Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Art on a Budget

My most recent project for my own home was a photograph of a door in Europe taken by a woman I met at an art/craft fair.  She sells her photographs at very low prices currently, so I got this 8x10 for $4.00.  I know - unbelievable!  I had a rustic wood frame that I thought would be just perfect for the photograph.  I found the frame at a rummage sale months earlier for $1.00!  It had a picture of the 3 Stooges in it, but I could look past that to see the frame...that was what I wanted.  Now I just needed matting for it.  I went to a framing store and was surprised to find that they didn't have a cream or beige matting for my 8x10 photo.

So I went home disappointed, then realized that I already had what I needed.  I had matting that would fit in just the right color in a frame that I wanted to refinish anyway.  So that was no additional cost - we love free!  So for a grand total of $5.00 I have this beautiful photograph and frame on my wall and have received so many compliments on it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Traditions

We all celebrate holidays differently. Traditions are important to have and pass on to our children.  I wanted to share a few of our family's Christmas traditions. 

One that I always had growing up was a Christmas tree.  It may sound like something typical that most families have, but when I was in high school and my father passed away, we did away with a lot of traditions (just too difficult I suppose).  So my mother sat us down and asked each of us children what holiday tradition we wanted to continue and she would do those every year, no matter what.  I chose having a Christmas tree and I continue that with my children even if we are not going to be home for Christmas.  We each get or make a new ornament every year, so the tree is quite meaningful for us.

Another tradition I grew up with and continue with my children is stockings.  This is another common tradition, but we just love it!  My mother made the stockings when we were very young (and now sells them in her Etsy shop).  I think filling people's stockings, then watching them open them is my favorite part of Christmas.

Finally, we do Christmas crackers which I believe is an English tradition.  I am not sure when it started, but it was one we added to our family's traditions as adults.  I think I bought some once and we all enjoyed it so much that it stuck.  This year, the kids and I made them and they have been so excited to give them to family and friends.  They are typically filled with a paper hat, a toy, candy...  We have also used lottery tickets or money, but this year it's all candy!

Please comment with traditions you and your family share.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Before and After - Upcycling

Here's a find that I redesigned and sold recently in my shop: a chalkboard.  It started out gold with a dark distressed look and a gold cord attached to the top.  I love gold when accompanied by white, so it had to be painted!

I painted it white and distressed it so the gold would show beneath.  I didn't love the gold cord either, but thought a pretty white ribbon would add even more of a pretty, feminine look to it.  So here is the result...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Super Easy Recipe!

If you follow my blog or know me personally, you know that I have a very busy schedule. I rarely enjoy spending a lot of time cooking, so I am always looking for quick, easy, healthy recipes. Last night I tried something new for dinner and it turned out great, so I am sharing it...

I will call it Easy Baked Cornbread Chili. First, you mix a package of cornbread according to the instructions on the package.

Second, open 2 cans of chili and pour them into a baking dish. Easy, isn't it?

Then pour and spread the cornbread mixture over the chili and bake according to the cornbread's instructions.

When the cornbread is golden brown, dinner is ready. It's that easy! You can add cheese to the chili and a side salad to finish out the meal. Enjoy!

*Obviously you can make your cornbread and chili from scratch which would be even healthier, but that wouldn't be as easy.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Trip to Tillamook

Although it is only about 1.5 hours away, I have only ever visited Tillamook Oregon once when I was a child...never since then. After deciding that we needed a brief getaway, I selected Tillamook since it is not too far and there appeared to be a lot to do there. See, this is Oregon and we would be going at the end of's not a warm or dry time, so we had to have indoor activities.

So I found a hotel with a pool, a museum I thought the kids would like, and 2 cheese factories (dairy country). The famous Tillamook Cheese Factory was a must-see, but we really didn't know what to expect - and that was fine with me! Honestly, we didn't even look up directions. Maybe stupid, but at the time it felt adventurous!

So we left at dusk and drove 1.5 hours in the dark and pouring rain and most of it was winding roads barely wider than 2 cars with a cliff on one side. Once we got there we were so excited to hit the problem...

At check-in we learned that the pool was under maintenance and would reopen the day we were to leave - great. That was our only planned evening activity, so that became TV watching after tiring of the few games we brought. Well, the kids also enjoyed jumping on the beds. What? If the hotel staff doesn't like it, they can fix the pool faster. :P

The next day we visited the Blue Heron factory which we all loved! They had animals we could feed: donkeys, llamas, goats, sheep, chickens, and emu. My daughter loved it!

My son loves animals, but more from afar. Touching and feeding them is not really his thing. In his defense, they did drool...not that he knew that though since he wouldn't get within 5 feet of them. He did have a strange bond with a sheep though.

