Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Name is Laurie... and I'm a Hoarder

Okay, maybe that's a little extreme. I'm not really a hoarder in the true, psychological sense of the word. But I have realized that I could very easily get there if I don't start USING some of the great things I've been buying and putting aside to make awesome stuff with.

Here's how it works...
1. I stop by a thrift store/yard sale/estate auction during lunch/after work/on a weekend.
2. I find a Sweet Treasure that others have passed up and I know is a brilliant piece of awesomeness.
3. I take it home and stash it in my craft room, after staring at it for a bit and doing a happy dance about the amazing things I know I can make with it.

Here's where the problem comes in...

That Sweet Treasure will sit in a basket, languish in a drawer, or just remain piled on a shelf... taunting me. It says "I thought you loved me! I thought you boasted about finding me on Twitter! I thought you commented on images on Pinterest about how you were going to make Amazing Creations with me! What happened??"

I am a hoarder of Sweet Treasures that have the potential to be Amazing Creations... and which I am afraid to use.

I love the thrill of the hunt. I love the excitement of finding something and watching a dozen awesome ideas scroll through my mind's eye. But then I freeze up. I am afraid that when I cut into that sheet music, or use that vintage photo, or restyle that vintage pom-pom fringe, the Sweet Treasure will be gone. I wonder if I will ever find one like it again.

What I think needs to happen is that I need to just jump in and get busy... when I get some creations made I'll feel better about using the treasures I find. I have to remember that there will always be Sweet Treasures to be found. I have had a good eye thus far, so what's keeping me from thinking that the luck will continue, you know?

And, if I only get a few items made out of each Sweet Treasure, well that makes them more valuable. Everyone loves a one-of-a-kind! And I am an easily distracted creator anyway... so having a need to find new things to create won't be a bad thing. I'm sure that if I just get started I can be cranking out stuff as cute as Miss Mustard Seed in no time! (Look at that garland on her tree!!)

I'm going to have many days over the holiday break to spend organizing my vintage and craft stash, and I plan to get some creating done as well. I'll report on the results.

Happy holidays everyone!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday time!

It's December 1st, so it seems appropriate to turn the talk to things that sparkle and smell like cinnamon and evergreens. Or, if you're me, the things I keep in that storage closet in my house that has never lost the New Carpet Smell. I look forward to digging out the things that I or my family have made over the years to decorate for Christmas... something about the season just makes me more sentimental than, say, July 4th.

One of my favorite things to put up is a advent calendar that my mom made for me when my first child was small, a replica (mostly) of the one she made when I was little and which hung in our house during December every year. My siblings and I eagerly awaited our turn to pick an ornament from the selection and put it on the tree each day, counting down to Christmas eve. Except for Erin... she was practically an only child by the time she was 7 since the rest of us were "all grown up", so she got to put ALL the ornaments on. Lucky. She also got to design the Halloween Jack-O-Lantern all by herself... unlike we Original Three, who had to actually compete to see who got to have their brilliant artistic stylings carved into the gourd. I believe it's due to the emotional scarring those Halloween contests left on my psyche that I buy all three of my kids pumpkins at Halloween... I mean, they're only $4.00 each, right???

Oh, sorry... got off track a little... breathe...

So, back to the calendar... each little ornament is made from several colors of felt, and adorned with sequins and beads and tiny little woven trims. So tedious detailed! There are wise men and angels and snowmen, candy canes, stockings, a candle... pretty much anything you would associate with the season. You can imagine how excited I was when, while sorting through mom's belongings after she died, I found a plastic bag full of felt scraps, trims, and tiny little patterns for the advent tree ornaments! My oldest daughter has a little girl now, and it won't be long before I'll have to make time to create a calendar for her. I'm not sure if I'll recreate it exactly, or put my own spin on it by using some vintage fabrics... I guess I'll ask her what she prefers.

Along with the holiday decorating traditions, I'm also trying to "shop small" this year. I purchased a couple of things online, but from small independent companies, and I have been making lists of things I want to get for others that can be found locally and (hopefully) from small businesses. A perfect opportunity to get some things knocked off my list will be at the many holiday markets happening near me this weekend.

