Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cheap-o Christmas Eve

Ok, this post has nothing to do with painting, personalizing, or junky furniture. I promise to get back to the norm after this. But, since I have found I sort of enjoy writing these posts, I'm going to indulge myself.

Kelly's Korner, one of the few blogs I read, asked others to share a favorite Christmas tradition. True to form, my family has a weird one. We used to have a big meal on Christmas Eve, and Christmas day. Over the years, with the deaths of grandparents/parents, the number of adults gathering has shrunk, while the kid population seemed to explode. We had to adjust. Now, Christmas day is full of food and presents, and Christmas Eve is a little less traditional.

We eat pizza.

And we don't even make it. Pizza Hut does.

My parent's call when everyone else has arrived, and we pick up the pizza on our way to their house. The kids couldn't be happier. They even get a special treat of root beer in a bottle. The clean up is simple and quick. That way we can move on to the next event.

$1.00 gifts.

My sister and I each take our children to the dollar store, and let them pick out a gift for each of the 7 adults. Since we know the price will be $1, they get the pick of the store. It is so much fun to watch them shop. They really try to find something personal for each person. They even get to wrap their own presents - no matter how badly.
The real fun is when the adults open the gifts. The kids are beaming with pride. They get to feel the joy of giving, and we get a few good laughs. Like the time my Jackson, 4 at the time, thought my elderly grandmother just couldn't live without those fire engine red panties, with black lace trim. Or, when my brother-in-law received a lovely cowboy figurine, and managed to look grateful without laughing. While some of the presents have been odd, some have been pretty handy. What grandad or uncle couldn't use a roll of masking tape, or a pack of gum? What aunt can resist a candle in the shape of a cherry pie? My sweet nephew even bought me a glass to rinse my paintbrushes in. I use it all the time.
We occasionally throw in a game of dirty santa, but no matter what, we have tons of fun, and no stress. We save that for Christmas day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pink Elephant- Before and After

This is one of those projects that must leave my neighbors scratching their heads. And, possibly whispering about me.

When my mom and I set up our workroom, we decided to have a lot of fun with it. It's full of polka dots, patterns, and bright colors. Lots of pink. A lot like my work. And, the exact opposite of our neutral homes. We designated one area of the space for the ever present children. The television perched on a cabinet we always felt was a bit too wobbly. So, when I saw this piece of furniture at a local thrift store for $45, I knew we had to have it.

I said, "Let's paint it pink." Mom agreed.

We put it in the driveway, and began to paint. It was pretty darn pink. It looked like that one house in a rundown part of town that someone decided to paint pink. It was ghetto pink. My husband nearly died when he pulled up after work. I had to leave it out to dry, giving anyone who passed by a good laugh I'm sure.

After a coat of glaze, and some thoughtful distressing, I loved it! I was so excited to see it in our workroom, I was not even bothered by the grumbles from my husband and brother-in-law as they heaved it up the steep, narrow stairs.

I rarely paint anything this bright, but our "pink elephant" is now our favorite piece in our Littlebits workroom.

Monday, November 23, 2009


My sweet friend, and neighbor, just gave me a midnight blogging lesson.She has a very successful, and fun to read blog, Just Me and my Life in Nashville. (her link is on my blog list) She suggested I add the comments option. I didn't add it at first. I am scared I will open my email and read something that hurts my feelings, and, really, who needs that? So, from here on, please, please be kind :)

curtains + mink = Davey Crockett

I got more pajamas in today!! I was scared I wouldn't get any more before Christmas. I need to sew patches on them , but after last night, I think I'm gonna turn in early.

I had to stay until 1:30 to finish an order. I didn't get to start painting until around 11:00 because I was having to make a last minute Davy Crockett costume.

Jackson neede to go to school dressed as a famous Tennesseean today. Up until about 4:00 yesterday, he was going to be Sequoyah. For some reason he got the itch to be Davy Crockett, and wouldn't let up. So, I make a trip to the thrift store just before closing, and leave with nothing but a $2.50 old brown curtain. I felt sure I had a pattern at home that I could use. When I look for a pattern after dinner, I only have a pants pattern for a size 5. He wears a 12. Every store that I could possibly buy a pattern from was closed, so I totally winged it, hoping it would fit.

But I still needed a hat.

