If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cheap Thrill

When Mike and I combined households, we both had some furniture.  Well, he had some furniture and I had a lot of stuff - good furniture, inherited furniture, knick-nacks, and LOTS of STUFF!  We are now overflowing with stuff.  Mike said that if we were to inherit furniture in the future that we would have to rent the Municipal Auditorium just to store it. 

One of the things I have really wanted since we combined households is a set of matching dining chairs.  I really wanted some with a rush seat that would give the room a French country sort of feel.  I have looked and looked for them when I'm out and about bargain shopping for other items.  I've found one or two here or there.  I've even emailed some of the bloggers I follow to ask them where they bought some chairs.  I've had no problem finding chairs.  The problem is that I wanted at least six and really would like to have found ten that were matching.  So, that sort of propelled me toward buying new. 

I didn't really have a hard time finding what I want in new chairs.  The problem there is my budget couldn't be stretched that far.  You see, most of them are priced somewhat like this add at Hayneedle.com

Even at the sale price, I just cannot swing that for ten chairs - really, I cannot swing that for two!  So, at the suggestion of my friend Stephanie, I began perusing Craig's List and Freecycle.com.  Even there, I could find one or two here or there - but not the six I really needed nor the ten I wanted.  Then, one day, on Craig's List, I noticed some which were similar to four of the chairs we already have.  You can see them HERE.  They are the red arrow-back chairs. 

So, because I had such success with painting my bathroom light fixtures, I thought I could get them and paint all ten (the ones I already have and the ones advertised) to match.  Plus, they were a super, dooper bargain at only $10 each!  So, I went and picked them up one afternoon.  I brought them home and took a scrub brush and some soapy water out onto the deck and gave them a good cleaning.  (They really weren't all that dirty but for some reason, when I buy something second-hand like that, I feel like I have to wash the 'other people' dirt off because you know, my dirt is different from theirs!)  After all the scrubbing, I was pooped.  So, I left them on the deck to dry.  Then, a black cloud blew in and I scared it off by bringing the chairs into the kitchen. 

We have lived with them like they are for the past couple or three weeks and I am starting to really like them the light blond color that they are.  Oh, I may paint them some day, but for now, I'm just pleased to have a matching set here that are comfortable in which to sit.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cozy Lighting

This past week my friends, Stacy and Stephanie, a couple of girls I work with daily, decided that they weren't going to use the floor lamp that they'd used last year because it almost started a fire.  The shade had melted and turned black the combustion was so near.
See the melting and charring of the plastic shade liner and even the linen outer covering?

So, I decided to bring it home for a re-vamping.  I even had a place in mind for where I would put it.  It was a bit worn and sad looking but I could see the nice bones underneath.  Here is a look at it when I brought it home...
Free Lamp

I really like the little balls on the pull chains to turn each bulb on.  I think it might even be cute to put some other decorative bauble on there some day.  I also like the detail of the base. 
See the nice little swirls and tapers?  I like all that detail.  Of course, it was a little grungy looking with the brass-tone worn away and little crumby rust spots everywhere.  So, I gave it a good wipe-down and used my leftover bronzing paint.  (You can read about my first acquaintence with this paint HERE.)  First, it got a priming coat of this...
Then, it got a good coat of this...

I let it sit out in the sun all afternoon to dry thoroughly.  Then, I brought it in and topped it off. 

Friday afternoon I had trekked to one of my favorite bargain hunting haunts.  (You can read about another deal I got on that trip HERE.)  I was a little bummed about not finding what I wanted at the Goodwill.  But, I trouped on over to Tuesday Morning to buy the umbrellas for our deck tables that were on sale.  While I was there, I decided to look about a lamp shade there.  Low and behold, there was exactly what I needed!  I hesitated, because it wasn't on sale.  Then, after a quick conversation with my friend, Kathy, who is the Bargain Queen, I was reminded that EVERYTHING at Tuesday Morning is discounted already.  So, I splurged and paid $18 for this shade to go on my free lamp.  How do you think it turned out?

My discount store shade...
The base detail...

Here is how the throw-away cast-off disposed-of gracious gift lamp looks in its new spot...
I knew it was a success when Mike walked in to plop down in his recliner right across the room and without any prompting, said, "That lamp turned out looking good.  It makes the room seem a lot more cozy." 

