Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Something Painted, Something New

First - something painted.

To be honest, this will be more like a sneak peak at something I started painting. I shared here a while back some of my inspirations for decorating the bedroom that my two oldest girls share. It's been SLOW progress.

As of last week, all I'd managed to do was take down half a wallpaper border and fiddle with rearranging some furniture.

So I officially declared this past weekend project weekend. I dragged all three girls to the local hardware store for paint last week and together we picked out all the colors we'd need for their bedroom projects. I'm beyond happy that they are excited about my design plan. I was afraid they'd think there wasn't enough pink but that wasn't the case.

My goal for the weekend was to paint our matching rod iron headboards. One of them I picked up at a yard sale for $5 several years ago and the other one I picked up off a curb several months ago.

They so happen to be practically identical, rust and all. But I see beyond the rust to the potential.

First I brushed off any rust and scrubbed them down. Then I covered them with this spray primer that converts rusty metal to a paintable surface, preventing future rust.

That resulted in a matte black finish. Then I started painting them in Benjamin Moore's Vine Green, high gloss. I love that any paint can be put in a spray can. Only I should have had more than one can filled to get further along. Oh well.  So here's the sneak peak....(or a sneak peak again, if you're friends with me personally on Facebook). What you see is about all I got done so far.

I LLLOOOVVE the color. I can't wait to finish them up this week. I'm still iffy on whether or not we'll use the footboards too. More on that another time.

Second - something new.

Unless you're new here you know I'm not a big fan of buying things new. I don't really do retail therapy unless, after patiently waiting and looking, I can't find something second hand. Or, if it doesn't exist second hand. Or, if its something I'd never buy second hand (like pillows or mattress pads). I'd place myself at a yard sale or in a thrift shop over a HomeGoods any day.

But thank God for friends like Kelley and Becky that DO shop HomeGoods and spot toss pillows in one of "my" fabrics that I'm planning on decorating my girls' room with and alert me with text pics to confirm.

I was so surprised and psyched. First, if trendy retail stores are now selling pillows made out of the Waverly fabric I Pinned from the Joanne Fabrics website 6 months ago I must be on to something - right? Second, if I can buy the pillows then I don't have to make them. Because at the rate I'm going this room will be done by the time my oldest graduates.

Well, I didn't get the text until after they left the store so it was up to me to go out and snag them. The first HomeGoods store I marched into a few days later didn't carry them at all and I got worried. Thankfully the second and third stores I tried did. Score!

Turns out the pillow fabric is a mock of the Waverly fabric I'm waiting to go back on sale for 60% off at Joanns.com. The colors are the same but the pillow fabric is washable and the long, rectangular pillows I ended up choosing have zip enclosures for easy cleaning. Win-win. I guess buying something new isn't so bad after all.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Just Can't Drive By Yard Sales

I recently confessed that I really shouldn't be allowed to run errands on Saturday mornings because I'm incapable of just driving by yard sales when I have the time to stop.  I've been trying to take it easy on the yard sale shopping for a little while to instead spend time working on some projects.

Well, a couple of Saturdays ago my oldest two girls went shoe shopping with their Grammy (isn't she the BEST?) and my hubby was busy studying for his "Planning for Business Owners and Professionals" test (and since passed so he's now a Certified Life Underwriter - CLU. Financial Advisors like to have lots of letters after their name), so the "baby" and I headed out to get my oil changed and deliver some freshly picked strawberries to a friend.

And wouldn't you know it. The house directly across the street from my friend's was having an estate sale! I played ding dong ditch with the berries (her daughter was sick) and I b-lined across the street.

It was a super fun one. Totally up my alley. Old wooden crates (which I don't need more of since I've picked up two more after these). Vintage tools. Antique furniture. Milk glass. I fell victim to the following items. (Just try and disregard the girl who insisted in posing in most of my pics. In her winter pajamas. On an 80+ degree day.)

I just couldn't walk away from this pair of little side-tables in one of my favorite shades of vintage green. $8 for the pair.

