Saturday, September 20, 2008

Retail Therapy and A Little Decorating and Thrifting Lesson

As a busy work week was nearing its end today, I thought a little retail therapy would perk me up enough to make it through the final hours, so I took a late lunch and made a quick trip to Quilters Corner, one of our local quilt shops. The fact that I had an email from the shop early this morning letting me know that they had several new Thimbleberries Cover Story panels in really made the decision a no-brainer.

I thought that I might like a quick, easy panel to sew this weekend, so I picked up the new Halloween panel and a couple other Thimbleberries Halloween prints.

Then I browsed the 50% off fabrics and found a few more things.

Also in the 50% off fabrics was a Jo Morton print--brown and pink! I decided it might make either a nice border or setting triangles for the brown-and-pink "someday" quilt. And since they were there--but, alas!, not 50% off--a couple fat quarters in the appropriate colors were added to the stack.

You know what though? I sure feel less guilty buying fabric when I know I'll be getting a little extra overtime pay in my next check! Of course, by the time I GET that next paycheck, I'll probably have spent that overtime pay at least three or four times.

Originally--as in earlier this morning--I had been thinking about going to the thrift store at lunch time. It's completely understandable, then, that I decided to stop on the way home from work, right?

This is killing me. I love this old school desk. It was there the last time I stopped in a week or so ago, and it's still there. And I still have nowhere in the house for it. I hated leaving it behind! But at least I got a photo.

Now, a little decorating and thrifting lesson. See, I told Hubby I was being completely selfless when I stopped at Goodwill. I said I only did it for my Blogland friends. You believe me, right?

First of all, here's the disclaimer. I have no real education or training in decorating. Most of what I know I've picked up from TV, books and magazines, or looking at shop displays and blogs. So what do I know? Generally, I know that I have fun playing around with decorating my home for the holidays. I know many of you have complimented me on what you've seen here. I also know that some of you have told me you wished you could decorate and/or see the possibilities in thrift stores but you have a hard time. So I'll let you in on my thought process here. Of course, if you like the idea, feel free to use it--that's why I'm posting it.

I suspect many of you have thrift stores in your area that carry many of the same things mine do. One thing I notice in every thrift store I shop at is an abundance of candleholders. And specifically what I looked at today were the ones meant to hold the larger, pillar candles. For $5 total, here are the three I came home with:

Decorating tip--when you're putting together a display, think in odd numbers. That's why I bought THREE candleholders. I also wanted them to be different heights and different sizes. I was lucky enough to find three with similar finishes, although if I hadn't, I would have just painted them to match. You'll notice the styles of all three are completely different. That's good. Matching everything tends to be a little boring. At the same time, though, I wouldn't mix in a candleholder with sleek, modern lines because it wouldn't look "right" to me. And look for candleholders that don't have the spiky thing in the center. One of mine did, but Hubby was kind enough to grind it off for me.

And here's how I plan to use them--more or less:

Because the larger pumpkins haven't hit my local stores yet, I've just used three of the smaller pumpkins to show you, but I plan to get three different sized pumpkins. If you like sleeker lines in your home, just plop three pumpkins on top of your candle holders. For this photo, I used a candle garland from Michael's to show you how you can dress them up a bit more. You can also tuck some silk leaves and/or faux fall foliage around the base of the candleholders. Or pick up a framed mirror at the thrift store (repaint the frame if necessary) and put the candleholders on top of the mirror. Then add a couple more candleholders with real candles--when lit in the evening, the light will reflect off the mirror for a festive sparkle!

I could go on and on with ideas, but you'd probably get tired of reading them. Still, here are a couple quick ones: Use gourds instead of pumpkins. Put mini ears of dried corn around the bases of the candleholders. Use white pumpkins, or paint the pumpkins with clear gesso and sprinkle them with opalescent glitter for a less "rustic" look.

Is this stuff helpful or am I just telling you what you already know or don't care about? Can I tell Hubby that the "lesson" went over well and that I need to stop by the thrift store again next week?

