Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Somebody grab a camera!

Many of you have probably seen Storage Wars, Pawn Stars, American Pickers???

No?  If not, they are definitely worth a watch.  Storage Wars is basically about people bidding on old storage lockers, hoping to find value in their contents in which they will resell.  Pawn Stars is about a pawn shop where people bring things in that are sometimes worth nothing or thousands.  American Pickers is about two guys who take it on the road to dig through people's "junk" to find things worth money to sell.

Well, I recently attended my first auction and it was AWWWWWE-some!  So many treasures and so inexpensive.  Long story short, I bought stuff.  Yup, cool stuff.  I bought frames from the 1900's for 2 dollars.  I bought glass bottles (20+) for five dollars (keep in mind they retail for 8 bucks each at a local antique store), a ladder for 7.50, and few other goodies. 

I'm addicted and totally going back this Thursday.  Somebody grab a camera and I'd be glad to film my own TV series!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Rocking" deal!

I was shopping at a local furniture store...

It's actually not a store, it's more like an old garage with really nice scratch and dent furniture jammed in it.

Anyway, I was shopping around and noticed two identical, really great rocking chairs.  I've looked at the prices of rockers and they aren't cheap.  They want at least $100 at Lowe's and Home Depot and then of course I need 2, so yeahhh, too expensive.

These particular rockers were listed for $39 each.  I knew in this type of setting it was acceptable to bust out my negotiating skills.  I asked if they were willing to go lower and the gal working there had to call her boss to find out.  He told her to ask me what I was willing to spend and I went for it!  I was like a pro, I said, even without thinking they'd ever take the deal..."$50 for the pair."  He said YES!

I brought them home and knew I was going to sass these babies up.  I sanded them, wiped them down, and painted them plum.  Ahhhh so gorgeous.  I painted them plum because that is the same lovely color my shutters will be!  I actually had the paint lady at Home Deep do an exact match of the shutters.

Keep in mind they are still a work in progress because the seat to the chair needs a second and third coat of white exterior spray paint.  I am thinking I might monogram the top panel of the chair too.  Ya dig?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dear Craig, I heart you!

This is going to be a short post, but I couldn't resist sharing the good news with my followers and viewers.  This past week, Brian and I decided we wanted to buy a new stove, with the kitchen looking all snazzy now and our new countertops coming tomorrow, the big bright white stove just wasn't cutting it.

We put some stuff of craigslist, specifically an airconditioner that was a gift (free), our current big bright white stove (free from my uncle), and spindles that we purchased and decided not to use (broke even). 

We ended up pulling in $400 smackers!  Woot woot!  I don't know you Craig, but I love your list!

We looked online for some good deals, visited Home Deep, visited Lowe's, compared prices and found one we LUVVVVV!  It was on sale from $629 to $584, plus all energy star appliances were 10% off plus we had a 10% off coupon so the total came to...$510.27.  We handed over the $400 in what seemed like free money and ended up paying $110 out of pocket.  LUVVVV.

We ended up with a five burner, gas range, in stainless steel, made by Frigidaire (which I also luvvvv).

Here is a pic, eat your heart out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's just lil' ole me hitting up Salvo's...again...

It's late but I couldn't resist sharing the gems I found at Salvation Army today.  I was just there yesterday, but today was a really nice day and Brian and I thought taking a walk would be nice, so I convinced him we should walk down to Salvation Army. 

I must add that the prices at Salvation Army are all over the place, probably due to the fact that different people price things and they all have a different value of worth.  Whoever priced this stuff did me a big favor by pricing things cheap.

My Salvo's finds of the day are (drumroll...)
All three candle holders, 5 candles and 3 wreaths for around the candles...$8.99
Close up.
How amazing is this little dazzler to hold pillar candles? Only $2.99
Close up.
So cute, look like they came from a little girls room.  Probably going to paint them to match our bedroom (when the time comes).  Only .99 cents a piece!
Close up.

Green: my favorite color since childhood :)

Check out the before and after on this bad boy.  So much moooore to go!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I see the light!

