A few of my favorite things

Wow! Has it been that long? Really? *Big sigh* I've resolved to admit, my friends, that I'm only a part time blogger. Well, at least until things slow down a bit. Have any idea of when that might happen? HA! I suppose going to school full time, trying to settle in a new house, and still being a mom, wife, chauffeur, house keeper, etc. (you get the picture) can really suck ones time away. :/ AND so it has. But I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to take a few minutes and blog something to let you all know that I AM still alive and kicken' and to share with you a few of my favorite things. Especially this time of year because this time truly is my favorite time of year. Do you agree, or do you prefer another season?

There's something about Fall that really resonates with my inner being. Ya know? Don't know why. Perhaps it stems from fond childhood memories of trick or treating, or going "over the river and through the woods" to grandma's house for that awesomely yummy turkey dinner with all the trimmings and seeing all the cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. Ok, who has ever stuck black olives on all 10 fingers and sucked them off one by one into your mouth? There must be a connection between kids and that ritual, right (?) because all five of mine, at one time or another, did it...and still do! Oh, fun times, indeed. :)

Then just right around the corner is Christmas with all its warm and fuzzy memories....to be continued.

But for now, at least for this post, I will share some of my favorite things related to Fall. A portion of my excitement for Fall comes from the anticipation of transforming my home from Summer to Fall. I'm talking, of course, about decorating! ♥♥♥ to decorate for the seasons and holidays and it would seem that I'm not alone. Pinterest is a one stop site that tells, or shows, how much others enjoy the art of holiday domestic transformation. Plus one can get TONS of ideas and hopefully share some too. See what I'm talking about here.

Side note....(really sorry about the poor picture quality. My kiddos lost my camera charger and I had to use my sons camera phone...Grrrr!)

Ok, sooooo, whats all the excitement about?

Now that's what I'm talking about...swoon.
Photo from Google images

Honey Crisp Apples
You haven't lived until you've tried one of these. Oh Em Gee!
Photo from Google images

Porch Scape 
I was really bummed to see in the picture that someone took the top pumpkin to my 
Cinderella pumpkin tower.  Didn't notice it until now.  What the....? :(
                            Creepy Stair Mice                                           
Creepy stair mice is not a Fall favorite, but decorating with them are :) 


Skulls, Skeletons, and Spiders....EEK!

A Fantle and Crows

Trick or Treaters and Carved Pumpkins

Black and White Halloween Mantle 
(walls and antique mantle still under construction)

Oh, and CANDY CORN!!!

What are some of your favorite things this fall?

Join the party here:

Wall Art and Feng shui

Did you know by switching up or changing out things on your wall can enhance feelings of well being and even increase your productivity? Pretty cool, huh?. Why do I believe such a statement? Well, because I've done it many times, but without realizing the benefits. All I know is that when I'd move things around or hang something new on my walls, I felt super charged and happily content. Wouldn't this concept be related to the Feng shui idea? I think so, but decide for yourself here. Interesting stuff, huh?

what is even more fun than interesting, at least for me, is Pinterest. Haven't heard of it yet? See what I'm talking about here. But fair warning, my friends, this site is that of the addiction type. There, I have forewarned you so you cannot mention my name in any way, shape, or form when your hubby, child, dog, or any other person or thing threatens immediate consequences for lack of attention.

I have yet to hang anything on my walls because of the state of our home (one.big.fat.mess), but thanks to Pinterest I have collected a whole bunch of lovely ideas when that time comes. I wanted to share these ideas with you because that's how I roll....I like to share ideas. :) Hopefully by sharing some of these ideas you may feel inclined to share back any of your wall art ideas that are Feng shui inspired . You might even feel impressed to share a link to your Pinterest Boards so I may add another hour to my Pinterest addiction. Hey, no judging now, their mantra is "Happy Pinning" and pinning makes me happy. ♥

Oh the things that can be done with vintage windows.

I'm loving the open frame on the mirror with the single letter in center.

I really have a thing for Subway art. Then add a wreath...♥
 How creative is this message board!? Chicken wire? Too CUTE!

 Wow! I'm wondering if the artist is for hire.


 A reason to collect old china antique plates. Love it!

Who would have thought? 

Another shutter idea. Definitely on the to-do list. 

Another, who would have thought? Curtain rods are not just for curtains anymore.

