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A Fixer Upper Trip

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Hello guys.  Have you missed me as much as I have missed you, and sleep, and a clean house?  We are almost moved out of the burbs and into our forever home.  Just a few more trips I hope.  Monday night I sat on the porch and cried because my long-suffering husband asked me what to do with a box of spray paint.  I am so over it when it comes to moving that I am not even rational any longer.    In the near future I am going to tell about our experience downsizing, but not tonight because I couldn’t be a lady about it right now.

On this night, oh my gosh, do I have news for you all.  I promised you a while back I would fill you in on our trip to the Waco area and things to do when you visit and I am going to fill you in, BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER AT THE END.

First of all, the map below shows you where Waco is in relation to Austin, Belton, Salado, and Round Top (east of Austin).

Waco to Austin

Austin, the undisputed hippest city in in Texas, is an hour and a half away from Waco.  I am not going to fill you in on Austin tonight, but if you are making a visit to Magnolia Market part of a vacation, make sure to include Austin in your trip.

On my last post I shared with you that  we recently visited Magnolia Market (The Silos) and Waco.  One question I got asked over and over again was:  was it worth the drive.  As a huge fan of JoAnna’s style, I loved the market, but the drive for us from Coldspring was over three hours there and the same back.  I enjoyed shopping in the market and had a great day, but in order to make the trip really worth while, our next trip will be a weekend adventure.  (We will drive up Thursday night, then spend Friday and Saturday exploring and head home Sunday.) wait for it friends, it is going to be good at the end. ( Skip to the end here if you want my super cool news first.)

Here is what I thought our future trip was going to include:

Thursday I thought we would be staying at a bed and breakfast- There are two I was interested in:

Friday 

  • Breakfast at the B and B then off to
  • Magnolia Market  which opens at 10:00 but we will try to get there about 9:30.  We should finish at Magnolia Market by 11:30- just in time for lunch at one of the food trucks conveniently located.
  • Harp Design Co because I want to see the shop where all those amazing tables and benches come out of and hopefully I will find something I can’t live without.  The Harps have a whole list of Waco favorites.  The two that caught my eye are Lula Jane’s if you are driving in for breakfast and Club Sandwich if you are looking for a fun food truck lunch.
  • The Findery.  How did I miss this one the first time?  It is for sure going on my list next visit.

The Findery - Waco, TX, United States

  • Junque in the Trunk Waco- I could only find a Facebook page, but with 70K follwers, they must be doing pretty well.

Junque in the Trunk - Waco, TX, United States

I have a feeling the guys would rather hang out at one of the restaurants or diners on LaSalle while we shop.

  • Head on to McGregor, Texas.  The Magnolia House and the Carraige house just on the show is there and it is worth a visit.

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Another fun place to visit is Megregor General Store.

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I got this cool sign there.

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  • Friday evening will be up for grabs.  Lake Waco looks beautiful.

Saturday

We will head out to Salado, Texas.  I love this place so much that we visit every chance we get.  Here is a blog post I wrote about that cool little town a few years ago.

Sunday we will head home slowly.  Eating Kolaches, stopping at fun shops, and enjoying central Texas.

Okay.  Here is the big news. (It is big news to me anyway!) After I already started this post and was all set on going back, I saw on Country Living that two houses that were on Fixer Upper are now rentals in addition to Magnolia Home.  One of them was my absolute favorite from season 1.  The Gorman Story.  On a whim I decided to look it up just to see if we could rent it and guess what?  They had an opening in October Friday and Saturday night.  I am so excited to get to check it out, spend time with my sweet family in the home, and visit Waco again in the fall.  Woo Hoo.

We are going to get to take Lucy, Sweet Amanda, Baby Boy, The Southern Belle, Big Cat, and our buddies The Social Planner and Larry on the trip with us.  It will be fun.  I have a feeling the guys will find something other than shopping to do all day Saturday, but we are going to enjoy our trip.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my posts.  I love hearing from you,

Blessings,

Karen

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Whitewashed Wood Faux Ship Lap Wall

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This past weekend we started out with a plan to put in a faux ship lap wall and make a headboard from reclaimed wood for our bedroom.

