Monday, January 30, 2012

Valentine Mantel

I love seasonal decorating.  It gives me an excuse to change things up.  Give me a holiday--pretty much any holiday--and I'll decorate for it!  

Since I changed my colors from maroon and silver to white, green and silver last Christmas, I decided to bring out some of the old maroon accessories for Valentine's Day this year. One thing I love about keeping a white and neutral palette in my family room is I can add any color to the mantel without worrying if it will clash with anything. (Well, other than the worn and dated brass fireplace surround, but I have plans for that this spring!)

I added in some silver candleholders from the holidays, and some others I usually have in the dining room.

A real photo stylist would have lit her candles before taking these shots so you didn't see the unused wicks. Oh well ...

A heart wreath I bought either at Target or Home Goods last year ...

Also realized I cropped this so it looks like everything is sliding down to the left. 
Just cock your head to the right!

And some boxes and two pink vases from Michaels this year.

A little this, a little that.  A little old, a little new. I have some silk maroon throw pillows I may toss in to the room too, we'll see.

We've decided that the camera issues I've been having are partly the camera's fault and partly the operator's fault(moi).  I think maybe the poor camera has just been dropped too many times.  Can't use that excuse for me though!


Sharing at:
 Between Naps on the Porch: Tabletop Thursday
Type A Decorating: Anything Goes
French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday
I Gotta Create: Kiss & Tell
My Repurposed Life: Catch ad Catch Can
A Stroll Thru Life: Tabletop Tuesday

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tweaking, Twiddling, & Camera Issues

How's your weekend going?  So far mine has been productive and frustrating!  I spent today tweaking some rooms in our house, de-cluttering, and organizing.  I was all excited to show you some of the changes I made, but I'm having camera issues.  I took a bunch of photos, and they all turned out blurry.  Of course there is the possibility that I had too much coffee this morning and my hands were shaking--but I'm pretty sure it's the camera.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. (Another excuse for a new camera!)

However, I figured if I didn't get something posted you all would be thinking I'm just sitting around twiddling my thumbs, reading People magazine and neglecting my blogging duties. Not me!  I take my blogging very seriously. (Actually, twiddling my thumbs while reading a magazine would be quite a feat--how would I turn the pages?)

So I decided to chose a couple of the least blurry shots to show you what I did in our family room (and these really are the only ones that semi came out, out of about 40 photos).

Here it is before.

I just wasn't feeling the blue pillows and the rug anymore.  And I decided the coffee table had to go.  I've had that table since I was in my 20's.  I had the legs cut down to make it coffee table height, and painted the bottom white.  I still love the table, but I haven't done anything to it since then and it needs a little TLC. It also takes up a lot of room.

So I bought this rug from Ballard Design.  This one, like the blue and cream one, is an indoor/outdoor rug.  I've decided with three dogs it's the best way to go in this room, especially since I like light, neutral colors in here.  Otherwise we'd be spending a fortune at the rug cleaners.

And here it is after.  I switched out the blue pillows with a couple of nubby texture beigey-brown ones I had. I'm using the ottomans for a coffee table for now, while I hunt for a smaller scale replacement. I think the room looks much more open and spacious, and I love the neutral colors with the white.

I'll share more of my tweaking endeavors once I figure out my camera issues.  In the meantime, don't forget to enter my Shabby Chic book giveaway!

Sharing at French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Why a giveaway?  Because I'm always thinking of you ... my beloved blog readers ... and ways to make you happy ...

What can I say, it's just the type of gal I am ...

Okay, are you about ready to gag now? 

Here's the thing:  I belong to HomeStyle Book Club, and they had a deal in November where if I bought a book I got a book free.  So I bought a book for me, and I bought the same book for a giveaway. See? I was thinking of you all!

Here's what I'm giving away:

I love Rachel Ashwell, and have all of her books. It's been interesting to watch how her style has evolved over the years, but has always stayed true to her inner vision.  In her new book, Shabby Chic Inspirations and Beautiful Spaces, she describes her journey to her new bed and breakfast in Texas, how she gave the old farmhouse her distinct touch, and she shares some other spaces she admires.  Here are some examples:

If you're a Shabby Chic or Rachel Ashwell fan, you'll definitely want to enter this giveaway.  Here are the rules:

1.   Be a follower of my blog.

2.   Leave a comment telling me you want the book.

Pretty easy, huh?  If you'd like another chance to win, refer a friend to become a follower, and leave a comment letting me know you've done so. That comment will count as your second entry. (And don't forget to tell your friend to enter!)  If you're a subscriber rather than a follower it would be great if you became a follower, but if not, no worries--you can enter too.  Just leave a comment telling me your name and that you're a subscriber.

Remember:  please make sure you have your email address on your profile so I can notify you if you win.  Subscribers, you can either send me an email with your email address (see contact page tab above), or just make sure you come back on the announcement date to see if you've won (then send me your contact info.)

Winner will be announced on Tuesday, February 7. 

Good Luck!

