Friday, January 21, 2011

Taking a Personal Day

I started today with the best of intentions for getting a lot of work done. After all, there are orders to be packed, new items to be listed on etsy, website pictures to update, supplies to be ordered, soap to make...  Not to mention the small mountain of laundry.

But, as it turns out, my lingering urge to paint my dining room table (which up to this point has been twarted by my lack of paint) crystalized into a full-blown project upon realizing that the leftover wall paint from re-doing the kitchen might just be the perfect gentle off white that I was looking for. Bingo! An hour later, I had my white table. (Pictures coming soon)

But as always, one decorating thing leads to another... And so, my entire morning and early afternoon was spent painting, rehanging pictures, moving unwanted chairs to the basement, swapping things like yellowware bowls and ironstone pitchers between the kitchen and china cabinet, and to top it all off, unloading the hundreds of books from our bookshelves in order to shove them a foot and a half to the left.  For me, a very fun morning :)

Now it's off to more practical things, like packing the 3 etsy orders that came in today...

Vintage Setlzer Bottle - Penn Bottling Company

2nd ST. - Vintage Street Sign
Set of 8 Delicate White Ironstone Butter Pats - Assorted

...and turning that laundry mountain into a small hill, at the very least.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our New Digs - Part 3

Our next stop on the tour is the bedroom.  It's the only room in the house with hardwood floors, which I absolutely adore.  There are two big windows, again clothed in my favorite floor-to-ceiling curtains.  The bedroom sits in the east corner of the house, so once the days start to get a little longer as we inch towards springtime, the earlier sunrises will bathe this room in light. 

Surprisingly (especially to me) our bedroom ended up red.  Well, okay, accented in red.  But in my book, this is as red as any room in my house is likely to get. I am definately not a red-paint-on-the-walls kind of girl. No offense to those of you who are - I just know it would drive me loony in a matter of days.  I thrive with a backdrop of neutrality. 

But, I found this beautiful antique red and white quilt at an antique mall several months ago (for a steal, I might add) and it was the perfect piece to build a room around. Paired with a few less-than-antique finds...

... like this Pottery Barn pillow cover and a red striped rug from Target, my red bedroom came together.

We haven't splurged on a headboard yet, so in the meantime a simple antique mirror that I picked up at a flea market for $2.00 acts as a beautiful focal point above the bed.

A chippy white dresser also serves as my vanity, with the addition of a few antique crocks and baskets to stash all of my makeup and jewelry, and a wood-framed mirror from Target (I love Target - those beautiful bedside wood lamp bases and linen-look shades are Target finds, too!)

What I love even more than a beautiful antique is a bargain.  I am thrifty to the core, and I love finding dirt-cheap decor that doesn't look it. This little burlap cushioned bench is just such a bargain.  When I bought it at a second-hand store, it was painted bright white with ugly blue floral fabric.  I brushed on a couple coats of cream and tan paint to age it, recovered the top with burlap, and added a border of decorative flat-head nails to finish it off. The result?  I have the look of a french antique for around $15.  And I found the antique feed sack pillow, usually insanely expensive, for $10 at an antique show.

Proof that with the right mix of affordable antiques, repurposed finds, and brand new Target style, a beautiful bedroom doesn't have to cost a fortune!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Our New Digs - Part 2

The kitchen is remarkably beautiful compared to where it started.  Now, I am notoriously horrible at taking "before" pictures when I start a project.  I know I should, but usually I am far too impatient to get stuff finished to put anything in the way of getting started.   And I guess I don't find that much joy in documenting the ugly.  But, I did snap a few quick pictures of the old kitchen before I painted.  And when I say ugly...

Yellow and white are not bad kitchen colors in theory.  In this case, however, I imagine that whoever painted it said, "Great. I need yellow paint and white paint. How hard can that be?" and then proceeded to pick up the first swatch of yellow and white that they saw.  The result was less than fortunate... icy cold gray-blue white and I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter yellow.  Pair that with a flourescent overhead light and you can imagine why I was thrilled with our landlord told us we could paint.

And although it's still small and narrow (and remarkably hard to take pictures of) with only one slab of workable counterspace, the kitchen has turned out the be pretty nice.  There are plenty of cabinets which go all the way to the ceiling (now painted in a beautiful greenish gold called "Thistle"), TONS of natural sunlight, and all the little antique details that make it feel like a french country kitchen. 

Antique lidded basket that perfectly fits my wastebasket!

Tiny yellowware bowl from one of my favorite new antique shops in Lincoln

An antique pantry cabinet for extra storage

A beautiful gilded mirror above the sink in place of a window

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our New Digs

Our new home is feeling like just that... home.  The livingroom is one of my favorite spots in the house.  In the afternoon it is drenched in sunlight, softly filtered by my gorgeous floor-to-ceiling linen-colored curtians.  (Ikea, baby! $14.99 a pair).  I stocked up on those curtains before we moved from Pittsburgh! 

All of my antique ironstone is nestled in a low cupboard beside the front livingroom window.  My favorite collections are ones that are super affordable - I've never paid more than $10 for any piece of ironstone, and most were $5 or under.  My favorite chippy pitcher, heavily stained and perfectly imperfect, was 50 cents at a flea market in Hartville, Ohio. 

I'll leave you with the livingroom for today...  More rooms to come later!
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