Saturday, June 30, 2012

Impromptu Visit

A few days ago I decided to take an impulsive trip down to my sisters house. 
Hunky Hubby (a.k.a. Captain Troy) was busy with Aviation camp all week and since my Mom and Dad will be taking off tomorrow for the great state of Delaware to see my brother and his family,  I thought it would be a good time to go down to the Fox Valley and see my fam.
Ususally when I decide on a last minute trip, there is nothing exciting going on down in the city.  But this time, I lucked out. It turns out that my sisters church was having their one day VBS on a day we would be there and also the Paine Art Museum was having a free day with fun activities for the kids. 
Double score! 
A whole day where I can shop without kids and then I get to look like super mom by taking them to a fun outing that night!
I was sold.
The evening I arrived at my sisters, my mom and dad came up for dinner.  It was super nice of them to drive up, and they even brought meat.  Like 4 kinds.
Not joking.
My dad LOVES meat.
Wait, I think that is an understatement. 
Anyway, we enjoyed a delicious meal together, walked the kids to the park that night and then had s'mores in their outdoor fireplace. 
This is the stuff that will nominate me to be mom of the year, people.

So the next day we drop off 5 of the six kids, and take the one remaining child with us on our errands. 
I know, I know, we lost some 'best mom of the universe' points there. 
Especially because when we asked him what he wanted to do he said he wanted to go home and eat tacos.
To make up for dragging him to the stores, his daddy offered to take us all to Hu Hot for lunch. Who can say no to that?
What a nice guy!
I love Hu Hot! It's like the only buffet I ever want to eat at!
This was shaping up to be a really spectacular day.
Shopping without my kids, my sisters company, and free delicious food!
Woot! Woot!
So later, after taking a little nappy, and enjoying a quiet house, we left to pick up the 5 kids at the church so we could drive them down to Oshkosh for a cultural outing.
The only problem with this, is that everytime we go somewhere with all our kids, we have to take two cars.  Why can't they invent a 10 passenger vehicle that is cool looking and gets good gas mileage?  Is that too much to ask for?

The Paine art museum is actually a really cool house/mansion that was built around 1947 or 1956 or somewhere inbetween.  It's pretty awesome.

So I didn't realize that you aren't allowed to take pictures inside the mansion. I managed to snap a couple before I found out. These pictures are of the great hall or possibly ballroom of the house.  I absolutely love the attention to detail in older homes and especially in homes of luxury.  In the top picture you can see a table and two chairs in the bow window.  In the bottom picture is what that bow window looks like from outside.

Here is the front of the mansion. not all of it, but a large part.

This is a picture of the master bedroom suite.  The bed would have been back to the left.
The dressing room for the lady of the house was across the hall.

Here is a side view of the house.  This would have been the kitchen entrance and probably servant entrance.

There are also beautiful gardens surrounding the Paine mansion.
I wouldn't mind if the gardener there up and decided they wanted to make over my lawn.
I wouldn't complain one bit.  Nope, not one bit.

They had some fun gardening activities outside in the gardens.  Plus they gave away healthy snacks! We got cups full of grapes and yummy blueberries!
One of my boys won an octopus plant (similar to a venus flytrap)
One of the big hits was the ukelele demonstration.  Especially because the kids got to try them out. 
I actually love Ukelele music.  It's really fun and soothing all at the same time.

Look at these details!  I love it.  I wish we did more of that kind of building today.

This would have been the front entrance to the house.

Here is the crew, after an enjoyable time at the museum.  Although they did not appreciate the Ansel Adams exhibit as much as I would have liked.  I kind of had to breeze through it.  Ansel Adams has been a favorite photographer of mine for years.  It was lovely to see some of his best works displayed at the museum.

Here is the crew minus 1.  He didn't want to look at the camera.  Can you guess which kid it was?
We all had a great time. I appreciate when museums attempt to include families and children.
Afterward we went to a really nice park in Oshkosh located right along the lake.  We enjoyed our picnin supper and the kids played. 
We got home in time to tuck them all into bed.
Where they were so ehausted they actually fell asleep.
The next day, it was so lovely out in the morning that my sister and I were able to go outside onto her lovely patio to enjoy the morning and read a little bit of God's word.

It was lurvely. 
Oh yeah, and I also found out that my sister is an Indian giver (I know that isn't a politically correct term, but I thought about it and couldn't come up with another way to explain it).  Last year she told me I could have these lovely washtubs. And then I forgot who told me I could have the lovely washtubs.  But when I was doing my gardening this spring I kept asking myself "who told me they had wash tubs I could have?" And I never remembered.
Until I came to my sisters house.
And she proudly showed me MY washtubs that she had filled with beautiful flowers.
And she KNEW she had told me I could have them.
But now she loves them.
What am I supposed to do about that? 
I am holding her personally responsible for finding me some new ones. 
She redeemed herself slightly by helping me score some plants myself, all for a quarter apiece.

Bonus: Mom came up and took us out to lunch at Pizza Hut.  What a great follow up to a nice morning. 
So I guess all in all, it was a wonderful, impromptu visit.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Vintage Table

I know you are dying to know what I did with my vintage table that I scored at the rummage-sale-to-end-all-rummage-sales.

Well, I truly didn't have to do much.
I cleaned it up a little bit and moved it right into the house.

Here it is in all it's rummage glory.

I thought you might enjoy a little close up of the metal detailing.

Here she is all cleaned up and prettified.
Yes that is a word.
Don't question it.

I put the table in the living room between two chairs that I had painted white last year.  They had been in my bedroom but when I rearranged the living room furniture I had room for extra seating so I moved them out. 

