Friday, August 3, 2012

Home Relocation and Restoration - Update

Hi Everyone, sorry for the delay in responding! It's been a hectic month at Casa CollectoratorToo! We took ownership of our new house on July 3rd and today August 3rd is the official last day of contractors for awhile! My bank account is very thankful! Believe it or not we almost got our main restoration wishes done in a month! If we hadn't had the garage flooding incident (more on that in a bit) then we might just be done!  My lack of posting about our progress is due to the push to get it all done quickly and still show up to work every day (almost every day). =)

I probably invested a little more than I should have in the kitchen restoration but given the amount of time I spend in there, it seemed the most logical place to spend money.  I'll highlight it in posts to come but the short list is as follows:
  • custom cabinet doors made so there would actually be doors going forward (as I am not the neatest person in my cabinetry due to over-collectorating this is important),
  • a new boomerang Formica counter top (totally not necessary as a laminate counter top was present in the house. I think, though,  I waited long enough to have a counter I really like instead of settling for apartment beige),
  • a new VCT floor to return the kitchen back to where it belonged in time instead of the dark modern  bachelor cave  it was when we moved in (it was stained black concrete now it's streaky grey and white VCT!),  
  • a new fridge that fits in the space (arrives next Wednesday!), and
  • paint (still working on that actually)
The library room is on it's way to being done as well. All the painting is complete, but I am still waiting the furniture to arrive and of course I need unpack and organize all of the books. We had a mantel built for it too which I will share more about in a later post.

The bedrooms all got a coat of paint and new closet insides. I am going to have to wait on adding closet doors (no there were not any when we moved in) as I am not really happy with any of my options at Home Depot/Lowes. I have to go shopping at the restore places to see if I can find something unique and "right" for each room before I'll cave to the "cheaper" options available. My husband built the closet insides which are basic, but it allows for maximum use of the space for clothes and shoes all of which my husband says I have too much of... pshaw...

The bathrooms received some repairs and more cabinetry door work done (again to add back in doors) but the aesthetics in there will come with time. Right now I am just enjoying their blue and pink goodness.

The family room or "big room" as we are calling it turned out to have the color I like the most of all the colors I chose, although it took three of us and two ladders to get it done! Right now it's functioning as the box/stuff staging area since the garage flood. Someday though it will function as the entertainment room flush with a pool table (to appease my  husband for all the work he's done on the remodel and heck yeah there is room for one), a bar, and the typical media center area including our record player. The ridiculous thing is that I think someday I'll have to get a bigger couch and tv since that room dwarfs everything. Right now it looks full but that's because of the mammoth wall of boxes and stuff that is in there now.

Lastly the other fairly large chunk of money we spent was on beginning to fix the garage and work on the drainage problem. Half way through the month of July we had a monsoon of a rainstorm which is not expected in the middle of July in Texas! Unfortunately, we had just moved the boxes into the garage for staging the day before. Because we still weren't living there, it took us a day to realize that oh hey the garage doesn't just leak it floods... I didn't take any pictures of the aftermath because I really do not want to remember this much longer but of course the boxes on the bottom of the stacks were not pottery and plastic... oh no, it was books (yes some vintage too) and my wicker under the bed box full of all of my pictures. Devastating. The good news is that the pictures, through a five day drying and crying out process, all seem to be more or less saved. I won't say they are in perfect condition still but you can still enjoy them. (I add the caveat of hopefully, they are all stacked back up in the wicker box which also survived and I haven't checked  on them in a couple of keep your fingers crossed). The books on the other hand are toast as I prioritized the pictures over the books. I'll have to make a list of the books and slowly rebuy them over time. At least for the most part I can do that.  The one thing that would not have been replaceable, my grandmother's handwritten cookbook, miraculously was fine... still not sure how, but I am counting those small victories as positive. So my husband has spent countless hours ever since tearing apart the back of the garage and rebuilding it like a fort becuase he was originally going to turn the room into his man cave which needs to not have waterfront property on the inside. Now we just have to wait for it to rain again and see what happens... We knew there was a "drainage problem" when we moved in, we just didn't know a river literally runs through it... I still have to work on the actual drainage problem but that involves more contractors and given it's August I think we can wait a little bit on that.

