Monthly Archives: July 2012

Weekend Finds: The Gems That Didn’t Make the Cut

I got up early on Saturday to hit some estate sales, which I haven’t done for quite some time. The weather has been so hot and muggy, and some of the early sales were really disappointing — even depressing. I always get excited about a rummage sale, until I got to the church and realized I’d gone to this church’s rummage sale last year — and it was awful. This year wasn’t much better, but while out and about there, and later in the day while hitting a local antique mall with my friend Liz, a few items did catch my eye. Luckily, I had enough luck elsewhere that I ended up blowing my wad on some great pieces of artwork and a fantastic plant, so there wasn’t much left to go around. Still, I always like to snap the stuff that made my head turn.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you actually had a Jean, Melissa, Pam, Janet, Doc, and Liz in your family and you stumbled upon this find? What luck!

I love old photographs, but am long out of the phase where I buy them up as quickly as I can. Maybe someday if I ever get back to collage-land. For now, I liked this collection, particularly that natty gentleman in a bowtie on the left.

When Liz and I drove past this sale, this is what made me stop. What a glorious creature! To me, at first, his left ear looked like a unicorn horn. A UNITIGER?! Alas, it was just a matter of perspective. Also, a matter of $60. Yikes.

This Senorita caught my eye at the antique mall, as did her price — $8! I immediately texted a picture to my husband and called him, but he nixed it. I’d already bought an odd portrait painting earlier that day, and frankly, I did realize our house wasn’t meant for quite so much kitsch. So it was with heavy heart I had to let her go. 

This oddly specific guide for Aries 1979-Pisces 1980 actually caught my eye for a photo opp, but when the seller noticed me snapping a photo, he panicked and let me know it wasn’t for sale — he had set it aside for himself!

This wasn’t a thrifty find… I just couldn’t resist posting this amazingly adorable photo of Mister Mister and our pup giving him a big hug, during a Saturday afternoon nap sesh.

What thrifty finds have you had to let go recently?

All photos taken with my iPhone 4S.


Friday Five: Heatwave and Afternoon Desk Naps

Is it hot outside, or what? I’m in Florida, and the sick thing is that, at 90 degrees, we’re one of the cooler spots in the country. We had our AC looked at this week because it was running nonstop (the service tech thought we were nuts as he’d been in homes all day where the AC wasn’t running at ALL). Turns out it’s just stinking hot and humid. So hot, in fact, that I’ve been fighting off afternoon naps as I try to power through work near the end of the day. Impromptu and accidental desk naps are no bueno!

I didn’t do a ton of pinning this week (too hot too move my hands?) but here’s what I did find.

1. This eclectic, natural collection 

Located through the blogger’s regular real estate site stalking, this home in New South Wales has the most gorgeous collection of natural items here in the hallway. From the horn hung on the wall to the wooden baskets of pinecones and eggs, it looks so organic and somehow not at all cluttered — something I definitely wouldn’t be able to pull off. Effortless style is just so enviable.

Image via desire to inspire

2. This colorful photography project

Artist Angelica Dass put out this awesome project where she pairs photos of people against backdrops of the Pantone equivalent of their skin color. I have to admit that some matches seem a bit off, but overall, it’s a really stunning and creative project.

Image by Angelica Dass

3. These Anthropologie drapes

I first saw these in an Apartment Therapy post about decorating Wes Anderson-style, then again in a Design*Sponge post just about how amazing the drapes themselves are. I love them — they look like red pencil lines sketched across the width. In typical Anthropologie fashion, you have stunned me — and my pocketbook — once again. How great would these look in a little boy’s room with navy walls and white accents?

Image courtesy of Anthropologie

4. The styling in this photo from Lisa Hubbard

I know, I know. Midcentury is so… last year. But I love this photo, from the map to the perfect little credenza to the stereo and the flowers and the flannel draped over the retro chair, and the little glimpse of the mint green bicycle in the background.

