Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hannah's House - Before Photos of Thrift Store Finds

Tomorrow, I'll drive to Lubbock to see my daughter and to take her another batch of furniture and decorative items for her new house! Thankfully, we share a similar aesthetic, so I can shop for things I think she will like, and most of the time, she does.

Hannah's house is a 1940's wood frame cottage with red shutters and a porch swing. She and her roommates have recently moved to this unfurnished house from a furnished apartment, so we've been "shopping" for a few months now. (This is what began my blogging!)

The first purchase was 2 tablecloths from World Market. The oblong tablecloths that fit very long tables make great curtains by simply sewing a simple casing for a rod. Hannah's curtains dictated the color scheme for the living room and dining room. They're a lovely rich chartreuse green with an over sized floral print in rich red, deep hot pink, deep teal, dusty turquoise, cream and brown.

Here are a few decorative Items I found for the living room and dining room:

See the cool bubbled glass in the turquoise vase? I was tempted to keep this one for myself!

I found two matching lamps, similar to the ones in this post. She has two adorable patterned drum shades from World Market for them. They sit on a dresser turned sideboard she painted white and antiqued. We'll see about painting them - they might look good in oil rubbed bronze.

Her bedroom is painted a with Walmart flat wall paint in Earthy Mushroom Taupe. It's a lovely deep warm grey-taupe. Her bedding and furniture is all whites and creams.  She's trying to decide whether to use metallics with the whites or add a color - like turquoise. We'll shop for curtains tomorrow, and that should settle the point. Meanwhile she pinned a photo she liked on Pinterest from

Aren't they wonderful? Do you recognize them? It's just embroidery hoops with fabric stretched in them! So adorably graphic, aren't they! So, I found these today for 25c each. Some are round and some are oval.

I'm not sure if these would go in the living room or the bedroom, but they can go somewhere!

When I visited the first of August, she had about half the wall above her bed (where the headboard will be) paved in empty frames after being inspired by Anthropologie.  Since then I have been shopping for interestingly shaped frames and small mirrors to complete her wall. Once again, the curtains will be the deciding factor whether they're a mix of white and metals, or color is incorporated.

Here are some frames I'm taking for her to use. These are early to mid 20th century brass frames. (BRASS is back, people!):

These are ugly little frames now, but they have nice details that will be cute painted.

These can be used as they are now - 
they're creamy white and gold leaf.

These were a splurge at $4.95 for the pair - they had "art" in them, and they're wood, not plastic. I bought them at a mission thrift store, so it was for a worthy cause! The little porcelain cameo box is a bit of a stretch, but Hannah may like it...the color is a lovely soft, dusty turquoise, and it was only $1.17.

This piece is a little wall shelf that was given to me by our favorite aunt June. It will be nice to have something of hers in Hannah's house. 

Now that you've seen the before photos, we'll have to be sure and send you some after photos! 

Word for the day:

Matthew 7:9-11

9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Blessings this Labor Day weekend!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Gray is Grey - one of my favorite places to visit...

Many cities have those quaint little shopping areas tucked away in the middle of a neighborhood just waiting to be discovered. Some are now considered inner city locations. Back in the day, most families had one car, the wife stayed home and the husband drove it to work. These little shopping centers provided the daily necessities in a very convenient location - a beauty salon, barber shop, dry cleaner or grocer.

Today, we're more likely to find a coffee house, a bakery or a specialty shop of some sort. Gray is Gray is just such a place.

As I drove through a neighborhood near my church and saw a little gray building with a sign that read "Gray is Grey," I was intrigued.Some very interesting beehive type baskets graced the window, and decided I had to check this place out! Unfortunately, I was on my way to work. Later when my daughter was home for a weekend, I told her we had a new place to check out. When we got there she said, "This doesn't look like an Amarillo store..." 

I purchased the hand in my "little black vignette" that day. The owners are a lovely young couple - he creates iron furniture pieces in addition to running the store.

Gray is Grey offers items you won't find anywhere else in our city. 
Their offerings are more sophisticated than mainstream. Some items are vintage or reclaimed. 

Others are handmade by local artists and craftspeople.
You'll find rough textures, rustic charm, and lots of patina. 

You'll also find slick, shiny, highly refined objects and original art that changes seasonally.

