Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This Old Chair

I purchased this chair for $5.00 at a thrift store and will never forget what an elderly man said to me as I was lugging it out the door. "That's some special chair", he said. I replied thank you and knew he was right.

Unfortunately time got away from me and it remained in my basement for the last four years. In that time we had a flood in our basement, had garage sales, and we've sold and bought a home which required a pretty extensive move. I still hung onto this chair...possibly because of what that gentleman said to me while standing with the door in his hand, waiting for me to pass through. The kind man that he was.

Days before the Anniversary party I decided to bring it front and center for all to see. I sanded it and added a couple coats of my newfound friend, black satin Krylon spray paint, which Home Depot carries endless supplies of. It's the perfect shade and finish and goes on so smoothly!

After lightly distressing the wood, I was going for that Ethan Allen look ;), I then stapled a leftover portion of a canvas drop cloth I had from another project and placed it over a fluffy pillow for the seat I got at Joann's using a 50% coupon. I added a silk-covered down pillow from Target for 75% off and used as a back cushion. For now I am leaving the burlap as is.

I had compliments at the party including someone that said they liked my "funky" furniture and couldn't put anything together unless they pointed it out of a Pottery Barn catalog.

Aren't these barley twist details to die for! Make sure you enlarge my photos to see that gorgeous carved detail on the wood!

C.T. was really happy I finally did something with it and said the black paint looked great. Maybe one day I'll learn how to do upholstery the "right way", but for now I'm happy with my special chair.

I am checking my projects off one at a time. Finally I feel like I'm getting something accomplished!

Have a wonderful weekend and make sure you find some good junk!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carpeted stairs be gone!

We bought our home a little over a year and a half ago and I have been troubled by the bulky looking carpet on the stairs ever since we looked at it. The house is 14 years old and the carpet on the stairs really shows every bit of those years. Plus, I'm not a fan of carpeting in that location. I like runners or other coverings, but just not carpet.

I know this about myself. I have a bad habit of starting a project even if I haven't thought it through completely. It's probably my husband's biggest pet peeve about me. It makes it really tough when you realize you've torn into something just to have it stay torn up for the next 6-8 months while you wait until the money is finally in the household budget for "Candy's special projects". I'm not sure why I do this, but I do.

Well, a few weeks ago I said to myself, have at it, and starting tearing up the carpet and saw that it didn't look half bad underneath. Not gorgeous hardwood that you can sand and stain (which I would have loved) but at least a paintable wood.

So my husband and I (yes, my husband does get involved in some of these decisions periodically) decided to paint the entire stairway a nice crisp white and freshen up the "builder beige" balusters and molding by applying white to those as well. You can really tell the difference when you click on the photos to make them larger.

We were really pleased with the budgetary results! Now all that is left to do is stain the railing darker and install a carpet runner of some sort. (You need to cushion the noise when you have 3 kids. Good advice from a stranger).

I'm sure we will find something nice, simple and cheap. And I'm sure it will happen in about 6-8 months.

What has your project been lately? Small or hardly small? Care to share?

Talk soon,

Monday, October 27, 2008

The party is over...whew!

BEWARE! Get ready for a looooong post!!

As some of you may know my husband and I along with his brother, sister and their spouses, hosted my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary at our home on Saturday. As a whole, the party was orchestrated by C.T.'s sister and me, since his brother lives a few hours away, however we all contributed financially which was a big help. Organizing it was so much work BUT the end result was fantastic and I couldn't be happier. My in-laws seemed really pleased too.

Unfortunately I was so busy up to the very minute people started to arrive I didn't personally take any photos of my displays, appetizer table (which I was oh so proud of) or any of the guests!! Thankfully my sister-in-law took photos (I'm sure not of anything I set up, hehe) so my husband's parents can enjoy them years down the road.

I did however take photos the next day of a few of the budget flower arrangements I made. They were simple and turned out pretty well I thought. The one at the beginning of the post greeted the guests in the front entry. That along with the following arrangement was made of perenial lilys, sheetmoss and white mini-pumpkins. I placed them in pottery pieces I collect from thrift stores and garage sales. Total cost was approximately $7.00 per arrangement and I can still plant these puppies in my yard!!

Also, just a word to the wise. No matter how much you plan, organize, and recheck your work there is always the potential for a snag or two in the plans. Case in point, since my husband was in school till 5:00pm that day (yah, that was not fun), we sent my BIL to pick up the food. C.T. made an Excel spread sheet for him with the items listed that we ordered from the caterer and all he had to do was pick it up and pay for it. 15 minutes after he leaves we get a phone call from him saying they don't have any orders for pick up. WHAT???? Are you kidding me? I had confirmed with them two days prior that all was well and I actually tried calling that day but no one picked up the phone. Now my SIL and I are freaking out! It was unbelievable. The caterer kept insisting we must have ordered from a different location of theirs (which we hadn't). Anyway, after about ten minutes of confusion, we found out the order had not been entered into the computer so the front counter had no idea what was ready in the kitchen. Thankfully the food was waiting for us. What a flippin' scare!

