Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Vintage Christmas

Decorating for Christmas has been especially fun this year!  For the first time ever in my whole life, we have lights on the exterior of our house.  We have two trees up only inches away from each other. And I finally own a vintage tinsel tree!  So take a peek at Christmas at the Craftsman!

Christmas on the mantel.......

This is my favorite way to display all of my vintage Shiny Brites.

*   *   *   *

Christmas on the dining room table........

All my bottle brush trees are in a grouping on our table as a fun centerpiece....

And there she is.  That beauty of a tinsel tree.  She (it's a girl) arrived in her original box with each branch still in its original sleeve (along with the assembly directions too).  I bought it from a friend after I posted about wanting one on Facebook!  The magic of social media.  

Just a wall away from the tinsel tree is our other tree......

That wall divides the living room and dining room.  I wanted one tree to be seen from the street, and since you can't put lights on a tinsel tree, that tree won!  

Another win goes to colorful lights.  Multi-colored lights went on the tree to match our exterior lights.........

When I saw those vintage inspired bulbs in all the fun colors, I knew my original plan for white lights was out.

And how about those wreaths???  THEY WERE THE MISTER'S IDEA!  

As I was choosing which lights to buy, the mister wandered off.  When I found him, he said he was looking for wreaths to hang on our porch.


*   *   *   *

So there you have it!  Christmas at the Craftsman.......vintage all around.  Or at least vintage inspired.  

By next Christmas, I'd like to have a new collection going strong......those ceramic Christmas trees that light up......lots of them......for the top of my piano.  


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Dining Room Makeover

Did you know that painting walls makes you do strange things like volunteer to host Thanksgiving?  Not just your family, but the mister's too.  At the same time.

Be warned.

That's exactly what happened.

We painted these lovely lime walls.......

And the plan kicked into action.

But this isn't about Thanksgiving.

It's about our super cheap dining room makeover!  Cheap because we brought our chandelier with us from our previous house. And also because we received a free table that we just updated with paint.

The next thing on our list was to paint the walls and find chairs.  I wanted fresh, clean, and bright, so white to the rescue!  Of course, we weren't sure how we'd like white everything until it was finished, but when it was done..........WHOA!  We loved it.......

The most expensive part of the makeover was the set of windsor chairs.  I had hoped to pull off the mismatched look, but my brain couldn't take it.  The uneven heights, the different angle of the chair legs.  Couldn't handle it.  #imcrazy

So I shopped online for chairs and found a few before I decided on a set.  Target had similar chairs that I loved, but much pricier.  And I found another option that I liked the shape of, but you had to assemble them.  So Furniture Row won.

AND mom surprised me by buying them for Christmas!

So when I say cheap makeover, I'm not kidding.  Other than the chairs, the most expensive item was the ceiling medallion.  All the other money was spent on a few gallons of paint and new electrical outlets.

Now you might be wondering about all the white.  Never fear, the room isn't void of color.  We painted the basement door.....

And the search is on for the perfect pair of (not-white) curtains.  I also plan to hang a huge stained glass piece my dad made when I was a little girl, which is full of color.

So there you have it.  One of the most satisfying before and afters ever........

And.......everyone survived Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fashion Victim

Once upon a time, I wrote "fashion" posts.

Quite a few of them actually.

In approximately 50% of them (or more) I wore my most favorite riding boots EVER.  They could never be replaced.  I should have purchased ten pair, prepping for the day they were no longer available.

That day happened.

This year, Victoria's Secret quit selling them.  Devastation.

The hunt was on for their replacement.  Because I had worn them into the ground.  They were beyond repair.....

There was no getting another winter out of them.

So the shopping began.  I ordered two different boots online, both got returned.  I tried on countless styles in shoe stores.  And of course, nothing held a candle to the holy grail of boots, which I knew I would never own.

Until I walked in my house to find this waiting for me......

THE Frye Melissa Button riding boots.

That darling mister of mine had ordered them as an early Christmas present!

I wore them the very next day.  (No fashion post to show for it though.  I should probably stick to booth and house stuff.)

Now THESE are my most favorite riding boots ever.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Vintage Peddler

A new antique shop opened very close to my house.  And I sort of snagged a booth there.

Yes, that's booth number four.

Booth four is at The Vintage Peddler.

Since the mall is brand new, we got a framed out booth that we could have our way with.  The owner left the booths that way so that each vendor could make their space unique.  So we shiplapped the back wall.........

I love walking up and seeing that wall with the handkerchief bunting.

We hung pegboard on the other walls, which we covered with burlap.

Then we filled it up.........

The booth spaces there are month to month, so I figured this little experiment at another antique mall couldn't hurt.

You can check out my inventory on Facebook!  There's an album dedicated to The Vintage Peddler, as well as my Relics booths!

