Friday, February 26, 2010

i can feel the love...

I love Etsy...

and it feels so good this morning to know that Etsy loves me,  too!

I woke up yesterday morning to find this in my inbox..

A few of my favorite things...white..grey...silver...and more I decided to keep reading...

I am blushing...because that is my bed up there on display! My bed??

Are you kidding me?

I am sure most of you don't even know I have my own business painting furniture. I sell to a number of designers, stores and my favorite...the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles, IL...May-October.

I don't even tell anyone I sell online...but I guess now my secret it out! I have only listed about 6 pieces of pathetic...thats why I never say anything. Not much of a show to put on with 6 pieces! I am embarrassed to even mention it, to be honest with you.

I am so busy with custom orders...getting ready for my first show in the Spring...and trying to finish my own house...things just never seem to make it to Etsy. I put a piece up here or there just for fun.

I want to do more...I really do.

But picture taking in a nightmare for me...but thats a whole other post. Thanks to my new BFF Tara, I think I may be getting the hang of indoor shots in my "shady" watch out! If I do figure this camera out I am going to wear you out on home shots, project makeovers and furniture listings!

So where am I going with this...I am blushing because I was featured in an Etsy treasury again and I feel a proper 'thank you' is in order! THANK YOU SUSAN! That makes 6 features so far...and I have only listed 6 pieces. How funny is that? I am really thinking...why me?? There are so many fabulous things on are you finding the girl with only 6 things posted?

How awesome are those girls out there in Estyland, anyway??? They sure know how to make a girl in the middle of IL freezing her tail off with a paintbrush in her hand feel soooo good!

I feel like I need to give a little speech like Sally Field..."you like me, you really like me!"

Just take a look at the fantastic company my little bed is keeping up there! Those mercury glass bottles make me want to pass out...and that camera is the most fabulous thing...I just may have to have that for a shelf in my office!

So again, THANK YOU SUSAN...maybe you have just lit a fire under this girl to get her act together and take more time to make her Etsy store pretty...and actually fill it up! Funny how we can do such little things in life, and they end up meaning so much. This has meant so much to trivial as it may be. Sometimes we just need a boost!

Happy Friday, girls.

Wishing you all a fun, sun filled weekend!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

did I...or didn't that big ol' cabinet???

Well girls...I have made a decision.

It is not a decision I have taken lightly....because I guess when it comes down to it - I'm a cheap girl -

In terms of what I want to pay for my wood furniture pieces, that is.

 You may remember...a few days ago I did a post about this big, beautiful glass front cabinet...

I wanted it soooo badly when I first laid eyes on it.

Tall, dark and was just what I have been waiting for my whole life.

The sliding glass doors...the original metal pulls...I

But the price....$850...ouch-o-rama!

So I talked to the owner of this lovely cabinet.

I told him how I ran up and hugged it the moment I saw it. He either thought I was totally crazy...or was really crazy in love with it.

I told him about how I wanted to fill it with my white ironstone collection. He said "no way could you have enough ironstone to fill an 8ft x 8ft cabinet!" And I replied "uuuhhhh....yeah, I actually do." From over my shoulder my always silent husband says "Yes, trust me...she does." Thank you, baby for helping me make my point! I love how when I want something, he always wants it to. Even though he could not care less about all these white dishes or a big old cabinet to put them in. Love that guy.  

I wanted him to see...I need this cabinet...and this cabinet needs me.

He told me there were originally 3 cabinets like this, and they came from a room of an old Opera House. He had already sold the other two for $1,500, and that was a deal. Yikes.

The $850 was way more than I was wanting to pay, so when I heard the other two went for $1500...I knew I didn't stand a chance at talking him down.

But, when I want something...I cannot be stopped. I will make it happen.

No is not a word in this girl's vocabulary.

So I went home and "slept" on it.

But there really was not much sleeping involved...

I was plotting and planning how to make this happen...

So I talked to him again...I used a few tricks that usually get me the deal I want...and I think just to get rid of me...he sold it to me for one heck of a sweet deal! He knocked $200 bucks off...and this baby is officially mine!

I pick her up Saturday...then the transformation begins. 

Now, lets hope she turns out as fabulous as this one...I just happen to have chairs similar to these...and I am on the hunt for a farm table like this one. Isn't it a tragedy there is no chandelier hanging above the table? That light is just wrong!

(no idea where this photo is from...its been on my computer forever..if someone knows, please tell me!)

Wish me luck on getting her home!

I will be sure to show you pictures when I get her done! If I can figure out what all those buttons mean on my new camera. I can never get good shots inside my house!? Anyone that knows, feel free to come on over and show me how!

Friday, February 19, 2010

easily distracted...

