Category Archives: home

Finding a spot for the little metal shelf (finally)

Way back in March I found an interesting, small metal wall shelf for a buck at a rummage sale. I stuck it briefly on the wall for the purposes of having show-and-tell pictures in that post but after that it languished on top of the fridge, waiting for a permanent home. See, I’m running out of wall space and I didn’t like it the one or two spots I tried hanging it. So for 8 or so months I’d eye it and it bothered me! I needed to leave it out so I wouldn’t forget about it.

Perhaps the cool Fall air has invigorated me – I kind of think it has – and I’m feeling creative. It occurred to me to try an unconventional approach and go UP the wall nearer the ceiling with it. Bam! It works.

IMG_20171124_162535

I tried a couple different things on it and liked this white vase (a curbside find I picked up primarily because I thought it didn’t deserve to go to the landfill). Also, notice how the shelf metal matches the color of the hanger below it. A word on that copper(?) hanger. It’s actually some kind of construction equipment I found, again, tossed out (that is I didn’t rifle around a construction site and pilfer it, okay). There were two and I salvaged them because I thought maybe I could do something creative.

IMG_20171124_163256

The glass dish, which I think is vintage, was one of several items I got when the local arts theater gave away a bunch of old props they no longer wanted. I don’t know what it is,  I just thought it was cool. Occasionally I burn a tealight candle in it.

IMG_20171124_162458

Now you need to see the shelf in context. Since I last posted pictures the couch gained two new thrift store throw pillows, the lighter ones. Also, you can see how the metal shelf picks up colors in the painting as well as the pillows.

IMG_20171124_163110_pan

And on the right let me reintroduce the bird cage thingie. It hangs from the other salvaged hanger. I decided the two hangers didn’t need to be matchy-matchy, which really isn’t my style.

IMG_20171124_162707

And finally, a different vantage on the whole wall and area. I am really liking it. Colorful and inviting.

IMG_20171124_163542

Advertisements

Creating clothes & accessories storage in my (small) bedroom

Last March (man, that sounds LONG ago now for some reason) I did a post about making my bedroom a cheerful sanctuary. I’ve been steadily improving the space over many years and it keeps getting better. It’s a small room and that forces me to get creative about decorating and storage, without feeling cramped. I want it to be cheerful and organized.

People’s closets are rather personal spaces and there’s several euphemisms to illustrate as much (“skeletons in the closet”, “coming out of the closet” and so on come to mind) and maybe I wasn’t quite ready to “show you my closet” before this but I must be feeling frisky now, friends.

My closet is 5′ long and 2′ wide. I hang most of my clothes on the over-worked rod, which is especially packed now because 1) in between seasons calls for both warm and cool weather clothes to be on-hand and 2) I bought a bunch of beautiful new-to-me tops this summer when the local church thrift store marked down their summer clothes to $1 apiece, and further marked them down to $3 and then $1 a bag. When things were a $1 I found many tops I liked (somewhere down the line I’d like to share them here on the blog) and now the rod is stuffed. 

IMG_20171003_094212_kindlephoto-1508625

Curtain covers closet

I am unorthodox I expect in that I keep boots on two shelves above the clothes but that has worked best. The closet initially had just one shelf but I’d often peer up into the ceiling area eyeing all that excess space up there just doing nuthin’. With trial and error, I figured that the upper shelf I put in needed to be more shallow than the lower or a) I couldn’t see what the hell was on it and b) I couldn’t get whatever that stuff was down.

IMG_20171003_094304

Shoes go on a rack below. It’s pretty packed now too because of the changing season (I’m still wearing “fashion sneakers” but have also begun to wear short boots). You’ll notice the absence of “dress shoes”. My footwear has grown increasingly lower heeled/casual but I am making moves to bring in dressy, low-heeled shoes that aren’t boots (I just bought saddle shoes! Sure to be seen in an future post).

IMG_20171003_094408

I make use of two multi-hangers to make more space in the closet.

IMG_20171004_114304

IMG_20171004_114429

I like short black skirts what can I say

I put two large green Dollar Tree fabric bins on a shelf over the closet (that you can see in the first picture above). They hold “overflow”, in this case athletic and warm winter socks in one and my purses in the other. I move things in or out depending on the season.

IMG_20171003_094603

IMG_20171003_094541

I’d like my closet to be prettier inside but I need to figure out how to best do that (wallpaper on the back wall behind the clothes? A runner rug on the floor?)  but at least it’s going the right direction. I did put in a prettier shelf with a nice scalloped edge as well as a new closet rod. I moved/attached that rod up a little higher than normal because I’m tall enough to see it and it gave me more room for the shoes below.

I’ve posted about these tall IKEA cabinets I found early in 2016 and how I use one for clothes storage like socks, jeans, leggings, and scarves. Here’s the one in my room with a couple close-ups. (I took ALL the shelves from both units to use in just this one so I have tons of adjustable shelves.)

