Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sofa Shopping and the Woman who Survived it

Now that my stress about getting ready for Lucketts is over, I can turn my attention to our home.  Because the flood we had warped the wood floor in the foyer, and because the foyer flows into the dining room and living room, our home insurance is covering refinishing of all the floors in the front of the house.  Woohoo! And since it's not that much more to have the kitchen and family room done at the same time, we've decided to get those floors done too. Double woohoo!

You have no idea how happy this makes me!  (Well maybe you do after reading the woohoos!) The floors needed to be refinished when we moved in nine years ago, but with all of our animals, the hassle and cost just didn't seem worth it.  So I've been living with these floors for years--all the while having serious floor envy when I see photos other bloggers have posted of their homes, or when I'm in someone else's house with nice wood floors.

As part of the renovation, the walls and ceiling are also getting a new coat of paint. All of this has inspired me to make some decor changes (big surprise, right?)

The first thing that has to go is the sofa in the living room.  It's lived a good life and served us well, but now it's tired, stained, and has lost its poof.

Careful positioning of pillows and throw hides wear and tear!

I like its style because the lines are simple and it can go with pretty much any decorating scheme. It's a Rowe, which is a well-made brand, and I briefly considered having it reupholstered.  Very briefly once I got an estimate on how much it would cost! 

One of these days I'll learn how to reupholster something other than a chair seat, but until then it costs less to buy a new sofa than to have this one reupholstered!

Now you know I hate to pay full price on anything, so I decided to take advantage of the Memorial Day weekend sales going on. The Memorial Day holiday is traditionally a good time to shop for furniture or mattresses. Retailers are getting ready for new fall inventory, so they mark down what they have.


I found a bargain hunters paradise at a local store (at least I think it's just local) called Belforts, which advertises that they have over 300 sofas to choose from. Really. 300. I didn't actually count them all, but I looked at every single sofa they had in all three buildings, and it certainly felt like 300!

This is just one of the three buildings!

Apparently 300 sofas aren't enough for this girl though.  After I looked at all the sofas there, I went to another store.  And another.

I think I've established in this blog that I like to shop.  A lot. But even I was worn out.  My feet hurt and my head whirled.

Every place had this style, which is similar to my sofa except the cushions are detached. (Please excuse the quality of the photos, they were taken with my cell phone and I was trying to take them quickly!)

But while I wanted something transitional, I also wanted something with some detailing to make it stand out.

I liked this one because of the added button detail on the bottom.  There was a nice selection of fabrics to choose from, and at $1200 it was in my price range.

Then I fell in love with this sofa.  It was one of some floor samples the store had brought back after a shopping trip to High Point.  The samples are all part of their new fall merchandise. 

It was beautifully made--a hand-tied frame with comfy down pillows, ruching detail on the arms, and lovely cording.  You can't see it from the photo, but the front of the sofa is slightly scalloped.

This photo shows the fabric and cording.  Because it was a floor sample it was actually a very good price.  You'd pay around $3000 or more for it this fall, depending on where you buy it.

I had originally thought I wanted a well-made, quality sofa that would last for years, and I was ready to buy this one.  But then I got to thinking ... We'll be buying a new house in about five years when my husband retires. In a new place I'll probably want to start from scratch in terms of decorating.

The living room in our house now is right off of the entry, and fairly formal.  The only time we really use it is when we have company over.  The family room, which is right off of the kitchen, is more casual and where we tend to hang out.  Depending on our next house's layout, this sofa may not work.  For instance, if the house has a great room I'll probably want to go with larger furniture--this one is 80" long. 

But then again, it could work.

You see?  A dilemma!  Did I really want to pay over $2000 with tax and delivery for something I may not want down the road?

So I ended up choosing this sofa from Macys.  I like the simple lines, but the tufting detail and flared arms gives it some panache and makes it look a bit vintage. The upholstery is a thick microfiber that feels like velvet.

And the price?  $649 with the additional 10% off the sale price. I mean seriously, it may not be as high of quality, but at that price for a sofa that's not used that much, how could I go wrong?  I added in a seven-year warranty that covers everything, frame, upholstery--even spills and stains.  If they can't fix it, they'll replace it with a new sofa.

It also comes in seafoam, which I absolutely love, but I went with the ivory.  I like white or neutral furniture because then I can change out pillows and accessories as the mood strikes me.