I'm crossing my fingers that this new antique mall takes off!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Table Talk

Our to-do list around here is a mile long.  Some things are $$$$ and are pretty far down the list.  But some things are less expensive, and all we need is time!  Time was abundant this summer, so one of those cheaper things got crossed off the list!

Let me back up a little though.

The home we sold a year ago had two smaller eating areas, so we had two smaller dining sets.  Neither of which would work in our 1921 Craftsman as there is only one dining space here, and it is B.I.G.  Luckily, the mister's aunt had a large, old trestle table just sitting in storage that we were happy to latch on to for the time being.  And it was free.

But it was not pretty.......

There was damage to the top in the form of melted wax that had eaten into the wood.  But nothing a little wood filler and paint couldn't cover.

Now normally, I wouldn't be on board with painting an original piece, but this isn't exactly antique.  Probably 70's.  And with the damage, there was really no way around it.

So two coats of flat acrylic and one good waxing later, we had a bright white table........

I really love how it turned out.  How the paint brought out the detail in the table base.  And how fresh and clean it feels.

This room is slowly evolving!  First the chandelier update and now the table!  Next up, painting the walls.

Goodbye lime green!

Linking up with:  The Chicken Chick

Sunday, August 21, 2016

That One Time I Met a Bachelor....

Summer summer summer.

While it's still here in season, it's gone really.  School started two weeks ago, so it's back to being a weekend warrior.  But that's okay, because this summer was a good one.  The longest one in years.  We clocked just shy of three months off.  I had lots on my "to-do" list, but one of my main goals was to get to the beach.......and we did.......

We went to Naples, Florida!  We did a lot of exploring this time (versus the last time where we hit up lots of tourist spots). Meaning, we took some road trips!  We drove to Sanibel Island..........

And we drove to the Keys..........

We chased sunsets at our favorite spot.......

And at our favorite beach, this happened..........

I met Chris Soules, a former Bachelor.

As a forever fan of the show, this was monumental.  So monumental I couldn't form a string of words to say to him.

All thanks to the mister.  Because I wasn't going to approach him.  The mister made it happen.  And I'm not mad about it.

I mean, look at my ridiculous face!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Revival of Macrame

Macrame.  A lost art?

Think again!  Macrame is back in a big way!  In fact, it's back and hanging in the room I'm staging as an office!  I told you I was changing up the vibe in this house.

I love how this piece adds depth and texture to my office wall.  I also love how you just don't see macrame's different, maybe unexpected, and definitely one of a kind!  Not to mention, it's the work of a fiber artist, my friend Layne.  She made that beautiful piece.

But let's back up a little bit.

Not too long ago, my friend Layne asked to interview me about my favorite hobby!  She wanted to know a little bit more about my thrifting skills.  Funny thing is, I wanted to know a little bit more about her favorite hobby too.........macrame!  So we traded interviews!  You can check out my interview at her blog The Room Journal.  And you can stay put to hear more about Layne's favorite hobby.......

How did you get into macrame?
My dad got me interested in macrame.  He made a lot of plant hangers, etc, back in the 70's, and he taught me a few knots. But then I became obsessed with it a few years ago when I discovered the work of Sally England.  Seeing her work made me start getting serious about learning more advanced knots.  I am self-taught, using vintage macrame books and YouTube videos.

Tell me about your Etsy shop name Viola Maye....
When I first started my Etsy shop, I called it "Eck Art."  I just couldn't think of a anything pretty, so I went with something silly. But I really wanted to find a name that had a nice sound to it.  Then one day I was digging through a drawer and came across something that had my grandma's first and middle name on it, and realized how much I liked the sound of her name, so I went with that.

What different items can you make? 
I offer pre-made and made-to-order macrame items, including wall hangings and plant hangers.  I also take custom orders.

What materials do you use?
I use cotton rope.  I also use driftwood I find along the coast of Puget Sound.

What gave you the idea of finding driftwood along Puget Sound to use?
I've noticed so many macrame artists using lots of different things to tie knots from ~ dowels, copper rods, lucite, driftwood, etc.  I've always loved the driftwood the best, so I was pretty thrilled when I discovered my new home in the Pacific Northwest had plenty of interesting pieces of driftwood everywhere I look.

*   *   *   *

I have driftwood from Puget Sound hanging in my house?!?!?!  That is pretty darn cool!!!  AND YOU COULD TOO!  Layne is offering 20% off orders over $50!  Use the code VINTAGEGROVE20 to receive the discount!  Hop on over to Viola Maye to snag a beautiful piece of your own!  Or you can buy the piece named Evelyn for ME.  I have lots more wall space to fill, and I've had my eye on Evelyn since she added it to her shop!

We can call it an early Christmas present!

*   *   *   *

You can find Layne on the internets at.....
*her blog:
*on Instagram: @layneeckhardt

Linking up with Two Thirty-Five Designs