Journaling the Cabin Progress

This is going to be a dry post. I'm putting up a ton of pre-renovation cabin pics just for documentation. Mr. Bruce has been up there the last 6 weekends working like a fiend. He also struck a deal with a too busy contractor. It is so wild in this area presently, with people buying property as quickly as it hits the market, then fixing it to flip, or live in themselves, that it is next to impossible to find a decent contractor worth his salt. All the good contractors/carpenters are lined up with work for months to come. I'm sure there are plenty of shysters out there, because when it's popping like this, those shady types are drawn in like rats to grain. But Bruce has known this fellow for years, and the man is a local that has lived here all his life. He has a good reputation, and is therefore busier than the dickens. But, after a bit of skillful finagling and bartering on my Mister's part πŸ™‚ , the contractor said if Bruce will have everything lined out, and every bit of the lumber, cement, screws, nails, basically every and all supplies needed (including all the new Windows, and all the new flooring) sitting at the cabin ready to go, he and his crews will pop up there between their other big jobs as time allows. Anytime there is slack on the big jobs they're working on, or if there is inclement weather that they can sneak away from their outdoor projects and come up to work on indoor things for us, they'll shoot up to the cabin and try to bang out one project at a time. That's about as good as it gets right now for folks like us that have comparatively smaller projects. When it's chaotic like it is presently, in demand contractors don't want small jobs. Especially when they have to trek clear up into the mountains to do them.

Oh, good gosh, I hope this works out!! We've been burned by carpenters before, but we've also been lucky enough to have some excellent ones do big jobs for us at our house. I just want to get the big basics done on the cabin, then Bruce and I can tackle the smaller, more manageable ones. Bruce doesn't have the time, or number of men available that are needed to get windows and doors installed, the wood flooring laid, or the walls put in. He will still be doing the majority of plumbing and electrical himself, as well as all the trim and finish work; and together we can install the wood “tongue and groove” panels on the walls, sheet rock where needed (if we decide to use sheet rock in the bedroom and bathroom), building and rocking the new hearth for the wood stove, and installing whatever we decide to use for kitchen cabinetry. I can paint, wallpaper, tile, stain, make curtains, and decorate to beat sixty without any help. But for the big, heavy duty stuff, we need a crew of men to come in and hit it hard to get it done in short order.

Once the new windows are in place, we can contact the company that will sandblast the logs on the exterior (the company we looked into uses ground walnut shells to blast, then the shell dust and log dust can be left on the ground to naturally decompose). The blasting will basically sand away the discoloration and weathering, and leave a nice even tone on the logs to then stain and seal, making the exterior look brand new, hopefully.

The odd shaped windows on the top right will be eliminated. Then, all along the top, left to right under the pitch, will be framed in and probably covered with shakes, so it will be symmetrical.

 

This bay window is being replaced with a picture window. Same width and height, but flat in the wall.

 

The circular vent to the left of the window will come out as the furnace is moving to the hallway, resulting in dreaded log patching.

 

A larger window will replace the bathroom window, shown center, which will require log cutting and patching.

 

The kitchen window, left of door, has to be raised 1 1/2 logs higher, and the porch window, far left, will be eliminated. More log cutting, and filling. Not fun.

 

 

Porch floor must be laid, and an end wall built, since there will only be stairs to the front now.

 

 

This is the enclosed portion of the front porch. The 2 windows shown will be eliminated, and a big walk-in storage closet will be built, floor to ceiling across this whole end of the porch. There isn't much room for storage in the living area of the cabin, so we want to be smart with this space and squeeze every square inch to make it useful for hanging, boxing, shelving, leaning, and stacking. The window on the floor to the left came out of our kitchen at home when we remodeled and put in the giant picture window. This will be installed to the right of the front door entering the porch. We bought a nice, solid wood door with glass upper from Craigslist, saving probably $300 vs buying a brand new one. We got bids from 3 different companies on the window package we need. Only 6 windows have to be purchased, and I was shocked at the $5,500 price tag from the first company. The second company came in at $4,200. These bids were for aluminum clad wooden windows. We got a bid for vinyl windows next, which was much more reasonable (less than a third of the first bid), albeit not quite the quality we were hoping for – but we have to remind ourselves that this is just a cabin, not a full time residence. And we need to be careful not to dump in more money than we would ever be able to recoup on the little place. Having to build the new foundation, and crane the cabin to it, put a major dent in the budget right off the bat. We have to be very careful with our spending, being mindful to get the most bang for our buck. There is a very long list of things yet to do, and after the shock of the windows bids, we will have to be extra diligent in searching out the best buys. That shouldn't be hard with the decorating/furnishings (since I'm the queen of rummage saling ;-0) but building materials are a different kettle of fish.

