Saturday, December 4, 2010

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, The Christmas Addition!

I am late to the party, but still wanted to join in.  I love vignettes and have really enjoyed looking at all of yours!  So I thought that I would link to the party over at Rhonda's.

However with a toddler and pre-schooler in addition to the other children I am only able to decorate during naps.  I also use nap time to have an uninterrupted lunch and get caught up on paper work.  As a result I have A LOT of decorating left to do.

On a side note we were finally able to import pictures by moving the SD card side to side! UGH.

So here is a peek at what I have done so far.  I have already tweaked it a little (I know it is a sickness) since I took these photos but the camera batteries died, we are all out of AA and I have not wanted to brave Wal-Mart for just batteries.


Well this is how this area looked back in June.  I had change it a little since then(remember sickness).


Well here is how it looked two days ago.  I added another blue ball to the jar with the “snow”and  replaced the flowers in the vase with red and blue balls.

Starting with the top left: the tall milk glass vase and red beady stuff was already there(the blue beady stuff came from Wal-Mart around Halloween when the Christmas stuff first came out) as was the small blue vase and it’s red beady stuff and the clear vase with the mercury glass beads(they were just on the other side)  I shopped the house and found the scalloped blue planter, I candle was on clearance at AC More and I glittered it myself with fabulous Martha Stewart glitter in turquoise.  I had the little silver tray in my stash and moved the milk glass compote and decorative paper ball that I made from the bottom shelf.  The picture of my son also came from another spot in the house.  You may remember when I picked up that little planter last summer from here.  The tree I made using the tutorial from the fabulous Stephanie Lynn at Under The Table and Dreaming.  Everything for the tree came from my stash.

Now on to the bottom shelf starting on the left: the blue glass basket was in our dining room, it was my grandmothers.  I simply added red Christmas ornaments that we had.  The books were already there.  The tray was also already there.  I “borrowed” the statue of Mary from the étagère on the other side of the living room (sorry I couldn’t resist).  I had the little jar in my stash and I bought the “snow” a couple of months ago for .10 cents a bag.  They were brand new bags.  The urn with the blue ornaments came from the thrift store last week.  It was only a dollar!  I love it!  The ornaments were also a dollar and came from the same trip to the thrift store.  Everything else I had and just moved in from another area.




I do have couple of other areas finished, but you will have to wait to see them!


Thanks for hosting such a fun party Rhonda.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Living Room Redo and Some Blog Love


Well about a month ago I decided that I wanted to rearrange my living room.  Of course that was meet by much protest from my husband.  If there is anything my husband hates it’s moving furniture!

Well anyway it has been in it’s current state for FOUR years.  It doesn’t look the same thankfully.  We have replaced almost everything!


Except for the chair you can barely see in the back left and the clock and pictures of the kids(although I painted the frames black last summer) in the center nothing else is the same with this room.


This is almost how the back corner looks today.  The stand with the albums is now in the basement.  Well the records are hidden stored in the living room.  The white étagère is slightly arranged differently on the top and second shelves.


This is what our coffee table looks like now and this carpet sits on top of the one in the old photo.


This is the top of one of the toy cabinets we now have.  It sits next to the TV armoire that replaced the awful, horrible, ugly entertainment center.  It would have been out of the picture to the right of it.  We have another on the other side that is slightly taller and more narrow.  This one was pine originally from Target and I bought it from Craigslist for $20. and just spray-painted it black.  The other is an antique that I picked up at the antique shop for $75.00 and I CAN’T FIND A PICTURE OF THAT OR THE BELOVED ARMOIRE!!!!

Anyway, on top of wanting to rearrange, we have never owned a new sofa.  We have either had them given to us or we have bought them used.  Since people generally get rid of their sofa’s when they are somewhat worn or they want way more than I am willing to spend for a used sofa, I have never had one that I really like.  My husband on the other hand doesn’t want to buy a new sofa until or man cubs are bigger and less bouncy.  I was not at all happy with that!

