Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Autumn Bench

Time for fall!  Here is my lastest re-do...

This spooky bench was a prairie dove original. 

A friend of mine was downsizing and was getting rid of this:

I had to pull over!!

The bench had a wood finish and was missing a dowel.

I shoved her in my van on my way to school.

I actually had to remove the bench when picking up the kids, and then put it back in.
Now that's dedication.

One coat of Ace primer, two coats of leftover Dutch Boy gloss black and some light distressing leave this bench ready to party!

(She is styled outside, but will be used indoors).

Betty, I know you saw the bench photos!  If you want her back, you're more than welcome!

I will be linkingup this week at:

Saturday, September 24, 2011

They Wanted to Sell Us Cats...

...but my husband was on a mission:  pick up the intended items I had found on Ebay Classifieds, pay for the items, and leave. 

It was a cat HOUSE.  His throat was starting to itch.  He was ready to go.  The neighborhood was none too friendly.  Burned out and graffitied shells of homes dotted the street and landscape.

Across the street, two elderly people sat in rocking chairs on their front porch watching the transaction. 

He said it was very surreal, and he felt like he was in the movie Grand Torino.  Oops.  He's correcting me...GRAN Torino.  Guess I know nothing of cars.  Or Clint Eastwood movies.

It was one of those towns where you know every single home still standing probably had beautiful old furniture it it just like this one.

With detailed history found in every curve.  Where the mirrors are starting to ghost, like this one.  Others may say the mirror would need to be replaced.  Not me.  I felt like I knew her well...even when I just saw her as a blip on the computer screen.  She was purchased simultaneously and rode home in tandem with the highboy I posted about earlier.

In neighborhoods such as these, as the older generation disappears the younger one will sell off their possessions for pennies, not understanding, needing, or appreciating the true beauty.

Just a couple of coats of paint and some sanding restores her - to some degree- of regal elegance.  Simple fall decor keeps her grounded and whimsical.

Are you nostalgic for old times?  These Halloween lovelies were purchased at Homegoods two years ago.  They sell a beautiful selection of vintage reproductions for cheap prices that are just too cute to pass up.

If you can't afford real Halloween antiques, as they are hard to come by, stylish repros will still let you dream about the times they must have been aplenty.

My kids are starting to debate about how they will dress up for tricks and treats this year.   We are all starting to get into the spirit of fall.

Partying this week at:

      (please see right side bar for linky buttons)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall into Fall Fashion

Attractive?  No.  Stylish?  Nuh-uh.  Sexy, kindof?  No freakin' way.

Stubbed my pinky toe on Wednesday evening and broke the thing clean in half.  The bone was totally broken and the bone displaced, so the toe was sticking straight out.  I had Dan try to straighten it for me so we could buddy-tape it, but to no avail.  The culprit??

This French-y chair in my back room with a pillow from Petit Coterie on it.  The leg in question, right in front of you.  How the heck,  I don't even know.  But the regular doc at the urgent care wouldn't touch it, so they called the podiatrist down.  After about 15 x-rays and three separate attempts to set the darn thing, it's taped up and I have a boot to show for it.  It kept slding out of place because the break was on an angle.  I have to go back in a week to see if it is mending properly.

So, I'm good girls!  Got my fall boots, or, that should be singular, I guess.  Four to six weeks I get to hobble in high style.

My internet server has been down quite a bit lately, so I have been unable to post, check the status of email, or read posts.  Hope they have the problem fixed thoroughly, now!

 Everybody's workin' for the weekend.

Monday, September 19, 2011

An Antique Desk and Bentwood Chair

Some recent acquisitions include this antique desk (this one is my dad's pick... he found it and brought it over for me) and a bentwood chair (my find).  The two are a match made in heaven. 

The desk features seven dovetail jointed drawers.  One of the drawers was in pieces, but with super human Gorilla Glue and some weights, the piece was appropriately fixed.  With only the cost of refurbishing, these two items were primed, painted with latex, distressed, and then waxed. 

Together in blissland!

I don't often care to store chairs, but the unique curved frame of this one caught my eye.  I knew she was a keeper.

