Friday, February 18, 2011

New projects

Toured my favorite haunts the other day and picked up a few things that called to me:

Can you guess what it is?

The next dog bed

And this Spring decor item, ... had to have it

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hotel Liquidators, Icky or cool?

My sister and I stay in one particular hotel when we go to see our dad for longer than a day.  Originally when we started staying there over a year ago it was decorated Lodge style- large chunky knotty pine wood furntiure and rolled arm upholstered pieces in plaids and other lodge-y prints.  It was really nice, IMO.

They recently started to renovate, and I am dying to know where that furntiure went cause I would love to snap a few pieces up [and really I should just call them and ask.  I mean they're almost family, we're there so much!].

I researched liquidated hotel furniture a while ago, looking for a way to decorate this house on the cheap, the usual theme here.

I found this place in CT, which appears to be the closest place to me, and boy do they have great deals!
Of course the husband is ick'd out by the idea.   Honestly, I'm surprised he was ok with the Habitat for Humanity chairs I bought and rehabbed.  He's pretty squeamish about germs and that kind of stuff.  How he married a girl who believes in a 5 minute rule for dropped food, even if said food is dropped in a barn, butter side down... ok, so I did wipe off the butter that hit the floor, but... I was HUNGRY!  And please note, I lived.  *smirk*

Love this couch 

and this Loveseat 

I hate brass, but spray paint can fix that

and I really want a floor lamp floor lamp or two
[at that price I could get 2!!]

Look at this armoire 

A little pricier, but very nice armoire

how about these armoires ?
[note this liquidators also links the items in a set to the item you are looking at, very enabling of them...]
And the matching sleeper sofa for $130.  
Too bad they’re in Colorado!  I'm not.  How much do you think shipping would add to the price?

If you’re in California, which I am NOT...
Now explain to me if a hotel can buy, use for 2 years, then sell to a liquidator lamps that the liquidator then sells for $20 or less each with a profit in there for them... WHY are lamps so pricey in stores?  WHY!

So has anyone ever been to one of these places?  What did you find?
Icky or cool?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Armoires

I bought 3 of these armoires, originally built-ins, in the fall

I was playing around with just painting them, but I wasn't loving that.  Then I came across that lovely wallpaper and got a hankering to wallpaper... but being afraid to do any papering to our house I wavered.  Then my sister suggested papering these armoires, and with 2 papers I really want to use, perfection!

I started on the first one this weekend.

The plan is to paper the outsides of the doors,  insides of the frame, and then the back of the interior

They have shelves for the upper half, as well as a rod

I started the doors on the one that will be black with the wallpaper I used on my desk

primed, and ready for the black paint, and then paper inside the frame [where it's dark]

This is the paper that will go on/in this one
The challenge will be centering the paper in the frame on the outside of the door.

This is the paper on the back for the hutch to my new desk, which is finally done and almost ready for a reveal.

The other paper I want to use for the second armoire:
with the body of the armoire being that cream background color

As for the 3rd armoire?  I'm not sure.  Perhaps I will fall in love with one of these and have to do a second one?  Or come up with something completely different?

Now I need to go get ready for our early Valentines night out.  We have not had a date night since August when my mom and sister came to babysit and sent us to a spa as our last years Xmas gift.  We're due, I think!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Putting this house together

Making a house a home is work.
Doing it on a budget is a whole lot of slow, tedious work.
I generally know what I want, it's just a matter of finding it, or finding something I can make into 'it'.

I've talked about the finishing items we put into this house that were salvaged items SALVAGE

Furnishing it has also been a matter if hunting and picking and primping. 

I have wanted a desk with hutch for my little office corner of my kitchen forever.. in fact it was supposed to be built right in... but then the builder cut our kitchen budget, and I had to start cutting things out... the Butlers Pantry which we finally finished Butler Pantry , the hutch, which I've made do with a variety of 'stand-ins', HUTCHES and this desk.

