Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ballard Backroom Loot

Ray recently attended a Church Planting workshop in Woodstock, GA and I got to go along! I had lots of free time while he was gone, so what else would I do but shop? (I did also read, walk on the treadmill, and work on my Precepts Bible study lessons!)

Anyway, I googled around a little before we left to see what was in the area, and found lots of good options.  I've never been to Atlanta, so I also e-mailed Shelli and she was kind enough to send me some suggestions of where to go.

One afternoon I drove about 30 miles north to the Outlets in Dawsonville.  I was so excited about going there because they had a Pottery Barn Outlet, Restoration Hardware, Coach, some of my favorites.  I really wanted this horn flatware from PB,



but even at a good price there of $19.99/place setting that was still more than I wanted to fork over for 8 or 12. (ha ha, pun totally intended!)  I left without buying ONE thing anywhere.  Oh wait, I did buy two little Christmas presents for my daughter and niece at Kirklands, but nothing like I expected to find.

The surprise jackpot was the Ballard Designs Outlet, Ballard Backroom.  There were 2 locations in the Atlanta area, and I went to both, but I liked the DeFoor Ave. location better.  It just had better specials that week on what I was looking for.  Everything I considered had to pass through the filter of "Can I get that home on an airplane?" because they don't offer shipping from the outlet.  So, here's what I ended up with:

 

2 pairs of new pillow covers. Need to find the right size feather inserts for the black check set.  I think the green stripe was originally around $45 each and the check about $24 (just for the covers!!).  I picked them up for $12 and $4.50 each.


A box of a dozen tin quatrefoil tags.  I'd seen these in the catalog and thought they were so cute, so I picked up a box for $4.69 not knowing what I'd use them for.  Two of them found a home on these old crates.  Funny story on the crates...Last year we spent Fall Break at one of our favorite vacation spots, Red River, NM.  I was out on my bike shopping one afternoon and ducked into one of the ski stores.  They were totally reorganizing to prepare for ski season and I noticed these crates sitting by the trash can at the front door.  On a whim on the way out I asked about them, and they said, "Oh, you can just have those."  WHAT?  I tried to hook one on each handlebar of my bike but it didn't work.  My dad came to the rescue in his van and picked them up.  My mom asked her usual "Did you get some for me?"  I did not.  I was stingy and kept them both.  They are my favorite souvenir from the trip.


14 yards of this fabric.  I'm not sure what Ballard calls it because they rename all of their fabrics, but it's Waverly's Tucker Resist.  I'd been looking for a fun black and white fabric to do some new panels in the living room and I couldn't pass this up.  I couldn't resist this mainly because of the...wait for it...$5 A YARD price!  I actually still need about 6 more yards and the best deal I've found online is $12 per yard, so I think I got a steal!  I unrolled THE WHOLE THING and folded it back and forth until it fit in my suitcase.

And, my prized find...


A HUGE decorative clam shell bowl.

I remember seeing this in their catalog a while back and thinking it was SO COOL but quickly dismissed it after seeing the something like $249 price tag.  But, it caught my eye in the outlet tucked away on top of a bookshelf.  I carefully pulled it down and almost jumped up and down when I saw the red pen marked through the price that now read $49.99.  I DID jump up and down when I realized that the decorative accessories were an extra 40% off, so it would only be $30!  (Just kidding, I love bargains but there was no jumping.)  I actually measured it and left it there that day to see if by some miracle it would fit in my suitcase.  It did not.  But, I went back the next day and bought it anyway.  I rounded up a box at Dillard's and shipped it home from the UPS store myself.  That thing is big.  And heavy.  Like 22 pounds.  It cost more to get it home than it did to purchase it, but it was worth it to me.  I'll enjoy this piece for a long time to come.

We wrapped up our trip the evening before we left in a super cool master-planned shopping district called Atlantic Station.  We drank more sweet tea than we ever should have that close to bed time...but we just couldn't stop.  It was like hummingbird food.  Anyway, Atlantic Station had fun stores that we don't have in OKC like West Elm and H&M.  Here's my West Elm bargain:


Back in the clearance bin they had 3 bird nests in a bag for $2.97, and they had 4 bags left.  I had just seen and cute tablescape idea where they had used a nest at each place and I really wanted all of them but decided to restrain myself and just get 2.  When I went to the check out the cashier said, "These will be final sale, they're ringing up at $0.97 each."  Again, WHAT???  I quickly asked her to charge me for two more and high-tailed it to the back to get the others.  You can't have too many bird nests, right?  And, they didn't weigh anything so I could throw them in my big-ol-clamshell-box I was already shipping home.

