Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pretty Presents

I'm always impressed at some friends' abilities to give perfectly wrapped gifts. Since I love receiving prettily presented gifts (well, or any gifts for that matter), I thought I should try to carry that to the gifts that I give.

Here are a few recent attempts with items I had handy...

A reusable wine gift bag (my talented friend Amber makes these from scrapped fabrics--yay multi-leveled recycling!--and they're sold at several Arizona stores and boutiques, including Handcrafted) and a paint chip tag.

Paper bag "wrapping paper" and a scrap ribbon from this tragically un-photographed event and coordinating card. I like getting (or being gifted, ha) a big pack of multi-colored blank cards so I can use them for any occasion and personalize them for the recipient.

 I felt a little lazy for not unpacking this and putting it in an unbranded box, so I attempted to camouflage that with some silk flowers and wide ribbon.

I thought I had some other photos stored somewhere, so I'll add them if I ever find them!

One of my pet peeves is having to purchase wrapping materials--especially tissue paper. That's the worst! Is anyone with me on this?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trays of Sunshine

Once I got this rolling cabinet that I'm utilizing as a bar cart, I knew I need to find something to guard the top surface of the cart from car paraphernalia--and collect the bottles to make them look cohesive.

So into the garage I went and unearthed 2 of these.

Good thing I held onto those, right? I couldn't pass up a perceived deal.
And of course I have to peel back price stickers to observe the sale price progression.

I liked the shape and price of the trays, but wasn't loving the shape they were in or the red stripe. I went through the acrylic paints I had on hand and decided to go with a metallic. I had gold paint, but it wasn't truly opaque, so I painted over the red stripe with a light tan color first, like a primer.

My very professional painting set-up. Note the RueLaLa box and the classy plastic containers. As trashy as they look, using the lids to mix paint and the containers to hold the paint bottles is a system that worked just fine for the drawn out process of painting these.

Finished up the tan "primer" and then added the gold paint. 

After the gold I topped it with a layer of Modge Podge to seal it.

I used the other tray to hold napkins on the bar shelf. Remember those napkins and napkin rings?

Here it is on the new bar.

Are you buying any of those clearance items "just in case"? Have you spruced anything up recently?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sketchy Canvassing

Post-its are the best. I sketched out an idea for the canvasses in the breakfast nook awhile ago. 

And then got bored one night and did this to the edges. 

The little stalagmites/stalactites made me think of a pencil cactus plant I have outside.

Little alien fingers.

So, what do I do now? Big graphic shape in the center? Wide "X"s or "O"s done with visible brushstrokes? Delicate sketches like the post-it? Paint over those little gold stalagmites and stalactites and start over?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Shopping and Thrifting

Ah, the thrill of the hunt. You know my immense love of craigslist (through my Pinterest board if nothing else), but I also can't turn down an opportunity to stop at Goodwill or a pleasantly crowded antique store.

I stopped in an antique store during a recent visit to Tucson and here are some of the treasures I thought were cool:

Maybe if these were reupholstered? The base was metal.

I took this photo to document the candy. 

The wire basket reminded me of the baskets in my pantry.

So cool and detailed, so out of my budget!

I almost went home with a ceramic stool as a gift (like the one I have in my bathroom, but with color). I'll have to explore a little more in the area the next time I visit. There's never enough time! :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Rooted in the Weekend

The weather is starting to cool down (in the mornings and at night, at least), so I went plant shopping with the folks and gathered these new additions to the backyard:

Check out that vine that's nicely filling out that frame in the background! And that teak bench (via craigslist) that my father made lovely with many hours of sanding and treating.

I haven't done any seasonal color in my yard before, but it's time to put those garage-saled and Goodwill-purchased outdoor pots to good use!

I'll take some photos of them in action the ground soon. 

Also got a shrub for the front yard. After the second July/August demise of a small fruit tree, I've come to terms with the fact that it is just too hot and the soil is too sandy to support a little tree. Super sad, especially after singing to the plant, using a giant awning contraption to shade it and watering it the perfect (I swear) amount. Sigh, I'm holding out for this shrub. Moment of silence for this guy.

With this weather I'm thinking I can start getting motivated for some refinishing projects...foyer credenza, perhaps?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Distant Cousins

I once did a spend/save comparison post (here), but I don't actively search for things in that way, so I haven't done another one...until randomly browsing 2 favorite sites (sample sales and craigslist) unearthed these oddly similarly shaped end tables.

