April 27, 2012

Our Vegetable Garden and a Room Addition

We have been busy this week working on our garden, playing in the mud and designing a room addition on our raised vegetable garden.  Needless to say, I haven't had much time to blog this week.  


Last year we built the first tier of our raised veggie garden at the back side of our house (shown in the picture).  It is 16 feet long and a little over two feet deep.  It is the perfect height for me as I don't have to bend over to work in it.  No back pain... yippee!  I was super excited to grow my own organic fruits and vegetables. 


After it was done being built and sprinklers were in it, we filled it with organic soil and I planted my rows of veggies.  I planted cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, chives, cilantro, bell peppers, and some herbs.  I made cute little spoon signs labeling each area.  


I was so excited watching my little plants grow.  I couldn't wait till they got big and I could harvest my little beauties!



Little did I know that gophers lived in our area and they definitely like veggies as much as I do!!!  After my plants got to a good size and finally started producing, all of a sudden, they started disappearing row by row.  One night the first row on the far right was gone.  The next night the next row.  We knew it had to be a gopher since the plants were disappearing from under ground.  We had never thought to put a wire mesh at the bottom to prevent gophers from eating everything up!  I knew bunnies might show up, but I hadn't even thought of gophers.  They are actually kinda cute and they look innocent enough.  Right up until they mutilate what you've worked so hard to grow!  After that, they became the enemy!!!  We went out and purchased some sort of sonic noise makers that you put into the ground and a metal windmill that makes noise to try to keep them away.  Well, let me just say, the only two things that survived in our garden were the basil and rosemary.  Supposedly gophers don't like noise...  I'm  thinking we had a deaf gopher!  The gadgets didn't work.  The only thing I found out is that gophers don't like herbs.


Over the past week and a half we have built a second tier room addition onto the planter.  We (meaning my husband) dug out all of the dirt from the front planter (but I supervised, lol) and we lined both tiers with a small hole wire mesh to prevent critters (mainly gophers) from coming up underneath.  We are planning to put a net over the top to prevent birds, bunnies, and anything else that might want to steal our goodies from getting in.  We are putting stair steps up the side of the garden so we can easily walk up to the upper level.  Right now it is kinda a muddy mess since we had rain this week, but soon I will take pictures of our progress and share them.  I think we have taken precautions against all potential veggie thieves this year.  Sheesh.... after all of this work, I sure hope so!


Until next time :)

April 23, 2012

Crystal Chandelier Prisms - My Source; Great Prices

Okay, so recently I've had several people ask me where I source my crystal prisms for chandeliers.  For those of you that don't know, I used to make chandeliers (hundreds of them) and we sold them via our eBay store (my husband Jim and I manufactured custom lights,  chandeliers and a large variety of furniture appliques for a little over three years (until I totally burnt out on it a couple years ago).  However, I still do  make a few one of a kind chandeliers and light fixtures when I feel inspired!  Most of the chandeliers and light fixtures that I've designed have either a shabby cottage or Paris chic style.

The variety of crystal prisms shown on all of these different light  fixtures were all purchased from one same source.  I will share my source with all of you because I love bargains and I hate seeing people have to pay so much for parts like these via sites like eBay and Etsy.  I sure hope I don't offend anyone who sells prisms on those sites!




If you are in the market for new crystal prisms at great prices check out my source: Great Chandeliers


Go to the links on the left side, click on the Crystal Parts and Trimmings Link and you will find all that you need.  Most would be surprised to know that crystal prisms start at only 33 cents each and depending on the size and quantity, they go up to a couple of dollars each for the larger sizes and higher end styles.      


Their site also sells a large variety of new chandeliers. 


They have several styles, similar to many I've seen at Pottery Barn, ZGallerie and Restoration Hardware, but with much much  friendlier bargain prices!!!  No offense to those stores, as I love them all (I just can't afford them)...





If you saw the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie you might remember their super dramatic formal dining room chandelier from the movie.  Check out this raindrop chandelier, it's only $126.



So if you are looking for a deal on crystal prisms or a new chandelier, sconce or lighting fixture, I definitely recommend giving GreatChandeliers.com a look!  I do not get paid for recommending them (although I wish I did... lol)  I really do love their stuff and they have very reasonable shipping too :)


If you want to see some of the other chandeliers that I made visit: HERE.


Until next time...

April 19, 2012

Glamping - Putting A Bit of Glamour in Camping

The weather here in Southern California is amazing this week.  It is time to get out and enjoy the outdoors!  I am thinking of planning another camping trip :)  I do enjoy camping, but I like to make it a bit of a Glamping trip.  


The point of glamping is adding a bit of glamour to your campsite.  Glamour + Camping = Glamping!  Yes, those of us that like to decorate, tend to decorate everywhere we go!  Note: glamping usually includes restrooms with flushing toilets somewhere close by (this is my one major requirement... lol).  