So after pouting a lot researching I found a sofa that was inexpensive and looks great!

 EKTORP Sofa white Width: 85 7/8 " Depth: 34 5/8 " Height: 34 5/8 " Seat depth: 19 5/8 " Seat height: 17 3/4 "  Width: 218 cm Depth: 88 cm Height: 88 cm Seat depth: 50 cm Seat height: 45 cm

It is the Ektorp sofa in Blekinge white from Ikea.  It is only $399.00 and is slipcovered.  The extra slipcovers are $49.00.  I wanted white so I could throw it in the wash with a little bleach.  I love it.  The only problem is that we are 4 hours from the nearest Ikea and they do not sell this online.  So I have also talked my husband into driving to get it.  We have a big Suburban with a hitch so we are just going to rent a U-Haul trailer when we get there.  We have also decided to make a little mini vacation out of this and spend the weekend in city.  NYC that is!  There is a Ikea in Brooklyn.  Well that is the part I am still trying to talk him into.  He wants to go to New Jersey or Pennsylvania to get it.  Jersey is closer but Pa is a little farther.

Now that I have over come that hurdle, I have been collecting ideas and “new” items to use for my re-do.

The first thing I have done is to plan.  I photo copied a room graph and furniture templates and cut them out.  I found the templates in the book The New Decorating Book by Better Homes and Gardens copyright 1997.  I got my book at the thrift store for $3.49 but you can find it here and here.  On a side note this book, even though it is 13 years old has lots of great ideas and timeless decorating.

Well last month The Nester had a wonderful series   31 Days To A Less Messy Nest.  This was a such a good series that I will be referring to it often.  Then on day six she had create a Gallery Wall.  I knew right away when I saw this it would be perfect for my re-do.  So I have begun to collect things that I thought would work well for my wall.

Then a couple of days ago I was visiting Miss Mustard Seed and she had a post Resetting a Room.  This post goes into detail about how to go about decorating when things don’t seam right.  I have bookmarked this post but will also be printing it to follow along step by step.  My favorite step being #3 “create a list of things you want to work on or change in the room.”

The other thing that I want to do or not do in the redo of the living room…say that three times fast….. is not spend any money, with the exception of the couch.  So I have been stalking  visiting your blogs for more ideas that would take advantage of what I already have.  One idea that I love is to make a pillow from a sweater.  I actually saw this on The Nate Berkus Show.  However when I saw this pillow at All Things Thrifty by Brooke  I knew that it was more in keeping with my style and would break up the starkness of the all white sofa.

Then there is this great idea from Allison at A Glimpse Inside.  I tried to link directly to the page but it wouldn’t let me.  You can find it at June 21, 2010 in the archives. 

We found shutters for $5.00 each at the Antique Store.  I wish I could show you a picture they are gorgeous!

The other things I want to do is paint some of our existing furniture.  Something like this piece from Miss Mustard Seed.


Well that’s what I have to start with.  I am hoping to get this started before Christmas although we have yet to decide when we are going to get the sofa.


Well I’m off to start planning and removing things.  Stay tuned for the progress.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Perfectionism, Procrastination, and Picasa


This post is as much for me as it anyone else.

  Although I do hope that others will read it. 

First of all I really hate to read blogs that are all

words.  I like a nice mix of words to picture

ratio.  This leads me to the perfectionism part of

post.  As I have said before our computer and our

camera are both acting up and I am unable to

import any new photos.  You may wonder what

that has to do with perfectionism.  Due to the fact

that my blog post won’t be “perfect” I fail to act at

all.  This leads into my second “p” procrastination

putting it off so long that it NEVER gets done.



Finally my third and very best “p”.  Picasa.  This is a photo editing software that is just amazing.


However I can’t show you because I can’t figure out how to get my pictures from my Picasa file to my Windows Live Writer.


