A weekend's cache

Well now look at this happy little grouping....Don't they pose nicely together? I had a hard time getting all of them to smile, and the wee shelf in the back was being shy, but I finally got the shot. So far I've painted the china cabinet top in the back....she was dressed in a most dated gold speckled laminate for her backsplash, so I bathed her in a new coat of creamy white, and am using her on top of a white dresser in my sewing/craft room. You can see a bit of what she's been holding for me here:
I've also played with the antique side table. Painted her white too, and added some distressing. She's holding my hubby's alarm clock and some of his favorite books as a kid next to the bed.

The potato bin has also found a home in my craft/sewing room housing more of my curing soap logs....She was ushered into use before she was given her makeover, but will soon get her turn once her cargo is sold at the fair in a couple weeks. She's such a trooper....just look at all the stuff she has to sit around in! She has the patience of a saint, I'll tell you.

I don't have any firm plans for the other few pieces yet, but I'm sure my little brain will find some inspiration soon. I did buy an ivory shade for the ceramic floral lamp base, and it's sitting in my family room on a cottage-y little side table as I type. She must of been a craft project because she's a bit, um, off-centered...but like Nester says, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!

I think this haul set me back less than $35 dollars....I just happened to hit a woman's yard sale as she was setting up, and hadn't even priced stuff. She seemed relieved when I just made her offers. :o)

I think I'm done yard-saling for the season, though. I've run outta room and time to rescue anything else this season. But ya never know......did I mention I have a slight issue with adorable little side tables? I mean, Side Table Drawer was my favorite character on Blue's Clues, what with her adorable stuffy-nose voice and all. *sigh* If I coulda got my hands on her, I'd have painted her too, and the producers just would not have been happy. They're a bit touchy regarding stuff like that.
There's lots more great thrifty treasures over at Southern Hospitiality to get your creative juices flowing! Stop by Rhoda's to check them out.


One of my favorite Vignettes.

I started this blog oh bout a week ago...and have changed it about, um, 16 times now. But tonight I think I got it how I want. I took the picture without the flash. It's a vingette (is that how ya spell that thar word?) that sits on top of a craigslist cabinet I nabbed last fall and painted white. Anyway, thought my one follower would be interested in knowing how I acquired each of those elements....or at least I thought I'd enjoy reading and re-reading my own description of how I acquired the stuff. And then I can look at my pretty blog some more.

Ahem. So on the left we find a white vase-ish kinda thing I got at Goodwill about 4 hundred years ago. It's been full of all manner of junk, er, pretties over the years. In the picture it supports a birdsnest that I found last week in my front yard after a windy day. The little creamer pitcher doohickey was a TJMaxx or Marshall's find. Can't remember where I found that little birdie...the bird picture, however, was purchased at a consignment shop in the most hideous brown frame known to modern civilization, so I abused it into submission with some paint and sand paper. I'm like that. The candlesticks were picked up at several different Goodwills over a couple weeks time. I bought just one of each pair, causing the check out lady to eye me with suspicion. Whatever. Spray painted them white. Then later spray painted them taupe and distressed them. Found the ivory tapers at Hobby Blobby.

I think the whole shebang cost me under 10 buckaroos all told. You likey? Why yes, I do, thank you very much. You're welcome. (pardon me.)

Oh, and this grouping on top of my cabinet is in my breakfast nook, and the wall paint is called 'Reflection' by Devine paints...they are sold at a specialty paint shop that carries Benjamin Moore round these parts. It's the lovliest blue/gray/green I've found and perfectly matches that old Martha Stewart Kmart color called 'Atlantic'. It seriously makes me swoon.

Just goes to show it doesn't haveta take oodles of moola to put together a 'look'. Go see what other crafty gals have done with under $15 bucks at Maman Tatoo.

Learning my style, hitting my stride....

