Free to Shop

So, after a week with no kids, I’ve got a lot to share.  The wee ones were spending a week in Tulsa with the in-laws (they are the main reason I married my hubby), so I had some free time to get out and about.  My main objective was to finish up some details for my nephew’s nursery, but seeing as how I don’t have a one-track mind, I totally got sidetracked.  Now, I’m going to make you scroll through lots of pics of what I found.  Who knows, maybe you’ll see something that makes you flip.

Now, let me forewarn you: not everything I found was a steal, or even inexpensive.  As a matter of fact, since I did have so much free time, I decided to venture down to some of my old stomping grounds (the land of no budget).  I did find a few good deals, but other things like this Murano glass chandelier had to make the cut, just because of the sheer beauty.  At $1,200 it’s not cheap, but you can bet it would totally make a room…

Another high-end beauty was this American made library chest.  I cannot describe to you how wonderful it was in person.  If I had $3,750 to spend on a piece of furniture I would have bought it.  This piece was so well crafted and aged with the warm finish, green interior, and those amazing leaded doors.  Drool, drool, drool…

From the same store, I also found this antique drum.  It was made from a hollowed-out tree trunk and hide.  Real deal, folks.  For years I’ve been looking for an old drum to use as a side table (add a base and glass top) for next to Gilby’s chair.  It seemed like fate, except it was $150, which wasn’t in my pocket.  So, for now it will remain in my dreams…

More in keeping with my budget was this cool Mid-Century starburst clock.  It was only $39 but I really don’t have a spot for it right now.  Know anyone who does?  Call me…

 

How about this cute little marble-topped table?  It was only $35 and I loved the green painted finish…

So, this wall-hanging doesn’t fit my style, but I appreciated it for it’s beauty.  It would be stunning on a large wall in a more traditional home.  The colors were great, and though I didn’t open it up to see the whole thing, it’s quite large and in good condition.  At $90 it’s a great deal for a large piece of art…

This antique buffet was so well made and the finish was beautiful.  It’s $495 and well worth it for the quality.  It would be great in a dining room, family room, or even a bedroom…

This old gun cabinet was one of my other favorites.  It has great potential for storage in an entryway.  Remove the gun holders and replace them with hooks for backpacks or jackets.  It was marked $160, but I’m sure I could score it for less (note the 25% off sign)…

I also saw potential in this old open frame.  It was very big and ornate.  It could be made into a mirror, or you could hang a plate or some other special object in the center, and it would be an eye-catching piece of art.  $45…

Here’s the one thing that came home with me.  Gilby has been wanting a new nightstand for a while, and this one is totally his style.  Mid-century goodness and only $35!  I’ll have to take a picture of it in it’s new home and post that later…

Another lighting option was this black and brass chandelier.  It’s $185, so it’s comparable in price to something you may find at a big-box store, but if you ask me it’s got more character.  And, it’s definitely more unique…

I really fell in love with this clock.  Again, it’s not necessarily my style, but it was only $25 and it was so pretty.  I want to give it a good home.  Know anyone?  Call me…

Well, I did see lots of other things, but that’s all I’m going to leave you with for today.  Did you see anything that you would love in your home?

Check back later this week and I’ll share some of the fabrics that I found that got my motor running.  Have a good one!

Peace,

C

 

Inspiration Strikes Again!

My dad and I often joke about having a “beautiful mind”.  But, sometimes when inspiration strikes, it truly can make you feel crazy if you don’t have an outlet.  So, this time I decided to go out to the garage and grab a paintbrush…

No, I’m not calling myself an artist, and I’m not even suggesting that this is fine art.  But, it did fulfill my need to create, and it does make me smile when I look at it.  So, let’s just remember this: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

If you find yourself feeling like you need to create, why not try your hand at an abstract painting?  It’s more than just a little fun, and it’s not hard (once you figure out what to paint).  Here’s my tips, or at least what worked for me.

