Friday, July 18, 2014

House Updates

There haven't been any major changes around here lately, but a few things that have been languishing in an unfinished state for months have finally been completed so I thought I'd give you an update.

A few months ago I packed my kiddos off to spend a week with their grandparents and I had a 12 hour a day paint-a-thon while they were gone.  At the end of the week I shared these pictures of all I had been able to accomplish.  I got a lot done, but there were still some unfinished parts that I hadn't been able to finish up.  If you follow me on Facebook then you might have seen me post about my sister staying with me last week to help out with some painting projects.  She was my minion for the week and finished up a lot of the things I wasn't able to get to.  It was probably the first time in my life I've been able to boss my big sister around.  :D

(These are the "before" photos.)

The upper trim in the school room had been caulked and primed, but I never got the chance to finish edging it in and put the top coat of gloss on the trim.  She finished that for me.  I didn't get to the trim around the window either.  She primed it, I followed behind her and caulked it, then she finished it off with it's glossy top coat.  She also got all the baseboards primed for me, but we didn't have time to do anything more than that to them.

Same routine with the trim around the front door, she primed, I caulked, she put the top coat on.

This little alcove had never received it's coat of tan paint, nor had the trim been addressed.  She put the first coat of tan on, I did the 2nd coat, I painted the ceiling and primed the upper trim, she primed all the doorway trim, I caulked everything, then she went back through and put the top coat on all the trim.

Same routine again for the trim around the sliding doors, prime, caulk, top coat.

I've only got 2 "after" pictures to show you because I still need to do some final touch up painting in some places before I can get everything put back together.  But you'll get the general idea.

Here's the living room view now.  Not only is it much improved with the dark foreboding trim gone, but it also looks like people actually live here now with pictures on the wall and such.  : )

Front entry way lightened up.  (Notice the baseboards, primed but not finished yet.)  This area needs a lot of help, it's very plain and boring.  But...this door almost never gets used so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with this spot.  Anyways, at least the dark trim is gone now.

We probably could have made a lot more progress during the week if I had been able to help out more. I did all the caulking, but she's the one who did the majority of the painting.  Why you might ask?  

Because I was busy working on this project.

Another "grain sack" shower curtain.  

This time it was a custom order for someone.  She had seen mine here on the blog and loved it and wrote to me asking if I could make her one as well.  I designed a more personalized layout for her and spent the week sewing, setting grommets, and hand painting it all.  I'm happy to report that she loves it!

I'm contemplating listing these in my Etsy shop as a customizable/handmade item.  What do you think?  Do you think they'd be a good seller?  Would people be willing to pay a higher price for something personalized and custom made?

Anyways, that does it for my house updates.  A great big THANK YOU goes out to my sister for all her hard work and being willing to paint what probably felt like miles and miles of trim work. 
 Love you Ethel!  :D


Monday, July 7, 2014

Simple Patriotic Decor & Table Setting

I know July 4th is already over and most bloggers share their tablescape pictures a month in advance so as to give their readers ideas to copy, BUT....I didn't really know what my table and dining room would look like until about an hour before it was time to eat.'re getting pictures after the fact.  : )

My sister and her family came to stay with us a few days and we all celebrated together.  
I kept the decor really simple, but it felt festive and fun just the same.

You might have noticed the curtains.  Those are new.  I finished making them a few weeks ago, but I hadn't shared them yet.  I love them!  They add so much life and color to the room, and it's nice to be able to block out the hot sunlight.  You might have also noticed the buffet.  I've never shared it either.  It's a dresser that I found on Craigslist and I talked the guy down to $60 for it.  This is its "before" look.  I have plans to change it up.  You can also see that we are still using a plastic folding table as our dining room table.  But that won't be for much longer.  Last week I scored a table for FREE as well as the two darker wooden chairs you see.  It needs a makeover, but I hope to get it done soon so we can eat at a real table again.

For the table setting I used a plastic tablecloth from Walmart, then folded a small gingham tablecloth that I already had and laid it across the middle.  The wooden box napkin holder is always on our table.  I didn't bother with a centerpiece.  I used our everyday white plates and our everyday flatware (that I've had for 12 years!) and just bought small flag themed dessert plates to put in the middle.  My sister brought the cute colorful napkins.

