Saturday, April 17, 2010

aloha and early sweets

As excited as i am to be heading off on vacation tomorrow (4:30 at airport, ugh!) i am so ridiculously obsessed with this cat that it breaks my heart to leave her.

i was going to write more, but i have to get off the computer if i am gonna try to sleep before we leave for the airport. i was debating about staying up the whole night thru, but who am i kidding with that? i hope google reader doesn't have a max number of subscriptions it'll save.....

see you all in may, when i'll be sharing the basement progress and a bathroom redo!

Friday, April 16, 2010

yesterday's itchy palms

i know why my palm was itching yesterday...i won a gift certificate from DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land! Yay! I have already been over to Sweet Funky Vintage's website, where i won the gift certificate to, and i know exactly what i want to use it for. This has been a rather exciting week for me in blogland, and i am very thankful. This stuff may be small potatoes to some people, but for little old me, it's a big flippin' deal. i hope all this good stuff continues!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My plants are revolting!

Not revolting in the sense that they are hideously unattractive-i hope that's not the case. I'm talking the action, the verb. They are conspiring against me, staging an uprising, planning a coup.

Because what on earth is this? This is so bizarre! Half of it's pretty, and half is just "meh." I think we have concluded that it's not some sort of rare bush breed, but in fact two separate bushes that have welded themselves together after time. It embarrasses me, this freak of nature. Ha. Like, actual freak of actual nature.

I'll post another picture when the other side blooms. Hopefully there will be no other garden mysteries any time soon....but i guess you never know.

Wowzer Zowzer!

oh my flippin goodness, but my sunroom redo was featured as one of Idea Sharin' Wednesday Projects to Spotlight on Women Who Do It All! Actual tears may have sprung to my eyes when i realized, and i may have stood up and clapped, causing my coworker to turn around from her computer and stare, but YAY!!!! yay for me! and yay for them! i officially get to put a feature button on, if i can only figure out how. thank you thank you thank you!! this has started as the

stop over there and see some other great projects, too.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My thrift store secret

Finally, finally, the thrift store gods have chosen to reward my fruitless searches with the motherload of materials so that i, too, can make cakestands and chalkboard items. I have been searching high and low, "starring" posts in google reader, and mentally getting ready to undertake these do-able projects. All i needed were the goods.

But first i have to tell you my thrift store secret. You're going to be totally jealous. Are you ready???

I get 10% off all purchases, no matter what, no matter when, at my thrift store.

Not sure if any of you have ever looked over to the right, in my profile, but it says there that i work for a non profit agency. And that agency operates a thrift store, not only to generate revenue, but to allow our clients the opportunity to shop there for free. So when people buy from that store, the money goes to the agency so we can keep doing what we do, and they are supporting an important cause. And because i do important work for a crappy salary, we get a discount to encourage us to shop there and reward us for the work we do. (edit-crappy salary is not fault of agency, but society's backwards priorities). I have looked and looked, determined to buy from us, and am ecstatic over my finds today for those reasons. Huh, this turned heavy. Let's lighten it back up, ok?

ok, so i got a book for 50 cents figuring i could just leave it in the airport or in the hotel for someone, but it's in the picture for size reference. I got two of these candlesticks for $1 each, they are flippin' HEAVY!!! A lady at the store told me she got ones just like them from Bed, Bath, and Beyond and they were way more than a dollar.

When i got home i turned them over and realized they are from Pottery Barn Outlet. I'm sure they weren't a dollar there! score for me.

The guy on the left was 75 cents and the guy on the right was 50 cents. I will later introduce them to their new friend, spraypaint.

I have so been wanting some sort of interesting plate to chalkboard paint the inside, and either of these, or maybe both, will work. I think they would make a nice housewarming gift once i diy them up. The ones on the left were 4/$2, so maybe cake stand or 2, and one chalkboard piece? Plus extra in case i mess one up somehow.

These i actually turned over in the store. They are clearance priced from Marshalls for $3 let's see, would you rather pay $12 or $2? score for me again!

one it, like it.

ooh, even better! darling, just darling. Somehow shopping at the thrift store midday has turned me into an elderly woman who says things like " just darling".

So there you have it. Not bad for 6 bucks, huh? Thank you, whopping 10% discount of 60 cents.

i thought of another purpose for those candleholders if this diy thing doesn't work out...they are the perfect weights for arm exercises! oh awkward, there's that cat toy again! oh well. What have you been lucky enough to find lately?

i am linking up to tales from blogaritaville for thrifty thursday and thrifty treasures monday at southern hospitality.