We live in a really nice five year old home in a master planned community.  Our home is one of the models sold and has a great layout.  What the home does not have is character.  Last summer we started adding in a little character to the house by updating our bathroom.  Bathroom makeover

bathroom vanity using restoration hardware finish

I love the look of our bathroom now.  It feels like it has been around a while and has a story to tell.

Our master bedroom got mini makeover this past weekend.  One of the things that I wanted to do was add some texture to the walls.  I am a Fixer Upper fan, especially the white ship lap walls.  I love the look that the slightly irregular horizontal wood adds to a house.

A quick search online led me to several sights that looked easy enough and not super expensive.

Sawdust 2 Stitches

Faux Ship Lap sawdust2stitches planks

The House of Smiths

Sweet Pickens

Armed with the information from the sights we started planning the wall.  First we measured the wall and got the square footage ( see that math stuff does pay off).  Hubby headed off to Lowe’s after work to get the utility plywood mentioned where he found out that they don’t carry that any longer but they have something similar.  He asked for the wood to be cut in 6″ sections and told them he would pick it up the next day.  Long story short after two more trips to Lowe’s with no wood cut he headed to our Home Depot where he found this product: Underlayment

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Just like the stuff from Lowe’s, it also comes in four foot by eight foot sheets.  We had them cut the sheets into 5 7/8 inch strips.  FYI- Mr. Math is the one who figured out to do 5 7/8″ to take into account the saw blade width.  If you ask for them to be cut in 6 inch sections you will come out with one that is way thinner than the others.  This stuff is just over a quarter centimeter thick so it is super thin and flexible.  The wood at Lowe’s is a half centimeter thick which would make the gaps more noticeable and would be less flexible.

Here is what six sheets cut into strips looks like.

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We started at the top of the wall and worked our way down so that any trimming would be done at the baseboard, not at the top of the ceiling.  Here is our room before we got started:

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The wall was about three inches longer than two sections.  We used our air nailer to put the wood up

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We cut the first section of each row into random lengths and started each row at opposite ends of the room.

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The effect was a staggered wood look.  If a piece had a sticker on the front, we used the back side. (We tried getting one sticker off and it was clear that it would be a pain in the neck to get them off.) The darker sections were the back sides of some boards.  I used wood filler in the nail holes and Hubby sanded over the wood filler to get a smooth surface.  At this point is was my intention to get busy painting the wall white but Mr. Math, my long-suffering husband, loves wood and really liked the look.  He rarely asks me to do something specifically for him but this time he did ask if there was any way that the wood grain could show through.  I remembered on that on the Remodelaholic blog a while back they had a color washing technique.  

color washing

I decided to give it a try.  I got busy with watered down white paint, a brush and rags, lots of rags.  I could only work in about 18 inch square sections at a time so I had to work fast to eliminate dry lines.  It was a workout my friends! like an Advil and Epsom salt kind of workout.  The room has 10 foot ceilings and my fear of height did not help the process.  I think I got better as I went along but I really do like the look of the wall.  I used a brush to paint on the watered down paint then a rag to rub it in and take off the excess.  I sort of felt like the Karate Kid (paint on, wipe off, repeat).

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Against the dark wall it looked terrible and I started to panic a little but as I moved on it really started to look the way I hoped.

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The two pictures above really don’t reflect the color that it turned out but you can see that there are not any major overlap marks and that it is consistent.

The photo below shows the color as it actually looks but I could only get this one small picture to give you the real look.

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Here is the finished wall.  I love the effect even if this is not what I started out to do.  Those happy accidents are always the best.

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The plywood was $12.97 per sheet and it took 6 sheets for this big wall.  The white wash used 2 cups  of cheap flat white paint.  (I know what you are thinking but it really did only take two cups of paint.)  The nice folks at Home Depot waived the 25 cent per cut fee because they were backed up and we were willing to come back to pick it up.  All in the wall took about $80.00 to complete.

This was a project that provided you have access to an air compressor and nail gun, anyone could do.

