Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sea Shell Frame

Blancho bedding via Pinterest

I finally got my mom started on Pinterest.  At first, she was intimidated by all the clicking.

This is also the woman who did not want an ATM card, a cell phone or a laptop. "Don't want it. Don't need it. Wouldn't use it if I had it."  Sure. 

Now she is pinning things for me on her laptop and calling me from the ATM with her cell phone to see if I have seen her pin yet.

"Now that y'all live at the beach maybe you can do something like this.'

The one she pinned retails for $147.99 and was on sale for $103.99. 

Sounds like a challenge to me. 

I already had this frame I found on clearance at WalMart.  It was only $5.  I love the large surface area -- perfect for a saying (or attaching seashells).

Maybe all stores do not carry these, but we have a tiny Pensacola souvenir area where they sell these beautiful shells. The shells are actually from Mexico, but who cares, this pack was only $2.97.  You could grab similar bags of shells from any craft store or use ones you've picked up on vacation.  I even saw one bag at the Goodwill store the other day. Happy hunting!

When I bought the frame, I knew I would be spraying it (ugly color, weird design).  Once I started spraying, my addiction kicked in and I decided to spray some of the shells as well.  With all the shells in white, or almost white, the focus is on the picture. 

thefunkilittlefrog via Pinterest

Months ago, I pinned this sign. It was going to hang in my imaginary beach house. Now seemed as good a time as any to use the phrase while I'm waiting for my imaginary lottery win.  You can buy this sign or others from this girl's etsy store, The Funki Little Frog.  They are all kind of beachy and weathered and super cute.

Now, a tip on painting words for the three of us left in the world with no Silouette cutting machine.  You print out the words you want to use on your plain old printer. Place the paper over the wood you want to paint on. Trace around the words using a ball point pen and press pretty hard.  The pen indents into the wood.  Not only is it an outline, it is a little ditch that keeps the wet paint right where you want it. 

If only Hunky Husband would get the hint and give me a Siloutte for "Love your crafty wife Tuesday."

No project would be complete without a little hot glue. 

I've put a picture of our smiling Girlies in this one for their loving MeMe.  It was mom's idea, now it is mom's frame.   She would love anything with their faces on it, but I think she will really like this.  The running count on seashells in her house is in the hundreds. So, these will fit right in.

If you are selling your home, this is one of those Add Personality When You Depersonalize moments.  You do not have to put away every pretty thing in your house.  Just pare down to a special few and make sure there are generally appealing images.

I promise that top shell doesn't look like a rose in real life

A pretty picture of the beach or a sunset would go great in this frame.  It is always good to highlight the area where you live.  People are looking in your location for a reason.  If you are at the beach, help them smell the salt air.  If you live in fly over country, show off your amber waves of grain.  If you live in an urban area, get some black & white architectural shots in your neighborhood.  Location, Location, Location in your art will make your place a little more visit ready.

just bec

linking up all over this week:

before 7 after party thrifty decor chick  100 ideas under $100 @ beyond the picket fence  hooking up with hoh @ house of hepworths  thrifty thursday @ tales from bloggeritaville  strut your stuff thursday @ somewhat simple  frugal friday @  the shabby nest  from scratch friday @ marriage from scratch  wayward weekend @ wayward girls crafts  mad skills party @ mad in crafts  nifty thrifty tuesday@ coastal charm  manic monday @ serendipity and spice  show me what you got @s our delightful home  tip me tuesday @ tip junkie  tuesday to do @ the blackberry vine  tutorials & tips @ home stories a2z  take a look tuesday @ sugar bee crafts  one project at a time @ a bowl full of lemons  tuesday's treasures @ my uncommon slice of suburbia  show and tell @ blue cricket design  sugar & spice @ 733 a creative blog  power of paint @ domestically speaking  wild wednesday @ chatty chics  catch a glimpse @ a glimpse inside  thursday temptation @ two yellow birds decor  get your brag on @ gluesticks  sticker time & party time @ the 36th avenue  fabulous freebie friday & pinable projects @  just us four show and tell friday @ my romantic home

Fix It Today

-Carpe Diem.  Seize the day! Fix it today.

