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Toy Giraffe Tuesday: Maisie, Her Giraffe, And Late 1940s-50s Vintage Toddler Dress

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vintage baby dress and toy giraffe

Ever since R bought that 2.5 ft toy giraffe for her birthday, she’s been OBSESSED with it.

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Today it hit it’s pinnacle: she refused to eat or go anywhere without it. She cried every time you took it away, even for a minute.

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We haven’t named it yet, but she calls it “G’affe”.

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Today’s outfit is a late 1940s-early 1950s vintage baby dress I found on eBay. It is made of cotton and dotted swiss. I adore retro baby dresses- the quality and construction (and price) can’t be beat! I should have ironed it, but I have no time for that.

I really wonder how my grandmother dealt with 4 daughters and all those dresses to iron! I know people say that they ‘sprinkled the dresses with water’, but the details are sketchy. One of my friends showed me how to iron puffed baby sleeves and it is kind of like those Imelda Marcos butterfly sleeved Filipino dresses.

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it’s poor neck gets a lot of twisting

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the giraffe gets more kisses than we do!

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non-giraffe shot

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more G’affe kisses

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Part 12 of the Dumpster Diaries: NO MAJOR CLOSET RENOVATION HAPPENING- but We Got the Ghetto Walk In Closet Installed!

11880343_10153244967374024_8626816994711455902_n 11233773_10153244967354024_7552789740213235370_nI have to say: I am getting burnt out.

This has been the theme song for the kitchen to closet renovation:

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He had a hard time with the gas line- it was so old that the valve took a lot of work to shut off

We decided NOT to do a full redo on the closet… for a couple of reasons:

1. We’re freaking TIRED of living like this
2. We have no place to put our clothes
3. We discovered that our kitchen sink lines are SO OLD upstairs that there’s no turn off valve for the water!!!  The main also is difficult to turn off and we don’t need the additional cost right now of a plumber.
4. We are going to do a REAL redo of the upstairs bathroom and this old kitchen NEXT YEAR and gut the entire thing- enlarging the existing bath and redesigning the walk in closet.

Anyway, so ghetto closet renovation is what we ended up with!

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My friends graciously came and removed the appliances, plus an old airconditioner and toaster oven- which was a great relief! I dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed the disgusting walls and floor… then we put down a large, almost new area rug that the neighbors didn’t want.

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here is the BEFORE- just to remind everyone

Of course, while putting up the closet system, ANOTHER thing went wrong when we discovered (or remembered) that the house’s chimney runs along the corner where the closet was going up. Luckily, he worked that out.

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A closet full of vintage fiesta ware in my pantry- yeah, my closet has a closet

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how disgusting is this? What it looked like after appliances left

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after washing walls and floors, he unrolls rug to cover the ancient linoleum

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Maisie in beast mode!

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helping Daddy install closet system

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Maisie checking out the new room

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the install

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the corner is where the house’s chimney is- and where we momentarily ran into trouble

AFTER!!

AFTER!!

Tomorrow I have to hang clothes, do laundry, put away stuff, bring makeup up, etc. R is back at work til Wednesday, so the big stuff will have to wait til then.


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Vintage Pink Depression Glass and Homemade Peanut Butter Cookies

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yummy homemade peanut butter cookies on a pretty garage sale depression glass plate

I actually have a ton of Dumpster Diary posts I am working on, because we’ve been SO busy with the back room and upstairs kitchen into closet redo, but I have yet to finish them. I’ve been way too tired til now to even blog. I am taking a wee break right now while baby sleeps to catch my breath and check my email, so I decided to post.

The other day my mom and I went to some rummage sales. I found a GORGEOUS circa. 1935-1938 Pink Depression Glass plate in perfect shape for $3! It was in the Princess pattern by Hocking. I usually don’t go for glassware of any sort (even my drinking glasses are utilitarian antique Mason Ball jars from my parents’ barn), but it was so pretty. I could definitely see cookies on it in my mind’s eye. Yeah, I know I don’t need more STUFF, but I needed a break for a few hours from this house.

C and I made/froze peanut butter cookie dough the day the stove went off. The recipe was amazing- you can find it HERE. They tasted like bakery cookies and were so easy to make.

Anyway, that’s my post and my pic… back to work for me now!

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Ok, Part 5 of the Dumpster Diaries: One step forward, two steps back… the back room AND upstairs kitchen today

I am just going to call this ‘part 5’, no point in getting OCD about it at this point…

As we were cleaning/tossing out/removing things from the back room, we realized that we had no place to put the clothes and dressers unless we cleaned out the upstairs kitchen… so he went upstairs and removed some of the bigger pieces of furniture. It’s still not empty upstairs, but it’s much better. We have a friend coming to haul the appliances away tomorrow (hopefully).

