I love the springtime and the spring cleaning it evokes. I love that spring cleaning yields the occasional garage sale. I love garage sales, and even more, I love the occasional organized neighborhood sale. No IKEA or Pottery Barn or fancy-pants Anthropologie castoffs this year (which yes, I’ve been lucky enough to snatch previous years), but I did obtain some exceptional goodies at the Biennial Ultimate Garage Sale in the Browncroft neighborhood of Rochester. If anyone from that neighborhood follows my blog and recognizes these from your sale… thank you. And sorry for the haggling.
Self-control (and fear of bedbugs) in full-effect while I peruse people’s junk, I don’t often carry home trashed items or buy things just for the sake of buying. And I don’t purchase bedding at garage sales, or clothing for that matter, but I am a sucker for home improvement and decor items. Last time I visited this particular neighborhood sale, I scored the paned glass door that ended up being installed between my living room and sunroom. For $2.
My investment this year totalled $4, but I acquired some items that I really like (and will use). True to form, here’s what I found and what I paid (Sorry sister, I know my price outlines drive you insane):
1. A ragged out owl statue. Heavy. Will be painted a neutral color. 50 cents.
2. Glass amber vase. 25 cents. This will go nicely with the golds and yellows in the house. Haggled.
3. Brass heart bowl. Needs a good cleaning but I am sort of liking the tarnished look. Nice for a candle, is what I’m thinking. 25 cents.
And I realized after I took that photo that you probably wouldn’t have any perspective on the size of these goodies, so I stuck my standard Venti Starbucks cup in the background.
4. I’m also a sucker for candles, mostly because the ones you find at garage sales were used once or twice and still have adequate burn left in them. People practically give away candles… and I practically never buy them retail, even when I’m tempted by the Pier 1 “oh, this votive is just 79-cents and it smells SO good” urge to buy. Since I burned through my supply over the course of the winter (pun noticed, not intended), it’s time to stock up where I can, and the ones included in this set were only $1 and didn’t smell bad at all (most were actually unscented) so I took the whole pack. And the big one is grape. I love grape.
5 and 6 and 7. At the last house I stopped at, I found more candles (unscented and lightly used) and this beautifully shaped glass jar for $2 total. The pink thumbtacks were in someone’s freebie bin; I couldn’t not get them. That’s Pete and Handy Girl playing with bubbles in the backyard.
Yep, $4. Reasonably good finds for an otherwise cost-free excursion. Anyone else have an exceptional weekend picking through other people’s cast away decor?
Still on my list for summer finds are: books (I found some on this hunt but I just couldn’t weigh myself down as I walked around for hours), large planters for gardening on the back deck, a big lampshade (or a full lamp) that I can take apart for a future project, and some christmas ornaments (because I like an assortment of random ones for tree, including well-made and ornate vintage designs). And yeah, I’ll probably pick up more candles if I find any.
I was so proud of myself to buy the grow lights and figure out that I could start lots of seeds early so they’d be ready to go in the ground nice and earlyyy so that I could have lots and lots of flowers and veggies, like, ASAP.
I failed. Really failed. First of all, Dad called approximately 13-minutes after the seeding post was published to tell me that (well, first he said he loved it but…) he really only thought I should have planted tomatoes (which I wasn’t planting at all), because everything else would be ready for the ground much more quickly. While 14-year old me would have bet my allowance that he told me to start the seeds in late February (tomato seeds, I over generalized) what he really meant is, mid-March.
So, not only was I trying to force lots of different plants to spout early, I also failed by keeping my house too cold. I like my low heating bills, but my seeds did not, despite having those little heating bulbs hovering over them. And putting them on a radiator in the sunlight.
Upon realizing after 4 sad weeks that nothing was going to sprout (yes, I continued to try and prove my dad wrong), I called it a day and stacked the egg containers and paper towel rolls into the basement stairwell (you know, far enough away that they wouldn’t haunt me, but positioned nicely so that maybe if they sat in the sunbeam through the side door, some kind of magic would happen and suddenly the seeds would be healed).
