Happy “house-iversary” to us!!!

It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago, we closed on this crazy, wonderful house of ours.  And in a few weeks, it’ll be the anniversary of our actually *living* in the house, after all the repairs and de-smoke-ifying that had to be done before the place was habitable.

There hasn’t been much to blog about, because we’re still saving up for our next round of renovations…  hopefully in the Spring, our tax refund will allow for some final touches on some of our rooms and there’ll be some fun stuff to show everyone.  In the meantime, we’re still dealing with the fun (and I say that totally sarcastically) that comes with owning an older house — a roof that will hopefully make it through one more winter, a storage shed that has started leaking and needs a new roof of its own immediately, and a slate front walkway that had to be completely patched because most of the stones heaved due to the crazy fluctuating temps in January and February.

BUT — to celebrate our 1-year “houseiversary”, we did treat ourselves to something special that wasn’t a repair.  🙂  We bought ourselves and the house a gift, in the form of a piece of memorabilia from Mad Men!

A couple of months ago, ScreenBid (an auction company in California) held an auction of hundreds of pieces from the Mad Men sets and costumes.  The whole thing was almost overwhelming in its awesomeness — artwork from the Sterling Cooper offices, furniture, Don’s car, light fixtures, you name it.  We had a massive list of items on our watch list, but the bids went way outside of our price range almost immediately into the 2-week bidding cycle.  Especially if it had any remote connection to Don Draper, it immediately went into the thousands of dollars.  Crazy!

But we did manage to get one piece on our list, that I’m so in love with — a piece of artwork from Megan’s LA apartment in the final season!


If you watch the episodes where Don comes to visit Megan in LA, you can see this hanging in the hallway leading to her bedroom.  It was perfect for the bohemian style of her apartment — a 5′ tall wood carving of a man with a cat rubbing up against his legs.

Not only do I love the style of it, and the tone of the wood exactly matches the wood paneling in other areas of our house…  but we had no artwork at all in the hallway, and now we have a cool piece of the perfect size that draws your attention when you look down the hall!

Here’s his handsome face:


…and the fact that there’s a cat in it is just too perfect for us!


So, yay!  A great way to celebrate our first crazy year, and so much more to look forward to in the year to come…  🙂

Persistence does pay off.

Hey, everyone!  Nothing major to report here from Biohazard Manor; the house is still standing (w00t w00t!) and we’ve been enjoying grilling out on that awesome flagstone patio.

Our new sectional from Ikea doesn’t hurt either.  If only it would cool down enough for us to sit out there more without dripping with sweat…


Anyway…  just had to post because we are darn excited about a little treasure we just scored, due to tons of patience and a little bit of persistence.

We’ve had a heck of a time figuring out how to decorate our spare bedroom.  We kept the palette really neutral when we picked the carpet and wallpaper, which left the walls totally open to decorate however we wanted.  But nothing we’ve seen at auctions or online has really felt like it went in that room.  Then, one day on eBay, I stumbled across these beauties:


I was in LOVE.  Gravel art!  I had never even thought of looking for gravel art before, but these were perfect!  Not only were they colorful and in amazing condition, but I just started taking Brazilian drumming classes so they’d be a fun reference to my new hobby.  AND, we have a ton of global art that could go in that room as well and tie everything in together!  Score!

Or, NOT score.  After a week of no bids, I bid on them an hour before the close of the auction and went to bed…  and woke up the next morning to discover that someone had snaked them out from under us for $1 more.  NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!  I was so bummed.  And became totally obsessed with gravel art.  Over the next several weeks, we kept doing gravel art searches on eBay and Etsy, and just couldn’t find anything even close to the coolness of those dancing drummers; so Jack and I settled back into acceptance that it was going to take 20 years to decorate this bedroom.

Then, surprise surprise, I got an eBay notification that the drummers were re-listed!  The sale had fallen through, so we had another shot.  YESSSSS!!!!  Same as before, I waited until the end of the auction and placed our bid and went to bed.  (Yes, I know we were playing with fire after the last time…  but when an auction ends late at night, I’ll choose sleep over staring at my screen any day.)  And we paid the price — once again, we lost the auction by $1.  Darnit.  But this time, I took a chance and contacted the seller in a private message: “I bid on your gravel art twice and lost both times…  if this new sale also falls through, I’m willing to buy it from you outright.”  I figured, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Well, it paid off!  Once again, the buyer didn’t pay for the gravel art (as an aside — WHY oh why do people bid on things and then not pay???), and weeks later I got a message from the seller that he’d list them for me as a “Buy It Now”.  I swooped onto eBay and paid for those suckers in a heartbeat.   🙂

And aren’t they purrrrrrrrty???

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I can’t get over the detail in these things…  so beautiful!  The gravel, the string, jewels, and those metal feathers!  AND, as a bonus, the wooden side frame panels match the wood tone of the bedroom furniture.  I’m so in love.


So it just goes to show: persistence pays off!  (And stay up until the end of a darn auction if you really want an item.  :P)  Once we have the rest of the room done (hopefully the rest of it won’t take as long!), there’ll be lots of photos of how these guys fit into the overall room.  Yay!