August 30, 2009

Two Second-Hand Must Buys

I've done a lot of thrifting and garage sale-ing over the years, and I've found there are a few items that just have staying power. They're flexible and often quite cheap, so if you're out there doing a little secondhand scavenging, don't pass these two up!

1. Picture Frames

Go ahead and try to find a room in your home where you don't have a framed photo or piece of art. We humans like to be surrounded by lovely images, don't we? While it's rare to find a decent piece of art or photography secondhand, it's very easy to find a plethora of decent frames. I hardly ever buy them new because it's so easy to acquire them used. And they're so cheap! That beauty up there cost me $1.99 before the 50% discount at Salvation Army, for a grand total of 99 cents.

And if you don't like the color or finish, a little spray paint goes a long way. The two beauties below have a good color but the finish is a little too shiny for my taste. I plan to add a little satin black Krylon and they'll fit right in with my decor. And the price? 99 cents each. Wow!

If you find a frame you like, be sure to check the back of it before buying. Does it look like it's easy to get the backing off? Are there hangers on the back or an arm for tabletop display? If so, go for it! And if it comes with a decent mat, you get extra credit!

2. Shelves

Shelves are some of the most useful decor items of all. They do important work holding up our most treasured trinkets as well as our everyday necessities. And they come in so many different styles! I have several shelves on the walls of my home, some holding my lunchbox collection and some adding visual interest to decorative groupings. Most of them were purchased secondhand and given new life with a coat of spray paint. The one in the picture above cost me all of 99 cents last week at the thrift store. I plan to give it a couple coats of spray paint and use it in my master bedroom. It looks similar to the molding on the top of our dresser and end tables.

If you find a gently used shelf that you'd like to purchase, just be sure to check that it has some sort of hanging apparatus on the back. I've also used shelves that just have holes drilled in the back for hanging. If it looks good, put it in your cart and start imagining all the goodies you can display on it once you get it home!

I'm linking up this post to Today's Thrifty Treasures at Rhoda's Southern Hospitality. Go check out the must-haves that other thrifty shoppers snatch up!

Stay Gold, Ponyboy

One of my favorite novels of all time is S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. The main character, Ponyboy Curtis, is a boy with an incredibly tough life who still takes time to stop and appreciate a beautiful sunset. He's a kid after my own heart. Ever since we moved to the house on the 'Throw, we've been blessed with countless gorgeous sunsets. The layers of color range from cotton candy pink to baby boy blue. One night last week while watering plants, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this view from the dock of our pond. It was a quiet, still moment, one of those times when you forget about the busy-ness of life. It was true beauty, and I can't wait until the next one.

August 24, 2009

This Week's Bargain

Don't walk--RUN to Walgreen's this week and get yourself some free Chinet plates. Yes, you read me right. FREE! Before you go, though, be sure to clip out two $2/1 coupons from the August 9th Smart Source insert. Once you're at the store, clip out the Buy One, Get One Free coupon. Present the manufacturer's coupons first and the store coupon second and then revel in the joy that is free stuff! (I plan to use mine at Wyatt's first birthday party.)

Thanks to Money Saving Mom for this deal!

Simple and Pretty

My dining room table was looking unloved yesterday:

So I decided to dress it up with some thrift store vases and wild flowers. I found these three lovelies at the local Salvation Army: I liked the fact that they were all different styles and heights. It makes them eclectic instead of ordinary. I also liked the fact that they were 59 cents each with an extra 50% off!

I made my hubby cut the flowers for me because they were just too tall for me to reach. A little water and voila! A much cheerier dining room table:
I had some extra flowers, so I tossed them in a Mason jar that I bought on the same shopping trip. It was all of 89 cents before the 50% off!I just love fresh flowers! Don't you?

I'm linking up to Rhoda's Thrifty Treasures party over at Southern Hospitality. Pop over for a visit and see what treasures other shoppers found!

August 13, 2009

Kaitlyn's Baby Shower

My younger brother and his girlfriend are expecting a baby girl on September 24th, and last weekend my mom and I hosted a baby shower for the mama-to-be. She's decorating the nursery in a pattern called Pop Daisy, which is comprised of a pale pink and chocolate brown color scheme. I decided to make the shower decorations to match. First, we have the pompoms...

Aren't they cute? I got the instructions for making them from Martha Stewart's website, and they were super easy to do. After they were finished, I attached some grosgrain ribbon and hung them at alternating heights for some visual interest. Much better than store-bought balloons!

Another decoration that was inspired by an online source was a set of three pink and brown pennant banners I made using instructions from Stitch.Rip.Repeat...

I substituted scrapbook paper for fabric and they turned out quite nicely. (And I learned that, yes, you can run scrapbook paper through a sewing machine!) We hung the banners on the wall, along the drapes and around the entertainment center, where the television was displaying a 4D ultrasound video of the baby throughout the shower.

For the favors, I decided to make daisy suckers out of candy meltaway chips. I used chocolate and pink vanilla flavored chips, and they turned out great. This was my first time making anything with meltaway chips, and it was a little time-consuming but well worth it in the end. Even my picky brother liked them!

We played a couple of games at the shower, including bingo and the memory game. We also did the "Don't Say Baby" necklace game, which always gets the guests fired up! For game prizes, I purchased fall mums in #5 pots at Meijer for $1.97 each. To make them fit the color scheme, I wrapped each in brown or pink tissue paper and tied them with a decorative ribbon. The guests liked winning something that they could enjoy for years to come.

The shower ended up being a big hit, and Kaitlyn really appreciated the attention to detail that was put into it. She was very excited to see the house sprinkled in chocolate and pink decor, and I was excited to try out some new crafty projects along the way!