The playhouse of my dreams

I do love Little Betty’s playhouse.  You may remember it from my past post here.  It’s super adorable and we have so much fun having tea parties in it and decorating it.  I thought it just might be the sweetest playhouse in all the world until I peeped the playhouse to shame all playhouses on my recent road trip out to West Texas.  First of all, it resides behind what is likely the most charming home I’ve ever seen:

Then nestled behind this little slice of heaven is any little girl’s dream playhouse:

Gah!!!  Could you just DIE??  Two stories!  A tulip picket fence!  A wrap around porch and real, miniature front door!  Windows with shutters and flower boxes! What you can’t see in the pictures are sweet little curtains in all the windows and hints of precious decor.  I think I could live here.  I really wanted to knock on the door and ask to go inside, but I’m not nearly courageous enough for that.  I bet the interior does not disappoint.  Someone put a lot of talent and love into creating this for a very special and lucky little girl.

Can I do this?

I need your design permission, dear ones with incredible taste.  Here’s the situation. Mister Crafter and I were in dire need of new dining room chairs.  Every time we had people over, we had to make sure no one sat in any of the “bad” ones lest they fall through the chair.  Seriously.  It was embarrassing.  But danish modern dining chairs without a table are not the easiest thing to find.  And I shop for a living!  But I did have 3 killer mid century chairs waiting in queue to go into the shop.  One thing led to another…and now we have this.

This blonde-ish/teak-ish chair with molded seat and reeded back.  Maker unknown.  Awesomeness and comfort certified.

A Chromcraft smoked Lucite and chrome dinette chair with original green upholstery.

Our desire to find an excuse to keep this chair may have sparked the whole mismatched dining chairs idea in the first place.  We think it’s an authentic Eames dining chair that suffered a repair in the form of those screws and that nick that I’m going to try to fix.  If it’s not authentic, it’s a dang good knock off.  We compared it closely with our real Eames molded plywood lounge chair (not vintage – a Design Within Reach splurge) and we can’t find anything to tell us this one is fake.  We also ran it by a friend who is a bit of an Eames expert and he agrees.  Real or fake, I don’t really care.  It’s beautiful, even with the screws.

Can I do this?  Does it look good, or too hodge-podge?  I’m all about mix and match – all my glasses and plates are – but this leaves me a little unsure.  My gut says it’s awesome, but I’d like some feedback.  So what do you think?

Dreamy Desert Solitude

I wanted to tell you a little about the great trip Mr. Crafter and I just took to Marfa, TX.  If you’ve never heard of Marfa, it’s a tiny town out in the desert well known to hipsters as being an artistic haven.  It’s like Austin’s Palm Springs.  We stayed at El Cosmico, where you can stay in a vintage trailer, a teepee, a yurt, or a safari tent.  Rad, right?  We chose to stay in a trailer.  Since there’s not a whole lot to do in Marfa and not much cell reception or wifi, we spent our time reading, listening to records, riding bikes around town, and checking out the exceptional art this little town has to offer.   Perfection.  We also came to the conclusion that an outdoor shower is definitely in our future here at Casa Crafter.  Here’s a snippet of our getaway in pictures:

Under Pressure

I have spent the last few weeks knitting so furiously to finish my cowichan in time for my desert getaway with Mr. Crafter.  Well, folks, against all odds, I can say I met my goal!  Never mind the fact I knitted the belt in the car on the way, and there are STILL no belt loops to be seen on the sweater, or that I desperately tried to dry it in front of the space heater the first night since after 3 days it was still damp from blocking.  Here’s Mr. Crafter graciously playing records for me while my poor sweater dries next to the heater:

And here she is!

I do love it so.

It’s SO warm – it’s basically a coat.  Yes, friends, I knitted myself a coat.  Crazy.  Anyway, I’m in love with the colors, and the style is so wearable.  It’s definitely a new favorite.

More pictures of my dreamy desert vacation soon…

More finds!

We’ve been busy shopping this week for the store and you know what that means – a few things that just might be too good to let go of!  Wanna see?

Christmas blow molds!

