Saturday, August 7, 2010

Straws are shorter than fireplace matches

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


Straws are shorter than fireplace matches.
Wanna know how I know?

In my thrifting adventures, I found this straw holder
at the Salvation Army, Burien which you know from this post
about Going Thrifting is my fave place to find stuff.

I paid 1.99 for a vintage-ish straw holder.

I am a lazy thrifter. 
And one day, it will come back to haunt me
But I'm good with patinas and dust and...
...okay.  I'm not.
Like I said, I'm lazy.

As is, this goody had some water spots on the lid. 
Rather than try to clean them
I painted them.
And because the silver-look parts I painted were metal,
I did rough them up with a bit of sandpaper (medium grit)
so that my slick, beautiful new Dutch Boy paint I got at McClendon's
(man I love small town hardware stores
alas, no color name, it was an oops but I DID etch the formula to my forehead)
would stick and stay stuck.

Only took two coats (love that Dutch Boy)
and note that I wasn't worried about
perfect coverage under the lid,
in the bottom of the riser lid,
 or on the tiny poll.

Just the outsides outta do ya.

Here's where I tell you that straws
(which this piece came with, and I promptly threw away)
do fit. Matches, do not.

Case in point:

Photo (c) b3 Home Designs

So then I got to cut each of the matches by hand to get to this:

Repurposed Straw Holder | Grill Matchstick Holder
Photo (c) b3 Home Designs

I especially love that artistic "twist" to the sticks. 
I could so be a shot stylist.
Okay.  I kid.

Painting this piece wasn't necessary. 
But because I did, I have an awesome matching accessory
for all the randomness on my porch.

Pinehurst Upper Deck
Photos (c) b3 Home Designs
I'm just saying. 
She's pretty gorgeous if I do say so myself. 
The red tips go well with the pillows.
Did I mention how much I love the Burien, Salvation Army?
Almost as much as I love Dutch Boy and their awesome paint.

Nope, they didn't pay or compensate me in any way to say that.
I just LOVE that stuff. 
I could swim in it and never bathe again.
Bit much eh?
Sorry about that.

This is very much a DIY easy. 
Use whatever paint you have.
Don't forget to snip the little match starter patch
off of the bottom of the box
and glue it to the bottom of your jar.

Trust me.
Your better half will at least think
that you have function in mind during your decor binges
if you remember these little detals.

What has been your great thrifting get this week?
What did you give new life to?
*** You just read an award winning post **
This project was selected for the August 30 showcase
of yummy second life gets
at House of Grace

Back to the previously scheduled program


Thursday, August 5, 2010

So You Want to Go Thrifting

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


Top 5 Thrift Stores on my Way Home from Work:
(in somewhat randomized, doesn't make sense, order)

1. Value Village, Burien
2. Salvation Army, Burien
3. St. Vincent de Paul Society, Burien
4. Goodwill, Seattle (International District)
5. Goodwill, Bellevue

* Goodwill, Burien *

Nothing makes me happier.
Hitting up a thrift store.
Or two.
Or three.

Getting someone elses stash for cheap.
And helping out a good cause at the same time.

Check that.
The only other thing that makes me happy,
is getting things for free.

That's another post for another time.

For now.

I pretty much stick to five stores when I go thrifting.
And I hit various locations of these stores
to find various goods.

If you're visiting Seattle and need to get your thrifting on,
here are the stores you should hit up
with notes about what you can find
and a quick note about my fave find.

Value Village, Burien

Usually a great selection of linens (bedspreads, sheets, towels, napkins).
Lots of great candleholders and vases and a great selection of baskets. 
Prices have SKYROCKETED in the past 3 months.
And that is a jump from prices that were already high.
If you're patient and you dig, you can find some great items.

Two of my fave places in this store:
When you walk in, go all the way to the right.
The "baggie wall" is awesome. 
Mostly because you can get little hits of thrifty goodness
for .99 or 1.99

The other place is straight back and towards the left
their "furniture" section.
It is pitiful by all things "furniture"
You can usually find an awesome shelf
or wood box
or little table

My favorite find at the Burien, Value Village:
was my baggie wall set of Sand Dollars for 1.99

Salvation Army, Burien

One of my FAVORITE thrift stores
of. all. times.
Lots of great, quality furniture
Plenty of really great, really big frames
Lots of awesome lamps
Always some milk glass
Always some shapely glass
A great GREAT aisle of baskets
wicker, wire and wood
Sometimes a good pillow or piece of linen
Always walk out with SOMETHING bought
Always a sale (everyday they sale price items that are 3 weeks old or older for 50% off)
If you are patient
THIS is your store

Rarely busy
You don't have to dig
They don't take AMEX

My favorite find at the Burien, Salvation Army:
was my set of clawfoot, oblong bedside tables
29.99 for both of them on a 50% off sale.

