Thursday, February 28, 2013

useful ways for baskets around the house

 I took a look around my house and realized how much I rely on baskets.

In the living room, I use one to corral cat toys....

and another beside the coffee table where I read and blog. It holds books and
magazines that I'm currently reading, my notebooks (I could do another whole blog
post on those!), and and paperwork that I need to go through.

 On top of the coffee table, I have a large basket-tray that holds more books
(I read several at a time), bookmarks ~ and a friendly little bird.

Baskets can be simply used as a decorative purpose, too.

 In the kitchen, I have baskets on the counter to corral coffee and tea items.
Keeps stuff looking neater, I think.

And this wire basket is just the right size to hold cloth napkins.

In my office, I use baskets to store and organize scrapbooking and art supplies.
This basket on the floor holds my current projects. I have other baskets on the
closet shelf that I use for more scrapbooking supply storage.

 Most of my baskets are found at thrift stores, but this little cutie came from
Hobby Lobby. It holds a variety of my art pens and small notepads.

You know I couldn't do a post on baskets without showing you how they
hold some of my beloved books, right?

 Even Brian gets a basket to hold his current reading material. This basket
fits perfectly under his nightstand.

 I love how these baskets from IKEA fit perfectly into the cubes (also from IKEA).
I'm using these baskets to hold our board games. We love board games and
actually play them often. Even my teenage nieces love to play board games
with us when they visit!

 What do you use baskets for in your home?


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

bedroom gallery wall

 Hello, friends!  I spent the weekend in Des Moines, Iowa.
I traveled with a friend whose college son was performing in the musical,
Next to Normal. I'm glad we had sunny, clear weather for travel as it was
snowing before we left and now it's snowing here once again. It's coming down
fast and furious with whipping winds. My son works for a pizza restaurant where
he's one of the delivery persons, and his manager was actually considerate enough
to call him and tell him that their restaurant was not doing deliveries tonight.
This mama is relieved!

Even though I plan on re-doing my entire bedroom, including the wall
color, I was tired of looking at the plain, boring walls ~ so I created a small
gallery wall above my grandma's secretary desk.
I simply shopped my house - went through my collection of pictures,
frames, and mirrors that I have stashed in my basement.

My grandma's desk is a beautiful piece, but it's missing the handles on the
front, which makes it really difficult to open. I think this piece would also benefit
from a re-do with paint.


I got this jewelry stand at World Market. I like how it can hold a variety of
jewelry...bracelets, rings, and earrings.

And, I used a cake stand (thrift shop!) to hold some perfumes.
I like using household items in unexpected ways.

Thanks for visiting with me today. I love and appreciate all your comments!

Friday, February 22, 2013

snowy friday musings and doings ~ or ~ of plants, art, and cats

  Hello friends, and happy Friday from snowy Illinois.

I am so sick of winter...the gray skies, the cold, the snow.  Seems never-ending
at times. I was supposed to leave this morning for Des Moines, Iowa with my friend,
but our road trip is delayed because of the snow storm that hit the Midwest yesterday.
We'll be leaving tomorrow morning instead. My friend's son attends college in
Des Moines and is performing in the musical, Next to Normal. That's the main reason
behind the road trip. We'll be staying overnight and coming home Sunday evening.

The puttering and creating around Comfy House continues. I've always loved plants
and in just the past couple of years, have had a fondness for succulents. From articles
and photos I've seen in magazines and on Pinterest, terrariums are once
again in style, too. Last time I was at Goodwill, I found a couple of glass bowls
for only $1.99 each, and I thought they'd make great terrarium containers. I obviously
have a long way to go with creativity in creating terrariums, but it's a start.

 This one needs major help. The Christmas cactus plant is simply way too tall
for a shallow planter. I'll need to dig it up and put it in its own taller container and find
a shorter succulent to plant in its place.

There's just something about a grouping of plants in front of a window that's
so beautiful...

 or even clustered together on a dresser top in a spare bedroom. The Poinsettia from
Christmas is still doing pretty well!

 Speaking of creating, I tried my hand at a couple of other new art projects.
A couple of weeks ago in a blog post, I showed this simple paper art page
 that I made. I went to Hobby Lobby to look for a mat and frame, but no luck.
This page was 6x6 and it seems impossible to find a pre-cut mat and simple frame
 that fits this size of paper.

