Life Through a Brand New Camera Lens

I finally did it! I upgraded my camera. I got tired of using my cell phone and the poor quality pictures I was posting to this blog because I felt like it wasn’t doing some of my craft work and displays justice so this past week I purchased my new Nikon D3200 Camera.

It was quite the ordeal getting the camera because at first I thought that I didn’t have the battery when I was surveying my inventory. I took it over to my parents to help me look and we found the battery but realized that what it was actually missing was the charger. I called Target where I purchased the camera and asked what could be done. They didn’t have any cameras to exchange it with since this particular camera is not the most recent model and won’t be reordered but they did say that they would give me a full refund.

I did some quick research to figure out what a replacement charger would cost and found out that it was $50 on Amazon to replace the Nikon charger. When I went into Target I asked them if it was possible to still keep this camera but get $50 off to cover the cost of the charger. The manager there was happy to oblige my request (one of the many reasons I love shopping at Target) so I got to keep the camera. I went on Amazon and did some research and actually found some really favorable reviews in an off-brand charger that was made specifically for Nikon camera batteries. This charger was only $14.99 instead of $50 so I ordered it and with my Prime membership I had it the next day! The charger worked great and my camera was up and running. This is a thrifty lesson for everybody – you don’t get anything unless you ask. I ended up saving $35 on this camera + it was already on sale + it came with a free wifi adapter which was a $70 value so really I saved well over $100!

I decided to take some pictures for you all of some of the vignettes and décor that I have already put out there. A sort of recap of where I am now and then I have some major things in mind (not to mention some newfound inspiration and energy to get it done which I attribute to my new 5:00 am runs with Rusty that I just started last week) for where my house is going to go from here.

So here’s where I’m at:


My nightstand arrangement in my bedroom

My nightstand arrangement in my bedroom

Living Room

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Adorable Dog and Cat

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And now I’m off to spend my newfound inspired energy on some projects to share with you all in the weeks to come!

Let’s party! Linking up with:

Vintage Charm



Accent Walls – The Perfect Pop of Color

Being a homeowner instead of renter has opened up so many decorating opportunities for me. I have never been able to paint my rooms before and I can finally get away from white or beige everything and add a little color. I decided in my living room to be a little daring and make an accent wall. My neutral in my living room is “diverse beige” which is a nice shade of grey beige (greige). I chose “smoke blue” as my accent color because I love blue and the color was such an excellent contrast with both my wall colors and my couch color.

*PAINTING TIP* Sister 2 helped me with the painting and our trick for straight lines and no bleeding on the wall edges was to first paint over the tape with the diverse beige and then paint the blue wall. The first color that is on the tape is the color that bleeds so this ensures that the blue doesn’t bleed through to the greige walls. I think we did a pretty darn professional job.


In addition to the ladder display that I unveiled on Friday in Climbing the Ladder this accent wall contains a gorgeous buffet that I got at South Eden Antique Mall for $150. I love the piece because it’s not only a beautiful statement piece, but it also offers a lot of storage for me. I have DVDs, tools, receipts, etc. stored in there with still a couple of deep drawers to spare!

On top of the buffet are all kinds of flea market finds. Starting on the right is a lamp that I found at the Hope Chest (The Thrifting Saga Continues) and cleaned up using brass cleaner. Not all of the tarnish would come off but I don’t mind that it’s a little roughed up. The size and shape are perfect. I got the lampshade for it at Wal-Mart. Next to it is a little Americana wagon that I got at South Eden Flea Market. I’m in love with this little wagon. I am doing a subtle Americana theme in my living room so I love the charm that it adds. I filled it with spools because I am always picking them up at flea markets.


The left side of the buffet showcases a birdcage that I also got at South Eden with a gold bird pot inside that I have had for years and a pothos that my mom just potted for me that she grew off a trimming from her plant. Sitting perched in front is a little pocket garden flower guide and an oil lamp that I got from my first visit to the Expo Gardens Flea Market sits next to it atop a piece of birch wood that I got for $2 at Jeffrey Alans.  

Above my buffet I have a mirror that I got at the Expo Gardens Flea Market in August. Next to it is a horse print I bought online framed in a barnwood frame from Hobby Lobby. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been obsessed with horses and I thought this white horse print was just beautiful. Above it is a weathervane that I got for $5 at 3rd Sunday Market


I am so incredibly happy with how this wall turned out. I think it sets the tone for my “collected over time” flea market style in the living room and the spool table that I finished a couple weeks ago (coffee table) helps to echo the blue wall in just the right way. I still have some paint left over from the wall and a couple of other living room projects that I am going to do with it so stay tuned!

Linking up with the Vintage Inspiration Party!

Thrifty Thursday # 17: Thrifting On A Whim

It’s hard to believe that I STILL haven’t shown you guys all of my loot from August! One of these days I will get all caught up, I swear!

