Thursday, July 31, 2008

Have a Seat in My Foyer

Look at my Pottery Barn chair. I snatched it up at a thrift store for three bucks a few months back. I had no clue where I'd put it, but who could pass up that price! When I got it home I noticed that one back leg had been broken, but it's been repaired well and is nice and solid.
Last week after I moved my table into the foyer, the chair that was there looked out of place. So I washed the cover of my PB chair, and sanded and painted the legs black. Now it has a prominent place in my home.
While we're in my foyer, let me show you around. This area measures 8 feet by 11 feet. It's a great size, but there are doors and openings on every single wall, which makes it a bit of a challenge to decorate.This is the backside of my front door. When we moved here, there was a door and a separate long window. We replaced it with this door and side lights, which was a nightmare job for our poor carpenter. My hubby and I put up all the decorative molding. I really wanted to make a statement on this wall. We put lighting in the crown molding. It makes for a cozy light during the day, as well as at night.This little piece was on my doorstep one day. My neighbor was helping her daughter de-clutter and she thought I might like this. I do!
My hubby and I were given permission to remove this mail slot and elevator button from a very old hotel just before they demolished it years ago. Little kids always ask if my closet is an elevator. Wouldn't that be nice.
Well, that's it for today. But I'm thinking that my new chair needs a little something sitting right next to it, so I'm off to work on tomorrow's post.
Make it a good day!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bouquet Abundance

In my ideal dream world, I would have a big decorating budget. Part of that budget would be used to fill my home with fresh bouquets. I think this dream is brought on by gazing at so many home design magazines. Isn't there a fresh bouquet in practically every photo?
Then it occurred to me. I could achieve my dream! I didn't need an unlimited supply of money. All I needed was a little creative thinking. I needed to think beyond the florist shop. Now I'm enjoying fresh bouquets throughout my home.
A bunch of cat tails freshly cut
from the side of the road,
while on a date with my husband.
A few fern fronds picked from my yard.An inexpensive flower bunch from the grocery store,
placed in several jars for more impact.
It just goes to show, that with a little creativity,
you can achieve your dreams!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This One's For You

Two posts in one day? Yep, cuz my blogging friend Shirlee wants some inspiration from a little project that she noticed in one of my previous posts.I bought this wooden clock face at the thrift store. It was someone's unfinished project. I brought it home, finished the paint job and distressed it, then added some big chunky ball feet. I use it to as an anchor for my vignettes.
I'm always willing to help out a friend. Good luck my friend!

Change With That Sale

Look what I found on the garden clearance!
Isn't it a fun accent?
Although I like the rusty finish, it doesn't match
the other garden accents in my front yard.

So there's just one thing to do---
get out the spray paint!

Can you guess which color?I like it even more now!
It's lost it's rustic qualities and has found it's elegance. It looks so nice on my front porch,
with the fake grass that I don't have to water.
It looks so nice that I'm feeling the need to change out my porch decor.
Doesn't this bouquet look summer-y?
I rescued that metal thing from someone's garbage pile.
I bought new pillows at the thrift store
for my old church bench.

And the frame came from there too.
The topiary is one of those items that gets moved
all around my house.
I need a rest from the heat of the summer
and they say "a change is as good as a rest"
.
I think they may be right!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Table of Contents

Look at this lovely little table!
Can you guess what it's made from?Does the hole in the bottom corner give it away?For years it served as a short, four panel door
in someone's home.
It still has the original weathered stain.
I just stained it's top to match.
Don't you think it's a-door-able?

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Should Get a Commission

I promise you that I DO NOT work for the Rustoleum company or the Rub 'n Buff company---but maybe I should. Maybe I should show them all of my projects and then they could pay me a million dollars for my incredible ideas and then I could share it with all of you, since you're the ones who inspire me to create more and more projects. . . .Well, it's a great thought, right?
Here's my latest project:(sorry! the picture is dark)
I bought this lovely little statue at the thrift store for three dollars. It's beautiful as is, but I think that I know why it was donated. It's a bit top heavy, and easily tips over. There are some marks on the base that look like the previous owner may have weighted it down with a rock. It also has that verdigris finish that was very popular years ago, but not so much now. All of those problems can easily be fixed with a scrap of wood, a can of black spray paint, and a little R'nB in a copper color. With those little fix-ups, it's now updated,
and looks like this:
I identify with the birdy that chooses to do things
his own way.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Corner of My Home

