Thursday, June 2, 2011

Projects I Have Been Working On Lately...

I didn't realize just how long it had been since I last wrote on here. Wow! I need to update a lot more and I will try to post more often and with more pics.

What I wanted to write about today is what I have been up to lately "creatively speaking". I had worked on several small projects and felt quite accomplished after completing them. It is not that I did very much work, it was just that I customized random things to my liking and for that I was happy and proud. First thing was this metal wire jewelry holder in the shape of a female figure. It was on clearance, (big surprise there lol) and my 2 color options were cream/off -white or a rosy pink. I opted for pink, although I was hoping that they had one in black.Well, I soon remedied that with a can of high gloss black spray paint. (98 cents at Wal-Mart). It worked like a charm and turned out really nicely. Second on my list to refurbish that day was a wooden spice rack that I bought for 3 bucks at a thrift store. It was a light pine wood color that did not match a thing in my kitchen. I am not into the whole natural wood thing, so it had to be painted. So I put my trusty 98 cent spray paint to use and voila'...a gorgeous, one of a kind spice rack. I loved it because of it's retro styling. I am not sure how to describe it...the spices lay in diamond shaped spaces. I am going to take pictures and post them at a later time because I really am pleased at how wonderful they turned out.


My next project was to redo some plastic flower pots. I had some perfectly good plastic flower pots that I bought a few years ago. I never really cared for the colors but I had to take what they had...and what they had a was a pale dusty blue and a pale olive green. And now they are bright tropical turquoise and a nice tranquil chartreuse/spring green (yellow-green). They look really nice and shiny and brand new. I don't know if I am going to have a problem with flaking , since the flowers pots are plastic, or not but we will soon see. I actually purchased these tropical colored paints to paint a set of Adirondack chairs and tables that I have sitting in my yard. Actually, I have a patio set of a table and chairs that is long overdue to be painted. Not to mention a wooden rolling patio cart that was left out in the weather and is really in dire need of some TLC. The third color I picked out for my outdoor project is a really cool  medium shade of purple. I am really excited and cannot wait to get started on these outdoor projects but it has been 98 degrees almost everyday so it has been hotter than hell!! Hopefully, I will get a chance sometime soon to work on them and as soon as I do, you can be sure I will post the pictures.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I love a good Bargain...

Being a shop-a-holic , I of course, appreciate a good bargain, no matter what it is on. I do not discriminate against bargains!! lol Whatever saves me $$$ , either right away or in the long run is good to me.I love to find bargains, especially if they are not advertised . It is like my own private treasure. Advertised sales, usually have things at a good price but sometimes if you don't get their right away all you end up with is junk or crap that no one else wants! 

I managed to do good in January...I visited Claire's Boutique because I am addicted to celebrations, therefore I love holidays and Claire's always has a decent selection of holiday themed jewelry and other accessories. I ended up getting a faux hair piece (braided headband) that matches my hair exactly. It had a tiny hint of fuschia and green sparkly strands thru it, but that only glams it up. For a dollar something, I wasn't going to complain because it didn't even look Xmassy to me. I also got a green glittery headband which I thought could also be used for Saint Patrick's Day. I also founf a red,green and white beaded necklace and bracelet set.Each bead had white rhinestones on it. Very cute. The best thing of all I got was the cutest pair of slippers, red velvet with white furry trim.  Embroidered on one slipper was "Naughty" & "Nice" on the other and they both had jingle bells attached so with every step, you hear a jingle. I saw these online and wanted them immediately. 

I knew if they had anything Christmas left in the store, that the pickings would be slim but should be on sale so I decided to stop in my local Claire's. The slippers, originally $15 were now only $2 and change!! And they had 2 pairs left and one was in my size!! Total spent was $14 and change for everything I got. I can't remember what else I got...I know it had to be more stuff because everything was severely marked down 75%. If I discover what else I got I will add it.

