Sunday, August 27, 2017

How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Last night, when I knew I would be at Drop Anchor until the early morning hours, I brought Stella for company and protection. She is the sweetest most loyal pup to me and the kids, but not to strangers. She was particularly neurotic on the ride to Boulder City, jumping all around the truck, trying to escape at the Chilly Jilly's drive through (I may or may not have stopped for a large Dole Whip Float on the way), and then barking at every single person who walked by the store, or anywhere within a 30 foot radius. Stella is not the type who will greet customers with a wagging tail. She finally settled down somewhat anyway, in the store window, where she could get the best view of town. And all night, as I worked, I kept thinking of my Ninie, who always used to sing, How Much is that Doggie in the Window. Thanks for keeping me company last night Ninie. I know you'd be so proud of Drop Anchor, and you'd love Stella too.

Just in time for National Dog Day. Stella in the window.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Before and After: Vintage Military Trunk Transformation

I spied this trunk as soon as I walked in the door of one of my favorite junk stores. "That trunk's been here for a day,' said the clerk, as she saw me looking for a price tag. Then she made me an offer I couldn't refuse. Let's just say it was slightly less than a fountain Diet Coke at McDonald's, something I buy regularly without even blinking. Before Dave even made it through the door, I had the trunk loaded up in my shopping cart. I also tossed in a green-painted, slightly rusty rake too.

"What?' I asked, as he gave me that look.

"I love them both," I whined.

He just smiled, shook his head, and went on his way digging through bins, looking for treasures.

I had had an idea in my mind to transform an old piece of luggage, or a trunk, into a treasure for someone's guest room. Before I got home, I already knew the plan. After a bit of elbow grease; removing the tape, scraping the metal with a wire brush, and a heavy cleaning, I created a sweet treasure, great for storage and display. What a great piece for the foot of a bed in a guest room, or to set on top of an armoire or bookshelf to fill some empty space.


After: Ready to take to Drop Anchor

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Don't forget to call the orthodontist

Last week I finally had a consultation for orthodontics for Rowan, (kid #6 needing braces). I totally picked the doctor based on the location of his office. After doing braces for 5 of the kids already, I know how often those appointments are, and how common it is for a bracket to fall off and need an emergency appointment. It took forever, but the lobby of the office had an arcade, and an ice cream and slushy bar, which made it tolerable. After rounds of x-rays and a meeting with the rather short doctor who didn't look me in the eye when he talked to me, to discuss treatment options, I met with the financial person to discuss cost. Well, I think I know who is paying for that arcade and slushy bar, me! In approximately 24 months, Rowan will have straight teeth, and i'll be $6,700 poorer (just $4,700 after insurance).

I ended up leaving with a slight case of sticker shock, and instead of scheduling the next appointment to start treatment, I pulled the, "I'll need to discuss this with my husband" excuse. When I got home I quickly posted to Facebook to ask the opinions of my friends on the cost of their orthodontic care. Despite already paying for braces for 5 of the kids, I honestly couldn't remember what one of their entire treatment plans actually cost. All I know is that I don't remember the total being more than both Cal, and Landon's first cars, combined.
Answers came from all over the world, (the joys of a military past life), with costs ranging from $2,000 to almost $7,000 for treatment. Because my quote was one near the top end. I had to get a second opinion.

I remembered back to the fall festival that I had attended at my little kids' school when we were just getting settled after moving here. I had bought a few things at a silent auction fundraiser that was part of the event, a craft basket that Lily just had to have and promised she would share with her brothers, and a gift certificate for orthodontic treatment. I paid $150 for the gift certificate which granted me a savings of $1,500 off the total cost of treatment, which was estimated to be approximately $6,000. At the time I thought that seemed super ridiculously expensive, not realizing that that's the going rate in Las Vegas-if the estimate I got from the arcade and slushy orthodontist was any indication of the going rate.

So, I dug the gift certificate out of a pile of papers in a drawer in the office and gave them a call. Three weeks later, our appointment for a second opinion is tomorrow. I'm hopeful for a better price than the first place and a waiting room that is even half as cool would still be good enough. And an orthodontist who looks me in the eye when going over the treatment plan would be good too. What i'm hoping for the most is to leave the appointment grateful that my $150 silent auction investment really does end up saving me $1,500.

(Do not under estimate local businesses that offer services, when soliciting donations for silent auctions and other fundraisers. Window installation, lawn care, pest control, plastic surgery centers, even orthodontists have to grow their businesses too are happy to donate to local charity events.)

Monday, April 17, 2017

This is how the article about the couple traveling to their wedding, that were removed from a United flight, should read...

