Rendevous at Replacements

❤ This is the guy that started it all! Mr. Bob Page! ❤

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Replacements, ltd. is a seriously fun place for anyone who loves dishes, glassware, and silver. I was totally the weirdo kid who bought her first set of dishes (dessert plates with little purple violets with a silver rim–for $6 at an antique mall in Ybor City) at the ripe age of eight. For those like *us* Replacements is about like Disney World. From what I have read, Mr. Page was probably a kid like me. 🙂 You can read more about him and how his dish empire started here.

Apartment Therapy visits Replacements is a neat tour of the whole shebang. There are even a few little video clips to watch to whet your appetite. The article mentions hearing the “tinging” of china and glass as workers check pieces for cracks–mom and I immediately noticed this when we went in the warehouse. Such a lovely ringing sound!

The welcome staff on the showroom floor was super friendly, even to a weirdo like me. They even have a nice customer lounge (presumably for those suckers who got brought along for the ride against their will, teehee) with a teevee and a Keurig machine so there is literally something for everyone.

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Well behaved pets…Duck is so not invited, haha!

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The hall of fame–samples of most popular patterns for all the big brand names.

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SO MANY PRETTIES!

There is even a movie with parts filmed at Replacements called Junebug. It has a totally all star cast including Amy Adams, Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene from Walking Dead), Celia Weston (she plays the sweet southern Grandmother in like everything) and even Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy). I first saw it when I lived in Missouri and was like “OMG NC!”–it was a real treat to have a slice of North Carolina culture on the silver screen.

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Replacements is about more than just plates, crystal, and silver. They sell all manner of tchotchkes. From commemorative plates for British Royalty to deviled egg candles, this place has you covered. Most of what you’ll see in this next photos is for sale, and the prices are really pretty reasonable for a little piece of history.

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Be sure to check out “Bob’s Discount Corner” where everything is less than $10!

There are tons of Christmas and winter holiday decor to drool over. I sort of think these glass ornaments are weird, but I continue to be enamored of them. I especially love the placement of the heart, cigar, beers, and ice-cream in a row together. I’ve always thought the Pickle ornament traditions was a little weird, despite my true love of pickles. Anyway, I really like the cut tomato that is to the left of the pickle in the second picture below. I also like the fortune cookie!

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The ornament I was most tempted by was the little turkey and ham. I think I’ve mentioned before my great love of Beatrix Potter and her delightful animal creatures. My all time favorite book of hers is The Tale of Two Bad Mice. It’s a story about a husband and wife mouse that happen upon a doll house and get super mad about the fake food they discover there. Below left is an illustration of Tom Thumb attempting to carve a porcelain ham…which is rather similar to the perfectly doll sized glittery ham ornament on the right! I couldn’t bring myself to shell out the $12 bucks for it, but I might have to make the trip another time and get a Christmas ham for my dollies!

I have a pretty extensive collection of Beatrix Potter figurines and so does Replacements. They has quite a few of the same ones that I own (and it was informative to know how much they are currently worth!) and a few that I don’t. Below is Alderman Ptolemy Tortoise from the Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher. Now he is officially on my to-buy list. In the story he brings a salad in a string bag to Jeremy’s house for dinner. That’s what the figurine is carrying. Isn’t he a dour sort of looking fellow?

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But for real y’all, if you are running through Greensboro you gotta hit the frontage road and have a dish adventure! And buy me this little tortoise, why don’t ya? Or a little deviled egg candle would also do!  🙂

Have you been before? What was your favorite part? Did you buy a Christmas Ham for your dolls? Tell me all about it!

 

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Picayune Pictures #5

Here is one of the reasons you haven’t heard from me in days! I was really hoping to do some on-the-road blogging but my dear darling Duck Rabbit “wild cat” Rousey did THIS to my phone’s charging cord. As you can see, I tried to repair it before. After two nights of not getting a good charge on my phone I realized it was because the cord was nearly chewed in half. I pretty much just had enough juice to get some pictures taken. Now I have a fancy new pink cord. BAD KITTY.

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BAD KITTY!

