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 🙂 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 🙂

 

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Big Sky Small Fry Ranch

Where lots of little critters have been raised over the last 20 years!

K, so here's the tour I promised of the inside of my folk's house. And, once again, I'll apologize for the quality of the photos, but these will at least let you get a feel for how cute and cozy this wonderful old farmhouse truly is – the realtor working for my folks has a much better camera than I have, so if you want to see her photos, or are curious about the listing particulars for the farm, just go here.

 

This is from Christmastime cuz I forgot to get a picture outside today. They really do have all their decorations down now 🙂

 

Here is looking back at where we just came in thru the front door.

 

Living room.

I love these prints above her couch. My Mom and I both have a thing for sheep pictures. You will easily be able to tell where I inherited my collecting abilities (aka dysfunction) after taking this tour :). We both like stuff!

 

Another piece of furniture that was my Great Grandmothers, a very pretty quarter sawn oak buffet that lives in the dining area.

A beautiful light fixture above the dining table. It was another great find from Craigslist. This pic is from Christmas, too. The one I took today was a little blurry, so I substituted.

Take a left just thru the front door and you head upstairs.

There are three bedrooms and a half bath upstairs. The next 2 pics are the middle bedroom.

The front bedroom is surprising when you step into it because my folks opened it into the attic. It is a really sunny room, has a loft, and an outdoor balcony. Not exactly what you'd expect to see in a 100+ year old farm house.

 

 

I found the fireplace mantle at a garage sale, it was fairly beat up. The metal insert I found later. It is the front off an antique gas burning furnace and was in an alley to be thrown away. I asked the guy who lived there if I could have it rather than have it go to the dump, and he gladly gave it to me. My Mom said she could use them in this bedroom, so out to the farm they went. My folks combined their artistic magic on both of these cast offs, and now it is a beautiful focal point in the room.

 

Up to the loft.

I didn't climb clear into the loft to take the pic, so this is the best I could get. There are 2 chairs and a small bookshelf, a nice cozy little nook to relax in – I don't know if I would try to tote a cup of tea up that ladder tho!

The door to the balcony is just to the left of the bed. Another sweet place to relax, take in the view, and get some fresh air. It would be easy to take a cup of tea out on this little balcony!

The third bedroom is super cute! Kind of a shocker if you're not ready for it tho –

There's a lotsa babies in this room!

 

 

 

 

This little cutie was also my Great Grandmother's. She is German, and over 100 years old (the doll, not my Great Grandmother ^..^ ). Guess at that age, that would make her the matriarch of the baby doll room.

Now back down stairs. This is the master bedroom.

The ceiling is awesome in here. It took my Mom days and days to get it done with several types of paint, faux painting, and wallpaper border.

 

It's really cozy and old fashioned.

She has some spectacular art pieces throughout her home, but these two are very special to her because her Great Uncle carved them both. The swan piece is carved from one chunk of stone, nothing carved separately and glued on. (Except when I was a kid I threw a pair of my Mom's shoes in her room and the hit the carving, knocking one of the swan's head off. It did get repaired and glued back on, and I am very lucky to be sitting here typing this story right now :-O )

The other one is this horse which he carved out of a single block of wood.

The TV/Family room is next. You have to go thru a short little hallway to get to it. She has a pinecone theme that runs thru the house, and in this hallway she did a cool stenciling treatment with joint compound, and then painted it in a sort of ombré paint style. I think it is beautiful.

 

Many cute do-dads and China pieces reside in the lovely antique cabinet in the hallway.

And into the TV room we go.

The stove backer is a piece of art in itself. She purchased a thick sheet of metal, drew on a pattern of pine branches and pine cones, and took it to a welding shop where they used a plasma cutter to cut out the design she had drawn. Then she treated the metal with some kind of stuff that makes it susceptible to rust, and threw it out in the snow for a couple of weeks. When it was ready to come in the house, she sealed it, backed the pine branch design with green (for the pine needles) and Amber (for the pine cones) Christmas lights and then attached it to the wall behind the stove. The metal offers the fire and heat protection needed behind the stove. Then there is the added bonus of plugging in the “hearth” and seeing the branches come to life 🙂

The office is a small room off the hallway. Bruce was in there working on my Mom's computer, so I could only catch a picture of this corner.

She has a beautiful collection of pottery pieces.

On to the kitchen –

 

 

 

 

Very cute and farmy! It is a bright, happy room to be in.

Well, that about covers the inside. Nothing was staged or anything, so if there is an odd whatnot sticking out in any of the pics, it's my fault, cuz I didn't give my Mom any warning that I was coming out to take pictures. Oh, and here is a pic of Sophie the deer herder. She wasn't too thrilled about sitting still for her portrait!

And another pic of Lilly the houndy dog.

TTFN

Teresa 🙂

 

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Show and Tell

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Here it is with all the other room lights off.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Next comes the pay off for dogging Craigslist every single day

 

 

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

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

Then came this one.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

TTFN

Teresa 🙂

 

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