Tuesday, March 31, 2015

How to Score the Best Junk Sales {Using Online Resources}

With the wishful promise of having Spring temperatures around the corner in April (March has been a tease with snow even a few days ago!), I'm sure I'm not the only one anticipating the promise of yardsales and flea markets in the coming months!

I'm a thrifting gal all-year round, but when warm weather comes and sales pop up, I kind of go hyper-thrifting; plotting out itineraries for moving sale hopping and negotiating for a bundle deal with sellers becomes my norm, not to mention I'm one of those people who come with a folding chair, snack, and umbrella at estate auctions...

Therefore, I'm kicking-off the upcoming season by sharing my go-to resources for finding the best yardsales and estate sales/auctions - let's get to it!

Online Resources for Scoring Awesome Stuff:

  • estatesales.net - one of my favorite sites! Great for finding local estate sales and auctions, as well as previewing what will be at the sale. You can search by state and city. What I really like is that you can sign up to have any local auction listings sent to your inbox so you can quickly see in a glance what is happening near you without repeatedly visiting the site.

  • auctionzip - this site allows you to search auctions and estate sales by zipcode and radius, and also gives the option of signing up for emails that list upcoming local sales.

  • gsalr.com - find the yardsales and estate sales happening in your area and have them visually mapped out for you. Many sellers will also include pictures of some of the items they'll have at the yardsale.

  • yardsales.net - another great site for checking out the local yardsales in your area (you can post your yardsale for free here too).

  • craigslist - an oldie but a goodie. If you have something specific in mind that you're looking for, this is an ideal place to keep an eye on.

  • Google your local auctioneers - find their upcoming auctions and mark them on your calendar. Many auctioneers will post pictures of all the items that will be for sale a day or sometimes a week in advance, so you can pick and choose which ones to attend.

  • american fleas - a good place to start for all of the flea markets in your state and towns.

Hope these prove to be good sources for y'all as well and aid in your strategy for getting some good scores this summer!

Any other sites or apps you'd recommend?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How To Regrow Bok Choy from Scraps

With Spring approaching, I've been starting to see a rise on Pinterest of experiments for growing a variety of vegetables from leftover bases, such as celery...but did you know bok choy does this too?!

Bok choy is one of my favorite vegetables - I especially love it in homemade Asian-inspired soups. It's not always available at my usual grocery store, so to have a few homegrown (and free!) bok choys available is an awesome perk!

All you need to do is cut off the base (they look like carnations, don't they?), place it in a bowl, and add room-temperature water to sit just below the top of the stalk. Place the bowl on a windowsill where it will get good sunlight, and that's it! I had chopped up my bok choy one night for dinner and saw growth by the following morning - pretty fast!

Day 2:

Here it is on day 4.

Day 6

During the "bowl stage", I changed the water every 2-3 days to keep it fresh, and spritzed the new leaves growing out with some cool mist of water every 1-2 days.

After 7-9 days you can transfer your bok choy base to a planter and cover it completely in soil except for the new leaf tips.

Day 8:

I love watching things grow. Any of you have summer vegetable garden plans?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bronzed Grey Dresser

I'm always inspired by Restoration Hardware, and this dresser was no exception. I was digging RH's a "antiqued graphite" color, but wanted to take the antiqued look a little further with this piece. I've been working on this dresser for most of this month, and it's been another good learning curve for me for furniture painting. 


Because this was my first time attempting to use a glaze on a piece. I'd been inspired with the use of General Finishes glazes by other painters and wanted to give it a try. Glazes are very neat little mixes that brush-on semi-translucent, the excess gets wiped off, and you're left with a beautiful finish that adds extra dimension to the base paint color (and glazes come in various colors). For the paint base of this dresser I used GF's milk paint in Driftwood, a mid-tone grey (see another example of it HERE). 

After 2 coats of the milk paint and dry time, I figured it was time to get the glaze on. I was a bit afraid to use the glaze and mess up my work. Actually, I almost DID mess it up! 

Before applying the glaze I looked up the process one more time online to be sure I was doing it correctly, and if it hadn't been for Suzanne from The Painted Drawer's sagely advice, it would have gone downhill really quickly!

Suzanne said to apply a layer of GF's high performance topcoat before doing the glaze. This way it's easier to guide the glaze into areas you want it to go and wipe it off easily. I followed her directions and used GF's [Dick] Van Dyke glaze, a nice bronze or antique brown color. Thankfully it went on and wiped off perfectly. Dodged a bullet!

