PICK YOUR POISON: DESIGN INSPIRATION

I’m particularly fond of the strange and unusual.

With furniture, that means I like it to ‘pop’. When I walk into a room, I’d like it tell me a story. The genre of story, doesn’t necessarily have to be specific, but  knowing a story exists …now that’s the holy grail of design.

My usual method of inspiration (being the age of technology), is the internet. Specifically, the image selection on the search engine. When I need a muse, I surf!

Today’s search started off with #coffee furniture.

 


This of course led into retro, contemporary and future furniture. Some of these designs are still in the ‘concept’ mode.

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For the designs that are still stuck in concept mode, I’d like to think a little hard-work, determination and a credit line at Home Depot will correct the issue at hand.

The issue being: I want said furniture. Solution: Make my own. (Or at least get close to it).

Of course if I make my own, I can’t sell it. The concept wouldn’t mine. But I’m not a furniture dealer…so who cares? And the futuristic items are just that…in the future. I can’t buy them!  But the overall design or theme, already exists.

Hmmmm….where will I go from here?

Who knows?! It could all just be wishful thinking.

But damn…it sure is fun to dream!

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33 Amazing Sculptures From Around The World

33 Amazing Sculptures From Around The World

I’m smack in the middle of the biggest artist’s block known to man. I’ve got  canvas, acrylics, oils, brushes etc…and my mind is blank. This is typically when I Google search ‘madness’, so to to speak. Randomly typing in the first words that come to mind. The ‘images’ feature, by far, is my favorite Google feature. Today’s search was so fascinating, I feel the need to share. Maybe it’ll help you with your artist’s block, inspire a novel or just help you unwind. Today’s search : Odd Sculptures

Which ones are beacons of hope, fantasy and illusion? Which ones are the artist’s amazing rendering of their waking nightmare?  You decide. 

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I don’t know about you guys, but I’m either sleeping with the lights on tonight….or grabbing a bowl of popcorn and watching Stephen King movies…but I’m definitely inspired.

DIY Pottery Barn Hacks

As much as I’d love to toss aside $50 like it’s nothing, I would be doing myself a huge disservice. I like Pottery Barn and IKEA as much as anyone else, but money is money. You’ll get it away from me, when you pry it from my cold dead hands.

You know what they say: Necessity is the mother of invention…or in the this case, ‘wanting’ and ‘frugality’. But before we go any further, I want to be clear…decorative items are just that…DECORATIVE. They serve a visual purpose only. I’ve often shook my head in disbelief at the large sums of money that people throw away to essentially STARE AT AN OBJECT! Appliances, bedding etc…of course, buy new and with a warranty. But to look at something across the room?! What a waste.

Here are a couple of items directly from the Pottery Barn website….

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The vases above,  have the same appearance of candle holders glued to bowls. Obviously, their’s is one piece, but you can accomplish the same look for 2$ and some  hot glue. 

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Admittedly, they are lovely…but  I’m cheap!

So here’s what I did for a Valentine’s theme vase.

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Two Dollar Store vases

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Glue the two vases together with hot glue.

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Fill with Dollar Store fillers.

 


I also frequent local Thrift-Stores. Stay away from fabric items that can retain bed bugs. Everything else, you can scrub in the garage prior to entry. Bed bugs can also hide in the crevices of dressers. So be  wary. Those are items you have to bite the bullet on, but can often find fabulous sales if you do your homework.

Today’s find was just what I was looking for! Two tall candle sticks.

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A side note: These candle holders were $1.40  each at the Thrift-Store.

Here’s the average price on Google’s Shop Search:

(Remember, it’s about the ‘look’. These are decorative items.)

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I sincerely believe…Hot Glue is the answer to all the world’s problems.

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Have fun with it. Every now and then grab a couple items. Keep in mind your overall theme. And never pay full price. You’re paying for a label. I’ve never gone into someones home and started looking at the labels on the bottoms of their decor. Nobody does that, unless of course…they lack manners. (Or it’s your best friend, then by all means…share you money saving tips!)


 

Here was a fun one I did last night….Clearly I have Valentine’s Day on the brain. With this many hints literally right in front of him,  hopefully  my husband will remember it!

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Recycled flower hanger

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Hot glue and Dollar Store ribben

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On a side note: Those adorable 3-D hearts, came from  Pat Catans. They were $2  and already had built in foam tape on their backs.


Most of us already own stuff that we can up-cycle or refurb. Take a look  around. What are you sick of looking?  Give it a fresh new look. And check out the Flea Markets, Thrift-Stores and Dollar Stores, before you spend your hard earned cash.

