Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween Door Decor: Take 2

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When it comes to seasonal and holiday decorating, I don't feel the need to reinvent the wheel every year just for the sake of doing something "different." Sometimes inspiration strikes, and sometimes I loved what I did last year and will recreate it or tweak it just a bit. So with that in mind, this year I just built on last year's front door arrangement.


I couldn't find the gold ribbon I'd used before, so I left it out. My pumpkin had a cute curled stem that I didn't want to cover, so I stuck some branches in the back and propped my crow on those, and I added a second pumpkin - a vertical one to offset the round fat one in the bucket - to the side. Initially I'd planned to hang some vintage Halloween photos from the branches, but decided that would be too busy, so I'll maybe find another way to use those. Even without the gold ribbon, I think this turned out just perfect and I think I like it better than last year's version thanks to the height and interest added by the branches.

Pssst. I'm linking up to the following Halloween blog parties. Stop on over and see all the great ideas for a spooktacular Halloween.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Haunted Halloween Dollhouse

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Even though the official, unofficial Pinterest Challenges have ended, I was smitten with this little haunted dollhouse and wanted to try something similar on my own. I used an existing set of cubbie shelves that hang in my bathroom and normally house pieces of jadeite, ironstone and milkglass, but I knew the nine little compartments would work perfectly for what I had in mind.


I spent about $8 at the craft store for some scrapbook paper and a few Halloween themed scrapbooking stickers and mixed them up with doll house furniture I already had (some from my childhood, some my grandmothers) and a few other little Halloween items and I'm thrilled with the results. Starting from the top, the mini pumpkin is real, the orange mum is a clip on pin from the dollar store.



The first cubbie has a crow from the scrapbooking sticker set, a mini fake pumpkin from the craft store and a chair and spinning wheel from my collection.


The one below it has I made a little banner from the leftover background paper. I think the kitty needs a witch hat or something to add just a touch more Halloween to the scene. While some of my wallpaper was out and out Halloween themed, other pieces were just orange or black in classic patterns so things didn't get too crazy and busy.


The bottom has another mini pumpkin from the craft store, the crows are scrapbooking stickers I perched on a slightly opened drawer of a dresser from 1952! Next door is a pumpkin shirt I made years ago from a pattern for a doll - I stuffed a tissue up in it to make it stand. The hat I think came in a floral arrangement and the broom I whipped up with a broken off wooden skewer and a brown paper lunch bag (cut a strip, cut slits in it and wrap around the handle and tape). 


Back up in the attic I have the last scrapbook sticker and another older wash stand.


The bedroom has a mini brass bed, clock, chamber pot, another craft store pumpkin and a teeny, tiny metal mouse. This could use a little more Halloweening in the form of a coverlet for the bed or maybe a skeleton to lay in it.


The last few cubbies I just filled with pumpkins real and fake and the center square has an awesome haunted house sticker.


I'll be back (hopefully) with a few more Halloween decorating posts - I realized this week I prefer decorating for Halloween over other holidays because dusting is optional!

Pssst: I'm linking up to the following Halloween blog parties. Hop on over to check out all the great ideas.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May eBay Update: What's Selling

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For those of us who survived Winter of 2014, spring was a long time coming. Usually this means people are anxious to start shopping for new spring clothes, even if it means it isn't quite warm enough to wear them yet, but I found spring sales on eBay to be a little slow in getting started this year too. Maybe it was because I was having a hard time sourcing things - my thrift stores were still stocking winter coats as of a week or two ago. But May finally brought out the spring buyers and I've been selling light weight, springy dresses and skirts in pastel colors. Here are a few of my favorite sales.

This white April Cornell dress sold fast for $30. April Cornell is always a good find, although this one wasn't the usual rayon floral so I wasn't sure how it would do, but it sold faster and for more than the rayon floral one I had listed that just sold yesterday.


This sweet little Gymboree bermuda bag also sold pretty fast, but only for $15. I try to balance how much work something is to list with what I think I can get for it. The purse was easy because it did not require washing and ironing or extensive measuring, so I could list cheaper than a suit, which requires the time and expense of a trip to the dry cleaners and a lot of different measurements - I wouldn't even consider a suit that I could only get $15 for. With brands like Gymbo, Lilly Pulitzer, Hanna Andersson, etc. it is worth doing some research to find the pattern or "line" name. Google "gymbo id" and there are a bunch of different sites to help you do this. This bag was called "Sunflower Fields" and was from their Spring 2007 collection


Key West is a brand that always tricks me into thinking it is Lilly Pulitzer. This little top sold for $19 and sold fast. I love selling preppy stuff and it always seems to sell well for me.


Max Studio is an iffy brand for me, but I loved this sweet yellow sundress and it was NWT (new with tags). It sold for $32.


Another of my favorite items to sell is pajamas. I didn't know anything about the brand PajamaGram when I picked these up, but seriously, how fun are these crossword puzzle pjs? I knew they'd appeal to someone. They were a cotton knit, so not exactly spring/summer weight, but I don't like having unlisted stock hanging around so I listed them anyway and they sold fairly fast for $25.