I'm a vendor at a new craft show, The Little Craft Show, happening at Vintage Fellowship in Fayetteville on Saturday, so you know I'll be checking out the awesomeness there. It's a small event with 25 local folks selling handmade goodies, vintage treasures, and also some yummy treats and music. Come out and help make it an annual affair! If you can't be there this weekend, take a short trip over to Tulsa on the 17th to The Alliday Show. There will be more handmade and vintage vendors there, and I'm thrilled to be able to be a part of it this year.

There is also the annual Holiday Market at the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks happening Saturday, which features crafters and others from the Fayetteville Farmers' Market. There will be fresh greenery for decorating, handmade pottery, soaps, and more for giving, and probably a few things that you may need to just stick under the tree for yourself.

Take some time to get your hands busy this year and make something special to decorate your home, or for the people on your gift list. Or, support local folks by buying what they made instead. The handmade things you pull out of the closet each year will become your favorite things to put on the entry table or mantle, I promise.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good grief.

It's Tuesday, and I have several projects that have to be addressed this week, and I sat for 2 hours on my derrier watching a movie with my daughter tonight. Not the most productive way to spend precious non-grandbaby-sitting time, to be sure. But I tell myself that I still have time left in the week. Hope springs eternal, right?

One project has to be completed by Thursday, so not as much time left there... it's a 5x5" art piece for a fundraiser held by the Arts Center of the Ozarks. I am excited about making it, and I have been putting some ideas together in my head, but the hangup is that I can't find the canvas to actually make art on. I know I brought it home... lord help me and my messy house. I may just have to suck it up and go pay for a new one. It's only $10, so I figure I can skip a couple of lunches. Not that that's a bad idea on any given day! The piece I'm planning involves stichery and vintage fabric and maybe some gesso and spray glitter for good measure. We'll see how it turns out... I'll post pics.

One of the other projects for this week is for Girlfriendology - a website where I've been named one of their latest "Girlfriend Gurus". My thing is going to be creating thrifty decorating ideas. The first is a vintage chair that's going to become a planter for the patio or front porch. I have this adorable chair I drug home from my mom's place after we had the final sale there, and all I need is an hour and some supplies. I will be taking pics as I go and describing the whole project in a post on their site. They asked to get it by mid-month, and tomorrow is the 14th... I'm cutting it close. I'm going to work on it Saturday afternoon. I considered painting the chair, but the more I look at it, the more perfect it seems to be. The rung on the front has been worn bare by feet... just so sweet! Hopefully I'll be able to find some decent plants to put in it at this time of year.

Finally, I am needing to spend some quality time with a dust-rag and vacuum cleaner. I have my book club coming over Sunday afternoon, and the house needs a complete de-clutter. We still have furniture and boxes and such in the den that will eventually go in the Hubster's music room (oh yeah, the baseboards are also on my list...) but if surfaces are just clean I'll be happy.

Wish me luck - and send me some extra time on the clock!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

We have a (lucky!!) winner!

So.... I didn't have use a random number generator or anything to determine the winner of my first blog giveaway. Apparently this blog is not nearly as popular as ThriftyDecorChick or FunkyJunkInteriors... :)  But I do appreciate each of you five who skipped over here to read my post, browse and tell us what your favorite project was! It really is a neat site, don't you think?? The Hubster drew a number from a jar, and he even closed his eyes first. It was completely fair, I promise.

First, I'll share the loot list:
(Everything is from ek success brands... but they have several brands under that umbrella)
  • set of K&Company Brenda Walton gauze flowers
  • set of K&Company Brenda Walton floral tags with metal edges
  • set of K&Company Life's Little Occasions' fall themed stickers 
  • a sweet Jolee's Boutique 3-D "mon amour" sticker set
  • neon-colored hippie-style Sticko gel stickers
  • Vol. 1 of Martha Stewart Crafts' Party Essentials craft guide
  • Blingy set of Martha Stewart Crafts' wine-bottle labels for personalizing gifts  
  • an ek success edge puncher with a lovely scroll/wave design..

And the winner is......

Julie of "bright little buttons"!

Congrats, Julie!! I'll be in touch!

I also want to just tell you a little about the workshop... those few of you who are reading. hehe...

It's never a bad day when a road trip with my sister is involved, so I'll just put that out there. We got to Little Rock a little early, and didn't want to be goobs and arrive before the registration table was even set up, so we decided it was a must to follow a few yard sale signs... I picked up a couple of cute little milkglass jars for my collection that only cost me $.25 cents each. I use them next to my bathroom sink to hold cuticle doo-dads and jewelry and such. Erin picked up some glass candle sticks that will soon become beautiful dessert  stands.

