Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vintage Goodness

I've been waiting a long time for central Indiana to get hip.

I'm always seeing cool stuff that other bloggers score at thrift shops and flea markets, and inevitably, they live somewhere in California or Atlanta or Paris.

Sure, Indianapolis will have a hip boutique or antique shop sprout up here or there that I get excited to shop, but there hasn't been a centralized marketplace of vintage goodness. Until now...

This past weekend, my friend Val and I hit the Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace, held in a local conference center.

We were two of the first people to arrive, and didn't know what to expect. But, as soon as the doors opened, we were blown away by all the eye candy. It was difficult to know where to begin looking.

One of the first things I spotted was this white tufted leather bench. It was perfect for a project I'm working on at my friend's house.

I took a pic to text to my friend. Unfortunately, another shopper saw me photographing it, and slapped down cash for it before I could hit the "send" button. Darn!

Oh well. Moving on...

Who knew wooden blocks in a glass jar could look so good? Someone did.

And buttons in a muffin tin.

Here I've been purging our house of game pieces and unused buttons, when I should have been displaying them. Wooden blocks scattered all over the floor don't make as good a display.

I have to admit when I shop at places like this, my heart starts racing. I don't know where to start. I can't remember what I need. I don't want anyone taking the good stuff out from under me. Yet, I don't want to make a hasty purchase and then round the corner and see something even better for less money.

Does that happen to you? What is that? It's exhilarating, overwhelming and paralyzing all at once.

Should've gotten one of these olive buckets. They were a great price. But, I didn't. Couldn't bite the bullet.

How cool are these light fixtures?

Didn't get any of these either.

Okay, here's my biggest regret. This next booth had the coolest plants... awesome topiaries (not that heart one per se, but I couldn't get in there to get a good pic of the ones I liked best). Anyway, she had awesome moss growing in rocks and real rosemary topiaries in aged terra-cotta pots. And, I didn't get a single one.

Why? Because I convinced myself that I could go to Lowe's and get some materials and re-create them myself.

And guess what? I went to Lowe's and I couldn't find a single thing ... no moss, no rosemary, nada.

So, perhaps you're wondering what I did buy at the marketplace. Okay. Brace yourself.

I know. I know. A conference hall full of vintage goodness, and I bring home 3 measly things. I told you I was overwhelmed.

I've been wanting a printer's tray for a long time. I've got plans for this one.

Who doesn't need a little antler to lay atop a pile of books? Or a pretty sea glass jar to plop a flower in?

Luckily, the market returns in March, so I've got the next month to get a prescription for valium assess my decor needs, focus, and develop a shopping strategy.

If you're a seasoned shopper of vintage goods, I'd love to hear how you decide what to bring home with you. Are you on the lookout for specific items, or are you an impulse buyer?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Puppy, A Palm Tree and A Pillow

Brrrrrr. It's cold outside. We're talking -10 with the windchill cold.

So cold the schools had a 2 hour delay this morning.

So cold that walking the puppy has become cruel and unusual punishment.

Speaking of the puppy, the poor thing had a rough week last week. He underwent a name change and a neutering in the same day.

You may recall we named him after Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te'o. Well, we didn't want our dog to spend the rest of his life on the receiving end of fake girlfriend jokes. So, now his name is Sully. Although sometimes we refer to him as "The Dog Formerly Known As Manti," and on occasion, "Cujo" or "Conehead."

This week I've taken to calling him "Snow Cone," since he's been scooping up snow in his cone and licking it.

Anyway, getting back to how cold it's been. At this time of year, I usually embrace the season and  decorate with warm, cozy, wintery things.

Not this year. I'm over it.

I want an escape from dry, cracked skin and numb extremities. I want to be in the tropics.

Sadly, a vacation is not in my future. So I did the next best thing. I bought a tropical plant.

I can't tell you how much this baby has improved my mood. I know what you're thinking... "you're going to kill it, Carolyn." Well, there is a strong possibility that I will. But I'm going to try really hard not to.

It wasn't a big investment. It cost me $10 at Lowe's.

And, look... I didn't even spend money on soil. I just plopped the thing right into a pot. Oh yes I did.

It's a Yucca Cane. The tag says it is tolerant. We'll see if it tolerates me.

Oh, and one other thing that's making me happy today. My new Home Goods lumbar pillow...

HG pillows are hit or miss, but right now, they're a hit! I saw lots of great ones.

So, tell me. Are you embracing the cold winter weather? Or is a palm tree on your shopping list?

Gotta run. Cujo... err... Sully is barking. Time to dress up like nanook of the north and go for a walk in the crisp night air :)

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Reveal of the Craigslist Dining Chairs

My search for dining room chairs ended over Thanksgiving weekend, when I scored these Craigslist beauties...

Okay. They weren't exactly beauties.

Some were in their original upholstery that was torn and falling apart. Others had been recovered with cheap fabric and foam rather than the original hand-tied springs.

But, the wood structure was sturdy. I knew with a little nip/tuck, they'd be gorgeous again.

Some fresh paint, new upholstery and nailheads, and voila...

I know the white seat is probably scaring all you moms out there. But, it is actually covered in an ultra stain resistant faux leather.

I'm so pleased with how they turned out. I don't know which is more satisfying... seeing the chairs brought back to life or knowing how much money I saved by restoring old chairs rather than buying new.

I was able to get 2 armchairs and 6 side chairs in the fabric and color of my choice for less than 2 new side chairs.

Now I need to get slipcovers made for my host and hostess chairs. (Oh, and maybe actually put the art on the walls.)