Next to the adult table I set up a kids table, with paper straws as a quick and easy centerpiece.

I already had the game board, pitcher, and rooster set up.  
I just added a few paper decorations from the dollar store.

The game board was a yard sale find from a couple of years ago, and the pitcher was a recent thrift store find for $1.99.

My rusty rooster has made his return finally.  He was a $1 yard sale find a couple of years ago as well.  
I love him with much love!

Above the table I hung two more paper thingy-ma-bobs from the ceiling fan chains.  You can see my collection of aqua Mason jars in the window in the background.  You can also see raindrops on the glass.  Just as I started taking pictures the clouds rolled in and it started to pour.  My husband had just started grilling too.  I did the best I could with the lighting I had, and he still turned out some yummy hot dogs and hamburgers even though he says he risked his life by grilling in a storm.  : )

Festive colorful decor doesn't have to be complicated or expensive.  Quick, easy, and cheap can still look great and it leaves you plenty of stress-free time to enjoy the day.

My sister and her daughter have stayed on a few extra days and while the cousins are having a blast playing their hearts out together, my sister is helping me finish up some painting projects around the house.  It'll feel good to have a few more things finished up!


Friday, July 4, 2014

Patriotic Summer Decor

Hey y'all!  Happy Independence Day!

I thought I'd share a bit of my patriotic summer decor with you today just in case you decide to check in after you're stuffed full of hot dogs and watermelon, or while you're waiting for the fireworks to start.  : )

Not long after I got the gallery wall put up, I added some decor to the opposite wall, the one behind the couch.  I've had it up for a good long while now, but never got around to sharing it. 

I've had this shelf for almost as long as I've been married, but it's getting a little war torn.  If you look closely you can see that it no longer sits straight.  After 6 moves in 12 years it's gotten a bit warped.  But I don't mind too much, I still love the style of it as much as I did when I bought it.  I've also had the picket fence flag for my entire marriage.  The first 2 years of having my own home I had Americana style decor, but then I sold off almost everything and started a new style.  The flag was the one thing I couldn't part with, though, and I still put it up every summer.

I wanted to add lots of touches of red and blue to the house to evoke a sense of patriotism without being like, "here's a hundred flags flapping in your face."  I used lots of non-flag items, like a wooden cheese box, baking powder tin, and a vintage tea towel to accomplish the look.  The picture on the little clipboard is of my father-in-law as a young boy.  Nothing says American summer as much as baseball, am I right?  A little glass milk bottle from Lima, OH (where we used to live) holds wildflowers from the woods next to our house.

This end of the shelf has another rusty license plate (love those things!), an old insulator, and a stack of vintage ice cream cups leftover from my ice cream social 2 years ago.  C&C Cola stands for Cantrell & Cochran, so it's meaningful to us since our last name is Cantrell.  

I shared the blue pillow on the Facebook group page a couple of weeks ago.  It was my only Fun Friday Find for that week, a 99¢ score at a thrift store.  I paired it with a throw pillow from our bedroom set that we're not using right now.  On the other end of the couch is a feed sack pillow.  I simply placed a throw pillow down inside the feedsack and folded the ends over.  And there stretched out taking a nap is our little kitten, Snuggles.  She was only 4 weeks old and weighed 1lb when we found her, but now she's 12 weeks old and weighs about 2.5lbs.  She's so playful and funny and the kids are just loving her.

That's it for me today!  I'm off to fix a big breakfast for my visiting family and then I have lots of cooking and baking to do for the day.  Hopefully the fireworks show won't get rained out tonight.

I hope you all have a happy and safe 4th of July!


Monday, June 30, 2014

Curiosity Killed the Cat...Or So They Say

A couple of months ago I posted this photo over on Facebook of an old abandoned house in my area.  I told how it sits close to the road and there's no other houses around it and I've been tempted many a time to sneak in and take a peek around.  Last week my ever hungry curiosity was satisfied.