Picked up some lamps at Goodwill about two weeks ago.  I went there with my grandmother to peruse and as soon as I walked in I spotted the most gorgeous lamps.  I couldn't believe these puppies were just sitting there waiting for me to buy them.  Now, let me tell you, they were a tad on the dirty, rusty, in need of looove side, but that didn't stop me from scooping them up A-SAP.  I hadn't even grabbed a cart yet and I already had the lamps in tow.  My granny grabbed a cart and we were on our way to look for more goodies. 
Mysteriously, there were no price tags on the lamps which I will say certainly worked to my advantage.  Now, keep in mind most of the lamps ranged from $10-$15 bucks from what I could see trying to ballpark how much my lamps were going to run me.  I approached an employee and batted my eyes and I inquired about the price.  Please work, please work, please work, I was thinking.  And to my surprise (but not my grandmothers) it worked!  He informed me the lamps were $7.99 but when he labeled them...$6.99!!!  Could this really be true?

Despite the fact that my grandmother disliked the lamps, I went for it anyway.  The price was just too darn good to pass up, plus I had already fallen in love with them.
Took them home, took them all apart, sanded the base, spray painted all the brass to nickel, and bought a couple shades.

Lamps are expensive.  Mucho expensivo.  My total investment:
2 Lamps with tax:  $15.13
New plugs: $3.80
2 New shade holder thingys: $7.48
2 New shades: $30
Silver paint: $0
Total: $56.41
Divided by 2: $28.21

Salvaged some great lamps and saved some money in the process.

Now this is a kitchen reno I can afford!

Kitchen renovations can cost upward of $30,000 (for the folks with a wad of cash) and we just don't have that kind of money under our mattress or in our bank account for that matter.

I hated our cabinets, hated. hated. hated.  Yes, I felt that strongly.  Some were the old tall wooden ones and some were metal.  Not the greatest combo for our kitchen.

We painted them once, taking the easy way out, thinking that we would at least like them a little bit better.  Yuck!  Major fail.  I kindly told Brian that I thought they were ooooookay because he helped pick the color, but I was barfing on the inside.  Brown. Dark chocolately poo poo brown.  Yeah, I'm totally being gross today, sorry.

Enough was enough.  I already hate to cook and being in there was making things worse.

I made a trip to Home Dep. Oh, I'm too lazy to say Home Depot now, so I think it's cool to say Home Deep.  Nerd Alert!  So, I made a trip to Home Deep and bought some creamy vanilla paint.  I didn't tell Brian that I was also buying trim because once it was bought we'd have no choice but to DIY the cabinets.

After sanding cabinets, painting trim, adhering the trim, caulking, antiquing, and a million and one other tasks, they are finally done and they are FAN-TAB-ULOUS.  No clue what that means, but my friend Melissa has got me saying it all the time now.  Fan-tab-ulous!

Major success!!!  And more pics to follow

Made me some wall art!

I was given a bunch of really old advertisements for combs, Tide, Quaker Oats, etc.  I loved them right from the start for many reasons (mostly, I love OLD stuff and I teach advertising) but wasn't sure what I was going to do with them.

Finally while finishing up my kitchen, I decided to run down to Salvation Army and buy a couple frames to see if I'd like them framed.  I just happened to have to mats lying around so I painted them the same color and the kitchen and slapped those puppies inside.

I love them.  End of story.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just a sneak peek...

Well wow, wow, wow!  No really, WOW!  It's not every day that I DIY something and actually loooove it when I'm done.  I usually look at my DIY project and say "ummmm, yeahhhh, okay, that's not that bad, but...hmmmm" and then I over analyze it and I'm left feeling like I've busted my hump for no good reason at all (sighhhhh).  Truth is I just have really high expectations.

Today is a different story...my cabinets are looking all jazzed up and I'm feelin' fine!  Here is a little tiny sneak peek...(mind you this was taken with my phone at about 10 o'clock at night)  Scroll down and look at the before pics.  This DIY was quite a success :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kitchen facelift!

