Sunday, June 28, 2009

Today's Thrifty Treasures

It's time to show your thriftstore/yardsale treasures. Be sure to visit Rhoda at Southern Hospitality for more Today's Thrifty Treasures participants. She is the Yardsale Queen and always finds some fun things!

I've been busy all week and only stopped into Goodwill once this week but I found a couple of nice things. I found those urns above for under $5. Somebody did me a favor and already painted them white! *all pictures enlarge when you click on them

I took a starfish and applied a tiny bit of hot glue to the back to adhere it to the urn. That way I can take it easily off at the end of summer.

I just sort of threw this display together because I have no AC and my whole house is freakin hot like you know where!! Yep it went out Saturday on one of the hottest days in Atlanta and no one can come out until Tuesday to even look at it! So say a little prayer that it can be fixed so I don't have to pay for a whole new air conditioner!

I also found this really big tray! The design in the center is not my kind of thing so I think I'll paint that out and put something else.

I thought this would be great for carrying our coffee out onto the screened porch in the morning. It's nice and big with plenty of room for cups, an insulated coffee pot and a little creamer. That way we won't have to get up and refill our cups from the coffeemaker in the kitchen. It should make our morning coffee ritual even more pleasant!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Painting & re- Posting

I everyone! I'm in the middle of so many things right now! That's a sneak peak at what I've been painting this week.

I'm going to re-post one of my earlier posts about the Little Things We Do To Save Money.

I bet you can't guess what's in that second drawer.

Yep, that's foil! I wash and reuse my foil! I haven't had to buy a new roll in quite some time. I also wash and reuse plastic baggies. I personally don't do this with anything that's held meat, but I know others who still wash those and reuse them. Whatever you're comfortable with!

I had my husband install one of those retractable clotheslines under our deck and we now hang most things to dry. This saves on our water and electric bill. We did three loads of laundry today (energy/water saving front loader) and we only dried one. That was towels and sheets. We tried using line dried towels and it's like using a loofah! Also my daughter does her own laundry once a week and she uses the dryer (I'm just glad she does her own laundry!).

For the next thing you have to understand how our water bill is set up in my town. First you get charged for water usage on a tier system. The more water you use after the base tier the more expensive it is. THEN for sewage they charge you double whatever your water usage was. So you get charged THREE TIMES for the water you use once! You could be watering your yard or filling your pool and it still gets charged as sewer also! So we are very motivated to keep our water usage as low as possible.

I keep a bowl in the sink and a bucket on the floor next to it. When we wash our hands, rinse veggies & fruit, when I drain pasta water, when I rinse out the coffee pot etc the water gets collected in the bowl. When that gets full it gets dumped in the bucket. When the bucket is full I use the water mainly to water my flowers in the front yard and in containers on my deck (we have watering restrictions anyway with the hose).

If I have excess water I can't use to water my flowers I use it to flush the toilet. Not to gross anyone out but we use the "if it's yellow it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" rule. That is my husband and myself. My daughter won't have any of that and fortunately she has her own bathroom anyway! We also have three rainbarrells, so when we've had lots of rain and they're full we fill up buckets and bring those up to our bathroom as well as use them to fill our pond and water our flowers. This may seem extreme but, it has really helped with the water bill!

I also use up every bit of food. We eat leftovers for lunch or repackage into something else for dinner. If I can't use it right away, I wrap it up and stick it in the freezer. I just don't waste any food anymore. I haven't thrown any food in the garbage in a long time. It takes a bit of doing staying on top of what's in the fridge, what's about to go bad, what going to expire etc. But I consider it a part of my job as a homemaker.

I use to be a magazine junkie and I've cut waaaaayy back on those. Most of the time I go to Barnes & Nobles and read them there while enjoying a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee is cheaper than a magazine. My library also has a good collection of mags and I often will stop there before picking up my daughter from school and read some of the current issue. They also sell mags that people donate for 10 cents! I've scored new issues of several magazines that way.

