Monday, June 27, 2011

A Hodgepodge of Work

June has been a very busy month for us. Nothing huge got completed. We did do a little bit here and a little bit there though.

Every weekend since Memorial Day has either been filled with family obligations, rain or very humid weather. So really no change on the back sidewalk, other than yesterday. I spent a couple hours in the afternoon digging out the grass in the area where the sidewalk will be.

I finished painting the Twilight Room... I just need to get in there and take some pictures now. It rained for days after I finished painting it so I used those days to move some furniture in and unpack some boxes.. which means it's now a mess and not ready for pictures.

Yesterday morning I spent about an hour weeding our front walk. It's something that kept getting ignored because everyone knows to use our back door, not the front. So the sidewalk has been unseen and forgotten. It looks a lot nicer now... like someone actually lives here. I'm too embarrassed to show a picture of what it looked like before! Yea, it's nothing special now and will be replaced sometime in the future, but at least it's not overgrown anymore. While I was weeding I did get to enjoy a little show. I heard a ton of sirens at the end of the street and a couple seconds later about 15 state police motorcycles came down the street, followed by about 10 EMS motorcycles. Then about 50 (most likely more) more motorcycles came down the street. It was a huge motorcycle parade. Not sure where they were going. One guy's motorcycle broke down right in front of our house, so he and a bunch of his friends were out there for awhile trying to fix it. In the end another guy came and loaded the bike into his truck.

We've also been working on the drywall in the Kitchen (good rainy day work). Because everything is so un-level in the house it's tough to work on the drywall... do we make it straight or do we keep it un-level like everything else? The sanding is the worst thing in the world.. sanding takes place on the weekends, but during the week I need my Kitchen to cook in. Which means that I have to move everything out of the Kitchen on the weekends and then back in on Monday morning. It's getting old.

We also finally chose our Kitchen floor, which is exciting! Hopefully we'll be buying that soon!

I've also been busy doing some unpacking. And by unpacking I mean filling up the Twilight Room closet with all of my office stuff. I came to the conclusion yesterday that I don't think I'll ever in my life need to purchase any pens or pencils.. I have more than enough for a small country.

We also discovered why the Kitchen fireplaces turns into a waterfall every time it rains. Turns out the cover over the chimney broke during the winter and has a huge huge hole in it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tag Sale Scores

Today my mom and I went around to a bunch of local tag sales. I love tag sales. Always have. But I think I love them even more now that I have a big old house to fill up. 

The first sale we went to was an estate sale that happened to be on my street. It was an early 1800's house, and everything in the house was basically from the late 1800's to mid 1900's. They had a really cool barn with a lot of old tools and farm equipment, but I mainly focused on everything inside the house. I spent only $40 and got: 
Two pewter dishes, one copper dish and a pack of old sewing pins

 A big envelope of old, unused stamps

An early 1900's Winnie the Pooh book

A Presidential Inauguration invitation for Ronald Reagan
 A beautiful Hitchcock arm chair and matching side table (which folds up) 
We then drove up to Wethersfield and went to an "estate sale" in the historic part of town. I had looked up the address and saw that it was a center chimney house like ours, so I was really interested in seeing it. When we got there, it wasn't an estate sale in the true sense of the word. It was just a regular tag sale, with not that much stuff. I spent $2 and got a small metal tin full of cotter pins and a small glass jar that is empty but is from Keene, NH, so that made me want it. But the best part was that when my mom asked if this was it and there wasn't anything in the house, we brought up how I live in a center chimney and one thing lead to another and pretty soon we were given a tour of the house. It was about 25 years older than house, but was in pretty good shape. Not as wide (deep?) as our house, the funeral door had been removed, a couple small additions were added and the fireplaces weren't as tall, but it's still cool to be in another center chimney!
Next door to the center chimney was a tiny tiny little tag sale, but we actually ended up buying a lot. The owner of the house home schools, so my mom bought a ton of books for her classroom. I spent $1.75 and bought:
Two barbecue cookbooks for Ryan
A patriotic wooden tray that I had to have for my Kitchen as soon as I saw it!
A workbook to learn French for when we have kids someday (It was too cute to pass up!)

A little bit further down the street was another old house having a huge tag sale to support the local softball team. There I spent $2.25 and got:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
A Dairy-Free Cookbook
 The Green Mile by Stephen King
A double boiler for melting chocolate (I got the apothecary jars at a consignment shop later in the day for $3.50)

Then we were off to Farmington for the tag sale that started this whole idea. My mom heard on the radio that a condo complex was having a huge tag sale and so she really wanted to go (and then I found all of the other ones online). Out of all of the tag sales all day, the condo complex was kind of a disappointment.. but we still got a couple good things.
This old map of New England for $5 (which I thought was pretty overpriced compared to my other deals of the day.. but whatever. It'll look nice matted and framed in my Living Room).
The only other thing I got was this bag of organic stuffing/batting for $1. My mom bought a couple things... but like I said, overall, not as great as we thought it was going to be. (I got the mandolin slicer at a later tag sale for $0.50 (or free because my mom paid for it).)

