Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things to Do with Burlap #3 – Table Round


     Art has had this table for-get this-longer than I have been breathing! It was antique when he got it, but now it is simply ancient and I love it. The chairs came from my family and they work so well together.

     It is a beautiful oak and I hate covering it up, so in comes the burlap.

Burlap + Fringe that I had bought for this ottoman and didn’t use =

   Nothing earth-shattering, but it is ten times better than the tablecloth that covered all of that history up! Now if I could just get enough burlap to cover up that ugly rental home carpet…..we would be is bizness!

     I would call this a Thrifty Treasure so I am linking up:)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Things to Do with Burlap #2 – Picture Mat/Frame


     I have had the perfect mounted print for my guest room forever. The problem was that it needed a frame, unless I was going to go for that whole college, just tape it to the wall look. (Not really what I wanted for the room, ya know?)

     If you ‘member, the free frugal furniture  in there has a slightly Jacobean feel.

     The print has the same look/feeling.

     I had this ugly frame and picture……(sorry Decanso Garden)

     So, armed with spray paint, a glue gun and some scissors….

     I am sorry that I can’t show the whole room, but until I get some better lighting in there, it looks like a cave in pictures!

     The one creepy part of the project was this little guy I found hanging out on my burlap stash. He was huge and oh yeah, I screamed like a girl. No one was home to hear me, so it didn’t count though.


Coming up is this Burlap Obsession is a banner, a table round, a table runner and placemats. I have to spread the projects out because the stuff makes me sneeze & wheeze like one of the Seven Dwarfs, you know the one:)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Things to Do with Burlap #1 - Recycling Bin


     Do you use those blue recycling bins in the house? The ones that are really useful, but ugly?

     Well, I have a lot of them and use them too religiously to hide them away in a cabinet or out of sight. So, for my first “Mecca of Burlap” project, I prettied them up a bit.


     Word of caution-burlap has a really open weave and when you are pushing it down onto hot glue, it comes through and burns your fingers! I have four more of these bins to do as soon as my fingers cool off.

No one said that you can’t recycle and be stylish at the same time!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Mountain of Burlap, Some Denim, & a Touch of Copper



     Oh NO! This is the last week of Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality. I can’t thank Rhoda enough for hosting Thrifty Treasures every week. It has been a grand entrance for me into the thrifting world all around the country.  Thanks Rhoda!

     On with the loot. I have mention before that Art is in the grocery business and brings home some great, if not quirky, finds. One night last week he came home and asked, “Didn’t you say that you wanted some more burlap sacks?” I said, “YES!”

     His next day off we jumped in the truck and drove to SLO Roasted. It is a local coffee roaster that sells their beans all over the county. What we found was MOUNTAINS of burlap sacks that had held the beans prior to roasting. There were pallets full of empty sacks!

     I grabbed a stack and the manager was pleading with us to take more. It seems that they have a hard time getting rid of them!

     I now have them spread out and airing on the patio. The raw coffee bean smell is pretty harsh, but seems to be fading.

     Some have great graphics and I can’t wait to get to cutting and sewing with them. I have no idea what I am going to make, but I know that I have enough burlap.

     Next up, a consignment store opened near me a few months ago, but I just got in there this week. (I found a coupon online for 20% off the total purchase and just had to check it out)

      Even better than the coupon, it seems that there is someone else living in my area that has freakishly long legs and a love of jeans! I have a heck of a time finding jeans at even full price in my size and I brought home 5 pairs this week. Thanks to the coupon and probably due to the fact that few in the area wear size o jeans with a 32-34” inseam, I got all 5 pairs for less than $20! Yeah Calvin, Abercrombie, and Gap!

     Last, but not least, I got this copper platter at of all places, the Home-Do-It Center for 50 cents.

     Let’s see, the burlap sacks were free, the jeans my mom paid for (THANKS MOM!), and the platter was 50 cents. That is one thrifty week!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Gleefully Grateful


     I received the Lemonade- The Attitude of Gratitude Award from Tricia at The Boutelle Family Zoo and I can’t help it be touched.

The rules of accepting and sharing this award are:

  1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
  2. Nominate at least 10 blogs that show an attitude of gratitude
  3. Link to your nominees within your post.
  4. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received this award
  5. Share the love and link to this post and the person who nominated you for the award. Tell us how you've come to have an attitude of gratitude.


“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” - Denis Waitley

     I honestly have no real idea where my “attitude of gratitude” comes from. Wisdom I guess, yeah, let’s call it that. Over time, I have learned that with patience, kindness, a good attitude, and being open to all possibilities, anything is possible. There isn’t one hour of my awake time that goes by that I don’t laugh and find the joy in the simplest of things. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world every day and I don’t let anything get me down for too long!

     Here are ten bloggers that make me smile, inspire me, make me try harder, think longer, look better, laugh more often, expand my horizons, feel just plain lucky and always have a great attitude.