After the glaze dried I put on a few layers of the topcoat, painted the original hardware using GF's Lamp Black (and put a few protective topcoats on them) and added them back to the drawers.

awaiting fixtures



I think it looks kind of steampunk. But that may just be me. 

detail shot of top with nothing on it

 Once again I'm in love with GF's paints and the final look of this piece. It came out exactly as I had imagined it - always a good feeling.

I know I'll now be using GF's glazes more in the future - in fact I'll be using it soon on my mom's buffet I've been working on. (see the results of the glaze on her piece here!)

Oh, I'm also finishing up the side tables this week. Here's a little preview of them for now:

Love the color? Me too. It's from General Finishes and is called Patina Green. (see the finished side tables here!)

Have any of you been dodging bullets on a project lately? (I know I can't be the only one ^_- )

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

General Finishes Paint Contest [Vote for Me!]

As many of you have probably noted by now, I'm a HUGE fan of General Finishes milk paints and exclusively use it for painting furniture. I can't get enough of them and wish everybody would try them and discover the wonders of milk paint! Fast-drying, non-toxic, beautiful range of colors, brush-forgiving and solid coverage...need I go on? Ok, well yes, I do, because their customer service rocks! Anytime I have a question, I can just Instagram, tweet, or email them, and they usually respond within an hour or less (sometimes within minutes) with great advice! You can't beat that!

So when GF announced they were holding a contest, I was all in! I sent in 3 entries (see below to vote), and as of 3/16, voting has begun!

This is where I need your help! Winners are chosen by the amount of votes their piece/s receive. 

Uh huh. Getting where I'm going with this?

"But Draven, will this mean I have to sign up or give them my email to vote?"

Aha! You do not! In fact, all you have to do is click on one (or even all three if you're a generously awesome person!) of the pieces shown below, and it will take you to GF's voting page. Simply click on the box towards the bottom marked "Vote for this item", and that's it!

You can vote once on each piece. Or, if you want to be a major fan and a bit mischievous with their "once per IP address" rule (and GF does encourage "shenanigans" for this contest!), use a different device (desktop, laptop, tablet, phone...) each time and give multiple votes. We'll keep it just between us... ^_-

"But Draven, how do I share the voting page to help spread the word?"

I'm so glad you asked! You must be the Samwise to my Frodo! Either you can copy & paste the voting page's URL to any of your social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), or you can use the given buttons at the bottom of each voting page.

Exhibit A:

Here are the three pieces I have up for voting:

Royal Blue & Gold Dresser

This piece had its surprises and took approximately 15 hours of work, but the final color combo makes it a real eye-catcher. Vote Here!

Grey Two-Tone Secretary Desk

This piece was my grandmother's and I remember when it had sat in her dining room as a buffet table. Therefore, imagine my surprise when I found it to be a secretary desk! It was in need of some restoration that involved wood filling and sanding, and even a good scrubbing in some places, but it was worth it! Vote Here!

Gold-Dipped Regency Side Tables

These two pretty tables were in awful shape when I first got them! Stained, dinged, chipped, drawn on with crayons, and even just plain 'ol dirty, they needed a lot of prep work before I could even get to the painting stage! However, once their first coats were applied, they started to look like completely new gals! Add in a fun gold-dip and paper liners, you'd never guess their humble beginnings! Vote Here!

I would be ever-so-grateful if you choose to support me and vote for any of these pieces! Voting ends 3/30/15 (Monday) at noon.

In all seriousness, THANK YOU to y'all for reading this blog, leaving me feedback on my furniture, ideas, and designs, and just all-around coming along for the ride! I love getting to "meet" each of you and even though we haven't met in-person, I feel like I'm slowly getting to know each of you (and I hope vice-versa!). Truly, thanks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Projects & De-Cluttering

Hi y'all! Are some of you experiencing warmer weather this week for the first time in months as I am? Especially after the crazy weather a bunch of us had last week, it feels amazing to be outside in the sun now! You know it's been cold when temperatures in the 40's feel balmy! I've even been able to crack my car windows down a bit now!

Other than reveling in the warmer temperatures, this month I've been painting a lot of pieces all at the same time again (oops). I'm putting the finishing touches on the dresser this week (see a sneak peek on my Instagram and follow for more "behind the scenes"), and I'm starting on a piece for my mom again.