I scored an adorable nutcraker and a huge, weird Mrs. Claus with crazy eyes.  Yes, she has a small hole.  Whatever.  Those creepy, pleading eyes won me over.

Don’t worry, these are definitely staying with me.  And I promise to put away my outdoor Christmas decorations today.

I’m on a bit of a cuckoo clock tear these days.

Isn’t it cute??  I want to do a few repairs and clean it up before I put it in the shop.  It appears to have all the pieces to function so I want to do a little research and see how I can get it running.  Also, the accordion player needs repair.

Any ideas or advice on how to get him on his feet again?

Mister Crafter of course found a few things that are right up his alley.  For example, this killer microscope set:

Lastly, a set of nodding fawn salt and pepper shakers have likely found a new home in my collection:

The base has been repaired but I absolutely could not leave it behind.  Last year at the Warrenton Antique Fair Shortie and I saw a nodding skulls salt and pepper set, but at $75 it was pretty easy to pass it up.  Even with a repair, $8 seemed like a score!  How do you all feel about vintage items that are less than mint?  Will you bring home things that have chips or tears or other imperfections that can’t be fixed?

Work or play? I’m not sure.

It’s been said that the key to happiness is finding a job that doesn’t feel like work.  Well, folks, I’ve done it!  The mister and I did a quick one day buying trip yesterday to load up on goodies for the shop and while we came home with a van packed to the ceiling with inventory, we did score a couple amazing things for keepsies, and had a great time together in the process!  The first rad thing we came home with was something for Little Betty.  She asked us to bring her home a surprise, and did we ever!

I had a Victorian dollhouse as a child and it was my favorite thing ever.  I’ve never seen one in this style though – how perfect is it??  Just like the little Swiss chalets I collect.  I just need to replace the missing balcony, flowers in the window boxes, and landscaping.  I might put some rocks on the roof too like those little chalets always have (why is that by the way?  I can’t figure it out for the life of me).

Inside will get a whole remodel.  Wallpaper, flooring, maybe even electricity!  I think I’m going to put in some stairs and divide the upstairs into 3 rooms – 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.  Little Betty was SO excited when we unveiled it.  She immediately said “I love it!” and has been playing with it nonstop since.  She calls it her gingerbread house.

Mister Crafter had some luck as well.  Look what he pulled out of a dilapidated barn in the pouring down rain!

It’s HUGE – 4×8 feet!  I think it does a good job of filling up the massive wall in our dining room, making it feel a little less like a cavernous banquet hall.  Mr. Crafter keeps saying how glad he is I don’t mind him bringing stuff like this into the house.  Please notice the handmade cardboard sign he liberated from a coffeeshop, for the local indie play American Bear.  Residing proudly in our dining room.  But I think Mr. Crafter has great taste.  He puts things together in a way that I never would, but look fantastic.  I think our styles blend together very well.

Practical Efficiency or a Cryin’ Shame?

Hello my dear friends!  I’m still here!  I’m s…l…o…w…l…y… getting back into the swing of things since the luxuriously lazy holidays.  The Kitschmas decorations are put away (Little Betty spent the whole day consoling her doll who she says was sad that Christmas was over) and I’ve dipped a tentative toe back into normal life.  I’ve been furiously knitting away on my cowichan (I’m on the last sleeve!) and planning my upcoming romantic desert getaway with Mr. Crafter.  But today I have a vintage ethics question to pose.

I have had this pair of Miller Studio chalkware fish in the shop for some time now.  They are mint in the box.  They haven’t sold.  Well they made me so sad, languishing on a shelf, not getting any love from the shoppers!  And it just so happens that I like to put chalkware fish in my pink bathroom.  And I had an empty spot.

Is it a crime against vintage to take them out of the box and use them?  I felt guilty tearing the box open because it was so darn cute, but it’s not like they’re a 1960s GI Joe mint in the box, right?  Isn’t it better that they be enjoyed?  Help me soothe my guilt over taking something out of its original packaging where its been for 60 years.  Is it wrong?

And by the way, what the heck are you supposed to put in wall pockets anyway?  Actual plants?  Fake plants?  Drugs?  Wall pockets have always confounded me, but yet I have several.