Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An Affair To Remember

Years ago, my man got suspicious when the bank statement would come in the mail, and there were a few too many checks written out to Michael. "Who's this Michael?" he would say, "And why are you giving him so much money?" My response? "I haven't a clue who Michael is, but he must know me. He keeps sending me 40% off coupons......50% for a custom framing order!"

That was then. This is now. Michael has been replaced by Craig. Yep. Craig is tops on MY list these days.

Our relationship started about a year ago. I'd heard about him from some of my friends. They were always going on and on about how great he was, how happy he made them feel. I just had to find out for myself. It began as a slow courtship. I would visit him once a week and see what he had to offer. Some days were better than others, but it was always just enough to keep me coming back for more until I woke up one morning and discovered that he was the first thing on my mind. In fact, he was also the last thing on my mind the night before. What started out as a courtship had quickly turned into an obsession. I tried blogging as a distraction. That worked for a while, but before long, I was right back in his web (site). He always seemed to know exactly what I was looking for too. Not long ago I was looking for a chair for my Living Room. Just needed a little extra seating, nothing big. Craig found this for me.

It wasn't a diamond, but it was enough for him to string me along. I thought I'd push the envelope a little, see how far Craig would go for me. So I went looking for a new area rug. Craig found the perfect one - just the right size. Let's face it girls,size DOES matter! The color was a perfect match too.

But things really started to heat up when Craig found this for me. A sweet little wrought iron bench. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it and I knew it would look perfect in front of my fireplace. Again, more seating. (Craig knows me so well!)

Some people say diamonds are a girl's best friend. Not this girl. For me, it's chairs. Craig knows. He also gave me this.

Fearing I would soon be getting bored with chairs, Craig showed me this. He knew I wouldn't be able to resist.

A perfect fit for a large kitchen wall.

I guess there's no telling how long this thing with Craig will last. It could be just a phase. Or maybe I'm having a mid-life crisis (I did just turn 40). Whatever happens, I will always have my chairs. A constant reminder of him.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Thanks From the Heart!

Recently I won two giveaways. I was shocked to win one, but two! I'm so blessed. Not just because I got some presents in the mail, but to know and befriend such generous and thoughtful women. I've never experienced anything quite like it until I started blogging. It truly is an interesting phenomenon. My friends and family who don't blog (are they crazy or what?) have asked me where I got such amazing things. They can't believe they came from someone I never even met! They just don't understand. I feel like I know each and every one of you so well.

The first gift was from Sherrie, at Sherrie's Rose Garden. When Sherrie posted about an online store owned by the same peeps that own Hobby Lobby, I jumped so high I hit my bean on the ceiling fan! If you are like me and are not fortunate enough to have a Hobby Lobby within a reasonable driving distance, you understand my excitement. So Sherrie did a giveaway for a giftcard to this online store, Crafts, Etc. I won one and it took me about a nanosecond to pick something out that I loved!

My dear, sweet "M" found a new home on the mantle. Everyone say "Hi M!"

Thanks Sherrie!

My next gift came from a dear friend of mine, Queenie from Queenie's Vintage Finds and Treasures. Queenie has an amazing Etsy store filled with all sorts of vintage goodies.
This is what I found when I opened the box. Isn't it so pretty in there? Look how she displayed everything and wrapped it up so nice.

Queenie makes the most amazing vintage tags. And each gift came with its own tag and wrapped in a beautiful toile tissue.

Inside was my giveaway and some extras that Queenie spoiled me with, including a vintage bottle with a cute little egg topper and filled with sand from Florida. Also some vintage handkerchiefs and a beautiful vintage pin AND a sweet little address book that I so desperately needed! I like to keep one in my purse.

All of these goodies were hand made by Queenie using an old denim jacket she had from the 80's! Lucky for me she never got rid of it! How beautiful are these? SO vintage!

