Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Really Incredible Finds…But, Where Do I Put Them?

Remember, my post, Honestly, I Have to Stop Doing This? That’s okay if you don’t because I seem to have forgotten it. You see, I was walking my dog past a neighbor’s house…they are moving so I thought nothing about seeing all their possessions spread across the lawn…until I saw the “Garage Sale” sign. Of course, I stop dead in my tracks. So, many, many beautiful things. The owner decided that she is changing her décor when they move out West, so she is selling all of her shabby chic décor. Oh. my.
Here’s what I got…believe me, I controlled myself…I could have bought everything…I mean everything!
For example, look at this sweet, little vintage salt and pepper set or as they say in France, “Sel and Poivre.” Does anyone know what the last little container was used for?

Look at this very cool antique table with two planter tins on either side …is that what they are? Does anyone know? I plan on painting it with chalk paint.
Okay. This beautiful mantle is my absolute favorite, favorite thing I have ever bought at a yard sale (I think). However, I it’s huge. I have no clue where to put it…I just had to have it because…are you ready for this? She sold it to me for ...
Isn't it a beauty? And then, this candelabrum was free, yep. Free.

And this sweet little table…again, free. 

Thanks Claudia! I really wish we got to know each other before you were moving…I think we would have been great friends. Linking to:


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Fun in the City of Brotherly Love

My relatives are visiting -- my sister-in-law, nephew, mother - and father-in law. They came in Friday and we have been busy ever since. Yesterday we drove up to Philadelphia to tour the city, culminated by a visit to the PPL Stadium to watch my other nephew, a professional MLS soccer player for Chivas USA, play against the Philadelphia Union. He's in the red, #21, below:

An action-packed day-- My sister-in-law, youngest and my nephew saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Congress Hall, Ben Franklin's rental properties, and an old-time printing press. 
Then we moseyed on down to eclectic South Street and had Philly cheese steaks, then frozen yogurt. My son, in the forefront wearing two hats, nephew in back.

We also saw some pretty cool street musicians and here, below, street art. Now, I'm not into paintings of the planets and the moon, but I have to admit this guy was fascinating. He created all his art in about 10 minutes using nothing but spray paint, crumpled paper, a round disc, and a spatula. The kids were enthralled.

In the evening, we met the rest of the crew back at the stadium for a tailgate and some fun. The younger kids played some impromptu soccer right outside the stadium. 

Fortunately, Ben started so we got to watch him play the entire game. Unfortunately, Chivas lost, but we got to spend time with Ben after the game.
A little sad after the game...We returned at 4 AM, got up at 8:30 am, went to watch my son play hockey, and I'm kind of running on empty right now. 

Oh, and I went to an incredible yard sale down the street....here's a peek of what I got! Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Little Bit of Paris

I love Parisian-inspired art, maybe that's why I'm always creating it. Yes, I am lucky enough to have gone to Paris, but that was 25 years ago, yet the mystery and the allure of the city still stay with me. My sister, brother-in-law, and I visited the city for only three days, but we packed a lot into those days -- and we have some funny stories to share (but, that's a whole other post).
I just finished working on these little Parisian inspired plaques. I wish I would have taken a "before" picture because they were the 1960's green with decoupaged pictures of flowered mushrooms and kittens. Now, I don't have anything against mushrooms and kittens, but, well, I kind of like them better now.

To create: I painted them a light cream, then distressed them lightly. I then stamped French script on them and then distressed the edges with ink. The labels were given to me by my sis a while back (Thanks!) and I wanted to make them a little more vintage and time-worn, so I distressed the edges with "Vintage photo" distressed ink by Tim Holtz (love that stuff). I let it dry a couple days and used gel medium to attach and seal the labels. 

I love how they turned out and planned to use them in my bathroom, but, they didn't really work there. So, they will be going into my etsy shop! 

