214 Comments

  1. Lynne Rutter
    April 29, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    I am just so happy to see this post and find this blog and know that I am not alone! I have a wee 800 square foot Victorian cottage and am constantly stuffing things into. Had to walk away from a pair of aesthetic movement mirrors because they were 12 feet high and my ceilings are too short. You are so lucky you found this and got t and don’t ever let anyone tell you you weren’t absolutely right to do it!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      April 29, 2013 @ 6:21 pm

      I am terribly sorry you had to leave the mirrors behind. I probably would have just cut a hole in my ceiling, but I guess your solution was more practical.

      I got sucked into your blog… weirdly drawn to Nolan.
      Okay if I pin your Paris mural? Feel free to say no… I realize that artwork is very different from most of the stuff on there…

      Reply

      • Lynne Rutter
        May 1, 2013 @ 11:46 am

        Pin away! A lot of my work is on Pinterest which is why I watermark all of my images. Thanks so much for your interest!
        Believe me opening up the ceiling to allow for tall giant ebonized and gilt mirrors… was discussed. (Cutting the mirror frames down was not an option. ) Moving to a larger house someday was discussed. Getting a storage garage to keep things for a larger house I might have someday was discussed… and by discussed I mean I paced back and forth rationalizing for between 30 minutes and two hours at a time on the phone or in person with anyone who would listen. I texted pictures of them to friends and clients trying to make sure that they were at least bought by someone I know. In the end the seller, seeing my enthusiasm for them, decided to keep them. So at least I know where they are!

        Reply

        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          May 1, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

          I totally agree with you! Moving to accommodate furniture is TOTALLY reasonable. Cutting it to fit? Not at all.

          We kept a giant mirror in the garage (courtesy of Craigslist) for nearly two years, until the foyer was finished… to me this was sensible. To Paul, it was a giant waste of workspace…

          Reply

  2. Sarah
    May 19, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

    OMG!! I LOVE IT!!! It’s gorgeous just where it is! I love your description of your adventures getting the Downton Abbey Portal because I can so see my husband doing this “fools errand!”

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      May 19, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

      I am such a hoarder… no kidding. There is something about my brain that is SO happy with it.

      The adage about material possessions not providing true happiness seems stupid to me. CLEARLY this is the very embodiment of happiness!!

      Reply

  3. Brynne
    May 27, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

    Oh dear lord, I came over from the thread on the Young House Love forum, and you left out the most impressive fact of all, which is that you got that beautiful beautiful monster for $300!

    Also, I have to say that I just love your style of writing. I feel like we’re friends chatting – I will be following your blog for sure!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      May 30, 2013 @ 6:17 pm

      Aggravatingly, my comment–notifications aren’t working… (I have no idea why) and it’s only just occurred to me to actually LOOK at my blog to see if anyone new told me how amazing this is…

      I told Paul that other women spend more on handbags… you know, incase I needed a justification.

      Looking at your site… my bf and I lived in Ft. Worth for a while, so I think of Texas as a place where you just hang out with your best friend and laugh all day.

      Reply

  4. jamie@kreyv
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    Oh. My. Gosh. Totally cracking up! I mean really, you can’t put a price on a portal to Downton Abbey AND Narnia. That’s priceless! Such an awesome piece, and thank goodness for willing hubbies…even if they don’t know what they’re in for! Mine, usually does…he knows me too well!

    Reply

  5. Debra@AModernTranslation
    June 1, 2013 @ 11:18 am

    Wow! What a beautiful find. It’s awesome. I’ll have to check out Craigslist for our renovation.
    Visiting from Sharefest. Have a great weekend.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 2, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

      Craigslist is like my other husband. One who never gets cranky!

