the whole, wide world will have another lamp like this one! It is a one-of-a-kind, authentic, beaver chewed log base, with a cow hide shade I added (which also came from the thrift earlier this year).

And a neat old frame (out of the free bin). I've had the cute little beaver for ages and thought that would be a good clue to sit by the lamp.

Over the last few years I've gotten a pretty good bear collection started, and if space allows, some of them can go up, too.

 

 

So, even tho I've got ants in my pants to get to work on the cabin, there is still plenty to keep me busy right where I'm at. There's a vegetable garden to plan, lot's of yard work to be done, and the perpetual honey-do list on the house. All good!! All fun!! So blessed!!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Weekend Fun

It's finally warmed up a smidge here…..That calls for a celebration! We're going to hop on over the hill tomorrow and go to the Little Bear Antique Show and Sale. I hope it will be as wonderful as it usually is – I have some Christmas monies burning a hole in my pocket 🙂 and there needs to be some serious cabin shopping done!

I made the little card thingy above with 2 apps I have. The first one is called Waterlogue. It is so much fun. I used a photo I had taken of the cabin, chose the look I wanted from several options Waterlogue offers, then turned the photo into a water color painting! I added the “painting” to my personal photos, so I could pick it later for posting or to copy etc. The second one is Martha Stewart craft studio, found here, where you can turn any picture into a cute card, or make one without using a photo at all if you choose.

So, we went from this,

To this,

And finally, this

Gosh, I feel like I'm in summer camp craft class!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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Warm Stone and Birch Bark

This very minute as I write this post, it is -19.1 degrees outside. In my book, that's chilly. But here I sit, snug as a bug in a rug, cuz I have a secret weapon… and it's a good one.

 

It's our Tulikivi soapstone stove. They are awesome. They are expensive. They are totally worth it. Especially when you live in a climate that consists of about 7/12 of the time immersed in very coolish to downright frigid temperatures.

 

When we had our addition added to the house, the plan was to have a gas fireplace installed. Not particularly what I wanted, but, as with all our projects, there was that ever present, nagging budget hanging over our heads. I wanted this new space to be a bit more formal than the other living spaces in our home, and Bruce wanted carpet, so with all that being said, I knew a wood stove was not a good option; carpet and wood stoves are a bad combo. So I ordered and paid for carpet during a big sale in October, with the understanding that they not install it til the following April, to which they agreed. My folks were doing some work on their place at the same time and replaced their wood burning stove with a gas stove. They got to be the guinea pigs. Unfortunately for them, the gas stove salesman told them what turned out to be fib after fib. All of the promises of extremely low fuel use to warm their home, little to no maintenance ever to be needed on the stove, and generally overall extreme efficiency – all those promises turned out, in my Mom and Dad's case, to be false. They encountered problem after problem right from the start. Well, phooey on that! A gas fireplace or stove was out of the picture for our addition after seeing all the headaches my folks were going thru.

 

Several years prior to any of this, I had read an article about soapstone stoves in Country Living magazine. After that, owning one had been a dream of mine, but I figured the odds of getting one were about as good as me capturing a unicorn. A very funny twist to this story is that about a year before we started the addition, it just so happened that the Tulikivi headquarters for something like the Montana, Wyoming, parts of Idaho and Colorado region (not exactly sure how much area their particular region covers) opened right here in our little town. All I had to do was mosey downtown to talk to the distributor, rather than call someone up to 500 or so miles away and try to figure out, long distance, if getting a Tulikivi would even be an option for us. 'Twas meant to be! And it is truly an asset to our home. I would recommend ownership to anyone. It was a pinch (more like a punch) to come up with the funds for it, but we had penciled it out as closely as possible and figured the stove would pretty much pay for itself at about the 8 year mark. And it has. It works like this; soapstone is a soft stone that easily absorbs heat. The whole stove is constructed of stone (from Finland!) and has an intricate flue system. You stoke your stove, open the air vent wide, and get a massively hot fire burning in the box. The fire passes thru the flue system and all the while the soapstone is heating up. The stove only needs to be loaded up 2 or 3 times, depending on how cold the weather is. After the last burn, the stone is toasty warm and provides radiant heat for around 24 hours (which keeps your house furnace from kicking on because the room temp is ^). Shut the vent down and you are good to go!

