Monday, February 27, 2012

Treasures from Grandma's House

My mom and I were looking through the goodies at Grandma's house again recently in preparation for my brother and his family moving in. Everything is getting sent to auction, except for the things we save.
Some people might think it's a little bit sad to have your loved one's house torn apart to get ready for a new generation to come in...but for my mom and I it's like digging up a time capsule from times past and we're learning things about my grandparent's that we (or especially I) had never known before. My grandfather, who was an amazingly sweet and kind man died more than 10 years ago and my grandmother is living with my brother and will move back into her house with them. It's nice that the house is staying in the family and that the treasures of the past that have been sitting untouched for years are finally being given the attention they deserve once again.

On my grandmother's vanity she had a few jewelry boxes. My little sister claimed the fancy glass and gold one and I very happily rescued her shell box, which has a shocking number of missing shells. Luckily I found a good number of them inside and plan to glue them back on after removing the layers and layers of dust the gathered on and between the shells on the box.

Also inside the box was a nice collection of the jewelry and bits. The wooden nickle is a really neat advertising thing of the past and much of the jewelry is perfect and ready for me to wear always with thoughts and wonder of what occasion Grandma wore them or if she ever even did wear them.

Also stuffed inside (it barely all fit even with the lid wide open!) was a big thick stack of little papers. I think I'll give these back to mom...most of these things are papers that most people would have long thrown away. My grandfather was always known to be a pack rat...but it looks like some of his habits might have rubbed off on grandma too!

Some neat miscellaneous doodads from around the house: cake picks in a little vase on the kitchen window sill. Stirrers in the kitchen drawers. Cardboard angel ornaments in the dresser. Christmas pinecones upstairs. A shiny black mineral from the office (not a lump of coal...I think)...

Grandma had these three Santas on her kitchen shelf for forever! And I'll have to ask my mom if she made this Ukrainian egg as a gift for them.

I love this guy!! He was one of a collection of different face mugs in the dining room. And both Grandpa and Grandma were in the service back in the 50's (my beautiful Grandmother was even a poster girl for women in the military at the time!). This flag reminds me of that.

More things from her kitchen. Oh...and a troll from the bathroom. I used to collect trolls when I was a kid and have so many of them!!

This little guy was in with the games upstairs. He was my mom's! A Dream Pet Skunk. She let me have him...Yippee!

Some pretty hardware they never used that I can use in our house.

These will be useful too. And my grandfather was a scuba diver...I think we'll find more shells before the house is all clean!

My great-grandmother was a dress decorator in New York City back in the depression era. She had a nice collection of old old beads and pearls, real glass from Czechoslovakia. I use them ALL the time when making my figures as buttons and things. This nice box of pearls will replenish my supply!

I am really loving books right now and filling my dining room shelves with's turning more and more library by the week! And I'm currently reading a Robinson Crusoe book from the 1800's. These nice books will add to the collection. One on mushrooms, biology, an Easter themed magazine, a kids book and a book on mice (my mom used to raise them when she was a teenager).

Nice photos for reference for my paper mache toadstools!

I remember doing all sorts of puzzles at grandma and grandpa's house when I was a kid. This one was well loved and has a few missing pieces.

I don't remember playing this children's version of scrabble, but I can't wait to play it with my own kids and nieces and nephews someday!

This was also my mom's back in the day. A neat box of really colorful "grown-up" construction paper.

And I found more cards that I had completely forgotten about! The one with the photo is my cousin Stephanie and I who used to be best friends and were even college roommates. When we were younger I made Grandma this card for Mother's Day and sent it from Stephanie and I...maybe when we were away at college? I even wrote a silly poem.
The Santa and boy is an amazing drawing my mom did that I had never seen before and she also made the birthday cake with a removeable candle man.

And I found the graduation pamphlet from when my brother and I graduated highschool!! (I skipped a grade so we graduated the same year.) It was stuffed in a drawer...I hadn't even kept one for myself! But I've got it for the scrapbook now.