After seeing several desks with hutches that did not work for various reasons [size, style, price, location] I saw an ad on Craigslist a few weeks ago, and bought this desk.  It's not quite what I wanted, but I thought I could make it work.  Like many pieces of furniture it's made of wood and cardboard, so I ripped off that cardboard backer and planned to replace it once I had the thing painted.  I went with the same black as my chairs  CHAIRS  
I primed, painted, distressed, and had her ready for the back.  I waited a few weeks for hubby to borrow a saw to cut the stuff I had leftover from the china cabinet down to fit, then yesterday I decided I was not going to mess around with what I knew would not work, and went to Home Depot to get plywood that I figured would take wallpaper.

Yesterday, getting that desk back bought and cut to fit at Home Depot was about the only thing that went as planned [WHAT a DAY!], and today I decided to stick with small victories and I wallpapered it.

I had picked up these wallpaper rolls at my local Benjamin Moore store a few weeks ago, out of their closeout/seconds/returns bin.  Love that bin by the way... wallpaper is awesome for covering books, covering boxes for storage, and lining drawers or cabinet interiors.

I have no idea what I am doing with this one

This one is probably for lining drawers

These two I plan to use on the armoires I have waiting patiently for my attention in the garage.  It was my sisters idea to do each one different, with the paper inside the frame of the door, and then inside the armoire.  Thanks Suz!!

And this black one I also wanted to use as the back for the desk hutch

Here's the desk hutch
See how it's basically slabs of wood, a la paneled?  It was that dark brown 70's finish originally.  I did not take any before pictures, it was too cold in the garage where I do the the sanding!
look at what a mess the dining room/play room/moms work room is!

And here's the back getting papered

Remember the fiasco that was papering the back of the China cabinet? HERE  The trick is to use plywood, which does take wallpaper, and not that pressboard, which does not.

And here it is, with the back leaning up against it cause I just could not wait to see it.  I like the mix of the rugged slab wood hutch and the formal, feminine wallpaper.

The final finishing touches will be a bit of crown molding I got to put at the top, and then of course, the desk that goes below it...

The Big Reveal!
Here's the desk in place and partly outfitted

I did not add the crown molding I had, because obviously it would not fit around the top.  I think it looks okay without it.  Once she's dressed with baskets, cookbooks and otherwise organized you'll never miss it!

And in the vein of 'nothing is ever done', I need to add a new top to this baby, because of that bohemoth computer that I loathe.  There's just no actual desk space to use with that gynormous thing on there.  Someday I'll get with the times and get a nice laptop, but that is many many sold items and years down the road.

So what do you think?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Under 100: or Undiscovered Diamonds

Ok, so I forgot to contact the lady I want to highlight today, so it will have to wait until later....

Until then, I'm watching a movie with my kid who has another 2 hour delay today, and then I am going ice skating at the local rink.  I used to ice skate All.  The.  Time.  As a kid.  Seriously, dawn to dusk on the creek that ran through our front yard.  But I have not skated since college... so this should be... 'interesting'.

We have a pond across the lane that belongs to the Outlaw, but the surface really is up to the Gods, and they are not consistently kind.  So I get to do a tiny bit of skating on there, and it's truly perfect for teaching my son on, but for me to actually get a workout... not so much.

Skating, even the basic forward and backward crossovers and stroking, truly is excellent exercise, great for the legs, butt, back and core.  So I am heading to the local rink where the surface is more consistent and the size large enough for me to actually get some speed... I'm just hoping it is not too crowded.

Enjoy your morning!

Ok I admit I was looking at Blogs.
And I was reading Sharis [My Cottage of Bliss]  post about cleaning out her parents place... and I figured while I'm sitting here I could share some pictures of the items I found in my fathers barn I had to clean out last spring.  [ok scratching that because apparently my Mac needs another cup of coffee or a swift kick youknowwhere, cause all I get to do is scroll down 2 rows of pics and then sit for 2 minutes watching that spinning colorwheel thingamabob... today is apparently NOT my day]

Anyway... back to cleaning out my Dads barn.... Man it was cold in there, and the emotions of that task made me shiver even more... there was so much stuff and in each box there was junk mixed in with treasures.  Truly you had to look in EVERY box, and go through every item in each box.

I was really 'obsessed' with not losing one thing that was my families- there were items in there from my Great Grandparents and as I wrote in a previous blog, this task and these items really gave me a family connection I was seeking...