What you won't find at Gray is Grey is color. True to it's name, Gray is Grey is a color-free zone. You might find a little color in a natural leather chair, or as a visual punctuation in a piece of original artwork, but that's about it. 

I must be honest and confess -  I'm a bit of a split-personality when it comes to color. I LOVE color. I also love the absence of color. Bright saturated color is cheerful, energizing and happy. Grays and naturals are peaceful, restful and calm. I like both - it just depends. As my dear friend Cathy put it, "It all depends a lot on everything." I don't know if I could ever live in a color-free home, but I love having certain rooms that are predominately white or neutral, like bedrooms, bathrooms or hallways and I love an all white kitchen. 

It makes me happy to be able to drive just a few blocks away and partake in a visual feast. The menu is a little different every time I visit. Kudos, Cole and Brittani Campbell! I'm already looking forward to my next visit.

You can find Gray is Gray at and on Facebook 
They have lots more lovely photos and contact information there.

Word of the Day:

Proverbs 16:31
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.

All the best,

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

... and a Little Black Vignette

About 20 years ago, we purchased this Shaker style sofa table from a man in Houston who made furniture. He used poplar, which is a hardwood that is most typically painted. He chose to oil  this table, as it might have been finished traditionally, instead of using polyurethane.He constructed it with dowels instead of nails or screws. This particular poplar was a yellowish color, which worked well with our golden oak furniture pieces. I think we paid $80 for the table. A little later we purchased an 8-feet long dining room table, which I still use. 

After years without re-oiling the wood, the surface became dry and the top acquired a rust stain from an enameled bread box that sat on it for a while. Eventually, I painted the table with Rustoleum oil-based gloss black paint. I love Rustoleum oil paint! My woodwork is painted in gloss white, and I plan to paint my front door in the gloss black soon. My dining room hutch is painted antique white. I have chairs and a bench painted "farm implement red" This paint wears so well it will last for a lifetime.

The glossy finish didn't work for this table, though. I left it alone for a while, but eventually decided to distress it. Recently, I got my palm sander out, and did just that. I concentrated on the edges, hoping to highlight the simple lines of the table, and reveal the dowel joints. I wiped the table down with Minwax Gel Stain. I like it much better now. It took about a half hour to change the look of this table to something I like! I should have done it months ago.

I plan to use this table in my living room, where my color scheme will be a wide variety of greens and black. Tonight, I pulled some of my favorite black items to stage the table and to present a counterpoint to my last post - a little white vignette. 

In the top photo, there is a piece of black metal art that reminds me of an old ceiling tile. I don't know the origin of the piece, but I found it in a used furniture store and paid $11 for it last year. Below the metal piece, there is a little silhouette I bought in a thrift store for .50c. It had a rust colored frame, which I painted black. 

Items on the table include a hand I purchased earlier this year for $12 from one of my favorite shops - Gray is Grey. I think it may be a glove form. 

Next to the hand are three framed black and white family photos. The small one was .50c in a thrift store. The larger two were gifts from my daughter, Hannah - in the center photo. To the right of Hannah's photo is a new purchase from Goodwill last week - a wire house. It cost $2. Next to my son Ethan's photo is a lamp purchased for $1.91 at a thrift store. It is wearing a borrowed shade from my bedroom - one I found at Walmart for $10. The lamp is resting on a stack of three vintage books. 

In the top two photos, you'll see a black wicker chair. I purchased it at the store where I found the metal art, and paid $10 for it. It was a very chippy white. It still chips off paint, so I occasionally pull it outside and touch up the black paint. 

After years of having lots of warm, beautiful colors in my home, I'm ready for something different. I'm still using the colors I love, but instead of mixing them all up in a room, I'm having a green room, a red room, a white room, a brown room, etc. Most rooms will have some black in them. Black helps ground a space, and its timeless. 

Next, I'll show you what I'm taking to Hannah's house this weekend!

Word of the Day:

Isaiah 44:3-5

3For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
   and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
   and my blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
   like poplar trees by flowing streams.
5 Some will say, ‘I belong to the LORD’;
   others will call themselves by the name of Jacob;
still others will write on their hand, ‘The LORD’s,’
   and will take the name Israel.

May your Wednesday be AMAZINGLY blessed!