Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Catastrophe ... Or Meant to Be?

I'm working my patooti off trying to get projects done before the Tag Sale on Saturday. But today it seemed like for every step I took forward I took two back.  A dresser needed a lot more work than I thought and I probably shouldn't have bought it.  The poly coat I did yesterday on a chair was still not dry.  One thing after another.

But I was really happy with one piece I had done.  I found this coffee table on Craigslist for $40 and loved its lines.  It was in good shape and just needed some cleaning and freshening.  Not showing in this photo is the glass piece that goes on top, it's heavy and beautifully beveled. 

I decided to paint the table white.  I love white furniture, and have it throughout our house.  I think a room with white furniture is calming and beautiful  White can be crisp and modern or romantic country -- and everything in-between.

Country Living Magazine

Via Pinterest

Country Living Magazine

I painted the piece with Annie Sloan Old White, slightly distressed it, and finished with the clear wax.  I just love the lines of the table, the curved bar underneath and the detailing on the legs. Hmmm I was thinking, this would look great in our family room.  But no, I told myself, I have to sell it. That was the whole point of buying it in the first place. I have a problem with letting go of some of my favorite finds, even if I have no room or need for the piece. It's part of the junkie thing.

I had taken the glass out while painting, and carefully put it out of the way in the garage so it wouldn't get knocked over.  I cleaned it up then took it inside to put on the table. 

Did I mention the glass was very heavy? Have I told you I'm a klutz?

As I was putting it on the top I lost my grip on the glass.

So it's not going in the sale after all.  It just wasn't my day today. 

Or maybe it was ... because once I get the glass replaced it will probably end up in the family room after all.  I mean, it was obviously meant to be!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Calm After the Storm

We make it through Hurricane Irene unscathed, and I hope those of you in the area made it through okay as well.  Our biggest issues this morning were lots of downed branches (but no trees, thankfully!), a headache (I sometimes get migraines from changing barometric pressure), and two dogs with extremely full bladders.  I tried to take them out last night during the storm, but when I opened the door I swear they looked outside, looked at me, then looked at each other, clearly thinking "she's gone nuts!"  The little one, who can't hold it, went through two belly bands -- which I think may well be up there with electricity in terms of greatest inventions of all times.  Those of you with little male dogs know what I'm talking about.

So now it's on to finishing up some painting projects.  I'm trying to get as much done as I can before my tag sale next Saturday, so I should have some things to show you soon!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wow, Winner & Wind!

First of all, thank-you to Kelly at Stylish Patina for posting my giveaway on her Facebook page, to Linda at Coastal Charm for posting it on her blog, and to my FB friends who shared it!  I was blown away by all the people who signed up to follow me -- even if you did have to be bribed! ;=)  Thanks for all of your nice comments, and I hope you enjoy the blog.  You all did a great job of helping me with my Followers-inferiority-complex!!

Some of you mentioned that you couldn't see the Join button on my sidebar.  I looked into this and it appears to be an ongoing problem with Blogger, and it seems to be related to the browser you're using.  But I haven't found how to fix it. I think it's a bigger Blogger issue.  A friend told me if you refresh the page a couple of times you can see it.  Blogger also won't let me see who subscribes by email, which I think is weird.  If any of you more experienced bloggers know a way around this, please let me know!  For this giveaway I included anyone who left a comment saying they signed up to subscribe. I apologize to those of you who subscribed without a comment, but I just can't see you!

With all that said, the winner of the random drawing for the $50 Home Goods gift certificate is Jane at Cottage in the Crossroads.

Speaking of being blown-away, we're getting ready for Hurricane Irene here in the DC area.  It is supposed to pass over us tomorrow afternoon.  We live inland, so all we'll get is lots of wind and rain, but my thoughts are with any of you on the coast.  I hope everyone keeps safe! 

My biggest concern is keeping my dogs from freaking out.  Two of them are storm-phobic. An earthquake and a hurricane in one week is going to be tough on them!  It's the two larger dogs who are total messes; the Chihuahua mix isn't fazed, and while the cats don't like it, they just hide under a bed and deal with it in a dignified manner. But Mosby and Angel shake, cry, and stick to me like glue whenever it storms -- so I'm heading out to Petco to stock up on Rescue Remedy!

Thank-you again for joining my blog, and congratulations to Jane!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My First Giveaway! It's Blatant Bribery!!

My blog has only been up for about two months now, and I'm feeling like the new kid in school.  So in a blatant attempt at bribery, I'm offering a giveaway to get people to follow me.  Yep.  I admit it.  I'm willing to pay to get my followers number up!

I'm giving away a $50 gift certificate to Home Goods to one lucky winner.  All you have to do is sign up to follow me.  And if you want to leave a comment, I'd love it.  Now, quite a few of my friends have told me they've signed up to subscribe to the blog by email, but that's not the same thing as following.  And if Blogger lets you see who subscribes to your blog I haven't figured it out yet. To follow me you need to click the button in the sidebar and sign up with your Gmail or Yahoo email account. Or you can sign up through your blog URL.

That's it!  The giveaway will close on Thursday, and I'll randomly pick the winner. 

Here's an idea of the kind of things you can find at Home Goods:

Good luck!

Linking to:

grabtt  {Primp}

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some Frenchie Flair

I found this chest on Craigslist. 

It was generally in good shape other than missing the pulls, and it had a couple of worn spots.

I loved the little curved legs, and I thought I could do something more interesting with the panels.

First I did a coat of Paris Grey chalk paint all over the piece. Next I added a coat of Old White to the panels and sanded it so the grey shows through. 

