I Love Country Living … Most of the Time

Hi All.  I was working from an earlier draft for today’s article and somehow the first post registered as published on that date, so wouldn’t display on the home page under today’s date.  Sorry for the duplicate.  Have a great weekend.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

 

Everyone knows we love our little house and its’ rural setting.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

But you may not know that . . .

  1. Internet (REAL INTERNET . . . fast AND affordable) isn’t easy to come by out here.
  2. Septic systems can be costly.  Fixing them I mean.
  3. You GOTTA  HAVE a riding mower . . . and they’re expensive, to buy AND to repair.

About the internet; hhmm how to sum this up. Before: we had no land line, two cell phones and the internet was part of the cell contract. Net service was a set amount each month … unless your usage went over a certain figure and of course . . . it’s me here, little miss social butterfly, blogger, so I did . . . go over, way over! We consulted our fantastic computer tech, Jerome, for options. Gotta love that guy.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

Our (yet to be proven) solution was to go back to a landline with internet through that. We kept only one cell phone so the rate was to drop way back there, even with a load of talk minutes and unlimited text/pictures.The first bill for the LL and NET . . . was WAY OVER the quoted monthly amount.

  • installation (a guy was in the area anyway, and tweaked something in a box to hook us back up)
  • equipment shipping charges (a little box about 10″ square by 2″ deep) and finally a ton of miscellaneous fees and taxes.
  • extra charges for an online security package that was supposed to be included.

So, trying to be patient . . . you all know how patient I am NOT! I poured over all the misc crap, had the extra security removed (and credited back those charges)  … and we’re waiting for the first actual bill after all of that.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

As for the cell set-up, our first official bill after the switch . . . ready for this?  They never made any of the changes and still had us on the old plan.  He said all the new arrangements were written down BUT NEVER ACTIVATED.   So, supposedly all was corrected, and the next bill will reflect the changes AND we’ll be credited back all those extra charges.  PLEASE EVERYONE . . . let’s not hold our breath!

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

On to the septic situation.Good news was (well sort of good) . . . the charges were under $200, this time. The tech we found was highly recommended. He patiently explained everything that was done. But he left us with an FYI, that the pumps on these systems usually have a 10 year life span. Evidently after that, it’s a “who knows how long” or “you might get lucky”  . . . yah, like that’ll ever happen.  Still, we seem to have been fortunate, because at the ripe (yes – pun intended) old age of 12 years, ours is still fixable.  BTW, cost estimate for a new pump (installation NOT included) $400 – $500 smackers.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

We have some very good neighbors.  Across the road, two brothers live in side-by-side farms.  Even when our mower works, we only mow about 25%  of our five acres.  At least two times a summer, the guys take turns mowing and baling the rest.  They get silage and we get a well kept acreage and less chances of fire, with the dry plantings gone.

Eleven years ago, when Hubs wanted to move out here, I made him a deal.  I would get trees and shrubs to plant AND a  new toy, a brand.new.riding.mower!  This summer, my toy bit the dust. Even lower priced new mowers are expensive … at least for us in retirement.  Next problem is, anyone we know who fixes motors lives too far away to make the trip worth our while.

Soooo . . . if some of my current exterior photos look a bit “shaggy” be forgiving.  Hubs and I are taking turns doing small sections – with our old push mower (and it’s not too healthy either).

And of course, living in the country means living with more bugs.  But look at this colorful fella.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature 

I didn’t stay around long enough to see if he bites :)

Over and above all the downfalls . . . Hubs and I LOVE living in the country.  Each day offers new adventures and beautiful sunsets.

Artzzle COUNTRY LIVING Feature

We’ll be here as long as we can afford it.

Thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Next week my “ladies” visit so I better get back to my house work.

Later – Cheryl

Just Lookin’ Around

. . . and here’s what I found!

HOUZZ is on my Tops List of “commercial” or “media” decor websites. APARTMENT THERAPY ties it for first place. Email updates and new articles arrive quite often and I always give them a big slot of time for viewing.

Not sure what search terms I used here, but was probably looking for background or displays for shelves.

Above reminded me of a paint card sample book. Fun, right?!