  1. Pauline @ Struggling to Be Stylish (I also love her because she is sending me chocolate!)
  2. Dawn @ Cottage State of Mind (My first bloggy friend)
  3. Lucy Marie @ Lucy’s Life (Lucy has me turning in to a domestic goddess!)
  4. Nicole @ BugaBoos Creations (Fun and colorful)
  5. j r @ Frugality is Free (She is a sweetheart and is always saving me money)
  6. Sophie @ Opening Lines (She just started this blog and I can’t wait to see where she goes with it)
  7. Jane @ Mamie Jane’s (Faithful reader and fellow silver collector)
  8. Sue @ Sullivan & Murphy (read about her adventures with Moles for a belly aching laugh!)
  9. Leigh @ Tales from Bloggaritaville (She has great blog parties and is always supportive)
  10. Rachel @ The Cottage Child (She is so multi-faceted!)

     I can’t thank Tricia enough for making me realize what great people I am connected with! I guess that you could say that I really have the “attitude of gratitude” in spades this week!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

I am Struggling with Something

     Next month is my 20th high school reunion. What am I struggling with?

I.  CAN’T.  BE.  THIS.  OLD!

     There are so many things that are running through my mind about all of this. I go back and forth about attending, but in the end my practical side wins out. For what I would spend going to the reunion, I could buy like 10 gallons of paint, a bunch of thrifty treasures, and a bag or three of dog food.

     I really had little in common with the girls that I went to school with when we were going to school. (I went to an all girls school) I have nothing in common with them now. Trust me, via facebook, I have tried to find a common ground and found nada.

     Am I dying to see what the pretty girls look like now? You bet. Do I want to see which people fulfilled the “Most Likely To….”? Sure. Do I want to face the smog, traffic and general crowdedness of Southern California and put Murphy Grace in boarding for the second time in October to answer those questions? A resounding NO!

     I love my life and I am proud of it, but I have moved on from high school. One of the great gifts of getting older is becoming comfortable in your own skin. I am eccentric, funny, creative, have chosen the road less traveled and you know what? I still look pretty darn good!

You are getting very sleepy…very sleepy. Now repeat after me, “Gwen is not 37, she is really 28 and looks 25.”  

P.S. I have had a really great week and I hope that you will stick around to see why!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Say Hello to My Little Friend



This is Mr. Pumpkin Head and he came to live with me thanks to Melissa Marie at Huckleberry Prairie. She had a giveaway and I won! Isn’t he precious???

Huckleberry Prairie is a riot of color, fun times, creativeness, and some great recipes. She is also originally from California, so I knew that I would like her right away.

Melissa Marie is having another giveaway that you can enter!

To enter the “Owltastic” Giveaway, please run over and enter before Saturday, September 19th at midnight CST.

Thanks so much, Melissa Marie. You warm up not only my Halloween but my whole mood!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roadkill Desk Reborn


    This project was HUGE for me, the largest that I have ever taken on. So big that I think that it will be awhile before I am ready for another like it.

     A month or so ago, you might remember, we came across this desk sitting near my neighbor’s trash.

     It was THRASHED, covered in play-doh in spots, and the veneer was all but gone on one side. So I Sanded, and I Sanded, and I Sanded, and did I mention that I Sanded?

     I was dying to paint it by the time that I was done. Actually, I was dying to paint it on day two, but I persevered. I bought a bluish gray mis-tint for $4 at Kelly-Moore and finally got to painting.

     PROBLEM, it was so bluish gray that it looked like a metal desk that was on a ship from WWII. We are talking battleship gray!

     Light bulb moment, I could do a watered down wash on  some of it and leave some gray for contrast.

     Success! Let me introduce you to the desk that cost me $4 in paint and a lot of sanding……

 The back.

Some drawers…..I still need to find the perfect pulls.

This whole enchilada! I forgot to put the pull out things back in for this picture, but I hope that you get the idea.

     I consider this roadkill rescued. Now I have to move the old desk/table out and bring this baby home. EKK, I hate unhooking the PC and hooking it back up!



Friday, September 11, 2009

There isn’t One Darn Thing That Doesn’t Inspire Me!


     I have a problem. My problem is something that I don’t talk about often because it is one that I think many people would like to have.

     My problem? I am inspired by EVERYTHING! It is bad, I just saw a dead weed in my yard and realized that if I put a bunch of them together, it would look like hay for a table decoration. Let me say that again, I was inspired by a weed to decorate the table, a dead weed! The problem is that I can’t turn it off. There are so many projects, distractions, little blots of ideas floating around in my head that it is hard to finish anything.

     Some call me easily entertained, I can spend quite a long time hunting for lizards. Some call me ditsy because I giggle at the silliest things. What they don’t know is that I have found the secret to life, my life at least.

      I am enchanted, entranced and just plain giddy over life. Nature is my largest joy and inspiration. The picture of the lizard that I caught is blurry, but here are a few things that I can see just in my area that inspire me…..

Don’t you want to just steam these up and create a feast? They inspire me to cook.


Isn’t this lettuce just dewy and ready to pick for tonight’s dinner? It inspired me to eat healthy and grow more.

Garden, learn to garden, count the bees for The Great Sunflower Project


This stump at the post office made me jump out of the car with the camera. I was envisioning wall art, wrapping paper and note cards.

