October 30, 2015

On Friday . . .

I changed my picture header. What do you think? It's the lid of a tin middle daughter Mary got years ago when she worked at Crabtree & Evelyn and is in the library by the kitty shrine. Entirely fitting for our cat-centric house, though.

Have a great weekend


October 28, 2015

Still Squirrely

Hey, how's your day going so far? I ran in a thrift shop en route to the grocery store and found one cute thing that had to come home with me. Remember earlier this month:
The squirrel stampede has a new member:
How cute is this little mug? The price was right, too, at .66 cents. I'm still cleaning, so will say goodbye till tomorrow. 

Take it easy!


October 27, 2015


Hello, all,

Sorry about yesterday. Manna was a killer, then the supervisor of volunteers nailed me to come back again this morning, so the house is suffering from neglect, big time. Still, in addition to essential dirt removal, it seemed like a good idea to try and adapt the BoHo Chic effect to this new season. Here are a few results:
I like this round wooden frame from Manna. The warm tones and rich designs in it are . . . from a Pottery Barn advertisement.
This pretty tray with a round center section was .50 cents at the St. Christopher's resale shop that's across the street from MAM. 
Extra fabrics are always good in the fall to add depth and texture. This is a shawl that seems very Bohemian to me, with its complex pattern, contrasting border and fringed edging. It's on the coffee table in the living room. 
A darkly decorated tin in jewel tones, with a raised effect on the lid seems to fit the definition, too. I will BOLO for more ways to put some BoHo in the new season, now that it's not still as hot as summer. Deep colors, complex patterns, and extra layers--what's not to like? 

Have a good one!


October 23, 2015


Hello, all,

Color me disgruntled. With reports of heavy rain elsewhere, has there been a drop here so far today? No, no, there has not. So much for being careful and hanging out at home to avoid flooded streets. There was a quick dash to the post office to mail a book and my ballot by mail, but otherwise, I've stayed put. Here is the main thing accomplished so far:
The left side bookcase by my laptop station is sorted out, a good deal culled and tidied up immensely from how it was a couple of hours ago. There's still plenty more to do in this room, but at least it feels as though a start has been made and the situation not totally hopeless. Lame, but better than nothing at all. 

Have a wonderful weekend!


October 22, 2015

Just say no to Halloween

Hello, everyone,

As far as I'm concerned Halloween ranks slightly lower than Bring Your Dog to Work in the list of holidays celebrated. You all can have full custody of costumes, spooky decorating, haunted houses and everything else that goes with it. My allegiance now is with Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. The idea of making altars to honor departed loved ones is a positive way to enter the season of winter, the months of darkness and weather to be endured before the arrival of spring. In light of that, one of my errands to day was to Casa Ramirez where buntings for the season were available. Here's the first modest effort for it. I haven't begun to set up an altar yet. 
It's called papel picado. Here's a banner across the two shelves in the library. 
A close up to show the skulls and other themes for Day of the Dead. I bought some others, too, so they'll surely turn up at some point in the future.

Have a good evening,


October 21, 2015

Harder than you'd think.

Hello, friends,

This seemingly small project used up an inordinate amount of time and energy, so please, cut me some slack. After rehanging the easel with the large tin tray on it over the cart in the dining room corner, that left the small wall board homeless. It seemed it would be useful near my desk, so I found a hammer and nails and gave it a try. And failed, with both nails popping out of my hand and falling into another dimension. See, when you try to do anything with a piece made of cheap, fake pressed faux wood trouble is almost certainly guaranteed. After getting more nails a mere three times, it was finally done. It didn't help that because of the wall lamp position it was almost impossible to hit the one on that side. Nevertheless, here is the result.
Amazing to me, the board wasn't wider than the bookcase.
A wider view.
It was necessary to rearrange the contents to conceal a birthday card for a friend whose odometer is going to roll over soon. That's my project du jour. There has also been grocery shopping and cleaning and now I'm ready to collapse on the sofa until Mr. B comes home, wanting to eat.

Take it easy!

