Friday, January 20, 2012

A New Year, A New Space

For years I always wanted a craft room, but felt I didn't have the space. Our 3rd bedroom was currently serving as the guest room, but we rarely have overnight guests. The queen bed took up the majority of the space in the room, leaving very little walking space for the guests to move, let alone do anything else. So, I downsized the queen bed to a vintage farm cot that I bought last year at a farm sale up north. It's just big enough for my granddaughter, and I devoted the rest of the space to crafts, sewing, barn sale prep, whatever. After much thought on what to use for a surface/desk space, I ended up using one of my barn sale tables (that many of you have tried to get me to sell to you). The table is a vintage banquet table out of church, oak slats painted green and is almost 10 feet long! So, I centered the table along the biggest wall, and then anchored each end with a file cabinet. Add in some cute vintage shelved and cubbies, and wa-la, craft room is born. I still can't decide what to do about curtains, so I still have the shutters up for privacy. The only "new" item in the room are two bungee cord office chairs that my son insisted on.

The shelf that the cactus planter is sitting has a cute story. Because my husband is Latino, I'm always drawn to items that have "sleeping mexicans" on them. This little two-tiered shelf has a crackled paint finish and there's an old decal of the sleeping mexicans on the top. I saw this shelf at The Pec Thing two years ago...but then passed it over convincing myself that I didn't need it. Just after that my friend Judy, proprietor of The Empty Attic, came by with a belated birthday present. Guess what was in the bag? Yep--the shelf! It's fun when your friends know you so well! The little wooded divider piece under it, is actually an orphaned organizer from the inside of a drop leaf desk.

This vintage grocery cart on wheels is perfect for wrapping paper rolls. The two-tiered metal "In/Out" basket is also vintage. The three-tiered basket is made for fruit, but who says you can't put craft paint in it?
 This is a fairly small bedroom. The vintage cot is directly opposite of this table along a wall. The cot was used on a farm for extra sleeping space for farm hands when needed. My collection of vintage religious prints are hung above. I actually have another whole pile of pictures to hang, but no more wall space! It started with two Sacred Heart prints and grew from there in less than two years.

You shouldn't worry about "not having the space" to devote to a creative office or crafting room. There are many spots in your house you can carve out a space for your very own...a portion of your guest room, under-used closet, under the stairs, of course the basement but that might be a last resort. Here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing...and the courage to tell your husband what he'll be working on this weekend!

Small space? Hide your supplies in a vintage buffet, hutch, or dresser.

Dream room! Cute trellis hanging from ceiling!

 If you're lucky enough to have an entire room, I love the idea of a double-sided table. (

 Great ideas for storage...fits in the closet...pants hanger, jewelry zipper bag (lots of these at TJMaxx). (
 Don't forget what adding color can do for a room...this is energizing. (
 Love. Love. Love this wall with light sconces. (
 Fabulous cupboard to hide supplies and display some too. craigslist is full of china cabinets, buffets and hutches for great prices. (

Picture this in a hallway, under the stairs, corner of guest room...

Love these two vintage hutches filled with linens, fabric and supplies.

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fill 'er up...

Well, I finally got around to getting shelves put in my china cabinet (the one I painted for the barn sale, but then loved it so much I decided to keep). Last week when hubby and I were at the salvage shop we found some old boards that were perfect for shelves...a bit of trimming and wa-la! Perfect fit. Well, maybe not perfect right away. It did take a few trips back out to the garage to trim some more...and then some more...but now they're perfect!

So, time to "fill 'er up". It took me a few days to decide on what exactly to put in the cabinet. My first thought was of course china. I've begun to collect brown transferware dishes this year...after I stumbled upon a box of them for $5 at a garage sale...then my sister gave me some...and so it begins--another collection! Then I thought, maybe I'll fill it with books. No, it's too deep and would be wasted space. I also contemplated filling it with linens. But I went back to my original thought of putting china in the china cabinet! I laugh, because that doesn't happen very much around here...using something for what it was intended (ahhh, the life of a salvage gal).

Because I was too lazy to paint the shelves I dug out my scrapbooking paper and used it to line the shelves...each shelf is different paper, but similar colors. Then, one of my fabulous buys last week at the junk shop came in entire tray of vintage lace--for $3! Yep! So I cut a few pieces and thumbtacked it to the front of the shelves. Here's a few of the items I placed inside...oh yeah, got this covered vegetable bowl and the platter at the junk shop too...$5 for both! Added a $1 wooden tray and my blue Ball jars.

These are the dishes I got at a garage sale...gorgeous scene of sailing ships. I love my two doggie statues. And don't forget the bird 'em.

Love my "stuff" let's see how long it lasts in here!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mid-Winter Mantel

I don't know about you, but we've only had one snowfall and I'm already tired of winter. I can't let my 11 year old son hear me say that! He thinks winter just started with this first snow! I'm stuck in the mid-winter decorating funk of "no more holiday decor, but not time yet for spring decor". So what's a gal to do? I say go half way...part winter, part spring.

