TOILET PAPER & ONE UGLY MESS

It’s reality time around here today.  Well … yesterday, today and a few more days following.  If I am brave enough to post the pictures, this article will prove once and for all, that indeed, I don’t always have a spotless house!

Yes, this post involves one ugly mess AND toilet paper . . . but don’t worry, one has no relation to the other (at least not today).

Toilet Paper & One Big Mess

True, we’re barely at the brink of the Thanksgiving holidays, and still far away from Christmas or Hanukkah, but I have a great reason for considering them all, at this very moment.

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Our tribe is located far and wide, with many blended family members and obligated gatherings they must attend.  It makes holiday plans difficult for everyone to schedule.  And of course, our Midwest weather often compounds the problems.

The photo above is from a previous year.  Right now, our weather is great … but I put emphasis on the RIGHT NOW part!

We always tell the kids that our celebrations don’t have to be on the exact day or holiday weekend.   It has become a successful plan, as everyone is less harried and more relaxed when they don’t have to “eat and run”.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

For a change, this year instead of two distinct celebrations, our house is having one big shindig … on December 13th.  A date between the two major events, and as thus, there’ll be no specific turkey or menu item, just a giant potluck.  My attitude is sort of  “eat what’s here or fill up when you get home”.  I figure if everyone brings things they enjoy eating, it should be just fine.  Right?!  I say “bring on the baked goods”!

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

But back to point.  My big mess is the holiday ornaments, trappings and wrappings strewn everywhere.  Hub’s dragged up the Christmas tubs from the crawl space, and got the tree down from the garage attic.  And here it all sits, not beautifully arranged as yet, but simply opened and stacked throughout the rooms.

My master plan began with an early evaluation of ALL of the pieces.  It’s part of my “get rid of it, clutter-free” campaign.  Facing facts, we don’t need even half of this conglomeration.  I won’t say exactly half will leave, but I’m really trying for that result.

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First, I sorted and threw out any broken or damaged pieces.  Next, I chose several items or groups of ornaments and listed them on Craigslist.  The idea being whatever doesn’t sell, will be donated to the little thrift store where I volunteer.  As this will happen before December 13th, they’ll still have plenty of time for Christmas sales.  And, actually, we make quite a bit on our “After Holidays” sales too.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

There were literally hundreds of unbreakable ornaments, all shapes, colors and sizes.I DID keep a few of each type, but the majority was divided evenly. Two sets of 150 ornaments each, with mixed colors and designs, will go to Craigslist or the store.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

Amongst the Christmas things, I found a few Fall and Thanksgiving items as well.

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Those also went on Craigslist.

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The tree is up and skirted, but stands naked by the fireplace at the moment.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

And yes, in the shot above, that is Gracie’s rear end in the upper right area.

My SANTA BEARS came out of hibernation.  They will all be STAYING.  Right now one of them is atop the piano.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

The new shelf unit Hubs made me this summer, previously held my vase collection.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

Now, it’s showing off my mini Christmas tree collection.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess "Feature"

You can see I’ve done a good editing job with this group.  Below are the items for Craigslist.

Toilet Paper & One Ugly Mess

That’s where we’re at today.  And this mess should prove to you doubters that my house isn’t always picture perfect.  But don’t count on many more examples of it, because I was REALLY HESITANT to feature these!

So, that’s the UGLY MESS … but you’re still wondering about the Toilet Paper, right?

Well, another Cher, my friend over at Craft Alternatives, sent this out last week, and I just had to share it.  C’mon, pretty, right?

The Craft Alternative Link

And YES, it is too “Toilet Paper” in there 🙂 Be sure not to miss the optional container ideas!  Thanks, Cher.

The Craft Alternative "Link"

We’ll talk again soon.  And remember, positive equals productive, and staying so, helps you feel happier, for all those special days coming up.

Later – Cheryl

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What ARE These Things?

Wow, I’m getting this Whatever Wednesday series down!