IMG_20171003_095212_kindlephoto-886581

IMG_20171003_095338

I fold my socks in half to store them.

IMG_20171003_095410

Tights

IMG_20171003_095617

Thinner dress scarves

IMG_20171003_095728

Thicker dress scarves

IMG_20171003_100121

Fabric bin for pajamas and “cozy footies”

Last week I found a terrific deal on Amazon for a set of 4 5-drawer small Sterlite plastic drawers. I already had a 3-drawer unit that I keep make-up in (I don’t have a lot of makeup so 3 tiny drawers are fine). There was a crack in one of the new drawers so I got it marked down. Until I saw these 20 drawers, I hadn’t known that was what I wanted but it gave me an idea! I’d put everything small in tiny drawers. Hoo baby, there was no stopping me now!

IMG_20171004_075850

I found/painted this shelf unit a few years back. With the shelves removed the Sterlite drawers fit perfectly.

IMG_20171003_101121

IMG_20171003_101107

IMG_20171003_101043

IMG_20171003_101026

Thin dress socks

IMG_20171003_100956

I got the tiny plastic containers (a 10 pack) from Dollar Tree

IMG_20171003_100850IMG_20171003_100842IMG_20171003_101011

IMG_20171003_100835

I’m delighted with all these little drawers for storage – I have to SEE what I own or the things cease to exist; that’s something I’ve figured out about myself. It all needs to be visible and accessible.

 

NOTE: still having internet issues and may not respond to any comments right away but I still like them!

New little touches in the living room

This summer I added two small decorative touches to the living room. I’ve blogged previously about adding ethnic touches  to a simple, high, narrow shelf I made. In the summer I picked up white “icicle” lights at a rummage sale and centered them on the front of the shelf and then linked them to a timer so they’re on from 6:30-10:30pm every night. (I figure if I see them off, I should already be in bed.) I love the effect – and even after a few months, I’m surprised when they pop on “by themselves” every night.

IMG_20170624_173433

 

For some years I’ve had a mix of what I think all initially started life as chandelier glass, that is they hung from a chandelier or fancy lampshade. I remember buying at least a few from a vintage thrift store long ago and taking others from a cast-off lamp by the road. I thought they were beautiful but could never quite settle on the best use for them. Using tacks and dental floss (it’s great for both its strength and relative invisibility) I strung them up at varied heights along the length of a “beam” at the center of the ceiling. I hung them so none will knock me or visitors in the head ahem.  It totally works.

IMG_20170709_143906_hdr

 

IMG_20170709_143919_hdr

 

IMG_20170709_144006_hdr_kindlephoto-282005

 

So now that it’s fall…let’s still talk about summer!

Now that it’s Officially Fall you might think I’d write a fall-inspired type post. You’d be wrong. I still have a few pieces of summer show-and-tell that I hadn’t got to. And I really want to!

Earlier in the summer I bought my first solar string lights from Amazon for a few dollars. I put them on my seasonal screen tent and have loved them ever since. The photo doesn’t do them justice but here they are. They are so fun! Very colorful at night. They turn on as if someone flipped a switch (I try to “catch” them going on sometimes).

IMG_20170519_203234

 

A few flowers have continued beautifully into September.

IMG_20170914_160707_hdr_kindlephoto-4358496

IMG_20170914_160619_hdr_kindlephoto-4001811

Thunbergia vine (an annual) took all summer to get “going” but it’s so sweet now

IMG_20170911_082423_hdr.jpg

IMG_20170923_180458_kindlephoto-13868137.jpg

IMG_20170923_101829

Today. Morning Glory vine I grew from Dollar Tree seeds. How great is that?

IMG_20170911_081908_hdr_kindlephoto-19870935

Morning Glory flower

IMG_20170916_095531_hdr_kindlephoto-7817356

Best view is from above

 

Moving on… A few photos from when the “fair” came to town Labor Day weekend.

IMG_20170830_152854_kindlephoto-2653694

I have never had deep-fried food like this. I thought I might try something – a deep fried Oreo perhaps – just once for the novelty but they were $5! And I said hell no.

IMG_20170831_095147_kindlephoto-4763667

This did not look like a seat on which you would be doing either.

IMG_20170902_144115

I love merry-go-rounds/carousels. Yep I paid my $3 and rode it but it was too slow and kind of boring.

IMG_20170902_143936

 

IMG_20170904_161425_kindlephoto-19491227

I saw a squirrel run up this tall tree stump to get away from the fair commotion. Top left.

IMG_20170904_161425_kindlephoto-19586959

He looked down at me while I talked to him and took his picture. Sorry, no “zoom” on my tablet! But I like his ears silhouette and the little paw hanging.

