Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Thrill of the Hunt

Yesterday Doug and I went to one of our favorite Mexican restaurants for lunch.  We like it because we both love Mexican food and their food is good, but it doesn't hurt that the place is close to two Good Will stores that we don't get to visit very often.

As we were pulling into the parking lot of the first one, I said to Doug, "You know, one of my favorite things about shopping at Good Will is that you truly never know what you're going to find. I love that moment of excitement when we first walk in and start looking around."

Well, that moment happened literally a moment after we entered the store, when Doug spotted a vintage green glass carboy. For $3....

We also found a few things for the beach house, including a little wooden table, a quilt, two pots, a Pyrex mixing bowl, an almost new bagel toaster, and a red metal toolbox.

We actually would have gone home happy even if we had left the second GW empty-handed.

But we didn't.

Almost as soon as we got to store #2, Doug saw a nice braided rug (I am a sucker for nice braided rugs) and called me over to take a look.  The colors weren't quite right for the beach shack, but my mind immediately started wheeling and dealing between our current house and the beach place, and I was pretty sure I could figure out a switch that would work.

We paid for the rug ($15) and put it in the car--we were taking no chances on losing it.

Then the unthinkable happened.  I saw its big sister.  For $30.  And I saw that the tag had L.L. Bean Home on it.  And it was 100 percent wool.  We hoisted it into a shopping cart and awkwardly made our way through the store.

This is what it looks like in the living room of our real house:

The small one fits nicely in my sewing room, but since my 22-year-old daughter, Christine, is staying there for a few more days, I passed on taking a picture.  You probably wouldn't be able to see the rug anyway.

The best part of the day was sitting on the couch and admiring the rug after everything was in place.  Well, at least that was the best part until I measured the rugs and looked them up on L.L. Bean's website.

The smaller one (7x9) retails for $599, and the larger one (8x11) goes for $799.

We paid $45 for the pair.

And almost as good as finding out the rug prices was the compliment I got from Christine when she got home later in the evening and saw the rug. When she was a teenager, she used to say really bad things about my GW shopping addiction and the things I bought.

All she said last night was, "Mom, that rug looks beautiful."

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Never Spray Paint a Lampshade

Like most DIY bloggers, I love to show off my successful projects, so I guess it's only fair that I also admit my failures.

Yesterday, Doug and I found a really cool old glass lamp in a thrift store for $3:

The top had a vintage-looking green ceramic knob, which reminded me of my vintage green table:

The shade was fabric with eight panels.  I immediately had visions of alternating pastels to match my four wood chairs--two each of lavender, light blue, yellow, and pink. Here is the before--I was so excited that I already had started taping it off with frog tape when I remembered to snap the picture:

And I was really proud of how well my taping worked:

Until I plugged the lamp in and turned it on:

The pink, blue, and lavender were OK--the light kind of flowed through them. But for some reason, the yellow didn't "take" evenly, and it looks all splotchy when the light shines through it.  I tried retaping and repainting just the two yellow panels, but it didn't get any better.

Doug thinks we can somehow rescue it with stencils or a backing to block the light from showing the imperfections.

I think it's time to move on and look for another shade.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Breaking Up Isn't Hard to Do

Breaking up isn't so bad when the divorce involves a set of ho-hum furniture.

I was recently looking for four chairs to paint in cottage pastels and use with a vintage kitchen table in the dining area of our "beach shack." My friend Carrie alerted me to a set of four chairs and a table on Craigslist for $60.  The chairs were cool with a criss-cross back, and they were really solid and sturdy.  So Doug and I bought the set, figuring that the chairs were probably worth $15 each, and we could always resell the table.  Here's what it looked like on the Craigslist ad (one chair wasn't in the picture):

I've since painted the chairs (one each yellow, light blue, pale pink, and lavendar), but I haven't taken good photos yet, so they'll be the subject of another post later.

In the meantime, we posted the table on Craigslist but didn't get any takers--July 4th probably isn't the best time to sell used furniture.  But that turned out to be a good thing because I saw this great table redo by Ashley on her blog, Domestic Imperfection, and realized our table had a Union Jack wood-grain pattern on the top just like Ashley's coffee table.

So we sanded down the top completely and roughed up the legs.  Then Doug taped off the design, and we applied mahogany stain for the "red" and walnut stain for the "blue," leaving the taped part for the "white."

Doug then added a piece of quarter-round molding to make the edges of the table sturdier, and I painted the molding, the legs, and the apron with some watered-down blue paint:

Finally, I finished the top with several coats of my leftover floor urethane.

Now, all we need is some chairs to go with it :-)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cottage Bedroom

I saw these Pottery Barn pillows ($5 for both of them) at a yard sale a few weeks ago.  I didn't need them--or know what I was going to do with them--but who can pass up PB pillows for $2.50 each?  So I bought them.

The backs are flowered and fasten with fabric ties:

And now I know what I'm going to do with them.  They'll be perfect for our bed at the beach "cottage" when we get it done.

So I used them as inspiration for a quilt and hunted through my fabric supply for pieces that would go with them.  I cut out 42 11-inch squares a couple of weeks ago and decided to sew today, since it was too hot to do anything else.

Here's the finished product set up on our bed at home just for the photo shoot:

 I put a light blue and white striped border around three sides:

and a yellow check piece at the top, with the blue and white backing sheet rolled over to make a finished edge, and I tied the layers together with blue yarn that I already had:

The only thing I bought, besides the 2 pillows, was the batting for the quilt, which was $11.49 with my 50% coupon for JoAnn Fabric.

We measured the space for the bed when we went back to visit our little place now that we have a signed contract in place, and we discovered that there is room for only a double bed.  But with these ice blue flannel sheets I just ordered on sale at LL Bean, I think it will be really cozy:

We have lots of painting to do first, as this is what the bedroom looks like now:

Gross.  But I can't wait to get started.