The marriage of the two was so surreal it could have been prearranged.

A perfect fit!

Linking up this week with:

Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
PRIMP'S Primp My Home Wednesday

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Yard Display

Yesterday, while I was gone doing some things that needed doing, Dan decorated the yard.  He always does such a good job and is so proud of our yard.

Cornstalks were for sale in town, and since Sharkey the dog ripped most of ours out of the garden this summer, we had to invest in some for the annual fall display.

These are shots of the front yard as you drive down the street.

Post by post, he details our split rail with a groupings of cornstalks and pumpkins.  It really is a nice touch.

You have no idea how much I love pumpkins.  They are so silly and whimsical and just plain cute.  Even when they aren't decorated in all the latest pumpkin magazine garb on cool things to do with a pumpkin, even if you just leave 'em plain ol' orange...

...I will always be hopelessly in love with pumpkins.

Linking this week with:
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Debbie Doos Newbie Party
Homemade Monday with Erin at Home Savvy

Saturday, September 17, 2011


When you're just so tired from the long week that you pass out with a snack while watching Charlie Brown.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

This and That, Finds and Purchases

Nothing too exciting lately... just trying to catch up with what's stock-piling on me.

This 1930's art deco waterfall beauty was found streetside towards the end of summer.  She cleaned up really nice...

A mommy came and scooped her up for her little girl's room- so she could have a dresser top that she could reach and put her little things on!  The drawers are really deep and just right for an extra little dresser.

This old highboy I found on the internet...
and sent hubby out to get a very bad neighborhood...with  lots of burnt out buildings and graffiti.  He was not too happy.  AT.  ALL.  But, the dresser was a mere twenty bucks.  Totally worth it.  Here is the transformation...

I just love the afters, so fresh and so clean-clean.

He also had a sister.  I am still working on her.  This one we purchased at the same time and was forty dollars.  My husband said he didn't want to try to talk the guy down any because they really seemed to be in need.

The mirror will be done soon and then she will be ready to go.
The mirror will really make the piece once it's mounted.

I also scored this awesome headboard recently.

I really loved the lines on this piece.  It is soooo cottage.

With a really pretty quilt and fresh pillows, this headboard would make any bedroom feel homey.

I'll be switchin' it up soon.  I have a deacon's bench which will be a cottage black, Grace- who will be as vain as a peacock, and another silly dresser that I'm thinkin' pink.  More soon to come.  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Prairie Dove Salvage 101

Well, you're all going to think I'm making it up again, but....

...last night while cruising the town for some prairie dove love we stumbled upon what I would call a mother-load.  An antique 1920's John M. Smith serpentine front cherry vanity dresser with matching mirror. 


You want to know how in the world!! 

Ok, I will share some secrets. 

Last time I shared secrets I told you all that we find incredible pieces at storage units.  People just empty them out and put the goods at the curb.

Here's another that never fails to let us down:


Townhomes are hot spots, as my husband describes them.  There are several variables that factor into this equation.

1)  The high density of people in such a small area guarantees more trash at the curb.

2)  Mostly filled with young couples, they have a surplus of hand-me-down furniture.  When they can finally afford to purchase "nice" furniture, the handed down items get tossed roadside.

3) These compact homes rarely have basements and most have just a one-car garage making storage of any kind rare and valuable.  They have no room for unusable items.

Well, their trash is my treasure.  Just check out the hammered hardware on this sister.  The carvings on the legs are extravagant.

I have already bought her make-over materials.  "Grace" will be finished with a national historic preservation honored teal green.  Her cherry brown will compliment the blue-green colors.

I am so excited!  And I just can't hide it!

By the way, some of you may recognize Clyde in the background there.  Yep, he's still hanging around.  I had a buyer for him lined up and she was making plans to come and pick him up with a vehicle.  She contacted me two separate times to confirm.   In the meantime, I turned away two other people who were interested in him and ready to buy because I had promised this one lady my Clyde.  Well, guess what, she never came to my house.  She did not return my calls either.  I hope he sells soon.  He's such a dapper tan color that anyone who sees him would immediately recognize his charm.  I have renewed his online add, so maybe he will get a call soon!