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I have had MAJOR knitting drama over the past week or so. I’ve been working on my third sweater (in a pattern I’ve knitted twice before) and I really messed up some calculations. I’d come up with a way to “fix” one of the mistakes (laddering was a success) but when the next wrong calculation (the steek was also a success but created a NEW problem) became obvious I just decided to take. the. whole. damn. thing. apart. I’ve since restarted it with major modifications. Stay tuned to see if I’m happier with the second attempt. Totally bummertown.

Aaaaand my little bird friend from last spring is back and has taken up residence in my mail box again. I’ve got to write a “Do Not Disturb” sign on it so that mama bird doesn’t abandon her eggs. Does anyone recognize what type they might be? If so, please comment!

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I was really sad to hear about the passing of Earl Hamner, Jr. For those who might not recognize his name, he was the author of the book The Homecoming that later inspired the television show The Waltons. This book particular copy of the book was given to me years back and it has since been one of my most prized possessions. If you haven’t read the book, you totally should–I can’t say enough good things about it, particularly if you are interested in frugal country living and wholesome family fun. Here is a wonderful obituary that the New York Times posted over the weekend.

I had Easter lunch at my house with my mom and Mr. Smith! We had Alton Brown’s citrus salmon (a family favorite), deviled eggs, roasted sweet potato salad, the best coleslaw ever, and grilled pineapple on coconut gelato for dessert. And wine, of course. Would you  like a tutorial on how to make this award winning slaw? To be honest it hasn’t actually won any awards but I am pretty sure it would/could/will someday. Tell me if you are interested in the recipe and I *might* let y’all in on the secret ingredients.

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After cutting the grass for the first time this season it was time to whip out the Twang. Stay tuned for a special drink themed post later in the week… 😉

I’ve also got two vacation posts coming up–about the area in eastern North Carolina where I used to live, and the trip mom and I made to Replacements. Stay tuned for the posts that were inhibited because of the phone cord drama! BAD KITTY!

 

Beautiful Bottles: a Bottle House Primer

I’m not sure when I first heard about bottle houses but it must have been at least in elementary school.  My best friend Rhonda talked about a house made out of bottles, and I was so impressed that she was distantly related to the fellow who built it (see the bit about the Charlie Yelton house). Since then I have read lots about bottle houses and become more and more enamored as the years have passed. While working on this post my interest in bottle structures was rekindled. Instead of overloading my dream house post with bottle houses, I decided to write a whole other post all about the bottle houses I have read about.

And now for a bottle house history lesson!

The Tom Kelly Bottle House

From what I can find, it looks like the first notable bottle house was built by Tom Kelly in Rhyolite, Nevada in Death Valley. His was the largest of three such houses built in that mining town. I always suspected that building with bottles must have first developed out of need instead of kitsch or aesthetics. So it seems that since building materials were so scarce, and saloons were so plentiful (53 according to the website!!!) bottles were a resource to be used. Nearly 30,000 bottles were used in the construction of the three bedroom house. Mr. Kelly never even lived in the house he built–he raffled it off and tickets to win it were only $5. You can read the whole history of this house and see tons more pictures here, but first, two more pictures of seriously rad looking folks posing with the Death Valley houses.

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A bottle house that didn’t fair as well as the Kelly House! (photo credit)

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I can’t get over how much I love this shot. (photo credit)

The Charlie Yelton Bottle Houses

The Charlie Yelton bottle houses are located in the foothills of North Carolina in a place called Forest City. These houses are the ones I learned about from my best friend in elementary school! My friend Rhonda is a distant relative of Mr. Charlie Yelton. Unfortunately, his houses have not had anyone to take care of them and they are in pretty bad shape. There are a few accounts of the houses in regional publications including this neat account by Bruce Barry of the Shelby Star. The Charlotte Observer also ran a story on the houses, sometime in the 1970s. Scroll down for scans from that article.

The three photos below were taken in 2010 by Debra Jane Seltzer of Roadside Architecture. Her website is an absolute treasure trove of quirky roadside attractions from all over the United States.  I got special permission to use her photos in this post.  Please go check out her website to learn about all sorts of roadside gems–there may be some closer to you than you might think!