After another not-so-great yard sale stop, we spotted an estate sale sign and, obviously, we had to go. I have been to some estate sales. And I've seen some collections. But this house was absolutely A.MAY.ZING. The woman running the show told us that the lady who owned the home had been an antique dealer, and that explained everything. Every single room in her home housed a collection of some kind. The overwhelming theme was primitives and colonial antiques. There were even stencils of pineapples around the tops of the walls. She collected so many different things - everything from period furniture, to dollhouse furniture to framed silhouette art to antique needlepoint and cross-stitch samplers. Basically, anything that was published in Country Living Magazine between 1980-1985 was in this house. While that style is not MY style, the sheer mass, and the obvious love that this woman had for her collections was humbling and impressive. We didn't buy much, because everything was priced appropriately (read = not in my budget). I did pick up a couple of vintage black and white snapshots and a book called Arkansas Folkways that I think will be fun to do something with.

We finally tore ourselves away and got to the workshop just as the organizers were introducing themselves. We ate some tasty lunch and went around the room and introduced ourselves, and then the fun began...

We all got split up to sit with bloggers we haven't met and each table was tasked with creating a fancy top hat using some crafty items spread out on a table. Our table selected a Mardi Gras theme based on the colors of some plastic beads that were available, and we won! The judge said it was the little mask that we added that put it over the top, and I'm kind of proud to say that it was my idea. That's right, I'm tooting my own horn - what of it?

Next we each got a little kit to play with and went to work creating fabric flowers. We used a Laliberi kit that contains enough supplies to make at least 6 flowers. You can make them into pins or hair pins, or rig them to be both. I made one teal flower and it was super-easy and quick to make. The directions have illustrations included, which made it a snap to figure out.

After we all completed our flowers we were free to pick up the swag bags and start going through them. Listen, when they said we got some great stuff, they were NOT exaggerating!!! HOLY COW! They crammed a string bag full of stuff, and had to put the overflow in a grocery bag. There were 20 bloggers there, and those bags contained at least $200 worth of supplies and goodies. I was beyond impressed with CraftGossip's support of their bloggers and editors!

Some of the items in the bags will be used right away - like the eyelet paper balls from Martha Stewart Crafts that will be hanging in my grand-daughter's room within the week, and some stickers and permanent pens that will be used to create a piece of art on canvas that I am making this week as well. I am more of a sewer and repurposer than a traditional "crafter", so I will be putting my thinking cap on to figure out ways to use some of the items in the bag. For example, there were lots of lovely scrapbooking bits like 3-D stickers and paper punches that I am going to figure out how to incorporate in some mixed-media art and/or on some repurposed picture frames. But I actually think that's more fun - anyone can just slap some stickers on a scrap book page - but what ELSE can you do with it?? :)

Before we headed home we stopped by a vintage mall one of our friends in Little Rock recommended, and we found some fun things. My favorite was this table-top card catalog. It had just come in that morning, so it was meant to be mine! Unfortunately, someone had refinished it - probably to make it more "sophisticated" with the dark stain and all - but I'm planning to paint it and use it in my sewing room to hold ribbons, notions and such.

Isn't it sweet!?
Dinner at Star of India was as good as always, and the drive home flew by. I'm looking forward to sharing some of the projects I come up with here in the next couple of months. Hope you enjoy the pics - and come back to visit!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Who wants a treat??

I'm excited about a little road trip I'll be taking with my sister this Saturday! We have some awesome friends in Little Rock who are editors for a website called Craft Gossip, and they invited us to an "invitation only" blogger event. Not only will we be hanging out with some very creative and mighty funny women, but we'll also be eating tasty lunch at Trio's, playing with crafty kits and supplies, and bringing home some swag bags that include items from craft lines like Martha Stewart, Dimensions, and American Girl.

What's the catch? Stoopid easy: we have to blog about our day and the products we use. Uh, whuuuut??? Don't hate me because I have better friends than you... ;)

You may be asking how this little trip of mine makes its way into a treat for you? Becaaaaaause... I'm going to pick a few goodies out of my swag bag to share, of course! Here's the deal - go to Craft Gossip's website and take a look around. Come back and share your favorite project or post or hint with the rest of us. There is a TON to choose from. No matter what kind of crafting you like best, you'll probably find it on Craft Gossip. Feel free to share this giveaway on your own blog, or with your Facebook friends, whoever you like! The more the merrier!

