From Lantern to Vase

The best thing about thrifting is that you often find pieces that can be reworked into something new.  Usually that involves a coat of paint or major altering of the original item, but every once in a while you stumble upon a super simple upcycle that requires barely any effort.  That’s exactly what happened with my new vase.  The mason jar style and the green tint to the glass are what caught my eye at the thrift store.  But it had a different purpose when I first saw it.

It was a lantern for a small votive candle!  I didn’t originally intend for it to be used as a vase but when the Hubs brought home flowers and I needed another large container for a second bouquet this new treasure was on the counter and the idea was sparked.  I simply pulled out the votive holder rack, filled it with water and plopped in the flowers.  That has to be the quickest upcycle ever – literally 30 seconds flat!

I kept the votive holder rack in case I ever want to use it that way again, but I see many more days as a vase with summer bouquets in it’s future! 🙂

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Checking Out Magnolia Home Locally!

I recently learned that Joanna Gaines’ furniture line was available through a local furniture retailer who usually specializes in quality Amish furniture called Treeforms Furniture Gallery.  I stopped by their showroom to check out what they had during my lunch break the other day and had to share the great ways they styled the pieces.

Although they had several of the Magnolia Home accessories with the furniture I was disappointed to learn that they weren’t selling those pieces and only had them as display props.  But the sales lady did tell me that they could order anything available on the Magnolia Home online shop and it would possibly be less expensive because they got a dealer price break and shipping is already included.  The Hubs wasn’t quite as excited by that news as I was… I can’t imagine why! 😉

We’re not really in need of any new furniture so this was just a browsing trip anyway but it was fun to see the Fixer Upper style in person.  Including a few pieces from recent reveals, like this school desk and framed bed.

I really liked the combination of modern and rustic in this tall dresser, which looked like multiple small drawers but was really 4 large drawers.

The Magnolia line was just a portion of their showroom so I browsed a few of the other areas too.  I loved this rustic bookcase, which was no surprise since I’ve had pinned for sometime now.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be replacing the ladder shelf next to the craft cabinet with something like this in the near-ish future, albeit with a much less expensive and custom sized DIY version!

I also really liked this metal firewood rack.  It too was fairly pricey and I think it’s a bit tall for use at our fire pit, which is the only place we burn wood thanks to a gas fireplace indoors.  I’m thinking I might recreate something similar with PVC pipe painted to look like metal or copper and place it on cinder blocks so it’s raised off the ground.

They had some really adorable Easter accessories out.  I considered getting a few of the little bunnies for my spring decorations but there were no price tags which meant they were also just showroom accessories.

It’s a shame because I think they could really have some good additional income if they had a small inventory of the accessories!  Especially ones this cute!

One accessory that was for sale was this large metal tiered basket.  I’ve had similar pieces and always used them for organizing or decorating up high so seeing it as a centerpiece was definitely a new idea.  It might be something fun to try as the holidays approach later this year.

The driftwood boats also caught my eye.  I’ve got a whole board of driftwood ideas pinned for one day when I have extra time to make something out of my stash of driftwood collected when we go riding in the summer.

My favorite display item was this unique hanging terrarium chandelier. It was the perfect balance of rustic and modern.  Several of the hanging pieces here were for sale, but I’m usually not great with small pots as they require daily attention rather than the weekly watering my plants usually get.

It was a fun little diversion from a stressful day at work even though I didn’t come home with anything new.  Sometimes it’s just good to go someplace new and look for ideas. And now that I know they can order in Fixer Upper decor I’ll be browsing the Magnolia Online Shop for new ideas soon too! 🙂

Welcome Spring

The calendar says that it’s officially spring but in Alaska spring is “break-up” season, which is why we still have about a foot of snow in the yard.  Granted, the snow is disappearing – just not quick enough for my preference.  So rather than lament spring’s tardiness outside I changed up the decor inside to feel a bit more in line with what the calendar says.  The Hubs brought me home flowers recently so that bouquet has been the centerpiece on our table and the large candle I’d had there moved to the windowsill in the family room where the dogs tunnel is below it so they don’t seem to notice it.