These next few pictures are scans from an article that appeared in the Charlotte Observer sometime in the 1970s. I’m on the hunt for the actual date so that I can find the rest of the story. To be continued, I suppose. Thanks to Rhonda’s uncle Howard (another cousin of the architect) for helping me find these scans.

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Photo by John York for the Charlotte Observer

I think the shot of Charlie below is one of my favorite pictures I’ve ever seen.

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Photos by John York for the Charlotte Observer

The Fresca & 7-Up Bottle Houses of Rockome Gardens

I literally can hardly get the words to tell you about these next bottle houses. The two play house sized structures were a popular tourist attraction in the 1960s at place called Rockome Gardens. Rockome is AN AMISH THEME PARK. Yes, an AMISH theme park!!!! I still can’t even. This website will tell you all you ever want to know about what a dang Amish theme park has to offer. SPOILER ALERT: buggy rides and corn husking.

The Fresca and 7-Up bottle houses are different from the other bottle houses in that the bottles act as decoration and are not structural. One of the things I find so beautiful about bottle houses is the light that the bottles let inside and obviously these houses don’t boast that feature. Still, I am smitten with the look of these buildings. Too bad they were both destroyed in 2005 during an attempt to move them for restoration. I would still road-trip there so hard. They had me at “Amish theme park”!!!

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Fresca House detail, photo credit

The Mojave Rock Ranch Bottle House

Y’all.  This is a picture from a bottle house right next to the Joshua Tree National Park. You can even stay there since it’s an Air BnB!  I am so in love and cannot wait to get there someday. This property started out as a homestead in the 1930s but the current owners Gino Dreese and Troy Williams curated it into the masterpiece that it is today. Read more about the ranch and the rest of the jaw-dropping features of the property here. It is this bottle house that most recently sparked my interest in these special structures so I had to include it here.

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via VRBO

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via VRBO

So as to not let this post continue for days and days and 37 more pages I’m including more bottle house fun here in the form of extra links. I could write a post on each one of these houses but I’ll let you wander through the rabbit hole at your leisure.

OTHER NOTABLE BOTTLE HOUSES:

Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew Bottle Temple, Sisaket province, Thailand   (here and here)

Charlie Stagg Bottle House & Studio, Vidor, Texas (here and here)

John J. Makinen Bottle House, Kaleva, Michigan (here and here)

Doc Hope Bottle House*, Hillsville, Virginia (here and here)

*This house is different because the butt of the bottles are on the inside, making the color display maybe the prettiest of all these houses. It also makes the outside of the house not so gorgeous but reminiscent of the “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” thing. This is another of my favorite bottle houses.

Bottle House, Hillsville, Virginia

Doc Hope Bottle House via the LOC

OTHER PERTINENT WEBSITES:

Vitreosity  is a blog about stained glass run by Tom Krepico.                                                      This link goes his page on bottle structures.

a Google map of bottle houses & walls around the world.

The Heineken beer bottle as a building block.

*

With ❤ from your history nerd blogger 🙂

Tiny Tuesday #3

OMG IT’S TUESDAY! THAT MEANS IT’S tiny TIME!!!!!

Check out these first two piles of TINY delight!

As far as I can tell this game is a collection of tiny weird things in an Altoid sort of tin, and is played with as physical story prompts. Although the ones available for purchase look really fun, it would probably be just as fun to make one of these yourself with found objects. Then, put it in your bag and if you have bored kids (or bored friends & lovers) you can retrieve it for some improv entertainment. Now I want to go on eBay and buy lots of vintage CrackerJack toys and make some little kits like this!

It ain’t tiny Tuesday without ERASER FOODS!

WHAT?! Blythe erasers?!

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via Blippo!

Okay, Blippo is blowing my mind right now! Prepare to squeee. There are so many TINY kawaii things to love and buy! A lot of the stationary products are currently out of stock, but most of the candy and phone accessories are available. I’m sure those ‘in the know’ are already obsessed with this site but I am a n00b and totally okay telling you so. Now YOU know, too! ❤

Peach-pit and other stone fruit carvings. Have you heard of them?

