Monday, September 24, 2012

Thrifty Treasures Monday- Part 2: Vintage "Farmer's Market" Sign!

Yes, I know-- this is two "Thrifty Treasures Monday" posts in one day! But the first post (about my $5 original painting score) was already pretty lengthy... so in order to comply with the Universal Blog Police Rules-- Article 52, Subsection X: Post Length Specifications-- I decided to split my finds into two posts. :)

Even though I already did more than my fair share of thrift store shopping while visiting my in-laws, I still had to make my weekly (okay, bi-weekly) stop at my local Goodwill on Saturday. I didn't find anything incredible on my quick circuit of the store, but when I peeked into the carts that held the stock-waiting-to-be-put-on-shelves, I spotted this treasure!

Yes, it is an AUTHENTICALLY VINTAGE Farmer's Market sign-- complete with the worn, semi- rusty clips on top used for hanging it from a beam! (Obviously someone had already had it in their house, though, because they had added sawtooth hangers to the back.) I didn't even hesitate at the sticker price of $2.99-- I plunked down my pocket change, and marched straight out the door and home! :)

I knew instantly where this beauty belonged!

Sorry about the glare on the large picture-- our giant windows are immediately opposite, so it's nigh to impossible to get a good picture of this wall. :(

 It's even hinged in the middle-- probably to fold up for storage when the farmer's market wasn't in session! I love the authentic natural touch it brings to the wall collage! (It's definitely a LOT better than the tired old ivy swag that I used to add height to the wall arrangement before!)

It fits in perfectly with my giant German vegetable poster ;) (which, incidentally, was a $0.99 Goodwill find-- and the poster frame cost a hefty $6 from-- where else-- Goodwill, too!)

So I scored two authentic wall-hangings in one week!!! (If you missed the other one, check it out here). Whoop whoop!

Have you found any good thrifting deals lately?  Do you find yourself shopping at thrift stores more and more as the yard sales wind down? (I know I do!) Or do you have any great vintage sign finds to share?

Thrifty Treasures Monday- Part 1: $5 Original Fishermen Painting!

Last week I got a TON of thrifting in, although most of it was clothes shopping. :) Hubby took his Master Plumber test downstate in Lansing on Wednesday, so we got to drop the kiddos at Grandma & Grandpa's on our way down and have an overnight date! :D My sweet hubby even set up an appointment for me to get my hair cut and colored while he was taking his test ;) (He knew I'd been complaining talking about how my hair needed help BAD! Am I the only one who waits until I have multiple bad hair days in a row before I give in and go get my hair done?) Then we got to eat at Cracker Barrel, and they had my FAVORITE Broccoli Cheddar Chicken! One of these days I'm going to find a recipe to try to make it at home!

Then Thursday we spent the day at his parents-- and my mother-in-law, the kids, and I got to hit all the thrift stores in the Cadillac, MI area! (I'm sooo jealous-- they have some AWESOME kid's (and women's) clothing consignment stores!) So most of my thrifting money went for clothes. (*sigh* ;P) But I did come away with one great decorating find from the Cadillac Goodwill: this giant picture for $4.99!

I instantly fell in love with the seaside setting, as well as the rich aqua and tan colors--  but definitely not with the ugly giant frame (complete with its nasty peeling felt "mat"). When I turned it over, however, I saw this:

It was a real, "live" painting on a stretched canvas frame, that someone had then taped into an outer frame! (Who would want to cover up a lovely canvas with such a disgusting frame?!?)

As soon as I got it home, I cut the tape and liberated the painting from its hideous frame-prison. Voila... a gorgeous original canvas! (That happens to perfectly match the aqua of my chalk-painted console table!)

The signature at the bottom of the painting reads "Sicily-        R. Shoultz".

I think "Sicily" is the location of the painting, and "R. Shoultz" is the name of the painter. Does anyone recognize the picture, or the artist? I did a Google search, but it turned up nothing :( Either way, I love it!!! Now to just find the right place to hang it... :)

So have you ever found original paintings in "off-the-wall" places? Or do you happen to have the Cracker Barrel Broccoli Cheddar Chicken recipe? ;) (If so, PLLLLEEASSSE share!)