As for the inside…..

We do have a plan roughed out. Bruce is wrangling in the plumbing right now. We're having a heck of a time trying to find the best options for hot water. We don't particularly want to go the heater tank route because, unless you plan to keep the propane furnace at 48 degrees all winter (which would be very costly) to prevent water in the tank and pipes from freezing, you must drain and winterize the tank each autumn. That means no hot water if you hope to snowmobile in for weekends in the winter. There are many tankless, hot water on demand options available, but high altitude, extreme temps, and not being there daily, really complicate the decision. I know there must be a good option because I've seen tv shows about hunting camps in Alaska where guides bring folks to a shut down cabin, walk in, flip a few switches, and they're fully functional for a week or so. They leave after minimal winterizing, basically in suspension til next trip in, which they do often, all winter long. We've researched on the internet; I even got a year subscription to Cabin Living magazine to look into that and other things, hoping to make the most informed and correct choices. We surely don't want to dump a bunch of $$ into things, just to have them be dysfunctional and have to be replaced for even more $$. Bruce has checked with other folks in our cabin community, and it seems bottom line up there is water heater tank – bite the bullet and leave the heat running; or rough it – winterize and do without hot water in the winter months. I'm sure there has to be a better, more practical option. We'll keep after it…if nothing else, Mr. Bruce is the prize winner in persistence.

 

The blue tape lines are wall placement markers for bedroom and bathroom. Bigger bed and bath than what was there before, but still mighty tight!

 

Such a dreadful mess - makes me want to pull my hair! Doesn't bother Bruce in the least.

All I know is summer is fleeting, and boy, do we have a lot on our plate! Between work schedules, my folks moving, trying to get as much as possible done at the cabin in the short season we have to do it, and regular old house chores and maintenance, we could all stand a few more hours in the day to be sure!

Anyhoo, not whining….even if it does sound like it! All these things are very good “problems” to have! And not problems at all! We just need to stay organized, and step it up as best we can.

Meanwhile, Pinterest is my friend – it gives me so much to aspire to!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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In Montana, a Road Trip Can Cover a LOT of Miles!

Well, we made it to the St. Regis Flea Market, and are back in one piece. It was a long haul, 598 miles round trip, plus about an extra 100 miles doing tourage around the area since neither of us had spent time in that part of MT before. It is a really beautiful place to visit.

 

 

 

 

We got there early Friday evening, and checked into our room.

It was pretty sketchy, but allowed pets, so we just bit the bullet since there aren't many options in an itty bitty town like that. They did have these cute little humming birds just outside the office, at least half a dozen.

 

 

We got up bright and early Saturday morning and were lucky to get a parking place nice and close.

We made a quick trip thru to do an overview, then had to head over to their food pavilion/cabin since we were having major caffeine withdrawal. They had 2 choices for breakfast; pancakes, eggs, and sausage or bacon – or – biscuits with sausage gravy, and eggs. So while Bruce waited in line, I zipped over to the Hutterites booth where they had a multitude of baked goods (since I don't eat meat), and got a pan of cinnamon rolls.

Oh YUM! The cinnamon rolls were delish, and Bruce said his breakfast was wonderful as well. The bonus was, I got to have those cinnamon rolls for the next 3 days for breakfast!

There were lots of folks there enjoying the good grub.

And a couple little beggars who also thought the cinnamon rolls were pretty darn good!

Then we got down to business! I hadn't seen a lot of furniture on our quick sashay thru, but there was A LOT of smaller stuff to dig thru.

 

 

 

Several booths had Lodge-y type stuff.

 

Some of it was really intriguing, but I think I already have plenty enough of this kind of stuff to fill up the cabin without having to spend money on more.

 

 

The booth above had beautiful lodge pole pine furniture. I wish we could furnish the whole cabin with the awesome stuff, but it costs an arm and a leg.

