Thursday, October 09, 2014

Newest Studio Remodel

 First, I'd like to thank you all for your sympathetic words regarding my failed estate sale purchases from my last post.  It's always nice to know that I'm not completely crazy, and that others feel the same way I do!  I'm over my disappointment now though, and considering what I'm showing you in this post, it's probably a good thing that my efforts were thwarted during my little estate sale venture!
Above are photos of the entrance to my studio from the years 2008, 2011, and from today.  Hmmm, do you notice anything happening in there over the years?  Other than the aqua paint color looking like it's changed three times (it hasn't), I think that there's been just a bit of hoarding collecting going on, don't you think?
Ever since I started seriously collecting dollhouses, space in my studio has been an issue, as I'm sure you can imagine.  I always seem to find room for one more, but it's been getting harder and harder!  So I finally convinced my wonderful husband to build me some extra shelves in the ol' studio.
 They run from the white cabinet to the opposite wall...
 ...then wrap around the corner to the other cabinets.  While I did lose a bit of wall space, I gained a ton of shelf space, which is what I needed!  As you can see, the perfect amount of space to display some more dollhouses!  And also more space for my other doll furniture and other collectibles.
 The shelves in the cabinets over here are all full,...
... as are the tops of the cabinets!  I am a master at stuffing it all in, I tell ya! 
So, now that you've seen the overall picture, I'll show you some little bits of eye candy from around the room, because of course, that's the whole reason I collect this stuff- it's so fun to look at!
Well, there you have it- the latest state of my studio.  I hope you enjoyed it!  I still think I could stuff one or two more dollhouses in there, don't you? 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Time I Cried Over a Dollhouse

I'm a little embarrassed to tell this story, so maybe I should clarify and say that it was TWO dollhouses, not just one. 
But anyway, here's how it goes.  I check on every week for sales that have vintage dollhouses.  Not just any vintage dollhouses, but Keystone and Rich, specifically, which are the ones that are my favorites.  And, let me tell you, they are very few and far between around here.  So few and far between, in fact, that I've never actually found one close enough to buy. 
So imagine my excitement when I saw the above photo for a sale about two hours away!  But I hemmed and hawed about whether I should go- it's a little hard to tell the condition of the houses from this photo, and what if I drove all the way only to find that they are priced crazy high?  Not to mention the gas money to get there.  I should also mention that driving 2 hours (and back 2 hours as well) is kind of a major deal for me.  I have a pinched nerve in my neck that makes driving pretty uncomfortable and even painful at times, but I do it when it's necessary. 
So I found a way to email the estate sale company and sent an email asking nicely for the prices, since I was so far away.  I heard nothing before the first day of the sale, so I grudgingly decided it was against my better judgement to take the risk.  But that evening, I got an email telling me they were only $20 (plus the next day was 1/2 price day!), and they were still available! 
It was a sign- I had to go!  The sale opened at 8:00 AM the next day, so I decided not to risk it, and to try and get there right at 8:00.  I got up at 5:30, and left by 6:00.  I was making good time, on schedule to get there on time, but then I started hitting the toll roads.  I had to stop three times and hunt for correct change.  Aargh!  I hadn't anticipated that delay, but I still thought I was doing okay to get there pretty close to 8:00.  But then the MapQuest directions I'd printed got confusing, and I had to backtrack, then stop and figure out how to work my car's GPS in order to get back on track.
But still, by then it was only like 8:15, and I figured, "It's not like anybody else would show up right at 8:00 to buy these dollhouses- after all, they were there all day yesterday...".  Well, I'm sure you've got a good feeling about how this story ends up.  I pulled up in front of the house at 8:20, and watched two men as they were loading the two dollhouses into the trunk of their car- literally. 
I was just stunned.  Are you serious?  I just drove 2 hours and wasted $60 in gas, only to miss them by 1 minute??  I couldn't help it.  I sat in my car and cried for about 3 minutes.  Not really because I wanted the houses so bad (and not that I needed them for sure- I need another dollhouse like I need a hole in the head)- but just because it had been such a waste, and I hadn't even had the chance to make the decision myself, you know?  I started to drive away, because I really didn't know if I could even handle going into the sale, knowing what had just happened, but then I turned around, knowing that was kind of stupid.  I went in a poked around, and found a couple little things, but certainly not anything that made the trip worthwhile.
Writing it all down here makes it sound pretty silly, but I figured that if anyone could understand my pain, it would be you guys.  So there's my story.  It's embarrassing, but it sadly is true.  I hope maybe I brought some amusement to your day by retelling it though!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Ever-Evolving Chalkboard

I got this large school-room chalkboard at a thrift store.  You may remember it from Riley and Noah's room tour a few years ago. I've always loved it, but the kids just have never really been too interested in drawing on it, as much as I've tried to encourage them.  It's hung in a few different places in the house, but it's usually just been a big black rectangle on the wall.
 I'd finally had enough of the sad, blank chalkboard, so a couple months ago, I decided to do this!
 I used a chalkboard marker, and wrote out a favorite quote.
This is definitely a sentiment that I (as well as the kids) need to be reminded of daily!
 I hung it up in a hallway off of our family room so that we could see it every day.
As you can see, I also added some d├ęcor to the top of the chalkboard.  These are pieces from the dollhouse I showed you in this post. I'd taken it apart (to make room for more, of course!), but I love the graphics so much, I wanted to still see them!
 Doesn't everyone have dollhouse walls hanging in their hallway?

So now I feel like this chalkboard is living up to its full potential, finally!  And hopefully, reading the quote every day will help my family live up to our full potential as well!
Hope you're all enjoying the wonderful fall weather these days- I know we are down in Florida- it's finally becoming bearable to go spend some time outside!  I have lots to show you guys coming up- a studio (semi) re-model, a couple more dollhouse tours, new scrapbook pages, and I'm sure some things I'm forgetting, too! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Favorite Spreads from Avery's Journals

Well, this is my final trip down memory lane as I've been looking back through all the kids' art journals.  Today I went back through Avery's journals.  These are the prettiest ones, obviously, since she's a girl, and I had a hard time narrowing it down to my favorites because of how pretty they all are- ha!  But I got it down to twenty , and here they are...
 Had to include the above one- it's about the day we found out we were having a girl- my dream forever!!
Here is her birth timeline.
 Aaah, picking out little baby girl clothes...
 She started smiling as soon as she came home from the hospital!
 Her very special blanket, made by both my late grandmother and my mother- she later named it "Gee-gee", and still sleeps with it every night.
 Six months old...
 This baby was a major drooler!
 A page about waving...
 Her baptism...
 Her obsession with shoes when she was young!
 The many faces of Avery!
 Fixing little girl hair!
 Two years old!
 Her first day of preschool...
 First haircut...
 Moving from a crib to a toddler bed...
 Her first dance class...
 First dance recital as a bumblebee!
 Karate classes...
And finally, her fifth birthday...
All of her journal pages should be in this Flickr album, if you'd like to see the rest of them.  Thanks for indulging me in this little trip down memory lane for the last few posts!  It's been fun for me to look back over these books, and I hope you guys have enjoyed it, too! 
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