Regardless, we've recovered from the flood and we're forging ahead. More updates and details will be coming soon, but I'll leave you with this picture, which has nothing to do with the house.  The day we did the big move into the new house it happened to be our third year anniversary. In the middle of all what we had going on, my so very thoughtful husband, bought me this leather bag for the "leather" anniversary. It's a vintage bowling bag, but he thought I could use it as a traveling bag or to hold all my knitting and what not ....A collective awwww now is in order... Me on the other hand had to make up a connection of how my gift fit into the "leather" anniversary. I got him some really awesome cuff links (no connection but they were very him) and  a cool vintage  burnt orange dress shirt for UT game days. I used a Longhorn as my connection of the shirt to leather... LAME....queue up the Price is Right you didn't win sounds right about now... he loved it, but still comparatively I lose! The bag though is fab and it happens to have my initials on the back (well my maiden name initials but still how amazing is that?  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Library - Phase I

I have always loved to read. It probably stems from being an only child or the fact that my mom was a teacher and always had tons of books in the house. I always envisioned myself growing up to own a house big enough to have a library. Of course in my imagination it looked like something that belonged in a stately old Victorian mansion not a mid-century house. Nevertheless I am determined that I can create a hybrid somehow and make that dream a reality in our new house. It's going to take some doing but the front room of the house is the perfect space for a library. It's long and narrow and it can be closed off from the rest of the house and its not a room that we would use much otherwise.  The good thing is that with the appropriate furniture it would double as a formal sitting room should the need arise.

I've had a lot of time to plan the move since the time we decided to buy the house and when we were able to actually close on it so I've been thinking about this room a lot. I decided in order to make it a hybrid of my imagined library in a mid-century house it should include elements of both. Paneling would have been a nice compromise, but alas the only paneling in the house was in the dining room and it is now painted over... so the next best thing I could think of was to paint it a nice rich caramel color.

My husband decided that given it is a library, it should have leather surfaces upon which to read. To keep the mid-century vibe going and include some leather furniture, I decided upon some mid-century style new leather furniture from Haverty's. Normally I would prefer vintage over new, but with leather, newer is always better. There is nothing more off putting to relaxing than cracked dried out leather. Luckily Haverty's Contempo line is stylish and comfortable  I am getting the grey (pictured in the back) in order to go with the red accents I have planned for the room. I love the terra cotta color they have, but it is too orange for the room and would clash with the red. I already had two Billy Bookshelves from Ikea, but I plan to buy a few more to make walls of books. I'd like to someday find old lawyer-style bookcases with the glass fronts, but in the meantime the Billy shelves allow for corner bookshelves and are a dark deep color that should contrast with the wall color well.

So it came down to picking the caramel color for the wall... I tried a few different samples with differing shades of brown and gold but finally settled on Coco Rum from Behr as it seemed to go best with the other colors that will be in the room. 

I've started painting the walls now, but I forgot how long it takes to successfully paint a dark color. It's going to take a couple of coats to get it right. I only had a few hours actually paint yesterday, but I am making progress around the room. It's definitely a bold commitment, but I think with the furniture in the room, soft light from the lamps, and maybe an area rug it will end up being a perfect place to hide away and read.

The only thing missing from my ideal library will be a fireplace. Unfortunately this house did not have a fireplace but that was not a deal breaker. My favorite thing about a fireplace is the overall look of it so I hope to someday find a mantel or have one made so I can properly display my mantel clock and Christmas decor!

So Phase I of the library is begun. It'll be awhile before one can read in there but we are on our way! Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Coming Soon!!!!

Wow I just realized it has been MONTHS since I posted anything and I apologize for that...BUT I have been packing, planning and plotting like a mad person. You may recall in my last post that I had said we found a buyer for our house and that we were waiting for things to go through. Well all did go through, and I am happy to say  my house sold to my brother-in-law and his family! How lucky is that?? It could be that the fact my husband has such a large family made the odds better that someone from our family would buy it, but I like to think it was the universe directing things. For me, to let go of the first house I bought, I couldn't be happier that my niece is going to be living there, preserving what we did to it and making it hers.

I may have said it before when I started this blog, but I started packing way before I even had my husband convinced to move because I just felt like it was the right time. Well I couldn't have been more right...  A few days after we decided to pursue the path of family buying our house, CollectoratorOne stumbled upon a new for sale by owner house in her neighborhood. I had been looking exclusively in her neighborhood to fulfill our dream of living down the street from each other as we grow older. I drove by immediately and even in the dusk I felt it could be a potential. We looked at it shortly thereafter and even though we only looked at one other house, we thought it'd be hard to beat this one for us. We closed on it today so now it is home sweet home...well as soon as we get some things done and move in of course. I am really looking forward  to the end result though including many long evenings hanging out with CollectoratorOne! Who knows what kind of adventures will ensue when we live so close to one another!