I was really hoping to find antique cabinetry pieces that we could fashion into kitchen cupboards for the cabin. No such luck, darn it! I was disappointed, but it was still a pretty road trip. We did go to 4 or 5 antique stores in and around St. Regis. There was a really nice one in Missoula that had 4 floors full! We didn't end up with a lot of stuff, but what we did find was good stuff!

This is what I ended up with –

The booth owner gave us 50% off on this old print.

 

 

For my doggy collection, a staffordshire looking hound.

 

This wooden sign reminded me of Yellowstone Park signage, and will look cute at the cabin.

 

Bruce said this will work at the end of the bed at the cabin to sit and put our shoes on.....He bought it for me for me for my birthday present!

So that's a round up of our holiday/birthday/much needed road trip weekend! Even tho I didn't get the furniture pieces I had hoped for, all things for a reason. It would have been a challenge storing any big stuff, and Bruce is so tied up with a work project that the cabin refurbishing is going at a snails pace right now.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Little Farm

I put my Christmas stuff away just a few days after the holiday. With the exception of this little farm.

This little farm family and their critters are hand carved (not the barn tho). The tallest piece is the yellow coated man on the right, and is about an inch and a half tall. I purchased these and probably about 20 more pieces, all loose in a check book box, for $5 at a rummage sale. I cannot imagine how many hours it took to carve each of these little figures. There are cats, dogs, pigs, horses, cows, sheep, adults, children, even little birds, and a few elephants and giraffes that I left in the box.

It makes me happy when I happen across unusual things like these. It also makes me wonder who would put so much time and effort into such a project. Maybe a sweet Grandpa, whittling away for his little grandkids. I have way too much stuff, but there is always room in my house and heart for things with a story.

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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Switching Up

I need some big vitamins.

Last year I put every drop of Halloween stuff I own out. About 5 or 6 big storage tubs full. I do it solely for my own entertainment, because

#1 Mr. Bruce could not give a hoot. I'm sure he is not enthralled with skeletons, dangling bats, and blinking orange lights to weave thru to get to his recliner. πŸ˜‰

#2 I had a grand total of 1Trick-or-Treater last year.

#3 No one but Bruce and myself passed thru the front door of my house the full month of October last year.

This year I am pleading exhaustion (aka laziness). I put one little ghosty sign, a pretend crow, and a light-up plastic ghost on my front porch, and that is the extent of it. Not that I really need to make excuses to myself for myself, but I guess it is the polite thing to do!

But, needing a little change/pick-me-up, I did switch out the shelf content on my hickory cabinet in the kitchen. Here is how the shelves had looked for quite awhile –

'

 

 

So I packed up most of this stuff, and drug out my bears.

I spent awhile arranging, then re-arranging them. Kind of like playing Barbies, but with bears – guess that's Montana style. (Or deranged CottageLodge gal style.)

 

 

 

 

I really like this big one. I think he is a very old Glacier Park souvenir bear.

The way he is painted and sculpted is similar to this smaller guy, and I know he is an early 50's Glacier souvenir. Some kind soul placed a piece of cloth tape on the underneath of the bear, stating where they got him and the year. I was glad no one had peeled it off at the antique store where I bought him.

I really like old National Park stuff, and try to snap it up when I come across it, if it's affordable.

This pic came across my feed on face book; I would love to have a bigger, framed version of it. It brought back memories of our family trips thru the park when I was little. We used to open the windows a crack and push cookies out to feed the bears. There would usually be lots of other folks doing the same thing, and most times would have a crowd of around 5 or 7 bears, all schnarfing whatever folks would hand out to them. Sometimes they would jump on the hood of the car and lick the windshield, begging for more snacks. Thankfully, this feeding practice has been strictly outlawed now, both for the good of the bears, and the safety of the tourists. I really don't know why it was ever tolerated. But it sure happened, clear into the 70's.

I can hardly believe October is 2/3s over. I love the fall, and we are having a beautiful one here this year, but I am totally unprepared for the holidays to be just around the corner.

Yep, I need big vitamins.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Happy Birthday For Me

I have been at my “new” job for a year already, so decided it was time to take a bit of vacation. My birthday was last week and I thought that would be an opportune time. Bruce said he would swap his holiday time off from Monday (Memorial Day) and take Friday instead, and we could go to Billings. Then I could peruse all the antique shops to pick my own birthday present. He is a smart fella. He knew that if he could come up with something lots of fun that I couldn't say no to, chances were greatly reduced that I would ask for my usual gift of labor on his part! (Instead of asking for wrapable gifts, I always ask him to finish some project on the honey-do list.)