Well, I've got to clean up the mess I made, and clean the rest of the house...lots of work. We have out of town relatives coming to stay with us tomorrow and we're in for another fun weekend!
Don't forget to sign up for my giveaway, right here! Linking to Transformation Thursday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Singing Around the Campfire

Just got back from a soggy, yet fun, camping trip. It was my first tent camp in a very long time; we went with five other families and had good weather, except for the last day. It poured and poured, so we didn't get a chance to go to Assateaque Island (where the wild ponies roam), which was a bummer. So, I guess we'll just have to plan a trip back (this time in a cabin)! Taking down the tents we were soaked to the bone, but arrived back in Annapolis to sunny weather ...drying everything out on the lawn as I write. 

Mom got her own tent (I mean would you really want to share a tent with four snoring, smelly men?) Last night, we sat around the campfire, made s'mores and sang while my oldest played guitar (see picture above with middle bro in green). It was so nice and relaxing and just a beautiful night.

The kid's rented a go-kart (my little guy is in the white tee) and got to spend a little quality brother and friend time. 

Early this morning (before the major downpour), my husband took the boys fishing, while I packed and took a nice long run. (I love to run in the rain...seriously!)

Now, it's time to do my many loads of laundry, but it was well worth it! Summer has arrived. 
How have you welcomed summer?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Surprise Vintage Goodies!

I love surprises! These were waiting on my doorstep this morning.  The elderly friend's daughter I was helping knew I was into vintage items and thought I would like these few things! Beautiful pearl hair combs.

Tons, and I mean tons, of vintage buttons were in this cool red vintage candy tin.

Some buttons with original packaging.

Some exquisite buttons.

A completely different cigar box...never saw one like this (and then again, I don't smoke cigars). I think I will paint it and use it to store my new stash. 

Love it!

A Little Knick Knack

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When does the relaxing part start?

Yes. Summer is here and it's supposed to be about relaxing...that's not happening in this neck of the woods. I haven't stopped moving since the beginning of the week...some good, some bad.

  • Helped with our fifth grade promotion decor and breakfast on Tuesday (4th grade parents always help). I wish I had photos...it looked so great! The theme was Katy Perry's "Firework" song. We used rolls of black craft paper to cover the side walls and then spray painted the lyrics so it looked like graffiti. We helped Jan, another parent, make these cool "explosive boxes" and made it look like fireworks and stars were extending from it...hard to describe, but they were awesome! 
  • Then, helped my elderly friend's daughter get rid of a truckload of unused toiletries, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies and delivered them to a local homeless shelter...they were so excited to get all the supplies!!
  • Today, worked at helping to set up our local magazine's annual "Best-of Annapolis" party...loading and unloading boxes of silent auction donations and boxes of giveaways...I get to attend tomorrow night (and dress up!!!) I love to dressup, considering I spend the majority of my life in shorts and a tee-shirt or sweats.
  • We had a basement flood on Monday and as of right now, we still can't find the source. Water is still coming from somewhere and we can't find it! Frustrating and smelly to say the least. We are now on the process of elimination...not the pipes, not the toilet (which we replaced), not the upstairs air conditioner, and so the mystery goes on...UPDATE: we think it's the lower level air conditioner; so until the AC guy gets here, we will be living in our bedrooms...it's supposed to be a hot weekend...
  • Our sump pump also broke (nope, that was not the cause of the leak), which could have been a major problem, but my husband fixed it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Back to Nature...

I've been anticipating Tracy's Trinkets & Treasures nature photo party this month. We spend a lot of time outdoors as a family (okay, mostly on the sports fields), but we do go hiking and exploring a lot. We have a favorite trail near us in Maryland called Billy Goat Trail, and it's known for it's rock scrambles and tough terrain. So, without further ado, here's some of the shots we've taken over the past year there and near the beach on the Eastern shore of Maryland. The one above and two directly below where taken by my son, Houston.

This one was taken by me...it's a rock that looks like a little car...don't you think?