Here, note how they wisely used that alcove for great storage and display space, and then detailed it by continuing the pretty accent wall color just into that upper, open area.  Very nice.

We’re   I’m thinking about a new color for our three main accent walls, and was probably concentrating on colors when I found the room above.  I had a more bronze-ish green in mind, rather than the brighter acid color here . . . BUT . . . look at those beautiful steel doors and the mid-century furniture pieces.  Wow.

The search topic for this final pick was “window seats”.  While it isn’t exactly that — look closely, those are under-lighted shelves above that seat, not windows — it presents an interesting idea for a small, enclosed room, gives extra storage . . . AND was certainly an unexpected find.

No matter the search term or article title, you always find so much more than you asked for on HOUZZ and APARTMENT THERAPY.  That’s what makes it such fun and why I enjoy spending time there (Hubs says too much time).  But you never know what new inspiration will hit!  My HOUZZ BOARDS are here if you’d like to see them.  So if you’re having a rainy or killer-heat day like we’ve had here lately, settle in, grab the device of choice and go exploring.

Until next time, try to stress less so you can accomplish more.  It always helps me.

Later – Cheryl

We Didn’t Go to the Animal Fair

Hubs and I enjoy art crawls and craft fairs and now that he’s fully retired, we’re able to catch more of them.  So we jumped at the invitation from my son and his wife, when they wanted to take us to their local art fair, as part of my Mom’s Day and Birthday celebrations.  With a gift of my choice and dinner out, who could turn that down.

I was pretty excited during the drive down to their place.  It’s an hour and a half drive, and on the freeway, we passed an “older” couple on their Sunday Drive.  This triggered thoughts of my Grandma, and I remembered “Animal Fair” . . . one of the little songs she sang to me as a child.

Do you know it?  “I went to the animal fair . . . the birds and the beasts were there”.  For you who are closer to my age group, gotta tell ya, public opinion has changed the lyrics a couple of times over the years.  Here’s a current version from the internet.

The monkey no longer gets drunk . . .  he gets bumped by a skunk.

Hhmm.  Anyhoo . . . my day gave me my own lyrics to that melody.

I went to a country art fair
So much to see and buy there

Artzzle ART FAIR FeatureFrom shiny steel to an old metal feel,
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and beautiful pottery ware.

Artzzle ART FAIR Feature

The Chinese dinner was great.
I ate and ate . . . and ate.
And on the way home, I rested and zoned,
and dreamed of my beautiful date . . . the date, the date!

A perfect “memory” day!  And the LeAnne Chin’s did double duty . . .

lunch and take-home for dinner.  Yum.

Hey, remember the mulch and plants gift from my daughter on Mom’s Day?Artzzle Weather Feature

It’s really filled in.

Artzzle ART FAIR Feature

Meanwhile . . . the countdown to more fun is on!
My crazy cousins will be here in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!
Holy Hannah!

So we’re fixin’ and buildin’ and cleanin’ . . . lots and lots of cleanin’.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress.
Until then, stay positive and it’ll help you be productive.

Later – Cheryl

July 4th

Artzzle 4th of July 2015Today, be Loud and Proud
and Thankful to be living in the great U.S.A.

Everyday, be Appreciate and Recognize
the many who have made and keep it this way.

THANKS TO THEM FOR THEIR DEDICATION AND SERVICE

Artzzle 4th of July 2015

Have a SAFE and HAPPY 4th of July.

Can You EVER have enough Storage Space?

One of the things WE love about our home is our main living area with it’s vaulted ceilings and odd shaped walls.  Something we didn’t like about this house was the limited storage as we have no basement.

One of the things I love in our home, is my talented husband!  I can just tell him about an idea I have and draw a little sketch.  He does a little measuring, draws a real plan . . . and makes it for me.

Now, everyone knows how I love to collect pottery, glass and BIG décor items and all kinds of other stuff; lots of pieces that are difficult to store, especially in a small home like ours.  I got really tired of shoving everything in bins under the beds.  In the first place, we only have two beds (and one is a twin), and secondly, there are things under there already.