I love that man!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mike's New Project

When I first started talking about getting a dog, Mike wasn't really in favor of it.  He didn't want to risk my heart being broken if something happened to the dog.  (Plus, I don't really think he likes to share my attention!)  He swore he wouldn't let another dog into his heart after he lost a friend several years ago.  However, he soon decided we should get the dog and has since admitted at how glad he is that Toby is a part of our household.
Doesn't he look like a sweety?
Of course, that doesn't mean he hasn't used this to his favor.  Mike has been wanting to get some livestock ever since I moved here to his eighteen-acre patch of 'heaven on earth.'  We have considered getting some calves and we still want to do so when the weather is a bit cooler and we have the barn ready.  We talked about getting some miniature donkeys at one time and decided we don't know much about them and maybe that wasn't such a good idea.  Mike has threatened to get some milking goats at one time and I absolutely said no to that!  He has also stated several times that he would like to get some chickens and I didn't want any part of them either. 

So, this weekend, he took a giant leap and took on his first farm livestock project of our married life.  Meet the girls...
He now has ten pullets in a pen out in the barn.  He has already started to give each a name.  He is almost as excited as a kid in a candy shop.  Yesterday afternoon when he got home from work, he puttered around out there in the barn from about noon till almost dark.  Then, when he came to the house to join me for some quiet time on the deck, he was just giddy with excitement about his new project.  Even when we went to bed last night, he said, "Maybe I should have gone back out there to check on my chickens to make sure some 'possum or coyote didn't get in there after them."

He has ten of these girls...
He has grand plans for them and has even started talking up the sale of their eggs.  I think there are a couple of folks at his work who will become customers.  My sister seemed interested. 

I must admit that I think that one with the red head is kind of cute.  Of course, my idea of how they will eventually be is sort of like Martha's chicken coop...
or much like this...
or maybe like this one...
or even like this one...

I guess it really doesn't matter at this point.  So long as my involvement is no more than it has been so far...  I went with him to Bonnie's Barnyard and we picked out a waterer and a feeder.  Then, I rode with Bonnie to go pick up the chickens at the fair.  My niece, Julie, and Bonnie loaded the chickens into the crate.  Stephen and Bonnie unloaded the crate when we got home.  I handed Mike some wire when he was stabilizing the pen.  That is about as close as I want to get, too!
I do look forward to a big old fluffy omelet in a few months, though!

Bargain thrills!

One of my favorite things in the world is to run across a bargain.  There is no better feeling to me that to get something I want (or even something I need) at a reduced price.  I have gotten so bad about shopping sales, second-hand stores, etc. that it almost pains me to pay full price for something. 
I sometimes think it is just the thrill of the hunt as much as the actual money savings! 

I have my favorite haunts for discounted items - Big Lots!, local second-hand and antique stores, local consignment stores, Old Time Pottery - just to name a few.  In nearby Franklin, we also have a couple of wonderful places of which I recently discovered that we will soon have right here locally - only about five miles from my house! 
Here is how it looked earlier this week!

Yippee!  I can hardly wait to see what treasures abound.  I also need to clean out our closet and the basement and contribute some items. 

Of course, there are many other ways to save money and still find treasures at a discount - or maybe even free.  I follow some bloggers who show photos of furniture they swapped for on Craig's List or Freecycle.com and I am envious.  So, I have dipped my toe into this a bit here of late and feel pretty successful.  I'll be sharing those in a later post.

Today, though, I have to share my most recent deal.  You see, Mike and I have been enjoying the cooler evenings and lounging out on the deck for the past several evenings.  It has even been cool enough that some afternoons this week it was comfortable enough to relax after work by sitting in one of our rockers.  You can read more about them HERE.  I mentioned that I wish I had a footstool for sitting out there and reading, looking at magazines, etc. 

Friday afternoon I stopped off at one of my favorite bargain shopping spots...

(I'm still having to drive ALL THE WAY to Franklin right now and that is where I found this treasure.)  I was actually looking for a lamp shade for a lamp that my friend Stacy had disposed of graciously given to me.  Alas, it wasn't to be found.  However, look what I did find...
Toby and I have enjoyed it this weekend immensely! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I don't really know what has been going on here in blogland.  I had created posts for this week but it seems none of them were posted as scheduled.  So, I've set a couple to post and will add a couple more tomorrow - maybe - if the blogger cooperates.