 

There have been a few hitches – the carpet was bought and paid for, so there was no turning back on that (ugh – carpet and wood stoves), and, had we known before I designed the addition, the placement of the stove is not what I would have chosen. But the room was already built when the plan changed from gas fireplace to Tulikivi, so we did the best we could with what we had. It makes it a little difficult to arrange furniture because that stove comes out into the room 5 feet including the hearth. But that's a small price to pay in exchange for all the goodness we get from the beast! And, of course, I whined for at least 6 of the 12 years we had carpet, about getting wood floors. Bruce finally caved, and we had oak floors (oak flooring that I found on Craigslist for 1/2 the price of retail) installed last fall, and they turned out beautifully. In the pictures above, you can see the area rug I found. On Craigslist. All wool. Vintage. Perfect condition. Amazingly, the exact colors I needed for the room which was crazy happenstance as the walls were already freshly painted when I found it on CL. 12 feet by 9 feet. $250 smackers. BONUS! We saved enough on the rug that I broached the subject of adding some kind of stove backer to the wall just for aesthetics. I always felt it looked nekked and plain with just a painted wall behind the stove. I got the hairbrained idea that I wanted to nail a row of quaking aspen saplings to a piece of plywood and mount it to the wall. We couldn't find a source for wood that small, so I started researching birch or aspen bark. Found a supplier, and voila! Bruce and I installed the whole works, and Ima likin it a lot! I wallpapered the entryway in birch tree paper that I had been coveting for 3 years and the whole thing is perfectly tied together in my opinion. I'll throw in the next picture so you can see a snippet of the wallpaper.

Here's a close up of the real birch bark behind the stove, complete with moss!

 

We used birch tree branches to trim out the sides to cover the plywood edges. I advertised in the wanted section of Craigslist for anyone that had trimmed birch or quakie branches, and a kind person responded and we picked up all their yard litter cut offs 🙂 .

So now you have the lowdown on how great Tulikivi stoves are, how birch bark panels look as a hearth backer, and a reminder of how wonderful Craigslist is! Oh, and also, how totally much better it is to have pretty oak floors rather than carpet when your house is heated with wood!

TTFN

Teresa

 

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Show and Tell

Wow, just like kindergarten when you got to bring your bestest, shiniest, purdiest rock to show all the kids at school, I'm going to do just that, and show you a bunch of the steal of a deal bargains I've been finding for the cabin! (Aren't you ever so excited 🙂 !)

 

So, I've started a ledger to keep track of everything. First, I've shopped my house for things that will be useful at the cabin and that I can get by without here, and recorded what I had paid for each item (I have a pretty good rememberer when it comes to what I pay for something, cuz I am cheap). Then I jotted down all the new things I've gotten and their cost. That way I have a good inventory list for insurance purposes, and also can see how much money I have invested in furnishing the cabin. If it looks like I'm getting too wild I can keep myself in check. So far, so good! I have come across some reeaally good deals!

We have a great little thrift store here in town. They have done so well that they opened another store downtown where they take the higher end donations and sell them for more than they would at the other store. Both have great prices for the most part. The community is very supportive of both shops with lots of donations and high turnover of their inventory, because it is set up so that a certain amount of the profits are poured right back into our town for lots of different projects, or people in crisis, etc. Win Win!

Craigslist is my BFF. I have found some truly awesome stuff there over the last few years. It certainly doesn't hurt living in such close proximity to Big Sky, where the wealthy are WEALTHY, and it doesn't seem those folks have any trouble at all letting go of nearly new, gorgeous furniture, and other things, when they get the notion to redecorate.

And the good old stand by, rummage sales! My style is best described as “Early Rummage”, and nearly my whole house is decorated with rummage sale finds – for real, I'm not pulling your leg.