So I went to Plan B. I'd never worked with Mod Podge before, but couldn't hurt to
try, right? I took a piece of canvas and spray-painted it blue, then glued the paper
to the canvas and added some letter stickers. Then I used Mod Podge over the whole thing.
Learned the hard way that you don't want to use Mod Podge on anything that
 is raised - such as the hearts on this paper! So now the hearts look rather flat
 and funky, but I'm slowly learning that things don't have to be perfect.
 Pretty good is good enough. At least the process was fun. :-)

And the two white squares with black ink designs leaning against the books?
Those are Zentangle drawings. Have you heard of Zentangle? Here's a great
explanation from

Zentangles are miniature pieces of unplanned, abstract, black and white art
 created in a very structured method from an ensemble of repetitive patterns
 on a 3.5-inch (89 mm) square paper tile. They are not only exquisitely beautiful,
they are fun and relaxing to create.The process of creating a Zentangle® is a
 form of “artistic meditation” as one becomes completely engrossed in making
 each pattern, deliberately focusing on “one stroke at a time”®.
The creativity options and pattern combinations are boundless.
And anyone can do it!

 I took a class the other night on basic Zentangle. There is so much to learn
and it obviously takes a lot of practice! The tile on the left was my first one - I did
that in the class. The tile on the right is the one I worked on at home the other night
until 1 a.m.! I've been looking at various web sites and youtube tutorials to learn
more and practice more patterns.

I have a "bad tummy" today. I think it's because of the slight anxiety I have
about going away tomorrow. So while the laundry is going and I'm watching the
snowflakes falling gently out the window, I think I'll make like Monkey and Zippo
before continuing on with some housework. I usually don't indulge in lying around
and reading until right before bed, but I need that little bit of rest today.

 Just in case you were wondering where Clementine was...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

main bathroom complete makeover

 Is there an Ugliest Bathroom of the Year award?

Because my bathroom would've won.
Purple sponge-painted walls (with test patches of gray), 1980's light bar,
outdated cabinets, original toilet and sink, ugly shower curtain...

 and worst yet: the original, cheap, dingy linoleum flooring with that fake
wood trim and door in brown.

 Enter our wonderful contractor since we're not do-it-yourselfers, and we have
a Much Nicer Bathroom. Let's start with the new porcelain tile floors.
Much better, yes?

 Gray walls, floating shelves, new shower curtain, new toilet, sink,
trim, and door.

Hello to a new light fixture and mirror...

and pretty new wall art and towel to brighten up the neutral space.

 Thanks for visiting my re-do ~ happy Wednesday to you!

Monday, February 18, 2013

weekend antiquing fun

 You know the lyrics, girls just wanna have fun?

 So here's what happens when me, my mom, and aunt get together and go to
the local antique mall. We play with dead animals and try on silly hats.

Silly and getting stares from passers-by? Yes. Having fun and not caring
what anyone thinks about us? Definitely.

We love this antique mall by my house. Even though it's only a mile up the
road from my house, I never go alone. It's much more fun when you have
your shopping buddies! So much cool stuff to look at.

Anyone for a 1960's orange sofa?

 After 4+ hours of being on our feet shopping, we drove into a nearby town
to have lunch. I found this little cafe on Facebook, of all places.
Everything they serve is fresh and homemade. Their pies are to-die-for. I took
home a mini cherry pie for Brian and I to enjoy with a cup of tea.

 How can you not love a place with not only unique, fresh, homemade food
but kitschy decor, too?
You have to check out a sample of their food offerings. For example, here's

 Back to shopping. What treasures did I find?
This gorgeous, made in Spain owl. I collect owls and was thrilled to
find such a beauty, especially for only $8. A woman at the checkout register
wanted to steal him from me. Sorry, he's mine!

The familiar blue Ball jar with silver lid. Perfect for holding my coffee beans.
The coffee sign on the wall is a recent Savers find.

Be still my heart...such beautiful little birdies (another collected item) AND one
of my favorite color combinations. This little gem is only about an inch across.
I love all the detail.

 Another thing I collect is crackled glass pitchers. I only had two - the red one and 
the orange one at the end. The blue one came home with me on Saturday.
The green and brown pitchers aren't crackled glass - just inexpensive thrift store finds.

 What did you do this weekend? Any new antique or thrifting finds?