Friday, November 30, 2012

Craigslist Adventures! or....Preparing for a House of Our Own

I have never used Craigslist in my life before the last couple of months. However, when one is building and furnishing a house on a budget, I'm finding it can come in very handy! I've found many of my treasures there.

The most recent was something we weren't even expecting, and consider it to be a Providential gift.
Jordan had been pricing windows bought new, of various different kinds. We of course both prefered the more old fashioned, wood frame kind, double hung with separate glass panes. Because an old fashioned log home needs windows to match, right? But, windows of any kind, especially what we wanted, were way more expensive that we had been counting on. One place quoted us a price of between $300 and $400 a piece. And we need 16 in all. Yikes!

So, that was somewhat discouraging, we had about decided we'd just have to go with something cheaper and modern for now, and hope to be able to replace them with something more historic in the future.

Well - I got a hunch to do a quick search on (where else..?) Craigslist. I found only one listing that I thought looked really worthwhile. It was for 11 new wooden windows, and they looked 'right' to me, but I hesitated about showing them to Jordan, because they might 'not' be

However. I did show him, and he said they were perfect - just the exact style that should go in a 19th century house.

So, the next day we were driving up to Oklahoma city to pick up our windows! They were even better in person. They were brand-new, never installed handmade window reproductions that someone had ordered for a period house restoration, but then changed their mind about at the last minute.

So -  we got 11 windows for roughly $70 a piece. Plus we got 2 more half windows for free that we are planning to use for the bathroom! 

Aren't they great?? I can just imagine looking out of them already!

They are a bit dusty right now, but will clean up nicely. :)

They even use the old-fashioned system of cast iron weights, ropes, and pulleys inside the frame to open and close the window. Sweet! We couldn't have asked for anything more perfect or period-correct.

Here are a coule of examples of old fashioned windows, inside and out:

Back at the beginning of October, I really got to thinking about the 'big' items we still didn't have for the house. I had looked in our area craigslist before for clawfoot tubs, and either hadn't come up with much, or the ones I had seen were really expensive. But, I decided to look again, this time I saw several affordable options, but finally decided to call about this one:

My cast iron bathtub!! The enamel inside is in perfect shape (forgive it being a bit dusty!), not a nick or scratch to be seen. The outside has been painted cream colored, and there is a small scrape in the paint. I may repaint it a brighter color someday, but I'll wait and see. I bought it for $150.00, which considering the other prices I'd seen for tubs in this good of shape, seemed like a deal. The man I bought it from said it was taken from a turn of the century farmhouse in Oklahoma.

I'm envisioning our small bathroom to look something like this:

Or this:

Or this:
...something looking quite simple, clean, and bright.

Since we were going to be driving 2 hours away to pick up my bathtub in one of the bigger towns in our area, I decided to comb through anything that was described by the word 'antique' in the town's craigslist just to make sure I couldn't make the trip more worthwhile. And I found a sure-enough treasure:

I loved this bathroom sink/vanity from the minute I saw the picture. It's absolutely perfect in every way for what I wanted . The hinged mirrors on the side are so cute, and I love how the small sink makes me think of a china bowl-and-pitcher on a cabinet.

The piece isn't actually antique, but a very well made, sturdy modern-made antique style. :)
 Isn't the carving pretty?

The two top drawers hide the plumbing, but the bottom drawer actually works.
Jordan wants to eventually replace the faucet with something a little less shiny. :)

I've been so thankful that over and over the right pieces for the house have fallen into place just at the right time! :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

One Very Sticky Adventure

Jordan never ceases to amaze me. Every time I turn around, I'm learning about some brand new thing that he's apparently done for years, that I know nothing about. I'm completely serious, and not being sarcastic a bit! I've love learning new things. He is the most talented, skilled person, and I'm so blessed that I get to be his helper! He keeps telling me that 'he's not handsome, but he's handy', and I  keep telling him that he is most definitely both! :)

Okay. So, while Jordan has been staying down here, welding on the doll beds in the work shop, a problem began. A hive of bees has been dwelling in the outside shop building wall for many years, so far they haven't bothered us too much, so we did't bother them. Until they started coming through the inside wall, so much that Jordan could no longer work out there!

So, after some discussion, it was decided to order the items we needed to start a domestic bee hive, and see if we could transfer the wild bees into it while Jordan was here, because he's had bees for many years and knows all about it!