I did design & Hubs built, a special size storage area attached to the bottom of the twin bed frame.  It’s just a simple attached drawer with a little hook to close it.

Artzzle Extra Storage Feature

Unlatch the hook, the door drops down and items are slid in.  This holds my large paper, matting and artwork.  The bed cover hides it, so we just left it raw.

Artzzle EXTRA STORGE Feature

Another easy little idea provided extra coat storage.  In the laundry room, a simple strip of molding was attached to the wall and hooks were added.  The laundry room is a pass through to the garage and back door entrance, so is a perfect spot for hanging casual jackets, sweaters and the occasional dog leash.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

TIP:  Be sure to anchor the molding strip to a stud or two on your wall.  That will accommodate the weight of your hanging items, so the molding doesn’t pull away from the wall over time.  Our Projects List includes eventual cabinets for the laundry room as well.  For a temporary fix I added shelves, featured HERE.

We’ve made sure most of our occasional tables and furniture pieces have drawers and shelves, so that helps oodles.
TIP:
  DOUBLE DUTY furniture pieces provide extra storage for any size space.  A dresser could be used as a TV stand, with the drawers storage for equipment.  End tables with shelves and/or drawers can be used in many rooms.  Coffee tables with a shelf or open legs can house baskets for extra storage.

Your next question “Do we have enough storage space now?”

My question . . . “Does anyone EVER have enough storage space?”

This is our entry way.  At the top of the shot you can see some of our angled, fun colored walls.  I say “way” because it is simply a space between the front door and a closet; both which are an actual part of the living room.  There’s no separate foyer.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

We’re accustomed to this feature.  Our previous rambler was also designed with a little closet directly by the front room door.    That is the only commonality in the two homes.  Today’s market standards categorize this home as small at 1550 sq. ft., but our other rambler was only a 960 sq. ft. plan.  Now THAT was small, but that house had a basement.  Don’t worry though, it was fine.  And YES, we did a lot of changing, rearranging and customizing in that.  Had to with 5 kids between us.

We really enjoy this entry closet because of it’s angles and the fun walls around it, on the outside.  But, recently I was cleaning the closet, and getting frustrated with that jagged corner space inside, where all the less-important, rarely used junk  stuff gets shoved.  When the hanging rod is full, you can’t even get back in there.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

Plus, we store leftover paints in there, so they don’t freeze in the winter.  I hate seeing those every time I opened the door.

Soooooo,  I went to find Hubs.  I talked, he measured, he drew and then . . . began building.  From this . . .

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

To this. Here a second upper full length shelf was also added.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

And finally, this.

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Nice, right?  Was I satisfied?

Well, no.  You could now see even more “stuff” when the doors were open.

Solution:  We had a fabric shower curtain in the donation bin.  So I had him adapt for a rod.

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

And voila’, see no more evil!

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feature

Was that enough . . . uhhm . . . almost.

For that higher area, I took a simple tension rod and put up the valance to the old shower curtain.  Now . . . done!

Artzzle EXTRA STORAGE Feaature

So Cheryl now has even more storage AND it’s pretty, well sort of.  At least stuff is stored and hidden!

TIP:  Don’t overlook small corners and odd spaces in your home that could be utilized for storage.  IMAGINE and EXPERIMENT with spaces, pieces and places.  Have fun!

Lots more going on around here, even other storage projects, so, we’ll talk again soon!

Until then, stay positive to stay productive :)

Later – Cheryl

 

Staying Positive . . . on Father’s Day

Apart from the obvious, my parents were two completely unique people, one from the other.  On Mother’s Day I had no shortage of loving memories of my mom, to share.  At only sixty two, she was gone in an instant, in a freak accident.  I’ve missed her always but the loss seems even more acute as I grow older.

Feelings are quite different for me regarding my father.  There was fear, uncertainty and there continues to be resentment and anger, although all have lessened as I’ve aged.  I wasn’t intending to write a specific Father’s Day post.  Instead I did a Project Issue.  In the present, it’s very important for me to stay positive and productive . . . in everything.  I felt that posting about my father might stir up too many negatives.

