Thursday, February 28, 2013

COME FLEA WITH ME: $20 in my pocket

The "I'm gonna pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket", Macklemore Challenge:
 if you haven't heard the song, there is a song by rapper Macklemore, that is a fun, sort-of endorsement to Thrift Store shopping.  A few weeks ago, I decided that I would put $20 in my pocket and leave my purse behind, and head over to my favorite thrift/junk/used treasure shop: RIVER CITY TRADING POST in JENKS, OK.

This is what I found:

Painted Giant Spool ($30)that I would sand the heck out of and use for a table.

Cool rectangular table, would be great coffee table in front of long sofa. I also loved the zinc letters
 that were in this old case.

It's a good thing I didn't have my wallet with me. I fell hard for this old card catalog. It evidently had been used to store old fishing supplies but I'd like this in just about any room of my box, anyone?

These are old (probably 1950's-1960's) floral frogs. They are used at the bottom of a vase, urn or container to help keep the flowers in their arrangement. LOVE THESE. This was almost what I walked home with.  I'd use them on a desk for pens, for any displays and of course, for flowers. But I like them being visible and could come up with several different uses for them.
Ah...who doesn't love a good Social Studies flash back? This roll-down  U.S. map was only $85.
 I went back for it a week after this pic was taken and it was gone. Maps are super hot items these days.

This Parson's chair was only $35...would have been a fun re-upholstry project.

Cubbies!!! Again, possibilities would be endless...shoe storage for your garage, book case, you name it.

And around the corner I found this AMAZING piece of junk: I fell hard for this. But I didn't have the space for it and  it was pricey. But how cool would this be in a workshop or craft room?????

There were several really great mirrors this time around.  All reasonably priced between $12-38.  I love mirrors, but I also love my chalkboard that I made from an old mirror....unique frames on mirrors (like this one) would add quite a bit of character to a chalkboard.

This table set was really fantastic.  They were metal, had an Asian Bamboo thing going on and totally could have been from HORCHOW after a good scrubbin.  

This dresser shouldn't have been painted. It would have been a fantastic mid-century piece to keep its original finish. But since they painted it, it would really be spectacular to do an OMBRE (not HOMBRE) finish on the front drawers.

Love that they spiced these simple chairs up with Chevron. Great update.

This little sweetheart of a table would be a fantastic coffee or side table, not to mention the perfect tiny table for a book nook, along a comfy chair in the corner of my bedroom. ($45)

Another mid-century piece that shouldn't have been painted, in my opinion. But super fun and a great find.
And this is what I found that I brought home with my crisp $20:
mid-century Jadeite measuring cup ($12)
Crazazy wood planter ($6). I love it. It's natural and can find a home in just about any room in my house.
I have a huge plant in it right now.
So, that's what I got for my $20.  
Some advice when thrift shopping: usually you can negotiate and make an offer on something that is over $85.  It never hurts to try. If something is under say $85 they probably won't go less. But if something is priced at $350, start by offering $50 less and see where it takes you. Don't forget, these vendors do have to account for not only what they have in their item, they have to pay their booth space/rent, etc. Typically, they're happy to haggle to sell the item.
I'll be flea-ing once a month, checking out what's out there at my favorite second-hand places!
Come flea with me!
Linking to:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Featured on Copy Cat Chic!!!

Today I am very pleasantly surprised to be featured on Copy Cat Chic, one of my favorite blogs that I have followed for years!
Reichel at Copy Cat Chic features my Splurge or Steal TINY TABLES edition from last month!
Thank you, Reichel!!!

To see her post, go here.
To see my entire post on Splurge or Steal TINY TABLES go here, and to see my take on the TINY TABLE TREND go here!
Can you tell that I'm excited about this!!!
I just may put my feet up on a tiny little table and reflect.

Burlap Hand Print Art

All of us have seem various hand print art.
There's the hand print plaster mold:
There's the finger paint, hand print on pre-school paper, framed:

Then there's the hand print made into a shape....

I have to say, although sweet, I've never been moved to hang any of the above on my walls. Does that make me "Mommy Dearest"...maybe? And with 4 kids, that's a lot of hand print art to put up (with).  But aside from sticking them on the fridge and then in a kids' scrapbook, I just wasn't feeling it...until I saw this in the Wisteria catalogue a couple of years ago.

pesonalized, handprint, wall, art, set, small | Wisteria
Personalized Handprint art set, $49,  from Wisteria (currently sold out)
Then I started thinking..."I like the burlap background". "I like that I can control what color I want to use". And I started looking for hard backed canvas boards for this project. And then, with great shock, I became pregnant with my fourth child. I decided that because of the HUGE age difference between my oldest (now 14) and my youngest (now 2) that I would really want to sort of freeze this moment in time...while we are all still together. To preserve their sizes just at this very moment. And that's when I understood why people hang hand print art on their walls....and now I have done so as well, just in my own style.