Also in the works will be these side tables and mirror, still from the bedroom set I got from the estate auction.

All this to say that it's already a busy month of furniture painting! It does help to have these projects tho, lemme tell ya! We've been in limbo for the past 8 months while house hunting, in which I've been not buying any new decor for the house so that we don't have more to move with. It's been ...restrictive. Therefore, painting furniture this winter has helped me have something to be creative with, so I'm rather thankful for that!

Actually, instead of just putting a temporary stop to decorating the rest of the rooms in the house, we've been spending these last 8 months slowly de-cluttering, which has also been therapeutic - I love me some de-cluttering! When we first moved here 2 years ago, everything we didn't have an immediate place or use for or that we'd "get to later", wound up in our finished attic...and there it has all stayed since! Now that we're slowly sorting through our things in every room of the house, we've been tackling the attic as well and we're seeing improvements (and more floor space in the attic!) already. Lots of stuff has either gone in the trash, been donated, or sold. We're not completely done going through everything, but we're making headway and it makes us both happy to know that already we won't be taking as much unnecessary stuff to our new home and cluttering it from the get-go! (cheers for a fresh start!)

It stinks to be in limbo for this long, but we're starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Since the offer we made last Fall on a short sale fell through, we've been searching through the dead of winter which doesn't offer many homes on the market. So now that Spring is on its way more homes should be going up for sale soon! *crossing fingers*

Any advice for things to do that makes moving easier?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Design Dilemma: Designing Around a Brown Sofa

My sis-in-law (we'll call her V-dub, or VW) and her hubby are moving to a new home this coming April, and she's super excited about having a fresh start for her living room! However, she has felt a bit stuck with a common problem: how to make the room cheery and bright when they own a large, billowy dark brown sofa. 

Although white and gray sofas have been trending in the last few years, brown sofas are also a nice neutral color that you can work with to create just about any color scheme. So although such a sofa may feel like a dark hole that trumps everything else in the room, it is still just as easy to accessorize as any other sofa.

They key is to balance the brown of the sofa with light colors in the walls and floor, and have pops of color thru the room with items such as pillows, decorations, side chairs, and wall art.

Some examples:

via bhg.com 
via decoholic

via bhg.com

VW was tired of her current dark living room and wanted to go "more bold" and play with bright colors, so she asked me to help her sort out some ideas she was playing with for the room, starting by showing me some items she had favorited from Joss & Main.

We discovered that her style is an eclectic cottage feeling - fun and comfortable.

Next it was going through the colors she wanted to play with; VW was visualizing turquoise, orange-y coral, and bits of yellow. Here's what inspired her color scheme:

She really wanted to add a colorful pop of furniture under her future bay window. I did a quick search on Pinterest for coral furniture and sent her the piece below - she loved it!

Aha! So now the ball began to roll...

Her future living room also has dark brown carpet, so to continue with the theme of brightening the room, we wanted to add a rug to the mix that would be in the beige/white family. Same for the wall color, in which it would be great if it were Sherwin William's Grecian Ivory or something similar in a light warm tone:

An example of Grecian Ivory in a room (it's on the walls in the pic below):

via Houzz
I now knew her style, preferred colors, and the feeling she wanted in the room, so now it was onto creating a mood board!

1.// Bird Side Chairs are from Wayfair - I can't believe how perfect they are, containing all 3 colors she wanted, AND they flow with her original inspiration piece!

2.// White Honeycomb Lamp from World Market. I was excited when I found this lamp base that is very similar to the vase she had favored in her Joss&Main list! 

3.// Turquoise velvet pillows were originally from World Market, but are currently out of stock. However, you can easily make these pillows and save a bundle! (same goes with the yellow)

4.// Rug was on Joss&Main, but you can find similar rugs at Home Goods or Overstock [similar here and here]

VW was very happy with the board and she can't wait even more now to move and start decorating. With this board she'll now have a great visual for what works in the room as she goes shopping, and I'm now on the lookout for a buffet or dresser I can paint for her in the coral+persimmon combo, which I'm REALLY looking forward to as they're colors I've been yearning to try!

Any of you moving or wanting to refresh a room in your home? Do you start with creating a mood board or collect things you love as you find them?

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Shared On: motivationmonday, dotelltuesday, hitmewithyourbestshotfromdreamstoreality

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