So I had a wonderful, leisurely week. Got some gardening done (despite lots of rain), and managed to do a little pre-Billings birthday shopping right here in town. I found this first book at the fancy-pants thrift downtown.

I love books, and was thrilled when I opened this one and saw all it had to offer.

Chapter after chapter of animals found in the wild, with each chapter culminating in a frameable print, if a person would be so inclined to cut it out of the book. All of the pictures are by the artist Francis Lee Jaques who did innumerous illustrations for the magazine Outdoor Life. In addition to the beautiful pictures, the whole book is a very interesting read. It was published in the mid 1950's.

 

This picture alone was reason enough for me to buy the book. I think it is beautiful, and would go wonderfully with my small collection of other fox pictures – that is, if I can bring myself to cut this book. My Mom raised my brother and I to respect and never disfigure or maim books. But I can see, in my minds eye, a lot of these illustrations beautifully matted and framed, hanging at the cabin!

 

 

Especially this one! With the cabin being named Moose Springs and all πŸ™‚

This second book I found at the regular thrift, and spent a whopping 75 cents for it! It is by Lawrence Sheehan whose wife Carol was the editor for the the magazine “Country Home” for many years. Her wonderful editorials were the first thing I turned to when I subscribed to that magazine, before it went under. She was like reading a favorite blog; so personable, fun, and interesting. Apparently she was a contributor to this book, and it is grand.

It has endearing photography, touching stories, and great ideas for incorporating dog inspired collections into your home.

 

 

 

I can't understand why anyone would have wanted to be rid of this book and donate it to the thrift! Oh well, their loss is my gain! It couldn't have come to a better home – I read my decorating books over and over again!

And on to our Billings trip –

This was my first find. I love how when something is just right, it practically jumps right off the shelf or wall into your arms. You can pass a thousand other things, and then, all of a sudden, there is that one something special thing that just pops out and glows! At least that's how it seems to work for me. The photo doesn't do this collector plate justice. It is a really stunning portrait of an elk, and will look perfect at the cabin.

For my turkey collection. I do not have another hen turkey looking back like this one, and at $4 for the pair I couldn't pass them up.

Another purchase for the cabin, and not only to feed my lamp fixation, but also my bear collection.

I think he is a cute little guy, and was very reasonably priced at an antique mall.

This Navajo style, 100% wool rug was a steal of a deal at a saddle shop. Now I wish I would have gotten 2, but I need to hold back a bit to see what will be truly needed when I get to finally decorate the cabin for real.

 

I was tickled to find these 2; Yellowstone Park memorabilia is getting harder and harder to find.

When we got home, my Mom and Dad came to town for cake and ice cream, and brought me some more awesome presents!

Isn't this the cutest little winter cabin! I love it!

And, what a coincidence, another plate! But this one is a true antique, and so beautiful and unique! It's funny because for Christmas my other Mother, Roxy, gave me an antique picture of a turkey herder that she found in Round Top, Texas; then my Mom finds this plate with a turkey herder! I have old pictures with sheep herders in them, but had never before heard of or seen turkey herders!

My Mom also gave me some yummy smelling lotion and lip balm, and 3 cute shirts for work. Talk about getting spoiled!

Then my bestest neighbor/friend/critter-sitter Eileen brought over this sweet garden light and hanger.

It is so pretty, and really puts out a lot of light, so I put it next to the steps in my yard to help folks not trip in the dark. She also brought me a personal birthday cupcake, and a baby tomato plant for my garden that she started from seed at her house! AND, she babysat Glee and Declan while we were in Billings since that was the first time Declan has been left for a whole day.

Pretty darn awesome birthday, wouldn't you agree?!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Lights Of My Life

I got a fresh, new Country Living magazine in the mail the other day, and for the first time in a long time there were several things that I really enjoyed. That makes me happy, because I miss all the wonderful publications that bit the dirt when the economy took a dive several years ago. Then when things started to pick up a bit, and there were a few new home decor magazines that started showing up again, I was really kind of puzzled and, maybe grossed out is too strong a sentiment, but really not connecting with or appreciating the turn decorating was taking.