  I think it makes a great compliment to the chairs, and hey,  there are never enough tables for coffee mugs to be set on during Bible Study.  Now we'll have one more.

These books were given to me by my Grandfather.  They are pretty old.  Which I thought was appropriate for an old table.

Next I'm going to be tackling that wall behind the chairs.  I've got a couple of ideas but I'm trying to think it through before banging a bunch of holes into the wall.  I think I'm looking for a new wall color too.  Yep, no 10 year paint warrantees needed here.  I hit 3 and I'm ready for a change.

When it comes to decorating, I like to mix things up.  I'm  a bit eclectic. I don't have a problem with pairing vintage and modern.  I don't like sterile environments. I don't believe having kids means that you can't have anything stylish.  I like to pull ideas from all different sources and blend them together.  I like to repurpose items.
Mostly I want my house to be comfortable and relaxing. I can get really caught up in all of the beautiful homes you see in Better Homes and Gardens and other decorating magazines if I'm not careful. But basically I don't want my house looking like a cookie cutter of all those magazine pictures. 
Which in reality, shouldn't be too hard, since I don't have that kind of money.
I want my home to be different from everybody elses. I want it to be uniquely suited to my family.  And I want it to be filled with all of our sentimental objects spread around as stylishly as possible.
Am I asking too much?
I don't think so.

What is the most important thing to you when you consider decorating your home?
What's your favorite pain color, I could use some ideas.

I'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping.

                  - Jana
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Saturday, June 23, 2012


Way back when, on Memorial weekend, my friend Caiti and I got our rummage sale groove on and found the largest, most amazing rummage sale I have ever seen.

Now, I have been to lots of rummage sales.  My Momma had me at the rummage sales with her when I was just a little sprite, no bigger than a bed bug (or something like that). I have been around the block when it comes to rummage sales and I have never, never, ever seen a rummage sale as amazing as this one.
Caiti and I stumbled upon this place by chance.  We were out trolling for rummage sale signs out here in the country side where we live.  You see, if people in the country are going to have a rummage sale, they will host it on a holiday weekend when they know there will be more traffic. We ended up driving about 3 miles off of the main road, a little further than I like to go, and we almost turned around and went back, but we decided to press on.

This is what we found.  

The owner of this property and all of the stuff within, is Laverne.  I was so in love with her rummage sale I asked her if I could take pictures.  I had to capture this wonder to share with you all.
As you can see, this sale did not encompass your average sized garage. No.  Instead it is located inside a pole building the that was twice as deep as your average garage.


Inside there is more stuff than they have at the Goodwill.  
Not kidding.  
Not even a little.

Turns out Laverne has her own thrift store right in her very own garage.  
These vintage beauties are mine now!
 There were shelves and shelves of household items. Glassware, lamps, nick-knacks, and just about every other thing you can think of.  She also had some antiques mixed in with the rest of the goods.

See how excited Caiti is?  
She had nothing on me.  
I may or may not have started to laugh manically in a moment of uncontrollable joy. 

I contemplated purchasing the elephant, but I was looking for an owl so I passed it by for the next shopper.

I was surprised and delighted to find stacks of these hand embroidered dish towels on the shelves. There had to be at least 20 sets.  There are probably 8-12 towels in a set. These are the exact same kind of towels that my grandmother used to make.  She even made a set for my sister and I when we were still in high school because she knew that by the time we were married she wouldn't be able to embroider any longer.  Incidentally, they are the best dish drying towels you will ever use. 
I found out that they were stitched by non-other than the now infamous Laverne.  You guys, she's got to be in her 70's.  What an enterprising and energetic lady.  No sitting around watching the Jeopardy and Days of Our Lives for Laverne.  She's making stuff!  And categorizing all of her goods. Plus she must be out shopping,  I mean, where did she get all this stuff anyway?

There was no end to what you may find.  Anyone redoing an old Camaro? Laverne has some vintage seats for you.

Caiti and I had to have wandered around looking at all these treasures for over an hour and we didn't even touch the clothes. Which probably take up over half of the space inside.

It was a perfect time to break Emma in to the wonders of rummage sale shopping.  She was a trooper.  
I gave the boys each a dollar and told them to have at it. That left me with uninterrupted shopping time.  What a brilliant plan.

Just when we were tallying up our loot and feeling really guilty for all the stuff we were buying at such cheap prices, Laverne mentioned that she had some furniture in the garage attached to the house.  
Of course we had to look.
I found this little beauty. A vintage metal and glass table.  Want to know what the price was?  
Laverne told me she'd give it away sell it to me for $3.
Uh, let me think about it for a minute Laverne dear. 

 When it was time to load up, we were a little concerned that we would have to leave the kids behind and come back for them later after we had dropped our treasures off at the house. 
Just kidding! 
But it did help me remember why I am fond of my minivan. 4 kids, 2 adults, an umbrella stroller, a large basket, a table, a vintage sled (which she sold for $5!!!!!), 3 vintage tins, and a couple boxes of miscellaneous glassware later, and we were headed home.

Caiti and I got in the van with smiles that stretched form ear to ear.  I don't remember ever having such a euphoric rummage sale experience before.  Not even when I scored a North Face jacket for my son for $15.00. 
We also felt just a little guilty.  
We kind of felt like maybe we robbed Laverne.  
Only, she was the one who was setting the prices.  I didn't even dicker with her.  After all, I only spent $14.50.
So, we let the guilt blow away in the breeze flowing through our rolled down windows and determined that we would just have to go back on the 4th of July weekend.  I mean, after all, the least we can do is support her business.  

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