I was born in south Georgia and lived there until I was about six years old. My mom was a super-thrifty-magical-stay-at-home-ma and she took me on so many wonderful adventures. Whenever there was a craft fair nearby we were there. Very occasionally she bought me little souvenirs. I still have one of the teeny-tiny hair barrettes that I got my name painted on–as a girl with a sort of boy/ gender neutral name this was a BIG DEAL (there was never anything store bought for girls with my name on it). Another treat I got once was a little peach pit basket, reminiscent of these pictures. They were pretty popular down in peach country. I wish I still had that dang thing! How cute would that have been with my dolls?!

❤ KNITTED TINIES! ❤

Speaking of homemade fun, you gotta check out mochimochiland. Not only do they have the best amigurumi patterns around, they also make stop animation movies!

After this post, you know I love cast iron stoves. How adorable is this one for dolls?! Most of these doll stoves actually work. That is to say, you can put a little tea light under the burners and bring a tiny pot up to temperature. Playing with dolls is so much more fun when you’re a “grown-up” and can play with fire, right?! This video is a must watch-it’s of tiny donuts getting made for real on a little doll stove! I love that I’ve had no less than five friends send this video to me. Y’all know me so well!

SOME MOARRRR tiny FOOD!

From the Kawaii Kiosk and Irina Miniatures are my latest Etsy miniature food crushes!

And  speaking of kawaii, I couldn’t resist this ring set at Torrid.                                                  I’ve always wanted a little animal critter ring and this cat one was purrrrfect! ❤

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Stay tuned for another Tuesday full of tiny fun!

 

 

Picayune Pictures #4

PICAYUNE PICTURES TIME!

Here is a bit of life from this week.                                                                                                        Not pictured: my chipmunk cheeks from getting a cavity filled 😦

Amethyst and I went on a naughty little mall shopping trip last weekend.  I was not nearly as naughty as she was 😉 but I did pick up a few things. Pretty much every dang thing I bought was kawaii! Have y’all ever gotten a surprise box? They are so weirdly addictive, which I suppose is natural since it’s pretty much gambling. I was a *little* disappointed in my Pusheen plushie–of course the vegetarian got the dang hamburger one haha. He is still super cute and I’m still glad I got him. The little TokiDoki Unicorno brings my numbers up to four, which I suppose makes it a collection now.

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I found some “koala yummies”! (remember from this post?) I’m going to try to save these AND the champagne JellyBelly beans until the next doll party. With these new nail decorations there will probably be a new nail post soon-ish!

I sort of hate candy apples because the apples inside are almost always mealy. This candy shop smelled SO GOOD. Good grief, so good. I would have eaten the heck out of all the toppings that covered those poor mealy apples!

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Weird/good food:

chopped up cucumber, faux crab, feta, grilled onion, chia seeds, and poppy seed dressing.

I’m trying to come up with fresh and quick lunch things that keep me from being hungry all afternoon. I gotta tell you that the chia seeds really do seem to work. I had been reading about them and wasn’t sold on the idea until I tried them. Good source of protein, too!

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Sunset on the lake.

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Lettuce seeds + green stripes for St. Patrick’s Day.

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A Shopkins miracle!

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A very naughty cheeseball.

I was not impressed with this cookbook (the 1-star reviews were spot on) but DANG this one recipe makes me drool.  We should all have a party and Skype each other and eat this until we pop!

That’s all for now–what is making YOU drool this week?

a case of the Fashion blahs

I hereby swear not to use the phrases “bo-ho country” shudder “gypsy-punk” shudder “sneakerhead” shudder or “honkeytonk-hippie”…I just cannot even.

Oh my lordy, does this mean am I writing a fashion post? I think I am.