      Reply

      • Deneen
        June 17, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

        Victoria, I love this post … hiiiiilarious & fabulous. You write like I think in this post & I, too, love Craigslist. LOL! You now have a new subscriber / Pinterest follower. I just discovered your blog via your comment today here http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/choosing-the-right-size-couch-five-key-questions-190895 .
        But, now I need to know what happened to that wardrobe (since it was too big for the kitchen). Were you able to use it elsewhere? Is your hubby Paul okay (did he implode when he discovered it was too big)? 🙂

        Reply

  6. Alison
    June 1, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

    Oh my heavens, how have we NEVER met, Victoria!??!
    LOVE this whole story and the antique piece/work of art!

    And I must tell you, you have to meet my fellow blogging friend, Andie, who also has a home full of THE most amazing CList items and stories to match, just like this.

    Please go check out her blog, because I am pretty sure you two are twins separated at birth!

    Here is the link:
    http://divinetheatre.blogspot.com/

    THIS piece, and YOUR story are just awesome.
    I can relate on so many levels, as can my mother, sisters,
    grandmother, etc. It runs in my family — for generations —
    finding and “acquiring” objects (our heart’s desires) at whatever
    the risk and the cost!

    Thanks so much for sharing your “work of art”
    with all of us and this wonderful story of wills and
    an obviously strong and loving marriage!

    🙂
    Alison

    Reply

  7. Ricki Jill Treleaven
    June 1, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

    WOW!!!! This is my favorite post of the week….you are one lucky duck, with your own personal portals to both Narnia and Downton Abbey!!!

    You are my new blog buddy whether you like it or not!

    I’m linking from Alison’s blog, and I want to link over to the Crazy DIY kitchen before I leave!

    xo,
    Ricki Jill

    Reply

  8. Garden, Home and Party
    June 1, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    Victoria,
    This piece truly is an amazing work of art. You really did score on this find.
    Karen

    Reply

  9. Tess
    June 2, 2013 @ 11:02 am

    Found your blog through sharefest. cute story!

    Reply

  10. Kita
    June 3, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

    Now that is a fine Craigslist is a hit and miss most of the time but they do have some great hits when you find them. Stopping by from SitsSharefest

    Reply

  11. Jenner Stevens
    June 5, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

    You are fantastic! I had a decorating business for almost 7 years and loved those “finds.” My husband wasn’t involved at all. I had to hire my handyman to make things happen! If something you see moves you (I totally get it!) you HAVE to have it! No matter what!

    Reply

  12. Nicole @ One Punky Mama
    June 10, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

    I shouldn’t be laughing at all, but I am. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made (or sourced) purchases for the house that just. won’t. fit. It’s like, a normal occurrence for me. It usually involves me giving hubby a stern look, waving my hand around and saying “we’ll just move something else.”

    Reply

  13. Dria @ Dio
    June 12, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

    WOW I am soooo envious that is absolutely Gorgeous!!!

    Reply

  14. Alix
    June 18, 2013 @ 7:06 am

    May I ask where you got your coffee table/ottoman from? And the name of it/the style.
    I love the look of it but haven’t actually been able to find one.

    Thanks

    Reply

  15. Trace
    June 19, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

    Thank you so much for this! It made me laugh out loud on a less than exciting day. I can totally relate although I have never lucked into something so grand.

    Reply

  16. Post the Sixty-Sixth: I which I ramble incoherently, and you learn illuminating facts about why I’ve been distracted. | Whimsical Adventures of the Reverend Doctor
    June 21, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

    […] actually what I’ve been doing today, but I’ve been awfully distracted by this: http://victoriaelizabethbarnes.com/share-your-favorite-find/ This woman is hilarious and I love her, and possibly want to be her, but only in the […]

    Reply

  17. Janice
    June 21, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    This is easily the funniest blog I have ever laid eyes on. I RELATE! Boy do I relate! I have a fancy for old sewing machines and prefer to think of myself as a stalker ninja. I’m about to become addicted and go read all of your past blogs! Consider me a fan for life! FFL!

    Reply

  18. Jane
    June 23, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

    “—I will never ever, ever, ever do this again.

