I finally have a sofa in my living room!!

Well, I have a sofa ‘of sorts’.  A daybed that will function as my sofa and that I can sleep on when I have overnight guests (whom I would of course give my room to!)  And it only took me 14 months from the time I moved in to ‘build’ it.

I really. REALLY wanted to find  a cool old day bed to use in my living room.

Something along the lines of these.  Aren’t they fabulous!?!?  Alas, I have not seen one single vintage day bed since I moved 14 months ago.  And actually, had I found one like the iron ones in the above photos, they probably would have been to short to actually SLEEP on.

I already had this old door that I had painted to use as my headboard previously in my room at Michael’s.  It ended up being too long to use as the headboard in my room here, so I just stashed it in the garage until I figured out what to do with it.


So, a few weeks ago, an elderly gentleman who lives across the street from me came over while I was outside working on some projects, and introduced himself to me and commented on how I was ‘always out here working on something’!  He said he had an old door and peg rack that he was getting rid of, and asked if I’d like them.  Of course I said yes.  This is that door, and it is HEAVY.  It took both of us to lift it onto my wheely cart and wheel it over to my place!

Wasn’t sure WHAT I was going to do with it at first.  Michael has been working on some home improvements, and I thought he might be able to use it; so I offered it to him first.  He did not need it, so it was mine . . . all mine to figure out a use for.


So I had the old panel door for the backing.  Could use the newly acquired ‘heavy’ door for the base.  Now I just needed to figure out what to do for legs????  But I wasn’t sure that ‘just legs’ would be sturdy enough, and I wanted to leave room for storage underneath, so I wanted it a bit HIGHER than a typical daybed would be.  So I designed the above wood boxes to use as the base to put the door across, and Michael custom built them for me.

I had even saved the wood support boards that we had used to attach the panel door to the wall when I was using it as my headboard previously.  I just screwed the boards back on using the same screws in the same holes; then screwed the door to the wall.  Most of the weight of the door is supported by the boards. Screwing it to the wall just keeps it from falling over.

P1280737And there you have a ‘naked’ make-do daybed!!  Now I just need a mattress or some kind of padding!!  Which proved to be much more difficult than I had anticipated!!  A twin mattress was too wide and not long enough.  So I  headed to Joann Fabrics (50% off coupon in hand!) and figured I could get a new foam pad at a decent price.  WRONG!!!  Even at HALF off, the foam pads were crazy expensive!!!  Forget that!  So I put on my thinking cap and started looking elsewhere.

Since we are nearing the end of summer, I thought perhaps I could find a box pad like the ones above (but for outdoor furniture) on sale.  Nope.  They were more expensive than the foam pads!  An actual twin mattress would have been the cheapest option IF it would have fit!  sigh.  WHAT am I going to use for the ‘cushions’ on my sofa/daybed????


My propensity to think outside the box led me to purchasing TWO king size foam mattress pads.  I cut each one into THREE equal pieces; which gave me a nice and cushy SIX layers to sit or sleep on!!  I bought a plastic twin bed cover to ‘hold the foam layers together.


I was really envisioning something that looked like this.  I LOVE the old pallets for the base, but NEED the storage room that a covered base provides.  But a cover similar to the one above might still look good with a skirted base.

But this is what I got . . .  for now at least.  The covering and pillows are temporary.  I just threw what I had on there for now.  I want to make a skirt (burlap maybe) and a vintage chenille bedspread and different covers for the pillows (feed-sack style maybe?) .  Oh, and now that I see it ‘almost finished’, I’ve decided that it NEEDS arms or SOMETHING on the ends.

I would LOVE to find some cool vintage corbels to use as ‘arms’.  They wouldn’t really need to go the full depth of the bed; just enough to keep the pillows from falling off.  And if I can’t find any old corbels, I can buy news ones, or maybe MAKE my own!  (I foresee a field trip to the salvage place down in Aurora!)


So, the daybed is still very much ‘a work in progress’.  As is the living room as a whole.  I had to figure out where to move the dresser that was on the wall where the daybed is now.  (it’s full of craft supplies!)


And I’m totally embarrassed to admit that I have yet to do away with all of this ‘pile of stuff’ at the back of my living room.  Although this is a picture from a year ago, and the pile is now about 1/4 that size.  A lot of it was product for Stars that has been taken to my booth and sold. Getting rid of this will open up the living room a bit more, but only in a ‘long and narrow’ way; not any wider.  And now that I’ve decided that I NEED to do the Junk Salvation show again in February; I’m going to have to start accumulating product for it.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to upgrade to a bigger rented storage unit.  I have a 4’x6′ right now.