So awhile back Brian and I decided the kitchen needed some love.  We are by no means able to do an entire kitchen reno, considering the costs are so high and we are tackling an entire house, not just a kitchen. I will post a picture of what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house, but for now check out it's most current state.

We took all the cabinet doors down, sanded them, bought new hardware (for a dollar each at Ocean State Job Lot-they are at least $4 at Home Depot or Lowes), painted them, then cut out a section of cabinets to make room for a refrigerator, removed the soffet from above the cabinets, then hung them back up.  Oh, we also ripped up four floors that were there before and tiled a new one and painted the backsplash to save money from having to retile.  We also knocked down the wall from between the kitchen and the laundry room to go from a galley kitchen to an eat in.  And...painted the walls.  Whew!  Yeah, we did a lot.  The first picture shown is what it looked liked after we painted the cabinets.  Excuse the mess, you know how reno can be.  Also, excuse the box o'wine.  It legitimately was left by a friend.  So let me cut to the chase...I never loved the brown paint.  In fact, I never really liked it.  Brian loves dark colors and I love light airy colors.  Well, about six months has passed and I'm still not diggin' the kitchen.  I don't like to cook in the first place so I really need to make this room feel like a place that I want to be in.  And with that idea, the kitchen was about to redone AGAIN!

More pics to follow...for now I'll let you in on a little secret...
We are:
  • repainting cabinets a lighter color
  • applying picture frame molding to all cabinet doors
  • replacing the cabinet faces on the metal cabinets (yeah, half our cabinets are metal)
  • ordering new countertops
  • repainting backsplash, possibly applying some tile tattoos
  • finally adding curtains
  • trying to find a stainless stove and dishwasher for practically free (I realize this may be quite difficult)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This is no deal...this here is a STEAL!

I was surfing craigslist (yeah, I surf the net a lot) and found the wildest video posted about furniture.  It was a video, shot by a young guy, who was walking around a warehouse shooting footage of all the cheap furniture he had for sale.  He would walk by a dresser and say "five bucks," walk by a lamp and say "free."  It was incredible.  I was so excited I could barely get through the rest of the work day.  I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted to buy and went prepared with cash!  I was hoping there would still be some inventory because the post was from February 7th.  There was one item I wanted more than any others-it was a red dresser, vintage looking, and I actually clapped at my desk when I saw it. 

So anyway (anticipation building?) I rush to the door, practically run inside, start scanning items and lo and behold,

there she is...my RED VINTAGE dresser!  Now, now, I know red doesn't exactly go with my whole motif, but a little love is going to go a long way when I spruce this up so it coordinates with what I already have.

Amazingly, this dresser was...
Yup, only fifteen smackers!

And although most of the other goodies were gone, I did manage to snag this...

For only five clams dollars!  I'm thinking, paint job, and rocker for nursery someday la la la la-ong long down the road.  Did I mention LONG down the road?  Long!

Well, I feel like a lucky duck today let me tell ya.  To stumble upon this gem when I wasn't even looking is like hitting a picker's lottery.  Not to mention, this warehouse was five minutes from home.  And as a side note, the dresser wouldn't fit in Brian's car, but the man working there saw us struggling and offered to drop it off for free in his minivan!  I promised him that I would 'pay it forward' and he seemed pleased by that response.  Overall, this has been an A+ of a day!  Hopefully some progress pics soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oh Martha girl, you got it going on!

While scrolling some of my fave blogs I stumbled upon the most perfect and easy idea ever! It was an idea brought to us by Martha Stewart, probably something she cooked up (pun intended) in her free time awhile back. Anyway, here is Martha's version...Martha, you are soooo cool!
Here is another version I found courtesy of http://glass-jars-and-sparkle-water.blogspot.com/
And so I thought...HEY, I can do this!  Let me "Martha-it-up."  Right now I only have three jars...
I printed a bunch of really purdy bird prints off the internet (free)! 
And voila! Here is my version.  I need to eat a lot more pickles, roasted red peppers, olives (yuck) so I can accumulate more jars!