We had a great lunch and found a lot of goodies for Christmas for friends and family. Not only do they have specialty cheeses there, they also had an entire case of assorted chocolate truffles. We bought caramel apple and pumpkin pie flavored truffles. (We ate them too quickly to get pictures.)

The Tillamook factory was very different. There were samples to try as well of cheese, fudge, and ice cream, but it really felt like a factory. I told my husband it reminded me of Ikea. My son loved the ice cream though! I did enjoy the shopping there too. We found honey sticks, vegan jam, and more Christmas gifts.

Finally,we went to the Pioneer Museum. I homeschool my son and we have been reading the Little House book series, so I thought this would be a great connection to that. I was amazed at how big this museum was and how much they had there. One room of the basement had 5 different wagons from different periods. It was great to see that up close.

One room looked just like a log cabin back in the 1800's. I was so glad the kids could see that. We probably spent over an hour at the museum which is a long time, especially with a 3 year-old! I highly recommend this museum if you visit the area.

Of course I had to end the trip with a little shopping. I found an antique shop and a thrift shop on the same block! I found some pieces to refinish and a vintage Fisher Price Little People boat to add to my kids' collection. They were excited to have a toy to play with...especially since we were on our way back to the hotel which now did not have a pool to play in.

On our trip we also went on a scenic drive to see the coast. We couldn't find beach access, but when it's 42 degrees one doesn't feel much like spending time on the beach. I was happy to get some great pictures and then get right back in the warm car.

On the scenic drive we found the Octopus Tree which is a tree that somehow grew multiple large limbs in place of a trunk. It is over 105 feet tall and 250-300 years old. An amazing site that was worth the short hike in the cold to see it!

All in all it was a really fun trip. I think next time we visit will be a day trip, but we definitely want to go back. They have an aviation museum we'll probably visit next time.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What I'm Thankful For...

In honor of the Thanksgiving Day celebration, I decided to make a list of what I am thankful for. Sometimes life moves so quickly and can be so stressful that we can lose sight of what we have to be thankful for.

After a rough week, this could not have come at a better time for me! I was surprised that as I started my list of 5-10 reasons to be thankful, it just came pouring out and quickly grew to this list of over 20!

I am grateful for:
 1. Healthy, happy family
2. Supportive husband
3. My health
4. My new enjoyment of running
5. My mother (for many reasons)
6. My brother just got a full-time job
7. I have a comfortable home
8. I can afford my needs and most wants
9. I have jobs that I love (yes, jobs)
10. Freedom to do what I want every week
11. I get to take my children to swimming
12. Homeschooling my son has gone great
13. My son and I enjoying books together
14. A regular schedule that I didn't have last year
15. A safe, reliable car that fits the whole family
16. Friends I absolutely love
17. Recent weight-loss
18. Music - couldn't live without it
19. A vacation that's coming soon
20. When my son helps his sister
21. When my daughter cheers on her brother
22. When my kids play nicely together
23. People I have met online through Twitter and my blog
24. My education
25. Being bilingual...

 I could go on and on with even more!
Leave a comment of something you are thankful for. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fall Leaves

Fall is Fall because of all of the leaves that fall from the trees this time of year. The colors are absolutely beautiful before and as they fall from the trees. Our neighborhood is lined with numerous Oak and Maple trees of many varieties making for a rainbow of trees this time of year. But as the season states, they fall. 

My husband and son raked all of the leaves in the front and back yards and swept them off the patio. These are pictures from the very next day. Oh yes, they fell! 

My son looked out the window, put his hands on his face in a way that reminded me of the boy in Home Alone, and said "Oh no! Not again!"

So off they went to sweep and rake again. When finished, they were tired but relieved. And my daughter reminded us that there are reasons to enjoy the fallen leaves...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What is it??

So I acquired this wonderful old metal can.  The person I bought it from said that it was an oil can and that she believes all of the parts are with it.  I have searched online and have been unable to find either an oil can or a gas can like it.  It is gold, metal, and has another metal piece inside of it.  It is about 5.5 inches tall (not including the funnel) and 6 inches in diameter.

Is it really an oil can or could it be something else?  Please share your thoughts in the comments as I am anxious to figure out what this is!  I appreciate any information you have to share.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

You it is!

So last month I asked you to comment here on my blog what you thought I should do with this old drawer. I had so many ideas and was delighted with even more that people came up with! You can view the original post here if you want to see all of the great ideas: 

I decided to go with the idea of making the drawer into a tray by attaching handles to either end. I only had one handle, so it took awhile to find 2 matching handles that I liked.

I loved the idea that many offered to add decorative wall paper to the bottom. Unfortunately I don't have any and the bottom is actually 2 pieces of wood which makes for a less than flat surface. So I painted it white and added brush nickel finish hardware for a classic cottage style look.