I had taken my kiddos out for a long 4-wheeler ride and our route "just happened" to take us past the house.  I hadn't originally planned on exploring it with two little ones in tow, I didn't have my good camera with me like I had planned, I didn't have on jeans and boots like I knew would be prudent in such a situation, but I decided not to squander the chance so I just went for it anyways.  We braved many a cobweb and fought off several nasty looking banana spiders with a stick.  My daughter was not a happy camper.

I found it interesting that looking under the house I discovered that it was set up on wooden blocks.  Not cement like you typically see with raised homes in Florida, but wooden blocks and wooden beams.   There's no possible way this house could have been sitting level at any time in it's life I would think.

On the edge of the porch, near the overhang, were a couple of strings for hanging laundry, or maybe drying flowers or herbs.  I like to think that's what it was for anyways.  Who knows, maybe it was really the only thing keeping the porch from falling off.  : )

Looking down along the side of the house.

The side door leading to the summer porch.

Lots of windows along the back of the summer porch, and lots of beautiful weathered old wood.  

I hadn't planned on actually risking life and limb by going inside the house and potentially falling through the floor, BUT...when I spied this cupboard through one of the windows I just knew I had to go in and see it up close. 

It was old, and rustic, and was worth a broken leg for a closer look I reasoned.  I blocked out the old adage of "curiosity killed the cat" that was running through my brain.  I told my kids to stay put and not to follow me,  I took a deep breath and tip-toed in.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wishing I had my Smith & Wesson with me for a little added protection.  There were signs of squatters in the past and I was pretty sure there was probably a snake or two around.  It would have been a tad more comforting than the skinny branch I was holding.  But I forged on despite the lack of firepower.

This view is from the front steps looking straight through the house to the summer porch in the back.  It had this main wide hallway with lots of little rooms coming off of each side.  I stood there just imagining the many cool breezes that must have blown through here.

Most of the rooms looked pretty much the same as this one, small and nondescript.  This was the only one with what I was assuming was a fireplace, though there's no chimney so I'm not exactly sure what it would have been.

I finally found the red cupboard.  I didn't get a very good picture of it seeing as it was dark in there and all I had was my cell phone.  But it was very basic, no shelves on the inside and it was built into the two adjoining walls.  If it had been free-standing I would have been severely tempted to commit theft.  I was pretty sure God has some kind of fine print in the 10 Commandments for situations like these.

In the back of the house I found this cute built in cupboard on the porch.  
And that doorway there on the left led to a pantry.

I couldn't get the door to budge any further so I had to just stick my phone in and hope I could get a good picture.  It was quite dark in there so this grainy shot is the best I could get of the shelves that were obviously built for a large supply of home canned jars of goodness.

Back outside and behind the house I could see a smaller building through the trees, maybe a chicken coop?  Or a storage shed?  I really really wanted to explore it too, but my children were on the verge of mutiny by now and one more colorful spider might have scarred my daughter with nightmares for life.  Maybe someday I can make it back when I'm by myself.  

Well, just me and Mr. Smith & Wesson that is.  


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Orange Scuzzy Walls Become Boutique Chic

Last week my kiddos spent their first week of summer vacation with their grandparents.  While they were gone I took a couple of days to get my daughter's room painted.  Pink has been her favorite color since she was 3 years old (she's almost 7 now) and she has always wanted a pink room. We could never do it for her before because we were always renting, but now that we finally own a house she was excited to finally get a pink room!

Let's take a look at the "before."

Stepping into her room her bed was on the left in front of the windows, and on the back wall was her kitchen set (that my dad made for her a couple of years ago.)  The poor girl had a mish-mash of bedding that didn't match or coordinate at all.  Her walls were the ugly orange scuz that the rest of the house was, paired with the dark brown trim.

In this picture you can see her closet door on the left and the door coming into her room on the right.  She had a set of Barbie wall decals up in random places as well.  : )

At some point I found a cute pink ticking striped bedskirt at a rummage sale for $1, and an aqua throw pillow for 99¢.  I flipped the red and white quilt over to the plain white side and folded up her old twin sized quilt at the foot of her bed.  It was a huge improvement on the bedding situation, but the walls were still depressing.