Everyone knows how I love to use everyday items in unusual ways.  When I found these at the local thrift store where I volunteer … well, I wondered “What the heck are these things”? But I didn’t really care what they were supposed to be for.  I just knew exactly what I was going to do with them.

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It’s doubtful I’ve ever mentioned it, but among my other collectibles, I have tons of purses.

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Lately Hubs and I have been on this “down-sizing” campaign, trying to rid our little abode of all things not regularly used … i.e. we’ve been clearing out a lot of stuff. I hesitate to use the word “junk”, because most of it was loved and valued at one time or another.

Anyhoo, this week I attacked all those purses.  For many moons now, I’ve wanted to give my little walk-in closet a new look, so figured this was a great way to start.  For you ladies out there, I don’t know how this number will hit you, but my purses numbered twenty.  In all fairness, that does include a leather fanny pack and a tiny black evening purse, so technically only eighteen.

I use an easy method when “cleaning out” and I’ll share that in a later post  But after pairing down the purses …

I got back to those brass thing-ies.

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Each piece was dismantled …

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removing the hooks from their mountings …

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and then working them through the wire shelving in my closet.

You’re seeing double here because I have a full length mirror on the back wall of the closet.

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And now, I put my original idea into motion.

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I don’t mind that these hang down over the mirror because we have another one in the adjacent hallway.  The closet mirror is mostly to get more light in there.

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I’m really happy with this project, because I love having the purses in easy view and access.  More importantly, I gained a ton of shelf space where these had been stuffed in.

SUMMING UP

1.  The four brass hook deals were $1 for all.  I saved the brackets … I’m sure I’ll use those somewhere!

QUESTIONS

So, how many purses are okay? Is twenty too many, is five not enough?
You know how curious I am, so tell me what you think.
And … how many do YOU have?

Later – Cheryl

Friday Features

It’s Friday. Yep, it rolls around every week about now.

Friday is (usually) my “go to town” day. I’m trying to become a “scheduler” type. You know … organize my time, supposedly to control it and maximize use.

This is the day I schedule for away trips … get groceries, run errands, and do a little side shopping when the budget permits. Aby over at SIMPLIFY 101 has lots of sensible tips for organizing. Her info has concise, to-the-point suggestions that can be read quickly and applied easily to your home routines. Best of all, she allows for flexibility with schedules and rules. Aby knows, as do we all, that everyday, things just happen that weren’t on the schedule, and we have to adapt … go with the flow.

Today’s Friday for me, is flowing more towards staying home. It’s a gorgeous, sunny day and I’m in the mood for … well, I’m not exactly sure what I’m in the mood for, but it isn’t going to town and dealing with “places packed with people”.

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My Newfie/Lab mix Fozzie is keeping me company this morning. Our Gracie is very much a “girly girl”. She’s sleeping in.
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I started my Friday morning out at my computer, in my “new-to-me” desk chair. Isn’t it bootyful? And it fits my booty so comfortably.
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Mr. Chair and Miss Mirror were found at a favorite area store, DISCOVERY THRIFT My local readers love Discovery, but it’s also proof positive for everyone else, that you should investigate any/all thrift stores in your own area because there are big deals that don’t need big budgets. Okay, so I have to share what I paid (and make everyone jealous). The mirror was … wait for it … $15 … YES, just fifteen dollars! It is heavy glass with solid wood framing. If you’ve ever searched for mirrors of this quality, used or otherwise, you know what a bargain this is.

And the super comfortable, clean and adjustable desk chair (in excellent repair) … are you ready? My chair was only $35 and worth every penny. I’m at my desk, enjoying it right now.

I’m thinking of putting my mirror on top of this piece. Will probably do some sort of paint treatment on both to bring them together.
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Everyone is budget concious now days, even bloggers and DIYers. That’s why I wanted to share another online find today, for you artistic types. Karen, THE GRAPHICS FAIRY is one of my featured favorites today. We seem to have quite a bit in common; blended families, graphics design; dog lovers. and Karen shares oodles well tons, let’s just say LOTS of wonderful graphics images for just about any project a person can think of … and they’re FREE. Plus there are DIY projects, tutorials and all kinds of fun stuff.

