Sunday, May 31, 2009

Garage Sale Bliss

I am addicted to garage sales. The fact that I keep finding such good things will keep my addiction going for ages. I like to go on Saturday mornings when the weather is nice. This weekend, the weather was fabulous. I had a hair appointment and was bummed because I wouldn't have much time. I checked Craig's List and found 2 sales that were on my way to the salon. No need to feel blue. These two sales were enough to make me wonderfully happy.

Click here for more on this room.

First, let me explain that I have been looking at the above photo from Southern Living for well over a year. Why? The chair. The chair cushions. Two chairs with cushions I could slipcover with washable fabric would be perfect for our family room. I knew that one day I would find two chairs to fit the bill. I didn't know if they would be ladderbacks like the ones in the photo, but I knew the chairs I was meant to have would come to me one day.

Yesterday, I found my chairs waiting patiently for me at a garage sale.
They don't look very big in the photo above, but they are fairly large and heavy and wonderfully sturdy. They came from Ethan Allen. One was painted by the previous owner. She had been using them in two different rooms. No problem. I want to paint them both - black probably, but a deep, dark brown is a contending color. Now I need to get some cushions and make my slipcovers. I have so many projects waiting to be done, but this project just went to the top of the list.

Oh, and another blissful tidbit about the chairs - I got them both for a grand total of $25. Not a piece. Both. As in $12.50 per chair. Like I said, these chairs were just waiting for me to come pick them up.

I could have gone home happy at his point, but I had one more sale to stop by.

At the second sale, my big find was this vintage stool. It must have been waiting for me, too. The color matches my loft floors EXACTLY. The stool is heavy. It swivels. Not the annoying swivel that moves too easily. Not the irritating swivel that you have to force to move. This stool swivels perfectly just when you want it to. It's wonderful. It was 5 bucks. (I didn't even try to bargain on the price.) I'm using it as my sewing stool and it's the perfect height. Of course. After all, it was meant for me.

When I go to stores to buy things brand new, I have such a hard time finding what I want. And if I do find something, it's usually wildly expensive or it looks fine but is cheaply made. But if I'm patient, I usually find the perfect thing second hand for next to nothing.

My name is Denise and I am an addict.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Skip to the Loo

The bathroom in the loft was not a room I was in a rush to decorate, so of course I keep finding things that work perfectly there. A few key items have made this room downright cheerful! It still needs some extra touches, but I no longer have the urge to leave the door shut.

First, my good friend, Judy, made this fabulous rug out of sheets. It's so soft and cozy under bare feet. Judy is truly a pro knitter and she's always making the most creative things. I'll treasure this rug forever. The colors are wonderful. One day I took the rug upstairs and realized that the colors are perfect in the loft. Now, when I wash my hands, I almost always take off my shoes just to fully appreciate the rug.

Here's a closer look at the rug. It's nice and thick AND it's washable!

Next, I found two black wrought iron racks with hooks at a consignment shop. I had hoped to use one of them in the downstairs bath, but alas, it was too long. It was the perfect size for the loft loo. A few coats of paint later and I finally have a place to hang towels. The geranium picture is not staying there. It's just there for me to think about using it somewhere in the room. I haven't made up my mind yet. Eventually, I'll place a shelf over the hooks. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the area there will hold a 4 inch deep shelf. Also, I'm pretty sure I'll eventually get new towels - not white. The white just doesn't look right.

Then, this past weekend, I found this Pottery Barn shower curtain at a thrift store. I love the colors. They are perfect for the loft. The colors pick up colors in the papasan slipcovers I made last weekend without being too match-y.

Speaking of colors, I've become obsessed with the color red. I feel a strong urge to have some red in every single room. I've been looking at decorating photos for ages trying to figure out how I want to decorate our home. I've noticed that rooms with no red (or colors near red on the color wheel) seem to look a little lifeless. They may be very pretty, but they are a bit dull. I love that the loft now has touches of red here and there. Red brings out creativity and energy and passion. I could use more of all those!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Energy and Time and Motivation Combine

Today has been a hodge-podge of random details, so my blog might as well follow suit.

First off, Donna saw the mystery plates I posted about yesterday and knew just what they were. They are snack plates. She said the cups probably went with them - that's what the little hole is for. She was right! They fit perfectly. Thank you Donna! The blogging world is amazing. Someone I've never actually met solves a puzzle for me.

Also, Linda thinks the plates and cups may go with the punch set she has. She'll take a closer look at the pattern in person. They really are pretty little plates. I wonder how many times they might have been used.

I left work early and dug up some sentimental plants from our old house. I dug up some of the Black-Eyed Susans my friend Mary gave me years ago. They've spread like crazy. I dug up what was left of the hostas. Some critter had eaten them down to nubs. They'll come back next year in their new home. I brought along one bit of lantana. Rudy loves them. He calls them the psychedelic flowers. I brought along some heuchera. That may not be spelled correctly, but it's close. They look like a bouquest of fall leaves. I got everything planted at our new house. I should have taken pictures, but didn't. That's just as well. They were looking pretty wilted. The yard is still so naked and sad. I need to be patient and just keep plugging along.

When I got home, my parents were working in the garden. I took a break (and so did they). Unfortunately, Dad had some sad news. He found out today that one of his friends had died unexpectedly of a heart attack yesterday. I won't dwell on that, but it sure is sad...

We are all really excited about how the garden is coming along.
We have small tomatoes already.

