In Case of Fire

More Decorating, More Miscellaneous, More Treasures

“Riches do not consist in the possessions of treasures, but in the use made of them.”  -Napoleon Bonaparte

My friend and I often discuss: “What would you grab first if your house was on fire?” We both have favorite pictures worth saving, and of course, my wedding ring is at the top of the list.  She has a memory book that is very important to her, and everyone in her family knows where it is and that they must “GRAB IT BEFORE ESCAPING!”  Then we say, “Well, if there’s more time, then I would probably try to save…”  I know that ultimately these things are just possessions, and in the end it’s not things that matter.  Some people (other people) can be so free of things.  Their houses are sparse and sleek.  Well, that’s not me because, dang it, I like things!  I gain pleasure from pretty pieces of pottery and lovely books.  My heart sings when someone makes me a gift, or I find pretty vintage figurines or pieces of art at the thrift store.  I seriously hope I never have a fire, but the good news is that most of the items I own, while probably irreplaceable, didn’t cost very much money. One “thing” that would definitely be hard to save in a hurry, but means an awful lot to me, is my collection of Mary Engelbreit Home Companion magazines.

indexYears and years ago, still in the phase of my life where I moved from apartment to apartment, I started subscribing to the magazine. It was such a thrill to find it in my mailbox – like a special gift. I would wait until I had a good long time to sit down and savor it from cover to cover.  Well known for her colorful and light-hearted artwork, Mary lent her special touch to each beautiful issue.  Each one was bursting with art and pictures of rooms and homes like the one I wanted to create.  These people had collections, and books, and art and things!  I pored over the pictures admiring the eclectic and whimsical decorating styles.  I used sticky-notes to mark my favorite ideas, because I wouldn’t think of tearing out pages like I did with all of my other magazines.
 MEpicThen I decided to get online and try to find copies of all of the issues I didn’t own – the ones from the first few years of publication.  It was like a treasure hunt, and it took me awhile, but I eventually completed my collection.  Finding a copy of the first issue was especially hard, but I felt like I had won a marathon (obviously I don’t run) when I won the auction on Ebay.

img010Once I had them all, I lined up all of my Mary Engelbreit Home Companion magazines on my shelf in chronological order and marveled in the completeness of it.  Then something awful happened.  No, my house didn’t actually start on fire.  To my dismay, the publishers decided to quit publishing the magazine, and for awhile, I mourned the loss of my special quarterly visitor in the mail.  Yet, as each season rolls around, I pull the magazines out and look them over once again.  Around Thanksgiving, I gather all of the Christmas issues and have a mini-vacation going over them again.  In the coldness of January, I find warmth in snuggling up with all of the issues filled with Valentine’s Day loveliness.  In fact, I just took out the summer issues to enjoy, which gave me the inspiration for this post. It’s a little ritual that gives me comfort.  (The fall issues, with all of their Halloween pictures are always my favorite!)
mlulm1Vx4xDKDy10ImZ8l6gI have gotten many an idea, and created some of my most special artistic creations, with inspiration from these pages.  I realize that Mary Engelbreit has moved on from publishing her magazine.  Undoubtedly, the ones I have are such a special treasure. In case of fire, I will do my best to save them from the flames.  However, Mary, if you read this, just let me say, if you decide to start rolling the Home Companion off the presses again, I will be one of the first subscribers, and it will be my mission to write something for its pages.Of course, you can see what Mary is creating now on her lovely website.  I stop by from time-to-time to see her latest art work, and I always love it!

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Just Us Spring Chickens (and ducks)!

More Decorating, More Treasures

“Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral.”   – Frank Lloyd Wright

I have a lot of fun Easter decorations, but this year got away from me, so I just put out a few spring things.  These little cuties are my favorite.  I love their simple monochromatic style and soft, vintage colors. I usually pick them up at thrift stores for under a dollar, and I keep an eye out for them whenever I am poking around the shops.

IMG_3705 Happy Easter and Happy Spring!

 

I’m in Love!

More Crafts, More Decorating, More Treasures

“All you need is love…”  –The Beatles

In recognition of Valentine’s Day, the diamond company, Brilliant Earth, recently contacted select bloggers inspiring us to form our own unique expression of love to share with others.  Brilliant Earth is a company committed to providing ethically sourced diamond wedding and engagement rings.  I can’t think of any more important piece of jewelry in my life than my wedding ring. Is it a conflict free diamond?  I don’t actually know  where it came from, as it was given to me as a family heirloom once belonging to my husband’s grandmother.  That is my favorite kind of jewelry actually, pieces with a story – handed down and passed along.  It’s the ultimate form of being green, don’t you think?

Without a doubt, I have lots of jewelry pieces tucked away.  Many are sentimental for the memory attached to it or the person from whom it was given. I’ve been gathering hearts for a few years now with the intention of making something special for Valentine’s Day, and this seemed like the perfect time to create a collage full of my “memory jewels.”  I see a heart from Grandma’s pin, and a lone earring, given to me by my best friend in the first grade (the other one long since lost). I see  pendants from necklaces I once wore (and some given to me by a former beau or two.)  It’s a story of the many people whom I have loved – and I love it!

lovefinalx

How do you say “Love?”

Oh Deer, Christmas is Here!

More Decorating, More Treasures

“The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed…” –Warren D. Jennings

Sometimes I find some wonderful treasures at the thrift store to make it an extra merry Christmas.  I thought I would share a few of my recent finds.