The food was phenomenal! I was in charge of the appetizers so I made up a fruit, and cheese tray. Since C.T.'s parents love Italian food, we went that route. My platters consisted of wedges of fontina, parmesan, smokey cheddar and sliced fresh mozzerella cheeses. I added bunches of red grapes and melon along with large stacks of proscuitto so everyone could assemble their own concoction. It was served with thick slices of crusty bread and extra virgin olive oil to drizzle overtop. So yummy and it looked beautiful!! Our main dishes consisted of salad, chicken parmesan, rigatoni, sausage and peppers and HUGE fried mozzerella balls!! More crusty bread topped it off. What a feast!

This photo shows another inexpensive flower arrangement, not displayed in the way we did for the party, but just to show you an idea. Total cost was about $4.00 per arrangement. You can't go wrong with quick and easy grocery store flowers!

Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to read Sue at JUNKMARKET's response to my request for ideas on how to use my rusty cylindrical cheese grater prior to setting up for the party. She had a "grate" idea by placing a vase inside and use it for a flower arrangement. So I did just that below! The glass is a bit tall but you get the idea.

So, needless to say, I didn't do a darn thing yesterday. Oh wait...I laid on the couch with a nice cushy pillow and cozy blanket. My husband was studying and doing homework all day and my kids were gracious enough to play in their playroom for big portions of the day. What great girls! They really do love their mom. I'll make it up to them though!!

Have a beautiful week everyone and why not plan a party!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vintage Port-a-Crib Redo

Remember my post from a few weeks ago when I was given a large amount of garage sale leftovers for free? One of the items was an old port-a-crib. Ultimately I want to make a coffee table out of it because it is the perfect size without the legs, however for the time being I've used it for another purpose. (That's what you can do with junk, right?)

First, I removed the blue plastic covers from around the top edges. I figured no one in my house would have the urge to gnaw on it any longer. I then removed the legs and set them aside for another project I will post soon.

End art display unit!

I turned it on it's side to display my girls' art. Anyone that is around small children knows they produce eighty-nine art projects per week. Take that times three and you see my dilemma. I love each piece but it's always been a challenge to display them on a regular basis. This way I can do just that.

I placed the easel in an empty spot in the kitchen between our dinette set and patio doors so it really doesn't take much space away from us. The office binder clips make it easy to switch out artwork.

If I choose to use it in our living room (which doesn't get much use), I can hang "adult" art from it.

It fits in perfectly tucked away in a non-used corner.

Okay, I better go weed out more child's artwork to display. Have a great day!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Flea market finds

We have been so busy lately! We are hosting my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary on the 25th (this Saturday!) so we've been trying to get things done around the house. Replacing the bathroom light fixture, hung new curtain panels and rod for patio doors (great budget idea in an upcoming post, by the way), painting the stairway (balusters, treads, risers and panel moulding), carpets cleaned on Wednesday, washing all downstairs windows by Thursday, (yikes!), decluttering, preparing centerpieces, and I'm sure there's more. Therefore I have had limited time to post and also to junk! I think I'm going through withdrawal.

That being said I did go to a local flea market at 6:30am Sunday morning and I hit the jackpot on some pieces I've wanted. I think I did pretty well with the funds I had.

Probably one of my favorites finds was one of the least expensive and goofiest. This wash room sign is small but will look great in the bathroom. I plan on attaching it to a shelf rather than the door only because I want to minimize any patch work we need to do if we ever sell. Notice the tiny vintage pottery behind it with embossed polka dots. It is covered with crazing however it was too adorable to pass up.

I thought the shoe-shine brushes were great, especially the wood one with old business graphics on it. The clock has art deco detailing on the bottom edge which you can't see from the photo. And it works! I bought two vintage white folding tape measures. One I shaped into an "A" to represent our last name...the other I'll probably just leave folded up.

I finally purchased a corbel! I think it is larger than what it appears in the photo. I was so excited!

This metal file box is covered with a faux leather exterior. At least I think it's faux.

My other favorite piece I found was this pretty sizely shelf. I had hopes I could hang it in the bathroom but when I attempted to do so I realized it would be fine for women, however the men's right ear would be saying "hello shelf". I wasn't too happy. My second option is our living room which I think it will look great in.

I hope you got to go junking this weekend. Let me know how you did! I always love hearing about other people's finds and suggestions for mine.

I also wanted to wish my sister Happy Birthday. We haven't spoken much in the last couple years but wanted to give her a shout out on this day.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Tick, Tock. Tick, Tock. I Found My Clock!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I can get used to this Indian Summer weather here in Ohio. It's just been gorgeous and I hope you are experiencing the same. Well, my jaunt to a local thrift store and flea market didn't score much of anything in quantity however what I did find, I love.

I finally found a clock! I see so many home decorating books, magazines, websites and blogs with old clocks with fantastic faces. Well I finally found one! A non-working rusty Gilbert clock that is supposedly 80 years old. It's pretty beat up but I love the rusty patina. For $5 what do you expect? It looks great in a great mixed in with a neutral vignette.