I have been feeling the fashion blahs lately.  I think it’s combination of the end of hibernation and the change in seasons, but it’s also got to do with my closets needing an overhaul. A few years back I tried that Oprah trick (at least I remember her talking about it–who knows who originally thought it up) where you do this:

Meh, the trick wasn’t really helpful for me. I am really sentimental about things and also have a hard time with waste.  The one really good thing that DID come out of my hanger-trick-closet-revamp was the beginnings of my tee-shirt quilt. I have tons of ideas for revamping pieces from my closet AND/BUT I just need to make them happen. Here is what we need to do: come up with a project that feels doable. What the heck, pick three projects. Plan an window of work time.  MAKE IT HAPPEN.  Use your scraps for something else! Speaking of scraps, check these beauties out:

The shoulder decoration tutorial comes from Refashion Co-op which is website FULL of all sorts of ideas and inspiration. How easy will it be to put some flair into a sort of blah tank with these epaulet style ruffles?!

The rag rug tutorial comes from Cintia over at My Poppet, a blog that is quickly becoming one of my very most favorites! Rag rugs have always mesmerized me but have seemed somewhat daunting.  Although they are still time consuming, Cintia takes the mystery out of how they come together. I am totally going to attempt a beauty like this with the scraps I am accumulating from my tee-shirt quilt.

Like anything else in my life I don’t want to start all over–I want to use what I have! I have great things to use! (and I bet you do, too)

So back to the fashion at hand. This post showed off some dreamy goods for your legs and feet.  Here are some MORE dreamy fashions for the rest of you! I find that drooling over pin boards like these give me all sorts of ideas for how to put together new outfits with what I have on hand.

                         I really like the look of a high waist skirt with a tee tucked in.                                 I have two skirts that I can totally fashion like this.

Shirts with text are not really worth buying in my opinion, but they are a great way to revamp something you already have. These texty shirts have great messages! Paint/embroider/write your words on a piece of fabric and sew that over a silly image you hate on a tee shirt that you love and voila! A favorite new shirt emerges!

These Dolce and Gabana shades on the left were $2,500. Yep, go ahead and take that in. The vintage ones on the right were $78. You have a hot glue gun, right? You have some old mismatched earrings, right? You have a pair of big sunglasses, right? USE THEM! Make fun things like this and rock them for almost free!

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I know that not everyone has enough hair for the messy bun, but if you have long enough hair it should be included in one of your weekly looks and here is why: your hair needs a shampoo break and this is how to give it one.  I love the hankie wrap on this one.

I actually just do a super high pony and don’t pull the tail through all the way, then I tighten it up at the elastic.

THE HIGHER THE HAIR                        THE CLOSER TO GOD.

Add some buttons and layer it all up and VOILA again.

 

And that is that. Do you have any good tips on closet purging? Or revamping? What are your favorite perennial fashion picks? What fashion buzzwords make you want to barf?

TELL ME! TELL ME! ❤

 

 

 

 

Dreamy House

Since I very first joined Pinterest, I’ve had a board on there called Home Someday.  I love going and scrolling through all the pretty house-y things that I’d love to incorporate into my home someday. Working on the dollhouse has made me think about my dream house even more and so I decided it would be fun to do a post about it!

When I was growing up, my parents and I moved houses every few years. Nowadays it’s called flipping houses (thanks to HGtv) but back then we just called it moving a lot.  My childhood was spent in a double handful of wonderful old houses full of intrigue…there were butler’s pantries, hot pink shag carpet, secret closets, medicine cabinets that smelled of years old lilac talc, round rooms with turrets, cast iron stoves, musty closets of forgotten treasure, concrete lawn furniture, and stay cats.  Always stray cats.

Before I go any further I have to confess that I love the idea of tiny houses but I do not like their reality.  The first lesson I learned when living with an old boyfriend was that our house was TOO SMALL.  A bigger house is better. I’m not talking about a McMansion, but I firmly believe both parts of a couple need their own room to do with what they please. You think I kid, but I have a lot of hobbies and I expect any man of mine to have hobbies, too.  If it is a small house then there needs to be pout house* for each person.  I can adjust my lifestyle financially to account for my spatial needs. Space is important!

*continue reading for more on this idea.

Some of the things I want for my dream house are little details that remind me of my childhood homes.

FIRST AND FOREMOST: Beautiful door knobs!

Some of our houses had clear cut glass door knobs.  There was a door knob like this purple one in the kitchen of the Parish Hall at the Lutheran church I attended as a teen.  I’ve always been drawn to sparkly things and I coveted the heck out of those knobs. I came across these cute milk bottle lid knobs over on etsy.  I like things like knobs that can be taken with you when you if or when you have to move.

