Saturday, September 3, 2016

Old to New Again!

That's brown paint, not stain!
My friend recently retired (I'm quite jealous) and downsized her house.   About 10 yrs ago she had an old buffet sitting outside in her detached garage.  It had been painted brown at some point and had lived in her parents house for numerous years. She was saving it to someday redo it and put in her house.   Fast forward about 5 yrs and she was thinking about selling it.  I was thinking about buying it to paint and redo it....but then she decided she couldn't part with it.  Fast forward 5 more years and she's retiring --- deserting me at work!  She and her husband downsized to a smaller house and as they purged their house,  and she realized she wouldn't ever have room for the buffet.  She offered it up....and I accepted of course!  After talking with her, I cleared it that she wouldn't mind if I put outside as a potting bench....

I had been wanting a potting bench outside in my garden and had seen several on pinterest made out of old dressers.  This buffet was in really bad shape and I really didn't envision it --- because of the condition --- being inside.  So I decided it would be my new large potting bench.  It was the perfect counter height for a tall person like me!  I borrowed a sander from my daughter, bought spray paint, stain, and lots of varathane (or polyeurothane --- whatever it was) to weather proof it.  I figured I'd likely have to put 4-5 coats of varathane on it and then tarp it in the winter during the rainy season. After all, it spent most of it's time in an old detached garage for the last 10 yrs.

Left = sanded, right = unsanded!
On my 2 1/2 week vacation, I started working on it.  Because one of the small doors was damaged beyond repair, I removed it and the matching one on the other side.  I removed the drawers and started sanding.  I discovered by accident that the hardware could also be sanded to a brighter color!

I sanded as much loose paint off as I could and tried very hard to get the loose paint off the drawers so I could stain them.   After alot of work I was able to start painting and staining.   I'm a confessed spray paint user.  I very rarely use regular paint....

Once the buffet was finished I brought the can of varathane outside to start coating it.  It was at that point that I realized just how beautiful this buffet has turned out ---- and I could no longer bear the thought of leaving such a beautiful object outside!!!   It's now in my living room as my TV table and it looks fabulous!

I LOVE how it turned out!!! 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Redoing Outdated Dresses #1

My daughter has recently remembered that her mother sews.   She's been picking up dresses at thrift stores and even one at The Gap for $5 --- she's bringing them to me saying "Mom, I really liked the material on this dress, but it's a little old fashioned, could you redo it pretty please?!" 

All I did with this dress was remove the sheer sleeves (they were elastic at the wrist!) and resew the raw edges.  Then I removed the sheer ruffle sewn on the neckline and then resewed the faux wrap neckline and added a black belt.  

Luckily it's summer time and it's relatively easy to modernize dresses for summer.  I've had a hard time remembering to take pics of the dresses, and completely forgot to take pics of the details -- like the skirt on this has a really neat zigzag ironed-in pleating effect on it.  

I have to admit, I've really loved taking something outdated and making it modern!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


 First, I've gained so much weight lately that I'm sorry I haven't much been into fashion.  I can't seem to find the inspiration to lose it, hence for the first time I understand how shopping for clothes is not  fun.

Now I'm into painting and upcycling things.  I've wanted to try spray painting plastic toy animals that I've seen done on pinterest and today was the day! I paid $3 at Target for my plastic gray elephant. This elephant on the right is $24 on etsy. 
Step 1:  Change out of your $400 pair of glasses before spray painting on a windy day.  As I found out it can be disastrous!  Luckily, I'm due for a new pair of glasses...



Here is what turned out to be the BEAUTIFUL "after" pictures!!!!!!!!!!
Step 2:  Take before picture!  I almost forgot to take pictures!  So the before pictures shown below, I had already turned the elephant upsidedown and had spray painted his underside before I remembered to take a pic!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer Warmth!

I totally love summer.  
 It creates a warm, wrapped in sunshine feeling. 
 So different from the rain. 
I love the cool summer mornings that remind me of the beauty of life.
I see the glorious symbols of light that glisten from so many reflections providing an early morning sparkle of radiance.
I love the calmness of the quiet and bright awakening day. 
I love a rich caramel iced coffee in the morning, it's more casual, more freeing than a hot cup. 
 I love the choice of shoes in the morning with no worry about nylons or pantyhose, I can wriggle my toes freely and cutely all day long.  
 The taste of a chilled ceasar salad on a 90 degree day is almost indescribable, with the crunch of croutons just along for the noise. 
There's nothing like sitting on a park bench, light reflecting off the concrete, while I momentarily close my eyes, enjoying the footsteps of passing of summer lovers. 
The warmth of the mid afternoon sun creates a thirst that's wondrously quenched by heat and ice,  warming and cooling your soul in an exotic tango with your heart.
What compares to that sleepy afternoon when the world is full of heat, yet the day is centered around the crisp coolness of looking from the inside out.
For an evening walk sauntering down the waterfront, gives me an incredible peace inclusive of the heat, for there is sun, there is warmth, and there is love.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Awesome Curtains

I found these fabulous curtains!  I was at JCPenney one night a few months ago and was browsing through their curtain section.  Now, I would've never thought of hanging two different patterns together --- much less two different colors --- but they did it on their display and it looked good.   I'd never been inspired for my dining room (although we don't do any dining in it, we use it for watching movies on the computer), but these curtains inspired me.  For the first time ever I knew exactly what I was going to do with that room!  It turned out slightly different as I don't have the two white leather chairs yet, but in it's place is a gorgeous orange leather couch!  It's a lot of color, but until I get my 2 white/cream leather chairs, I can live with it (and actually love it!).  I'm thinking of painting my armoire either gray or cream.   I'll do a post later of before & after of my dining room...but in the meantime, these are my new curtains! 

