Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Copy Cats

You all have no doubt seen the fabulous mailbox pictures posted online months ago that some midcentury fanatic had painted in a snazzy two-tone color scheme. Well, we had always been intending to replace our mailbox. It was the standard-issue metal mailbox for a post that was flat on bottom, rounded on top. The previous owners of our house were big-time downhill skiers so on each side of the mailbox post was a downhill ski whose tip stuck up into the air and curved away from the mailbox. Friends who were skiers thought it was cute but it had to go. I had been looking at mailboxes forever and all the ones I liked were really modern and in the $400 price range. I really wanted something old and something cheap! So when I saw the picture of the two-tone mailboxes, I knew that's what I wanted. So for the next few months, any time I drove around town, I kept an eye out for a mailbox that size and shape (and in black), thinking maybe we could offer to buy it from its owner. I drove around for months before finally spotting one. I was so excited. My husband John went to the door and offered to buy them a new mailbox and do the work of replacing it and they looked at him like he was nuts. No go. That didn't stop us. Now we were more determined than ever. We HAD to have that mailbox!! We drove around one afternoon looking at people's yards and mailboxes. And we found another one! This time I had the picture of the two-toned one on my phone and I was prepared to show them what we wanted to do with their mailbox. We walked up the sidewalk, knocked on the door, introduced ourselves, and said we had a crazy request. Before we got any farther, the woman said, "I know you! You're my mechanic!" Well, it was smooth sailing from there. The woman bought herself a new mailbox, we paid her back and installed it, and the coveted mailbox was ours. John went right to work on it and within the week we had a new mailbox! He added the aluminum piece at the front and the rest was done with spray paint.

So - we're total copy cats but we love our mailbox! And I have looked at so many mailboxes that I now jokingly call myself a Professional Mailbox Design Consultant. :-)

John's big project this summer was building a shed in the back yard. We had an old one back there but it was in bad shape and needed to be replaced so John designed a new bigger one. He read up online how to do it and planned and planned. He'd never done framing or construction before except for building a few decks on houses we've owned. We wanted it to look like the sheds made by Modern Shed. We went for that basic look although we ended up using the same vertical siding that our house has instead of the pricier (but beautiful!) stuff that Modern Shed uses. Anyway, we're very happy with our new shed, here are some before and after pictures....Here's the old one, behind that forsythia bush, with the Shell sign on it - and John is back in the corner where the new one is going -

And here's the new one with the Shell sign on it -

Here's John tearing down the old one, after he removed the forsythia and the juniper next to the shed, with the new shed in the back. Really opened the yard up -

And now it's the holiday season. Our Christmas albums are up on the wall - hopefully the aluminum tree will go up soon - happy holidays to all!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Meet Dennis and TG

A few months ago we were up in Denver and went to a fun store specializing in midcentury stuff. What was fun about it was that it had a lot of old stuff, and the place went on and on....the kind of place to root around in and find unexpected treasures. Which is exactly what we did. John found an old TV from 1957 and mentioned it to me, but said he didn't need to be buying another TV. I said to show it to me anyway and I fell instantly in love. Especially when I saw the price had been marked down several times. Had to have it. Told him I would put it in my office if he didn't want it in his.

Isn't he cute? With his own little rolling cart? I named him Dennis and I think he looks like a little robot.

Well, we got him home and John couldn't resist trying to get him to work. So he took Dennis apart and worked some magic and now Dennis is as good as new. Except, of course, you can't just get broadcast TV any more without a box - but you can attach a DVD player and play DVDs.... so, velcroed to the bottom of the TV is a DVD player. And John actually uses it to watch his yoga DVDs! Here pictured, though, is a more period appropriate DVD.

Fast forward a few months. We went to Florida a few weeks ago and got a big dose of midcentury goodness at the fabulous Mai Kai Restaurant. It's a Polynesian restaurant that has been in continual operation since 1956 and is still going strong. It has a hula show, waterfalls, exotic drinks, the works.We had a great time, dining outside by the waterfall, and catching a bit of the hula show on our way out. Highly recommend if you find yourself in Ft. Lauderdale. Anyway, I got a big dose of tiki tacky that night but resisted the urge to buy tiki glasses, etc. I just wasn't ready to dip my toes into the tiki waters....  until today. I went to a garage sale and there was an old 3' high fiberglass tiki god. I couldn't resist. It's so funny, it is black but is supposed to look like wood, the top even has tree rings molded into the fiberglass. Anyway, TG now lives happily in our back yard and I'm very happy John loves him as much as I do. :-)