Sharing at Type A Decorating: Anything Goes

Friday, January 20, 2012


TGIF!  I don't know about you, but I am really happy it's Friday.  It's been a difficult week.  My current contract is developing into many more hours a week than anticipated, and everyone there is stressed because the creative department is understaffed.  I have that cold or flu or whatever it is that's going around, and once  you get it, it just won't go away.  Each time I think I'm finally over it I wake up with a stuffy head or scratchy throat or something.  And with all that's been going on I'm not getting anything done around the house, and I haven't started any projects, and that makes me cranky!

So it was perfect timing when I received my copy of Country Living and saw that it was the White Issue.  White is calming to me.  I find rooms decorated in pale tones and neutrals peaceful.  Just paging through the magazine was like relaxing with a nice glass of pinot grigio--another white favorite! 

See if you feel the same way:

All photos above from

I'm seeing sweater vases all over the place. They look so cozy!  These are actually pottery molded in a cableknit shape, but I've also seen them with fabric. I think you could easily make a fabric version, but since I don't have any white cableknit sweaters I want to cut up, I'll have to keep an eye out on my next thrift shop prowl.

So tomorrow I'm going to go out and buy myself some white flowers and put them in a white vase. And this weekend whenever I start to feel like I'm never going to be able to accomplish all I want to get done, I'm going to look at the white, take a deep breath, and say "ahhh."

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm Just (Craigslist) Browsing

For someone whose blog title is "Confessions of a Craigslist Junkie," you may have noticed I haven't talked about any new Craigslist finds for awhile.  That's because my garage and basement are full of furniture waiting to be painted, and I promised myself I wouldn't even go looking for any more deals until I finished working on the projects I already have.

But this weekend prior to my basement clean-up marathon, I was looking on CL to see if I could find some metal shelves to add to the workspace area.  And while I was there, I couldn't resist checking to see what kind of furniture bargains were listed.  So since I'm being good ... well, trying to be good--I do have an email in for a little console, but it's the style of thing I love to paint, and it's just too good of a deal to pass up!  Um ...  so since I'm being semi-good and not buying anything (else), I thought I'd just show you some of the things I found with a quick browse.

These two campaign style chests were hard for me to pass up. Two of them for twenty bucks -- just $10 each!

Keep them together and paint the drawers bright alternating colors like this and they'd be great in a kids room.

Or a paint them a snazzy blue and use them in an office, or as bedside tables.

This little ottoman is only $10. 

Granted, it needs a little love, but a paint job on the legs and a slipcover like this would give it a totally new look:

Grab some burlap and upholstery tacks ...

Or, splurge on some great fabric.  Since it only cost $10, why not?

I love this antique bed.  It's listed for $50.  Look at the spindle detailing.

I think this would be adorable painted a bright color for a little boy or girl's room.

And speaking of a little girl's room, this dresser would be perfect, and you wouldn't need to do a thing to it. Just $50.

This desk from the 1920's would be fun in a kid's room, or anywhere in the house. At $100, it's already painted for you--in one of the Pantone color trend picks of spring 2012--tangerine!

Speaking of color, these chairs will add a pop.  They are vintage Thornet (marked) bentwood chairs.  The set of 4 is $120.

You could go for the reverse look of this dining set:

This leather settee looks like there may be some issues with the leather on the seat cushion, and there may be a dent or something on the arm.  But look at those lines.  Look at those legs. Look at this price: $25! Even if you have to reupholster the whole piece,  you still can't beat $25.

And lastly, look at these two beautiful pieces:

Bow front china cabinet with lighted interior and matching buffet.  Looks like cherry or mahogany wood with very cool silver hardware.  I think this set is gorgeous, and could work with a variety of decor styles, from traditional to Hollywood Regency, to even contemporary with the right mix of other pieces. You'd be paying in the thousands if you were buying this retail.  Listed on Craigslist for $300 for the set!

I'm telling you, there's a reason I'm a Craigslist Junkie! 

FYI: These were all listed in the Washington DC edition of Craigslist if anyone is in the area and interested in anything.

Sharing at: Type A Decorating Anything Goes

Friday, January 13, 2012

Unique Paint Texture ... And Trying to Avoid It

It's about time I start working on some of my own projects again, instead of just going to flea markets and looking at Pinterest and other blogs to see what everyone else has been up to.

So this weekend I'm putting away all the Christmas storage bins in the basement and reorganizing to make room to get started. 

I actually have a fairly nice craft/workspace down there, for a basement. But my preferred place to paint is in the garage, for a variety of reasons, one of which I'll explain below. That worked fine until last year when I amped up my furniture painting and started doing it year-round. With the winter weather that doesn't work. 

Here's the thing: At home I'm never alone. I'm not talking metaphysically--I'm talking fuzzy.

We have three dogs --


And large


They are all lying next to me as I write this.

And we have three cats --
Beautiful & crazy

A lump of love


A sweetie, but I can't find a good photo (she doesn't pose like the other two!)