It was nice to get something accomplished this weekend.

I would love to hear from you.

Blessings,

Karen

How to Furnish a Second Home on the Cheap

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As we are getting ready to sell our sweet little near the lake house, I think I am getting sentimental.

I dug out our scrap book from the first few years of our journey and was pleasantly surprised at all we have done on the home. I also thought back to all we did not know or have when we bought Star Hill eight years ago.

scrap book

If you are anything like us, buying a second home is a stretch financially and a little scary. Buying a second home means there is suddenly a new house payment, electrical bill, home owner association dues, water, taxes, upkeep… the list is long.

First of all, buy only what you can afford comfortably, be aware in advance what to expect like how much to plan for utilities. I was such a nervous nelly that I insisted we make “payments” for two months into our savings account before we actually bought the house. That money we deposited was our contingency fund. Hubby was so desperate to convince me that we could afford it he packed his lunch for work.

What we didn’t have a great plan for was furniture. We bought a three bedroom home with very little furniture that would work in the small spaces.

I set a goal of getting the house move in ready for $1000 and we got it done. Move in ready does not mean perfect. It means we could spend the night, have guests, and have the basics.

There were a few things I learned from the experience that I think applies to any time you set up a new home. We followed the same strategy when setting up both of our kids in their first apartment.

1. Walk through your own home to see what can go to the weekend house . We were able to come up with linens, lamps, utensils, a chair, a cedar cabinet, and our first couch.  You can see the ugly couch in the trailer packed for our trip to move into the lake house.  It looked much better with a slip cover.

furniture for lake house

2. Let folks know what you need. Tell people what you are looking for. Cast the net and let people know specifically what you have on your list. We ended up getting to borrow a great table and chairs for several years until we built the set we now have. A friend gave me this ginger jar lamp and mom gave us a bedside table. Don’t turn things down because it is the wrong style, shape or color. Paint covers a lot of ugly, changing out parts makes things like lamps look better. Hardware can make something look totally different.

ginger jar lamp

3. Roadside rescue. Look every day you can on Craig’s list free stuff. Ask friends to call with curb alerts. Every home I have furnished has at least a few curbside rescues. Star Hill is chock full of rescues. The biggest- you really won’t believe me, but it is true, is our master bedroom dresser, chest, and a night stand we use in the guest room. We also have this cast iron typewriter table that  was left at our city house when the previous owners moved off.

chest of drawers dresser

Furnishing a Weekend Home on the Cheap

4. Get up early and hit garage sales. Go with a list of items you need. Wooden chairs, storage items, lawn chairs, beach towels, life jackets, and cooking items, and decorative items were picked up at garage sales for pennies on the dollar. Ask when you go to a garage sale if they have specific items. I asked about sewing cabinet at a garage sale a year ago and the man holding the garage sale took me to the back yard to see two old treadle machines. The wooden parts were dry rotted, but the bases are now my master bedroom side tables. I got this chair and bookcase for $2.00 each. Glue, paint and fabric helped them.

sewing machine to side table side table sewing machine parts my side table

A Bookcase Table for Star Hill

blue thrift store chair

5. Go to resale and thrift stores. Yes, they sometimes smell funny. Get past it and check out their furniture. Look for solid wood. Remember paint cures a lot. This coffee table was a Goodwill find. Blue paint updated the look and covered the scratched top.

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6. Shop the clearance sections of target, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Kirkland’s, and Marshall’s. We picked red, white, and blue for our home colors. When looking for dishes, pillows, accessories I mixed and matched. A lot of our red stuff came from after Christmas sales. I have mixed and matched dishes that are all solid colors.

7. Shop Craig’s List. Be safe and never go alone but we find a lot there. My most recent CL find was this wood stove. This twin over double

wood burning stove

twin over double bunk

 

 

8. Auctions are another source to furnish your home. One cold, wet January we got this brand new leather sleeper sofa ( our second sofa in the home) for $150.00. No one was bidding so we snagged it. It is great.