You know how fond I am of using angles.  Well, today I decided to consider my dad from a different angle.  Instead of simmering angrily, I tried to think of good things and began a list.

When I was very small, my dad would sometimes draw little cartoon-like characters for me, or make me those cut-out paper doll chains.  He would make the dolls and then I would draw and color them.  It was one of my first good memories of him.

Dad was musical.  He had a good singing voice in church and played several instruments by ear.  For a few years he put together a country style band and they would play for barn dances and events. At the dances, he put me in charge of “getting the floors ready”.  Floors in the old buildings were often in poor shape and the wood was very dried out.  So, you took a box of laundry soap flakes (not many liquids then) and sprinkled them over the floor, to make the dancing surface sort of slick; easier to dance on.  This was done once or twice during the evening.  Dad made that “my job”, and I thought I was really a big shot, given such an important responsibility.

In my senior year of high school, my mom had a lengthy hospitalization for a serious illness and surgery.  One evening in particular, my dad came home earlier than I had.  When I got there, the dining room table was nicely set (we always ate at the kitchen counter) and dad had cooked dinner for us.  Not just mac and cheese, but a steak and salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, with a little cheese and relish tray.  There was no alcohol, just cold Cokes.  He even held my chair for me.  It was really something.

That same spring, before she became so ill, mom had helped me pick out a prom dress.  By the time alterations were done, she wasn’t able to go along, so my dad went.  While I was trying the dress on, he and the clerk strolled through the little store, with him saying “Give me one of those” or “how about that”.  I came from the dressing room to find a little group of lovelies. A pair of beautiful earrings, an elegant beaded clutch, long white gloves and the most precious white faux fur stole.  That is my nicest and favorite good memory of my dad.

There.  My list does have a few pleasant memories.  And admittedly, it’s much more productive and positive, to remember those instead of their opposites.  I guess it was good for me to do an official “Father’s Day” post.

If your dad is still with you today, give him a hug or a call.  If not, blow him a kiss with a smile.

I’ll sign off with a new line this time.  Stay positive and you’ll stay productive.

Later – Cheryl

Thirty Two Days

July means the arrival of fun around here.  Two cousins from out-of-state, visit and stay for a few days.  There’s lots of laughing and talking, and eating – lots of eating!  But the best part is … shopping!  We’re all bargain hunters which means thrift stores, garage sales, Marshall’s, Homegoods, etc.  It’s always a blast.

Their visit also means that around this time in June, my panic attacks start.  We only see each other once a year, and I want the house to be all “ooh ahh” and special.  Hubs and I have been working on a few things to get ready.  We’ve both gone through our stashes of materials.

These four bright pots have been on my shelf for over a year. Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

At a Crafts Direct’s whopper sale, they went from $4.99 to $2.00 and finally another 75% off that.  Seriously … how could I pass up a deal like that. And look at all that color! Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

You know how I like to work with odd numbers, so a taller piece I already had, was added.  After explaining my idea to Hubs, he drew up a plan and with scrap wood from his workshop, he made this

. Artzzle thirty two days post

I chose a color from some left-over paint . . . Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

and did two coats, directly on the raw wood.

Since the pots have no drain plate, we bought plastic trays at WalMart ($0.35 ea) and some $3.33 plants.

Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

There were many varieties of plants and tray sizes to choose from.

Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

For Spring I went blue and green in the living room, so I chose the bluish green paint for the tray.  It works nicely with the bright pots, don’t you think?

Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

Below was the previous look

  • The purple plate and bowls were $3 @ garage sale.
  • The purple sphere was $2.50 @ local Discovery Thrift.
  • The bunnies were $1.00 at local ReUse Store.
  • The miscellaneous white pieces are from my collections.
  • Flowers were free from a garage sale.

Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

After the windows are washed, the living room will be guest ready.  Artzzle THIRTY TWO DAYS post

A different furniture arrangement and change out of accessories have given it a totally new look.

Great, right?

But what about thoset thirty two days? It’s all that’s left!

In thirty two days, I need things to be clean, comfortable, colorful and … different.  Those 3 C’s aren’t a problem, but that “different” is what drives the panic.  It’s not like this upcoming event is anything new.  Unfortunately, my unpreparedness isn’t new, either.  And I can’t blame it on the timing issues mentioned HERE.  I just keep thinking I have all this time and then suddenly … I don’t.