Thank you Queenie!
And thank you, all of you wonderful women who keep spreadin the love all over Blogland!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

May The Force Be With You

Ever try to "force" something to work in your decorating? You know what I'm talkin' about. There is always one thing that keeps reappearing - the "Piece de Resistance" if you will (you have to use a French accent when you read that......go read it again with the accent this time). Every now and then you pull it out, telling yourself you finally found the perfect spot for it - on a shelf, under a table, on the boo-fay (I put the French accent in for you that time. What? I had to, you cheated last time). And if it were any other piece o junk you had lyin around it would be easy to just get rid of it. "I'll just sell it at my next yardsale" I tell The Man. "Didn't you just get that at a yardsale?" he replies. YES! That's not the point.

But the P d R is different, it's special. It belongs here, in my home, til death do us part. But where, where, WHERE??? The Powder Room? Just wouldn't seem right to stick my P d R next to a toilet. The Foy-ay (getting old?)??? P d R's color doesn't match the walls. The Kitchen? If I put it on the table, my kids might knock it over, on the island I'd have to keep moving it out of the way. You see my dilemma.

And from what I can see, it's a pretty common dilemma. I've heard some of you refer to it as "tweaking". Marty of A Stroll Through Life calls it "Decorator's Block". What do YOU call it? I'm not trying to "force" the issue, I just wanna know.

Here is a picture of my P d R of the week.

We first met at a yardsale a couple weeks ago and I immediately recognized her from the pages of Southern Living at Home. It was love at first sight and only $2. Suh-Weet!!! As of today, at 4 o'clock Easter Time, I've forced her on top of my fridge. By the time I sit down to watch Grey's Anatomy tonight, it's anybody's guess. Maybe the coffee table, but that's round and she's rectangular..............

Hot Diggity!!

Woke up to this.

And this.

And this.

The first one needs no explanation, but just in case, it's my dog Chloe, after she had the time of her life in the backyard.

The second looks like what may have been a bear loose in my basement, but in fact it was The Man taking a hammer to the wall.

The third......sorry, what? Oooooohh, you want further clarification on the second, I gotchya. Well, in one of my prior posts I mentioned we had a flooding problem in the basement. The hammer incident was an attempt to locate the exact spot where the water was coming in. No worries, it's nothing a huge picture can't take care of.

Back to the third. That's The Man's shirt, after it came out of the wash,'! Did I mention there was a full load?

Yeah, all of this BEFORE coffee.

Then I sat down to my computer and found this:

A Giveaway that I WON!!!!!! Thank you to Queenie from Queenie's Vintage Finds and Treasures!

She even threw in these extra goodies with her Giveaway, after the fact, because that's the kind of generous person she is.

I only recently stumbled upon this wonderful woman's blog,and we became instant friends. Her blog is full of everything lace and vintage and her Etsy store is worth the visit. Do yourself a favor and go browse - the blog and the shop - you won't be disappointed.

Have a great day all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rule #1 in Blogging: Know Your Gifts

About once a year, Pastor Jerry does a sermon on knowing what Godly gifts we are given. We all have one, but not everyone is able to figure out what their gift is on his or her own. So in our church, each person in the congregation gets a little questionnaire, which, after checking off all of your interests/talents will reveal your Godly gift.

My Godly gift is the gift of teaching. Rich and I have been teaching Third Grade Sunday School for a number of years now, and it's something I can't imagine my life without.

It has brought me so much joy and I've learned so much from these precious children.

That is the point of knowing your gift - so that you may use it to serve God, your church, your church family and also to grow as a Christian.

For some that gift may be in the technological realm. Those people serve by making power points of upcoming church events that are shown during worship each Sunday morning. For others their gift may be planning and organizing. God uses these servants to plan the church picnic or Vacation Bible School.

