Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finally...a Craigslist purchase.

I rarely go on Craigslist.  It's overwhelming...all that goodness that is out there but never knowing if you saw it soon enough to be the one to bring home the treasures.  I did take a chance one night last week and checked in on what was listed.  Nate and I had been planning to put up some beadboard in our second floor bath and I couldn't stop thinking about getting rid of the much too big vanity.  A pedestal sink seemed like it would fit much to Craigslist I went.  It didn't take long to find a sink, the same exact sink I had looked at online when we first went through our wish list of transformations for this house. 

It's a Barclay sink, only 18" wide.  Most of the time they are used in two piece washrooms because they are so petite.  I wanted to be able to fit a chair or at least a stool next to the clawfoot tub that came with the house and the room is only about 7 foot square.  So this would work great.

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I was really excited and showed Nate the posting...I got the "here we go" look.  I quickly told him that the cheapest I had seen this sink online was $195 plus shipping, this one was listed for only $95 and it was only a 30 minute drive to the person that had listed it.  I assured him that I have never successfully purchased anything through Craigslist so not to worry about the price at all, even though it would be an awesome deal!  This is definitely one of those times I love that I was wrong...the gentleman with the sink emailed me back quickly and the sink was still available..YIPPEE! 

I'm sure Nate knew right then and there that we had a new sink coming.  Even though I said I would just go look at it.. yeah sure...just like that time I told him "we can just go look at the last puppy that needs a home" and we came home with our second Springer Spaniel.  I don't know how anyone could have resisted him. 

This is he weighs about 70 pounds, but still seems to think he is only this big.

Well, I went to "look at" the sink today.  Of course it came home with me!  Nate actually likes it and that we saved a lot of money.  We don't think we'll use it in the second floor bath though, we'd end up with no storage in the room.  We don't need a ton of storage but it would be nice to have a place for extra TP and things like that.  We think we'll use another cast iron sink I got for 30 bucks on clearance in that bathroom.  Plus, then I can have another adventure looking for a small dresser or cabinet to use as the base. 

We tried the pedestal sink in the first floor bath and both liked it in there much better.  It will really help to open up that space.  That room is long and narrow, plus the sink just seems more at home in there.   

Hopefully within the next couple of weeks the second floor bath and a couple other rooms will be completely finished.  Then I'll post some Before and After photos!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Today, I am going on an adventure.  I didn't know it until this morning.  My sister's birthday is tomorrow and we are going to start celebrating today.  She wasn't feeling the best earlier in the week and thought she'd spend her birthday weekend the same way.  But now,  I'm being picked up at 10am, I'm not sure by whom or where we are going.  All I know is my sister will be there and that will make for a great adventure.  Happy Birthday Nenee!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Charlieman - A Day in the Life

Today was a "Stay at home with mommy day" for Charlieman and myself.  This is how it went...

We slept in until 8 o'clock.  Then a bouncing little boy that remembered what today was crawled onto our bed.  With a big grin on his face he said "mommy, today is a stay home with you day, what are we going to do?"  I asked him "Well, Charlieman, what would you like to do?"

"Mommy, I need to think about it.  HMMMM, I'm thinking" with his little finger tapping on his lips.

Charlie graciously agreed to recreate his "HMMMM, I'm thinking" face so I could get a picture of him.

He decided on crunchy toast for breakfast.  Then we watched a Halloween episode of Umizoomi because "ghosts aren't real mommy, but they are my friends."  We played doctor, of course I was the one with a bellyache that was cured by having my heart listened to, my reflexes checked, and a couple shots.  Roads were made out of toilet paper.  Inside dirt (oatmeal) was hauled by diggers and dumptrucks.  Right before lunch, my friend Laura and her twins Noah and Grace came over and we frosted and decorated cupcakes.  We had crunchy pizza and crunchy garlic bread for lunch (Charlie loves everything to be crunchy lately).  By 2 o'clock our friends had headed home and Charlie could barely keep his eyes open.  He took a nap and I enjoyed some time for myself.  Our snack after nap was ice cream and we watched Alvin and the Chipmunks while we waited for Daddy to get home from work.

We had a wonderful Charlieman and mommy day. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Little Piece of New England

Every farmhouse needs a really great sink.  I spent lots of hours looking at photos online of farmhouse kitchens and fell in love with the real vintage, cast iron, apron front sinks that I saw.  In all of our adventures to my favorite local antiques dealers and other junking locales, I would never see the kind of sink I was dreaming of finding. 

Then one day, I stumbled across This Old Tub and Sink through an internet search.  The sites "About Us" brought up an exciting description "We specialize in salvaging vintage bathtubs and sinks from the New England states. Since we focus only on tubs and sinks we have a vast inventory of beautiful fixtures from which to choose." 

Would they have my sink?