I kept things simple in the entryway with two new pedestal cloche stands from World Market, cute little beehive skeeps from JoAnn Fabrics and my Pottery Barn knockoff basket filled with the DIY neutral eggs I made last year.

I love how the little skeeps fit perfectly inside the glass domes.  I love the bright colors of spring but I like to keep my decor simple these days and this gives just enough color while remaining neutral with a farmhouse flair.

Next to the front door my big oil can got some pretty dogwood branches, which are the perfect height to hide the ball chucker we keep in the corner for when we take the dogs out front to play!

The media cabinet got a few little touches of spring as well.  All items I pulled out from storage and one of the little faux planters I recently created.

I don’t remember where I got this little chick or the basket but they fit together perfectly!  Plus pairing two little items together means it’s a little less likely to get snagged by one of the fur babies.  The other side of the cabinet has a free Easter printable I found online a few years ago and my green shamrocks.  Since I don’t decorate for each particular holiday anymore (St. Patricks, Easter, etc.) but rather the season I just use it as greenery now.

The mantel is still a work in progress, but my cutie little wool lambs take safe haven up here away from the fur babies.  I got the white candle sticks on the local buy/sell page for $20 and the brown one was a recent thrift store find.  I’m in the process of painting and distressing it to match the others and plan to add some fun moss or boxwood balls to the tops of each.  The cute birdhouses came from JoAnn’s and will eventually be used as photo props and in the backyard.  The wreath was also from JoAnn’s.  I just couldn’t pass up the pretty purple color.

The tray next to the table got a pitcher of tulips and a cute little bird to accompany the rustic frame I’ve had here for a while now.

Over in the dining room I kept the lanterns from the winter decorating but swapped out the filler for split pea to give them a spring feel and added smaller bee skeeps like the ones in the entry way.  In the middle I paired a cute bunny ornament and a basket of carrots from storage in the cloche I found at Home Goods on our last trip down south.

In the window is my favorite farmhouse lantern, filled with moss for a spring feel and my clearance ceramic bunny I found at the end of last season for just a few dollars. The other side of the windowsill was a safe haven for a few more small pieces, including some hydrangea stems in a green bowl I thrifted some time ago, the fun little moss bunny I love to pull out each year and one of my vintage votives.

Before I had a chance to get this post up I’d already swapped out the wreath above the mantel so I thought I’d share that change.  I got this boxwood wreath from Target and thought it would look good in this spot for most of the year.  It’s just the right amount of farmhouse style mixed with spring.  The purple wreath moved to the front porch where it coordinates well with the purple front door. 🙂

So that’s my attempt to usher in spring indoors while I wait for it’s arrival in my garden!  How did you decorate for spring?

A Simple Change Makes a BIG Impact in the Dining Room

Two weekends ago the Hubs was in town shopping for some project supplies while I was home cleaning.  He texted me a picture of several large area rugs on sale for half off at one of the stores and asked if I liked any.  I certainly did and he said that was the only one like it that they had, so he swooped it up and headed to the cashier.  When he got it home I noted that it was more grey than the beige it had looked in his text but I actually liked that even more.

We had been in sore need of a new rug in the dining room after the jute rug we had in there had taken the brunt of Brinley’s teething phase.  We had moved the rug from behind the island over under the table as a temporary option but it was too small for the space and the pattern didn’t work there.  This option fit perfectly, had a lovely neutral yet traditional pattern and is so soft and cushy I could probably sleep on it quite comfortably.  Even the Hubs has commented how nice it feels underfoot!

The lighter color brings a whole new look to the space, and coordinates with the other grays and neutrals we already have in this space.  It was a great change for spring – making the whole area light and bright.

Although I probably wouldn’t have picked this pattern if I’d been shopping online, in person it’s just enough style without being over powering.  Plus it lets me have the lighter color I like to incorporate to combat our long winters but in a way that masks the dirt which collects in this high traffic spot – at least from what I’ve seen so far.