The house is almost twice as big as our former house and the layout is perfect for being married to a musician! It was built in 1960 and sits on a corner lot. The last owner did some updating to it, but the original intent is mostly still there, but unfortunately not many original fixtures and small details like I had hoped. The bathrooms though retain their original tile, a pink one and a blue one thank you very much so I am satisfied at least with that! (Another pink bathroom is saved!!!) Thankfully there is also no granite to speak of, but we'll be changing the counter tops out anyway. The main thing that was changed was the flooring. All the original flooring is gone (most of which was carpet and so I should probably be thankful  for it being gone), and it was taken down to the concrete and stained. Although not my preference, its very well done and it is a nice dark color. So, for now, we are leaving it EXCEPT in the kitchen where it makes everything look just a little too manly in there.  I am re-formica-ing the counter, putting in VCT and getting glass pane cabinet doors added to show off my kitchen collections (oh yeah forgot to mention that they took all the cabinet doors off as well). These updates should girl-ify it up again!

Mostly I am excited to get started with the move in etc and will blog as I go... Here's a before picture of the outside of the house. We are eventually going to take the trim and facings back to the original color which I have learned was white. A nice red brick with white trim house... Love it! I should probably say it's also a before picture of the grass too because I am notoriously bad at keeping grass alive in the Texas drought! Stay tuned!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Warrenton 3/30/12 Aftermath

Well the live blogging from Warrenton didn't turn out to well, good idea in theory but turns out that you need good internet service on your cell in order to do that! Considering that the cell service is spotty at best I shouldn't have expected the internet cell service to be any better! oh well. I did score a few good things that I'll share soon. I was VERY good for me at Warrenton though given the move is pending... oh and it's really pending now! We found a buyer for our house and assuming it all goes well  in the option period, we will be feverishly looking for the next place! That means I have to finish PACKING!!! 

Check back soon for what I did let myself buy today!

Warrenton 3/30/12 12:00

Relaxacizor!!!! I am going to need this after the chicken salad sandwich I am going to have shortly!!

Warrenton 3/30/12 10:00

Fruit basket purse!!! Ha!

Warrenton 3/30/12 9:45am

Blogging live from the Warrenton Antique festival!

Spotted the cutie pies!!! Wish I could buy!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

All that Glitters is Gold! - Part1

Imagine me needing a part 1 and 2 to a blog post to feature a collection. This time though, it's not necessarily due to it's size as much as it's location. Half of my gold glitter plastic-ware collection is in one of those deep cabinets that has too many things in front of it to warrant me getting it down just yet. Never fear it will make an appearance eventually. After all, everything has to get packed up one way or the other!

For now, you'll have to settle for what was easily accessible and now packed up. My favorite in the part 1 collection is the Petite Hi-Snacks set made in Burbank California by the Alexander and Wilson Company. Frankly, I'd like to throw a party just with snack set trays. It'd be fun to see all the guests walking around trying to navigate their glass in the cup holder whilst piling their plate with yummy tidbits and trying to enjoy both at once. I am sure my dog would be following everyone around though waiting for the inevitable spills and drops. The more I think about it the more this party would be for him... hmmm.... I'll have to wait for a special birthday for him to warrant such a feast! In any case, these snack trays are marvelous, complete with their box. Funny, on the inside of the box it says....."do not use as ash trays"....hee hee

I also love the little coasters in their stand although I never understood how these make good coasters. Capturing water I am sure they do well, but they are not flat on the inside so setting a glass on the raised star designed seems to welcome a mess to come along. Nevertheless, they make a nice display. Rounding off part 1 of the gold glitter collection are much more sensible party food trays, and essential bar ware of a jigger and stir sticks. I'll admit I didn't pack the jigger. It is necessary for the perfect cosmo and since I have more time left here I might need a perfect cosmo or two to get through this process! In case you are wondering the cosmo is easy, but I'll warn you, I like it limey and not so cranberry-y:

CollectoratorToo's Perfect Cosmopolitan
1 large part vodka (overfill if it's a bad day)
1 small part fresh lime juice (I usually overfill that too)
1 small part triple sec, curacao or if you can't afford it cointreau is best (I am on a budget because of moving so it's triple sec for me!)
1 small part cranberry juice

Make a pitcher and serve up in a modern size martini glass with a game of skip-bo out in the sun room. Trust me you will have fun.

