NINETEEN HUNDRED HOUSE

I live in a wonderfully terrible turn of the century farmhouse, wonderful for the practical simplicity & old-time charm, terrible for the upkeep and drafts. If you live in an older home you know exactly what I mean.

I don’t think there is a straight wall in my house…rest assured it is solid & strong, but truly built by hand…the only power tools used were people driven. I have spindly winding stairs off the main floor bath that lead down to a limestone basement. I have creepy crawl spaces, where we are finding never-ending surprises. (we actually found somebody’s porno stash in one of the basement walls!)

I have wallpaper from the 30s lining all my closets, when we moved in we found birds eye maple floors under the orange shag dog carpet. Narrow steep stairs & horsehair walls lead you to the bedrooms. To the right a porcelain tub & fixtures in an upstairs bath, tiled in baby blue from the 50s. There is a strange little door in the ceiling in the upstairs hallway that leads to an attic, where you can see roofline changes & additions to my houses silhouette.

I have a porch.

I have storm windows, I have wood siding, My garage has one tiny square window & a square hip roof (pyramid roof)..I love my little garage! I have drafts, I have spiders…BIG spiders. I have giant oak trees that rain acorns and creek in the wind.

You cannot dig in my yard without unearthing something old and rusty or hitting masonry..once we found a No. 6 crock lid by our little shed.

I guess you could say I live in an old time farmhouse in the middle of the city…the city was built around me. 

I do so love my house, I only wish I could pick it up and move it to the middle of nowhere…I’ll just add that to my exhaustive fix-it list, right after MORE OUTLETS! 

Now you can get your own little house blueprints, my NINETEEN HUNDRED HOUSE pdf pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry and Etsy

Wont you roll up your sleeves and get down to business, good old fashion hard work, resulting in a perfectly useful hand built little knit house made sturdy & strong.

A tribute to Housework ..NOPE.. A tribute to a house!

I ♥ FREE stuff

I am a collector, a recycler, a reuser of stuff, at least that is what I keep telling myself. I’ve seen the hoarding shows and that’s not me, I swear seriously, I can throw away trash, garbage & broken things. We usually only buy enough food for a week at a time, our daughter is vegan so fresh veggies & fruits are her staples, so no food stockpiles here. I don’t depend heavily on coupon shopping, because you’ll tend to buy things you don’t need just because of the low price. I can easily give things to others that I think they can use ..see I’m no hoarder..

Yes on occasion I have stopped by the roadside and dug through piles marked FREE looking for useful treasure items, Haven’t YOU??

My daughter, mom, sister & I decided we were going to clean house and have ourselves a good old fashion rummage sale. We picked a date, changed that date twice I think, then finally set a date and started gathering our goods. Picking through garages, basements & darkened closets finding things we would never use again, things we forgot we even had.

 I kind of cheated, I had a colossal accumulation of stuff sitting in my 3-season porch that I just got so sick of looking at and didn’t want to have to price or deal with, so I went through it, bagged up a bunch and made a donation drop at the Goodwill. I kept most of the art and craft supplies and the strange/collector items for our sale. (Jason and I over the years had collected an impressive selection of weird shit.) We actually sold an old jail phone, it was a heavy black rotary dial phone minus the rotary dialer (it was for incoming calls only) and it had a metal cage that went over the top to prevent anyone from tampering with it when it was mounted to the wall ..dang. My sis loves old costume jewelry and was selling a bunch of it and the shoppers were going WILD, it was fun to watch. Everyone who came commented on our cheap prices and crazy assortment of cool items, which made us all very smiley and happy, but then question, crap should I have sold that, maybe I should of kept that, that was really cool! (slight hoard moment) The day ended, we were cheerfully exhausted and we started our own piles of FREE on the roadside for the next collector to sift through.

My daughter and I were driving around town (after our sale) and spotted these sweeties in a free pile. I use to spend most of my childhood winter days skating around the village ice rink  (my home town was very small and it was called a village!) I spent all day practicing my 1980’s figureskating moves, going in the warming house and putting my snow packed sopping mittens on the radiator to warm up and dry out. There was even a time when the town didn’t have a rink and my dad made us one in our backyard!

This is what I made with the free skates. I also used my sisters old skates to make her one too (I usually make things in 3’s – 1 for mom, 1 for my sister and 1 for me). I have no idea where my childhood skates went? They had bubblegum pink insides and a jingle bell on the toe. I can still remember making huge pom-poms for them too. Gosh, I also remember my dad would take me along ice fishing and I would spend the entire day skating around the lake, basically pushing a shovel as I skated, clearing the way as I went!

Here is the general idea of what I did:

Take an old skate & stuff the boot part with plastic bags (really pack them in there) this will help it to hold its shape. Before you pack the ankle section of the boot stick in some pine branches, glittery twigs & poinsettias (I used fake ones because they had the pinecones and berries already on the branch, but real ones would work perfectly too, just change them out every year). 

Now lace up the skates, pack in some more bags to hold your branches in place. You can hot glue on pinecones, little berries & moss to cover up your bag area (I positioned the poinsettia in the front to hide the bags).

I wrapped a velvet ribbon around the toe area because it was a tad plain. I wanted to write something on the side of the heel like “Merry” or “Jolly” but I knew I would mess it up and wreck the whole thing, but you could do a shabby little welcome on the side of yours! 

To make it hang, you can string a twine loop through the last eyelet of the boot lacing or use one of the bows from the long laces to hang it (I remember as a kid having to wrap the laces around the skate 3 or 4 times, cripes why were the laces so long?) ..anyways.. Thread a big jingle bell on the laces & tie them in a bow.

♥ Hang up & Reminisce.

1800

Old Victorian era cabinet photographs make my heart skip, chubby little children posing angelicly with giant paper moons, mustached men all dressed up in their woolies getting ready for the long hard winter and  plump schoolmarm bosoms bursting with buttons, tatted collars &  lace pinned up with a lovely cameo. 

My family doesn’t have very many old photos, so I adopt these left behind instant relatives every chance I get. Sometimes I think about who they were, what they did and how long they had to sit still for that photo to turn out! Some of the best/creepiest photos are of the children who couldn’t sit still with their freaky blurred faces & hands!

Sometimes I try to incorporate the look and feel of that era into my real 2011 life. I made a series of cameo necklaces and brooches, using old bits of book text, photos and glitter set in resin and I think they are some of the prettiest pieces I have ever created. ❤

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