Friday, January 30, 2009

The Tray Garden

As women we often forget to do something special for ourselves. We are so used to doing for other's! This week I decided to do something just for me!

Even though I love crafting and decorating, what I truly love is gardening! That's one of the reasons we moved to Georgia, so I'd be able to garden 9 months out of the year! I've been checking every day to see if anything is blooming and a few tiny things are starting to peek out from the cold earth. I needed a garden fix! Usually buying a bouquet of flowers at Kroger does it for me. But this time I needed more!

I've been forcing bulbs since Thanksgiving. First Paperwhites and Amaryllis, then Hyacinths. I was also lucky enough to get some petite daffodils on clearance at Kroger

So when I was at Lowe's this week and saw that they had rows and rows of cheerful Primroses. I had to bring two of them home with me.

I put all my flowering bulbs and an ivy plant together on a pretty silver tray and created a little portable indoor garden for myself!

The Hyacinths smell so wonderful and tending to these plants is almost like tending my real garden. It lifts my spirits!

So treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store or force some bulbs or flowering branches if your like me and miss your garden. Or buy yourself a nice smelling candle and be sure you light it. Make yourself a special cup of tea or coffee and sit down and read a favorite book or look through a magazine. Do something special for yourself!

This is part of Melissa's The Inspired Room "A Beautiful Life" party.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Small Makeovers Count Too!

Thank you everyone for the kind words about my fireplace makeover! That was what I call a big makeover. It took several days and several coats of paint. But changing small things can also have an impact. I've gotten a few things at the thriftstore over the past couple of weeks that I've made some small changes to.

But first I wanted to show you a table runner I got at TJMaxx for 70 cents! I think it may have been marked wrong because the placemats were marked down to .70 but most of the runners were $2. But maybe not since it's a Christmas runner. Anyway, It reminded me of the pillow I made out of an old sweater that's on my couch.

Of course, the center snowflake will be covered up with a tray most of the time, but there are snowflakes on the ends as well.

Here are 3 of my thriftstore finds that I made over.

First, a round piece of wood and a very strange tassel/ornament. I got a lot of funny looks when I was standing in line! I know people were thinking "Why is she buying that weird thing!" Well I bought it because I saw beyond the funny face that was painted on it!

The 52 cent piece of wood painted black became the base for a cloche. I took the hat etc off the tassel and painted it black. Then I added two other bits of trim from my stash and now I have a nice big tassel for under $2!

I'm collecting lanterns for this summer. I think it'll be really nice to sit in our screened porch at night with a whole bunch of lanterns flickering!



Some white paint on the outside and it looks tons better. That's a lantern from IKEA next to it.

I've gotten a few other thngs from the thriftstore that didn't need any changing and I'll show you those next week. Now seems like a good time to go thrifting. People are clearing out, organizing and donating since it's too cold to have a garage sale. So go check out your local thrift store and think about how something would look painted a different color or altered in some other way!

Not every makeover has to be dramatic to make a difference!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Fireplace Makeover or The Wonders of Paint!

I think I mentioned a while back that I've wanted to paint my fireplace mantel in my living room. I've had this "bee in my bonnet" for months now and I finally finished it yesterday and I so love it!

Here are some before's. This is a faux fireplace. We built a shallow box to attach the mantel and I've always had a mirror proped up inside

Old picture from 2006 when I still had the faux finish on my walls (gee how my look has changed!) and we hadn't yet taken out the dining room window and replaced it with french doors.

I bought the mantel about 10 years ago at the Lakewood Flea Market here in Atlanta. It was the end of the last day of the flea market and I had looked at all the mantels on the way in but they were way more than what I wanted to pay. So on the way out I stopped by again and sure enough the seller was willing to drastically slash the price. She didn't want to have to pack them all up in her truck again!!

This is April of 2008. Notice I've painted the walls!

This is the after

I can't tell you how much I LOVE it painted white!!

I put almost all my mercury glass on top.