To kill time a few weeks ago, my boyfriend and I wandered into Michael's Arts and Crafts store. Right up front was the discounted Valentine's Day stuff. Very slim pickings. There was a nice red vase marked down to a dollar something but I really couldn't see a use or place for it. I don't really have a lot of red in my house but liked the color. There was one thing that immediately caught my eye though and I thought for sure it got placed on the table, by accident. It was a crystal heart paperweight. The light sparkled off of it , so of course, I was distracted. lol I inquired how much it was and the cashier asked an employee working on the floor and he responded that they were marked way down and there weren't any more left. But he told the cashier to give it to me for 50 cents!! I was like "SOLD". I proudly put it in my cart and felt quite giddy inside that I discovered such a deal. I noticed similar paperweights that were diamond shapes for selling over $5 a piece, so I was convinced I got a good deal. I knew just where to put it too. In my hallway, I have a shelf that spells out the word, "LOVE" on it. In fact, each letter is a shelf itself. I decided to put all things romantic or dealing with love on there.

As you can see,  I have my framed collection of LOVE stamps, something I always just liked. My statue of the Eiffel Tower, that I got in Paris. My "Kiss Me" frog prince that I found one year on Valentine's Day. Next to that is my sand castle made out of genuine sand that I bought one time on a beach trip. I also have a 2 halved heart bottle, which is another Valentine's Day clearance leftover. Another frog prince is my music box that plays "Someday my Prince will Come". Next to that is a mosaic candle holder with a heart on the front. Below we see that amorous skunk, Pepe Le Pew and his feline sweetheart. And lastly we have a present from an old friend, Garfield juggling hearts and next to that is my new 50 cent heart!! Isn't it pretty??

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Decorating...Hollywood Regency style

One thing I can say I always enjoyed and still do is decorating. Whenever my mom would move the living room furniture around, I was always excited because it suddenly was like walking into another house. I loved the feel of a whole new room,especially after painting a room or getting a whole new bedroom comforter set. Sometimes my parents would want to go see model homes and I loved tagging along. I never knew why I liked them but I think because the homes were so beautiful, and looked so un-lived in (just like in magazines) that it was so unlike where I lived. I am not saying our home was a mess but it was most definitely warm and inviting and very lived in. My mom kept our house nice but I wouldn't describe it as immaculate, it was nice but lived in. As I grew up, I realized that I definitely possessed a love of decorating because every model home I walked in, I would pretend I was moving in and in my head I would arrange the furniture, and redecorate the spaces. I still do this. Well, as a child, I never really heard of interior decorators. It was something you only heard of rich people hiring, so as a child I never played "interior decorator".  At least not that I remember. But yet, it would become my future as I  ended up going to college to study design and even completed some home study courses as well. I have experience in lots of aspects of interior design,  but could never manage to find full time employment as an actual "designer". I am a "Jill of all trades", I guess you could say since I have done so many creative jobs...took care of children, worked as an asst. baker in a bakery, sold and designed custom furniture, sold wallpaper and window treatments and carpeting, and I even spent a short stint as a photographer.

Right now, my head is literally filled with so many ideas of what I want to do with my home, redecorating wise. I am very into retro looks and am leaning towards a lot of 1950's mid-century designs but I don't think I want to go 100% retro though. Another look that I seem to really be crazy about is the "Hollywood Regency" look.
I have heard that it is tricky to define but have heard it described in many interesting ways.

"The whole style is about enjoying people, enjoying time [together]," "It's about glamour and getting a glimpse of those bygone days where TV was less important and it was about cocktail hour and company."

"I define Hollywood Regency as Neo-classical lines mixed with Hollywood glamour and a top note of mod moxie. Hollywood Regency was a style of architecture and decoration popular in the 60s in LA that was a revival of classical regency style through a modern lens. Hollywood Regency added a layer of pattern and decoration and opulence and glamour to the minimalism of mid-century modernism."

 "The look is clean – extra tchotckes have a purpose and stand out – they don’t collect dust as a bunch of tacky clutter. Influences are Asian, Moroccan, European Art Deco, Chippendale, Dorothy Draper, David Hicks, Billy Baldwin, Billy Haines, the Rat Pack, a bit of traditional and a dash of hippie chic."

To me, it is all these things but the bottom line is it is luxurious and full of glamour. Watch old movies and you will see the style I am talking about. I fell in love with it but never knew what it was. I always liked looking at my mom's old Hollywood magazines and see the stars lounging around their pool or posing on a fancy sofa in their living room. I secretly dreamed some day my own home would look like this. I have some pieces that will work in this scheme, but I really need to scour antique stores and consignment stores for more. I did some research of how to create this look and here is what I found out.