These old suitcases that I have as the coffee table for now are too big for the space.  I actually have a really cute shabby white trio of tables that I had Michael build for me (before I even moved) that I had intended to use as the coffee table.

 While I was awaiting a sofa to put a coffee table in front of, I had put them on my front porch.  Remember my blue pumpkin display from last fall?  The two smaller ones ‘tuck under’ the bigger one.  These will eventually replace the suitcases as my coffee table.

So, the ball is rolling and I just MIGHT have my living room squared away enough to actually put up a Christmas tree this year.

Post Valentine / Pre Easter booth at Stars

Ahhhhhhh . . . . . so nice and not cluttered looking with the Valentine stuff cleared out.

(well, ‘not cluttered’ by MY design standards at least!)


I’m seriously considering NOT doing ‘holiday’ stuff anymore in my booth at the antique mall.  The seasonal and holiday stuff was such a ‘necessary staple’ when we had our own shop, that I just kind of got into the routine of ‘planning for it’ and working on it a season ahead of time.


The holiday specific stuff doesn’t really sell that well at the antique mall (except for Christmas); and hardly any of the other vendors do any.  (again, except for Christmas!)


And I’m beginning to feel like the holiday stuff distracts from my regular stock.


NOW I just need to figure out what to do with my time . . .now that I won’t have all those seasonal crafts to work on!  (adding them to my etsy shop is NOT an option either!  Been there.  Tried that and it’s just too much stuff to store away until it sells.)


Hopefully, without the ‘extra clutter’ in the way, the regular stuff will sell even better; and I’ll stay busy prepping and restocking that instead of the holiday stuff.


I’m also going to put some real effort into not piling quite so much regular inventory into my space.  It might sell better if it’s more easily accessible.  (Not that sales aren’t GOOD . . .they are!  I’m hoping to make them better!)


I really do LOVE simple little displays like this stack of old book and nest in a jar.


Alas, I tend to display more like this: the shelf nearly disappears with all the stuff on it.

P1250526Easter stuff will be arriving next week; along with more ‘general spring’ stuff; birds, nests etc.



To paint, or not to paint?

Found this cute pair of vintage wall plaques last week.

P1240684The cherubs on them are ADORABLE!  But that ‘pink’ background?!???

P1240687It’s just a very ‘off-pink . . . . kind of the ‘flesh’ crayon color from when I was a kid.

P1240686The sides are very think . . . and PINK.  They are kind of ‘bowl shaped, but with straight sides, and the cherubs are inside the bowl at the bottom.

P1240688Normally I’d just spray paint something like this with white or cream and just cover it entirely.  But I really like how the faces are painted.P1240689

I’m torn!!  I’m considering attempting to hand brush paint ‘just the pink part’; but I’m not sure white paint would look right either?!?!  And I hate ruining cool vintage stuff like this!

P1240684What do YOU think of them ‘as is’, in their original color?

Found floral painted hump top trunk

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Adorable mid-size truck with studded trim.  I really wanted to paint the trim a different color from the trunk to let it stand out.  BUT, I had to sand off all those flowers because the paint was ‘raised’ and would the texture would show through if not sanded off.  With the extra time it took to ‘work around’ all that trim for sanding the flowers off; I had to reconsider.  Time is money; after all.

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 Clean ‘innards’, although I am not a fan of glossy paint.  One hinge was broken and the other missing, so I just removed the broken one.

P1210217Initially I was trying to only spray paint the trim and lock areas with this silver paint; intending to then paint the rest of the trunk black.

P1210218But the silver kind of ‘grew on me’ and I decided to go ahead and paint the whole thing silver, just to see how it looked.  I can still go back and paint over the sides and top black if I want to.

P1210219You can see the areas that I sanded deeper, and the silver paint took on a more matte finish.  I kind of liked that ‘splotchy look’, reminded me of mercury glass a bit.  SO, I decided to leave the whole thing silver; then revisit it later on and see how I felt.

P1210216I SHOULD have thought to spray some clear matte varnish on the inside FIRST, to take down the shine.  But I didn’t, and after painting the outside, it was too late to because the over-spray would get on the outside.  So, I applied some vintage dictionary pages on the bottom and part way up the sides.

