Sunday, July 1, 2012

Out with the old, in with the OLDER!!!

The charms of a rental house. . .
When we found a rental house that worked for us I had 2 stipulations.  I needed to get the brown paint that was on the walls and ceilings painted over, and I HAD to replace the brass light fixtures with my own lights.  So the brass lights are now in the attic and I had to find a great light for the foyer, without spending too much.

After a month of searching the internet and checking every clearance rack I was at a yard sale and saw an old broken crystal chandelier.  I got it for $20 and I knew I could probably re-wire it.  I had seen all the stuff to rewire a light at Lowes and I consulted a friend who is an electrician.  I took the light apart and saw the old wiring was coated in fabric and definitely needed to be replaced.  The bonus for rewiring the light was that I could now make it long enough for the foyer.

I took the light apart, pulled out all of the old wiring, and cleaned it really well.  It looked like it had been in a box for many years.  There were so many beetles and bugs in the light, and it was coated in thick dust.  It took me a good couple of hours to clean each piece of crystal on the light.  The sockets were still in good shape and all that was needed was new wires.  There is a place on the light were all of the wires merge and need to be connected with wire nuts to the main cord that connects to the power source.
One of the arms was broken and I was able to glue it back together with some E6000 glue.   The light was completely reassembled and the chain was added.  The Home Depot had a huge ladder that we could rent and my husband put the light up for me.  
I call her crystal and she is a great focal point to the entry of our home!  
I was very fortunate that all of the crystals were intact and I was able to restore her to her beauty.  I still need to find some candle socket covers, but I love the vintage touch she adds to the home!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let the Paint Spray!!!

I love spray paint!  It is so easy and convenient.  I prefer this method of painting on smaller projects such as frames, lamps, some chairs, accessories, and crafts.
(painted with Rust-oleum Painters Touch Ultra (2X) Cover in aqua, Satin-distressed to show tin details) 
To find the right paint for you be aware of sheen, and make sure you have the finish you desire.  I mostly use satin or semi-gloss.  I do enough painting that I invested in a canvas drop cloth.  Nothing too big, but it is very useful for doing thees little projects.  Also you will need to use some painters/masking tape.  It is helpful to tape off the areas you don't want sprayed and comes off clean.  *A little tip-When painting lamps I also use a plastic bag for the cord and then keep the cord in the bag and tape any exposed area outside the bag.


To prepare the surface you are painting clean off the surface of any dirt, dust or grease.  If there are any undesirable rough spots you need to sand them down.  If you have a very shiny finish, you may need to sand and/or prime the surface to allow proper adhesion.  You can get Kilz primer in a spray paint.


You have to be very thorough when spray paint otherwise it can be very splotchy.  I prefer to paint at all different angles to assure good coverage.  You can never go wrong with a little extra, so when planning, be sure to over plan on the amount needed.  Valspar has some great tutorials and tips for spray painting.  It is best to follow the directions to have less dripage, and good coverage.


I had some lamps that were super cute and had great lines.  In a past life they were gold colored, and a friend gave them to me painted black.  I used them like that for years and now I wanted them red for my room.  I painted them with Rust-oleum Heritage Red, Satin Finish.  I finished them off with a light distressing and some walnut stain.  A clear coat of satin spray paint finished it off.  I also found some cute little antique brass finial for the lamps that I taped off the crystal and sprayed them red to match.

I found this lamp on the side of the road with garbage pick up day.  The shade had some minor issues that could be fixed and the base had a small dent it it.  It didn't bother me and I loved the look of it.  I didn't love the color though.  I sprayed it with Rust-oleum Painters Touch Ultra (2X) Cover in aqua, Satin.  I did some minor distressing and antiquing and now it is a beautiful lamp on my desk.  I did add a crystal pull cord for some bling!

Mirror and Frames

I had this beautiful mirror that was gold, and needed to be white in my house! :)  I had it gold for years, but it needed a facelift.  Now I would like to mention the art of finishing touches with spray paint.  If you paint something with spray paint and just leave it as it, it just looks spray painted. (You know what I mean!)  If you want the paint job to look professional you HAVE to find some way to add character by "Grunging it Up" to some extent.  If you notice furniture/accessories in the stores, it has varied degrees of distressing to it. It is very rarely all one solid color with out any variance.  You'll be surprised what a very little amount of distressing will do.

