Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Mine?

Our room got a few Valentine's touches for the upcoming holiday.

Matt doesn't think it's a "real" holiday and prefers to call it Hallmark Day.

But that doesn't stop me from decorating...or from emailing him gifts I would enjoy receiving on February 14 : )

I repurposed the cameo ornaments from Christmas to the urn on my nightstand. I love a pop of black in a white room.

The little farmhouse bench got just a few sweet touches.

A antique book of poems, adorned with roses and perfect for the day of love {available here}

My favorite little sweetheart box, paired with chippy architectural salvage and placed under a cloche.

All people I love

A vintage Valentine on Matt's side of the bed.

Pink on the vanity


A sneak peek of an upcoming post. If you've joined me on Facebook, you know what I'm talking about.

Will you be my Valentine?

{live beautifully}

I'm linking to Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and The Valentine Party at Dear Lillie

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sneak Peek: The Goods

Happy Monday friends! With all the planning and buying and dreaming of the new shop, I have been just itching to display a few pieces. They're all things I'd love to have in my own house, so there was no use for them to sit in boxes in the garage for the next month and a half. I brought two or three boxes upstairs (we live on the second floor of an old case I haven't mentioned that before) and decided to play a bit. I may as well get to enjoy all my fun finds before they go on to new homes later this spring!

Everything you see will be available at The Cottage Collective, set to open at the beginning of April. Of course these are just the more "kitchen-y" items, since this is my kitchen and all. But you'll find all sorts of things at the shop!

Of course ironstone and white ware are always staples!

A lovely collection of gravy boats.

I am absolutely in love with this rusty black old lunch box. The patina is amazing, as is the white chippy paint on the inside.

Ironstone creamer, tarnished silver, antique cake plate...yes please!

Ironstone pitchers...a must.

I love this old white bread box. Rust in all the right places, and the top reads "savory."

I bought this chippy moulding as a display piece. I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but it was too fabulous to pass up.

Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell! And if you're local, I hope you liked what you see enough to stop in! I'll keep you posted on giveaways and opening news, so keep checking back! You can learn more about The Cottage Collective and all the vendors here, and like us on Facebook here.

{live beautifully}

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Winter Beauty

I don't know about you, but I sometime find it a little hard to stay looking my best in the middle of the winter. The winter blahs take their hold and I start missing that mid-June glow. There are a few beauty products I'm loving this year though, and they're helping me fight the winter yuckies. Of course I'm also a sucker for packaging, so my criteria for beauty products is that they have to work and have pretty graphics/packaging to boot. These certainly fit the bill!

1. C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve
I'll admit it...I'm a bit of a nail biter. Terrible habit, I know. And that means my cuticles are always a mess, especially in the winter. I love to put on a bit of rose salve to help soothe and smooth my fingertips. It works wonders!

2. Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm
Love this stuff! Not only does it keep my lips from chapping in the Kansas winter wind, it also adds a bit of color. My favorite shade is Red Dahlia.

3. Boot's Lavender Hand Cream
I found this little tube at Target, and use it daily to keep my hands soft and supple. I absolutely hate dry skin during the winter, so I keep this stashed in my purse at all times. Oh and it smells delicious!

Do you have any favorite products you use during the winter? Please share!

{live beautifully}

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Thrifting 101

After sharing my awesome thrifting score of a tiered wire basket, one of my sweet readers {hi Maggie!} suggested I do a post on thrifting/junking. What a great idea! I decided that for now I'll just cover thrifting, because I feel like junking, flea markets, antique malls and estate sales are all different animals. But if you find today's post helpful let me know and I'll cover those areas as well!

{numbered canister set: thrifted for $4. Not old, but totally awesome!}

Many of you reading this might be thrifting experts, and if so, feel free to share your advice in the comments! I'm sure you've thought about things I haven't! And if you're a thrifting novice, I hope this helps spark your interest in what can be a fun, cheap way to find vintage goods. So here are my helpful thrifting hints...

{large white urn: thrifted for $9}

1. Be Brave! Be Adventurous!
This was a hard one for me. I've always shopped at malls and nice shopping centers, so the idea of going to a sort of "out of the way" location to thrift was difficult for me at first. But often times, at least in my area, thrift stores aren't located in the greatest part of town. And sometimes the thrift stores themselves are just plain gross. This isn't always the case. The Goodwills in our city are generally very clean, well-lit and well organized. But my thrift store of choice is, well, disgusting. We're talking it smells bad, merchandise is dirty and piled everywhere, the people in it are often not terribly clean themselves, etc. I try not to wear anything nice there because I come out smelling like the place {gross}. But I swear that store has the best stuff! I find probably 50% of the goods I sell on etsy in that shop (there, now you know my little secret). It definitely has a lot of older pieces, where I've found our Goodwills tend to have new items. If you're in the market for vintage/antiques...don't be afraid to get a little dirty, a little stinky, and go a little out of the way. It's worth it!

{distressed shelf: thrifted for $7}

2. Know What You're Looking For
I have a running list in my head of the general types of items I'm looking for. I know I {probably} won't find something incredibly rare and valuable in a thrift store, though that does occasionally happen. But I do know I'll find my favorite pieces: ironstone, white pitchers, tarnished silver, antique books and whitework linens. These are my staple pieces, and what I'm always on the lookout for. Your list may be different, but the best way to overcome the visual overload in a thrift store is to know what you're going for. I can look at a pile of junk and spot a white creamer tucked in the back because I've trained myself to do so. With a little practice, you can too!

{tarnished silver cream and sugar, forks and ironstone pitcher, all thrifted}

3. Know the Value of Things
Once you know what you're looking for, you'll also probably know what's a good price and what's not. For example I paid $1.50 and $2.50 for these ironstone pitchers {below}. But I could sell them for $20 to $50. So do your homework, browse eBay and etsy, and get to know the going rate for your favorite items. Then you won't overpay, and best of all, when you get a score you'll know just how great of a score it is! {cough cough... 28 cents for a tiered wire stand!}

{ironstone pitchers: thrifted for $4}

This also means knowing brands and manufacturers. I don't thrift for clothing, but if you do then obviously you'd want to be on the lookout for designer merchandise. The same goes for home items. I always turn dishes over to see the manufacturer. And my heart always skips a beat when I see certain markings {well hello, Meakin ironstone!} But I've had to learn what brands are valuable and which aren't. It's all part of the hunt!

{chippy white farmhouse stool: thrifted for $5.50}

4. Check for Quality
I recently found this chippy white stool at my favorite thrift shop. I loved the distressed paint, but it was a little wobbly. I turned it over to see if it could be repaired easily, and sure enough, all it needed was tightened screws. Check dishes and housewares for chips, cracks and defects. Often I don't mind a few chips on antique dish ware, but there are some things you don't want if they are broken.

{antique silver napkin rings: $1 each, set of white work linens: $1, antique book: $1}

5. Thrift Often
My favorite {stinky} thrift store happens to be on the way home from work, so I stop in there 2 - 4 times a week. Make thrifting a habit, and you'll eventually find what you're looking for, and get the cream of the crop when new merchandise is put out. Plus, we all love the thrill of the hunt, so hunt often!

{thrifted silver plate tray}

What are your thrifting hints and tips? I'd love to hear your best advice...and your best scores!

{live beautifully}

Linking to Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia and Farmhouse Fridays at Laurie Anna's