Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just looking...

I love window shopping online. This is from Horchow's. I sometimes wish I'd bought the enormous Victorian brownstone semi I looked at about 12 years ago (I can barely believe it's been that long), so I could buy stuff like this for it. At $3179, it's quite a bargain, huh? Well, maybe not, but the house was only $75,000 and I was a total fool for not buying it. Easy to say now, but at the time the one reason I didn't buy it was the school district and you know what they say... location, location, location. But what a gorgeous house it was, double parlors, pocket doors, all original woodwork, a 3 story round turret. Ok, it still is gorgeous, I drive by it sometimes and wish it was mine. Though what I'd do with 6 bedrooms I have no idea. I'd have to open a B&B or something.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

50% off Coupon!

I had completely talked myself out of this glass canister until I saw Michael's ran a 50% off coupon in the paper this weekend! Had to buy it, for $19.99, what's a girl to do? Ok, I could have gotten a plain glass one at another store for a few dollars less, but I love the finish on it. I don't have a really perfect spot for it right now but I have something in mind for the new house, if it EVER happens. I'm not in a big hurry to move, I just like to plan things so I need to know WHEN.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Goodwill Shelf Project

A short time ago, I bought this little shelf at Goodwill. I think the style of it sort of indicates 1970's or early 80's "colonial" decor. I think it was handmade.

I primed and painted it, then tried sanding down the edges for a worn look. This does not work so well when you've got gray primer. I had to sand through the primer and then touch up the black, which was sort of a pain, but now I know for next time not to prime the edges.

Yesterday I put on a couple coats of polyacrylic, and now it's finished.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I've been looking for decorating inspiration and found some really great blogs. One I really liked is Amy's at Winterberry Creek ( She uses warm colors and her place is very cozy, with a french country look. One thing that really stood out to me was that Amy said she loves to decorate with plates. Today when I went out for a little shopping trip (TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Ross & my local nursery), I found some black toile plates just like hers, and I was so excited! They only had 2 salad size plates, but I snapped them right up. I also found a mercury glass looking candle holder, which reminds me of the large piece I saw last week at Michaels' and didn't buy because of the price. This was only $9.99 and I don't really think I will buy the expensive piece now. I also bought a red Japanese toile plate, a green plate and a pretty little blue & white plate. Luckily, I found plate stands at the dollar store, so I got a whole lot of decorating impact for just a few dollars.

I actually bought several things today, one of which was a staple gun, so I could do my little upholstery experiment. I think it turned out pretty well. Here is the before picture. This is a chair I bought from my employer several years ago for $5 when they redecorated the office. I think it's probably from the 70's, very ugly but totally comfy and sturdy:

And here is the after picture:

It's a dark brick red, though I guess it looks lighter here because of the flash. This is my leftover Waverly fabric that I bought to make pillows. I did the buttons in a coordinating check, which I also used to cover the back of the chair. I didn't put it on yet, I'm missing a screw, so tomorrow I have to run to the hardware store. Hopefully tomorrow I can also finish the pillows then my computer chair will coordinate with my sofa pillows! (Ok, little things get me excited...)

I bought several mums today too, and while I was at the nursery, I looked over the little decor items they had for sale and I fell in love with this rooster. It has holes in it and you put a tealight inside it. So cute! I bought the little pumpkin too... got a bit carried away.

One thing I didn't buy that I'm sort of kicking myself over is a wire dress form. Amy mentioned she found one at TJ Maxx. I'd bought a picture of one there but never saw an actual dress form - today I saw one at Ross. I should have bought it... I don't have a place to put it right now, but I keep picturing it in my new house in the bedroom between the window and my vanity, dressed in a lace scarf and long pearls. I might have to go back.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Isn't this pretty? I just love these planters. I think I'm going to try something like this to cover up the utility boxes at my new house. I don't think anything will really hide them but something this beautiful would distract from how ugly the electrical meter is.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


I think I'd like to give reupholstering a shot. I guess that is probably a ridiculous idea since I have not even finished my new sofa pillows yet (can't find the dang zipper foot for the machine), but I would just love some furniture with this type of look. Not these exact fabrics, but in the same style of mixing patterns. I think I might start with my poor battered desk chair.