No such magic luck ensued, so I started over again with the basil, cilantro, chive, and zinnia seeds a few weeks ago.
It’s warmer now; the sunroom acts as a nice little greenhouse, and of course would have been a great place to just let the seeds veg out, except one warm sunny afternoon shortly after I reseeded, I thought it would be nice to let them out on the back deck to get direct sunlight…
…And direct wind, because about 20 minutes after they were placed out there, the whole plastic container was launched across the deck and landed upside down. Oi vey.
I almost called it quits, but I salvaged what I could, devistated because I had used the rest of my seeds on this second chance at having a nice little herb garden. I have no idea how many fell out, or how mixed up the containers got, but mostly I wasn’t sure what I was going to find in that big pile of soil that I ended up scooping straight off the deck. I just left that random scoop in the middle of the plastic bin, which you can see in the next picture.
Back to the non-windy sunroom it went. Happily, just this week there were signs of survival.
At first just a little, not even enough for me to distingish what was growing out of what egg carton, but slowly, the plants started to show more of their distinctive identities. Hello there, baby Zinnias! Clearly you shifted into one little pocket in the egg container during your tumble, but I’m going to love having you all summer long. (Have I mentioned that last year my Zinnias bloomed for 5 months?)
I can’t quite decipher between the chives and the cilantro yet, but I do know that the basil made it into the round plastic container filled with paper towel tubes. Hopefully no other seeds fell in there during the spill. Whatever it is, it seems happy in there, albeit a little moldy. Humph.
…And that is what I consider a sizeable accomplishment. Self-pat on back.
Pete had installed that new window in his parent’s house several weeks ago. I did a little bit of caulking, but let’s face it, he was the one who did the heavy lifting. Last week I gave you a sneak peek into how incredibly the drywall came out (silky smooth and freshly painted) but I still owed you insight into how he decided to frame the new window.
We’ve never done this before. Seriously, we had never gutted a room ourselves before, we never insulated ourselves, we never drywalled a full room, and we never installed windows. Just add this to the list as another successful experience.
Pete had an idea of how he wanted these windows to look – and he found a photo showcased on Warren Construction that pretty much mirrored his vision:
The general idea involved simple 1×5 boards instead of fancy cut-by-the-linear-foot trim. A sleek look, and easy to do, and easy to find lumber. And mad inexpensive compared to some of the stuff out there. What I like most of all is that it looks a whole lot less than the traditional and expected window framing you see in new construction – it’s modernly simplistic in a way that makes me want to redo every single window in my entire pad.
We started with the window sill piece first, simply because it seemed like a logical place to start and we weren’t sure where else to start from. The sill board itself was a 1×6 board so that it was guaranteed to be generous in depth. It was simply cut to length and notched with a jigsaw so that the sill was nice and snug to both the window and the drywall that it overlapped. I should note that we used the awesome nail gun for this entire install. Aside from that, we used the jigsaw I mentioned, a circular saw for longer cuts, and a square to ensure, well, square edges.
From there, we worked to create the side pieces for the inner frame. These pieces measured from the new sill all the way to the top of the window frame, and were also nail gunned into place. Pete also had to cut the boards a little bit the long way since the window isn’t set more than a few inches into the wall. This was deemed the hard part, but it all worked out well.
The top of the inside of the sill was the next piece to go in, and fortunately all we had to do was trim a piece to match the width and depth of the remaining space at the top in between the side boards. I’m not entirely sure this makes sense the way I’m explaining it, so please remember you can click on the photos to see a bigger image. And ask questions. We’re here to answer questions.
The last part we tackled was the face of the new window frame; because we wanted it to overlap the interior frame entirely, it was just an effort in cutting the remaining 1×5 boards to length to fit all the way around the window.
Pete also got around to taping and priming the new windows (we considered staining briefly, but decided it would just be neater at this point to make them a clean white finish). They have yet to be painted, but are looking pretty swell as is. Disregard the Scotch blue.