Antique Treasures

April 8, 2009 at 8:18 am (Tid Bits) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

My grandmother just sent me a box of antique jewelry and doodads!  I was so excited last night to rummage through all of the sentimental pieces.  I’m not sure what I am going to do with all of it, but I have some creative ideas going.  Here is a peak at the goods:

The island covered in all the treasures.

The island covered in all the treasures.

 

I really loved this little tray.  My grandma said it was very old.  I thought it might look cute in the bathroom when we get in refinished.

I really loved this little tray. My grandma said it was very old. I thought it might look cute in the bathroom when we get in refinished.

 

A gorgeous cameo and some really pretty crystals.

A gorgeous cameo and some really pretty crystals.

 

Another cameo and a very old pin and rings.

Another cameo and a very old pin and rings.

 

Two old jewelry boxes and a sweet locket.

Two old jewelry boxes and a sweet locket.

 

This box was special because my uncle made all of these turqoise and jade rings and pieces.  His sign is a paw print and is engraved on the back of each piece.

This box was special because my uncle made all of these turqoise and jade rings and pieces. His sign is a paw print and is engraved on the back of each piece.

 

Exciting huh?  I will let you all know what I do with some of the pieces… I can feel the creative juices flowing…

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My Office and Easy Tips

April 6, 2009 at 12:14 pm (Inspiration, Tid Bits) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

We did do work at home over the weekend, really.  But, the snow on Sunday (snow!?) hindered us from accomplishing too much.  I will have a few things to show you later on in the week, but for today I am going to show you my work office. 

When I started at this job one of the first I thought about was how to dress up my first personal office.  I wanted to create a fun and unique work space without spending a bunch of money.  Of course I was not about to go out and buy new furniture, but I do have a few simple and very cheap ideas for dressing up the drab office.  Although you may not be able to produce your dream office with a space that you don’t own, you can make it a comfortable and productive space!

1. Posters.   Not the priciest artwork, but good enough for a work office.  I hung the Keep Calm poster as you enter my doorway (Yup, cliche maybe, but I still love it!).  I also hung an inspirational quote from Muhammad Ali on the opposite wall.  These were so fitting as I work in a hospital as a medical case manager.  And, they give me some color, but stay in the basics I love!

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2.  Use your printer.  I made these blah magnets cute by printing a sheet of white paper with a paisley pattern.  I cut the sheets down to the size of the magnets and glued them on.  I then covered them with clear plastic tape.  I also used paper to fill the letter opener magnet.  The other side of the desk is a sheet of paper I printed with the Chinese symbol for “happiness.”  I have a few printed quotes around the office as well.  These are cheap enough to switch out once in a while too!

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3. Paper flowers.  I wanted to add some brightness to my office, but am horrible at caring for plants.  So, I made paper roses with tissue paper.  I stuck them in a thrift store vase and now have flowers all year round. (the candy is a crowd pleaser as well)

work-office-004

4. Organization!  Staying organized is the simplest, cheapest way to keep an office space looking its best.  I have some open shelves that I make sure are always orderly.  This is also a good time saver.  I always know where things are and never have to hunt!

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5. Personal but professional.  A nice touch to an office space is something personal.  But, remember to keep it professional.  Too many pictures or tchochkes can make an office space cluttered and unprofessional.  I have some pictures hung and framed in my office, but only ones that I don’t mind if clients see.  I have a magic 8 ball on my desk for those real tough decisions as well ;).  My desk top is also an example of keeping organized.  And, the calendar is a free printable version from calendarsthatwork.com.  I love these, as they look cute and are simple instead of busy!  Also notice my mouse pad and pen.  Little touches that were inexpensive!

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Hope these simple ideas help you with your office.  Mine is just like my home, always changing.  Enjoy!

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Whats In Store For Next Week

March 20, 2009 at 1:38 pm (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Over the weekend I have a long list of fun little projects to tackle.  If I get myself into gear and get them done you can plan to see updates next week.  I hope to be working on the kitchen curtains, painting some pots, planting flowers, cleaning up the yard, building a fire pit, and working on redoing a headboard for the master bedroom.  It sounds like a lot, I know, but I think I have most of it covered! And, my favorite little project…

Check out what I do with this ugly little pink basket!

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Check back all next week for updates, photos, and how-tos of my many projects!  Have a great weekend!