I'll report on the workshop this weekend, and will announce the winner Monday.

See you this weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I'm a Guru!

Around my office there are a few people who choose to call me a Social Media Guru. I looked up the definition of "guru"...

1. Hinduism & Tibetan Buddhism A personal spiritual teacher.
2. a. A teacher and guide in spiritual and philosophical matters.
b. A trusted counselor and adviser; a mentor.
a. A recognized leader in a field: the guru of high finance.
b. An acknowledged and influential advocate, as of a movement or idea: "In a culture that worships slimness, he was the Guru of Lean" (Erica Abeel).
I am fairly confident that I'm not looked upon as any kind of spiritual leader, unless social media and online networking could be seen as a spiritual journey. I suppose that for some, it is... but anywhooo, that's not what my co-workers are talking about, I'm sure. Although... I did round up a few to go with me to see the Dalai Lama this spring... hmmm... Okay, no, probably not. 

Instead, I'm thinking 2.b. is possible, or, on a very small scale (i.e. my office) 3.a. is more likely. I manage the Facebook page, Twitter account, electronic newsletter distribution, and weekly blog for my employer, and based on my level of understanding of social media functions and analytics, I guess I am comfortable being called a Guru. I kind of dig Goddess a little more, truth be told...

But all that is irrelevant, really, to the Guru status that has now been afforded me by a completely new group of people. I follow a website called Girlfriendology that is aimed at - you guessed it - women. It's a place to find advice on everything, articles, chat forums... all just for women. (They will actually delete requests for membership from men.) The other day I saw in their Twitter feed that they were looking for guest bloggers. Well, you know me, I don't pass up an opportunity for fame and fortune! I read through the requirements and decided that I'd rather ask them more about the Girlfriend Guru program than guest, I sent in a propopsal. You see, a Girlfriend Guru is someone who, as the definition implies, is an expert at something and writes regular blog posts about that thing they are expert in. I do feel I am an expert in a LOT of things... and I like to write, soooo....

I tossed them the idea of letting me write a monthly column that offers DIY tips and projects centered around decorating with rethunque junque (clever, no??). One project a month, and I'll take photos and walk the readers step-by-step through the projects from start to finish. The way I see it, this endeavor will kill two birds with one VERY large stone. I'll get more of my writing out there AND I'll get a ton of projects that are waiting in my garage DONE. MAJOR Win/Win. My husband would like to do a happy dance, but he's playing it cool. 

I've sent a few ideas to them to post on their Facebook page to let fans vote on; four ideas for my first project that I could tackle over the next few weeks. I'm really excited about this new thing... I need a bit more focus for my writing and my project-completion, so even though this is a pro-bono thing (okay, that's a bummer), it's going to be a great addition to the resume and it will get some space cleared in my garage. Not a bad trade-off. Plus, how could I pass up the opportunity to post another awesome orange badge on my blog??

Head over to Girlfriendology yourself, sign up, and tell them I sent you. Then be sure to check back to read my posts and get some great DIY ideas!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Crazy times.

I am so envious of those awesome bloggers that I follow who blog every day. I realize that most of them are running decorating or design businesses, and that they make updating their blog part of their daily work schedule. I realize that I work outside my home for 8 hours a day and that makes doing a daily update a little more difficult. But given the fact that this blog hasn't been updated since early July, I still feel like a ridiculous slacker. But enough whining...

So, my sister and I had an aMAYzing trip to Chicago!! The DMB Caravan was out of this world. So worth the trip, even with the dirt (see below...) and heat and crazy people. Dave and crew presented completely different concerts each of the three nights - and the other bands on the schedule didn't disappoint at all. Some favorites: Gomez, David Gray, Tim Reynolds, Ray LaMontagne, and Michael Franti. The festival food was even yummy AND priced reasonably. We discovered a food company called .evol that made really, really yummy little burritos (and we didn't even have the munchies!). They were handing them out for free, and we had more than one each. Maybe more than two... I think they sell their products at Whole Foods, and they're worth looking for.