Instead of having a framed mirror inside I decided to attach a frameless one inside and I love how it looks! Origainally I thought about attaching some tiles to the part that's black but right now I'm liking the contrast of the black and white. Maybe sometime in the future if I find the right tiles.

I'm really loving the yummy contrast of the shinyness of the mercury glass against the white of the mantel!

I don't think I'll put the fpl screen back up. I like it much better without

Just a bit of primer and paint and I have a whole new look for very little money! Now on to other things! I'll be back Wednesday with a few things I've gotten at the thriftstore in past few weeks and a fun makeover. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Depression Era Wisdom

Google Images

I thought some of you might find the following links interesting and/or helpful:

"My object in writing this little book is to show you how you may prepare and cook your daily food, so as to obtain from it the greatest amount of nourishment at the least possible expense; and thus, by skill and economy, add, at the same time, to your comfort and to your comparatively slender means. The Recipes which it contains will afford sufficient variety, from the simple every-day fare to more tasty dishes for the birthday, Christmas-day, or other festive occasions."
Project Gutenberg - Plain Cookery for the Working Class.

"When she was a kid, for a treat Pat Box and her seven siblings got "water cocoa," which is pretty much what it sounds like and nothing special today. But that was in the 1930s, when her father's business was reselling bakers' barrels to coopers, and the family would get first crack at them, scraping the wood for any traces of sugar or cocoa left behind." Read the full article at LA Times - Food Lessons From the Great Depression. (HTP to Little Homestead in the City).

Great Depression Cooking - YouTube Videos Cooking with Clara

She's so cute and its fun to listen to her reminisce. She has a couple of YouTube Videos.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Kitchen Cleaning & Fluffing Part 2

Boy it was a good motivation to let you all know I would be posting part 2 today. I may just do that with other things!

A few people asked to see the tureens put back so there they are. I realized that I have room for one or two more if I put them closer together. Which made me very happy! I love searching for these kinds of things.

I decided that I wanted to change out the paper I have on my bulletin board, plus I had to take a few old things off anyway.

So that's the old paper - just some wallpaper I have. I just tack it on to the cork portion of the bulletin board.

More fun to look at than just the regular cork don't you think. You can use scrapbook paper, wrapping paper etc. I looked through my wallpaper stash and found this fun one to use

Monkey Toile!

Now I have a huge bulletin board in my office where I tack most of my stuff up on. So this one doesn't usually have tons of stuff on it.

I also make my own decorative tacks - it's very easy. All you have to do is to use either hot glue or some other strong glue and affix whatever you want to the top of a tack. Much prettier! There's no reason for ordinary things to not be pretty!

There's a little bookcase I got at Target years ago that sits under the bulletin board and on top is the phone and the mail basket. This is what's on the shelves. The cookbooks I use most frequently and the take out menus on one shelf. Shelf two is all my kitchen towels, and the bottom shelf has the phone books and rolodex.

And finally, my clean and shiny kitchen floor!

I cleaned it the old fashioned way - on my hands and knees (actually part of the time I scooted around on my behind!) I like to clean my floors like that every so often. You miss alot when you just use a mop. Believe me, when you're on your knees you see things you normally wouldn't!

I'm very happy to be done with this! If only it would stay clean for more than a day (especially the floor)!

Some people have commented that it seems like I'm always cleaning or organizing something. I don't think of myself as a neat freak (remember I haven't cleaned my kitchen floor since Christmas) or super organized (I think of Martha S. as organized). I don't really like cleaning, I'd much rather do something crafty or decorate, or read. But, my feeling is husband works hard for our family and I should work hard as well. I don't work outside the home and my home is my work. I should do more than just re-arrange my furniture or change out my displays, or spend my time and money constantly shopping. My husband and daughter enjoy coming home to a clean, pleasant home. I enjoy it too! I know many will think that it's an old-fashioned way to think but that's my view. Believe me I'm not a perfect homemaker, it's something I work on all the time! Anyway, I just didn't want anyone getting the wrong idea about me.