October 20, 2015

Transformation in progress

Hello, everyone,

Checking in with my daily cart report. Remember the idea about a tray? By shopping the house the idea came to me how to get the best of two concepts. If the piece isn't redone Mr. B will be happy. If it's lightened up somehow, that will please me. So:
Its sad beginning.
In its new home in the dining room next to the hall door. See the white painted tray on top? It brightens the cart up and covers  two spots that didn't disappear completely after an application of Howard Wood Restorer. I haven't figured out what to put on top yet. The immediate goal was to have a variety of textures-the basket on the floor, silverware chest above, vintage tin picnic container on it, with the tray on top. 
The tray is the kind with folding legs to use when eating in bed. It has a piece of vintage crochet work on top for yet another level of texture. 
The tray cloth has an appealing pattern, don't you think, simple but still pretty?

That's my effort report for today. Now it's time to go do some early dinner prep for poor Mr. B who came home to no meal last night, due to operator error on my part. I thought his class had one more week to go but it ended October 12. Oops!

Have a good one,


October 19, 2015

Score Before: Take Two

Hello, all,

After an unusually busy weekend (for us, not for most people) and working at the thrift shop half a day, it was only a little while ago there was sufficient time to tackle that ratty old piece of furniture picked up last week. Remember the Ugly Duckling?
 I got out this and went to work on it:
The first I knew of this product was hearing it recommended during a home staging show on HGTV. 

Here are the results. It's not perfect, but much better than before.
Most of the surface is greatly improved after one application.
The top is the area with remaining visible damage. The sides and legs and lower shelf look pretty good.
It could be painted, but Mr. B isn't a fan of painted furniture. On the other hand if a person happens to like trays and has a big stash of them anyway, wouldn't the ideal lazy way to deal with condition issues be to put a tray on top and stage it that way? We all like layers, right? Switching materials and textures add interest, so . . . stay tuned. 

Take it easy,


October 16, 2015

Score Before

Hello, folks,

I am writing tired today after doing a second unplanned stint at Manna today, so this will be short and probably not sweet. Thursday I dashed into Sand Dollar before Bible study to leave a bag of discards. Near the entrance was a seriously ugly duckling, but hey, the price was right so it was somehow wiggled into my car before heading to St. Andrew's. Here it is:
It's a two-level wooden bar cart, on castors. It's in bad shape:
but the price was right. I don't know if you can read $6.50 as is in red grease pencil on the top, but it's there.
What do you think? It's beat up now, but it has simple lines that should be usable almost anywhere, two surfaces, with wheels to move it around. Because of this last minute gig at the thrift store today there was no time to start work on the formidable task of refurbishing it, so check back next week and see how this turns out. And, oh, yeah, wish me luck! 

Have a wonderful weekend.


October 15, 2015

Teeny Halloween-y

Hello, all,

My day was mostly being gone a lot with Bible study and grocery shopping, and more. Still, before leaving this morning I did do this:
I hung this string of candy corn lights in the library. Flossy came to inspect. 
They must have met her approval since she's leaving without demanding their immediate removal. 

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday at all, so decorating for it is often low key, if not non-existent. I will probably do something for Day of the Dead, though, so keep an eye out for that coming soon. 

Now it's time to go figure out what Mr. B. is getting for dinner this evening. If he forgets to take the trash out again this week it will be a menu my mother used to cite for annoying husbands: "Cold shoulder and a lot of tongue!". 

Have a good one.


October 14, 2015

Greatest Hits of 2014

Hello, all,

I've been running behind after a long check up trip to the eye doctor that spilled over to the afternoon. Nothing wrong, just a lot of waiting involved. This post is a recap from this time last year, when my best find by far was this:
It was $78 at the Junior Forum and a perfect fit for the dining room. You see the furry investigators checking it out above.
With the table and chairs in place. 

A little close up of some of the detail around the border. Isn't it nice when you find something that stands the test of time? When there's no reason to second guess your decision "It looked like it would work perfectly in ____, but now it's in place it is too big/small/wrong shape." This rug seemed great in the store and has indeed  proved to be great in the past twelve months of use. Three cheers for things working out well at least some of the time!


October 13, 2015

A lot of heavy lifting.

Hey, friends, I hope you're having a good day. Mine has been all right with a few mild exceptions. Lying awake last night an idea occurred to me, so directly after lunch was when I tried it out. The backstory is this: a few weeks ago I bought a rug at Sand Dollar that's been in the hall between kitchen dining room since, but there were problems with this. Thus, after much heaving and shoving and shifting around, we have this:
It's a cute rug from Pottery Barn, but maybe a little too girly for the main part of the house. Plus, that hallway is PPP* for the cats, so perhaps moving it to my closet will shift that dynamic. Freddy seems to be confused by the change in location. 
Things did get dusted and vacuumed before what was left in there was put back.
Freddy is still investigating the shocking new home of the rug.
Events this odd make you want to lick your leg. 
And your toe. That's my project of the day. I like the rug in the closet. It should be an even more welcome change in the winter, when these tile floors are freezing. It's always helpful to keep in mind if a piece of furniture or lamp or picture doesn't work where you thought it would go, that doesn't mean it won't be the perfect spot for another room or space. 