Those are just a couple of small things we do to make our dollars stretch. What are some things that you do?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Change is Refreshing - Bookcase Makeover

In the winter I want to feel cozy in my home and in the summer (especially this summer when it's already in the 90's) I need some "psychological" cooling! I always want to get rid of everything when it gets this hot and just have a cool white minimal space. So NOT really going to happen! I love all my stuff too much to do that! But what I can do is go to a lighter palette without painting my walls. So to begin the process, I thought I'd lighten up my bookcases.

If you've been reading my blog for a while you know I like to use wallpaper, wrapping paper and fabric to back my larger pieces of furniture. If I used scrapbook paper it would take alot, alot of pieces of paper! I'm fortunate that I have a wallpaper store in my town and they have a whole wonderous backroom of discontinued rolls for under $5. So I always stop by there and pick up few rolls, especially toile.

I chose this soft romantic toile. You can see part of the pattern in the picture at the top. I almost chose a red and white toile but it didn't make me feel cool! So I'll leave that for fall or Christmas. I just love the muted tones of this toile next to the white of the bookcase!

I told you all that I bought myself a few things at Hobby Lobby that were 80% off. This is one of them. I bought a couple of things that were gold so I, of course, spray painted them white for the summer. I'll probably paint them black or my favorite red for winter! Do try this if you haven't yet. One can of spray paint goes a long way and it's really a good investment because it's such an inexpensive way to change the look of something.

Here's the after. All the pictures will open larger if you click on them.

On the top shelf I used some of my mercury glass, the white finial is from the thriftstore and my white iron flowers from the Ballard Outlet.

The middle shelf I just used some of the white iron birds that I had on the screened porch buffet.

This bottom shelf is big because I usually don't have books on it! I usually use this to do little seasonal displays. I like it because it's like a big shadowbox and frames my displays. But for the summer I decided to put the books that I'm always pulling off the shelves to read or books that I want to read. The decorative doodads were all a different colors and painted by moi.

So when I looked that the pictures I thought I didn't like the bottom shelf. It felt to busy to me. So I took the plant off (it's real btw) and lifted one of the finials with a cakestand and some Ironstone plates I found at the thriftstore this week.

Then I decided I liked it the first way better!! Do you do that? Sometimes I drive myself crazy with fussing with things!

I know it may seem like daunting task to take off all the books but I enjoy it! I see books I've forgotten about and stop and look through them. Sometimes I realize I'm no longer interested in a particular book and I donate it to my library or pass it on to a friend. Plus this is a good time to give them a dusting!

Now I have to do the other bookcase and I want to re-arrange my china cabinet. I LOVE playing with my china! I should be posting those projects next week unless we have a break in this heat wave and I can get to some things I'm doing outside.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Making Jam & HL Winner

I've been wanting to try my hand at making jam for quite sometime now. Thanks to Hip Chick's Home I found out about Freezer Jam. I picked up a package of Freezer Jam Pectin at Kroger last week so I could give it a try. It takes about 20 minutes to make and no cooking is required! You have to try it if you're like me and have been wanting to make jam but have been intimidated with the whole processing jars in boiling water thing. Sometimes you just have to take baby steps!

I live in Georgia and peaches are cheap cheap cheap right now so that's what I made. Actually I made nectarine/peach jam because I had some nectarines already. Did you know you peel a peach/nectarine like you would a tomato? I didn't! You cut a small x on one end and then you plunge it in boiling water for about 60 seconds, then you plunge it in ice water. Let them cool and start peeling where you made the x. It was very easy!

Then you crush your fruit and follow the directions on the package. Basically you let it sit for a while to "set" and then you've got jam that keeps for 3 weeks in the fridge and the rest you put in the freezer.

I made it last week and I made two jars and some for the freezer. All we had left today was part of one jar and I had to get some out of the freezer! It's that good!

I made some scones and we finished off the other jar! Now for some reason the ones I put directly into the jar are kind of saucy but the ones that I froze and then put in a jar are more jammy. I guess I didn't let it sit long enough or something but it was soooo delicious it didn't matter! It tasted so fresh, just like the fruit!

