Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Would You Do?

This is somewhat hypothetical but I would love your thoughts...

What would you do if you had to choose from one of the two and if you were me?  Yeah, see, hypothetical, right?

1. Small house needs some updating with small rooms some updating on small lot- 1/4 acre.  Tons of neighborhood amenities and activities for kids and even a community pool.  More accessibility to standard stores and grocery stores, in a nice lake community environment.  Some storage space in garage and a 20 x 20 workspace for me.

2. Larger house on 1 3/4 acres of gorgeous land set on a big rolling hill.  Tons of room for the kids to play outside, run around, and more space in each of their bedrooms for play.  A studio space and lots of storage.  Not close to amenities and a bit more of a hike to get to in general.  Beautiful country setting, but probably not a neighborhood type of feel.

We don't really have any houses that we are seriously considering at the moment, but I have been spinning wheels and I can't seem to get myself out of confusion!  Help!

A New Home For...

... some fish!  He he... did you think I had a new home yet?  Nope, not yet.  But I am gearing my kids up to get some Betas when we move.  I painted these little homes for them when we do!  What you see is actually painted on the back so the fish will swim with these as their backdrops!

Hop over to The DIY Club to see how I did it!  And click on the button for all my other DIY Club projects!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Piece of Work Wednesday Furniture Link Party Number 51!

Are you ready for a furniture makeover party?  Hope so!  I have been working on some of the smaller projects I had neglected at our last house, like my Swedish Flag table from this morning.  I also had this pair of chairs tucked away in my stash.  They don't match, but they both have higher backs and I think they pair nicely.
 I cleaned them off a bit, painted them with Annie Sloan's Paris Gray, and then distressed and waxed them.  Nothing fancy, but I think they are charming!

Now your turn!  What furniture projects have you worked on lately?

1. Must be a follower here.
2. Must be a furniture makeover or build AND must be new here (can be an old post, but never before linked here).
3. NO Etsy shops.
4. Place my button in your post or sidebar or use a text link.
5. Leave others some comment love!

Let's party!

Hit the Road Jack! Make Way for Johan!

So Union Jacks have been the rage in design and furniture painting, huh?  I never did a Union Jack piece.  I am only 1/8 English.  But I am 1/4 Swedish.  So I am telling Jack to hit the road and make way for my Johan- An interpretation of the Swedish flag!

Here is my plain table.  Plain. Boring.  But free.
 It was already unfinished and ready to go.  So i just dusted it off and painted it with two coats of "Watery" by Sherwin Williams.  Then I measured and used tape to make a Swedish flag design, which looks like this....

I made mine a little "prettier" and softer color wise.  I used a buttery yellow from my mom's craft paint supply to paint the cross.  Then it was distressed with the orbital sander, and then I rubbed it all over with some Golden Oak stain on a rag.  And voila....

 And my two favorite helpers wanted to come outside for picture time....

So what do you think?  Can we make Johan a new trend?
See you later for POWW!

Sharing here:
{Primp}Domestically SpeakingSaved by SuzyFurniture Feature FridaysThe Shabby NestPhotobucket UndertheTableandDreaming The DIY Show Off

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sponsor Highlight Monday and Some Thank You's!

Today, I am featuring another awesome sponsor, Natalily Designs.  My pal Andi owns this sweet shop, and is having a sale right now so it was the perfect time to feature her, and the free shipping code right now code happens to be...
...which is what I hope to make soon in another house! :) Are you tired of hearing about our house woes yet?  No?  Good.

Anyhow, Andi has some beautiful handmade items in her shop!  Here are some of my favorites!

Love this nest and soaring mama necklace...
Bird nest pendant with bird charm
Or how about some beautiful nest bobbies!
Bird nest bobby pins
One of my closest friends hates they completely freak her out! So if there are any of you bird-haters out there, have no fear, Andi has all sorts of pretties in her shop like this lovelt ring!
Pretty fuchsia and gold vintage adjustable ring

Go check out the shop now and use code FRESHSTART for free shipping!