Drawer pulls from Lil and Jill on Etsy.

Switch plates are a similar easily movable thing. There was a house that I used to clean that had different switch plates on nearly every light switch in the house.  The plates were something the family had collected over the years as they traveled. It’s such a small, light little thing to pick up to remember a vacation or adventure by.

These switch plates by Tin Can Sally are perfection!!

Anyone who knows me even the least little bit will know that I LOVE DISHES and that I love to display pretty things.  This custom made mug display is incredible.  The design seems more secure than some I have seen–like a rogue cat or kid could run by this and not destroy everything.  Which is pretty important.

I have always thought it would be so fun to have water fountain in the kitchen or hallway. One with a foot pedal would be the absolute best so that you could use it even if your hands were covered in flour or paint or some other such mess.

AND! I’ve always wanted a vending machine.

I would love to have one of these bad boys stocked with cans of coconut LaCroix and Natural Light.  Yes, I am the hipster your mother warned you about.

I love painted wood floors.  One of my favorite houses that we lived in, the one we lovingly if not accurately called The Cabin, had old wooden floors that we painted dark green.  I thought they were the most beautiful floors in the world.  These floors from The Elliott Homestead are so perfect.  If you can’t keep floors pristine (and really, who can) I say go with the purposefully distressed look!

Speaking of DIY sorts of things, I love bottle windows like the one below.  I fell so far down the rabbit hole looking at bottle windows that I decided to do a whole post on the history of them.  Here is a pretty teaser until then. Another house want: a bottle window.

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I cannot find a real link to who actually took this picture or where it came from.  I usually don’t include content that I can’t credit but I love this so much I am putting it out here anyway. Certainly let me know if it is your photo so I can tell the world.

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Obadiah’s Cookstoves are apparently THE NAME in wood-burning cook stoves. I heard about them from Boss of the Swamp and I am so ready to have one of these in my life.  This model is especially wonderful because you can see the fire going through the glass door.

 

You’re probably wondering about that pout house thing. A few months back, I over heard two older married couples talking about moving into smaller houses. The one gent said he was fine with a smaller house so long as he could still have his pout house out back.  He suspected I was eavesdropping on them and his eyes started to twinkle.  He turned to me and said, “I think these days you kids call it a man cave but men of my age need a shed out back to tinker in.” My mind was blown by the articulation of this concept! There were many times my father went out to the workshop to work on a project and pout!  Everyone should have a place for this.  So especially if you have small house , there need to be enough spaces for pouting.  Or doing crafty stuff.  Or both.

POUT HOUSE exhibit A.

But when it’s all said and done, porches are probably the most important part of my dream house. There is nothing so wonderful as a porch that wraps around a whole house.  Or like many homes traditionally had in the deep, deep south: an outdoor kitchen. These spaces for outside living with cover over your head are invaluable for doing your living outside. I guess that makes porches sort of like outside living rooms.  Gosh, I may love them even more now.

So to recap, I want cool door knobs/drawer pulls/switchplates, display areas that are pet safe-ish, a water fountain, a vending machine, painted floors, a cast iron wood stove, porches on at least 3 sides of the house, at least one bottle window, and a pout house. Check? Check.

Y’all want to come visit, or what?!

Tiny Tuesday #2

Welcome back for MOARRRR TINY!!!!

TINY FAKE FOOD!

Just look at these little sandwich sets!  Tuna salad and hamburgers!  The only thing that could make this better is if the mayonnaise jars were Duke’s instead!  Too bad this etsy shop is pretty much empty right now.  I hope Cute in Miniature restocks soon!

TINY ICE CUBES!

                                                I want this ice tray to be a real thing so bad,                                                       but it is just an advertisement for small cans of Pepsi.

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photo via:

http://www.coloribus.com/adsarchive/outdoor/pepsi-mini-mini-ice-cubes-7335505/

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photo via Amazon

 

 

TINY VACUUM!