Isn't this pot and cup cute! I got it at Goodwill last week.

I started collecting monogrammed silverware about a year ago and don't have too many pieces yet. But I like to find ways to use what I have. So the little teaspoon is used today to serve the jam. I like to enjoy my collections!

I'm going to make some more peach jam this weekend but I'm going to use a different recipe. I'll let you know how that comes out.

I gotta tell you it was really delicious with scones hot from the oven and a cup of coffee even if it wasn't perfect! I always say that the fun for me is in the process of trying something new - whether or not it turns out as expected! If it does turn out then great, but if not, I always learn something. Give it a try, it couldn't be easier!

"Usefulness is not impaired by imperfection; you can drink from a chipped cup." ~ Nagel
The winner of the Hobby Lobby give-a-way is Nadine of Nadine's Nook. Please email me your address and I'll ship your package at the end of the week. Thank you to all who entered!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Wisteria Mirror Hack

Today I'm going to participate in Metamorphosis Monday hosted by Susan of Between Naps on the Porch and Today's Thrifty Treasures hosted by Rhoda of Southern Hospitality. Please be sure to check out both blogs for more fun makeovers and yardsale finds!

*All pictures open larger when you click on them.

Last week I found a mirror at Goodwill that I made over and decided that I was going to do a wall of mirrors on my tall wall in the foyer. Well guess what? I found another mirror at Goodwill for $8. Here's the before:

So I was going to very happily just paint it black and add it to the one I did last week when....

I saw this in the Wisteria catalog (my favorite catalog even over Pottery Barn).

$499 plus $75 shipping! But I loved the scale of it. Then I thought well I just got a scrolly mirror, maybe I can come up with something similar.

Is it exactly the same? Well no, but it's $491 dollars cheaper and it gives the same effect! It's hard to photograph black in my foyer as there's no natural light, but take my word for it -- it looks really good!

That's just a piece of black foam core behind the mirror. I didn't want to attach it permanently to a piece of wood because I know myself.....I'm going to want to change the color or something somewhere in the future and I didn't want to have trouble taking it off if I had glued it on something.

I actually found alot of wonderful things last week but I'm just going to show you one more.

This print was $3 and change because..... had a tear. You probably didn't even notice in the first picture. You really can't tell unless you're right on top of the print with your nose pressed to it! Now who would do that!

So I fixed it. I taped it up in the back and then borrowed my daughter's artists paints and a brush and touched it up in a few places.

But you know, for under $4 I can even put it outside on my screened porch or on my patio and not have to worry about it!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hobby Lobby Giveaway...Just Because

Hi everyone! I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and they had a couple aisles of 80% off stuff! So I bought a few things for myself and some for you. Yep, I shopped for you!

Just my way of saying thank you for being so very kind and supportive. I can always count on reading the comments and coming away feeling good about what I've done. In my real life there aren't too many people that care if I've painted something or planted something or tried something I've never tried before. It's really wonderful to have people cheer you on and support your efforts even if they don't always turn out! There are so many blogs out there and every one's time is precious. So I really appreciate you guys taking the time to visit my blog and leave such nice comments!

I figure everyone can use some new little decorative doodads so here's what I got...oh and remember if the color doesn't work for you...well get out your can of spray paint and make it work!

Here's each thing individually.

All the pictures will open larger if you need a better look at things. This key plaque is about 15 inches long.

This plate didn't come from Hobby Lobby. I got it at Goodwill.

How to enter: Leave a comment by Tuesday Midnight PST on this post. You don't have to have a blog but I do need to be able to contact you. I'll ship every where so you can be outside the US. This is a good time for those of you who don't normally comment to do so! I'll use the Random Number Generator sometime Wednesday morning to pick a winner. So I should have the winner posted by noon on Wednesday.

I'll add a few surprises to the package! See you all on Monday for a regular post.