So when I painted this mirror, I first taped off the glass really good, then I sprayed it with the Rust-oleum Painters Touch Ultra (2X) Cover in white, Semi-gloss finish. I antiqued it with some walnut stain and did some light distressing.  When you have a piece that has a lot of carving type of detail I find that antiquing brings out the details better than just distressing.  The stain will sit in the grooves and accentuate the details.  The mirror was finished off with a clear coat of satin spray paint to seal in the antiquing.

I found this lovely picture at a thrift store and loved this frame.  The opening measure 30 x 40 and I wanted to make a magnet board with it.  (I will share the details soon!)  But so now I have this fabulous  frame with the Heritage Red, mentioned earlier, and some slight distressing.

Rocking Chair

I found this great rocking chair when antiquing.  I did have to redo the upholstery and at that time I found it to be a good time to re-touch the paint job.  I was able to match the paint color to be Valspar Hubble House Golden Maize, satin.

When I bought this chair it was already spray painted with this yellow color and I loved the natural distressing and chipping of paint that was already there.  I didn't want to repaint the chair, I just needed to touch up the areas that were not thoroughly painted.  This is a prime example of not painting at all angles, and not having proper coverage.  The chair cushions were left on when painted and the caning (seen in 2nd picture) was not painted all the way, and the bottom side of the the arms and back were never painted.  Also in the 2nd picture you can notice the spindles on  the chair also were not covered properly.  My recommendation when painting a chair or another piece of furniture that has many details is to start upside down.  If you place the item upside down and completely circle the item while spraying you can get better coverage.  Now when you place the item right side up you can again circle the item and get the best coverage possible.  

Ceiling Fan

I had the hardest time finding a cute ceiling fan to fit my home.  I wanted something with character and light in color.  For the price I was wanting to pay (~$100), I couldn't find something like that.  I did find a fan that had the lines and details that I liked, so I invested another $10 on 2 cans of spray paint and decided to personalize it myself.  I love how it turned out!


You can use spray paint for crafts, which can simplify a multi-step process.  To make these flowers check it out here.Photobucket

Friday, June 1, 2012


Now when I use the term ANTIQUING, I use it very loosely.  I don't necessarily go out looking for "antiques" per se, but I am just looking for stuff I would love for my home.  Many times it is not in fact an antique, but may be considered a collectable or just vintage inspired.  So when I say I am antiquing, I consider that going out with my friends and perusing the local antique shops.

Glendale, AZ has some fun shops in the downtown area.  It is a fun place to walk around and at Christmas they have some great lights in the area.  One of my favorite shops in Glendale was Larry's.  A few years back, Larry moved his extensive collection to Cottonwood, AZ.  I was devastated.  Until I was able to go to Sedona with a friend, and we made a detour to Cottonwood just to check out Larry's again.  Come to find out that Larry had retired, but he found another Larry to take over his legacy.  


Larry's in now located at 796 N. Main St. in Cottonwood, AZ  It is right in the heart of downtown Cottonwood.  It is on 2 acres of land and covers 5 buildings.  This is a fun place to take your time while looking around.

The 2 acres of land filled with fun!

Inside the main house the shelves are packed.  There are some vendors who sell here, but 70% of what is at Larry's is Larry's.  

Here is the new Larry.  Having the name Larry was crucial for the sale of the store, but Larry didn't have to change his name, it just worked out. :)

 The grounds are quite extensive and you can find a variety of goodies around every corner.
The large shed is 2 stories and the upper floor does get quite warm.  Here is were we found some very fun stuff.  I did not see as many old doors and windows that I remember old Larry having in Glendale, but other than that, I was very pleased with what we saw and the prices. 

If you are looking for a fun day trip to go antiquing, it is fun to head up to Cottonwood, and while you are there I would strongly recommend taking a slight detour to Jerome, AZ.
Jerome is a former little mining town about 20 min outside of Cottonwood.  it is very quaint and draws quite the diverse crowd.  The streets are steep an narrow and have shops all down main street.   They aren't necessarily antique shops, but it is a unique atmosphere.  My friend and I ate at the Asylum at the Jerome Grand Hotel.  It was alright....I wasn't too impressed with my meal, but my friend loved hers and another friend always eats here at dinner and LOVES it.  But it is right on the top of the hill and the hotel is a former hospital that over 10,000 people died in so it attracts ghost hunters and has been on the ghost hunter cable TV shows.  I do love the architecture and the history of the town.  In many ways it doesn't even feel like AZ.  I have had multiple friends tell me they love the Haunted Burger there, so next time I will try that!
The view from the top of the hill where the hotel is, and a side view of the hotel.