Monday, April 12, 2010

what the heck, hostas?!

For the time being, until we stucco, I have to look at this mammoth garage of cinderblock wall. Last summer i tried to pretty it up with pots and iron nonsense hanging on the walls, and a little flower bed. The soffeting creates a shaded area so i thought who loves shade better than hosta. So i planted 4, count them, 4 hosta. Yet why do we only see this.......?

what the heck, hosta?!

I discovered, thank goodness, that the others were there yet WAAAY further behind. Now i know they are different kinds, but they were all planted at the same time, at the same "height" or stage or whatever in their growth last year. They all recieve the same amount of sunlight.

Two are like this-

So what is the deal? I wish i knew which kind this one was, it's really pretty. i thought they were supposed to multiply at the rate of bunnies... I want more of this one, so let's hop to it.

Let's talk about the garden gnomes for a moment, do you mind? I had to have these, they are actually cute! That guy above has a suitcase with world stamps on it. He's a little traveler like me. I honestly fear someone walking by will steal him. Unlikely, but still, i worry.

Oh, and the pots are empty b/c i am waiting til i come back from vacation to plant, so my garden right now is lookin' pretty scarce. what do you guys usually plant in containers? can i do a perennial in them?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

sweet bug's weekly photo

she's kinda freakin' me out here...maybe she thinks the camera's dinner? definitely on the prowl....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Here comes the sun (room)

Oh, my sweet escape, it pains me to see you like this. Your dark panelling, your orange and brown shag carpeting. You had no lights. No light switches. No outlets except that one dangling in the corner, suspended in air. A broken glass window into the bathroom. Small storm windows. Exposed brick that screamed "I was an afterthought." You poor, pitiful wasted space.


Whee!!! So light, so airy! I dare you to not like it!
Here's what we did:
1. Replaced all storm windows with more energy efficient ones and instead of 3 smaller at each end, chose 2 larger windows.
2. Replaced the louvered storm door with straight up glass.

3. Gave up painting the panelling and installed drywall. There were two reasons we did this-the red brick was still making it feel dark, and to run wires behind the drywall.

4. Added electrical outlets, wiring, lightswitches.

5. Bead boarded and stained the ceiling-Feels like a real retreat somehow because of this.

6. Added the skylight that OPENS. Love this.

7. Replaced the carpeting

8. Installed cable and speakers

9. Turned the bathroom window into a cute display area

10. Painted and decorated

Here's how we were thrifty:

1. Carpet is remnant from BIL

2. Paint was left over from dining room redo

3. Sofa was a trash find, SIL had the cushions

4. Pair of chairs a steal at town wide yard sale at shore

5. Little houses were a DIY project

6. Frames half off and came matted, artwork from Etsy

7. Of course we always do all the work ourselves.

Can you see what that plaque says? "Why suffer in silence, when i can moan, whimper, and complain." Hysterical.

Glare! Bah.

It's definitely not big out here at all, it's a long and narrow space. But it's literally where you'll find me the moment it gets nice. I open all the windows, the skylight, pipe the music in, and curl up with a book. This little one loves it too. She actually talks to the birds and squirrels, it's a strange sound. That white ribbon on the ground is a cat toy. Pretend you don't see it, mm kay? We even installed a cat door so she can have access when we aren't there.

There is one thing, and one thing only, that is a real thorn in my side about this room. I had a clear vision for everything else. Drapes. Blasted drapes or other window coverings. I am pretty sure i don't need them, especially now that my leaning words are anchoring the windows. I don't want to cover up the windows or the trimwork and i don't think i need to. What do you think?
Tell me you agree with me and say good job.

i'm linking on up to Remodelaholic, Inspired Room, Frugalicious Fridays, Met Monday, DIY showoff, ASPTL, Mustard Seed creations, Favorite Things Friday, Feature yourself Friday, tidy moms, motivate me mondays, room to inspire, women who do it all, show and share day, my backyard eden, blue cricket design, someday crafts, its so very cheri, shabby chic cottage, somewhat simple.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bookends for a bookworm

I love to read. I mean i love love love love love to read. I love to read for free. I don't actually own many books, since i get them all from the library. I feel like I am getting away with something when i waltz out of there with piles of magazines, decor guides, vacation planning materials, and fiction books that i didn't pay for. I half expect the alarms to go off and doors to automatically lock to prevent my escape. I admit, it makes me giddy that i got something over on them, like it's illegal.