Yesterday I set out with intentions of finding a dresser for a client.

I swear.

In my mind I kept telling myself "you are not shopping for yourself. Don't look for anything other than the dresser."

The word "focus" was repeated in my head over and over.

But it didn't work.
Never does.

The bling always catches my eye. I can spot a chandelier from 40 yards.

And in one store today...I saw four of them! They looked so sad hanging there waiting to be taken home. The shop owner all but begged me to buy one.

I could feel my mind start to wander. Within 30 seconds I had plans in my head. Which room, what color walls...the whole 9 yards, as they say. Why, oh why do these shop owners play with my mind this way??

This one was my favorite...but it needs a few modifications...I would remove the hurricanes and shine her up a bit...but she is oh-so-pretty in person! And she is an 8-arm chandi, too! Those are a tough find!

This little beauty was petite and had cute little details...see the little flower crystals towards the top? Super sweet for a little girls room. 

Some were a little heavy on the "ornateness" for a simple girl like me...

And my husband said this one reminded him of Vegas. He has a pretty good eye after tagging along with me all these years. I guess he has a point. It was about 3 1/2 feet tall and had tiers of crystals...pretty...just not "us".

At this point, my neck had been cranked "up" for so long staring at what was hanging off the ceiling, I completly forgot about looking for my client's dresser. I needed to put these dang chandis out of my mind and get down to business.

But then it happened.

I locked eyes with the most amazing piece of furniture. Time stood still for a moment, and all I heard my husband mutter under his breath was "Oh man, I know that look." He knows just to stay out of my way and back the truck up to the door, because something is about to come home with us.

Brace yourself...this is the worlds ugliest photo. It was taken in a junk shop, lets remember girls.

It is a H-U-G-E vintage apothacary cabinet from an old store! You have no idea how much I love this thing.

Seriously l.o.v.e.

As in "if I could marry it - I would" kind of love.

A majestic beauty...8 feet wide x 8 feet tall.

But the price is killing me. $850. Yikes.

I am the queen of the antique furniture deal. I don't think a single piece in my whole house cost over $100.

I know that is a crazy good deal for what it is...but ouch!

It needs a little "Mary Makeover"...and no one pass out when I say this...if I buy it - it will be painted white. I couldn't have it any other way. I am going to dream about this cabinet tonight. I just know it. In my mind it is already full of all my white ironstone and old metal pieces.  

Oh, and I never gave a second thought to the dresser I was looking for.

What do you think?? Should I do it?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I heart Meadowbrook Farm...

I am in love with Meadowbrook Farm.


I want to move there.

Or at least swing by the next time I am anywere within a 5 hour radius. Do you think Mr & Mrs. Meadowbrook would mind if they came home one day and I was sitting in that white rocking chair? Surely they have a guest room...I would promise to keep it tidy and even cook dinner and do the dishes while I am there.

Teresa, the lovely lady that gets the pleasure of calling Meadowbrook Farm "home" has to be one of the luckiest ladies on the planet.

Not only does she get to live in one of the cutest houes I have ever seen...

She gets to enjoy a view like this...

And have a unbelievably gorgeous greenhouse built just for her.

* insert jealousy here*

The inside of her house is just pure happiness.

Ooohhh...and it has beadboard favorite!

Look at those gardens outside the window - incredible!

The little vignettes around her home scream to be int he pages of a magazine. Anyone out there an editor? If so, I have to tell you something. "Call Teresa. Now. I'm telling you, she is going to get offers, yours may as well be the first."

Girls, I don't know about you...but I have a hard time growing a pot of petunias. Maybe when I pop in for that visit they can give me some pointers on how to grow a garden like this!

*Once again, insert jealousy here*


I saved my favorite part for last...the barn. I love barns. I grew up with one very similar to this, but it was white. There is something about the red...just so beautiful in every season!

You have to read the story of their "new" barn. It just knocks my socks off.

If you have not yet had the pleasure of reading Teresa's blog, click over and do it now! Read

Not only is her home and land absolutely incredible eye candy, but she enjoys the love and happiness of a beautiful family and a simple life. I love that she went from suburban mom to living an out-in-the-middle-of nowhere life. She has a wonderful story...and her photography is out of this world!

Thank you, Teresa...for letting me share your beautiful corner of the world.

Happy Thursday, girls.

Hope this brought a little sunshine to your day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

double whammy in my maibox...

I know it is going to be a lovely day when I find something waiting for me in my mailbox...besides bills.

Today was a happy-mail day because I opened it up to find these waiting for me inside!

I love seeing those big blue letters staring back at me!

First I tore into the big box...I always open the biggest one first, don't you?? I can't wait to see what is inside!