P.S. I also found another great wall-hanging last Saturday at my local Goodwill: an authentic, vintage wooden "Farmer's Market" sign! But I won't make this post any longer... check it out here! :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Neutral Autumn Inspiration

Hey folks! Are you guys enjoying this cooler weather? We've had some pretty chilly spells up here in the U.P. this weekend, and it's finally starting to feel like fall! I finally gave in and got out some of my fall decorations last week... and lost a dear friend in the process :(

In the past, my fall decor has been all about the bright oranges, reds, and yellows... but this year, I've been yearning for a quieter, less obtrusive autumn. (Maybe because I'm still trying to be in denial that fall-- and hence winter-- is so close!) So I've been scoping out some ideas for more neutral fall decor! Here are some of my favorites:

Great ideas for autumn decorations under $6, from Ella Claire blog... I especially love the sign! (She gives a tutorial for making it here.)

I love love LOVE this mantle from The Creek Line House... now I'm dying to find an old weathervane myself!

Source: via Kathryn on Pinterest

Every fall needs a bit of sparkle!

I'm majorly in love with white pumpkins this year!

Source: via Kathryn on Pinterest

Hmmm... maybe a few pops of orange against a backdrop of white would be just right ...


Consider me inspired! :) Need some more neutral fall decor ideas? Follow my "I <3 Fall" Pinterest board here!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alas, poor Owl-rick...

It seems like I start every blog post with "Remember the..." But not this one. I refuse.

For one, the memory is too painful. After all, it wasn't that long ago-- barely a month, actually-- that I was bragging showing you my beloved Target ceramic owl that I traveled all the way to Indiana to find.

Well, he graced my dining room bookshelves in the fresh apple green coat that I gave him, his wise eyes overseeing us all. Until yesterday.

As I was changing my summer decorations out for fall, I decided that Owl-rick needed a color change as well.  Inspired by this Pottery Barn owl, I gave him a white coat of spray paint to go with my neutral fall decor (which I hope to post on soon), and placed him back on the bookshelf.

But, sadly, I didn't even get a chance to take a picture of him, so regal in his snowy garb. You see, when I put him on the lower shelf, I realized that he would be within reach of my littlest monkey... but I thought, "Oh, I'll just have to teach him to leave it alone." (Mistake! Children always discover breakables when you're not there to stop them!)

Not 15 minutes after I placed Owl-rick on his perch, I ran out to the mailbox to get the day's mail... but when I came back in, I was greeted by this tragic sight:

(Please excuse me while I pause for a moment of silence)

And thus departed my beloved Owl-rick. :'( Such a terrible, tragic end to befall an innocent bird. I grieve his memory, and can only hope to someday find another ceramic owl as wise and as elegant as he...

Especially seeing that he was the last ceramic owl in the Target dollar section. :(

P.S. If you are wondering about the origin of Owl-rick's name (and my post title), they are derived from the words of Shakespeare's Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him..."

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thrifty Treasures Monday: The Junker's Jackpot!

I'm soooo sorry for being completely MIA this past week... lots of projects going on-- some blog-related (which I can't WAIT to show you), and some regular-life-related :) I'm DYING to show you my latest big DIY project, but I have to try to take good decent pictures and write a proper tutorial first :) So I thought I'd pop in and show you the Junking Jackpot that I hit last Saturday!

Yes, I got an old window, a turquoise Ball jar, and a pair of Restoration-Hardware-look-alike pendant lights-- each at a different rummage sale, and all for the grand total of $5! Yes, I said $5!!!!!!! A veritable thrifting trifecta,  if you ask me! :D

I found the old window at a rummage sale raising money for our local cemetery (seriously, they have rummage sales for just about anything around here! Even our local Juvenile Detention Center has a yearly rummage sale!) The lady at the "checkout" told me that the window came from a house that was torn down to make a parking lot for our lone town "skyscraper" (it's actually a 14-story apartment building, but it's the only building in town that's taller than three stories!) :) So not only did I get a window for $1, but I got the story behind it, too ;) And I'm planning on hanging this window up as part of my fall decorating! (which I hope to get done today or tomorrow).