Monday August 17th I had to go to Menards and return a few things (bathroom floor mostly since, as you found out in my previous post: Behold My Glorious Throne-Room, my bathroom has ceramic tile and could not be redone…) and the Salvation Army Family Store is right near the Menards that I go to so I decided to pop in. This time I actually grabbed a cart since I’ve been having such fabulous luck lately. And boy did I fill that cart! (Huge apology to the guy behind me in line who had one DVD to purchase –I was already getting rung up or I would have let you go ahead of me). 


I’m pretty sure that there are some things missing from this picture as well since I dilly-dallied on getting the pictures taken. I should really know by now that if I don’t take pictures as soon as I get home I will inevitably start pulling things out and start using them. Case in point, the copper pot that I’m using as a planter in my bathroom. (I named that plant Chester Copperpot…Goonies, anybody?)

Some of the items I purchased weren’t marked and so they were given to me for either $0.69 or $0.99 cents. All great deals, especially since I was buying such a large quantity. All total I spent $33.63.

This store was especially fruitful for paintable wooden things. I found a little wreath to redo for Christmas and some cutting boards and plaques. I also got a lot of frames and a couple of baskets which have already made their way into my booth at Lucy Davis Thrift.

The football basket was my favorite and to finish it off for the booth I added painted Mason jars to show off my team spirit for my all-time favorite team – Go Bears!

Go Team and Happy Thrifting!

Thrifty Thursday #16: The Church Mouse – A Quiet Little Secret

Concluding my thrifting marathon from the week of August 10 (I know, I’m still weeks behind!) was a trip to the Church Mouse on Friday August 14. The Church Mouse is a small thrift store in Peoria, IL. I haven’t gone there much but I am definitely going to be a regular patron from now on! I found so much great stuff and was complimented at the register for my “great eye”. The people working were also getting a kick out of what I told them I was going to do as far as repurposing some of the items.

Now I regret that there are some items missing from the picture as I have already started using a fantastic $1.00 basket on my island as my catch all for keys, etc. and I have started to repaint a cutting board I got there as well so it is missing from my group shot.

The most I spent on an item was $5.00 for the solid wood step stool. I was looking for one so I was willing to spend that much for myself (and honestly, for something of this quality, $5.00 was a steal!) Other than that and another couple of $2.00 lamps, everything else I had was a dollar or less. Most of it was $0.25-$0.50!

The gentleman who worked at the Church Mouse (and so kindly helped me haul my two boxes full of stuff to my car) asked me what the silver cage looking thing is because he had been trying to figure it out and he thought that since I bought it that I would know what it was. I told him I didn’t know what it was but I knew what it was going to be! I plan to spray paint it and put a plant in it. I love looking for things that can be repurposed into interesting planters. He just laughed at me.

I was really excited about the tins that I found – more excellent ones for my craft room in my colors! And a kitty one…just because it looks like Mordecai! Not sure if I’m going to use this or if I’m going to make up a silent auction basket for a shelter event using it and some other cat related items. For 25 cents, it doesn’t really matter!

I found a couple more wood plates/trays. I’m amassing quite the collection of those as well. And a sweet little basket with Christmas trees on it. This one I’m on the fence about whether or not to put in the booth for the holidays or keep for myself. Depends on how the decorating comes along! And of course, I couldn’t pass up more wood frames!

I find that the small thrift shops are the real gold mines. Everybody frequents Goodwill but the little ones don’t get as much traffic so it’s more likely that you will find incredible forgotten items just waiting for you to give new life!

Happy Thrifting!

Thrifty Thursday: Back in the Game

I haven’t gotten to do any thrifting the past couple of weeks due to my big move into my new house so I was so excited to jump in the car with Sister 3 and head to some city-wide garage sales in a town about a half hour away as well as check out some of their local antique shops.

The first place we went to I found the perfect little rolling cabinet to serve as my new TV stand. Mine from my duplex didn’t fit the space and I needed something much smaller that would still hold my DVD player.

TV Stand

I plan to wall mount my flat screen TV so this cabinet fits my purposes perfectly and the deep drawer for storage is an added bonus. Since I live in a small house (around 950 square feet) I am always looking for furniture items that do double-duty. This cabinet was marked at $48 but I took it home for $30!

We went on to another thrift store that was having half off sales. I found two really great wooden frames and some Gone With the Wind Madame Alexander paper dolls. As a young girl I was obsessed with both Gone With the Wind and paper dolls and I just so happen to have this particular Madame Alexander doll in my collection. I ended up getting all 3 items for just $2 despite them originally being marked at $5 for the paper dolls and $1.50 each for the wood frames. Great deals! And I’ve already started designing a cross-stich picture for the inside of that adorable moonshine jug frame.

wood frame paper doll moonshine jug frame

My other great find of the day was this ½ Gallon Mason Jar lamp. It was only marked at $5 and it already had the adapter and everything. Adapters alone can cost up to $20 for the kit on Amazon so I was really excited to find this. Obviously the inside of it needs a little sprucing up, but a lamp this size for $5 was a steal!

mason jar lamp

But, my favorite find of the day was this:

pork chop sandwich

A grilled pork chop sandwich, chips and a drink for only $4 at a Church “Hog Roast”. This really hit the spot for both my sister and I. I am a sucker for a good grilled pork chop with some BBQ sauce on it! MMMMMMMMMMM.