Furnishing a Weekend Home on the Cheap

9. If you just can’t find what you need, make it yourself. Check out Pinterest, Ana White’s blog, or just Google what you need instructions to make. I am lucky enough to be married to a woodworker so I can just draw it and get what I want. This buffet, these benches, and this table are all examples of his hard work.

Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill Making Room for a Dining Area at Star Hill

Over the years we have added, replaced, and upgraded. That is the fun of having a place. Because we don’t have tons invested in the furnishings I have given myself permission to experiment.

Salado, Texas

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I really do love being a Texan.
The diverse landscape, the mix of old and new, Geman, Mexican, French, Czech, Greek, and English settlers made Texas home and we all get to benefit. One day I am going to introduce you to my favorite foods, from all the melting pot that is Texas, but not today.
Today we are out exploring one of my top five Texas small towns. Salado, Texas. A Scottish town that has a long history.

 

Salado House of Clans

 

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My Hubby grew up in Central Texas near Salado. He wanted to visit where he grew up to celebrate his birthday. I was thrilled to visit this area in the fall. (Thanks Hubby being born in the fall!) I discovered Salado on one of my first spring visits to my Hubby’s family. My mother in law and I would go to Salado when we could sneak away. The Stagecoach Inn is an institution It really was a stagecoach stop way back when it opened. The food in the restaurant is good.   I love that there is no printed menu.  The waitress tells you what is on the menu and takes the order verbally.

Stagecoach Inn

 

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I recommend the Yellow House Bed and Breakfast. It is a weekend trip worth taking in fall or spring. It is boiling hot in the summer and unpredictable in winter. It can be beautiful in winter or there could be ice and sleet.   This bed and breakfast is in downtown, but really close to the road.  It may be awesome, I just don’t know.

The Salado Inn

The stream that runs through town is beautiful. An old grist mill next to the stream is now a shop to visit. There are sweet little artsy type shops everywhere and a couple of great wineries nearby.

salado roadside

creekbed

Melons growing downtown on a stairway.

 

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The Texas drought is really taking a toll.  This stream is normally running freely.

 

Salado spillway

I have waded in the water here before.  The spillway usually has water running over it all the time.

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Salado is a quirky artsy little town.  Who paints bikes and hangs them on a fence.

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The historic bridge has a troll and goat guarding it.

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We even got the chance to visit friends who live at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. What a view!

Stillhouse Hollow Lake View

 

The Roquemores

Our Baytown friends have quite the view!  I love their home.

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Enjoy our day and visit Salado when you can.

Milestones

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Well this week will be a week of milestones for us here in the burbs.

It is my first “Back to School Week” in the new school district we have moved to.

I love it here. I am over the moon about my staff. They are awesome. But there are times I feel a little lost.

My textbooks and technology arrived! Yay! I was beginning to think we were going to start school with a stick of chalk and slab of wood!

My husband started his first week in his new job too. He is going to have a great year. He is an amazing teacher. I think he is feeling the same as I do.

There are also a few milestones in the blogging world too.

I started blogging two years ago. I blog because I enjoy sharing what I was already doing with others. I would never in a million years try to sell my work. it is my hobby, not my job. I never have gone outside of my friends on Facebook to tell people I was blogging because frankly I didn’t know what I was doing (I still don’t most of the time.) I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress, and survived…barely.

I didn’t know how to “link up” or even what that meant six months ago. (I still mess this up from time to time.)

I didn’t know that I could create a Facebook page or even why I would want to create one.

Heck. I was a blogging train wreck!

Roadkill Rescue featured my mudroom bench this past spring. Wow! I had 1042 views on one day. My highest view day before that event. Did any of you find me there?

About a month ago I was contacted by Remodelaholic and asked to do a feature. A blog that gets 100,000,000 (yes, 1 million) views a month found my little, itty, bitty blog and liked my husband and my work. This past Saturday the feature was published. Thank you to the folks at Remodelaholic.

Did you find me there?