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Other Green Ideas

March 20, 2009 at 1:08 pm (Inspiration, Tid Bits) (, , , , , , , , , , )

After posting about saving household items on Wednesday I got to thinking about other green tricks and tips for your home. Often these green ideas are not only environmentally friendly, but also easier on the pocketbook. And who couldn’t use that right about now? Here are a few I think would be easy and helpful to start in your home. Now you can be on your way to “going green”!

  1. Unplug electric items when not in use. Items like TVs, coffee pots, and cell phone chargers suck electricity even when not in use.
  2. Use less bottled water. Get a thermos to take with you when you go and get a Britta pitcher to refrigerate tap water for better taste.
  3. Get energy efficient light bulbs as each bulb burns out. Also, use more lamps than overhead lighting, it not only looks better, but saves energy.
  4. Make a rain barrel. These collect rain water to be used later to water plants, or clean your yard items or car. These have a net on top to keep mosquitoes out.
  5. Buy shampoos and other products in the bulk, family sized containers.  Not only are these products cheaper for the amount you get, but you use up less plastic waste.
  6. Hang dry your clothes outside or on a line installed in your laundry area.
  7. Use cloth napkins and towels for cleaning instead of disposable, paper products.
  8. Pull your yard and garden weeds by hand instead of using chemicals.
Tomatoskin's photo "Go Green!!!" on Flickr.

Tomatoskin's photo "Go Green!!!" on Flickr.

Although these are only a few of the many ideas, these are all ideas that are easy enough to get you started in your quest to being more green and saving money.  These are all ideas that we are currently trying, or are going to try this summer.  Any more ideas?

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    Waste Not

    March 18, 2009 at 3:59 pm (Inspiration, Tid Bits) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

    Last night I stopped at my mom’s house and she was telling me about how my great-grandma used to save everything. She said that it their time people never wasted, and reused everything imaginable. I am pretty much a pack rat and always try to find new uses for old things too, but she had a couple of cool ideas I never thought of.

    One no-brainer that she mentioned my great-grandma did was save her bread bags. She would shake or rinse them out and reuse them as baggies. Really? We use baggies for everything, so why had I never thought of this? You could use them as a cheaper alternative on dog walks, or even to bundle or store the items you normally use a baggy for! So simple, yet so green and effective!

    She also mentioned that they often saved the same bread bags for making rugs. I have seen these in my grandparent’s old house. Here is a picture. Visit her site to see instructions for crocheting the round version here: http://www.myrecycledbags.com/2008/09/27/recycled-round-plarn-rug/

    round-rug

    rug-2

    I think these could be really fun and funky. Now I need to learn how to crochet!

    Other things that my great-grandma saved were more common, and things that we already frequently save, but still great reminders nonetheless. Cool-whip containers, coffee cans, other plastic, cardboard, or metal containers. These can be reused in so many different ways in the home. You can even recover or paint them to match! One more thing that she saved was the little plastic eggs her pantyhose came in. I had to laugh. My mom said she had tons of them. Hmm… what would you use those for?

    Especially in hard economic times, but always to be healthier for our planet, its great practice to reuse such commonplace items. What other ideas do you have?

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    Some Color In The Pocket Office

    March 17, 2009 at 8:10 am (Home Changes and Additions) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

    Over the weekend I made a few tiny but fun changes to the pocket office.  First, I added some bright red paper to the blah sides of the drawer set under the desk.  It looked as if it had just been stashed under there, but now it looks as if it was intended to be there.  I also tried to eliminate some clutter.  I took down the picture mobile, arranged some of the hanging photos on the inspiration wire, and changed the art a bit.

    I had seen online where framing simple art in a blank CD case can be easy to swap and add a fun punch to your walls for little money.  So, I hung three of these CD case frames with some strange art in them above the desk.  The art was small, cluttered, and mismatched.  I changed the art out to something more simple and in the color scheme.  I then hung them vertically to contrast with the inspiration wire.  I think this is starting to look much better than my original office a few months ago!

    The colored paper on the drawers.

    The colored paper on the drawers.

    The CD case art I made.

    The CD case art I made.

    Doesn't it look so much better!?

    Doesn't it look so much better!?

    And, the other side of the office, so you can see the pretty matching boxes.

    And, the other side of the office, so you can see the pretty matching boxes.

    What do you think?