K, so now come the pictures; I guess you'd call it a story board of sorts? Or maybe just a sneak preview of some of the ingredients, just not the finished spread 🙂

 

This moose horn sconce came from the fancy pants (downtown) thrift. I thought $14 bucks was not too shabby. It would cost significantly more if I tried to make it myself – just think how much the emergency room charge would be after wrestling the moose for his horn 😉

 

Here it is with all the other room lights off.

 

I walked in the thrift the other day and left with my car boot full. The lodge pole table was $7. The cedar piece sitting on the table was $3, and it will either be turned into a lamp, or I'll flip it the other way and make it into a shelf of sorts. See the picture of the elk to the left? It is a clock that Bruce's Dad won in a raffle and he gave it to Bruce.

 

Genuine Norwegian skis, complete with instructions only Ole could decipher. These were part of the window display at the downtown thrift. These, along with a pair of modern, just like new snowshoes, were in the window for about a week. Bruce needs snowshoes to keep strapped on the back of the snow machine for safety sake in case it would break down when he's far out on a trail. I needed the skis for decoration cuz they're cute. I went in and asked the gal if they would entertain an offer on both items since they'd been there awhile. She happily took an additional 25% off the already terrific price. Just a week earlier I had seen a pair of skis very similar to these at an antique store over the hill for $185; and the snow shoes sell new at the sporting goods store for $130…. So for 77% less, I walked out of that store with my arms full and a big smile. See the red, green, and tan flannel quilt behind the skis? It's just a quilt top, but it came out of the free bin at the thrift. I will, for sure, be firing up my sewing machine in the near future.

 

The cowpoke and bucking horse material will be curtains for the bedroom. I purchased the material at a rummage sale a long time ago for $4, and there has got to be a couple yards of the stuff. The vintage Yellowstone Nat'l Park scarf will be made into a pillow. The 2 rugs to the left my mom gave me; she's had them stored away for like 30 years. I am obsessed with Indian print rugs. Do you have any idea how much those buggers cost right now? Take a look at ebay sometime, search Navajo rugs, and you'll wish you had a few dozen of them stashed away. Which brings me to my next extreme deal –

 

I must have somehow sent some pretty good vibes out to the cosmos, because if you remember a couple of posts ago when I told you about the cabin, I said I wished Ralph Lauren was my uncle so I could shop at his store gratis, or at least get a family discount – well guess what……it came to me! I found this vintage Ralph Lauren dhurrie at the cowboy antique store here in town for a scream of a deal! And you're not going to believe this…….

 

A few days later I went over the hill to get stuff to stock up the pantry, and something just kept telling me to go to one of my favorite antique stores over there. It is pretty far out of the way, and I really had had no intentions of antiquing, but it was such a pretty day and the roads were nice and clear for January, so I thought what the heck. I got to the store, moseyed around and saw lots of great stuff I wanted and didn't need, when what to my wondering eye should appear, but an Indian design on something, stuffed on a bottom shelf, with baskets of belts and do-dads stacked on it. I cleared it off, pulled it out, and saw that it was a rug – Oh be still my beating heart – I unfolded and stretched it out, good Lord it was huge!! And in near perfect condition. 100% wool! Nearly 12' x 9', the most beautiful colors and design you've ever seen. I found the price tag and OMG, it was a price a normal human being could afford! I went to fetch the shopkeeper lady, and bravely asked her if the booth owners would be willing to come down on their prices. She said 10% was pretty common. I said how about 30%? She said she'd call the booth owner with my offer. So there I was, sweating bullets, anxious to see if they'd come down, all the while fighting the fight or flight instinct (flight in my case) because even tho I had offered a nearly insulting amount, it was still a mega chunk of change for me, cuz I'm cheap. Around the corner she came, and said YES! Even she looked surprised! So I hurried quick and paid up before anybody changed their minds, and with my mighty surge of adrenaline still pumping, I packed that big old rug clear down the street to my car. It folds up nicely, but it's heavy! So in the picture above, the Ralph Lauren is on the top, the giant rug is underneath. Could the colors go any more perfectly together? The other piece of material in the upper right of the picture, and the 2 braided leather belts, are a $4 purchase from the thrift. The material is a straight skirt which I will fashion into a drop valance for the loft window. I will use the belts to cinch it up so sunshine can come in during the day, and unbuckle them at night so the window will be covered.