They are all furry.  And they all shed that fur.  It doesn't matter what supplements I give them. It doesn't matter if I've just brushed them with the furminator for an hour and accumulated a 4-ft. pile of fluff--hair will still come off of them.

As you can imagine, this can be a problem around wet painted furniture.

The basement is two of the cats' lair. They can go wherever they want in the house, but we've designated a couple of "cats only, no dogs allowed" areas to give them their own space.  They find Pepper annoying. Although he is smaller than all of them, he thinks he's in charge and has to prove it.

(In case you're wondering, the other cat, Mari the crazy one, is truly a bit disturbed and doesn't get along with the other two, so she has her own "wing" of the upstairs where the dogs can't go.  We make sure everyone gets attention though!) 

Last winter, I started out painting in our family room because I hadn't organized the basement yet. That flat-out didn't work.  The dogs would come check it out, then flop on the floor next to me.  Flopping means fur floating.  Floating fur lands on wet paint.  You get the picture. It got old. The wagging tail of a Golden Retriever is not a good mix with wet furniture either. Trust me on that one.

I thought about trying to market the furniture with a "unique textured technique," but I didn't think anyone would go for it. Plus I didn't like having my stuff all over the place if someone came over.

So I cleared out the basement and moved downstairs. By that time I had discovered chalk paint.  Since chalk paint dries quickly, and the cats didn't shed as much as the dogs, the fur issue was alleviated a bit.

But apparently they still wanted to make their mark ... little kitty foot prints.  All over the top of a dresser I was working on.  Luckily chalk paint is non-toxic!  But it meant I had to sand and start all over--I figured a cat foot pattern would be about as popular as dog tail hair texture. I was not a happy camper. Nope, not a bit. The cats on the other hand seemed quite proud of their handiwork; purring and rubbing against my legs while I cried.

Not wanting to go through that again, I have a plan for this year: I bought a stand fan, and I'll leave it blowing over whatever piece I'm working on if I'm not in the room.  That should keep the kitties away from it.  Fingers crossed.

If any of you have any other ideas, let me know! In the meantime I'll be clearing and cleaning--and hopefully painting soon!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The DC Flea with Fellow Bloggers and Friend

On Saturday my friend Mary and I met up with Connie from Hartwood Roses and Janet from The Empty Nest to do the DC Flea.  And do it we did--up one row, down the next, blabbing all the way!  This was the first time I've met Janet, and she is just as nice as she seems from her blog.  And between the talents and ideas of Janet, Connie, my friend Mary who is an artist, and all the things at the Flea Market, the air was filled with creativity!

(I apologize for the photos:  I took them from my phone camera, and between that, the fact that there were crowds of people, and that I'm kind of short and tend to get jostled a lot, some of the shots of my favorite furniture pieces didn't come out at all, and some photos didn't come out as well as I would have liked ... and then to top it off, the battery died!)

I didn't go to the Flea Market looking for anything in particular.  I was mainly looking for inspiration.  I love looking at all things vintage. Here are some of the things that caught my eye:

I'm a sucker for vintage clothing.  I used to wear more of it when I was  younger, and while I would never wear this hat, I love the soft colors, the velvet ribbon and flowers and the feather -- the art of it. 

In the same booth was this stack of draperies.  I love the faded pastel colors.

We spent a lot of time at this booth which featured antique and vintage tin chocolate molds.  The vendor's parents started collecting the tins and she has carried on the tradition.

This large rabbit would have been for a mold that would be displayed in the window.  The smaller rabbit was the next size down, and that would probably have been for display too.  Both of these tins were priced in the $ thousands.

I love, love this pig!  But I didn't love, love the price -- around $1,300 if I remember correctly.

This phone was pretty cute too.

Actually, there weren't a lot of bargains at this flea market. But It's always fun to see something that I've bought at a thrift store marked at a much, much, much higher price at shows like this. And there was a lot of cool stuff.  Like this display mannequin from the '30s:


These chairs were fairly reasonably priced:

And these Hollywood Regency lamps, while not cheap, and not the style I have in my house -- were pretty darn fabulous!!!

There was some painted furniture, but unfortunately my battery ran out before I saw most of it.  Here's some black and white that caught my eye. (And the bunny peeking out is pretty cute too!)

And I loved the detail on this piece, but it doesn't show well in the photo:

I took this shot to capture the paint finish on the mirror and the tin.

Like I need another dog lying around ... but this guy is pretty special.

Ever wonder what to do with all your old suit jackets?  How about a tote bag? The woman who had this booth also made some great coats out of them.

As far as purchases, Connie bought a stool and some other items, Janet bought a dresser she's going to paint, and I just bought a couple of small items:  a flour sack that I'll be turning into a pillow, a couple of vintage magazines that will eventually be used in some craft project (including a French one with a cover story about the "chic" French housewife), and some old silverware. Oh, and a necklace that isn't vintage or worth anything, but a girl's gotta have some bling!

After the Big Flea we went next store for a delicious lunch and more gabbing. All in all it was a great way to spend the day, and even if no bargains were to be found, I can't wait to do it again!