And, by the way, remember my idea about buying that Thimbleberries panel for a quick weekend project? I think I have a better one, and if it turns out, I should be able to share it with you by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, the weekend's here and I'm ready to relax and have fun. I hope you are too! Thanks for stopping by!


Eileen said...

Gee, Kim, I always knew you were a second Martha Stewart, but this really shows it. She wouldn't be stopping at the thrift stores. Great job.

kcenya1950 said...

Yea, Kim, the rule of three. Don't know where I read it but it always seems to work. Great find on the candleholders. Have to admit I have been hunting fall "crafts gone wrong" lately myself. Great stuff out there. Just spent some time in the Sacramento airport-- wish I had had my camera to take pics of the suitcase sculpture in the baggage claim area. Talk about a thrift store inspired craft! WOW! Good luck on the weekend quilt. Looking forward to seeing it.

ratherbquilting said...

I enjoy your decorating and like to hear your ideas. Tell your DH you are doing research for a magazine article you're going to write. Then write one and submit it somewhere. Your ideas are at least as good as what I've seen in magazines!

Can't wait to see what you come up with for that panel!

Patti said...

Oh yes, Kim - this is wonderful! This is just the sort of stuff I need. I would never have thought of using a mirror! If you don't mind I think many of us would love more hints like this. I hope you don't mind if I ask some questions.

Do you get all new pumpkins, gourds and minicorn each year, or is there a way to preserve them so they last several years?

When you paint things, do you use the little containers of acrylics that you can buy at the craft store or is there something else that works better? I used to have an artists set of acrylics but I'm sure I got rid of it years ago.

I've bought lots of garlands of silk leaves and things at Michael's, but when I use them they just look sort of tacky. Like I've stuck them up because I think I should but don't really know how to make them look right. What's the secret? For example, how can I weave them through my dining room light so they look natural like the pictures and not like I'm trying to copy what I see in a magazine but instead get something that looks like a bunch of silk leaves stuck in a light?

One thing I know for sure - I love to look at pictures but all I really get is an overall feeling of beauty. I need to retrain myself to look at the details. Maybe I should do so with a pencil and paper in hand and fine at least 3 things to write down about each picture? Do you think that would be a good idea?

Tell your husband that you absolutely must stop by the thrift store to prepare your next "lesson" for your inept bloggy friends!

Susan T. said...

We all need more frugal decorating ideas. You make it seem so simple and they look GREAT !
Yes, a return trip to the thrift store is in order. You have a good thing started here ! Thanks !

Anonymous said...

I love your decorating tips. Keep 'em coming! I'm a regular at our Goodwill.


Kim said...

I think your tips are great! Yes, tell hubby you started a "Frugal Friday" club and you need to write an article every week and it takes thrift store research. Most articles have pictures and that would require you to bring the items home so you can place them in the right lighting for the photo shoot sessions. FYI - I found my decorations while clearing the storage unit today.. wooohoooo, I can decorate next week now that it's at my fingertips..

Purple Pam said...

The tips and tricks are invaluable. Hubby must know that you are doing a service for your blogger friends. I agree with ratherbquilting: write an article and submit it. Your ideas are better than ones I have seen published. Just remember to stick in a quilty thing or two. I am on the edge of my seat to know what is up with the panel. I almost bought that one but did not know what I would do with it. Give me an idea, please.

Chris said...

Absolutely! You must tell Hubby that the "lesson" went over well and that you need to stop by the thrift store again next week! Your decorating looks great!
I can never find good stuff at the thrift store because you've already bought all of it! I wish I had room for that desk too.
I'm also on the edge of my seat for the new panel idea.
Thank you Kim, for all your great ideas. Chris

Red Geranium Cottage said...

I'm lovin that school desk and think you MUST have it!!

Nan said...

Your ideas are wonderful! Thanks for sharing! I agree with Ms. Red Geranium - you DO need that school desk!