Every one of these pictures I took within a few miles of my home. I hope I never get to the point that I take my surroundings for granted; that would be a sad day.
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!
Today, going thru the pictures I have stored, I thought it might be fun to take you for a walk around my folk's place. These are taken at different times, so some are snowy, some are green grass and flowers. They used to raise sheep and goats, along with the miniature horses they still have, but have downsized considerably over the last few years. They have decided it is time to get a smaller place, so they have put the farm on the market (sniff… actually, it's more like wring out the darn handkerchief). It makes me sad, but it is a lot to take care of, especially the way they do – beautiful yard, painted fences, brush cleared on a big portion of the forty acres for grazing, etc.
The house is really only visible when the trees are bare. With everything leafed out, it's tricky seeing the house from the road.
To the right is the milk house. There was a stanchion inside, and that is where the goats were brought to be milked twice a day.
If only this barn could talk, the stories it could tell – it is about 115 years old.
The view to the northwest of their front door. (And, by the way, those are the mountains where our little Moose Springs cabin sits 🙂 !)
A small area of their lovely, large yard, where my Mom toils away spring thru fall making it beautiful, and the deer uninvitedly eat all the fruits of her labor. Needless to say, she is not fond of the deer, and has rescued a hound dog from the animal shelter to prove the point. Except that plan fell thru, as the hound dog doesn't care if there are deer in the yard – she is busy keeping her eyes peeled for raccoons. So the job has fallen to the rescued poodle/schnauzer/muttsky dog to be the deer runner offer :). She chases the deer away while the mighty hound dog lounges in her chair in the TV room.
Here is a picture of said houndy dog. I just love her, the big goof. She is so smart and sweet. Her name is Lilly. I can't find a picture of Sophie the deer herder (who is equally smart and sweet). I'll have to get one of her the next time I go to the farm.
Luckily, they have a back hoe, so my Dad can haul in big rocks as my Mom landscapes to her hearts content.
If the farm doesn't sell right away, my Mom plans to turn this little round house into a studio so she can have her own private place to paint, sculpt, and be creative with whatever. She's tired of my Dad fiddling with her projects when she has them set up in the house 🙂
A sunny spot in the round house garden.
The geese wander where they please around the farm, but don't ever leave the property.
The Shields River wends it's way around the pastures.
The backside of the barnyard.
Quintessential farm scene.
Sheep Mountain in the distance.
One of the barn kitties.
Jig is the boss horse, the only stallion they have on the farm.
A bunch of the girls, having fun.
Hope you enjoyed our walk around the farm. It's a really beautiful place to be. The inside of their house is every bit as charming as the rest of the place. I'll make it a point to post an inside tour soon.
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).
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!!