The feature leads me to the blogging milestones:

This week I have had almost 100 new folks like my Facebook page. Wow. Before this week, I had 37 whole people who liked my page. I have found that I enjoy the page because I can post sneak peeks of projects I am working on, Craig’s List finds, and quick updates.
Welcome to this little glimpse of my world.

It looks like I will hit 30,000 page views on my blog today. It took 18 months to hit the 20,000 mark. Thank you all for taking the time to read my rambling thoughts and for looking at our work.

We have a lot planned as we continue to work on our homes. We have a few gifts to get done before Thanksgiving that I hope the recipients, and you, enjoy.

I discovered Pinterest…it changed my life:)

and… I have sort of learned to tweet.

We are also setting personal goals for ourselves.

We are also going to work on finding balance. Hubby has taken up golf again. I’m feeling the itch to paint…I mean really paint, again. I plan to take more photography classes.

Life is good. Thank you for stopping by!

How to Find Treasures at Garage Sales

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I hear from friends all the time that they don’t find anything at garage sales so they have stopped going. REALLY? Here are a few of the finds I have made at garage sales over the last year.

Ornate side table

Giant Mirror

chalkboard frames

yellow chairs

Going to garage sales is a lot like fishing. You have to know what you are doing to be successful. Sure, there are people who have walked into a garage sale first time and scored a $20,000 painting for a buck. I see them on Antiques Roadshow too. There have also been cases of kids catching a shark on a cane pole with a hook and minnow, but that is the exception…not the rule.

Here are the basics of garage sale shopping.

Get on websites that let you know garage sales are happening.
http://gsalr.com/ is a great site.

Get the local paper and check the classified section. There is usually a garage sale section.

Get up early and go the first day of the sale. I do not waste my time on Saturday morning going to a Friday-Saturday garage sale. If I go early and the person is not willing to bargain, I may go back a couple of hours later to ask if the prices are still firm. More time than not, they are ready to sell.

Bring cash. Small bills and at least a dollar in quarters. Cash is all that most garage sales will take…smart folks.

My personal favorites are the days that a whole neighborhood holds a garage sale on one day.

At the sale, look  past the ugly paint job, the finish or even the dirt. Is the shape good? Is the item solid? Is it something you could work with?

This past Saturday morning I went “free styling” on my way into town up in the country. That means that I just stopped at any sign that said garage sale. It was 8:00 am and I had a little time to kill on the way to Huntsville, Texas. Even though I was just stopping as I found the sales, I had a list in my head.

Tall candlesticks, 2 night stands/side tables, shelf brackets, stuff for fall mantle, sewing machine cabinets, curio cabinet or fun shelving for milk glass.

When you stop, walk quickly around the whole thing. Does it look like there is anything you are interested in looking at? Does the place give you the creeps? (NEVER GO INSIDE A HOME IF YOU ARE SHOPPING ALONE AND THE ONLY SHOPPER THERE!)

If it seems like you might find treasures there, take time to look around. Things are not generally very organized, so be patient.

Ask questions. ” I am looking for sewing machine cabinets, you wouldn’t happen to have one would you.” You will be surprised from time to time. Look at these beauties I got for $25.00 each when I asked. They were under a tarp at the back of the garage. Not what I was looking for, but wow.

Make decisions quickly. If it is good it will be gone before you know it.

Don’t act too excited. You will not be able to bargain if the seller knows you are excited.

Be willing to walk away. I do all the time. If it is too much money or you are not sure about your ability to fix the piece…leave it.

Open drawers, look underneath, wiggle it. I get in trouble for skipping this step from time to time. (Two Dollar Chair)

Here is what I found this past Saturday:

Tall brass candlestick $1.50

brass candle stick
Two treadle sewing machines $50.00

treadle sewing machine

singer treadle sewing machine
Two pairs of binoculars-one set for the boat and a vintage set with a leather case for the top of the pie safe décor $3.00

vintage binoculars IMG_3354
1960’s faux bamboo small shelving unit- $1.00

ornate curio

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Plaque- here it is painted for the front guest room .50

painted wooden plaque
Two small plates that will go on either side of the single dinner plate in the large single frame on the wall in the front bedroom .20

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Four brown snuff jars $2.00, They are going to look great on the fall mantle.

snuff bottles

Not too bad a haul for a thirty minute run through three garage sales.