Ooooohhh...Moon Dreamers! I LOVED them when I was little little. These paper dolls were well played with probably by soley me. Most of their heads are torn off! But they'll be mended when I put them in my scrap book.
And my most coveted inheritance...The box of Disneykins!

My mom and her sister had gotten these on their trips to the grocery store in Long Island when they were kids. They were well played with and many broken by the time I started playing with them (I never broke one!). They were hidden away and I was usually too shy to ask for them when visiting grandma and grandpa so that my chances to play with them were rare and coveted. I told this to my grandmother several years ago and she said that I could have them one day. They are very much treasured once again! :)

My brother and his wife have been doing a lot of work with the house and my mom and I are going over again tomorrow. Who knows what else we'll find!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

No more carpet!

Thank you so much everyone for a great first Easter update! I know it was a bit early...but who can wait? There are still several cuties looking for great new homes if you happened to miss the update on Saturday. :)

And since Saturday, Ben and I have been working on our latest house project: the bedroom! We had painted the walls of our bedroom green when we first moved in and of course we set up our furniture and then hung a mirror...but other than that, it was basic and functional and worst of all...boring. And the worst worst part? The wall to wall carpet. Generally speaking I really despise wall to wall carpet, at least for my own living quarters. My dad thought I was crazy to rip it up. Afterall, it was new when we bought the house, it was great at hiding dirt, and it was soft on your feet. wasn't really that soft on your feet. It was kind of rough and the pattern and type of carpet it was reminded me of something that might be a hotel hallway or office building. Not very homey. And it was a little too good at hiding dirt...I didn't know where to clean or if it was clean and I was afraid to drop my clothes on the floor. Sigh...carpet...

Isn't it, ahem, beautiful? Ok...well it's not that terrible...but still. We have this carpet in all the other rooms upstairs, including the hallways. The rest will go in due time.

To be honest I had no idea what I would find when I pulled the carpet up. But I figured it wasn't good...afterall...people usually use carpet in old homes to cover up something unpleasant or ugly or nonfunctional. Of course when we first moved in I lifted a corner of carpet to peek underneath...and saw what looked like plywood. Uh oh. I figured I'd just have to see what was under the plywood and be prepared to install new wood floors if need be (soft pine instead of hardwood, since we have original pine floors in other rooms and shiney new perfect hardwood wouldn't go with the super worn and scratched patina of the staircase and floors below.
So, Ben and I pulled up the carpet and the yucky composite foam stuff and then started chipping away at the plywood with a screwdriver and hammer. But once I lifted the wood, I realized that it wasn't thick plywood as I had thought, it was super thin and super splintery luan. And I also realized that there were pretty descent softwood planks underneath it! Just what I was hoping for!! Ben and I lifted all of the luan and pulled out all of the nails and staples and were happy to finally see our new floor! It wasn't anywhere near perfect of course...there was one board in the middle of the room that had a chunk of wood missing that was about 3/4 of an inch wide running down the board. And under the smaller window, there was wood that had some top layer rot. Things other people would call deal-breakers...but not us!

I forgot to take enough before pictures...but before much, much sanding, the floors were all gray and a bit rough. After sanding, they were wood colored (kinda) and smooth.
Ben hemmed and hawed, but I convinced him that we needed to go white. I've always wanted white floors somewhere and this was the perfect place to do it! The boards weren't really good enough for staining (although if it's what we wanted to do, I wouldn't have let anything stop us). And paint would hide the imperfections, allow me to patch that big chunk that was missing in the middle with wood filler and smooth out the uneven boards that we sanded the rot off of and make the discolored floor uniform and clean and airy and bright.

And it's all of those things! It really transformed the room and turned it from dreary and office-like to cloud nine.

Paige approves!

And what else did we find under the layers of carpet, foam, and luan? A secret door! A yucky secret door...but who's complaining?