I'm not sure there's a real definition for this style, but here's what I came up with for my son calls it "Critter Camp"! He's right, there are some critters involved...four to be exact: an owl, a woodpecker, a sparrow and a squirrel, not to mention three nests, some branches, pheasant feathers, shelf mushrooms and moss--with a burlap wreath, vintage photos, rusty key, old shutter and half of a dutch door thrown in. I apologize for the photo quality. My three month old camera decided to stop working today, so these are from my son's iPod.

The turquoise shutter was bought at one sale or another...and you've seen it previously in my fall and winter mantel. I love the color! The half of dutch door, or Mr. Ed door as I refer to these lovelies, is from the old school house down the road from me. The current resident is a friend of my husbands and was throwing them out! (Oh, heart be still...) we rescued them!

 This cool shelf mushroom (under the nest) came from our place up north. My son found it near the woods, and brought it home to use for his last science project at school. I decided to keep it! If you like this type of thing, Nancy at Second Hand Rose has a few in her shop in Poplar Grove, Illinois.

Great Grandfather John photo

 Grandmother Doris

So that's it folks...I can't wait for spring--how about you?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Orange & Turquoise

I visited one of my favorite salvage stores yesterday with my husband and hit the motherload! I bought this fabulous set of gym lockers. They are fantastic...set of 8 lockers, four on each side back-to-back! And, even better, they are painted orange! These would be perfect for someone's mudroom, laundry or kids play room. Sorry I couldn't get a better shot...there was too much stuff in the way. I can take another when we get them home. Give me a call or facebook me if you're interested in them for yourself! Or, if you're putting a gym in your house, they also had a locker room bench that was to die was at least 15 feet long...maybe longer...and way only $30 (I think, maybe a bit more, but such a steal). It's the kind just like at school, three metal legs that bolt to the floor, with a padded vinyl seat. It was superb!

Something I didn't buy, but would have if I had somewhere to put it is this rockin' turquoise stove! It's still at the salvage shop, waiting for the perfect gal to come along! It's the cutest's definitely turquoise (my photos looks a little on the powder blue side), electric with clock. Only $100...somebody please buy her!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Head 'em up, move 'em out!

It's so exciting to get out your decorations, trees and ornaments for Christmas...but possibly more exciting to take them down! Today I spent a few hours dismanteling my rooms from the scads of lovely greens, pine cones, sleds, skiis, winter prints and ornaments.

I clear off my kitchen table, and then carry everything to the table. For me this routine makes it easier to store groups of items together. I got it all put back into the tubs and boxes, drag them all to the basement and shove 'em back into the storage room. Wait...what's that? A wreath, two pillows, two Christmas books, and an ornament off the tree had escaped from their trip back into the storage tub. Am I blind? (Apparently so!). I hate when that happens!

My favorite part of taking down the decorations, is the chance to re-arrange my family room. I think people are born one of two either continuously move furniture around, or you don't! I'm definitely the first of the two! It's a trait my mother passed on to all us girls...much to the chagrin of our husbands! Sometimes I even move "rooms" around...making the dining room a reading room, the living room the dining room, and so on! Yes, it's a sickness! My dilemma in the family room at this time of year is trying to get as much seating near the fireplace as possible. There's no TV in this room (that was planned), just a warm, toasty wood burning stove and comfortable chairs and couch to read on! Here's what I came up with so far:

This is a full view of the family room, from the kitchen. All the furniture is in a new place! It took a few rounds of back and forth with each piece across the room, but I settled on this arrangement. For now!

It is still winter, afterall, so I left out a few pine cones, greens and a few other selected "winter" items.

This is the wicker cake stand I purchased at Second Hand Rose in Poplar Grove. I love it filled with pine cones, my winter tree, a nest with egg, and a small Currier & Ives framed print of a snowy cabin scene. In front of the cake stand is a very old pair of strap on ice skates.

One of these days I'll get over to Menard's to get a few shelves for my china cabinet. I have a bunch of brown transferware I want to store in there--or maybe my linens--I haven't decided yet!

I decided to leave most of what I had on my mantel alone. I removed any signs of Christmas, but left behind the winter wreath with berries, the owl in the center of it, and a the trees with burlap bag bottoms. There's also a winter silouette print of children skating, just below the wreath, a few nests with snow and berries and assortment of creatures like a bird, woodpecker, and squirrel. I also left the white lantern, winter paint-by-number scene and ice skates.

I put my husband's favorite leather recliner to the side of the fireplace. Perfect for those cold nights.

The one thing I forgot to do was re-dress my "lady" dress form. I like to keep her in the season. I have a vintage coat with fur collar I may throw on her.

Well, that will do it for now...until I get the bug to start moving furniture again! See you next time!