I didn't have time to try out color samples so I had to just pick a shade of pink that I thought would be right and hope for the best.  I chose Boutique Chic by Clark & Kensington (sold at ACE).  Many torturous hours later and it was finally transformed to a nice bright and fresh look.

The bed got moved to the back wall and the kitchen set is now on the opposite side of the room from the bed.  It was amazing how much bigger the room felt just moving the bed to this wall!

I made this little set of valances for her room when we still lived in Ohio and I was really happy to find that they fit the windows here perfectly as well.  If I could do it over again, I think I'd go one shade lighter on the pink for the walls, but I didn't do too bad for a one shot deal.  And of course to her, the pinker it is the happier she is, so it was perfect in her book.

Last week in the Fun Friday Finds post I told you how I found matching pillows and a bedskirt at two different thrift stores.  I loved both bedskirts so much and didn't want to do away with either one so I just layered them!  The rest of the bedding still needs a bit of tweaking.  I hope to find her a pretty white bedspread that fits the bed a little better.  This quilt is actually more of a twin size and is a little too short on the sides.  I tugged it down on the side you can see.  : )  We also still have more decor to add to the walls, but Hubs was rushing me out the door on this particular day so I only had time to snap a couple of pictures.  I'll take more once we get it all finished.

Over on this wall between the doors we hung this mirror.  It was a $3 yard sale find.  She loves to play dress up and I thought a mirror would be a fun thing so she can see herself in her many princess dresses.  The mirror is old and very heavy and needed to be hung on a stud.  The only problem was the stud wasn't centered...of course.  So I added in a couple of butterflies along the side to make it appear it that I had planned it that way and that it was supposed to be off centered.  The butterflies were a 50¢ yard sale find.  They used to be dark brown and I think just about every home had them on their walls back in the 80's.  I know ours did.  I simply spray painted them white for an updated look.

Another project for her room is to get her a ceiling fan.  Then we can do away with the ugly plastic oscillating fan on her dresser (which also needs redone).  This is Florida and you just can't sleep well without some circulating air!

She was SO very happy with her pink room and I'm happy to have another room checked off my painting list!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun Friday Finds #23

Hey everyone!  
Welcome back to Fun Friday Finds!  I know I've been a bit absent lately, but I promise I've got a couple of new posts in the works that I'll be sharing soon.

If you follow me on Facebook then you know that my kids spent their first week of summer break with their grandparents, so a friend and I took advantage of my child-free status and went thrifting for an entire day.  We hit up a few different thrift stores, a couple of consignment stores, a Goodwill Outlet, and our last stop was at an antiques mall.  It was a FUN day!  So let's get to it shall we?  Here's what I found on my spending spree.  : )

My first purchase of the day was this adorably funny mug.  When I first saw it I couldn't figure out what it was supposed to be, but when I picked it up and turned it around I realized it had an opening for you to put your hand in the mitten.  It was too cute to pass up and at only 50¢ I decided to take it home. 

At another thrift store I found this vintage nursery scale.  It was marked $20, but everything was half off that day so I got it for $10.  I already have two vintage scales so I plan to list this one in my Etsy shop.

At yet another store I spotted this bowl on the bottom shelf, kinda dusty, and hiding beneath a stack of other bowls.  I almost didn't dig it out, but something about it caught my eye.  When I turned it over I saw lovely copper!

And when I looked closer I started to realize that the holes were not symmetrical, the edges weren't smooth, the turned rim was uneven and flattened in some places and I realized, I'm pretty sure this is handmade!  It was marked $20, but I didn't want to pay that much so I asked a worker if that price was correct.  She didn't think so and went to ask her manager.  She came back and said, "Our antiques lady priced this that's why it was so high, but my manager said you can have it for $10."  So I bought it.  I'm not sure yet if I'll keep it or sell it.  I have to think on it some more.  : )

I also got this cute striped pillow for $2.  I've been working on a cozy little relaxing area in the yard and wanted it to bring a pop of summer colors to my swing (more on this area coming later).