I completely recommend a visit to Atlanta if you have never been.  We enjoyed driving around looking through all old neighborhoods with quaint houses.  We also spent a nice afternoon with a picnic lunch at Stone Mountain and drove through downtown to catch sites like Olympic Park, the Olympic Cauldron, and Turner Field.  We'd love to go back with the kids some day and visit the Georgia Aquarium and the Coca-Cola Museum.

What did I miss?  Any must-sees in Atlanta if we ever go back? 








Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Mantel


My mantel is ready for the season, but nothing else around the house is!  Fall is my favorite season to decorate for.  I think I enjoy it the most because I don't feel the pressure or time crunch that hits when decorating for Christmas.  I can take it slow and easy and do a little bit at a time.


The mantel came together pretty quickly this year.  I did not buy one thing new for it.  I've had the old shutters in the garage and slapped on a quick coat of paint.  It's not perfect but I didn't want it to be.  I got the old window this summer from my sister's garage sale and wish I would have picked up another.  


I'm loving a natural, collected look for fall, rather than it looking like I ran out and bought everything at Hobby Lobby.  Don't get me wrong, I love HL and have spent PLENTY of pennies there, but I like to mix the old in with the new.


I've had this wreath forever but gave it a little touch up with some burlap rosettes.  Easiest thing in the world to make.  See the corner of that oval silver tray?  I wanted the height of it being turned vertically but knew it wouldn't stand on end for long without being supported somehow.  Hot glue to the rescue!  I put a tiny drop on the back and stuck it to the edge of the window.  I know it will peel right off both surfaces when I take it down.  Nothing will crash down to the floor in the middle of the night!

Just a few more shots...



I unscrewed the old white knobs off the shutters and hot glued on these pretty, antique looking ones.  They came from Hobby Lobby, as well as the wreath and the pumpkin, although I've had those for years.  The lanterns are from Gordman's a few years back.  The cinnamon stick candles and gold bird were 75% off at Target after Christmas, and the silver tray, cup, little green pedestal and small glass jar were thrift store finds.  



Are you ready for fall yet?  Do you decorate indoors specifically for the season?  Soon I'll show you the rest of my fall decorations, but if you need some more inspiration, I'm linking up to the Fall Mantel Party that begins on Tuesday at The Lettered Cottage.  Hop on over and check out all of the fabulous ideas!



    

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Morning Scripture

This verse was from my Precepts Bible Study this past week.  I think it's beautiful and so full of warmth and hope.  The last line is my favorite.



magnific sunrise
http://www.portwallpaper.com/image/29070-magnific-sunrise.html


The people who were sitting in darkness saw a Great Light, 
and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death, 
Upon them a Light dawned.
Matthew 4:16 (NASB)



Friday, September 23, 2011

Autumn Has Arrived...


and I'm thrilled!


My favorite season is here.  Time for:

-Making s'mores in the chiminea 
 (if our burn ban ever lifts...yes, my husband  makes us play by the rules)
-Cool, crisp air
-Leaves and acorns crunching underfoot
-Pumpkins and pansies
-OU football watch parties
-Fires in the fireplace
-Fall decorations
-Backyard Campouts
-Christmas planning (92 more days!)

We're headed to the State Fair today, another earmark of Fall.  Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Quick Before and Afters

I wanted to share some projects that I've completed around here lately, so I'll just cut to the chase and show the before and after pictures.  Those are our favorites anyway, right?  Some were quick changes and some a little more time consuming, but with all of them I came away thinking "Why didn't I do that sooner?"


Built in China Cabinet-This was a big experiment!  All of our kitchen cabinets and built-ins in the living room and study are stained oak.  I have always loved stained cabinets, but was ready for something different in this house.  I painted this cabinet first as a test to see how painting the rest of the stained cabinetry might look.  I loved it!  By the way, I didn't sand, prime, or do anything the way I was probably supposed to.  I love Behr's Paint with Primer from Home Depot.  A little pricey, by totally worth it.

BEFORE




AFTER






French Dresser-I jumped on the old 70's french provincial craze and found a bedroom set on Craig's List.  I had been wanting something more substantial than what was already in my entry, and this dresser fit the bill perfectly.  I used the same can of paint from the china cabinet and kept the lovely brass original handles.  Love it.

BEFORE




AFTER






Kitchen Table and Chairs-I purchased these at the same house where I bought the french set.  I bought them intending to use only the chairs and the table sat in my garage for months.  I finally just decided to see what it would look like and the wood was GORGEOUS under that old plasticy-looking top.  The chairs were pretty bad and definitely needed some gluing and touch-up.  The leopard seats will probably be recovered soon, I'm just looking for the right fabric.  It's really interesting to me that one of my favorite bloggers, Miss Mustard Seed, lives in Pennsylvania and had this exact set that she also painted.  I really like the white, also.


BEFORE




AFTER






French Doors to Office-Once again, painted over the oak.  I think they stand out so much more and look new! (Please ignore the laundry folding spot that you can see through the glass!)