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    Mini Bar Update

    March 3, 2009 at 10:19 am (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

    We have had the old TV armoire we found on Craigslist home for a couple of weeks now. I haven’t posted about it because we are having a change of heart. We had wanted to strip the wood and stain it black. But, when we got the cabinet home we thought it was so gorgeous we couldn’t bear to do that! I thought that going black and adding some shiny handles and mirrors would add some Hollywood Regency to the cabinet, more suiting it to become a mini bar. I just don’t know if we can bring ourselves to touch the beautiful wood. We did add a stemware rack to the top and filled it with our lovely bar glasses and goods. It is really gorgeous in our dining room, and it has already served it’s purpose. We do still plan on adding another shelf in glass and also a pull out shelf for more mixing and pouring space.

    What do you think? Should we restain the cabinet black or leave it as it is?

    blog-pics-barframebasement-008

    You can't see it here because there is no stemware in it, but there is a clear stemware rack on the right side.

    You can't see it here because there is no stemware in it, but there is a clear stemware rack on the right side.

    We really do need your advice, opinions and ideas!!

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    Another Chair Love

    February 25, 2009 at 10:41 am (Inspiration) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

    This week’s chair love is a bit unusual.  And very overpriced.  Yves Saint Laurent’s art collect was auctioned off this week.  This chair from the personal collection sold for $28 million!

    The chair is called the ‘Dragons’ armchair and is from 1917-1919.  For more information about the history of this amazing chair/piece of art check out the Christie’s website link above.

    Gorgeous is all I can say.  What do you think?

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    Wabi Sabi

    February 24, 2009 at 3:40 pm (Inspiration) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

    Wikipedia defines wabi sabi as the Japanese world view centered on the acceptance of transience.  Sometimes it is also described as beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.  I think a good description of this is finding the prefect ion in imperfection. I love the concept of wabi sabi and try to incorporate it into my home all the time. I truly do believe that things can grow more beautiful over time. Maybe its the fact that a well worn item looks well loved. I love how these items have a past, a history. New furnishings from some big box store are often not very well made and are also mass-produced. Meaning that too many of these items in your home and things might look exactly like some one else’s home. This to me is boring. Age and imperfections add interest. So, although we do mix modern items in with our antiques and used finds, we do have some wabi sabi pieces in our home. I thought I would show you a few of our currently well-loved pieces.

    This is our little dining table.  It is very old and imperfect, but, it has so much character and personality.  Even the chairs are worn-in, and mismatched!

    This is our little dining table. It is very old and imperfect, but, it has so much character and personality. Even the chairs are worn-in, and mismatched!

    A close-up of our perfectly imperfect table.

    A close-up of our perfectly imperfect table.

    This is an old table with an antique frame used for the top.  We use it as our living room coffee table.  It has its dings and scratches, but I think thats what makes it so unique.

    This is an old table with an antique frame used for the top. We use it as our living room coffee table. It has its dings and scratches, but I think that's what makes it so unique.

    The mirror top of our coffee table.

    The mirror top of our coffee table.

    Here are a few more imperfect yet gorgeous items currently in our house:

    A vanity bench in our guest room.

    A vanity bench in our guest room.

    One of two old plant stands used as bedside tables in our guest room.

    One of two old plant stands used as bedside tables in our guest room.

    A worn coke crate is hung up in our bedroom.

    A worn coke crate is hung up in our bedroom.

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    The Start Of A New Project

    February 17, 2009 at 9:34 am (Projects) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

    The other day I wrote about how we wanted to make a mini bar area in our home.  I showed pictures of other people’s re-purposed bar areas that we loved.  But, after much discussion we decided we liked the look of a closed cabinet for this kind of thing a little better.  With all of my inspiration in hand, I set out to plan my own mini bar project.  Yes, we found the perfect (we hope!) cabinet for the job!  A Craigslist post led us to the Maple TV Cabinet.

    tv-armoire

    I see much potential in the armoire!  (We don’t actually pick it up until Thursday.) I plan on first painting it a high gloss black.  The back inside of the cabinet with be lined with mirror and wine and stemware racks will be hung from the inside.  The inside has one shelf, but we are guessing we will make a few new shelves from glass.  I am going for a bit of Hollywood regency here.  Overall, we think this beauty should have plenty of space for our entertainment needs!

    We do have one small question, however.  I think there needs to be a flat space large enough to mix the actual drinks incorporated into the cabinet somehow.  I was wondering if the drawer could be used for that.  It might be a bit too low to be comfortable, though.  I was also wondering about making a sort of pull-out shelf inside the cabinet.  Is this even possible?  When I see the cabinet in person I will know if more space is necessary.  Until then, does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

    We are very excited to get the project rolling, so stay tuned for updates!

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