With the warranty, tax and delivery, the final cost was around $800.  The way I see it, since I was going to buy the $2000 sofa, that leaves me with around $1200 to buy new accessories and accent pieces! 

For some reason my husband never understands this logic!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lucketts Recap

Happy Friday!  I can't believe how this week has just flown by.  Hope it's been a good one for all of you.

Well, as I posted Monday, my first time as a vendor at Lucketts turned out to be a success.  This is what my booth looked like Saturday morning when the market started ...

And this is what it looked like Sunday morning ...

By Sunday evening almost all my furniture and a lot of the smalls were gone.

My first sale!

Of course I didn't bring as much as I had hoped to, so selling out was much easier for me than the vendors who had their acts together with booths stuffed to the brim!   

But all in all I'm pretty happy with the results. Since I didn't get as many pieces done to sell as I had originally planned, my goal was to just break even after expenses (renting a u-haul truck, etc.), but I actually made money.

The only bad thing about being a vendor is I was dying to go shopping!  The place was just filled with amazing things. I didn't get much time out of the booth, but I did manage to take some photos of some of the other vendors down my aisle.

So here's just a taste of the market for you:

Love that pink dresser in the back! And check out the Union Jack mirror!

I was coveting the chairs in this booth.

This booth had a great mix of primitive and French country pieces.

The blue/grey of the pieces in this booth made me want to paint everything I have that color! 

I wanted this desk too.  And the blue and white looks so summery.

I fell in love with this booth.  I'm a sucker for white and neutral colors together, and I thought it was beautiful.  

Everything was so well merchandised.

The vendor was even dressed to coordinate with her booth! 

I would love to tell you her name and the name of her booth, but I can't remember it! I do know her store is located in Richmond, VA at an antique mall called "Through the Garden Gate." If this is you, leave me a comment!

I wish I had been able to take more photos, but if you want more eye candy check out the Lucketts Blog.

The talent and creativity at Lucketts just blew me away.  I was inspired--and in some cases--in awe.  So I'll be back next year, hopefully bigger and better!

Have a great Memorial Day holiday weekend!


Monday, May 21, 2012

The Day After Lucketts ...

The Lucketts Spring Market is over.  It was quite an experience!

The sun shined the entire weekend, and the rain waited until today.  There was music ... and fresh-squeezed lemonade ... and thousands of people.  Not to mention all the vendors whose creativity and talent just made my mind whirl!

And I sold almost everything! 

So today I'm ... exhausted.  You know that expression "bone tired?"  That's me.

Later this week I'll post photos and talk more about the market.  I'll get caught up on my "real" work, and clean the house that is absolutely a mess. I'll bake cookies to send to my son the Marine and start working in the garden that has been overtaken by weeds.

Later.  Today I'm just going to vegetate and read!

But I did want to thank all of you who sent me good wishes and encouragement!  And thank-you to those of you who stopped by to visit while you were at Lucketts. It meant a lot to me, and it helped make my first year at Lucketts even more special.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I Made It!

My booth may not be as filled as others, but it's not embarrassingly empty either!

Mr. P's Emporium's booth at Lucketts.

Today we set up for the Lucketts Spring Market.  If you haven't ever been to this market, you have to put it on your bucket list! It's filled with fabulous things.  This year there are 170 vendors -- and I'm one of them!

Hartwood Attic is right next door.  Those are her chairs in the right of the photo.

Connie for Hartwood Roses and I are sharing two booths.  Connie has closed down her shop, so she brought lots of things to the market.  It was down to the wire for me to finish what I brought.

Participating in the show has been a goal for the last year.  So basically I'll be happy if I break even once I subtract expenses.

That's Connie setting up on her side of the booth.

That may be hard though, since I've already bought a chair from our next door neighbor, and who knows what else will catch my eye?

I'll take photos of the market for upcoming posts.  We start bright and early tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'm pouring myself a glass of wine and relaxing now that everything is set up!

Hope to see you if you live in the area.  We're located in the "Field of Gold."  My booth is Mr. P's Emporium, and Connie's is Hartwood Attic.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Down to the Wire

Take a new job, add a flood, mix in a fallen tree, and throw in plain 'ole bad time management, and what do you get?  Me working into the wee hours to get everything done for Lucketts!

