Tag Archives: antique mall finds

Wee House

Krista found this small wooden sign at the Lighthouse Antique Mall in Olympia, and both of us instantly thought “OH! We need that!” It is nestled between an old toy typewriter & one of our many favorite pictures of Levi. We don’t have a truly tiny house, but it often feels wee. Especially when there’s a cat-dog tornado tearing through the place….

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New Skills

This was our dining room when we moved in. First, we eliminated the maroon trim, the pale green walls and the hanging blinds covering the door. Our next order of business has been finding a light fixture to replace that perfectly functional and perfectly hideous light up there. My dad is right: it’s wasteful to replace a perfectly good light fixture, but we’ll be donating it to a good cause, and we replaced it with a recycled/reused fixture (i.e. no new carbon footprint). I don’t think he ever reads this blog, but you can tell him for me. You are right, Dad.

I mentioned a few days ago that we were spending hours searching all of the webs for new light fixtures, but we haven’t been able to find something we both love and adore. Both of us really wanted an antique fixture. This weekend, we drove to Tacoma to shop (not in the Black Friday way). There’s an area in downtown Tacoma (Broadway) that is lined with antique shops. We spent several hours checking out each store without much luck. We were about to call it a night, but decided to check out the only store we hadn’t been to yet. I’m glad we perservered, because we found an industrial/commercial grade farm fixture from the 1940s for a wonderfully low price (which became even lower with some bargaining). The dealer told us it had been salvaged from a small, old farm.

It’s the perfect combination of everything we were looking for, and neither of us could be more pleased. I will readily admit that I get a little uncertain when it comes to tackling house projects. I’m always afraid we’re going to start a fire or break something expensive (my two worst house fears, clearly).

There is a process we go through for each project:
1. google research/book reading 2. collaborative brainstorming. 3. visit the hardware store. 4. call my dad. 5. decide to trust your gut and just go for it.

Most of the time this process works quite well, actually. And my courage was bolstered after reading some words of support on a blog, Making It Lovely. Nicole and Brandon changed six light fixtures! Certainly we can do one!

There’s always a “hold your breath and jump” moment. This time, that moment was when Krista grabbed the electrical wires. They stick out of the ceiling in an ominous fashion! They transmit deadly voltage! We used a voltage tester to be sure they weren’t live, but I still panicked! (Viva la neurosis.) And of course, everything was fine, and the light fixture is now brilliantly attached with all the skills of Krista’s secret inner electrician.

When we left the store, carrying the new light fixture, the guy said, “You know, you could have a bar fight and that light wouldn’t break.” That’s exactly the sort of durability we’re looking for.

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exit night enter light

OH GLORIOUS DAY! We’ve killed all the cardboard boxes in the living room & kitchen, so now there’s a little space/time to “cute up” the place. Getting through the cardboard has been a challenge – we’ve divided it into “good reusable boxes” that we plan to give to someone in need of cardboard boxes, and “end of the line boxes” that are then further divided into boxes for the compost pile and boxes for the recycling bin. Good thing we’re staying in this house for a while, because the cardboard guilt is a little overwhelming! Yes, it’s the year 2009 and you have to think about the carbon footprint of your cardboard moving boxes. We reused some friends’ boxes, so many of them were already on their 2nd or 3rd or 4th life. I discovered something interesting, too. Using sheets of cardboard on top of the worm bins and the compost bin has resulted in total annihilation of all flies and pests around our compost areas. The cardboard breaks down and you can just work it into the pile. (but, from experience, don’t forget to remove all the tape and staples first!)

Anyway, enough compost nerdery. We’ve been working on our home. Here’s a photo of our entryway during our home inspection (Featuring our beloved Home Inspector)

And Krista has had a nice weekend of free time to work on the house, so here’s the entryway I come home to after work these days. This tableau includes my latest obsession: a vintage paint by number portrait of two standard black poodles. I can’t explain why I’m so obsessed with this painting, but it shows up in my dreams! Seriously! I spent a year debating whether or not to buy it from a local antique mall, and finally Krista said “JUST DO IT!”

We also have a fantastic print (“Space Garden”) from Apak!’s etsy shop and two vintage needlepoint gnomes from an antique mall in south Tacoma with a mysteriously large gnome population. Oh, you want to see the gnomes more closely? Fantastic! Because I want to show them to you.

Perhaps someday soon we will take some photos of our living space, and the beautiful giant empty space in the middle of the room that used to be filled with unpacked boxes. We have so much to be thankful for this year!

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