Here's my copy-cat DIY "Wisteria" Handprint Project:
I used canvas hard boards, purchased at Hobby Lobby, on sale, for under $4 a piece.  I traced the boards on burlap, cut the burlap and Modge Podged the bulap to the canvas. I liked seeing the edges of the exposed wood and canvas. (You could also staple and wrap the burlap around the canvas, but you run the risk of not having a crisp edge). We then had a family night where I put out a wide array of craft paint bottles and the kids got to choose what color they wanted to use. We painted each others hands and they got to decide where to place their hand.  They then signed the back with their name, age and grade. It was a fun night and a special project to do together.

Do you have hand, foot or finger print art hanging in your home? I'd love to hear about it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Splurge or Steal: Anthropologiesque Kitchen Jars

Maybe you've seen them, they've been out for a while now...
Anthropologie's ceramic chalkboard canisters. 

Chalkboard Spice Jar

They have a lovely range of color choices and I absolutely adore the aqua- lidded one that 
sits above my stovetop.

Chalkboard Spice Jar

The thing is, they are little and they are $12 a pop. Which isn't all that much, but if you wanted several, it would add up pretty quickly...and after all, these are only about 3.5" tall.


Chalkboard Spice Jar
Anthropologie 3.5" Spice Jar, $12.99


Target, similar look 4" spice jars (no lid), $2.99

These HUGE COOKIE, SUGAR, FLOUR, ANYTHING CANISTERS (largest being 12" high),
Target, $14.99-$16.99

You get the same look, but a little more BANG for your $ as well as FUNCTIONALITY with the large, lidded Target Canisters.
What do you think?
Splurge or Steal?

UPDATE: the embroidery hoop wreath

 Last week I showed you all the monogram embroidery hoop 'wreath' that I made at a girls craft get away weekend.  We made several fabric choices to swap out....this week I have my robin's egg blue CHEVRON up!
Also, I've had a few messages about the embroidery hoop specifics: 18" is what I'm using in these pics. But any size will do depending on your space...there are even oval hoops (more to come on that another time). Thought I'd share..possibilities are endless and easily adaptable to your own style!

And several people have asked me "Why did I make my 'd' a small 'd'?" Well, I have one of those funny Dutch names that starts with a small 'd'. It sort of 'd'rives me nuts! I don't feel right capitalizing it just for the sake of it looking good on my door when it wouldn't be accurate, (not to mention that I am constantly correcting my kiddos' teachers when they 'correct' it on their papers) little 'd' it is.  Sometimes, I'll cheat and turn a 'P' upside down...but in this case, it was hand painted and I'm happy with my little 'd'! Now you know ;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Mourning Downton

Yes, I am mourning Downton. I'm not just mourning Sybil and Matthew...I'm sort of mourning and in grieving for my Sunday night,  British accented, indulgent "ME TIME". {But more on that next Monday..because I'm going to continue Monday posts on Downton and the like, post Downton}.
Today, whilst wearing a black arm band, I will share with you this article from the Daily Telegraph {thanks for the tip, Briana! (My little Downton network is supplying me with articles so I can hang on just a little longer to the glow that was Season 3)}.
And yes, now it all makes sense....putting Dan Stevens behind the wheel was rather a symbolic way to kill of Matthew Crawley wasn't it? Read on and it will have you liking Lord Fellowes a tad bit more than you did last Monday.