This is from RueLaLa's "Pattern Play" sale:

Orbital Side Table, $549.90, RueLaLa

And this is from a craigslist seller I don't know or endorse, but they're selling 2 of these little tables and a chair for $90 (link is here).

Hmmm. Still don't think I'll be adding either to my home, but by combining the metallic from the Orbital side table and the bamboo of the craigslist offering you end up with something that would be related to this chair:

...which I saw in Traditional Home and deserved a folded page. Now here's hoping that some chairs like this one appear on craigslist. Doesn't hurt to dream!

Thought I'd add a photo of one of these in action that I came across on Remodelista:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Arranging Around a New Addition

I expressed my uncertainty with potential placement of my new rolling bar in this post and I still haven't figured it out. Here's a montage of options.

1) Leave the room as is.

Sorry, an old photo is all I had since I had to start experimenting with arrangements immediately instead of taking "before" photos.

2) Add the bar in without altering the other parts of the room.

3) Add the bar and move the armoire.

Don't mind the cord, I put the speakers that were perpetually cluttering the side of the armoire inside the bar. Since the cabinet doors open on both sides, I can leave the back cabinet door ajar and run the cord out that way. If it stays I'll have to think of a camouflaging option.

And a chair might be fine as that camouflage. And offer a bonus seat for larger dinners.

The chair is from craigslist, of course (complete with lining that is falling down under the seat--that should be an easy fix). When I got it I intended to take a stab at reupholstering it--then I got busy/scared and never did it.  The pillow is one of a few I got for $5 at Urban Outfitters--which is a deal that has yet to be replicated even though I consistently stop in to see if I can get some other sweet home goods deals.

If I leave the bar and move the armoire, I could look at getting another chair for the other side of the bar. Or I could put casters on a stump that I have in my garage (it's sibling got used in the loft here). But even with the armoire moved away, the room still seems pretty dark and really I might move that chairs and be on the lookout for a pair of not-dark-wood chairs to flank the bar.

Well, thoughts? The bar is already growing on me. But the armoire was one of my earliest Craigslist purchases!

Aww. Maybe I can move this buddy into the garage to see if I can take the separation before I decide if we part ways.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Branching Out

Look what I picked up off the street... 

Ok, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it. I wish I could say the possibilities are endless, but I'm kind of at a loss for a purpose for it at this point. Hung horizontally over my bed? Maybe over the dresser in my room with some hook capabilities? Maybe I'm better off buying from craigslist than dumpster diving...
Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pillow Potential

I love discount fabric shopping, especially when I see pricey pillows and realize I can have similar-looking ones for much, much less. These are the beginnings of more pillows for the great room and loft. 

I'm really liking the suzani-esque fabric on the top, but to stretch that fabric into 2 pillows I'll need to use a solid color for the back of the pillow. 

I've moved a lot of the artsy, projecty stuff up to the loft which is now equipped with shelving in the closet (I'll have to show a photo of that at some point, although I think it's mostly just exciting to me). Other "lofty" observations:  you'll notice that I'm still loving the kilim rug and the white stone slab is centered on my refinished stump and is providing a great table in the center of the space. When I purchased the glass bowl that's on the table at Goodwill I had never seen anything like it before, but I've seen a few similarly designed bowls since! It used to be a fruit bowl in the KT before it was replaced in favor of a bowl with some perforations that provide some airflow.

Hopefully I can employ my Mom's talents (and sewing machine) to get these pillows wrapped up sooner rather than later. I already made the trip to IKEA to get these pillow forms and these pillow forms. We'll see how long those hang out on the sofa before the cases are completed!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Addition

I'm excited but don't want to get too excited about my new craigslist purchase (at this point I could just say "furniture purchase" and you could accurately infer that I bought it off craigslist). It's so fresh that it hasn't even made it into the house yet--so I don't know if it will be ideal in the dining room space that I had in mind. Here are the craigslist photos of the new addition:

Look at those casters! And the sweet hinged table top! And the swanky door pulls!

I've been looking for a long console table for space on the dining table wall for awhile (see my Pinterest "Console Table" category for evidence) and even though this isn't along the lines of the slim metal, glass-shelved options I've been pinning, I'm hoping this will do the trick without weighing the space down. 

Here are some old photos of the dining room space:

I'm a little nervous about how this will look under the mirror, but I'm excited about the functionality for storing and displaying servingware, another surface for drinks and more space for wine and bottles for cocktails (evidently the space in this bar isn't enough). 

Any thrifty finds recently? Any decor dilemmas that resolved themselves or still need a little adjustment to work for you?