P1210220Now, it’s sitting in ‘the pile’ of finished stuff, and I just can’t decide if I should paint the sides and top black and leave the trim silver.  Whichever I do decide, I’ll be selling this one at Stars; not keeping it.

What do you think?

To alter or not to alter???

4.30.13 etsy signs SIGNS 001Found this cute little guy while thrifting this week.  He is just about ‘life size’ too!

4.30.13 etsy signs SIGNS 006He had what ‘looked like’ a light fixture, but it didn’t work.  Price was right though, so I bought him; thinking I might be able to easily replace the light.

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I’ve never seen a bulb like this before and I couldn’t figure out how to ‘unscrew it’ to even take it to look for a replacement.  hmmmmmmmmmmmmm….

4.30.13 etsy signs SIGNS 004I suppose I could stuff a string of led lights into him to light him up.  OR maybe alter one of those little ‘clip lights’ that take night light bulbs.  OR just sell him ‘as is’ and suggest using battery operated tea lights to light him up.

4.30.13 etsy signs SIGNS 002My other thought was to cover him with old book pages???  But I probably couldn’t get that much of a higher selling price for the amount of work that would take.

He IS awfully cute as is.  I’m sure a ‘doxy collector’ would snap him right up.

To alter or not to alter?  That IS the question!

Two heads ARE better than one!

MOST of the time I have TOO many ideas.  I’ll know WHAT I want to do, but can’t decide which way to do it.  And oftentimes,  my FIRST idea is not the one I end up using.  Rather one thing leads to another and eventually I get the look I was going for.  It’s a PROCESS.  Then there are the times that I just get STUCK!

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 013And adding ‘that finishing touch’ to these two newly re-papered boxes was one of those times! 

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 The bottom one is ‘hat box’ size and made of paper mache.  

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I have no idea what the top one was for originally.  It had an ugly red-ish alligator skin finish, and is made of wood with a velvet-like lining inside.  VERY sturdy.  My first thought was to make it into a padded foot stool, with storage space inside.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 020So after I re-papered them and applied a couple of coats of matte varnish for durability, I wanted to add a ‘finishing touch’.  This round wood finial was perfect for the mache hat box; BUT I really wanted to STACK the boxes when I take them to my booth at Curiosities in Beaverton.  So, that meant I couldn’t put a knob on the box that would go on the bottom.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 022BUT, the little black knob just didn’t ‘look right’ on the bigger box.  It felt too small.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 024So I decided to ‘beef it up’ a bit.  I always keep some of these little wood plaques on hand, so I tried adding one of those first.

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 023(of course I would have painted it black too, but I was just ‘trying it on for size’ first)  Still not big enough!

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 012So I went back to my ‘wood parts stash’ and got another round piece like the first one.  Found this FABULOUS unfinished ‘bun foot’ and sandwiched it between the 2 small rounds.  Then added a bigger round plaque as a base.  I was still just ‘experimenting’ so nothing had been glued together yet.  And I kept trying different combinations . . .but I was just STUCK!  I could NOT decide what to do?!?!  Because I REALLY wanted the black knob on the black lid; but I also wanted to be able to stack the boxes!!  aaaaaaaaargh!!

4.24.13 buys stars etsy crap 025The SIZE of the bigger one (as shown above) was certainly the right scale, but for some reason I just could NOT commit to permanently attaching it to the bigger box.  Maybe I was ‘too stuck’ on the idea that it would make a great storage foot stool?!?

So I enlisted Michael’s help  and asked for his opinion.  Showed him all the different options, and explained why I didn’t want to attach it to the hatbox, but also didn’t want to ruin the possibility that the bigger one could be used as a foot stool.

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It took him maybe 2 seconds to come up with the perfect solution:  Just leave it SEPARATE, like a finial.  Don’t attach it to either, but just set it on top of the taller box when you display them.

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Genius!  HOW did I not think of that myself?!?!?



No ROOM for a Christmas tree???

A reader recently left this comment for me:

“I’ve moved out of a house and into a small condo where my tree doesn’t  fit. Do you have any suggestions on how to display my favourite ornaments without buying a tiny tree?”

I thought this would be a good topic for the rest of my readers to chime in on.