But just to show you that I am working on overcoming my faults I am going to publish this any way, with a picture that I WANT to show you how I have made it over!  Did you follow that Smile.087

This is picture of me that my husband took when we went to an auction at a mansion.  Going was our anniversary and my birthday present back in 2009.  This house was amazing I wish we had taken more pictures!!!


Well hopefully I can get past my weaknesses and get in a few more blog posts.  Oh and if anyone knows what I am doing wrong PLEASE  let me know!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How our dining room bar came to be.


You may remember this picture of the bar in our dining room sitting where our microwave sat till I was able to move it to our kitchen.  Well in this post I thought that I could show a little more of the area and tell how this area came to be.

Neither me or my husband really drink all that much, but I love the way that a vintage bar looks.  So when we finally had a place to put one I decided to go for it.  This is how it looked when I first arranged it but I am currently tweaking it for the holidays.  I would show you pictures that are more current but the computer is sick :(

Anywho.,  this is still the basic set up.  We started with a cabinet that I picked up at an auction I attended the summer of 09 with my then 6 year old son.  We had a blast just the two of us.  We came home with a minivan FULL of furniture for about $200.00.  This particular cabinet was $60.00.  Here it is modeled by three year old Miss T.


Here is one that shows a little bit more of the cabinet:)


This is sold wood and I didn't do anything to it  except I had remove some cubbies that were on the back so the microwave would fit.  You can see the outlines on the back.  This piece is great, it has so much storage.  We keep out placemats that we use everyday in the drawer and misc. stuff  in the bottom.  Believe me when I say misc. that's what I mean.  There is our hot air popper in there the last of my microwave dishes that i have yet to move(yea that says July on the picture) there is some of my fabric stash, candles and much more.  I just love to store my junk behind closed doors!


Then I wanted some thing with some height so I grabbed one of the leaded windows that we had gotten at another auction earlier this past summer.  We won a lot of four windows for $80.   I just love these.  I have a plan of what I want to do with one more of these and will probably sell the other two on Craigslist.


I also added a lace runner from my stash.  I never pay more than .50 cents for one of these.


Next came one of my shutters this was .50 cents the picture was .25 cents and hat a very gold frame.  I used crackle medium on it then painted white acrylic paint over that and  made a vintage button wreath to go around it.


This mirror I swiped from my dresser.  I have owned it for at least 8 years and bought it originally for $2.00.

Here is a close up of the detail!


Oh and the mess on the dining room table.  And yes my arm!


Here she is all done and and a close up of the decanters.  The two in the middle were my grandparents and the two on the sides were from the thrift store one was $1.99 (the one on the left) and the other was $2.99. The large silver  tray was .50 cents at a yard sale and so were the two small ones.  The glass and the swizzle sticks as well  shot glasses were my grandparents.  The martini mixer was $1.00 at an estate sale this past summer and the vintage shaker was $1.00 from the thrift store.  The silver ice bucket was also from the thrift store.  It was bought two years ago in the winter it was $5.00 and I waited till it went on sale 1/2 off .  So I got it for $2.50. It sits on a cast iron stand that I got at the very end of an estate sale for $2.00. The vintage tags were $2.00 from a rummage sale.  The wine glasses were a wedding present.  The liquid is box wine that is so old I am actually afraid to even try to drink it.


I am looking forward to using this for Thanksgiving.  My mom and dad are coming down to spend the holiday with us and are staying overnight.  This will be the first time we have hosted Thanksgiving.  I am really excited and have already started planning!  Have you begun to make your plans too!  Will you be hosting?


Linking up to:

Show Off Your Cottage Monday at The House in the Roses

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I can't believe I won. Pinch me!

I am still in shock!  I won my very first blog giveaway ever!  Not only that but it was from one of my very favorite bloggers the fabulous Leslie of Goodbye House Hello Home.



Leslie is wonderful and her blog really reflects this.    As evidence her post What Ingredients are You Using- or Antique Mantel Makeover, Jamaican Honeymoon-Style or the one that sold me White Matelasse Slip-covered Wingback Chairs.  Just check these babies out.  She is so oober  talented.

