Each day it’s the little items we’ve collected over time that make the Roti household function more efficiently.
Not that I give storage baskets, toasters, toy boxes and stools a lot of thought on a daily basis – but today it dawned on me, that if it weren’t for an antique children’s chair in our bathroom, I’d still have to stop whatever I’m doing to help my 3-year-old wash her hands each time she goes potty.
And, since she’s been using the potty on her own for quite some time now, without this blue chair my mom gave to Parker this June, there be several more interruptions throughout the day for either her babysitter or me.
Another find that makes life with a toddler easier, is her large toy box. I found it at a rummage sale years before I even thought about becoming a mother. Before Parker’s toys, it held interview files. In my early years as a journalist I used to save all notes from every source I ever interviewed for every story I ever wrote – a habit I gave up years ago to free up space.
And, because these items are vintage, they not only do a great job of making life easier, but they look good doing it!
Through my work as a freelance journalist I am blessed with days that are never the same – filled with sources who share stories and information that broaden my knowledge-base and an ever increasing curiosity.
A few days ago while working on some articles about the South Dakota Agriculture Heritage Museum I found myself on the campus of my alma mater – South Dakota State University and touring the museum’s many collections with a staff of enthusiastic curators.
Because of my love for all things old – and a good story – I was in heaven! The curators are so passionate about their work to preserve all things connected to South Dakota’s agriculture history, which includes many household items, that our conversations often veered from the articles’ initial focus to details on how they procured items or cleaned items or stored items.
One thing I learned is that most items are on display thanks to generous donations. Moving forward, anytime I want to part with an antique that I no longer have space for, I will contact them or other museums to see if I can donate the piece. This summer I ended up giving away several primitive, wooden handled kitchen items that didn’t sell at my rummage sale away just because I didn’t want to bring them home. Now I wish I’d contacted the Ag Heritage Museum because they have several household displays.
I always imagined that I’d be the mom who made Parker Christmas and Easter dresses. But, as it turns out, I don’t seem to ever have enough time to hit the Christmas deadline/Parker always seems to have more than a few bedazzled dress options gifted to her in time for Christmas each year. And, the same could be said for Easter.
So, the last three years, I’ve made Parker a Birthday Dress. This year’s makes me smile each time I look at it. There are only a few times in a person’s life when they can wear pink elephant corduroy and look cute – I’d say turning 3 is one of those times!
This is a super easy, traditional girl’s jumper. And, I found the McCall’s 5416 Pattern as well as the fabric on sale!
Because so many people take time off over the holidays, as a freelance journalist I’ve found that taking the week off between Christmas Eve & New Years it is a convenient time for most of my clients and it gives Judy, who watches Parker each day while I work, a much deserved break that is long enough for her to visit her family who mostly live in western South Dakota.
The staycation with Parker has been so much fun AND I’ve realized that my creative juices have really been flowing into some holiday crafts since my brain hasn’t been busy with work.
I made a Pintrest inspired book-page wreath – super easy and because I bought the paperback I used, the ribbon and wreath foam at a thrift shop, my entire project cost about $2 – plus I had left over supplies to send home with a friend! Then I made Parker’s baby doll – Abby – Christmas PJs to match the night gown I made Parker earlier this month.
It was fun to exercise my crafty muscles over break and I hope to do more in 2014!
The weekend before Christmas, Shon, Parker and I have a tradition of antiquing. It’s a fun way to spend a day together and sometimes it’s during these trips that we find the perfect gift.
We like to change things up each year and visit antique shops in small towns near Sioux Falls. This year we chose Lennox. The two shops we visited were really unique and the shop owners super great!
In the basement of one antique shop we found both of Parker’s “Santa” gifts – a wrist watch and an airplane; and we found an unexpected gift for a friend of ours – old 78 records – the type that play on antique gramophones.
I’d never really given them much thought, only I had just visited this friend’s home and she mentioned that only foreign records came with the antique gramophone she and her husband purchased in Spain a few years ago. They were only a $1 so I picked a few up and dropped them off before Christmas. I can’t wait to hear if they worked!
What I love is the way that Edison’s face is engraved in the center of the record.
The other day we were digging through our game trunk to find an old favorite, Scribbage, and we ran across this old deck of playing cards that Shon picked up at a rummage sale this summer.
Although the deck is typical, the artwork is not. The deck’s motif is Spanish artwork and artists – Picasso, Dali, Miro and Tapies.
It made for some fun Google searches.
I gave my bedroom a much needed makeover the weekend before Thanksgiving. It had been seven years and like clothes I recently donated - the original bedspread and curtains were no longer my style.
I was ready for something a little more peaceful and spa like, so I decided to make a white bedspread and traditional curtains. I recycled the former bedspread, by using it to accent the bedspread and curtains.
Because I have not been able to find a shade for the vintage reading lamp, I opted to use an Edison bulb. I have seen this design solution in several upcycling shops and like how it turned out.
I also pulled in a red rug that was in our parlor before it was replaced with a cow hide after our recent remodel. I love how the rug anchors our bed.
The one thing I have left to do is make a headboard. I’m going to recycle the fabric from the old curtains.
Here’s the Before:
Here’s the finished product: