Monday, April 29, 2013

Taylor’s Tool Turned Practical


Last Tuesday, after returning from the furniture market in North Carolina, I knew I’d better start hitting some yard sales to help fill the void left from sales in

my booth over the weekend; but around here, most sales aren’t held until Thursday.

So I messaged a friend of mine who has a vintage store in a nearby town to see if I could shop his garage, since I knew he would be holding a sale later in

the week. He invited me over and I had a field day picking over the merchandise that hadn’t made it into his store, Rusty NChippy.

He let me explore on my own, but also pointed out things that I had missed on my first pass through the garage.

You know how it is- you have to keep going back

over things multiple times to see things that you’ve missed the first few times you explored!

Well, I came home with the back of my SUV loaded with goodies to sell as is and some to “re-do.”

One of the items that came home with me was a tailor’s tool known as a skirt marker. Since I wasn’t wearing my “cheaters” and couldn’t see anything up

close, I couldn’t figure out what I had when I originally picked it up-

I just knew that it looked like an interesting piece of junque and I figured I could turn it into something worthwhile.

Here’s what the piece looked like before I transformed it-


skirt marker


Once I put on my glasses and could finally read the small print on the ruler,

I recalled that my sewing lady used to use one of these when she measured my skirt and dress hems.



skirt marker 2

For the life of me, I cannot remember how she used this tool, but I knew that I certainly wouldn’t be using it for the same purpose.

Since it stood upright so well, I figured I’d use it as a base for a sign of some kind.

Then I remembered that I had a mini chalkboard tucked away in a drawer in the laundry room, so I dug it out and put my little brain into action.

Yes, the chalkboard could easily fit behind the metal sliding piece on the ruler and I could have a simple sign!



mini chalkboard

Kinda blah looking and I wasn’t crazy about seeing the printing on the top of the wood, so I pulled out some Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan

and slapped on some Country Gray. Then I both clear and dark waxed it to look “olden and worn” and attached it to the

skirt marker with some hot glue.



sign 2





completed chalkboard sign



sign 3


What an easy peasy makeover that cost next to nothing to create!

You see, my friend Troy had thrown in this skirt marker as an added bonus to all that I had already bought from him. I had paid $1.00 for the chalkboard and

I only used a few brushstrokes of paint and a few dips of wax, so in my book- I had peanuts invested in it.

For those of you who have never heard that expression before- it pretty much means “nothing at all.”

I think my grandparents used to say that and the phrase stuck with me.

So there you have it~ my made-over piece of junque became something practical.

There is still an entire side of the garage full of stuff to be transformed with paint and decoupage.

I’m hoping to make a dent in it tomorrow if the sinusitis and bronchitis take a brief respite.

We live in what is known as Sinus Valley here in southwest Ohio and I’m draining big time, which makes me cough and sound like a seal.

Not an attractive sound!



Linking to:

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Transformed Tuesdays

Tweak It Tuesday

Wow Us Wednesday

Thrifty Things Friday


Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Chicken or the Egg?

This is the question that I ask myself every time I attend the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point!

Every market, it seems that industry gurus have been scouring the internet to see what DIY’ers and bloggers have been doing to decorate their homes.

Then they incorporate those ideas into their own lines, in some way, fashion, or form.

But on the other hand, I also ask myself if the general public gets inspired with what the industry initially shows

and then these inspired and talented people run with their own takes on these ideas.


So what really comes first- the chicken or the egg?  Who really inspires whom?

Does the furniture and design industry solely influence people - or do we, as bloggers and DIY’ers, inspire the industry more than we know?


While perusing the showrooms last week, I saw lots of pallet furniture and accessories.

What used to be tossed away in the burn pile by retailers is now being used to manufacture accessory pieces and furniture,

as well as accessorizing walls in the showrooms.


pallet walls

Pallets were used as simple wall backdrops in this showroom, where the company’s sconces were mounted onto the wood boards.

In the blogging world, I think of Funky Junk Interiors and Debbie Doo’s, who have used pallets in many of their own projects.

Click on the links to see Donna’s post about pallet wood and Debbie’s pallet projects page.


leather desk and auto accessories

Once again, the vintage theme was still very much in vogue at this market.

Flexsteel Furniture’s new line was inspired by a British company that also designs for a well known retailer here in the states.

The company used distressed looking leathers to accent their pieces and then designers accessorized their furniture collection with found objects such as

rusty automotive tools, vintage fans, old letters and books, and photography equipment.


steel trunks and vintage items


Hmmm…. no wonder my nephew, who is a company rep, said the collection reminded him of me!


wrenches on wall




typewriter art

 What a fun display of typewriter key art in the Wilcox Showroom.

They would most certainly be a great DIY project using simple paint can lids, don’t you think?

When I saw them, I immediately thought of Susie Harris, who creates and sells some great artwork of her own.



In the photo above, you can see that she created her own version of an old typewriter keyboard.

I recall that she was inspired by Pottery Barn. but I never think of PB when I see typewriter keys- I always think of Susie!


More photos to come soon.  It was not a truly inspiring market this spring. I saw lots of the “same ol’, same old thing.”