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yeah, it’s looking trashed again… but it’s actually more organized than before

I know we’re making progress, but I cannot help but feel like we’re taking 2 steps back for every step forward.

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Me: “Why haven’t you thrown away that old leather chair?!” R: “I didn’t know you wanted to throw it away” Yeaah- it’s ALL GOTTA GO!!

The back room is back to being a jumbled mess again. We emptied boxes, threw away at least 10 garbage bags worth of clothing from that room. I still have MORE CLOTHES to go through, believe it or not.

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oh… THAT’S where this pair of Louboutins went… *sighs*

it's incredible what one can find in here

it’s incredible what one can find in here

The upstairs kitchen lost antique Hoosier cabinet things, plus a round oak table, and some vintage enameled kitchen tables. At some point R put some plastic shelves up. He is now thinking about buying one of those modular wire closet systems from Lowes, but I think it’s too early for that yet. I need to figure out what to do with all of my Fiesta ware (most of it vintage) and the rest of the actual kitchen stuff that I no longer use. At one time we used both kitchens- don’t ask me why.

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the plastic shelf is new most of this crap needs to GO

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SPILLING into my bedroom now, yikes.

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view from my bed- the closet room transformation will take longer- but we need to focus on just getting a place to PUT our clothes so that we can renovate the back room

The most important part at this point is TO FILL THAT DUMPSTER UP. We need to throw away as much as we can-

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going to have someone haul away the appliances

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oh hey- Trixie, my dress dummy, and my vintage linens. On the floor is my old sewing machine. I have a new one still in the box somewhere.

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part of my (mostly) vintage fiesta collection. I need to do something about this

We’ve decided to keep the dumpster for a few days longer, at least, to ensure everything gets tossed that needs to.

Laundry was started and I need to fold things, but am too tired to go down the flights of stairs to the basement to retrieve the clean things tonight. I am doing huge loads of whites and I probably should go to the store to find blue-ing (it makes yellowed linens a sparkling white), because I ran out.

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Part 3 of the Dumpster Diaries: The Upstairs Kitchen is a pain in the ASS and there’s now a BAT in the Basement

If you’re just seeing this post for the first time, parts 1 and 2 are here and here.

I live in a 102 yr old house that is long on rooms (7 bedrooms) and short on closet space. It was divided into 2 apartments around 1929 (hello Great Depression) and we’re the first single family to dwell in the house since then. As a result, I have an upstairs kitchen that I really don’t need and a downstairs one. I have an old servant’s bedroom off of the downstairs kitchen that I use as my ‘closet/clothing room’. I need to gut that room and turn it into another office/studio space for my oldest son… and eventually a playroom/tv room for Maisie when he leaves. My master bedroom is directly off of the upstairs kitchen. I want to turn that space into my clothing room. Currently, it is a storage room for forgotten furniture and junk.
 
Woke up at 11:30 am, not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed… not long after we’d woken up and I’d given the baby her breakfast, people started showing up out of the blue on my porch.

the first batch of Maisie's callers today... this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

the first batch of Maisie’s callers today… this girl has a far busier social life than I ever could!

We had about 10 visitors today- Maisie had a fantastic time.

Got her to nap- FINALLY- and thought “wow, ok, time to start on the upstairs kitchen”

Nope. She woke up within 10 minutes of that thought.

Isn't this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she'd sleep MORE!

Isn’t this cute? Apparently a 20 minute nap is all she needs to leave her refreshed and gorgeous. Wish she’d sleep MORE!

I was informed by R that he heard a squeaking/rustling noise last night in the basement when he went to do laundry. My youngest son confirmed it today when HE went to put clothes into the washing machine.

Great, we have a possible bat in the house. Not the baseball kind, either.

I can't be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

I can’t be sure, but this is what I envision in my head to be lurking in my basement

So I asked my oldest to watch Maisie while my youngest and I did laundry in the basement. I needed the boy with me as a witness just incase I was bitten by something and died of rabies on the concrete floor. Yes, I am a super chicken. I don’t care who knows.

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn't- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

I WISH this was my laundry room, but it isn’t- mine resembles a dark, dank, scary dungeon- with squeaky bat noises now

We did whites. I separated them and added the detergent and bleach while the (almost) 17 year old looked on.

C: “why are you separating the colors from the whites and why are you putting that stuff (BLEACH) in? I just use the soap”

Me: “That’s why your clothes look dingy when you wash them- you’re SUPPOSED TO separate them first and do this

I shook my head at his comment, because I’ve showed him probably 102 times how to separate/wash these clothes. It doesn’t compute in the male mind, evidently.

