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:

Bedroom

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!

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Let’s party! Linking up with:

Vintage Charm

 

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Warming Up The Walls

So my week last week went by in a flurry of –

  1. Shelter events

Angel at the J Crew opening at Grand Prairie – she is up for adoption at SAMS rescue!

2. BASEBALL,

Go Cubbies!

and 3. WEDDINGS!

I may or may not have been live streaming Saturdays Cubs-Cards game while at the reception…

Before I knew it a week had passed and I had not only NOT gotten anything done in my house, but also didn’t post for Thrifty Thursday (even though I had it written and ready to go) or any other post for that matter! Time is a funny thing. Lately there just doesn’t seem to be enough of it.

But I did start to remedy all of that this past weekend. I had a 3 day weekend so I was determined to get some things accomplished – mainly getting some of my house cleaned up and spending time with my favorite dog in the whole wide world.

Mission Accomplished! He makes my heart happy.

Mission Accomplished! He makes my heart happy.

I also started to get some things on the walls in my living room. I am bound and determined to cozy up my living spaces. Especially before all of those cold fall days set in. I went over to my parent’s house Sunday morning (around breakfast time…by design, as I knew my mom would have baked something. I was not disappointed by her blueberry coffeecake!) and my mom helped me cut down and frame some really sweet prints that I had picked up in various second hand ways.

This sweet pup I picked up at the Expo Gardens flea market:

10-13 puppy and bird print
I decided I wanted another black and white print to complement it so I scoured Etsy for days until I found this Black and White ad with these adorable pups on it. I have loved Scottie Dogs ever since watching Lady and the Tramp as a child.

10-13 scotty dog
I recently fixed up my big picture window with bamboo shades and white curtains that I got at Goodwill for $5! I love how the window treatment looks for the window. It offers me privacy since I live on one of the busier streets in my town but doesn’t obscure the fact that I have a large beautiful window (that is always covered in dog slobber…)

Sorry this isn't a great picture, what with the dog bed and dog toys...It's real life though!

Sorry this isn’t a great picture, what with the dog bed and dog toys and fact that I took it with my cell phone…It’s real life though!

The dog pictures found their way right next to the window. My mom happened to have the mat boards sitting around her house and I had picked up the frames for $0.99 each at Goodwill. The blue in the mat boards reflects my blue accent wall really well. I love how they look stacked on the wall next to my big window.

10-13 dog prints

While at my mom’s house we also went through some of her wall quilts to see if we found one that would go in my living room. We found this one and I stuck it up there with command tape to see if I liked how it looked or if I wanted to try to find something else. I’m giving it a test drive for a couple of days. What do you all think? Is it the right thing for above that sofa or should I keep looking?

Opinions welcome! This room is still a work in progress. :)

Opinions welcome! This room is still a work in progress. 🙂

I’m excited to hear your input!

Time to party! Check out these link ups!

Vintage Inspiration Party

Vintage Charm

Thrifty Thursday #19: Always a Bridesmaid

I apologize to all of my new followers and regular readers for my silence this week – I took a few days off work and I have been busy busy busy working around my new house. Just check out the progress I made on my garage the other day!
  
 

I now have uncovered all of this wood:

AND I have lined up all of my project furniture!

 

I also have some workspace to work on said furniture so I hope to have some pretty awesome DIYs for all of you very soon

But today, it’s Thursday, so let’s get Thrifty! I’m up to the weekend of August 29 in my thrifting saga (starting to catch up a bit…) That Saturday I was in my good friend Amanda’s wedding and if you want to get thrifty just check out my dress:

 

Perpetually single girl at yet another wedding… 😛

 
This dress is HOMEMADE. It is from a Simplicity Pattern and I bought the fabric online at fabric.com (I mentioned this website in Behind the Curtains as a great resource for hard to find fabrics). The laid back bride told each of us to do shades of blush pink and to have the dresses be long. Pattern and fabric all together this dress cost me less than $40! DIY is just the best. I did however splurge to have my hair and makeup done professionally because those are not my forte. The aftermath was a little hair-raising…

  
The day after the wedding I went to the Expo Gardens Flea Market, a favorite of mine, with my mom and Sister 2. I always have some unique finds at this Flea Market and this day was no exception. I failed at getting a group shot of my treasures and they have long since disappeared in to the abyss (aka my basement) but I did get pictures of my 2 favorite items.
    

The black and white picture is my favorite find of the day. What a sweet depiction of a dog and a bird, two of my favorite things. My mom found some blue mat boards so I am going to frame this picture and find another similar print to hang in my living room as a set. The barnwood cat was also a cute find and I am thinking about starting an animal themed gallery wall in my hallway so I think this will add some cute texture to my displays. Either that or I will put it up in Mordecai’s bedroom. I switched out the ribbon that came around its neck for a piece of blue homespun. 

The rest of my weekend was spent in the best way possible – snuggling with two adorable dogs! I dog sat for some friends whose little girl looked like a mini version of my tank Rusty! I loved watching these fluff tails run around the yard and even moreso loved when they both snuggled in with me for naptime.  


Happy Thrifting!
 

Reclaimed Redneck Coffee Table

Remember these?
spools
My very first Thrifty Thursday finds from a curb in Pekin, IL. They have sat in 2 different garages now just waiting for the mud and dirt to be cleaned from them so that they can become adorable reclaimed tables.

And here is the finished product! 

 

The blue one ended up being the absolute perfect size to serve as my coffee table and I think it looks really fun! Though I can’t help but remember when I used to listen to Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be A Redneck If…” and he used to describe having a spool in the den as a coffee table. I’m okay with being a little bit redneck though.