To try to "age" it a bit I added some Annie Sloan dark wax.  I've only used this once before, and I knew I had to use a light hand with it.  I put some in the panel crevices and wiped it immediately.  But it still went on heavier than I wanted, so I sanded over it to tone it down. 

The jury's still out for me on the AS dark wax. I've seen it  used beautifully on on pieces the blogging pros such as Miss Mustard Seed have done, but I haven't had that much luck with it.  Maybe I just need more practice! 

Lastly, I added some white fleur de lis knobs I had picked up at Chartreuse & Co. barn sale.

I love its "Frenchy" flair now!

Sharing Here:

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Weed that Wants to Take Over our House

When we first moved into our house 7½ years ago, I was excited about all the garden beds. 

I was a fool.

They’re basically a pain in the patooti. Because of all the trees I don’t have enough light for the English cottage garden I wanted.  The plants I love that do grow well in the shade such as hostas and hydrangeas are also loved by the multitude of deer that use the garden as a salad bar.

I’m usually pretty good with the garden in the spring, and our gardens are lovely that time of year, particularly when the azaleas and the dogwoods are in bloom.

But there are a lot of beds to maintain, and the one thing that consistently grows well is a weed that comes up from the woods each year.  It’s very invasive, and since we don’t use pesticides because of all the wildlife, the only way I know to keep on top of it is constant weeding.  

Now, summertime in Virginia is hot and humid. That plus the fact that I am ridiculously attractive to mosquitoes, is not conducive for me to want to work in the garden.  Mosquitoes LOVE me.  They think I’m a hot babe.  The Cameron Diaz of mosquito-land.  And this summer has been particularly bad weather-wise. I’ve been keeping the beds along the front walk presentable, but the last time I've spent weeding the rest of the place was more than a month ago.

These weeds grow fast.  They grow like well … weeds. I tried to ignore the fact that they were choking out the back garden, but some of them had grown almost to my waist.  So today instead of doing something fun like painting furniture or bargain hunting, I doused myself with DEET and headed out.

Six hours later I was hot, sweaty and itchy, and my back ached from bending over all day.  I did however have a sense of accomplishment for all that I had done.



That sense of accomplishment lasted for about one minute – until I walked around to the side of the house.

(Cue the “EEK, EEK, EEK” scary movie music.)

If anyone has any environmentally-friendly ideas to keep these things at bay, please let me know.  Otherwise, if you don’t hear from me for awhile, someone may want to check to see if they’ve succeeded in their evil plan to take over our house!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Separated at Birth?

In my last post I talked about thrifting karma. Do I have a doozy of an example today!

Have you checked out One Kings Lane yet?  It's a great online retailer that features "Tastemaker Tag Sales" offering deep discounts on goods picked out by top designers.  It's a wonderful site for design education and inspiration.

Yesterday they featured selections from Mary McDonald, whom you may know as one of the designers on Bravo's Million Dollar Decorator.  As I was scanning through the beautiful items I came across these vintage prints:
They were originally $1,110, marked down on One Kings Lane to $495.

They caught my eye not only because they're pretty cool.  They also looked familiar.  Here's why:

That very same day I had picked up this set!

Please forgive my crummy photos -- I'm still trying to figure out how to take a good photo of a picture framed with glass. (Any suggestions are welcome!) But you get the gist.

The description on the One Kings Lane says they are hand colored prints with green mats.  The ones I have are painted onto the glass, with fabric backing. Mine also have writing on the bottom, which the Mary McDonald picks do not.  They are not exact matches.  Her choices are probably older, although the year isn't indicated, and more valuable as a collectible.But if you want the look without the price, mine are a pretty good substitute.

$1,100 marked down to $495.  A pretty great markdown.
I found these for $13.95 each at Goodwill. Hot damn!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nifty Thrifty Finds!

I had to get a thrifting fix this week.  I wonder if there is a rehab center for thrifting addicts?  There is just something about the thrill of the hunt and finding a great vintage piece for next to nothing! It never gets boring. This week I didn't find any furniture, but I did find some great home accessories.  Some of the stash are going in my Etsy store, but I'm keeping a couple for myself -- a girl's gotta give herself some little treats, right?

First, one of the mysteries of thrift and antique shopping.  Have you ever experienced this?  You find something in one store, then find duplicates in other stores?  I've had this happen in different stores, in different towns, and different times of the year.  It's like the universe decided I had to have whatever the item is, and then I had to have more of it!  This really is one of the great mysteries of my life.  The other is seeing one shoe on the side of the road.  I've seen them all over the place, all over the country.  City streets and country roads. Where do they come from?  Why only one shoe?  I mean are people accidentally throwing one shoe out of the car window?  Or if you're walking along the side of the road, wouldn't you notice if all of a sudden you're missing one shoe? These are things to ponder. But I digress ...

About a month ago I found a set of six of these dessert glasses at an estate sale.  I think they're so sweet, and just the right size for sorbet or a scoop of ice cream.  I put them in my Etsy store.  Then this week I found six more!

I love the blue of this glass pitcher, and it matches some vintage blue glass dessert plates I have.  This one's a keeper.

I just couldn't resist this "flower power" mug set.  Love the little creamer! It's not really my style though, so it's going on Etsy.

This shot of turquoise would add something special to any buffet table.

I have a thing for little bud vases.  For a spring brunch or a dinner party I like to put one by each place setting with a little bloom in it.  This one is a beautiful cut-crystal.  It's just lovely, and so was the price -- 50 cents!

This creamer is Haviland Limoges, made in France.

And this adorable little teapot was made in France as well.

Have you had any nifty thrifty finds lately?