31 May 2010

Random Wonderfulness...

Surprised to see me return so quickly? Well, summer vacation is approaching, so I will have more time for thrifting and redesign than I had during the school year. I appreciate those who have been patient through my times of inactivity.

My most exciting news! This may become a bit lengthy so please continue reading...I got the rocking chair that I have been coveting since Things Coveted in February and my trip to Atlanta! This is how it went down...

I was on my way home from work passing the resale shop near my school, when out of the corner of my eye I spied it! The owner has begun placing items outside to entice costumers in, so anything outside got my attention. I quickly went around the block! To describe my emotions would be difficult. I was glad that no pedestrians were near, as I may have come close to hitting them since the rocker was the only thing on my mind.

As I went around the block, the car in front of me was my friend Nurse Barb. She frequents this resale shop, as well as our secret one. I was honking and yelling out my window that the resale shop had my rocker! She and I quickly raced to the shop. When we got out, she was first to look at the price tag...$25! Unbelievable. Remember that the one that I saw in Atlanta was $85 and I was almost willing to pay that much for it.

We entered the store and perused her other items. Nurse Barb asked how much would she take for the chair since a piece of wood in the back was not original to the chair (it really isn't that big of a deal). The shop owner said $15...Nurse Barb said that we would take it! Never would I have imagined that I could have gotten it for $15 since I was comparing it to the Atlanta price and others that I have seen on Craigslist for $60-70. Do you see what waiting and a fearless friend can do to make your furniture dreams come true?

Now, the dilemma will be what color to paint it. I am leaning more toward a dusty grey...however upon closer inspection, I will have to paint the caning as well. The caning is overlayed on the rocker and it cannot be removed, so I will paint the chair first, then the caning. Tedious and mind-numbing for sure, but in the end I am certain that it will be worth it.

Here is a montage of the final piece (again), one that I saw in Atlanta, one that I saw on Apartment Therapy Chicago, and the other from coco+kelley. Lovely.

Oh, some other updates....

Yesterday we went to Wolf's Flea Market. This was our first time to this particular flea market. We paid the $1 admission fee and began the adventure. Within ten minutes we found a great wire rocker that would fit the black theme for the patio. $15 was the offer from the seller, Josh countered with $10 and it was now ours.

I went to Home Goods and found some cushions that would go well with the black and yellow theme. I felt inspired to finish, so I spray-painted another chair, as well as a table when I got home. I think that the grouping looks nice together. I am not in love with the table, but it will do for now!

I still have many projects to start, so I am hoping that you will see some photographs soon! Please remain following my blog to find out...

23 May 2010

Weekend Outdoors...

Yes, I have been absent for quite some time. I have been doing a few productive things, however. Care to see?

First, I have spray painted the hand-me down wicker furniture black. I have noticed that the paint is chipping, so I will need another coat plus a sealer. I have been searching all over for cushions that would complete the settee. I found these at Home Goods. I have two more chairs and a table that I will paint black. I will not, however, purchase the same cushions for the remaining furniture. I will stay in the black and yellow colors though.

Lola attempting to stay cool on the settee. Oh, some hand-me down pots from my mother. I am growing some lavender in the pots on the left.

Next, we got some heirloom tomatoes, so we needed to plant them somewhere. Half of the backyard is covered with rocks...thanks Joe Dogg...so until the rocks are removed we settled on planting them in pots. I was more excited about getting the wire supports for the tomatoes than actually growing them. I saw that Home Depot was selling colored supports (I don't know what they are officially called) for $5.99 and the regular supports for $1.99. I thought to myself, hello spray paint! So, I cleared out the garage and began spray painting them yellow. I think that they turned out quite nice. Notice how they accent the cushions!

Finally, Josh is tackling the area between the houses. He has discovered tons of slate under the dirt. It appears that again Joe Dogg was up to his usual. Instead of disposing of the slate, someone covered it with dirt. So, Josh has been removing this mess in order to plant some ground cover in this area.

Some other random photographs to enjoy.

25 April 2010


Well, hello loyal friends. Again, I have not been present on here. I have been busy with:

1. School
2. Gardening
3. Bicycle purchases
4. Random laziness

A lame list, yes I know, but I thought that I owed you an explanation.

Anyway, we have been hard at work on a patio in the backyard. We decided a patio would be a great way to transform the backyard and provide us with a place to hang outdoors. I watched a few online videos and enlisted the help of my parents.

This is by no means a weekend project for 2 people, like the videos claimed. Grab as many capable people as you can especially when unloading the brick.