So I had better sign off for this time … and GET BUSY!

Hubs is already working on a shelf for my salt & pepper collection. My cousin always teases me about having oodles of shakers but never putting any out to use OR show.  Ha!  She’ll be surprised this time.

Meantime, I’ll try to take my own advice . . . to stress less and start more!

Later – Cheryl

Hey … Timing ISN’T Everything … is it?

How’s your timing?

Not the musical or early/late kind of timing . . . but just in everyday things . . . you know.

Ever just miss something great that happened because your timing was a little off?  Example:  You work in a popular metropolitan store where a major movie star is coming in before store opening to shop  AND she’ll sign autographs.  I get You come to work the usual time – and just miss her . . . how did I not you not know?

How about when everyone else – but you – always seems to know what day it is.  Bloggers mention all these special calendar days that I’ve never heard of. Hey, I love puppies, so how did I not know – until May, that National Puppy Day was in March?

(FYI:  Evidently there really is a Puppy Day.  Click the pic for a fun daily calendar.)

national-puppy-day-march-23-unless-on-weekend

Creativity doesn’t fit to a timetable.   For me, it strikes at any time of day or night.  I know a few people – besides myself – who keep pad and pen on the bed stand, for those occasional, great middle-of-the-night ideas, or the one that hits just as you’re falling asleep.  I’m also part of that group that takes pad, paper and a camera with them wherever they go.  Well, the camera gets forgotten a lot . . . thank gawd for my cell phone!

Studio Arts Classes in college, can get tough.  You’re given a week or so to complete a specific assignment . . . plenty of time, right? But more often than not, my best idea didn’t hit until a day or two before deadline. I spent many nights painting or drawing until 4:00 am of due day – and I had morning classes   :(   Other ideas developed earlier, but THE ONE  usually came down to the wire. A couple of times my oils were still wet at presentation.

J.O.'s Studio

Inspiration can’t be scheduled. It originates through life’s daily experiences. In a single moment, something fantastic can set the ideas flowing. My son is, and I was, in advertising. We both preferred NOT to be art directors and specifically chose other avenues. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to instantly produce. Schedules can be excruciating on the creative process (and the nerves), especially if you’re the person who has to come up with the campaign’s ideas.

My timing issues are possibly why I love decorating. Other than special displays for holiday themes, in your own home, you can decorate the way you want, and work on any room or project, any time of year.  AND you always have options for changes.  You don’t have to live by a schedule or calendar unless of course, you’re working with clients.  Even then though, it’s more of a fun process than ulcer producing.

Ideas and initiative for a master bedroom project, have been bombarding my brain big-time lately, so that’s what I’m working on. Previous versions were featured HERE

ARTZZLE.COM

and HERE.

Artzzle Timing Feature

Details for the re-do are coming together quickly, but all I’ll tell you today is, there are big changes afoot, especially with the colors.  I’m adding an accent color and the two top contenders are  LILAC  and  CORAL.  We’re also developing an architectural feature.

So you know, I began this article yesterday, with every intention of posting it then.  Honestly I did!

See, I found this.  “June 1st, by the way, is NATIONAL HAZELNUT CAKE DAY.”  I was going to include this crazy calendar day . . .

national-hazelnut-cake-day-june-1

and tell you a funny story about how I used to like hazelnuts, but one time ate way too many . . . moaned, groaned and threw up most of the next day.

That’s funny – right?  But, maybe it’s more of a time management issue, not timing, huh; not knowing when to stop!?

Hubs’ timing was lousy yesterday.  I was almost finished with this post when I got a “Need a little help out here”. Working in the shop, he somehow caught his finger in/under/between a caster ??? and, long story short . . . we made an unexpected trip to the ER for stitches.

Artzzle Timing Feature

Gracie and I got kinda freaked out with all the blood, yuk!

Artzzle Timing Feature

We’re all OK now – Hubs too.

Today is National Rotisserie Chicken Day though – no, seriously.  It also happens to be my grocery day so . . . it’s off to WalMart to buy one!