We didn’t see any bats- but C could hear the squeaking and rustling noise. I am hard of hearing, so I could not.

I figure, if it dies in the ductwork I will have to call someone to clean the ducts- which I’ve needed to do for years. A potentially dead and rotting bat is all the impetus I need to finally call the duct cleaners.

After a couple of loads of laundry, I said screw it and hauled the boy to the kitchen upstairs. My oldest was still watching the little girl for me, thank goodness.

We threw out SIXTEEN huge garbage bags of things and old boxes, etc- and still did NOT MAKE EVEN A DENT in that room!

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here

this was AFTER 12 garbage bags had already been taken out of here- the stove will be junked, too.

I have antique furniture stacked in there and there’s no way I can move that stuff by myself. We have boxes of old dvd movies and games- again, this is not my domain. R needs to sort through them.

there is no rhyme nor reason to the 'storage' in this room

there is no rhyme nor reason to the ‘storage’ in this room

I have a fridge and stove in there, too. I will junk the stove- let one of the scrappers take it- and maybe switch out for fridge for one my dad gave me that’s been in my garage for 2 yrs.

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

this room actually leads to another pantry full of antique linens and antique fiesta ware

I called it a day after we threw out the last 5 bags, etc. I think I will start on my clothing room downstairs (throwing stuff out) tomorrow instead. It will be easier to look after Maisie at the same time if I do that room. All of the things in my clothing room are MINE and I don’t need help with that.

Wardrobe to Narnia. I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.

Wardrobe to Narnia.
I am half-tempted to go there and leave this hell hole I call a house.

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Part 2 of the Dumpster Diaries: Red Room/Office Revamp

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This is how full the dumpster is after 4 DAYS. We can keep it only 6 more days (unless I want to pay an additional 15 bucks a day). I have TWO MORE ROOMS to clean out.

OMG! My house is a CLUSTERF*CK!!!!!!!!

Go to my previous post if you don’t know what’s going on-

My ‘game plan’ for the revamp is this (not in order):

1. we have a 10 day dumpster rental (it was rented last Weds, so we have 7 days left).

2. The ultimate goal is to get the back room turned into a studio for the oldest son- we will have to empty it of my clothing and stuff, drywall and paint, put down carpeting.

3. I had to clean out parts of the basement to make room for extra stuff from the other rooms to be moved into storage there.

4. I have to clean out the upstairs kitchen (which houses stored furniture currently) in order to turn that into the master bedroom’s closet.

5. The “Red Room”/my office has to become my son’s interim office while the remodeling happens.

The rubble in the red room

BEFORE: The rubble in the red room

super cluster fuck before pics

BEFORE: Super cluster fuck

The basement part was carried out on Weds/Thurs. All day yesterday we worked on the red room. We weeded out junk and papers that were no longer needed and threw them away. Walls were scrubbed, furniture polished/scrubbed- the whole 9 yards. My Art Deco burled walnut library table and lamp that I purchased in Paris were spiffied up.

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

my prized art deco burled walnut library table that I bought in Paris- I love love love this thing so much, but it was hidden under piles of old papers and junk

The furniture was rearranged to better suit my kid’s needs. My handmade rug from Afghanistan was hung on a line and beaten with a Victorian wire rug beater (which, for some reason, always intrigues the neighbors/tourists/passersby when I have someone beat the carpets- I DON’T know why! We always did this when I was a kid…).

beating the rug

beating the rug

For SUCH a small room, I was shocked at how much crap we had to throw away! It’s just crazy how things pile up.

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

Most of things disposed of and furniture rearranged

We went through every old paper, receipt, scrap and disposed of everything that we no longer needed or used.

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

Bookshelves moved into place and curtains opened

The walls and floors and furniture all needed a good scrubbing. Everything was SO gross. I have neglected this room for 2 yrs (since becoming pregnant and having the baby). The problem (#firstworldproblems) with owning a huge, old house is that it is SO easy to pile junk into a room and close the door/forget about it for a while.

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they'd fit.  Bye-bye window for now...

the laser printer and ugly storage things were put into place in the only area that they’d fit.
Bye-bye window for now…

At this point, my stress levels (and everyone else’s) were pretty much at max. We had to drill a hole into the floor to run the ethernet cable to the modem (and fish it out through the basement and back up through an air vent again).

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the final result- all of his stuff set up and ready to use

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

the room is ready- only a zillion more things in the other rooms to do!

The end result was worth it- it looks lovely again and no longer like a dark storage hovel. It took me all day, in between doing other stuff, just to finish writing this post!