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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A Tour of the Extremely Bargain Furnished Living Room

Felt like it was time to re-arrange. Sounds much easier than it is – my living room is difficult. Too many doorways and the big ol' Tulikivi stickin' way out into the room. Just have to use a little imagination to get everything juggled around.

It's a blustery, thunder and lightening day. Here it is, the middle of the afternoon, and I had to turn the lamps on just to see what I was doing.

I love these rocking chairs. The smaller one came from Bruce's Grandparents farm, the larger one I found at a rummage sale for $15. We reupholstered both of them and polished up the oak, and I think they turned out really nice. I took the gothic window off the sideboard in the dining room and was at a loss where to put it. I didn't want to squash it back in the closet because it's pretty and needs to be seen πŸ™‚ so I propped it up in the corner and kinda like it there for now.

Moved the leather chair over to the other corner and it makes a good reading spot. I got this chair at a rummage sale for $35, bought the leather at a saddle supply shop in Billings, and managed to find an upholsterer in Bozeman that was a total bum. He had the chair for almost 5 months until I threatened to turn him in to the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Advocates, and any other consumer help agency I could think of. He then finally finished it, and did do a decent job, but the whole experience made me really wish that I knew how to upholster my own larger pieces. Simple smaller pieces I can do; big pieces, I'm a fraidy cat to try.

The metal coffee bin to the left of the chair I got at the thrift store for $25. The roll top desk behind the chair I rescued from my sister-in-law, who had it all ready to go to the dump. The cabinet that sits atop the desk is the upper portion of a Hoosier type cabinet which came from (you guessed it) a rummage sale; a super score in my opinion for $20! I “married them” and they are terrific storage.

That opening to the entryway, above the chair, is where the gothic window was supposed to be built in. A good dozen years later, I got sick of waiting. So when we got the oak floors in the living room last fall, I told Bruce to square off the opening, trim it out, and call it good. I'd had 2 carpenters look at it, and neither of them new how to trim out a Gothic arch. Oh for the craftsmanship of yesteryear! It is so hard to find help to hire in this area, and then you're lucky if you even get the basics completed. Thank heavens I have a very talented husband. Unfortunately, his day job keeps him far away from the “honey-do” list a goodly portion of the time. But when it gets down to brass tacks, he comes thru for me and some things get finished up. And very nicely I might add πŸ™‚

The pictures above the lamp are originals. Some of the very few originals I own. I mostly have antique prints.

I got this tiny drawing of sheep from an art gallery here in town (during crazy daze) for a wonderful price. Bruce cut the mat on our cutter, and the frame was (of course) a rummage sale find. Total cost, approximately $12! Not bad for original art πŸ™‚ I cut the little picture in the lower right hand corner out of a Victoria magazine and stuck it against the glass just for good measure cuz I thought it was cute.

I bought this farm scene at an antique mall in Bozeman because it reminded me a lot of Vermont with it's church steeple sticking up in the background. Turns out that, I believe, it's Russian. The detail on the steeple and the artist's name are what make me think that. This photograph doesn't do it justice. It is beautiful and very detailed when you see it up close. I'm so glad I got it, as the antique mall where I purchased it burned to the ground just a few months later.

Some of my flock of sheepies. This little plaque is cement, and was a gift from my Mom.

More sheep, and the print is one of my very favorite – it has a stone bridge with arches just like the very one we have in our town at Sacajawea Park. I got it at a rummage sale πŸ™‚ and framed it myself.

Here is my custom made in North Carolina couch that I purchased at a rummage sale for $40 and had reupholstered (not by the bum, but by an awesome upholsterer that has since moved away πŸ™ ) The lady I bought it from said she had it custom made, pre-children, back when she and her husband both had high paying jobs and more money than they knew what to do with. It is a phenomenal sturdy, hardwood, camel back sofa, and I don't know why she didn't just have it reupholstered herself. My gain!

A portion of my collection of antique, chalk painted Indian pottery.

I put my cast iron barn and farm animals on the sideboard where I previously had the gothic window.

 

There is a small light in the barn which makes the whole barn turn into a night light in the evenings. The china cows came from Bruce's grandparents; I found all the rest of the critters here and there over the years. The barn came from a thrift store in Big Timber.

I put all the rest of my sheep collection out, too. I only put them out about once a year because I have so many different collections and like to rotate them all. So it's fun to start unwrapping them and it never fails I'm surprised by some that I had forgotten about. I'm easily entertained πŸ™‚

Anyway, just thought I'd share some of my treasures. Now, maybe you can understand why I'm so whiney about not being able to rummage due to my new job! I hate shopping retail because I can't stand paying retail prices for anything! For real, 90% of my house is furnished with rummage sale, hand-me-downs, thrift store, auctions, etc., which I'm sure has saved me bazillions of dollars over the years πŸ˜‰

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Randomness

My itty bitty brain is just whirling – just a few weeks ago it was snowing pretty mightily around here; now it feels like full blown summer. I mean windows open, birds tweeting, grass growing inches per day summer! A few weeks ago, I was a domestic diva πŸ™‚ tending my house, chopping wood, keeping my laundry up; now I'm back to alarm clock waking, trying to figure out what would be fastest to prepare for dinner after work, and making lists so I can try to keep up with everything that needs to be done in my very condensed at-home-time. Yup, no mo fairytale, it's back to the real world.

So, in order to try and achieve a little zen, I will share some pictures of random this and thats I have captured in the spare minutes I've grabbed over the last several days.

 

 

 

I have lots of pretty little flowers popping out. I was sad to see that I did lose many plants and ornamental bushes to this vicious winter we just escaped from – what a cold mean bugger he was!