I'm officially on a mad hunt for ornate frames. Love this!


Horse Hair, Mud and a Can of Worms

Ok, so our first "little" project was to prep and paint a couple of the walls in the dining area so I could mount  
 an antique fireplace mantle I found sitting outside in the rain at an antique store. Really? Out in the rain? Yep, I was shocked, appalled, and down right annoyed at the site of this beautiful piece of art just leaning on the outside wall of this po-dunk shop. I felt so sorry for it that I decided to give it a new home. Trust me when I say it wasn't a hard decision. It really was love at first sight. :)  I quickly determined a new place to mount this little pretty and told the hubs to get to work. He is such a good sport and shares my enthusiasm for DIY repair and remodeling. Except when things are not what they seem....

The wall I pegged to place the mantle on was kind of uneven and rough in texture. We decided the mantle would look best if the wall was smooth and even. Not a hard thing to fix...HA! The first coat of mud produced bubbles (1) which indicated the walls were not of the drywall type. Uh-Oh! With a couple of taps with the hammer (2), we also discovered that the walls were super soft UH-OH! What the???? So, the question for you all is, what do you get when you mix mud and horse hair together? Yeah, I didn't know either, but you get mortar 1847 style (3 & 4) oh! and one. big. fat. mess!!!  This type of stuff doesn't leave a nice little white dusting, the kind you get when you sand drywall. This stuff leaves a coating of dust, of the dirt kind, that when one tries to wipe it up it immediately turns to brown icky mud! UGH!

Did I mention my hubby shares in my enthusiasm for DIY home repairs and remodel....EXCEPT when things are not what they seem? Yeah, this is what I'm talking about.

And what about the can of worms? Well, it's like this. In an effort to minimize the spreading of dust during the demolition process, the hubs thought it would be wise to mask off the area with plastic and open a couple of windows, with a couple of fans blowing through one window and out another. Windows are a great tool for many things like gazing out to see the beautiful trees, flowers or birds and on occasion weird people walking down the side walk. Another super cool thing windows can do is provide, when open, a way to let a nice breeze pass through the house. This can really cut down on the electric bill. I like that. :) However, when someone paints and caulks shut every stinkin' window in a house in an effort to weatherize the home, our idea of minimizing the dust during demolition is not going to materialize. GRRRRRR!!!! 

Hunny, will you please open the can of worms? With a hammer, putty knife, and a few swipes of a blade, we were able to pop open one window (1) and break another, which was the least of our worries since upon opening one particular window we discovered dry rot on the window frame. (2&3) Hmmmm....anyone want to guess on how many more windows we might find like this once they are pried open and released from their painted and caulking prison? *Big sigh* perhaps another day. :)

Progress.....to be continued.

A Staircase 1880's style

 Wow!, Whew! Oh My! Really?! and any other descriptive word you can think of that might describe how one feels after a move. Yep, that would describe me and my family at this moment in time. But nevertheless, we are EXCITED to be in our new/old home! The projects have already begun, those that were planned and others that we had no idea about. That post will be coming soon. :/

Anyway, so many have been asking to see pictures and I've not complied simply because there wasn't anything to show except a home full of boxes, literally, not kidding, honest Engine. Now that most of the boxes have been emptied and stuff has found a new place (well at least for now) I've started to snap some pics here and there to show all you inquisitive types. :) Trust me, I'm one of those types too. Suspense just kills me. HA!

Here is the staircase of the home. The main portion of the house was built in 1847 and then a second addition was added in 1880. The staircase was part of the second addition. As you can see it was all about detail back in the day. Be-ut-i-full! dontcha think?

 View from the front door.
Looking up. Love the turn in the railing. How did they do that?
View from the side.


The Beautifully, Ugly Door. Help!

I know the title is sort of an oxymoron, but let me explain. This door is beautifully hung in the front of a house that was built in 1847. I'm thinking the door isn't as old as the house, but pretty old nevertheless because of the design. I get so sad every time I look at it because it truly has awesome character, but what is with the colors? The colors scream HELP! I'm a beautiful door trapped behind ugly colors. Don't worry little door, rescue is on the way.  Please, please, please help me help this door transform from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. Any ideas for color(s)? Also consider the sides of the door and upper part of the frame. They're all in need of rescue. Thanks! Oh, and the stuff looking like stained glass, (?) is just what I called it; stuff looking like stained glass. Should it stay or should it get peeled off and tossed? (So sorry about the photos poor quality. A better camera is in my near future.)