 

Finally, despite the fact summer is supposed to be about eating fresh vegetables, I found I wasn’t getting a lot of variety and was eating rather odd meals at times. Determined to straighten up, in late August I finally fixed an old favorite, “salad plate”, which is a mix of cold vegetables, whatever you want. I made a white bean dip to go with it.

IMG_20170822_182220_kindlephoto-2787852

I needed to be *tempted* and this beautiful array did the trick. Geez, it tempts me now looking at the photo! But I’d have to actually get the stuff again and make it, sigh.

 

Take me to your leader. On second thought…

I’ve had a small folding ladder with two steps for many years. They were – as so many of my things are – a roadside find. I painted them a festive blue & white and they’ve been oh-so-handy. What house does not need a little step ladder?! Anyway, not long ago I needed to relocate them to a new storage spot. They now hang on the wall, easy to reach but not taking up valuable real estate. And so it was that I finally took close note of the figure in the illustration on the side label demonstrating how to properly use the steps.

IMG_20170616_115307

What is this?? Not quite a man, not quite a woman, not quite human really. The tanktop, pants and belt suggest homosapiens but the feature-lessness of the bald head suggests alien. It’s digit-less “hands” aren’t helping matters either. Now that I’ve noticed this being I can’t stop looking at it. What ARE you? Tell me!

(Too) close to home

The neighbors live in chaos. I grew up in chaos.

I’ve had two years to think about this. A lot.

In a way, that adage about not ever really getting away from your past is true. You don’t. It shows up in other people, in other situations. This time I’m a witness. No – that’s not right to say “this time.” The FIRST time I was a witness too. Not a participant.

(I see grown children who continue their parents’ legacy all the time; participating in the chaos they learned on the home front. That is, they never rejected it in the first place. It was normal and it stayed normal. That was never me. I rejected it very young.)

I am the kind of person who has to find meaning in my experiences. I am compelled. In the neighbors I see what I rejected as toxic in my own family a long time ago. Oh, it’s not exactly the same and the differences initially kept me from seeing the parallels. But – people who live in chaos, who thrive on drama, who have shitty coping skills – they’re more or less the same. The specific details are usually interchangeable and not all that significant.

It might be all well and good to just say “So what, go ahead and live like that, who cares; just stay in your four walls and ‘kill’ each other.” But it doesn’t work that way does it? Other people, bystanders, invariably get dragged in, by choice and not. Other people are affected. Toxicity has tentacles.

Also, people who live in chaos recruit new cast members for their ongoing dramas because old ones get burnt out or move on, and besides, a big dramatic production can always use more players and audience members. And again, even if they don’t actively recruit, the mess such people make is not tidy and contained in those metaphorical four walls. It seeps out and contaminates whatever it touches.

People choose drama and chaos to fill emptiness in their lives. It keeps them busy. It keeps them from thinking too much, from real reflection and introspection. Nothing like a good scene, a knock-down-drag-out fight, shallow distractions, an addictive habit or three, or constantly “helping” somebody else with their “problems” to keep a person busy, no? It’s so transparent to me now.

I wholesally reject everything about this. Decency can trump toxicity. It has too. Decency springs of a better place, it has deeper roots. I chose a long time ago to live in decency not in chaos. It is a choice. It’s one I made with my own original family and it’s one that I continue to make throughout my life.

People whose lives are filled with meaningful pursuits and positive activities to occupy their waking hours are not attracted to and do not thrive on toxic chaos. That is the challenge isn’t it? For everybody. Everybody who gives a damn about how they conduct their lives.

Gliding into summer…

I love being outside. I am a summer girl. I like decorating the outside too making it a comfortable, beautiful place to be, on the cheap.

I recently posted about several lovely things that have come my way of late, including a free bench style glider. Now, I’m the sort who likes to rearrange items till they’re “right.” This season I started with a red bench in my seasonal screen tent. I had finally needed to knock apart and throw out my preferred bench because it passed the point repairs could keep it going. While the red bench looked cute it really isn’t too comfortable because of the shallowness of the seat. I don’t want to sit rigidly upright like I’m in a church; I want to shift positions and sprawl at whim.

I moved another bench in, a legless one that is intended to be a porch swing (which I sit atop cinder blocks instead) but out it came once the glider arrived. Space-wise it made the most sense to put the glider in the tent, space being not “spacious.” I wanted to share with you my inaugural glider ride and popcorn snack.

IMG_20170608_170149

IMG_20170608_170437

With shredded cheese and Nutritional yeast, yum (seriously)

But of course I must show you the view from inside which is really what it’s all about.

IMG_20170608_170546

IMG_20170608_170319_pan

Panoramic view (sorry, it’s not the clearest)

IMG_20170603_093558_kindlephoto-5794270

Calibrachoa

IMG_20170603_093633

Lydia, the One-armed Watering Girl