I dug around and ended up with my late aunts mink pillbox hat , (yes, mink), and pinned to the back, the fuzzy tail off of one of those little rodent toys tied to a ball from Cracker Barrell. I hung the entire outfit in his room for him to see when he woke up.

About 6:30am, he comes strolling in my room grinning from ear to ear. It was worth it. I still don't think Project Runway will be calling me anytime soon...

Baker was insanely jealous of the hat, and spent the afternoon playing in the backyard in a lovely, vintage 1960's pillbox hat. I think my aunt just rolled over......

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turkey confusion

I know, this turkey is a few feathers short. In the beginning he had 5, but over time they have disappeared. When I first started my work 10 years ago, I painted and sold TONS of these. I still remember sitting around with my sister painting feathers. My sweet Dad even made us a special little board to stand them up in to dry.
So, no matter how worn he gets, this turkey is a little sentimental.
One year, a customer told me a funny story about one of these turkeys she bought and gave as a gift. She bought it for a woman who "has everything". They were a wealthy family, and lived a pretty formal lifestyle. My customer said that shortly after Thanksgiving, she received a thank you card in the mail. The card thanked her kindly for the gift, and expressed "how much they enjoyed it in their turkey at the center of their Thanksgiving meal. They put it IN THEIR TURKEY!!! They didn't know what else to do with it.I can only imagine a beautiful table of china, crystal, and beautiful linens surrounding a turkey with a wooden head and 5 feathers sticking out. After that, I packaged them with instructions worded for a third grader.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them.
I have to keep telling myself this so I will post these on my website.(Or maybe I keep saying it to drown out the sound of my kids fighting over their afternoon popcorn snack). I LOVE these pink frames, and as of right now, they are the only 2 larger ones I have left. I know I could find a place for them, but I do not need them. I prefer a mix of new and old, but I keep collecting things that have more old to them than new. I don't want my whole house to look as if it is crumbling down because everything in it is crackled and distressed. You can have too much of a good thing. And so I repeat, I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them, I cannot keep them.
On the other hand, these cute little snack cups I can keep a few of. I think Lilly and Baker need their names painted on a few of them. I also have the sippy cups to match. I have decided to throw out all the yucky, old , mismatched sippy cups, (you know, the ones that get the black junk in the parts you can never reach, even with bleach and a toothpick..ugh) and treat myself to a few new, personalized ones. I am very frugal, and rarely keep much of my inventory for myself, but I am making an exception.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trip to the junk man

This afternoon I visited the guy I get a lot of my reclaimed wood and mouldings (sp?) from. He had some real goodies for me today! I got some beautiful, old door trim, that I think will make beautiful frames. It may look like junk to some people, but I love the look of the old, authentically crackled paint.
I also bought something I don't really know how to describe, but I think will be hard to part with. It looks like it may have been over a door on the front of a house. I have visions of it hanging over a bed instead of a headboard.I also bought some door panels to paint names and phrases on. I've had a harder time finding these lately, so I was excited to see them. I haven't picked the stuff up yet, but I will try to post before pictures when I do.
On a sad note, one of the chairs mentioned in my "ugly chairs" post has suffered an injury. I was trying to shift all the crap/merchandise in my garage, and I managed to fall off a rubbermaid tub onto one of the chairs. One arm was broken, and, luckily, it wasn't mine. I do have a lovely scratch to show for it though. It looks like Todd can fix it, but I may ask my Dad instead. Todd will view it as an opportunity to once again make fun of my purchase, and offer to put them in the dumpster for me. My Daddy will fix it no questions asked :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas village

What a weekend! It was Christmas Village, and I feel like I am finally coming back to the real world. Four days, and a total of 33 1/2 hours in the same chair painting names over, and over left my behind numb, and my hands sore. I am not complaining though, I am very thankful for the turnout, and all the lovely ladies that bought things in my booth. I am, however, glad to be able to eat something besides $1.00 large cokes from McDonald's. My liquid diet was beginning to get to me.
My biggest seller this year was personalized pajamas, and t-shirts with chenille christmas trees. I have never had either of these before, so I was pleasantly surprised. I was also pleasantly surprised that I didn't make as many mistakes this year. When you can take any name and spell it 5 different ways, it's easy to spell it wrong, especially when fatigue sets in. (Caitlin, Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Katelyn, Caitlynn, you see my point...)
I only had one weird return too. A lady returned a bib, she said she didn't like the "s". it looked fine to me, but the customer is always right, right?(except for the time a lady claimed the ladybugs along the bottom of her chalkboard were too big ...did she want them in actual size??)
I hated to post the picture that shows the booth from the aisle, it looks pretty pitiful and picked over. I was surprised to see in the picture a lady walking around with a beer. In my 10 years at CV, I never knew they served beer!! Maybe that's why the "s" and the lady bugs looked funny.....
All in all it was hard work, but lots of fun. I got to spend time working with my whole family, and with friends I rarely see. I now owe lots of folks lots of favors though for helping out with my know who you are :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Homemade Bungee Jumping