Image by Lisa Hubbard, via Desire to Inspire

5. This chair

Oh, stop.

Image courtesy of Modernica


What are you doing this weekend? Staying indoors?

Fine Dining: The Results of our Custom Craigslist Dining Room Table Find

Way back when, I regaled you with tales of finding our dream dining room table — custom made, from a dude on Craigslist, for just $400. Then, I never even followed up. Well, wait no more: I present to you, our much-loved, one-of-a-kind, budget-but-you’d-never-know-it, dining room table.

He put this baby together in about 3 or 4 weeks, which we thought was tremendously quick given that he was working from scratch and has a full-time day job. You just never know what to expect with Craigslist, but we paid him $100 up front for materials, and paid the rest when he delivered — yes, he DELIVERED the table — a few weeks later.

I love the stain he used, and he put lots of imperfections in the piece for an antique, rustic look, just as requested.

Picture it with these chairs, and we’re set:

Photo via West Elm.

From Bleh to Bam: The New Living Room Paint Color

Two rollers, two paint brushes, three amateur painters, two gallons of Benjamin Moore Aura paint and 5 hours later, we have a new living room paint color: Abalone.

Did we do a perfect job? Totally not. I wanted to repaint our trim anyway (or, more likely, HAVE it repainted — I don’t know if I want to tackle that DIY-style), but there’s pretty much Abalone paint everywhere — trim, ceiling, even parts of our floor. But with some minor touch-ups, you won’t even know a total pro didn’t have at this room.

The walls still have a lot of imperfections, but that Aura paint is a DREAM. It went on great and dried quickly and covered amazingly well in just two coats. I’d read you have to be careful rolling back over areas because it will peel, but we didn’t experience that issue — probably because it was still wet enough, but still.

For comparison’s sake, here’a a “before” shot of the living room (and the color that is throughout the rest of the house, with the exception of the kitchen and master bath).

And, after.



With new paint in at least one room, that meant we could start marking up the walls and hanging some art. Once I unpacked everything, I realized that we really didn’t have enough to cover all the new wall space at our bigger house. So I took a trip to my Pinterest Art board, and noticed I’d pinned an awesome abstract painting by Florida artist Erin Ashley. The price was a little high for our budget, but when I looked through her Etsy store, erinashleyart, I found a piece I loved — in her sale section! Two short days later, I had our first-ever original painting hanging in the living room. Ladies and gentlemen, “Road Work.”

I love the colors and the texture — and even Mister Mister loves it.

 I also took advantage of the occasion and finally framed and hung a map we bought in St. Thomas during our honeymoon cruise.

Next, I’ll be tackling the bedroom paint color — but I’ve promised I’ll take one room per month, rather than trying to do all of them in one weekend.

Dresser Redux: Reimagining A Favorite Sports Team’s Colors

When I found this dresser on Craigslist, I wasn’t sure what I would do with it. I loved the lines, and felt vaguely guilty about painting it, but I knew it would be going in our office, where there’s already a big wooden desk, and a wooden side table that I will eventually refinish, and not paint. With all that wood in mind, and with the condition of the piece being so-so — scratched up veneer that was beyond hope of refinishing — I felt secure in my decision.

When the Mister asked me what color I had in mind, I replied, “Yellow!” I had a quart of No. 2-pencil-yellow paint leftover from a bedroom nightstand redo that was never to be (I strongly suspected bedbugs were making a home in the tables, which we promptly left out front for trash collection, and which two old ladies in a truck promptly picked up, which should be a lesson to you). And he grimaced, and he said, “I like navy, and I like white.” Well, he had sort of unofficially claimed the office as his own, so I humored him. Navy and white sounded nice, and would look cool with the trim pieces. And then he admitted why: “Because of the Yankees pinstripes!” Mister Mister is Yankees fan No. 1. But I knew I could make it something that both he and I liked, so I had at it.

