Category Archives: Home Improvement

Relocating, Redecorating & Readjustments ~ Cool Old Stuff

I’ve been working unbelievably hard over at my mom’s house getting it ready for my daughter and I to move in there after the summer.   It’s mind boggling trying to prioritize everything and decide what to do first.  And just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you realize that you have to do something else first.

Case in point…

We know that we’re doing my daughter’s room first, but it’s not just as simple as moving everything out of there.  Some of the furniture in that room is going into my mom’s room, but my mom’s room has stuff in it that needs to be moved out of there first, and some of that stuff will be going into my daughter’s room, but can’t go there until after her new carpet goes in, and so on.  We’re also having the carpet torn out in my room when they come to install the new carpet in my daughter’s room, but my mom is currently in that room and it is full of stuff that needs to move into my mom’s new room, but it can’t until the stuff in the other rooms gets straightened out.  So we’re playing a bit of “musical rooms’ here.   Also some of the things that we are keeping, need to be put in storage in the basement, but we’ve realized that the basement needs to be organized and cleared out first.  The stuff we “clear out” of there needs to be moved out to the garage for a garage sale later, but there is stuff currently in the garage that needs to be organized and cleared away too in order to make room for the stuff we’re bringing out there.  I know I’m rambling (that’s what I do ;)), but you get the picture…  And it’s just us three ladies doing it all so it’s a little overwhelming.  I’m our makeshift “foreman” so there’s quite a bit on my shoulders…

And it’s not just all the “moving” there is to do,  another part of this whole process is taking care of some of the other stuff in my mom’s house.  This house has been in my family for nearly three quarters of a century and not just my mom has lived there, but my grandma and my great grandma as well , so there’s a lot of history stored there.  In going through some of the closets, we’ve found some very precious keepsakes.  I’ve already mentioned in So Anyway, Moving Right Along…  that I got to look through some of my old baby clothes and how neat that was, but being a fan of antiques and seeing some of the even “older” things my mom has is really cool.  And it’s not just any ol’ old antique stuff ~ it’s my family’s old stuff, which makes it even specialer.

Like my grandma’s wedding dress…

And this cool old memorial document thing from her marriage to my grandpa…

This is my grandparents on their wedding day ~ June 5th, 1935.I can’t even tell you how neat it would be if my daughter or even a possible future granddaughter would wear this same dress on their own wedding day.  Yeah, I’m a bit of a sentimental dork and get off on things like that.

~

We also came across a few old jewelry boxes filled with jewelry that belonged to my mom, her mom, her sister, and her grandma.I already LOVE vintage jewelry, but the thought that not only my mom and her sister, but my grandma and great grandma wore some of this makes me love this particular vintage jewelry even more!  My family doesn’t come from any real significant financial means, so I’m sure none of it is anything “valuable” aside from it’s age ~ which probably ranges from the early 1900’s to the 70’s.  Some of it is tarnished or broken, and some of the earrings have long lost their mates, but it’s beautiful just the same.

This pink box was my grandma’s and some of the jewelry in it was my great-grandma’s too.  My mom says that my grandpa bought the sparkly blue necklaces for my grandma because he himself liked them so much.  🙂  I tried to take some close-up photos of some of my favorite pieces, but I couldn’t really get them to turn out.  You’ll just have to take my word for it that some of this stuff is gorgeous!~

My mom says she thinks this blue box may actually be from my grandpa’s side of the family (his mother, grandmother etc.) because the jewelry doesn’t look familiar to her, but she isn’t sure.  Some of the jewelry in here is the most tarnished and broken so I’m thinking it’s really old. ~

And this gold box is my mom’s.  Again, I tried to take individual shots of my favorite pieces, but couldn’t get them to turn out.  But believe me some of this stuff is amazing!  I have at least 10 things I’m stealing out of here (with my mom’s permission of course ;)).~

The thing is… it’s sad to just keep all of this beautiful jewelry stored away only to take out and gaze at once in a while.  I’ve seen some pretty interesting ideas for using vintage jewelry (aside from wearing it), and for the things that are broken or have no mates, it would be cool to make something like this up with my mom’s, grandma’s or great grandma’s initial.  Then it could be on display and serve not only as a lovely piece of art, but also as a reminder and memorial of the lovely women in my family who once wore it…~