Ohh and check out what she did with and extra kitchen that was in her basement(an in-law apartment).




Leslie is not all fluff either.  Every Sunday she features a photograph taken by one of her daughters and a bible verse.  She also wrote a very beautiful two part post on depression.  It was so personal and touching that I have printed it off so that I can refer to it again.

She is also really generous .  She has two wonderful posts on how to sell on Ebay which you can view here and here.   You also  know this if you have ever entered one of her giveaways.  For the Fall one that I just won I am going to receive:


A beautiful coir mat.  We won't be able to help but think of Leslie every time we see this!  Miss A who is 12 can't wait till this comes and we can get rid of the old one(he he).  She so takes after her mother!


This fabulous three wick candle in one of my favorite scents, vanilla.  The candle is sitting in a round wire Better Homes and Gardens basket(I have seriously wanted one of these forever) and is surounded  by leaf garland.  I can never get enough leaves in at fall.  This is going to stay as is for now and will be my centerpiece on my kitchen table.  Can't wait.  I have been trying to figure out what to put there!

Next up is a leaf plate.  I can't wait to play with this  and figure out where to put it.  I have several ideas though.  Leaves are my absolute favorite and I have nothing like this.


Ohhh and check this out!  A faux fur and suede throw!  It gets really cold here in New York.  I can already see myself curling up in it watching Glee.  Painting my nails with that yummy nail polish.

Peeking out of the throw, a beautiful vintage postcard.  I just love these I have a bunch of Christmas ones but none for Thanksgiving. 



Yea more leaves!!!


Last but not least Leslie's favorite magazine.  I am sure this will be one of my favorites as well. 


I am especially looking forward to this article!


Well if all this were not enough Leslie also said the sweetest things about me!  Leslie is definitely one of the bloggers that I would love to get to know in person.  So Leslie if you are ever in New York drop me a note so we can get together.  To the rest of you if you have not been to Leslie's blog.........  GO NOW!!! You won't be disappointed.

Thanks again Leslie and thank you to everyone that left congrats over at Goodbye House Hello Home.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thrifty Easy Halloween Costumes

I am pretty cheap in a lot of areas.  I love to get a good deal.  Don't get me wrong I do spend money.  I like designer clothes (although I buy them second hand)  I drive a large SUV.  My children go to a private school and are involved in sports and various lessons.   All of these things are important to me.  However one thing that I can never bring myself to spend any money on is Halloween costumes.

I am not anti-Halloween.  I just can't see spending $20- to $50 dollars or more for a costume that will be worn in the dark for a couple of hours.  Just in case you think I am full of it with the prices here are a few examples.

Source: Halloween Costumes

Target wasn't any cheaper. 

This is also very expensive with six kids to dress up.  Even with saving and handing down costumes, which we do do some.  It would cost us about $100 for just the costumes.  No thank you.

So we do alternative things to embrace a thrifty holiday.  One of our strategies I already listed.  We reuse costumes from one year to the next.  Of course kids grow and nobody wants to be the same thing year after year.  Enter strategy number two.  We plan ahead and I shop garage sales and rummage sales in the summer.  This is how we started our stash of costumes and also how I came up with baby D's costume for this year.  More on that later.  Strategy number three we look around the house for things we already have that might be used in different ways to add to our costume.  One of the costumes I proposed to Miss A this year was Miss America.  Her sister had her senior prom this year and we have a prom dress laying around.  She rejected this but it was an idea.  Enter strategy four.  We brainstorm!  I refuse to spend very much money and my children sometimes propose costumes that are either above my skill level or to expensive to implement.  This lead to this years costumes.  More on that later.

And finally strategy number five.  We buy some stuff  to use in our costumes that is either very inexpensive(think the dollar store) or can be used again throughout the year(sweat suits etc.).

Now some examples of how this works.  Here are my kids all decked out  from last year.