Anyway, one of the articles they had in this month's issue was a collector sharing her top 10 best finds in all her years of collecting. I thought that would make a great blog post, and started sorting in my mind what I thought my 10 best finds would be.

And I thought, and I thought.

I've come to the conclusion that there is no possible way I can narrow my vast array of things down to gleen just 10 favorites. So, I decided maybe I could do categories of things, and list 10 +/- of my favorites in that category! And I have many, many categories of things in my house! So that should give me blog fodder for years to come πŸ™‚ .

I decided to jump into it with my favorite lamps. Yup, they are yet another of my fixations.

This is probably my favorite lamp because not only is it pretty, and very old, it has a lot of sentimental value because it belonged to my Great Grandparents. My Grandma told me she can remember when she was a very little girl seeing her Mama doing her mending next to this lamp.

This teepee lamp is one of my all time best finds. For several years I had been coveting these same types of lamps at a very highfalutin furniture and interior design store over the hill, but they wanted nearly $200 a piece for them! Given, they did have Indian hyroglyphic thingies painted around the bottom edge which made them a smidgen fancier than mine, but I paid $192 less for my unembelished teepee lamp! The gal I bought it from at a flea market (they had at our civic center) had lived in Yellowstone Park for years with her Ranger husband. She had collected a lot of YNP memorabilia and said at one time, many years ago, Park officials had decorated the common area of (if I remember correctly) the Old Faithful Lodge with many of these lamps. Since they are fairly small and a bit fragile-ish, not many made it thru intact, given all the bazillion tourists handling them over the years. It is made of rawhide with metal poles, and holds a small watt light bulb inside. I feel super lucky that not only did I get mine for a steal of a deal, it is an actual YNP relic!

I got this lamp at a rummage sale a few summers ago. It has a leaded glass shade, and a bronze colored metal base. It has probably been featured in a few magazines because the folks I bought it from have a business called Head, Heart, and Hand, and they make phenomenally beautiful craftsman and mission style furniture (they have a web site, headheartandhand.com, you should look at how beautiful their stuff is – I'm not advertising for them, they don't know me from Adam, but their stuff is gawk-worthy!) and have been featured in several magazines, I'm sure using my lovely lamp as a prop! They had a small shop downtown for a short while, and this lamp sat on some of their gorgeous tables in their display window. So, yes, I do own a semi-famous lamp!

Made of metal with a rusty finish, I bought this lamp for $20 at a rummage sale. I think it is so pretty! (Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!)

Then, a few years later, I found this rusty metal fish lamp at a rummage sale, as the fellow was just bringing it outside. I told him he didn't even need to set it down, I would take it right then and there (very brave on my part since I didn't even know how much he wanted for it). He told me he couldn't sell it yet because his wife wasn't back with their change and stuff, and she was the boss of the sale. I asked him how much he was going to want for the lamp, and he said oh, about $2. I said, how about I give you $5 bucks and we don't have to wait for your wife? He said AOK, we were both happy, and I was on my merry way to find more bargains! (That cool little canoe, and all the fishes also came from various rummage sales later on!)

This photo doesn't show it too well, but this little lamp is a bear. I collect bears, too, so he was a must have. The shade is pretty nifty because when the light is on it shows trees and more bears!

I showed you all this cool lamp a few posts ago. It lives in my Cowboy/Indian bedroom.

And the beaver chewed log lamp that I got at the fancy pants thrift store. I love that no one else in the whole wide world will have a lamp like this one.

Last, but not least, this itty-bitty lamp I keep on the mantle in my bedroom for a night-light. Little lamps are the best to make even the dark corners of a room have a cozy glow.

I have lots more lamps in my house, but these are at the top of my list for favorites.

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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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 πŸ™‚ .

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 πŸ™‚

 

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Family Room

I feel a blabbing spree coming on, so here goes! πŸ™‚

If I had known at high school graduation what I know now, I would have gone to college for, of course, interior design. What adult woman who blogs under the home interiors category doesn't have that secret ambition, but have most likely repressed the dream πŸ™‚ Some are brave and take action on that dream, and I say good for them! Several of the blogs I follow, the women have gained a bevy of followers, and are now offering their design advice (for money) to their followers that want it. I wouldn't dream of hanging myself out there at this stage in the game (even if I had a mega popular blog), and instead just subject my poor house (and now little cabin) to all the furies of my overactive decorating ambitions.