Next comes the pay off for dogging Craigslist every single day

 

 

A main fixture and 2 pendants. These will be perfect for the kitchen, and will replace the lights in the picture below.

For about 1/3 the cost of the big box stores.

Then came this one.

It is 43 inches tall (not including the chain) and came complete with shades. Bruce jimmy-rigged it so we could see it lit up (3 of the bulbs are burned out). I wish you could see it for real, it is just stunning in my opinion. I have seen chandeliers similar to this in some super duper high end, smells like leather when you walk in the door stores, and they cost probably 8 or 10 times what we paid for this fixture. Needless to say, I am thrilled with our good luck at finding and catching this deal from Craigslist.

The day I filled my car boot at the thrift? This was part of the loot –

 

$5, and the glass shades and color of the metal match nearly perfectly with the 1st Craigslist fixture and pendants. Can't beat that deal with a stick!

 

This armoire was the very 1st Craigslist deal I found. We were able to haul it up to the cabin before the road closed. It is made of hickory and pine, is heavy as a truck, and was dirt cheap. I LUUUVVV it!

 

See the pinecones and branches painted (all by hand, not factory or decal) on this table? It came from an antique store near Big Sky, and was a crazy good deal. The black leather couch behind the table was also a Craigslist find a few years ago, and we just brought it up from the family room at home.

Moose Springs is going to get pretty fluffed up before too long!! And rummage sale season is just around the corner; more good deals to come I hope! Can't wait!

TTFN

Teresa 🙂

 

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OUT OF THE BLUE!

Well, it's been a pretty good stretch between my last post and this one, because I really didn't know how to broach the whole subject that I wanted to share this time. I am completely thrilled and overjoyed, blessed and thankful beyond words, humbled and full of anticipation, all due to this most wonderful adventure that has pretty much dropped out of the big blue sky and into our lives.

Thru a strange, unplanned, much wished for, nearly cosmic 🙂 set of circumstances, we have become the proud/shy, want to shout it from the mountain tops/maybe we should keep it under our hats, owners of a genuine, in the mountains, REAL LOG CABIN!!! It's true! Having a cabin has always been a dream of ours, like it is for so many people, but by gosh now it's for real! With Bruce's thoughtful consideration, and humble respect for many generations of his family, he has decided it would be a wonderful tribute to their years of hard work of the land and caring and planning for their families, for us in turn, to own a piece of this beautiful state for posterity, and to show due respect to the memories of his ancestors for helping us make this possible.

There is much work that will need to be done, but it is a cute little thing, and it will be so fun to subject it 😉 to all my scheming plans for projects, Craigslist and rummage sale finds, fixing, fawning, and all the like!

So, without further ado, here is the pictorial tour of “Moose Springs”, our little cabin in the mountains (it was named that a long time ago and fits so well that it will keep the moniker).

 

WELCOME!

 

Come on in.

 

A cozy wood stove in the living room.

 

 

The future dining room, library.

 

Up to the loft.

 

Looking at the kitchen from the living room.

 

Standing in the kitchen.

 

An itty, bitty bedroom.

 

Just enough room for a double bed, a couple night stands, and hopefully a shallow cabinet for storing blankets and a little extra clothing.

 

A teeny, weeny bathroom.

 

Complete with a shower!

 

The balcony is big enough for 2 full size mattresses and a night stand in between.

 

Lots of flies and grubby carpet up there right now.

 

The view of the living room from the loft.

 


So awesome to wake up to this view in the morning!

 

The decks all covered with snow.

 

Even a little garage with a work shop to the side.

 

A stand of quakies for the moose and deer to meander thru.

 

The second bathroom :)

 

Beautiful scenery when you drop out of the trees on the way back to town.

 

Almost nightfall.