I also wanted to extend thank you's to two of my very good blog friends!  I was a lucky girl and won two awesome giveaways!!!!

First up, I won an adorable necklace from Yvonne.  Yvonne is adorable, and so talented in design and photography, and happens to have THE cutest baby ever, with the cutest nursery ever....

And here is the necklace I won....

And here it is on me in the mirror... isn't it dainty and sweet?

Thank you, Yvonne!

I also was lucky enough to win a hand painted sign with a saying of my choice from my friend, Anne.  Anne is a lover of all things birds, and also is just sweet and charming, and talented!  I told her to surprise me as I wanted it to be from her and be special.  Here is what she came up with, and she hit the nail on the head!
Hummingbirds are one of my favorite birds, and I love the saying!  Look for sweetness everywhere- it's certainly in everything if you seek.

She also enclosed this little happy quote for me....

She shared this quote once on her blog and I commented on the meaning I found in it.  I love that I can put this on my nightstand and be reminded every day.  Thank you so much, Anne, for such a beautiful and thoughtful gift!

Happy Monday!

Holla! Way to Go Lather. Write. Repeat!

So, I had to run out to the grocery store this morning and after yesterday I was anxious to pick up my copy of Flea Market Style.  Irene had wiped out the grocery store, but thankfully I was able to pick up the magazine.  Phew!  And I flipped right to page 32 to verify my blog name in the teeny print at the bottom, when what do I see above and around me?!?!

Way to go to my friend, Lenore of Lather.Write.Repeat!!!  So excited to see your name above mine!  By the way, Lenore is getting MARRIED next month.  And she has quite the love story.  They are a perfect pair and truly meant to be.

And then to the right of her, congrats to my friend Shaunna, and also to my friend Amy!!!  So excited for you two, also!

Happy Monday!  I'll be back later with my sponsor highlight, but I had to share my excitement and congratulations to these ladies!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blown Away by Irene and Flea Market Style Magazine!

First of all, we survived Irene!  Our power went out yesterday but was restored around 5 pm.  My parents lost two trees, one of which hit Chris' car, but thankfully did no damage.  We all survived and now we are left with a beautiful forecast for the week.

Secondly, I was also blown away by an email I received from my friend Yanet.  It was titled "Flea Market Style Feature".  I was anticipating opening the email to hear her good news and was so happy for her.  But instead I read this....

"Hey girl, congrats!"

and saw this....

It may be in teeny tiny print on the bottom corner of the page, but I am still shocked and excited!  Woo Hoo!

Hope you all fared safely in Irene and had a wonderful weekend.  I am prepared and determined to continue my house hunt this week.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

News and POWW Faves

Hi all!  Happy Saturday!  We are gearing up for Irene here along the Chesapeake bay.  I took care of all the essentials yesterday: a trip to the grocery store, gas station, and liquor store for some wine.  If I am going to be without power, I may at least have a good Malbec on hand.  If you don't hear from me for a few days, you know we have lost power here.  During Isabel, this area lost power for several days, so you just never know.

I told you all I would know something about the house we offered on yesterday.  Well, we heard back and were shocked to find they wanted to settle on October 31.  After some further digging by our agent we discovered there is a lot more behind the story, and at this point in time, I don't know what will happen or if we even want to be under contract  I cannot share details, but I am just hanging on to hope that it works out or something else comes on the market.  Nothing has in a couple of weeks, so I just don't know.  Last night I was pretty heartbroken, but I am trying not to be.  I am trying to stay hopeful.  I just wanted to fill you in since some of you have asked and I don't want to leave you hanging though I really don't have any answers.

Oh, and you may have noticed a new button in my sidebar.  No?  This one....

What is the deal with this button???  Well, you could wiin a room makeover by Danielle Hirsch!  You submit a room you want redone and ask Danielle home improvement questions or comment on other redoes, and depending on what you do, you get the chance to win a monthly prize OR paint OR the grand prize, the custom room makeover!  Sounds pretty awesome, huh?  Go enter now!

