Have to Admit It … Fall is Here

Okay, okay … I’m finally willing to say … it’s Fall.

The days are shorter and even the nights are changing, with temperatures dropping down after dark.  Weather has been wonderful though, allowing time to finish up outdoor “summer chores” that still sat undone.

After playing on polyvore this week, Fall finally kicked into gear for me.  It was prob’ly all that gorgeous orange!  Ya know how I love my oranges and browns.

So … today, we “Autumn-ed up” the place a little.

The orange vase was already in the table look, but with Summer’s tail end florals.

An easy switch here, simply using some of my spectacular seedums, a few colorful shrub branches and some rose hips from the garden.

Another quick change, was replacing the middle plate on this wall rack, from summer green to autumn burnt orange.

The hand painted plates, top and bottom, will work right up to Christmas, so they stay.

A bright lamp and one of my glass birds keeps company with more of the artisan pottery set, featured in the table arrangement … and on the coffee table.

Hubs’ favorite wildlife print has moved from over the fireplace, and now resides in the living room, along with an Edna Wolfe water color.

The blues, sands and browns in the painting, play nicely with the room’s orange, brown and aqua accents.

A large strand of silk Autumn leaves, was divided and included in several vignettes throughout the open living spaces, uniting the entire area with a continued look and theme.

Some of the leaves, a different scarf beneath and some earthy pieces now sit atop the piano.  The fun, scalloped table cloth is a mainstay, featured with most every arrangement there.

Remember when we switched rooms around a while back?

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Below is the newest look for the fireplace grouping, now in what was once the dining area.

The painting is one of mine … an acrylic, with subject and colors that keep the current look going.

TIP:  Remember Mixing = Maximum Interest.

My group here, has a few larger pieces at varied heights; woods and metallic are combined with glass and pottery items in finishes that – to me – complement each other.

More silk leaves were brought in, and a bit more of turquoise and orange are smuggled in, with the mini vases and fresh flowers (the only blooms left in the garden).

Mom’s copper cannisters were moved from countertop to cabinet top, for some sparkle up there.

Of course, I couldn’t exclude the hutch.  Ooh look at the “O” here!

Featured on a bottom half shelf is part of a cute pottery set I found at DISCOVERY THRIFT.  It was love at first site, but I only wanted the creamer and sugar bowl.  Wendy made me a terrific deal on the entire group; eight covered soup bowls, teapot, creamer and sugar … NEW in the box … $12.00.  Had to take it!

TIP:  Using only glass and china items in a hutch isn’t necessary, and may not be the best way to display.

When all is shiny and bright (especially with the mirror backing), everything just melds together and you don’t see the individual, unique pieces.  Mixing and separating a few groupings, keeps the eye interested and moving to see what’s next.

Some favorite books, a metal, pinecone paperweight and the beautiful walnut mallet Hubs made, occupy the other half of that bottom hutch shelf.  Oh and those cute, vintage bookends.

The front door WREATH was changed out a bit.  Some of the silk maple leaves were added … but the sparkly butterfly stayed.  I couldn’t part with it yet.

Recently, I purchased two indoor/outdoor rugs from BALLARD DESIGNS during one of their great sales.  One is for the entry area right by our front door and the other, a runner for our bathroom (I refuse to use those shaggy toilet rugs!)

As we have no actual foyer, I cover the builder’s vinyl with a nice rug (here, my Ballard Sale rug) and have a small scale chair nearby (ready for taking off those boots).  For Fall, I’ve used a mid-century side chair and used orange & white chalk on my message board

Before closing, a final update.  The two end-tables in the family room got identical little arrangements.  I always keep these small, to allow for frequent use in the seating group.

That was my day.  So, what awesome autumn decorating have you been up to?

Remember, stress less and start more.  And lately, I’m trying hard to stay positive, as it helps me be productive.  Maybe it’ll work for you too 🙂   Have a great weekend.

Later – Cheryl

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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.

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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.