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is the following:

I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooove doing ‘color theme trees’.  I love to buy and create an entirely different look every year IF I can.  And for a while, I was even able to ‘fund my obsession’ by selling each years decor to someone else when I was done with it; and use that money for the next years decor supplies.  (hopefully at 75% off in the after Christmas sales!)

Anyhow, my son wanted his old favorite ornaments on the tree; but I didn’t want to mix them in with my theme tree.  So I did 2 things.  First, I gave him his own little tree in his bedroom.  And I draped a HUGE artificial greenery garland across my entertainment center, added Christmas lights and filled that with all the old traditional and keepsake ornaments.  (unfortunately I don’t have a picture!) But it really was beautiful!

Nowadays most people have flat screen TV’s, so no big bulky entertainment center to drape a heavy garland over.  You could drape your garland across a mantle.  Across the top and down the sides of a big picture window.  Across and down the sides of a doorway.  OR even just mount it in a tree SHAPE to a WALL and decorate that!

So that’s all I’ve got to offer to remedy this readers no room for a Christmas tree quandary.  Do YOU have any ideas to share?

P.S. One reader sent me this suggestion via email so she could attach a picture:

“Here’s an idea I found somewhere & out on my pinterest..I need to find a screen & do this!
Kelly Burns

And if you can’t find a SCREEN to use, a burlap backing would probably work!


beautiful home made tree!

Seeking inspiratioin

Every so often even “I” need some inspiration.  (tis true!)

 While perusing for dresser painting ideas on Better After,  (which is ALWAYS a good source!)   I came across this great collection of salvaged/updated pieces from one of the featured artists.  Take a peek!

This little dresser I just picked up is a PERFECT candidate for a ‘unique make over’.  The single drawer pulls make it easy to ‘work around’ .  Pretty much a blank canvas.  I just can’t decide WHAT to do?!?!?  OR if I’m even BRAVE enough to do a ‘wild’ paint job?!?!

This idea popped into my head as I drifted to sleep the other night.   For the knobs I’d use some BIG oval wood plaques, and make them into letters for the painted on number words.  I just got a totally “WTH?!?!?!” look from Michael when I asked him what he thought.  I’m not convinced I’ll like the asymmetry of the numbers on the drawers.  Might be too unbalanced for me.

I can ALWAYS just paint it white or beachy blue; change out the knobs.   It would sell instantly.  Little dressers always do.  But I’m kinda itchin to do something different too!   Better sleep on it a few more days.  But we’re SUPPOSED to be getting a stretch of warm and sunny days and that’s PAINTIN’  WEATHER in these parts.   So I can’t put it off for TOO long!

Last summer I broadened my painting repertoire with what I called my ‘Cabana stripe collection’.  Remember this big boy???

It sold surprisingly FAST.   I had so much fun painting all the striped pieces, and everything sold quite well.  I have one little shelf (like on the dresser above) and a folding table left over from then.  So I COULD bring back the stripes this year, but I really yearn to do something NEW.  (new to me at least!)

Any thoughts?  And new trends you’ve seen that I may have missed and should give a go???


Recent finds: White!

I seem to be finding A LOT of whites at the thrift store lately.  

With HALF PRICE tags, no less!!

They seem to practically FLY off the shelf and into my cart when they are half price!

NO such thing as TOO many white dishes though, eh?

I can always just take them to my booth at Stars and sell them ‘as is’.

And I just ADORE having this aqua shelf unit FILLED with white dishes!

And the white DO dishes sell VERY well like that.

Which is WHY I can so easily justify buying so many of them!

Finding a lot of matching dinner and side plates.  Funny how the colors look different in that picture?!?!  They really ARE the same color!

Making them into cake pedestals seem to be quite popular on etsy. 

And I do have a few of the cloche tops in my current stash.

What I always get ‘stuck on’ in regards to selling stuff like THIS on etsy, is the PACKING and SHIPPING though.  The pedestal plates WITH a cloche top won’t fit into the largest priority mail box with sufficient packing materials to ship and arrive fully in tact!

Same issue with the 2 tier ones like this.  Now I COULD take them to a FedEx or UPS store to be ‘packed and shipped’ . . . but THAT cost would be as much as (if not MORE!) than what I’d charge for the stand itself!  Plus, it’s nearly an hour round trip to the NEAREST facility for me; so I’d have to make the trip on my ‘regular errand day’ OR charge for gas.

