Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Other G of Summer - Garage Sales

Good morning!  A week has already passed since my last post; so much for sharing garage sale finds a day after I shared our garden progress.  But then, if you can't do as you please with your blog, in what area of life can you enjoy such freedom?!  Tra, la, la, la, la.  This seems to be the theme of summer.  *big grin*

On to the meat of the post!  With the end of the week upon us and the prime garage sale days it brings, below are a few of my favorite finds from the summer.  But first, a little background - my mission in 2010 is to renew our home, brighten it up, and change our furnishings from "Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel circa 1999" to something more eclectic and casual with vintage touches sprinkled in.  I jokingly told our neighbor I'm on a mission to sell or consign every "new" piece of furniture we own in exchange for something comfortably used.  Along the way I'm incorporating fun fabrics, lots of ticking stripes, vintage light fixtures, and slip covers (for now - I'd love to replace our couch etc.)

You've seen the perfect little desk from a farmhouse yard sale earlier this summer, and the makeover of the $2.95 thrift store find, so here's the $5 table from my return trip to July's estate sale.  Ta-da!  The crock, books, and milk bottle holding the massive hydrangea are all garage sale finds as well.  I love this new corner of my dining room - much better than the tacky fake ficus tree that sat there for the past 4 years! 

Here is the $2 side table discovered at a neighborhood sale displaying the $1 quilt I found at the same sale.  I'm ashamed to say I've paid more for a glass drawer pull like the one on this table before!  All the table required was a little scrub down, and it was ready for use!

Finally, here are before and afters of the $5 chandelier that replaced our heavy black Home Depot chandelier.  It took some serious clean-up, reshaping, and 2 cans of "Canvas White" spray paint, but it looks great!  I only wish our Nikon was fixed so I could've gotten better pics.  (note: the little pink sticky notes are to mark which arms need re-wiring, as only 3 lights work for now, so turn a blind eye as I have.  Patience is NOT my middle name so I'd rather enjoy it as is for a while until my hubby has a chance to work on the wiring.)

  There have been so many other treats and treasures from garage sales, estate sales and yard sales this summer.  I love it.  I love that it keeps the items someone else is done with out of our landfills.  I love the opportunity it's given me to teach O about money's value, spending it, and making choices about what we want.  Finally, I love the thrill of a gorgeous discovery and figuring out where it will fit into our home.  Happy hunting!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Two G's of Summer - Gardens and Garage Sales!

Hi, friends!  I cannot believe how difficult it is to post entries these days.  Between play dates, trying to stay cool at the splash pad or beach, garage sales, gardening/landscaping, and all of the fun BBQ's and festivals of the season, we all seem to collapse into bed totally exhausted (but happy) each night.  I figure you're all doing much of the same, so like me, you probably aren't keeping up on reading all of the wonderful blogs entries either!

Here are a few highlights of the two G's that dominate summer - gardens and garage sales.

Gardens... When we moved into our home 6 years ago there were no gardens or landscape to speak of.  The prior owners had 5 kids and understandably had their focus elsewhere.  Here is what our backyard looked like. 

We started slowly, as we'd never done this sort of thing before, and added a few things.  We put in some pavers for our fire pit, mulched the area where no grass would grow and our dogs use for their "business", and transplanted some hosta.  Here are the pics a year later.  The white string is for the fence that was about to be installed to keep said doggies safe.
Over the years we've experimented with this and that, but were still not sure what we wanted to do with our space.  We knew mowing the hill at the back of our property was tough so we wanted to limit that.  Also, we'd talked with the city about the RIVER that rages through our yard due to the slope and the engineer's suggestion was a dry riverbed to direct the water and give it a place to flow in the spring and during heavy rains.  So last year we paid a friend-of-a-friend to provide some consulting.  He owns a successful landscape business and had some wonderful ideas for us! 

The result is a plan to incorporate some larger rocks and "planting pockets" into the dry river bed to naturalize it.  Plant perennials on the hill that don't require much maintenance or water and mulch them so there's no mowing.  Plant some trailing vines and creeping plants to cascade over the rocks and hills.  We started this work last summer and got to this point. 
My wonderful hubby has started digging the dry river bed and filling it with rock we dug out of the front last year (we pulled out ancient, overgrown arborvitae and rock, planting perennials, yews, and blue spruce in their place and mulching.)  Last weekend we went out to my dad's and loaded up larger rocks from a farmer's rock pile so we could start on the planting pockets.  We finished the first one last night, yippee!  Here it is, along with our progress to date. 
There is so much satisfaction in a project like this for me.  Do any of you feel the same way?  Knowing that I get to enjoy the beauty and cultivate the growth/maturity of our efforts is particularly rewarding.  Not to mention that I love working together with my husband (it isn't always rosy, but it's a great opportunity to work through some of our communication glitches and enforce our compromise skills - even practice concession occasionally!)  Thanks for letting me share our landscape journey - it's near and dear to us and we'd welcome your reactions and suggestions.

I do believe this post is long enough, so we'll have to save the other G (garage sale) for tomorrow.  I have some fab finds we've incorporated into our home and I am excited to share with you!  Enjoy your day, my friends.  ~J