I have been drooooooling over the turquoise Ball jars that have been all over blogland this summer, and I've seen a few for sale, but usually for $5+ apiece! This one was at a typical household garage sale... I had already done two laps around the tables, looking for anything interesting (I try to buy SOMETHING at every yard sale I stop at, even if it's for a quarter, just to encourage the seller), when I spotted this beauty! There was no price tag on it, so I asked the seller and she said "$1 apiece!" (A lesson I'm learning more and more: ALWAYS ask if something isn't marked, don't just assume that it's out of your price range!)  Unfortunately, this was the last one left, but I was thrilled to walk out of there with my very first, very own turquoise Ball jar for only a dollar!

But my FAVORITE find of the day came from my first stop-- the Community Rummage Sale held annually at our local fairgrounds! Their prices are generally even cheaper than a private rummage sale, so I was looking forward to scoring some great deals! In the past I've gotten some nice end tables, gilded antique frames, and more, for extremely cheap! This year as I circled the many tables, I was a bit disappointed that they didn't have nearly as much as they normally do. The lighting table, where I was especially hoping to find a chandelier or two, was pretty bare. But I didn't despair too long, for just across the aisle, buried on the electrical table among old extension cords and outdated corded phones, I spotted these two beauties! They were marked $2.00 each, but one was missing the light bulb socket (which you can find in any home improvement store), so when I pointed this out to the lady at the front, she let me have that one for only $1. So I ended up with two gorgeous pendant lights for $3.00!!!

Even better, when I got home I looked at the Restoration Hardware website , and found these:

Their 8" Clemson pendants cost "only" $259 apiece! Practically the only difference between theirs and mine is that mine hangs with a chain instead of a rod! So instead of $518, I spent $3-- a savings of $515.00!!! (Not that I'd ever have spent $500+ on two lights, but it's pretty cool to think how much I COULD have spent-- and it helps my hubby tolerate me bringing more "stuff" home! LOL) I can't wait to hang these talk my Superman into hanging them over my kitchen island!

Of course, I got some miscellanous smaller deals, too... like some cute clothes for my little monkeys, and a couple of books I'm looking forward to reading-- if I can find the time! They'll probably have to wait until wintertime, when there are no more rummage sales tantalizing me on every corner, with the potential for incredible finds like these!

So have you scored any great deals lately? :) Are you enjoying the final few weeks of yard-sale-ing, like me, before they all go away for the winter? :(

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Keep Calm And... Make a "Keep Calm" Poster

Warning: this post is NOT about an incredibly designed DIY project, thrifty find, or any other productive project. As a matter of fact, reading this post may result in large amounts of time wasted spent indulging in flights of creative frivolity, along with quite a few belly laughs.)

What's more addicting than pinning all the awesome "Keep Calm" posters cropping up all over Pinterest? Why making your own, of course!

This week, while seeking to satisfy my curiosity about the origin of this ubiquitous and much-parodied poster, I came across 

The original version

Not only did this website confirm what I had figured-- that this poster was a WWII poster, commissioned by the British government as part of the homefront morale-building efforts-- but even more importantly, it has an incredibly addictive Keep Calm and Carry On Creator. Yes, that's right, you can customize your own "Keep Calm" posters-- everything from the text, to the background, and even the little picture at the top! You can then pin the results of your brilliant creativity, or even have it made into anything from a poster to a coffee mug!

Here is a small sample of the ones I made while I should have been cleaning my kitchen:

(Sidebar: Interestingly enough, according to, the original "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster was intended only for use in the event of a German invasion of Great Britain. Therefore, it was never seen by the public. It wasn't until 2000 that it was discovered by a UK bookseller, who decided to print copies of it for sale. And, as they say, the rest is history. Now you can find parodied versions of it plastered everywhere, like "Keep Calm and Call Batman"-- or the hilariously flipside version, "Now Panic and Freak Out".


If you want to have as much fun as I did, making half a million of your own "Keep Calm" posters, go here.

If you'd like to follow my "Keep Calm..." Pinterest board and see more of these hilarious posters (and repin them... thereby validating all the hours I've spenting conjuring them up), go here (pretty, pretty please?!?)

If you do end up making some of your own, feel free to share your links in the comment section! I'd love to see your creativity!

(Please note: I have been in no way compensated by, nor am I in any way connected with, the owners of As a matter of fact, I highly doubt they even know I exist! If you ever do see this, though, whoever you are, I sure wouldn't mind a free poster or two! LOL)