Then it's on to window treatments and a rug. All in good time.

At least we can finally sit down at the table :)

If you are in the market for new furniture and can't find what you're looking for in your price range, don't forget to check ebay, Craigslist or local auctions. You know what they say, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."

If you want to read the backstory on the Craigslist chairs, you can find it HERE.

Sharing at Tuesday's TreasuresElizabeth & Co.Cowgirl Up!Wow Us WednesdaysFabulously Creative Friday Linky PartyFeathered Nest FridayThrifty Decor Chick's February Before & AfterMiss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Big Trim Reveal

I loved reading all of your responses to my post about painting the trim in our family room. It's such a hot button issue that it should probably be added alongside politics and religion as topics not to be discussed at a dinner party.

Some of you thought I should paint all the wood white. Others felt that wood should be touched by stain and stain alone. And then there were people like me stuck somewhere in the middle. Just register us as "I" for indecisive. 

So, I traveled the road of moderation and painted some of the trim. And, you know what? I love it!

The trim around the outside of the window was painted in Benjamin Moore's "Mayonnaise." It's the same as the wall color. The inside window trim was left in the original stained finish. 

The white trim has definitely given the room a much more spacious feel. In fact, I keep getting the feeling that something is missing or that I forgot to put a piece of furniture back in place. It opens up the room so much!

I'm also glad that we kept some of the wood trim stained, as it ties the windows in with the rest of the wood in the room.

You may have noticed that some of my new pillows arrived.

The zebra print and orangy-pink pillows go a long way in adding some color and pizazz to the sectional.

I'm so pleased with how they turned out! Still planning to add one or two more in another color/pattern. I'll keep you posted on that.

Oh, and see that trim in the kitchen? It isn't safe from the paintbrush. 

My white trim-loving friends will be happy to know that the crown molding and trim are being painted white. 

But don't fear, my dear stained wood-lovers. The kitchen cabinets will remain stained.

There. I think everyone should be happy. Maybe I'll run for office :)

I'd love to hear your views on the "Great Wood Debate." Or, if you'd rather remain neutral, we can just share some pillow talk.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Chalkboard Gallery Wall

Between Christmas Day and New Year's Day (also known as "between the flu and the sinus infection"), I was able to carve out a bit of time to work on a project in my son's "tween room."

Due to the room's funky layout, the furniture is all placed on one side of the room.

To keep the room from feeling unbalanced, I wanted to do something with the blank wall on the opposite side of the room. I knew I wanted to incorporate a chalkboard and a little gallery to display my son's artwork.

I began by marking off straight lines with chalk, and applying painter's tape across the lines.

Then I applied 3 coats of chalkboard paint inside the lines.

The next day I "cured" the chalkboard by rubbing the side of a million pieces of chalk all over it until it was covered.

This was the moment right before I put the damnit in DIY.

I've made chalkboards before, and after this step I would normally wipe it clean with an eraser and be good to go.

But not this time.

This time I used advice I read on the internet and used a damp cloth to wipe it down. Why?? I'm like that girl in the commercial who believes everything she reads online. ARGH!

Now I've got some weird chalk swirls that won't erase and give me vertigo. You'll see what I mean in the next few pictures, because by this time, my sinus infection was taking hold, I had a screaming headache, and I just wanted to plow forward with this project.

So I started creating the "art gallery" portion of the project, knowing that I'd have to eventually fix the actual chalkboard.

Here's what I did...

I had to take this picture lying on the bed because the chalk swirls were making me so dizzy.

I got some frames. Some I found around the house and a couple were bought on the cheap at Goodwill. I used rub-n-buff on one wood frame to give it a gold finish. Another one I spray painted a metallic gold. The others were already in the gold family.

I removed the glass from the frames. I wanted my son to be able to rotate the art when he felt like it.

The frames are hung with a small brad, and the art is applied directly to the wall with sticky tack.

In addition to art, there are some other items displayed that have special meaning to my son.... his first ever paycheck from a rock band gig, his scouting arrow of light, and an award he won at his elementary school graduation. He was chosen out of all the 5th grade boys to receive the award for being an overall outstanding student. That was such a huge honor for him, and I love that he can see the plaque and be reminded (especially on bad days) that he is special.

I still wanted to leave plenty of room for him to use the chalkboard, too.

So, tell me ... am I the only one who screws up a simple DIY project?  Is there a way to fix the chalk mess without repainting??

I'll believe whatever you say :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trimming the Windows

Good Morning! How are you doing today? I'm dragging a bit. I stayed up too late watching Notre Dame get crushed by Alabama. I kept hoping the Irish would rally, but no such luck.

My husband was at the game with my brother. I'd say that I felt sorry for him having to witness that atrocity in person, but he's been in the warm Miami sun for the past 3 days while I've been home in the freezing cold with 4 kids (one who's got the stomach flu) and a new puppy who needs LOTS of attention. So, I don't really feel bad for him :)

You can probably tell how tired I am by the pathetic title of this post, but I just couldn't come up with a creative way to describe window trim. Hopefully, the pretty pictures below will make up for the lackluster title.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I would be leaving the inside trim of my family room windows stained. The windows have built-in grills that are stained wood, so I thought it made sense to have some of the inset trim matching it.

Here are some examples of what I had in mind...

                         Mackle Construction

These look as though they may be painted black, but it's the same idea.

Pottery Barn

via Houzz


The painters come on Thursday. I'm nervous/excited to see how it turns out. 

Have a great day!