While spring was finally in bloom in eBay-land, some of my best sales this month were newer listings for decidedly unspring-like items. This Ballantyne cashmere cardigan was one of them - I would have loved to keep this because navy.cashmere.gold buttons, but I knew it was too good of a find to not list. It sold for $150.


This Eileen Fisher velvet tunic was also a nice out of season sale at $60. 


And last, while they are sandals, these Kelsi Dagger shoes looked more like something I'd wear going into September. I love the leather feathers on them - they are just so unusual. They sold for $43.









Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Thrift Store Plates

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I picked up a few cute plates on a recent thrifting trip - I liked the slight texture, color and pattern - and when I got them home realized the color wasn't half bad with my kitchen walls, so instead of putting them in the cupboard to use for salads or sandwiches, I dug out some old spring loaded plate hangers and put them up in a blank space on the wall. 


I couldn't find out anything about the maker but they're nice and heavy, like an ironstone, and fairly deep. 


They were $1.90/each but were a half price color, so $1.90 for the pair - can't beat that! I'll be on the lookout for a pair in a complimentary color/pattern, and then you may see them crop up on my table too.




Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter Place Settings

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Just a quick post to showcase my Easter table settings. I started with a new set of Food Network placemats from Kohl's in the Spring Garden pattern. I had one of those $10 off any purchase coupons, and since I'd literally used a gift card online two days before getting the coupon, I went in search of something nearly free. The placemats were something like $13 but they're nicely made and the pattern placement is well done and consistent across the four placemats. 


On top of the placemats I used my vintage oval Fire King Jadeite plates, which I turned vertically so they would look like eggs. I also set them a little off center so the birds (the cutest part of the placemats) would show. The napkins are ones I've had forever - I think originally from Pier 1 - I just love their vintage charm and the colors reflect what is in the placemats without matching too exactly. The silverplated napkin rings are Pier 1 but I found them at a thrift store.


The silverware is older Pottery Barn (also thrifted) which I like for spring because it looks like ferns or new leaves unfurling. I only have three of the pink bowls so I used two and mixed in two milk glass goblets. 

The serving pieces in the center of the table are both thrift store finds - the rabbit with the carrot is a tea pot and the rabbit with the cabbage is a small tureen.



After Easter I can just swap out the centerpiece and the other elements work fine for spring. For my Easter table from three years ago, see here.



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Door Decor

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Well summer pretty much got away from me, but I wanted to share a quick and cheap front door arrangement for Halloween and fall. 

I started with a real pumpkin I picked up at Aldi for $2.99 and added two leaf garlands and some natural and gold ribbon from Michaels. The leaf garlands were $7.99 each and 60% off and the ribbon (which was from the Christmas aisle) was $3.99 and 30% off, so they all came in at $2.79 each. 


My enamel bucket was a thrift find and even though it is trimmed in red, I have no where inside to store it, so I use it in all seasons and just don't worry about it not being absolutely perfect. Inside I turned a flower pot upside down and then put a plastic bowl on top of that to hold the pumpkin at the right height. I stuffed some newspaper in around it to support the leaf garland then just wound one garland around the base. For the second garland, I just loosely wound the ribbon around it, letting it naturally curl as I wound it off the roll and then wound it around the pumpkin on top of the other garland. 


On top of the pumpkin (whose stem wasn't great, the pumpkins were marked down and they  only had a few left and this was the best one) I sat one of my black feather crows (from Michaels a few years ago) and stuck a thumb tack between his toes and down into the pumpkin to hold it. Then I layed a few leaves that had come loose from the garland on top to cover the tack. And voila! Cute, cheap, and fast. 







Friday, August 2, 2013

Styling the China Hutch in a Beach Theme for Summer

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Recently my neighbor finally got around to taking down her Christmas garland, which in turn inspired me to finally get the fall/winter china out of my hutch. Oh yeah, and the few Easter items I'd stuck in there too.


I restyled it in a beach theme with shell dishes, fish, starfish, shells and a few pieces that reminded me of coral and seaweed without being too literal. Most of the items have been collected over the year during my thrift shopping journeys and there are a few dollar and craft store items thrown in for good measure.

The blue candelabra, which was thrifted but I believe still had its original HomeGoods sticker on the bottom, looked like seaweed to me, so I popped that in along with a resin starfish from Michael's Crafts. The little blue fish is a vase or planter and the dishes are 


The green fish I think is one that is supposed to sit on a sink to hold a sponge or scrubby and he's sitting on my favorite wooden pedestal which I shared in this thrift store shopping post.


The white pedestal bowl has a ruffled edge that reminds me of waves, so I filled it with small shells from Dollar Tree (they're from the vase filler section). The gold chargers add some shine and iridescence (inside of a sea shell anyone?) and take up space and balance out the plates above. 


Oh, ooops, I do have a few retail purchases in here: the green vase was actually a gift and I thought the color and shape worked as a seaweed inspired element. The round candle lantern had a coral or sea urchin vibe. We're not being too literal here, just using what I had on hand.


This little fish plate I thought was cute layered up with another of the resin star fish - I think they came two or three in a pack for $1 or $2 and are reasonably realistic looking.


So there you have it, a bit of a summer remix for the china hutch. Hopefully I'll get this all packed away and Halloween in there before March, because I'm nothing if not predictable 3 years and 5 months behind schedule.


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