    Which is a total lie!! We will DEFINITELY do this again.”

    You’re my new favourite, I nearly woke my baby up laughing. But you in no way resemble me. None. At all. Just don’t ask my husband.

    Reply

  19. Shar
    June 24, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

    You are hilarious and my kindred sister, omgosh I love love love, and your thought process, Im waiting for my hubby to get home so I can start reading him your blog and secretly make him start liking your ideas so he will support me more in my hunts. Im used to him saying “I hate you woman” when I call him for the truck just to move a door I found out on a curb for trash day and Im guarding it waiting for him to arrive.

    Reply

    • katie
      June 28, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

      My calls for the truck are recognized in one word.
      (ring ring ring)… “Hello?”
      “Sweeeeeeeeetie?”
      To which the reply is “What did you buy?”

      Reply

  20. Lisa
    June 25, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

    I am so glad to know I am not alone in the love for all things vintage/Victorian off Craigslist. Except I go on my adventures husband-less so when he gets home and asks where it came from and how it got there I can shrug innocently. Of course, I am limited to whatever I can shove into my Odyssey (which includes an entire solid wood twin size sleigh trundle bed with mattress, $40! and more recently a replica scale model carved wood carousel horse). I may not have much upper body strength but if it means getting it home I can double as Superwoman.

    Reply

  21. Mellissa Rose
    June 26, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

    You. Are. Awesome. (and my hero). I am in love with your blog and your style.

    Reply

  22. Sara
    June 27, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    I cannot say it any better than Mellissa Rose. She took the words right out of my mouth: “ou. Are. Awesome. (and my hero). I am in love with your blog and your style.”

    Reply

  23. N
    June 27, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    Wow this is turly one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. You have an amazing man.

    Reply

  24. Bridget from Refined Vintage
    June 28, 2013 @ 10:51 am

    I am laughing and relating to your story. I have never brought home anything that big, yet… But your husbands reaction is classic, don’t they realize how futile it is to refuse? I found you via the post about the huge Kingdom Mirror on Craig’s List and then clicked on over to this one. Love your sense of humor. I look forward to following your renovations, all from Craig’s List! I love that you are helping to keep things out of landfills too! Vintage is the new Green!

    Reply

  25. Lish
    June 28, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    That is the best piece of furniture ever and it looks like it belongs exactly in your living room, right where you put it. I think it was destined for that spot. Lovely!!!! Although, if you found an older, slightly more narrow window with stained glass detailing up top, you could just tear out the perfectly good window and make everything 1000 times better. I always say, “if it’s not broke, find a way to make it better!” And I am very impressed that you can get your husband to help you tear things out. Could you possibly write a how-to manual for that? Most of my craigslist desires fail for only having two arms (although my 8 month pregnant self did score an amazing, super-heavy 1950s dresser that I rocked back and forth from my car to apartment b/c it was perfect).

    Reply

  26. Christina @ The Murrayed Life
    June 28, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    This whole post was amazing. Utterly amazing. I just met you fo realz, and I want to read through everything!

    Reply

  27. Laura in Canada
    June 28, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

    This is ridiculously uncanny – I’m gobsmacked. You could probably get crowd funding to fit this wardrobe into your kitchen now. It seems like a matter of public interest, seeing as how many people are following your blog. Once it’s finished you could charge for tours. Antique lovers from all over North America could come by worship. Know this: the fact that you found this particular wardrobe on Craigslist (and the Kingdom Mirror!) is a category of religious miracle (Miracle of supply?) Something like Malachi 3;10 or Jesus and the loaves. I bow to you.

    Reply

  28. katie
    June 28, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    Once upon a time, when I had just moved in with my wife (partner, significant other, whatever, she’s the pick-up driving, tool-belt wearing one. I’m the one who points at things for her to use tools on) that it would be cool to buy one of the historic early 1900’s homes in the Riverside neighborhood of our town (Jacksonville, FL).