Of course, we had to do some treasure-hunting on the way to and from Chicago. Let me tell you, the flea markets and antique malls between here and there did NOT disappoint. We were bummed that we only had a trunk and not a truck or even a covered trailer to fill up. Next time... We brought home some lovely things for ourselves and for sharing with our fans, and have plans to make a road trip every few months to bring back some things that we just don't find around here very often.

On the way back we stopped at a flea market called The Pink Elephant that not only added to our stash in the car, but also had a little ice cream stand outside that was worth stopping for in and of itself.

Today we stopped by a little shop called Red Hill Gallery owned by a great couple of ladies in Fayetteville. We have been wanting to sell some Junque Rethunque things there for a while, and finally talked seriously about it. Erin left some of her upcycled dessert/cake plates for them to sell, and I have been asked to create some buntings and other items out of vintage fabrics. After spending about an hour with sweet Cari, we are both really excited about creating some new things and getting the Junque Rethunque brand in front of more people.

"Awwww...." moment: While talking to a friend of ours today we mentioned not having spent any time together since the road trip and needing some "sister time". Our friend said that she is the opposite when it comes to her sister - that she's usually ready to get away from her. I'm so glad that I can say that my sister and I truly don't feel that way at all. We share so many interests, we have so much to talk about, and we have so many things that we want to do together... siblings like that are truly a wonderful thing. I'm so thankful to have brothers and a sister that I would like to spend more time with, not less.

So, did anyone get in on the action at the Bargains Galore on 64 this weekend? We had hoped to go check it out, but just didn't make it. There's always next year... If you went, what fun things did you find??

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


That's right folks! I'm making a list and checking it twice and cleaning out the cooler and stocking up on Doritos and getting ready for a road trip with my sister to see Dave Matthews Band and a craptastic* AMAZING lineup of bands at the DMB Caravan in Chicago this weekend.
                                        I heart Dave ------->                 

What, you may ask, has this to do with junqueing? Well if you're asking that question, you are not a true fan of junqueing. Those of you who are saying "Hell, yeah!!!" know what's what. Our road trip will take us up through Missouri and into southern Illinois, and will take about 10 hours. You know that 10 hours on the road means 10 hours of scouting the roadsides for crusty, overwhelmingly junky flea markets and antique malls that call like sirens to those of us who make a hobby or living out of finding unwanted junque and giving it the love it deserves.

My sister and I have been doing stoopid little happy dances for the last couple of weeks when either of us mention the trip to the other. She was busy getting an oil change and cleaning out her car today and allegedly making a mix tape (shut up - it will also be a mix tape to me!!!). I'm making a list of stuff to take so my poor old decrepit brain doesn't forget anything important (like the Doritos). We're both anticipating not sleeping much tomorrow night as we await the alarm clock telling us it's time to hit the road.

Look for pictures and retellings of our adventures. I'm sure I'll have a few things to share.

* my sister, who is obviously a lot smarter than me, pointed out that the definition of "craptastic" is exactly the opposite of my feelings of delight and eager anticipation for the bands we're going to see this weekend. I can only claim ignorance and a very late night in my defense. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A cleaning proverb, a sweet chair and a table with potential.

I'm kind of amazed at myself today. I spent a solid 8 hours cleaning and organizing the garage and carport, and my poor old 45 year old body is now letting me know that it may have been a bad idea. I disagree. I might be a little really sore tomorrow, but by god, I have SPACE in my garage again!

I know everyone has messy garages, but ours had gotten pretty ridiculous. It's not just the boxes and boxes of things that I brought home from my mother's house over the last year. (sisters' sorting parties are in the works!) Those are definitely taking up a lot of space, but the other issue that is more frustrating is the lack of interest that my family seems to have in putting things where they belong. I clean off a shelf, or organize a drawer, or provide a basket - but stuff still gets left between where it was used and where it should be.

I know you are nodding your heads. :)

So I heartlessly threw stuff in the trash all day, I put stuff in the attic, I put like things together and organized them, I listed a ton of stuff on and at the end of the day I have some space in the garage again. Awesome. I feel lighter.

And as a bonus, I pulled out this sweet chair that I brought home from my mom's a couple of weeks ago and cleaned her up. It was in the workshop that mom and I had been using as our "this has potential!!" storage area, and I just couldn't leave it behind.

It's missing a couple of cross-braces between the legs, and obviously a seat. It was filthy to start with, but as you can see it cleaned up pretty well. The plan is to staple some nylon window screen into the seat so that it can be planted with some annuals and put on someone's porch. Adorable!


How cool is it that you can see where the rungs in the front are worn from someone's little feet resting there? I love stuff like that. 

I also pulled this table out and gave it a second look. It is too colonial for my taste, but it was a freebie on the curb I picked up a while back. The top was hinged so that you could store stuff in it, but where it hinged didn't allow for it to open enough  for it to be really useful. It would be hard to find stuff back in there, you know? I thought about just putting it on MY curb... then I thought again. I grabbed my rubber mallet and started giving it some whacks, and eventually it was topless.

Definitely better... of course that's when I saw that the top wasn't just glued in, but actually had screws in it. I was too impatient to discover this pre-whacking...No damage done, however. I'm thinking it would be a great display table with a small window or even just a piece of glass placed over the top. Ideas? What do you think??

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So I was thinking...

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately that primarily cover home decorating and renovation. There is a great "home tour" this week at Poppies at Play that has been a lot of fun to follow. Not only am I getting a great list of ideas for future repurposing projects to create for my business, Junque Rethunque, but  I'm also getting ideas for my own home.

This, for example, is the answer to what to do with my vintage umbrella table (found it here). How awesome is that??? I seriously have this exact same table sitting at my mom's house waiting for me to bring it home. I also considered painting a facsimile of a vintage souvenir plate on it... that's still being decided.

Which led me to think "what if I start blogging about my own home redecorating projects?" I live in a traditional sprawling ranch built in the 1960s and have a great pile of projects to complete. I also write. And I have a camera.... Luckily, there was a fire that resulted in some folks buying the house and remodeling the parts we as buyers most wanted remodeled - the master suite, laundry room and kitchen. Also fortunate (in my opinion) is the fact that the guest bath is still stuck in the 60s and the exterior was not affected at all.

While the homes in the blog tour I mentioned are all leaning heavily toward shabby chic and cottage style like this great look from Funky junk Interiors - which I do love - I would say my own favorite look is more of a eclectic mix, and includes more color than most of the blogs I've seen so far. These women are, as a group,  keeping Heirloom White at the top of the paint colors charts. :)

My home is decorated with a mix of antique furniture with flea market and curbside finds, modern/contemporary furniture, and retro accessories like lamps that harken back to the original build date of the house. We also have a lot more color on the walls than most shabby chic styles use. However, I have been rethinking that last bit...

So I believe there may be room for yet another blog that shares images and ideas for decorating. Now, to start getting some "before" pics taken and some projects started. There is already a long list... and I have a feeling it will only get longer.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The niche is shrinking!

A while back, I shared my wish for a little shop. A little corner where I could stock with lovely handmade items (mine and other artists and crafters I love), vintage finds, and repurposed items. I don't think it's uncommon for creatives who decide to start selling the results of their crafting to the masses to eventually at least think about what owning a little shop would be like. Or maybe I'm a little off my gourd. But whatever.

My sister and I have started (or re-started to be more accurate) a business and rented out space at a local flea market to test the waters. We have paid for our second month's rent with the sales of the first month - which is great - but the space still doesn't really suit our vibe. We need to punch up the color and have decided that covering the walls with white burlap will be just the ticket. It will lighten the space a lot, but it's forgiving if we hammer a few nails through it to hang things on the wall. We also need to come up with a logo, get some rubber stamps made, create a packaging plan for the things we make ourselves... a little at a time.
Our original idea was to experiment with our ideas in the booth, with an eye on the possibility of opening a stand alone shop someday.

Fast forward to this week. We found out about YET ANOTHER boutique recently opened in our area that seems to have the vibe and viewpoint that our non-existent shop would have. It sells vintage finds, repurposed goods, handmade art and homegoods...


My sister went by today and checked out the evil competitors who are stealing our dream. She found the new shop to be awesome. It's run by two delightful, creative women, and too perfect and lovely for us to hate.


So... we're rethinking our plan now. Instead of opening our own shop, we're thinking that we need to focus on production. We can still sell vintage finds in our Etsy shop, but we can get our brand put together and wholesale our creations in OTHER people's shops. No overhead, no employees or payroll, no working weekends. Kind of a win-win, right? As long as we find the right shop, a shop that looks like what we would make our own shop look like...