Don’t forget – stress less and you’ll start more!

Later – Cheryl

BIG P.S.    I love your comments.  BE SURE when you comment, that your address is set to receive my personal reply to you.  Otherwise, MARK THE FOLLOW-UP COMMENT BOX to get a reply from the post.

I’m still waiting  for some project updates and pictures from some of you (YOU know who you are! :)   Remember, you can find the email address when you click my profile pic on the home page.  Send pics, questions and concerns via that address!

Talk to you soon!

 

 

 

 

Whatever Weather

Whether wet or dry, weather has been the Big Boss around here all week, a 50/50 toss-up between rain and shine.  Good things are we need the moisture, but haven’t suffered severe flooding like many areas.  Another positive is, the rain holds off a while in between storms, and gives enough dry out time to mow.

Mow . . . and mow . . . and mow again! I swear the grass grows two inches a day, at least!

And those dandelions, ugh.  They seem to multiply by the thousands!

Artzzle Weather Feature

I love mowing on my rider . . .  but my back doesn’t like it so much.  Nice to have Hubs around now 24/7 to take an extra yard shift.

One of the damp days had just occasional sprinkles, which allowed me to clean out our little, front entry garden.  I forgot to take a B4, but below are Afters.

Artzzle Weather Feature

For a few years now, I’ve been planting only perennials; hardy plants that will tolerate our cold winters and continue to thrive the next summer.

Artzzle Weather Feature

As a natural course of things, over time, we’ve planted, and had to remove, various shrubs.  Unlike trees, shrubs have much shorter life-spans.

This corner below was emptied last summer, and we added a lilac.  This year, Hubs allowed a second stem to grow.   Lilacs can be fun to sculpt a bit as they grow. He’s going for a double trunk look here.  It’ll be fun to see if we like what develops . . . or not.

Artzzle Weather Feature

A diablo ninebark had to go this year.  Hubs cut it way back earlier in the Spring.  We were waiting for help, to dig out the stump, but look at this.

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I like this spot of color and texture in the garden, so it’s staying . . . at least for this summer.

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Oldest daughter gave me a Mother’s Day gift card, which covered three bags of mulch for a quick cleanup and a few decorative annuals, for some instant interest and color.  (Thanks Breezer!)

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Farther out in the front yard, we have a particular variety of willow tree, not the standard weeper.  It tends to lean a bit rather than stand straight up.  We specifically picked it for that reason.  Hubs and I both love what we call “whonky” and found it perfect.  Drives our one perfectionist neighbor crazy, but no one else seems to mind  ;-)

Artzzle Weather Feature

Willows are often easily started from trimmings, so this time when pruning, we saved a few cuts and popped em’ into some good dirt.  We’ve tracked their progress.

Artzzle Weather Feaeture

Surprisingly, most of them survived and thrived.  They’ll be transplanted in a few weeks, out back in one of the low spots, where they’ll have a bit more moisture.  Another area to watch grow.

The beautiful spirea below is presently all by himself in the back yard.  We’ll be moving him to the front area before Fall.

Artzzle Weather Feature

Nothing has been cleaned out in the little back garden yet, this year.

Artzzle Weather Feature

It’s a little big jungle out there.

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But this week is peak bloom time for our big old crown wegelia.  The blooms are so full and beautiful. You would expect a wonderful fragrance too, but not so with this shrub.

Artzzle Weather FeatureThis size of bush can easily afford to gift a few branch cuttings.

Artzzle Weather Feature

TIP:  Continue to keep fresh water up to the top of your vase, and these will open fully and be gorgeous for about a week.

FUN FINDS: Pictured here are some of my recent fun finds.

  1. Tall glass vase $3
  2. Decorative Scarf $0.75
  3. Three Tier (Pier One) display piece $2.50

They hold a few loose blossoms & leaves here, but the little sectioned holder is also great filled with candies when company comes.

Artzzle Weather Feature

TIP:  Keep water levels up in small holders too.  Holding very little, they evaporate quickly.

That’s what we’ve been up to this week . . . Hubs and I.  What’s new with you?