SUPPLIES:

–PAINT:  I’ve used all kinds, from leftover latex paint to just regular-old craft paint–which is what I used this time.  Just grab what you have around if you have to.  (I used leftover paint from our house on the painting over the fireplace).  Just know you really only need 5 colors to mix up any color you need:  red, yellow, blue, white, and black.  I’ve even used those metallic paints.  They’re are like $1.49 when they’re not on sale.

–CANVAS:  If you’re lucky like me, you have a Dad that likes to dumpster-dive as much as I do, and he’ll score you 3 wrapped canvases for free.  If not, The Hobster (aka Hobby Lobby) has them on sale all the time, or you can use your 40% off coupon.  (Don’t forget if you have a smart phone you can just pull up their website in-store, click on coupon, and flash them your phone.)

–PAINT BRUSHES: Try different sizes.  Try a couple of different shapes, too.  You can easily go overboard here, but the ones I used are random, low-quality brushes ‘cuz that’s what I have.

–SPONGES: These are great for blending.  See how these flowers are all swirly?  I used a sponged dipped in paint.  And, there were some spots where I didn’t like how my colors were blending.  So I dampened the sponge and used it.  Worked great.

–water, paper towels (for cleaning brushes and sponge)

–try other items for different effects like old credit cards, torn pieces of cardboard, marbles

TIPS:

First tip has to be to go at it with the thought of this: It’s.Just.Paint.  You can always go back over it.  So, turn on your favorite playlist and relax.  Have fun.  Try new things and see what you come up with.  If it sucks, paint over it.  I had to repaint a zillion times.  It adds depth, right?

Don’t overblend your colors.  Swirl them together slightly, then load up your brush and glide it on (or your sponge, or other tool).  If your background is green, don’t just use one shade of green.  You’ll find that when you have that variegation of color it adds depth, making it look a little less cartoon-ey.  Layers of color=layers of interest, k?

Find something (or some things) that you can look at that inspire you, but don’t just copy it.  I used a pillow because I liked the colors (sorry, no pic of that).  I tried not to worry about what it was going to look like in the end. I just knew I could do some kind of flower, and knew I couldn’t make them look real.  In the end, I wanted something happy and cheerful.

Think scale.  This is a relatively big canvas–30″x30″.  So, I couldn’t have a lot of tiny flowers, and it would be boring to just have a few big ones.  Overlapping is good, and even having some of them run off the point of view is cool.

Finally, know when to stop.   I could have overdone it with the stem-things and flowers, but every now and then I would walk away and come in with a fresh eye.  When I could walk in and not feel like something was missing, I knew I was done.  As with life, you have to take a step back every now and then to see that it’s good enough just the way it is.

So, with that, I wish everyone a great week, full of color and inspiration.  I am off to help my sister-in-law prepare for my first nephew.  Talk to y’all later.

Peace,

C

linkin’ up at

The Winthrop Chronicles

Finds With a Friend

I got my kids into a 4-day camp this week so I could get a little break.  Of course I had to use some of that time to get out and about.  But this week was extra special ‘cuz I got to take along my buddy, Bee.  See, I somehow convinced her to let me invade on her room redo, which thus far has been her study.  Except, we’ve now found ourselves chatting up ideas for her kitchen/breakast room.  So, with all of that on our mind I took her to a couple of my favorite spots for inspiration. It took a lot of restraint for both of us to walk out empty-handed.  We did leave with plenty of ideas though.

First up is this awesome koi fish mirror.  I think it could stand to have a spray tan of some high gloss paint (white, red???).  But, it’s only $38 and it would look amazing on a buffet, mantle, console table, etc.  And you know those koi fish represent courage, right?  Love it…

I love a pretty canister set on the kitchen counters.  They can hold all kinds of goodies.  Most of these sets are fairly pricey, so I thought $35 for this robin’s egg blue set was a good deal.  It would look great in Bee’s kitchen…

Speaking of Bee, she fell in love with this vase set.  The colors are spot on for everything she’s got going on so far.  $20 for the set tells me she’ll be back…

See this antique rug?  I fell in love with it last week and brought Bee to see it.  It’s like it was made for her entry way.  Isn’t it great?  $85…

And, now that you see that rug, can’t you see this $12 stoneware bowl filled with red apples on her kitchen table?  Are you catchin’ my drift?…

Not everything I saw was for Bee.  This was actually a dry sink, but I could see it used as a changing table.  You could make a little cushion to fit in the top–perfect so the bambino doesn’t roll out.  It has storage and it’s solid wood.  New paint and hardware would go a long way on this piece for $125.