No, I don't decorate tables with doilies. That's one of the only few I've collected so far for my shower curtain project. (Anyone else besides Gram have vintage embroidered linens they want to give me?)

I can see these tables side by each (I married a Frenchman. It rubs off.) nesting potted plants on the back porch or maybe tucked in the corner of the girls' bathroom holding baskets of bath toys. We'll see. (And that time is getting closer....the in-laws' new house is speeding along! Almost close enough to taste but not quite.)

I know I recently came home with a big frame, but that one has "clean lines" (the 2nd most over-used phrase on HGTV, topped only by the word "space" - right?? At least it was back when I used to watch a lot more TV.) This frame, on the other hand, does not have clean lines, but ornate details. So its different. And it was only a few bucks. So I needed it. ;)

My plan is to paint some mis-matched frames a matching color and hang them together to display an ever changing selection of academic best efforts or artwork.

When I decided to buy these next couple of items, they belonged in that category that I have been pretty good at avoiding lately - the "I'm-buying-these-and-have-no-earthly-idea-what-I'm-going-to-do-with-them" category.

Apparently I just have a weak spot for rustic wooden boxes, especially when they're practically giving them away.

After having a week and a half to mull it over, inspiration has hit. I'm going to install them low on the wall in my homeschool room and use them to display books facing out.  Sort of along these lines but longer:

I like the idea of me choosing and displaying a rotating collection of books to encourage the girls to read some that are on subject with what they girls are learning in school. Or even just ones they usually skip over in lieu of their few favorites.

This next item, I absolutely could not leave behind. It was my favorite score of the day.

$25 for a solid wood, cedar lined chest in great condition.

Are you freakin kidding me??


 I like the details on the front.

P.S. This (large) rug is looking for a new home. Contact me for details if interested.


I've decided I'm using this chest as a toy-storage coffee table for now. My previous toy-storage/coffee table/ottomans have seen their better days. I plan to paint this and I'll share when its done. (You've heard that before!)

Oh yeah....and my poor kids.... I didn't have a chance to haul the chest out of the van before we had to go somewhere that afternoon so they had to squeeze under the chest when they got in and out of the van.

I want to have a cedar lined hope chest to give each of my girls when they fly the nest. You know, filled with stuff like the hand-knit sweater sets and hand-quilted blankets given them at their baby showers. And their first hair cut and their lost teeth. And their baby/memory books. And baby jewelry and keep sakes from growing up.  ETC.

I picked up (a more expensive) one at a yard sale a few years ago but that one was a Lane chest that locks and has a drawer. This one is still good quality though. But I guess that means I'm still on the lookout for a third one. She deserves one too!

By miracle of God I only drove by one other yard sale that piqued my curiosity on my way home that morning. But as soon as I stepped out of my van into their driveway all hope was drained. An old sheet was littered with bed pans and OLD plastic kitchenware, all individually priced $1 and up with masking tape labels. The elderly couple sitting behind the tables tried their best to sell me their wares. I was about to turn around, when suddenly one treasure shone like gold among the rubble:

An antique egg scale. How cute is that?? And in my favorite vintage green. We plan to join the club next spring and raise our own chickens so how fun for us to weigh our own eggs! Only $5. Couldn't pass it up. What cracks me up (no pun intended) is how my 7-year old keeps walking up to this at my counter, pushing down on the scale and commenting on "how cute it is" and how much she likes it. Yup. Officially created that monster.

Well, I don't know what on earth prompted me to scan the plastic ware again at that sale, but on second glance I noticed a stack of sectioned plates and matching cups that we actually could really use for out by the pool.

Three of the four cups still had the original packaging on them. The sellers' masking tape label said $4 for the set but as soon as the sweet old blue-haired saw me pick them up for a closer look said she'd give them to me for $3. Fine. Sold.

Then I got home and as I was taking the plastic wrapping off the three "new" cups I noticed the original price tag from the store.

Marked down to $0.58. The old biddy actually made a profit on them! And to top it off, after washing them in the dishwasher, I tried out one of the cups with some ice water and it smelled slightly like moth balls.


You win some, you lose some.


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