Message!

After finishing up my most recent trip to the thrift store, I noticed a woman in my rear view mirror with a LARGE tub of shoes. She wheeled her buggy out of the store and was looking a bit perplexed as she opened the back of her SUV while steadying the cart.

I got out of my car and asked if she needed help and she put her hands together and said, “Thank GOD! I bought this thinking I can send it in a barrel to Haiti, but I had no idea how I was going to lift it. I just figured, I’ll buy it, and God will find a way”

I helped her put the container in her car and said, “I guess that’s life. Sometimes you don’t have a plan, but God does”.

She told me how much of a blessing I was to her and we parted ways.

While driving away I had what I can only describe as “a moment”. That moment that makes you catch your breath and really THINK/FEEL the gifts you’ve been given.

I don’t have a solid plan, but great things are coming and that message from The Universe, God, Allah, Jehovah, The Great Being, The Man In The Sky….WHATEVER you choose to call it- was very clear.

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Short Trip

I had a few minutes to burn today between my consulting gig that I picked up and running errands, so I stopped at a local thrift store.

I LOVE this store. I’ve found some really great finds that I’ve listed on eBay or kept for myself, or gifted to friends that collect odds and ends.

This particular store has not only a massive selection of clothing, accessories, and home goods, but the entire 2nd floor has furniture. Yes 2 stories of thrifted amazingness. Today I just roamed the furniture, took a few pics of the awesome stuff here:

I was in….AWE. There are times where I create stories for these pieces. Like where did they live? Who made them? How were they used/decorated/paired, etc? Just imagine the stories some of your own furniture could tell? That one time your son wrote on the table, the spills, the dinners eaten at your table, the holidays and birthdays celebrated….the personal history each piece holds makes it just THAT much more special.

I always think of what stories my family will add. It’s just beautiful!

Eye for the odd…

In my current state of “free time”, I like to roam thrift stores. Who am I kidding? I like to roam thrift stores. Period.

It’s fun, relaxing, destressing, and helps me to clear my mind. It’s like meditation, but walking through a dusty store filled with random people’s throw aways that will make me sneeze.

Each item tells a story. Sometimes I come up with how a particular item came to be, or how it ended up at this particular thrift store. It reminds me of library storytime as a kid. Sometimes the person reading the story would have an old relic of some sort to relate the story to, and make it stick. It was essentially like a history lesson, sometimes completely made up or entirely embellished.

I have an eye for the strange or unusual at thrift stores. Its almost like I’m drawn to these random oddbits by some magnet. For example…

I don’t know what it is, but I love it! It’s like a ceramic sideshow. Miss Tiffani’s Oddity Emporium……has a ring to it….hmmmm….

In any case, I end up buying them because maybe I can sell them in my imaginary antique store(which, as of late, has manifested into eBay). I genuinely have fun finding these odd ones, cleaning them up and texting pics of them to my friends that freak them out.

Maybe I’ll take you along for my next trip? It’ll be fun.

It’s Been 2 Weeks…

Please, don’t resist the urge to break out singing Barenaked Ladies.

BUT, my friends, that’s not why I’ve returned. You see…recently my schedule has opened up GREATLY and I’ve got some time on my hands. I’m in a state that I’ve never been in since I was about 16 years old. What state is that you say? “Unemployed”, I say.

It is more than anything, WEIRD. I’m used to my schedule. I’m used to waking at the crack of dawn, having my cup of coffee with Grandma(really cool mug I’ve got kinda makes me feel like I’m hanging with her in the morning).

Black mug that reveals an image when hot liquid is poured inside

Magic mug is THE best gift ever!

Now, I wake up at the crack of dawn, and have my coffee while job hunting in my PJ’s.

I have to admit, it’s a welcome break. I actually haven’t taken a break from work in 20 years. Even on maternity leave, I still worked or had some odd job that brought in income.

For now, I’ll continue my job hunt, cleaning and reorganizing my house, and selling all the random odds, weirds and interesting finds on eBay. 🙂

Until next time!

Fit For a Prince

A really good friend of mine, V, is having a baby, and GUESS WHO the godmother is?!?!?

ME! That’s right, folks, someone thinks it’s a good idea to entrust me with their child and has essentially made me part of their family. AWESOME! 

The first order of business as a Godmother is to work out the baby shower,  etc…  When she told me she was pregnant,  I IMMEDIATELY started planning. Maybe I’m crazy, but I like to be prepared.  Initially,  I was into the Batman vs. Superman hype. I got caught up. And as the parent of a 6 year old superhero, that’s not hard to do. 

When we REALLY started planning, that idea fell away and the “Little Prince” theme was born! 

As the crafty friend, my job was to handle the details, and the cake. 

My natural first pick on the cake was Susie, aka The Florida Cake Lady, aka awesome owner and cake artist extraordinaire at Susie’s Scrumptious Sweets. You’ve NEVER had cake until you’ve had one of Susie’s masterpieces. What my friend wanted was a simple 2 layer cake in the satin blue, with gold accents. I’m a bit more go big or go home kinda gal, so I stuck with the idea and added a layer. Especially for a shower where 60+ people have RSVP’d.  So I went BIG and added candy and balloons for this masterpiece.

Isn’t it gorgeous? Yes, I know! This was an elegant affair. Gold draping from the ceiling, etc…. there was a “final draft” to the cake table, which I thought the professional photographer got, but we won’t go there. Anyway…..

