Lots Going On!

 

These big Ravens are really entertaining to watch while I'm at work.

We had a week of high 70's, low 80's temps. I was contemplating hooking up the little swamp cooler at work because it was getting pretty toasty in the afternoons. Glad I didn't jump the gun…..cuz after our tropical week, we were back to wearing parkas and cranking up the heaters. Welcome to Springtime in the Rockies!

A few days of cold and sloppy, then back to sunny Spring. Great traveling weather for a much anticipated event –

My big little son finally reached the finish line on his 4 long, hard years of college education. Bless his heart. He graduated on Saturday and, thank the Good Lord and all the Saints in Heaven, started a wonderful job the following Monday! And right where he hoped to be, here in Montana, in the middle of all the things he holds dear – skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, camping, and all the other treasures our area has to offer. Next hurdle is finding an affordable apartment, which is a trick these days, but thankfully he can commute from here for now, and can grab the right one when it pops up.

It was a nice graduation ceremony and a pretty day for a road trip.

 

Canyon Ferry lake was a pretty sight to take in; water so blue, and only a boat or 2 to be seen. Not many campers yet. They all come out of hibernation on Memorial Weekend.

We got to go to a flea market at the civic center in town a few weeks ago.

Not lots of stuff there, but it was fun looking.

 

 

That kind of starts the season off for rummage sales, auctions, and other fleas around here. I found only this “it's so ugly it's cute” 50's dolly that I got for the Cowboy and Indian bedroom.

We hope to go to a GIANT flea market they are having in northwestern MT later this Spring. We need to outfit the cabin kitchen, and I hope to do an unfitted kitchen with antique pieces for cabinetry. So, hopefully we will be able to hit the jackpot at this sale, and not have to worry about buying from antique stores and paying those inflated prices. And Bruce reminds me, a scenic, much needed road trip is always good for the soul! I fret when I have to go anywhere, but this time should be easier because the wild woollies are coming with us (which might be a fiasco in itself), and my big little son will be home to tend the antique cat, not that she needs much tending since she sleeps about 23 hours a day, but it's reassuring none the less. My good neighbor Eileen is the bestest critter sitter in the West, but it will be nice to not have to pester her. Getting gone for a few days will make Mr. Bruce very happy. He has to sort of pry-bar me out of my comfort zone. I'm one of those weirdos that likes to stay at my own little home, home on the range. I don't know how anyone could blame me when you have a view like this out your kitchen window!

 

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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COLLECTING!

Many of the things I have collected for the cabin I have posted about already. I'm afraid to get too far ahead of myself because our little cabin is fairly small (about 580 square feet + about 126 usable square feet in the loft; and the porch is about 192 sf, 1/2 enclosed, 1/2 open). The size of that little log house tends to grow quite a bit in my head when I'm away from it for awhile, and I seem to think a lot more can fit in the space than really can. So, I'm sharing some photos of things I've picked up over the last several months, and am hoping mightily that all this loot can fit!

These are antique metal “baker's cabinets”. I have never seen one as large as the bottom one before. They both have several shelves inside and hopefully will make good hanging upper cabinets in the limited space available with the cabin kitchen being somewhat re-formatted. Luckily, both of these were priced well below what I have seen even the smaller of the 2 of these antiques go for in my travels. The metal is fairly decorative, sort of like the old pressed tin ceiling tiles. Cleaned up, I think they will make unique cabinetry for the kitchen.

I've had some changes at work, and I feel like the luckiest person on the planet right now….they've decided to close on Saturdays, and boy, am I ever making hay while the sun shines! I don't know how long it will last (for good and ever, I hope) but while I have weekends free I have been hitting every rummage sale, flea market, estate sale, and antique show I can drive to within a semi-reasonable distance. I've been lucky enough to happen upon some excellent finds which has saved us a bundle off retail price.