Little brother Stockton was very excited, as he's decided if it's successful, and once he learns the ropes, he will take over the 'bee business' and hopefully eventually produce enough honey to sell. 

Stockton, me, and Jordan

So, after Jordan and Stock had constructed the hive boxes over several days, we chose one particularly warm day to try and move the bees and break into the wild hive. Under Jordan's direction we put on over jeans and a thick shirt our winter coveralls and leather gloves. Then we had to duct tape our ankles and wrists....then put on our straw cowboy hats and a homemade fabric 'veil', which was then also duct taped down.

Good thing I'm not claustrophobic.

Oh wait. I am....

Yeah. So it was stuffy...and four or five hours was a long time to be in that crazy get-up, but we survived. I hesitated about posting the above I sincerely hope it is the worst possible outfit I will ever be seen in...hope I don't ever show up in anything worse! lol. But- the good thing is neither Stockton or I got one single bee sting. (Jordan did get two :(

First Jordan had to rip the wood siding off the shop wall to expose the hive. It was huge! The honeycomb went down vertically, and was covered with busy workers.

The bees were not happy to have their home invaded, but they actually didn't attack us very much. It was so very interesting to see the inside of such a complex and wonderful 'factory'. The design was amazing! I'm afraid during the whole process Stockton and I distracted Jordan with endless questions about the hive and the bees! I feel like we learned a lot.

Jordan began cutting out sections of comb and rubber-banding or wiring it into the frames for the boxes that he and Stockton had made. We put about half the comb in the new hive, and half we kept.

The dark, rich honey was literally dripping out of the comb when we got inside the wall.

When we finally got done with the bee move, and brought all the leftover honeycomb inside, we had every single big bowl and pot in the house full up!

Jordan showed us how to squeeze the honey out of the comb.

It was such very sticky work - but everyone wanted to get in on the fun!
And it smelled so heavenly and rich!

After all the comb had been squeezed, we strained the honey to remove any trash.

We ended up with (almost) two beautiful gallons of raw wild honey! The flavor was delicious, actually much deeper and stronger than any I've tasted before.

And, Jordan also showed us how to melt down and strain all the leftover comb and we ended up with a lovely sweet-smelling cake of pretty yellow beeswax. Mom and I have been coming up with all sorts of plans to use it....


So, it was a very very long day, but so worth it! We of course had biscuits for supper that night so everyone could have their fill of the delicious honey!

Monday, November 5, 2012

What I've Been Up To: Doll Beds

Hello again, everyone! After such a long silence here on the blog, you may be wondering what I've been up to.....well. I'm about to tell you, and you may be surprised!

As I mentioned earlier, my fiance Jordan, was down here visiting from Tennessee. He came right after he finished logging and sawing all the lumber for our future house. However, before he can start actually constructing the house, he needed to work for a couple of months and make enough cash to pay for supplies and various expenses during construction. So, the original plan was that he was going to visit for a week and then go back to Tennessee and work out of town on a job he had lined up. But - plans changed a bit (actually an answer to my prayers, I think! :) My parents offered to let us temporarily take over the doll bed business that they had previously had going as a small side job, but were too busy now to continue. They had a waiting list of about 30 customers that wanted to order, and the actual dollars per hour for makingt he beds were higher than Jordan's other job - (and we could be together!!) so we said yes!

So - Jordan has been welding the metal doll beds, and generally improving the whole process,  and I've been doing the painting, sewing bedding sets, photography, and customer service. Busy!

And yes - our goal is the pay the rest of the way towards the house with doll beds.

Are we crazy?


But hey - if Jordan and I can do it, and do it together - I'm all in! :) It's been good and steady work so far with plenty of orders, and I pray God's blessing on our continued efforts.

As a fan from childhood of miniature anything (especially having to do with dolls) I'm really loving the photography part. I've set up little 'rooms' with fabric wallpaper and miniature furniture to give my bed photographs more interest. Such fun!


The beds are antique and retro in style, which I love. All strong steel welded together by hand, completely sturdy and heirloom quality.


If you would like to spread the word about our new business on your blog, etc.
then please do contact me, I would so much appreciate the support!
Please check out our Etsy shop, FB page, and Flickr photostream. And if you spot a picture you like, pin it to Pinterest! That helps us because our link is written on all the pictures. :)

And be sure to tell me what you think!
Do you think we are crazy and this is a ridiculous, hair brained scheme?
Or, are you also, like me, a secret fan of miniature worlds??


Related Posts with Thumbnails