Take it easy,

* Preferred Puking Position

October 12, 2015

Weekend Win

Hello, friends,

I hope your weekend went well and the week is off to a good start. 

On Saturday Mr. B and I ran several errands. As we approached the street to turn on for our house there was a sign for a yard sale across the intersection, so we ran by it before heading home. Below is one of our two purchases:
This huge cloche with tray was $15.00, not bad since it was new. I moved Mr. Squirrel under it from the basket. 
Another view. It is 19" tall and 37" around.
A close up of the tray and its metal handles.
Mr. Squirrel is sporting an acorn cap on one ear. This is a very heavy cloche. The knob on top is about the size of a tennis ball. The glass dome fits snugly onto the tray. I consider it a great score, as was the other item that's destined to be a gift. It, too, is new and came in the original box. I'm thrilled with this giant cloche and look forward to it being a featured centerpiece often in coming years. 

Have a good one!


October 9, 2015

Friday already.

Hello, all,

I stayed in today and cleaned but will spare you the details, since it was the dullest dirt removal/stuff shifting possible to imagine. The only five minute deviation from cat fur removal and investigation of mysterious sticky patches in unlikely places came when briefly working in my closet. I apologize for the pictures in advance. They are too dark, but since the flash works and every light nearby was on, what to do to fix it remained a question mark to me.
This is an old, handmade child's slip found in a thrift shop some time ago. It feels like a fine wool, slightly scratchy and has one neatly mended tear near the neck. It is hung on a small vintage wooden hanger.

I picked up this little beaded locker chandelier at Sand Dollar a while back, then promptly broke off one of its arms trying to bend it back into place. In real life the beads are brightly colored and it's still cute. In this picture, not so much. Sorry. 

May your weekend be filled with fun or industry, whichever makes you happiest!


October 8, 2015

It's not pretty

Our dining room, that is. Sadly, there is no one else in the world who can be blamed for the hot mess that is this space, aside from a little spillage and such by Mr. B's wine bar. No, all the rest of it is mine. Today it seemed imperative to at least make a dent in the detritus. This is just one end of the room:
See what I mean? Four + hours later, there is slight progress. 
The desk is cleaned off, the bulletin board hung instead of left leaning, another nail was added to keep the lamp straight and a picture hung. 
This rolling plastic crate picked up at Sand Dollar recently now holds the things that will go on ebay in the coming week as descriptions of each item is written. I have also done some work on the bookcase to the right of the desk, but none to the one on the left. The table has been cleared and the vacuum cleaner been deployed. It is marginally more sanitary. Not clean enough to have guests come over and eat a meal, but I'll keep chipping away till that's an option. That was my Thursday afternoon. I hope yours was more fun.


October 6, 2015

Fall, Take Two

Hello, all,

This was a busy day, with a trip to the dentist who isn't close or convenient anymore since we moved. Still, it seems silly to switch when it only happens twice a year. So, not too productive today, but a little more decorating was done.

An acorn dish on the table in the library.

Acorns in silver containers and a brown bird on the corner shelf above it.
Autumn leaf swag on the screen in the living room.
A seed pod ball in a leaf-shaped dish.
Berries and foliage on the cross wall peg rack. 

I hope you're enjoying the seasonal changes as they arrive, wherever you live.

Have a good one,

October 5, 2015

Fall at last

Hello, everyone,

We had glorious weather all weekend. Everyone you encountered was smiling and in a good mood, which is definitely not the case during the summer! Since it finally didn't feel like one of the outer rings of the Inferno, it seemed like a good time to shift decor from heat to relief. 
A pumpkin and feathers in the dining room. On the adjacent wall, the board with canvas slots:
got a harvest touch with a garland of apples on top.
 Some acorns and pumpkins in the birdcage. 
And some pears on the bookends. Stay tuned for more tomorrow. Manna was so busy today I'm flat worn out. Off to collapse on the sofa now.