Do you notice how most blogs are about more than just one thing? They are a wonderful way for us to share, care and learn about many interests. That’s why I began Artzzle, because I’ve always truly felt that Life is a “Giant Puzzle of Art and Design”.

Hope I’ve added a few pieces to your puzzle today! Visit these features and let me know what you think. And tell them Cheryl at Artzzle sent you over. Be sure to share your favorite posts with friends so they can join us too!

As always, don’t stress, just start.

Later – Cheryl

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No included content or photography can be used elsewhere without specific permission from said originators.

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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

When things just don’t come together

Hi everyone. Sorry no posts yet this week. After two attempts, I had a lot of good ideas, yet nothing was cominig together. But you know me, three is my lucky number, so let’s hope the third time is a charm.

Everybody has times when things just don’t gel well. Interiors don’t always come together when we’d like them to, either. But hey, it’s your home. There’s no time limit on buying the right couch. Registering a polished style by a certain age, is not a requirement. You won’t receive a bad grade if you try the wrong paint color. So relax.

Last weekend my guests and I relaxed … by shopping. We explored a huge antique store in Elk River, had a sandwich lunch in a quaint little bakery there and hit some great thrift and outlet stores on the way home. Was that ever fun and look what I found.

Not sure what I’ll do with the three bright buckets but for now they are hanging on my studio rack, just looking pretty and making me feel good. They were $1 each at the Elk River Goodwill.

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At the moment, my living areas have several different tans, browns and metallic colors so this rug pattern is a perfect addition. It’s also a triple duty piece, as it can be used in two other rooms as well.

Look closely and you’ll see a furry black face on a chair in the family room. That would be Fozzy! He’s never far away from me.

The 5 x 7 new rug was a bargain for $49.99 at the Milaca Unclaimed Freight outlet. An 8 x 10 would have been a better fit, but that pattern & size weren’t in the store, and though only $99.99, it wouldn’t have been in my budget either. So, I took the leaf out of the dining room table, and got a fresh new look.

Below are some fun finds from an earlier trip to Discovery Thrift Store in Milaca, Minnesota. Not a formal grouping, just wanted to show each of them to you.

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The apple cookie jar jumped out at me on the shelf and $2.99 was budget friendly. The cup & tray set was a new item, still in the box. Another good deal at $2.99, with modern colors and a funky design. These mini books are popping up everywhere lately. They’re fun and just the right size for a party favor or an accent on a gift package. This is one of three purchased for just $0.49 each.

We all search out decor ideas, we want and work for a certain look, but sometimes it just doesn’t come together right away. Decorating is meant to develope with you over time, not for you on a scheduled date. Part of the fun is in the finding, the collecting of the treasures that will tell your story.

Please don’t be like a former neighbor of mine, who never felt competent or comfortable with any aspect of decorating. A living room stood empty for years. I visited one day and the door opened to reveal a fully furnished frontroom. Every item in a styled showroom had been purchased, and set up exactly that way in her room. As a stager and showroom stylist, I have to say it was beautiful. But it was staged NOT decorated.

“There, it’s done” she proclaimed. “Now I can forget about it”, and she did just that. In all the time we knew them, it remained a forgotten room, just an acceptable way to greet visitors. Her “proper” tree was displayed in the window every Christmas for passers-by to see, but no flames ever warmed the fireplace. No one ever snuggled on the cozy couch in front it.

There IS a difference between Staged and Decorated. Catch an upcoming post for more info.

Meanwhile, enjoy the rest of your week and remember, don’t stress, just start.

Later – Cheryl

Thanks for stopping by. You’ve just read “When Things Just Don’t Come Together” featured on Artzzle.com. You’re invited to ask a question or leave a comment. I look forward to your input.

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