 

It still hasn't completely sunk in. I have been up there twice; first to see it initially, and once again to bring up a couch and mattress. But then they closed the road because of big snow, and now you can only snow machine in until everything melts off in the spring. The exception being a couple of neighboring cabin owners that have SUVs with tires traded out for tracks, and they can drive back and fourth to the plowed road the area ranchers use all winter. A few of the cabin owners live up there year round – a pretty bold choice in my opinion. Bruce has snow machined in and stayed overnight twice (he is ecstatic!). There is a “second bathroom” at the cabin, but it requires wading thru 4 feet of snow for about 1/2 a city block to get to it! So I think I will wait til we can get the water running to the “1st bathroom” before I stay overnight (also read as sissy).

I have complete AADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder) since we closed on the cabin, because all I can think about is getting up there with the truck full of furniture, pictures, rugs, etc., etc. If only Ralph Lauren was my uncle, or Ralph Kylloe was my cousin, and either/both of them said I could have free rein, carte blanche at their stores! Until that happens 🙂 I'll just keep reading books and magazines about the cabin style they so famously promote, and do my best to copy with my frugal finds! Oh, I can hardly wait! And I'll take lots of pictures if you want to come along!

Blessed, blessed, blessed – and not taking one drop of it for granted!!

TTFN

Teresa

 

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The Fish can’t live in the cupboard

When we remodeled the kitchen I wanted a huge window. My house is pretty dark inside because I have a bajillion trees in my yard. I try to cater to the winged things around here, so everything I plant is to try to benefit the birds, butterflies, and bees. Especially the bees because they are having such a rough time right now, and we need 'em!! (Who else is going to do all the pollinating?) I figured a great big window would give me one room where I could have the luxury of a little sunshine, even with all the trees. The only problem with that is it didn't leave much space for upper cabinets. None of my lower cabinet drawers were big enough to hold plates and glasses, so I found a couple cute, smaller, old cabinets that I could squeeze in, and went to work on them.

Even the paint brush I used came from a rummage sale!

 

This beauty was a $2 garage sale find.

 

Look how many different colors it had been in all it's years.

Bruce and I built a chalkboard to place to the right of the vent hood. I have a big problem with needing things to be symmetrical (which Bruce never lets me live down), and I felt this balanced things a bit better. I looked everywhere for another cabinet the same size as the one to the left of the hood, but no luck, so a chalkboard the same width and height as the cabinet had to do. The little cabinet came from an antique store outside of Portland. It was white, had clear glass in the door, a mirrored back, and was meant to sit on the floor. When I got it home I painted it black, had Bruce replace the mirror back with wainscoting, then painted the inside cream. In this picture the tile backsplash isn't up yet, but I already had the tile, some of which are slate with a pinecone design sandblasted on them. I made a photocopy of the pinecone tile onto sticky backed paper, stuck the paper onto the door glass, and cut out the pinecone design with a scripto knife. You can buy acid for glass etching and that is what I used. Then we screwed the cabinet to the wall, and filled 'er up! I also painted and acid etched the glass on a little old medicine cabinet I found, and put it on the adjacent wall at the end of the window. The bigger cabinet to the right was easier because it already was a kitchen cupboard and just had to be painted, no glass and such to fiddle with.

Getting ready to start the whole process of pineconing and acid etching the glass.

 

The light has to hit the glass just right in order to fully see the pinecones.

The larger cabinet on the right I use for plates, bowls, and glasses. It isn't deep enough to lay plates flat, so I bought an Ikea pot lid holder to put in the cabinet, and put the plates upright in the holder. The cabinet on the left is for spices and other cooking things.

I'll do another post on the kitchen later and show you the backsplash and everything else finished. These pictures were about 3/4 of the way thru the remodel.

Anyway, after all this cabinet information and stuff, the whole point of this post was to show you where I ended up having to put my neato fish anniversary dishes. It turns out they are too tall to fit into the cabinet. I couldn't bear to not be able to look at them and use them, so I copy catted something I saw awhile back.

 

 

This great old tool caddy fits the bill. I found it at an estate sale this fall for a whopping $5. Cleaned it up, polyurethaned it, and those fishes fit in there swimmingly (sorry 🙂 ). It even has zinc tacked on the ends, so it custom coordinates with my countertop!

TTFN 🙂

Teresa

 

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