Back in the Blog Game

Incredibly long time, no write. Last year was pretty hectic but amazing, as a result, my poor fledgling blog was neglected, but I’m back in the blog game now, baby!

When we last left off, I had quit going to school for my nursing pre-requisites and was working for the government and absolutely hating it. (This is NOT an anti-government rant. I hate my job for NON-government reasons as well as the nature of what I do, which technically isn’t the government’s fault). I still work for the same government agency but was given a promotion (same job duties but more work) and a 12% raise (holy crap!). I was grateful for the extra money but knew as soon as I got that raise, leaving work and finding another job making the same amount would be next to impossible. No wonder people never leave the hellhole. Add to this equation the promise of the Feds forgiving SEVERAL thousand dollars in student loan debt if I stay for another five years as well as my fifty pound weight gain and depression / anxiety, and you get me miserable everyday that I’m not getting drinks at lunch. Insanity! I can’t stand it. I’ve had several talks with the hubby and we’re now planning for my resignation by the end of summer (hopefully!). I’m frankly afraid of what I’ll say to my manager if I don’t quit. Ironically, in the meantime, my husband’s job is slightly up in the air until spring and if things don’t work out for him as planned then my job question is answered for me because we’d have to leave Austin, which would really suck because….

We just bought a house! Well, I say “just” but we found it July 1st and closed August 20th (day after my birthday, best belated gift ever). The house was a bit of a surprise. We were planning on moving into a three bedroom apartment in town in order to have enough room to accommodate my Etsy shop inventory. Our 1000 square foot apartment was a NIGHTMARE!! At the last minute, literally a few days before we were supposed to move into the 3 bedroom, the manager of the complex called to say the unit would be unavailable indefinitely due to needed repairs (I automatically assume murder crime scene or bedbugs). The next day the hubs gave the green light on us buying a house. The mission; find the biggest house on the smallest lot in the best school district for the cheapest price possible. Done!! We found a 2100 sq ft 4/2/2 on a 1/10 acre lot in far Northwest Austin (my favorite area!). We stayed within budget including repainting nearly everything inside and out (the previous owner loved lilac) AND remodeling the master bathroom. There’s about 1000 sq ft of gray ceramic tile that I hate with the heat of a thousand suns but chose to tolerate because I like everything else about the house so much (I’m plotting replacing the floors, which might prove a nearly insurmountable task). And did I mention the master suite has its own deck and sitting room WITH fireplace?! Here’s some pics of before and after:

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The house, which now has non-offensive tan garage doors.

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Purple living room BEFORE

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NON purple living room AFTER!

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Purple dining room BEFORE

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NON purple dining room AFTER!

The massive 300 sq ft kitchen area is what sold me the house.

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Purple kitchen BEFORE

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NON purple kitchen AFTER! We ripped out the built in desk and shelving and found that GORGEOUS butcher block island, in this case used as a peninsula, on Craigslist for only $300!

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Heinous mint green master suite with awesome deck and sitting room with fireplace BEFORE

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Master suite sitting room with new paint

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Master bedroom after. The headboard is a Chinese silk room divider picked up at one of my favorite resale shops. The nightstands are mid 19th century Chinese elm stools purchased at goodwill for only $18! The crane woodblocks were bought for $50 at an estate sale and I had the reframed.

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Master bath BEFORE. We were originally going to just replace the carpet, which made me sad, but mold in the glass shower sealed the deal for an entire remodel. We got rid of the tub all together, built a larger cultured marble walk in shower, painted the wood, and got stunning faux pine porcelain flooring. I couldn’t decide on a color so picked beige, which turned out really nice. We bought shell accent tiles online for the shower and vanity backsplash. The white lingerie chest was bought at Haverty’s to use as a free standing linen cabinet and sits where the tub used to be.

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Thrifted decor for the master bath: Holmegaard Primula jar for $2, Royal Copley goldfish vase for $5, and an original David Lance Goines lithograph for $35. I love the bathroom! That being said, we need to call the contractor about the glass door to the shower, which has shifted a few millimeters due to weight.

Of course while all of this was going on I still managed to find some really amazing stuff for the shop. Here’s some of my best finds since we last left off.

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An original 1948 London Olympics poster. Auction estimates on these are $2500-$6000.

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Absolutely in love with this pottery figure set! It’s Danish and was produced by Michael Andersen & Sons in their Persia glaze technique in the 1930s. I’m keeping the lute player and two of the angels. The other two, which are not chipped, are in the shop.

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A gorgeous sterling silver and garnet Renaissance Revival brooch bought in Scotland over Thanksgiving. It likely dates to the 1860s or so.

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A VERY RARE Bitossi studio pottery lamp. The fish design is from 1959 and is documented on the official Bitossi website in a wall plaque version. This is the only lamp I’ve been able to find with the fish design.

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A pair of Marcello Fantoni Asian pottery figures. They’re very big and I was VERY happy to find them.

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A lovely red Santa Clara pueblo pottery melon pot by Angela Baca. Might be a keeper.

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A very rare early 1950s carafe designed by Timo Sarpaneva for Iittala glass. The only other carafe like this that I’ve been able to find was sold by Christie’s auction house ten years ago. This is currently in the shop.

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A rare child’s dish set from Arabia Finland. The design is by Kirsti Brandt and was only in production for four years, 1986-1990. It is currently in the shop.

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Original 1890s Maitres de l’Affiche cigarette advertising lithograph by Fritz Rehm. This item is currently in the shop.

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Original 1840s engravings of seashells in immaculate condition by British naturalist Thomas Brown.

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A huge Rene Lalique intaglio style sculpture from the 1930s, Vierge a L’enfant. This item is currently in the shop.

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A stunning early 1950s silk cut velvet bag by Roberta do Camerino, sent back home to Italy last month.

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And my favorite for last, a pottery mirror by French ceramist and Vallauris Picasso contemporary Juliette Derel. It was a bit hard parting with this amazing piece of art.

That was a lot of blog, I’ll shoot for shorter but just as sweet entries in the near future. In the meantime, please feel free to visit at Temple of Vintage.

2 thoughts on “Back in the Blog Game

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