Monthly Archives: June 2011

Little by Little

Slowly, slowly the master bedroom comes together. Today it was the curtains and rods. The Professor, with trepidation, did a fine install: Sturdy, level, no extra holes in the walls. Thank you! (Curtains by Ikea; rods by Target.)
A new spread on the bed too. We are awaiting the “right” shams for a spark of color contrast. And then pleated shades need to be accounted for in the budget.

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Open for Business

Save hanging three pictures on the wall, our guest room is now complete. We await our first houseguests; do you want to be first?

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Fans in Cool White

Two ceiling fans installed today ~ one in each of the small bedrooms. Ah, sweet relief from stuffy air!

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Studio Clean Up

While the ceiling fans were being installed today, I took the time to do a thorough clean-out of my studio. 2 1/2 years of neglect was really showing!

Junk: out!
Items not pertaining to creative work: Put away elsewhere.
Shelves: Tidied.
Furniture: Rearranged.


And I find I have a spare sewing machine.

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Painting the Details

I paint a little here, a little there. The trim needs coats and coats to cover many years of neglect, all brushed on by hand. So I walk around dabbling first along this baseboard, next around that window grid. Eventually I will peel off all the blue painter’s tape.

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My Best Garage Sale Finds

I’ve been a garage saler since the 80’s; sometimes I’m more rabid about going out, and sometimes less. I’m in a “more” phase right now because I’m redecorating many rooms in our house. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s I was mainly looking for childrens’ clothes and toys. Now and then I found some household item I needed, but I don’t think I ever looked for furniture. Now furniture is what I mainly look for.

The Nester asked on her blog, “What is your best garage sale find EVER?” That is hard for me to answer: Just one item? I’ve found a number of great deals throughout the years. Here are a few of them. Cute cradle was a bit dirty, but only $5. We found it just in time for the arrival of grandson #2.

Cute all-wood high chair, very dirty but already painted white. It was the end of the day; I got it for $2.

Before I stripped it, this dresser had an ugly black glaze on it. I paid $10.

This cake dome and pedestal plate cost me only $1 for the two pieces.

There is quite a story behind it: I had really been wanting a cake dome (I already had a set of three pedestal plates, so I wasn’t looking for that), and I found a nice heavy one for $5 at a garage sale early last year. I picked it up, and suddenly I realized that there was an emergency up the driveway by my car. Not wanting to run off with someone’s merchandise, I quickly put it down and ran toward my car. But the seller stopped me and said it was ok; my car was fine. I turned back around and the dome was GONE. What happened to it? There was only one other customer there at the time and she was on the far side of the garage. I looked all over, then I saw that other customer had it in her hands. She had moved very quickly to grab it and then move back to her original position. Very sneaky. I lost out.

A month or so later I was at another garage sale with very poor directional signs. I saw an identical dome with a cake pedestal~ what did she want for it? She said $1 for the two pieces. I was amazed! I didn’t mention that I didn’t need the pedestal.

This year, at our annual garage sale, I sold the pedestal alone for $2. That makes the dome FREE! And I have the satisfaction of knowing that sometimes good things come to the kinder people.

This child’s play table and chairs cost $13 last year. I have since painted all of it white and my grandsons have it in their bedroom.


None of the items in this photo cost me more than $1. The Chocolat sign, my favorite piece, was $1; the eight linen napkins were 50 c


A beach-theme quilt and two shams, $5


An authentic German dirndl, $15

Another favorite that I don’t have a photo of is my chest freezer, which cost me $30.

Today I’m linking to The Nester‘s garage sale party!

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Progress on Master Bedroom

The story of a dresser

Last Friday Heather and I were out garage saling and we came upon an estate sale. We’re not usually very interested in estate sales because they are pricey compared to garage sales. But this one was at an old house tucked back in the woods; the house itself looked interesting to tour at least, so we stopped. The house was quaint and old and quirky, rambling from one addition to the next. We spied several tables of glassware. And linens. And two vintage folkwear skirts. “Fun place”, we thought. “Steep prices”, we also thought.

Tucked in the corner of the only bedroom in the original section of the house, I saw this dresser, covered with doodads for sale. One really couldn’t see the dresser at all, without looking for it on purpose. It wasn’t priced. On asking, I heard that it was a solid mahogany antique. Price? $265. “Too much for me”, I thought. But, they accept bids. Over 50% of asking price, and it’s yours if unsold by the end of day 2. Under 50% of asking price, and it’s yours if unsold at close of final day.

I called The Professor, who pointed out that $265 was an excellent price compared to antique shops. I remembered that Ikea’s 8-drawer particle board dresser retails for $300. There’s no comparison in quality: antique mahogany vs. Ikea particle board. Which would you choose?

But still, I wanted to at least try the bidding process. I’ve never done it before. So I bid just over 50%, at $135. And mid-afternoon on Saturday I got the call that it was mine.

We drove right over to pick it up, and the two of us really had to struggle to pick it up. It weighs a ton. Thankfully, a kind customer stopped and asked if we needed help loading it. It looks beautiful against the freshly-painted walls.
This weekend I also finished painting the master bedroom, just in time for our furniture delivery this morning. We bought a new bed, our very first real wood bed with headboard and footboard and side rails. It is also mahogany, with a cherry finish.
I love the dark wood against the aqua walls. I went out on a limb (for me) to go with aqua walls. I was certain that it would be too intense for me, but, with the dark furniture in place, I love the contrast.

After painting, we also re-configured the rods and shelves in our walk-in closet, to better suit our current needs. I was amazed that the pieces are so flexible. We need only to have one rod trimmed down a bit, otherwise, everything fits.
The cardboard boxes lining the floor are intended to be temporary. We decided to replace the old corner cabinet that was our only china cabinet. Until we find the china cabinet we want, all our china and most of our glassware will be stored in these boxes.

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