So, here is how it all played out. We discovered that Menards had the best selection of bricks. Josh and my Dad designed the layout and chose the bricks. We decided that due to the size & prices we would:

1. Rent a truck for some of the bricks, sand, & rocks.
2. Use my dad's van (which is really an old ambulance that is still equipped with the horns and sirens that he insisted on using when we were driving) for some of the sand, rocks, & sod remover.
3. Have 2 pallets of bricks delivered.

There were many back and forth trips to Menards and Home Depot, that drove us all a bit insane. Some of the trips were manageable due to the tasty lunch that my Mom prepared for us, as well as the large iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts.

I have placed all of the photos HERE if you would enjoy viewing them, which I am certain that you will. You will need my commentary to completely understand the task that we conquered. Also, hints in the event that you would like to duplicate the patio.

The project started on a Saturday and ended 3 or 4 random afternoons later. Please enjoy some of the highlights from the project. I will add more photos once plants are in and furniture is painted. Enjoy!

The before shot & the initial plan for the layout of the bricks...a pleasant herringbone pattern.

Adding sand to level the ground & the tedious brick carrying & laying process.

The ridiculously insane brick cutting and the dreaded semi-circle.

Using the tamping machine to work in the mortar & rinsing off the patio!

03 April 2010

Update & Things Coveted...

I wanted to post an update...I have been working on my numerous projects during this Spring Break. It is almost over! I have stripped the ugly blue cabinet that my Dad found for me.

I used my sander and heat gun (both gifts for Christmas). After using the heat gun, I quickly asked myself, why have I been using a sander all this time? The blue paint came right off with the stripper. I still love you sander.

I would, however, recommend not using the heat gun for stripping stain. I attempted to use the heat gun on the chair of my dreams, with little success. I would suggest using some type of stripping agent. I have not gotten that far on the chair project.

Yesterday I felt the need to go thrifting. When don't I? Well, I hit up my favorite thrift store and found a treasure! I ventured down to the HALF OFF EVERYTHING MUST GO! basement section. The basement is always hit or miss. Today it was a hit! Pow! I found this great bench. I have been looking for a bench with this shape for quite some time. As you can see the top is beyond repair...which is fine with me.

Just a side note, I wonder how the top was damaged? Let's imagine the previous owner was an older woman, much like this lady that I met at a thrift store. Well, she was craving peanut butter, but it was on a much too high shelf. She grabbed her trusted bench that has always provided her feet with relief when she has been working at the thrift store too long. However, her trusted friend was not meant for standing. And, yikes, her foot went through! She tumbled off the bench, but was not hurt as her reflexes are cat-like and she landed on both feet! I apologize and return to the posting...

I am considering adding padding to the top or completely removing the top and replacing it. I want to make a tufted cushion for this bench. I saw it on another site, so I may try it! There will be photographs once that project starts!

I finished up my thrifting day at a north-side thrift store. I found these Lincoln Beauty Ware chrome canisters. There is a bit of ware on them, but they are pretty hot nonetheless. I cleaned and polished them and they look great.

As I continued perusing I happened upon this ice bucket/champagne holder. I may use it for displaying flowers? I rarely have flowers, but maybe I will start (faux probably)? I need something with height in my dining room.

Finally, I am quite addicted to these bowls right now, please don't judge me. I find them lovely.

As I end this post, I wanted to share with you all some great stickers that I saw last night as I was reading through my twitter updates. I think that craftyFolk has some great ideas/work, so I enjoy following her posts, blog, and etsy shop. For those of you who know me, I enjoy an owl or two. So, I thought her latest creations were pretty nifty. Wouldn't you enjoy sticking one of these clever creatures on a notebook? I would.

30 March 2010

Atlanta Trip...

This past weekend, I visited my great friends Kori and Chris. Kori and Chris moved to Atlanta a few years ago, and I haven't been able to visit. Kori extended the invitation and off we went! As expected, I had a fabulous time! Kori is such a wonderful hostess...8 months pregnant as well!

We got the quick 3-day tour of Atlanta. Sampled the food and visited a few thrift stores. Through our journeys, I saw this rocker in a thrift store. Remember my previous posting where I coveted this rocker? Here is a similar chair without the wicker back and seat. It was priced at $85. I probably would have purchased it, had I not been in Atlanta. Double drat!

Then as we visited Anthropologie, I saw a pot that will be my color inspiration for the chair that I found at the Ark. I have not decided if the wood will be yellow and if the pillow will be grey or vice versa? Thoughts?