One of the stops we made was at a Goodwill Outlet.  I've been to one of these a couple of times before and they are an experience for sure!  It's nothing but huge bins full of the leftovers that didn't sell at other Goodwill stores and you pay by the pound.  You have to be willing to do a lot of digging, but it can sure be worth it.

One of the things I found in a bin was this cute fall wreath.  It needs a little "fluffing," but all in all it was still in pretty good shape.

I also came across this vintage sheet.  I already had the two pillowcases to match it at home, so I got the sheet to help make a set.

While I was digging through a bin I happened to look up and across the room towards another bin.  I spied a colorful quilt sticking out.  I've been wanting to lighten up the look of me and Hub's room and this looked perfect for the look I wanted.  I maneuvered my cart through the crowd as quickly as I could and dug it out. It looked to be the right size and it was in really good shape...score! I kept digging just to see what else was in there and came upon a matching pillow sham for the quilt at the bottom of the bin. Wow! Score again! Ok, so if there's one pillow sham then it stands to reason there should be a 2nd one. I said a quick prayer and asked the Lord to please help me find the 2nd sham, because it's quite literally like finding a needle in a haystack. There were probably 20 bins of just linens and these bins are about 3.5 feet deep by 3.5 feet wide and they are STUFFED full of randomness! I started to dig around searching for the 2nd one when I got the feeling that I should look around at the other bins first. And there it was. About 3 bins away, peeking out right on top. Say wha?!? MAJOR score!! I fairly dove across the bins and snatched it up. If you've ever been to an outlet store then you know the sense of urgency that is required to get what you want.

 I was doing a little happy dance in my head and thanking the Lord for answering my silly little prayer and for doing it so quickly.

Isn't it purdy?  I love all the colors and patterns!  Comforters are a fixed price instead of being by the pound so I paid $5 for this set.

I also dug up this cute quilt/comforter for $5.  I've been needing something for my son's bed so I put it there for now until I find the one I really want for his room.

While digging through the linens I found one of these adorable pillows and thought, ''Hey, that would be really cute in Halie's room."  I put it in the cart and kept digging.  At the bottom of the bin I found the 2nd pillow.  :D  I couldn't decide for sure if I really wanted them, the colors/style were just a little bit different than what I had originally been thinking for her room.  But they were just SO cute, and they had pink in them plus the aqua that she wants to add more of.  I knew they weren't going to be expensive so I just got them figuring if I ended up not using them I wouldn't be out much.  Better to have bought them than to regret it later.

By the time we finished up at the outlet store we were starving and decided to stop for lunch.  We drove a few minutes away and had soup and salad at Olive Garden.  Yum!  Then, once we were refreshed and re-energized we hit the ground running.  We drove a few more minutes and went to a different Goodwill.  An actual Goodwill this time, not an outlet store.  And low and behold, what do I find in the linen section?!?

The matching bedskirt to the two pillows I had just bought from Goodwill Outlet!!  Woo hoo!  Another score!  
I was on fi-ah!

Towards the end of the day we weren't sure we could make it to another thrift store before they closed, so on a whim we stopped at an antiques mall we came across.  My brain was on overload by then, but I did manage to find these fun croquet balls.  I've wanted some for a very long time now, but I only ever find them in full sets and they're always so expensive.  But these weren't too bad at $2 each.

And last but not least, another thrift store find was this patriotic bunting for $2.  It's really big, about 5 feet across, and it looks very festive hanging from our front porch.  I saved it for last because I like the picture so much.  : )

So that does it for me.  I was pretty happy with all of my purchases and consider the day to be a success.  Those of you on Facebook already know this, but for those of you who aren't, I've been painting my daughter's room while she's away.  The ugly depressing orange color is gone and replaced by a pretty soft pink.  I'm almost finished with the last of the painting and I can't wait to get the new pillows on the bed and add in the new bed skirt.  I even realized that with the new pillows I'll be able to use the curtains I made for her when we lived in Ohio.  I didn't think I was going to be able to.  She'll feel like she has a brand new room when she gets home!  
And of course, I'll be sure to share some pictures.  : )

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