This is what happens when you try to work from home and take care of little ones at the same time. I turned on a Scooby movie for Baker and Lilly, gave them some crayons and Cheerios, and went to the Dining room table to catch up on emails. Fifteen minutes later, I hear Baker saying, "Jump Lilly, you'll land on a pillow, it won't hurt." That can never be good.

When I get down to the playroom, I see my 3 year old in her pj's with suspenders between her legs, and around her waist. (the harness). Tied to the suspenders is my dressmaker's measuring tape. (the bungee cord). The measuring tape is then tied to a spindle on the staircase. Every pillow within 100 feet (and some sleeping bags) is piled at the bottom of the stairs. Yes folks, homemade bungee jumping - 5 year old style.

She was smart enough not to jump, and patient enough to stand there, tied to the stairs, while I went to get my camera. My computer time was over. In all honesty, I had finished my work and was on Facebook. I'm only human....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

We have a winner!!

The $50 gift certificate winner is LJ. She is the owner of Baby Goodness Boutique. Very cute stuff, so check out her site. Thank you to everyone, and I promise to do a giveaway again soon. In a funny twist of events, my sister, the only follower not eligible, was the first name pulled in the random drawing. Isn't it always that way??

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Gift Certificate winner tomorrow!

After church tomorrow, I will draw the name for the gift certificate winner. Since you guys passed the goal of 25 new followers, it will be for $50 instead of $25!! Any new followers tonight will be included in the drawing as well. I imagine most people have much more important things to do on a saturday night than read my blog, but if you don't, you might as well enter for a chance to win something.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

One of those days...and some cheap stuff

Today was one of those kind of days. Last night, I fell asleep at my desk (really), and on my way upstairs, spotted 2 coyotes in my front yard. I spent way too much time watching them, when I obviously should have been sleeping. This morning I drove carpool in my pajamas. Baker's field trip shirt was no where to be found. I broke a customer's plate, hit my head in the attic, and to top it off my grandmother asked me if I had gained weight. I'm glad it's almost over.
The good news is, I found some clearance stuff while digging thru my inventory. I will list it, but I really don't have time for pictures tonight, I have to paint :) ...and maybe watch coyotes. If you see something you want to ask about, email me.

personalized CD cases $3 ( was $6)
handpainted garden clogs $6 ( was $20)
personalized drawstring totebags $5 ( was $12)
personalized gingham backpacks in pink or blue $15 ( was $32)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Blue Light special

Crazy Morning! I awoke to a bird trapped in my living room, which is weird not only because birds don't belong in your living room, but because I have no idea how it got in. Our fireplace is closed off, and I think I would notice any bird sized, uncovered openings in my house. Anyway, after repeatedly slamming into windows, houdini bird finally found the door, and my morning resumed. At the top of my to do list today was to share a bargain I found. I LOVE a good deal, and love to share them too. If you have a little girl, this dress is adorable, soft, and so colorful, you cannnot tell me you don't have leggings to match. I spotted it at ( get ready), KMART!!! It was $12.99. Will it hold up for me to pass to my grandchildren, no, but it looks like it is straight from the Gap or Gymboree, and it was $12.99 folks. If you love it like I do, run, don't walk to Kmart.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunday afternoon

How did you spend your Sunday afternoon? Crossword Puzzle? Watching the game? Napping? Lifetime Movie? Painting 100 picture frames? Well, maybe not 100, but it seemed like it. I have to admit, it wasn't that bad. I had a sweet little helper. Hopefully, in the next few days I can turn the frames sitting amongst leaves on my husband's trailer, into Christmas gifts no one can resist :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

7 of my 8 existing follwers are eligible as well. My sister, well, she gets whatever she wants free anyway.