Oh, I did take some video while I was there. I met Kori's two fantastic dogs, Lily and Jackson. I do hope that I am spelling Lily correctly! She was quite cute.

We also stopped by a local sandwich place, Firehouse Subs. Here we met Don. He was such a fun man. I think that I would like to be his friend...perhaps. Enjoy the two videos that I took of him while were waiting in line for our subs. I would suggest that he gets one or two of the teeth fixed, only if we were friends, would I mention this, however.

I will end this posting by featuring my lovely friends. I dedicate this post to their hospitality and wonderful friendship.

Thrifting Tuesday...

Well, today I made a quick trip to a Salvation Army near my house. I went there yesterday and looked around, nothing exceptional. However, I passed up a lamp and a 3-tiered tray. As soon as I got home I began regretting my decision...of course. So, today I ran down there again. Of course, the lamp was gone, but the tray remained. I quickly grabbed it ($2.95!). I did double-check with an employee just to make sure, she confirmed that it was gone. Drat!

I brought it home and began the cleaning process. It took over an hour to polish it up. I took it apart, polished each level, washed, and then reassembled.

Here is the before shot:

Here is the after shot:

I was amazed at how shiny it was! Now, what to do with it?

21 March 2010

Sunday Afternoon Thrifting...

Well, I am sure that you are tired of only seeing my Things Coveted postings...I hope now that the weather seems to becoming nicer, I will be able to post more frequently. I hope to post more before and after posts.

So, I took a break from the mundane and headed over to my favorite thrift store of all time. As I walked in, there it was, the chair that I have been searching for. I walked around the store, but all I could think of was that chair. It was so difficult to pay attention. I was quite worried that someone else would grab the chair. I am certain that I missed some treasures, but as long as I got the chair, all would work out.

Enjoy the photos...as soon as the weather gets nicer, this will be one of my first projects!

Friends, please look past the disastrous color and appreciate the shape. It is lovely. I am undecided on how I will revisit this piece, perhaps something similar to the gray blue color of the comparison pieces? Oh, I have lost the links to where I found the other comparison photographs, my apologies that I could not provide the sources.

15 March 2010

Things Coveted...

Welcome back friends, this week, I have again chosen things that I would enjoy. I have no theme for this posting that will magically tie the items together...but I can certainly try!

So, I happened upon the porcelain penguin cup while I was looking at various blogs...it linked me to Mie Kongo's etsy shop. Once here, I discovered her other lovely creations! My problem is that I cannot decide whether I want the penguin or the owl? Either one would be great. I know that I would like to put one of them on my mantel. What are your thoughts? Penguin or owl? Please look at her other items, they are quite marvelous.

Let's continue with another white object (do you like how I attempted a cohesive transition?). This item is great! Although, I am uncertain as to what it is? Is it a ring holder or is it some type of mini juicer? Whatever the purpose, I would probably never show off the secret mysterious inner tool, I would purchase it for the owl factor alone. I enjoy it nonetheless.
Image from bijou kaleidoscope.

Well, this hutch is great! Great shape and color, but I do not really have anything striking to display in it. It does seem like a fun project to repaint if I came upon it at a thrift store.
Image from style court.

Finally friends, let us take a moment to enjoy these office chairs. They are terribly expensive, but I think anyone would enjoy such a seat at home. I think that I would like to sit in another chair and stare at it for a bit. On the site, you can choose chair color, base color, and cushion color and fabric (if you pay extra, if purchased, not to play around). The site was fun to navigate through and experiment with colors. Won't you take a few minutes to visit Fritz Hansen?

10 March 2010

Things Coveted...

I am really being a terrible blogger. I had every good intention of making this a regular posting! I will continue to be a better blogger, I promise.

With that being said, let's take a glimpse at my latest Things Coveted posting.

I really enjoy the black chairs against the black wall with the over-sized calendar. Next, I would love four of these industrial chairs.
Images from sfgirlbybay and Remodelista.

Let's continue discussing chairs. A ghost chair like this would be nifty. I saw that Target is carrying their own interpretation of the chair. But, after hours of searching...I cannot find it. If I find it later, I will update it. The chair with the orange cushion is the bamboo style that I am looking for. I know that one day I will find it at a thrift store.
Images from MadeByGirl and style court.

I am really addicted to velvet...at the moment. That is why I think that I am attracted to the bench. I love the color of the velvet and the stain of the wood. Please buy this for me! I would love to grab the blanket from the other photograph and sit for a bit.
Images from remodelista and sfgirlbybay.