Looks like I will have lots of time on my hands on Saturday. My oldest daughter (who no longer lives at home) is coming by to take my youngest daughter with her to visit the middle daughter, who is 3 hours away at college. So, hopefully this will give me some inspiration to get some things finished up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


These are photos of my dining area, with my stark white apartment walls, bad light fixture and horrifying beige carpeting. In the new house, I will have chocolate brown carpeting, which I hope will hide those clumps of black cat fur that seem to appear an hour after I'm done vacuuming.

Not sure what to do on the walls though. Since my hutch is cherry (not really, it's maple but I stained it cherry), I got the table in black with a cherry top, and the pie safe in black. The oak curio (shown on the left) will not fit in the dining area, that will probably go in a hallway or in the sunroom. The adjoining kitchen will have cherry cabinets with black appliances and a gray/black/white speckled countertop. So, I like the idea of warm autumny earth tones like a carmely beige with maybe a brick red accent wall in the dining area and a mossy green backsplash in the kitchen for pops of color, but that does not work with my cobalt blue dishware or my pinky-red transferware and depression glass.

Maybe if I put the curio in the downstairs entry, I can paint the walls a soft yellow and hang the blue willow dishes down there. Then in the sunroom, I can paint the walls cream and use some dark wicker and black shelves, and put the pink stuff in there. I wonder if that will mean my place won't have any 'flow'?

I thought it would be easy to decorate a new house.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Say goodbye to my little friends!

Ok, it is hard to do a Scarface accent online. I have decided that one of my collections needs to be put away for awhile. I have at least 25 teddy bears in my house. There may be more, I stopped looking because every time I turned around, they seemed to multiply. Oddly, I don't think I bought any of these. Yep, gifts. I do like them but I think we need a little break from each other, so I'm going to store them. Except Fozzie Bear, my youngest daughter went to Disneyworld with the band last year and brought back Fozzie (I love Muppets). He lives in my bedroom.

The bears are camped out here on my very sexy leather sofa, which I bought in a second hand shop along with a large matching ottoman for $200. Someone got rid of it because there is a tear down between the cushions, which you can't see unless you pull the cushions aside and look. Also, there are a couple tears on the ottoman, but they are all in one area so you can easily cover it with a throw or tray.

Leather is not really my style, but I got this because of my cat. She is blind and I didn't have the heart to get her declawed because she is afraid of jumping (wouldn't you be?) so she climbs everywhere with her claws. Well, she clawed my last sofa to shreds. So far she leaves this one alone.

So, the bears are taking a little vay-cay. Looks a little BARE without them (pun intended), but I guess I will get used to it.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Several years ago, I bought a little Victor stereo cabinet at a yard sale. It was dull cherry and the veneer was chipped off in spots, so I got it for $5. I used it in my old house as an occasional table with a lace cloth over it, then when I moved I had no room, so I gave it to my mom to try and sell in her antique stand. No takers on it for $20, so I got it back when she retired, and I was using it for a TV table until shortly before I got the armoire. Then I decided to paint it black. As I was doing that, it became clear to me what I was supposed to do with it. I put new knobs on and lined the inside with contact paper. It does not really fit perfectly in my current bathroom, but I think it will in the new house. Here it is:

Guess what is under it? My cat's litterbox. I think I'm going to make a little skirt for it that hangs inside the legs, to cover up the box. I'm really glad no one bought this table.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shiny Pretty Collections

I collect a lot of glass. Here are some oil lamps. I have a few more, but these are my favorites. The one on the left my brother gave me, the other 2 are from auctions. You might notice I bought mums even though I said I wasn't going to. I was actually going to swing by a friends new house after a picnic last weekend and planned to bring these along, but it got late and I never made it, so I didn't get to give them to her. I'm sort of glad I didn't, the basket has some kind of yellow dye that leaks all over the place if you get it wet when watering the plant.

I have an extensive perfume bottle collection. Many of these belonged to my grandmother, most of the rest come from auctions. My mom picks them up for me when she sees them. These are sitting on my antique oak dresser. It's part of a set of furniture with a good story. If I ever get all my projects cleared out of my bedroom, I'll take some photos of it.

