Saturday, July 30, 2011

Vintage Tray Giveaway

It's time for another giveaway...and it's a good one! You know you want this darling vintage metal tray.  It would look perfect in a bathroom with little soaps and a couple of rolled up washcloths. For a chance to win it, simply send as many friends you can to Castaway To Couture's Facebook page.  Then tell your friends to write on the wall who sent them.  The person who sends the most fans gets a big hug from me...oh, and the vintage tray! Good luck, friends.  The contest ends Wednesday morning, 9 am (EST). Thanks for supporting Castaway To Couture.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Window Treatments-Splurge and Steal

In my opinion, window treatments MAKE a space.  I love fabrics and the opportunity they give you to bring color, texture, and design into your home. When I first decided to begin a blog, I wanted to call myself "The Material Girl" because I love materials, fabrics, and textiles so much.  Sadly, there was already a material girl out there in the blogosphere. Anyway, back to the subject.  There is a small problem with my fabric comes with a cost.  Literally.  Window treatments are usually VERY expensive to have made.  When I was working full time I didn't think twice about the splurge, but now that my funds have been sliced and diced I am getting creative.

Let's start with my not-so-cheap window treatments purchased pre-baby (i.e. working full time).  

I purchased two sets of pink and cream buffalo check panels before the toy box/window seat was built in MW's nursery.  So, I used one set for the window behind her crib, but just packed the other set away because I wasn't sure what to do with them.  I didn't want to cut them apart for other projects because I knew I would eventually want them for another room.  So, I just kept them.  Well, boy am I glad I did.  I have a new blog crush - Dear Lillie. O.M.G. The rooms in Jennifer's home are B-EAUTIFUL! She designed one of the prettiest nurseries I've ever laid eyes on for her little girl.

Do you see how Jennifer so creatively added panels to the outside of the dormer? Look how it makes a cozy little reading nook.  Genius!! Well, I was totally inspired.  So, I got out the ol' screwdriver and drill this morning and went to town hanging my extra set of panels.  I am over the moon with the results.  For a finishing touch I will add tie-backs, so I am on the hunt for a pair.

Okay, now for the good stuff.  My el' cheapo window treatments for the kitchen.  I told you that I was tired of the boring cream and brown color scheme in the kitchen.  It needed a little spice (no pun intended).  I would have loved to have a set of custom London shades made for the window, but that was a little too splurgy, so I came up with a super easy and CHEAP alternative.  Napkins.  Yep, I found these really pretty napkins at Pottery Barn.

Penelope Kalamkari Napkins, Set of 6

Right color scheme (blues, browns, creams, and a touch of rust red); right price ($6 apiece). I bought two napkins and a hardware set from Target - brown cafe rod ($10) and two sets of matching clip-on hooks ($4).

I hung the cafe rod mid-way up the window then slipped on the hooks, and finally clipped on the napkins.  Window treatments that cost around 30 bucks and took less than thirty minutes to hang.  That's what I'm talkin' bout!

So the moral of this post is that a splurge on window treatments is great...okay, pretty fabulous, BUT, you can make a similar impact in a room on a dime.  With the clip-on rings and a pretty piece of fabric your options are limitless.  Give it a try and watch a room come to life! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Porch Spruce Up

I love topiaries! However, topiaries do not love me.  I have spent quite a bit of money giving myself "one more chance" not to kill my beloved topiaries.  Each time I am hopeful, the leaves inevitably turn brown and fall off, leaving me with a sad wire skeleton. I still love to look at other people's topiaries and admire them from afar, but I have refused to go down that path yet again.


#black #door #topiaries

I have been on the hunt for some sort of shrub/flower combination (but NOT a topiary) to flank either side of our front door. I really like round boxwoods in a planter; however, they are usually quite expensive.  So I was really excited to find a set on sale at Walmart over the weekend. The good news - they were $7 apiece.  The bad news - they were a little lot "let go".

Priced at only $7, I knew I could possibly create the look I was going for with a pair of hand clippers...yes, those are pink clippers...quit laughing!

So I was able to trim down the unkept pair of boxwoods and create a little "ball" of some sort...topiaryish.

At Walmart I also found two pretty urns and a tray of scraggly petunias that I can bring back to life on clearance.  

I placed the boxwoods with their fresh "haircut" in the urns first, then positioned the petunias around the base of the shrubs.  I then filled in and covered both with potting soil and watered very thoroughly.
The final product turned out quite nice and fills the space on either side of our front door.

