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October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Remember what fun Halloween was when we were growing up?  

Our parents knew the neighbors and  didn't worry about
finding razor
blades in our apples.  Some folks actually handed out homemade popcorn balls!

And we thought It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was cool.

Who could resist turning an ordinary apple
into a Shrunken Head?!


A magazine insert from the 60's seemed revolutionary at the time for DIY cake decorating.

This 1930's photo shows the imagination of two young girls.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!

October 21, 2011

A brief respite

I just got back from a few days at the beach and I'm back on the road, again.  Will try to post when I can but just know I'll be back in a week with lots of new photos, subjects, and opinions! 

Thanks for following my blogging journey as I juggle family, fun, and commitments.

October 20, 2011

Flea Marketeers - Justification!!!!

Urban myths about purchases made at flea markets and thrift stores turning out to be priceless treasures abound.  Today, justification! 

A gentleman bought a painting for $4 at a flea market outside of Philadelphia.  He realized the painting was damaged beyond salvaging but said he made the purchase because he liked the frame. 

While removing the backing from the painting, a folded piece of paper fell out.  As he opened the document he realized that it was a copy of the Declaration of Independence. 

After having it appraised he discovered that it was only one of 22 known copies of the original, 1776 first printing of the document to exist.  At a Sotheby's auction it was bought by an American collector for $2,400,000.00. 

Another copy of the Declaration of Independence, bought last year at a Nashville thrift store for less than $3, sold at auction for $477,650.  Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, sold the document at Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions in Burlington, N.C.

Less rare but still valuable, the document turned out to be an "official copy" of the Declaration of Independence commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820 when he was Secretary of State. 

Sparks found his bargain while browsing at Music City Thrift Shop. When he asked the price of the yellowed, shellacked, rolled-up document, a clerk marked it at $2.48 plus tax.  Check the story here.

I love fleaChic $torie$ with happy ending$!

Yesterday I indulged in some thrift shop hopping and am pleased to present some of the treasures I came across:

 I love this metal trunk.  It's just the right height to be a coffee table.  Decorating a boy's bedroom is challenging - trunks such as this one make great bedside tables and provide lots of storage. 

My cell phone photo makes this 1960's custom made sofa looked stained
but it isn't - it's in perfect condition.  Love the curved shape. 
Glorious in its vintageness.  And, only $75 !

Check out this accent chair.  The green
striped fabric would be the ideal compliment to
the sofa above.  All of the chairs were on sale
and none were over $50!



A vintage  Irvinware cocktail shaker for only $1.00 which is selling on eBay ( here )  for $30 - so fleaChic!

October 19, 2011

Adieu, beach

As we packed up and drove away from the beach I felt as if I had left something very heavy behind - emotional garbage that I've accumulated and drug behind me for several months. 

It's so life affirming to stand on the shore and watch the ceaseless rhythm of the waves.  Sigh.  

The carefree charm of beach decor is probably why I love it so much - casual, relaxing, and easy.  Isn't that how we want our lives to be?  

Spray paint an old suitcase
or chest, find a mismatched
deck chair, hang a few oars
and, voile - beach decor!

       Is it possible to over do 'casual' at the beach?  No!
  I'm so glad I'm not the only one who lets magazines pile up.

Just about any shade of blue is a great backdrop for beach decor.

Vintage bamboo furniture from the '50s and '60s
has become very collectible - the shabbier, the better!

Did I have time for a little treasure hunting?  Absolutely!  Coastal consignment shops abound in beach towns and the prices are so very reasonable.  'Beach' is a state of mind that never goes out of style!

Don't you LOVE this vintage kiddie boat ride?  According to the shop owner, it still works.


Old painted tin sculpted into beach art.  Notice the fish in the sea gull's mouth?!

I know what you're thinking - these salty old porthole covers would make great clock surrounds.

Wouldn't this old crab trap make a charming coffee table?

Steamer trunk, propeller, brass compass, troller lantern, ship's
wheel - all would be wonderful beach accessories.

And, now, for my own personal reveal !
The television in our condo was quite old and on the small side so
we decided to replace it with the Queen Mother of All 52" TVs. 
The problem?  It was too large to fit in the entertainment center. 
Solution?  Shopping trip to find a replacement.

Before, in the funky junky store - neglected, forgotten, forlorn.

After:  a Mid-Century credenza bursting with pride to be useful
and beautiful, again!  (We did tack up the ugly cables, wires and
electronic miscellany after the photo was taken.)  Doesn't
it look sleek and efficient? And, yes, so very fleaChic!

Before we knew it, it was time to
pack up and return to the real world.

Goodbye, beach.

Goodbye, little seagull who hung
out on our balcony.

Goodbye, heavy burdens.


Hello, home. 

Images:  Frankly Esoteric; EatLiveShop; Eloise Walker Designs; Country Living; Lifeologia

October 14, 2011

The Word for Today - BeachChic !!!

What do you love
most about being at
the beach?  The sun,
the sand, the laid back lifestyle? 

Beach decor intrigues me.  There's a lot of psychology involved
in decorating a beach  
retreat - it must be  inviting, casual, and unrelentingly cheerful.  Escapism.  A perpetual vacation.  Above all, relaxing . . . . . . .


Beach accessories are lots of fun -
who doesn't love sea shells?!


Sea shells and votives - how much simpler can you get?!

Are you noticing a theme?  Beach decor involves a LOT of white, blue, slipcovers, and old stuff!  My kind of decorating!

Beach 'before and after' photos are especially interesting.  Here are pictures of a home on Cat Island, S.C., just outside of Beaufort.  (LOVE that name.
I wonder if there are a lot
of cats there!)

The addition and transformation are amazing.

Well, my man is rustling around, making 'let's go out and explore' noises.  Must go but will definitely be on the lookout for driftwood, shells, and anything old! 

Images:  Castles, Crowns & Cottages; Country Living; HGTV; A Beach Cottage

October 13, 2011

The Cure

"The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea." 
                                                                 -- Isak Dineson (Baroness Karen Blixen), author of Out of Africa

Today I'm taking The Cure.  Bob and I are heading out to the beach and, if I can't be with my family, the sea shore is my second choice.

But don't worry - you're coming with me.  How could I blog without you? 

We'll check out coastal thrift stores, bargain hunt, and we might even find
a few surprises.

The beach is the chiropractor of life realignment.  Sitting in the sand with your toes in the water, looking out over the soothing waves, and hearing the gulls fuss - it brings life down a notch and helps put things into perspective.

Life is all about balance.

So enjoy these pictures and the next time you hear from me,
I'll be sitting on a balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico!

  Beach Bath, before                                                        Beach Bath, after

How many raw oysters will Bob have to eat in order for me to make this darling shell mirror?!


Little Tybee Island beach house porch, before                 Little Tybee Island beach house porch, after

 Beach Shack, Before (1967)                                           Beach Shack, After (2010)

Beach Shack Living Room (Before)              Beach Shack  Living Room (After)

Marshfront Cottage, c. 1927                    Marshfront Cottage today

Marshfront Cottage was once owned by Henry Ford.  Developers decided to tear it down in order to make more "efficient" use of the propertyPreservationists stepped in, moved the house to the beach and restored it to it's present charmingfulness!

Images:  Coastal Living;  Southern Living;