Thursday, August 19, 2010

Splash of Chevron in My Entry

I have another thrift store transformation to share. I picked up this little dresser/buffet at Goodwill a few months ago. Keeping true to my form, I let it sit in the garage for weeks, upon weeks, upon weeks. Maybe if it weren't for that pesky full-time job, I'd have more time to make a dent in all of these projects.
Here is the so-so before, with hardware removed. The top had quite a few scratches and stains.
After sanding and priming, I gave the whole thing a few coats of white paint. Then, to add a little graphic interest, I used painters' tape to create a chevron pattern on the top and painted a medium gray between the taped lines. I finshed it off with some sanding for a worn and well-loved look. I also put a coat of poly on the top to protect the paint.

For now, I'm using the original pulls and hinges, but I swapped out the knobs for some simple crystal square knobs I had on hand. I may switch up the hardware if I find something I like better. I think this works for now though. Cost of this one - $35 for the dresser, $10 for supplies.

Onto the next one, which just happens to be a little side table for my first "client". Both of which are pretty darned cute.

"I'm Dreamin' of a Whiiiite...Kitchen."

I was just perusing one of my favorite blogs, Life in the Fun Lane, and Holly's got some gorgeous kitchen inspiration photos posted today. This one is my absolute favorite...

Oh my. It's everything I want in a kitchen...bright, white, the perfect mix of vintage/cottage/modern loveliness. And how dreamy is that sunlight streaming in? Extra dreamy. It's a shame my love for white kitchens really sprouted AFTER we picked the not-so-white kitchen finishes for our new home a couple of years ago. I can't complain about the kitchen I have now, but someday I'd love to have one just as bright and cheerful as this one. Anyone know where this lovely photo came from???

{update} I just found out this kitchen belongs to Kelley of The Polished Pebble. Check out the details on her blog. Gorgeous!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Minty Fresh

I stumbled upon a little "link-up" project over at Pure Style Home, and I thought I'd join in on the garden clipping fun. Since I have virtually no flowers to speak of at the moment (not my year for gardening), I just clipped a few sprigs of mint and added a few clippings from one of our spirea bushes. I stuck them in a mason jar with a few lemons/limes...and now I have a cute little arrangement for my kitchen. It looks summery and smells minty fresh ;) Kind of makes me want a mojito...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Fresh From the Farmers' Market

So I spent a little time in the kitchen this afternoon. A visit to the Soulard Farmers' Market this morning inspired me to make some fresh salsa for dinner, and also try this recipe I came across a few days ago.

I've been slightly obsessed with Trader Joe's fresh salsa these days, so I thought I would try to make my own version of it. I noticed cider vinegar in the list of ingredients and figured that was the magic maker. I was right. I would have never thought to use it in salsa, had it not been for TJ's. So here is what I chopped up and threw in the bowl...

  • 3 jumbo homegrown tomatoes
  • 1 small vidalia onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic (mmm...garlic. use less if you're not a huge fan.)
  • handful of cilantro (1/4 cup maybe???)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt, pepper, taste (about 1/2 tsp of each...I've been known to use a lot of seasoning ;)
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

I refrigerated it for a few hours, and the flavors mixed really well. We had it with tacos tonight, and will be enjoying the rest of it this week. So good and fresh!

Lastly, here are my cute little pickles, just marinating away. I've never pickled anything. I can't wait to find out how they turn out. Won't know for another 4 days. I'm not used to waiting that long to taste test. Maybe these should be called Pickles of Patience instead. Or...not. Thanks for the recipe, Trina!

Yay for summer produce!

Friday, August 06, 2010

My First Before & After

Let's get this party started off on the right foot. I know how much everyone loves a good before & after. Especially in the fabulous world of "design blogs". So I'm thinking that posting one here, from the get-go, is a sure way to get my blog off to a good start, right?

I found this beauty at my local Value Village, which is pretty much exactly like a Goodwill. You see, the prices at "VV" (as I like to call it) are usually even lower than the prices at Goodwill. Impossible you say? No. Very possible indeed. It's like a playground for a treasure hunter like myself. I go (during my lunch break), I conquer, I transform and/or stash in my basement, and now...I blog about. Lucky for you. Or unlucky for you. You be the judge.

So here's the background...we've been in our house for just under two years. We moved from a very small home to a bigger home, so we had a whole lotta space to fill. The thought of spending thousands on a dining room set didn't exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, so I set out to furnish it frugally. I got a table for $100 at Weekends Only, and 6 chairs at JC Penney for a steal, too. That was within a month of moving in. Good start, but I was longing for a beautiful buffet to complement my new dining room set. I looked, I dreamed, I dog-eared my Pottery Barn catalogs. But in the end, I knew I didn't want to spend $1000+ on a buffet. So when I happened upon this sad little beauty one day at my beloved VV, I knew I might have a real treasure on my hands. But it had a loose leg, a detached cabinet door, and a not-so-pretty finish. I realize those downfalls may be shruggable to you savvy "furniture saviors", but for a girl like me (married to a CPA who is the exact opposite of "Mr. Fix-It") posed a few challenges. So I decided I'd hold off and give it more consideration if it was still there the last Wednesday of the month...aka: 1/2 off day. Guess what? It was. But I was still scared/uncertain. So I left it again. But when the day came that VV was moving and consequently having a 75% off sale (!!!)...I could no longer ignore the call. The dresser was still there, and it was priced somewhere between $4.50 and $5.00. I bought it, promised to pick it up the next day, and started thinking about how I would transform the little guy into a beautiful buffet for my dining-room-in-progress.

I can't remember exactly how long it took me to start the transformation process, but I think it is safe to say this piece lived in my garage for a solid 7 weeks. Once my dad took care of resecuring the leg and door, I finally got started. I saw the potential, and I finished it with gusto. I don't pretend to be an expert in refinishing furniture, but I think I did a pretty good job. I sanded, primed, painted, and sanded again. That's the gist. Oh, and I accessorized. With more "VV picks" and rummage sale finds. After all, isn't that the best part???

I hope you enjoy the pics. I look forward to sharing more transformations, along with whatever else is currently inspiring me. I can't wait. Because I have a lot to get off my chest...and even more to get out of my garage!

Here goes...

So I've had this "blog" set up for approximately 118 days. Probably about time to post something, no? I decided to start a blog of my very own because...A) I've been reading several inspiring blogs for over a year now, and I feel like I need a blog, truly "belong" in this little community, B) I want a creative outlet/place of record for my thrift store transformations and home decor inspirations, and C) Everyone who is anyone has a blog these days...hello!

Allow me to introduce myself, via a list of a few of my favorite "things"...

Treasure hunting, cooking for my family & friends, vino, crisp days of fall, strong coffee in the morning, a clean house, restaurants with great atmosphere, sarcastic humor, golden retriever puppies (is there anything cuter?), old houses with charm, chocolate & peanut butter (preferrably together), "nights in" with my husband and buddy, faith, optimism, and making my home a cozy place for my family, friends, and all who enter. Thanks for checking out my blog-in-progress!