So much so, that I really didn’t go hog wild taking pictures.  I didn’t take the good camera, either, so many of the shots are not of the best quality.

Plus, we were busy hoofing all over creation, trying to make our appointments on time.

You don’t take elevators unless it’s up to the 12th floor to work your way down. They are waaaay too slow to come and pick you up!

It can be time consuming when you take the steps and give your quads and hamstrings a good workout!

And then there was all the time that was spent eating the delicious catered food in the showrooms at lunchtime

and the drinks and hors d’oevres at cocktail hour…..


Linking to:

Be Inspired @ Common Ground









Thursday, April 18, 2013

Off to Market!


antique-design-high point

Leaving early tomorrow morning for the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina!

It might seem silly, but I always get giddy about seeing the latest and newest trends in furniture and accessories.

It will be a short turn-around trip- we go in, do our business, and come right home.

One of these days, I want to take some time to do some fun things when we go down there-  like scoping out some great antique/thrift shops.


I’m certain we’ll see lots of cool and exciting new things in the showrooms and maybe even find a few new lines to carry.

I plan on shooting some photos on my iPhone- I’m not lugging a heavy camera this trip.

As it is,  I always end up hauling a bag that weighs a ton even before I start picking up paperwork and samples.


My comfy flat shoes are already broken in and ready for lots of walking, but I know I’ll still be tired and achy at the end of the day.

Too bad I won’t be able to meet up with a group of bloggers who are attending market as members of the press.

Their itinerary and mine won’t mesh- they have some planned showroom visits long after I’m already on my way back to Ohio.

Hope they have a fun trip. It will be a little introduction as to what it is to be at market. Just without the work!

See ya when I get back!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Grain Sack Inspired Table Top


grainsack striped table and chairs



I’ve been working on a little table project in my spare time for the past couple of days, readying some items for the vintage/décor booth that I will be moving

into during the first week of April.

Grain sacks have been very popular in home décor for a while now and I’ve long admired the handiwork of fellow bloggers who can sew up table runners

using vintage fabric. 

A light bulb went on my little head a few weeks ago, giving me the idea that I could paint multiple red stripes to mimic the actual grain sack fabric

on a tabletop.

I had the perfect table in mind. It was a frugal find from two summers ago and it lent itself well to being transformed into a more current décor.

table before


Here’s the table as it has looked since being used in my laundry room.

Its apron and legs were originally painted yellow and the table fit right into the sunny garden décor themed room;

but that décor has outlived its look and I’m looking forward to stripping the wallpaper and going much more neutral in this room.

Since I won’t be using the table in there anymore, I decided to sell it in the new booth that I’ll be moving into in April.

I’ve been itching to get a vintage/décor  booth or shop of my own, so when the opportunity presented itself last weekend, I leapt at it.


stripe details


I mixed up a custom color, using Chalk Paint ® by Annie Sloan.

The color turned out a bit less yellow than Old White, which was fine with me. I used Emperor’s Silk for the stripes and Graphite for the apron and the legs.

Then I plotted out where I wanted the stripes on the table top, measuring out from the center of the table and using quick release painter’s tape to create

the wide and narrow stripes.

The only time consuming part was waiting for the stripes to dry before taping over them and begin painting the stripes next to them.

I had a little bit of bleed-through on the tape edges, but once I sanded the stripes to give them an aged and worn look,

you really can’t tell that they are not all that perfect.

And I think the slight imperfections makes them look more authentic, anyway.



apron, legs


I had to do the painting inside, since the weather here as been so cold- 30º temperatures inside the garage are detrimental to the painting process,

not to mention being in conducive to comfort.



Of course, I couldn’t just show you a plain ol’ table top, so I dressed it up just a bit so you could see how it looks with a simple place setting.

Yes, I know I didn’t use silverware, but you get the idea, right?




I gave this topiary filled cloche some height with a stack of blue books. It brought a bit of spring into the dark foyer where I took these photos.

It’s a cloudy day and we're expecting another snowstorm today- with up to 10 inches predicted.

It is actually coming down like mad right now and I bet we WILL see that amount of snowfall by tomorrow morning!

I think I had better head out for the gas station soon so I can have fuel for the snow blower. No way I’m using the shovel with that amount of the white stuff!




An iron fleur de lis and a tiny red pitcher completed the simple vignette.



setting a




setting b

I hunted the pantry for some coordinating colors in the dinnerware and came up with these melamine plates and bowls.


table 2

This table would be perfect for a protected area outside, since the legs are wood and I’ve applied a wax finish to the tabletop.

It would be cute in a sunroom or breakfast room, as well.


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Open House Thursday

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mother Nature is Fooling Around…

Years ago, there was a television commercial that featured Mother Nature tasting a margarine product When she learned that the product was not real

butter, she pitched a fit and cried out that it was not nice to fool Mother Nature.


mother nature


Well, I believe she is fooling around with US this time, lulling us into the false belief that we’d be enjoying warmer temperatures and nice weather now that is

is officially spring on the calendar.  Not nice of you, Mother Nature!

  Our southwest Ohio weather is in the 20’s. brrr….  Adding insult to injury, there were snow flurries this morning.