    She commented that such a project would make me crazy because I would have to see every option available for every piece that was needed. If it needed a new door knob, I would have to search, question and compare 850 different doorknobs, even if I loved the 3rd one. I assured her that it wouldn’t be like that with everything, only things that are visible (not inside walls). I know she’s right… even if the 3rd doorknob was everything I ever wanted in a doorknob, what if the 849th one was just as perfect and had free shipping? You never know until its 4 in the morning and you’re squinting at page 437 of a google search for Victorian doorknobs.

    To this day, 12 years later, we still laugh about this conversation we had so long ago. Mainly, we quote the part where I said, “I could be like the manager and pick the stuff and show you what needs to be done and you could do the tools part.” To which, this woman, who otherwise worships the quicksand I walk on, replied without missing a beat, ” I would put a nailgun through your head faster than you can say ‘missed a spot.'”

    Anyway, I LOVE your writing style and Becky says she feels Paul’s pain.

    Reply

  29. Amy Herrmann
    June 28, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

    My mother turned me on to your blog. She has taken to calling me the Queen of Craigslist, but I bow down to your superior claim to that title. Your posts are hysterical and awe inspiring. It also describes quite accurately what happens in my marriage when see a must have on CL. Troll on!

    Reply

  30. Kasia
    June 29, 2013 @ 1:25 am

    I got such a good laugh out of it … I shared it with hubby and he said : it’s not just us there is more…

    Reply

  31. Kit Odom
    June 29, 2013 @ 11:27 am

    Please, please, please do NOT cut this fabulous thing! You are only its conduit through time.

    Reply

  32. Molly Sargent
    June 30, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

    Hey! I just subscribed to your blog! I did this because my husband said “I am sending you this link because this is just like you!” It was the link to the mirror story (it had a kingdom on the top!). I kept saying things as I read and looked at the pictures and then in the next sentence you would write what I just said! How did you do that?

    I too am an insatiable Craigslister. I found and we (meaning Tom, my husband, and I) bought a 1962 Airstream trailer for 500 bucks on Craigslist. And then there was my armoire period where anything called an armoire was fair game to my new and improved plan of organization which was to have an armoire for every category of household item. Then there were the french doors. Our house is furnished in CL. I have been looking for five years for beachfront property on CL. I know someday I will find it for five thousand dollars and it will be just what I want. We are kindred spirits I am pretty sure.

    Reply

  33. Betsy
    July 1, 2013 @ 4:40 am

    Oh, girl,
    I know you have moved on from commenting on comments on this post, but I just have to say,
    my cheeks hurt…ALL OF THEM …from laughing so hard, and trying to control myself….
    I had to stop myself at least 6 times from waking my husband to read this to him, he thinks I am the only one who does this kind of stuff, and drags him, eye rolling and driving, to get what I “Need!”….but this is one thing he would been saying “WE HAVE to fit this in somehow….” and I would say, “I’ll MAKE it FIT!”, like the evil step sister on Cinderella…..
    Your conversations with your hubby remind me of ours….”around and around and around we go, and where we stop, nobody knows….” we are a little diffrent version of you two, but it is good that we live on the other side of the country from you…..I can see you and I would be TROUBLE!!! This is the first I have seen you blog, and it was a reference on another blog that sent me here. Her post was “Everyone has a thing for Gold mirrors…”, and she typed, in reference to you, Her whole blog is so funny and her renovation of a 1980 Victorian house is a big undertaking.” My first thought was….”1980…..?….Victorian House…???? Big undertaking…..??? I gotta SEE this….. Okay I am sitting here still laughing rediculously about your entire saga….but I know you make it sound more funny than it actually was…..we have to laugh about such things so we don’t just give up and die over them. I can relate to the Procrastination, and I think it goes hand in hand with our perfectionism, and our “Why LIVE in reality, when our dreams are so amazing ….and So much FUN???!!!” attitude about life. “Can WE Do it???? YES WE CAN!” Just get Paul the builder and my hubby together and don’t let them say “No, I can’t!” and it will happen! You and I are dreamers of BIG plans…but they really need to be exactly what they think they could be, nothing less! I know you probably won’t be able to return a comment to me, but please know I look forward to learning more about your….Adventures in Life and on Craigslist! You would NOT believe what we just got on Craiglist….and hubby was even a PART of it!….I have NO idea how long it will take to forget this one!
    Hearts to you,
    Betsy