Now that we know how plush it is I’m on the hunt for a similar one to replace the aging rug that moved back to it’s original spot behind the island.  We call that space the “playroom” because it’s were the dogs romp and usually take their toys to play with in the sunlight from the slider doors.

It’s surprisingly low profile for how soft it is.  It literally feels like there’s a foam mattress hidden inside!  It also seems fairly tightly woven which should help with my allergies, as things won’t be able to build up between the fibers.  And the packaging says it was made in the USA which we can fully support.

I’m so in love with this new look and smile every time I see it.  There are also a couple of other updates in this space you might have noticed in the photos.  I’ll be sharing more detail about those changes soon, so stay tuned!

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Recent Thrifty Finds

1Today I wanted to share my finds from a few recent thrifting expeditions.  I haven’t been out to the thrift stores in a while as I was trying to pare down what was already in our home, but I couldn’t stay away forever.  I love the hunt too much.  My motto when thrifting is always if I don’t have a spot in mind for an item or am absolutely in love with it I don’t bring it home.  This motto is only amplified by my desire to simply this year so this is all that made it home from three different trips!  I’d say that’s pretty good will power.

My three trips were to Goodwill, the Salvation Army shop near my office and a local home decor consignment shop.  The Salvation Army used to be a great source for cheap home decor items, but since the massive Goodwill opened a few miles away the inventory at Salvation Army has suffered.  I think they are also loosing some of their volunteers to the competition or the changing economy because the store seemed very disorganized this visit.  The Goodwill was well organized but I notice their pricing is often higher and not always consistent as it depends on which volunteer handles each item.  But I was still able to find some good bargains, so without further ado – here’s my latest thrifting haul!

2First up is this sweater I found at Salvation Army.  I’ve been wanting to make some sweater pumpkins the last couple of fall seasons but can’t ever find good textured sweaters at the thrift stores that time of year so I decided to start looking for them all year and preparing a stock pile.  I think I can make two medium to large pumpkins and a few smaller ones out of this sweater and it was half off clothing day so I only paid $4!

3There were several pumpkins at Goodwill that day, but this one caught my attention with it’s unique stem and pretty colors.  I may eventually paint it to be a bit more neutral, but we’ll see how I feel about it closer to fall.  I think I paid around $5, which is much less than I’d pay in a department store.

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I found this cloche tucked away on a bottom self at the Goodwill and was immediately smitten with it.  I’ve got a few cloches already but I like using them in different vignettes and knew if I tired of it after I give it an update I could easily sell it so it was a no brainer.  It was a bit pricey but these types of pieces don’t come around often at my thrift stores and the dome was real glass not plastic so I could see the value.  Plus I had a coupon for 20% off which made it a bit more acceptable.

6I also snagged this wooden candlestick as soon as I saw it at Goodwill – although I have to admit I walked past it and didn’t notice it the first time because it was tucked behind an assortment of other decor items.  It’s solid and chunky, which is just what I’ve been wanting.  Nice big candlesticks like this don’t come up often around my stores so at $5 I didn’t hesitate.  I plan to give it a white wash paint and distressing to match two other similar candle sticks I got on the buy/sell page for $20 to create a coordinating trio for my spring mantel.

8This little Princess House glass container caught my attention at the Salvation Army where I found the white sweater.  I’m not sure where I’ll use it exactly but could think of several possible scenarios which fit my requirement for purchase and at $3 it was a reasonable option.

45Lastly was this cool copper pot I spotted at the consignment shop.  It came as part of a fire starter kit, although I really was just interested in the container as decor or a planter.  My mother-in-law has several similar – albeit larger – pieces that I’ve always adored so I couldn’t pass this one up.  It was $15 which was a bit pricey, but I figured that there was a bit of value in the fire starter pieces as well and because this was consignment rather than a thrift store I wasn’t expecting bargain basement prices.

I set the fire starter pieces aside for when the fire pit is back in use this summer and have been thinking up options for my new little pot to decide which I like the best.  Current ideas are as a decor vase, a planter, or a small fire pit for our patio table come summer using a citronella candle or table top tiki torch.  Which idea do you like the best?

