Monday, August 12, 2013

The Great Floor-a-Thon

Our new laminate flooring
Well, once again I haven't done any doll work for a couple weeks. It took a solid week to slog through listing all the kids' outgrown clothing. I didn't get to do my back to school listings for the past two years because of all our moving. The clothes have been in storage, and if you've raised three children you can imagine, I'm sure, how much clothing that accumulates over two years of growth! I just hate listing clothing. For one thing, the boxes were all dusty, so I've been sick for about two weeks now. I am so allergic to dust it's almost off the charts when they test me. Much more reaction and I'd have to live in a bubble! Then, you have to iron everything so it looks nice, and photograph any flaws, and repair any dropped hems or missing buttons and all that stuff. I'm glad to report I'm nearly finished. I know I still have some shorts and hoodies around here somewhere, but I can't find them just now, and I'm so tired I almost don't want to!
 
You might remember we were working on our bedroom a few months back, and I was lamenting the nasty old mustard yellow shag carpet in there. Not only was it ugly to begin with, but it had gotten so dirty there was a gray band around the edges of the walls! Not a good environment for me! Finally, finally, we were able to buy some laminate for that room, and this weekend my parents came so my dad could help install it.
 
I could hardly be in the room during the pulling of the carpet and floor installation, so this won't be a tutorial. Just moving the drawers and furniture kicked up enough dust that I was in awful shape, and the sawdust and everything almost sent me over the edge. I'm surprised I didn't OD on allergy medicine over the weekend! My observation, from a safe distance, is that installing flooring requires a lot of cussing. I shudder to think of the language our teen picked up this week!
 
Naturally, our flooring arrived the same week my sister is moving to a new house. Her house needs a ton of work because it was a short sale the previous owners had been renovating when they ran out of money partway through. They had asked my dad to help with that, so my parents came in and the men all worked like dogs to get the floor put in over the course of two days. They started late Friday evening and finished Saturday night.
 
The color of the floor is Driftwood Oak.
The room looks wonderful, though! We chose allen + roth laminate in "handscraped driftwood oak". I like it because the rest of the house has very light finishes, like maple flooring and ivory walls, so this goes well. I like the look of dark wood, but it wouldn't look right in here, and this driftwood finish sort of looks both dark and light at the same time. It has a lot of gray and blue tones as well, and that matches my linens. The distressed look coordinates well with all our old furniture in there, too. The funny thing was, my dad, not a fan of the weathered look, kept asking if we weren't supposed to polish it!

We haven't ever had enough money to buy a whole bedroom set, and I don't much like the matchy-matchy look of those anyway, so we accumulated our furniture over time. We have no less than three antique trunks people have given us over the years. We use them as nightstands and at the foot of the bed, and the old wood on those looks quite similar to the floor.
 
I still want to find a chair or chaise and a little end table and lamp for the corner of the bedroom, where I might be able to relax and read a book by myself. I do love our children, but a little "alone" time would not be unwelcome!
 
I think the floor looks great with our antique furniture and linens.
Now that the bedroom is mostly done and the kids' clothes are mostly listed I can get back to my dolls. My Cissy trunk set sold the first week, so I am working on another one. I have several Cissettes in the works too. I got a Dollikin this weekend I planned to dress and sell. She just needed a cleaning and some stringing, it looked like, and I have her original outfit in my "stash". Unfortunately, something happened in transit and her knee joint froze up while she was shipping. The seller packed her well, so I guess it was just one of those things, but now I have to try to figure that out before I can sell her. It's too bad, because my store is low on vintage dolls again, so I hoped that one would be a quick fix and sale doll, but it was not to be!
 
The garden has suffered recently, from the storms we've been having. On Saturday a storm blew up out of nowhere and knocked over my herb tower and all my potted plants, as well as my tomatoes, so everything had to be propped up and re-potted. We do finally have some eggplant ripening, and some cucumbers, and even our peppers have overcome the cold, wet summer.
 
Our mystery pepper and a few little cucumbers from the garden
The peppers were marked Giant Marconi when I bought them. I specifically look for those, because I planted them a few years ago and we got such a yield we ate them two or three times a week all summer and froze enough for two more years! They are a green, banana-shaped pepper, and they are enormous. Each pepper is five or six inches long at least! I was elated to see them here, and bought six plants. Four survived the rain and started to produce, but...these are NOT Giant Marconi! I'm not sure what they are. The peppers they produce are very nice, medium-sized, and heavy for their size, sweet bell peppers. The peppers are dark purple, though, almost black, when they ripen. I made Philly Cheesesteak chicken sandwiches in the slow cooker on Friday while we worked on the floor and used the peppers. They were very good in that recipe. Like red cabbage, the purple peppers turn green when you cook them. That is a great recipe, and you can find it in my Pinterest recipes board. Tonight I'm making Pinterest slow-cooker Honey Sesame Chicken. That's another recipe on my Pinterest board. I make it as shown, except I add pineapple and some kind of frozen Asian stir fry vegetable mix so it's a one-dish meal, and I increase the sesame seeds and use sesame oil. I serve it over rice.
 
I got a great tip from Pinterest recently. My sister shared this one with me. When you have a dirty microwave, you can fill a bowl with white vinegar and heat it for about 1 minute in the microwave. Then just wipe off any crud with a dry paper towel. Let me tell you, this works! Someone blew up taco filling all over the microwave this weekend ( I have a cover, but will anyone else use it? NO...) and with everything going on I didn't tackle the mess until today. It worked like a charm! There were a lot of little bits of dried beef that fell down off the walls of the oven and I just vacuumed them up with my dust buster. I use the dust buster to clean crumbs out of our convection oven too. Everything else in the microwave just wiped away! I nuked the vinegar for about 45 seconds.
 
I don't know which doll I'm going to tackle next. Besides the Cissy and Cissettes, I have a Ginny baby and a bunch of Ginny clothes to list. Keep watching my store for those and for my children's clothing: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.






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