Now last year we had a 2 month old baby that I had had quite a few problems delivering and was not getting much sleep.  My husband was also out of work and we had NO money.  So we used only some of the strategies.


We will start with Miss A.


For this costume we used strategies number 4, brainstorm and number 3 shop the house.  As you can probably tell the halo and wings are aluminum foil.  The dress we already owned as well.  It is an American Girl nightgown that I had previously bought at a yard sale. 


Enter Mr. J.  This costume we have had for years.  It was given to me and I saved it.  This was strategy number 2.


This is Mr. A wearing the same costume from the previous year.  With me kicking and screaming my objection the hubs took pity on the boy and bought this brand new on clearance for $5.00.  This is strategy #1.


Then There is the blondie boy.  I have no idea why he is crying.  This is a strategies #2, #1.  We originally bought this at a yard sale and we had used it for Mr. A previously.


Then there is Miss T.  We bought this costume at our school rummage sale for $1.00.  This implemented strategy #2.


Last but not least there is baby D.  This bee costume was bought over the summer at a yard sale also implementing strategy #2.

So lets review.

1. Reuse from year to year.

2. Plan ahead and shop yard sales, rummage sales and store other peoples hand me downs.

3. Shop the house for things that might be used in different ways.


5. Buy inexpensively and buy stuff that can be used after the holiday.

Stay tuned to see how we will use these strategies for this year.

So how do you go about outfitting your kids for Halloween?

Linking up to:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Vintage Bar, why didn't I think of this sooner.

Well I said that I would post at least three times a week and by golly a computer with a virus and a camera that is going wacky and not being able to import pictures is not going to stop me. 

So I figured that I would do a post that I have had in draft for a couple of months.

Well my kitchen is very small and has very limited counter space.  So we never had any place in the kitchen for the microwave.

So last summer my oldest daughter was throwing away her old desk.    As it sat in front of the house in the sun on it's way to the dump I looked at it and noticed it's curvy legs and just as my husband went to pick it up I said "wait".  I think we can transform this into an extra cabinet in the kitchen.

I have no before pictures because this was before I started blogging.   But here is what she looked like after I moved her into the kitchen months later finally getting the microwave out of the dining room.  This makes using the microwave much more convenient as well.



We cut off the writing area and took the top completely off.  The butcher block is actually a piece of a bowling alley that was switching from wood to synthetic lanes and was throwing away the wood.  (This was in the 80's days of excess.)  I also added a 25 cent rod that I bought at a yard sale and some curtain ring clips also from a yard sale(50 cents)  The curtain is a dish towel and I change it with my mood.  The original desk was white.  We spray  painted it red and added yellow for the detail.  I am not fond of the handle but my husband picked it out.


In the place of the microwave in the dining room I decided to add a vintage style bar.  This is how it looked when I finished.


Everything here was thrifted.  Stay tuned and I'll write a more in depth about that in another post.  So I guess this is a sneak peak.


Linking up to:

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Monday, October 4, 2010

A Thrifty Fall


Just a little post to show you a project that I have been working on.  I figured a short small post would be a lot better than no post.


Here is a  arrangement that I put together for the season.  I made the paper flowers with scrapbook paper that I got on clearance, and vintage buttons that I bought at various garage and estate sales.    You can find a great tutorial on how to do it here.  I can usually find the buttons for $1.00 for a big jar.  The flowers and berries are from my stash and where originally purchased at yard sales for .05 cents to .25 cents.    The pitcher was $2.00 at an estate sale and you can read more about it here.  So here she is in all her glory in her home for the holidays.


These wood boxes which I love sit on top of a small cupboard.  I needed height in that area and this served the purpose perfectly.  I paid $2.00 for the large one and $1.00 for the small one and the one that is next to it.


Sorry for the blury picture my camera is on it's last leg.



More on this area latter.  I really like how it has turned out.  So stay tuned!!


Linking up to:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays No.32 @ Coastal Charm