Happy Thrifting!

Thrifty Thursday: Wheeling & Dealing

So, I already shared with all of you my mom’s treasured find from this past weekend but I know you’re all wondering “Rebecca, what did YOU find at the South Eden Village Flea Market?” Well, let me tell you!

This flea market was small but it was a gold mine. Right off the bat my mom, sister 2 and I found some great frames at the first booth we stopped at. And the first words out of the mouth of the people running the booth was “we will make you deals!” Music to my ears! At that booth I also found a birdcage and a bird field guide (remember, I’m crazy for birds!), as well as a plant stand. My sister found a couple other things as well so we went up to deal together. It all would have come to $29 but they gave it all to us for $20.
The next booth I found an old cake tin that just needed to be cleaned up a bit for $2 and then I spotted some furniture that I really liked but we decided to walk around the rest of the mall before I bought any furniture. With some things I feel like if they are meant to be they will still be there after I have looked at everything else.

In the mall I found a couple of wooden trays to paint and fix up, some more doilies, a silverware organizer and some more wooden letter blocks (I have been collecting these lately). When I went back outside the nightstand, sitting chair and 2 wooden folding chairs I had been eyeing were all still there. I went up to the lady running the booth and asked if she was wanting to make some deals. She laughed and said absolutely and followed me to see what I was looking at. The 4 pieces of furniture would have come to $50 if I had bought them as marked. She offered them to me for $45 but I was feeling a little feisty so I threw $40 out there as my offer. She contemplated for a minute and then agreed. Another great deal!

And once again I packed the back of my sister’s SUV (this time I didn’t have to sit with anything in my lap though!)

I think my shirt is what gets me all the good deals!

Another successful morning thrifting with good company. I can already envision these items in my brand new house!

Happy Thrifting!

Thrifty Thursday: A Day Late But Never A Dollar Short

So, I completely realize it’s Friday but yesterday I had a different priority…Magic Mike XXL. Holy Abs, what a funny movie! Hot guys and humor. Perfect combination. Mmmm…Joe Manganiello….

Anyway…on with the thriftiness.

So this past weekend, I dragged my brother to an antiques show at the Marbold Farmstead in Greenview, IL which was about an hour drive. This was the 3rd Annual antique show they have had there with the goal of raising money to restore the old farmstead. The house itself was incredible! Winding staircases several stories high and solid structure.

marbold farmstead

Picture borrowed from – check it out!!

There were a lot of really incredible antiques at this show too. I held a painted box from 1793 (which was also $325) but just the idea that I touched something that old was kind of incredible. I did make a couple of purchases, though nothing too terrible old. I got a double-boiler pot (most likely from the 1930s-40s) that somebody had converted into a planter for $10!

double boiler pot

I also got a full sheet of stamps from 1981 that depict all of the state birds and state flowers that was already fully framed. Not necessarily worth any money but I talked the ladies at the booth down from $15 to $10. Considering that the stamps are $.20 each and there were 50 of them, that is $10 right there so essentially I got it framed for free. My quest is to have something that has to do with birds in each room of my house. Not sure which room this will go in yet, but I’m thinking bedroom.

bird stamps

I also got some old lace for a craft project I’m working on. Right now I am just in the gathering materials phase so I will reveal the step by step of the project in a later post.

In the afternoon I decided to check out an Antique Mall about 15-20 minutes from me with Sister 3 that I had heard about but never been to. I spent about $15 there and got these cute items:

collage from antique mall hanna city

Sunday morning I kept my thrifty weekend alive by going to an in-town Flea Market with my mom. She and I had a really great time and found some kind of off-the-wall things. I got this box of blocks after my mom showed me how neat the interlocking ones were (from the 1950s). It was marked at $10 but the old man gave it to me for $8!

box of blocks

My mom and I also found these insulators for $1 each. I see these at almost every flea market I go to but never really understood what they were so I always passed them by. My mom explained to me that they were used on top of electrical poles and now people can use them in windows as a sort of prism or can paint them, like the painted one that has been on her windowsill for many years. I bought two of them. I’m not positive what I am going to do with them yet, but I liked the story of them. She also told me that sometimes good ol country boys would use them for target practice. J


My last purchase was this little iron trivet for $2. These are used for hot pots so they don’t sit directly on the countertops in kitchens. I thought it would be a sweet addition to one of my kitchen vignettes…that is, if I don’t use it for its intended purpose! I am truly living by the “don’t have anything around that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful” mantra so when I find things that can be both, I am always extra excited.


Had some thrifty successes this weekend, but what made this a successful weekend overall was not the purchases I made, but driving down country roads getting lost with my brother and listening to my mother tell stories about items at the flea market and then sitting down with her at her house to play with my blocks when we were finished. The items come with a history, but it is also the history we create with these antiques that make them special.

I know, a little sappy, but the most important things in life are not things.

Happy Thrifting!