Julian Fellowes: 'No option' but to kill off Downton's Matthew

Dan Stevens interview: Why I left Downton Abbey
Lord Fellowes, who writes the award-winning series, has disclosed he “didn’t really have an option” but to make Matthew Crawley die in a motoring accident, after actor Dan Stevens chose to leave the show.
After trying to persuade him to stay, Lord Fellowes said he would have kept the central character alive “without question” had there been any alternative.
Since Stevens was determined to pursue his acting career elsewhere, no other way of leaving the show during the ITV Christmas Day special would have been believable enough, he added.
“We would have loved to keep him,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “We would have loved to keep Jessica [Brown Findlay] too.
“We have always tried to persuade him to stay. He had done fantastically well for the series and his creation of Matthew was terrific.
“But this is life. Dan felt that this was right thing for him, and the right moment to move on to different areas.”
Lord Fellowes, who won an Oscar for his screenplay of Gosford Park, disclosed he would have written an alternative ending for Matthew’s character had circumstances been different.
“If he [Stevens] had been prepared to come back for maybe two or three episodes in a series, that would be different. Then we could have had a foreign posting or invented a career that would have made it possible for him to be away.
“Otherwise we would have had to make this tremendously successful love affair between Mary and Matthew unhappy, which I didn’t feel would be believable.
“For them to then separate and Matthew never set eyes on his son again would not be believable either.
“So we didn’t really have any option. By him dying, their love can remain in tact.”
He emphasised there had been no “fall out”, saying: “I’m pretty sure he’s got a terrific future. We will miss him.”
Lord Fellowes, who said he found the popular notion that writers and producers made all the decisions about scripts “charming”, added: “I’m rather amused by the idea that these plot decisions are taken by producers and writers rather than the actors.
“In truth, they are taken entirely by the actors."
Despite his reluctance to kill off the heir to Downton, Lord Fellowes promised viewers there would be no miraculous Dallas-style re-appearance for Matthew.
“Matthew will be dead,” he joked. “Mary will not find Matthew in the shower; that I can promise.”
The makers of Downton Abbey have already moved to console devastated viewers about the "untimely and tragic death" of character Matthew Crawley, after an outpouring of furious complaints about the Christmas special.
Viewers complained it was "travasty", a "tragedy" and an "outrage", with some saying the ending had "ruined their Christmas".
The makers of the programme yesterday released a statement explaining the decision, reassuring fans the death was the only credible exit for the heir to Downton.
His "solid and loving marriage" to Lady Mary had meant a separation would be inconceivable, they said.
The explanation follows a barrage of complaints about the plot, which saw character Matthew Crawley killed in a motoring accident as he drove to share news of his happy wife and newborn baby.
Within moments of the episode being broadcast, thousands of distressed viewers took to social networking sites and forums to complain about the ending.
One accused the writers of "killing my soul" while another said the plot "shattered my heart". A third noted: "I AM 100% DONE WITH THIS SHOW. I CAN'T BREATHE."
Others were seemingly too distraught to speak, saying: "I don't even want to discuss what happened in the Downton Abbey Christmas special. I just don't."
One mournful fan wrote "I love Downton Abbey but they have just made me very angry", as another claimed: "Downton Abbey you have just ruined my Christmas Day!"
Some attempted to put on a brave face, saying: "I'm still not over the Downton Christmas Episode, so I'm just going to rewatch all the happy episodes and pretend everything is swell."
A spokeswoman for ITV, which broadcasts the award-winning programme, last night issued a statement to explain the decision to kill the character off and comfort fans.
Saying actor Dan Stevens had chosen not to renew his contract beyond the initial three years, she said the "solid and loving marriage" between characters Matthew and Mary has left writers with no choice about his inevitable departure.
The relationship between the two was so strong that they could not "simply be estranged or parted", she said, meaning he had to be dramatically killed off in the surprise twist.
Speaking of his departure exclusively to the Daily Telegraph, Stevens said he had chosen to leave the popular show after the second series to pursue "a desire for freedom".
"So there is a strange sense of liberation at the same time as great sadness because I am very, very fond of the show and always will be," he said.
The death of Matthew Crawley in a motoring accident is the second unexpected twist in Downton Abbey this series, with Lady Sybil passing away following childbirth in emotional scenes earlier this year.
The two surprise deaths have already led to speculation about the future of the show, with some fearing it will struggle to recover from the loss of two popular characters.
Last night, a spokeswoman for ITV said: "After three successful series and two Christmas editions of Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens decided not to renew his contract beyond the initial three years he had been contracted.
"We wish him every success for the future. Michelle Dockery will be returning to her role as Lady Mary in series four which begins production in February.
"Over the last three years, audiences across the world have been captivated by the ups and downs of Mary and Matthew’s relationship, culminating in their wedding.
"Fans have enjoyed what has become a solid and loving marriage. It is for this reason that the Producers decided Matthew and Mary could not simply be estranged or parted, resulting in his untimely and tragic death at the end of the Christmas episode.
"In the next series, alongside all the usual drama, comedy and romance involving the much loved cast of characters, viewers will see Mary adjusting to her life and attempting to move on without the man she loved."

So, now we have a little more behind the scenes knowledge. It doesn't make it any more palatable. But it makes Downton endearing to me again.  And so as I turn the corner in my fictitious grief, I think of what Season 4 has in store for all of the Crawleys.  
And what are we to do in the meantime???
That is what next Monday will be all about!!! 

Guest Post: Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof!!!