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While I enjoy the look of the ladder, paying $249-$429 to enjoy the look of the ladder…is nuts. Buy some wood at Home Depot and knock yourself out. Obviously, they don’t need to be sturdy. They are decorative.


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Top 20 Valentine’s Day DIY Projects

Top 20 Valentine’s Day DIY Projects

 

The Pinterest bug hit this morning with a vengeance! As a result, we’ve created a few things and surfed the net to keep our minds in the Valentine’s DIY spirit. Here are a few things we found. By ‘we’, I mean my daughter and I. Of course… one can only surmise at this point, that I yanked her into my crazy crafting hot glue obsession. At least…she liked the throw blanket that we picked up for a  whopping $5…. Go us!

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So we of course…hot glued a bunch of stuff. The best part about hot glue, is the fact that you can PEEL IT OFF! You can re-use all your dollar store goodies for other DIY projects.

And we went nuts on the fireplace…..

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So join us in all of our gluey, crafting, Pinterest obsessed glory! Here’s our Top 20 Valentine DIY ideas….

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Interior Design 2017 Color Trends

It’s that time of year. The New Year is upon us! For some of us, this means we’re buried neck deep in darkness, freezing temps and a strong need to create a positive atmosphere. The holidays are over (although we still have Valentines Day for all Pinterest lovers everywhere), and it’s time to settle in for the winter doom and gloom….or not.

Drawing on the Pantone Report, 2017 is guaranteed to be bright and vibrant. I sincerely hope that you  LOVE color!

*Links and credit included

Without further delay, here are the top picks for 2017 interior design and decor.


http://interiorzine.com/2016/09/15/interior-design-trends-2017/

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http://www.designmena.com/insight/trend-forecaster-milou-ket-reveals-colour-trends-for-20162017

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http://www.designmena.com/insight/trend-forecaster-milou-ket-reveals-colour-trends-for-20162017

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http://www.catherineandjasonbarry.com/interior-design-trends-coming-2017/

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http://www.bykoket.com/news/interior-design/elle-decor-predicts-color-trends-2017

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http://modern-homedesign.com/modern-vintage-interior-design-7402/modern-vintage-interior-design-2017-of-modern-home-interior-ign-home-interior-ign-for-home-gallery/

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http://joburgeastexpress.co.za/65332/5-interior-design-trends-for-2017/

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http://www.designmena.com/insight/trend-forecaster-milou-ket-reveals-colour-trends-for-20162017

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http://www.eclectictrends.com/category/trends/page/3/

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http://h0me.website/interior-design-colors/

interior design colors for 2017


http://modern-homedesign.com/modern-vintage-interior-design-7402/modern-vintage-interior-design-2017-of-modern-house-ign-trends-2017-of-living-room-ign-trends-living-gallery/

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It doesn’t take a trained eye to notice the clean, eclectic, bright and yet classic pattern of 2017’s design trends.

I don’t know about you, my lovely reader, but I can craft and Pin with the best of them! Dollar stores, craft stores and thrift-stores can make this years interior design projects much less expensive. And when you create the design, it holds a much deeper meaning.  When you’re relaxing on the sofa enjoying your splendid handy-work, give yourself a pat on the back and stare in awe at your incredible artistic vision.

Currently I’m working on some Valentine’s goodies…that should keep me occupied for a while. Happy Bargain Hunting!

OUTSIDE IN

Update: A neighbor gave us a free table! I love freebies! 


And now we are only waiting on one more tank. Two came today. 

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We are genuinely having a lot of fun with this bedroom makeover. And hey…science!
So my youngest son was in serious need of a room makeover. He’s outgrown Minecraft and quite frankly, so have I. As he has taken an interest in things that crawl and swim, we’ve decided on a ‘living bedroom’.

Last week, he picked out his first lizard habitat! He brought home an anole, which he lovingly named ‘Psycho’. (It’s a tad fast and crazy). And rather than using the plastic decor, he read up and decided to use science. He created a living habitat.

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Creating a live habitat is time consuming, but worth it. Just be prepared to make a mess in the kitchen. (Rocks, sticks, etc…require boiling or baking to kill any bacteria, when collected directly from nature).

We painted over the Minecraft decor, to create a colorful bush. We’re planning to paint in some snakes and lizards.

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We added a rugged looking wood pallet, to add to the outdoor ambience. It also makes a great fishing pole holder! ( We also need to replace a missing drawer knob and finish unscrewing the pieces from the closing doors. At one point that dresser/lizard set-up was a tv stand…I prefer seeing a reptile there).

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Currently, we are in the process of building a tree. Yes..building a tree (below).