My finds from that weekend:


If you reside in the Phoenix area there are some great places to check out for antiquing.  One day while driving down 7th Avenue in Phoenix I came across a slew of antique stores.  I knew I had to come back with my friends.  So another day we drove down this way for the day and found many delightful and not so delightful shops. There is a part of 7th Ave called the Melrose district and they have some very fun shops.  They were very fun to look through.  One was remarkable with what they carried, but the prices were VERY high.  I would never pay what they were asking, but it was a joy to walk through.  I would like to share a couple of my favorites from that day.

Antiques on Camelback

Antiques on Camelback is a large retail building that houses many vendors with very interesting finds. It is at 4955 N 7th Ave, Phoenix.  For the most part the prices are very reasonable, and the selections were very fun to look through.  It is here where I found my Betty.  I had been wanting a body form for YEARS and came across the perfect one for me!  I love her and had to take her home!

Charlie's House

Charlie's house is a great little shop on 7th Avenue in Phoenix.  (4431 N. 7th Ave, Phoenix, AZ)  They are open 10 am-6 pm daily.  Charlie and Isaac run the store and are very hospitable.  Many time you will come in to find fresh goodies complementary to their guests.  A true little treasure in Phoenix.  What makes Charlie's different from many other antique/collectable shops today, is that he is the sole owner of shop.  He does not open his shop to vendors and his merchandise is shipped in from his home state of Wisconsin by his sister.  The prices are very reasonable and Charlie and Isaac are so nice and approachable.  

Outside at Charlie's
Outside you can find many windows and a few doors.  If you are looking for some barn wood for signs, note the pile on the picture on the left.  

Charlie does an exceptional job on reupholstery of furniture.  He was even so kind to give me some pointers on reupholstering my new rocking chair.  He was showing me some of the chairs he had done.  If you would like to have him reupholster something for you, you would need to be patient, he has a few month wait time. He has such a great perspective on redoing old furniture.  He loves to see people save a great piece of furniture from going to the dump and giving it new life. 
If you are looking for some miscellaneous old hardware, be sure to check this out.  There is a very good selection here. 

Globe/Miami AZ-

Miami Arizona is an active mining town just 30 minutes east of the Phoenix metro area.  It is a little town that has some fun little antique shops and some dang good mexican food.  

On your drive up to Miami/Globe be sure to stop at Top of The World, AZ.  there's not much there any more, but sometimes this little antique place is open.  When you get to the top of the mountains while driving to Miami don't blink or you may miss this place.  

This is for sure a weekend trip.  The shops are only open on the weekend.
The Pickle Barrel is a shop just up the road in Globe.  They have a fun place worth checking out there. I loved their collection of outdoor iron fencing and outdoor decor.

After antiquing you will work up a mean hunger and you can try El Rey Cafe in Globe, or The Burger House in Miami.  As deceiving as it may sound the burger house has some fine Mexican food!

On The Road

I have found it is always fun in your travels to stop at fun little off the road places.  When we drove across the country for work a few summers back my husband was kind enough to let me stop at places along the way.  We were hauling a big trailer, so I took advantage. :) We loved driving through Kentucky and meeting so many nice people.  I found some fun stuff at a thrift store there.  At a little shop along highway 68 we ran into The Junque Man and I came home with some fun junk including lockers.

I know in June there is a big sale along that highway called the 400 Mile Sale that would be fun to check out one year.  I have heard of a big sale in Texas every summer at the Big Red Barn that would be fun as well.  A friend of mine moved to Oregon a while back and every summer they do a big sale up there at The Barn House that I need to go to one of these years.  There really is so much to do where ever you are.  This summer we will be driving back east again and I am hoping I can get a little antiquing time in.  As I search things high and low I find that some of the best places are off the beaten path.  The more retail places can be higher priced and geared more toward tourists.  I enjoy meeting new people and more times than not, the people you meet when going off the beaten path are just good down to earth people.

All of my goodies from the road trip.
If you have a fabulous antique store in the Phoenix area that you would love to tell me about please email me at and I would love to come check it out.  I will delete any comments that solicit and will only give advice to those reading this blog that I would give to my close friends.  So I will only endorse what I personally can attest to.  Thank you :)