 Maybe not quite a topiary, but a similar look for less than $40 total! Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you. They had small little boxwoods also on sale for $5.  Wouldn't it look cute to make a small boxwood "ball" for the mantle?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bargain Hunting Bliss - Barrett Street Antiques

If you have taken a peek in the Inspiration Room lately you will know I am kinda into vintage scales right now.  I have been looking for a green kitchen scale for a couple of months. Well yesterday was my lucky day, because I finally found her.  A 1955 Landers, Frary, and Clark apple green scale! I found this little treasure at one of my favorite places in the area - Barrett Street Antiques.  

I did a little research on my scale and it turns out that it carries quiet a bit of history.  This particular American company was one of the first to introduce small kitchen scales (and other small appliances) into the household.  Part of their advertisement campaign was to design "universal household items with the American housewife in mind" (White, 1952).  How funny is that? Well, this little scale certainly has a place in this domestically challenged housewife's home!

My mom and I have been planning this little outing for about a week, and I woke up yesterday morning feeling like it was Christmas day. I was giddy with excitement! I packed up MW, took a slight detour to pick up my mom, then headed off to bargain hunting bliss.  For those of you unfamiliar with this little slice of heaven, Barrett Street Antiques is right off I-264 headed toward Virginia Beach.  You take the second Lynnhaven exit, and a right at the 7-11.  You can't miss it! It is a huge warehouse full of the yesteryear.  

My husband and I stumbled upon this antique mecca a few years ago when we first got married and barely had a piece of furniture to our name.  We also purchased MW's nursery furniture here...both the dresser and cabinet for under $250. It has been one of my favorite places to browse, buy, and gather inspiration ever since.  

I am going to share with you a few highlights from today (other than my green scale which takes the blue ribbon prize).

The first vendor that grabbed my attention had racks of hand carved decoys (along with old phones...weird?).  Some were old and used, others brand new, but each decoy was beautifully made. I had a fit for this white swan...still might go back!  I can just picture her sitting on the fireplace hearth. 

Next was a vintage bouncy horse that MW fell in love with! At a mere $35 we almost came home with a red pony.  However, I can honestly say that there is not enough room to stable her in our home.  Oh well, we'll hold out for the real thing! 

Check out that cool chicken coop behind us!
Moving "next door" was a vendor with vintage maps and photographs.  I thought this particular photograph was quite stunning.  My incredibly artistic and inspirational sister-in-law has a similar photograph in the hallway of her home, and it looks fabulous.  These photos fill long, narrow spaces beautifully! 

Down the aisle we stumbled upon a vintage wicker baby carriage.  I just love these for some reason.  They are neither safe nor practical, but just perfect for a photo prop.  MW is always ready for a photo little ham! 

As we rounded the corner, still laughing about MW's love for the camera, I saw something shimmering in the distance. Could it be...a booth with...vintage scales? I made a dash to the booth and reveled in measurement glory. I liked the two large scales, but they were just too big and too expensive, so I kept digging around, and that's when I finally found what I have been looking little green kitchen scale!! Whoohoo! The price and color were perfect! I did a cheer and little dance.  My mom and daughter both looked at me like I lost my mind...perhaps I have! 

The last thing that really caught my eye was a vintage croquet set.  Mom almost took the set home with her, but decided that she needed a set that was a little more functional.  This one had seen better days and  was more for looks than use.

All in all it was a great shopping day at Barretts...although it has never been anything less! I'm going to be honest.  I'd rather have a couple hours browsing through Barrett Street than a day at the spa.  No kidding.  It is pure enjoyment for me.  I am already thinking about when I can return...hey, Mom, what are you doing next Wednesday? 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Junky Shelf Redo

$2 shelf - AFTER

Well I finally got around to refurbishing the shelf I picked up at a thrift shop a few weeks ago.  You may remember it from my junk pile...

Here is a closer photo of it in all its gold glory.

$2 shelf - BEFORE

The shelf was in pretty good shape.  I just had a few cosmetic adjustments I had to make to get this little shelf in "working order". I first had to remove the hooks (FUG-LY), paint the entire shelf BM's linen white, then finally add a little distressing using a fine grit piece of sandpaper.

After painting painting the shelf two coats then distressing, I used the original holes as a guide, and drilled all the way through so that I could screw in the glass knobs...which, btw, aren't cheap! I paid $4 per knob at Lowes.

I then hung the shelf in MW's nursery on a wall that needed a little "attention".
Note the crooked vintage prints! LOL!

I had to break out the level so that the shelf wasn't as crooked as those prints!
All in all, a pretty easy (and quick) fix, and look how pretty it turned out!  Perfect for displaying little Miss MW's pretties.