Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy Aftermath

Hurricane Sandy is a memory, and now we're just left with clean-up.  We were very lucky:  some big branches fell, but none hit the house, and no trees have fallen. Other than a couple of short black-outs, we even kept our power throughout the night! 

We can't breath a total sigh of relief for a few days though, since the earth is so water-logged.  We've been through this before:  If a tree doesn't have strong, healthy roots for some reason, it's not always apparent there's a problem and it can still come down in these soggy conditions.

The very good news is Mosby's IBS problems cleared up before the storm hit; otherwise it could have been really ugly!  Because there was no thunder or lightning I was able to get him and the other two dogs to go outside a couple of times, and the vet-prescribed meds kept Mosby and Angel pretty calm when the winds picked up.  There were a couple of times around midnight when I had a combined 110 lbs. of dogs trying to crawl in my lap (at the same time!), but they weren't too bad. Not much scares our chihuahua mix Pepper (Mr. P), so even though he's the smallest of the bunch he's the calmest in these situations, and he slept through most of it.

I should have taken some photos of the trees whipping around during the day, but to tell you the truth I was too nervous to stand by the windows!  And since I was stuck inside, I could have been productive -- there are a million projects I could have been doing (or finishing!) -- but instead I hunkered down with the dogs, a cup of tea, and a book!

Thank-you to those of you who left comments with your good wishes.  If I didn't answer you directly it's because you're a "no reply" commenter, but I truly appreciate your thoughts!

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in New Jersey and New York who were hit hard by the storm.  Hang in there, and I hope life gets back to normal for you soon!

Sunday, October 28, 2012


The winds are picking up, and we're getting ready for Hurricane Sandy, or "Frankenstorm" as it's being called. Right now the forecast is the main force of the storm will miss Northern Virginia, where we live, but we will get high winds lasting for a couple of days.

We've bought gas for the generator in case we lose power, and stocked up on dog  and cat food and other supplies.  So as long as the trees cooperate, we're all set.  We can't afford to send our tree guy back on another vacation!

My main concern right now is I have one sick dog who is also storm-phobic, as is one of our other dogs.  The sick one doesn't need any stress (he has IBS) and I don't want the other one to have a nervous breakdown!

My thoughts are with those of you who are dealing with the hurricane's aftermath as it passed by, and those on the  east coast who will be hit hard in the days to come. 

Keep safe!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Why I Love Thrift Shops

You know I have the bargain-hunting habit.  Craigslist ... Yard Sales .... HomeGoods ... I love 'em all.  But there's nothing like a thrift store for cheap vintage finds.

And I found a great score this week! I collect vintage white pottery, mainly vases, and mainly McCoy.  I originally had a couple of pieces, then I saw Martha Stewart's collection in one her magazines in the early '90s and got inspired.  I got so inspired, I've had to stop picking up pieces -- at least until I get my built-in bookshelves built and have more space for them!

But I couldn't pass this up when I saw it at Goodwill during one my recent treasure hunts.

It's a marked, mid-century Brush McCoy swan planter/vase in perfect condition.

No chips.  No cracks.

I'm not usually an animal vase person, but I love the graceful lines of this beauty.  It's a collectible piece, with a book value of $40-$50.  You can find them online, but I've never come across one "in person." 

When I went to check after I found it, the prices I found online were less than the book value, but of course you have to factor in shipping.  I saw a couple on Ebay with "Buy it Now" prices of $29  and $44.99 respectably. They both had paint on the swan's beak and feet. 


Mine doesn't look like it ever had paint.  I don't know if that affects the value -- but I like its all white, classic look much better.

It will add a different element to my display once I have the complete collection back out again, and I love its versatility. It can be used for flowers, a plant -- or even to hold ornaments in a holiday vignette.

But I gotta show you what I love the best about it ...

Cue the happy dance!!!

Sharing at:
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays
French Country Cottage:  Feathered Nest Friday
No Minimalist Here: Open House Party
The Shabby Nest: Frugal Friday
Elizabeth & Co.: Be Inspired


Friday, October 19, 2012

Sitting Pretty

I thought I'd share this little chair makeover I did this week.  The chair had been my mother's. 

She picked it up at a garage sale years and years ago with the intention of refinishing it.  She never got around to it, and just used it as an occasional chair or if she needed extra seating around the dining room table.

I inherited it, and had the same intentions -- and with the same results!  I just haven't gotten around to doing anything with it, and never really use it.

It's a nice little chair though, with what I think is the original caning in great shape.  The spots mainly looked like water spots and wear and tear.

I decided it was time to give the sweet little chair a new life.  And since it seemed to me it was crying out to be pretty again, I chose a pretty Annie Sloan chalk paint called "Provence" to do the job. 

I hadn't used this color before and am now in love!  If a color can be yummy I think this one qualifies.

I didn't need to sand or anything -- this was a quick and easy redo.  After painting, I did a light distressing. 

I thought it was a tad bright, so I used a light touch of AS dark wax.  I let the chair sit for a couple of days while I was debating, but then I saw Susan from Uniquely Yours or Mine use dark wax on a frame she painted in the same color, and I was convinced.

I can't wait to try something else in this color!

And here's another redo I wanted to quickly share.  I never officially showed you the before and after of this hall/sofa table.

Here's the before -- I had just started sanding some areas where the finish was chipped.  The table is solid wood, but not vintage.  It was a Craigslist find.