Let me tell you how I cleaned this spool up. It was caked with mud and dirt from years of sitting in some guy’s shed so first I took a dry bristle brush to it to knock off as much of the dirt and cobwebs as possible. I didn’t want to hose it off first only to have a big muddy mess. After I knocked as much dirt as possible off THEN I turned the hose on. Sister 3 helped me with this since she was claiming the white spool for her front porch. She aimed a strong jet at the caked on sections on the spools and knocked them all off, and cleaned my driveway while she was at it!

Since her spool was just going on her porch and was going to be an outside spool, she loaded it up as is and is now displaying hers. Since mine was going indoors I still had a little work to do. I took some disinfecting wipes and carefully scrubbed each panel of wood on top bottom and sides in order to remove as much of the built up grime as possible. It ended up looking so great that I didn’t even need to paint it (I was originally going to be painting it blue). After getting it as clean as possible I coated it with polyurethane to protect it from potential spills. I used a matte finish because I didn’t want my rustic reclaimed table looking too shiny.
All that is left now is to stage it with some decor. I shopped my house and this is what I found…
  

So life-like isn’t he? He adds both height and texture to my display. Too bad he doesn’t stay put…

  

I guess I will have to keep looking for other items… I’ve already got a basket to corral my remotes. I feel like it needs something else though.

What do you think of my new coffee table? Any suggestions for types of items to put on it?

9/16/15 addition: I linked up to my very first blog party – so much inspiration in just one place. Check it out! Vintage Inspiration Party #205

Behind the Curtains

Finally! I have been waiting for the moment when I would get to share with you all my projects in my new house. Of course, in order to do that, first I have to COMPLETE the projects. I am forever doomed to have a million more ideas in my head than I could ever possibly complete with my hands. However, in an attempt to make at least part of my house a little homier, I did push for my bedroom project to be completed.

bedroom before

The master bedroom in my house is not very big, but I like cozy so the size wasn’t really the issue. I love looking at rooms and doing what I can to maximize the space and style. This room did however, pose a bit of a challenge due to an off center window on the wall where I wanted my bed.

Here was my solution:

bedroom after bedroom after 2

I painted the room “Requisite Gray” which I find to be a soothing and more modern neutral. I created this wall of curtains to highlight the bed wall and disguise that off center window by rescuing things from several different places.

Here’s how I did it:

CURTAIN RODS: I found the curtain rods left in the house when I took possession and moved them from the room they were in to the bedroom since they went with the colors that I was using. Similar heavy duty curtain rods such as this retail for around $50.00. The smaller rod is a basic one that retails for around $3.50.

CURTAINS: The chocolate brown curtains on the outside of the curtain wall were the same ones I used in my bedroom in my duplex so I was very excited that I got to keep reusing those. (They were a Target clearance-rack find for $11 when I was looking for curtains while decorating my duplex but since they are reused, for the purpose of pricing out this project they were FREE.) The print fabric was bought from a discount fabric store online – 5.5 yards for $9.48 a yard ($52.14 total). These types of stores give you a great deal on fabric because a lot of it is remnants or end of bolt/discontinued fabrics. This color and pattern were perfect for me as it was a more gray toned beige and really complemented my wall color. I took a bit of a chance on this ordering online since you can never truly know what the color will look like when you only see it online, but the second I saw this fabric (after persuing several hundred pages of fabric) I knew it was the one. I can’t fight those feelings. The off-white sheer panels that make up the underneath part of my fabric wall I got on an online garage sale site for $8. They are the Target threshold brand and retail currently for $16.99 EACH.

target curtains

Store price for all of this new: $187.46

My price by recycling and reusing: $60.14

I absolutely love how it turned out and knowing that I saved $127.32 by doing what I love – rescuing – makes it even better. To finish out my bedroom display I added the nightstand from the South Eden Flea Market (Thrifty Thursday: Wheeling and Dealing) and on top of it grouped together my pitcher that I got at 3rd Sunday (Thrifty Thursday: Let’s Go SLEDDING!), a doily that I also got at 3rd Sunday, a Gone With the Wind lamp that was not only mine as a child, but also my aunt’s which makes it that much more special for me, and a bird decoration that I had used in my kitchen at my duplex that I got at Hobby Lobby on clearance. It makes a very sweet arrangement.

nightstand arrangement

Since the room is so small, it doesn’t really warrant having another nightstand in it but I did come across this 1950s lamp at Lucy Davis Thrift one night after restocking my booth and its style and color fit into the bedroom perfectly.

So, there you have it. Part of my bedroom is transformed. I still have to add some wall art and finish the window treatment on the other window but I am so happy with how this has turned out so far.

bedroom before bedroom after

Happy Thrifting!

Welcome Home

So I have hinted a bit at this over the past month or so but now that everything is official I feel right announcing it – I bought my very first house!

  
I am so excited to take this next step in adulting but I’m even MORE excited because I am going to be sprucing this house up by recycling, reclaiming and doing it myself! This opens up a whole world of DIY tutorials, not to mention getting to show off how I decorate with all those awesome flea market finds I’ve been accumulating and sharing with you all on Thrifty Thursday! I hope you all stick with me through my journey. 

Sister 2 bought me my first housewarming gift. Pretty fitting, isn’t it?

  

 

Our First Year

Rescuing animals is something I am very passionate about. I regularly volunteer for a shelter and exactly one year ago today, I adopted my rescue dog Rusty! Rusty was 4 days from being euthanized at the county animal control. Now he is my best friend, hero, running partner, confidant and has filled every single one of the past 365 days with love and laughter. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect dog for me. 

Happy 1 Year Adoptiversary Rusty! Momma loves you!