IMG_3515 No markings on this piece, so it’s probably homemade– Which makes it even more special!

IMG_3530Vintage “Japan” Ceramics

IMG_3517A lovely vintage Napco planter.

 

Merry Christmas and Merry Thrifting!

Journey of the Heart

More Miscellaneous, More Nature, More Treasures

“The beauty of the heart
is the lasting beauty.” –Rumi

I spend a lot of time hiking the trails, wandering the creeks, and simply exploring the beauty of northwest Montana.  Last summer we took a special hike to one of the favorite mountaintops of our beloved Hondo – a dog that we loved for seventeen years and to whom we had recently said good-bye.  On that hike (an especially long one, I might add) I decided that I wanted to find a heart-shaped rock to bring home as a memento.  Well, I found a few, and this year, when we returned to that special place, I found a few more.  Once I started looking, they seemed to find me.  So, here’s to Montana, and here’s to the love of a good dog.  They steal our hearts, and they’re never the same, are they?IMG_3239

Kitchy Cute = doe-c-doe

More Crafts, More Decorating, More Treasures

“Without atmosphere a painting is nothing.”
― Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn

I’m loving by the photos for sale in the Etsy shop doe-c-doe.  First of all, I’m a little obsessed by old Paint-by-Numbers pictures.  I’ve been snagging them at thrift stores and consignment shops lately, and I think they’re just peachy!  I hit a garage sale last a couple of weeks ago and found a vintage kit with the print still in the box – untouched. (I’ve got big plans for sitting down with that bad-boy this winter and trying my hand at a little long-forgotten craft skill.)  Here are three of the kitchy-cute  pieces of photography available from doe-c-doe. red bicycle with paint by number background print

avon camper with paint by number background print

ewe with paint by number background printAdorable, don’t you agree?  Perhaps I’ll get all three!

Restoration Hardware: Shelf Knockoff

More Decorating, More Treasures

“Why hurry over beautiful things? Why not linger and enjoy them?”
Clara Schumann

Recently, I became sad about all of the beautiful pottery I have collected that has been sitting in boxes since my last move (six years ago!)  I desperately needed some shelves to display my collection, and for some reason, this look from Restoration Hardware really caught my eye.  However, the price was out of my budget.  So, I headed to the hardware store, and came up with a similar design that looks fantastic in my bedroom and didn’t cost an arm and a leg!  Now I am enjoying my pottery, and also realizing that I probably shouldn’t buy any more because these shelves are FULL.

Here are the versions from RH.  Aren’t they beautiful?

shelfjingbracketsjingAnd here’s what I came up with…. First, I bought some galvanized steel pipe with a threaded end.  I think they came in one foot  lengths.  I used a pipe cutter to trim each end to length.  It took a little while, but it wasn’t too bad.  I cleaned each of the pipes really well with some de-greaser.

shelf4

Then I added a floor flange and a black plastic plug (these are in the isle next to all of the pipe.)  I spray painted them an oil-rubbed bronze color.shelf5Then I put them in the drill press and added holes so I can attach the brackets securely to the shelf.

shelf3Here’s how they turned out.  I think they look very similar to the more expensive ones from RH, don’t you?

shelf6My shelves are actually re-purposed bi-fold closet doors from our Habitat for Humanity Resale store.  I removed the brackets, cleaned them up, and added a couple of coats of clear satin spray paint for protection.  Now I can enjoy all of my vintage pieces of pottery…. Really, I have enough!

shelf2shelf1

It’s Spring…. Really!

More Treasures

“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”
–Mark Twain

Montanans love to say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait another ten minutes.”  This is especially true in the spring.  No matter the snow flurries of the past weekend, I still see signs of peonies popping through the earth!

I thought I would share a vintage advertisement from my stash of Saturday Evening Post magazines found literally – in my grandmother’s attic.  I love these old magazines and the nostalgia they inspire. This one was from the ’50’s. Unfortunately, the pages were too big for my scanner, but you get the idea. So, here’s to grandma’s attic, but equally as important, here’s to spring!

spring

Gettin’ My Green On!

More Treasures

“If I keep a green bough in my heart, then the singing bird will come.”       –Chinese Proverb

Today I’m sharing a little gallery of some green treasures in my stash – in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, of course.  It’s right around the corner, and I’m sure everyone is thinking green!

marchThis sweet little vintage planter says “Relpo” on the bottom and I don’t often see St. Patrick’s Day vintage items, so this is a favorite second-hand find.

march2This miniature chair came with a red couch at my favorite consignment shop!  they make quite a pair!  My chair fetish is legendary, but this one fit in my car and doesn’t need re-upholstered.  Bonus!

march3I found this vintage strand of beads at the thrift store that are chunky, funky and definitely in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope you’re ready to get your green on!  Erin go Bragh!

Love my Haeger

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“Love is all you need.”  –John Lennon

It was pure bliss to spend a little time yesterday at the thrifty shops….  My best find was this lovely, vintage Haeger flower vase.  Every once in awhile the pottery gods are looking down upon me.  I also can’t pass up cool old dictionaries, and I know that makes me sound like a crazy librarian, but hey.  The letter dice and the cute little sand-timer came from an old game called Scribbage that I picked up for a song.  Finally, this adorable little coffee mug was begging to come home with me for Valentine’s Day.  Another day of good finds, great deals, and a little harmless retail therapy!

vdayHappy Valentine’s Day and as always, Happy Thrifting!