Of course with everything else there is to do at my mom’s house, I have no idea when I would ever get the chance to work on/make something like that, but I adore the idea and think I may have to store it in my memory banks as a future creative project.  How special and meaningful would it be to do something like this as we are merging family together into this same home again?  ♥

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I also might have to find a special way to display these beautiful old potholders too.  My great grandma crocheted these.There are dozens of handcrafted doilies and even handkerchiefs that my great grandma made, including some that were “in process,” which I particularly like. Because I’ve done a lot of handcrafting myself, it’s fun to imagine her being excited to try out new patterns and techniques and then moving on to the next one without completing it (been there, done that ;)).   It would be so cool to finish some of them for her ~ if only I knew even the first thing about crocheting or could find the matching thread.  My mom said that my great grandma had terrible arthritis in her hands, but that she was always stitching something.  I’m glad we have these wonderful mementos from the work of those precious hands.

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There is an old broken dilapidated cedar chest in my mom’s basement that belonged to my grandma and was where she stored all of her and my grandpa’s family photos along with a few other things.  In going through and trying to organize some of the other family heirlooms, my mom thought this might be a good time to take a peek inside of it (it’s been buried under boxes and other things in her basement for many years).  So the three of us girls spent some time the other day looking through it’s contents and it was super cool!  There are family photos dating way back to the 1800’s in there ~ I even saw one of my great great great grandpa!  My brother worked quite a bit on our family tree a number of years ago and had some of them arranged according to family line, but sadly there are still some of them that are unknown.  We also don’t know exactly who the pocket watches in this photo belonged to, but whoever it was must have been strong because man those things weigh a ton!  The green glass candle holders were my great grandma’s, they’re quite atrocious, but I may just have to find a place to display those at some point too…

~

We’ve got a bit more to go through, but as soon as we wrap up this little trip down memory lane, we’ll be able to get onto painting and redecorating the bedrooms.

🙂

So Anyway, Moving Right Along…

I’m moving.

A short time ago it was decided that my daughter and I would move in with my mom this fall when the lease is up on our apartment.  There are a multitude of reasons for this decision, but basically what it comes down to is… family needs to be there for each other and it’ll be easier to do that if we’re all living under the same roof.  It wasn’t an easy decision by any means, but this is the first thing in 2 years that I even feel remotely sure about doing.

Not that I’m looking forward to it though…

Don’t get me wrong ~ I love my mom to pieces, we have always been very close and get along really well, but the prospect of living together again after so many years = kinda, sorta, okay… totally scares the crap out of me.  My daughter on the other hand, is so excited that she can hardly stand it.  And my mom?  Well, I think she’s excited too, but is also a bit apprehensive like I am.   All of our lives have been so discombobulated for the past few years, and we’ve each went through so many major life changes recently that to put it quite simply… it has been just really overwhelming at times.   So now to make yet another major change is a little more than scary.  But necessary.  And I do feel a sense of peace about it even amidst the “totally scares the crap out of me” part.

One of the reasons I’m sharing this tid-bit of  info here is because we are also going to be doing some updating and remodeling to my mom’s house, and I plan to live to write about it.  😉  And I’m only partly joking when I say it that way because I’m afraid it’s going to be quite an undertaking for us 3 ladies over the next several months.  Anyone who has done remodeling knows what I’m talking about…

We have already been busy at work going through many of the things in my mom’s house and deciding what to do with some of it in preparation for the updates and for our moving there.  I foresee a garage sale in our near future.  😉

But there are also many things to hold onto.  The other day for example, I sat on my mom’s bed and looked through a box of my baby clothes and outfits I wore as a child.  I’m really glad my mom held onto those, they are so precious.  And my “mini” was in there ~ a favorite little shirt/dress I wore as a toddler!

Here is an old photo of me wearing it.  Too bad this isn’t in color so you could see just how crazy my “mini” truly is with its bright pink, orange, and yellow stripped combination of colors.  Wasn’t I just the cutest little thing?  😉~

So many precious keepsakes and memories are stored at my mom’s house, and we are going to make sure there is a special place for all of those things.