Very easy project and quick too!  I've gotta say, I'm pretty pleased with the way they turned out :)

Etsy is the Besty!

So, really quick I wanna throw a shout out to Etsy.com. Quite possibly the most amazing online store ever!!!

Here are a few items that I think are totally worth checking out...

Hand-crafted jeans, shorts, purses etc. Somewhat hippie-esque.

Really wild, unique pillows.

Recipe boxes taken to a whole new level.

Whimsical jewelry.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Southern Savings!

I have spent the last four (supposed to be five) days in Louisiana. I went for a baptism but managed to sneak in some serious shopping. Holy options! There were so many stores and many bargain stores that I had never even heard of.

Get this...I found some stuff for my Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville porch on THE CHEAP, I mean it, really really cheap. I'm talking 20 cents for a small sign that says "Sun, Sand, Surf" with a delicious beverage on it, 40 cents for a larger sign that says "Lost in Paradise," 2 dollars for a picture frame and 3 dollars for a toucan wall art, hanging hook thingy. Yup, all that goodness for my enclosed back porch for a total of...$5.60!!! The name of the store is Burkes Outlet (maybe you've heard of it).

At another store I found a lantern/candle holder in brown, but I've already taken the liberty of painting it white and antiquing it. I swear I took a before pic, but it magically disappeared. So this is the lantern painted, it's missing the glass cylinder and the candle (use your imagination).

I also found a ginormous pillow at Kohl's that was originally $80 on sale for $13.85 (that was challenging to fit in the suitcase!)

My true loves of my purchases is my bird tray and teapot. The bird tray was $6.99 and the tea pot with two silver teacups was $5.99. In loooovvve with the bird tray-I'm telling ya! It was green and I already used some left over paint from my walls and painted the tray blue.
Oh, and candle sticks! I bought candle sticks that are going to be painted white (as soon as I figure out how and when).
Oh, and non-house related...I bought six bathing suits and the most expensive one...only $1.88. They aren't cheap-o brands either, they are Nike, Body Glove, Hurley, etc. Woot, Woot!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

15 custom pillows coming right up!

That's right...15! I am making 15 pillows for my window seat. I happened to be near a Joann Fabrics, which by the way, is having 50%off their home decorator fabrics RIGHT NOW (Sale ends today). I love the idea of mixing and matching so I found these solid stripes and thought they would pair up nicely with the floral type print.
I was so excited when I got home to put the materials next to the material I had previously purchased on my last trip to Joanns. I had just bought this floral print.

And oh look, had the same exact one at home...
Guess I really like that one, considering I found it, liked it, and bought it twice. Oops!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Big Old Windows=Impossible Finding Curtains

I have searched high and low to find curtains that fit my style and my windows! I have had absolutely NO luck. I need curtains that are 95 inches in length, so pretty long.

At one point I wanted to order custom curtains from JCP but to my surprise the quote was $1900. I only need four curtains! Whoa!

I looked at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy's, JCP, Lowes, and every other store that I thought sold curtains. I wanted something that looked like a million dollars without spending a million dollars (don't we all?).

On my quest for the longest curtains known to (wo)man, I started to think maybe I should make them. I am an amateur seamstress and that's being far too generous. However, I do like a challenge.

I bought a couple patterns at Joann Fabrics.

I took out the pattern and almost fell over in shock. Nope, ain't gonna happen.

I searched for a local seamstress/tailor and found one about ten minutes from my home. I brought my extra material
that I had from reupholstering my chairs and handed over the pattern.

Although I would have liked to DIY these curtains myself, I recognize my strengths and weaknesses in the DIY department and sewing these bad boys was going to weigh more heavily on the weakness side. Good news is, the pattern for the curtains I'd like in the kitchen
are easy enough to DIY so that is a challenge I'm willing to take on.

Long story short, I am currently waiting to see the end product. I won't lie, I am quite nervous about seeing what the tailor produces. Maybe I should have given him some test material first. At $40 a yard (without a sale or coupon) I'm hoping that his talents are weighing on the strength side in this DIY!

Monday, January 24, 2011

And if you thought Wal-mart was cheap then check out...