Let's move onto POWW faves!  There were tons of links this week to look through!  I hope you were able to visit many of them as there are so many beautiful projects.  Here are the ones that really caught my eye.
This vanity from Sweet Song Bird is beautiful!  I loved the classic shape and colors, juxtaposed with the fun pattern on top.

This desk from Kammy's Korner is so fun, too!  Again a desk with an awesome graphic treatment!

This script dresser from Once Upon A Farm caught my eye a well as everyone else's!  It was the most clicked on project!

And lastly...this dresser from Prezidential Life is a classic beauty.  What is not to love?

Alright, people!  Enjoy your weekend!  If you are in the East like me, stay safe and stay indoors!  Hopefully we will maintain power and it won't be too long before you hear from me again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Guest: Gail from The Kramer Angle

Today I have one of my longtime blog friends and real life friends, Gail Kramer from The Kramer Angle!  Gail is one the the NICEST people I have ever met, and whenever I hit the auction, she is the first person I look for as she can usually be found there, hunting for treasures for her spaces at The Barn ShowChartreuse & Co, and Wild Rose & Co Marketplace.  Sometimes she has her favorite "picker" with her, her son!  Gail has a fabulous eye, and though I have never personally seen the inside of her house, I imagine it is just gorgeous!  Wait til you see the slideshow of her favorite finds at the end of this post!  Since Gail is my favorite auction buddy, I thought it was fitting that she share some auction tips with you today.  I know many people are intimidated, and really there is nothing to be scared of.  Once you read this post, you will feel like an old pro, and ready to place your bids!

Have you ever been to an auction?  

It’s one of my favorite places to 
find unique items to decorate my home
 and to sell in my shops and at my barn shows.  

But, the absolute best thing I’ve ever 
found at an auction was a friend!

And you’re reading her blog right now!

Yes, it’s true, my first proper introduction
to Cassie was at an auction we both
frequent and we’ve been
friends ever since!

So after mulling over some ideas for
my guest post here on Cassie’s blog,
I thought it only fitting that
I give you an
“Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Auctions”

Auctions are a great resource
if you're looking for antiques and accessories at 
affordable prices for your home, 
but the first step in getting hooked on them
is knowing how to find one!

Thanks to the internet, finding an auction these days is really easy 
using my favorite favorite auction locator: 
You just type in your zip code, choose how far
you’re willing to travel and a list of auctions pops up.  
Easy peasy!

You can also subscribe to Antique Week an online resource
featuring auctions, shops and shows from all over the country.  

Most auction houses  also have an online presence 
so a quick Google search is another easy way to find them.  
And don't rule out Craig's List when you're searching, as I've noticed an 
increasing number of auctions posted there as well.  

I usually stick with
antique auctions for my business,
but there are auctioneers selling everything from
(not my thing)
foreclosed homes,
 farm equipment
(I once picked up a cool chicken coop and repurposed it into a mudroom cubby)
used restaurant equipment
(like a fabulous Baltimore bakery table I turned into a kitchen island).

Once you find an auction that sounds intriguing here are a few quick tips:

  1. Call ahead to the auction house to find out their payment terms. Most accept credit cards but some smaller houses operate on a cash or check only basis and payment is always due at the conclusion of an auction.  
  2. Ask if there’s a buyer’s premium.   A buyer’s premium is a percentage the auction house adds to the selling price of every piece, which is usually 10 – 15%.   So if you’re the winning bidder of a dresser for $100 add on the buyers premium + any applicable sales tax to calculate the final cost of the piece and adjust your bidding accordingly.
  3. Arrive early to register with the auctioneer.    In most cases you’ll be asked to show your driver’s license and then you’ll be given your bidding number.   You’ll need your number to show the auctioneer when you make a winning bid so the sale can be added to your account.  
  4. Inspect items thoroughly. 
Don’t be shy about picking up what you’re interested in to take a good look at it so you’re comfortable with what you’re bidding on.
It’s key to inspect everything to avoid finding out later that the drawers don’t work, they’re musty, and don’t glide easily AFTER you’re already the winning bidder.
(Be sure of what you’re bidding on and stick to the maximum you’re willing to pay. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment only to regret it later on!)
  1. Once you’re sure of a piece it’s time to have some fun! 
Contrary to what you’ve ever heard – don’t worry about scratching your nose or fluffing your hair!   The auctioneer will not assume you’re bidding!
Make eye contact, wave your card, nod your head, shout out a “Yes!”, “Heck ya” or anything else it takes to get his attention!  The goal is to make sure he doesn’t miss your bid, so don’t be timid or you’ll go unnoticed.  
6.  My last tip?
Just relax and have some fun!
Keep in mind you’re going to win some and lose some.
I’ve walked away from lots of auctions wishing I had bid more and also brought home some things I regretted buying because I got caught up in the moment.
It’s all part of the learning experience and
at the very least an auction is great entertainment!
(The cast of characters at my favorite weekly auction is fascinating!)