I see quite a few of the ‘double decker’ plates, like this on etsy; without the base pedestal.  I don’t like them like this AT ALL.  It’s just not BALANCED.  It just looks like 2 plates stuck together.  Okay, I KNOW that is what it IS,  but it’s SUPPOSED to look like it was ‘meant to be’ . .. not just slapped together.  

I’d REALLY love to do a ‘set’ along these lines (but with white china dishes.  This set from etsy is WOOD; AND comes with a $50.00 SHIPPING cost on top of the $135.00 cost of the set!)  BUT with the aforementioned conundrum regarding the shipping issues, WHAT IF I offered it ‘UNassembled’???

I could certainly offer ‘more for the money’ selling them unassembled.  Less chance of breakage in transit too!  But the question is, will customers want to pay for a box of components that they have to put together themselves, for the sake of SAVING a significant amount of money???

I could take pictures that SHOW how it looks assembled.  I’d tell them what kind of adhesive to use on them.  And I could pretty much sell a set of FIVE unassembled pedestals for what it would cost to just SHIP one assembled 2 tier, or dome topped pedestal!  

The ‘hot market’ for these items seems to be wedding dessert buffets.  And it seems like there are a lot of brides on a budget these days then ever before.  And more and more are doing a lot of their own decorations etc . . .

Soooooooooooooo . . taking ALL THAT into consideration, should I give the ‘assemble your own’ listing a try???  (I’ve really got NOTHING to lose; because I can still use all the components elsewhere/otherwise if they don’t sell)  I just don’t want shoppers to look at the listing and think, “Well THAT’S a stupid idea!  If I want to MAKE it myself I’ll just go out and BUY the plates myself and save even more!”  

OR would they gladly pay for the convenience of the already matched and thought out set??   As opposed to spending a lot of their time searching thrift stores and estate sales for the right pieces.  

I’m really ON THE FENCE on this!  What do YOU think??


My ‘under $4.00 window covering’

Found this HUGE blat basket while out thrifting last week.  It’s 3′ x 3′, and it didn’t have a price tag when I saw it.  So I gingerly dodged the other shoppers while balancing it atop my shopping cart to get to the front counter to ask for a price check.  Didn’t really have my heart set on buying it yet since I didn’t know how much it was, nor did I even have a potential use for it.  But it was unique because of it’s size alone, so it was worth an inquiry.   AND at this particular thrift store they have a habit of ‘pricing HIGH’ on items w/o tags that people ask about.  Guess they figure you REALLY want it, so they can give you a higher price.  That trick doesn’t work on ME though.  If the price is higher than I was hoping, I politely say, “thanks, but I’ll pass’.    To my delight, it was only $3.99.  SOLD.

Our living room has these STUPID ‘decorative windows.  I HATE THEM.  Really I do!  Back when my living room decor was ‘primitive / Americana’ I had an awesome vintage American flag that hung over the windows to hide them.    Haven’t been able to think of anything else to cover them since redecorating to a lighter shabby country style decor.  Actually had Michael cut me a piece of plywood big enough to cover them, and planned on ‘painting something’ on it and hanging that over the windows.

But the minute I brought the basket into the house, that light bulb in my brain went off!  Ah -HA!!!!  I can hang this over the windows!!!  It’s not quite big enough to cover the whole thing, including the window moulding; but I’m leaving it there for now , until inspiration strikes again and I think of a way to ‘make it work’.

So far I’m considering raising it to the top of the moulding, and making a burlap ‘ruffle’ to go across the bottom.  AND I may end up dry brush painting it a lighter color.  AND I really think it needs ‘a little something’ handing in the middle at the top.  Like a bunch of dried flowers.  Something simple and organic.

I still need ‘one more thing’ to complete the decor to the left of the window too.  Just haven’t found the ‘right thing’ just yet.

Got any ideas on how I can ‘doctor up’ that basket to make it fully hide those windows???   Should I just forget about the basket  and just make a full size burlap curtain to cover the windows.  Do you think burlap will look too heavy?  I have some muslin color burlap I could use?  Muslin curtain with a burlap trim?  I’ve got a roll of burlap ‘ribbon’ my friend sent to me (Thanks again Beth!) that would be perfect trim.

BTW, I KNOW that lamp looks ‘off; in that spot.  It’s there out of necessity for now; until Michael gets our new sofa and bench built for the living room.  I won’t bother tweaking stuff until EVERYTHING is done.   But it might be nice to get the window out of the way for now.