For the books deamed worthy of being in my collection, here are some lovelies to keep them snug.

Ok, these aren't even "me" but i had to include them for you guys. they'll fit right in once they're painted heirloom white! ha.

Now you're the idea of combining for convenience! Can't you just see someone snuggled in a reading nook with a glass of vino?

Sigh. I am a sucker for fake books as decor. i don't actually have any, but i love them...i've seen tables and lamps that look like oversized books. well, wait, i do have my 25 cent find.

This is a fantabulous way to do it. love this. covet this.

Do you partake in the library? Do you have a huge book collection? Do you kindle or the like?

all images from except last one, from KleinReid

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dethatchification...yes, that's a word. possibly.

"It is important to remember that if you are NOT experienced in dethatching you may want to hire somebody who is. You don't want to destroy your lawn in the process of dethatching."

mm hmm, mm hmm....

"Dethatching is NOT a pretty process."

oh, i see...

Interesting, very interesting. These expert tidbits i find AFTER S decided to take it upon himself to use his newfound toy yesterday. Apparently the previous owners left an attachment that affixes to a lawn mower, and S gave it a whirl whilst consulting a fold up instruction manual. Official. Following the dethatching, he mowed to pick up whatever was riled up in the process. After that he poured on what he creepily referred to as his "magic elixer" of epsom salt, ammonia, listerine, and beer. The man wasted perfectly good Yuengling on a lawn of weeds!

oh goodness..."excessive thatch accumulation can result in increased insect and disease occurrence." Sometimes the internet is not a helpful place.

"Thatching frees new grass shoots to grow in thick and lush." Wait, that's promising. I am returning home with hope that my green, albeit weed ridden, lawn is not a brown, dead mess.
Does anyone have dethatching experience or advice? How did this turn out for you? What can i expect when i get home?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

how much is that

kitty in the window?

let it grow, let it grow, let it grow

poor $1 ikea plant in his poor $1 pot. not really, they totally rock for a dollar! this baby has made it to the ripe old age of three unscathed and unmaimed by me. he's been ferried back and forth from sunroom to office each winter, goes many a week or two or three without being watered, and is clearly being tortured by pot constraint. it's time to reward him with an upgrade, i think.
S's repeated attempts to grow a pineapple by plopping the top in this green pot have resulted in two failures, so now green pot gets to house ikea plant.

look how much happier he is! here you see the size difference....i am clearly a bad plant mother for squishing his growth. i was able to reuse the little pot for a fake succulent that i got on clearance last year at kohls. 3 fake succulents and 3 white ikea pots make for a nice centerpiece on my outdoor dining table.

i was trying to come up with an idea for a plant stand instead of what i used last year, which was lumping them all together on a fold up tray table. took up too much room and wasn't that attractive, plus i wanted to put the plants around the room, not all together. i have really been trying to look past the color something is, or what the thing IS itself, and see it for what it could become. when i saw this piece in kohls clearance aisle for $7, i was reminded of YHL's planter turned end table on their porch. i loved it for its celery green hue and its honeycombed pattern and texture. i thought i could place a large white plate on top, but couldn't find the one i was looking for. i opted for this candle tray that was a gift, so no extra cost there. Unfortunately it wouldn't work on the larger end, so i had to turn it upside down. it kinda works. And that's how ikea plant came to live on a bathroom trashcan in the sunroom.

look who else came home with his trashcan you see it?

it's a $4 toothbrush holder! same celery color, same honeycomb textured goodness. i thought no one would be able to tell if i put it on the top shelf. $8 total spent with coupons. boo to the yah. booyah!

i'm linking up to lots of good parties like funky junk interiors, met monday, asptl, diy show off, persimmon perch, room to inspire, show and tell at blue cricket designs, frugalicious friday, fingerprints on the fridge, its so very creative, penny pinching wednesdays, motivate me mondays, making the world cuter mondays, the shabby nest, my backyard eden.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

it's too late, baby, it's too late

So, One Kings Lane. Anybody ever buy anything? i look, i lurk. i generally don't buy b/c this stuff is expensive. Or its something i could probably find at tjmaxx and the like b/c i don't care, nor do i know, about "names." But yesterday.....

The second set, called Bark, woulda been snapped up in all their $19 glory without a moment's thought! Of course yesterday i was doing a presentation (the ONLY one scheduled ALL week) and i missed them. bah. However, the more i look at them i see crazy and gnarled witch fingers. That could be bitterness clouding my vision, but i can't be sure.