Happy decorating!

Linking up with:
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 Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Reflection on Simpler Times

I just love objects with a history.  As a kid, I used to read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series over and over and OVER again.  I still have those same paperback novels that I used to swap with my friend Libby.  The exact same copies we used to thumb over and dream about are now in my daughter's room... maybe some day she will enjoy them as much as we did.  We LOVED to read.

There were always classic school house tales in those books, and, being young school girls ourselves back then, we envisioned what it might have been like had we been born in those times. 

As of late, I have been hankering to get an old desk.  This past spring, I was able to acquire one for just $35.00 at the Kane County Flea Market.

Can you just imagine the stories these desks would tell if they could talk?  Old button-up shoes (or no shoes), checkered dresses, lunch pails, and passing notes on slates?

These are the kinds of desks that had to be mounted onto the hardwood floor.  They were arranged in perfect rows: one child sat in the front, and the back of that desk was the writing board for another.  I imagine the kids in the very first seat just had nothing to write on except their little slates, and the troublemakers were relegated to the back and had nothing to sit on! 

The front seat also tilts up.

This lovely wrought iron detailing is marked as a Sears and Roebuck manufacturing product.  Can you imagine learning in such a beautiful little desk?  If I were a kid, I would have been constantly running my fingers across the scrollwork.

These little Elson Readers date from the '20s.  School texts have come a long way since then.  They are now heavier, bulkier, and the colors are saturated.  They are not as sweet as these little tattered copies that fit just so into a child's hand.  I do not recall where or when I got these books.  I have had them for quite some time.

Sigh....  Back in the day, times were simple.  Now, the push is to have an IPad in every child's hands.  Yeah, I know, that's where the world is going.  Media everywhere.

 With all of the tragic 9/11 documentaries airing this past week, it really makes the heart yearn for simpler times.  Not that violence hasn't occurred throughout the history of our whole mankind, but, for some reason, the world just seemed to have been more wholesome a few generations ago.  When little kids could walk safely to school on their own, going to town was a family affair, and skipping church on Sunday was down-right unspeakable.

Where were you on that September morning?

Ten years ago today, I was walking down a hall at school when another teacher popped his head out of his room and told me that a plane had just crashed into one of the Trade Center's Towers.  Was it an accident, I asked?  Of course it was an accident, he said...who would do such a thing on purpose?? 

Two hours later it was all over.

The world moves too fast sometimes.

There have been many times throughout my life when I have felt I was born in the wrong era.  I could easily slip back into history to enjoy simple times and simple treasures...

...leave behind all the glitz of our modern era that doesn't attract me anyway.

 Yet, it remains a part of my world like a blaring car horn.

Let's remember and appreciate the simple joys in each day. 
Our whole world could, and did, change in an instant.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Autumn Clematis

Here she comes, like a new bride...

...the autumn clematis.  She is always a welcome lady, gracing our front yard with her tiny white blooms.

The bees are still around, and they have been enjoying these new blooms.

We placed this trellis in the front yard when we were forced to remove a maple tree that was over our clay tile sewer pipe.  It stands in the exact spot.  I wanted something tall there, but not overpowering.  We knew we couldn't have another tree because of the roots.  I didn't think a shrub would be as dramatic.

 My mom found the vine at a nursery.  Summer pink and purple clematis are easy to come by, but I think the fall ones are harder to obtain.  I rarely see them.  Surrounding the clematis are autumn sedums.  They are starting to turn to their fall red color.

I'm a perrenial girl, I like my garden elements to come up on their own without too much work (for me, annuals are too much work).  We have a very large yard, so we plant items that are reliable and, for the most part, need little watering. 

This clematis vine is in our front yard in our 'bean' garden and she is a pretty independent girl.  Once her roots were established, we basically left her alone.  I do not cut her down in the late fall.  Her vines stay up all winter and in the spring we shake it to remove any dead and broken branches.

She's a definite favorite in the garden, a real show-stopper.  She comes out to party when all the other colors are beginning to leave the garden.

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