I also have quite a bit of pink depression glass. I really love it but I have a hard time displaying it. It does not show up well against wood, and it doesn't look good grouped together. It does look pretty good mixed in with the red transferware, so I might try to do that in the new house.

I went to Michael's yesterday for some watercolor paint, and I saw a gorgeous mercury glass jar with the Christmas decorations they are starting to bring in. It's a really large piece and it's just beautiful. It was also $39.99, so I didn't buy it. If I still really want it by next weekend, I might just buy the Sunday paper so I can get a 40% off coupon and go get it.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

More Old, Collections

Here are my "Instant Ancestors", a collection of vintage portraits, mostly in new frames. I love having these around, particularly the pictures of babies. The big one in the back is in the original frame, and the one up front on the left is a wedding dress photo of the great-grandmother of the lady who used to be the receptionist in my office. She gave this to me many years ago before she retired, because she knew I collected old pictures and she had a number of them packed away. I don't remember anymore what her name is, I call her Aunt Edna, and that just might be right (no, I don't talk to her, I'm not that crazy!)

My favorite lady is this one - we call her Mildred. She has a bit of a Mona Lisa face, and you swear her eyes are looking at you no matter where you are in the room - that might just be the curved glass. I couldn't figure out how to get rid of the flash spot, and the picture I took at an angle was a bit distorted. I like her straight on. A lot of people find her creepy, but I think she looks serene and beautiful. She always has a good spot in my home.

Here is a baby photo in a curved glass frame. It's a really cute baby, but the frame is horrible metal and all scratched up. I've considered replacing it, not sure if I should or not. You can see what I mean by the distorted look, I took this at an angle to get rid of the flash.

So, even though I don't have any really old pictures of my family (excluding ones of my childhood in the 70's), I have some old friends around and they have a place to live on well past their prime.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I collect a lot of things, but I tend to scatter them randomly throughout my home rather than group them. I'm thinking about changing things up at the new house, so I'm going to start looking at things in groups to try and gain a fresh perspective. One thing I have a collection of is dishes, and I happen to have quite a few red transferware pieces, mostly old and very chippy, that my mom got for me at an auction. I love these but have very few pieces displayed in my apartment due to space constraints. I need to start thinking about where they will go in the house, and I'm definitely hanging some of them up.

Another collection I have is flowered teapots. I have a couple more than what is here, but these are the ones I currently have "out" because they are the best ones. I think every one of these was a gift, and probably most of them were from my ex-husband's mom, who was a wonderful person and treated me like a daughter. My favorite is the vibrant rose up front on the right, it is a beauty. Makes the rest look a little pale by comparison I guess.

Lots more to see, I'm just getting started.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Here is my dirt, it is official, my mortgage is approved. I feel queasy, but 3rd time is the charm, right? I hope I did the right thing, going the practical route rather than letting my heart decide. I can't handle a money pit while I'm smack in the middle of putting 3 kids through college. But maybe someday down the road, there will be a little cape cod or drafty Victorian lady with my name on it... ok, time to quit dreaming.

For now, I have this dirt pile to look at and wait to watch a brand new house go up on, and then I get to look for unique ways to give a cookie cutter house some charm and style. Just having a place all my own is really exciting. Plus, there is a lot to be said for central vacuuming. I'm getting those little "dust bin" traps under my kitchen and bathroom sinks, all you do is sweep the dirt up near it, kick the button, and the dirt is magically sucked away to the vacuum in the garage. How cool is that? I think it is one of my favorite things about the house.

Also, I'm going to be happy to get a better dishwasher. I never use the one in my rental, it cleans sporadically and smells burn-y when I run it. I had the maintenance guy in a few times, he says there is nothing wrong with it. So I just wash all the dishes by hand, which gets old. Also - no small thing - I'm getting a new gas stove, no more electric burners.

I bought a couple small things recently, nothing terribly exciting. Here is a little pumpkin from TJ Maxx. It's ceramic with a cream crackle finish and a wire and metal leaf. Cute! I'll take more photos when I get all my fall and Halloween stuff out.
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