Linking up at Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

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Easy Faux Planters

5As I promised earlier in the week, I’m sharing how I made some cute little faux plants.  It started with a variety of small containers I had previously had succulents in along with a few new items.  The succulents had met an untimely fate during one of Brinley’s “puppy moments” and had been empty for a while so I wanted to refill them but with Alaska still well in the grips of winter there weren’t many options to choose from.  While browsing Michaels the other day I spotted these little faux succulent stems (ignore my supervisor’s photo bomb – LOL!).

0I knew they’d be perfect to fill several of the small containers so I picked up a few.  As you can tell from the empty spots on the holder above, I’d tested out the stems on a small piece before I decided to write a post about the process.  But since it went well here we go.  We’ll start with this cute glass cup I picked up at IKEA the last time we were in Portland.

1I fill it 2/3 full of moss I already had on hand to create a base for my arrangement.

2I pulled several of the grassy stems from the holder and started bunching them together.  Once I had a grouping I liked I put them down into the center of the moss in the cup.

34I fluffed things around a bit until I liked how everything looked and called it done.  Next up was this cement bowl I found at a local boutique shop.

6Since this one was larger than the glass cup and solid I filled most of it with crumpled up paper from an advertisement that came in the mail.  I was enjoying the pretty spring colors on the paper, which was a nice little inspiration.

7I added moss on top of the paper, leaving a small area in the center open to put the stems.

8After I added the grassy stems I randomly placed some of the small succulent stems around the perimeter.  It was ok, but looked a bit crowded and not really what I was envisioning.  So I kept fussing with it, trying a variety of arrangements.

9Eventually I pared it down to just the grassy stems and some white flowers left over from a project long ago.  Its the perfect look for early spring.

10Here’s a quick shot of the other planters I whipped up using the same method.  This little galvanized container came from a boutique in Portland and looks sweet next to the lamp in the guest room.

11You might have spotted the succulent grouping in the small crock on the sewing table I shared recently.  It was a little too much brown in here until we refinish the table so it’s moved to the laundry room, which I’ll share soon.

aAnd of course the succulent planter you saw earlier this week with my fun little scroll art.

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I love how real they all look, yet they require zero maintenance, which is perfect for my schedule these days! 🙂  I’ve got a few more of the succulent stems so there might be a few more arrangements in the coming months, but for now I’m enjoying having a bit of green around the house even though it’s deep white outside.

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town, Tater Tots & Jello’s BFF and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us WednesdayStone Gable’s The Scoop and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

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DIY Serving Tray

finishThis was a quick project I did as inventory for my holiday bazaar show back in November.  I had wanted to share it back then but life with the crunch of show prep I didn’t get a chance to take step by step photos to share.  Luckily, it’s such a simple project that I can explain it pretty easily and since it didn’t sell I still have it around to photograph!

I started with a plain wooden cutting board I picked up at the thrift store for around $4.  It was looking pretty worn so I gave it a good cleaning and then a light coat of stain to bring it back to life.  Next we added the leather handles.  Can you guess what they were in a former life?

1If you guessed a belt you’re right!  The Hubs had several belts that no longer fit or were worn out in spots.  This one was literally hanging on by a thread at one spot but the rest was still in good shape so I guesstimated how long I wanted the handles and cut two pieces to the same length.  The Hubs attached the edges of the belt pieces to the board with this fancy screws we got at the hardware store after pre-drilling holes for them so they wouldn’t split the wood.

32And that’s it.  See I told you it was simple!  I’m actually pretty glad it didn’t sell as we’ve been using it quite often for snacking on the couch or when I want to work on something but still be comfy.

I’d love to leave it out on the ottoman like this with some cute seasonal decor staged all the time but the Hubs assures me that the dogs would chew the handles and I know they would certainly knock off anything I had sitting on it so it typically lives on top of the media cabinet so it’s nearby whenever I need it.  It’s a good thing I love those heathens. 😉

Linking up at: Knik of Time’s Talk of the Town and Savvy Southern Style’s Wow Us Wednesday and Thrifty Decor Chick’s Before & After Party!

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