30 July, 2010

Dumpster Diving -- Ideas for Old Windows

I drive Ted crazy with my obsessive dumpster diving, I admit that. But sometime I find really cool treasures. I've picked up antique mirrors, oak wood kitchen chairs, cast iron candlestick holders, and vintage bar glasses.

I've picked up some clunkers, too, including several dressers I meant to refinish, changed my mind about (i.e., never really got around to it), and quietly snuck back out to the alley with a "curb alert" notice on Craig's List. But at least they don't end up in a landfill.

A few months back, I saw a listing for old windows that someone removed during a remodeling project. I was in the middle of a stained glass art class, and with visions of all that wonderful, wavy old Chicago glass, I drove across the city and in the pouring rain loaded up the car with a dozen very large windows. Okay, I know it's more glass than I'll ever need for stained glass projects, but I couldn't bear them going into a landfill, either. Since then, I've been trying to figure out what to do with them.

While surfing CL today, I spotted a "free" listing for some more (don't worry, Ted, I have no plans of getting them). Accompanying the ad was this picture of how the seller has reused similar ones. He simply added a shelf for some geraniums and hung it on an exterior wall. I think I could do a similar effect for our garage, which has no side windows.

What do y'all think?

24 July, 2010

Dragonfly Swarm!

I was walking through the porch on my way down to my office, when I glanced out the window and saw something I had never seen before. Dragonflies--thousands of them. The air is filled with them right now, for blocks in every direction. They're swarming from just a few inches above our heads to higher than the tallest elm tree on our street. They are probably feeding on much smaller insects, and are in turn getting gobbled up by various birds swooping through, including woodpeckers and grackles. It's a whole circle of life right in my own backyard.

I didn't take a picture, but found one online that looks similar. For full view, go to their Web site: http://fr.treknature.com/gallery/photo134158.htm

17 July, 2010

Big Brass Bed

This week we had someone come by the house to see some old radio and TV tubes Joanne had on Craig's List. While the guy didn't take the tubes he told us he was having an estate sale just a few blocks away. Of course we had to go check it out. So glad we did. Found a great 1920's, full size, vintage brass bed!

The bed and out house were built around the same time! We figured it was karma, the two pieces had to be brought together . . so we bought it. Looks good in my bedroom with the antique quilt, circa 1930s, we found at another estate sale years ago.

Now for the funny part.

The silly thing is tall, I mean over 36" tall. I need a small stool to climb into bed! Good thing I still have the old hassock my grandmother made me when I was 2 years old. Told the kids I'll need a two-step stool later when I'm older.

I made the two dolls sitting on the bed when Joanne was in  Jr High. The one is a cheerleader from her school.

14 July, 2010

Vintage 1920s Kohler Sink with Mixing Faucet

We just found the most awesome vintage sink on Craigslist. It came from a 1929 bungalow in Oak Park, where the owner was "upgrading" with another vintage piece. I love the whole steampunk look, with the arms that come up to a mixing faucet. We're going to use it in the basement, where we already have a 1920s toilet in a sort of half bath.

Overall, it's in good shape. There is some rusting around the drain, not too bad, so the plan is to clean it up, apply some naval jelly, and then use a porcelain repair kit to smooth it out. I poked around the Net and have found tons of products proclaiming to work, with a wide range of prices, but I have no idea which is the best. Anyone with experience repairing old porcelain sinks care to recommend a product?