I painted it in "Coco" and gave it a light distressing ...

then stenciled it with my Paris stencil.  I finished the top with a wipe-on poly finish for durability. It's the same treatment I used on this table, which was the first thing I sold at the Luckett's Spring Market this year. I was hoping to have the same luck at Mr. P's!

Here it is at Mr. P's Emporium's space.  The little chair is there as well now.

Speaking of Mr. P's, this weekend will be the start of our third week open.  We've sold a lot of "smalls," but no furniture yet.  I'm concerned it's not the right location for my style of furniture.  But I also have to remember we've only been open a little over two weeks ...  I've never been a particularly patient person about things like this! 

In the meantime I'm posting ads on Craigslist, and I just added some new home decor items.  If you'd like to see them I've posted photos on Mr. P's Facebook page.  And if you haven't liked Mr. P's page, I'd love it if you would!  :-)

Have a great weekend!

Sharing at:
Redoux: Link Party 
Elizabeth & Co: Be Inspired
Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Friday
2805: Potpourri Friday

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back in Business

If I worked for me I'd probably fire myself. 

First I lose an important piece of equipment (the camera), resulting in no blog photos for two weeks.  Plus I haven't updated my Etsy page in forever, and Mr. P's Emporium's Facebook page was in dire need of some new posts.

But I really have been working hard, and I bought a new camera.  Plus I work for cheap.  So I'm giving myself another chance.  :-)

Here are some photos of my new little space.  In fact, for a small space I may have gone a bit overboard in the photo department!  I'm just so excited to finally show you!

This is how the space looks today:

Like I said, I'm starting out small! It's half the size of a typical 10 x 10 booth, but it's all along a wall.

I can only come out 2.5' from the wall to allow for traffic access and the fire code -- so I'm pretty limited.  But I just didn't want to bite off more rent than I could chew.

I'm trying to make the most of the space I have though!  I have this great enamel top table ...

Topped with some retro kitchen and serving accessories, and the little corner table I painted and showed you here.


I have the dresser you all helped me with (the consensus of opinion was not to paint the medallion), with a basket of handcrafted lavender sachets in one of the drawers ...

And a decanter and some dressing table accessories on top.

To the right of that is a sofa table I painted in ASCP Coco ...

And stenciled to give it a little French flair.

More "smalls" are on top, including this adorable lattice porcelain basket and rose celery dish (perfect as a card holder for now!).

Above the table are shelves with more home accessories and decor, including the set of pink glasses that match the white ones I showed you in this post.

Under the table is the great American Standard Computing  Scale, which I just love, and some decorative pillows.


I have a set of doors in the space that match a set I have in my house, leading into my living room.  I love the original finish on these, and the great hardware.

The door pulls actually align -- I just didn't realize one was pulled up until
I got home and saw the photo

In front of the doors I have a set of mahogany end tables that I've painted white and distressed (ASCP old white), and a little coffee table painted in French Linen.


A couple of other recent finds include a cute gold leaf serving dish -- perfect for Fall get-togethers ... 

and this sweet gravy pitcher with blue birds on it.

And last, but not least -- some handmade shabby chic pumpkins!

Hope that wasn't photo overload! 

Have a great weekend!

(And please think positive thoughts that I make some sales -- or I may have to lay myself off after all!) 

Sharing at: Potpourri Friday

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mr. P's Emporium is Open!

I guess you'll just have to just trust me on this one, since I have no photos to prove it to you!  My camera is still MIA -- which I've decided to take as a sign that I need to buy a new one. 

I hope to get some pictures this weekend of our new little space, but in the meantime I wanted to let you know it's all set-up and open for business. 

The Leesburg Court of Shoppes is located on Rt. 15, just north of Oatlands Plantation, and 4 miles south of downtown Leesburg.  The Mr. P's Emporium booth -- or actually wall -- is in the north wing of the building.  So it would be to your right as you walk in the door.  We're almost to the end of the wing.  You'll see a burlap banner that says "vintage," and the pink and black Mr. P's tags.

Like I've said, Mr. P's area is pretty small, but I have it filled to the brim with painted furniture and vintage home accessories.  And there are two floors full of other vendors to check out.  The store is open until 6pm on weekends.

If you live in the area, I hope you'll stop by soon!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Moving Day & Camera Woes

I know I told you I'd post a preview of what I was taking to the new space for Mr. P's Emporium.  And I did take photos of a couple of new projects.

And today we moved into the space.  It still needs some merchandising, but I bet you'd like to see how it looks so far. 

And I'd just love to show you!

So why are you looking at a photo of the antique mall's sign?

Because I lost my camera!

Somehow in the craziness of the weekend it has disappeared.  I was thinking (hoping) I may have accidentally packed it up with the small items I was moving into the space, but when I unpacked today it wasn't there.

So I'm on the great camera hunt.  It has to be somewhere, right?  Right???

If I don't find it before I head out with more stuff to the shop tomorrow, I'll at least take a photo with my phone camera to show you how it's looking.

One thing I know for sure -- I'm so glad I didn't end up going with the smaller space!  As it is I had to take some furniture pieces back home because I didn't have room for them.  Any smaller and I would have been in big trouble.

But I wanted to start out small to keep the rent down since I have no idea how my things will sell in this location. 

So I'll start small and think big!