You know what I'm talking about -- those nagging repairs that you know need to be done. The quirks about your house that you've learned to live with instead of taking care of.

If you are putting your home on the market, you have to clear up your to do list.  Any little issue that you have been delaying needs to be addressed and fixed.  As people view your house, let them imagine living happily ever after in your home.  You do not want them walking around your property making a list of things they would need to fix. Small cracks in the plaster can make a potential buyer think your whole roof is caving in. They will make a low offer to include all the repairs they think will need to be done -- even if half of them are imagined.

More importantly, if you are not even considering selling or renting, fix it today. Fix it for yourself.  Believe me, I would rather be making new crafty creations than repairing anything in my house. But, the sheer relief of checking off the little things is worth way more than their usually tiny cost. I once lived with a drawer with no pull for 2 1/2 years (and broke my nail at least 3 times opening & shutting it). The replacement knob cost $1.97.

This whole post is inspired by my recent trip to my PaPa's house.  He was an electrician by trade and blueberry/Christmas tree farmer by choice.  This guy once turned an old washing machine into a tree shaker -- reduce, reuse recycle before it was cool. Until he was 92, he lived in his old farm house.  Of course, there are the big upgrades any old house could benefit from: energy efficient windows, updated wiring, more insulation, modern kitchen & bathrooms. Those are big and important, but can be pricey.  I'm talking about the litttle fixes.  After his funeral, we went back to the house and I found a couple of repairs that I could not believe had gone undone.
gotta love that aqua blue 60's tile. it is so ugly  retro

via home

The soap dish over the sink in his bathroom was broken, as far as I can tell, for decades.  He would repair the tractor and the pump, then brush his teeth looking at this broken ceramic thing every single night.  I know some people are intimidated by tile work, but this one is so simple.  Hunky Husband used a regular hammer and a flat head screwdriver to carefully pop the broken one off.  It didn't even take him a minute to do.  The replacement piece costs $5.97 at Home Depot!  It didn't need an expensive overhaul or drastic bathroom makeover. Just a quick fix. Well, it does need a drastic bathroom makeover, but that can wait for another day.

via home
The main bathroom door in the hall way doesn't lock anymore.  I have vague memories of it locking when I was a child, but let's just say that has been a while.  It is fine because everyone in the family knows it doesn't lock. We all know that if the door is closed, someone else is in there, wait your turn.  I've talked to every member of my family and many friends through that shut door.  When I went to HD to order the soap dish, I clicked over to find out how much a new door knob would be.  $8.47!!!

Seriously?  Seriously.  Seriously!

On my repair tab, I've linked to HomeGain Home Sale Maximizer, an awesome tool that gives you zip code specific advice on repairing your home. It is based on a nationwide survey of 1,000 real estate professionals.  It even has calculators for Return on Investment to help you decide where your dollars will work the hardest & the smartest.  In my area, staging can bring a 1066% return on investment and 98%. Here, 98% of real estate professionals suggest you spend the $150 to lighten and brighten your property.

My Realtor friend, Jenn, reminded me today there are seasonal repairs that need to be knocked out this time of year. Many simple fixes turn into major repairs if they are ignored or left to get worse over time.

Make a list of the drawers, doors, holes, squeaks, leaks and pesky little messes that need to be squared away at your house in order to make it more visit ready.  Do two little repairs before your next crafty masterpiece.  Throw one little repair purchase in you buggy the next time you are buying 5 new colors of spray paint.  You deserve to live in your show house today. 

just bec

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vintage Comfy Green Chair

This is my first Mardis Gras season living here on the Gulf Coast. Wow! This is the longest Tuesday ever, because it started three weeks ago.  There have been parades and festivals and street parties and gumbo and about a million moon pies.  Lucky for me and my (BFF who became my) client Tiane, there are also Antique store sales. 

I've been going to Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesday parties and she mentioned that her booth at Cotton City Antiques would be having some deep discounts over the weekend.  My address may say FL, but anyone who has been to Pensacola knows this is really LA -- Lower Alabama.  So, Tiane, Baby Girlie and I set out for a fun day of junque shopping.  True, we passed 14 other antique stores along the way, but we were women on a mission.

via coastal charm
All was well until we got to Mobile and the tunnel into town was closed because of the parade. Thank God for GPS. I had not been to Mobile, well, I had been through it on the interstate, but that is not at all the same thing.  We were charmed by the beautiful historic homes on the way in to the shop.  Most of them were decorated in purple, green & yellow.  Some of them were having lovely yard parties before/after the parade.  Note to self: make friends with yard party throwing type sweeties in Mobile historic district. 