BONUS: Right next door/in the parking lot is Two French Hens Antiques.
Booth 301
is TO. DIE. FOR.
But that is also another post

St. Vincent de Paul Society, Burien

Also one of my faves
especially for unique or out of season finds.

Another true thrift store
with true thrift prices

Tons of crappy furniture with good bones
all the better for the DIY diva to get funky with

Color coded tags mean everyday is a sale
Usually 50% off of the color of the day
Shop on Sat/Sunday and get 75% off.
Unique sales include Christmas in July
All Christmas was brought out of storage
and sold for 75% off.

I always check the glass wall in the back
and find some sort of shapely glass for my collection.
Next to that, frames to have fun with.

You have to dig, dig dig and dig some more
through the aisles.
I usually look for white plates, milk glass and crafty finds
Almost always find something unique
They have a "punch per visit" card
Shop often.

My favorite find at St. Vincent de Paul Society, Burien:
Set of three Shapely vino italiano wine bottles (6.97)
10 16x20 wood stretching frames for canvas (5.00)
12 giant 12" - 16" silver gilded Christmas ornaments (2.40)

Goodwill, International District
You really REALLY cannot go wrong
at a Goodwill in the Seattle area.
This particular Goodwill, in So. Seattle,
is the deemed the motherland of Goodwill stores.
It is actually NOT my fave store.
It is HUGE. Very large linen selection.
Really REALLY great selection of
Lots of lamps
they have caught on to the fillable lamps
and priced them accordingly
But if you are looking for unique pieces
and are willing to dig
you can find great here
Furniture has never really been worth the drive
but the browsing has been.
My favorite find at the Goodwill, International District:
2 King sized pillow shams (1.99)
Goodwill, Bellevue
Absolutely, without a doubt,
one of my fave Thrift stores
if not THE favorite.
You have to be ready to FIGHT
for your stuff, for your space
This place is almost always packed
Really great selection of DIY Diva big furniture
I got our living room table there
Decent selection of linens that is hit or miss
You either really score or really don't
Lately, lots of furniture out front (summertime and all)
Great magazine selection (Living, Cooking Light, etc)
all for .49 each
Lots of great books to use for decor
stacking, ripping up, framing prints
Lots of really great frames for cheap
But best of all
Tons and tons of great dishes, milk glass,
shapely glass, wood finds and unique stuff too.
My fave finds at Goodwill, Bellevue:
Living Room Table (9.99)
Fillable lamp (5.99)
Goodwill, Burien
Definitely one of my fave thrifts
Very thrifty prices
Another good selection of books and mags
Sometimes some decent furniture, but not a ton of it
Always a ton of great frames
many frames with awesome artwork in them
I started my line art | sketch collection here
And picked up most of my art from here
Also a good selection of wood pieces
milk glass and silver galore
some shapely glass
some unique finds
I get most of my paper | ephemera from here
Favorite find from Goodwill, Burien:
16 x 20 silver frames (2.99)
There you have it.
In another post, I'll run down what I do,
how I do it
and why I do it
when I hit the thrifting circuit.
Coming soon:
$10 This Week
What $10 will get you at my fave thrift stores this week.

* Of course I wanted to "forget" this one
before you showed up and took all my good thrifty finds
but that wouldn't be fair.
so here is the best of all "on the way" thrift stops *

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Novel Wreath

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


See here? 

This is my awesome kitchen.
The space where, when I first moved in, the window lady wanted to charge me $57 a pop to put top down | bottom up, uncorded honeycomb blinds in those windows. 
Check that.
She wanted to charge me $57 EACH.
When I tried to explain that while my husband and I come from the land of giants,
I really DID NOT think that either of us would be able to really work with that.

That is when she told me she could throw in remote control operation for another $100 each.

I think I might have accidently laugh | spit some of my kool-aid onto her face.
Or maybe I did that when she finally showed up all red-faced telling me about how the 20,000 sf home she was just at took a lot longer to measure out than she thought.
Not that I should laugh.  I live in way more sf than I will ever EVER need.
With just my husband.
Well now also with the puppy mutt.

But I digress.

The kitchen ledge with the neat little windows.
Because clearly it is so much more important to me that the non-functional spaces of my house are pretty.
You know,
the spaces that no one but my relatives from the land of giants will ever see.

Back to the ledge.
There are lots of awesome projects on the internet.  And lots of crappy books in the world.
One day, I was reading without flipping pages.
Librarians.  Don't hate.  I don't hate books. 
I have a ton of them. 
Know this.
I would never, ever EVER kill a hardback.
And I would almost never buy a tradionally sized paperback.
So since I only had four traditionally sized paperbacks in my collection,
All vintage gifts from a really cool ex AMEX exec who would appreciate the whimsy that he enabled
(for the record, it was four Isaac Asimov books, which I am sure I will rebuy in hardback)
I figured I would go to town on them with this awesome Book Wreath Tutorial by Lindsay over at Living With Lindsay.  For those of you that are visual, here's the video link to the same tutorial.
And you know me.
Why make one of anything when I can make three.

