Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Embroidered Aprons

Last week my friend Dru at The Country Farm Home shared two treasures from her collection. Aren't they beautiful? She kindly let me share them with you today. (Thanks Dru!)
Appliqued flowers, no waist seam, bias bound edges, it all says 1930s to me!
I love the embroidery on this one! So pretty! Classic early 30s.
Pink flowers! What could be more perfect? Wouldn't any gal feel springy in one of these gems!
Please visit Dru at The Country Farm Home for more pictures of the aprons and to see her fabulous "Plain and Simple Farmhouse" decorating! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Another House Update- Electrical

One doesn't really think about the convenience of electricity until you come across something like my house! Most of the wiring hasn't been touched since sometime in the 1930s. There were only four ceiling lights in the entire house. That certainly made us pause and think! But when the house was originally wired in 1923 most families didn't even own a radio to plug in!! The bedrooms and bath had wall lights, the kitchen and front porch had lights on the ceiling. There were probably one or two outlets in the bedrooms and kitchen. Thankfully someone had added more. But the bedrooms still didn't have lights and the upstairs bedroom had two plugs.
As you can see from the picture above, re-wiring is a bit tricky. It involves a lot of hole cutting. We ended up cutting eleven. All that wall patching I was telling you about is just the beginning! One nice thing, the plaster on the walls is hard! Like cement hard. We had to get out the cement drill bits after ruining a few. All the hard work is paying off! I now have ceiling lights in every room, including the tiny front hall!
 A few scary critters we encountered along the way.
 Old cloth covered wiring that is definitely not Fireman Phil approved!
 We also uncovered long forgotten electrical boxes for wall lights plastered over. They popped up all over! And most of them were still live.
This was in the attic under the insulation. Along with the mouse skeleton (in the lower left corner). Yikes!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

 Happy Spring Everyone!
I was so so excited to notice these little daffodils popping up in our south flower beds yesterday! Even though yesterday and today are bright beautiful days, it is still cold. 10 degrees for the low last night. Hopefully, that will be the last of that!
A view of the back yard, not so springy looking! Somewhere under that drift is the primroses.....
I was looking back to see what  I had posted last year.
"TODAY, March 20th, the forsythia and daffodils are blooming! Can you believe it?! I can't remember a spring being this early, at least not in the last 4-8 years. It is so exciting!! I was talking to someone and they commented on the mood everyone is in. We are ecstatic! We don't know what do to with ourselves." From last year's post.
So strange to think last year we broke records for being so warm in March.
Back to normal Wisconsin Springs!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

House Update: Floors and Patching Walls

 Finally, I have a few pictures to share! I know it looks a bit scary still! 
Last week we got the cement board down in the kitchen and started patching the walls. This past weekend we got the cement board down in the bathroom and started in on the electrical! I am so excited things are moving along now and so tired out......
 I am rather proud of our  patching (sister Mandy was my partner in crime)! Came out nice didn't it? I figured it was a good place to practice as the cabinets go in front of it.
So here is the process. First we cleaned off all the loose plaster still clinging to the lath (the wood slats), then we put two layers of a scratch coat on. Scratch coat meaning it is a rough plaster/cement that is not sanded. We put that directly on the lath "keying" it in. (Using enough pressure to get the plaster between the lath, this is what holds the plaster on.) Then we will apply a thin layer of smooth plaster that is soft enough to sand. And the wall be as good as new!
This is a back view of a plaster and lath wall. Pretty cool, huh? The really white plaster is the new stuff, the gray is old.
Mandy and I were a little nervous we weren't getting a good "keying" so we also patched this hole in one of the bedrooms that had the backside open to the bathroom. That way we could check to see how we were doing!
Construction Zone!
A sneak peak at the dining/living room from the kitchen doorway. Over on the left are the kitchen cupboards that had to be moved so we could work on the kitchen floor.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vintage Letter Slot

I was so excited to find this vintage letter slot at an antique store a few weekends ago! Letter slots are kind of hard to find, especially if one is trying to find a certain size. I have been combing the internet and antique shops, finally it all paid off. 
If you look really close you will see a small black box to the left of the door, that is the mailbox. The mail hardly fits in it and always look like it is falling out, so I thought a letter slot would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it created  another problem. The space along side the door is very narrow and one can't get mail slots that small. Hence, the hunt through antique shops.......
I love that it says "Letters" on the front. Now it just needs a little love and attention and it will be ready for service!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fred Astire and Ginger Rodgers- Roberta

We recently re-watched "Roberta" starring Irene Dunn, Randolph Scott, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers. I had forgotten how much I love this film! The third Fred and Ginger movie, it is a story revolving around a Paris dress shop Roberta's. Of course there is lots of wonderful dresses and dances!
If you watch the movie, keep your eye out for a young Lucille Ball as a model and don't skip the opening credits! Very classic 30s deco!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A few 1940s Adverts

 Don't you love the lines in vintage ads?! The "Nescomatic way"!

Did you notice the aprons in all three of these ads are the same style? Pinafore style with shoulder ruffles. Must of been the look for that year.

And a different kind of apron, a Man Apron! I love his striped shirt, so old fashioned, even for 1949.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

House Update-Tile Floor

This past weekend we finally got the sagging joist fixed! I am so excited and still in shock. It seemed like the project wasn't going anywhere, it had stalled out. Then all of the sudden the joiste was fixed and concrete board down in the kitchen. And now I need to decide what tile I want! That is the hard part.....

I originally wanted to paint my wood floors. But it just wasn't going to work out. The floor boards were in terrible shape and once I really really thought about it, I decided we do too many projects in our kitchen. I have visions of having to re-paint the floor every year! So I am contenting myself with painting the porch floor, the basement steps and the kick plates of the main staircase.

The picture above is what I am envisioning the kitchen to look like. Envisioning is the key word here. I know it really isn't going to turn out to close to it. But this is the look and feel I want.
I am going to go with a lighter color counter top, the cabinets are going to be white and the walls will probably be a light blue.
Should I go darker tiles, like these? To give the kitchen a bit of warmth.
I like the almost flagstone look here.
White or light colored tile?
Traditional Kitchen design by Seattle Kitchen And Bath Sadro Design Studio Inc.
Even though this picture isn't tile, it does have a light colored floor. Come to think of it. The layout is very much like my kitchen! I am even thinking of putting in rounded shelves on the end of the cabinets.
What would go with? Light and bright and clean? Or more of a cozy farmhouse look?
P.S. All the fabulous pictures are from Houzz. A wonderful site filled with pictures of houses!