This is the bay right near my house and that poor dried out book inspired me to check the tide charts and take her out for a ride.

Finally, nature at it’s magnificence, Morro Rock. That sight always leads to me pulling out my paintbrushes and canvases.

    There you have it, Mother Earth inspires me, so many shapes, colors and textures…



Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Secret to Canning is the Music

     This is a non-traditional Thrifty Treasure/Metamorphosis Monday, but I am a non-traditional girl.

     Thanks to a lot of sage words of wisdom from Lucy at Lucy’s Life, I turned this………..

Into this……


No lemons were harmed in the making of this yummy strawberry mint jam. They were just on the table because I didn’t want to move them.

     The whole process is very thrifty, I had the jars and the sugar and scored the strawberries for 99 cents! I printed out the tags from Domestifluff and used ribbons that I bought from the Embellished Bayou Etsy shop.

     The hardest part was picked the right music to can to. That sounds funny, to can to. Say it five times fast. I started out with Michael Buble. Love the guy, lurve his old school crooning, but let me tell you, it just isn’t strawberry chopping music. I was bored and just wanted it over. I needed something to groove to.

     Then I had a moment of enlightenment. What I needed was Christina Aguilera. I was off.

“Ain't no other man, Chop, Chop, can stand up next to you, Chop, Chop.
Ain't no other man on the planet, Chop, Chop, does what you do, Chop, Chop

     Before I knew it, the chopping was over and the cooking was well under way. So the secret to canning is to pick the right music. You can also do what I did and wear tap shoes, but I don’t think that it is necessary:)

     Other thrifty treasure this week was a freebie from garage sale leftovers. (Be sure to always read CraigsList to catch these!) Isn’t this the cutest little Christmas cookie jar?

     Make sure you check out Southern Hospitality for other Thrifty Treasures and Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis  Monday!

     For many more canning tips, recipes and other good stuff, check out Lucy’s Kitchen. Until then, color me domestic!

Now where did I put that bread for toast. Come to think of it, where is the toaster? Jam, Jam, everywhere and not a toast in sight!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I’ve Been Canned and I Took a Header!


     Wait, that didn’t come out right! I have been canning and thanks to Tonya at Lucky Girl Blog Design, I got a fabulous new blog header.

     First up, don’t ya just love how Murphy Grace is now featured in my header? I consider myself pretty good with most computer programs, but somehow I must have lost the PhotoShop gene and I just couldn’t pull it together on my own. (IS there a Photoshop for Dummies book?) I knew that I was over my head when the tutorials started talking about layers, vectors and a bunch of other things that went in one ear and out the other.

     Luckily, I hooked up with Amanda Padgett and her lovely blog, Beautiful Blog Design. She is an amazing resource for everything blog design and even better? She has a whole page dedicated to giveaways!

     I entered one and won! Tonya at Lucky Girl Blog Design was so sweet and put up with my indecision. Pretty amazing since  she was in the middle of getting married and all. I just can’t say enough about her patience with me. I had a huge list of adjectives to describe what I wanted, but no real clear picture in mind.

     I think that she nailed it. So if you are looking for a new blog design, please run, don’t walk, over to Lucky Girl Blog Design. The girl just got married, so make sure to tell her congratulations too!

     Second, about the canning…….I have babbled on too long about my header so you are just going to have to come back for that adventure!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Advice needed on Dogs & Chicago

Two totally unrelated things that are on my mind and I could use some help with….

    First, we are going to Chicago in next month with Art’s mom to visit his sister. His mom is getting up there in years and doesn’t want to take the trip alone, so we are going along. We are going a few days after my birthday, so I am choosing to call the trip a birthday present, even though Chicago isn’t real high on my wish list of places that I would like to visit. (no offense meant to those that love the windy city)

     Anywho- my question is this. Have you been there? Do you live there or near there? Have you wanted to go? What is it that I should pack into our 4 days? You know, the things we just can’t miss?

     So far, I am really excited that we are staying in Oak Park. For you architecture buffs, you may know that it is the city that was pretty much built by Frank Lloyd Wright. That is my favorite period of architecture and design and I can’t wait to stroll around town.

Any thoughts about Chicago?

      The next issue is Murphy Grace. He seems to think that he is a cat or something and keeps bringing me presents. The only problem is that these presents are other animals, some deceased and some not quite deceased.

     I kid you not, I spent half an hour the other day chasing a gopher around my master bedroom and it wasn’t long ago that I was chasing a quail around the living room. Then there are times that his new toys are well, there is no great way to put this, they are dead. He just drops them at my feet like a gift.

     Don’t get me wrong, I love nature and I think that it is great that he is making friends. I just don’t want them in my house and the dead ones don’t smell so great.

     Have you ever dealt with this? Any behavioral modification advice? At first, I would take the things away and give him a treat that was more fitting, but I think that has encouraged the behavior. Bad idea.


Thanks in advance and I hope you forgive that there aren’t pictures in this post. EWWW! You don’t want to see what he brings me.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin