Haus Obsessed – Firework Lights

In the spirit of this holiday, I am dedicating this post to fireworks, and these beautiful pendant lights that they inspire. Their starburst design makes them ideal candidates for living rooms with tall ceilings, dining rooms, retail and restaurants. The way that they shine is magical and even if you don’t want to spend the money on an expensive one, they are just as easy to DIY using a strand of white christmas tree lightings and a round wire frame. Some of the ones for sale online are made with glass and beyond spectacular, but they are quite pricey and unless you have a grand enough home, these lights can overtake the room. This one of a kind fixture can go with any decor. A breezy seaside cottage with exposed buttresses is a great place to hang a trio. Decorating a glamorous bedroom or even a bathroom, stick one there, providing there is enough ceiling height. These are such fun whimsical pieces for any space, reminding us of the TNT filled poppers that we will be lighting off tomorrow night! Happy Freedom Day everyone!

For more lighting DIYs check out this great post or this one.

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the junk haus is… Making a Theatre Debut!

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This is the year I get out of my comfort zone and try all of the things that scared me in the past. Being on stage was always one of them. It has been my dream to audition for a musical, and when the email came about a Beauty and the Beast production, I had to jump at the opportunity. I will be playing  member of the ensemble which is a great honor. So if you want to come see me dancing around as a French Aristocrat, an enchanted fork, an angry mobster, and a drunken bar fly, purchase a ticket. If you can’t purchase a ticket and want to support, click below and donate to the production. Even $10 would be a huge help! This should be a jolly good time!

For tickets click here.

To donate to the production, click here.

Cal Poly Spanos Theatre

Dates:

Friday July 11th: 7 PM

Friday July 12th: 7 PM

Friday July 13th: 2 PM

Friday July 18th: 7 PM

Friday July 19th: 7 PM

Friday July 20th: 2 PM,.

 

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Today the junk haus Bought… A Seltzer Bottle, Railroad Ties, and a Basket

Today I was reminded about this post from a couple weeks ago that I hadn’t yet completed. I was planning on heading out to Pozo Saloon later to go see Darius Rutger and the Eli Young Band when I remembered this shop and the amazing things I found there! Santa Margarita is a very small town with one itty bitty main drag. There is one wine tasting venue a couple coffee spots, a lunch place and three antique shops. One Saturday a few weeks ago after volunteering, I decided to take the back roads home and pop into the village. The main antique shop, The Barn, is chocked full of all sorts of random stuff. All of the different vendors really make the two story store eclectic and if you are looking for something, I guarantee it is in this building. The prices are quite steep for most things, but as with most antique shops, if you hunt, you can find deals and gems. I lucked out with these railroad ties, this vintage soda bottle, and a wire basket. You can find them on our shop. Overall, my visit was worth the trip, but I would only recommend going if you are in the area and have a lot of time to kill.

“The Barn” Antique & Unique Mall

22390 El Camino Real

Santa Margarita, CA

805.438.5329

Mon-Fri 10AM – 5:30PM, Sat-Sun 10AM – 5PM

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the junk haus went to… Lake Tahoe

This last week, I decided to take three days in beautiful Lake Tahoe to get away.  One day was spent driving up, one day driving around the lake and over to Genoa, and the last day was filled with the drive home, down the very long and windy Route 49. The 30 hours that I spent in the car those three days were worth all of the beautiful sights Lake Tahoe and the open road had to offer. Check below for some of the shops that kept me busy, and filled my car. Most of these finds are available on the shop.

Merced Antiques Mall – Merced, CA 209.722.6894

This antique shop is really unlike any others. It is filled with most of your typical antiques, but then there are a ton of really interesting gems that are worth the time spent perusing around. They have beautiful wall artwork, and the prices are not out of this world like most antique shops. Check each booth”s sales because most of them are 20% off and sometimes the front desk doesn’t have this information.

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Judies 2 – Jamestown, CA 209.984.0507

Jametown is packed full of antique shops, but most of them are completely overpriced like other tourist attraction towns. Then there is Judies. The prices are beyond reasonable and their selection is abundant and diverse. You will have to dig as they have quite a lot of things. This one shop is worth the trip through the old Gold Rush wild wild west town.

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Hartwick House – El Dorado, CA 530.622.2840

This upscale antique shop is curated beautifully, and everything is displayed with style and appeal. The shop has a back garden, a children’s cottage and a men’s outhouse. Most of the prices are moderate, and some things are underpriced. Their furniture selection is impressive, though I didn’t have the room in my car or in my apartment for the giant trunk that I really wanted.

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Antiques Plus – Genoa, NV 775.782.4951

Genoa was a disappointment considering none of the stores opened on time and I wasn’t going to wait around to see when the shop owners were going to feel the need to come to work. Then on my way out of town, I saw the sign for this shop. I thought why not give it a try, so I pulled into the driveway. The house was an old Victorian home that was supposedly haunted. The prices were reasonable considering their inventory was quite high end and of exquisite taste. I looked through the home and headed to the back house. There I found him, the penny farthing that I had been searching for all my my life, well maybe just the last year. This vintage piece was not an 1800s original, but still it was a 40 year old replica. I said I would take it! After all, exactly what my home needs is a giant novelty bicycle. Pictures of the bike to come!

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Lucky Dawg Thrift Shop, South Lake Tahoe, CA 775.671.0142

This shop is small and they do not have an incredible selection of stuff, but what they lack in abundance, they make up for in quality. It is worth a quick look. I found a pair of vintage leather Harley Davidson chaps and some old Levi’s

Bargains Galore – South Lake Tahoe, CA 530.541.0444

Another great thrift shop. They lured me in with a beautiful antique pram in the window that just happened to be “Not For Sale.” But I managed to find a funky jacket, and some old Guess jeans that made it worth the visit.

Tahoe Family Solutions – Incline Village, NV

I wish I could go back and purchase what I decided I didn’t need. They had three large room full of clothing at beyond cheap prices. What went home with me was a pink blouse, a silk shirt and some vintage Levi’s. What I left? A beautiful off white wedding cocktail dress, some vintage shears and some other fun vintage clothes. Next time!

Chocolate Soup – Mariposa, CA 209.966.5683

I stumbled upon this shop after driving for 8 hours, and I almost didn’t go inside. It was the barks of my puppy that forced me to turn down their driveway. Someone wanted out, and I wanted antiques. The old house is a lovely mix of old and new. In between all their antiques are handmade local soaps and salts, spices and flatware. They even had a great selection of jewelry. Between their four small but beautiful buildings, there is something for everyone. The icing on the cake, upstairs is an art gallery.

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Here are some of the more scenic shots from the trip. Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place.

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Haus Obsessed – Instruments

When I left New York for warmer pastures, the hardest decision I made was getting rid of my baby grand piano. Though I barely played it, and it was used more as a coffee table then an instrument, there was something comforting in the fact that if I ever needed to, I could open it up and bang on the keys. This happened relatively frequently when some surge of musical creativity would pass through my veins. Usually my laptop was the sheet music playing youtube videos of the song of the moment that I wanted to learn. For a couple hours keys would be pushed and singing would accompany some pretty terrible playing. Then the cover would close on the keys until the next time a song truly inspired me to attempt to learn it. I wasn’t talented but having the option to, anytime I felt like it, play the piano was the most amazing creative freedom. The best part was when my more musically inclined musician friends would come over and play and play, really putting the piano to good use.

Due to the 3000 miles move, exorbitant moving fees, and the fact that the antique soundboard would most likely break in the process, a big decision to sell the piano happened. It went fast, and soon my piano was in the home of a concert pianist on the Upper East Side. I swore at that moment when I settled down again that I would get a new model, maybe even a white one. This is all still a dream, but since I have moved, two guitars, a hand harp, an old brass french horn, a ukulele and other fun instruments have found their way into my small two bedroom apartment.