We're picking up the UHaul truck tomorrow and packing it tomorrow afternoon. While I may not be bringing everything I wanted to because I just didn't get to a couple of projects, I'll have a good mix of painted and primitive furniture, mirrors, vintage prints, home accessories, and some other fun things.  And we'll just see how it goes.  I've been going to Lucketts for years, but this is my first time as a vendor.  I'm excited--and tired already!

So if you're in the area and going to Lucketts, stop by and say hi.  My booth, Mr. P's Emporium, and Hartwood Roses will be right next to each other in the Field of Gold.

I'd love to meet you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Big Distraction

I hope you all had a good weekend, and that your week's off to a good start! 

I'm busting my patooti trying to get things finished for Lucketts. I didn't quite manage to get everything done I wanted to last week. 

It seems like every time I thought I'd have a whole day to work on my painting projects, something came up that messed up my planning.

But last week something came down. 

And it was big.

I was inside the house when I heard a strange noise.  My husband had just left, and I was getting ready to run an errand. The neighbors behind us had been getting some work done on their house, so I thought the noise was a piece of wood dropping or something, and didn't think much of it.  Imagine my surprise when I came out and saw this in our driveway!  I obviously wasn't going anywhere for awhile.

We were really, really lucky.  I had been out with the dogs right about where the tree came down just about a half-hour before.  And my husband had just driven past it! 

No one was hurt.  No serious damage.

Just another distraction--a big leafy one! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stuff My Mom Said

My mother Betty, around age 3

You’ve seen the book, S**t my Dad Says, I think there’s a television show too.  And we all know “Momisms,” those universal mom sayings we all heard growing up.

Things like, “You should always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.”

And, “If you keep crossing your eyes they’re going to stay like that.”

Or, “What if everyone jumped off a cliff—would you do it too?”

Today on Mother's Day, I'm reminiscing a bit about some of the things my mom used to say.

As a kid I’d get the usual momisms too, but usually with a little twist.

For instance, instead of saying I should wear clean underwear in case I got in an accident, my mother would say:

You should always wear nice underwear in case you get hit by a car.”

Ever the style maven, I guess she wanted to make sure if I got hit by a car and went flying over someone’s dashboard with my skirt over my head, the people in the car would later comment on how nice my underwear looked. “Such a shame, poor thing … but weren’t her underpants pretty?”

Sometimes her motherly advice was uniquely her own … and a bit, well … questionable … 

For instance:

When I hit adolescence and decided I needed to start shaving my legs, her response was:

“If you start shaving your legs too young, the hair will grow back thick and black.” 

Given the fact I was blonde with fair skin; odds were pretty much stacked against me ever having thick black hair on my legs, even if I started shaving as a toddler!

My aunt, my mom and me circa '80s

She always had an opinion on what I wore.  If she approved of the outfit she’d say:

“You look like Mrs.Got Rocks.”  This meant a woman with money – the rocks being diamonds.

And apparently she hoped I’d actually become Mrs.Got Rocks, because she’d tell me:

“It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man.”

My mother was married three times.  Relationship advice was probably not her strong point.

She was short—5’2” tall, but just in case you might underestimate her, she’d warn, “I’m little but I’m dynamite!” 

And she was!

My mom and my Aunt Peggy

My mother died about 15 years ago, at age 75 from lung cancer. Her momisms may not have always been pearls of wisdom, but she taught me things I’ll always treasure—and her lessons have led me to what I’m doing now.

From her I learned that jewels can be found by prowling through antique and vintage shops.

That beauty is all around us—in a sunset, a swatch of velvet, a flower from the garden, a rain-washed morning. 

She taught me we all need to nurture our creative souls.

That we should never stop learning.

And never stop trying.

Her true lessons will always be with me.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

An Aha Moment!

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Today I had an "aha" moment.  I finally figured out why I can't get everything done I plan to during the day. It was an epiphany!!

It dawned on me when I realized it takes me two-and-a-half hours to put away groceries.  I had always thought it only took about 15 minutes!  Silly me.  Now seriously, how can I be expected to manage my time when my perception of how long it takes to do things is so off? 

I know what you're thinking:  How could it possibly take over two hours to put away groceries? Well, I'll tell you.