  • Lacquered Furniture
  • Lucite Tables and Chairs
  • Mirrored Furniture and Mirrors in General
    • Fabulous and Bold Wallpaper
    • Chinoseirie
    • Dressing Table
    • Asian Touches
    • Swank
    • A Dash of The Rat Pack or
    • a Dash of Vegas or
    • a Dash of Austin Powers Shagadelic Style
    • A Touch of Kate Spade Decorating Style or
    • A Touch of Lilly Pulitzer Style interpreted as a bit of prep, like Adler does frequently.
      • Palm Beach
      • Chrome
      • Matte and Shine
      • Chintz
      • Bold Shape and Color
      • “rock-n-roll baroque
      • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think the look is fun, playful, yet classy and sophisticated.Hollywood Regency takes its name from the look the old Hollywood stars use to decorate their homes with. Homes were a status symbol and everyone wanted to show theirs off during glamourous cocktail parties. This was a different time when it was more about the people,  than sitting around watching tv and I like that.  Living in a home that looks like Marilyn Monroe or Joan Crawford or Rita Hayworth could live there is very exciting to me. I have a few pictures that illustrates this style very well. 

As I acquire my Hollywood Regency treasures, I will post  updates. I can't wait!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome to My Blog

After reading several fun, retro blogs, I was inspired to write one of my own. I have so many varied interests that it is hard to put me in a category of exactly one type of thing I love. My tastes are rather eclectic and I am proud of that fact and feel I am a well-rounded individual because of it. 

Growing up, I had a father who listened to country music and a mother who loved big bands and Frank Sinatra. Quite a mix. I also had a cousin who loved operas and classical music and a Grandmother who taught me Italian songs, so I was exposed to a lot at a young age. I am grateful for music appreciation and art appreciation, for a feel it makes me who I am today, a very diverse ,open-minded individual. 

I had so many good influences growing up that I think I can honestly say that I was influenced by a lot of people in my family. 
My love of the arts comes from my cultured cousins who played classical music and opera in their car on my many  road trips with them when I was a child. At the time, I wasn't very pleased with it as I was a child of rock and roll, but in my late teens and adult hood I realized the cultural seed had been planted.I have always enjoyed live concerts and plays and continue to love them and try to catch one as often as I can.

I can attribute my love of cooking to several people, my parents, my Uncle Nick and my Grandmother. My mom preferred baking to cooking which I really use to like to do. I have to be in the mood for it nowadays. My dad loved to cook and would even make me special dishes that no one could make like him, like his French Onion  and Split Pea soap. I miss his soup so badly when the weather turns chilly. But most of all, I feel my Grandma's joyful Italian spirit lives on in me and my appreciation for good home-cooked food that I got from her..I can never make half the things she made, half as good as her, but that's okay with me. She passed on her love of food and cooking and the joy she got from feeding people and watching their reactions when they take the first bite. Since my Mom's side of the family is Italian, I grew up with a sense of pride in my heritage and to this day I am fascinated by all things Italian.

As for my Mom, well I credit her with so much. She has rubbed off on me in more ways than I care to mention. She liked shopping and going out to lunch and a lot of the other things I like to do. She was the original "girly girl" and her sense of style was compared to Audrey Hepburn's. I am proud to say I take after her. I don't know if the Audrey Hepburn comment rings true  for me but I think I have an interesting style of my own. I adore being a "girly-girl" like my mother was. The only real difference was my mom didn't wear a lot of make-up, where in my younger days I would never leave the house without make-up on. My mom's routine even for just running to the grocery store, was to put on her lipstick, comb her hair and then a spritz of perfume. My dad ,frustrated for having to wait on her to get ready, would always tease, "You are not going to a fashion show." Especially if my mom happened to change her clothes before leaving. My mom had nice taste in clothing,. We shared a similar taste but where her tastes were more classic and conservative, mine were more modern and sexy. She loved shoes and jewelry and like me was easily distracted by anything shiny. My mom was also a collector as well and we even shared some of the same collections, like china and dolls. Both her and my Grandma were very talented in crafts and sewing, so I have them to thank for that love I have for crafting.

Without these people, I don't know what my life would have been like or how I would have turned out. but I am glad that I don't have to find out.