Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thrifty Thursday

Red Bread Box
Originally uploaded by Grey Cottage Studio
My friend Molly started a Thrifty Thursday entry on her blog and invited others to join in. Had to add this one. It's not a thrift find, it was a trash pick find. Found it somewhere around 104th and Riverside around 2002. Balanced it on the back of the double stroller and giddily sped home. It's been home to arts & crafts materials for the kids, a mail sorter and paper holder in my hold kitchen, and a few days ago, a stool for Jack to reach the light switch. Actually, I just cleaned it out again and am thinking of a new use for it. No room in my kitchen for an actual bread box (I have used it as that too), but it will find a new purpose soon.

cost: $0.0! Woo hoo!

Painting Project

Painting Project
Originally uploaded by Grey Cottage Studio
The hall. Actually, the green is finished now, but I still have to do the trim. I also have plans to do a family photo gallery like the ones I always admire in magazines. Martha, of course has a new tip, related to it. She suggests cutting out paper the size of your wall, tracing the frames once you get the layout you like, taping the paper to the wall with painter's tape and nailing right onto your outlines. Great idea. Or, should I say, "good thing"?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Little Reinventions (or Pimp My Chair)

Eight friends arrive this weekend for a birthday celebration (mine!). Not just a party, but full on two days of house guests. Cue the scramble. I've been cleaning, painting, primping the place for weeks now, though I'm nowhere near ready. Trying to be OK with that (if you knew how I grew up, you'd understand), but really, just under the surface, I'm frantic. My mom is taking the kids for a few days, which at least ensures 12 hours of clean bathrooms and kitchen before guests walk in. Anyway, a few projects.

Turned a hand-me-down rocking chair into a plant stand out side the cottage door. Total cost: $9 (3 for the spray paint and six for the petunias).

Turned four napkins from anthropologie into pillows for the guest bed. Rather cute, if I do say so myself. Total cost: $30. Yes, I have a stash of fabric I could have dug into, but couldn't resist the ruffles already on the napkins. I just covered some existing pillow forms.

more tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

IKEA crush

Can't help it. I still love IKEA. My friend's husband describes it as a place where you buy a lot of crap you don't need, but I am still seduced. IKEA stuff that looks so cool in the store vignettes can also look instantly crappy when you get it home. I love how they push the design envelope though. I love the cheap & cheerfulness of it all, crap or not.

I also love home books. (can you see where this is going?). Big pictures of real rooms. Styled to show the personalities of the people who live there, not as designer show cases.

Last week at IKEA, I stumbled upon this book and it just jumped into the cart. The paper's thick, the illustrations rock and the rooms show just how real people (Swedish ones, of course) add just enough IKEA crap (and I say that with absolute love) to make it all work.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Apron strings

New apron
Originally uploaded by Grey Cottage Studio
Made something! Finally. Actually, I made this a while ago, but just found the photo in my stream. I'm still crazy busy with last-minute home improvements as I scurry around to get ready to host some old friends.

Anyway, I made this apron from a piece of striped IKEA fabric and a vintage Vera napkin I got on ebay. I love vintage Vera stuff. Really reminds me of my childhood. My mom must have liked it because I think we had quite a few Vera sheets, tablecloths and dish towels. I still have one set of sheets from my bed in h.s. and sure enough they are Vera. They couldn't be vintage though. That would make me too old.

The rain is back around here. I had convinced myself that rain was only for June and really not going to return until August. Oh well. My grass needed it. (trying to sound happy about it).

More home projects to follow...

Friday, July 17, 2009

Busier than a One- Armed Paper Hanger

My husband knows the one sure way to kick me in to high gear is to invite guests over. Well, we have eight friends coming for a long weekend in just two weeks. Needless to say, I'm in overdrive.

Last week, I painted a dresser that has been in Jack's room with paint samples on it for over two years. I bought it in college from a used furniture store to furnish my bedroom junior year. It's not a thing of beauty, but it's nice and narrow and has served me well, especially through the apartment years.

Unfortunately, in my flurry, I missed the before shot, but trust me, it was tired. Also, still not sure of the hardware, but haven't found anything better. Even anthro's selection of pulls was paltry (and pricey). Still need 8 small ones though for the top drawers.

I"m also deep into a hall painting project. The ugly bulletin board came down, walls scrubbed and BM Dill Pickle has gone up. Now to frame all those pictures...

Oh, there's more. I've also cleaned the cottage, and scattered various new IKEA goods around. To be continued.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

At the Pool Today

A boy came over to us in the kiddie pool today. I said, "hi." He said, "My name's Owen and my uncle's in jail." He was quite pleased about the whole thing. He then told me that his uncle had robbed a bank.

I met the mother a bit later and didn't mention it, but I was curious.

(photo is from a few weeks ago at the neighborhood pool)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Red Letter Day

1. Red barn, 2. Sheep with a Red Earring, 3. Heat, 4. Painting, 5. details, 6. Wonky Log Cabin, 7. Wonky Log Cabin, 8. At the parking garage, 9. Red Scarf, 10. On the Old Steps, 11. Tree hugger in training, 12. Red hoops, 13. Seaweed, 14. Local Tomatoes., 15. Radishes from the farmer's market, 16. Reds go first, 17. A Red Bag Thing, 18. Red tote for Teach, 19. Vintage quilt detail, 20. Drying off, 21. Brothers in arms, 22. pink stuffie, 23. geraniums in Spain, 24. te in Spain, 25. Pippi Longstocking lives
Just looking through my photostream, I realized that I shoot a lot of red things. And, I also find red hard to shoot. It's often blown out and fake looking for some reason. Anyway, here's a little mosaic of my red images. To me, red is a color of boldness, and I'm feeling bold today. Tackling a few projects on my lengthy to-do list. Some of them (paint Jack's dresser, he's two already), have been on there for a while.

Hope you have a red letter day too!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Grandpa's Garden

Mark's Grandfather is 98. His grandmother is 93. They live together in a little house in New Jersey, and grandpa still gardens every summer. We visited yesterday on our way home from Delaware. The garden is going great guns again, and grandpa proudly gave us the tour, and of course, sent us home with some plants: tomatoes, cucumber, basil and parsley. He has always gardened organically, because he just doesn't want to eat chemicals and never has. If the deer eat his crop, ah, he gets annoyed, but he moves on, or waits for next year. Grandma doesn't cook anymore, and they eat out most meals, or make sandwiches. In the summer, however, the bounty is great, and they get their fill of fresh vegetables. Last week, they had fried zucchini flowers and grandpa cooked some green beans for the first time, since grandma really can't use the stove anymore. He had to call his 67 year-old daughter for cooking instructions on how to boil beans. The boys got into a water fight with the hose as grandma and grandpa smiled and peeked around the corner of the garage to watch. "I had the most beautiful day," grandma said as we left. So did we.