Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Little White Vignette

Most of the rooms in my home are in some stage of revision. I decided to show you one little corner in my bedroom. It's not completely finished, but it may be closer to finished than any other space in my home at the moment. 

You might be asking why my home is in such a state. It all started when my son moved back with me in January 2010, and brought his dog. She's a brindled lab, and you could not ask for a more wonderfully sweet, loving dog. She is a GREAT watch dog. (So great, the paint on the front door is now a chippy mess - and not in a good way.) She goes crazy when the postman puts mail in a drop box that empties into an old wooden drawer on a chest. Two years ago she was still a puppy. And if you've ever had the pleasure of knowing a 2 year-old lab, you'll understand; the dog ate my sofa.

I promise I am not exaggerating one bit, and if I were a little less prideful, I might post a photo of the sofa to show you. But, I was raised to make sure your home was clean and in order before you invited company inside, so I hope you'll understand why I just can't do it. Now, the sofa has become a giant dog bed. C'est la vie.

Aside from the sofa and the chippy front door and window, I can't stand the hair. Poor girl - she sheds so much I am just amazed that she has a single hair on her. I am really NOT exaggerating when I tell you I often sweep up a dustpan FULL of hair in ONE room each week from her. It's everywhere. I love her, but I'll be happy when I can visit her at her new house and take her doggie treats and such.  

Now, it's time to take back my house. I'll miss the safety factor. I'll miss having a loving creature who is excited to see me when I arrive home from work. (I know I will.) I'll miss how she eats anything I drop, 'cause I'm a klutz. I'll miss how she puts her head on my foot when I'm sitting on the sofa. But, I won't miss the hair. If she were bald, I'd probably arm-wrestle my son for her, but she's not bald. And I want a lovely hair-free home.

If things go according to plans, they will move in September. The half-eaten sofa will go with them. Mason will buy a slipcover for it.  I'm making plans about what  to do to a living room with a chippy door and no sofa.
  • I'm turning Mason's room into a studio/exercise room.
  • I'm turning Hannah's room into a guest room. 
  • Den furniture will be relocated to the living room.
  • Two twin beds from Mason's room will be used as day beds in the den. (Any good ideas?)
  • Everything is getting a fresh coat of paint. 
  • Furniture will be moved around - some to new rooms. 
  • Favorite objects will find new spots to dwell.
  • I will finally tackle projects I'd put on the back burner because they were lower priority than texturing and painting every wall and ceiling when we moved in 8 years ago.
  • I will update and freshen up my home using items I already own, and filling in with thrift store finds as needed.
  • I will find a venue to sell treasures that I like, but that don't work in my home.
Over the past year, I've begun to pare down a bit and relegate things to the garage for a future garage sale. I painted my bedroom.  It was green before, and now it's mocha cream. I've begun to take down artwork and clear bookshelves - all in anticipation of the new updates.  I'm getting excited about being able to repaint the front door - it will be shiny black instead of red - inside and out.

Today, I swept up the dog hair and took a few photos of my little white vignette in the corner. 

The dresser in the photos was free - a gift from my church. It was in exactly the condition you see. I will probably tweak it later, but for now it works. It was in an old three-story house where our Youth groups meet and they wanted to get rid of it. They also gave me another "ugly lamp" to remake, so I'm on the lookout for a nice shade.

It has great storage, and it is ONE HEAVY PIECE of furniture! It's so heavy that I couldn't get those little furniture moving things out from under the feet in a couple of places.  (See the bottom left corner of the dresser? As a single woman, I LOVE those things because they make moving furniture on any surface easy.But I'll have to ask Mason to help me lift the dresser to get it.)

Every mirror in the vignette but one is from a thrift store. They were once wood finishes and I have painted them various whites, and distressed or stained them. They each cost a dollar or less.

The capiz shell bowl on the left is from Target originally and came to me via Goodwill. It still had a label on it. I paid $3. The little pedestal on the right is from a thrift store, as is the crocheted doily and the bird.

Very few things were purchased new - and they are old! The angel above the French mirror is a keepsake from a trip to San Antonio from over 10 years ago. The two lamps were from Dollar General, and I think they cost about $12 each - including their former shades. They are about 9 years old. They had little beaded shades but needed an update.The lamp shades in the photo are from some of those brass lamps like I spray painted last week. (See here if you missed it.)

I kept the vintage burlap shades because my daughter already has lovely patterned drum shades purchased at World Market. I'll take the lamps to her next weekend, along with other goodies I've collected for her house.

I'm working on making some drum shades for these lamps, and you can be sure I'll let you know how those turn out. 

Next week when I visit Hannah, we'll arrange furniture, stage book shelves, wall art, etc. I will take photos and show you her house and our projects. After all, she and her new house are what started me down this path anyway!

The white ceramic candlesticks and bowl are all thrift store finds. I once read that you should always burn candle wicks a little, so they don't look unused. I guess it struck a chord with me, because I do it now to all my candles. The walnut tray is from a garage sale - one of three purchased for $4.00. The vintage crocheted piece and small ceramic tray are thrift store finds from years ago.

Word of the Day: 

Matthew 7:6

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

Have a lovely weekend, everyone! I look forward to seeing what treasures you find next week.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Surprise Blessing and Two Chairs...