Remember . . . stress less, start more!

Later – Cheryl

Lots of WOW for $0 and 15 minutes

Got company coming this weekend?
Need to spruce up your place … quickly, cheaply, easily?
Round up some of your treasures and have a little fun.
It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Start with 3 items of different heights and textures (add more later if you want).  You can go “theme-y” with similar pieces, or pure random just showing off things you love.

Purely random here . . . 1. Rusty star, 2. Silver ceramic figurine, 3. Jawbone, naturally bleached. OK, I KNOW . . . you don’t have (or may not want) an animal’s jawbone.  I’m just goin’ for the process here.  You’ll be using your own great stuff!
Artzzle Display Feature

The jaw isn’t for everyone, but have to say . . . it’s the most talked-about arrangement in our house; a real eye-catcher and a great conversation piece.

TIP: Group your pieces, let them touch.  You want them to connect.  Sometimes a straight line works . . . but not too often.

Got books? Show em off.  Below, several big books are placed under artwork and dressed up with three decorative pieces.  1-2-3 you’re done!

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It’s easy to jazz up a shelf.  All we did here was line up three nice, but different vases to give things a little shine.  (YES, a line works fine here.)  NOTE: Use varied heights and patterns, and don’t put too much space between the items.  Pull them closer together.

Everyone has dishes and I’ve never met anyone who hates candy or flowers.
Dress up a convenient spot with 1. Bowl, 2. Plate, 3. Mug.  Add some flowers & greens from your yard. Throw in some goodies and you’ve got a great look on a kitchen table or the end of a counter. Just make sure it’s easy access for your guests.

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Don’t have or want the matchy-matchy look? No garden flowers? Use what you’ve got and like. 1. Paint can, 2. Tin, 3. Odd plate.

Artzzle Display Feature Clip some evergreens or shrub branches. YES, evergreens work all year round (but maybe use something besides peppermints and red candies when it’s not Christmas :) OR, pick up a cheap assorted flower bunch at the local box store – around $5 or less.

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Maybe you don’t have a yard at all.  Above, we just put root clippings from two houseplants into water.  EZ PZ.  (These stems will be planted after they root).

How about plants and books?  1. Houseplant, 2. Books, 3. Handmade wooden mallet.  You’ll have personal pieces of your own.

TIP:  Notice the little angle to the books.  EXPERIMENT, don’t always just line things up, or pull everything evenly to the front..

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You GUYS can use these tips too.  Just work what you have and follow the same 1-2-3’s.  Below are more masculine displays.  Again, really easy, just use things you already have.

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Natural wood pieces and beautiful rocks make great accents. On top, we used the paint can and house plant cuttings again, along with a little handmade fishing pole, a found rock and a VICTORY cycle gas cap.  (these all have meaning for a special fella of mine)

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TIP: The fishing plaque was simply positioned on the wall with putty (big box stores). It holds light weight things, can be as temporary or permanent as you want.  Doesn’t hurt the wall upon removal.

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Again, have fun and EXPERIMENT.   Here, three decorative boxes, more books, some natural elements and yes . . . even magazines.  This display was easy, and tells a story about the  person who lives here.

TIP:  Play!  Books can be upright but try leaning or stacking a few.   Magazines laying around?  Gather them up in a nice bunch and show em’ off.

Baskets are great in lots of places.  The one below stores (and displays) books and magazines.  NOTE:  Three pottery pieces on table top also hold books and treats.

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TIP:  For anyone . . . a quick dress-up for a couch: 1. Throw, 2. Toss Pillows.  Use a throw, small colorful blanket – toss it over the corner (or middle) of the couch, pull it together in the middle, then throw a couple toss pillows over the corner (or middle).

It’s also quick and easy, to pop flowers or a plant into a nice basket.

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Accent with favorite items.  Add a colorful placemat or scarf underneath and you’ve got a great table look.

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So just as the title promised . . .

  • $0 money spent using what you already have
  • Quick Spruce Up
  • Easy tips that anyone can do

Wishes to all for a safe, happy Memorial Day Weekend.

And remember, stress less . . . start more.

Later – Cheryl