    Reply

  34. Anika Adams
    July 1, 2013 @ 10:21 am

    I cannot begin to express how utterly fabulous you must be in real life. I ended up reading this post out loud to my husband and wife. I think my husband and Paul would get along quite well. And I don’t know if I can count how many times while reading this I exclaimed “I LOVE her!”. Thank you!

    Reply

  35. Suzy
    July 1, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

    I am literally CRYING at work from laughing at this…Your line about using it to house garden tools had me in stitches. I hate when husbands try to be practical like “where are you gonna put a 12 foot behemoth piece of furniture”?! WHO CARES! I think Tim Gunn said it best when he said “make it work!” 🙂

    Reply

  36. Tara
    July 2, 2013 @ 9:46 am

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!! I love this, I love this, I love this. You are my sister separated at birth. (And thank you to my real, birth sister who sent me your blog). I would be scared to have this in my home because I would rub all the finish off and I lovingly caressed it as I walked past it each day. My own fantasy house which I will build someday involves many pieces such as these and also a library that rivals The library at Alexandria. But that is another story. Well done you!

    Reply

  37. Val LaBore
    July 2, 2013 @ 11:53 am

    You are so lucky being on the east coast that so many lovely things can be found. Not so much on the west coast. But I have found furniture that was too large for my rooms too but bought because they were gorgeous. Carved wood and details pull my hands in to touch and caress them. Before I moved away from home, I had a Queen Anne walnut dining table and a corner china cabinet in my bedroom that was meant for a twin bed. See? We are alike. And our houses in SoCal are not built for big furniture so its crowded. Yes, the husband shakes his head sometimes too.
    Val

    Reply

  38. Darcy Perdu
    July 3, 2013 @ 5:26 pm

    OK, I have just notified the Vatican to submit your husband’s name for Sainthood!

    I thoroughly enjoyed your story and pics — so funny!

    Your unbridled enthusiasm is directly proportional to your husband’s dismay!

    And have you learned your lesson? Not according to this —

    My favorite line: “We will do this as many times as Craigslist deems necessary.”

    Reply

  39. It’s Friday. Slack off. | Nouns and Violets
    July 5, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

    […]  The Portal to Downton Abbey. I recently stumbled across the blog of Victoria Elizabeth Barnes and it was love at first post. […]

    Reply

  40. LaurelW.
    July 5, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

    OMG, saw the wardrobe and thought Downton Abbey too. I love that you had vision to use the middle sink area for the window. I don’t know that I could have cut it down to fit in the kitchen either. When I read that Paul has a name for the charge down the stairs as the Craigslist Charge I almost fell off my chair. I did a Craigslist Charge yesterday down to the garage to tell my hubby about a pile of stuff by the road 10 mins from us and I was the first caller. Hubby was busy in the workshop making things for us to sell at our flea booth, so I turned around only to do the Craigslist Charge back up the stairs to my 20 yr olds bedroom to wake him up to coerce him into helping me ( usually involves a trip thru a drive up for food on the way home). “Jared, Jared, Jared, Jared, wake up, wake up, wake up, please, please,please come with me to get some stuff by the road. Please, please get dressed NOW, please?!” is how that always goes. I have to say they both groan but are accommodating every time. I read this post out loud to my husband 1. because it was a great one of a kind find with great pics 2. because you write with such truthful humor 3. it proves I am not as crazy when it comes to Craigslist as my hubby may think. Thank You!!

    Reply

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