Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thrift Store Win!

Phil and I made the rounds to our favorite thrift stores this past weekend, and came out with some sweet, sweet deals...

Everything you see on that table cost us a whopping $50 total.  That might sound like a lot, but most of that $50 went towards that painting you see on the left with the sunset scene.. that sucker ran us $35, and we splurged on that guy because we are planning to paint a favorite quote onto it ala this awesome project that inspired us. We've been searching and searching for an old, cheap painting that we liked enough to stencil over so when we finally found one we agreed on, we figured the $35 price tag was workable.  So that means we got the rest of our loot (3 frames, 2 shadow boxes, a wine rack and a big ball of jute) for $15.  Those frames and shadow boxes all ran us $1 each, on average, with most of them being discounted, the wine rack was $3.50 and the ball of jute was $2.50.  What are we going to do with all of it, you ask? And why on earth did we buy such hideously ugly stuff, you also may ask?

Well none of what you see here will stay as-is.  Like I already mentioned, the sunset painting will have a quote stenciled over.  The rest of the frames and shadow boxes will be painted/stained/altered and the content will be replaced with something personal.  Then they are all going up on the wall that is directly adjacent to our front door, to make the beginnings of what will eventually become a giant frame wall.

The wine rack is going to be painted and turned into a yarn rack to store all of my yarn in an organized fashion (instead of throwing it all in a bag where it gets tangled and impossible to sort through).

The ball of jute is going to have endless crafty possibilities.... from gluing it around a frame, to making tie backs for curtains to wrapping it around cans, jars or vases, that $2.50 ball will last me through quite a few awesome projects TBD.

So that was our successful trip to the thrift! Although the one sad-faced part of the day was that I did have to walk away from this beauty...

Most of you probably think that sucker is hideous, but I have a serious affinity for 1970's decor and art.  This was labeled as being an original 1976 painting, and the second I saw it I wanted it. Bad. But Phil is one of those many who thought it was hideous and wouldn't let me adopt it. Wah wah wah..... oh well. It will live on forever in my dreams, though!

Lesson Learned: It's worth the intense brain power required to sort through thousands upon thousands of items in a thrift store to score some awesome, inspiring deals.  Also, it's hard these days to go to a thrift store and not hear this in my head the whole time... 

Anyone else score sweet finds at a thrift store recently? Got any favorite thrift stores that are sure to deliver?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane

When updating my frames with some new pictures the other day, I realized that I have a habit that may be worth sharing.  Maybe everyone does this, but if not, everyone should.  Basically, to whatever extent your frames allow, a fun way to have periodic trips down Memory Lane, straight through the heart of Nostalgiaville, is to keep any pictures you replace in your frames hibernating behind your new picture. Bonus points if you keep a consistent subject in said frame (i.e., a child, a pet, a particular friend or group of friends).  Instead of taking old photos out and throwing them in an old shoebox somewhere, let them renew their lease in your frame....

Nest pictures behind each other in a frame for a surprise visit from the past each time you open it up!
What this allows you to do is get a surprise visit from your old pictures, and witness the development and growth of the subjects over time every time you open the frame to pop in a new picture.  My parents did this with my yearly school pictures when I was growing up, and it was so fun to get to see them in succession each time a new one came along. So I've found myself doing this with my picture frames as well, and enjoyed watching my timeline with my best friend Kristen develop when I added an updated picture of us today...

The top picture is circa 2006, middle picture is circa 2009 and the bottom picture is from this past summer. It warmed my heart and brought back fond memories to find the top picture tucked behind the middle picture (which had been front and center in the frame until today), and it will warm my heart next time I add a new picture to see one more to reminisce over (and so on for years to come...).

It's my little secret that that picture frame holds a little piece of friendship history!

Lesson Learned: While no one else may ever know, it's super fun to have hidden pieces of nostalgia and sentimentality scattered about your house, and nesting old photos behind each other in a frame is a fantastic way to do just that!

I'm genuinely curious... have any of you ever done this, or is this a relatively novel concept for most people?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

We've tried our hardest to ascribe to the philosophy that patience is a virtue when it comes to filling our house with things we love. Our instincts have at times told us to run to the nearest big-box home store and just fill our house with what we need right away, in the spirit of not feeling like we are perpetually living in an unfinished space. We've held out, though, and worked with what we have, trusting in the house-powers-that-be, and that we would stumble upon the right pieces at the right times. And, behold!  In the case of our kitchen storage dilemma, we were rewarded!

See, we have this gap of empty wall space between the window in our kitchen and the sliding door that leads out to the sunroom. A gap just begging to be filled with something. We knew right away we wanted to use that little space (which is about 3 feet wide... and, again, I failed to take a before shot of this particular spot so I can't show you what I'm talking about without spoiling the surprise) to add some counter space and storage to our kitchen. Initially, we filled that spot with a console table/wine rack we've had for years that we used to use in the entry way of our apartment as a spot for keys, mail, etc.  I also have no pictures of what it looked like in that spot, but here it is in it's new (and temporary) home, just so you have a visual of what we were working with for the first 5 months or so....

As you can see, it provides a teeny bit of "counter space," (it's only about 10 inches deep) and zero storage space (except for wine, of course).  Suffice it to say we were perpetually in the market for something that gave us a little more help in the kitchen.  We wanted something along the lines of this, your average "kitchen cart:"

Problem was, these puppies tend to run $200-400+, and we went months without finding anything that was affordable. Until we stumbled upon this pretty lady at a local flea market:

Isn't she beautiful? (Excuse the Piper photo-bomb).. we love this piece, and we didn't have to do a thing to it.. we were lucky enough to find something with the refurbished DIY look we love, without having to do any of the grunt work, and for a mere $75! We were initially thinking we might want to paint it, because we weren't sure how the green would go in our blue kitchen, but we kind of love the unexpected color pop, and think that the colors actually go just fine with each other.  Also doesn't hurt that it's forcing us out of our sometimes matchy-matchy instincts. Here's a different perspective to better show you how it fills our gap...

A perfect fit, no? And just enough space to give us decent workspace on top, two more junk drawers (because everyone needs more junk drawers!), and we've finally found a resting place for our oversized boxes of Costco goodies that previously lived as eyesores above our cabinets. Now let's revel in it's beauty with some close up shots...


She's sporting some gloriously unique and vintage hardware that I loooooove...

LESSON(S) LEARNED: Patience, grasshopper! It pays to hold out for that special moment when you stumble upon the perfect piece for the perfect price at the most unexpected time, in the most unexpected place (did I just write a Dr. Seuss poem?!). Also, turn off the ugly date-stamp on your new digital camera. (Yikes, sorry about those eyesores mucking up all the pictures)

Anyone else had similarly serendipitous run-ins with the Perfect Piece?