We were also charmed by Coastal Charm Interiors -- hers is the first booth on the left when you enter. She has all the coastal, industrial, chippy, perfectly imperfect stuff I just love.  We went around the huge space about 4 times.  I only had to call Baby by her first and second name about 4,000 times.  The ladies there were so kind and helpful and we SCORED!
of course this will all fit in the back of my Explorer

Tiane is planning a bar to go in her family room.  That room is right off the main living room and opens to the deck & pool. We found a gorgeous, old, lit, curio cabinet with beveled, leaded glass sides & doors. It will mount nicely on the wall with a couple of french cleats.  I can't wait to see her glassware sparkling in there.

Then we found 3 adorable bar stools.  Baby made sure that they spin - check.  They have a silver rail around the bottom for a foot rest.  The legs have a bamboo detail that is going to be so precious when we paint them out.  I promise I'll have pictures soon, we'll do a whole post about sanding, painting & installation.

I had a bit of a rush crush on this vintage green chair.  However, it was right by the front door. Apparently, I am the girl on "Say Yes to the Dress" who wants to try on more dresses.  But even after the forth lap, this chair was still dark and dreamy and comfy and ... well.. perfect.  It was also 50% off.  Now Mardis Gras is officially my favorite holiday. Bring on the king cake!

When I got it home I realized that it perfectly matches some Asian inspired pottery pieces I already had. Dontcha just love when that happens? 

Please enjoy your Fat Tuesday and your shopping days that don't even need a holiday.  I hope you find the perfect piece to make your place more visit ready.

just bec

Monday, February 20, 2012

Stage Your Closets

In the South, we say that we are "fixin" to do the next thing.  Everyone I know is fixin to get organized.  So, show them how organized your house is.  That is what staging is all about. Show them the lifestyle they can have in your home.  The order will feel as though is is a part of the property, just like the space & light. 

People are going to open your closet doors. They are going to look in your kitchen drawers. Use some simple and inexpensive techniques to show them just how much space and storage your closets can offer. 
  • use coordinated, well placed baskets or bins
  • leave only in-season clothing hanging (about half the volume of your normal wardrobe)
  • use matching hangers
  • clear out all extra non-clothing/shoe storage to attic or storage spaces away from the master closet
  • purge & organize in every linen/storage closets.  These are assets for your property.  Any avalanche would ruin a showing.

You may not need a major organization intervention, but I did, in my spare bedroom closet. I've set up a craft & Christmas storage system. It needed it, pretty badly. These are the tragic befores:

I had lots of treasures packed in there and lots of wasted space.  Years ago on Oprah, I learned the SPACE method of organizing and I've used it ever since.  Too many times before, I would buy cute storage solutions that didn't really solve anything.  This system helps assess what containers you really need for the items that really belong in the space.
  • SORT: covered the bed with little post-its and piles of candles, gifts, lights, etc.
  • PURGE: 2 giant bags of trash, one trip to the garage, one armload for the playroom and 2 boxes to donate to Goodwill
  • ASSIGN: my retail past  haunts helps me here.  "like with like"  and "most used items at eye level"
  • CONTAINERIZE: I spent a little on clearance storage bins from  Wal-mart that I talked about in this post.  I found some perfect little magazine storage boxes at the dollar section in the front of Target -- love that place. 
  • EVALUATE:  make sure the system works for your space/ your family. 
This  ribbon crate was one of the first things I ever pinned on Pinterest. So, I was thrilled to finally get rid of all those old ribbon boxes that I had out grown.  They were not cute and did not match, but worse, they had lots of wasted space. I had already bought these bins from Target for the pantry in my last house.  Good news, they also stack.  BO-NUS.

via Simple Details
I'm a sucker for color coordination in all cases.  Miss Pam at Simple Details flung a craving on me with her orange organization system.  She used Nike boxes and I just adore this look.