A Thrifty Skirt

One of my biggest luxuries I allow myself during the summer is to wear skirts. Yep, simple, and to some probably weird, but true. Why? Well, because the are easy, fun, comfortable, and COOL! Cool as in let the legs breath kind of cool. Trust me when I say I wear them all. the. time. Even while running. See here. So, every time I hit the thrift stores I'm all over the skirt rack like a rat on a Cheeto. Recently I came across this little lovely made by A. Byer.
I was initially drawn to it because of the color (versatile) and it has spandex in it, making it stretchy. (A plus when I've had one too many cookies) Anyway, when I turned the skirt around and saw the ruffles I knew this was going to be the new thrift store "lucky me" find that I would add to my already cramped closet. Cramped is okay if cramped with thrifty wear, right? Why doesn't the hubs ever agree with me on this?

This outfit is a complete Thrifty Wear ensemble and, I think, warrants a Visa kind of jingle. :)
Blouse - 5.00
Skirt - 4.00
Shoes - 5.00
Necklace - 3.00
Wearing an all brand name outfit under twenty dollars - Priceless

Whoever said Thrifty isn't fashionable was delusional. Just sayin'. ♥


If the price is right.....

...you snatch it up! I wasn't too successful on my thrift store adventures today, but while I was there Mr. T was somewhere else and found these two awesome pieces! The hubs was helping a friend move stuff to (or from, I'm not sure) a storage unit. Well, the storage unit next door to the friends unit was wide open and all the contents were FREE to anyone willing and ready to take the stuff away. Yep, I said FREE. Now that's a good price. :) There's nothing like being in the right place at the right time, right?
We're not sure yet what era it's from and, unfortunately, there is no stamp on it to give us a better clue. But it is really BIG and beautiful.

08/12 Update - The Hubby took the armoire to a local antique dealer and was told the piece was probably built sometime in the 1930's and not worth much. She explained that all antique values are down because the Baby Boomers are either moving in with their children or passing away and therefore getting rid of their furniture and other antiquey kind of things. She said the antique industry is flooded with so many things that their values have decreased significantly. :(  Sad, but it makes since. So if you're really into antiques, now would be a great time to consider picking some up. :)

The top drawer has beautiful detail with an inlay detail below it. It looks like there was, at one time, another inlay piece right beneath the third drawer but has been replaced....bummer. :(
Of course the whole thing needs to be beautified all over again, but the question is to keep it in its natural state or paint it and give it a distressed finish? Ideas, please?

Then there is this little gem. I'm not digging the color, but I'm lovin' all the fun ideas this old school desk allows my brain to think up. :)


Got cake?

...or cookies, or Rice Krispie treats, or brownies, or anything in between. I've made these darling cake plates before but this one, by far, is my FAV. Ok, so both pieces I found at the local Goodwill store.... On. The. Same. Day. Emphasis added only because it isn't too often I find a candle stick and plate that matches so perfectly together that to not create an upcycled cake plate would be shameful. (Not really, but you know what I mean) Especially with these fun colors!

So, the pics pretty much sum up the little project. And I mean little because this cutie only took five whopping minutes to do. Yep, honest engine, cross my heart.

1. Get your upcycleables. VERY easy. Any plate, any candlestick that you deem worthy to convert to a cake plate will do

2. Purchase, if you don't already have some in your craft stash, some E-6000. You can find this at any craft or hardware store. I usually take my  Michael's handy 40% off coupon (there is ALWAYS one in my purse. What can I say, emergencies happen) and pick up a tube for about $1.50

3. Make sure your plate and candle stick are clean and debris free. Why do they always have to put the price on houseware stuff with a grease pencil?....UGH! If you find this as annoying as I do, then a little Windex will wipe it clean real easy. Must be the ammonia in it.

4. Apply the E-6000 liberally on the candlestick. Try not to get so much on there that it oozes out the sides when seating it on the plate.

5. Turn the plate backside up and place the candle stick dead center on the plate. Apply some pressure to get a good seal and let rest there for a few hours. Depending on how much adhesive you used will determine how long it dries. Some of my plates have taken longer than others.

6. Ta-Dah! Now you have a beautiful and fancy "new" cake plate you can display with a variety of bakery type masterpieces on top.