Thursday, December 11, 2008

Antique Malls & Victorian Corbels

Does anyone else get angry when they are shopping their local antique mall and find vendors offering brand new items or toys that can be found in your local big-box store. It never used to be like that; but recently I've discovered a handful of places that allow such vendors. I'm sorry, if I wanted something that was from 2008, I'd have gone to Target or Walmart.

Now, don't get me wrong. I realize that the antique malls have been hit as well by the economic downturn; but in some cases I've seen more people visit them then usual. Yet, enough on that rant.

This post is also about a fabulous score that I made this past weekend. Everytime I visit an antique mall, I get so excited when I see salvaged pieces of gingerbread. It makes me smile to know that somebody out there cared enough to save it; but on the flipside it makes me sad because of the outrageous prices they want for said pieces. I've seen vendors ask $75 to $150 for tiny pieces of gingerbread.

Which brings me to this weekend. Scouring the stalls, I came across a pair of the below Victorian Corbels (about 18" tall). They were in imaculate condition, already stripped and ready for hanging.

I picked them up to admire the craftmanship, knowing full well that these would be on the high side of $150 a piece if not more. Yet, when I turned the pricetag over, my jaw dropped to the floor. The vendor only wanted $22 for the pair. $22...make no mistake about it. I picked them up and practically ran to the counter (I don't run; but you get the idea).
As a friend of mine said, it kind of makes up for all of the hours spent hunting only to turn up nothing in the end. Keep a lookout for what I do with these babies once warmer weather hits.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reliving House Past

In the hussle and bussle of the holiday season, hanging out with family, renovating a century old home, and keeping sane in these tough times, I think it is always nice to remember from where we started.

This my friends, is a picture of my first house. I bought it back in '04 and at about 900 sqft it was a perfect "starter" home.

It sat on about a 1/3 rd of an acre, the exterior was finished and it had a newer roof. The inside needed a lot of updating as the previous owner had lived there for 20 something years and hadn't really touched much of anything. So let's take a walk down memory lane...

Here is the kitchen before we completely gutted it. That is my granite-top island, stove and microwave.

The cabinets were handmade out of plywood, painted this strange schoolbus yellow and yes they tried "antiquing" a few of them, which is why some have a green-cast. It served it's purpose I guess. After months of complete demo and renovation, here it is all shiny and new. I guess this was taken during cookie-baking time.

While the lavender walls aren't exactly everyone's taste, they livened up the place and worked so well with the rest of the decor.

Now, let's move on to the joining dining room. It was like stepping back into the 70s with dark wood paneling and carpet to match.

After gutting everything again, we added a walk-in storage closet, office alcove and a much needed coat of paint.

It's funny because while I knew from the start that I wasn't going to live there long (ended up being only 3 years), we probably did more to this little house then most.
I learned a lot and it turned out to be a great investment; which put me in a perfect position to tackle the new "old" place that this blog was created for.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fun with Books

I've seen on a few blogs now, the "7 Book Facts" and thought that I'd join in on the fun. The rules are simple. Write a post about your 7 book facts, the more unique the better. If you want you can tag others to join in on the fun, or leave it to your readers to participate. I won't be tagging anyone; but I encourage you to write your own post or leave me a comment.

1. I love the Classics and back in highschool, I sucked up every bit of them, even asking for additional reading lists from my English Lit teachers. Yep, I was one of THOSE kids.

2. I collect cookbooks, both old and new...although I'm particular about both and won't buy just anything, it has to have unique illustrations or pictures. I'm a basics kind of girl, so none of this casserole or gourmet stuff will do.

3. Some of the more unique/strange books in my collection are "The Book of Bunny Suicides" by Andy Riley, "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories" by Tim Burton, and "Amphigorey" by Edward Gorey. These are illustrated books with a whimsicle-macabre bent to them.

4. In college, our library had this huge upper-level outside deck and I would spent hours reading in the sun. If it was miserable outside, I would go inside to the upper levels where all the antique books were to read, do homework, etc. You don't know just how quiet a library can be until you are on this floor.

5. In 9th grade, I had an awesome Student Teacher who wrote quotations on the chalkboard everyday. One on-going assignment had us collect quotes in a notebook. After the year was over I transferred the quotes to a better hardbound sketchbook. To this day, I continue to collect quotations, interesting passages, etc in that sketchbook.

6. I had an 8-book series of young adult books that I read every summer like clockwork for like 6 years straight. The author was Linda Lewis and some of the titles that I remember were "We Hate Everything But Boys", "My Heart Belongs to That Boy", etc. I still have the books, along with many other books I loved when I was younger.

7. There are two young adult books that haunt me to this day, since I can't remember the title or author on either of them. I really liked both of them, and would love to find them, so if you can help, please let me know. The first I only remember the cover illustration; which showed a handful of kids sitting on a porch, one kid was in a wheelchair. The other book of which I only know the ending, some major problems were solved when someone discovered that $$ was sewn into a quilt.