And just a note, trying to find these pictures reminds me that the computer and my files are just another 'room' to clean and organize... and I really need to get on it!  I need to sell something so I can buy a computer that can handle the functions I am asking it to do without having to put everything before committee...  *headdesk*

WHAT A DAY!!!  I will not go into details, let's just say not much else went right today...

Anyway, I finally found the pictures of some of my Grandmothers China

This is the cake topper from My Grandmother and Grandfathers wedding cake.

This bowl ended up being white, but this brown crud was on Every Single Piece.
It took soaking the pieces, and then cleaning with a toothbrush and in some cases running them through the dishwasher on the China setting to get them clean.

This was my Grandmothers good set of China, there are several pieces of this pattern

State Fair, 1906

This is my Great Grandmother and Grandfather on my Grandmothers side.
I have several items of theirs, including some poems and cards sent from one to the other before they were married.

Anyway, there were boxes and boxes of this stuff.  China that I unpacked, cleaned, photographed, and then rewrapped and boxed.  Photos- that I am still going through and trying to identify each person in.  A rug my Grandmother was working on, that is partially done.  Many of her crocheted items, including a bedspread I would really like to get repaired so I could use it.  Her cookbook she used at her wood fired iron stove.  The miniature of that stove that we kids played with, and her Punch and Judy metal bank- and I'm still anxious to break it open and see what coins are in there!  About 4 dressers, a miniature roll top desk, and several chairs I would like to get the seats recaned so they could be used.  There was only one of my grandmothers chairs, with the needlepoint seat she made to match her china.  

I think we made 4 or 5 trips there and home with loads of stuff.  Half my garage has been devoted to the items and the real challenge is finding a way to store them so that I can use them and rotate them on display in the Butler Pantry:

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Under 100 Club

Here's the first blogger with under 100 followers who I think is an Undiscovered Diamond:

I loved this post of hers, below, taking a discarded window and making it into a hutch!  Genius!
And since I am [STILL] working on that window for my sister, it hit me right where my creativity lives .

I really, really want a tufted ottoman/coffee table in my living room, in front of the fireplace.  A nice spot to sit and read a book, or put your feet up and converse... and look what Nan made!  She makes it sound so easy, I might just give it a try.

Nan, best of luck to you getting to your goal of 100 followers!   And nice work lady!

Have to add something... I posted something I made a few years ago on a forum, and thought ya'll might like to see it too!

Remember those long stocking hats we had in the early 70s?  Well I was reminiscing and wanted one for my son, so I made one.

Here he is modeling it.

Pretty easy to make, just two ^ shaped pieces stitched up the sides, and then knot the top, fringe what sticks out of the knot [you can adjust the knot for longer/shorter fringe or add extra fabric at that end for more fringe or another pattern of fringe to show], and roll up the bottom to fit head [thus they grow with your kid].

Then I was playing with my helmet and made this:

Same idea, though I hemmed the end so that there was not alot of bulk over the brim.

My Grandmothers Diary:  I had been including in each blog entry, the entry from my own Grandmothers Diary from that day in 1937.  I did not get alot/any comments on those, so I've assumed they really aren't of much interest to anyone else, and am dropping them.  If I'm wrong, just say so and I can put them back...

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I've been very frustrated lately.
It seems like many other, more popular blogs ask for submissions of items, sometimes very specific ones sometimes a general theme.  I send mine in, and wait.  And wait.  And wait.
Most of them NEVER even respond, with a kind 'No thank you'.  In fact I have NEVER heard from any of them save one.  Getting the word out there about Late Bloomers is just not happening.

Anyway, I was thinking and looking at other blogs the other day and I started to pay attention to how many followers each one had, and if they had been featured anywhere.  I was wondering how many out there in blog-dom are like me?  Wanting to do more with what they're doing, hoping it takes off, but starting to doubt it ever will.
And then I had an idea... how about we give some props to the unsung heros out there... the blogs who really do neat-o things, but very few know about it 'cause their blog has so few followers?

There are so many diamonds out there, waiting to be discovered.

So I thought starting tomorrow I would feature a link to one of them each day... perhaps a link to their blog that touched me personally the most?  Each one I looked at, and I think I stopped at over 20, I found something about one of their posts that I could relate to.  None of them had more than 100 followers.  All of them had some great ideas.

Til tomorrow....