Their vast inventory, and it is vast - plus if they don't have it, they'll try to find it for you - did in fact include the sink that I had dreamed up.  A gorgeous 1948 Vintage Double Basin Porcelain Over Cast Iron Farm House Sink.  The description read "The sink dimensions are 42"LX26"D. The shallow basin reaches a depth of 6" and the deeper basin a depth of 13". It has a 6" backsplash and a 7" apron." 

I got out a ruler and laid out the was perfect - I wanted a BIG sink to be the centerpiece of the kitchen.  I loved the detail on the apron and it was in really good condition.  We ended up calling and purchasing the sink.  Kevin, from This Old Tub and Sink was great to work with.  I had never made a purchase of something so large before and the sink had to be shipped from Massachusetts to Wisconsin.  There were absolutely no problems!

This is how the sink arrived.
We had to unload it off of a semi into the back of my Dad's truck. 
The sink, in the crate, weighed about 300 pounds.

Of course, I couldn't wait to open the crate.  My dad making his way around taking out a few dozen screws.
It's crazy know to think this was already a year ago!

It was so exciting to see it in person.  I loved being able to run my hands over it and feel the smooth porcelain with all the little wear spots that left little bumps and valleys.
It's imperfectly perfect.

I was even able to find out that the sink had been taken out of an old farmhouse in Southern New Hampshire.  I love knowing that - having a little piece of history from New England, a place that we would love to travel to, adds so much to our story that is unfolding here at Shady Grove Farm.  We'll probably never know exactly where the farm is that the sink came from or who used it on a daily basis to care for their family, but just wondering about what their life was like and who the people were is fun to imagine while I clean up after supper, arrange a vase of flowers, or for a long time, when we first moved in - gave Charlie baths in the deep basin side of the sink.

Charlie taking a bath in the sink.  This was before we had even moved in.

The installed sink.
I love how the apron has the bands around the bottom that bump out and that the front corners are angled.

The basin on the left is about 6 inches deep and the one on the right is 13 inches.

The windows behind the sink open into our greenhouse.
I can look through those windows and the large greenhouse glass to see our barn and the fields behind our house.
This picture shows the reflection of the pendant lights over the island.
You also get a sneak peek at the cabinets that we made ourselves.
The sink cabinet has different knobs than the rest of the cabinets.

A closeup of one of the two vintage soap holders I got for my last birthday.  My mom got them for me at one of the barn sales we've been to at Meadowview Farm.  Normally, they are seen on a clawfoot tub (that's where the other one is being used) but I liked how it looked on the sink, holding some locally made goat's milk soap.  It leaves your hands feeling so soft and smells great.


Our little piece of New England
has become the centerpiece of our kitchen.

We are working on installing trim this weekend, once it's painted I'll be showing the entire kitchen!

Monday, January 9, 2012

"that's pretty fun!"

Shouts our "I'm going to be thwee in four months mommy" son.  He's just discovered that if he puts his thumb over the bathtub spout that the water will spray EVERYWHERE.  He's still dwarfed in the claw foot tub that we inherited when we bought this house.  The clawfoot tub that is "up on blocks" because it wouldn't drain and we haven't tackled the complete bathroom reno that is needed to really fix it right.  Charlie doesn't care, he can spray water with just his thumb, even his beloved Batman can't do that.  That bathroom reno probably won't happen for awhile.  We still have a kitchen to trim. And a seemingly always growing list of To-dos that are the ideas we have to make this house our home and try our hand at a little life in the country. So, here we go.  I'm starting again.  The reason for this blog is because we want to share those ideas and what it takes to go from our dreams to our reality.  I hope through most of the adventures we'll all be shouting "that's pretty fun!"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bloggers Block

How is it that I've only started this blog and am already struggling with keeping it up.  Once we get moved in I will start sharing more of our journey!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Cabinet Hardware and Barn Update

The cabinet hardware I ordered came in!  We are going with oil rubbed bronze finishes for the metal in the house.  This wasn't really a decision, it just sort of happened.  We found lights we liked  for over the island - the finish they came in was oil rubbed bronze.  The kitchen sink faucet we looked at - oil rubbed bronze.  The upstairs bathroom towel bar and toilet paper holder that we are now going to keep - just happen to be oil rubbed bronze.  So, when it came time for the cabinet jewelry, we had to go with - oil rubbed bronze. 

The hinges are wrap style, butt hinges - the wrap part will give a little extra support for the doors and the "butt" means that the hinge pin butts out from between the door frame and the cabinet face. 
The knobs are 1 and a 1/4" round and they are heavy.  I love how they feel, that weight, like a good solid foundation for us in this house, something that will last for years and years and years.

We also were able to get the locks off of the chicken coop and the double barn doors this past weekend, with the help of my Uncle's bolt cutters.  My sister scooped up a few treasures and I found a couple projects.  But the best news is that Nate is now completely on board with SAVING THE BARN! It's going to be a big project it needs to be straightened, reinforced, and have the foundation fixed or replaced, and that's just to keep it standing.  My hopes to turn it into a great get-together space will be many years in the making...