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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

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!
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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

Room Tour

It isn’t a very mobile Monday as my back remains out of whack, but I don’t like to miss a post. Recently I’ve gotten some requests to feature our place in a home tour, so thought this might be a good time to put some of those pictures out there. Today the light was decent for getting some living room shots so that’s what I’ll share this time.

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This angle is looking into our living room from the kitchen.

Our house is a basic one level. In Minnesota it’s called a rambler, but is also sometimes referred to as a ranch style. The main living areas of the house flow into each other, in a very open floor plan. This includes a living room, dining room and kitchen, and on into a family room.

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You’ve seen this shelf piece before. We purchased it several years ago at Crate and Barrel. Such a versatile unit, it can be on a flat wall, up against a corner wall or straddled across a corner as it is here. You can also pair it back to back with an identical shelf for a nice look. We’ve even used ours horizontally on the floor as well. The two glass owls in this display are from KOHL’s (a birthday gift). Except for the photography and plants here, everything else is from thrift stores or garage sales, and was purchased for next to nothing (including the Hull, Frankoma and noemi pottery pieces).

The blue metallic piece is simply a small table from an outdoor patio set. It holds our electronics and a little basket for movie storage. The open leg area makes a perfect spot for extra toss pillows too.

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This is a small credenza piece, circa mid 1960’s. It was one in a set of three tables in my mom’s home; a brown, wood-look formica style popular at that time. I have redone this table three times. This treatment is my favorite as I used metallic copper paint to resurface the top and hardware, and added a light texture treatment to the paint in the body of the piece. Formica can be easily and economically redone. I love this credenza because its’unique shape and size can be used in so many places, and it was a special piece to my mom.

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The art piece pictured here is something I painted several years ago. I just plotted out a geometric layout that I liked. It is painted on masonite, simply using latex wall paint. Then the blocks were outlined with a copper paint pen. Over time, as I change colors in my houses, these colors change as well. The piece is designed to hang either horizontally or vertically as featured here.

The orange lamp, petite coffee table and its’ accessories are all thrift store finds. $7.00 for the lamp (new with tags), $10.00 for the table and $.75 for the scarf (which is an original Vera Wang textile). The copper tray was under a dollar.

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Our living room is wonderfully workable for several layouts. The couch out into the room as it is here, is one of our favorite arrangements. We also like our hutch across the angled walls as you see here.

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The larger, square toss pillows are in indoor-outdoor fabric, and were purchased new at Wal-Mart for $4.64 each. I liked the design and durability, especially with our pets. The orange and patchwork corduroy pillows are part of a comforter set that I found at a garage sale recently. The material washed up quite nicely and is very durable. And by using some of the items in different rooms, it helps unite the spaces.

Finally pictured is Hubs’ favorite chair. Let it be known that a man is not easily separated from his electronics OR his favorite chair. I can hear someone saying “that looks like one of those vinyl sets you used to buy at big box stores”. Yes it does look like those, but it has a special story. In the late 1990’s I worked for Dayton’s, a wonderful upscale store in Minneapolis. At that time employees got fantastic discounts, and even more so twice a year during their “employee appreciation days”. Hubs fell in love with this chair, which was an exclusive design, in leather, imported from Italy. We had never seen anything like it. Even with my discounts, it was pretty spendy for us, but I wanted him to have the chair. Fortunately for some, but unfortunately for us, within a year’s time, there were vinyl knock-offs of this design in every big box store around, going for about $99. The only proof we have of its’ authenticity is that it is nearly 20 years old, and still looks and feels like new.

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The three framed items were made with dollar store picture frames. I removed what was originally displayed, lined the back with black velvet, and then arranged several pieces of jewelry that had belonged to my mom, my aunt and my grandmother. The lamp is another thrift store purchase @ $5.00. TIPS: Always inspect wiring on these lamps; you don’t want dried out, or taped cords, or cracked cords or switches. Take a light bulb with you on your thrift trips, to test the lamp before you buy. REMEMBER, shades are easy to buy and or replace now days, so don’t pass up a great lamp base because of an ugly shade!

Thanks for stopping by today. Let your friends know we’re here. The more the merrier.

Later – Cheryl