(via: TinyHouseBlog)

The above picture shows a tent mounted to a deck foundation with heavy logs for the frame.  It is likely a permanent structure.  This would be cool if you lived on a large piece of property and could do this out in your own wilderness!


I love pitching our own tent somewhere between the trees and nature and then adding decorative accessories to make it feel homey and then add a throw rug for the floor.  This next picture, is a stunning example!  

(via: ErinsFabBlog)


I love this!!!  Fabric over a portable gazebo frame.  A romantic table setting... and plenty of candles and lanterns!

 (via: We Heart It)

(via: Sentimental Stones)

There are actually some Glamping campgrounds that are like 4 star resorts.  They have permanent pitched tents that are already fully decorated and most have bathrooms.  I've seen glamping places that use yurts and even log cabins too.  However, if it's a log cabin, I think it is pretty hard to call it camping!  Some of these places completely take the work out of camping.  Personally, I like a little work when camping... Like watching my husband pitch the tent and watching him blow up the air mattresses (hehe)... and then I get to go to town on the decorating part :)  


While I was blogging this post,  I took a little break and got spontaneous.  I actually went onto Recreation.gov and booked our favorite campground (Dogwood) for our anniversary in June (without even asking my hubby if he was okay with it...)  I think he will be!  The campground we love is located in our local mountains, near Lake Arrowhead, here in California.  It is also close to one of our favorite restaurants, The Grill at Antlers Inn.  


This camping trip I will be going for a romantic glamping trip.  No premade tents here...  We will do all of the work to make it our special one of a kind site!  We will also be doing some of our own cooking at our campsite, but we will definitely go out for a nice dinner for our anniversary and probably do breakfast on the lake at Belgian Waffle Works.  Yum!

This map shows where we will be camping/Glamping in June :)  I'm soooo excited to start planning!!!




 The Grille At Antlers Inn, Twin Peaks, CA
Okay, I got totally sidetracked!  Now, back to GLAMPING... If you don't want to do all of the work setting up your own campsite, there are many glamping campgrounds around the U.S. and throughout the world.  


These next two pics are from El Capitan Canyon near Santa Barbara California.  They have tents and cabins depending on your preference... and even have a health spa (Canyon Spa) on site where you can get a massage or other treatment.


(via: ElCapitanCanyon.com)



For those that like to go a little bit country, check this next picture out.  It is at a place called the Resort at Paws Up, in Montana. You can check out their very cool resort: HERE






Below are some pictures of glamping in other parts of the world.



Glamping in Britian (via: RoughGuides.com)



  Glamping in Australia (via: Travelettes.com)

If you are interested in glamping, you can do a search on the internet for "Glamping + location" you can find a ton of information for locations near you that offer glamping.  Everything is already set up for you at these places.  


A few informative sites that I found are listed below:

GlampingGirl.com  - This site lists 33 glamping sites that are in the US and over 20 other countries that have glamping sites

GlampingHub.com - Information for glamping in the US, Canada, Europe and a few other countries...

If you are like me, you don't mind a little work and you love to decorate, then you can Glamp pretty much anywhere you can pitch a tent... even in your own backyard! 


Another thought, indoor tents can be fun too :)

(via: SomethingsHidingInThere)

Update: For those of you that have asked:  YES,  I did get my "Glamping Trip On" after this first post... We (my hubby and I) went in July and you can see our trip in this post:  A Glamping We Will Go

April 16, 2012

Sunday - Flea Market Adventures

Sunday morning my husband Jim and I went to the flea market.  I wasn't looking for anything in particular.  I just like to go every few weeks and see what I might NEED to take home with me.  It's amazing how something always calls my name and says "Hey, Take Me Home"!!!  Nothing gets the ideas brewing in the brain like walking the aisles of the flea market.  There is so much random stuff, especially on Sundays.  It's kinda like huge garage sale day, but it's a bunch of sellers with tons of junk and sometimes there is even a few estate sales at the market (which I Love!!!).  



This pair of retro nightstands and matching seven drawer dresser was a fun find.  The guy was asking only $75 for all three pieces.  The construction on these was very sturdy.  These even had dovetail drawers.  These are not my style so I didn't get them, but they are a great find for someone looking to go mid century modern or decorate with a retro feel.  Mid century modern is huge right now, so I imagine they found a good home.


A junk swap meet or flea market is a great place for small furniture pieces and accessories.  These guys had just picked up four vintage magazine rack end tables for $10 each.  They will look amazing once they are cleaned up and spray painted.  Remember a $3 can of spray paint transforms these from major drab to Absolute "FAB"!


Our local market always has locally grown fruit available.  Even if you don't buy a bag full, you can pick up a healthy snack while you shop!