This has made me realize how much I love decorating with instruments. Not only are they beautiful works of art to look at, but providing you keep them in working condition, they are great to pick up and play when you feel so inclined. And if you have an antique piece that doesn’t work, there is so much other stuff you can do with it. Check out the light fixture of white painted antique french horns below. I am selling a horn just like these in my shop. Add a pair of cool old bongos to your living room. Then, when you have people over, just wait and see what happens. If you need an extra table, you can use them as well. Tambourines, violins, guitars, and so many other instruments can be mounted on the wall taking up no floor space, and putting them at eye level for easy examination. Feel the need to classy up your space, add a beautiful harp, or a baby grand piano. These pieces can get mighty expensive but they are so beautiful and will be lifetime investment pieces, providing you do not end up moving across the country.

Whatever instrument you are drawn to, keep in your home. Though they might collect dust, you never know when you are going to want to just pick it up and begin a new musical journey. And if you never do, at least you have something beautiful that everyone can admire.

 

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Today the junk haus bought… Some Army Ammo Boxes and Some Empty Bullet Shells

For some reason, I am always drawn to gun shows. No part of me wants to purchase a gun or have a gun in my house, unless it was a miniature antique one with a mother of pearl handle and did NOT work. Yes, I have spent considerable time thinking about this, mainly because I am a klutz, and if I had a real gun, I feel like something would go terribly awry. I have accidentally dropped kitchen knives millimeters away from my intact toes luckily missing them. I should knock on wood right now! SO the thought of me having some pretty shotgun mounted to the wall in my home, just leaves me with a fear that it would possibly fall off the wall and shoot some mysterious bullet after the salesman said it wasn’t loaded. My “worst case scenario” brain sometimes protects me from making silly decisions.

Anyways, this week I was driving and saw all of these signs for a gun show in Paso Robles. I immediately was excited to buy some old empty bullet shells and see what else they had. Gun shows are known for taxidermy, antiques, old knives, army paraphernalia, and so much more! Last time, I found an awesome bullet belt and tried on a Viking hat so I was in. I woke early Sunday morning and flew up there to see what I could find. The cost was $10 admission, which was a little steep considering it was a small room compared to the one that I had been to in Orange County, but it was still full of interesting booths and cool stuff to keep me busy for an hour. I perused the isles of oddities and mentally calculated the cash vs what I wanted to purchase ratio. I settled on these two cool boxes and some old used empty bullet shells that would look intense in a mason jar or a glass dome. I left behind an interesting rusted old machete and a giant brass bullet casing, but those were on the higher end of my budget, so they were left in the dust to go to the next Gun Show in a month. Check out these boxes on the shop. They make great planter boxes or old paper storage. The bullet listing will come soon!

Check out their website for future shows. The next one is in Bakersfield June 21st and 22nd. The following is in Fresno July 12th and 13th.

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Today the junk haus Got… a Giant Whale Bone

There are times in our lives when we are faced with hard decisions. Do I accept this new job offer? Do I move across the country? A few weeks ago, I was faced with a tough decision. On a beach, I found a whale bone, a unique piece that probably would only happen this one time in my life. This would be the only chance I would have to make this bone mine. Very few things in my life I have wanted as much as this bone, this giant 200 pound piece of whale remnants. The question: Do I break the law to try and get it? Do I risk the possibility of getting arrested? After spending 24 hours day dreaming, talking about and contemplating this whale bone, I knew it was worth it. My car was not leaving that parking lot without this piece of whale in the back of it. One fat ticket and court date later, the bone is bleaching in the back of my brother’s back yard. My mission was complete, but the story was the best part. SO here is the story of how I found and am now the proud owner of THE whale bone.