Really I made 4 (there is one up above the wine bar too).
And really, I have the materials to make two more.
Which I will totally do
Because aside from the toasty glue gun fingers
There is NO SWEAT to this project.
Each one took this perfectionist all of 6 minutes to make. 
I was speed crafting.
But 10 minutes and out is totally good from paint swipe to last tuck.

These are SUPER fun to make.
So why would you pay $50 to buy one?
Just saying.

Check out Lindsay's post and you'll see what I mean...
Honestly, I don't think I'd pay $10 either. 
Because I know I buy almost everything in threes (OCD much?)
And I wouldn't pay $30 for them.

Unless it was the Holidays.
Because we all spend much more on stuff we can make ourselves during the holidays.

More on that to come.

Check out Living with Lindsay.  She has tons of great GREAT easy projects. She's one of my faves in that list of 50+ bloggity blogs you must check out on all things thrifty/DIY/home decor. You know...that list over there to the right.  Scroll down and check it out.

Fun. But a timesuck.  Trust me on that one. Use your time more wisely.
Craft a few book wreaths.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Second Hand: Pottery Barn Eleanor Mirror

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


I love Spring, Summer and Autumn up here.
Primarily because this is when the neighborhood garage sales happen.

At the most recent NGS, my better half gifted me $40.
Gifted because I NEVER carry cash.

My first response was "$40?? This is not NEARLY enough"
To which he said "it HAS to be enough."

Guess which one of us was right?

I did have to teach a little neighborly scouting etiquette.  Such as:
Don't do the slow creep in front of someone's cul de sac house, and then not stop

Probably because that is my biggest pet peeve.  You can see from the street if it is all clothes or all baby or all something else you really don't need.  If you can't see it is an "all nothing" sale, then you should stop and see what they DO have.

That's my rule of thumb anyhow.

For a while now, I've been coveting an oval mirror.
Like the Eleanor from PB.

So when I rolled past a sale and saw a cute mirror sitting out front, I looked.
Then I looked at the clock.
And it was the end of the day.
And there was a little girl out front and no grown up in sight.

I MIGHT have made a fool out of myself.
Jumping out the car and making him go park.

Garage sneak peak - NGS Summer 2010 Sale Finds
(c) BLM for b3 Home Designs

$5.  Didn't even have to haggle.
I love NGS.
Love. it.

Aside from Ms. Eleanor, I also got that wood tool box ($1), three cans of paint in my "house theme colors" (because, evidently, those colors are popular out here - free "just take them" she said), a bunch of flower pots (also from a free pile that Mr. Eagle Eye spotted). The black wire wall mount wine racks in the background were $2 a pop (out of my cash at that! he supposedly has great plans for those).

On the upper table are a set of 6 really great serving platters (good for heating under the broiler that we don't have and serving straight to table - fajitas anyone??) and a stack of three iron stars (red, white and blue...of course) that I paid $1.75 for.

On the lower table, there are two great belts ($1 each), the most awesome vintage Girl Scout camera to add to my camera collection ($1) and another clock ($1) for my vintage clock collection. There is also a small wooden football game ($1) that is the start of a vintage wood game collection.  We'll see how that one works out.

The two end tables are a story in themselves.  NOT from the garage sales this weekend but a true story in patience, faith and did I mention patience?

Happy garage sale season!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Seen on the Internets: Pottery Barn Abacus Hack

 This is a stale post.  Don't you smell the stank?
For fresh ideas and the newest new new stuff 
why don't you head on over to the blog we actually update.

Love to see you there.
Carry on as you were.


So no one actually lives in the PB catalog.
Because no one needs 6 fans in one room (energy efficient much??)
And no one really needs a giant abacus.
Especially if you have one of those computer things that does math for you.
We all know this is nothing about need.
This is all about want.
That abacus is AWESOME. 
Mostly because I am married to a finance geek.
But also because I live in a house with GIGANTIC spaces.
So all things oversized are awesome to me.

Best of all. This is a HACK that was already done by others.
Namely Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming did this awesome Pottery Barn Abacus hack. So I headed over and got my hack on.

This hack looks Hard. Which is why it is on my "to do" when I get you, know HOURS of time at once to not blog or something. For me, this will be a hard project because her instructions hint that someone like me will need patience. Repetive cuts and motions and all. And I don't have a drill press, but I have rigged up a good enough fix to drill those holes. Over.  And over.  And over again.

But this isn't advanced.  Basic tools and it is relatively inexpensive because scrap wood is good in my garage.

I'll likely modify it some - love the vintage deep wood coloring, but I might add some color to this too.

I'm thinking dark and light beads.  What do you think? I've got my coupons all up and ready to go shopping.

Awesome huh?