Take a look at some of my all time favorite auction finds!   

Thank you so much Cassie for the opportunity to guest post on your blog!  
I hope to see you soon – at the auction!

I am sharing gail's tips here:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Update on Cora

Hi all...  I wanted to give you guys an update on Cora.  And I have to be honest, I just talked to Heather and all my blues of earlier in the day just seem unimportant right now.  Cora is supposed to start being prepped for the bone marrow transplant next week.  Unfortunately this past weekend, she came down with an infection and had to go to the hospital and be admitted.  The family lost out on the little bit of time they had together as a unit before the possibly up to 4 months Heather will be spending at the hospital with Cora.

Andrew, aka "Captain Corageous" started kindergarten today.  Heather was luckily able to be the one to bring him to his first day and hang out for a little while.  Andrew was drawing a picture and his teacher told him she loved the way he was drawing and coloring.  He replied, "I drew hearts for my baby sister because I just love her so much."  Captain Corageous is going to save her life with his bone marrow.  I told Heather today that right now totally sucks.  Right now is hard.  And right now, their family is going to struggle.  But soon, we will all look back and this will be a memory.  And the bond between the kids is going to be so strong, and Andrew will always be the one that saved Cora's life.

But Heather is scared.  Doctors have to do their job and make sure you know every possible thing that could go wrong with these procedures.  So now she is scared of the big "What if?"  And not to mention the bills are already piling up.  It's just one of the toughest things anyone has to go through.  But I can honestly say that no dollar amount can ever be placed on saving the life of a child.

Soon, we will have a website or blog up and running where "Be CORAgeous" T-Shirts and bracelets will be available for purchase with all proceeds benefiting Cora.  I will let you know as soon as we have it going so that you may order.  In the meantime, if you would like to make a donation, you can.
You can mail any checks and make them out to Cora Dalik, mailed to...

Cora Dalik, P.O. Box 333, Linthicum, Maryland 21090

I encourage you to check out this video of family photos by clicking here.

Keepin' It Real

I thought I would just fill you in on everything since it's pretty quiet over here at the moment.  I read this post from Yanet today about being in a funk and I completely related.  Maybe it is the end of summer blues.  Maybe it is the start of school blues.  Maybe it is the no-house-yet-blues.  Maybe it is the hurricane blues.  Goodness knows I have had my fair share of hurricanes already in my life.  Whatever it is, it doesn't feel good.  And I felt like I should be completely honest with you.  It isn't always rainbows and unicorns over here.

I told you all in my last post about the house we made an offer on and the furnace issue.  Well, the sellers were supposed to have contractors out there yesterday and today for estimates, but thanks to the earthquake, those appointments were pushed back until tomorrow.  And honestly, with Irene headed our way, I am not sure those appointments will happen tomorrow.  So I have no news on that front.  All I know is we are ready!  We have everything in order so that as soon as there is a contract we will be smooth sailing.  I am still very hopeful that this all works out and this is the house.   Chris and I were already talking about living room layouts the other night, so I know he's excited and hopeful, too.  Otherwise, he would never have sat with me and looked at Pinterest!