This little wall measures just over two feet wide. It's at the end of a hall and surrounded by doors; a bathroom door, a bedroom door and a linen closet. This is an area that could easily be neglected. But why neglect a spot that my family walks by several times a day?
Sometimes we put a lot of effort decorating the areas of our home that visitors see and we forget about those small spots that are usually for our family's eyes only. Is there a little corner in your home, seen only by your family, that needs a little decorative touch?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Fish Tale

I bought this box at the thrift store last week. It was probably someone's wood shop project. I know, you're probably questioning my taste right about now, and asking yourself, "What was she thinking?!?!" I'm sure that's what people at the thrift store thought. They could only see that lovely fish decal on a funky little box. The lady who checked me out thought that it looked like a small coffin for fish. But all I could see was the craftsmanship! It's made up of all kinds of beautiful mouldings. It has style. Or at least, it has the potential for style.
I sanded off the fishy and gave it a few coats of spray paint, in what seems to be my favorite color now a days. Then I topped it with a sassy little knob. . .
And now it's a stlyish little box that anyone would be proud to put their dead fish in. ;)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wedded Bliss

Last weekend we were invited to a wedding reception. I bought a nice gift for the newlyweds, but thought it might be fun to make a personalized gift for them too.

I got on my computer and made a template.
I took out my light box (oh, how I love that thing!),
taped the template on it,
then placed a piece of canvas cloth on top.
I used a fabric marker to trace over the template.
I cut the canvas down to size and frayed the edges.
I cut and spray painted a board. Then I adhered a piece of scrapbook paper to the board using spray adhesive.
I added the canvas on top.I stained the edges of the scrapbook paper,
added upholstery tacks and
drilled two holes to string the ribbon through.
And Voila!
a personalized gift for the happy couple.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Big Reveal

I want to THANK YOU ALL! I appreciate your comments, support and even your curiosity! Let's face it, we all enjoy decorating our homes because it brings us, and our loved ones, joy and comfort. But it is always an added bonus when what you do is appreciated and enjoyed by others. And so I thank you for giving me a bonus. You are all so wonderful and kind! Now on to the big reveal. . .
This was my entry foyer before:(one of many combinations I've had here)

It is now the new home of my table and mirror.
Here is the finished look (for this month, anyway).
In an ideal world there would be an electric outlet nearby so that I could have two tall beautiful buffet lamps. But no such luck, so I improvise.

Here's a little close-up of the details of the table.
(I still need to do some touch ups.)
Isn't this over-sized knob delightful?

I'm liking my foyer make-over.
It's always fun to change things around!

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Tale, A Tutorial, & A Tease

I thought I'd tell you a bit about my table. I found it at a thrift store last year. It's old and very sturdy. Years ago someone put a stain/varnish on top of the existing finish, probably to hide scratches, but it made it look like a really bad faux wood finish (the picture shows the drawer with the original finish). The drawer front was broken, fortunately all the pieces were inside the drawer. The trim around the top had a chunk cut out of it, probably to make it fit into a certain area, or to have a spot for electrical cords to run down.
A well built piece of wood furniture always melts my heart, especially if it's an orphan that needs a home. So, even though I had no clue where I'd put it, it came home with me. I used a heat gun to take off the "faux" finish, which peeled off quite nicely. I pulled off the trim and replaced it with a decorative moulding. Then I gave the whole piece a good sanding, still leaving some of the signs of wear. I choose to paint it by hand because there is just a feeling I get from brushing on paint that I don't get with spray. I feel kind of like I'm bonding with the piece and honoring it's craftsmanship (I know, I'm strange!). I painted it black because black is elegant but neutral, and I know this table will probably move around my house.

After finishing the mirror, I noticed that the moulding on the table had a similar detail (a happy coincidence), so I decided to use my silver Rub 'n Buff to add detail.
Since some of you asked how to use this product, I made a tutorial:

Squeeze a small amount on your finger.
A little of this stuff goes a looong way!
(Ignore the fat fingers!)
Lightly RUB your finger over the area you want covered.You can add a small amount of R'nB on a
stiff bristled brush to help with the details.
(Notice that I cut down the bristles
on the brush to give me more control)
After it's dry, you can go back over it with a soft cloth 'N BUFF to make it shine.Oooooo, looks like I'm almost done with my table.
Can you guess what Monday's post will be?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hooray!