Since discovering (just last week) this tangled web of decorating/DIY bogs, I've spent entirely too much time looking at everyone's decor. Now, I consider myself fairly savvy in the world of interior design, and have helped turn my share of houses from nastiness to nirvana, but man it's hard not to covet and feel "less than" when seeing all the incredible talent there is out there. Thankfully, I have a couple friends who pay me with gift cards to Lowes or a meal out for helping them shop and decorate and paint and sew for them. I suppose I do possess some talent. :o)

Anyway, I've decided to really focus on my own sense of 'pretty', 'comfortable', 'cottage-y', and 'functional'. I'm listening to my house, and paying special attention to colors and styles that 'speak to me'. This is so hard when I love so many styles, and colors, and houses....and my taste tends to change seasonally. BUT, I've been noticing that throughout my designing history a few 'trends' are becoming noticeable. And I notice when I copy someone else's 'style', while it looks fine, it doesn't 'feel' like me. For instance, I could look at romantic country style/shabby chic interiors for eons, but when I try it in my house it looks forced. I grew up in Williamsburg saltbox-esque homes with a mother who collected primitive antiques. In fact, one of her homes appeared in an early '80's Country Living magazine. I love that look to this day, and have inherited several incredible antique pieces (I'll blog about them sometime), but I've moved away from a 'purist' decorating perspective. I've held on to the quiet simplicity of it, the sparseness, and homey feel of it, but redefined it for my own ecclectic style.

I love (in no particular order):
painted furniture (off-white, black, deep blue-gray, and moss green)
old, old wood antique pieces
organized, but stylish spaces
blue and brown
white and brown
black and brown
green and brown
birdies and nests and butterflies
faded florals in warm colors
slipcovered furniture
little debbie oatmeal cakes

I tell my friends who ask my opinion on decorating their homes to take some magazines and as soon as a picture hits them, to cut it out without thinking anymore about it. No analyzing yet! After they have a pile of pictures, we go thru them and try to find some common denominators because usually there's a plethora (don't you love that word?) of color and style that 'spoke' to them, but a few common threads woven within the pages. Were there wood floors in a lot of the pictures? Was there a lot of painted pieces? White slipcovers? Warm wall colors? In doing this exercise...which I still do myself with my overflowing binder of inspiration...I've done pretty well with my friends' homes. At least they think so :o)

Here are some of my recent inspiration pictures. See if you can find some common threads, and at the end, I'll share what 'speaks' to me about them, and how I'm trying to interpret them in my own home.

Each of these spaces feel 'calm' to me. There's enough traditional pieces to ground the areas, but a bit of unexpected, ecclectic pops jump in here and there. Obviously Im all about browns and blues and greens mixed with a heavy dose of creams/brown/whites. I also like monochromatic colorways. And muted floral fabrics and pictures are nectar from the gods!

I'm translating each of these rooms above into my own language using the furniture I have and the resources available to me within my limited budget. It's a challenge that keeps me up at night! I've learned to keep pen and paper next to my bed as my decorating muse often visits just before sleep overtakes me. Anyone else like that? I look forward to processing this journey here, working out the kinks, sharing and gleaning inspiration and projects, and making new friends....thanks for stopping by.

Later Gator....


So remember a few days back I posted about my soap?

Well that day I went to JoAnns, and they had these on sale 30% off:

It just so happens I can fit two of my soap logs in each drawer, and as it's made with slatted wood, I can store and cure them at the same time! See how the air will flow easily thru the gaps, but still protect my little soap babies? I ended up getting two as I usually make at least 9 logs at a time....

I had a quart of mistinted brown paint, so I kinda threw a coat of paint over them, mostly dry-brushing, and then sanded it smooth....now they look like this:

Don't they look adorable all snug in their beds? And here's the best part...All I need to do to display them at fairs and such is carry them in the crate, then use the crate drawers upside down to give them some height. I'm SOOOO stoked to play around with a rustic set up using these crates. I'm heading to a flea market this weekend, so I'm hoping to find some vintage tea towels to use in the display as well. Or maybe some feed sacks...or burlap! Ah, decisions, decisions. :o) Here's another shot of my babies...can you tell I'm proud of 'em?

I worked a bit on my soapy website/blog too in prep for an upcoming street fair. I'd love for you too hop over and give me some feedback. I'm mostly going for quick and easy, in and out. I sell my soap 'naked', but offer little drawstring muslin bags if someone wants to give them as gifts. So my site is bare bones, neutral colors.

You must forgive me, but I so love looking at my soap logs...something so pure and beautiful in their simplicity. *sigh*


My biggest creative endeavor yet....

