Friday, July 27, 2012

Stove Update #3

I've had a few people ask me about my stove project lately, so I thought it was due for an update! For those of you new to the blog, last summer (about a year ago) my modern oven door just fell off and shattered in the middle of the night. Long story short, I took advantage of the opportunity to fulfill my long-held desire to acquire a vintage stove.

My stove as it sat in the seller's basement.

I bought a 1950 Westinghouse double oven off of Craigslist. (For you I Love Lucy fans, this is the same stove she has on the show. Why? Because Westinghouse sponsored the Lucy show.) It worked and was in good shape, but once we got it home it was clear that the wiring needed to be totally replaced. 

 I started that project last fall and as the weather got colder we moved the stove from the garage to the basement and my husband took it over.

Ever try carrying a 300 lb. steel and porcelain appliance down a flight of stairs? :) But the good part about that was that we could set it up near our electric panel to test it before moving it upstairs.

Once the re-wire job was complete, my brother, an electrician, came over and drew a 220 V line directly from our electric panel and hooked it to the stove. See the 4 wires coming off the panel? Best to leave that job to the professionals!

It's alive! All four burners, both ovens and broilers live again.

Even the 120 V circuits for the lighting and outlets work. 

The funny thing was, all this was happening around dinner time and I had to cook dinner. I had some summer squash and tomatoes and onions to saute and went about my usual prep work and put the pan on my existing stove (which still works, it just doesn't look pretty). I turned on the burner and went about starting something else- it took me about five minutes before I realized the veggies weren't cooking! 

Apparently, my brother had taken the existing 220 line from our working stove and jumped it onto the project stove right about then. I had no power at all to the modern stove. So I promptly took my pan down the basement and plopped it on the project stove to "test" the burners. I don't think our basement ever smelled so good!

My husband makes his first appearance on the blog showing off his wiring and cooking skillz...

My next step is to take the chrome pieces to be re-chromed. (We were waiting to make sure it worked before embarking on that considerable expense.) Then we will need to cut our countertops out in the kitchen to make room for the wider stove- will probably have to get new countertops as a result. I can't wait to show you the finished project- we're getting there!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eagle Eye strikes again!

Yesterday my son Jayson (aka Eagle Eye) and I had dentist appointments to get fillings. He is only 7 years old and this was the first time for him- he didn't know what to expect- so I promised him we'd do something fun afterwards to help him get through it. It turned out that we both had such small cavities that we didn't even need novocaine and it was really quick and painless (and we have a great dentist!).

So what do we do when we need a little R&R (and have a lot more time to kill than we expected?) We went thrifting! He has really been bugging me lately to let him buy some things for resale- he's very motivated to make some money for himself and wants to do what I do (Yay!) Besides, he has a knack for picking out good stuff- he's got the eye...

This was the first thing we spotted when we walked in to the store- a fez! I've wanted one of these forever and this one was really nice. And it was only $5! Woo-hoo!

This was Eagle Eye's first pick of the day. It's a large dried blowfish. (Of course, he's a 7 year old boy!) On it's own, it's not worth a lot more than the $2.50 he paid for it, but we are going to put a light bulb in it and turn it into a tiki bar lamp. It should be worth a bit more after that!

This strong box caught both of our eyes. Me for the box and his for the contents... 

Yes, there were about 1000 pom poms, pipe cleaners and googly eyes in it (and now all over the floor...) Lots of kids craft projects, plus a cool new toolbox for mom for $4.50.

Of course, we found something for his collection of wood slice plaques. This one is huge (like 18-20" tall) and hand-painted.

 Since we had such good luck at the first store, we decided to try our luck at the local Sally Ann. I have written before about how this store can be hit-or-miss, and this time it was a hit.

Eagle Eye actually spotted this, and picked it up before I even got to it. He has no idea who Elsa Schiaparelli is, of course, and it's just pure talent, I guess, that made him pick it up :)

It is a stocking box, and there were stockings in it, but not Schiaparelli ones. And someone did write with a ball point pen "no heel or toe" on the box, but it's still worth the $1.50 we paid.

The stockings inside are NOS, and were a bonus- if they don't fit me, they're headed for my Etsy store, and the profits will go to Jayson. Curiously, these were stuck in with the housewares; my guess is that the employees had no idea what they had. (But Eagle Eye did!)

We also picked up this game of Risk for $1. It's a very early version and has great graphics. I've never played it, but I've been buying all the old board games I can find lately. They're cheap fun and make good decorative items as well.

I also snagged these blue mason jars for 99 cents each. One has the original zinc lid, too. 