BEFORE




AFTER






Dining Room Curtains-I made these curtains right after we moved into the house.  This window is HUGE and I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for a rod, so I used decorative posts all the way across the top and just tied the curtain with ribbon ties.  Recently I thought they were starting to look a little dated hung that way and we really do like to open and close them a lot.  I discovered a great curtain rod trick since moving into our house.  I buy a long wooden pole from the trim department at home depot for about $2 a foot and have them cut it to the exact size I need, then spray paint it whatever color I want.  Then I use my 40% off coupons at Hobby Lobby for the brackets, rings, and clips.  Interior Fabrics is also a great place to get ring clips.  It ends up being a very economical solution if you need a long custom rod.  


It still amazes me every day how much of the window was covered up when they were swagged across.  I can see the sky now!

BEFORE


AFTER






Emily's Curtains-I'm just finishing a total room redo for Emily and want to share it all in a post soon, but here's a little piece.  I made the long dotted panels, but they seemed a little plain to me.  So, I used Julie's curtains for inspiration and fancied them up a bit.  Much better!


BEFORE 




AFTER




Emily's Night Light-This one was definitely quick and easy.  Another snippet of her new room.  We couldn't have a pink gingham with feather boa trim light with her new colors, so I pulled out a few scraps and re-worked.  


BEFORE




AFTER




It's been busy around here!  I don't think I'll ever have all of the projects in my head completed.  It's so much fun to take trash and turn it to treasures!


Here's my next before...I have big plans for the after! (Photo from Craig's List)





Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Morning Scripture



A friend recently spoke at his father's funeral of how his dad had challenged him to memorize Psalm 1 when he was a child.  Paid him a quarter for each verse.  He said it was the best $1.50 ever spent.  I totally agree and we're following suit with our children.  We've never paid them for scripture memory or good grades in the past, but this is a big one.  These are such rich verses from The Word and we definitely want our kids to hide these in their hearts for the rest of their lives.  I remember memorizing it as a child myself.  My dad used to do our family devotions in the evening and we spent some time on this chapter.  



May your delight be in the law of the Lord today.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

So Long Summer!

The kids are well into their school routine, Labor Day has come and gone, and we are at the baseball field several nights a week.  I think I can happily declare summer as officially over, especially considering that we had record breaking heat with 62+ days over 100 degrees.  Very nice at the neighborhood pool, but that's about the only place to be.  So, here are a few (or a lot of) snapshots of our favorite summer memories from 2011.


Last day of school!




Driving range at Lake Hefner.  Lots of fun for a $3 bucket of balls!
 


The kids set up a lemonade stand with neighbor friends.  I especially like Emily's name tag.  "Hello!  My name is Emily!  Can I help you?" (hand made and stuck on with masking tape) 



They spent several nights sleeping on a pallet on the floor...by their own choice...fun times?
 


Ray & I celebrated our 17th Anniversary with a trip to Kansas City.  Beautiful place!



Caleb found a large turtle at our neighborhood park.  We were on our bikes, so Emily kindly gave him a lift home in her basket.  After a few days, we gave him to a neighbor friend and a few days after that the turtle laid eggs in their back yard!  We're expecting baby turtles any day now, and all the kids have already decided on joint ownership.



Bethany 4th of July Parade.  A tradition with my family every year.




 We were very blessed to be able to go to Disneyworld this summer.  Our extremely kind friends asked us to tag along with them again.  This is our third trip and the kids love it more every time!




We went with two other families who have been our friends since college.  Fourteen of us altogether, all lined up on the Jungle Cruise boat.
 


 We were so thrilled that our friend found Mickey and Minnie TOGETHER, and we only had to wait about 3 minutes to see them because everyone else was outside watching the Electrical Parade.  We caught the later parade and didn't miss a thing.  Always keep your eyes open at Disneyworld, there are surprises all around!



All 8 children at Old Key West waiting at our bus stop.
 


After a week in the parks, we drove south to Disney's Vero Beach Resort.  This was the first time for our children to see the ocean.  It was such a fantastic trip and reminder of God's majesty and beautiful creation...the part that we don't get to experience very often.








Back to school!  Caleb is a 5th grader and Emily is a 3rd grader.



We wrapped up the summer with a drive-in movie over Labor Day weekend.  There is a great theater here in OKC that we had actually never been to!  We went with good friends that we had also vacationed at Disney with and everyone had an enjoyable evening.



The kids had waited and waited for it to cool off enough to set up the tent and camp out.  Can't beat the back yard for a campsite!  There's power to plug in movies, food right inside, and they take every advantage of loading up all of their stuffed animals and bringing them out with them.  


So that's our Summer wrap up.  I hope you enjoyed every bit of yours!