Although I don't have 'before and afters' or tutortials, I thought I'd share some of the DIY stuff I did (with help from friends and family) for my oldest daughter's June wedding. Below are random shots of that special day. I will jump in to describe specific crafty things we did. Ain't she purty?

4 of the six bridesmaids...the two in the middle are my other daughters.
The groom and his men. Their tuxes were a deep pinstriped brown.
Church window arrangements. Everything except the candles were Dollar Store finds. I painted the inside of the ivy vase to match the bridesmaid dresses.
Artificial flower arrangemnts by me and my talented mother!

Here is the bride with her maids and flower girls. I made the sashes that went around the girls waists, and my daughter in law made the flower girl baskets.
The live bouquets and bouts were done at a floral shop, but the artificial arrangements seen behind my daughter at the altar were made by my mother and I.
The creative women of my family...L to R: My sis (scrapbooking queen and teacher extraordinare)....my 92 year old gramma (who used to own her own primitive antique store, was a master seamstress, flower arranger and painter of all things furniture-like)...my mother, (fabric horder, seamstress, interior designer, flower arranger, cook)...and me.
I bought the head table vases for the girls bouquets at the Dollar Store, painted the inside blue and added a brown satin ribbon. Each maid took her vase home as a keepsake.
Shots of our Candy Bar....the monogram was designed by a dear friend who then gave the couple a 5x7 custom framed speciman.
More candy bar.
The sashes I made. These matched the groom's vest. The dresses matched the groomsman's vests.
Reception table set up....yes, those are coffee beans supporting the votives! My daughter is a coffee fanatic! We rented the candalabra, but I bought the glass bowls at the bottom from Walmart, and we floated white roses in them. The placemat is a piece of scrapbook paper. And the favor bags had matching ribbon and monogram stickers for the candy bar.
Me filling up the bowls that will soon have roses floating in them. You can also see the napkins we made....just found some brown and blue ribbons to tie them up purty-like.
Another shot of the window arrangements at the church. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to light these :o(
My uber-talented sis in law who made the fabulous cake!
My sister helping set up the tables.
Aw....the bride dances with her daddy.
My family: All my kids, my parents, and my gramma.
Even more of the candy bar set up.
Is this cuteness or what?! Notice she wore gold sparkly sketchers under her princess gown...a friend from work make her earrings, and she wore an opal ring that belonged to my gramma.
My third daughter...jr bridesmaid. Jewelry ala Walmart. Each of the girls got to pick their own jewelry and shoes.
Daughter no. 2, maid of honor with her big sis.
Flower girl cousins wearing the dresses they picked out. Again, the baskets were put together by my daughter in law (who also sang with my son during the service.)
Walking down the isle...

One of my mom's flower arrangements.
My son and his wife....they are actual recording musicians. He also DJ'ed the reception, and she helped with so much of the crafty stuff, as well as helping design the invites with my daughter! I have such a talented family...I'm so proud of them!

Just after the pronouncement! The whole thing came off very well, and my daughter was so pleased with how everything looked. That was my goal from the beginning, so I'm happy!



I did it! I did it!

*I'm linking this to Melissa at 320* Sycamore today...we're posting ideas for gift giving. Great inspiration over there from her readers and Melissa herself. Check it out!I am just so tickled! We celebrated my gramma's 92nd birthday today, and I presented her with the above gift. Somewhere in the tangled web of blogs I visit each day, I saw a tute on how to make these adorable clothespins....(EDITED TO ADD: I found it! Visit Kim at Twice Remembered Hers are to. die. for.

Btw, Kim is having her Make Your Monday link party, so I'm going to add this post to the linky lineup. Hope she believes as Anne Shirley does that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery ;)
I also found Metamorphosis Monday on Between Naps on the Porch, so I added the fun over there too....although I don't have 'before' pics. I think everyone knows what a clothespin looks like!

Anyway, my gram loves to see pictures of her kids, grandkids, and greatgrandkids, but can't do frames by herself anymore, so I added the twine so she could string up her snapshots on a 'clothesline'. Aren't they cute? Basically spray painted the clothespins, then glued on strips of scrapbook paper, then when they dried, I sanded the edges. Easy peasy and soooo cute!

Gramma loved them (as did mom, sis, sis-in-law, daughter-in-law, and oldest daughter). I love handmade gifts that are not only beautiful but practical. Made anything like that yourself lately?


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