Definitely an improvement from what it was! What do you think?

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Autumn Garden

Autumn, Fall...whatever you want to call it... Even though it is getting cold and raining more and more, I still love it!  How can you not love the beautiful colors we only see for a short time during this season?!

Even the Japanese Maple trees that are a bright reddish-purple all year change color in the Fall. The red they display now is incredibly bright!

My favorite is Nandina - I have 4 of these shrubs throughout my yard. The leaves are various colors all year-round and this season is no exception. This is a picture of one of my less mature Nandina shrubs.  Isn't it cute?

My favorite picture I have from the Autumn season this year is definitely this one!  My 3 year-old spotted this rainbow after a real downpour and am I glad she did!  It is so beautiful coming up from behind the trees with varying colors of leaves.  I hope you enjoy it too!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Before and After

I chose to share this Before and After project because it shows how easily something can be "fixed" to work with your decor. This is a vintage ceramic pedestal that I found at a thrift shop.

 As you can see, it started out a golden color. It may work for some, but it was not the cottage style look I love.

So of course, I painted it white! When in doubt, paint it white. That's what I say! It is now a gorgeous white pedestal candle holder ready for any color candle. All it took was a good cleaning, 2 coats of white primer, and some white paint.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And the Winner is...

The winner of my Vintage Supplies Giveaway is...

Danielle Jeanne who blogs at:

Thanks to all who entered. Keep watching for more giveaways to come!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Giveaway - Vintage Supplies

Time for another free giveaway!  I had a hard time deciding what to giveaway, but have been feeling creative, so I chose this great collection of vintage supplies so that you can express your creativity.

Included in this giveaway is everything you see pictured.  The winner of this giveaway will receive:
  • 20 pages of vintage sheet music tied w/vintage ribbon
  • over 20 pages of vintage book pages
  • 3 wooden clothespins
  • 5 already made tags
  • 6 large aged shipping tags (aged in apple cinnamon black tea)
  • small envelope of vintage buttons
  • small old photograph
  • 4 apple cinnamon sachets (ready for soaking in hot water)
*A $20.00 value.*

1. Open to U.S. and Canada residents only.

2. Ends Monday, Nov. 1st at midnight PST.

3. Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via information provided in comment entries within 24 hours.

4. Each contest entry requires a separate comment.

To Enter:

- Follow my blog (or tell me you're already following).

- Visit my Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is.

- Post on Twitter or Facebook about this giveaway.

- Follow me on Twitter at @ShabbyNChic.

**Remember to post a separate comment for each entry.**
Many of these items can be found in the Supplies Section of my shop.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Costume Time!

Whether you like Halloween or not (and I do), who doesn't love dressing up?  Whether a child or a child-at-heart, we can all dress up and play pretend.  I recently searched Etsy for costumes for the whole family and I found some fun ones!

I love these custom capes that allow every member of the family to be a super hero - what fun!

Perhaps Dad is not into capes... so there is a classic Charlie Brown style shirt.

And one for your special little guy too!

I absolutely adore this monarch butterfly costume. What could be cuter?

For older children, I found this fun chef costume. I love the festive pants!

I love fairy tales and this Little Red Riding Hood costume is too sweet to pass up.

And for us moms??  So many costumes for women are a bit too revealing for my taste or not very cute.  I found this sexy, but not too revealing costume of Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Which is your favorite?

Friday, October 15, 2010

A True Crafter's Storage Solutions

Owner of both a jewelry and supply shop: somewearintyme and SquidooInk clearly enjoys crafting: jewelry, scrapbooking, knitting and more!  Organization is a challenge for anyone, but this dual shop owner has some creative solutions that she was kind enough to share. 

Her yarn fills 2 baskets which contain the yarn and look great!

Lights decorate this green framed cork board which holds her finished necklaces and bracelets. "I just use a push pin...and hang the chain over it."

My favorite has to be this pretty memory board which holds her completed earrings.  They slip behind the ribbon and don't get tangled up anywhere - a great solution!

Finally, the is right in front of a large window which is endlessly inspiring.

Everything is at the tip of her fingers while maintaining plenty of workspace.  I love the chair and had to know the story behind it.  Her mother found it... 

"It's the original fabric and lace and the wood around it is solid cherry wood.  We've had to fix the bottom recently because the original burlap,  had finally fallen apart.  As my mom and I peeled the hand tied metal bits back low and behold beneath it was hand sprung coils and it was stuffed with horse hair!  So we put on fresh burlap, and I in my stash had some old vintage nails...and used that to hammer it closed." 

A beautiful work space that shows that organization doesn't just have to be functional.  Her work space is just at beautiful as her work!

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