Perhaps the most difficult thing for me to pass up was, of all things, this copper entertaining set.  That’s a chafing dish, fondu set, and mini fondu set.  It’s so beautiful and I want it to be mine.  $39 is so totally worth it, but I’m broke as a joke today.  So, it stayed…

And, for sentimental reasons, I have to post these.  I’m not 100% sure, but I believe they are the same glasses that belonged to my great grandmother.  I have a set of 12 that are a different shape, but they have the same etched detail.  I will say mine feel a little heavier, but seeing this set with a pitcher stopped me in my tracks…

This vintage smoker’s set caught my eye.  I don’t smoke, but this set is so pretty that I feel like it’s my duty to come up with some other use for it.  Maybe as a desk set???  It’s made from what looks/feels like real turquoise.  It’s absolutely beautiful in person and would make an excellent conversation piece.  $69.95 (and the lighter actually sparks!)

This dresser was an option for a buffet for Bee’s breakfast room.  At $99 it’s a great deal.  A new coat of paint would definitely bring it up to date, but we decided to wait since we’ve only just started looking…

This little primitive hutch was so cute.  It’s only $44!  I think it would be so cute in an entry, mudroom, bathroom.  Wherever.

I don’t know how I passed this bench up.  It’s only $15 and I can totally tackle that upholstery myself…

This round mid-century wooden serving tray would be amazing in almost any room, in any decor.  $11.  Are you kidding me?  How did I keep passing up these deals?…

This red coffee table wasn’t doing much for me, as far as the finish goes.  But, I can work with anything and for only $40 it had to make the post.  It has beautiful ball and claw feet that would add sophistication to a living room…

Again, in the interest of a good deal, I thought this console table would be awesome in an entry or behind a sofa.  I would probably work on the finish a bit, but it’s $90 for a solid piece of furniture…

Well, that’s it folks.  I told you we were inspired.  Isn’t it always that way, though?  When you don’t have a dime to spend you come across all kinds of stuff you feel like you have to have, but it’s not usually the other way around.  Oh well.  I figure if it’s there when I’ve got the money it was meant to be mine.  Otherwise, there’s always next time.

Peace,

C

linkin up at

Primp

Southern Lovely

Chic on a Shoestring

On the Grill: Artichokes

In case y’all haven’t noticed, we sort of love to grill.  What better way is there, really, of cooking though?  It’s fast, little cleanup, and healthy.  These artichokes are nothing short of amazing, let me tell you.  We had some grilled artichokes at a restaurant on our anniversary and I vowed at that moment to make them at home.  We’ve made them twice now and have learned something crucial:  make more than one.  The kids even loved them.  Here’s how to do it:

1.  Heat your grill.  You’re going to want to cook these on a medium-medium low heat.

2. Select large, fat artichokes (little ones don’t work so well).  Start by trimming off the first bottom rows of the leaves with some kitchen shears.  Then, slice them in half, lengthwise.  Finally, get a spoon and scoop out the little furries.

3.  Using a brush, baste the artichokes very liberally with olive oil.  Get both sides, making sure to get it deep into the nooks and crannies of the cut-side.

4.  Place the artichokes on the grill, cut side up.  This is because they will need to cook for about 30 minutes and they will get pretty brown (as you can see from the photo).  Flip them about halfway, basting with more olive oil if needed.

5.  Remove from the heat and serve with this (I call it aioli, but it’s not)…

(mix in a small bowl till smooth)

1/2 cup mayo

juice of half small lemon

1 tablespoon white vinegar

Dude, if you’ve never tried them like this do it now.  You’ll love me for it.

Peace,

C

linkin’ up at

Southern Lovely

Primp