This one was taken on the hiking trail.
This one was taken at a field near our house...the sepia tone, was added, of course.
 My son took this one at the beach...I love the angle of the palm.
I love the detail in this next one, taken by my son, again:

Nature's pretty awesome.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


My yard sale was a success in many ways! First, I raised $170 for the Alzheimer's Association! Most people were very generous, but I did have one lady who tried to talk me down from a very, very cheap price on vintage linens. I kept telling her that it was for charity, but she insisted that I take $2 for $8 worth of linens (which in reality was probably over $50 worth of linens). I said, "no" about five times and she shrugged and set them down...I sold almost all of them anyway, thank you very much. Seriously.

Anyway, I also cleared $160 for myself and have a cleaner garage. After unloading two truckfuls of stuff at my friend's house, I came back with one lonely box of stuff...all going to Purple Heart.
I was so happy to report all my earnings to the daughter of my friend with Alzheimers that I rode my bike right over after the sale!!!

As sweet as she is, she offered me anything that was left in the house...I could have filled my garage again with all the wonderful stuff, but I settled for a few plates, a new toaster, some other trinkets and these two gorgeous wood carved antique chairs! (I can't believe they didn't want them.) I am going to paint and recover them this summer...have no clue where they will go, but I love them!!! Trust me, they will be beautiful!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Time to Let Go...

I've been gradually reducing the huge amount of STUFF in my garage. After I lost my studio last year, it became clear to me that hand-painting furniture just isn't the right art medium for me...it just takes too much space, and we haven't had use of our garage for over a year. So, I've been donating a lot of my stuff to school silent auctions, people in need, and now, I'm about to put the rest of it  in my friend's community yard sale this Saturday. If it doesn't sell, it's going straight to charity.

Also, a dear, sweet friend of mine (my pretend grandma) was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's...her daughter is going through the tiresome and emotional task of clearing out her house and moving some stuff back to Florida for her mom; she asked me if I wanted some things to sell such as stacks of old cookbooks. I thought that I would include her things and some other items that were given to me in a separate area at the sale and any money I raise would go directly to the Alzheimer's Association...so, if you live in the area, be sure to stop this Saturday at our sale!

Here's the scoop:

The Meadows community yard sale Saturday, June 11th, from 8 am - Noon.    16 – 20 homes in “The Meadows” and “Great Meadows” neighborhoods.  Cross Streets are Balt/Ann Blvd and MeadowGate Drive, Annapolis, 21409.  From Hwy 50 take Hwy450 South exit toward Naval Academy.  Turn left on Severn Ridge Road EAST; Turn left on Balt/Ann Blvd; turn right on MeadowGate.  Follow signs. 
....I'll be located on Meadow Hill Drive! 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway at The DIY Club this month! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chalk it Up to Paint!

Remember this little end table I got for $5 at a yard sale? I can hardly contain myself...I painted it with Old White chalk paint and love it! However, when I first started painting it, I admit it, I panicked! You see, chalk paint isn't like ordinary paint; it's a little thicker and it dries pretty quickly, so after three coats...it looked terrible; it was lumpy and uneven looking. I had to call an expert for advice...Cassie at Primitive & Proper. She calmed me a bit, told me to sand and wax. I did, adding a lot of distressing to hide those large lumps and the parts that had a little too much texture, and whew! I really like it now.

I grabbed these knobs, which I think match so nicely (so, now my nightstand needs new knobs). And, I immediately found a home for this sweet piece in my front hall (it may be temporary, but for now it works).

Of course, once I started with the chalk paint, I couldn't stop... I bought these candleholders at another yard sale for $5 (seems to be my magic number) and decided they would look great with a little chalk paint, too; the rust orange color looked great for autumn, but not for the rest of the year since nothing in my home is rust orange.  I love how they turned out.

Hmm, I wonder how the dog would look painted...

Don't forget to enter my giveaway at The DIY Club this month!

Linking to:http://www.shadesofamberinc.blogspot.com/

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