Lucky me!...I was the giveaway winner the lovely Tammy of Tinsel & Company was hosting in honor of Valentine's Day!

Isn't her wrapping just gorgeous!? I love knowing I can visit her website...order something for a gift and it will arrive just as beautiful on the outside, as what is on the inside!

These are little beauties that were inside all that pretty wrapping...are they just the cutest!? 4 of the most adorable vintage-inspired Valentine's towels! Nothing like a little rik-rak and bright, cherry color to liven up a dreary February day! Thank you, Tammy!

You really need to check out Tammy's blog...and her website! The new Easter goodies that are coming in look gorgeous!

Package #2...well that one held the long-anticipated FLEA MARKET STYLE MAGAZINE!

Did you get yours yet? If you didn't pre-order from Heather Bullards blog, it will be in stores on Feb 23rd. I was happy to see so many of the girls I have grown to know and love in blogland featured in the pages. I'm looking forward to reading every single word! If you are not familiar with who launched the Flea Market mag...visit their blog. You may see some familiar faces!

 Nothing this girl likes more than curling up in bed and dreaming my way through the latest and greatest in decor magazines. By the way, if you have not yet checked out the new Cottage Style magazine you see peeking out from your closest store and buy one! See all those green post-it notes marking my favorite pages?? Well so many of those pictures have been saved on my computer for soooo long. I was thrilled to find so many in one magazine!

Have a great night girls...I'm off to do a little page at a time!  

Friday, February 12, 2010

true love...circa 1945

Last month, I did a post about 92 WWII love letters I bought at a farm auction. I have been beyond thrilled to read through the words of Irwin & Helen...I read each letter he wrote her, then her is like being in their converstation.

I love how he starts this letter...

Just like everyone before and after it...

"Dearest darling Helen"

and then he calls her his "little ray of sunshine"...isn't that just the cutest thing ever??

This letter goes on to talk about his daily life while he is away. What he does for his job on the ship, what the other guys are doing. He is careful to not reveal too much, the sensors would never send it on to her if he did. Can you imagine? Every single personal word your husband wrote you while you were apart being read by someone else? Yikes.

Parts of the letters have me laughing outloud. Apparently she is a not-so-great cook, and he made a comment about not being ready for home cooked food any time soon. Umm....Hello, Irwin - I wish I would have been there to help you out. Someone needed to imform you that women are not amused by jokes like that. Needless to say, Helen did not find it to be funny at all, and he apologized for about 13 letters afterwards.

And I have discovered Irwin has a little naughty side to him, too! He throws in a comment or two that I am sure they would not appreciate me reading. I guess years away on a ship will do that to a guy...wink...wink.

But most of all, he begs to hear about the mundane, day-to-day things she is doing. He wants to hear details. What she did...who she saw...what they talked about. I admit, at first I thought Irwin may be just a little controlling.....but then he says why. When he lays down in his bunk at night, he falls asleep imagining he is there. Remembering what life was like before he was...somewhere in the South Pacific...all those miles away from her.

He talks about how much he is missing the little things. Going bowling, mowing the lawn, fixing their car, even painting the house. The simple things in life really are the most important, aren't they?

I love how he signed this letter...

"sending all of my love and kisses now and forever, your loving, loyal but ever so lonely husband Irwin"

I have been trying to figure out what to get my husband for Valentine's Day. Cologne? Dinner and a movie? A new watch? But really, when it comes down to it...we like the every day things in life just like Irwin. I think I will just cook him his favorite dinner...and he can build a fire. We will pop open a bottle of cheap champagne, drink it out of the wrong kind of glass and enjoy a night in.

Happy Valentine's Day, my friends.

Wishing you a Helen & Irwin kind of day...enjoy the simple things in life.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

a room with a view...

I did a post a couple of weeks ago about a historic house that I fell in love with while visiting my mom in her recovery center. She is starting to joke that I am coming to visit her just so I can see these houses! The one I am showing you today is right across the street from the one in my first post...and it has made me an all out-stalker.


I have pinned down that the owners appear to be in their 60s. She has gorgeous silver hair in the cutest little bob haircut...and always wears a short mink coat. He also has a full head of thick silver hair, they drive away together in a beautiful black Mercedes SUV.

See. Told you I was a stalker.

Actually, I have just been spending waaaay to much time staring out that window. You can't help but notice these things, right? Over the last month I have seen these people so much, and have imagined for hours on end what their house must look like inside...that I almost have the nerve to ring the bell and ask if I can see inside!

But I think that would be crossing the lines into in call the police, honey - there is a crazy lady at the door with a camera!

