I am a wife, a mother, an auntie and a friend. I love thrifting, garage sales, re-purposing, creating, painting, anything that makes our little rental home more welcoming, comfortable and cozy. I have discovered the "art" of amateur photography & I love the idea of capturing the beauty in the ordinary everyday things that surround us. Blogging is a wonderful way to make new friends and share with people who have the same interests. My personal taste in decorating leans towards "casual cottage/coastal decor". I now have a small shop on etsy, called "SandySeashore" where you'll find some of my vintage finds, my photography and some handmade things. I hope you take the time to check it out! Thanks for droppin' in!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Be my guest!

 The office/craft room makeover.

My challenge was to still be able to use this small room as a "workspace" for my small etsy business, a workspace for my hubby who is into car models, and a neat, cozy guestroom when needed.

I think I've changed the spare room a dozen times (lol) over the 8 years since my son moved out. I've never been able to turn into the cozy but practical space I wanted. It just never felt "just right".

I was able to purchase a brand new and very comfortable double bed for a steal from a friend. That was really my push to get the room going. There are still a few things that need "tweaking", but 
I think I've managed to do what I imagined.

If you are on Pinterest, you are probably aware that maps are big in decorating right now. 
Whether it's you initials covered in maps sitting on a shelf, a piece of furniture embellished with maps decoupaged onto it, or a wall covered in maps, it really appeals to me. Maybe it's the colors, or maybe it's dreams of traveling the world, or just my own country, I don't know. But with the room painted white, I had a blank canvas...
Images from Pinterest
But first let's talk about the elephant in the room. The shelves close to the ceiling that are on three walls. They are not my favorite thing (nice way of saying "I hate them"), but because storage is very minimal in our small home this seemed like a reasonable solution. I'm trying to pretend they don't exist, so just go with me on that one, okay?

Anyway, back to the maps...
I collected a couple of vintage atlas' with the hope of doing something interesting with the pages within. 

To tell you the truth, I was excited to do this, but worried it might not look the way I pictured it.

So, page by page, with a brush loaded with wallpaper paste...

 The boards running from wall to wall were the work table Mike and I used. The problem I had with it is that it always looked cluttered and messy, and it left us with no room for a bed. Visually, it distracted me, and it became a dumping ground for all kinds of stuff.

Yeah, uh, see what what I mean?

 When I got to this point with the wallpapering, Mike removed the "desk" so that I could continue. 

 I had to do it a bit at a time because my body is always so "cranky", but eventually I got it done.
 I am very happy with the results. :)

Then came the wainscoting wallpaper on the lower half of the remaining walls, then Mike added the molding at the top. 

Because I love my husband so much, I gave up the storage space in the closet. It was always a disaster, you know, the one where you are afraid to open the door? Yeah, well, it is no more.

The shelving was mostly already in there, I just filled them with his models. The work table was made out of a large piece of wood, a few brackets and some makeshift "legs".  A drawer attached to the wall is ideal for his spray paints. A few task lamps for lighting, a chair and "Bob's your uncle"!

It works for both of us, he can leave unfinished work on his desk to come back to later, and I don't have to look at the mess. It's a win/win! :)

 We then brought in the bed, and decorated the room almost entirely with things we already had. 
Ignoring the look of those shelves by the ceiling, I cut pieces of wood (cost approx. $3.00 each) and hung four panels of "mosquito netting" purchased at Ikea for a measly $4.99/two panels to add that "dreamy, coziness" I was aiming for.

I organized my craft/etsy stuff in boxes and bins, both on the shelving unit and under the bed.
I also used a large basket with a lid to hold most of my linens for my etsy shop. 
 I used sheer curtains with light blue curtains I already had. They add warmth and a beautiful glow to the room.

My sewing machine is under a basket on the vintage sewing cabinet that my friend Karen gave to me in exchange for an old farmhouse cabinet that I had.
It is one of my favorite things in the house.

The little coral ballerinas from Mexico dance in the breeze.

And now for my favorite part of the room,
Drum roll please...
 Every time I walk into this room, the bed calls out to me, I swear...It is SO cozy!

 I made the two large 24"x 24" pillow shams using an old hobnail cottage bedspread. (love)
The small blue cushion at the front with a map of the places we've been in the Mayan Riviera was made for us by my niece. It fits in perfectly.