I was also inspired by my latest trip to Goodwill.  Sorry I got it upside down in the first picture, but that tag says $2.99.  This tissue holder has a brushed nickel finish and it is very heavy, which usually means pricey.  Flipping it over I was shocked to find the original Bed Bath & Beyond tag still inside.  Somebody was way more worried about their Puff's plus than I am. I sure am glad they redecorated that fancy bathroom and sent this donate item on to me.  After Christmas, I found tons of these little keg 'o ribbons marked down 75% - 90% off.  Now they are all housed in here and fit nicely on my ribbon shelf.

I used Picnik (moment of silence please) to make these little printable labels on Avery name tag stickers.  My blog hero, Thrifty Decor Chick has a great tutorial on making printables there. I could use simple sticker labels for these bins, because I'm really the only one who uses them. Labels in the playroom or kitchen, that get a lot of girlie wear and tear, are made of much more sturdy stuff. 

The last hurdle was that "evaluate" piece at the end. I realized that if I positioned this shelf in the middle, I would have to move the whole shelf out at Christmas time to access the large bins of decorations.  So, Hunky Husband came to the rescue with furniture movers. I wish I had one of those fancy  animation tricks to show you the magic, but you get the idea.

Now, I can slide the shelf to the middle and everything is in reach.  By sliding it over, I made room for  my wrapping paper duffle bag and over-sized bags to hang - so they don't wrinkle. On the top shelf I have clear tubs and my gift bag collection (in the Target magazine sorters).
I also reuse shopping bags that are marked up with store logos.  They hold all the supplies for my on-deck projects. They are the ones with the purple tags on them.You'll be seeing them soon.  Whether you are getting ready to move or just getting tired of the clutter, use SPACE to help you make your closets more visit ready.

Linked up:
I'll also be linking this up at Thrifty Decor Chic's -- Show us Your House Link Party.  This month is focused on Closets.  Check her out every third Monday.

just bec

here's the rest of the show us your house schedule. i'll link to them as they happen so you can check them out. what can i say? i'm a chick groupie from way back. squeezie love!

December: We’ll play it by ear ;)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We Bring Order to Chaos

My friends Manisha, Heather & Suzanne proved that cheerleaders are not dumb.  In high school, they cheered, but they were also in:  National Honor Society, Beta Club, Yearbook  Staff, Mu Alpha Theta, and about 50 other activities while making straight A's.  GO GREENWAVE!  I was not a cheerleader (believe me, nobody wanted to see me in one of those little skirts), but I often use "Cheerleader Honor Graduate" to describe my personality.

Everyone who ever worked with me in retail will tell you it is true.  I loved the numbers, stats and systems --geeky.  Once I pulled reports for the week, month, district, YTD or comp it always ended up translated into a brightly colored bulletin board --rah rah!  I love my lable maker -- order. Everything has to be color coded -- pretty.  Most of the major problems of my life have first been addressed with a trip to the post-it, highlighter, colored thumbtack area of Office Depot.

lists of lists was not helping keep linky land in order

Somehow, I thought blogging would be different.  With all the typing and clicking, I just assumed that the structure would be digital.  As I started trying to link up to all your wonderful linky parties, I realized that I would in fact need to impose some brightly colored order to my digital life.

little birdie secrets via pinterest


I had already used this Pinterest idea to make a picture frame as a dry erase board. However, there are a lot of parties on Monday and that day alone was taking up the whole frame. I also needed more detail than I could get with the fat dry erase marker. I also needed some of my info to stay put while part of it needed to be erased.

via pinterest

I found this Pinterest idea using an old window frame and paint chips.  I do love me some paint chips.

It lead me to my final board, using a poster frame.  I think the last time I bought one of these it was for a picture of Kirk Cameron.  Each day has its own color of mini post-it notes. On each post-it I can include the name of the site, the name of the party, the day & time they usually post the party. 

All that info stays pretty constant and I do not want to have to rewrite it every week.  So it goes under the plastic -- then I don't loose any of those little notes either.  It also prevents short people at my house from trying to rearrage them.

Then, on top of the plastic I can keep track of two different projects that I am posting all over linky land.  I list what number my project is posted in each party. 