It was a Monday morning and I was up planning my day. The usual stops at USPS and Fed Ex were about to begin, but something else was missing. In need for an adventure, I decided to get out of town and head up to Hearst Castle. There was a void of inspiration in my heart. I needed something to visually fill my soul. So that 45 minute drive up the coast would be just that for the day. Living on the Central Coast has so many perks. One being that at the drop of a hat, I get to jump in my car and flee to Hearst Castle to take one of their multiple tours, immersing myself in the rich beauty that the castle has to offer, So that Monday I made a reservation and being so excited to get there, I decided to get underway. At 1PM, I arrived in San Simian for a 3:45 appointment. I already knew exactly how I was going to kill time. drink a glass of wine at the Hearst Tasting Room, maybe get a sandwich and go walk on the beach and collect driftwood. Unfortunately, the Hearst Ranch Winery Tasting Room. wasn’t serving food so that negated the whole sandwich possibility, but they were serving wine, so I decided to get a glass of some lovely cold Chardonnay and sit and enjoy the afternoon. On the patio I drank my tasty libation planning the day, what I needed to get done, and what I should be doing. After a serious amount of time planning, I had an empty glass. So onto my next phase of the day. I moved my car and walked down to the beach to check out the driftwood situation.

There was a large pile at the far end of the beach so I meandered down there hoping to find at least one piece to take home. Then, I saw it. It was a mound of white from a far. It looked like a stump until I got closer. Immediately, I knew this was bone. Some surfaces were smooth and some were porous. The piece looked like it had been rolling around in the sea for quite a long time and it was finally ready to find a safe home, my home. I started trying to move the chunk of bone. I was able to roll it over so I figured it must not be more than 80 pounds. I have a very good sense of space and distance, but I do not have a good sense of weight and time. I don’t know if it was the glass of wine or my lack of sense, but I figured the bone would be easy for me to lift into the back of my car if I could get it to my car. I attempted to drag the bone, my mind churning with ideas of how I was going to do this. Knowing that my appointment at Hearst Castle was going to be soon, I decided to leave the bone at the end of the beach because no sane person could take it there. I was the only weirdo who would want a giant whale bone.

I got to the castle early and was able to go at an earlier slot. This would be perfect, I would have plenty of sunlight after to drive to the hardware store in Cambria, get a giant trailer or dolly and wheel the bone to my car. After enjoying the sights at the castle, I jumped back in my car and headed back to the town. It turned out the Ace Hardware in Cambria had closed for business a few months back so I googled the next option. It was in Morro Bar which was a half an hour even more south. With blind determination, I drove to the store, confided in the sales associate my whale bone dilemma, and together we decided on a thick wheeled dolly and some thick rope. Another 40 minutes drive back north, and I was wheeling my empty dolly down the beach. I easily mounted the bone to the cart, but once it was on, the metal flange started to bend. It was then I realized that 80 pounds was more along the lines of 200 and there was no way in hell little scrawny me was going to lift this to my car even if I got it to the end of the beach. So I decided to head back to my car, sad that the whale bone would not be mine and at least relieved that the bone probably wouldn’t ever move from this location, after all, if I couldn’t move it, no one could. That night I went over to my friends house for a dinner and of course the first thing I brought up was my whale bone. Two of my strong muscly male friends, Dustin and Andrew agreed to assist me on the adventure the next day. With two physically strong men and one mentally strong woman, we would sure be able to get this into my car.

The following afternoon, we drove up again the 45 minutes to San Simian and trekked across the beach. Andrew and Dustin attempted to lift the bone each to no avail and then when we three tried we could. The unfortunate part was that we would not be able to lift the bone down the quarter mile beach. Dustin came up with the genius plan of driving on the beach. If we could make it through the fence in the car, to the end of the beach then we could definitely lift the bone into the back of my Tahoe. So we assessed the situation. There were only a couple people on the beach. There was no sign that said it was illegal to drive on the beach. And there was no ranger in case it actually wasn’t legal. So we took some measurements. My car would just barely fit through a gap between a shower and the gate. Where there is a will, there is a way. I drove my car through the gap with inches to spare on either side and down the beach we went. We made it to the end of the beach with no problem, hoisted the bone into the back of the car and drove back. As we were approaching our exit to freedom, I realized that a woman had moved and parked her truck across our exit route. She was out of her car on the phone, playing policewoman. I parked my car on the sand and asked her to please move her car. She just yelled at me, “I am on an important phone call… Emergency call…” Not being an idiot as to whom she was speaking to, I went to her husband. I asked him to please move the car. He seemed confused and told me sure, he would happily move it. So up he went and back to my car I went, hoping that I would be able to escape before anyone was going to come take away my whale bone.

