Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm All Aglow

Not sure if you are noticing a trend with the whole 'light thing'....It's totally by accident.  Today I have been painting like crazy. I am working on about 10 projects at the same time. I also managed to clean out this side area of our yard. I didn't mean to. I was looking for something that I wanted to paint and of course it was buried under a ton of stuff on the potting table so I decided it was time to clean that whole area out. Bonus for me, because I came across several things I forgot that I had, such as wrought iron plant stands. Look for the redo on those in an upcoming post.

I've had these candle holders forever and just didn't have a place in the house for them anymore. During a recent visit my gf and I played a game of use it or lose it and these were in the pile for me to use...if only I could find a place for them in the next 3 months...well that was only about 2 months ago so I'm way ahead of schedule.  I'm thinking that the extra month will be like rollover minutes and I can apply it to another project!

They aren't bad...just dark and I'm not into dark right now. So a little Rust-oleum primer and some Rust-oleum gloss white and they were well on there way to a new life. I wanted to use them outside, but as it can be a bit breezy where we are I needed to find a way to make a hurricane shade for them.

I took a trip to my local Dollar Tree and found clear glass candle holders and these really pretty glass rocks.  I glued the glass onto the bases.  I already had the paint so total cost was about $5 for the glass holders and the rocks!

I can't wait to see how they will look at night with the candles lit!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shed Some Light On It

I'm all about my outdoor space at the moment. I have tons of indoor projects, but just can't seem to focus on any of them. All I can think about is beautifying our yard.

Today was rainy...hello? it's May in California...we don't usually get rain in May. Because of the rain I was forced to start a few of my indoor projects. More to come on those shortly.

I've been looking for lighting solutions for the cabana for a while. A few weeks ago while hitting a local thrift store, I came across this lantern. It was meant for a candle, but I knew I could figure out a way to actually light it. Not only is the scale perfect, I fell in love with the color - weathered and warm.

I took a hole saw bit saw and drilled a hole through the top and then filled it with a strand of white twinkle lights.   The twinkle lights were our previous light source. I love the soft glow they cast.

an added cobwebs in the lights!

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Show and Tell Blue Cricket Design

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Alfresco Dining

Ahhhhh Summer is in the air. One of my favorite things about summer is dining alfresco - breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if possible.  Our backyard is a constant project. It seems like as soon as I get one area done, I find another that needs attention - it just never seems to end.

I had a weekend of guests and I was so excited to being our alfresco season. Unfortunately it was too chilly to eat dinner outside. I decided to leave the table set with linens and I have been enjoying morning coffee and lunch.  I should probably feel a little guilty, but I've come up with two very good reasons to justify this;  
1. I've been working on my backyard to-do's
2. I've been exercising the puppy

Works for me!

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Great tabletop ideas  A Stroll Thru Life
Need a reason? Reasons to skip the housework

Monday, May 23, 2011


Saying I got a good deal at the thrift store just doesn't seem to convey my excitement. As anyone who thrifts knows, you just never know what you are going to find, and sometimes go home empty handed. Recently I was visiting my family in Santa Barbara and decided to hit the local thrift stores.  Wow! I will make it a point to do that every time I am in about some great stuff!  I have a few projects to post, but I think this one is one of the best deals.

I found these Pottery Barn Crown Molding Shelves under a pile of stuff.  I almost passed right by. I knew I had to have them, not because I needed them, but because the price was so fab. They were marked $14.99 but everything was 50% off. A Steal! They retail for $75 each at PB.

I must confess, I bought them even though I had no idea what I where I was going to put them. With all the purging I've been doing, I promised myself I wouldn't buy anything unless I had a specific need....

You can see in the photo that they were a little beaten up - nothing a can of Rust-oleum Heirloom White couldn't fix.

Soon after I got home I found a place for them, so technically I didn't break my rule. ;-)

I have a vaulted ceiling in my bedroom and this wall needed something! I staggered them for visual interest as well as practicality. The practical part is leaving a space for the lamp. I'm still working on the shelfscape - ideas welcome!

I'm headed to Santa Barbara next week - definitely going to hit the thrift stores there again!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pillows, Pillows, and Placemats?

A short time ago I was cruising through Blogland. This happens on a regular basis whenever I want to avoid doing any number of life's to-dos. I always find inspiration, and sometimes I find my sanity. Today I'm sharing this at Centsational Girl. This is one of my top 5 favorite blogs.

I hopped over to House of Hepworths - this woman will not disappoint. She is always working on something fabulous. On this particular day I was looking to do something; but the something couldn't require a lot of time or money. Allison blogged about turning placemats into pillows - brilliant!  How is it I never thought of it?!!! I've turned napkins into pillows and in all honesty I have about 10 that are waiting to be sewn. But placemats??? Could it really be that simple?  In a word YES! I think this may be one of my new addictions for a quickie project to get that "fix."

I popped into Cost Plus while running errands and found some really cute placemats for $2.99. I would have to dig in the remnants bin for a while to find such a deal.  So I purchased 5 and then off to Michael's for filler.

That night after my daughter was tucked in I sat on the couch guessed it my glass of wine turned on my DVR and 30 minutes later I had 5 new super cute outdoor pillows!

A few pix of the process...

I used a seam ripper to open a hole just large enough for my hand to fit through.

Next I just took small handfuls of filler and stuffed it in, smoothing as I stuffed.  I used 1 bag for all 5 pillows.  Once they were stuffed, I just whipstitched it. If I were not so lazy, I could have used my sewing machine for a more professional repair...but like I said I was/am lazy.

Super cute outdoor pillows in 30 minutes. 

A few things to note;

1. You need 2 layer placemats
2. You may want to scotchguard if they will be outside

I will never look at a placemat the same way again!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover

I've been remiss in my postings again, but I swear I have a really good reason! I went to New Orleans for Jazz Fest a little over a week ago (New Orleans post coming soon) and when I came home last week, I literally fell and broke my hand before I ever set foot in the house. Crazy huh??? I survived stumbling through the French Quarter every night at 3am but can't make it through my own backyard. I wish the story was more interesting....

I never thought about how much we use our takes me twice as long to do everything.  Ladies, ever try and hook your bra one-handed? Don't even get me started on my hair or my daughter's....Little by little I am adjusting and am now able to finally type without a one-handed chicken peck.

Now on with the show....

I was looking around my house the other day and noticed I use books a lot as decorating accessories. Rarely jut standing on end in a bookcase. It seems I am addicted to using them as pedestals for other accessories. 

I've heard that books give insight into the person(s) living in the home....can you tell we like to travel?

I think this is one of the few places I have books on end. The books on the far right are from my childhood - I didn't have to buy Pottery Bard vintage books. Wait! Does this mean I am vintage???

More vintage books from my childhood.

...and a few more examples of books as accessories

These are the only examples I could find where the books are more function than form.  Our nightstands are too short for our bed. (Redoing them is on my never-ending list)

I heard a long time ago that you are supposed to remove the book jacket.  I've noticed lately that I see books displayed both ways. In some cases the books absolutely look better without the jackets, but in others I think I prefer the jacket. Weird right?

Do you decorate with books? With or without the cover?