For the idea of the pergola/canopy, you need awesome chairs. My immediate thought were these amazing chairs that V had in her backyard. Ok, amazing may be an over exaggeration. She told me I was crazy but said, “Ok, Martha Stewart, come on over and Mary Poppins these chairs that you think are so perfect”

I picked up these magnificent chairs, took them apart and got to work. Now…the chairs are fabric and wood. And I’m NOT a reupholstery expert, but I know paint. I’ve read many wow makeovers where paint has made such a difference in fabric furniture and knew this was the direction I was taking. 
First, 2 coats of white chalk paint to fade out any stains, discoloration,  and mostly that awful green color.

I spraypainted the wood in gold, then I was ready to apply the magnificent satin blue….which was rather appropriately named, “Flashy Sapphire”.

GLORIOUS! 

 I used regular latex paint, but sprayed the fabric with a 1 part fabric softener and 2 parts water mixture to keep it from getting STIFF. I also sanded between coats and finished it with a sealer. They feel like leather and I LOVE that the upholstery texture/design came through so well.

The thrones for mom and dad were DONE!
 Now for the odds, ends, and centerpieces. I had some leftover gold paint, giant bottles, and ideas aplenty. The day or 2 before the shower, looked like this:


Yes, those are all dollar store trinkets and lions (from amazon) spray painted gold.

The centerpieces were painted, ribboned and complete. My aunt made these awesome pacifier balloons to go everywhere and the party was HAD. Food was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. and we all had a BLAST. (I just wish the photographer had been more competent and provided pics for me to show you how well it all came together, but again….we won’t go there). 

Maybe someone has pics I can grab to show you how FABULOUS it all turned out!

The End Of The 80’s

After nearly 3 years, I’ve FINALLY decided to get rid of the last of our 80’s wallpaper and HIDEOUS vertical blinds.  They’ve done the trick, and blocked out the sun while providing lots of privacy, however, they NEED to go.  The fact that  my son hit them with an exercise ball and caused them to collapse, certainly helps. 🙂

What I started out with was….I don’t even know.  Just look….

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So….I realized I don’t have a picture of it without a Christmas tree in front of it. And for good reason. I mean…just LOOK!

Anyway, here’s the aftermath of it being knocked down.

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As you see, this room is bare. Hence why playing with a ball in the house to knock it down in the first place isn’t exactly “taboo”.

Anyway, I pulled it all down and began stripping the remainder of the wallpaper.

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The plan here is to paint just the “cove” area and put the curtains up for now. Then I’ll figure out a real plan for this room….maybe…

After roughly 2 coats of paint, here’s what I ended up with:

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I decided to paint over the metal in the middle of the windows as well.  The room is now so amazingly bright!

I found some basic Levan curtains at Ikea, and hung up 155″ inches of curtain. It took 6 panels to cover the window, but I’m pretty happy with the end result. I also left them a little long for now, since there is some flooring to take place and I don’t know how the length will look once complete.

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Now on to tackle the rest of the room….and the garden. 🙂

Chalk Paint Pass or Fail

I’ve been looking for a TV stand for a while now, and I wanted something with some COLOR.   I really like this one from Target:

Nice deep red TV stand, via Target

Thing is, it’s over $200 and NOT in the budget.  What I did find were a few lovelies from Craigslist and Offerup.  After taking many measurements, getting “already sold it” messages, and a bit of frustration, I found this gal for $20:

20151017_180150[1]Not exactly what I was looking for, but I saw the potential, AND it was $20.  I mean, that’s almost FREE.  Anyway, I also wanted to experiment with this chalk paint that everyone is raving about and if I messed up a $20 piece, no biggie!  I didn’t want to distress this piece in any way, but I wanted some texture and rich color, which chalkpaint seems to offer.

The prices on chalk paint, are pretty ridiculous, so I used a plaster of paris, water, and latex paint recipe that I found online and went to work.  What I got was this:

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BRIGHT pink, Super-Dee Duper PINK, Barbie Dreamhouse Pink, Pinker-than-any-panther-EVER pink….I text my good friend C with an, “OMG, WHAT HAVE I DONE” type text and then watched as it dried.  And BOY does this paint dry quickly.  It remained a deep fuchsia and I decided that maybe I should go darker, but left it overnight to see if there was some miracle that could save it and if not, I was going to just paint it black and move on(blah!).

The next morning, I awoke to this, and I could hear angels singing, birds chirping, etc….

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I gave it another coat to fill in the color changes and reviewed my options for sealing it.  Now, what I see of chalk paint is that it’s sealed using finishing wax, but that idea scares me.  I don’t want that waxy finish necessarily, and I don’t want to re-wax this every few months.  If I seal it with a polycrylic, then I don’t have to seal it again- ever.  ALSO, should I decide to repaint this ever again, I won’t have to strip the wax from it first.  With that said, polycrylic it is! And, voila!

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I added gray on the inside for some interest, but kept the shelves the same color as the unit

tv stand

ALL DONE(now to just fix those cables….and setup the speakers….and….whatever….)

I think this came out very well, I just wish it was bigger.  It’ll work for now and it was a great experimental project for $20.  Paint and supplies were an additional $8 since I had much of it already on hand.  That’s a FAR cry from the $200 unit at Target, so it’s like I saved $173!

I also learned a bit about chalk paint.  I like it. I like it A LOT.  I also learned that it’s a bit more absorbent than standard latex paint.  So it’ll go on over just about anything, but it may absorb any residue from below it.  There was a stain(oil of some sort) on the top of this unit that never quite went away even though I cleaned it before I started. It’s fine though, I think it gives it some character. 🙂

Moral of the story is: It’s just paint don’t panic.  And maybe chalk paint isn’t ideal for every project.(but it worked awesome for this one!!!)