Resale Shopping

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I LOVE going to resale shops and garage sales.  I mean they really are like a box of chocolates… you never know what you will find until you go inside.  Here are a few of my tips for navigating resale/garage shopping.  I will never claim to be an expert shopper but I think I can hold my own. 

Garage sales are amazing…but the good stuff is gone in the first hour.  Stake out your sales from the newspapers, http://www.yardsalesearch.com/, http://www.kingwoodyardsales.com/, http://gsalr.com/garage-sales-houston-tx.html are a few of the ones I look at when wanting to go garage shopping.  Drive by the day before.  Yes, I want you to stalk them.  If the sale is going to be good they will already be organizing the day before it starts.  If they are one of those perpetual garage sales you will see that too and avoid.  Map out your route.  Have a plan and have cash.  Small bills.  The seller is more likely to bargain if you don’t want them to break a $20 for a five dollar purchase.  You have to be decisive when garage sale shopping.  If the item is priced well it will not be there when you come back.  If you want it, get it when you see it.  Shop in a truck or car that can hold the items you are looking for.  Sounds simple right?  I have had to call in reinforcements more than once because I did not follow this advice.  We completely filled Star Hill with garage sale, Craigslist and auction items for less than $1000.  Three bedrooms,  a living room, kitchen and dining space.  Once a year a neighborhood near our home has a huge garage sale.  We do not go to the country on that weekend. 

Resale/thrift shops are really hit and miss.  The nicer the shop the less I like it.  I feel like I am paying for their nice space and prime location. If you don’t think you could make yourself go into a junky resale shop and live in the Houston area the following link is for some of the nicer thrift stores: http://houston.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-thrift-stores-flea-markets-in-houston/ or http://www.thethriftshopper.com/city/Baytown/TX/1.htm .  A resale shop is a store that a person owns to make a profit.  A thrift store is a shop where the items are donated and the profits are for charity according to ehow, but I see the names interchanged a lot.   I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE resale shops out in the country.  Stuff that I love is not always popular out in the sticks.  I got a great milk glass chandelier two weeks ago for a dollar.  It is going to go in my bathroom…one day.   I got two huge solid maple framed mirrors for twenty dollars.  One of the mirrors will be used in making my entry way mud room piece (my next big project) and one is going to the lovebirds and will be used as a sort of hall tree.  This past week I got a rough gold framed mirror for two dollars. I will be posting it soon.  I have it finished and ready to hang in my bedroom.

    One of two matching maple framed mirrors I got for $20.00 at a resale shop.  This one is going to the lovebirds with a shelf under for their small entry way.
  • Bundle your items.  Think American Pickers.  Stack up a bunch of stuff and offer to pay one price for it all.  9 times out of 10 they take me up on the offer. 
  • Visit the good ones often.  Resale shops get new stuff regularly.
  • Favor those that are for non profit organizations.  Volunteers price the stuff.  You will find treasures there and the money goes to a good cause.
  • Have a budget and bring cash.
  • Know what you are looking for and have the measurements with you.  Hubby gets really unhappy when I have to call him from shopping to go measure something.
  • Think outside the box.  How could the item be used other than its current use?
  • Ignore the color.  Paint is cheap and just about anything can be painted from glass to plastic.  Do you like the shape, size, function?
  • Only buy upholstered items if they are easy to recover or are in good condition that does not need work.  If you have to take something to be reupholstered it will cost you more than the item is worth often.

    Right now I am looking for men’s change holders from the 30’s through the 60’s. I am making a wall display with them. I am always on the lookout for milk glass and McCoy pottery.  I have a weakness for mission furniture…even if it is rough.

    I collected the change holders and candle holders above for 25 cents a piece.  The candle holders were used at the rehearsal dinner inside some borrowed hurricane lamps. 

     I found this mission plant stand at a resale shop for $12.00.  It still has original tile work in place with no cracks. 

    The perfect solution for the remote controls.