This light fixture will be perfect for the bathroom at the cabin. It came from a rummage sale a builder was having, to get rid of excess surplus so he wouldn't have to store it. He got this fixture from a custom lighting company that was going out of business, and said he still paid way too much for it, but didn't want it to get broken in storage. So he said he'd take it in the shorts and give it to us for $20 bucks! That made me one happy girl!

It is awesome! That is real leather strapping wrapped around the metal “twigs”.

Then, of course, I couldn't resist a few do-dads!

This is not something I ever remember having seen before, even tho I have been thru bazillions of antique stores! It's like a powder box of sorts. Take the lid off and there is a well inside. It stands on 3 little metal legs. Love the picture of the Indian, and that's why I bought it. It came from my favorite antique/junk store in Big Timber.

I found 2 babies for the Skookum doll my Mom got me a while back. I am obsessed with Skookums right now, and look high and low for them, but they are super expensive. I feel extremely lucky to have found these babies in my itty-bitty budget bracket.

I'm not sure if they call these small figures Skookum or not, but she is blanket wrapped and cute as the dickens, and had to come home with me. Like a custom fit, she tucks right into the birch bark canoe I already had from a rummage sale.

This picture is my anniversary present from Bruce this year. I am enthralled with tee-pee anything.

And this beautiful Indian maiden picture was my Christmas present from my thoughtful husband. If I end up having enough wall space, I think they will both look terrific at the cabin.

I'm not sure if my bear collection will end up at the cabin, even if there does happen to be enough room. But, I may play “swap” on occasion, and they can spend part of the time up on the mountain. This big bear I found at the same time I got the Indian head powder box thingy.

 

Then I found this one at the “Little Bear Antique Sale”. They have a phenomenal sale every fall, over the hill. It never disappoints.

He is a Black Forest style mantle clock, and is about 14 inches tall. A lady was getting rid of the tail end of her personal bear collection, and added them to the rest of her inventory. Sure wish I could have gotten in on the rest of her collection! Her stuff was very reasonably priced.

I don't know if I've come right out before and said where I work, but it's at the Transfer Station for our town. There is no landfill here any longer, so all refuse is trucked out by a company to a huge landfill in northern Montana. I'm the lucky girl who gets to run the Scale House! I really love my job, BUT do have a few problems with it – I am a horrendous penny pincher. It is one of the priorities in my life not to be wasteful. I've come to the conclusion that I am in a tremendous minority. Oh my gosh people are wasteful! I put a lot of effort toward trying to redirect folks to our local charities if they have useful items, rather than having it go to a landfill. A few times I have been presented with golden opportunities to rescue things from loads destined to be dumped – let me show you a few of the things! These aren't good pics because most of this stuff is shoved in storage, or squished in the back of the garage, but you'll get the idea.

These awesome lodgepole pine benches were my first rescue. They came from a dude ranch nearby that has a long, long history. They decided to clean up and modernize a bit I guess, and came in with a big truck and huge trailer FULL of stuff. I could see these benches on the top and nearly fainted! I told the guy I wanted them and he said I was welcome to them! One has a seat so old it is stuffed with metal springs and horse hair for padding. I cringe when I think of the things I couldn't see on that load that went into the refuse trailers. There is also a solid wood, 6 foot tall cabinet, and a lodge pole pine lamp/table combo that didn't make it into the picture that I scavenged. A few weeks ago, I pulled an antique, quarter sawn oak rocking chair off a load. It has arms, and a padded seat and back. It was so full of mouse poop that Bruce pulled all the material off and shook it out, and it will stay in storage til I get the time to re-upholster it. I have some great, high end upholstery material I got at a rummage sale, that came from an interior design store. Or maybe I'll use one of my Hudson Bay blankets for the upholstery.

K – so I almost fainted again when I saw this. I said incredulously “You're not dumping that are you?” And the guy looked at me like I'd lost my marbles and said “Well, yeah…, it's just an old door.” I told him immediately that I wanted it. He didn't think it would fit in my car trunk so even volunteered to drop it at my house! I think at this point he was a little scared of me, and offered to drop it off so he could get gone from there πŸ™‚ I was so darn excited! I'm not sure just where it will go yet, but someplace it will look awesome will pop up I'm sure.