Rustic style decorating turns my crank! [I'm too hard headed to be a swooner πŸ˜‰ ]

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With bits of softer, 1800's type antique cottage style thrown in for good measure – sort of rugged (or tending to lean to the more masculine-ish side), but with just a dab of softness here and there to keep it from looking too “pioneer bachelor style”.

Pinterest

Throw in a smidge of Craftsman/Mission style, and I am a happy camper! And, very importantly, always on a squeaking tight budget, so if I regret a purchase, I'm just out the few bucks I've forked over at the thrift or rummage sale. That is my aspiration. Everything is certainly a learning process, and always a work in progress. I sure know what I like when I see it, and feel comfortable in my home, but may have developed a bad case of “My Own House Blindness”.

Pinterest

After searching high and low for blogs with a rustic type of distinction, I've come up empty handed. (I have found some awesome primitive style blogs, tho, and really like them, but I'm searching for less Colonial, more Cowboy and Indian.) If you know of any out there, let me in on the secret, would ya pretty please? I've seen lots of awesome rustic-ness on Pinterest and Houzz, but none that I've seen seem to be attached to blogs.

I am infatuated with Ralph Kylloe's beautifully photographed books of cabins and log homes that span the United States, and study them like bibles. Judging by many of the higher end homes in this area of the state (real estate site cruising), rustic decorating seems to very popular. Much of the content of Mr. Kylloe's books are homes from the western half of Montana. It seems odd to me that I'm not seeing much of this style of decorating in the blogging world at all. I'm glad to see the “ethereal whiteness” starting to fade in the blogging world. I love light and bright and timeless, but some of the house tours I've seen where white is the be all end all, it looks like there should be clouds in the room, and maybe an angel or 2 playing harps. It's good to see some color creeping back in. But even that comes with it's extremes, it seems. I subscribe to several of the magazines out there now, and feel more disappointed with each issue I receive. I can't understand the hodge-podgedness of so many of the homes they feature. I realize there is the “to each his own” factor in everyone's home, but I want to open a magazine, be drawn into the rooms, and think “I would give my right arm to live in that place”.

Anyway, what the heck do I know besides the fact that my house is good enough for who it's for! I took a few more pictures in my family room today and thought I'd stick them right on here for your perusal. If you tend to sway toward rustic style, maybe you'll like 'em, but it's sure OK with me if you don't!

This is my TV table. It came to live here from Craig's List! It is solid pine and had a natural finish, and wooden knobs. I remodeled it πŸ™‚

When I decided to use it for the TV, I knew the open back would be a problem, because all the cables and wires would show. Mr. Bruce had brought back a few good sized bundles of extremely old, used wainscoting that had been salvaged from his great grandparents original old homestead house. He couldn't stand the thought of something that had survived for probably more than a hundred years, and that someone had been thoughtful enough to salvage from the old house, to just have it discarded at the dump, or thrown into a burn pile, so he toted it clear back to Montana. It is awesome. I wish there had been a truck load of it. I showed him my plan to attach the wainscoting to plywood so it could be screwed to the table for now, but the whole back can be taken off later if need be (it could be made into an awesome headboard). Once installed, it sure took care of the cables showing.

I had already painted the small armoire a few years prior to this, and wanted the table to match.

So I painted and distressed, hunted up some more red twig dogwood down by the river, sketched out a design for the twig placement, and Bruce attached them with his brad nailer. Then I added the rusty knobs that I had found at a rummage sale. All of the pictures, pottery, and books on the TV table came from rummage sales and the thrift store.

I found a few more Indian things in the Cowboy/Indian bedroom, and put them with the street sign. The block to the left is a copper and steel antique printing press block of an Indian in full headdress. It's so cool close up!

Moved my bear pic out here, took down the branding irons, and hung the rug on the wall.

The little Indian is a bank I found in New Hampshire while on vacation.

 

 

Next on the list to tackle is the freshly vacated bedroom! I was a brut and made my big little son take darn near everything he owns to his new apartment. I wanted it good and empty because that little beat up room is going to get a cottage make-over!

OK, done blabbing now.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Oh, the Cabin…….

WARNING: This Is A Darn Long Post – Proceed At Your Own Risk!!