So, updates will be forthcoming. But until then, if you are hanging out in Northwest Arkansas do visit Red Hill Gallery & Homewares and let us know what you think. Tell them Laurie and Erin sent you. :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bedding! And eventually drapes.

Got the bed and the go-ahead to "do what I want" in the master bedroom. Awesome! But the queen-sized duvet was barely stretching from one edge of the mattress to the other. Not awesome. So it was time to look for a comforter or quilt.

goes with purple
not too formal
has to be a bargain

I want our bedroom to be light-hearted and whimsical, but not too "girlie". Florals are not completely out of the picture, they just can't be frou-frou. Don't want to freak the Hubster out the first time he gives me free reign...

Here are some things I'm loving:

these gorgeous prints are from

and these fluffy beauties are from

I thought these might look okay with purple walls. But still wasn't sure. Then a miracle happened. Hubster told me he might be okay to lose the purple. Hallelujah!

New Criteria:
goes with purple
not too formal
has to be a bargain

After looking at a ton of websites and several stores, I wandered into TJ Maxx recently and happened to find a HUGE home sale! I was thinking of trying a spa feel with a cream or white blanket, and these would have worked:

But they weren't the most colorful options. And I can change the wall color now, remember?? Then... I found this:

It's not as light blue as it looks here. More of a dusky blue/green. The flowers are made of ribbon, and there's not a ton of them, so it should fit the criteria of "not too girlie". And the best part - it was a whopping $49.00 for a king-sized comforter and two shams! I even sprung for a great little green pillow to match the leaves... :) (Obviously, someone needs to add king-sized pillows to her shopping list.)

Now I have to decide on drapery fabric... you can see that the window right above the bed is about four feet off the floor. I'll take the drapes from ceiling to floor to create a bigger impact, but probably won't make them go all the way across - sheers or some shutters or blinds will work for privacy. So this is what I'm thinking...

Your thoughts?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mine, All MINE!!!

Maniacal laughter? Yes! Happy dance? Yes! Things are about to get interesting in my bedroom!

As a friend on Twitter pointed out... that kind of comment can be taken one of two ways. My intent is HGTV-interesting, not Playboy-interesting. Just so we're clear. (thanks @TomRedwine!)

My husband commented this weekend - sort of offhandedly I thought, given the gravity of the moment - that I can do whatever I want when I am making decorating choices for our bedroom. You may nod your head in  when I tell you I got a little light-headed with joy, and had to ask if I'd heard him correctly. Thank god I was already sitting down.

We have lived in our house since 2006. When we moved in we painted a few walls and uninstalled a large chandelier in the dining room to replace it with a projection system. That's about it. Now, it's not like I don't have plans. My plans are AMAZING! But things have been a little nuts for the last few years, and those amazing plans haven't quite come together.

Part of the reason for the delay rests in the fact that Hubster and I don't always see eye-to-eye on decorating. He likes intense colors and knick-knacks that play around in the Gothic realm, just this side of weird. We both like the terms "Unique" and "Interesting" used on a metaphorical mood-board, but I prefer to also include "Attractive", you know what I mean? Unique for the sake of being Unique just doesn't cut it for me.

Thankfully, a change in Hubster's attitudes toward decorating has occurred, and I can only assume that I have HGTV to thank. Over the last few years Hubster and I have watched HGTV together, and I believe the shows have begun to turn him. He has started to appreciate the beauty of re-purposing furniture (and other items) to give it new use, and he can see the value of finding things that can serve a different purpose than originally intended. I think that Candice Olson and Genevieve Gorder have also proven that soft colors and even florals can be used in a way that is not too prissy and girlie. Lucky for Hubster, I at least have his interests in mind... if not in the forefront of my decision making.

More on the inspirations I'm thinking about later... for now - here's what I am working with so far: 

Grape walls, extremely white molding and ceiling, and a crazy deal of a bed from a local thrift store - king size Henkle Harris WITH the mattress set: $1,000. I know - stupid, right??? There was no way this was not coming home with me! (sorry for the crappy pic - it's from my phone. I'll put up a better one later.)

I'm working with a very large room, a lot of purple, and a mid-60s ranch style house with these funky windows halfway up the wall... as I said, things are about to get interesting!