Then the worst thing happened. I pressed on the accelerator and my wheels started to spin. I was in the sand and there was no traction. My two wheel drive Tahoe was not experienced for this type of terrain. So the more I tried to go, the deeper my car got. In a panic, I jumped out of the car and started digging. I wanted to dig myself under the car and bury myself. But I just started digging the wheels out of the sand. We had cardboard in the back and maybe we could stick the cardboard under the tires. Every idea we had just seemed to dig us deeper. My friend decided that it would be best to get the whale bone out of the car. None of us knew if this would be the ticket item to get us in trouble, but we didn’t want to take the chance, after all he already had a few misdemeanors under his belt. Then, I looked up and saw two State Ranger cars driving down. A feeling of doom overcame me and I saw a vision of handcuffs, the back seat of a cop car, an impounding ticket and a very angry father as he got a call his daughter was in prison. Yes, I do have an overactive mind, but I also have never been in trouble so I have really no frame of reference as to what might happen. I knew I just had to face my punishment even though I  thought that jumping in the ocean and swimming for Mexico might be a possible solution. The rangers pulled up and walked up to face them. With a smile and a look of guilt, I explained that my car was stuck and that I was trying to drive on the beach because I wanted something at the end of the beach. As I said all of this, the whale bone just stared at the rangers, laughing at me and my tall tale. They told me that was illegal here and only legal at Pismo Beach. I handed over my license for a background check and went to check in with the boys who were trying to dig out my poor car.

Then, the lady started to get involved. She walked over to the rangers telling them her side of the story. This nosy woman had to be the world’s busiest busybody. Soon they were asking me why I was driving on the beach relizing that it wasn’t just for driftwood, but for a whale bone. I tried my best to get out of the questions considering I thought the whale bone would have been a bigger issue.

“Were you trying to get one of the whale bones on the beach.” The ranger asked.

“No. I wasn’t.” I shyly retorted hoping that would be the end of it.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes……. Yes…….. Yes I was trying to get a whale bone.” I said as far under my breath as could be possible, hoping that the stump I was sitting on would swallow me up.

“Well you know, if you want one there is a lot of stuff that needs to be done with forms and the government and such.” This is exactly what I didn’t want to hear.

The bone was sitting right next to me staring at us. It was obvious what I was doing. I felt like a little kid with chocolate all over her mouth trying to tell mom that I didn’t eat all of the candy. The cop suggested I call AAA to get my car out and soon I was on the phone with the towing company driving from Cambria. It would take an hour for him to get there. After the rangers decided on my ticket, we had a bit of time to kill before my car would be functioning again, back on terra firma. After the first cop left, Dustin and Andrew, and I sat and talked to the one ranger for an hour listening to some of his crazy stories about Hearst Beach and some of the insane people there were out there in this world. I guess I can categorize myself on that list for I was risking a ticket in order to get a whale bone. I’ve added this to my list of crazy stories if I ever write a book.

In the end, the ranger said that if I wanted the bone I would have to register it. I agreed and back in the car the bone went. With all of the weight and adrenaline out of my body, the bone seemed a lot heavier, or maybe it was because I was absolutely exhausted from the days activities. I needed my bed and a stiff drink of Jameson, but first I would have to fill back up the tires in my car and drive us all back to San Luis Obispo. And by us all, I am referring to, Andrew, Dustin and my whale bone, my newest and most prized possession. Move over Wolfgang, mommy has a new favorite.

And yes, I did get the busy body’s license plate number, just in case someday I want to get someone a Penthouse subscription.