I started with some flat navy paint that I scored for free when the local hardware store was giving away free flat quarts of a new color line. And I had some leftover white semigloss from long ago. This was my first attempt at distressing, and I really enjoyed the process — and how it turned out! I didn’t bother priming, though I did rough up the surface a bit. I laid down a couple of coats of the navy paint and a couple of white on the trim, and then started roughing things up.

That’s when I discovered that I kinda hated how it looked when I took the sandpaper to the paint surfaces that had barely dried for 24 hours. Apparently the “worn down” effect works best after the paint has fully cured, about a week. And sandpaper isn’t the best option. But I worked the whole piece, and the edges. Then, I rubbed a coat of ebony stain and wiped it right off — now THAT looked cool.

The first rule of distressing: If you don’t like it, keep working on it. I hated how much stain I put on certain white areas. It made it look too dingy. So I just lightly painted over those areas. I also started painting some of the lower inset trim on the left and right, in white, but since it curved in a bit at the bottom, it proved difficult to make a straight line. So, navy it was. It was really liberating to not feel like I was stuck with one approach that I could easily screw up. I’m such a perfectionist, so that’s saying a lot for me.

I finished the whole thing off with some paste wax, and dipped the original brass hardware in some vinegar and salt to brighten it up.

Next up: Some drawer liners.

Date Day: Getting Our Culture On

We’ve lived in Saint Petersburg for about two years now, and there are still plenty of places we have yet to go. So when my friend had to cancel our weekend plans, I asked Mister Mister if he’d like to do a date day at the Museum of Fine Arts, and lunch on Beach Drive, a waterfront area of downtown. Of course, he was game.

Beach Drive is one of our very favorite areas — there’s this gorgeous park on one side, with plenty of shade and grass for picnics, and waterfront areas for biking and jogging. And on the other side, there are plenty of restaurants and shops and little inns.

The museum is huge, with a tremendous permanent collection and special photography and glass exhibits. We went to the Museum of History last year, which was awesome, but hadn’t yet made it to this one. The exterior alone is just fantastic.

We probably spent a good two or three hours there. Some of our favorite pieces (you could take non-flash photography in the permanent collections, but not special exhibits):

Peter Sarkisian: Extruded Video Engine II, 2007

This thing was awesome. Made of vacuum-formed thermal plastic and video projection, it “uses images of machinery and streaming text, eliminating the [human] form entirely.” It’s impossible to tell here, but all those little pieces moved and whirred and made noises.

Frederic Karoly: Attala, 1958

The artist would lay canvas on his floor and pour oil paint on the surface, letting it just flow unexpectedly and create these semi-transparent layers. According to the little sign, Karoly became a pilot “in order to incorporate into his art the character and feeling of the sky and being suspended in it.”

Balcomb Green: Le Pont Neuf, Autumn, 1967

Greene was originally a Cubist and Constructivist, but started dabbling in realism after WWII. “This one is set in the heart of Paris on the famous bridge, with la Samairtaine, the city’s oldest department store, in the background. The rigid grid of the city fades and a figure emerges, walking allone — diffused, and blurred, suggestive of the existential angst that pervaded western culture during the Atomic Age and the Cold War.”

Joseph Goodhue Chandler: Portrait of Frederick Eugene Bennett, August 18, 1949; Portrait of Mary Elizabeth Bennett, Age 2, March 18, 1852

These folk art paintings just made us laugh. Apparently, he would paint adult sitters with no regard for their surroundings, but “with the very young, however, he included a landscape, as well as toys, pets, and other references to the child’s world.”

Michael Goldberg, The New Dump, 1964

I love a good abstract collage. “Although nearly non-objective, this painting suggests a landscape with a view of the water beyond, placing it squarely in the tradition of American landscape painting.”

After the museum, we ate at the Parkshore Grill across the street, where I pretty much devoured a burger.

What did you do this weekend?