According to the Amazon reviews this little USB vacuum is not worth a darn.  I still say it would be worth having for the cute factor!  I wonder if it could vacuum up glitter?  Because really, that’s the important thing, right?  This little vac is perfect doll height!  I totally want one.

 

 

 

 

 

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photo via Shop Sweet Things

TINY PERSON IN A TINY CROWN!

I love crowns.  They are so fun.  Of course TINY crown are double fun! And, I am pretty sure that my 30ish birthday number will look just as cute as this lil beebee’s #1 does.  There is even a tutorial over at Shop Sweet Things.  Bonus points for the use of a 2 dollar bill ❤

TINY STARS!!!

These tiny stars are cute and so stinking easy to make. Fill up a jar and give as a little gift!

TINY REAL FOOD! KOALA YUMMIES!

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photo via grape-stock.deviantart.com

If you were a kid in the 1990s and if you were VERY LUCKY then you might have gotten Koala Yummies as a treat.  I used to get them when I went on Girl Scout camping trips (our first night out we had to pack a supper and mine was always Beanie-Weenies in a pop top can, a can of potato sticks, and a box of Koala Yummies!) You can’t get the exact same thing anymore but you can get close: Hello Panda and Koala’s March.  So weird! So wonderful!  So kawaii!

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via tofucute.com

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via tofucute.com

 

One last cute tiny thing for this round:

TINY ROBOT!

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photo via coonsmithsutlery.com

This is a “bristle-‘bot” we made at Maker’s Club. It’s a homemade version of the very fun Hex Bug.  Check out how tiny it is! Here is a tutorial I wrote on how to make them:

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Yay for tiny fun!  

Dollhouse Renovations Are Underway!

Remember when I scored the best dollhouse recently? (read about it here and here)

After I let the cats play all over it for about two weeks I decided to see if the GINORMOUS thing would even fit in the spot I had in mind for it.

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HOLY MOLY, IT FIT!…with like 3 inches to spare.

Also, it is SO.VERY.PINK.

The first floor that I decided to tackle was the first floor where the kitchen and bathroom are.  I mostly picked this floor because I have such fun stuff to put in the kitchen.  I took out the non-structural wall between the kitchen and bathroom because I’m not going to have a bathroom.  Dollies don’t pee! Dollies don’t need baths!  If they do, they can use a dang washtub.  On second thought, that would be pretty cool.  I need to look for a doll sized washtub.  Here are some “before” pictures of the rooms.

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Don’t mind the weird sewing machine that is peeking through the window in that first pic! It’s an old school toy sewing machine that is all rusted but so sweet.  I need to find it another place to hang out so it doesn’t seem like a sewing machine peeper, haha.

My idea for the style of the doll house it first and foremost to remove all the pink.  After that, I want it to have sort of a log cabin feel.  I know that seems far fetched, but I’ve got some ideas to make it seem cozy like that.  Full disclosure, I have never redone anything of a dollhouse and am totally learning as I go!

The other night, I had a light bulb of inspiration while folding laundry.  I have this great little tea towel thing that I made out of a remnant of fabric that I bought from a destash that The Dainty Squid did a few years back.  It dawned on me that the fabric would make great kitchen wall paper.  Too bad I didn’t have any more of it.  But I could maybe photo copy it?  Oh heck yes.

Once I got the fabric printed off on to paper I realized that it wasn’t quite long enough to cover the whole wall.  My first thought was to get some fancy molding to close the gap. Then I remembered that I had some pretty sweet duct tape…and then came the macaroni and cheese border.  Oh heck yes, again.

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I added the strips of zig-zag washi tape to sort of clean up the look and tie it all together.  I covered the floor of the previously gray and pink bathroom floor with gummy bear duct tape because, well because I wanted to.  A little more Willy Wonka than log cabin, but that’s just a teeny detail.

Here are some pics once I moved all the fun stuff in.

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Check out the tiny copper pots!  This is the strange little ceramic stove that I bought in Daytona.  I have no idea what it’s original purpose was…there is a hole in the bottom almost like a coin bank would have but the only other opening is the top…and as you can see, it surely won’t allow for coins.  Maybe it was just for being cute.