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And we hung some fishing floats and bobbers, on the branches above his window. It’s a work in progress.

Of course…#zombies…

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Hey…I have to pick my battles. And he’s a Walking Dead fan.

At the moment, we are waiting on three more tanks. They are 10, 7.5 and 2.5 gallon aquariums.

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He’s positive he wants a beta. No goldfish, as none of these tanks are large enough. Goldfish are not meant for bowls or small tanks. I have never understood why anyone would even do that. They get huge in the wild and produce an insane amount of amonia…but to each his/her own. Possibly tetras?

Years ago, I had a wonderful tank. 50 gallons and it was my pride enjoy. Then life happened. Fortunately, I kept my favorite book EVER, and found it last week in the basement.

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He’s been engrossed for several days now. I told him the rule of thumb: If the book says the fish requires 10 gallons…just double it, to be on the safe side. And get a filter that goes over the size required for the tank. Past experience shows, he can’t really mess it up if he follows those rules.

For the basic set-up on the 10 gallon, we went to the river to collect rocks. Then we boiled them to kill the bacteria. They should be all set by the time the tanks get here. Now we just need to find a suitable subtrate. (Except for the Sponge Bob tank…he wants that one just the way it is).

So for now…we wait…

Once the tanks get here and he’s figured out what fish he would like to raise, we’ll post an update. I’m happy he’s found a hobby that requires both science and heart. With those two things, life is just….more.

etc. special things for special people

For the next month or so, I’ll be showcasing family-owned businesses and small business owners.

This is an effort to show the amazing creativity thought up and fully executed by some incredibly talented individuals. Owning a small business requires an artistic streak and a beautiful imagination. A small business holds the owner’s heart and soul. They’re giving us full access into their creative thought process every time we walk in the door.

Whether it’s a chef, a bar owner,  a photographer, a painter or a farmer, by owning a small business, they’re showing the world their canvas.

Small businesses tend to produce better products. Their name is on the business and they know it. They know the vast majority of the people who walk through the door. They maintain ongoing long lasting friendships with many of them. The sense of community in a family-owned business is very telling.

PLUS: Shopping local greatly increases town revenue which =more local jobs=local manufacturing=higher wages=more money for the consumer. 

The owners of local businesses are more likely to make darn sure they’re handing you a great meal, great service or strong long lasting products. 

Large corporation owned businesses, generally don’t have the same mindset. Just ask a cashier at a chain store (if you can find one), what a certain item does or where it’s made. Ask how long that item is said to last and who you can call when it breaks. Will the phone-call  require you to have your phone not only charged, but plugged in so it can outlast the wait time? Remember…  we get what we pay for. Saving to buy a sturdy item from a local business, is obviously better for our wallets. Being pulled in by dollar delights, means we generally just bought more junk. In no time at all, we’ll be running back to replace that same junk.

 So without further delay, let’s talk gift shops! 

 etc. 

Yes. That’s the name! etc. is a quaint family-owned gift shop, located in the heart of downtown Amherst, Ohio.

At first glance, this little shop is full of color and vibrancy. From clothing and accessories, to cards, gifts and decor, it’s honestly just chuck-full of fun! Personally, I’m rather fond of the jewelry. There are just so many unique and genuinely  creative items to choose from. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find a one-of-a-kind gift. And the vintage lovelies? Oh my! Of course, my readers know,  I have a thing for vintage decor and old-world style. And this place has plenty.

For those of us who love visuals, I’ve included some photos below:

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For more information on etc. or to browse their products:  www.shopatetc.net , stop in at 215 Park Ave. Amherst OH 44001 or call: (440) 985-1999.

And a big thank you to the owner, Erin Link, for allowing me to photograph her wonderfully creative brain child. (And I think I left my coffee on a shelf).


 

 

 

 

Top 10 Interior Design Ideas for 2016

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Spring is in the air and according to the  PANTONE  Fashion Color Report, it’s going to  be a bright one. Plenty of color and contrast, in every shade of the rainbow.

Last night I began my own interior design project for spring. Luckily I picked a neutral living room set, leaving me plenty of ways to swap my colors as the seasons change. Although I still have a short shopping list. Ok…maybe it’s a long one. I’m indecisive. But here’s my list:

  • One large green lamp
  • One small rose lamp
  • Fresh cut flowers…by the dozens
  • One large throw rug
  • One large photo canvas depicting my lunch from last week: img_2935-1
  • Four mini photo canvas. I’m undecided as to which photos to use.
  • Several large colorful bamboo sticks

Currently, I am here:

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Day 1 of my spring remodel

I’ve still got miles of color to play with and plenty of imagination. Just yesterday, I picked up some fun kitchen decor:

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The pot was $1.50 and the flower cup was .50

And a really fun Alphabet table:

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Found for $3 at the local thriftstore.