I was excited to find them for this price- at the other thrift stores even regular clear mason jars are in the $2-$3 range, and blue ones-way more! I'm not sure why- you can still buy the clear ones new by the case in every grocery store for $7 a dozen. Do people really think that canning is so old-fashioned that even plain clear jars are 'antique'? I mean, I'll pay up to $2 for blue ones, but the clear ones, really? Anyway, that was our thrift adventure for the week- stay tuned for more treasures from Eagle Eye!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tea for Two (or 14)

I've decided to do some de-cluttering and move out some of the things I've been holding onto for a long time. I have had these cup and saucer sets for a while, some I inherited, some I bought. But my tastes have changed and it's time for them to find new loving homes. And lets face it, with two small kids running around, these are a pile of china shards waiting to happen. 

So, here are some of my favorites before we say goodbye:

Flow blue Art Nouveau-style Luneville.

*le sigh*    Teeny tiny Limoges demitasse cup with dragonfly handle.

Holiday-themed Austrian porcelain.

Farewell, friends. I hope you go to a loving cottage in the garden and are truly enjoyed with tea and scones.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Burning Ring of Fire (aka The Tiki Pond Project)

I've mentioned a few times lately about the pond project we've been working on. Well, it's time to show it off! It's about 95% done, with only a few small things left to do, so here it is.

We had been talking about putting in a pond for years. We always wanted a water feature for our yard (I made a patio fountain last year, but that was a tiny project) and love fish and frogs, so figured we'd do it eventually. My son Jayson really started pestering for it this spring, so we got started on it Father's Day weekend.

We had a nice flat spot in our yard just below our existing patio area that was a good location. While it may look like the whole family helped, really it was just Jay and Jayson that did the digging- all by hand. Jayson really helped a lot and he deserves as much credit as anyone for getting it done.

Here it is all dug out. At this point we needed to put in a liner. Problem was, Jay did not have any sort of plan (which is typical, isn't it?) for the shape of the pond, and dug it out without planning based on available liner sizes. So we had to order one off the internet in a custom size after the hole was in the ground. You can only imagine what that might cost to ship, since it weighed almost 75lbs.... Thankfully we didn't have any rain before the liner arrived.

With the liner in, we had to build up the side with rocks to create the waterfall. That was more difficult that in might seem, because we don't have a lot of large rocks laying around. And they are surprisingly very expensive to buy from a landscape place. So we went down the road and asked a guy that has an excavating and topsoil business if we could have some off his refuse pile. He agreed and it worked out great, except for the 10-12 trips the boys had to take with my small car's trunk filled with rocks (#@#%!) The waterfall box and tubing we got for free from a guy Jay knows with a pond- he wasn't using it and gave it to us.

We added a small seating area with leftover pavers we had from the original patio. I also pulled some aquatic plants out of a nearby boggy area in our neighbor's field to get things started. The boys took a net down to a nearby farm pond and brought back some native fish as well.  A pond is not cheap to put in, but we tried to be as thrifty as possible (except for the liner deal!)

We ended up ordering a second pump for a fountain because we were having an algae problem. I guess this is common in new ponds, but once the pump with the fountain and UV light was running, it cleared up. We also got a truckload of river rock to fill in the area around the patio and pond. We added some landscaping plants that we divided from others in our yard, like hosta. And last week, the fabulous MaryDeluxe, a pond pro, came for a visit and brought us some water plants out of her pond. They all look great now!

I added a couple of tiki touches, like the torches and plastic flamingos. The new pump also came with an underwater light which we put a red lens on to look like a volcano. I think this really looks cool at night and will be on the hunt for some outdoor tiki statues now!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm still alive!

It's been crazy busy around here. I've been doing a lot of trumpet playing and running around with the kids. We put in a pond at our house too (more about that later!) And MaryDeluxe came for a visit and we are hatching a plan to take over the world...(shhh- you didn't hear that...) I've totally neglected the blog and I hope there are still some folks following me!

I did find some good stuff lately. It's been way too hot for yard sales but the local flea market was going strong last time I was there and I found something I've been looking for for a while.

A spaghetti lamp! I've actually wanted one of these to hang like a swag lamp, but this is a floor lamp with two globes. I may separate one into a hanging lamp (should be easy) but then again I may keep it as-is. The pole part is in rough shape; it would have to be painted to use it. I know these sometimes go for crazy prices online, so I'm tempted to resell it since it was only $10! What do you all think? 

As my kids are getting old enough to understand geography, I'd been wanting to get a vintage globe to show them other places around the world. When I sell something overseas in my Etsy store it is neat to be able to show them where the package is going. I've seen some globes here and there, but nothing really old or interesting. The holy grail as always a light-up one, and.....

... ta da! I found one! 

Thanks to my friend who is cleaning out her mother's house (same one as in the Giant Lamp) I got to go over and get a sneak peak at some of the furniture they're going to get rid of. Hopefully those will pan out in the future, but I got to take this globe home with me today. I think it's from about 1949/50, because Alaska and Hawaii are both states, but Korea is still one country. I love love love this and even my husband agrees that it's a keeper- which is a rare thing indeed!