The beans are putting out little tendrils and beginning their summer climb.

And lastly, I made a very good dinner. That hasn't been happening much lately. I had a variation on BBQ chicken, squash casserole and green beans. Ru was thrilled. I didn't have BBQ sauce, was too hungry to make my own, so I pulled out the Braswell's. This stuff is like liquid gold. It's FABULOUS! I found it when looking for a Catalina-like dressing to use in my taco salad recipe. I wanted a dressing that did not have corn syrup or fructose or a bunch of ingredients I couldn't identify. I've experimented with other dressings and nothing comes close. Today, it was my BBQ sauce substitute and I may never go back to regular BBQ sauce again.

I love having a day when energy and time and motivation combine. Even the weather was on my side. I really accomplished a lot. Now I'm pooped.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Family Heirlooms

This is another post for family. I've unpacked another box. What an assortment! I took everything out of the box and put the pieces on a bookshelf for photos. Everything will look much nicer when clean. Speak up and let me know what you want.

Shelf 1
Ceramic vases - made by Granny I think. Taller than they appear in the photo. Kelly wants the vases!
3 glasses on the right - very heavy
2 small bowls - they'd hold one scoop of ice cream
large bowl - quite pretty. Fruit designs.

Shelf 2
Set of plates - what are these? They have a small spot to put something like an egg or an oyster. The plates are really nice and in great condition. I stood one up in the background hoping to capture the detail. I also took a closeup (see below).
green bowl on the right - Kelly wants the green bowl!
set of small bowls - they'd hold one scoop of ice cream. Really detailed & ornate.

Here's a closeup of one of the odd plates.

Shelf 3
afghan - fairly small. Throw-size.
6 cups - the handle has a bumpy pattern that's pretty. These must have been part of a punch bowl set.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Family Heirlooms

I cleaned out a box that had been packed away for years. I prefer things to get used and appreciated. With that in mind, these things are going out to others in the family.

Daniel is getting the set of china. He'll use them and enjoy them and I for one, am thrilled.

Carly will get the demi tea cups from Japan.

Linda will get the tea set. She already has some of the pieces. One day, when Carly is settled, she'll pass it along to her. At least, I think that's the plan. Either that or Carly can steal a piece each time she visits.

I'm already using the glasses. The tall ones have become our frappucino glasses.

So far, no one has claimed the other items.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Papasan Providence

Papasans are kitschy at best. Many consider them to be out and out tacky. Not me. I love a good papasan. It's whole purpose is for curling up and getting really comfy. What's not to love about that?

I had planned to put two of them together on the screened porch off our bedroom. Those plans changed thanks to Mother Nature. We've had some humdinger storms the last couple of months. Hail, wind and tornadoes, torrential rains, rain that blows sideways. The crazy weather seems to always come in from the west. Here's a photo from a particularly interesting storm that blew in recently.

With each crazy storm, the bedroom porch got soaked. The kitchen porch on the east side stayed dry as a bone. The bedroom porch will have to have pieces that will hold up to crazy weather. Papasans will not work there. Original planned: overruled!

So, the 2 papasans went to the loft and it worked out as if it was meant to be. Destiny. Papasan Providence.

The papasans were nothing to look at uncovered. Orange and maroon. Yuk. But they were in good shape. And the orange cushion (a hand-me-down from Carly and Nancy) is down filled. Mmmmmmm.

I came across some fabric on Ebay that I hoped to used on the porch. It matched the loft floors and walls PERFECTLY! It pulled in some red, which I wanted more of. I have plenty of the fabric and it was just wide enough for the cushions. I made slipcovers for both cushions. They turned out great - wonderful fit, easy to get on and off. Here's a closeup of the back. The fabric colors show up best in this photo.

I put a very old trunk that had belonged to my grandmother in between. Once complete, I tested it out by curling up and reading a decorating magazine cover to cover. It passed the test.
I need to remember to stop being so impatient to get things looking right. Many of the plans I've had in my head have not worked out. But each time the alternate plan has turned out to be better than the original. With patience, the house will turn out just as it's meant to be. I want more patience and I want it NOW!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Yard Sale Wreathes

I love yard sales. I've come across a number of amazing finds in the past. I find it far more fun to buy used than brand new. It's fun, creative, frugal, surprising, and good for the environment.

Today, among other things, I bought 2 wreathes. I think I paid about 50 cents for each. I set them down on the porch floor and immediately a crowd gathered to inspect the new finds.

The reddish one, I'll use at Christmas. It's in good shape and can pretty much be used as is. Well, almost. Sissy probably won't stay in the middle.
The other one had some awful pink flowers. The lady selling it said her daughter told her the colors were all wrong and she needed a new one. It took less than a minute to pull the pink flowers out and now it looks just fine. I should have taken a before picture so you could see what a difference it made. I may spruce it up just a little more (maybe some baby's breath?) and put it up soon. I'll hang it somewhere on the porch. I have lots of options.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Pears Perservere!

Hurray! It looks like we'll have pears this year. Each year since getting our property, our pear trees have been loaded. We kept missing getting them. Byt the time we'd get to the property, they'd all be gone. Last year, there were no pears. None. Nada. My theory is that at the time of pollination, there were lots of loud, heavy machinery nearby - building our house and my parents house. The bees probably went elsewhere.

This year, spring was more peaceful. The trees have lots of baby pears. Mmmmmm!


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