Our local flea market is pretty small, only has about eight aisles, and the selection definitely varies from week to week.  However, at a smaller "small town" flea market you usually can find better bargains.  Don't be afraid to negotiate.  Sellers almost always ask higher than they are expecting to get.  I usually decide what I might be willing to pay, and then often meet the seller in the middle.  I don't expect them to give items away, and they do need to make some money.  But I definitely do like getting a great deal!  I often find items from the $3 to $10 range.  Occasionally I will get something more expensive.  A day at the flea market with $50 and I can usually get several things :)



Even when something looks like total trash, I love to find ways to make these items into treasures :)  Sometimes you can find something special and use it just the way it is.  Other times, a can of spray paint can work miracles!  I love vintage wire baskets for storage.  Vintage wood crates work well too.  This guy is at our market every weekend and he always has something new.  His items usually run from $3 to $5... Love it!



There is a lady who sells finish molding and wood trim out of her truck.  She actually has crown molding, chair rail, and baseboards in several different sizes.  Her bundles run from $8 to $10 depending on the size and detail.  You get between 21 feet and 35 feet per bundle (again depending which detail/type).  The price per lineal foot is the best I have ever found!!!  And if she doesn't have what you need or enough of your choice in her truck, she has hundreds of feet available of each one available for local pick up.  Major SCORE...  We've purchased a few styles from her and will definitely be back to her for more!


This antique Singer sewing machine has seen better days...  Since it is not in very good shape, I can totally see spray painting it is a pretty aqua and then distressing the edges.  It would make a super cute decorative accessory on a shelf in my craft room :)  And for $10, it's a great price for any home decor accessory!



There are some flea markets that are known for having allot of antiques and collectibles.  The Rose Bowl Flea Market is one of them.  However, better known flea markets often have much higher prices.  You can still find good deals once in awhile.  Rose Bowl flea market, in Pasadena California, is good when you want a large selection to choose from and are willing to pay a little more for that special something.








Flea markets can be found all over the country.  If you've never been to one, look on the internet for flea markets and swap meets in your area.  I definitely recommend checking them out.  They can be tons of fun and you never know what treasures you might find!



Until next time,
Happy decorating!

April 13, 2012

Day of Thrifting, Vintage & Flea Market Finds

Yesterday I got to spend the entire day shopping at Thrift Stores, Vintage Collectible and Antique Shops with my mom... Oh how much fun we had!!!  


We first went to a thrift store where we both found a few treasures that we had to take home.  I found some cool aqua and white plates  (marked fine china), and at $1.50 per plate I grabbed them up!  I also found some aqua stoneware plates for $1 each.  Since my family room  is aqua and brown, I've been wanting to find a ways to incorporate aqua into my kitchen... All of my other dishes are white, so I finally found some with aqua.  I got 8 total plates and three bowls.  They will look great when I mix them together with my white stuff :)  Yeah me!




Next we went to a Vintage & Collectible store.  My mission was to find Aqua Blue Mason Jars.  I've been looking for some for about a year now.  Every time I go into a thrift store, vintage store or a flea market, I've been looking to find a few.  I know I could just order some on eBay, but by the time you pay for their shipping they get quite expensive, and I just didn't want to pay that much!  I knew eventually I would find some.  So after walking this huge store, aisles and aisles of stuff, mostly junk, the last corner that I came to I saw them, four old aqua blue mason jars (two larger and two smaller).  Ahhhhhh... (angels singing) I got all excited.  My mom was laughing at me because she new I had found something but hadn't seen what yet.  I know I'm a dork, but yes, I did get super excited over my find.  One of them had a few flea bite chips out of the top, so I passed on it.  I ended up getting the two larger and one of the small jars.  I am so very happy with them!!!  




I love how they look in my kitchen window.


A few other pieces I recently found at thrift stores... are the aqua vase in the middle which is a House of Lloyd pottery piece that I got for only 75 cents... Then you see the aqua glass handle jar.  It has a bicentennial bell on the front and is marked Jack in the Box on the back (lol), it was only 50 cents and I couldn't resist.  On the far left is an aqua glass electrical insulator (something they used to use on electrical power lines.  I just loved the color and wanted it.  In fact I purcased a few of them for $2.50 each.  Obviously I just love the different colors of aqua glass and I can't seem to get enough!   


We went to a few more vintage flea market style stores and I also picked up a antique aqua-ish (that is my word) turquoise color graniteware tea kettle to put on the shelf above my kitchen cabinets.  I didn't take a picture of it yet, but after I clean it up a bit, I will.   We had a ton of fun and plan to spend an entire day next month doing the same thing.  I got my thrifting "illness" from my mom... however, I wouldn't change it!!!  I adore finding pretty treasures and good bargains :) 


I love how these old mason jars say "PERFECT MASON" on them.  In this color I'd say they really are pretty PERFECT :) 


Until next time...
Happy Decorating!