Just as teaching SS and serving God has changed my life, I have also been forever changed by blogging. This may seem like a strange comparison, but it's true. Blogging has taught me alot about myself. For instance, just as I never knew how much I could influence a child, I never knew I could be so fascinated by spray paint. I've also met some of the most amazing women while blogging. How could I become so "close" to someone I've never even met face to face? Blogging has also helped me to learn that it's way more fun to give than to receive? How many times have I seen "giveaways" in Blogland? It's amazing isn't it? All of these women so generously offering the most wonderful goodies, just for fun? Just for the sheer joy of giving? It's all about giving!

But perhaps the single most important thing I've learned from blogging, is to know what my blogging gifts are. In essence, knowing my limitations. Let me clarify. When I first started blogging several months ago, I was completely swept away for a good month or two. My husband was sure he would never spend quality time with me again, the children wondered when mommy was going to start making dinner, or if they would even get dinner. To say I was a little distracted would be the understatement of the millenium. The tablescapes, the before and afters, the recipes, the how-to's and tutorials, give-aways galore and parties, parties, parties! I partied more in the first month of blogging than in my entire 4 years in college (okay, 4 1/2). It became more than just a hobby, but a new way of life. I was more frugal than ever and determined to transform my home on a budget by transforming boring furniture into sheer works of art. Soon after, I was buying napkin rings, tablecloths and flatware by the truckload at yardsales, thrift stores or on clearance at BB & B. "They don't match" my friends would say. Even betta! That would make an even more interesting tablescape! One stop at Tootsie's blog, and I was convinced I could morph my average yard into the Garden of Eden. And visiting Na-Da Farm had me believing that I could serve my family a dinner that consisted of only those ingredients that had been organically grown in my own backyard oasis of fresh fruit and vegetables.

If only...

If only tablescaping was my blogging gift.
It's not.
My one feeble attempt at tablscaping was using only things I had purchased at the Dollar Store.

And would you believe that dear, sweet Susan at Between Naps on the Porch was gracious enough to leave me the most thoughtful comment? Love that lady!
Unfortunately, a tablescape in my home looks a little

Btw, that's homework on the left at 3 p.m. flanked by leftover breakfast from 8 a.m.

If only gardening was my blogging gift.
It's not.
My annuals have long since given way to weeds. The newly planted shrubs cried, "there's a fungus amongus!" and the climbing vine that never climbed was overtaken by Japanese beetles.

Sadly, I never worked up the nerve to publish the "Pardon My Garden" post.

If only being "green" was my blogging gift.
It's not.
Annemarie, you may want to look away at this point, if you're even still here. The only positive thing I can say about dinner last night is that there was no MSG - at least not that I know of.

Would anyone like a fortune cookie?

Organic? No. Easy? Youbetcha!

Now don't think for a nanosecond that I will stop visiting, Susan's, Tootsies', and Annemarie's blogs, or the blogs of the many other incredible women who continue to inspire me every day with their wit, wisdom and insight into all things domestic. I live for Thursdays and a chance to enjoy one of Susan's gorgeous tablescapes. And there's nothing quite like grabbing a cup of joe (organic, of course) and relaxing with Nada Farm Life with Annemarie. It's like going back to a simpler time, a simpler place. Thank you Annemarie. And finally Toots, well, just start thinking of a name for your show on HGTV! I'll always be your #1 Fan!

I guess besides wondering if there is an end in site to this post, you may be asking yourself "So does this chick have a gift or what?" SILLIES!! Of course I do! You'll just have to wait for another post to find out what it is ;)