OK, and for the grand finale I saved the best for last! This was the best Christmas present! And FREE to boot!

A genuine, cast iron, claw foot tub!! Oh Joy! I had been scouring loads for months looking for one. Most contractors just bust them up with a sledge hammer and pack them out in pieces because they are so heavy to drag out of a house and load whole, just to trash them anyway.

This most wonderful young man came in with a truck and topper and told me he just had a load for the metal recycling bin. I couldn't see what he had since it was in the topper, so just gave him the OK to go ahead. Fortunately for me he said “You don't know anybody that could use an old claw foot tub, do you?” I nearly jumped for joy and said “ME!!” This kind fella helped me load the whole works into my truck, faucets and all! And the cherry on the top was when he said “How about sinks – need any of those?”

Good Lord, it felt like I'd won the lottery! A high backed, cast iron kitchen sink…..with faucets!! And…

This awesome little cast iron bathroom sink!

He had painstakingly packed all of these out of the UPSTAIRS of an old house, hoping that someone could use and appreciate them. Well, needless to say, he found the right person!

So, stay tuned! I hope I'll be having a bit of the luck o' the Irish, and will be able to make all of this stack of goods work. Otherwise, I may end up having the rummage sale of the century!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Kitchen Tour

A friend I haven't seen for about a dozen years called the other day on her way thru town, and wanted to come over for a visit the next day. Just those few kindly words struck terror to the very core of my heart!! With my palms sweating, I calmly suggested she come over the next day after I got off work. We exchanged pleasantries, set a time for the following day, and rang off. After few deep breaths to try to clear the panic attack polka dots that were swimming before my eyes, I headed directly for the closet containing the cleaning supplies. Sometimes a surprise like that is just the kick in the pants I need to get in gear, and get after all the things I've let slide for far too long.

I can never wrap my head around the reasoning those young couples use when looking for their first house on HGTV; how they decide a house is wonderful, or totally unacceptable, based on how well they can “entertain” in it. REALLY??!! I nearly faint every time someone says they want to come over to my house. On a good day, I need a bare minimum 4 hours lead time before I feel even remotely comfortable opening my door to welcome someone in. Never mind that opening the door to a good stiff breeze might send a dust bunny the size of a real bunny loping across the floor at my house. I also have a complete phobia about “smells”. I am so afraid when someone comes over they will be overwhelmed with doggy dander smells, or eau de litter box, or a lovely mildewey waft coming from the laundry drop, etc., etc., so I tend to over compensate out of pure, phobic fear. I own roughly 922 candles; approximately 78 cans of room spray (they vary from fancy pants home decor store purchases, to good old grocery store Glade); at least a dozen bottles of family sized Febreeze in various scents; even a few sticks of incense tucked away in a couple of rooms. I buy scented drawer liners, oil plug-ins, wash the inside of my washing machine with vinegar, and buy the strongest smelling/atomic grade mopping compounds known to mankind.

At any rate, my good Mr. Bruce threw in with me when he got home from work (he saw the true desperation in my eye, and took pity on me). He gave up the ghost at 1 a.m., and I shut the last light off at 2 a.m. and also hit the hay.

I fretted all day at work, made one last frenzied round thru the house before calling my friend to come over, then waited…….

It was just wonderful! – and I'm not being a bit sarcastic in saying that. She and her friend were so sweet, and complimented my house at every turn. If they saw anything that made them want to gag, they certainly did not let on! It was comfortable, and fun, and the 3 hours (!!!) they were here absolutely flew by!

But as grand as it was, it still didn't turn me – I will never be an entertaining kind of gal!!

I thought as long as stuff was semi-tidy, I would show you the kitchen and a couple of before pictures I found.