I'm over the moon excited to share Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof with you today! Jenna has fast become one of my mentors in blogging and I'm so happy and grateful that she has agreed to stop by and visit with all of us as a guest blogger.  I know you'll love her style, so follow her blog, follow her on FB and Pinterest, as well....because she always has a clever idea up her sleeve!  Thank you so much, Jenna, for being such a happy influence in my life and the life of Commona-my House! {and Jenna is sharing ME with her readers today, too, so pop over to Rain on a Tin Roof to read my guest post about Commona-my House!}

Hi Y'all! I'm Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof. Let me first say that I am so happy to be guest posting here at Commona-my House with Amy. I am even more happy to have stumbled upon Amy's amazing blog and met a new blogger friend! 

So, a little about me. 

First off, I am terrible at "About Me-s." In fact, so terrible, that I use pictures (entertaining ones) on my own About Me page at Rain on a Tin Roof. Its quite comical. In short, I'm a southern gal who loves some serious thrifting, crafting, re-purposing, and home diy-ing, which is what my blog is all about. This decorating thing started early for me. While other 14 year olds wanted to read Seventeen, I was reading Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Design (Does anyone even remember Christopher Lowell?!), and re-arranging my bedroom. I can handle a power saw with the best of 'em, but tend to make my Grunt Labor (hubby) use the power tools. (It makes him feel special to be needed. Total reverse psychology, y'all.)  A comfortable, eye-pleasing room just warms my soul, and makes me dang proud its mine. I love turning something old and decrepit into something new and amazing. I even started carting my daughter around to yard sales when she was a month old, its important to train 'em early around here. My whole decorating mantra is to do it frugally. Thrift it. Craft it. DIY it. If this hasn't bored you enough, you can read more about me here

In the spirit of frugality, I thought I would share with you some of my most frugal decorative pieces.

DIY Decorative Horse Accessories

These bad boys started out as plastic toys, but they turned into gorgeous accessories. Guess how much I have in these?! Less than $1! BAM! Read more about them here. They were super easy to make. 

Frugal Way to Dress up Cabinets

I used $0.50 wrapping paper to line the back of my liquor cabinet. Instant eye candy on the cheap and easy! Click here to read more about it. 

Lattice Hook Storage

Need some frugal and decorative storage? I had this piece of lattice left over from another project. I spray painted it, added some knobs and instant storage. Read more he re

I'm currently in the middle of a master bedroom makeover. Not surprisingly, I'm trying to do it as cheap as possible. Wall art is expensive! So, I bought some graphics and backgrounds on Etsy, all for around $15 total and created my own wall art, such as the one you see above. I put them all together on PicMonkey and just printed them out! Read more about the prints and see more here

If you want to read more about my frugal decorative projects, visit my blog! If you stopped by and followed along, it would make my day! 

Friday, February 22, 2013


I like to feature spaces that are inspirational: when someone takes something really blah and uninspiring and through their vision, creativity and ingenuity they turn it into something exceptional.

This is one of those before and afters that I am so excited about sharing with you!
Megan, over at BALANCING HOME, put together this amazing, sweet, very special "BIG GIRL ROOM READING NOOK for her daughter.

BIG STENCIL ROUNDUP..Stencil Project ideas

To sort of put it in perspective, here is her BEFORE.
Closet Before #biggirlroom

Can you believe it? Are the cogs in your brain churning to try to find a space in your home to do this very same thing?
Closet to Reading Nook- herringbone stencil & gutter bookshelves #biggirlroom
She has Herringbone, ruffles, books and bookshelves made from GUTTERS; is there anything else a big girl needs? Yes, it's all in the hop over to BALANCING HOME and check out Megan's post detailing this phenomenal project.
Just had to share!

Freebie Friday: Clovers & Pretty Irish Girls

I stumbled upon these free printables from Make it Create and thought that they were a fun St. Patrick's Day printable that could be used for just about anything.
Save 'um.
Print 'um.
Frame 'um.
Hole punch 'um and make a banner of 'um.
Use them as cards and leave at the end of the rainbow (or on a neighbor's doorstep with a plate of cookies).
Use them as tags with a bag of LUCKY CHARMS as little Leprechaun gifts.
Type a phrase on the blank chevron one, like I did...
"Luck of the Irish".
"Kiss me, I'm Irish".
"Pinch Proof".
"Irish Eyes are Smiling".
"That's a bunch O' Blarney".
"You're my "At the end of the Rainbow".
or my favorite (see below): "My Pretty Irish Girl".

My husband's 'call sign' when he was a pilot was "IRISH"...
so all IRISH sayings take on a little extra something special for me.
What's your favorite Irish phrase, blessing or song?