I have begun some projects, but honestly they aren't pieces I am especially excited about.  They are the pieces that sat untouched at the last house..... I brought them here so I would finally work on them.  Maybe they will turn out better than I think.

On a good note, Sawyer came off the bus Tuesday with a big smile and hug and had a great day and made new friends, Matthew and James.  Yesterday, he had two more friends he made, Natalie, and "Broccoli".  I asked, are you sure the name is "Broccoli?  Maybe it is Brock?"  And he said, "Oh yeah, it's Brock and she's a girl."  He sure knows how to make girl friends. :)

So not wanting to leave you without any beautiful images,  here are a couple of dreamy bedroom images from Pinterest that I have pinned....

And if you are looking for me on pinterest, just click here.

Come back tomorrow for an awesome guest!  and maybe tomorrow I will hear some news on the house!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Piece of Work Wednesday Furniture Link Party Number 50! WHAT A DAY!

What a DAY this has been!!!!  It stated out a little shaky, a little rocky, when we brought Sawyer to the bus stop.  He is starting first grade in a new school while we stay with my parents and he was very nervous, very scared.  He put on a happy face before leaving the house for me anyhow.

I heard him say to Emmy this morning, "Emmy, I have my first day of school tomorrow and I won't be home.  And tomorrow I have school, too."  So I know he was excited, but nerves got to him as we waited for the bus surrounded by a group of about 15 kids he didn't know and parents he didn't know.  They were all so friendly, and we even found one girl in his class.  But he hid behind my legs, unlike him.  I am really hoping he gets off the bus happy, because I had to do everything I could to hold myself together and not burst into tears and let him know how petrified I was, too.

Then an hour later we heard from our agent.   We made an offer on a house last night.  The sellers, who are awesome and honest people, are good with our offer but they think there may be something wrong with the furnace and want to look into it before they sign anything.  I admire and appreciate their honesty with us.  So for now we wait to hear back from them after their furnace gets checked out.  We should know something in a couple days.  I have to say though, I am happy knowing that the sellers are honest, and care about their house and selling it in good condition.  These traits are not always evident in sellers.

Thirdly, the day really started to shake up, when the earth shook below us.  Seriously.  A 5.9 earthquake struck in Fredericksburg, VA, and was felt up and down in the east.  Emmy and I were in the basement painting- she was painting watercolors.  All of the sudden everything started to shake.  At first I panicked that someone was in the house and we were about to get it.  When I opened the basement door that leads outside, I heard distant voices and realized what I felt was felt through the neighborhood.  I grabbed Emmy to run outside into the open, when there was a knock on my door.  The 14 yr old girl next door was home and very frightened.  We went outside with her, her older sister, and another couple that lives across the street, and another neighbor's dog who was frightened.  We hung out and chatted and waited for any aftershocks.  We felt none and finally went back inside.  One of my mom's decorations broke, but that was all. But I can tell you, it was pretty darn scary.

After all of the excitement, Emmy and I headed to the garden to gather veggies...

So our day has shaken, rattled, and rolled.  And in 20 minutes I will pick up my baby form the bus stop and I am hoping that his day was smooth sailing except fro the earthquake.

Let's get to POWW!

This week I have another old project to share, but now that we are settled at my parents, I started a furniture painting project today! YAY!  That is how I relieve stress, so I am so glad to be back at it again.  FOr now though, here is another coffee table I painted.  And once again I cannot locate the before picture, but just picture it brown and worn.
I gave it a good sanding, a couple coats of primer, and then used a jade green color.  I wanted it more modern looking so I left it undistressed, and then used a polycrylic over it to give it a little more protection and shine.  Voila.

So please share your latest and greatest furniture makeovers!

1. No etsy shops or ebay listings.
2. No repeats- please link something you have not yet shared here.
3. Link back to my blog somehow by using the button in your post or sidebar or adding a text link to your post.
4. Must be a follower of this blog.
5. MUST BE A FURNITURE PROJECT- makeover or build!
6. Share some comment love!

let's see what you have got to share this week!