She also has some awesome vintage 70’s decor that’s Dy-no-mite!  (Yeah, you won’t get that reference unless you were there ;)).

In looking through some of my mom’s old photo albums I found several photos taken of her house shortly after it was remodeled in 1976, and I thought I’d start with those as “before” pictures, but also for nostalgia sake.  I’m so glad my mom thought to take these photos…

The first room we are updating is my parent’s room which my daughter will be moving into.  She has already picked out her new carpeting ~ I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to keep the red stuff that’s already in there.  😉  Red is my mom’s favorite color…  I’m totally keeping that lamp!  I know it’s really red and kinda “out there” but I love it.  No idea where it’s gonna go, probably in the basement for a while, but we’re definitely keeping it!

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The next room we’ll be working on is mine and my sis’s old room which is where I’m moving back into.  So weird.  My mom says there are hardwood floors under the carpet and I’m really hoping she’s right!

This was my sis’s side of the room.  These leopard curtains are still hanging in this room.  What do you think… should I keep them up when I move in?  😉

And my side…I spy with my little eye what looks like a Cher poster hanging above my bed.  I don’t remember being particularly into Cher, I was more into Shaun Cassidy.  He was so dreamy haha!  Pretty sure I still have his album laying around somewhere.  I also seem to recall having multiple posters of Luke Skywalker on my side of the room, but maybe that was later ~ not sure what year Star Wars came out.  Yep, I was a nerd even way back then!  The tapestry on the ceiling is still hanging in my old room too.  There’s also one on my sis’s side.  I’m planning to take them down when I move in, but not getting rid of them.

~

This next room was my brother’s and is where my mom will be.  This is the only room in the house that has been updated since 1976, but we’ll still be painting it and tearing out the carpet eventually.

More animal prints, they must have really been the “in” thing…~

The living room…

Whoa check out the fabric on this couch!   It’s totally “far out man” ;).   It’s long gone now, but that lamp isn’t (there’s a set actually) and it’s another thing that we aren’t going to rush into getting rid of ~ I think I may have a “thing” for old lamps.  😉  My mom has also informed me that we are keeping that shadow box which is still hanging above her current couch.   It was a wedding gift from her parents and is very special to her.  I happen to think it’s pretty cool too!  I asked her if we can set different things on/in it though (maybe some of mine) and she agreed.  🙂More of the living room.  My dad’s chair.  It has changed to different chairs over all these years, but this was always his spot.  I miss him being in it.   ♥ Just recently took down this macrame plant hanger and my sis says she wants it.  It’s all yours sis.  I’m sure she’ll do something cool with it, because she’s cool like that.  Speaking of cool, look at that cool old stand-up ashtray.  Our old TV.  Thing weighed a million pounds!  No remote control on that baby.  That’s my sis’s graduation photo ~ she still looks almost exactly the same.  No lie.~

The dining room.  Not sure if we’ll be updating that dark paneling or not because it might be too difficult/a bother right now to remove.  Maybe a coat of paint could go over it, but I don’t know yet.  My mom and I still need to discuss it and figure out what we want to do.  I really like that light fixture there too, so I’m not sure if we’ll replace it or not.  Maybe it’s not just old lamps, but old light fixtures in general that I have a “thing” for…~

This railing that sort of separates the dining room along with the stairway is all wrought iron and is probably going to stay that way for now, but we’ll see as time goes on and other updates are made…

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The kitchen will be the biggest undertaking.  We are planning to give it a complete makeover ~ new counter tops, sink, stove, walls and flooring.  We’re not sure what we want do with the cabinets just yet though…

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The entire house has all dark colored stain on the woodwork which along with the wrought iron really dates the general design and decor.  With new carpeting and painting throughout we’ll have to decide what we want to do about the dark stain.

This is all going to be quite time consuming and a lot of work, not to mention expensive, but I hope it can be “fun” for us too.

I want to mention here before I close, that this house was built in 1902 and was the house that my mom grew up in.  She and my dad bought the house from my grandpa when he had to go into a nursing home after a stroke, and had it remodeled.

Interesting… once my daughter moves in, that will make 4 generations of my family that have lived in this house, 5 if you count my great grandma that lived here too for a time.  Kinda cool if you think about it…