Walmart.com. Yup, Wally World online is actually cheaper than buying in the store. I was surfin' the ole net and found some pillows at Walmart.com that were on clearance for $5 each. Just to be sure that I wasn't getting ripped off was really getting a deal, I checked out the pillow aisle while doing some grocery shopping. To my surprise the pillows were priced at $10 each. Savings=$10.00

The great thing about ordering them online is that you can have them shipped directly to the store for no cost at all. If you choose the Site to store option you save on shipping and save on the price of the product. Not a bad idea, in my opinion.

I received an e-mail today informing me that my pillows had arrived and that I could pick them up right away. I hopped in my Honda quite excited to be getting a package.

I ripped open the box like it was Christmas morning and the pillows were even better than they looked online. Cozy, soft, squishy and just the right color. SCORE!

Oh, by the way, if you are looking to cover pillows with a material of your choice, it is cheaper to buy fre-fabricated pillows at this price ($5 each) and cover them with your own material than it is to buy pillow forms ($8-10 each). Save some dough my sistas!(and my brothas who buy and sew pillows).

One more "Oh, by the way...I am certainly no advocate for Walmart. I'm a business teacher, have been for six years, studied business for four years in my undergrad, two years doing my Master's and I recognize the effects of retail giant. That being said, I am a consumer on a budget and even though I'm saving there are definitely other costs to shopping there. Wow, let the passion flow Danielle.

Easy DIY projects made with scrapbook paper!

Ever wonder what else you could use your scrapbook paper for? I bought this beautiful book of scrapbooking paper and I thought how nice it would be to use some of the paper in the book around the house. The pages matched most of the palettes in my living room and I wanted to incorporate them somehow. I sought out the internet's world wide web of knowledge to find some great DIY projects that are SIMPLE!

Drum roll...

This first image is courtesy of dollarstorecrafts(dot)com. This website has great ideas that you can do yourself for merely a few dollars. I suggest you check out the site. They created this project using a frame from the dollar store, scrapbook paper in the frame, and then three door handles that they had left over from old cabinets. The door pulls can be purchased at Ocean State Job Lot for $1.00 or if you want to invest a little more, you can find them at Lowes or Home Depot.

The above framed wall art, is courtesy akadesigns(dot)com. The frames can be purchased at a local big box store or you can make the frames with molding found at your local Lowes or Home Depot. A 6-8 feet piece of molding will only run you around 5-10 dollars. They simply added the scrapbook paper to the frame and voila-WALL ART!

If you love monogramming as much as I do then you are going to love this next project. Again, a simple frame, which can be purchased at the dollar store or any store of your choice, scrapbook paper, and a letter (or letters). The letter can be purchased, made out of other scrapbook paper, or find something fun to make the letter out of, like buttons. This image is courtesy of extremepersonalmeasure(dot)com.

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, this is a nice touch for the house. You'll need a scrap piece of wood, mod-podge, scrapbook paper, ribbon, and any other embellishments you'd like to add. Simple mod-podge the scrapbook paper to the wood, then add letters to spell out anything you'd like. Again the letter can be cut from scrapbook paper or created using your imagination. Image is courtesy of lifeateventuallycottage(dot)blogspot(dot)com.

Decorative picture frames to match you motif. You'll need a frame, scrapbook paper, mod-podge, and other embellishments of your choice. This is a relatively east and cute project.

Old pickle jars, baby formula cans, green beans, you name it, you can turn that trash to treasure with scrapbook paper. Check out these DIY'ers made it happen at sweetiepumpkinnoodle(dot)com. Great way to upcycle!

Holiday decor is always a fun option. You can create and change the frames each season. This project displaying SNOW is simple, yet looks fantastic. Scrapbook paper, frames, a little bit of glue and you are on your way.

There are many projects out there that can be made quite inexpensively and with simple scrapbook paper. There are always deals at stores like Joann Fabrics that offer scrapbook paper from 40-70% off. Let your creative juices flow and if you come up with something worth sharing, please do! Good Luck!