In the meantime, I’ve compiled a list of Top 10 Interior Design Ideas for Spring 2016. 


 Did I mention I ADORE this years color palette???

TOP 10 Spring Living Rooms


  1. mattandshari

    From: mattandshari.com

     

  2. Coral-crush-in-the-backdrop-gives-the-small-living-area-a-glamorous-makeover

    From: Coral Crush

     

  3. spring_29_decorating

    From: Unknown. This photo was found on multiple sites.

     

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    From: hubpages.com found on multiple sites.

     

  5. spring-buckeyestate.jpg

    From: karenmills.net

     

  6. Decorating-spring-ideas-4.jpg

    From: mydesiredhome.com

     

  7. Navy-blue-living-room1-e1455711840107.jpg

    From: homedecorideas.eu

     

  8. caution-yellow-and-dark-blue-contrasts-living-room-decor.jpg

    From: Fashion Master

     

  9. 100036b4180f01a016452479b45724433815a875.jpg

    From: markandspencer.com

     

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    From: House Beautiful

     

Naturally, if it were up to me, I’d just have ten lovely living rooms. There are just too many fabulous color schemes to play with this year.

Of course this means; I’ll require  extra lazy strolls through the local flea market.

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The Art Studio …Thanks Grandpa

We have been having a lot of fun in this little room in the basement….


And since we technically don’t have to cleanup …. I’ve decided this messy little corner of the world, is my new favorite space. When we originally left this room in the basement unfinished, the plan was to use it for storage. However, I then later realized…. I hate messes and therefore don’t keep anything!?!

Last week , I was able to take some photos in a beautiful spot  downtown. And one kind of stood out. Maybe it was the conversation with my grandfather a few weeks before he died. He died this past December 2015. One of his favorite things to speak of, was his youth. My town is rather small, and my family was part of the group of original families to take part in making the town what it is. So when my grandfather would tell me his stories, I hung on to every word.

One of his last stories, involved the town hall. Which, as luck would have it, can be viewed from this upstairs room.


And the decor up there… Well… It’s right up his alley….


Called “the Sinatra Room”, it intrigued me from the start. But what really hit close to home, was the realization of where I was standing.

According to grandpa, this place used to be an old warehouse. They used it as storage. Sometimes it was a go between space for the extra stuff from the Town Hall. And my grandfather liked to tell me about how ringing the bell in that old building, was equivelent to taking your life in your hands and chucking it out a window, in hopes that you could fly. And the kids who made it up the staircase, were mighty brave indeed.

But here’s the irony… The day we said goodbye forever ? We came here, to this old warehouse. It’s a restaurant now. Well, technically 1/2 is. While they’re joined, one part is a casual pub and the other is on the higher end with a large wine selection. It’s a wrap around, joined by the kitchen in the center, both sides owned by one person. And the upstairs  from the photo also has a banquet hall. The bonus is, one of the original doors from the warehouse is still in use.

So somewhere between taking the photos and finishing the editing… I found this one to be my favorite….


And then, I sort of thought… How can I stick that spot… That spot that my grandfather probably stood while moving things about ( he was also a police officer , a mason, tool and die maker and on the town council)… How could I stick that spot in my living room?

We’d just built and art studio in that stole little space, in our basement.. That tiny little waste of space…that is now….my heaven….

  
And pulling elements from the photo onto a canvas was probably the most fun I’ve had swimming about in my own brain, than I’ve had in over a decade.



So I guess for now… I’ll sit right here and glance towards that old town hall. Maybe I’ll even hear that old bell.

I really hope  you’re watching back…

Taking the new oven for a test drive: Red Velvet and Ambrosia

My husband found a deal for WhirlPool applances. At first, I was iffy on the stainless steel….simply due to the fact, that it’s next to impossible to keep fingerprint free. And since I photograph food…well…you get where that may be a tad annoying.

However, one week in…and minus the endless bottles of stainless steel cleaner, I honestly do love the look and feel of the appliances.  (Albeit..if anyone can suggest a good cleaner, I’d appreciate it). And with fall promptly at my doorstep, red velvet came to mind!

So how did it go,  you ask?

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Well….my cakes cooked evenly, the color stayed in tact, the aroma is fantastic and the applainces look great….

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But for the love of all that’s HOLY.….somebody please tell me how to keep it spotless?!?!?!?!?!

Note: Don’t forget the Ambrosia Chocolate and Strawberries…..