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KEWPIE IN THE SINK!  Because what sink is complete without a little nekkid baby?  I scored the Great Smokey Mountains coaster (along with the perler bead coaster-turned rug) at the by-the-pound Goodwill.  Perfect for carrying an eclectic array of Iwako eraser treats like sushi and curry, supplemented with a plate of baked goods made by my friend GS. Yum!

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This fancy pants pantry shelf started out as a shoe display for Ever After High.  It got passed to me by Amethyst, along with the pink tea set on the top shelf.  I don’t mind pink so much and it means I get gifted lots of pink stuff from my doll friends 🙂 I may eventually spray paint the tea set gold. The various Shopkins baskets fit perfectly to hold the other foods.

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The only thing I have left to do is to print off a copy of the picture below to put in a little frame and hang over the sink area.  It’s a Barbie kitchen set from the 1960s that is very similar to this one. About a week before I met Mr. Smith, his family had an estate sale for his grandmother’s belongings. The set below (along with tons of other drool worthy vintage doll stuff) got sold.  ONE. DANG. WEEK. BEFORE. WE. MET. It’s something his mom and I regularly joke about.  I really like the kitchen stuff I have, but man, this one would have been fun. I think the picture will make a fun addition to the kitchen I have.

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I’m not sure which floor I’ll tackle next or what the tacking will involve so stay tuned!

Yay for dolls!

 

 

 

 

 

How Patti Smith came to be my kitten.

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The rain was torrential the Sunday that the kitten showed up.  A tiny wisp of wet fur peered in through the corner of the glass door in our sun room. Tiny teeth and a tiny pink tongue opened wide to let out a very tiny wail.  I did a triple take as I walked past the door on my way to get another cup of coffee.  I rushed to open the door and the little creature hopped in over the door jam. It was a rather steep jump for the teeny little body. Much water was then shaken  all over the floor.  After a thorough toweling off, the little striped kitten snuggled into my neck and purred a tiny soft purr while it kneaded and tried to find a place to nurse. Oh the tiny kitten!

I flipped the little cat over and “looked at its feet” as my father used to say–it was a girl!

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During this time period, I was staying with my grandparents at their house, helping to keep their household running a little more smoothly.  When they came home from church I showed them my new prize.

“Oh!  It’s so little!  Who are you going to give it to? my grandmother asked.

“I am giving her to ME!” I exclaimed!

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Later that afternoon I went out to Kmart to get some kitten supplies.  I was already contemplating a name for the little girl kitten when Because the Night came on the radio. I knew right then that her name was to be Patti.  The pun-y part is that my last name is Smith, so now I had Patti Smith, girl kitten.

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Nicknames include: Peppermint Patti & Chicken Patti.

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Patti is seriously the sweetest cat I have ever had.  She is so quiet that even her meows have stayed soft.  She is a rather little cat; even at almost 3 years old she probably only weighs about 7 pounds. And she so fastidious when it comes to her fur!  String on a stick and wrapped peppermint candies are her favorite things to play with.

When it was just me and Patti Smith I took her with me anytime I spent the night away from home.  Now that I have a second cat (her story is coming soon!) I don’t mind leaving the two of them alone for a night or two.  Patti loves riding in my truck.  I’m not sure if it’s because I started her off so young or if it is more of her super calm nature.  She spends most trips curled up in my lap, waking up only if we go up a big hill like Old Fort Mountain-I think it makes her ears pop, too.  Either that or she also enjoys the view!

Patti loves to lay on clothes.

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Patti likes to watch me in the tub AND (not pictured) sitting on me while I’m on the toilet!

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I think this one is my most favorite.

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I was worried Patti was getting really bored while I was at work.  See, when she was a kitten I was home with her most of the time.  She started pouting really bad when I was getting ready for work in the mornings, doing this thing I call “Puff Patti.” This is when she puffs the hair out not all the way down her back like a normal cat, but just right at her butt!  Her pupils dilate and sometimes she would even growl!  So I started sort of looking for an additional cat to be her companion.  Boy howdy did we get more than we bargained for.  Stay tuned when I tell you the short history of DUCK!