The first week, when I was just sticking my big toe in the water, most of my posts were in the 400 - 500 range.  As I got better at tracking when parties were opened, my latest project is posting in the top 20 or so.  That does make a big difference in how much traffic I've been getting.

Like I said, there are a lot of parties on Monday, the rest of the week, I ended up with a huge empty space on my board.  It is the perfect place for my floating to do list (in purple).  As my ideas go from project, to photos, to writing, to linking, I can move them around on top of the plastic. 

You'll prolly use this idea for some other need, but at least 700 of you also keep track of when to Hook up with HoH. It works great for calendars.  Any time you have to keep some info and wipe away the rest, keep this idea in mind.  When you are checking out all those linky parties, keep an eye out for me. or drop by and  follow visit ready. or like me on facebook. or leave a comment.

i'll be your best friend,

just bec

i'm checking "my blogs" every five minutes while i write this, because two parties should be opening soon.

this one is linked up at:

one project at a time @ a bowl full of lemons  hookin up with hoh @ house of hepworths  100 ideas under $100 @ beyond the picket fence  thrifty thursdays @ tales from bloggeritaville  manic monday @ serendipity and spice  just something i whipped up @ the girl creative  mad skills party @ mad in crafts  show me what you got @ our delightful home  tuesday to do @ the blackberry vine  tuesday's treasures @ my uncommon slice of suburbia  tutorials & tips @ home stories a2z  wild wednesday @ chatty chics  wow me wednesday @ ginger snap crafts 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Organize in February

Everyone knows on New Years Day, you are supposed to go on a diet and organize your whole house. My secret is to wait till the middle of February to organize.  I wait till the 5th of never to go on a diet. This has nothing to do with my deep ceded need to procrastinate and self-handicap. It is purely a thrifty strategy, well mostly.

Retailers know we all get the itch to clean out and organize at the beginning of the year. So, they feed our storage solution habit with cubes, boxes, tubs and label makers.  Once the feeding frenzy for Sterlite has subsided (and we are all snacking on Valentine's cupcakes), they start marking down.  All those color coordinated cubes, boxes and tubs are now 50% - 75% off.

Today I found a three pack of storage cubes for $3.50! Whaaaat!?! Our WalMart had a whole end cap full of them. They still had all the colors available (black, red, purple & blue). I picked up three black packs for my utility room and two red packs for my Christmas closet.

Hampton Design via Pinterest

I used to love these dollar tree bins. I still love my
p-touch lable maker, but it is time for an upgrade
Our utility room is not one of those palatial laundry lounges you see on Pinterest.  But, it is the pass through from our fun driveway parties into our kitchen.  Back door friends are best. All our friends walk right through it instead of the front door.  I think the black bins will do the trick to class it up just enough. 

I also bought a few extra packs for staging -- OK, I cleared the entire end cap of all the black ones.  When you are staging for a sale, there are lots of places that need a little organization.  Bins and baskets (coordinated and well placed) can show off storage spaces.  Every buyer wants light, space and storage.  I will use these a million times (under cabinets, in closets, in utility rooms, in offices, for teen rooms) over the next few years.

The purple ones were cute, too.  I may head back to pick up one pack for Baby Girlie.  She is the queen of purple and rarely gets anything of her own that hasn't been passed down through two big sisters.

Now I have to get busy on that swirling ball of chaos and ribbon I call a Christmas closet. Thrifty Decor Chick is showing off whole rooms/spaces on the third Monday of each month at her Show Us Your House link party. February will be highlighting closets. This is a horrible BEFORE. Let's see if I can get an AFTER worked out by 2/20/12. Tackle an avalanche hazard in your house or show off your visit ready closet.

see you there,

just bec

here's the rest of the show us your house schedule. i'll link to them as they happen so you can check them out. what can i say? i'm a chick groupie from way back. squeezie love!

February: Closets

March: Kitchens

April: Dining rooms

May: Nursery/Kids rooms

June: Outdoor spaces

July: Bathrooms

August: Family rooms

September: Basements/rec rooms

October: Bedrooms (guest or master)

November: Foyers

December: We’ll play it by ear ;)