Look what I got from my sweet blogging friend Shirlee, from the Painted Prairie. She is so generous and thoughtful! She gave me these two very pretty awards. Thank you Shirlee!
I am a bit of a rebel. I have decided to break the rules and give these two awards to anyone who is feeling the desire to have them. Yep, they're yours for the taking---think of it as finding the very best treasure in the box marked "FREE" at a garage sale!
And, just a little update. . .Remember this project?
I wanted to paint it by hand instead of just giving it a quick coat of spray paint. Well, I'm happy to announce that it has it's first coat of paint and, if all goes well, by the end of the day it should be finished. I'm still debating on how I want to finish it though. Do I want to sand it and distress it, or maybe do a little Rub 'n Buff trick to the moulding? Hummmm, decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Valuable, But Small

One of my favorite lines from a movie comes from You've Got Mail. Meg Ryan's character writes, "Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. . . valuable but small. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?"
I, too, lead a small but valuable life. I live most of my life within a five mile radius and I'm happy with that. Occasionally I venture beyond those five miles, and when I do, my big thrill is to include a thrift store in my travels (I know, I know, I'm livin' on the edge of excitement!). Yesterday was such a day. I went to a thrift store in another city and look what treasures I found!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mirror Image

I found this beauty of a mirror for twelve dollars
at the thrift store a few weeks ago.
(Yeah, that's my hand and camera in the reflection. Argh!)
The paper backing had been removed and there was a stamp on the wood frame. The stamp said: Made in Belgium Sep 1928. The mirror is showing it's age (aren't we all?), but overall, it's in pretty good shape for it's eighty years.
I'm not a gold kinda gal so I felt the need to give it a makeover (I wish someone felt the need to give me a makeover!). Don't worry, there was gold paint remnants on the mirror indicating that this wasn't it's first redo.

I masked out the mirror using junk mail,
making sure to slip the paper
under the frame
to prevent painting the glass.
I painted it a rich black.Once the paint was cured,
I used Rub 'n Buff in a silver tone
to highlight the details.
I'm lovin' the finished project.I just need to the perfect place to hang it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Maybe That's Why!

I was feeling very overwhelmed last week because it's half way through the summer and it seems that I still have things on my to-do list from the start of summer. I decided to buckle down and accomplish some tasks. One item on my list was to plant a tray of flowers that had been patiently waiting for almost a month. I woke up early Saturday morning with the firm resolve to cross that task off my list. I weeded and planted and enjoyed the quiet of the morning. However, when I finished planting I decided that I was short about four flowers. So off to the store I ran---to pick up only four flowers, so that I could be finished planting for the summer, and cross one item off my list.
I arrived at the store and grabbed a small cart to put my four flowers into. And then it happened! I overheard the manager say to an employee, "We're marking down all of those gallon perennials to seventy-five cents each."
OH WOW! HOW COULD I PASS UP THAT PRICE?!?!
Right then and there, I traded my small cart out for the biggest one they had and I began to load it with twenty-three lovely perennials, three flats of petunias (also on clearance), and the four flowers.
(This picture was taken after
I planted the four flowers and a few petunias)

NO WONDER MY TO-DO LIST NEVER GETS SMALLER!

I add things on faster than I take things off.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sorry to Disappoint!

I hope I haven't disappointed anyone by not showing a picture of a beautifully finished desk. You might have thought that since I didn't post yesterday, I was working feverishly trying to finally finish the project. That was actually my plan. But I was having an "ugly day". You know one of those days where crawling into a hole actually sounds appealing? Am I the only one who has ugly days? My husband even said that I was "surly". I thought maybe a day off would be a good idea.
I planned on painting my desk, doing a lot of gardening and catching up on chores. BUT, instead I went thrifting (no treasures to be found), watched a DVD, took a nap, and went to a concert in the park. I think I'm not so surly now. I just need to stop beating myself up for not accomplishing anything. And I need to apologize for disappointing you, my friends.

I will, however, show you a simple and fun project
you can do this weekend.
No, this is not the damage a surly woman
can do on her ugly day.
It's actually a creative and easy project.

All you need is regular pliers, needle nose pliers,
and a fork.

(You should probably get one from the thrift store
and not use your fine silver)

With the needle nose pliers,
curl the outside tong ends forward.
Use the regular pliers to bend the two inside tongs back and out. Play with the bends to make sure that
the fork can stand on it's own.
You have now made a cute, inexpensive little easel.
Now it's time for me to get some things crossed off
yesterday's to-do list.
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