Here's a preview of my orange leather couch at the apartment that I bought it from on craigslist....


Monday, May 27, 2013

Spray Paint Love...

I have temporarily discarded fashion and replaced it with Pinterest and spray paint! I seem to have fallen in love with spray paint.....Remember those old brass decorative plates that everyone seemed to have in the 70s and 80s?  Well, here's what I did to mine!  This is with only 1 coat because I liked the slight fading of the color on it.  (P.S.  I painted the first one green and can't seem to find the pic of it --- but you get the idea!)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bathroom Redo

 I'm redoing a friend's bathroom for her (posts to follow when it's done), and it reminded me of how much I love my bathroom!  My bathroom used to be an old used white.  It had been so long since I painted it that the white was dirty in places and it wouldn't wash off.  This is the inside of the white cabinet that I haven't painted yet.  It gives you a teensy idea of what it was like. 

But below is my new and beautiful bathroom!  I planned on painting the top half green and the bottom half tan. I thought the green paint I bought would look nice and would fit the old style of my 1925 house, but boy was I wrong! It looked horrible! Like a 1914 institution for the insane! Luckily, as I was showing my neighbor how horrible it looked, she offered the remainder of the can of purple paint she had just used in her bathroom. Mind you, I'm not a purple person, but we went over and looked at her bathroom and it looked really nice. The "tone" of the purple even matched the color "tone" of my tan.

Plush towel is Royal Velvet Egyptian Cotton from JCPenneys $8
The more you wash these towels the fluffier they get.
I also bought them in the bath sheets = $15 each

Octagon tinted and clear mirrors
 from Ikea
used to cover tiny holes in wall
$14.99 for 10


Gold mirror- $4 at garage sale, flower canvas picture- $10 at Ross.
Hanging white plastic bin is also from Ikea.

Rolling washclothes is a great way
 to organize and look pretty!
Actually a candle holder,
obviously not using it for that
$2 at a garage sale

Not only do the colors work, but I love my accessories!

Over the door towel rack
$12 at Ross
Purple glass "holder"
Holds my brush & mirror
$4 at Ross


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Checking it Twice....

Lesson #1 - Shopping anticipation can be hazardous.

Lesson #2 - Always anticipate which shoes will be most comfortable for a long shopping trip.

Lesson #3 - If you are over 50 with memory problems, Do NOT, I repeat...DO NOT try one of each shoe on to see which feels best.

Lesson #4 - Don't assume the couple of people taking a second look at your feet is because the black & orange flip flops you have on don't match your sweater. There could be another reason they are looking.

Lesson #5 - When trying on clothes at the second shopping mall today, and you step out of your jeans, try to laugh a little bit quieter when you realize this is the pair of shoes you've been walking around in ALL day long!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday - Is it really a good deal?

So here we are.  Cyber Monday is upon us.  All the advertising, all the hype, all people secretly surfing at work...I really don't see that many super-duper good deals (other than all the free shipping offers).

So wow (sarcasm dripping here... -->), Old Navy and GAP are a whole 30% off.  (I've seen that sale before, haven't you?).  While Lane Bryant has 50% off  --- there's still a minimum of $75 before you get that discount.  Macy's has a whole 15% extra off.  Whoop!  Woman Within is 30% off your first item with a $50 minimum.  Yeah baby.  Whoop again.  Even the Avenue, who has 50% off the entire website --- well, that's really a great sale but they've had that all 4 days of this weekend!!! (I know because I've been shopping it and hopefully got my sizes before they went out of stock with you cyber Monday shoppers!  

Here's a good example of why it's good to do the math when a cyber Monday sale sounds really great:

Jessica London's cyber Monday sale is:

Take 50% off your highest item, take 50% off your 2nd item when you buy 3, take 50% off your 3rd item when you buy 5...

So let's say you buy the 5 items. (Remember, you are required to buy 5 items in order to get only 3 of them 50% off.) I'll use numbers that are fairly easy to split for addition purposes.

Item #1 is a heavy sweater. $50 - 50% = $25
Item #2 is another sweater. $40 - 50% = $20
Item #3 is a poplin shirt. $36 - 50% = $18
Item #4 is a silky shirt. $28 no discount = $28
Item #5 is a turtleneck $20 no discount = $20
Regular price total $174. With discount = $111 = only a 36% discount!!!

It's a whopping 36% discount. Whoopee! Now while that's a nice healthy sale, it's not what I would consider a GREAT INCREDIBLE deal worthy of what cyber Monday is supposed to be. What do you think?