And look what we found in the secret door! Someone's old graduation pictures! They are old celluloid negatives of who knows who and who knows when? Pretty neat!
The little door probably just covered a hole where an old stove pipe ran through at one time, but I'm going to line it with wood and create a plank door that matches floor so we can hide things in there for fun. Yay!

All I have to do before Ben and I can move the furniture back in is apply a protective varnish and then add some shoe molding to cover the space left underneath the base boards. Can't wait to move back in and finally decorate! :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Easter Update!

Blue Ribbon Bunny - SOLD

If you're like me, you've been dreaming about spring. The crocuses emerging from hidden nooks of the garden, soft green grass to walk barefoot on, and bunnies, both real and not-real, inside the house and outside. Sigh....spring...
While I've been dreaming up all sorts of springtime scenarios, these little guys and gals have helped those daydreams come to fruition. I hope they help bring some early springtime cheer into your home as they have mine! :)

As usual, blog readers get first dibs on my new spun cotton one-of-kind figures. Click on photos to enlarge. If you see something(s) you love, just email me at and I'll let you know if they're still available. First come first served! I'll update ite
m statuses in this post as often as I can to make it easier for you to know what's available. Items often get scooped up quickly, so make your selection as swiftly as you can, you can always add available pieces to your order later. Also feel free to include second choices in case your first choice is unavailable, but make sure you label them "second choice".

Shipping is $3.50 for one item and $1 per additional item up to $6.50, then additional pieces are free. All paid orders will ship out on Tuesday (Monday is a holiday) and should arrive a few days afterward. I send Paypal invoices via email unless you specify that you'd rather pay via check. And of course email me if you have any questions! Happy Shopping!

Miss Butterfly - SOLD
The Chick Keeper (box with chicky inside) - SOLD
Sunflower Girl - SOLD

Oriental Egg Bunny - SOLD
Miss Costa Rican Spring - SOLD
Prima Ballerina - SOLD

Alexa Bunny - SOLD
Hatching Fairy - SOLD

Primrose - SOLD
Miss Sally Sparrow - SOLD
Bianca Blossom - SOLD

Miss Egg Garland - SOLD
Natalie the Elf - SOLD
The Bird Keeper - SOLD

Lilly Flower - SOLD
Easter Cheer Bunny - SOLD
Miss Pink Albino - SOLD

Miss Bring May Flowers - SOLD
Robin - SOLD
Silver Bunny - SOLD

Riding in a Shoe - SOLD

Miss Silvia Spring - SOLD
Miss Blooming Bunny - SOLD
Miss Billie Breeze - SOLD

Mary Contrary - SOLD
Chocolate Bunny - SOLD

Mr. Carrot - SOLD
Miss. Carrot - SOLD

Cabbage Patch Bunnies - SOLD

Cotton Tail Juggler - SOLD
Patches the Bunny - SOLD
Rose Bunny - SOLD

Penny Portrait - SOLD
Miss Charley Chick - SOLD
Miss Glenna Goose - SOLD

Sunnyside Bunny - SOLD
Henhouse Bunny - SOLD

Bunny Cart Rider - SOLD
Hatching Chick Rider - 60
(molded and hand-painted paper mache "carts")

Friday, February 17, 2012

Easter Update Preview...

All of the new characters are patiently waiting for their big debut tomorrow and all are hoping to hop into new homes. I'm always so excited to reveal new's like completing each one all over again, which in and of itself is a very satisfying feeling.

This lot has some interesting and one of a kind elements, like the girl in the blue bunny planter and wooden bunny cutout...these are vintage goodies that I had bought with the intention of adding to my own Easter display...but I knew they were meant for bigger and better things. I also found some vintagey goodies while I was in Costa Rica last summer...including the pink basket the girl in the lower left corner stands in and some of the deep deep pink ribbon roses. Who know I'd find such treasures in San Juan! I hope you enjoy them all as much as I do...

...and I hope I'll "see" you tomorrow morning at 11am EST sharp!

Looks like she's marching in the Easter parade. :)