This is taken standing in front of the family room wood stove (which is still in same location today), looking into the kitchen. Now, the back door, to the right, is raised up to kitchen floor level. That wall where Bruce is standing was knocked out, and a full wall was built perpendicular, extending to where the pony wall shows in pic, successfully dividing the kitchen and family room. (Bye-bye open concept! I like each room to be their own room. I also like plenty of walls to hang pictures on.) Pony wall is torn out, and that is where the stairs come down into family room now.

Above pic taken, just to the right of where Bruce was standing in kitchen, looking down into family room.

The kitchen was “L” shaped before. More like backward 7 shaped. This main part of the kitchen is behind and to the right of Bruce in previous pic. This is the picture we put on Craigslist to sell the cabinets, just before we started gutting the room. I have a lot more before pics, but Bruce doesn't have time to scan and upload to iPad for me, so this is it. Now I'll show you what it looks like today.

Here is looking at the back door I told you we raised up.

Here is looking at the wood stove and family room, to the right, where pony wall was before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's a good little barnyard kitchen, where my wild little shorty pies can run in and out thru the doggy door, dragging in sticks, and mud, and whatever else they fancy. So, I'll just keep the cleaning supplies well stocked, in case we have to have another emergency cleaning session, but in the meanwhile, everybody can just run and hop and be happy, and we won't worry one little bit about entertaining!!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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A hickory cabinet fit for a CottageLodge

There is a big hickory cupboard in my kitchen. It is wonderful. Tons of storage, roll out shelves for big mixing bowls and other cooking utensils, and a couple of false front drawers to fill with whatever tickles your fancy – we like to keep peppermints in them presently. It also has a bunch of open shelves. I suppose most people would keep dishes, maybe jars of dried goods, that sort of thing, but I like do-dads on 'em. Lots of Lodgey eye candy. It's hard to get a good picture of the shelf contents. No matter what, there are shadows. It is one of those things best seen in person, but since most of you can't come visit me 'cept for here, I'm going to show you the pics I took even tho they are pretty ratty and shadowy looking.

 

I found out from reading the blog “An Urban Cottage”, that my kitchen is what is called a partially unfitted kitchen. When a kitchen has cupboards that can be moved around or taken with you when you move, my understanding is it's considered to be an unfitted kitchen. If you ever watch HGTV's house hunters international, it seems like lots of homes and apartments in Europe have that sort of kitchen.

We did our kitchen on a shoestring budget. We ordered good quality maple base cabinets and got them when they were having a sale, but only got the bare minimum that would be needed. I had a couple antiques cabinets that I wanted to use in the remodel, which was a bonus because new kitchen cabinetry is expensive! I knew that probably we would still not have enough storage, so when we learned about an auction a fella was having to liquidate his cabinetry building business, we were there Johnny-on-the-spot! So I bid on and won this big old hickory cabinet, paying 80% less than what he had been charging folks to place the same cabinet in their homes when his business had been in full swing. Sweet deal for my pocket book!! I like to rotate what I put on the shelves, befitting the season or Holiday.

 

Here is the whole conglomerate, in all it's lodgey-ness.

 

An old souvenir plate from Yellowstone Park, a forever calendar with fox on it, a few old miniature totem poles, an Indian basket, and fox.

 

A few duck decoys, and an old, pretty mountain pic.

 

My folks gave me this cabin for Christmas a few years ago. Dad built it, Mom furnished the inside, complete with curtains, a rug in front of the fireplace, and little furniture. It even has a light in the fireplace, so the light glows out of the little curtained windows!

 

A couple squirrels, and my favorite books on cabin style decorating.

Pretty soon it will be time to switch off and deck everything out with Holiday cheer. I'm glad I'm not a minimalist; it's so fun playing house with all these treasures I've collected over the years. Most of my things have come from rummage sales and auctions and such (which I started frequenting at about age 11 or 12), so there isn't a ton of money invested here, and I really get a lot of joy out of it. All this kind of stuff may not be for everybody, but in my case, it's good enough for who it's for πŸ˜‰

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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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 πŸ™‚ ). It even has zinc tacked on the ends, so it custom coordinates with my countertop!

TTFN πŸ™‚

Teresa

 

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