I brought the groceries into the house around 3:30 pm. Included in the groceries were some frozen entrees and fruit.  When I went to put those items away, I discovered there was no room for them. I hadn't cleaned out the freezer since ... well let's just say it's been awhile.  So I decided this was the ideal time. Once it was cleared out, of course it was the opportune time to clean the shelves. 

Since I was cleaning the freezer shelves, it just made sense to clear out the refrigerator and clean those shelves too.  Turns out there were a lot of jars hiding in the back of the shelves that needed to be thrown out. Things like almost empty jam and pickles, and roasted red peppers packed in olive oil.  You know when you only need a few roasted peppers for a recipe, but you have to buy that big jar?  You keep the jar in the fridge, sure that you will use them for something else, and besides,they last forever.  Turns out I don't use roasted red peppers as often as I probably could--maybe because they're pushed way back in the corner and I forget they are there.  And guess what? They don't actually last forever

After clearing out the refrigerator and freezer, I had a big bag of garbage, so I took it out to the garbage bin which is in the garage.  While I was out in the garage, I decided to look around to see if I could find a box the right size for the care package I'm putting together for my son. I didn't find one, but I did find some tools that needed to be put away. I put those away, and decided that since I was out there, I might as well put the second coat of stain on the top of a dresser I'm working on. 

Right as I was about to go back inside, our neighbor's dog came running down the driveway.  That meant she had broken through her electric fence again. So I grabbed one of the dog leashes by the door, gave her a few belly rubs, then took her back home.  On my way back home I noticed some weeds growing along the driveway, and I stopped to pull a few up.

I made it back to the kitchen and saw that I still had to put away the grocery items that go in the pantry.  I finished that up, looked at the clock--and it said 6 pm.

Two-and-a-half hours to put away groceries!  This explains everything!

Google Images/

Have a great week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's That Time of Year!

A friend of mine sent me this scan.  It's the cover of the current New Yorker magazine.  Seems like everyone is getting tag sale fever this time of year! 

As I'm trying to get ready for my big sale, I'm seeing garage and yard sale signs popping up all over the place.  Normally I love these signs because they mean great bargain hunting opportunities--and you know I love the thrill of the hunt!  But right now they're just another thing stressing me out.  A) they remind me that I only have this weekend and next weekend to finish up for the Lucketts Spring Market, and B) I have no time to go check them out!

I can't believe another week has just flown by!  Sometimes at the end of the week I try to sit back and reflect on what I've learned.  Here's what I've learned this week:

1.  No matter how hard I try to organize my time, life is going to throw a wrench in my plans.  There is just no way around it. So I'm practicing getting in my zen place and repeating "it is what it is, and it will be what it will be" to myself ... it's not really helping, but I keep trying!

2.  It does not get any easier to say good-bye to your son on his second deployment to Afghanistan than it was on his first.  For those of you who don't know, our youngest son is a Marine. He left this week for his second deployment.  I know some of you grew up in career military families, or have husbands or children with military careers.  You all have my respect and awe. I don't know how you do it over and over again. It's hard.

3. On a lighter note--I really, really miss my cleaning lady!  When I was between contracts this last time I decided that to save some money I'd stop our every-other-week housecleaning service.  The boys are mainly out of the house (the youngest comes home on leave), so I thought it wouldn't be that hard to keep things up myself.

I was wrong .... so very wrong!  We have three floors, three cats, and three dogs.  You'd think those would be the main issues, but they're not.  The main issue would be one husband who was not born with the neat gene.  He was also not born with the helpful-around-the-house gene, unlike the husbands of some of you out there (I'm so jealous of you!).  He not only doesn't mind a messy house--he doesn't even notice a messy house. It doesn't stress him out the way it does me. Dusty furniture, doggy nose prints on the windows, piles of  his "stuff" everywhere? "What's the problem?"

With everything I have on my plate these days, I'm just not staying on top of house cleaning.  Hey, I'm proud of myself if I can keep up with the laundry!  I shouldn't even be admitting this, but the Easter decorations just came down on Wednesday!  But since I have a new contract, I've decided the cleaning lady is coming back.  And I'm never letting her go again!

That can't happen until after Lucketts though because I have to have some time to get things straightened up and organized.  (Isn't it crazy how you have to clean up for the cleaning lady?)  In the meantime ... it is what it is, and it will be what it will be ... it is what it is, and it will be what it will be ...

Have a great weekend!