I don't collect Fiestaware however when I saw this piece for $4.99 I knew I wanted it. Wouldn't a pretty arrangement of fall flowers look great in this? It has a couple of hairlines but all I'll do is turn the larger hairline to the back and guests will be none the wiser. That fits me to a T...always trying to hide those flaws! Now I own a piece of vintage Fiesta pottery. My first.

I collect vintage white pottery. However, if it is inexpensive, I will buy most any color as long as it's USA made and with a matte finish. As many of you know, this type of collection is very affordable. Oftentimes the pottery I find isn't perfect, therefore, I can buy them for less than $5.00 each.

I came across a white piece of Haeger that I didn't have and snatched it up for $3.99. It is actually pretty close to mint condition which makes me happy.

This adorable piece of USA pottery is gray. I haven't been lucky enough to find many pieces that are gray but would love that collection. At $2.99 it was a price I liked. (A bit blurry...sorry).

My junk breakdown moment of the weekend occurred when I got home from the little flea market I went to. A vendor there had a beautiful 18" apothocary jar that retails new for approximately $35.00. He had a price tag on it for $15 however I got him to sell it to me for 8 bucks. Great deal, right? It even came with pretty holiday decor inside. Well I got it home and was trying to juggle too many things at once while removing it from the box. Needless to say I tipped it allowing the beautiful pointed lid to come crashing down on my dining room table. I cried...literally. Just mad at myself, I guess.

And finally, I got this rusty junk piece of a cheese grater. It's cylindrical which makes for an easy tea-light holder. Any other creative thoughts for this piece of junk...please forward them on to me!

Take care and have a wonderful warm weather week! Keep on junking!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

R-E-D spells red

I wanted to express how excited I am for my little Ellie who's in Kindergarten. She recently came home from school and told me out of the blue "R-E-D spells red". I guess as a mom, you know the day will arrive when your babies come home to tell you these kind of things, but you just don't realize how thrilling it is until the day it actually happens!

Here's Ellie in July on her 5th birthday (red eyes and all).

Now she joins her older sister having homework to do. On the small scale, but homework nonetheless. She loves looking up at our message center to see what's in store for her that evening.


Any other oldies out there like myself that didn't start to spell and read words until they were in 1st grade? My dad often reminds me of the day I ran home excitedly shouting to him and all that would listen, "I can read! I can read!" 1975 & 76 was all about The Letter People (remember Mr. M...with the munchy mouth) and learning all the letters seemed to extend the entire year. Now kids in Kindergarten strap on their headsets and instruct adults how to write in HTML. Well, maybe some Kindergarteners, but you get my point.

Anyway, I'm proud of my little girl and wish her all the love of reading and learning that she could possibly want!

Have a great day all,

Monday, October 6, 2008

What does a Stiffel lamp, wire baskets and a vintage crib have in common?

They were all found by me this weekend!

I was able to steal a few moments away alone on Sunday and chose to go to a local Big Brothers/ Big Sisters thrift store where I found a few things I love. In addition, I also came across a wonderful family that was giving away their garage sale leftovers for FREE!

Thought I'd pile my weekend finds on the table for me to ooo and aahhh over.

A real vintage blender. I have this blender in my cupboard but it's a reproduction. I thought a price of FREE was pretty good.

These FREE wooden salad bowls and plates look kind of yucky. I never quite got them either...I mean how do you put food that has oily salad dressing in them? I plan to paint them and use as holiday decor, something I learned from Cherry's Jubilee. Now this is a lady that loves to paint all things...just like I do. Her blog is inspirational so go check it out.

Now what to do with FREE old crusty bread pans? Any suggestions?

This FREE magnolia oil painting is quite pretty. I think It will go in my living room.

Okay, this FREE pheasant print in vintage frame is kind of nice but it also has the look of a pile of dead birds. Is that what it is?

I was thrilled to see they were giving this vintage port-a-crib away FREE! I have tried to locate one ever since I saw photos of a transformation of one in the book Junkmarket Style Decorating. One of the authors, Sue Whitney, heads up a wonderful website that invites people to share their love of junk! Definitely a site to peruse when you have a few extra hours in the day. ;)

NOT free. I paid big bucks for these least compared to what I normally would have spent but I can't seem to find wire baskets around me. $3.99 each!! Eeek! I thought I could do a lot with them though.

This 10" gray compote is just adorable and according to a tag left behind by the previous owner (looked like she donated it after her garage sale), it stated it was "new". $2.99 out the door.

Okay everyone, for my next great find. Drumroll please........

A Stiffel! And what a beautiful lamp it is! Actually I had never heard of the name Stiffel (remember I'm into junk), but I'm being told it's a very well-known company that can be expensive. (The shade was mine though). Let me tell you this puppy is HEAVY! It better be for $4.99.

My favorite part is the barley twist.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope to have a few before and after pictures of the items I hope to transform coming soon!

Take care...have a great week and keep on junking!

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