A Take Home With A Story


Last week I posted about our day at Lucketts.
Today I'll show you what we took home.
You already saw the beautiful mirror that my daughter purchased. It's new green paint looks fabulous in her living room.
She also got a few old bullseyes. We hung the set above her kitchen window to give it a little architectural interest.What did I take home?
I fell in love with these
two good-sized pieces of vintage architecture.
An old corbel and what I think is the base or the top to a column. The nice thing was that they both fit inside my carry-on bag.
The not-so-nice thing was that when my bag went through the x-ray machine I heard the TSA agent call for a "bag check."
Then another TSA agent picked up my bag and tested it for explosive matter.
She asked if she would be hurt by anything when she opened my bag.
I explained that it was just filled with a couple of old architectural pieces.
When she opened it she told me she had to call her supervisor.
The supervisor came over to examine my bag.
After I told the two about the wonderful store where I purchased the pieces they decided that I appeared to be a reasonably sane woman and I likely wouldn't be using the blocks of wood to knock anyone over the head in order to hi-jack the plane.

Don't you just love it when the items in your home can lead to
a great story?!?!Don't forget to enter the HouseHold Words Giveaway

The Beast


I've shared bits and pieces of my family room.
You've seen the fireplace. The entertainment center that we built.There's a few walls of my collections.The thrifted side table that I painted.And the door sofa table that we built.But there is one piece of furniture that I try to avoid showing.
It's my well worn, well loved, often napped on sofa.
Let's call it "the beast!"
The beast is one reason that I don't love this room.
Sure I could replace beast with this beauty.
But I know that the beauty would soon become a beast because of the habits of my wonderful family (okay, mostly my hubby).
Their bad habits have caused the death of three couches. Fortunately, for our pocket book, two of the three came from the thrift store in like-new condition. But after the harsh treatment they received in our home no thrift store would take them ever again.
I know that it will be easier to search for another gently used sofa to replace the beast than it would be to change my family's habits. But I also realize that I let my feelings toward the beast take over how I feel about the entire room. Even to the point of not finishing other projects,
like hanging the drop-cloth window treatments I've had for almost two years on this 10 foot wide window.So I thought that maybe if I unleashed the beast for the whole world to see, it might motivate me to make a few changes. I've even given myself a deadline of the day before Thanksgiving. And as much as I love the red walls, I'm considering a new paint color----maybe chocolate brown or charcoal gray.
What about you? Do you have a beast that's preventing you from loving a room in your home? Are there other improvements you could make to help tame the beast? Would setting a deadline help? Why don't we form a club, we could call ourselves the Blogging Beast Bashers (it's not just a motivating title but a tongue twister as well). Come, join me and tackle your home's beast!

Altered Reading

>I bought a couple of old books at the thrift store to add to my Halloween decorations, but they needed a little altering.One book's cover was beginning to separate.Which made it very easy to rip the entire cover off and I didn't have to feel guilty for damaging a book (that's the teacher in me).I sanded the spine a bit to achieve a more worn look. Then wrapped it with jute twine. Next I cut and frayed a piece of burlap and used a permanent marker for printing a title. Now I have the perfect addition for my mad scientist's shelf!I was attracted to the second book because of the cover's textural pattern. I removed the label on front using a little water and a scraper.A cotton swab and some fingernail polish remover worked for taking off the wording on the spine.I added a new title using a paint pen and permanent marker.It's the perfect addition to my Halloween library.And it looks fantastic on my witchy inspired entry table!

I am humbled to announce that I am
the Friday Feature over at A Little Tipsy.
Thank you Michelle for the opportunity.
It was fun!

Words of Appreciation

>A week ago I stood in the store holding two pieces of wood and thinking about what I could blog. Is that strange?!? I probably should have been thinking of what to make for dinner, but thinking about blogging is so much more fun. I thought about making a quick, inexpensive, and easy project that anyone could do. I thought it would be exciting to see what others would do with my idea. I could have never, ever, predicted the outcome of such a small project!
It has been thrilling to see you take my small idea and personalize it and improve upon it. And it has been so incredibly wonderful to be able to meet new friends.You have been so sweet and kind and.....think of any positive adjective and that would describe all of you. I stand in awe of your talent and your warmth and kindness. I am humbled. You have motivated me, encouraged me, and inspired me. The person I am today, is a much better person than the person standing in the store last week holding two pieces of wood. And for that, I cannot thank you enough!
I want you to know just how much I appreciate ALL of you!!!! Those of you who leave comments and those of you who don't---you have all blessed my life more than you will ever know! Thank you!

Now, if you want to see more incredible versions of my little idea, so visit Antoinette and Christy and be sure to leave them with some sweet words.
Then for a whole new twist on the idea (that I am so going to copy!!!) go visit Rae.

See ya, Love ya, Bye!

A Great Combination

>I bought an almost new lamp, complete with the shade, at the thrift store for $6. It had an antique brass finish. Of course I bought it knowing that I'd give it a spray paint makeover. I'm sorry to say that I didn't take a "before" picture. I actually never thought that I'd do a post on it. I didn't want to bore you with another post of "Look at my thrift find that I painted black." (YAAAAWN!)

In fact, after I painted the lamp black that's how I felt---bored! I almost regretted spray painting it. (GASP!!!)

Well, I came up with a solution. I took out my antique brass metallic spray paint. Noooo, I didn't spray it back to it's original finish.