We have had a few pretty substantial downpours over the last few weeks, and the bright side to that, along with the glorious greenness that presents itself, are these wonderful gifts from nature –

Morels! Oh, they are so yummy! Just soak them in water with a few teaspoons of salt and about a teaspoon of vinegar to dislodge any buggies trying to make a morel it's home, drain 'em, make sure they are nice and clean, cut them in half lengthwise, and drop them into a frying pan with a little butter, olive oil, sea salt, smoked paprika, and a smidge of pepper. For real, they are a gourmet gift to your taste buds! My big little son went down to the river and scouted out a few, which we ate for dinner that night. The next day he went out to my folk's farm and found about a quart of them. They are shiny clean and residing in the freezer, to be carefully doled out on special occasions.

 

There were at least a dozen Western Tanangers in my yard today, flitting about, eating from the suet feeder, and having a merry time. I just love watching all the birds that come to my yard. I think this giant window we put in during the kitchen remodel was the smartest thing we've done with this house. Actually, that would probably be second to the Tulikivi.

I changed a few things around in the family room. I found a beautiful print by one of our local artists, downtown at an antique/junk store. I needed another picture like I need a hole in the head, but it was so reasonably priced I couldn't resist.

I had the frame which I'd purchased several summers ago at a yard sale, so just had to have a mat cut and was good to go. It is a Russell Chatham print. I looked thru his archives online, and I believe this one is named “March Afternoon”. I truly love his work. He has lived here for decades, and the biggest majority of his art is done of this area, primarily Paradise Valley. His lithos and oil paintings go for many thousands of dollars, so I was happy to just be able to have stumbled across a print I could afford. Any kind of affordable work of his is about as scarce as hen's teeth to find. (Sorry about the reflections on the picture – I don't know how to get around that in photography yet.)

I found the “Indian Lane” street sign at a rummage sale the week before I started work. (Don't even get me started on having missed the last 4 weeks of rummage saling – I could just cry about it!) The metal Indian head is also a rummage sale find from a summer past.

Work has begun on the cabin.

 

Yikes.

It's still chilly enough in the evenings to have to start the wood stove up.

Coming home we saw this Mama and baby. Within a half mile stretch we saw the moose, at least a dozen deer, 10 antelope (which was strange because we were still in the mountains and they usually prefer being out on the flats), and these 2 courting cranes below.

So, that's a lot of randomness for sure, and is probably just the tip of the iceberg for what the summer holds. We have a lot of irons in the fire! Guess I better stock up on Wheaties! Or spinach!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Happy Easter! ^..^

 

Yippee! The sun is actually shining thru my kitchen window! Time to freshen things up, put away winter-y decor, and bring a little brightness into the house. It is so hard to get inspired when it's dreary and gloomy. Now the grass is visibly greener, lots of daffodil, tulip, and iris shoots are peeking out, and I feel like I, too, am “waking up” from a too long nap.

Thought I'd share just some random stuff around the house before I start to revamp a little. Nothing too exciting, just a few things that make me happy when I look at them –

Bruce's great grandpa made this bench (and a lot more) many, many years ago for a meeting hall in the small Czech community he and his family lived in. Recently, they tore down the old hall, and they invited Bruce to help himself to as many benches as he liked since it was his kin that built them. He took 1 for himself, 1 for his brother, and 1 for his cousin. Gosh, if only we'd known we would be getting the cabin he could have grabbed a few more, they are so cute and useful.

I have had a few dogs from my collection out and about. Think I'll trade them out for my little sheep that are presently tucked away.

 

 

 

Eastertime snuck up on me this year. Apparently I was in a bit of a haze, cuz I sure didn't get into the swing of bunny and egg decorating much.

Just put these little guys out and that will have to suffice this year! Besides, I've got the real deal to look at while I'm out raking and spiffing up the yard….

 

 

The End πŸ™‚

HAPPY EASTER!

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

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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Wool Blankets

Time to share another weakness of mine….. wool blankets!

I can't even remember how my attachment to them started, but I am always on the lookout for them. Lucky for me, most of my entire household has been purchased over the years at rummage sales and the occasional bargain purchases from thrift stores and auctions. That was before rummaging was too terribly trendy, and you could still get things without breaking the bank.

 

I have had them scattered all over the house at various times, but now the majority of them are corralled in this old linen press cupboard that came from Bruce's Grandma's home.

A few are still scattered about the house –

 

Some I rolled up and put in an old egg crate, and parked them in the family room. The tag on the crate still has Bruce's grandparents name on it from when they brought eggs to town to sell. They sit atop little foldable camp seats; a papa one, a mama one, and a baby one πŸ™‚ All of them bought at a rummage sale for a song.

 

These are hanging on a ladder in the cowboy bedroom at my house. I camp here when Bruce (or me) is sick so one or the other of us have some semi-germ free space to ourselves. There has been a lot of colds and flu in our neck of the woods this winter! I sure don't have to worry about getting cold when I do sleep in here because wool blankets are extremely warm.

For Christmas, Bruce got me a Pendleton Yellowstone National Park commemorative blanket. It is beautiful, and the only new wool blanket I have. It's packed away for now, but it, along with a bunch of the blankets I have around here, will be moving up to Moose Springs when the roads clear off this spring! Cabins and wool blankets go hand in hand in my book.

 

It is still darn chilly in these parts, so I'm thinking wool blankets are not a bad commodity to have! Although, to be honest, I probably like looking at them more than wrapping up in them, cuz they are a little scratchy!

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 πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

 

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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 πŸ™‚ .

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 πŸ™‚ !)

 

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 πŸ™‚

 

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 πŸ˜‰

 

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 πŸ™‚

 

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