Monday, October 12, 2009

We Should All Have Friends Like This

For those of you who have been following me for a long time, you may remember me referring to my dear sweet friend Stacy in prior posts. She is my mentor, the one responsible for my foray into yardsaling and thrifting. We are two old souls who were probably separated at birth. Visiting her home is a truly extraordinary experience. Everything you see has a history, a story behind it. From the art on her walls, to the lamps and clocks on her furniture, and speaking of furniture, well, let's just say, one step inside her front door and you are completely blown away. Most of her pieces are one-of-a-kind, acquired over the years from high end antique stores to the local Goodwill. You would never know the difference. Stacy and I go back a few years, but most recently, she was my daughter's art teacher. Stacy's talent in art knows no bounds. She can transform just about anything, and her knowledge of art has been as asset to me in more ways than I can say. I have so much fun picking her brain. Even more fun is hearing her relay the stories of how she obtained some of her vast treasures. She has an antique decanter, that is in the shape of the Eiffel Tower and plays music when you pour. Her collection of vintage handbags and jewelry would make you drool. I cannot say enough about this girl, except to say that she is very special to me.

I have rule of thumb when it comes to making friends and it goes something like this - a true friend is someone who is happy for you when something good happens to you, and sad with you when something bad happens, and NOT the other way around. I've had my share of the latter over the years and I've gotten alot better at weeding them out. My husband has never understood how I can just "release" a friend as quickly as I sometimes have. I tell him that they broke my "rule" and I don't consider them a friend. I strongly feel that it is important to one's well-being to surround themselves with people who make them feel good about themselves. I would have friends that I thought were my friend, but somehow, every time I left their company I would be questioning myself as a person, a mother, a friend. I would finally realize that it was a pattern and that it wasn't ME, it was THEM. They would say or do things to make me question myself and second-guess myself. It takes time and experience to establish a core group of true friends, and once you have, you TREASURE them. Stacy is one that I treasure.

Why am I going on about rules??? Well, because I may be the world's biggest hypocrite!!! Poor Stacy has sold her beautiful home and is about to move her wonderful family into another beautiful home. Anyone who's ever moved knows what a huge undertaking this is, especially this time of year. Their move-out/move-in date is December 7th!! And anyone who has ever moved also knows, that with any move, comes a "purge". You want to bring as little with you as possible, to make the move a little bit easier. And starting fresh in a new home, means not wanting so much "stuff". Just like when you redecorate a room. You start out not wanting to hang anything on the walls, because you just want to enjoy the "newness" for a while.

So what makes me a hypocrite you ask?? Well, I should be feeling sad for my poor friend who has all of this going on, and instead, I'm, well, OVERJOYED!!!!!!!! No, no, no, not overjoyed that Stacy has all this on her plate, but overjoyed that she has chosen ME as the benefactor of all of the treasures that did not make the cut!!! Stacy chose me because she knows how much I will treasure them and appreciate them. And if I were in her situation, I would want to do exactly the same thing.

So, how do you thank someone for something as big as this? Well, until I can come up with something befitting (and I'm open to any and all suggestions) I will dedicate this post to Stacy and share with you just a few of the goodies she has so graciously passed along to me.

This is just a fraction of what was given to me by Stacy. There will be more pictures to come. And, even better, some of these goodies will appear on my Etsy store, which has unofficially opened (go to Etsy and my store is So stay tuned for more info on my Etsy debut, because of course there will be a giveaway!!!!

Before I leave, I will end this post with my one of my most prized possessions - a birthday gift from Stacy I received back in August. It is only the most bee-u-ti-ful stein I have ever layed eyes on, and my stupid camera doesn't do it nearly enough justice (can you guess what I'll be asking The Man to get me for Christmas???).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

White Wednesday And A Little Memory Loss

I'm joining a party for the first time today. It's White Wednesday over at Faded Charm and I guess I never joined before because I didn't think I had alot of white in my home. But with the recent remodel of my master bedroom and sitting room, I've acquired some pretties in white that I think are worth sharing with you.

This lovely ironstone pitcher is perched on a white stand I borrowed/stole from my daughter's room (don't worry, I don't even think she noticed!).

These are just some old frames I got at yardsales/Goodwill that I sprayed the ever-famous Heirloom White and added to the same stand.

I love this ceramic cherub compote the best. I purchased it last weekend for a quarter at a yardsale and it was an ugly gold. I gave it the same spray treatment and VOILA!