I lightly sprayed it, keeping the can about two to three feet away from the lamp. That way only the flecks of metallic landed on the lamp. The color didn't change, it's still black but has a more professional finish.
Now when the sun hits it, or the light is on, it shimmers. It has a warmth and sheen that it didn't have before. Black with metallic flecks---a great combination!

I need to thank my friends at Creations From My Heart and Sanctuary Arts for the Home for this wonderful award:

I would love to pass this along to
each and every one of you!
Please go visit these very talented ladies who gave it.
And while you're visiting, visit Annie.
She made a really cute version of
the dollar store frame project.

Finding Treasures

>Saturday was such a crazy busy day! We spent the morning helping with a neighborhood clean-up. Then I had groceries to buy and last minute Easter goodies to purchase. It seems that this year every store sold out plastic eggs, which meant, because I am a procrastinator, I had to go to more stores than I had planned. I prepared items to bring to a big family dinner that evening. Once we returned, there was house cleaning and more holiday and dinner preparations for Sunday. It was a very busy day! But would you believe that I actually found some time to stop in the thrift store? Yes, I did.
I have these wonderful treasures to prove it.
There is another treasure I found at the thrift store, but I can't show you. It isn't something I purchased. Saturday I found myself getting grumpy. You know how it is when you feel like you have to do it all and be it all, and with a holiday it seems those feelings are multiplied. Well, I decided that I wanted to break

the grumpy mom cycle.
I knew that the reason I had the uglies was because "the well" was getting dry. By that I mean, I was so busy doing for others that there was little left for me. So I took a few minutes to
"fill the well."

Do you do that?
Do you take time to give to yourself so that you have more to give to others. It's taken me YEARS to learn---aahhh, I'm still trying to learn that when I take the time to
do something special
that makes me feel good, it's much easier for me to do things for others to make them feel good. It doesn't have to involve spending money. It can be as simple as closing the bedroom (or bathroom) door for a few minutes of quiet time alone, going for a walk, or sitting on the lawn reading a favorite magazine.
We all know what makes us feel better, those treasures that refresh our souls.
I hope you take some treasured time today,
and everyday,
to fill your well.

Magic Before and After

>A few months ago I purchased a couple of candlesticks at the thrift store. They were a beautiful shape and size but the finish was a bit confusing. Were they tarnished brass that resembled silver or were they silver plate rubbed down to the brass. Either way I liked them so they came home with me.
Then I stumbled upon an article proclaiming the wonders of an inexpensive product that could easily be found in the automotive aisle.
This stuff really is magic-----that is if you can get beyond the horrendous odor of ammonia. I wore my paint mask while scrubbing away with an old towel that quickly turned black as I rubbed and rubbed.But all of the odor and rubbing and elbow grease was worth it when the results are as dramatic as this little before and after. The new finish is a silver-ish with a gold undertone---a really beautiful combination.Now my thrifted treasures are a real treasure find!

Out of the Mouths of Pre-teens

>One day, as I was prepping a thrift store item for paint, my youngest said in his somewhat sarcastic pre-teen voice, "Let me guess, you're going to paint it black right?" I defended myself, "I don't paint everything black!" and proved it by listing all of the colors I had recently used. However his comment made me pause and take a fresh look at my home. Was the decor a bit dark, heavy and predictable? Perhaps in some areas. Or perhaps his comments just gave me the motivation I needed to change things up a bit.
I began the transformation in the living room, in a spot where I noticed a high concentration of the color black.
I admit that I found it easy to transform because I had recently picked up a beautiful mirror from the thrift store and an irresistible lamp on clearance.Then I turned my attention to the coffee table. It had no black, but it had looked this way all summer and it too needed a little lightening up.It's amazing how rearranging a couple of surfaces in a room can make you feel like the whole room has had a makeover.
How about your home? Are things a little too predictable? I'll be happy to send my pre-teen over to give his opinion!

Change Is Constant


I love my living room couch. It's long and deep and comfy. A perfect couch for napping on. It originally came with a lot of pillows that looked like this: Because it's such a deep couch the pillows actually stay in place and don't end up on the floor. Because it's such a pretty shade of chocolate brown almost any color looks great with it. Perhaps that's why I enjoy changing out the pillows so often. It's a small change that can transform the feel of the entire room. Pillows can be very pricey, that's why I'm constantly on the look out at thrift stores and on clearance racks. I also use pillow covers to change my existing pillows. I've purchased covers at the thrift store and the dollar store.
Look here for a great tutorial on how to make pillow covers.When decorating with pillows I like to combine similar colors or tones and I find that I really like it when I can mix in a lot of pattern and texture. Do you like to change out your pillows too?

A Last Trick and a Treat

>I know that it's one day before Halloween, but if you're like me, you're tweaking things until it's time to take them down. So I thought I'd share one last trick using these bags of skeleton garland I bought at the dollar store a while back. I could never find a place for them and then it occurred to me that maybe it was because they needed a bit of a makeover---a silver spray paint makeover.With a few decorative ornament hangers and my army of silver skeletons in hand I proceeded to the dining room.They're just the spooktacular accessory that my chandelier needed.I was so pleased with their gory to glam makeover that I gave a larger dollar store skeleton the same treatment. But while the paint was still wet I sprinkled on a little glitter. Tied with a bow he guards this shelf perfectly.
Be sure to visit on Monday. I have a wonderful treat in store---an exciting giveaway!