Above:  "Cross 5" by Debbie Hannah Skinner

Tonight I was the recipient of unexpected blessings! Instead of going home after work and watching TV or participating in my new favorite pass time; looking at blogs, I was invited by my sweet friend Debbie L. to attend a special Women's Gala at our church. 

We shared a table with some lovely women and enjoyed a delicious catered dinner, complete with designer cupcakes for dessert. I should have taken a photo of the cupcake centerpieces - they were beautiful as well as tasty! I promise to be more blog-aware as we go on here.Then we gathered in the Sanctuary to hear Debbie Hannah Skinner speak. Let me tell you, those cupcakes had nothing on her! 
Debbie Hannah is a multi-talented woman and a gifted speaker. She makes you feel like you're sitting across from her over a cup of coffee and enjoying a lively conversation. She is an amazing watercolor artist. She painted a small painting that illustrated the main focus of her message tonight - a chair. She did this WHILE speaking. 

Above: "By the Window Sill" by Debbie Hannah Skinner

Then she sang and played the piano quite well - a song she had written herself.

Her message was full of touching personal stories with relative scripture passages. One favorite little vignette was about how her mother always keeps a small card with a scripture near her kitchen sink - Psalm 118:24. Debbie Hannah told us how her mother had cared for her father over a number of years as he suffered with Parkinson's disease. As her mother's care-giving responsibilities increased, she carried on with an amazing attitude.

This past June, her father passed away. On the day of his funeral, her mother said, "This is not a day I wanted to live, but THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE. LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT." What a testimony to her children, her grandchildren and now to over 100 strangers! 

Debbie Hannah encouraged us all to stop, sit (hence, the chair) and savor God through His word, and therefore be strengthened.

At the end of her message, there was a drawing. One woman would win the little chair painting. One woman would win a pack of her special note cards. Guess who won the chair painting? YOURS TRULY! (That's Debbie Hannah Skinner on the left holding the chair painting, and me on the right, looking like the cat who just swallowed the canary! Oh wait, that was a cupcake.)

Visit Debbie Hannah Skinner at her website 

and her blog 

So that was my blessing and chair number two. 

Chair number one, I found earlier in the day while driving down the street.  I was doing a favor for my son. It's a cute little French style number I scored for $3.00! 

I also picked up some other items I’ll show you later!  May your day be blessed with whatever it is you treasure. 

Word of the Day:  

It's gotta be Psalm 118:24 - "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

With love,

Monday, August 22, 2011

One Man's Trash - Another Woman's Treasure (Another Lamp Tale)

A few weeks back, I went to my favorite little thrift store just to look around while waiting to meet someone. It's a smallish place with small items and clothing - not much in the way of furniture. I find lots of books and tabletop items there.

This day happened to be their busiest day of the week - Monday. Everything on a hanger was half price. Most people were there to find clothing. I was looking for lamps. My daughter has recently moved into an unfurnished house, so I thought I would see if they had anything she might like.

Then I saw her.  A lovely lamp. The price was $3.93. 
No-brainer - SOLD!

The first thing that caught my eye was her shape - very lovely feminine curves. As I took her off the shelf, I admired her patina - tarnished silver. Yummy. I like tarnish.

Then, something caught my eye; a little blue enamel emblem.

I took a closer look and read, "RGC" and below it, "Invitational Tournament  1931  Seventh Flight Winner."  I realized this curvaceous lamp was a trophy someone had converted to a lamp. My first thought was, "WHY would someone get rid of this lovely, sentimental trophy???" 
They were probably going totally modern and slick, 
and she didn't quite fit in.

My second thought was, "This thing could be sterling silver!"  
I couldn't wait to get home and take her apart to look for stamps on the bottom. (Yes - sort of like undressing the new Barbie doll.) So I paid my money for the lamp and a few other items and calmly walked out the door, feeling a twinge of guilt.

When I arrived home, I grabbed my wrench and loosened the fitting that held the retrofit base in place. Sure enough, there were stampings, and one of them said, STERLING.

I was thrilled, needless to say. I Googled "Sedlacek & Sons" and "antique sterling golf trophy" and got several hits: two trophies, one exactly like my lamp, sold at auction for $517.50 in 2006. The maker also did a cigarette holder which is smaller than my lamp, now listed for $225. on Ruby Lane's web site.

I dressed her in a borrowed shade from my bedroom side table lamp and photographed her.

See, people? She can look good with a modern shade, too. So, now what?
  • Do I keep this lovely trophy lamp for her aesthetic beauty, or do I sell her and use the money buy more lovely things or pay bills or put it in savings or something?  
  • I know silver is selling high now, but just exactly how does one find an honest and reputable silver dealer? 
  • Would she bring more as an antique trophy lamp, or as scrap silver? 
  • She's a little dented, but that's part of her charm. She has a weighted base (as happens to many of us over time), so how does one weigh the silver alone? 
  • Would she be destroyed in the process of ascertaining her value? 
  • What if I decided I wanted her as a lamp after learning her silver was only worth the price of a regular lamp at a big box store?
I have lots of questions and would appreciate feedback from anyone who has had any similar items. What did you do with your sterling trophy lamps?

Word for the Day:

Proverbs 2:1-5

1 My son, if you accept my words 
   and store up my commands within you, 
2 turning your ear to wisdom 
   and applying your heart to understanding— 
3 indeed, if you call out for insight 
   and cry aloud for understanding, 
4 and if you look for it as for silver 
   and search for it as for hidden treasure, 
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD 
   and find the knowledge of God.