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Haus Obsessed – Porter Chairs

For years, I have been looking all over for these Marie Antoinette dome style chairs. I didn’t know what they were called, and I couldn’t quite track them down. Restoration Hardware sold them under “The Versailles Chair.” So for the longest time, I thought these eggs shaped beauties were of French ancestry and called Versailles chairs. Then yesterday while killing time on Pinterest, I ran across a picture of four of these beauties with the description of “Porter Chair.” I had struck design gold, finally uncovering the name of these incredible quilted dome chairs.

Wikipedia says that these pieces originated in England when they were placed at the front door of an estate so the gatekeeper could sit there and screen visitors. This was necessary because some homes were too large for the knock to be heard deeper in the home. Because the entryway was usually breezy, an egg shaped design was created to make sure no wind or weather would disturb the gatekeeper, keeping him from doing his job for long hours.

If you are looking for your own Porter chair, check your local Craigslist. If you are more desperate, eBay and Etsy have quite a few for sale, though a lot of what is available online is pick up only. You should also look at estate sales and even consider purchasing a new reproduction. This novelty chair adds a feeling of regency and Hollywood glamour to whatever room you decide to put one in. They would make a great desk chair in an office, a corner chair in a bedroom, or even an end seat at the dining room table. When I find myself with an extra $2000 to fork over, I am going to splurge on one of these pieces.

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Here is what is available online:

eBay: Gold Suede Porter Loveseat

$_57

 

eBay: Antique Porter Chair with Versace 20’s Upholstery

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Etsy: Vintage Pink Porter Chair

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Today the junk haus Bought… A Vintage Don Budge Tennis Racket

I have finally found a local outdoor junk market I can hit up every weekend. There has been a flea market sized hole in my heart after leaving NY and this one is finally filling that emptiness. Last Saturday, my friend and I decided to wake up early and hit up this swap meet. I had heard about it, but the idea of waking up early on a Sunday to go to something that was hit or miss sounded like an epic fail, so weeks passed without an interest. Now, I had a reason to go: the company of a friend who enjoys perusing old junk almost as much as I do. Next thing I knew it was too early on a Sunday and my alarm was going off. He picked me up, and soon we were walking down rows and rows of junk. That is even a stretch to say. Many of the booths were filled with dirty pieces that looked as though they had come from the local Goodwill. However, if you looked hard enough, there was a lot of interesting gems. This racket called my name, and for $5, I couldn’t resist. My friend and I spent some time digging through old records that one vendor was selling for almost pennies. We laughed at the crazy “artistic” covers on the old records and the interesting food for sale. Within an hour, we had checked out pretty much everything and were ready to call it a day.

Entry fee is a $1 which is not enough to really deter anyone, because even if you don’t buy anything the people watching is pretty entertaining. Swap meets and flea markets always bring out the most interesting cast of characters. If you have free time and are in the area, check it out. You never know what you will find for 5 bucks!

Sunset Swap Meet

255 Elks Ln

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

805.544.5575

Sundays 6 AM – 11:30 AM

Entry Fee: $1

 

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Photoshoot 4/11/14

It was a Friday afternoon and another beautiful day on the Central Coast. Serena, my dear friend, and I decided to head up to the top of Perfumo Canyon and put together a quick shoot before the sun went down. An hour and a half later we had our looks, and some great pictures to show off the clothes that I am selling on my Etsy shop. The looks I put together for Serena were feminine and fun. I wanted to recreate the landscape painting Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth as that is one of my favorite pieces. Even though we did not have a barn, we still had the view over the San Luis Obispo Valley which I think was even better. For my own shots, I wanted something more avant garde, a girl lost in the mountains with nothing but her coat, finding all sorts of interesting treasures like a pair of deer antlers. The landscape turned out to be the true centerpiece, and we were just two girls frolicking in the hills, playing dress up with fun vintage clothes. In the end, the goofy shots turned out to be the best ones because these photographs radiate happiness and freedom. That was what it was like to be on the top of that mountain. It is quite hard not to feel happy and free when you are literally on the top of world. All of these clothes are available on the shop: pink dress, antlers, long grey coat, short grey coat, bowler hat, plaid sweater, black boots, red dress, and red and white cowboy boots.

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