Friday, November 14, 2014

A TRIP TO LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS...

TGIF y'all!

You must think I have flown the blogging coop with the shortage of posts lately.  Well, I guess in some ways you could say I have.  I spent the better part of last week away from home and away from blogging as I had the opportunity to join my husband on a business trip to Little Rock, Arkansas. Well actually Bryant, Arkansas which is a suburb of Little Rock.  Are there any bloggers from Arkansas out there?

We had a great time!  Arkansas is a beautiful state to visit.

Little Rock is about a 7 hour drive from our house and it's pretty much all two lane, backwoods, mountain roads, curvy and hilly all the way. It was a long drive for sure but very beautiful.

We drove through the mountains...




Did you know Arkansas has MOUNTAINS?  I had no idea.







On the way we stopped in the town of Mountain View so we could stretch our legs and take a little break.  It just so happens our new pastor and his family hails from Mountain View.  Such a nice place. We stopped in a little shop run by the Artist Guild in that area and found all sorts of goodies made by the local artists there.  These handmade brooms were my favorite...




Aren't they cute?

Because it was a business trip our expenses were pretty much paid in full, YAY.  We were put up a VERY nice hotel, the Berkshire Inn.














I wish I had takem more pictures of our room but we pretty much messed it up before I had the chance to get the camera out, so I cobbed this one of our exact room from their website...






It had somewhat of a three room layout.  There was the "bedroom" part with king size bed...



 A gorgeous on suite bath, with FANCY towels...


 and plenty of vanity space...







I especially liked that it had a beautiful "living room" with a comfy loveseat, coffee table and desk area (you know in case you had work to do). It was very homey and comfortable and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there...



















We traveled into the historic Hillcrest part of Little Rock on Thursday...Kavanaugh Ave, Cantrell Rd. and the Heights district. I wish I would have taken more pictures. The old historic homes and neighborhoods were GORGEOUS.  Most of the homes were decorated for fall and the one thing I found particularly neat was that many of them still had working gas lanterns and porch lights like this one...




I didn't find as many little shops as I had hoped but we did stop in one called Haus Werk (cute name)...very neat (also very expensive) but they have a ton of great stuff. You can visit their site HERE if you want to do a little shopping with them.

They were getting ready for Christmas so I snagged a picture or two of a few Christmas Ornaments I would like to copycat...





These are very simple little chalk boards with a wooden clothes pin glued to the back for clipping to the tree or whatever you want it to hang on...




So cute, right? It's looks like they would be really easy to recreate.

I also adored this GORGEOUS cotton boll wreath and would have loved to bring it home with me but as I said, very expensive...





On the way home Saturday we hit a ton of flea markets and shops.  My favorite was in historic downtown Conway....

























The name of the shop, PARK HILL HOME. You can check them out on Facebook HERE.





They were all decked out for the holidays and are packed to the brim with gorgeous and unique home decor...I only took a couple pics but you can see more if you go to their Facebook page.








Absolutely GORGEOUS stuff but you better have a boatload of money if you want to do any shopping with them. Their prices...RIDICULOUS!!! As were all the shops in that area.

The outside of the shop was all decked out too with a little fall...





and a lot of Christmas...








SERIOUSLY, go to their site to see more of their GORGEOUS decor.

Seeing all their decorations has put me in the mood to do a little Christmas decorating myself but I must hold off.  I NEVER put anything Christmas out until the day after Thanksgiving...which is just two weeks away...WOW, how'd that happen. This year has FLOWN by.

I believe gratitude should be a daily thing but I also do not want to diminish Thanksgiving by celebrating Christmas beforehand.  That's just me and it's our family tradition that nothing Christmas comes before giving thanks, but when the time comes to deck the halls you can bet they will be decked.

I spotted this at our last shop before heading back to Missouri and I REALLY, REALLY wanted to bring it home with me but it would never have fit into our PT Cruiser, though I seriously would have tried if the hubs would have given me permission...



Isn't is cute?

It was a long drive home from there and it was fun but I sure am glad to finally be home.

PS. The new rug(s) from RugsUSA (yes, I not only got one for the dining room, but the living room too) arrived while I was out of town. I have since put them in place and I absolutely love them.  I hope to have a few shots of them next week.

Until then, have a GREAT weekend. Ciao!



Friday, October 31, 2014

A TRIBUTE TO THE ANTIQUE CHINA CLOSET AND INFO ON THE DINING ROOM MAKEOVER...

Well hello there! Long time no bloggy.  Sorry for that. It's been a busy week or two around here preparing for the Bub's birthday party and other fall events but I'm here today to let you all know that my vintage china closet has sold.  I was serious when I said that I wanted to sell everything in the dining room and replace it with something that is more my taste and style.

As you know I sold the buffet a month or so ago and used that money to buy a nice china cabinet which I plan on painting as soon as I can figure out how to get the glass out of it...(ha I guess I should have thought about that before I decided I needed a china cabinet with window muntins)...most likely that will be the last project I tackle in this little dining room makeover.

I am super excited now that I have sold the vintage china closet because...the money is going towards my new Restoration Hardware style dining table that my father-in-law is building for me...it should look something like this when he's finished...





































Purdy isn't it?  Yep, I can't wait! However, I suppose I should take a moment and pay homage to the old china closet. After all she did hold lots of china and had a great sturdy top that saw lots of decorating and vignettes over the past few years that I had her...hmmm, kind of makes me wonder about her history and how other ladies in the past used her (or decorated  her).  Oh the stories I bet she could tell.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you some of the looks she has sported since I have owned her. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

She started out looking like this...







but I wasn't too crazy about that look so I changed it up a bit and this is what she looked like during the rest of her stay with us...