 The headboard was made from half of a damaged bi-fold hollow core closet door that otherwise would have been sent to the dump. I just cut it to length and added some molding to it. It got some caulking and a couple of coats of paint. (I love saving things from going to landfill)

 The "Sweet Dreams" sign above the bed was made from an old cupboard door that was saved with this kind of project in mind. The lettering is a decal from Ebay for $2.99 that I applied to it before giving the whole thing an "antique" finish.

 The ledge on the headboard is a great place to display a few things.

Two of my favorite Models my hubby made.


There is also storage in baskets and suitcases between the foot of the bed and the window. That is also where I put my antique fold out table that is on casters, when I need the extra space for crafting.

It is now "just right".

I really like how the netting around the bed creates a "cocoon". It makes the bed separate from the rest of the room. It has a very serene, peaceful feeling about it. The room is now practical but still pretty and now matches the rest of our home.
The makeover was inexpensive, and the whole project was done slowly, in bits and pieces over about two months. 
I am learning that patience is a virtue, and pain isn't, more and more every time I undertake a new project.

So, who's going to be our first guest?

Thanks for following!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Frugal French Girl's Garage Sale Goodies! (with a little about life...)

Hello my friends! 

Wow, again, it's been a long while since I last posted on my blog. What can I say? My life isn't as busy "project wise" as it used to be. My computer time has also been cut down because of pain issues. 

I thought to blog about our sweet dog, Molly, who was my sidekick for a short 8 yrs before we recently had to put her down. May she rest in peace, sweet girl. I can't, I get too emotional when I think of her.  I can however introduce our cute, mischievous little rascal, aptly named "Sawyer" to you.

 Sawyer is a "mutt", a yorkie, maltese/havanese mix. He was 12 weeks when we brought him home. I don't remember Molly ever being this rambunctious! He's a lot of work, but well worth it! He is now five and a half months old and still full of "it". On a recent visit to my doctor's office I told her my new antidepressant was working wonderfully - she looked at me with a confused look on her face - I then told her about having a puppy in the house! :)

Do I look like trouble?
Okay, so that being said, I thought I should share actual fun stuff. I used to do a weekly post called
"Frugal Frenchie's Friday Finds" and an occasional one showing off my garage sale finds. So today we'll call this:
                                   Frugal French Girl's Garage Sale Goodies
 I really love the "hunt" of finding treasures at garage sales or thrift stores. Although, garage sales are not as numerous or as good as they used to be, namely, I think because of "Craiglist".  There are of course the "over priced" garage sales, where people seem to think they are running a store instead of a garage sale. Thrift stores have started to catch on to the "thrift store movement" and have upped their prices. A t-shirt with a tear in it for $9.99! Really?! and they call themselves "Value Village"?

All this to say that I love a good deal. Last Saturday I went to two great annual garage sales. I was very pleased with the little treasures I found.

I had priced out these conch shell lights in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, but found them too expensive at $60.00 and up. I found this one for $2!
This basket was $1.

In keeping with my beach theme I also found this little gem for $2.

I already had the larger one, they look great together.
This great matelasse coverlet was $3! It's perfect to cover up with on chillier days. It also fits in perfectly with my decor.
These oars were $1 each. So many other "shoppers" asked what we were doing with them. I joked that Richmond might sink one day and together with our inflatable boat, they'd come in handy! lol
I'll use them in my decor somewhere.
 This old enamel wash basin makes a great fruit bowl for $2. I love enamelware.

This soft dog bed was $3 and came with a free "head cone" for Sawyer for when he gets neutered. Yes! he will wear the "cone of shame".
Cedar wind chime for $1.
Basket $3

Brand new, in the box digital frame for $5.
 It's just waiting for us to load photos and give it to my mother in law who is now in a care home.
Like new, pretty vintage pillowcases that I will list on my etsy shop.

 Pretty vintage hanky.
 Two vintage, new condition pillowcase with yellow crocheted trim also for etsy.

A free brand new suitcase, looks like it was a promotional giveaway.
( I used it to carry my other purchases!)
 I also found several beautiful white linen pieces, including an oval crocheted tablecloth.

 They have all been laundered delicately and will be ironed before they are listed on my etsy shop.

 These are my finds.
What do you think?
Check my etsy store periodically to see new additions.

Thanks for following!