Here are a few photos...tell me you wouldn't go a just a tiny bit insane of this beauty!? Oh, and sorry they are a little crooked...and not the best on them to get a much better view. I had to dart in and out of the intersection between school buses and kids in the crosswalk. This baby is a block from a school.

View from the street. And yes, the house is an octagon shape...and solid brick! That was some serious money back in the day.

Isn't she gorgeous!??

I want sooo bad to get into that room at the top! Do you see it?? Now that is the place for a sunroom! Actually, I would put my office up there. This house sits on top of a hill in the neighborhood, so the view would be fantastic! I would get to see all the beautiful homes in the neighborhood with a birds-eye-view!

This is the door next to their garage. I am in love with that screen door.

From the front you would never guess this house is so HUGE! Looks like it may have had a couple of additions, but in person it is very authentic. All the brick matches, and it looks old and full of character.

Who knows...maybe I will get up the nerve to knock this week. They may be flattered I asked, right? I hear they are on a historic house tour during Christmas time, so they should be used to strangers snooping around their house. I just want a personal tour, is that too much to ask??

Saturday, February 6, 2010

how did I miss this?

Did you know about this?

I had no idea!


So, you mean to tell me...on nights like tonight...when the hubby is off playing poker with the guys...and I am home in my jammies cruising my favorite blogs...I can click over and SHOP AT GOODWILL!!!???

I can't believe I didn't know about this!

It seems to be just like any other visit to a Goodwill have to sift through a lot of "stuff" to find the treasures...but in 10 minutes I already have 3 things on my "watch list".

And I can even search the Goodwill in my own city so I don't have to pay shipping. Is this why I can't find the good stuff lately...are they hiding it all in the back room so it can go up for auction??

Seriously. I don't need to be able to thrift 24 hours a day.

This could be bad. Very bad.

Friday, February 5, 2010

i heart salvage yards...

I have to admit something to all of you.

I am not a girly-girl.

Maybe I am...I don't know. But yesterday, I was not.

I was climing through piles of old junk...getting dirty and loving every minute of it.

It was one of the most fabulous, fun days I have had in a long time! I am happy down to my toes today...and it is all thanks to a whole lotta JUNK and a drafty old 6-story warehouse!

I love how the men in the place are in awe of a girl that loves junk. A girl with french-tip nails, and a super-cute bag on her shoulder, that is. At first they always think I am going to require their "help"...I just thank them and continue on with my digging.

As most of us do, I have an adgenda every day of my life. A long list of "to-dos". I work too much...usually 6-7 days a week...sometimes 8 depending on how many orders I have go get done that week. Did I ever tell you I have my own little business painting furniture?...I really need to do a post about it sometime. Oh, and we build furniture, too. Out of salvaged materials...and I love, love, love it! I don't sell those pieces at my shows...usually I sell those to stores...but this year I think I may bring some and see how it goes.

Yesterday, I needed a break from my paintbrush. We were just spending too much time together lately. So I headed out for a little inspiration at my favorite architectural salvage warehouse.

Did you know you can find beauties like this at a salvage yard??

I was climing over piles of old ceiling tin, tripping on old door trim and making my way through 100s of old chippy doors trying to find the ones that needed a new home. It was heaven to a girl like me. But cold as a meat locker...that part was not fun after a couple hours. But you should see the doors I came home with! Worth every minute and every frozen toe! I snagged chippy painted doors in pale blue, cream, white, pink, pale yellow...and think there is an old aqua or two in the mix.

 The building iteself was incredible. It is a beautiful old thing from the 1800s. Exposed brick walls...old creaky wood floors...floor to ceiling windows. In its prime it was a factory for millwork. They had photos on the walls. Some of the most incredible fireplace mantles, doors and mouldings came out of that place. As I looked around at all the reclaimed goods I couldn't help but wonder if some had found their way "home" again. 


 I saw chippy, layered paint...thick beveled glass...and some of the most stunning doorknobs I have ever laid eyes on! As I am typing this...I can't help but wonder if I am the only person that has ever used 'stunning' and 'doorknobs' in the same sentence.

There were old wavy-glass windows as far as the eye could see. And old ornate ceiling was everywhere! Stacks and stacks of it! There was one room dedicated to sinks, toilets and bathtubs. Seriously, even the toilets and sinks were beautiful back in the day!

If you have a place like this in your area YOU MUST VISIT!

You never know what you might find! I brought home old keys, antique hardware for my furniture, a fabulous mirror. a couple chandeliers and loads of doors and windows! Oh, and 2 English Ironstone pitchers now have a permenant home in my kitchen, too! When the weather gets a bit warmer I am going to build a few armoires with those old doors, so I will be sure to keep you posted!

I'm off for another day with the paintbrush...

Happy Friday!