After a quick break for lunch (tag sales end at 2 or 3.. we only had time for the drive thru!), we headed back to Berlin. The first tag sale we saw what we wanted before we even parked the car.
A rocking chair that matched the arm chair I bought earlier in the day! It had two really ugly cushions on it, covering up how pretty it is, which is probably how it lasted so long at the sale! It was sitting right by the road too. I don't even think I looked at anything else these people were selling. I got the chair for $25 (and the guy even threw in the cushions!). We actually ended up needing the cushions though because the chair was too big to fit in my mom's trunk or back seat, so we had the trunk open and I used the strings on the cushions to tie it down (it still scared me though and my mom drove really slow). Luckily we were close to my house at this point. We went to one more tag sale the next street over before heading back to my house to drop the chair off.

This tag sale had a huge blanket filled with Beanie Babies. I used to be obsessed with Beanie Babies (ok.. maybe I still am.. but not as in I buy them constantly.. just as in I can't get rid of them!). A quick glance told me that there were a lot of Beanies on this blanket that were worth some money, so I quickly grabbed them up.
Patti, Cubbie, Quackers, Peanut, Mystic, Happy and Chocolate. All for $1.50. Well, technically I guess $0.50 because my mom gave me $1.
Also got Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King for $0.25.

After dropping off the chair it was only 2:00 and we weren't ready to stop yet. So we decided to just drive around and find tag sales based on signs. We drove to Middletown and finally found what my mom had been looking for all day: a cheap ($7) playpen (for the chicks because they're too big for their cage now). For $2, I got:
A cute mason jar with a bicentennial (1776-1976) logo on it
A cast iron skillet (I've always wanted one to cook with but this one might only be for decoration.. unless I can clean it really well) (This skillet, by the way, is worth about $80. And I got it for $1.)
And my mom got me this for my office for $2. It looks similar to one I've been eying at Pottery Barn..
One more to go. This one had a ton of stuff.. and since it was toward the end of the day the lady was basically giving it all away (once she heard my mom was a teacher she gave her basically all of the holiday decorations for free).. For $5 I got...
 Two Better Homes and Gardens Cookbooks (Casseroles and Hamburger/Ground Meat Recipes)
 A cute basket (tall, like for magazines)
 Some apple/pinecone garland (hard to see in the picture, but I love it! Very country!)
 Three Beanie Babies
A cute chicken box I love chickens!
An interesting box that she said is at least 100 years old. It definitely looks at least that old. And it has a really cool old leather handle. I'm planning on using it somewhere in my Kitchen I think. She wanted $5 for the box, so basically I got everything else for free.

All of my tag sale purchases (plus the jars from the consignment shop) totaled $88.25. Not bad for 3 pieces of furniture, 5 cookbooks, 2 regular books, and a bunch of other treasures (and stuff I can re-sell online for even more!)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Craigslist Finds

Since we bought the house I have been searching through Craigslist every couple days... looking for antiques or other old items that would fit in the house, or maybe some cheap furniture I could restore. My first find happened the day before we closed on the house. I found the coffee table that matches our Living Room set (which Ikea discontinued). When we moved into our apartment I bought a Markor bookcase, 1 end table and the TV stand. Without any notice, Ikea discontinued the series.. one day it was there, the next, gone. I was pretty upset because I was planning on buying more bookcases, the coffee table and 1 more end table once we moved. They're traditional looking and made of real wood, not particleboard, like some Ikea stuff.

Anyways.. I found the coffee table listed for $100. I got it for $75. It was originally $225 I believe. And it was in perfect condition... I love it! It has a drawer in front, which is awesome for storing random stuff.
(Not my picture)
My next great Craigslist find was this past weekend. Sunday night I was bored and was playing around on Craigslist while R was watching the Bruins game. I like looking through the "Free" section.. it's amazing what some people try to pass off on other people for free. I found a listing for a free sheet of drywall. In our town. The ad was about a week and a half old, but I emailed the guy just in case. I heard back from him the next morning (Memorial Day). Turns out it was still available. My dad's friend was already at our house letting us use his big pickup truck and he didn't mind making one more little side trip. Best part? Turns out Mr. Free Drywall lives on our street!! PERFECT! And the drywall is almost enough for the little project in the Kitchen (We've decided to drywall over the wood posts in the Kitchen that are destroyed). YAY! And the sheet is in pretty good condition too. Score one for Craigslist!