Couple tries to steal free upgrade from United Airlines in Houston

HOUSTON -- A couple headed to Costa Rica for their wedding Saturday had to be removed from a United flight by a U.S. marshal for not following crew member directives after trying to steal upgraded seats without paying for them.

Michael Hohl and his fiancĂ©, Amber Maxwell, were near last to board United Airlines Flight 1737, headed from Houston to Liberia, Costa Rica. According to Hohl, a man was already in their assigned row napping when they approached their seats. They used this as an excuse to move to higher-fare-seating three rows up, in row 21 "economy plus" seating, without permission and without paying the required fee. 

After explaining to the couple that upgrading was not an option at this point in the boarding process, the couple was told to return to their assigned seats. After multiple attempts to sit in the wrong seats, and refusal to follow the crew’s directives and return to their assigned seats, a U.S. Marshall came onto the plane and asked them to get off.

Unlike Dr. Dao, who made headlines last week for refusing to exit an aircraft when asked first by the flight crew, second by the operations agent, and lastly by law enforcement, resulting in his forced removal, the couple finally cooperated and got off the plane without further incident.

Airline customers do not have a right to take better seats than they pay for. Nor do they have the right to make their own rules. Refusal to follow airline policies and aircraft safety procedures will result in removal from the aircraft for the safety of the crew and passengers and will not result in monetary compensation. 

                        Adapted from USA Today: United Airlines boots couple traveling to their wedding on half-empty plane

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Painting primitive pine

Today wasn't supposed to be a work day but I stopped at the shop to catch up on a few things and ended up spending much of the day at Beach House. Jackie and I touched base, dealt with a little drama (yes, even at Beach House there is some drama behind the scenes), and I finished a piece of furniture. It's hard for me to see any day as productive, no matter what I accomplish, if it doesn't result in at least one new piece of inventory complete and on the showroom floor. I finished the primitive pine blanket chest/cabinet that I started a couple of days ago and wrote about in my last post. I posted a "before" picture and promised an "after". The piece turned out just as beautiful as I had anticipated. It is hard to go wrong working with primitive pine. It's easy to sand, easy to paint and it is so simple to distress. Every square headed nail that shows it's shape thought the paint is a mark of age, quality and craftsmanship-a true gem.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What are you working on today?

I get asked a few regular questions every day: 

Do you use chalk paint? 
Where do find all of this stuff?
What are you working on today? 

The first two answers never change. No, I don't use chalk paint and I buy all over. From Pensacola to Maine, there isn't a thrift store, antique store, or yard sale that I won't stop at. The answer to the third question changes by the day, even the hour. Sometimes I work on the pieces that are needed in the store. Other times my decision is driven by whatever piece ignites a creative spark.

I bought this chest from the back barn of one of my favorite antique stores. It was one of those pieces that was literally in pieces, sitting by the back door. It caught my eye and the price was right. I'm not sure what this piece is. It has a flip top like a blanket chest, drawers like a dresser and doors like a cabinet. It is square nail construction (signs of an early primitive), it is solid pine, and the storage potential is awesome. The top has been replaced, the left door needs to be re-attached and the corner has been chewed by Fido. THIS is a piece that ignites a creative spark.

I am so excited to work on it, to transform it into something beautiful! I'll post pictures when it's ready.

With a shallow storage area under the flip-up top, this piece is perfect for displaying pillows or a quilt collection.
Primitive pine is my favorite kind of wood to work with and this piece was a reminder of why that is. True antique wood (over 100 years old) is nice and dry with strong grains. This dry wood takes paint very easily but the stubbornness and persistence of the grain always works itself through the paint. You can see and feel the beautiful old lines of the grain through the paint. With only a light sanding the new paint achieves the perfect weathered and timeworn look of a true primitive.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Wooden Wall in the Family Room

I have been having so much fun with the DIY projects at Beach House that I put my house renovations on hold for a while. It's hard to believe that we've been in our home (renovating) for over 2 years already and the store is almost a year old! Motivated by Dave's retirement from the military last weekend as well as my oldest son's high school graduation, and the party I was hosting at our home afterward, I had to make some progress on the house. I didn't get as far as I would have liked, but I did make some major changes. My favorite project? It is most certainly the perfectly cottagy shiplap-look wood wall I crafted in our horribly outdated sunken family room. 

I used old pine fence boards for this project. They had been laying in the yard since last year when we started building a fence and never finished it. These are the same kinds of boards you see frequently at the store, we use them for walls, signs, and to make some furniture. I brushed each one different shades of aqua, white and grey. I sanded each board and put them together like a puzzle making sure each board was nailed into the stud. I decided to use rough  1' X 4" pine boards to trim out the door frames. Instead of replacing the doors, they got a new coat of white paint. 

There is quite a bit more work to do in the room but the wall is the perfect focal piece. 

Another board wall in my nice room.