Minus this kitten, of course!!

I especially loved to decorate her up for the holidays...

































I couldn't find all the holiday pictures but she has been decorated and redecorated to the hilt for each and every major holiday. I've had so much fun with her!

I sure will miss decorating her up, especially since the only flat surface I have left in the dining room to decorate or add a centerpiece to is the dining table, but that's quite alright because I am really looking forward to the new dining table. It's going to be fantastic!  Besides, I know this little cabinet is going to a good home and will see many more years of good use...

The lady who bought her told me that she was going to paint her all up in shabby chic style and use her in the bathroom as a towel/linen closet.  Sounds like a great plan to me.  I wish I would have told her to send me some pictures of the transformation. It would be fun to see her in her new home wouldn't it?

So now as far as the dining room transformation, I will be selling the old dining room table and chairs as soon as I get the 6 original chairs that came with the table painted (they are not shown here)...




I also will be selling the red and cream rug...




This was the only decent shot of it I could find.  I am excited to say that I have already ordered it's replacement....






A chunky jute rug from RugsUSA.  They are having a 75% off sale this week (I figured I would let you in the on the secret in case you want to save big money on a nice rug for yourself). The sale ends Monday so you better hurry! 

Mine should arrive at the house sometime next week. I can't wait!

I am taking this whole dining room makeover one step at a time...selling what I don't want, to buy things I do want and I am trying to choose the things I buy carefully so that I am truly happy with the end result of this makeover.

This is the first time I have tried this sort of method for redoing a room and so far things are working out great and progressing much faster than I thought they would. I usually buy first and then sell what I don't want later at a yardsale or something but I think this way is working out much better with far less work and with less spending too, believe it or not.

I am making more money by selling my items on Craigslist instead of at yard sale prices (or just giving stuff away to get rid of it).  I am also saving money by purchasing items when they are on sale or at a reasonable price on Craigslist and DIYing things whenever I can. Plus, I will not have to go through the work of storing, pricing and setting up a yard sale next year just to get rid of the things I don't want...they will already be gone to the wonderful shoppers on Craigslist.

I think I am going to do a little tally at the end of this makeover to see how much money I saved or spent throughout this whole process...i.e. what the bottom line is...I'm curious to know and I'm sure you are too, right?

If the results are good (which I believe they will be), I think I am going to try this method for the living room redo as well.

For now I am just taking one room at a time...it's WAY less stressful that way...and if there is anything I need less of these days it's stress! Hahaha.

Anyway, saying goodbye to an old piece of furniture has never been so fun and full of excitement.





What have you been up to lately?



Friday, October 10, 2014

FALL MANTELS PAST AND PRESENT...

Have I ever told you that I love having a fireplace with a HUGE mantel?  Well I do! None of the other houses we lived in had fireplaces. In one of our earlier homes I did have a custom made 5 foot long shelf that I enjoyed decorating but that just wasn't the same has having a mantel.

Needless to say, I have enjoyed styling my beautiful mantel for the different holidays and seasons since we moved into this house. I have especially enjoyed decorating the mantel for fall each year. Well, I didn't decorate for fall last year because I was just too pooped and if you will remember my ONLY fall decorations last year was a chenille throw and a vase full of leafless branches on the dining room table. Yep, that's it, but in 2011, 2012 and this year, I went all out with my fall decor.

I like to change my vignette's out from year to year and I never do the same thing twice. That's probably because I can't remember what I did the year before, hehehe. However, I do like to reminisce and look back from time to time. Since it's cold and rainy out today, it's the perfect time to grab a cup of warm cider and a cozy blanket and do just that. I thought I would share with you my fall mantels past and present today so pull up a chair and grab a cup of Joe or cider and enjoy.

My 2011 mantel was pretty rustic...




I found the rustic fall picture for just a few dollars at a local thrift shop and knew it would be perfect for my newly acquired mantel.  I added some other rustic things like my rooster, copper lantern and grapevine that I already had on hand and despite my poor picture taking abilities, I think it turned out great.

My 2012 mantel was dramatically different. A lot simpler but perhaps more sophisticated with my DIY sunburst mirror made from plain white card stock.  You can find the tutorial HERE...





























I simply flanked the mirror with some twigs cut from the yard, added some fresh colorful leaves cut from trees in the neighbors yard (yes, I asked first) and that was that.  Gorgeous, don't you think?

This year I had a little trouble putting my mantel together. I started with a shuttered window mirror but it was a little too small and was a little too country style for my taste so I changed that mirror out with these three mirrors that were hanging over my buffet before I sold it...



It looked great and I thought I was done but I found something just a little more "fallish" to replace those three mirrors...




a big ol' tree. The epitome of fall, wouldn't you say?

You might have also noticed the new wall color. Classic Gray by Ben Moore (mixed in Valspar eggshell finish paint).This is the first real glimpse you have gotten of it since I painted earlier this summer.

I wasn't sure I liked it at first but now I love it. It really lightened and brightened the place up and it is a neutral so it's goes with just about everything. I love for my rooms to be neutral so that I can switch out accessories with the different seasons and I don't have to worry about what colors I choose. They all go.

Right now I am loving the little pops of autumn color against this light neutral gray background.  So pretty!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed reminiscing a little with me and perhaps you have gotten a little inspiration for your fall mantel as well.

Have a TERRIFIC weekend!






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