So, things have definitely been jumbled up with the cabin plans. We weren't even able to drive to the cabin (without fighting the weather and road conditions) until the first part of June. At that time, Bruce was finally able to start tearing the very decrepit decks off to assess the extent of structural damage we would be dealing with. It wasn't good, to say the least.

 

In the photos below, you can plainly see what bad shape the block foundation is in, and that the bottom log is deteriorating from water damage.

 

The plan that Bruce came up with entails pouring new cement pillar/pier supports to the left of where the cabin presently sits. The cabin has to be jacked up off the existing foundation (by professional house movers), and the rotting base logs have to then be replaced on all 4 sides of the structure. Then the movers will transfer the cabin over approximately 25 feet to sit it on the new cement pillar supports.

We were at an immediate disadvantage because by the time all of the problems were uncovered and realized, we were well into June. Anyone who has dealt with construction, and it seems that particularly in Montana, if you are lucky enough to find a reliable company to get done what you need, you had better get on their books very early in the season because their schedules tend to fill up very quickly. We were able to find only 3 companies in the whole state of Montana that move buildings. Add to that a variety of other complications because you are high in the mountains;

-Very wet, boggy ground in Spring/early Summer because of the massive amounts of snow that have just melted off, which in turn raises the water table of the many underground springs up there.

Just the distance a company has to travel to get to what will be the job site. And if lucky,

-Maybe 12 weeks of good working conditions if everything has dried out well, and it doesn't decide to snow before October.

Twelve weeks might sound like plenty of time, but the lion's share of planning, arranging, calling, and much of the pure physical labor to frame out and pour the piers has to be done by poor Mr. Bruce. In the last month he has been racing toward a deadline at his “day job”, and has been putting in about 12 to 14 hours a day Monday thru Friday, and also working every weekend for that month. Consequently, spare time has been pretty darn scarce. Needless to say, he is a tad thrashed at this point in time.

He was going to try and at least get the piers poured and the cabin moved onto them in late fall (risky time frame due to the high chance of snow), then do the rest of it next summer. Well, the problem with that plan is that in preparation for moving the cabin, the interior tile floor has to be torn out, and that means that out with the floor also comes the whole kitchen, and whole bathroom, also the wood stove. So, even if by some miracle we could get the 2 different companies lined out for this summer/fall (one to drill for the pier foundation, one to lift and move the cabin, with time in between to pour the piers plus the 3 week cure time required for the cement before it can accept the weight of a building) the cabin would literally be rendered useless, sitting like a shell on the new foundation for the remainder of fall, and all winter, until we can get in next summer to put in new floors, new kitchen, new bathroom, new septic system and plumbing, new electrical, and all new windows. I told Bruce we would be better off to try and get the foundation lined out and poured late this summer if at all possible with the company's schedule being what it is, then let it sit and cure until next summer. We'd make it a priority by February-ish to get on the moving company's schedule for early summer. By skipping the moving part until next summer, at least the cabin is useable right now. We can enjoy it this fall, and be able to snow machine in this winter because we'll still have floors, cupboards, appliances, electricity and the wood stove.

GAD ZOOKS…..I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

I wish I had an iron clad constitution for all this risky business stuff, but I'm a good old fashioned, security driven, worrying sort of Irish lass, and me thinks we may well have bitten off a much larger and tougher chunk than we bargained for – I guess all in good time, if the Good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise πŸ™‚

 

I hadn't dragged but the bare minimum up there because I knew we'd just have to haul it all out again as soon as we started ripping the floors out. All the good bargain stuff I had been finding had been tubbed up and was sitting off to the side in my dining room at home, along with the great big light fixtures from Craig's list. I decided if we have to wait a full year plus to start the decorating process at the cabin, I wasn't going to fall over all this crap in my house for a year. So this last weekend we packed the trucks and hauled a glob of it up the mountain. I spent a fun day Sunday hanging pictures, unpacking dishes, and making beds with fresh new bedding. We cut down a skinny little quaking aspen and I made curtain rods out of it. I hung my cute rummage sale find plaid curtains that turned out to be about a foot too long, so next weekend I will bring up a sewing kit and hem them. My camera battery went dead so this was the only photo I was able to get. It looked so cozy and homey when I got finished. I know I'll be cussing myself when I have to pack it all up and find somewhere to go with it next summer, but c'est la vie.

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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