Bear with me a moment, I'm having a brain cramp and can't think of the name of this thingie. Oh heck, I'll just call it a thingie. The right word will come to me in a few minutes and I'll change "thingie" to the right word, but for now, it's just "thingie". (Gosh darnit, I hate it when this happens to me and it's been happening ALOT lately!) How can I blog with such a horrible memory? Where was I? Oh, right, the thingie. I trashpicked thingie recently and you guessed it, sprayed it. WAIT!!!!!!!!!! I just realized something! Too much spraypainting has been affecting my memory! Note to self, wear a mask.
Added a few books and a birdie, cuz, why not?

Moving on. Another thingie, only this one really is a thingie, unlike the last thingie that really has a name. I bought this at the auction for $5 and my original intent was to add a round glass top to it and use it as a table, but I really didn't have a spot for that, so instead, I'm using it as a place to store my old issues of BHG. And even better, I didn't have to spray this one - it was already white.

Lastly, a snap of an old nightstand I also got at the auction for $5. It was old and dingie, so I painted it white and gave it some new/old crystal knobs I got at a yardsale for a buck. I love the French Provincial look of it.

Now, while I go to the drugstore to buy some Ginkoba, you go over and check out the other whites at Faded Charm. And would you please remind me once in a while to take my Ginkoba, cuz I'll forget.

UPDATE!!!!! Several minutes later...........DUH!!! PEDESTAL!!! It's a pedestal! Thingie is a pedestal! i knew it would come to me

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

It's So Very Cheri - Ad Campaign/Giveaway!

It's So Very Cheri is launching a huge Ad Campaign/Giveaway and there are so many chances to win so many different things by so many different very talented vendors/bloggers. If you don't know Cheri, one visit to her blog and you'll never forget her - she's a hoot! And if you'd like to advertise with her, now is the time.

Thanks Cheri for hosting this super giveaway!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Today I'm joining Tales From Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday. This weekend was a banner yardsale weekend. Lots of people trying to get rid of their stuff before it gets too cold to have a yardsale. We started out early and didn't finish until around noon. Let's get started.

First find of the day was this gorgeous silver tray.

Got that for $2.

Next up was this very large victorian mirror for $5 that went to charity.

These two magnetic boards were $1. I thought they were very pretty.

I fell in love with this chair. Mostly for the woodwork and the nailhead trim around the velvet upholstery. The wood needs repairing on the back, but since I only paid $8, I didn't really mind.

Got this cute little "love" pillow for a buck.

It found a new home on my Craig's List French Provincial chair I scored a while back for $20. I matched it with a little stool from the auction ($2) and some yardsale vintage children's books.

This cute little teapot was $1 and will make a nice addition to my white ironstone collection, although this teapot isn't a real ironstone piece. This was the Summer of Ironstone. Got so much and it's all just sitting on a shelf in my hutch until I find the right home for it all.

I saved my favorite thrifty find for last. I've been searching Ebay for months for the perfect needlepoint aubusson pillow for my new/old Goodwill Living Room chair. Now I don't know if any of you have one of these or have ever shopped for one, but they are NOT cheap! The really nice ones are about $75 and that's just for the pillow cover. You then have to buy the insert separate. I know this because I've shopped around. But I wanted one badly enough that I knew I had to suck it up and splurge. To my astonishment, I saw this pillow in a box on the ground under a table at a Church flea market that we passed while out yardsaling. It was upside down in the box and all I saw was the fringe, but I thought, what the heck, the chances are slim, but I'll look anyway. So when I turned it over and saw that it was EXACTLY what I had been searching for, I couldn't breathe for a second. You know that feeling. Then when I saw that it was only $3, well that was it - I don't remember much after that. Couldn't really concentrate on anything else for a while.

And I think it looks just lovely on my new/old chair!

That's it and thanks for checkin in!