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Little Birdie Told Me...

...that today is my husband's 50th birthday! Whooo! And he is so sweet that he got ME a present on his birthday. I knew I was right to marry him. =) He got me this birds in flight set that goes really well with our furniture and other bird prints in the bedroom. I think this was his way of acknowledging that even in the new house he's not going to win the "what goes on the walls in the bedroom" battle. 

See I love birds, not in that crazy Alfred Hitchcock way, but so much that I have a hard time turning down a good vintage bird print or figurine when I see it! So needless to say you can find a bird or two or three in just about every room in the house. This new birds in flight set will go nicely with my other wooden birds in flight set that CollectoratorOne gave me as a present awhile back. These are really superb. Navy blue to go with my blue glass topped furniture, and they are wood! How cool is that?

And if that isn't enough bird watching for you, CollectoratorOne found me a 1952 chartreuse Claire Learner bowl (finally!) for Christmas, and it came with an egret figurine to boot. It also makes a really nice home for my other Claire Learner bird figurine which has needed a home for a very long time...

All of the birding is very apropos because it has been in the news lately that two families of whooping cranes have decided to make Granger Lake their home for the winter, which is just right up the road a piece from our fair city. Of course I am dying to see a bird that is as tall as me, but they are discouraging people from flocking out there...hee hee... Apparently they flew to Aransas, Texas from Canada as usual but decided the foodstuffs were better in central Texas. Apparently we are becoming more of a foodie town than I thought! =) Anyway, I'll settle for seeing them on the news, and looking at all the birds around my for now. Of course, now I just have to pack up the new additions to my nest but I am happy to welcome them home. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cocktails Anyone???

I've always wanted a bar cart, I don't know why really. I don't ever really have the need to cart barware anywhere, but maybe I just imagine retiring to the sun room with CollectoratorOne and our gal pals for an intense game of Skip-Bo and cocktails whilst my husband carts in fresh cocktails to us. Positively decadent. The room would be nautical and star inspired and would be filled with Alamo and Gilmer pottery, and of course we'd be wearing appropriate matching attire! Can you just imagine?? I figured for this scenario to ever have a likelihood of happening I would need  a bar cart. God knows I have enough Alamo and Gilmer pottery to make it happen!

There was a bar cart for sale for the longest time at our favorite antique store here in Austin, and I hemmed and hawed about it for too long and then it was gone.  I did manage to snag the glasses from it, which did not match at all and now I use for my everyday glasses.  The cart had four cutouts for glasses, and every time I bought four glasses, I'd go back and for awhile and there were four more until it was gone! I always wonder were12 glasses all of the glasses or were there more????

Finally one day, CollectoratorOne happened upon another bar cart for me. She did the best collectorating friend thing one can do and told me to come there right now and buy it, which I thankfully did... The one I passed up was nice, but no doubt but this one was perfect for me. Gold...stars...rolls nicely, what more could one ask for?

We still have to figure out how to get my dream scenario to happen with the husband carting in cocktails, and oh and I still need the sun room, but at least I have the cart. It's a start!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow Snowflake Bar-ware

I am digging deep in my memory trying to remember where I got my set of snowflake bar-ware. I think it was probably one of those collections that I pieced together over time because the memory is just not coming back. Either I've killed off a memory cell or two using these glasses with adult beverages, or I am getting old. Neither sounds very promising.... In any case, I packed the snowflake pilsners, high balls, collins and shot glasses above and left out the cocktail glasses below. So I guess I am relegating myself to cocktails for the rest of my tenure at this house. Not too bad of a deal, I'd say.

Thankfully then I have three sets of cocktail glasses! My favorite are the etched deco glasses, but I have no idea who made them or when but they are awesome. Another set I use as cocktail glasses is the Libbey Silver Leaf Sherbert glasses. They hold larger 4 oz cocktails and champagne as well, and they have a nifty pitcher that matches!  I also lucked out and found a set to match the snowflake barware which I use most often.

The thing I love about vintage cocktail glasses is they are the correct size! 3oz! Unlike in  today's world of 5oz to 6oz cocktails, back then they drank in sensible portions. Granted it was usually pure alcohol in their concoctions so it's probably better that it was only 3 oz!  But the idea was to drink the drink fast while the cocktail was still ice cold. I think I'll be using these a lot to get through the move!