Maybe a few accessories? I am coveting a fan similar to the ones in the photo. I saw one of these fans at the secret thrift store. Friend Debbie told me that many have inquired about the fan, I guess that means no fan! I will keep my eye open though. The pillows are really great. I am not certain why I am drawn to the style of the pillows. I would love this fabric on a chair, but would I become bored with the print? While I am talking about pillows, why are the pillows being dented in the middle for photographs now? Silliness, but I kind of like it at the same time!
Images from Vintage Rescue Squad and MadeByGirl.

27 February 2010

Things Coveted...

Well, Things Coveted has returned. This week's edition will look at chairs in pairs. I really would love a pair of chairs. I would like to put them in the living room across from the sofa in the corners.

I have the placement, now I just need to find a the perfect chair. Until then, let's enjoy a few photos.

Image from White & Wander

Images from Remodelista & Eddie Ross

Images from Little Green Notebook & ahn-minh

20 February 2010

Faux Bois...

Well friends, I have decided that my next project will be on the hideous cabinet that my father found for me along the side of the road. I hope to sell it when it is finished. I think that it will be a painting project, rather than a spray-paint project. So, I should be able to work on it down in the basement away from the cold. I am still thinking about colors. Any suggestions? Worry not, I will post photos once I start.

My inspiration for the project came from following Eddie Ross on Twitter. I saw that he was painting some nesting tables using the faux bois technique. I think that the top of the cabinet would look nifty painted this way. I will need to do some research on the process, technique, and types of paints needed to achieve the look.

Images from Eddie Ross.

Now, I need to get the tool. I saw that I can find it at my local Ace Hardware. It is called the Plaid Wood Grainer Tool. I hope so! I attempted to find it at Home Depot...nothing. UPDATE...I just got a five dollar gift card in the mail from an Ace near where I work. Excellent! Now, I just hope that they have the tool.

Here are some other images that you may enjoy that used the faux bois technique!

Image from Martha Stewart.

Images from poppytalk.

16 February 2010

The secret thrift store purchases...

So, I have cleaned and placed my latest purchases throughout the house. I am not certain why placing the pieces gives me such joy. Won't you sit back and enjoy the tour?

Well, the first photo was not a purchase from the weekend trip, but I really like the plant and the man deer together.

However, the photo on the right is my ever-changing bar tray. As you can see, sadly there is still no alcohol present. I would enjoy some gin or tequila if you wish...perhaps some Bombay Sapphire Gin. I think that would match nicely with the blue glasses that were from from the thrift store.

Here are the small kerosene lamps. I have decided to place them in a cluster next to the television. I do enjoy seeing them out.

And the hanging fruit basket. Yes, it is a bit grandma-ish, but let's bring grandma back! I need a place where I can see my fruit, if not, it often goes bad while sitting in the dishes on the table. Did I mention, the basket was only one dollar!

Finally friends, I am going to include a shot of Josh's aquarium. He recently began the collection. It has proved to be a source of relaxation for him to sit and watch. He did admit that watching them does cause him a bit of motion sickness. If you look directly to the left of the aquarium (your left), there is the white glass purchase with the lid.

I hope that you enjoyed the tour.

15 February 2010

Bathroom Update...

Remember the medicine cabinet posting? The road trip to Milwaukee? Click here if you do not recall the great deal that I got on the medicine cabinet from Restoration Hardware Outlet.

My parents came up a few weekends ago to install a bathroom fan as a birthday gift. Yes, it has come to that. When you become a home owner you get items for the house now instead of fun things like clothes.

I asked my father if he could also install the medicine cabinet. I knew that cutting a hole in a wall is a bit too much for me to handle, so I enlisted my father the pro.

I am glad that he was there to do the project, as he was cutting into the dry wall he discovered a pipe running up through the wall. He had to cut the pipe, and divert it in another direction so that the cabinet could fit in the hole.

Well, through all of his hard work, the cabinet fit nicely! Enjoy the photos.

Oh, I thought that I would include some other bathroom photos. The shower curtain is from Urban Outfitters, the faucet was a great deal from Home Depot, the soap dispenser is from Target, and the soap dish was a thrift store purchase.

Here is a cabinet that I decorated with deer antlers from my sister's husband's wildlife collection (things that he has hunted). I have placed some thrift store finds inside that I painted with the mirror paint, as well as other pieces.

And two of the Campus Cuties placed on the window sill near a plant and an owl.

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