Last year at this time, it was 80º out!

At least the sun has finally peeked through the clouds and the winds have subsided- for the moment, anyway!

My belief is that spring is still going to be a long time coming.

spring basket 1

I was chomping at the bit to see a bit of color on my front door two days ago, so I placed a few bunches of faux flowers and greenery into a small

basket to hang on the glass. Voila~ instant spring to brighten our cloudy days.


vignetted basket

The purple and orange flowers added such a fresh look to the cranberry red front door.

I’d love to see a new color on it this year. I’m so over the classic red and am thinking of a fresh new color such as Wyeth Blue.


focal zoom



.snowy snail

There is a light coating of snow that still hasn’t yet melted from the warmth of the sun remaining on this display in one of the front beds.

The weatherman says we can expect scattered snow showers for the next week or so.

I’m wondering if he has an “in” with Mother Nature and is accurate with his prediction, or if he’s just trying to stay on her good side so we can all be

thankful to her when the temperatures finally do make it into the 60’s!


I hope it will be warmer in North Carolina when we go down for the Furniture Market in a few weeks. I always enjoy seeing those gorgeous azaleas blooming

everywhere. The city sets out potted flowers in many of the beds bordering the downtown buildings. It’s so nice to see spots of color in an urban setting.

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the pine straw mulch that they sit in, and I even contemplated using it for the front beds last summer.

But when I found out that the cost would be exorbitant to get it brought up here, I decided to stay with the shredded black mulch that I normally use.

My guess is that you southern girls just look at the pine straw as an ordinary and everyday fact of life for the garden beds. Is that true?


If you’re in the same boat I’m in with this cold weather, try to stay warm and cozy.

But if you’re enjoying sun and nice weather, celebrate the onset of spring and give thanks to Mother Nature.

If you’re being nice, maybe she won’t notice that I am silently cursing her…..


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Springing Forth with Color



Look what got added to my springtime vignette in the great room nook….


A pot of colorful daffodils to help brighten my day!

They were mere buds on Wednesday when I brought them home from the grocery store,

but since then, they have opened and brought a smile to my face.


daffodils 1

Love the little trumpet smack dab in the middle of the bloom.



There are still more buds just waiting for a yellow explosion of color to bust through.

I’m sure they’ll open soon.



Do they make YOU smile?


It will still be some time before I see little shoots of color making their way through the still frozen ground in our backyard.

Until then, these will more than suffice.

So much so, that I think I’ll be traipsing back to the market for a few more pots of color.

Maybe some tulips in lavender or red…..




daffodil collage


Linking to:

Pink Saturday

Seasonal Sundays

Mosaic Monday 

I Should Be Mopping the Floor

Home and Garden Thursday

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sharing Fresh Spring Accessories…



antique scales for spring

Spring has sprung in another part of the house to help alleviate the doldrums of the remaining days of winter. This nook in the great room got a little shot of color with an spring inspired lithograph placed as the backdrop to the antique scale I often like to use in my vignettes.






scale weight, closeup

I love the worn patina on its finish. The yellowed metal on the weight gives it so much character.


birdcage cloche

It just seemed fitting to use a wired birdcage cloche to cover this bluebird.

The marble scale base on this side of the scale was covered with a bed of sheet moss so that the bird could take up residence.



blue bird




nest in a shell

On the other end of the scale is a small nest filled with faux greenery, eggs, and a small bird.

This came to me by way of Cindy, who blogs at Dwellings.


I recently won her contest for a Ramsign address sign and this nest was also a part of the give-away.



shell on scale

Acrylic feet were to the bottom of the shell for stabilization.

I still have another shell that needs the same treatment- it keeps tipping over and it contents keeps spewing all over the table.



cloche and heart shaped rock

A tall cupcake cloche houses a small heart shaped rock.

The glare is certainly not sunshine- once again it is cold, cloudy, and overcast;

the back wall of the room just has so much glass that it wreaks havoc with reflections.



heart shaped rock

The green and gray rock makes a very simple statement all on its own….



potted plant on column

To add in some natural greenery, I topped a recently faux-painted concrete column with a small potted plant.

It’s looking a bit spindly these days- our overcast winter days don’t seem to providing quite enough light for it.

I’ve periodically moved it around the house to try and give it more of a chance to grow;

but when I do that, I lose track of where it is and it doesn’t get watered.

An avid gardener I am not…..



aged pot

At least the terra cotta pot is well on its way to looking aged and beautiful.

Clay pots take on a whitish cast as they age, due to the fertilizers and minerals in the water.

I’m contemplating rubbing a bit of moss and yogurt onto it to make it even prettier.

Looks better than a brand new, pristine clay pot, I think.



spring in the park litho

I’m eagerly awaiting spring’s arrival. Aren’t you?



Sharing with:

Susan@BNOP  Metamorphosis Monday 

Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch  The Scoop 

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Jessica@ Mom4Real Knock Our Socks Off

Courtney@ French Country Cottage  6 Days of Spring

Patty and Paula@ Ivy and Elephants  What’s It Wednesday

Kim@ Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday

Debra@Common Ground  Be Inspired Friday

Donna@ Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special